Category Archives: Leo Odera Omolo

Kenya: The election battle for the Migori County Senate seat is expected to attract more aspirants

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Awedo Town

Migori is the mineral rich region of Western Kenya

The forthcoming battles for the newly created Migori County Senate seat is likely to attract the largest number of contestants come the year 2012.

Migori County is so important to Kenya because it is laying along the Kenya-Tanzania border on both land and in the Lake Victoria

Already several names of prominent politicians are being mention at the various public gatherings and funeral places. They include the former MPs and individual personalities.

One of the prospective candidates had already I the grounds as if the elections is schedule to take place within the next two or three months..

A two time former MP in the defunct Homa-Bay constituency Pharez Oluoch Kanindo is already on the campaign trail, though his is viewed by the electorate as “Big Jokes” but it sends the message across the vast region. Kanindo hails from Central Sakwa Location in Awendo Division, Awendio district in Migori County.

Other individual said to be interested in the Migori Senate seat which the new constitution has provided include the once two term MP for Ndhiwa constituency Zablon Owigo Olang’, who hails from Sori Division in Nyatike constituency.

Another aspirant is the immediate former Migori MP Charles Oyugi Owino {Jalikowa} who hails from Wasio in East Suna location, Suba East Division, Migori County.

A retired former secondary schoolteacher Mr Jack Baraza who has twice contested the Migori parliamentary seat is also reported to be gearing to go for the Senate race. He is the sons of an Ex-Senior Chief Baraza of Wasweta West and hails from Bondo Nyironge area, Suna Central Migori Constituency.

In the last general election Baraza contested the election on PNU ticket and lost to the incumbent John Pesa

Other reports emerging from Nyatike says that the immediate former area MP Ocholla Ogur is also keen on contesting the Senate seat for Migori County. He hails from the dominant Kakoth sub-clan in Kadem Central Location, Macalder Division in Nyatike district, Migori County. Ogur, however, has yet to confirm his candidature.

From the same Nyatike, the name of Polycarp Ochillo, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s School of Journalism is frequently being mentioned in the public domain as one of the possible contestant for the Migori Senate seat.Ochillo hails from Kolal sub-clan in Kadem North, Macalder Division, Nyatike district.

Another prospective aspirant for the same Senate seat is Eng. Phillip Makabong’o who hails from Kitere area of South Kamagambo Location in Rongo constituency.He is a retired former employee of the postal services and an ODM operative in the area.

Nobody has come forward from two constituencies, namely Uriri and Kuria and declare his or her interest in her battle for Senate seat, It is hoped that more aspirants for this particular seat will emerge making it the most crowded race in the region.

however one Ezra Osondi who works with the Kenya Power and Lighting Company in Nairobi is said to be keen in contesting the position of Migori County governor. And so is the former Provincial Director of Education in Nairobi Christopher Chacha Ogwe. Odondi hails from Sakwa West Location, Awendo district in Migori County, while Chacha Ogwe is from Wasio sub-clan of the larger Suna clan in East Suna Location, Migori district in Migori County.

The two political giants of Rongo Dalmas Otieno, the incumbent and the Minister for Public Work and his arch-rival former cabinet Minister George Ochillo Ayacko have kept their supporter guessing as to which seat they will run for. For security reason and in the interest of ODM party unity, the electorate would wish to se them contesting different seats defuse tension usually characterized their battle for the Rongo parliamentary seat. There is, however, a strong rumors making the round within the locality to the effect that Rongo being one of the densely populated constituencies inside Luo Nyanza could be splinted into two, namely Rongo and Awendo constituencies, If this happens it will be a sign of relief to the residents considering acts of violence that has in the past characterized the electioneering campaign in the area in the past.

Otieno hails from Kangeso sub-Location in Kamagambo West Location in Rongo constituency, Migori County, while Ayacko is the resident of Waware sub-location in East Sakwa Location, Awendo Division, Rongo in Migori County.

Migori County, which could prove to be one of the richest counties in the defunct Nyanza Province, covered the largest administrative areas which include five parliamentary constituencies of Nyatike, Uriri, Kuria,Migori and Rongo. Its areas of jurisdiction include several town councils of Kehancha, Sori, Rongo and Awendo towns and Migori Municipality.

There are several important trading centers such as Isebenia, Sirare,Muhuru-Bay. Macalder, Uriri and Rapogi.

Migori is endowed with good rainfall, fertile and arable land which is capable of producing all sorts of cash crops such as sugar cane, tobacco, horticulture, finger millet, sorghum millets, vegetable, bananas and if the County resources if put to a proper use, could turn to be the hubs of massive food production in the region.

Fishing and fish trade is the main occupation in the lowland region of Migori County, covering the locations which are lying along the shoreline of Lake Victoria such as Karungu, Kadem and Muhuru. Even the controversial Migingo Island is part of Migori County.

The vast region has only one manufacturing industry, which is the Awendo based SONYSUGAR Company with one fish processing plant, which is located right in Migori town. But owing to the fact that the region is rich in minerals, several local and foreign gold prospecting companies are currently in the process of establishing full scale gold mining plants in Kamwango area of North Kamagambo Location, where the new discovery showing there is enough gold deposit, which if prospected could earn Kenya close to Kshs 400 million in 15 years.

Macalder gold and copper mines were only closed by the CDC, which was prospecting for both minerals in collaboration with some British firms in 1962,not because of the fact that the minerals were exhausted, but due to fears of chaos which were then expected to erupt soon after the country attained its political independence in 1963.. There are plenty of minerals in the region which include copper nickel and uranium The two major rivers, namely Kuja and Migori are also having abundance deposits of alluvial gold.

Other areas where gold was mined in plenty from the 1930 by foreign companies include Kehancha, Masara and Kitere. Kehancha is in Kuria West district, while Masara,Macalder are in Nyatike constituency.

Kamwango and Kitere areas are is located in Rongo and so is Kitere. Small scale mining by individuals is still going on in the places mentioned above, but to make the undertakings become more economically important to the Migori County and the nation at large, a full scale mining by reputable local and multinational firms are necessary.

Kuja River in Kabuoch Central where the river terminates its flows and a wind up in Kuja River is said t be full of the gold deposits underneath.

However, there is a political problem, which must to be resolved before the Migori County is established. Of late the relationship between the majority Luos and their minority neighbors, the Kuria is not all that cordial following the recent sycophantic outbursts of the Kuria MP Dr Wilfred Machage. Whose hostility attitudes towards the Luo political king ping Raila Amolo Odinga has of late become the talk of the region.The Kuriam MP’s anti -Luo sentiments has driven the two communities apart, and yet the two theresidents must work together in the yet to be established Migori County.

Furthermore, the Luos and the Kuria belonged to two different sets of political parties, namely the ODM and PNU, an issue which could make the distribution of top County jobs not attractive enough to facilitate the equal sharing ad running of the Migori County to be harmonious.

Dr Machage started flirtation with the Prime Minister’s political enemy’s way back at the beginning of 2008 following the formation of the grand coalition government of the PNU/ODM oasis.

Dr Machage blamed Raila Odinga for his demotion and relegation to less lucrative position of an Assistant Minister after he had served briefly under President Mwai Kibaki’s PNU administration in early 2008 as Kenya’s Minister for East African Community Affairs. But following the protracted negotiations conducted under the armpit of the former UN Chief Dr.Kofi Annan which later ushered in the grand coalition government of PNU/ODM. This fircd the re-organization of the cabinet and in the process of the realignment, several former cabinet ministers lost their jobs or were relegated to Assistant Ministers clots top facilitate the appointment of ODM Ministers to the cabinet.

This was a decision of the entire system and collective responsibility of the two principals in the coalition and not Raila Odinga’s personal decision, though the Kuria MP has of late personalized the affairs as if it was Odinga versus Machage, which is not the case.

Machage has even laid some unrealistic claims of large chunks of land inside Migori,Uriri and Rongo districts as being the land stolen by the Luos from the Kuria original owners. These kind of claims apparently prompted the police to charge h in court for haste speeches causing his current suspension from the government pending his trial for the alleged offence.

But a survey conducted b this writer has revealed that the ordinary Luos and their Kuria’s counter gets along very well and continuing doing business as usual despite of the existing hostilities between Dr. Machage and the PM. But this has also brought the bad spirit of mistrust among the two communities and could have negative effect the distributions of the Migori County top job slots between members of the two communities, given that fact of the Luos numerical strength and influence within the new county.

The Luos would form part of the majority in the County governance. But the situation could change drastically for better only if Dr.Machage loses his seat in the 2012 general election and a new MP is voted in by Kuria electorate on an ODM ticket

Kuria and the Luos have lived and worked together in one administrative district ever since 1908 when the old South Nyanza district was established and Luos, Kisii and Kurias were grouped together in one administrative district called South Nyanza.. The district was later in 1961 splinted into two namely Kisii and South Nyanza districts. The Kisii district reained in the old district headquarters in Kisii Town, while the Homa-Bay town was chosen as the new South Nyanza district. In the new district and under the County Council of South Nyanza the Kuria and Luos worked together in harmony.

When the first Clerk to the County Council of South Nyanza, the late Mzee Paul Mboya retired in 1962 he was promptly succeeded by his deputy Mr Chacha Marama from the Kuria community, a clear evidence that the two communities can still work together and developed the agriculturally rich region to the highest height of the economic growth and development.

It is also worth to mention in this article that ever since independence in 1963 the successive MPs from Kuria constituency had worked hand in hand with their Luo counterparts in South Nyanza. The first Kuria elected MP the late Benjamin Maisori Itumbo served in the post cabinet as an Assistant Minister for Social Services. His successor Samson Mwita also worked with his Luo counterparts and the same with the late Walter Mwita. All the previous MPs from Kuria community were voted into Parliament on KANU tickets

Despite of petty and normal crimes such as cattle rustling the two communities have lived together in peace for many years and are known to be engaged in cross border trades of all sorts


Uganda elections; UPC leader wants to meet Musevebiu to discuss the modalities of free and fair elections

Reports Leo Odera Omlo

UGANDA People’s Congress (UPC) president Olara Otunnu wants to meet President Yoweri Museveni and other political party leaders to discuss modalities for free and fair 2011 elections.

“I am aware that President Museveni has repeatedly said he is committed to free and fair elections. Let him accept to meet me and the leaders of other political parties so that we jointly discuss what ought to be done for free and fair elections,” Otunnu said in an interview with The New Vision yesterday at Uganda house.

