Category Archives: Leo Odera Omolo

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.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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.

Ends

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).

Ends

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.

Ends

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.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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.

End

UGANDA POLICE HAS SENT OUT AN ALERT OVER POSSIBLE FRESH BOMBING ATTACK BY AL-SHABBAB TERRORSTS DURINGTHE GENERAL ELECTION

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.

End

KENYA: IF THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES COULD BE WELL CATERED FOR THE FOUR NYANZA COUNTIES CAN SHOW THE WAY AS THE ROLE MODEL OF FASTER AND RAPID DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA.

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

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Leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

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.

Ends

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.

Ends

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

Ends

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.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

Uganda: Museveni warns iindependent candidates saying NRM will not entertain them

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni yesterday warned party members who lost the primaries that his party “will not tolerate independent candidates” in the coming general elections, the Government owned NEWVISION has reported this morning.

In his acceptance speech after he was announced as the NRM flag-bearer for the presidential elections next year, Museveni said whoever lost in the primaries due to malpractices can challenge the results and the elections can be repeated.

“But nobody should talk of independence. Bring facts, show that you were cheated and we shall repeat the elections if need be. But we are not going to tolerate independents,” Museveni said. “You can’t be both: either you are inside or outside.”

He spoke after the announcement of results of the top positions of the party after a two-day national conference for 15,000 delegates from across the country.

Museveni was also returned unopposed as the party chairman at Naboole in Kampala in the wee hours of Monday.

In his address, the President said the party opted for the universal adult suffrage in the primaries to avoid independents.

Museveni appealed to all competitors to remain calm. “I appeal to you leaders and your supporters to change your attitude and remain calm. If there is fraud, don’t panic, bring the facts and if they are proved, the elections can be cancelled and the people involved will be charged,” the President said.

Museveni said the party leadership would only work with individuals who have crossed from other parties, but want to remain independents provided they sign a memorandum of understanding with the NRM party.

Pointing at Kampala Mayor Nasser Sebaggala, who was seated with a group of ministers, he said: “We shall only accept and work with friendly individuals, but independent, like Mayor Sebaggala.”

He promised that the NRM electoral commission will start investigating petitions this week. By Friday, 350 petitions had been filed with the party secretariat.

The President also dismissed reports that he asked VP Bukenya and Otafiire to stand down for Mbabazi.

“There is no way Museveni could disorganise the central executive committee (CEC) decision for these positions here,” said Museveni.

“If the CEC wanted to vet anybody out, he would have been vetted out and there would be no question of saying no.”

He attributed the problems faced by the party to lack of the culture of democracy by some members.

“The printer wants to print extra ballot papers, the transporter wants to steal some and the polling officials also disorganise the whole thing,” he observed.

Museveni explained that the idea of the party’s register, known as the Yellow Book, was to have all NRM supporters registered.

“I wanted every NRM member to be registered. But when the Yellow Book reached the villages, it was war. The in-charge would record only his supporters and leave out those of his opponents,” he said.

Museveni said the primaries had been “very interesting” and dismissed the notion that the chaos in the elections showed that the NRM party was not organised.

“We were just 15,000 people, but it took long to vote. Because you do not know how to behave democratically,” he argued.

The President cited two cases where members contested the results for the position of vice- chairperson for Kampala region and deputy secretary general. “Voting is taken like war,”

“I look at this exercise as climbing the Rwenzori with unco-operative members of the mountaineering team, but also without adequate equipment.”

Museveni disclosed that the party spent sh4b in organising the elections. “They should be applauded for what they did although there were many shortcomings.

Kiggundu needs sh197b to run the national election with 23,000 polling stations, yet we had 60,000,” he said.

The President on Sunday night gave sh400,000 to each of the 32 music groups that performed at the conference.

He outlined his priority in the next five years as electricity, roads, railway, ICT, modernisation of agriculture, industrialisation, science-oriented education and health.

Delegates scrambled for the spoils as campaign agents openly distributed money, T-shirts and sodas to groups to vote in their favour.

Journalists were not left out either. After a week of rumours about a sh80m budget for the media, some journalists confronted the NRM party secretariat administrator, Dr. Hassan Galiwango, who is said to have released sh4m, which a selected group of journalists shared, each getting sh85,000.

