Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Millers should not increase flour prices

By Wanyama

The cost of maize flour is set to go up. Being a staple food, this will greatly affect most Kenyan households at a time they are grappling with harsh economic times. Data available from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) reveals that in the period 2010 to 2015, Kenyans spent half their disposable income on food.

This by itself is an indicator of high levels of poverty, which impact negatively on other vital aspects of life, mostly health and schooling.

Further increases in the price of maize flour are likely to compound an already dire situation. Maize millers in the country are boycotting to buy maize from the National Cereals Board citing health concerns. 

This, according to the millers, is informed by the brownish colour of maize from the cereals board which they claim indicates overstaying in the silos and could easily lead to food poisoning.

Such overriding concerns for the safety of Kenyans are commendable since several deaths from aflatoxin (maize poisoning) were reported in the recent past. It would be wrong for millers to keep quiet over a potentially dangerous issue because of profits.

But it is difficult to comprehend how Government silos could have maize that has overstayed. In 2014/2015, farmers in the Rift Valley stopped selling their maize to the Government, citing poor prices. The farmers claimed they were being offered Sh2,300 for a 90kg bag of maize instead of Sh3,300. In fact, at some point in 2015, the Government had to import maize from Tanzania because of maize shortages.

The Government has discounted the miller’s claims and assured Kenyans the maize in store is safe for consumption. Kenyans can only hope that this is not a ploy by millers to increase the prices. We cannot lose sight of the fact that in 2014/2015, millers and middlemen bought maize directly from farmers and should therefore be having enough stocks.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Comrade nursing wounds after caught stealing sukuma wiki

By Reuben Wanyama
A man at the suburbs of Moi university commonly referred to as "the stage"  is nursing wounds after he was roughed up by a furious mama mboga  who caught him stealing kales (Sukuma wiki) at her shed (kibanda).

It is alleged that the young man surnamed Ouma, was yesterday evening at 8.00 pm caught red handed stealing sukuma wiki after he noticed that the kibanda was unattended, the woman raised an alarm and the neighbouring mama mbogas responded quickly and got hold of the man who was beaten thoroughly.

Upon being grilled on why he was stealing, the man gave a lame excuse saying that he lacked vegetables to prepare for supper. This surprised mama mbogas' who could not understand how a student could steal sukuma wiki costing 10 bob.

After the mama mbogas' descended on him with kicks and blows, he was  rescued by his fellow comrades  and taken to Moi university dispensary where he is nursing his wounds.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Varsity student in trouble after mismanaging pocket money

 A Moi University student has left his fellow comrades in rude shock after he carelessly spent Ksh. 14,000 under unclear circumstances on a single day. The continuing student now pirates at his friends. Sources privy to this information reveal that the student was given pocket money by his parents to cater for rental and other expenses since the university does not offer accommodation services to students who have not for it.

When the parents asked him, the young man lied that he had sent money to his fellow student who would secure a room for him and report at a later date.
“I have sent money to my colleague at Moi University to secure a room for me and I will report on a later date” said the young man.

Unknown to them, the young man had parted with Ksh. 5000 to give to her girlfriend, a high schooler who had been accused for misplacing school books.  To confirm whether the young man had indeed secured a room, he was escorted by his two siblings to the university.

The young man crafted a scheme and organized with a friend where he would feign to have secured a room upon arriving with his two siblings who had been sent to spy on him. The student is now living under the mercy of his generous friends lest he would be a squatter at mabs.

Counties Meet the "microcomrades"

When one gains admission into public universities, it is clearly stipulated in the rules that cohabiting in the halls of residence is a crime. Contravening this rule attracts punitive punishment from the administration. Whilst the aforementioned rule applies to date, there seems to have emerged a natural phenomenon, in the recent past that violates it word by word.

 Sources from two renowned public universities indicate that students who reside in university hostels have come to accept bedbugs or “microcomrades” as they are popularly referred to in the academic arena, as fellow roommates. In fact, word has it that these folks have even deliberated on the amount of blood that these “micromonsters” can suck from them in a given night. For those who don't know bed bugs, they are parasitic insects of the cimicidae family that feed exclusively on blood. Cimex lectularius, the common bed bug, is the best known as it prefers to feed on human blood.

Simply put, these are just crawling insects slightly larger than fleas. They are very active at night sucking the life out of you while sound asleep. Besides my googled definition of these “micromonsters” which might not paint a clear mental picture, here is a sneak peek of what these characters are known for:   When you kill them by the usual pressing between two hard surfaces, they produce a characteristic strong odor that is strong enough to send your better half scampering for the safety of their respiratory system.

They are so fast when sucking your blood such before that itchy feeling hits you, they have probably forgotten that they have just sucked blood. They are out to ruin your precious moments on earth.  A normal day for student loans residing in the University halls of residence consists of making endless trips to mama mboga to purchase supplements (read cabbage and Sukuma wiki) to replenish the blood donated to “microcomrades” if not thinking of ways to control the ever increasing population of these monsters.

 Just to  put the latter in perspective,  the grassy compound next to the hostels is covered with mattresses on a normal sunny day which would be mistaken for a bedwetting spree on the nights before but these are  “microcomrades” being accorded their fair share of vitamin D.