The former UN diplomat said unlike many other opposition politicians who are preoccupied with capturing power through all possible means; he is preoccupied with advocating for peace and unity of all Ugandans.

“By the way, it should be known that I have no problem with Museveni continuing as the President of Uganda as long he has been elected in a free and fair election. I don’t mind if Museveni rules for as many years as he wants so long us Ugandans freely vote him,” Otunnu explained.

Otunnu said in that meeting of leaders of political parties, church leaders and civil society organizations, should all be included an open public dialogue on the necessary steps that should be taken to ensure peaceful free and fair elections in the 2011 general elections.

“The various categories of Uganda leaders should stop hiding their heads in the sand concerning the issues at stake. There is a clear writing on the wall that the 2011 elections will not be peaceful. Besides the signals from the violent NRM primaries, opposition parties don’t trust the Electoral Commission, the people of Buganda feel they have been trodden upon, and various groups of Ugandans habour bitterness on a number of things the government has not addressed, ” Otunnu argued.

The Uganda constitution provides for establishment of a Political Parties’ Platform where all parties are supposed to come together and discuss issues of national interest and common purpose for the good of the nation, though it has been nonfunctional.

“The situation in Uganda is 100 times worse than was in Kenya as they moved to their previous general elections that ended in destructive violence. Uganda is more vulnerable to election related violence than Kenya was. Whoever truly loves Ugandans should do something to save the people from bloodshed. I have traversed the globe and I know that in all the countries where there is bloodshed and conflicts the situation was as it is today in Uganda,” he added.

Otunnu said President Museveni went to the bush to fight the injustice of vote rigging and should therefore be the first person to support measures aimed at ensuring free and fair elections.

“The issue of a free and fair election is a matter of national interest that oversteps individual and party interests. Let us have an urgent joint gathering of all stakeholders so that we settle the question of free and fair elections once and for all. In that meeting, we shall agree on modality of instituting an Electoral Commission that is trusted by all stakeholders,” he stated.

He cited the September Hillary Clinton report to the congress on the 2011 Uganda elections which concluded that the Uganda government took no action to further the independence of the Electoral Commission.

Otunnu challenged President Museveni to accept his request on basis of his Christian values.

“Museveni always confesses that he is a devoted Christian. The founder of Christianity Jesus Christ told us to treat others as we would want them to treat us. That is the path to fairness and justice. This is therefore a trying moment for Museveni’s Christian credentials and as a crusader of patriotism. If Museveni fails to take the right path he will be harshly judged by history,” Otunnu appealed.

Otunnu and other UPC leaders pulled out of the Inter-Party Cooperation which had sought to jointly dislodge Museveni reportedly after the alliance gave up the fight for an independent Electoral Commission.

“There is no way we can have free and fair elections unless we have instituted an EC agreed upon by all stakeholders and then the new EC cleans up the voter’s register of all the ghost voters. We want fairness, we want justice,” Otunnu appealed.

General elections are slated for between February and March next year. Over 40 presidential aspirants including his main political rival Kizza Besigye have picked nomination forms, although just fewer than ten might contest.



From: Leo Odera Omolo

A row has erupted over the winner of the Miss Uganda 2010 pageant. Hazmie Nansubuga, 25, was crowned shortly before mid-night on Saturday at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.,the NEWVISION reported this morning

Miss Uganda 2010 Hazmie Nansubuga is flanked by Barbara Kajote on the left and Gloria Atuhairwe on the right

The sales representative from Jinja beat 11 other finalists to the crown after three hours on the catwalk.

Barbara Kajote was 1st runner-up, while Gloria Atuhaire came second.

“I will represent Uganda well in the Miss World contest, because I am good-natured, intelligent, confident and beautiful,” a beaming Nansubuga told journalists after being declared winner.

But shortly after she had been announced winner, Allan Kasujja, a Capital FM presenter, and one of the four judges, told journalists that Nansubuga was not the contestant the judges had chosen as the winner.

Kasujja said they had unanimously chosen Aisha Nagudi as winner.

Nagudi, a 21-year-old second-year law student of Makerere University, had earlier in the evening won two of the three catwalk sessions; the traditional and evening wear.

Another judge said the judges had chosen Nagudi because she was exceptionally tall.

“Height is a very prized quality at the Miss World pageant. Since the winner is going to represent Uganda in the world pageant, we felt Nagudi’s height stood a better chance of winning out there,” the judge said.

Nansubuga, according to the judge, was the first runner-up.

But Joyce Church, the Miss World licence holder for Miss Uganda and event organiser, said the judges’ decision was not final since winning was not solely based on the activities of the evening.

She said the judges’ marks were added onto those which the organisers had awarded the girls during the three-week boot-camp in Entebbe.

“There are many things in the boot-camp for which the judges can’t give marks. We judge the girls on their interpersonal communication, organisational skills, etiquette, discipline and character,” Church said.

Nansubuga, she said, won on the strength of the qualities she exhibited during the camp.

But Kasujja said the judges were not informed before hand that their decision would not be final, which Church denies.

However, an independent source said judges at beauty pageants are not supposed to know the identity of the winner before the final announcement is made as was the case here.

“Each judge submits their score sheet to the organisers independently. A tally is then made, from which the winner is determined.”

Last year, controversy broke out after Maria Namiiro, a UK citizen of Ugandan ancestry, who had earlier won Miss Uganda UK, was announced Miss Uganda.

This is the second time Joyce Church, under her company, Performance Production Ltd, is organising the pageant


Kenya: Trouble is brewing at Awendo based SONYSUGAR company; several acres of cane goes up in smoke

Reports Leo Odera Omolo In Awendo Town.

Trouble is brewing in the Awendo-based SONYSUGAR following the firm’s refusal; to implement Trouble is brewing in the Awendo-based SONYSUGAR company over the firm’s refusal to implement the new cane price of from Kshs 2885 per ton to Kshs 3185 per ton as it was agreed last year by the price committee of the Kenya Sugar Board.

After the end of the rowdy meeting held at the green Stadium, Awendo, unknown people, suspected to be the striking cane cutters, set ablaze part of the nucleus estate destroying hundred of acres of mature sand still to mature cane plants

On Saturday, the cane hundreds of cane cutters who had joined the farmers also in demand that their wages be increased on line along with the cane prices staged a peaceful demonstration in Awendo town and its environ, but the management summoned the police to disperse them. Thereafter the cane cutter went on cane burning rampaged and close to 50 acres of mature and premature plant cane were torched.

Experts estimated the burnt cane to be worth over Kshs 30 millions. The farmers had also resolved in one of their numerous hard-hitting resolution that the SONYSUGAR managing director Mr Paul O. Odola be sacked with immediate effect as he has failed to offer effic9ient management of the facility.

By Sunday morning several cane farm blocks were still shouldering on fire. The management team had organized hundreds of workers who were seen battling to put off the raging fire. The chain cutter had vowed to paralyze the operations of SONYSUGAR until their grievances are attended to and addressed adequately.

The farmers accused the MD of being excessively arrogant and managing the facility like a white collar job, and yet this is farming facilities, which need its manager’s to be mobile and cultivating good rapport with the sugar cane farmers.

The new prices should have been affected from September last year, but SONYSIGUAR has flatly refused to implement the new prices as was agreed by both parties and the Kenya Sugar Board. Other sugar millers have already affected the new prices.

On Friday an attempt was made by the SONYSUGAR management to prevent hundreds of cane farmers and can cutters free access to the company Green Stadium for a public Baraza failed and the farmer forced their way into the facility by breaking the Stadium gates.

The company had posted a team of its security personnel armed with fierce dogs who had ringed the stadium, but they were overpowered by the waves of enraged farmers, forcing some of the guards to flee for their dear life as the situation turned chaotic add life threatening.

The management had posted the security personnel using fierce dogs to stop the farmers meeting. The meeting was called by the SONYSUGAR farmers’ zonal director Mr Zachary Okoth Obado. He was accompanied by KSB directors fro other factories who included Eng. Muhama Mukhwana [Mumias],Iweyi Mwambe [West Kenya], Nicholas Oricho {Chemelil,Kibos and Miwani zone],and KSB Treasurer Mr. Humprey Muyu and other leaders. Also in attendance was the chairman of Awendo Town Council Con.Johnson Omol Owiro and other local leaders

Obado told the meeting that the new price of raw cane per ton is not negotiable and that SONYSUGAR must be compelled to pay the correct prices of cane owing to the increased cost of production and maintenance of plant cane farms and other inputs.

Other complaints are that the MD does not relate well with the cane farmers. He sits in the office and he is inaccessible to the farmers. The KSB board members have also questioned the more and criteria in which the current SONYSUGAR MD’s contract was renewed by the government after the board had called for his immediate removal after the board had established that he is a non-performer.

Obado said that SONYSUGAR owed the cane farmers colossal amount of money to the tune of Kshs 250 million it owed them in arrears ever since July last year when the Pricing Committee, which is a national institution had recommended that the row cane prices be adjusted from Kshs 2885 to Kshs 3185 per ton.

But a spokesman of the company vehemently denied that the management had locked out the farmers from having public meeting at its facility. The organizers of the meeting had failed not consult the company that they intend to use the facility, which is currently under going renovation. Again those who gathered at the facilities were not genuine farmers but a bunch of thugs and highly alcohol intoxicated cane cutters who had their own hidden malice towards the company.

The spokesman claimed that Obado who has been sleeping on the jobs is facing election next March and perhaps wanted to use the current crisis which are merely artificial for the purpose of gaining popularity with the farmers. He is using the KSB vehicle in running around mobilizing thugs to embarrass the management.

The spokesman made it clear that SONYSUGAR is in the process of lodging complaints with the police against the KDB board chairman Mr Obado following the destruction of its property.

But Obado countered this by saying that he has repeatedly approached the MD advising him not to sit in the office, but to come out and conductdiualo9oguewith the farmers as the only way to have issues solved amicably, but the MD is adamant and preferred doing clerical work in the office instead of talking to the farmers.

A prominent farmer and a Nairobi based businessman Mr John Boby Awiti Otange, the whistle blower urged the government to overhaul the management of SONYSUGAR by sacking its current MD whom he accused of poor performance. Unless the government mover must faster the facility could close down within the next few months.

This is not the time for dictatorial tendencies, therefore anybody who cannot perform his duties well has no business sitting in the company office” Such managers should pack and go. It shameful that the management had deployed the services of fierce dogs against the farmers who0is virtually their employers at the facility.