This angered other journalists who protested that their names had been used to obtain the money.

In the elections, al-Hajji Moses Kigongo was returned unopposed for first national vice-chair and Rebecca Kadaga for second national vice-chairperson.

Also unopposed were the national treasurer, Amelia Kyambadde, the former President’s Private Secretary and the vice-chairman for the east, Capt. Mike Mukula.

The hotly contested position of NRM secretary general was retained by Amama Mbabazi after he beat Vice-President Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, the trade minister.

Ends

Kenya is soon to join the African gold rich nations clubs as the mineral is discovered

Economic and Business Report by Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City

KENYA is set to join the league of mineral rich African countries following the discovery of large quantity of gold deposits in the Narok and Rongo counties.

This was announced here by the Commissioner for Geology in charge f Nyanza Province John Waita who disclosed that gold deposits discovered by experts recently can support large scale mining for up to 15 years. The discovery areas are in Narok and Migori counties in Western Kenya.

The story of discovery of a large quantity of gold was also confirmed by the Acting Commissioner of Minerals and Geology Moses Masibo.

“ I can confirm that several prospecting company has identified economically viable quantities of gold in Lolgorian area of Narok County, which is capable of supporting a medium scale goldmine.” said Masibo.

He further revealed the companies, which are prospecting for gold in the two regions are in the 0reparation phases for extracting the gold and processing it for commercial business.

Waita said the deposits have been found in Rongo and Nyatike, which are both located in Migori County and in Lolgorian in Trans-Mara district in Narok County in an area bordering Tanzania.

“We are confident of golf availability in these areas and what we need is the support from the communities. We have our facts right about the availability after a company, Waita told the STANDARD in an interview published hereon Monday, and which has been received with a lot of enthusiasm by the local communities living in those areas identified and mentioned as the site of the gold deposits.

In Rongo and Nyatike, the prospects of viable deposits of gold were established after companies involved completed exploration.

“Because of the presence of gold in the said areas after the survey the companies have moved to the next stage. In some areas when they know the quantity is smaller, they carry luggage and move away. That did not happening here now,” the top geologist emphasized.

An official working with one of the mining companies prospecting un the region was recently quoted in a report that confirmed the existence of large quantity of gold in the to regions.

“There is gold occurrence in Rongo and Nyatike, We know if we are successful and able to start production, it will have a massive impact on the economy of the country,” Waita said.

A senior official who works for Abba Mining, and asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the data, said studies were on going, and added, of neighboring countries, Uganda and Tanzania have high potential of gold and are mining what about Kenya? We know there are some deposits, but we are currently collecting the data to determine the quantity.

The official said massive investment in gold exploration were an indication o the interest generated by the presence of the mineral..

Kenya has the potential of gold but the problem is that there are no maps to show the geophysical location of the mineral, and that is what we are doing currently,” he said.

Abba Mining is involve in gold processing in Botswana,Namibia and Mozambique. Other firm prospecting for gold in Migori, Homa-Bay and Narok counties are; Kilimapesa, Afri-All and Mid-Migori. Mid-Migori has operated has operated for the last ten years and last year, a London based Mineral Exploration firm, Rock Resources Plc sought a 60 per cent stake in it, and signed an agreement with Kansai Mining that owns Mid-Migori. It paid USD 25,000 {about Kshs 2 million as a non-refundable cash deposits.

Afri-All has been exploring in Siaya, Bondo and Kakamega in a joint venture with an Australian mining company In Rongo, Abba Miners have been conducting exploration while in Nyatike, an area where the Commonwealth Development Corporation {CDC} had been conducting mining activities since the early 1930s and only closed down its gold and Copper Mines at Macalder in 1962 due to fear of possible outbreak of chaos after independence in 1963, Mid-Migori have been have been on the ground at Macalder and Masara.

Waita told newsmen that the regions are part of a vast gold belt known as the Archean Greenstone Belt, which is one of the earth’s oldest crust dating back to 3.7 million years. Its geological features are similar to the Gold Reef in Johannesburg, South Africa, and others in Western Australia and Northern Canada that are known to have gold and other m minerals.

