Kapchorwa-Uganda: “I have a grand dream for Sebei. I am a man who tries to uplift farmers. I am just 55 and I still have a lot to do for the world”. That is what Wilson Chemusto, aka, Farmer, told Monitor Newspaper late last year during a courtesy visit to his home. Dressed in a white T-shirt, grey trousers and gumboots, he waxed lyrical about farming, he talked with authority, he breathed with vehement ambition, he dreamed a dream of prosperity; a better world. The farmer painted a picture of a man on a high.
With a clever sense of humour, he joked with his children the same way he would with his peers and visitors to his home. But the cruel hand of death robbed Sebei of such a man last weekend, much to the chagrin of the dwellers of the mountainous region. He was 56.
In Kapchorwa where he had helped found Kapchorwa Commercial Farmers Association and had established a Shs3b warehouse courtesy of World Food Programme, the man born on December 12, 1958 in Siron, Kaptanya Sub-county in Kapchorwa District to Amisi Chesongok and Zisiriya Kokopandrew had become a household name. He had become the powerhouse of the hoe and the garden; a model of sorts and a conqueror of the terrains.
It was in 1965 when Chemusto’s academic journey kicked off at Kapkwomurya Primary School. Because of cattle keeping and rampant rustling, Chemusto spent 10 years in Primary. It is while in primary that Chemusto developed a love for his pet activity – farming.
“While in primary school, I got involved in youth farming and that is why I got a dream to follow my passion,” he told this newspaper during his hey days. And follow the passion he did; 100 per cent of his bread would come from this dream he nurtured just at the turn of 10 years on earth.
So in 1976, he joined Mbale
Chemusto, despite dropping out in Senior Four, rallied enough courage to go
on and teach at Kapkwomurya Primary School without a
As English writer Jane Austen states in her novel of manners, Pride and Prejudice, everyman in possession of a fortune is in search of a woman.
And yes, in 1984, a 28-year-old Chemusto walked up the hills to the family of William Chesambu in Chebukat Village, to ask for the hand of his sweet heart, Sophie, in marriage.
He was shown the green light and he rolled down hills to Siron with the lady; and wedded her in 1986 – two years after the birth of their first born.
The two would get four children; Andrew Timothy Mangusho, Aggrey Lawrence Chebet, Emily Chemutai and Claire Chelimo. And after establishing his family and setting the stage for education of his children, Chemusto soon found himself before black and white again at Makerere University in the early 2000s.
Although he kept on oscillating between the classroom and the garden, the farmer maintained a keen eye on the prize he missed when Tanzanians with a group of Ugandan exiles kicked out Amin in 1979. That prize was a degree. He would graduate in 2010.
When the degree landed in his house, he aimed higher. A remarkable effort, it must be noted. At the time of his death, Chemusto was putting together his academic weapons to enrol at Uganda Martyrs University for a Master in Business Administration. It is painful that he did not live to accomplish his dream; but God planned it that way.
Besides his academic journey, Farmer had a host of achievements to his name. In 1990, he produced the best quality maize and won the National Agricultural competition in maize production. He bagged the golden award.
“I was given a ticket to travel to Britain where I visited several farmers. The motive of the trip was to be able to share the experiences back home. When I came back, we formed the National Farmers’ Federation,” he told this newspaper late last year, adding “When I returned, I thought about what to do and how to do it for my region and country”.
It was immediately after the trip to Britain that his path to prosperity was further cleared. Chemusto soon became a role model to many.
“I am now a role model. People across the country come to consult me on agriculture. I am now moving into the nuclear farm. I want to answer President Museveni’s call for commercial farming,” he said then.
“I am a man who tries to uplift people from subsistence to commercial farming. I started humbly but I now employ more than 30 staff and 200 casual labourers. We work with 6,000 farmers, including World Food Programme, Nile Breweries and Naads,” Chemusto said.
Chemusto would proudly count the things farming had brought him. From building a house, buying cars to educating all his children to university level, he grinned gallantly.
His team dealt in barley, maize, sorghum, wheat, among others.
However, although his road had turned smooth, there were a few hurdles that gave him a bloody nose – at times – and there are those he still wished could change for the better.
Climate change, land fragmentation, laid back youth and difficulty in changing the mindset of many farmers from subsistence to commercial farming always gave the role model farmer sleepless nights.
Nonetheless, Chemusto said the youth and women must get involved in agriculture. His widow, Sophie, runs the Great Lakes Coffee initiative which brings together a host of women farmers in the area.
What others say
During the requiem mass at St Luke Church, Ntinda last Sunday, Mr Ateenyi Kanaginagi on behalf of Unada Board of Directors, described Chemusto as the face of Unada and that the man from Kapchorwa was always a team player.
Unada bosses also stressed that the farmer was always available when called upon; he was just next door.
Mr Pat Cheborion, the assistant commissioner for Immigration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, speaking on behalf of the Sabiny community in Kampala, said the region had missed a very enterprising person who had started investing in the central region.
His widow Sophie Chemusto, speaking at the requiem mass, said Chemusto was a loving, kind and understanding man who always had ambition for his family and region.
“It is very difficult to say goodbye to my husband. He was a very loving and kind man. I miss him a lot,” she said as she turned around to reaffirm her love for children and family members who stood behind her as she delivered the pain-filled speech.
However, the death wouldn’t have been more painful for anyone other than Mr
David Kissa, Chemusto’s closest friend for decades and workmate at Kacofa.
Mr Kissa, while assuring the community that he would carry on the farmer’s legacy, said he had lost a man with whom he had trekked the smooth and rough road.
“He has been my friend, brother, workmate, etc. We have ascended and descended together, he has been everything to me. We started Kacofa with a group of 27 members under a tree. But now, we have more than 3,000 members and a warehouse worth Shs3b.
Chemusto would always face challenges in the face, he would fire all his bullets and reserve one for times of crisis,” Mr Kissa said, adding that he would do anything possible to keep Kacofa breathing so as to make ‘Farmer’ - a man he said would see gold in dust - smile even in his grave.
His first born, Mr Mangusho, aka, ATM, says he lost a father and brother in one person.
“He was more of a brother than a father to me. I shared a lot with him. He was very open and always updated me on everything he was doing,” Mr Mangusho says, adding that his father had been approached to run for a political seat for the good he had done for the community but instead they had decided that Mangusho runs for the Kapchorwa Municipality seat should the district be accorded a municipal status before 2016.
Although Mr Mangusho says the death dealt him a heavy blow, he hasn’t developed cold feet on contesting the seat.
Chemusto died of stomach complications in a Mukono hospital last Saturday. He is survived by a widow, four children and three grandchildren.
He was laid to rest at his ancestral home in Siron, Kaptanya Sub-county, Kapchorwa District last Tuesday.
Chemusto may not have accomplished whatever plans he had, but such is life! May his soul rest in eternal peace.
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Reps pass motion to sack Bungoma PSB headed by a Sabaot.