Kenya: Atwoli, Karua, and Peter Kennbeth are worth watching in the next presidential race

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

In recent past Kenyans have been treated to a number of opinion polls researched and conducted by several organizations showing their readers about who is who in the next presidential elections battle come 2012.

The researchers have concentrated on few individual politicians in this country painting as the only possible front runners for the top most job on the land; the Presidency of the Republic of Kenya.

But their findings have failed miserably to recognize the fact that the next presidential election race will be fought on several prongs. The men being frequently mentioned as possible contestants and winners include the Prime.Minister Raila Odinga, the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, the Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, the Deputy Prime Minister Wicliffe Musalia Mudavadi and the Minister for Higher Education William Ruto.

But the indications are that some of these big names being touted as the possible contestants and winners of the top most job on the land could turn out to be non-starters.

These opinion polls have either by design or deliberately ignoring the Francis Atwoli, Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth factors in relations to the 2012 presidential race. Anyone ignoring the trio is doing so at his or her own peril.

Atwoli in particular is the man to watch in relations to 2012 presidential race. The COTU {K} Secretary-General’s influence in Kenya’s politics is rapidly gaining momentum day by day.

The flamboyant unionis has established a highly impressive network countrywide through unionists, and his steadfast anti-corruption stance that has received the highest acclamation above the political party politics.

And being the Secretary-General of the down trodden members of the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union, and the flamboyant unionist has succeeded in lifting up the standard of living through tough negotiation of better wages for thre workers in the plantation sector.

Atwoli has also printed his name on almost every anti-corruption sentiment, which he has hammered so hard on the establishment has made him the number one anti-corruption Tsar in this country, a fact which those conducting research on opinion polls seemed to have ignored either deliberately or through the design to play down his political influence

Owing to Atwoli’s some time overzealous agitation for the workers rights, down graded jobs like tea plucking in the plantations has of late become highly competitive due to good salary package involved.

The same could be said in sugar plantation sub-0sector and other plantations through the country including the workers in the flower industry, which has of late joined the other money minting class in the plantation sub-sector of the economy, which include coffee, tea, sisal, pyrethrum, and horticulture.

The information making the round mostly in many part of Western Kenya is that Atwoli who appeared in the eyes of the public as detribalized leader would make a good president. He is being urged from various quarters to contest the presidency, though in Kenya are concerned.

He has yet to identify himself with any of the already established major political parties in this country such as ODM, PNU, ODM-Kenya, FORD-Kenya, FORD-People, UDM or Narc-Kenya, but his agents are said to have infiltrated deep inside the established parties.

He has also persistently turned down the request for his Luhyia tribal dominated Ford-Kenya, which has a strong foothold in his home turf of Western Province the same way as Raila Odinga with the Luo dominated ODM, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Kamba dominated ODM-Kenya,Uhuru Kenyatta’s chameleon like fledgling KANU/PNU ailing alliance and the Ruto fronted KKK amalgamation of tribal alliances.

Another advantage for Atwoli is his non-tribal and non-ethnical attitudes towards the national politics and this stance has given him a better national outlook, which is one essential ingredient for any future leader of this country. Over-depending on ethical backing is rapidly dwindling. And those politicians who could not compete on the national platform, but relying heavily on their communities support would soon find that they have no place in the future political activities of this country.

This is because the younger generation of Kenyans, who according to the recently released national censure forms 75 of the total population do not ascribe to the school of thought of tribal politics, though some of old leaders still clings to this outmoded kind of politics. It is now apparently obvious that the year 2012 obviously will no be the same like the year 2007.

Obviously Atwoli will the backing and support of one of the already established political parties in order to realize his presidential ambition, though his work would be made much easier through the workers networking and infiltrated the existing parties. He is a man to watch in the 2012.

Atwoli is a Luhyia by tribe who hails from Butere-Mumias district in the Kakamega County, but he has flatly refused to be dragged and sucked into tribal politics thereby cutting a nich of a national leader. He has of late been criss-crossing the countryside, visiting nearly all parts of Kenya either conducting Harambee fund drive for economic and socio-economic projects, conducting high profile seminars, workshops and other activities, which have endeared him heavily close to the electorate. He will be a hard nut to crack come the year 2012 if he wished to have a shot at the presidential race, though he need to form an alliance with any of the existing parties.

Another politician worth watching is the Gichugu MP Miss Martha Karua who heads NAR-Kenya. Her party, which is one of the affiliates of the PNU has already pulled out of the amorphous coalition of parties that forms the PNU. It has won two important by-election in Juja and in Makadara an event which has improved the party take at the national political arena and also in the August House.

Karua is seen in the mirror of a modern-day Iron Lady of Kenya politics. She Is so articulate and eloquent, something which puts her above the other presidential aspirants. She is viewed as someone who is highly principled, especially considering the way and the manner in which she bolted herself out of the cage of the corruption ridden PNU government, which she had diligently served as the Minister for Water Resources and later Justice and Constitutional Affairs

Karua a trained lawyer by-profession has in the recent years turned out to be the only voice of reasoning in this country at a time when other politicians through loose-tongue have fallen apart by the wayside.

However, considering that Karua is a woman, and the women folks are the majority of voters in this country, this iron lady is worth watching. Her only disadvantage is that she is a Kikuyu by tribe and by virtue of birth, and her candidature coming at a wrong time when nobody in this country would wish to have another Kikuyu at the State House. It would therefore be an up-hill task for the Gichugu MP to convince Kenyans to accept her as the successor of President Mwai Kibaki, though in my view she is the most eligible and qualified for the job. The circumstance would make her work extra time to be able to win the votes countrywide.

One important factor which has given Karua the highest marks is that she is a principled politician while her contemporary women colleagues plays the politics of sycophancy, she maintained her own and independent minded, though she is largely blamed for having defended the stolen presidential votes tallying system at the Kenyatta International Conference Center in December 2007,an act which sparked off the post election violence of 2008.But the fact that Kenyans are now yawning for a peaceful cohesiveness, she could be long forgiven..

Another factor that could further complicate Karua’s presidential ambition is the Central Kenya factor. All the signs are that Karua could easily triumph over Uhuru Kenyatta the undeclared anointed President Kibaki successor and tame other contender in the Kikuyu inhabited regions if she could succeed in mobilizing women voters all over Kenya should mobilize women to her side the same way she had successfully mobilized the voters to her side during the recently concluded Juja-by-election where her party’s candidate Kabogo triumphed over Thuo who was perceived to be the candidate of Mr Kenyatta and Peter Kenneth backed young woman who gave the duo a good run for their money, it is significantly clear hat Karua is gaining a strong foothold in the Central.

Also in the Central Kenya, the emerging political influence of the youthful Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth cannot be fizzled out. The Planning Assistant Minister an ex-banker is the only politician in Central region’s politician whose voice is heard and welcome outside the predominantly Kikuyu region. He is seen as a moderate and plays non-partisan politics. He is eloquent and wit in a region where most politicians spent their valuable time strategizing for tribal hegemony and chauvinist. The youthful politicians speak in a clear national language as opposed to parochial utterances which is the characteristic of Central Kenya politics for many years.

Peter Kenneth is another politician worth watching as far as the future presidential race is concerned.

The opinion polls have always been geared to highlight the positions of the likes of Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi, while playing down the emerging influence of these emerging stars. but these opinion shippers would be ashamed when they came to realize that the next presidential race would be fought on several prongs with devastating effect due to the fact that some of the big names would be tumbling down to the ground as the result of the burning desire of the younger generation of Kenyans to change the political landscape of the country.

It is worthy to note that some of the politicians who have been wavering and shifting alliances from here and there may soon find themselves irrelevant outfit in the new set up.


Uganda has detained top Al-qaeda commander among the bomb suspects

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

THE second-in-command of the East Africa al-Qaeda terrorist cell, Omar Awadh Omar, is among the twin bomb suspects charged and remanded to Luzira Prisons, according to new intelligence information.

The government owned NEWVISION has reported inits latest online news postings

OmarAwadh Omar was charged in court last week alongside a Muslim human rights activist, Al Amin Kimathi, for the murder of 79 people in the July 11 twin bomb blasts in Kampala.

It emerged yesterday that Awadh, a Kenyan citizen, is high in the hierarchy of the terror cell and is second to the region’s al-Qaeda boss Harun Fazul, according to The Nairobi Star, a Kenyan newspaper.

Details filtering in indicate that Awadh coordinated the horrid July attacks at the Ethiopian Village Restaurant in Kabalagala and at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in Lugogo, which also left more than 50 people injured.

Both Awadh and Al Amin were charged in court after being arrested in a city hotel on September 15. They were arrested alongside Mbugua Mureithi, a Kenyan defence lawyer, who was later released and flown back to Kenya.

Kenyan intelligence and police sources point at Awadh, also known as Abu Sahal, as the top logistician of the East African al-Qaeda cell and the al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia.

After the twin attacks in Kampala, the two were reportedly planning a similar attack in Kenya, sources said.

Sources intimated that the planning of the Kampala attack dates back to 2008. This followed the killing by the US of Saleh Nabhan, the then number two to Fazul. The network then started the mission, dispatching several key players to Somalia for training and indoctrination.

Regional intelligence sources say Awadh, a second-hand car dealer, recruits youth from Kenya and neighbouring countries into the terror cells, which have spread their activities to Uganda and Tanzania.

The details lend credence to remarks by Police chief Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura in August that the cell was operating bases in the country and recruiting from countries in the region.

Sources added that Awadh facilitates the travel and training of the recruits in Somalia, usually coordinated by a cell in Nairobi.

According to the network structure, Omar Badrudin (head of al-Qaeda intelligence) and Bilal el Berjawi report directly to Fazul. Below Omar is Hussein Hassan Agade, Jabir, Mohammed Ali and Hahim Mohammed Suleiman, alias Abu Zeinab (the head of the Nairobi cell).

About 34 suspects, including Hassan Agade, have been charged with the killings. The arrest of Awadh and Agade means that Uganda now has two top commanders of the terror cells of al-Shabaab and al-Qaeda.

How the Kampala twin bombing was planned

July 6, 2010: JABIR travels to Uganda for the final arrangements, which include the final assembling of bombs in vests and bags. He also teaches a Somali boy how to fix detonators and to test to confirm if they are operational.

Jabir advises Issa Luyima to find someone who will execute the mission in the third target, since they are short of a third suicide bomber. It is than that Issa brings Hassan Luyima on board. Issa tells Edris Nsubuga and Hassan Luyima that the mission will be executed on July 11 during the second half of the World Cup finals as the places would be most crowded.