Mr Waita statement was confirmed and endorsed by the Acting Commissioner and Mines and Geology Moses Masibo.

He told the STANDARD in a report published on Monday this week that he can confirm that the companies prospecting in the areas have identified economically viable quantities of gold in Lolgorian capable of supporting sa medium scale commercial goldmine.

A British company that has over the past three years been prospecting for commercially viable gold in Lolgorian area of Trans-Mara district recently discovered goop deposits that could earn Kenya Kshs 400 million annually.

Masibo added the discovered gold is of high quality, because it will not require extensive processing. Lolgorian is part of the extensive Greenstone Belt of the Lake Victoria that stretches into the Mara in Tanzania, and believed to have rich gold deposits..

Te company, which is operating in Kenya as Goldplat Kilimapesa Project,is conducting more tests and is yet to finalize regulatory6 issues with the government with a view to obtaining mining license’

It has been discovered that the deposits are between 40,000 ounces {oz} and 60,000 ounces. An ounce is the unit of measuring gold with once ounce equaling 28.34 grammas {0.02835kg}

This means the deposits can support mining of 40,000 ounces per yea with a lifespan of between 10 to 15 years. Going by the current price of gold in the international market where an ounce is trading at USD 1,246 [Kshs 100,926 under current exchange rates}, the projects could earn the country Ksh 400m million annually or Kshs 32 billion in 15 years .is a boom considering smalltime miners in various parts of Western Kenya according to industry estimates, produce a mere Kshs 15 million annually, although much of it is sold to middlemen at prices well below those in the international market.

In the neighboring Tanzania, where gold mining industry is well established the country produces between 100,000 and 300,000 of gold per annum.

Mt Waita said exploration in Rongo began in May this year, and that the technical teams are moving fast and will start production once they have ascertained the quantity. In May this year, during the long rains, small scale miners in Nyatike harvested gold worth Kshs 15 million, in just two weeks, said Mr Waitaindicating a high presence of the mineral.

“Small-scale miners have been reaping millions of shillings from gold mining in the thre districts, an indication of its presence,” he said.

“The discovery in Kenya is small-scale but economically viable. It will significantly transform the economy of the area, said Godric Simonet, the chairman of the Kenya Chamber of Mines{KCM}.

Simonet who is also the managing director of International Gold Exploration {IGE} and at one point was involved with kilimapesa project, added the project will employ 100 people directly and many more indirectly once it gets going.

Until September last year the KLilimapesa project was in partnership with Goldplat and KGE, but the company assumed full ownership after acquiring IGE’s stake at a cost of Kshs 203 million. Though Goldplat Kilimapesa already has the consent of the local community to commence mining, it cannot embark on the project before obtaining a mining lease from the government and carrying out a land lan survey of the area.

A mining lease, which lasts for about 20 years, ensures the company can recoup its investments. Ironically, due to lack of a modern policy, talks between the company and the government on how to charge royalty seems to be dragging the issuance of the mining lease.

Kenya needs a clear mechanism for charging royalty, which should be higher e for the scarce minerals,” says one of the executive directors of Kenya Institute of Public Policy and Research Analyses {KIPPRA}.

The current mining Act, which dates back to 1940s has been described as a major block in the developing of the mining industry. However, efforts are going to present a new Mining Bill in Parliament, while the process of developing a mining policy is in high gears.

In Migori County, Macalder has been coded as the target area. Others areas are Kamwango in Rongo and Lolgorian in Trans-Mara.,the deputy Geologist Mr Paul Mwadime also said there were high hopes for gold in the area. Mining exploration for gold in the region started during the colonial days but the investigations has not been intense as noiw.”

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Leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

KENYA: RESIDENTS OF A KIPKELLION VILLAGE WERE LEFT IN A MOURNING MOOD AFTER THE LIGHTNING STRUCK FOUR DEAD AND INJURED SCORES.

Reports Leo Odera Omolo in Kericho Town.

Residents of Kapkondoo village in Tenlich sub-locations in Kipkellion constituency, Kericho County were in a mourning mood after burying four members of one family who were last Thursday struck dead by lightening were buried in a tearful send off last Sunday. The burial ceremony attracted hundred of mourners from the surrounding villages.