By John Nalianya. Posted 20th July, 2014.
From left is chairman of the County public service board Gedion Boiyo Sirai, deputy governor Hilary Chongwony, governor Lusaka and Dr. Janet Manyasi. [PHOTOS|Protus Simiyu|West Fm]
Mt. Elgon-Kenya--Governor Kenneth Lusaka will decide the fate of the Bungoma Public Service Board (PSB). This follows the county assembly's approval of a report by the Public Administration Committee. The MCAs yesterday unanimously passed the recommendation by the committee to fire the PSB members following its investigation of a petition by residents Philip Wanyonyi and Oscar Mulandanome.
Wanyonyi and Mulandanome had accused the board of violating the constitution.
The members of the board include Gideon Sirai (chairman), Elizabeth Wanyonyi (secretary), members Peter Khakina, Janet Manyasi, Rev Peter Masengeli and Stephen Nyongesa.
The committee report states that the appointed administrator (Chair Gideon Sirai) and the subcounty administrators in Mt Elgon come from the same community (Sabaots) – which forms the majority – thereby alienating the Iteso and Bukusu communities.
Public Administration Committee chairman Edward Simiyu said the Board should have balanced the appointments.
Majority leader Majimbo Okumu said Lusaka should follow the recommendations of the assembly.
If Lusaka does not disband the board, the petitioners can seek redress in courts of law.
Petitioner Wanyonyi yesterday told the Star in Bungoma town that he will go to court if the governor does not fire the board members.
“Our petition is the cry and voice of many residents. The governor should listen to the voice of his residents and send the board packing,” he said.
Lusaka is currently in Spain on a trip to woo investors to Bungoma.
Source: Click here.
Mt. Elgon-Uganda: Farmers reinstate Seiko as Sebei Union head
By David Mafabi. Posted July 8, 2014.
Kapchorwa-Uganda: A special annual general meeting (AGM) of Sebei-Elgon Cooperative Union (SECU) has re-elected Major Juma Seiko as chairperson.
This comes months after a group of delegates from the 52 primary cooperative societies, led by Mr Kalifan Chemutai, stormed the union and elected Mr George Toskin as chairperson.
The acting commissioner for cooperative development and also registrar of cooperatives, Mr Joseph William Kitandwe, said the special general meeting was called after a pressure group petitioned the Trade ministry over mismanagement, disappearance of property and financial impropriety at the union.
“A section of delegates from SECU petitioned the ministry over mismanagement at the union and wanted the Maj Seiko -led board out, citing incompetence, financial impropriety and failure to hold statutory annual general meetings for more than four years,” said Mr Kitandwe.
The Trade minister, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, while speaking during the meeting on Tuesday heard that Maj Seiko’s term had ended and fresh elections needed to be held.
The meeting comprised about 137 delegates drawn from the 52 primary cooperative societies across Sebei region in Kapchorwa, Kween and Bukwo districts.
“For this union to be successful, farmers need to own it, you need unity and work towards development, you need leaders who are transparent and accountable to the people and you need to forgive each other to allow healing,” said Ms Kyambadde.
Although he admitted there have been mistakes in the management of the union, Maj Seiko accepted that he had chaired the SECU board since 2009 without a meeting and blamed infighting and politics in the union for it.
“My failure to hold the AGMs was a technical issue that needed funds. You cannot hold a general meeting without money,” said Maj Seiko.
Source: Click here.
Four jailed for killing Mt. Elgon Belgian tourist.
Fred Kipsang was eventually sentenced to 30 years behind bars for killing the Belgian tourist during a General Court Martial session chaired by Brig. Moses Ssentongo on Thursday.
His accomplices, Moses Chemtai, Patrick Chebles and Kamada Chepkurui were each given ten years.
The State prosecution team, led by Capt. Fred Kangwamu, proved that the convicts killed Venster when they shot at her at a hunters’ cave inside the national park on the evening of February 5, 2008.
The court ruled that their stay behind bars will include the time they have been on remand since 2008.
According to the Belgian Embassy officials, the family of the slain tourist has been keenly following the trial of the four men through reports from their country’s consulate in Uganda.
The sentences followed their conviction for killing Venster by the army court last week.
Some officials from the Belgian embassy, who have been following the trial since it started on behalf of the family, were transferred from their country’s embassy in Kampala before the prosecution of the convicts ended.
Court records show that the men traded in firearms, and that they killed Venster on their way back from Kenya where they had gone to sell guns.
All hailing from Kapchorwa district, the men fired shots towards the direction of the camp fire and Venster’s torchlight which they suspected to be from a rangers’ patrol team.
The Belgian national was killed on spot.
In the Thursday court session, Brig. Ssentongo said prosecution had proved all the ingredients of murder and that the convicts’ role in the killing had also been established beyond reasonable doubt.
“The court agreed with prosecution that animals do not light fire and the convicts intended to kill whoever was around the cave. We have also agreed with prosecution that guns are not used as scarecrows but to kill,” he added.
Venster’s murder was unlawful, he said, because she was not a fugitive and was in the country officially.
“Even when she came out of the cave with a touch crying out, the attackers did not stop,” he said.
Source: Click here.__________________________________________________________________________________________________
According to (http://democratic-youth.net/.../vijana-umoja-pamoja.../), Diphus Kiprop Ng’eny is the C.E.O and Founder of the Vijana Umoja Pamoja Foundation which was formed in 2008 and registered in February 2nd 2012 to become a fully autonomous youth led, not for profit and nonpolitical Kenyan NGO. The mission of the foundation is to promote sound social justice, transparent governance, effective communication, and sustainable results among young people whilst our vision is to enhance and strengthen capabilities of young people to be positive forces of change. Vijana Umoja Pamoja Foundation focuses on supporting and strengthening the capacity and capabilities of the most at risk groups particularly the youth so as to enable them achieve sustainable results. In a way to achieving meaningful and measurable impact, VUP Foundation does this mainly through capacity development, Advocacy, Research and Youth exchanges. In executing its mandate, the organization works around five main strategic areas; Linking and interlinking democracy and Governance, Capacity Building on Social Accountability, Advocacy on Youth Policies and violence prevention as well as Youth sustainable development with particular interest on Environment and Natural Resources Management and Livelihoods with interwoven fabric whose aim and objectives is advancing the youth agenda. VUPF is dedicated to networking young people to create positive and impacting change by motivating them to go beyond good ideas to finding real solutions. Locally, the organizations is engaged with various organizations in promoting pro-poor approaches that enable young people to assert their rights and to influence policies of Government and Non-Governmental Organizations towards achieving self-reliance based on changing realities....Kiprop's Contact Info: Post Office Box 5784 Eldoret 30100. Phone +254 20 2690190--Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 30th March 2013.