JULY 8, 2010: Jabir leaves Uganda using Gateway bus. It is suspected that during this time, Jabir gave Issa an unknown amount of money for the upkeep of the suicide bombers, purchase of the two extra handsets and to vacate the safe house.

JULY 9, 2010: Hassan Luyima, Issa Luyima and Edris Nsubuga visit the three targets to assess the level of security alertness.

JULY 10, 2010: Issa Luyima takes Hassan Luyima to a safe house and introduces him to the suicide bombers as the brothers who will execute the mission. Issa gives Hassan money to purchase two extra handsets, transport, food for the shaheeds and for clearing the safe house.

Issa, Hassan and suicide bombers pray together before Issa leaves for town where he meets with Edris. Issa informs Edris that he has left instructions with Hassan.

He informs Edris that Kakasule (a suicide bomber said to be a Kenyan) spoke some English and would be working with him. He gives Edris a copy of the key to safe house and stating that he was leaving because he needed an alibi for what was about to take place.

In the evening, Hassan takes Edris to the safe house for introduction to the suicide bombers. Hassan informs Edris that he has changed the initial plan of escorting the bombers. He tells Edris that he would go with the Somali, while Hassan will accompany Kakasule.

July 11, 2010: Issa arrives in Nairobi and holds a meeting with Jabir who was with Mohammed. He briefs Jabir that the bombers are fine and that everything is on course. Jabir tells him that Mugisha was still in custody and it was his duty to ensure his release. Issa leaves for Mombasa at about 1300 hours and puts up at his mother in law’s house in Tononoka.

1100 hours: In Uganda, Edris meets with Hassan at Kenjoy restaurant and purchases food for the bombers.

1800 hours: Edris and the suicide bombers hold prayers and later the Somali suicide bomber starts testing the trigger mechanisms of the bombs to be detonated by Hassan and Edris.

2115 hours: Hassan and Kakasule, using a boda boda, head to Ice link discotheque and Ethiopian Village restaurant respectively. Shortly afterwards, Edris and the Somali suicide bomber proceed to Lugogo Rugby Club

2200 hours: At the Rugby Club, Edris heads to the bar where he leaves the bag with the bomb on top of a metallic cable roller used as a table. Edris then leaves the bar, while the Somali boy sits in the midst of the crowd pretending to watch the ongoing game.

2200 hours: Hassan drops Kakasule off at Ethiopian village and restaurant. Kakasule walked to the restaurant where he sat down to watch the game.

2215 hours: Kakasule detonates the suicide vest killing about 11 people.

2230 hours: Hassan places the bag with the bomb next to a flower pot at Ice Link discotheque. He tries placing a call but the bomb fails to detonate. Hassan takes a boda boda to his home and disposed off the two handsets in his pit latrine.

2315 hours: The Somali boy detonates himself killing about 58 people at the Rugby club.

2317 hours: Edris places a call to the detonating device igniting the second explosion. After the explosion Edris boards a boda boda and heads for his house where he dismantled the phone that was used as a trigger and throws it in a pit latrine.

0020 hours: Issa sends a message text to Edris asking if the team he was routing for had won. Edris confirmed the same, an indication that everything went on as earlier planned.

July 12, 2010: Mission successful. Planning for twin bombings in Kenya begins. Omar Awadh Omar, alias Abu Sahal briefed by Jabir who then is allowed to escape to Somalia. Kenyan suspects of the cells are refused to escape to Somalia as only the Somali suspect Jabir is allowed by al Qaeda to go back.


Ugandans died as the disused quarry give in burying seven alive

From: Leo Odera Omolo

A woman and her son died instantly and two others sustained serious injuries on Monday evening when a stone quarry collapse and buried them at Kyambaazi in Wakiso district.

A resident of Kyambazzi village points at the spot where six people were buried by stone dust in Nsang

Robinah Nassuna, 28, and her son, Alex Yiiga 16, died at 6:30pm when a stone quarry, from which they were extracting stones, curved in on them.

Her two daughters, Betty Nalubega, 12, and Olive Nakacwa, 14, escaped with injuries.

The two were taken to Appointed Harvesters Medical Centre in Kitemu trading centre in a critical condition and later transferred to Mulago Hospital.

Andrew Bukenya, 42, the father of the children, said his family had been involved in stone quarrying since they were evicted from their 10-acre piece of land several years ago. Bukenya, who had six children with Nassuna, said their three other children had gone to fetch water.

Ssempala Nakirande, a wife to David Ssempala, the owner of the stone quarry, said the family had been told to stop extracting stones from the quarry, which was estimated to be about 20 feet deep.

“The quarry had developed cracks,” she said.

An eyewitness, Nakimbugwe Sitenda, said Nassuna and her son died as they tried to escape.

“We were around when the quarry started collapsing and we told them to get out but they failed. Nasuuna and her three children were buried alive but we managed to rescue Nalubega and Nakacwa,” she said.

Another eye witness, who only identified himself as Dan, said the bodies were retrieved from the debris at 8:00pm.
“It took us more than two hours to get the bodies out,” he said.

Residents said a three-year-old boy and two women were killed in similar accidents in 2004 and 2005 respectively.

The officer in charge of Nsangi Police Station, Baker Kawonawo, attributed the incident to carelessness, adding that the Police would intensify community policing to sensitise residents on how to prevent such incidents.

The LC3 chairman, Vincent Kigozi, said most of the residents are engaged in stone quarrying.

“The stone quarry business is dangerous. We tried to ban the activity but our people have no alternative jobs,” he said.

Deputy Kampala Police spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi said the Police had launched an inquiry into the matter

Meanwhile two pupuils of Oketkwer Primary School in Aromo County,Lira distrit n Noirthern Uganda diued on Monday when a piut latrine collapsed on them.
Police have identified the dead as Jaspher Felix Okwor and Jimmy Ikweta both primary seven exam candidate this year.

A senior woman teacher at thr school Lillian Akello said the disaetr struck at around 7.30.A>M before the begining of classes.
She attributed the incident to shoddy construction work and the rains.which have softened the soil.


Tanzania & Ugandan: Panic grips Arusha following increased cases of child kidnapping by gangs

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

Panic has gripped the Northern Tanzanian town of Arusha following the reported well planned child kidnapping racket by a suspect Kampala gangs of criminals.

So far about six children aged under ten years have mysteriously disappeared, but some of them have resurfaced in the Uganda capital City, Kampala where they were rescued by the police and other security apparatus.

News emerging from Dar Es Salaam says security intelligence network in both Tanzania and the neighboring Uganda have been intensified after several children were rescued from a gang of criminal in Uganda.

The syndicates of kidnapping gangs are always asking for ransom money, which ranges from USD 2,000 and USD 3,000 for ransom before the kidnapped children are released to their parents.

The child kidnapping racket, according to newspaper reports, are operating in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, but using agents and collaborators in both Kenya and Tanzania. The syndicate is said to have succeeded in kidnapping under the age of 10 years in Tanzania triggering the worst panic among parents in the country’s history. The revelation came in the heels of another shocking story of albinos killing, which has been rampant in all countries of the East African Community.

Over the recent past months a total of five children have been abducted in the Northern Tanzanian town of Arusha and taken to the Ugandan capital, Kampala by the blackmail syndicates.

Arusha Regional Police Commander Basilio Metei was last week quoted by the EASTAFRICAN, A Nairobi weekly publication as saying that the local police in collaboration with the Interpol had partly succeeded in arresting a couple in Kampala in connection with the kidnap of a six year old boy.

The crime, he said, is relatively a new phenomenon in Tanzania and it is forcing parents to reduce their working hour in order to stay at home with their children.

Three out of five abducted kids were traced in Kampala City after intensive negotiations and their parents paying colossal amount of money as much as USD 6.000IN RANSOM MONEY.

Police have confirmed they have details about some cases.ase where we have arrested a woman and a man said police spokesman Vincent Sakatte.

However, the Ugandan Minister for Internal Affairs Miria Kassaija who also chairs the national security committee said she was ignorant about any incident of that nature. I a m totally ignorant about it. “What I know pretty well is that we have laid a trap for the arrest of Tanzanians who comes here looking for Albinos. But the M9nistr had promised to check the facts with the intelligence and police authorities.

And from Arusha the Police boss revealed that two people a woman and a man were recently arrested as they attempt to withdraw ransom money worth USD 3,000 deposited by Khaltani parents at the Kenya Commercial; Bank {KCB} Uganda account No 2200763395.

An Interpol e-mail to Tanzania police force seen by the writer of the WEEKLY EASTAFRICAN named the woman as a Tanzanian married to a Ugandan suspect(both names withheld for legal reasons]

A boy was kidnapped on June 7 at Sanawari suburb in Arusha City. The boy was later traced and rescued good health by Interpol on August 12 said Mr Mmetei.Kelvi9n Francis another b ducted boy was also safely rescued in Kampala City in April this year after his parents paid USD 2000ransom following three weeks of negotiations with Ugandan kidnappers.

AQ six year old girl Upendo Abisento Pallangyo from Singiri village on the sloes of Mount Meru near Arusha was abducted in June and is still missing to-date. He Aunt Joyce Pallangyo said they have done everything possible to trace this child, but all in vain.”It is hard for us as a family to come to terms with the kidnappers. We are ready to pay anything to get this child back alive.”

V Saniuel, yet another child who was kidnapped in Arusha in late August, was later rescued by a good Samaritan, according to the police chief.

Narrating the ordeal Meteri said the missing girl had tried to access a local latrine, but found it locked from the inside as if it was occupied by someone. The girl had decided to go and release herself inside the nearby banana plantation farm and that is when a group of women pounced on her and grabbed and blindfolded the pupil,” the police chief said.


Kenya: ODM need to change its nomination tactics to be able to survive in 2012

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo in Kisumu City.

The time is ripe for the Orange Democratic Movement {ODM} to change its tactics and nomination style and usher in a more democratic system to reflect its own name.

The past experience has shown that ODM nominations are the most flawed. The idea of giving certain selected individual personalities direct nomination in any election be it a by-election in the election people is undemocratic and autocratic.

It did not only fail, but also ashamed the party leadership when it was first applied during the general election in a number of constituencies. The worse being the two parliamentary constituencies in Gusii region, namely Kitutu Chache and Nyaribari Chache.The two constituencies are located in Central Kisii district within Gusii County.