The thunderbolt left seven other people seriously injured and were all admitted at the nearby Londiani sub-district hospital.

Samson Arap Bii 38 who works as stonemason 4, two sons Leornard Kiprotich 6, and Dominic Kipchirchir and his one year old nephew Wesly Kiprono were struck by the lightning in their grass hatched house on Thursday night.

The late Mr Bii’s wife Rachel Bii who by late Sunday afternoon was still in a state of semi consciousness and at time relapse to unconsciousness told newsmen in his Hospital Ward bed that she was preparing tea for some visitors who had taken shelter in their house. She is the women group leader, and was also roasting green maize for her visitor, when she heard a loud bang. And thereafter she did not know what happened until she found herself in Hospital. Although the dead members of her family including her husband Mr Bii and two sons were being buried on the same day, she had no ideas to what happened to them. She suffered serious bodily burns.

Also hurt in the incident was Mr William Rotich who had called on the late Bii to have a word with him one some local family matters. Passerby who had taken shelter in the same house was seriously hurt and so were the people sheltering in the neighboring houses. Other had temporarily lost the use of their eardrums after the deafening thunderbolt.

A Kipkellion politician Josephat Koske has appealed to the community living art Kapkondo village and its environ to come to the assistance of Mrs Bii and her surviving children to regain the normal life. Residents and well wishers should donate generously to the family to enable them to erect a better house and start a new life. These were a natural calamity which is unavoidable and to which human being have got no control. “Ours is only to come to the assistance of the surviving members of the family.” Said Koske

THE Kipkellion MP Magerer Lang’at also expressed his heartfelt sympathy and condolence the family wishing the survivors quick recovery. He is also an Assistant Minister for Energy appealed to the neighbors to come to the rescue and help one another whenever such incident occurred.

So far close to eight people have died in various parts of Western Kenya ever since this season’s short rains started in late last month.

ENDS

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

Uganda: Museveni warns oil companies to pay their taxes or else they will not be tolerated

Business News By Leo Odera Omolo

THE Government will not tolerate foreign oil companies evading taxes, President Yoweri Museveni has warned,the government official mouthpiece the NEWVSION reported this morning.

In his first public criticism of the multinational oil companies operating in the Albertine Graben, Museveni emphasised that the companies had no option but to pay all taxes due to the Government.

“We have made it clear to the oil companies operating in Uganda that all the taxes due to the Government of Uganda must be paid. Also the other development programmes in the petroleum sector must be fulfilled,” he said, according to a statement from State House.

To make his point clear, the President also mocked pessimists who argue that oil could turn out to be a curse rather than a blessing, as it has been in many other African countries.

He asserted that oil has been a curse where weak African leaders have failed to check the “greed” of western companies.

This will not be allowed to happen in Uganda, the President told NRM delegates at the opening of the party’s second national conference at Namboole stadium on Saturday.

He cited the Canadian-owned, Heritage Oil Company, that is yet to pay $405m (about sh810b) to the Uganda Revenue Authority.

The company is contesting the tax on the sale of its stake in oil wells in western Uganda to Tullow Oil Company at $1.45b.

“Recently, we had a problem with some of the oil companies that were trying to refuse to pay our taxes,” he narrated.

“A company called Heritage spent $130m in exploration. When oil was found, they decided to sell their shares for which they received $1.45b – more than ten times what they spent. We required them to pay us 30% of this as tax. It translates into $430 million. They, however, refused to pay.”

The President reiterated that revenue from oil will be spent on developing infrastructure like roads, the energy sector, and build an excellent railway network.

The rest will be used to fund science, technology and research initiatives as well as innovation, he explained.

“The oil money will never be used for consumption,” said Museveni.

The Government has largely kept its contracts with the oil companies a secret but the tax row has exposed some of the transactions.

Last month, the Government repossessed the Kingfisher (Kajubirizi) discovery area, an oil field in Hoima, from Tullow Oil after the company failed to meet some of the set terms.