Tourists take pictures at the famous Sipi Falls while right. PHOTOS BY Allan Chekwech.In Summary: The district, famous for producing Olympic and world gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich, and also known for once harbouring female genital mutilation, has more on its face to show the world than the world knows
Kapchorwa which loosely translated, means a ‘friend’s place’ is located on the slopes of Mt Elgon in eastern Uganda. The location of Kapchorwa gives it the sparkling and breath-taking scenery and a natural charm that attracts tourists. The warm welcome the Sabiny will give you contradicts the ever cold environment.
Perhaps, this gives a more appealing feeling that the steadily-growing beautiful country has plenty to offer for those who are prepared to see beyond their air-conditioned safari trucks and satellite-TV hotel rooms.
The district, famous for producing Olympic and world gold medallist Stephen Kiprotich, and also known for once harbouring female genital mutilation, has more on its face to show the world than the world knows.
Located 62km from Mbale Town, Kapchorwa, the mother district of Bukwo and Kween districts, is home to several attractive features.
The district is bordered by Kween to the north and east, Sironko to the south and Bulambuli District to the northeast.
The 2002 national census estimated the population of the district at about 74,300, with an annual population growth rate of about 2 per cent. It is estimated that the population of Kapchorwa in 2010 had grown to about 87,000.
Subsistence agriculture is the main economic activity in Kapchorwa District. Crops grown include Millet, potatoes, beans, simsim, sunflower, cotton, coffee, wheat, tomatoes, cabbage, wheat, maize, barley, passion fruits, etc. Animal husbandry is also practised; the livestock domesticated are mainly cattle, goats and chicken.
Under the colonial administration, Kapchorwa District was Sebei County, located in North Bugisu in the now defunct Bukedi District. Kapchorwa was granted district status on February 1, 1962, shortly before Uganda became an independent country.
Kapchorwa District is home mostly to Kalenjin people, including the sub-groups: Sabiny, Pokot and Nandi. They were mainly cattle keepers in the late 1960s but a change was seen when their northern neighbours, the Karimojong, raided most of their cattle, and displaced hundreds of people.
The populations most affected lived along the Kapchorwa plains; particularly in Ngenge Sub-County of Kapchorwa District and in Bukwo.
This is where the government plans to build the high altitude training centre. Located in Kwoti, Kapchesombe Sub-county, the area offers a great view of Mt Elgon forest more of Sebei’s blessings. The beautiful rocks, water and vegetation will steal your attention. It is here that Atari River starts and this is where Kapchorwa town taps its water from.
Kapkway Exploration center
There are several trekking trails around Mt Elgon, all open to everybody as this is not a difficult mountain to climb (Sasa, Sipi and Piswa trials). The full trekking circuit to the peak takes between five to six days to complete. The nature walks allow you to see flora and fauna, the enormous caves, gorges and hot springs.
One day hikes are possible from the Forest Exploration Centre at Kapkway, Kapchorwa District. Particularly fascinating is the hike from Sipi Trading Centre to the Sipi Falls, a series of four pretty waterfalls culminating in a 99m drop along the River Sipi, which originates from Mount Elgon.
Sipi Falls is a series of three waterfalls located in Sipi Sub-county. There are a number of lodges and backpackers / campsites in the area offering a range of accommodation for all budgets.
With a cooler climate than most of the country Sipi Falls is a nice place to unwind, relax and literally chill out away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and cities. Being on the foothills of Mt. Elgon, Sipi offers a number of alternative activities to the mainstream river activities in and around Jinja. Rob’s Rolling Rock, a local outfit trained by Italian climbers offers abseiling along the side of the main 100m Sipi waterfall as well as climbing on 14 bolted sport routes with a range of difficulty. Other activities include hiking around the local area and visiting the
The Sipi River is named after the ‘Sep’, a plant indigenous to the banks of the River. Resembling a type of wild banana, Sep is a medicinal plant, the translucent green frond with a bolt of crimson rib is used for treating measles and fever. Sipi River Lodge, Lagam Lodge, and Crown’s Nest, among others, offer accommodation in Sipi.
Kshs.10-Million to Schools as Head teachers Pleased with disbursement of CDF-Mt. Elgon,Kenya
Written by Phanice Chepkemoi. 2014-02-25 [NEW]
A section of
Bungoma County-Mt. Elgon: Secondary school principals in Mt. Elgon are pleased with the way the area MP John Serut is handling constituency development funds.
Speaking during a consultative forum of school heads held at St. Mary’s Kibuk girls in Mt. Elgon, the heads led by their chairman Nicholas Kiboi said the funds have helped them a lot in terms of infrastructure but appealed to the CDF committee to improve boarding facilities in primary schools in order to improve performance.
“Many students who join secondary school from Mt. Elgon don’t perform well because of poor foundation in primary schools, so I appeal to the MP to put boarding facilities to schools bordering the forest,” Anne Boiyo headmistress Kibuk girls said.
They also mentioned bad reading culture among members of the community as one of the causes of poor performance in secondary schools and called on teachers to stock their libraries with books so as to improve English language among students.
Mt. Elgon CDF chairman Geoffrey Chemos who chaired the meeting reiterated that they are going to invest more than 60% of funds in education without interfering with the running of schools.
However he appealed to all teachers to try and change the attitude of parents towards education so that performance in Mt. Elgon can improve.
A cheque of Sh.10 million was presented to the head teachers of 27 schools as bursary for needy students
When taps run dry in a major water catchment area – Mt. Elgon, Kenya.
Thursday, February 20th 2014 at 11:24 GMT +3
By DANIEL PSIRMOI
Mention water crisis in the country and what immediately springs to mind is arid and semi-arid areas in North Eastern, where the scarcity of the important commodity has sometimes led to bloody conflicts.
Lack of clean drinking water still remains a nightmare that plagues millions in most urban and rural areas.
And one would expect the situation to be much better in places identified as water towers or surrounding regions. However, in Mt Elgon constituency, one of the country’s five water towers, water is a scarce commodity.
The sub county residents have remained ‘thirsty’ for the last five months with no water in their taps, despite the region being an important water catchment area.
Ironically, taps have run dry for months in the major urban centres of Kapsokwony, Kaptama and Cheptais, while people residing in towns like Kimilili, Kamukuywa and Chwele, who tap their water from Mt Elgon, enjoy an endless supply.
The biting shortage prompted residents of Kapsokwony, the headquarters of Mt Elgon, to take to the streets on Tuesday in protest.
The demonstrators, most of them business people from the town, complained bitterly of being forced to get water from a nearby stream or to buy it from vendors occasioning great losses in form of time and money.
“Business people especially hotel owners like me are not only making huge losses because of buying water from vendors, but we are also exposing ourselves and our customers to threats of water-borne diseases like diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid among others,” said Siphrose Chebet during a meeting with the area Deputy County Commissioner Philip Mbuvi.
Chebet, who is also a director in the Bungoma County chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce, said the business community fears the continued shortage of the precious commodity would cripple business activities in the area.