In Nyaribari Chache, among the aspirants who had sought for the ODM nomination was Dr. Gilbert Monda. He won the party nominations during the preliminaries, but his victory was throw to the dogs. He then sought for nomination and won the he comfortably clinched the seat during the election proper after gaining a nomination certificate from another party and won the seat comfortably. The ODM had rejected his nomination in preference to another aspirant Chris Bichage who was seen as the most loyal; soldier of the party and a persona friend of the party leader Raila Odinga.

The Kitutu Chache MP Richard Momoina Onyonka had similar experience. The legislator had beaten the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Ongwae. Onyonka sought nomination I another party and when he got it, he succeeded in beating the favorite candidate Ongwae hands down.

The latest being the case of Reuben Ndolo, the former Makadara MP is a case for study.

There were half a dozen of other aspirants who sought for ODM nomination, but got nothing. They were told that Reuben Ndolo has been nominated and were asked to campaign for him. Some of them obeyed the order while other pulled out the race reluctantly and did not help the party campaign in its bid to recapture.

By giving Ndolo a direct nomination and denying the other their democratic right to contest and taste their popularity with the electorate, the ODM had virtually signed its death warrant in Makadara. This kind of system are outmoded and Kenyans think they were long buried in the dustbins of KANU defeat of 2002, and should not be applied again.

Similar ideas were recently proposed by some Luo MPs representing the various constituencies within the larger Homa-Bay County. The MPs had apportioned themselves certain top position within the county governance. The legislators had arbitrarily divided the County top jobs in according to their own wishes, and not in line with the political will of the electorate.

Homa-Bay County comprises of six parliamentary constituencies, namely Kasipula-Kabondo Karachuonyo,Rangwe, Ndhiwa, Gwasi and Mbita.

According to the list floated around by the MP the top jobs would be distributed as follow Karachuonyo{Senate}, Rangwe {Governor},Mbita to produce Deputy Governor,Ndhiwa {Speaker of the Assembly} while Gwassi is to produce deputy Speaker of the Assembly and Mbita again to produce women representative to the Senate. All these political antics were viewed as pipedream and did not augur well with the wishes of the electorate in all the constituencies mentioned above.

And last Saturday, the MP who attended the burial of a former KNUT executive secretary in Suba the late nPaul Onyonyi cane face to face with the political realities of the matter. They wer3e confronted by the electorate who heckled and booed them telling them in their faces that selecting the County officials w the voter who will decided about who takes what position etc.

Rangwe MP Martin Otieno Ogindo had kicked off the debate when Gwassi MP John Mbadi who was the master of ceremony at the burial, which took place at Sindo in Gwassi constituency called on him to address the gathering. Ogindo asked the mourners to endorse the decision of the meeting held previously by MPs in secret venue, in which they had apportioned themselves the positions and divided them in all the six constituencies. He said the purpose was to ensure the equity in power sharing in all positions created by the new constitution.

“We had decided that Rachuonyo will give us a Senator, Rangwe is to give us a Governor, Mbita will produce deputy governor, while Suba and Mbita will produce deputy governor and the women representative. We want you to accept this as away to bring us together and ensure we have leaders from all the regions in Homa-Bay County”,Ogindo explained.

But before the MP could finish his speech, mourners shouted and heckled him and requested the Gwassi MP John Mbadi to snatch the microphone from him with shouts “Keti Chini kwenda mbali {Sit down or go away}.

Mbadi responded to the demand and took away microphone from Ogindo as mourners shouted Kwenda Kwenda {go go}.

At this point the Immigration Minister Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ and Mbadi took charge of the platform. The two rebuffed Ogindo sentiments, saying it will be the responsibility of voters to elect the person they wanted, and not the duty of the MPs to tell them who to elect in those positions.

Kajwang’s remarks seemed to have satisfied the mourner and the calm returned to the meeting. The Minister told the mourners that these are very senior positions that “we must give Kenyans enough time top ensure they elect the very best persons they want. Even I am shy to go for the post of and the MPs must be patient on the issue,”said the Minister.

Mbadi had told the mourners that it was their responsibility to elect the Senators and governor they want and not the MP sitting somewhere and distributing the posts. Whoever is interested in these jobs should inform the electorate, campaign for it and let the electorate decided.

Kajwang’ succeeded ion defusing what could have been an otherwise explosive situation. The MP in their earlier announcement had said their decision had the blessing of top ODM’s leadership. Truly speaking, the OIDM need to change tact for it to fair well in the forthcoming general elections scheduled in December 2012.


Uganda: Police are to vett all the public gathering including wedings

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

THE Police have issued new guidelines for public gatherings and events in Kampala. Under the new guidelines issued yesterday, wedding receptions will only go ahead after getting clearance from the Inspector General of Police (IGP),the NEWVISION online has reported this morning.

Kampala metropolitan Police commander Andrew Sorowen yesterday announced the new measures for gatherings of more than five people in the city and its suburbs. The measures cover Kampala Metropolitan area, which includes the city, Entebbe, Wakiso and Mukono districts and parts of Mpigi and Luwero districts.

He said the measures, which he described as “reminders”, take immediate effect.

“We are sounding a warning. No gathering of more than five people, even if it is in your compound, should be held without clearance from the Inspector General of Police. People intending to hold wedding parties, music galas, football matches and road processions should notify the IGP first,” said Sorowen.

“We want to ensure safety of our people. If 32 million Ugandans use their eyes and ears, there will be no space for terrorists in Uganda,” he said.
He told New Vision separately that the same measures affect funerals, vigils, last funeral rites (nyimbe) and bibanda, (local makeshift video halls).

He told the press at the Kampala Central Police Station that the Force would “block” gatherings that are not cleared by the IGP.

“It can’t be your human rights to wake up one day and decide to organise a rally. Yet when innocent people die from terrorist bombs, the Government is blamed for not providing security to its citizens. It is our role as police to ensure that citizens of this country are safe,” he said.

Sorowen noted that those intending to organise such events must do so in writing and hand-deliver the notification individually to avoid unnecessary delays.

“Get this right. We are not saying you should get permission from the Inspector General of Police but notify him. He is the only one who can ensure that enough security is deployed to guarantee safety of the people during such events,” he explained.

Sorowen said gatherings would not be allowed in markets.

He also noted that organisers should submit to the Police proof that the venue intended for such gatherings is cleared by the owners.

“The organisers should notify the Police a week in advance and indicate the venue, date, day and number of people expected at such gatherings,” he said.

Sorowen said the same applies to funerals and vigils. “Places like funerals attract very many people. Terrorists can use this chance to cause more mayhem. The vehicles also need protection from vandalism,” he added.

Sorowen asked district and divisional Police commanders to ensure that the bibanda (makeshift entertainment structures) have adequate security measures.

“Those who can’t afford the security gadgets, should hire bouncers or ask the Police to provide security,” he said.

He warned that local authorities that license the bibanda should ensure that they have security safeguards.

The Police have proposed enactment of the Public Order Management Bill which provides for management of public gatherings. But human rights activists and the opposition have criticised it, saying it is an attempt to restrict political demonstrations and assemblies of a similar nature.

But Police chief, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura, told journalists last week that the proposed law is meant to ensure that the rights of non-protesters and protesters are safeguarded ahead of the general elections. “What people require is clearance and not permission,” said Kayihura.

The proposed Bill, if passed, would give powers to the Inspector General of Police to “regulate the conduct of public meetings.


Uganda & Kenya: Ugandan millets may soon find it way in exports to neighbouring Kenya

Business News By Leo Odera Omolo

EFFORTS to transform Uganda’s agricultural sector from subsistence into commercial production have been boosted with the signing of an agreement that seeks to stimulate millet production.

The deal was signed last week between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development (LEAD) project, the World Food Programme (WFP), Equity Bank and the Kenya-based UNGA Holdings.

Jeffrey Gray, an agri-business consultant, John Tushabomwe, the Equity Bank credit manager (Oasis Mall branch) and Paul Forrest, the LEAD agri-business unit director, discussing after signing the memorandum of understanding last week

It aims at increasing millet production to satisfy local and foreign demand. Under the deal, about 2,000 metric tonnes are expected to be produced and exported to Kenya next year, reaching 6,000 tonnes annually by 2013.

According to the agreement, LEAD will search for the grain market, give grants and technical knowledge to smallholder farmer groups. WFP will provide modern warehouse facilities for the produce, UNGA, East Africa’s oldest grain miller, will buy the millet. Equity Bank will give farmers loans under the Warehouse Receipt System arrangement.

“One of the most challenging problems facing commercial agriculture progress has always been the lack of ready markets. However, this process will be fully-financed and the market is guaranteed.

“When farmers are sure of the market, they will be induced into millet farming since they will not be worried about where to sell or the price of the crop,” said the Livelihoods and Enterprises for Agricultural Development boss, Susan Corning, during the signing of the deal.
Farmers in Teso, Acholi and Lango regions are targeted. Communities in the regions grow the crop, climatic conditions are favourable and the areas’ soil texture supports the healthy growth of millet. The population there faced over 20 years of insurgency, thus the need for recovery through commercial farming.

Nick Hutchison, the UNGA managing director, said much as the company had agreed to provide a guaranteed minimum price of sh585 per kilogramme, it would adjust and pay according to the prevailing market prices, in case they rise above the minimum price.

Apollo Njoroge, the Equity Bank executive director, said the bank would finance up to 60% of the grain value in the warehouse.

“Similar deals aimed at uplifting farmers through the warehouse receipt system funding have done wonders for Kenya. We are optimistic that Ugandan millet farmers will benefit in the same way,” Njoroge said.

The warehouse receipt system allows farmers to deposit their produce with certified warehouses and wait for attractive prices. The system also helps avoid vagaries of weather. The produce is valued by managers and farmers are given receipts worth their grain value.

The receipts can even be used as collateral security in case farmers need loans before the produce is sold off.

The system helps farmers enjoy large economies of scale while selling because the pooled produce boosts their bargaining power.

WFP has begun installing cleaning and drying equipment for nine public warehouses in Uganda to help improve the country’s market infrastructure for small-holder farmer groups.

The equipment installation project is valued at a total
of $2.4m (about sh5b).


Uganda: Museveni to build infrastructure in rural areas include modern roads

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has vowed to work on all feeder roads across the country to improve on the transport network in rural areas.

Museveni was speaking at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Kitabi Seminary in Bushenyi as the institution, founded in 1935, marked 75 years on Saturday.

Bishop Edward Baharagate, Museveni, Bishop John Baptist Kakubi and Bakyenga at Kitabi Seminary on Saturday

The President said while the Government had funds to build new village roads and improve existing ones, the problem was the people fighting for tenders.