The blocks, 3A and 1, were jointly operated by Heritage and Tullow. However, when Heritage sold its interest to Tullow, the Government declined to recognise the transaction over non-payment of taxes.

In a letter, energy and mineral development minister Hillary Onek also said Tullow’s licence had expired.

“The period within which you are supposed to have applied for a petroleum production licence for the Kingfisher field expired in February 2010,” he told the Tullow managers.

The repossession meant that the Government can license another company. This puts Tullow at a risk of losing $1.45b, which it paid Heritage for the asset.

Meanwhile, speaking at the opening of the same delegates’ conference, the outgoing NRM secretary general, Amama Mbabazi, revealed that the party had elected 2.5 million people from the grassroots since it began the process in July.

Mbabazi promised that the party would provide mobile phones to its leaders to ease internal communication.

He regretted the malpractices in the primaries, but said the party had embarked on cadre identification, training and placement to ensure that only people with good political orientation form its future leadership.

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KENYA: THE CONSTRUCTION OF ALL WEATHER RING ROADS ALONG THE SHORELINES OF LAKE VICTORIA MUST BE THE FIRST AND FOREMOST TASK OF THE NEW COUNTIES.

News Analysis By Leo Odera Omolo In Kisumu City.

The construction of all weather ring roads around the shorelines of Lake Victoria is expected to be the first and foremost task to be carried out by the four counties, which are soon to be inaugurated in Luo-Nyanza.

The four counties under the devolution of power system contained therein the new constitution are namely Kisumu, Siaya, Homa-Bay and Migori. All the four counties are geographically linked to Lake Victoria at the various points.

Siaya County is linked to the lake through Bondo and Rarieda constituencies. Kisumu is linked through Kisumu Rural, Kisumu Town West, Kisumu Town East,Nyando and Nyakach constituencies. Migori County has the link to the lake through Karungu-Bay,and Muhuru-Bay in Nyatike constituency while Homa-Bay has the largest share of the lake shoreline through the four parliamentary constituencies of Karachuonyo, Rangwe.Mbita and Gwassi.

Developments of good road network in these regions are so essential for quick means of communications, trade and security of the communities living around the lake and their survival

The four regions have the potentiality of being one of the most attractive areas for tourist destination and fish trade therefore planners to be attached to the proposed counties will have the heavy task of brainstorming together in order to roll out strategic plans for the future development of these regions.

Already two important roads are currently under the construction. These include the twenty five miles Kendu-Bay-Homa-Bay which is its advanced stage of completion. The other one is the Homa-Bay- Mbita road which was commissioned early this year by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga

Already the government has constructed an ultra modern road network, which is now linking Raried and constituencies through Ndori-Luanda Kotieno.via ferries services, which are providing excellent services of ferrying passengers and their luggage, plus the normal cargo and motor vehicles across the lake. This newly built tarmac ked road has changed the landscape of the region in boosting fish trade between the two islands of Rusinga and Mfangano.

The Ndori-Luanda Kotieno road has now cut short the hours between Kisumu to Mbita point and made it much shorter and less boring. And with those travelers driving faster vehicles can reach Luanda Kotieno and load their vehicle onto the ferry within 40 minutes or an hour journey. Previously a journey through this road was a nightmare, especially during the rainy season and cruising through the muddy black-cotton soil in Uyoma areas. Residents of this region are so pleased and thankful to the government of Kenya. The road, they says is now a boon for not trade but communications is now much easier.

The most significance of the economic viability of this new road could be seen by the way and manner in which new ultra modern buildings currently under construction in trading centers and market places along the way through Aram, Ragengni, Ndigwa and Luanda Koitieno. Individual residents of the area have also taken the initiative of good road by putting modern homes all along the way from Ndori to Luand-Kotieno.

Another important road is envisaged to be constructed from Bondo Town to Rang’ala where it will link up with the main Kisumu Busia highway. It also hoped that the Siaya County will take the advantage of the billions shillings of the revolving funds to be availed to it by the central government top improve feeder and access roads in the interior part of Alego-Usonga constituency, which are presently neglected and are in a pathetic state and near impassable when it raining.