Glen Kiptoch, another resident, said the water shortage has not only affected traders but also schools in the town and health institutions including the Kapsokwony Sub District Hospital.
“There is no water at the district hospital. Patients admitted at the facility are forced to carry their own bedding as there is no water to wash the dirty bedding,” said Kiptoch.
“Two children from this area were recently admitted at Kapsokwony District Hospital after they developed complications after drinking unpurified river water that had leeches,” said Masai Songi, who disputed the excuses given by those charged with supplying water in the area, that the shortage has been occasioned by the prevailing dry weather conditions.
“We don’t dispute, there has been no rain, but how come the mild drought is only affecting the taps in Mt Elgon while the areas downstream have unlimited supply of the commodity, throughout the year?” posed Songi. Speaking separately to The Standard Ndiwa Chemarum, the Mt Elgon Sub County Water Officer and Joseph Manyu, chairperson of the Elgon East Water Users Association, both acknowledged the problem but said the shortage is not only experienced in Kapsokwony but in almost the entire district.
“The water shortage has been occasioned by both the dry season and poor farming practices in Mt Elgon forest under what is referred to as the shamba system near our water catchments area. This has caused mud and silt to clog our intake systems, causing the scarcity,” said Chemarum, who added that the shortage has forced them to ration water for the residents.
Manyu, whose association is in charge of water supply in the area, explained that the existing project serving the residents especially in Kapsokwony that was started years ago, is inadequate.
No money, no water
“Demand is now higher than what we supply because of a population explosion in the area. Plans are in top gear by the Bungoma County Government to set up another water supply project to supplement the existing one,” said Manyu.
He added: “Most Kapsokwony residents have defaulted in payment of water bills, and the total arrears now add up to over Sh6.5 million for the last two years. This has greatly hindered our service delivery.”
Recently, the Treasury gave clearance for construction of Maragwa and Ndarugu dams in a public-private partnership arrangement. Completion of works for the two dams is expected to ease ongoing water supply deficits within Nairobi County.
Available figures indicate that Nairobi has a water supply deficit of over 150,000 cubic metres.
Nairobi obtains the largest bulk of its water supply from Ndakaini Dam, Ruiru and Kikuyu Springs.
Dormitories of two Schools in Mt. Elgon-Kenya destroyed by fire
A section of the burnt dormitory. [PHOTO|Phanice Chepkemoi|West Fm]
Bungoma County: Nomorio Prmary School and Cheptikit academy in Mt. Elgon are counting losses after a fierce fire brought down their dormitories at two separate incidences destroying property of unknown value on Thursday night.
Confirming the incidence, Mt. Elgon OCPD John Onditi said the fire started at around 7:30 pm on Thursday night when the
Onditi however said they collected samples from the area of the incident in order to start investigations to bring the culprits to book and urged residents who have any report concerning the incident to report to the police.
Mt. Elgon KNUT secretary Stephen Chemonges who also visited the scene called upon well-wishers to come to the aid of the learners by helping them with some of the basic needs.
This is after the Kenya Red Cross Mt. Elgon branch came to their rescue that night of the incident and helped them with beddings.
This is not the first time the school has experienced a fire incident, late 2013 the dormitory of the same school again caught fire and it is believed that the tragedy is being caused by somebody with ill intensions.Source: http://westfm.co.ke
But according to America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), while other parts of Kenya would experience a partial eclipse, only a small region would have the opportunity to experience the eclipse in its totality.
There was therefore the possibility of people gathering somewhere and the total eclipse passing through elsewhere.
Someone had to get the exact coordinates of the exact position and time that the eclipse would be experienced.
Dr Emmanuel Ndiema, a senior research scientist at the National Museums of Kenya and the Field Director at the Koobi Fora research and training program is the man who plotted the coordinates to identify the exact point where the hybrid total solar eclipse would be viewed from in Kenya.
To Dr Ndiema, this was not an ordinary task.
This was partly because of its complexity but mostly because of the implication it would have to the country and the tourists who had travelled from all over the world to witness this rare phenomenon.
CHECKED ALL FACTS
“I had checked all the facts available before plotting the centre line from where we shall view the total solar eclipse.
And since facts don’t lie, we were definitely going to see the total solar eclipse,” Dr Ndiema told the Nation.
And at 5.00pm, the stage was set, with both the actors and the spectators ready for the show.
The moon could be seen moving slowly from west and the sun from the east, ready for a real showdown.
But about 10 minutes from the much waited moment, whirling winds started blowing from Lake Turkana, causing a heavy cloud cover as if in an attempt to steal the thunder.
But just as disappointed spectators started moving into their vehicles accusing scientists of orchestrating a conspiracy, the sun drifted past the clouds followed by 15 seconds of darkness, and Dr Ndiema became the man of the moment.
Although Dr Ndiema has not trained in astronomy, his expertise in mapping and remote sensing coupled with his vast research experience in the Turkana Basin made him the most appropriate person to undertake this delicate assignment.
WORKED WITH NASA
“It was a humbling experience for me to work with my colleagues from NASA and the Kenya Wildlife Service to come up with the exact point from where the total eclipse would be viewed from,” says Dr Ndiema.
He admits that coming up with the coordinates where the eclipse would be viewed from was a combination of heavy astronomical logics and complex mathematical modeling which is beyond his expertise.
This was done by NASA.
But through his connections with NASA, he was able to access the coordinates and then employed his experience in geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing to come up with the actual points on the ground.
“I have always had a close working relationship with NASA who funded my training in GIS and remote sensing at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida as part of my PhD training,” says Dr Ndiema.
“This made it easy for me to access the coordinates,” he adds.
The process of determining the centre line was a combination of rigorous field work and careful desktop simulations, says Dr Ndiema.
“Missing a single point would mean straying kilometers into wilderness or even worse, into Lake Turkana.
Therefore, I took a lot of the time on my computer before proceeding to field for ground truthing,” explains the Scientist.
His computer simulation landed him in Rocodoni area in Sibiloi National Park, Marsabit County.
And with the support of the KWS, he flew to the area, a distance of more than 800km armed with his coordinates for the actual plotting.
The field work took him only two days and he was ready to wait for the eclipse as any other excited Kenyan and tourist.
“The first point I got was across Lake Turkana but the second and the most important was at the edge of Sibiloi National Park.
By joining the two points, we were able to get the centre line,” he says.
From the line, Dr Ndiema and his team embarked on Northern and Southern limits from where the eclipse would visible.
“From Rocodoni where the total eclipse would be 100 per cent, 12.5km to the North and to the South would receive at least 45 per cent of the eclipse.
This is what we call the limits,” Dr Ndiema explains.
Unlike the sun that moves from east to west, Dr Ndiema notes that the eclipse moves in the opposite direction.
KENYA BEST PLACE FOR VIEW
He says that there were a number of factors that made Kenya the best place to view the eclipse from despite the fact that it passed through several other countries neighbouring Kenya.