He noted that Mbarara-Ishaka-Katungu road will be fully rehabilitated. Others to be re-built are Mbarara-Isingiro-Kikagate road that links to Tanzania, Ishaka-Kagamba road and Ishaka-Ntungamo-Katuna road that links Uganda to Rwanda Continued From Page 1

Road transport is the most common in Uganda. The road transport system comprises about 10,000km of classified main roads (trunk, secondary and tertiary), about 25,000km of district (feeder) roads, 2,800km of urban roads, and 30,000km of community access roads.

The national (trunk) road network carries 80% of Uganda’s traffic. National roads include international routes linking Uganda to neighbouring countries and to the sea (through Kenya and Tanzania), and internal roads linking large populations, commercial and administration centres.
About 2,200km out of a total of 10,000km of national roads are tarmacked and the rest are murram.

The Government is implementing an on-going programme of continuous upgrading of key gravel roads to bitumen standard.
At the same function at Kitabi, Museveni laid the foundation stone for the construction of a sh500m multi-purpose hall.

He contributed sh20m to the platinum jubilee and sh60m for construction of the hall.

The President also unveiled a bus which the school purchased at sh175m.

Hundreds of old boys, including Archbishop Paul K. Bakyenga, 2nd deputy Prime Minister, Henry Kajura and Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, attended the function.

Bakyenga observed that Museveni was the first elected President of Uganda to visit the seminary.
The school has an enrolment of about 535 students. It produced nine bishops, over 200 priests and over 3,835 carders in the society.

The President hailed the school for training leaders, whom he said have contributed a lot to the development of Uganda.
He thanked NRM members in Bushenyi district for entrusting him as their party flag-bearer and promised to make the party stronger.

Museveni also thanked them for the continuous support they have given the party since 1986 after the bush war.

‘We did not come from the bush with votes but when we reached here, you supported us with your votes. You have given us votes in 1996, in 2006 and your votes are the foundation for the development encountered in this country,” he said.

Museveni reminded the people of Bushenyi that because of the peace ushered in by the NRM government, Uganda’s tax collection had increased 1,000 times since 1986.


Kenya: RAILA had failed to resolve the raging dispute among the feuding Luo Council of Elders

Reports Leo Odera Omolo in Kisumu City

The Prime Minister Raila Odinga last Friday made a spirited effort in a bid to reconcile the feuding members of the Luo Council of Elders, but his arbitration flopped badly as each one of the feuding camps stuck to their guns.

The meeting was held at the Ofafa Memorial Hall, which is located at Kibuye on the Kisumu-Kakamega highway

It was the first time the Prime Minister faced such a rowdy and hostile crowd within the Luo-Nyanza, but he made good use of his political magnanimity to neutralize thre whole exercises paving the room for orderly meeting.

And it is hoped the decision he and his colleague are going to make will be in the interest of the majority because any unpopular move to retain Riaga Ogalo at the helm of the embattled Luo Council of Elders could have a serious political repercussion for the PM’s leadership in the region.

Raila was accompanied by two cabinet ministers Gerald Otieno Kajwang’[Immigration},James Agrey Orengo {Lands}, Two Assistant ministers Dr.Obiri Ogingas {Fiance and Prof. Ayiecho Olueny {Education}. Also in attendance were MPS John Olago Aluoch {Kisumu Town West}, Polin Ochieng” Daima {Nyakach},. John Mbadi {Gwassi}, Edick Omondi Anyanga {Nyatike} John Pesa {Miogori}, Oyugi Maguwanga {Kasipul-Kabondo},Jakoyo Midiwo {Gem} and Cyprian Ojwang” Omolo Uriri}.

Tension was high at Ofafa Memorial Hall and its environs as the meeting had attracted a large crowd of uninvited crowd of people. The hall was filled to capacity by a large number of people who had invaded the venue and even seized all the seats reserved for the invited representatives of the various ,but unexpected crowd apparently after the word had gone around that the Prime Minister was due to install the new Ker Opiyo Otondi.

And this was what was spelt out in the invitation letters which sent to individuals and groups inviting them to the venue of the ceremony. The newly elected Ker, a retired former Deputy Provincial Commissioner in the government had come to the venue armed with traditional regalia of beaded hut, gowns and {Ragwar} a piece of long wooden walking stick with two heads signifying a symbol of peace.

Former Ker chairman Meshack Riaga Ogalo had difficulties accessing the venue. He was temporarily prevented from entering the hall by supporter said his rival Opiyo Otondi who insisted he was uninvited guest and an outsider. But Ogalo took the advantage of the Prime Minister’s arrival and squeezed himself among the PM’s security details and forced his way to the dais where he sat beside Raila while Otondi sat on the other side with the Raila in the middle.

Earlier the supporters of Otondi and his group had at some point prevented two MPs james Orengoi and Dr Oburu OIginga from entwering the venue accusing them of supporting the iusted Riaga Ogalo’s group. And when Dr. Oburtu Oginga during his brief address which was punctuated with Boeing and heckling suggested that if the that election of the Otondi group was not properly conducted then there should be afr5esh election to have the matter solved once and for all, he was greeted with heckling and boeing forcing him to sit down.

Orengo who acted as the master of ceremony, changed the tune when he told the attentive crowd that it was the Prime Minister who had called for the meeting so that an effort could be made to reconcile the two feuding factions. Orengo then called for the delegates from the various constituencies to account and identify themselves where they were seated.

Orengo then called two elder from warring groups to address the meeting. One of the was Mzee Michael Odote Kojiem from Nyando who explained the meeting about the problems the elders had with the ousted chairman Meshak Riaga Ogalo’s leadership.

From Ogalo’s side Orengo called Mzee Yusto Ondigo Oyoo, who identified himself as a businessman in Kisumu town.Oyoo disputed that there was no election and that what ius claimed to be election was a meeting helf during the night. But his voice was cut down by intensified heckling. The second speaker was Ex-Senior Chief Omolo Anditi from Rusinga Island who accused the ousted chairman as playing dirty politics and even seeking friendship with unidentified politician who are opposed to Raila Odinga. He also mentioned the chairman secretive trip to Libya, which he claimed other Council members were not aware and only become aware through the press. Mzee Anditi also said he detested Riaga Ogalo collaborating with Kamlish Patni.

The Kisumu Town West MP John Olago Aluoch just rolled out of his pocket a copy of letter from the registrar of society which explained that the new team led by Mzee Opiyo Otondi had been duly registered as the new office bearers of the Luo Council of Elders and that Riaga Ogalo’s group’s registration had been cancelled.

He MP who spoke at the meeting expressed their support for the new team saying a change was inevitable because the former chairman had proved to be not a cohesive person but worked as lone ranger. Migori MP John Pesa, who is the chairman of the Luo Parliamentary group told Mzee Riaga Ogalo on his face to step aside peaceful and the community would prayer for his long life.

The new Ker Opiyo Otondi in address narrated in detail how some year back when the former chairman of the Council Mzee Joash Koyo Opien died. “We sat down as members of the executive and voted for Mzee Hesbon Otieno Omanjo an accountant by profession from Kanyamkago. But it was the advice of the Prime Minister, who told us that Omanjo was from Alego the sub-0clans of his uncles and that his anointing would reflect badly to other people who could sparked bad rumors and bad talk that He {Raila} had anointed his uncle to be the Ker of the Luo Council of Elders. And that it was It was Raila who had suggested the name of Mzee Riaga Ogalo. And because we all respected as our leader we succumbed to his request though reluctantly. But ever since that time it had been a nightmare working with Ogalo. We have heard allegation of begging and even harassing and intimidating MPs. We also conducted the election after we were told by the Prime Minister in June that we were there on acting capacity, and that it was time we conducted election to legitimize ourselves and we just did that”, said Otondi amid prolonged applause.

IMMIGREATIO Minister Otieno Kajwang’ accused the ousted chairman Riaga of creating conflict with MPs, saying that he had caused bad blood by taking sides on political local issues. He said if the situation remained unchanged he personally would push for the abolition and dissolution if the Council.

Orengo told the gathering that it was in bad taste for anyone to move to court instituting legal matters seeking for the judicial redress of the leadership of the Council and advised Mzee Riaga to apologize for his actions.

In his address the Prime Minister narrated the history of “Ker” giving the example of the Kabakaship in Buganda. He all the time the Kabaka must be one man reign of power. In the same context the issues surrounding the institution of Ker must be emphasized that the Luo community can only be one at a time. This is institution must be jealously protected and preserved.

He emphasized the need for elder to work in harmony and give cuotur4alguidabncetothe community and should not waste their time on useless squabbling.

A the end the Prime Minister told the inquisitive crowd to disperse saying he and the MPs and selected elders would sit down consult each other over the leadership wrangling with the Luo Council of Elders and the issue would be communicated to the public at an appropriate time

But a source claiming to be close to Raila has confided to us that the Prime Minister would ensure that the protection those who had served his late father .Jaramogi Oginga Odinga faithfully and loyally. This is the category on which Mzee Riaga Ogalo fall under.

But judging from speeches by the MPs and other elders, Mzee Riaga Ogalo could just simply throw in the towel.. The entire Luo community some to be uncomfortable with his leadership, and the sooner he pack up and go home the better. He seemed to have rubbed shoulder with everyone among the Luo political leadership the wrong way. Other accusation include his political,associatio9n with the High Education Minister, the man who has vowed to make things difficult for Raila Odinga in 2012.

Earlier Otondi had told the enthusiastic crowd that upon Riaga return home after his first trip to Libya with Kamlesh Patni, had donated a Matatu Van to the Luo Council o Elder, but the council had rejected Mr Patni donation of van and told Riaga to make good use of it as a personal, property.

The meeting ended with no proper solution to the dispute over who is the Ker and the community eagerly waiting to get on which he would be performing the official installation of the new Ker Opiyo Otondi.

Raila had obviously read the mood of the community that a change was inevitable in order to make the Luo Council of elder a popular vehicle for progress and economic development.


Kenya: A young mother is sentenced to death by court martial for killing her husband

Reports Leo Odera Omolo.

AS the court martial handed the death sentence to Judith Koriang on Wednesday afternoon, the mother stood still with teary eyes.

She bowed down as her eyes swept across the courtroom, from chairman Lt. Col. Eugene Sebugwawo to the other members of the 3rd Division army court.

Koriang, a 20-year-old widow with a young son, heard her fate sealed by the court martial sitting in Moroto. She was advised by the court to appeal against the death sentence within 14 days.