Another area where road network need to be given priority is the road linking Rodi Kopany, Mirogi, Ndhiwa, Ratang’a,Aora Chuodho and Sori at Karungu-Bay. Its construction to all weather should also be extended to Sori-Lak Nyiero, to God Bura junction to either down to Nyandiwa and Kisegi or up to Magunga headquarters in Gwassi from where it should be linked to Sindo and Mbita point. On the southern flank, the same road should link Karungu Luanda,Aneko,Ndiwa winding up at Muhuru Bay.

The all weather ring roads along the Lake Victoria is not only essential for communication, trades and easy travelling, but also important for the security of the communities living along the shoreline of Lake Victoria.

At present, we can assume that there is no external security threat against Kenya due to the fact that all the three countries that shared the waters of Lake Victoria are members of the East African Community {EAC}.But who knows for how long this cooperation would last?. Anything can happen with unpredictably changing politics of the East African region. With the unlikely possibility of a hostile government coming to power in Uganda or an unfriendly government gaining control of Tanzania things might change for the worse to an extent that Kenya may need such roads for the purpose of rapid deployment of its security force to protect its citizens.

Two other important road network, which needs to be given priority are Rodi-Kopany,Rangwe-Oyugis and the Oyugis Kendu-Bay roads. Other areas worth considering should include Awendo-Rapogi,Ombo,Sibuoche and Macalder. This rod will facilitate easy traveling between Nyatike and Uriri constituencies to supplement the services currently being provided by the road link between Oria -Riat-via Paw Otange-Thimlich Ohinga and Luanda.

There will be no time for complacency or laxity for the fur new counties governments nor there any space and room left for honeymoon due to heavy task that lays head. The roads network would facilitate the possibility of reviving the long forgotten forty five year old West Kenya Tourist Circuit. The program was introduced and launched in 1966 by the post-independence cabinet Minister for Tourism and Wildlife the late Hon.Samuel Onyango Ayodo. It was originally planned to traverse the entire Western Kenya covering areas like Lake Turkana, Mt Elgon, hinterland lakes in Baringo, and along Lake Victoria regions of Central and Southern Nyanza Maasai Mara and the entire South Rift regions.

It was indeed a diversion of tourists from their traditional destination of watching only wild animals in order to make the visitors also meet the Kenyans people in their traditional way of life in the rural areas.

The lake region has many sceneries worth visiting plus a lot of pre-historic sites such as volcanic lake Simbi Nyaima in Central Karachuonyo,. Birds watching near Oyugis, the mystery of the rock which is has human and animal footprints on it at Nyamgondho Wuod Ombare near Nyandiwa in Gwassi,Soklo Kipenji which is a small rocky island located between Homa-Bay and Usawo in Lambwe Valley, Nyama Gi Ware rocks on Rusinga Island.

The history of Soklo Kipenji is similar to that of Bemuda Triangle where ships and planes are reported to have mysteriously disappeared while trying to navigate the area or flying over. Fisheries in the nearby villages of Sikri on the Homa-Bay side and Usawo Mirunda n the Lambwe Valley side talks about the possibility of mysterious disappearance by anyone who lands his boat or canoe on this small island. Unconfirmed story goes that two European explorers whose names were not given and who ignored the advice of the local residents and defiantly landed their boat on the island disappeared with no trace to-date.

The incident is said to have taken place in around 1918 and 1920, and thereafter nobody dare to visit this island. Fishermen keep themselves at a distance fearing being pushed to the island by some hidden demonic powers. The locals say that even fish eating bird such as fish eagle dare not to land on Soklo Kipenji.

There could be a lot of new sites to be opened by new roads currently under the construction. The Homa-Bay –Mbita road would make more tourists visit the Ruma National Game Park at Lambwe which is full of species of game animals including the rare roan antelope.

Visits by boats to Rusinga and Mfangano islands would provide the tourist with a lot more for their eyes. Touristclas hotels have sprug up in Mbita Town and also on Mfangano.Both the islands could be accessed by road, boat and by air.

The challenges which lays ahead of the creation and inauguration of Counties is big and these are some of the reasons why the residents of the region are insisting that those interested in contesting the elections in the positions of County governors must be people with vast experience in administration and financial disciplines. The task would require men and women of high caliber of education and not lousy politicians.