“The line followed by the eclipse passes the Democratic Republic of Congo into Uganda, then into Kenya and then exits to Ethiopia.
But in DRC it passes through dense forests and thus increases the chances of experiencing heavy clouds,” says the scientist.
“A similar problem is chanced in Uganda.
But the clear skies in Marsabit and the entire Turkana Basin leave an 80 per cent chance of successful viewing.
Again as it exists into Ethiopia, it’s already dark,” he adds.
Dr Ndiema says that this eclipse was a big deal for Kenya especially in promoting tourism and opening up of the North circuit.
He says that it marks a beginning of a new form of interesting tourism.
“This eclipse marks the opening of the Northern Kenya as a tourist destination.
15 SECONDS DARKNESS
Owing to the number of local and international tourists who have toured the region waiting for the 15 seconds of darkness, heritage tourism will become a very important industry in this nation,” he says.
He challenges the Kenya Tourism Board to invest in promoting heritage tourism saying that the Sibiloi National Park plays home to several heritage sites which if publicised would help diversify Kenyan tourism from the coastal beaches.
“Scientists and researchers believe that Koobi Fora is the origin of humankind and as such people all over the world should be encouraged to pay a pilgrimage at least once in their life time.
The scientist who has spent 13 years at the Koobi Fora Museum in Sibiloi is the Field Director at the Koobi Fora Research and Training Program.
It is managed by the National Museums of Kenya in collaboration with various Universities in the world.
Dr Ndiema holds a Master of Arts Degree in Anthropology and doctorate in the same field specialising in land use changes by pastoralist communities.
He trained in GIS and remote sensing at Kennedy Space Station, Florida as part of his PhD training in a fellowship funded by NASA.
Source: Nation Media Newspaper-Kenya.
By STANDARD REPORTER 28th October 2013.
The late SLDF Commander Mr. Wycliffe Matakwei speaks to journalists.[File Photo]
He is bright-eyed and looks more nervous than I am.
He is dressed in army camouflage. From our correspondences, I knew ‘The Terminator’ was a huge man, perhaps over 6-foot-1 inch.
But I am struck by how bony he is, with bony wrists.
His firearm is partly rested on his lap and two knives dangle from his webbed belt. Beside him is a stone-faced, bare-chested man, in his early 30s, holding a semi-automatic rifle and a shotgun.
He regularly disappears into the bushes before re-emerging, possibly keeping watch of any infiltrators.
The Terminator, whose name is borrowed from Bosco Ntaganda, a Rwandan soldier who first helped overthrow the Hutu-led government after the Rwandan genocide, says the dreaded Sabaot Land Defence Forces ( SLDF) is not dead.
“We were aestivating; we are almost back. We have to have our land back,” he said with a husky voice.
“We regret the killing our kin. But we are not ashamed of our call to have historical land disputes in Mt Elgon solved.”
SLDF is accused of killing over 600 people and displacing over 66,000 people between 2006 and early 2008.
Under the control of Wycliffe Matakwei, the guerrilla militia said to possess over 35,000 soldiers was also accused of torture, rape and destruction of property. Its members were drawn from the Sabaot community, a Kalenjin sub-tribe whose kin are also in Western Uganda.
“The late Matakwei was a figure-head. The actual engineers of the offensive included former security personnel,” said The Terminator.
The Mt Elgon land conflict can be traced back to the colonial times when Africans were alienated from their lands to create room for white settler farms.
Historians say Trans Nzoia County was initially the community’s grazing land before it was taken away from them in the early 1930s.
This resulted in intra-community hostility.
Oathing ceremony: The Mosop, meaning people of the highlands, relocated to Chepkitale, a trust land, on the slopes of Mt Elgon. The Soy, people of the lowlands, settled on the lower part of the mountain.
In 1965, a plan was launched to resettle the Mosop away from Chepkitale, a water catchment area that needed to be conserved.
The establishment of a game reserve in 1968 further catalysed the resettlement plans. Ultimately, the Mosop were moved to Chepyuk in 1971 through Legal Notice No. 35 of 1968.
The first phase of the resettlement, known as Chepyuk I, was carried out between 1971 and 1974. But some families missed out on this allocation. They petitioned the government, and in 1979, the government set aside some pieces of land in Cheptoror and Kaimugul, later named Chepyuk II, to settle them.
This new home proved hostile to the Mosop, the traditional herders, who were used to vast chunks of land in the forest.
Some attempted to relocate back to Chepkitale; others sold their pieces of land to the Soy. The Soy ended up dominating the scheme that had been created for the Mosop. Ironically, some Mosop complained about illegal acquisitions of the land by the Soy.
A hot dispute emerged compelling the government in 1988 to order re-evaluation of the allocation. The audit saw all allocations withdrawn.
Fresh applications were invited but the committee could not manage the huge number of applicants.
As a way out of the muddle, the committee introduced balloting. It also limited land size to two hectares per family.
In the end, a group of Mosop was settled in Cheptoror and Kaimugul areas, while applications from members of other communities, including the Soy who had already settled in the area, were omitted.
In 1993, the government issued a directive to resettle the affected Soy people. Additional land at Chepkurkur and Korng’otuny was set aside for what would become the third phase of resettlement, referred to as Chepyuk III. This was intended for 1,732 families with two-hectare allocations.
The process was delayed until 2006 in a bid to avoid preceding allocation blunders.
The politics of the 2005 referendum, fuelled the building tension.
“This was the genesis of the SLDF,” said The Terminator.
He says while SLDF may have lost the community’s support in its quest to have the region’s land problems addressed, but in the background reconciliation and cleansing is ongoing to have them accepted back.
“We apologise for the grievous mistakes committed. But we will cautiously apply force against our enemies who do not want the land issue ironed out.”
Security insiders say it has proven difficult for Kenya to hunt down the SLDF commanders and soldiers, who are in hiding in the volatile Northern Uganda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Mr David Sichei, believed to be the militia’s training commandant and strategist, for instance, is still at large.
Speaking exclusively to The Standard On Saturday at an undisclosed location in northern Uganda, The Terminator explained the SLDF’s strategies. “We had a vibrant chain of command. There were three separate divisions: A military, a spiritual and a political wing,” said The Terminator.
Despite the rich presence of former security personnel, the military wing of the SLDF was headed by the youthful Matakwei.
The spiritual division was crucial to SLDF’s military strategy. It was led by Jason Manyiror, according to The Terminator. It administered oaths, encouraged youth to enrol in the militia and promised them supernatural protection.
“The divine arm was very important in our work; we needed them to predict what to expect in our operations, and how best we could avoid our enemies,” he said.
But the force driving SLDF was the political wing whose captains were the community’s elite. The only known person was self-proclaimed spokesman, John Kanai.
This is the arm that funded key operations of the militia. It also generated propaganda to cement their cause. Around November 2006, for instance, it is the political wing that called for territorial expansion to the border of West Pokot and Trans-Nzoia.