Moi university's Jairo Moses' supporters prove the strength of comrades power

It was business unusual for Moi university administration officials after a memo calling for the suspension of the academics director, Jairo Moses on 21st June under unclear circumstances. The news was met by the wrath of angry students who went ahead to prove that comrades power is stronger than Kenya power.
A memoir drafted by the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Academics Prof Kimengi alleged that the director contravened section 7.4 group ii (I) unauthorized material in an examination room written on paper, section 7.4 group ii (I) copying from or attempting to copy form or making references to unauthorized materials in the examination room . 7.4 group IV (VI) obstructing the invigilator from carrying out his/her duties, 7.4 Group IV (I) carrying out his examination script out of the examination room.

 From these allegations, his REL 321 :RELIGIONS IN KENYA exam was to be cancelled, get suspended from the University for two academic years upon which he would be expected to sit for supplementary examinations of the said course upon resuming.

According to Jairo he only intervened upon an examination feud involving a lecturer and students who were allegedly caught in the act of cheating and pleaded with the lecturer to hand them new booklets so that they continue with their papers . “I never thought this would result into irregularity allegations directed to me “says Jairo.

 Perhaps Jairo would not have been the first director in service to be suspended as the latest case was that of George Bush who held the position of the Prime Director ( a position that was created as a result of election malpractice of the 27th SGC) and was suspended on accounts of giving unwanted information to the media. The late Mwalimu Doghana was also suspended among others including the current Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot.

According to experts, his suspension would have caused harm than good bearing in mind his massive political fan base and the current political status of the university ahead of next month’s 30th MUSO elections. The vibrant Moses whose commands masses at the institution can now smile after the matter was amicably solve upon realization that all the accounts were baseless and sheer innuendo propagated by a section who felt offended by his actions to demand results for students.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Kenya will close world's biggest refugee camp this year

Kenya will close the world's largest refugee camp this year because the facility housing Somalis displaced by decades of war poses an "existential threat", Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto said on Monday.
The United Nations and Western states have warned against forcibly repatriating the 350,000 or so Somalis who still live in the sprawling Dadaab camp in northeast Kenya, saying it would violate international obligations.
But Ruto, speaking at a U.N. humanitarian summit in Istanbul, said the international community had failed Somalia, still struggling to recover from the anarchy of the 1990s.
"The refugee camp poses an existential security threat to Kenya," he said, arguing attacks including the Westgate mall rampage in 2013 and the Garissa University massacre in 2015, which claimed hundreds of lives, were planned at Dadaab.
Now those extremists pose a global risk, he said.
"There is radicalisation by extremist elements in the camp, especially of young people," he said. "Their recruitment into terror networks, including al Shabaab and al Qaeda, is a threat to the world . The route to (Islamic State) is established."
Ruto, who was due to meet U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon at the Istanbul summit, expressed frustration that other states have lagged on pledges to rebuild Somalia. He said Kenya has spent $7 billion on Dadaab over the past quarter century.
"We understand well our international obligations," he said. "We have unfortunately ... not seen a shared responsibility in Somalia. We not only risk leaving Somalia behind, we risk forgetting Somalia all together."
Kenya wants the international community to build schools and other infrastructure across the border to lure refugees back.
The government has previously threatened to eject refugees, but this time it will stick with a deadline expiring in six months that was agreed with Somalia and the U.N., Ruto said.
The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in January it might miss a 2016 target to repatriate 50,000 refugees because the Somali government is battling the al Shabaab insurgency and provides few public services. Somalia is slowly rebuilding and is due to elect a new parliament in August.
Ruto said exiled communities were needed for the recovery: "It would not be possible to comprehensively work on peace, reconciliation and stability without the participation of the almost 1 million refugees who currently live in our country."

Nine men charged after protest clashes in Kenya

A Kenyan court charged nine men on Tuesday for their role in a protest against an electoral oversight body, a lawyer said, after the fourth flare-up on the streets in a month left three people dead and upset international donors.
One demonstrator in the western city of Kisumu died from an injury while fleeing the scene of a protest, while another two died in violence in Siaya County related to the demonstrations, also in the west, police said.
A government official earlier said only one person died.
Dozens have been arrested in protests that began on April 25 and have been held on virtually every Monday since then.
"We are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence during the demonstrations in Kenyan cities," ambassadors from the United States, Britain and other Western nations said.
In a statement, they called for an investigation into the use of "excessive force" by the east African country's security services and urged protesters to act peacefully.
After last week's demonstration, a senior police officer said there would be an investigation to see if there had been any violations in the conduct of the police.
The demonstrators want the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to be scrapped, saying it is not impartial and cannot oversee fair presidential and parliamentary elections due in August 2017.
The IEBC, which oversaw a vote the opposition disputed in 2013, denies being biased. The government says the opposition is taking to the streets as it cannot win a vote.
The nine people charged on Tuesday were accused of unlawful assembly, court documents showed. "My clients pleaded not guilty and were released on cash bail pending hearing of the matter," lawyer Harun Ndubi said.
Fifteen people faced similar charges last week.
The protests have extended beyond Nairobi to cities such as Kisumu, where there is strong support for opposition leader Raila Odinga. He is expected to run again against President Uhuru Kenyatta, now serving the first of a maximum two terms.
Police fired tear gas and water cannon at demonstrators in Nairobi on Monday. A week earlier, officers had fought running battles in the street with protesters, beating some of them with batons and kicking them. Some demonstrators had thrown stones.
Western envoys have previously urged the government and citizens to prepare carefully for the elections in a nation where the 2007 vote was followed by ethnic blood-letting that killed 1,200 people. The 2013 election result was unsuccessfully challenged in court by the opposition.