Ends

leooderaomolo@yahoo.com

Uganda: Museveni to reconcile the Muslim leaders in nation

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni is to mediate between the Muslim factions headed by Mufti Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje and Sheikh Zubair Kayongo.

Speaking at futur (breaking of the fast) he hosted for Muslims at State House Entebbe on Wednesday to mark the end of Ramadhan, Museveni called for unity among the Muslim community.

Museveni (right) greeting Kampala mayor Sebaggala and Moses Katongole, the head of UTODA, a taxi watchdog, after a dinner at State House.

“There has been in-fighting among Muslims. I would like you to sit down and sort out this problem amicably,” he said. About 300 guests across the country attended the function that started about 7:00pm and went on past 10:00pm. Sources said most notable figures who attended the function were loyal to Mubajje except a few who support Kayongo. National Resistance Movement (NRM) vice-chairman Hajji Moses Kigongo, Libyan ambassador Abdallah Bujeldain and Dr. Ahmed Kisuule, Uganda’s ambassador to Iran, were present.

In his address, Museveni also said he would call the unity meeting because “in-fighting is not good. Those differences must be settled”.

Mubajje heads the Old Kampala faction while the Kibuli faction is headed by Kayongo. Muslims opposed to Mubajje in January 2009 named Kayongo as mufti following a disagreement with Mubajje over the sale of Muslim property in Kampala.

The conflict ended up in the court, with Mubajje, city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba and former secretary general Edris Kasenene facing criminal charges. The trio was acquitted by court. But the anti-Mubajje faction rejected the court verdict and named their own mufti.

Mid this year, the Old Kampala faction split with Mubajje and the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council chairman, Hassan Basajjabalaba, with each of them purporting to sack the other. Their differences have not been resolved. The President assured his guests that the Government had brought peace which people should take advantage of to wipe out poverty. “The Government is doing its part by providing electricity power and roads but it will not come to your house and remove poverty. That is your responsibility as an individual,” he said.

Museveni advised the school-going children to target science courses that, he said, have a ready job market. He said the Government had finalised the plan for a loan scheme for university graduates who fail to find employment.

Museveni urged Ugandans to start commercial farming so that they can have products to sell as well as maintain food security.

Earlier, Mubajje had said the Muslim top organ would organise elections for leaders before December this year. “Whoever is interested in leadership should go down and get the mandate of the people,” he said.

Mubajje cautioned Muslims against engaging in terrorism, referring to the July 11 incident in which 79 people were killed in bomb attacks in Kampala.

“You have been humble and law abiding during Ramadhan, I appeal to you to continue the same way even after fasting. The end of fasting does not mean the end of good behavior,” he advised.

The sumptuous dinner was punctuated by recitations from Sheik Umar Ddumba and performances from Matali entertainment group, which sang praises for Museveni and called for his re-election.

End

Kenya: Eight have picked up their presidential nomination papers for next year’s election

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

EIGHT presidential aspirants have picked nominations forms to run in next year’s elections. The main political players are yet to do so,the government owned NEWVISION reported this morning, while querying the reason why the leading political party luminaries are keeping quiet..

The politicians who collected papers are Emmanuel Tumusiime, the leader of the Forum for Integrity in Leadership, Sadrak Ogemba of the Peoples United Movement and Sulaiman Masaba of the Uganda People’s Party.

The others are Bomboka Isiko of the Farmers Party of Uganda, Moses Kakama of the National Youth Revolutionary Organisation, Erias Wamala of National Peasant Party and Samuel Lubega of a DP splinter faction.

Independent candidate Charles Opio also picked the forms ahead of the deadline of October 25. The nomination dates for presidential and parliamentary candidates are October 25 and 26.

The presidential aspirants will be nominated at the commission’s head offices in Kampala and parliamentary candidates at the district headquarters. District chairpersons and councillors will be nominated on November 4 and 5 at the district and county headquarters, respectively.

The ruling NRM party is expected to elect Yoweri Museveni this weekend as its candidate. FDC party leader Kizza Besigye was elected to stand on the Inter-Party Cooperation ticket as a joint candidate. Norbert Mao will represent DP. Olara Otunnu of UPC is also expected to contest.