“The political division still enjoys the discipleship of some senior members in the government,” said The Terminator.
Even as the interview ended, The Terminator was not willing to share his real name. “You will hear of it when we liberate our land,” he said.
Police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki, however, said that Mt Elgon residents should not be worried of the alleged SLDF resurgence. “Security officers are on the ground carrying out normal patrols; there should be no fear of insecurity,” she said.
Source: standardmedia (Kenya)______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
By DANIEL PSIRMOI
Twelve of 18 pupils said to be pregnant at Chepkurkur Primary School in Mt Elgon are already married, even as it emerged the IDPs problem could have contributed to rising cases. Some fled to Uganda and Trans- Nzoia County after learning that members of the Provincial Administration were on their trail. Two others, according to the deputy head teacher Winrose Kimtai, had been married as second wives, and are back to their homes, after disagreeing with their supposed ‘husbands’.
They stay with their relatives far away from the area. The whereabouts of two other girls are unknown.
The relentless fight against marrying off school girls by the school head teacher Zakayo Ndiema and area assistant chief Samuel makan have made them receive threats from the offenders, some who are said to be boda boda operators.
Mr David Chemiat, a parent believes that underage girl and teenage pregnancy is prevalent in Cheptais District, especially in schools that are adjacent to Mt Elgon Forest in Chepyuk Phase Three Scheme that is in Emia Location.
He says most families in the area who were previously IDPs were recently resettled in the area and have not built decent houses.
“According to our Sabaot culture, you cannot share a house with your children after they reach a certain age. If the Government builds us houses like other IDPs in the country, we shall be able to monitor our daughters’ nocturnal activities easily and they won’t be able to stray, if we stay under one roof,’’ he said.
Chemiat appealed to the Jubilee Government, especially through Deputy President William Ruto, who he singled out as one that understands the region’s problems, to come to their aid.
“Can they bring laptops here when class one to class four kids are learning under trees? When there is no electricity? he posed.
Source: Standard Newspaper-Kenya.
By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted 12th June, 2013.
Shocked residents of Emia location in Mt Elgon Constituency are trying to digest news that more than 18 underage girls of one primary school are confirmed to be pregnant.
The Chepkurkur Primary School girls were confirmed to be pregnant last week during a stormy Parents and Teachers Association meeting. The girls have subsequently dropped out of school. The news has left residents in disbelief, with majority of them seeking to know the identity of those who put the girls in the family way.
In what may leave gender and girl-child right activists seething with rage, all the victims are minors including one girl who is in Standard Four.
Speaking to The Standard in Kopsiro, acting District Officer Peter Kiprop, who attended the parents’ meeting said the Provincial Administration has launched an investigation to apprehend those responsible.
“Girls in the school have been getting pregnant at an alarming rate. One girl in Class Four, five in Class Six, eight in Standard Seven and four were supposed to sit final Class Eight national examinations this year,” Kiprop told The Standard.
According to the administrator, the parents at the meeting admitted laxity in exercising responsibility over their children. It was also established that some of the parents have allegedly received threats from offenders, who include pupils in the school.
A concerned parent, who requested anonymity, pointed an accusing finger at some security officers at Banantega camp situated a few kilometres from the school.
Source: Standard Newspaper-Kenya.
Sabaot ‘Standard’ journalist authors Swahili novel.
By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted May 22nd 2013.
Scribe Geoffrey Mung’ou displays a copy of the novel, Mkakasi. [PHOTO: DANIEL PSIRMOI/ STANDARD]
There is a notion by a section of scholars that Journalism may be in one way or another graveyard for Literature. They argue that joining Journalism by a literary scholar would kill one’s career.
Geoffrey Mung’ou, however, is proving the proponents of this view wrong by juggling both careers with relative ease. The radio journalist with The Standard Group, who is also a trained Literature teacher, has his first Swahili novel, Mkakasi, selling in major bookstores in the country. The 210-page book published by Jomo Kenyatta Foundation is cleverly woven on themes like education, religion, HIV and Aids, love, jealousy, promiscuity, hypocrisy, conflict, and youth unemployment, among others.
The novel also discusses the incessant strikes in higher institutions of learning. In the book, which he started writing while a student at Kenyatta University, he delves into the current affairs and manages to tell it all in attractive and captivating Swahili. Mungou’s target readerships are students both in secondary schools and universities.
“I recommend that whoever wants to enrich his grip of the Swahili language should grab a copy of Mkakasi and read its contents,” he advises. Growing up in Kapsokwony, Mt Elgon, Mung’ou says his childhood dream was to be a radio presenter. He recalls imitating more than 30 news anchors of yore, including Khamis Themo, David arap Maiyo, Willy Mwangi, Ishmael Mohamed, Badi Muksin, the late Jacob William Maunda, Elias Magembe, Mwamoyo Hamsa and Tom Atandi, to the amusement of his peers and parents.
“My proficiency in the language was inspired by listening to the radio as I grew up as a child in the late 80s and 90s,” he adds.
Currently, he is radio presenter at the Radio Maisha. According to Mung’ou, he was bitten by the writing bug when he joined high school after reading Siku Njema, a literature set book by Ken Walibora Waliaula, a journalist-turned author and now Swahili school
Mung’ou associates his competence of Swahili grammar to the effort of great scholar of the time — Wallah Bin Wallah. However, it is after he joined Kenyatta University in 2003 to study Bachelor of Arts in Education, majoring in Kiswahili and history that he started actualising his dream by putting ink onto paper. He tried to pen his first novel though he was discouraged by some of his friends who alleged that his origin Mt Elgon could never be associated with Swahili. “I started penning Mkakasi in 2003, when we had a long break occasioned by a lecturers’ strike. I finished a year later but it was rejected by over four publishers who showed contempt even before perusing through my manuscript. Others up to date have never even bothered to give me a reason why they rejected my work,” says Mung’ou, a two-time winner of the WASTA Awards (2011 and 2012). The awards are given in recognition of those committed to the advancement of Swahili in various spheres.
He adds that the new crop of writers have great potential and gives an example of Jeff Mandila, a young writer who won an award in the Wahome Mutahi Literary Prize in 2012 with his maiden Swahili novel Sikitiko La Sambaya. Mung’ou has finished working on three other books; one, which he says, may rattle Swahili scholars.
Hamisi Omar Babusa, his former lecturer at Kenyatta University and Swahili scholar who has read Mung’ou’s debut book made the following comments:
“Mkakasi ni riwaya babukubwa inayoakisi masuala ibuka, yakiwamo yale yanayowahusu vijana, sikwambii uozo wa jamii, (Mkakasi is a masterpiece that dwells on the current happenings and affairs, includ ing what bugs the young people and moral decay in the society)’’.
To enhance learning of Kiswahili as a language, Mung’ou has a programme on Radio Maisha — ‘Nuru ya Lugha’ with Hassan Mwana wa Ali every Saturday from 8am to 11am.<END>
Source: Standard Newspaper-Kenya.