Koriang with her child after being sentenced to death by the court martial in Moroto

Koriang shot dead her husband, Pte. Nelson Okello, on May 1, 2009, at Nakiloro army detachment in Moroto district, a few kilometres to the Uganda-Kenya border, following a domestic fracas.

The discordant couple was residing in a makeshift hut, popularly known as mama ingia pole.

After Koriang tested HIV-positive and her husband negative, it triggered endless insults from the husband.

Koriang told the court that Okello was the only man she had known in life; and his persistent demand that she goes to the man who infected her, sent her mad.

On the fateful day, the husband went back home but refused to eat supper and asked her to leave. She narrated that she played it cool until midnight when she woke up to execute her mission.

She picked her husband’s gun stealthily and tiptoed out. She then sprayed bullets on the makeshift structure, knowing that by the time the gun went silent, her son and husband would be dead.

Miraculously, the son survived but the husband was hit by a few bullets out of the 30 she sprayed and died instantly.

“After all the mistreatment, the only answer was to kill my son and husband and then turn the gun on myself. Unfortunately, the gun ran shot of bullets,” Koriang told court.

She said after the shooting, she entered the hut and carried out the baby and started walking to Moroto Central Police Station, over 30km away, to hand herself in.

However, she got tired on the way and decided to rest at Rupa sub-county headquarters after walking for 20km in the night.

Koriang has been on remand in Moroto prison for 14 months. Pte. Francis Masereka said after the shooting, a search was mounted along the main road to Moroto and Koriang was found seated with her one-year-old baby and taken back to the detachment.

Pte. Ariama Okello, the immediate neighbour, said the quarrels started after a UPDF team of doctors tested soldiers for HIV and found that Koriang was positive yet the husband was negative.

After reading the judgement, the court chairman said a number of soldiers’ wives had killed their husbands.

“To cut the rising trend, Judith Koriang, I am sentencing you to suffer death as a deterrent to others planning the same act,” Ssebugwawo said.

After the ruling, Lt. Dan Madaba, her defence lawyer, allowed her to talk to her relatives briefly before she boarded a military truck to prison.

The 3rd Division army spokesperson, Capt. Deo Akiiki, yesterday explained that Koriang, a civilian, was tried in the military court because the UPDF Act allows anybody in the company of the armed forces, who uses firearms to commit a crime, to be tried by the court.

Koriang is the second woman to be sentenced to death by the court martial. The first was Grace Ichakuna from Bukedea, who participated in killing her husband in 2008.

There are about 500 inmates in Luzira and Kirinya prisons on death row. Some were sentenced by the army court and others by the civil courts.



from Leo Odera Omolo

THE Police have issued a fresh terror alert against a possible attack by the al-Shabaab militants as Ugandans prepare for the 2011 general elections.

The nominations for the presidential and parliamentary candidates will be held in October and November. This will be followed by campaigns, which are normally characterised by public rallies.

The Police deputy spokesperson, Vincent Sekatte, said the terrorists could use public gatherings during campaigns to attack Ugandans.

“The threats by these people have been on and we cannot ignore them, especially when their colleagues have been arrested,” he said.

He urged the public to remain vigilant to help the Police and other security agencies fight terrorism.

“If we keep quiet, they might take our people by surprise. Those who intend to organise rallies should inform us such that we p
rovide them with protection,” he said.



News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

The proposed four Counties provided in the new constitution of Kenya, which are to be established around the Lake Victoria basin could be the role model in the near future of their resources could be well catered for.

Luo-Nyanza in particular is a region which is endowed with abundance of resources, that include the five white sugar manufacturing plants, abundance fisheries resources, plenty of sceneries and tourists attraction good rainfall distribution, arable and fertile and land that is capable of producing cash crops for exports and sufficient food grain for domestic consumption.

The four proposed regional Counties are Siaya, Kisumu, Homa-Bay and Migori. All are lying along the off-shore of Lake Victoria, which is famous for the production of the highly valued Nile perch fillets for exports.

Siaya County could turn out thousands of bails o cotton, maize, sorghum millets, fish, minerals, particularly gold in Bondo and tourism now that President Barack Obama Alego Kogelo Community Cultural Center is being established. The road from Ndori-Nyang’oma is being constructed and ground breaking for the termer-mocking this particular section will be performed by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga this weekend.

Upper part of Southern Nyanza, in areas like Kasi0ula-Kabndo9, Kamagambo, Sakwa,Kanyamkago,Suna Migori and Ndhiwa have sufficient rainfall fairly distributed through out the year and could serve as the hubs of massive food production if the new County would take care of the region’s agriculture as top priorities, and proper planning of the infrastructures.

The region is also rich in minerals such as gold, copper, nickel, uranium and other precious stones.

It has, however, been noticed with great concern that ever since the promulgation of the new constitution on August 27,2010, a number of politicians who include the present and former MPs and civic leaders have come forward and made premature announcement declaring their intention to contest this and that position as provided in the new constitution.

Some of these politicians have made it clear that they would be interested in the covenanted position of the regional governorship. But this particular slot in the Counties government is so important and needs to be taken by personnel’s of the highest caliber within the society. Past experience and proven ability to manage large organization would be the criteria of selection.

So far only a handful people have come forward saying they would contest the governorship positions. But judging from their past experience most of them have long disqualified themselves owing to inexperience and lack of academic qualifications, which should be backed up with practical experience and management skills.

Among the few individuals who have already declared their interests in the governorship slots, only a handful of them could be said to be worthy consideration y the electorate. Among them is Eng. Phillip Okoth Okundi, the immediate former MP for Rangwe. Okundi has vast experience after having served as the Managing Director for the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation and the Kenya Bureau of the Standard. He has so far declared his interest of becoming the governor of Homa-Bay County.

The former Minister for Regional Development Ojwang K’Ombudo,who had served as the Kisumu Town Clerk for many years, is another personality whose name is being floated for the position of the governor of Kisumu County. He is facing the challenge from another equally qualified person in the name of Eng.Eric Opon Nyamunga who is another personality whose name is being floated for the position of the governor of Kisumu County. He is the former managing director of the Kenya Railway Corporation.

In Migori County, the name of the former Provincial Education Officer for Nairobi Mr. Chacha Ogwe is also featuring prominently as the possible contender for the position of Migori County Governor.He is facing another technocrat Mr Ezra Odondi from Central Sakwa in Awendo district.

Politicians with no experience in management of large organization should not waste their time, but should go for the political posts of Senators, MPs and regional assembly members.

Another personality whose name is being linked as a possible contestant for the position of Homa-Bay governorship is Mr., Sammy Wakiaga, a senior civil servant working with the NSIS. He hails from Rusinga Island in Mbita constituency. The populist civil servant cum-businessman if he chose to go for Governor that would bring a sign of relief for the Immigration Minister Gerald Otieno Kajwang’ who would be happy to offload Wakiaga and dump him in the contest for governorship instead of the latter challenging him in his Mbita parliamentary seat., a contest that would be so grueling and could end up either way.

The populist Wakiaga is said to be a thorn in the flesh of the flamboyant immigration Minister, though there seemed to have been a long period of a lull and less rivalries between the two ever since 2007 general election after it was reported that it was the Prime Minister Raila Odinga who had personally prevailed upon Wakiaga to abandon his parliamentary ambition in favor of Kajwang’, the deal that was said to have gravely disappointed Wakiaga’s supporters.

But Kajwang’ supporters maintains that it was an awaking call that has a woken up the immigration minister from his slumber and laxity. After 2007 Kajwang’ is reported to have improved his representation of the constituency as well as his working relations with the electorate. Impeccable sources say Kajwang’is keen on switching to Senate, but the famous composed of “Bado Kuna Mapambano” popular political lyrics song has yet to declare his position publicly clear.

Kajwang,’ according to other sources is fronting for the nominated MP Ms Millie Odhiambo for women representation in the Senate as one way of circumventing Wakiaga owing to the fact that both Odhambo and Wakiaga hails from Rusinga island and had some long standing unresolved family dispute a their home turf.

In Homa-Bay the incumbent MP George Otieno Ogindo is said to have developed interest in the governor slot. He is an accountant who used to work with the Ministry of local government either as a County or Town Treasurers and Clerk. But in terms of experience and managerial skills Okundi’s track record if more illustrious than that of Ogindo.

The latest development is that the electorate in both Karachuonyo and Kasipul-Kabondo constituencies would prefer to have the former Kenya’s Ambassador to Zambia and Zambia Lazarous Ombaye Amayo to be elected the governor of Homa-Bay. Before being appointed to the diplomat corps, Amayo had served as the managing director of the Catering Levy and Trustee and therefore has the necessary qualification that fits into the position of governorship.

Matters are, however, seemed to be quiet from Ndhiwa another district that shared Homa-Bay County with other constituencies. But from Gwassi the name of the former Assistant Minister Zadock Syong’o is also being frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for the Homa-Bay County governor. Syong’o is the immediate MPs for Gwassi.

A number of Luo political elite have faulted the sitting MPs from the region for having apportioned themselves the positions in the counties. They argued that the issue of electing who to which position should be the sole responsibility of the voters.

The MPs involved in apportioning the positions for their respective constituencies are wrong and it is premature for anyone to suggest any names. The MPs and other leaders should give the voters sufficient time to shop for the best candidates.

In Siaya, the former long serving Alego-Usonga MP Peter Castro Oloo Aringo is the only senior politician in the region whose name is being connected to the Siaya County Senate seat. He will, however, battle it with the high flying former Foreign Affairs Minister Raphael Tuju former MP for Rarieda.

Between Aringo and Tuju, the latter has the most attractive track record of massive development in Rarieda between 2002 ND 2007 whereas Aringo had represented Alego-Usonga for close to twenty two years and at times served as senior cabinet Minister I the KANU regime, but left no trace of any tangible development. Tuju despite of his sh8nning record of development has some political problems with the Odinga family and this could deprive him the right of getting the ODM nodto9mciobtest the Siaya Senate seat.

But the Kisumu County Senate seat is likely to be crowded with the likes of Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o, Nairobi based land value Ocholla Ogoda, Mombasa business tycoon Ocholla Kamili, Eng.Maxwell Otieno Odongo and others.

In Homa-Bay the name of the former country director of the Marie Stoppie Clinics Cyprian Otieno Awiti is till on the lead among the park that have declared interest in the Senate seat. Awiti’s name is selling well as a hot cake in all the six parliamentary constituencies of Mbita, Gwasi, Ndhiwa, Rangwe, Karachunyo and Kasipul-Kabndo


Tanzania: The ruling CCM is running scared of Chademain the forthcomng general election

Writes Leo Odera Omolo

News emerging from Dar Es Salaam says that the ruling CCM party is running scare of the opposition Chadema a head of this year’s general elections is allegedly resorted to sending out slanderous text messages via emails.