According to the Electoral Commission, the candidates must pay nomination fees of sh8m, collect 100 signatures from at least 75 districts and hand in three passport size photos and certified copies of academic papers.

Unlike in the past where the candidates were required to carry cash and copies of the signatures to be verified on the day of the nominations, the commission this time requires the aspirants to only carry receipts as proof of payment and submit a list of the 100 supporters in advance for verification.

Nominated presidential aspirants will receive facilitation of sh20m, a car and Police escorts. But where a candidate withdraws from the race within 30 days after nomination, such a candidate shall refund the money.

Candidates may not use long convoys of vehicles during nominations, except just two vehicles, each of which shall bear Police stickers and carry no more than 10 people.

To be eligible for the presidential and parliamentary seats, a candidate must be a citizen of Uganda, a registered voter and have at least an A’level certificate or its equivalent. A person cannot stand for president if he is of unsound mind, holds an office that handles elections, or is a cultural leader, or is bankrupt.

Anyone under a death sentence or a sentence of imprisonment exceeding nine months without an option of a fine cannot also stand. Candidates may be disqualified if they have within seven years immediately preceding the election, been convicted of a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude or convicted over election crimes.

Parliamentary candidates are to pick nomination forms from their districts of origin and to be nominated they will be required to produce signatures of 10 supporters, who are registered voters in the constituency, pay nomination fees of sh200,000 and hand in certified copies of their academic papers.

Civil servants wishing to join the race will be required to submit copies of their resignation letter as well, which should have been tendered in 90 days before nomination data.

Uganda: new terror threat by Al-Shabaab terorists against nation during Ramadhan

Reports Leo Odera Omolo

UGANDAN security is on full alert ahead of Idd festivities, which mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan slated for tomorrow,the government owned NEWVISION reported this morning

Al-Shabaab on Tuesday demanded that Uganda withdraws her peacekeeping troops from the war-torn Somalia, or face more attacks.

Accordingly, security has been stepped up to counter the threats, said Police spokeperson Judith Nabakooba.

“We call upon the public to be vigilant, especially during this period of Idd,” she said yesterday.

The latest threat was issued by the Islamists’ radical leader Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Khalaf ‘Shangole at a mosque in Mogadishu.

Defence spokesperson Felix Kulayigye yesterday said violence will not work.

The Somali-based Islamic militants claimed responsibility for the twin bombings, which killed 79 people in Kampala on July 11.

“I advise them to try something else but not threats of violence because it will not work. It will not make us change our stand,” Kulayigye said.

The Ugandan troops are serving under the African Union force called AMISOM. “Our troops will not leave Somalia as long as the African Union wants them there,” he said. “The people of Somalia want peace and that is what took us there.”

He added: “We are not in Somalia for adventure; it is by conviction to ensure the return of peace for our brothers.
“We have been defending Uganda since February 6, 1981 and we have never backslid on that. Ugandans should remain vigilant and let us know of suspicious people.”

The militants on Tuesday accused President Yoweri Museveni of becoming an obstacle to stability in the war-torn Somalia and warned him not to send more troops to Somalia.

Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers are assisting the Somali Transitional Federal Government. Uganda recently sent 750 troops of the 10,000 more soldiers it pledged during the recent AU summit in Kampala.

AU officials said last week AMISOM’s troop level had recently risen to 7,200. The force is seeking a more robust mandate that would allow it to hunt down insurgents.

Uganda’s fight against al-Shabaab has received a boost from several countries since the July 11 attack. The US, Britain, Kenya, among others, rushed investigators to work with the Kampala team, leading to the arrest of over 50 arrests.

In fresh investigations, two more Kenyans were early this week arrested in connection with the blasts. Habib Sulaiman Njoroge was arrested at the Kenya-Uganda border post of Malaba while trying to sneak into Uganda. Also arrested is journalist Habib Suleiman working for an FM station in Mombasa.

A total of 34 suspects have been charged with terrorism, murder and attempted murder. Among them are Ugandans, Kenyans, Somalis and one Pakistani.

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