Eliud Nondiindet Wandiema passed away after a short illness due to cancer on 1st March 2013 at the age of 83 at Eldoret Memorial Hospital while undergoing treatment. He passed away in the evening while surrounded by family members immediately after his son David had finished praying.
Eliud was an accomplished businessman and a competent farmer. He was among the first Sabaot farmers to introduced large scale coffee and cabbage farming in Cheptais-Mt. Elgon, Kenya. He was a fearless courageous man who opted to establish a three-storey business-home in the center of Bungoma town.During the infamous many land conflicts between Bukusus and Sabaots, all Sabaots ran away seeking safety elsewhere while Eliud stood his ground and never relocated an inch because he believed that Bungoma was and still is our ancestral land. He was also a shrewd politician who would have been very excited if he was alive today to witness the political success of Sabaots in Trans-Nzoia - a place where he was born and then lived there for some years before his family and the entire Sabaot community was forced out by wabeberu(colonialists).
Eliuds Early life: Eliud was born in 1930 in the family of Mzee Samuel Ndiema Arap Muge in Trans-Nzoia (Kaapsubet or Kasawai). He grew up there until after his circumcision in 1947. He pursued his elementary schooling at Kapsokwony in 1945-1947. Then he proceeded to Hudson Sanja’s Misikhu Intermediate Private School. He then proceeded to Mbiu Koinange’s Githunguri Secondary school where he met Mbiu Koinange and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta among others during the struggle for independence. Then after finishing school he opted to venture into Agriculture where he was involved in coffee, Horticulture(cabbage,Onions )and maize farming. Farming earned him a lot of money and he opted for bigger dream and made a business trip at one time to to Zaire which lasted or a year with a 6-month stop over in Kampala-Uganda. While in Kampala he enrolled in a college and received a diploma certification in Book Keeping (Accounts), short-hand and type writing. It is this college skill, which became useful when he was elected the Chairman of Chepkube Farmers Coffee Society. Later after being Chairman for three years, he was elected to be the Secretary of the same organization (Chepkube Farmers Coffee Society) a position he held for five years.
He left work at the society and ventured into business by opening a huge shop at Cheptais shopping center and became the first Sabaot in history to buy a brand new car in 1961. Unfortunately his business collapsed. In 1969 & 1974 he ventured into most rhetoric politics running against Daniel Moss & later Wilberforce Kisiero to be Mt. Elgon Member of Parliament but was unsuccessful. Earlier in 1967 he went to Nairobi and ventured into being an accomplished colporteur selling SDA religious books. While selling religious books, he was able to reach late president Jomo Kenyatta and many other dignitaries in the government whom he had met while taking his studies at Githunguri befoire independence .He made a lot of money and also established a network of friends who helped him secure a huge loan that helped him buy a prime plot in Bungoma town and consequently constructed a three-storey business-home.
Eliud's Religious Life: He was a Christian who spent all his life as a Seventh -Day Adventist Church Member since childhood. He was baptized in 1950 and his membership transferred to Kaprot SDA church in 1962. He was a devout generous Christian who helped many needy people and also donated land for the construction of Cheptiya SDA church & Cheptiya SDA Primary and had also instructed his son David to start a Secondary school at Cheptiya because of David's involment in setting up Segero Group of schools. As mentioned earlier he was involved in evangelization through selling of Christian books at Nairobi continuously for over five years which earned him the highest credential ranking in salesmanship.He was the top at Central Kenya Conference and East African Union
Eliud’s Family: Eliud was married with four wives. His two wives Gladys and Justine are still alive while Hellen and Teina are deceased. The first wife Gladys has eight children with four of them deceased. Glady’s four living children are Moses Barkaja Wandiema (Former District Commissioner and Currently Deputy-Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture), David-Washington Kiptorus Ndiema (former Auditor at Moi University and currently Director & the owner at Transaction Link International Ltd), Hellen (Secondary School Teacher) and Ezekiel; while the other four deceased children are Isaac, Paul, Anne and Simon. The Second wife Teina (Deceased) had 5 children: Jacob,Daniel, Asher and Karen the third wife Hellen (Deceased) had two children (Methuselah and Aaron). The fourth wife Justine has 6 children: Obed,Esther Samuel,Monica, Joshua and Rose. Mzee Eliud is also survived with other children: a married daughter named Rovernice Ndiema ,Married sons ,Peter Ndiema,Stanley,Philip.The Mzee is survived with several grandchildren and also great grandchildren.
Burial Arrangements: Burial is scheduled to be held on 15th March 2013 at his home in Cheptiya at Cheptais. The funeral committee is appealing for funds to pay for the huge medical bill and any contributions can be deposited to MPESA account of Moses Barkaja Wandiema cell # 0723009074 or MPESA account of David Ndiema at cell # 0725456273.
On behalf of the Sabaot Community, SIDO News Network would like to wish the family God’s courage as they mourn the passing of a loved Father and consequently for the Sabaot community for loosing our community statesman, devout businessman/farmer and a judicious Adventist.
Biblical verse from Eliud: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7.
Information Source: Rtd. Pr. KPK Kania, Moses Wandiema and David Ndiema.
Written by Esly Kania – Minnesota, USA.
JILTED WIFE SETS SHOP ABLAZE
By DANIEL PSIRMOI. Posted 24th February 2013.
Over 5 business people in Kapsokwony town, Bungoma County are counting heavy losses after their business premises and stock were reduced to ashes on Friday night in a suspected arson attack. Property of an unknown value was destroyed in the inferno that was allegedly started by a jilted wife who set ablaze her husband’s shop.
With the nearest fire brigade engine being in Bungoma and Kitale other traders and wananchi were forced to watch helplessly as the raging flames spread to nearby row of shops and kiosks.
Speaking to the Standard after recording a statement at Kapsokwony Police station, Titus Osia whose shop was set ablaze said he had domestic problems with his first wife, who now remains to be the main suspect.
According to Osia, his estranged woman attacked his co-wife prior to the incident causing her bodily harm, it is when she took her to hospital that the suspect sprinkled petrol on the shop and set it on fire.
“Two days ago stock of Ksh. 800,000 was delivered to my wholesale shop by a creditor that is all gone now. An investment of over 1 million shillings has now been reduced to ashes,” said Osia.
Emily Cheptoek one of the traders whose two premises- a shop and a grocery store were razed to the ground said had lost her entire source of livelihood.
“The proceeds from the two businesses were what I used to feed, clothe and take my children to school with, I do not know what to do now,” said Cheptoek adding that her capital was a loan she obtained a loan from a microfinance institution.
The Mt Elgon OCPD James Kithuka confirmed the incident and said investigations and manhunt for the suspected arsonist have been launched by his officers.
Source: Standard Digital Media – Kenya.
NARC-Kenya’s Karua and Augustine Chemonges campaign in Mt. Elgon.