The CCM is being accused of employing dirty tactics ahead of the October 2010 general election.

The opposition group is led by Chama Cha Maendeleo ya Demokrasia [CHADEMA],which has accused the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi {CCM]of sending out messages and distributing flyers to discredit its presidential candidate Dr.Willbroad Slaa.

Launched originally as Tanganyika African National Union {TANU] in 1954 by the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere,the CCM has ruled the country ever since it attained her political independence in 1961. Nyerere voluntarily retired after ruling for twenty six years and the mantle of leadership was taken over by Ali Hassan Mwinyi a Zanzibaris who was later succeeded by a former top journalist-cum-diplomat Benjamin William Mkapa, who in turn handed over to the incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete five years ago.

All these years the CCM has always sailed through the election with very limited opposition except the near violent opposition in the twin Indian Ocean Islands of Unguja and Pemba, which are part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

This time around, however, the CCM appeared to be running scare of the strong opposition from Chadema whose popularity and influence is said to be on the upward trend.

Complaints against the ruling CCM have also resurfaced in the predominantly opposition zones where text messages via emails have been circulating dissuading the voters from voting for Chadema’s presidential candidate Dr. Willbroad Slaa on alleged claim of impropriety in his private life.

One such anonymous text messages alleged that Dr. Slaa was an agent of the Roma Catholic Church and that he had some unresolved his private life.

The police have denied having any knowledge or being aware of any such hate messages being circulated via internet. But have promised to investigate the matter. The country’s director of Criminal Investigation Department {CID] Robert Manumba was quoted by the EASTAFRICAN in its latest edition as saying that the police would act against those circulating such messages.

“In local politics in a country like Tanzania such tactics are common and often impossible to trace the authors, “said Manumba.

The communications manager of the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Innocent Mungy was also quoted in the same report as saying that the authority was in the dark over the alleged hate messages, but added that the Authority does not have the mandate to interfere in the way people communicated..

Mungy further state that it was fine to use message text to canvass for votes during the election time as was the case in other countries, but when people resort to insults or derogatory remarks this become a problem.’

The reports of intimidation of the opposition in the hotly contested constituencies including fights are surfacing with the police promising to arrest the offenders.

However, the CCM Secretary General Yusuph Makamba said last week that his party had advised its members not to circulate any message abusive of Chademan presidential candidate and that private issues should not be circulated to the party members. He said the CCM respects the work done by Dr.Slaa in the country and that insulting him was unfair

He said the CCM MP for Mponda Urban Hon Arfi had alleged that Chandema is an agent of the Roman Catholic Church and enjoys massive support from the faithful. The allegation was made after Chadema decided to fill a parliamentary candidate for the Sumbawanga Urban.

“Voters should elect candidate because of their aptitude not their tribal or regional beliefs and considerations.”

According to the registrar of political parties in Tanzania John Tendwa, voting rights makes it a crime to misled and intimidate voters.

“If you can find that who is doing it, these people should be prosecuted. But some time it is just difficult to know who is doing what. Some of it is just anonymous.

A week ago, the Registrar of Political parties threw out a petition lodged by the opposition Chadema against the incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete claiming that he had contravened the election expenses Act 2010 by making numerous promises to the electorate.

For the first time in its history of close to six decades, the CCM, which had a rough time with Civic United Front {CUF] Zanzibar and Pemba appeared to be somehow shaken a bit by the surging support of the Chadema.


Uganda: Parliament okayed UG Shs.8 trillion budget for 2010/11

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

PARLIAMENT has passed the 2010/11 budget despite a call by opposition MPs to withhold the budgets of some ministries.

Of the sh7.8 trillion budget, the education ministry will receive sh390b, health sh116b, while sh89b has been set aside to facilitate activities for the agriculture ministry.

A total of sh1.4 trillion will be given to local governments and sh137b to the local government ministry.

The internal affairs ministry will get sh104b, lands sh25b, trade and tourism sh24b, works and transport sh124b and energy sh421b.

The defence ministry will get sh632b, while the President’s Office will receive sh72b.

A total of sh64b will go to fund State House activities, while the Office of the Prime minister will receive sh155b.the Uganda AIDS Commission will get sh16b, and the External Security Organisation will get sh10.2b.

Makerere University will receive sh134b, Mbarara University sh17b, Makerere Business School sh39b, Kyambogo University sh64b and Gulu University sh16b. Mulago Hospital will get sh34b, while Butabika will receive sh32b.

The Uganda Police will get sh241b, Prisons sh71b and the Uganda National Roads Authority will get sh614b.

Fred Omach, the finance state minister, tabled a motion for the consideration and adoption of the revenue and expenditure estimates for this financial year.

The budget, which was supposed to have been passed by August 31, was delayed after the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Sekandi, gave a three-week recess to allow MPs participate in their party primaries.

“I know you are busy with political activities, but our mandate here will not end until May 2011. Find sometime in your busy schedules to carry out parliamentary work,” Sekandi told the MPs.

But shadow environment minister Beatrice Anywar (FDC) protested the passing of the budget for the Ministry of Water, arguing that the ministry had not clarified the ban on polythene bags (kaveera).

Hussein Kyanjo (JEEMA) pleaded with Parliament to let the internal affairs ministry explain the procurement of biometric gadgets used for capturing citizen information for elections and the national identity cards.

“The internal affairs minister, Kirunda Kivejinja, has not explained the matter to the House even though we found anomalies in the procurement process,” Kyanjo stated.

“The ministry made serious flaws. We should not pass this budget if we are to defend the dignity of this House,” he added.


Uganda: Search for oil in West Nile Region of nation is progressing well

Reports leo Odera Omolo

THE hunt for oil and gas in the West Nile is progressing well, Neptune Petroleum Uganda, the firm that is conducting the exploration, has said.

The firm also revealed last week it would soon release results of the recent aero-gravity gradiometry survey that sought to gather more definitive information on the earth basement.

The study, completed in June, was commissioned to specifically identify structures with more prospective oil reservoir properties.

This was after the firm hit two dry wells in its previous drilling attempts. The ‘dry’ wells are Iti-1, which was drilled in June 2009 and Avivi-1, which was in February drilled to a depth of 764 metres, but did not encounter any oil.

However, further analysis of the data from the two wells confirmed the ‘generation and migration’ of oil in the exploration area. This development prompted Neptune to hire a team of experts from the British geo-physical survey firm, ARKeX, to do a more scientific study.

Tower Resources plc, a London-based oil and gas exploration company that owns Neptune, said a final interpretation of the data that was collected is expected at the end of this month.

Also, around this time, planning for a subsequent seismic survey will be finalised, the firm said. “This update confirms that current operations are on schedule.

“The quality of information being obtained is likely to enhance interpretation of the Uganda licence,” Peter Kingston, the Tower Resources chairman, explained

The seismic interpretation would also provide the basis for selecting a third well location, Kingston added. Previously, Kingston said, the target was to be ready to drill a third well, the commitment well, as designated in the production sharing agreement, in 2011.

This would, by design, allow time for a follow-up programme, if required, since the firm’s current licence expires in March 2012


Kenya: Keiyo and Marakwet delegates urged Biwotto contest the Senate Seat for the region

Writes Leo Odera Omolo In Eldoret Toown.

A LARGE delegation of professionals, civic leaders and farmers from Keiyo and Marakwet communities met the former Kerio South MP Nicholas Kiprono Kipyator Biwott and endorsed him to contest the Senate seat for the region.

The meeting took place on Sunday afternoon at the Royalton Hotel, which is located about ten kilometers in the outskirt of Eldoret Town on the main Eldoret-Burn Forest and Nakuru highway.

Biwott also had an hour long consultation meeting with a delegation of the National Vision Party of Kenya from Kisumu district. The delegation was led by the NVP Kisumu branch chairman Eliud Aum Ndalo and discussed wide ranging issues and strategies in the revitalization of the party and the recruitment of members at the grassroots.

Earlier own, the “powerman” who is also known to his peers as the “Total Man” visited Marakwet and took part in the fund raising meeting at the Kapchewew High School in Marakwet district. He was overwhelmed by the request by the participants at the meeting who told him that owing to his vast experience and wealthy of knowledge about Kenya’s politics he was the most suitable person to represent the Keiyo/Marakwet County in the Senate.

The former long serving cabinet Minister in the KANU regime confirmed to this writer that he was giving a serious consideration to the request and appeal made by members of the Keiyo/Marakwet communities to represent them in the Senate, which is located to the region in the new constitution. He decline a request from other quarters that he should contest the position of the County governor, saying the position is only suitable for young men and women.

Thee delegations representing various political, economic and farming interests told the former Minister that his candidature for the Senate seat would improve the previously shaky relations between the two communities.

Biwott advised those who visited him to focus on hard work and maintain peace as one of the ingredients of peaceful development. He also urged the to maintain peace and tranquility and at the same time maintain law and order and peaceful co-existence with their neighbors.

He said if it was the wish of the electorate that he should represent them in the Senate, and then he was willing to accept the challenge.

Meanwhile Biwott’s National Vision Party of Kenya had a morale boosting when a large crowd at Mogogosiek in Bureti district declared that they would part the company with the ODM and join the NVP .The declarations were made during a fund drive meeting held at Chebitet African Inland Church. The fund raising meeting was presided over by Bishop Daniel Tanui, the NVP director of elections.

Bishop Tanui told the meeting that although members of the Kipsigis and other Kalenjin sub-tribes had voted against the new constitution, they should forget the past and join other Kenyan communities in making sure that the new constitution is put in place and it works for the advancement and development of all Kenyans.

The former two times MP for Kipkellion constituency, Bishop Tanui told the Kipsigis MPs to mobilize the residents of the Kericho and Bomet Counties to buy shares in the multinational tea farms operating in the region, saying their 99 years and lease of farms is just about to expire since the new constitution has scraped the old land leases of 999 years.

He also told the local farmers to diversify into other cash crops instead of relying mainly on tea, maize and dairy farming. Cash minting crops such as tomatoes, onions and cabbages, he said comes from the neighboring districts and selling like hot cake in Kipsigis land. These crops can be grown locally.

He told the Kalenjins to ditch the OIDM saying that the party had short-changed them, though they voted for it in 2007 on a man to man, it has failed to deliver the goods and its promises in general.