By DANIEL PSIRMOI. Posted 10th February 2013.
Narc Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua yesterday took her campaigns to Bungoma County where she called on Kenyans to elect leaders who have no tainted record.
Mrs Karua noted that she was concerned that most of her competitors have no moral authority to fight graft as they have been beneficiaries of it.
"You know that the number one problem bedeviling this country and that has made us lag behind is the looting of public resources by few people, some who now want to be elected to office, you can not trust these people" she said in Kapsokwony.
She said Kenyans should seize the opportunity granted to them on 4th March to vote in credible leaders and know that their life after the polls depends on the choice they make. Karua added that she was the best choice for the president noting that she has a clean record and the will to fight graft genuinely.
" In 20 years that I have been in politics my name has not been mentioned in any scandal, If you send me to statehouse I will safeguard the resources of Kenyans."
" I will not laugh with those who loot public property and make majority of the citizens wallow in poverty," Karua said.
She took a swipe at her opponents in the leading alliances, observing that they have nothing new to offer to the people.
" They have held top leadership positions, Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers what is that they want to do that they did not do in those positions? Ask them when they come here what prevented them from performing when they had a chance."
Most Kenyan leaders, she observed are hypocrites and self-seekers who will resort to working with any one as long as they get votes.
"Wengi ni vigeugeu, jihadharini nao. Huwezi ita mtu majina halafu kesho yako unamtaja kama running mate, ( You can not trash your opponent today, call him names and tomorrow you pick him as a running mate)," she said, in an apparent reference to the leader of CORD Alliance.
Karua was accompanied by her running mate Augustine Chemonges Lotodo. They addressed a well attended roadside meetings in Kamukuywa, Kaptama, Kapsokwony and Cheptais.
Lotodo whose mother hails from Mt. Elgon asked the constituents to support their team noting that their government will be all inclusive.
" She picked me, from a small community as her vice president, and moreso my mother is a sabaot from this area, that is already a good sign and you should know that you are well represented" said Lotodo.
Augustine Chemonges Loile Lotodo is the son of the late Francis Polisi Loile Lotodo who was Pokot Member of Parliament and a Minister through KANU party for a long time from 1980 until his demise in 2000 due to throat cancer. His Father was a principled man who stood his ground by always vividly articulating the needs of his people which led to differing with President Moi then later being arrested and incarcerated. The same strong traits of a straight-forward man are exhibited in his son who has vowed to defend the rights of all minority tribes and ensure equitable distribution of resources to all Kenyans. Augustine is a former Kenyan representative in the East African Legislative Assembly [EALA]: 2007-2012. He has a B.A in Geography/Economics, a Masters degree in Economics and was Pursuing a PhD in Economics before forfeiting it due to family reasons associated with his father's demise. He is currently married with four children.
Watch Augustine Chemonges being Interviewed at KTN in Nairobi-Kenya:
Pierson escapes Roll-over auto accident while Lazarus recovering from fractured leg.
By Daniel Psirmoi and Esly Kania. Posted February 3rd 2013.
Minneapolis City, Minnesota (USA) – Pierson Saab Kania, a Sabaot in diaspora, escaped with minor injuries when his Chevy SUV vehicle (Pictured above) lost control at night while coming from work then hit a side-wall barricade before rolling over and landing upside down. His reflex action took over and he used his bare hands to break the glass-window to free himself from the damaged car whose engine was still on. The accident happened due to severe snow and subzero temperature that resulted in slippery roads which is a weather condition prevalent during winter season in not only Minnesota State but also other North and Eastern states in USA.
The emergency rescue crew (traffic police, fire department and ambulance) arrived at the scene within less than five minutes and he was rushed to a close-by hospital where he was examined, treated and discharged the same night. He suffered minor chest and hand injuries and was still in a state of traumatic shock as he spoke to SIDO News Network on phone. His car was totaled by his insurance company. Firstly thanks to God and secondly the fact that he was wearing a safety belt which the police at the scene said helped minimize injuries and maybe saved his life too. Indeed we urge all forum members to always wear safety belt while in any moving automobile (including boda-boda) in order to minimize injuries and in some cases save life.
Adapting to new weather conditions is one of many challenges that our Sabaots in Diaspora encounter as they adjust to make a home far from home. END
Nairobi, Kenya – Lazarus Chesire Pukan our SIDO Board member and also an employee of Jomo Kenyatta airport (Air Control Traffic department) is recuperating after undergoing surgery to repair his fractured leg (hallux valgus surgical correction). While speaking to SIDO News Network, he narrated the painful ordeal he underwent prior and during surgical treatment. “Thanks to God that I am feeling better now and hopefully I will fully recover soon” Lazarus said. He is out of work on short-term medical leave and will also be inactive from SIDO activities for a few weeks. END_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
KCPE: Sabaot-Girl number one in Bungoma/Kalenjin counties and 7th nationally.
By Daniel Psirmoi (SIDO News Network-Kenya).
Kwemboi Adelaine Memoi (center) the top student from Mt. Elgon with 424 marks and 7th nationally in female category celebrates with her parents and friends [Photo by Eric Lumbasi of West Fm].
Adlide Memoi Kwemboi a 12 year old girl of Nomorio Blessed Academy in Mt. Elgon made the Sabaot community proud as he scored 424 marks enabling her to emerge number one candidate in Bungoma County, number 15 in mixed gender nationally, number seven in the female category nationally and number one in the entire Kalenjin community counties. It is the second consecutive year that a Sabaot girl has emerged top in Bungoma County and the Kalenjin Counties respectively. Last year Lornah Chepkurui from Cheptikit Academy in Kapsokwony (Mt. Elgon) was number one with 433 marks.
Memoi said she knew she would do well in her examinations because she put in a lot of effort in studies, but was surprised at being the top pupil in Bungoma County and also being among the top nationally.
“I was surprised to hear my name being mentioned on the radio, I knew I would pass but not as much," she told SIDO New Network at her former school amid cheering and jubilations of her teachers and schoolmates.
Memoi who dreams of becoming an engineer and who was also the school head-girl attributed her good results to commitment, discipline, and hard work. She said her best subjects were Mathematics and English.
She also credited her parents who she said were highly supportive throughout her schooling and consequently praised her teachers for contributing towards her good performance
Memoi’s father Patrick Kibit, a headteacher at Kamuneru ACK Primary School and her mother JaneMary Kibit were full of praise to their last born daughter.
" She is disciplined girl, very hardworking, we knew she would perform well but never in our wildest of dreams imagined she would emerge top in the whole of Bungoma County," said her father Kibit.
" My last born child has made me proud, of my eight children none has performed like she did. I am a very happy mother," said Janemary.
The private school which began in 2004 is about 5 kms from Kapsokwony The school director Grace Ayieta and the headteacher Alfred Nyarotso paid tribute to Memoi saying she was a disciplined and hardworking girl and urged other pupils to emulate her.
Mt. Elgon Deputy District Education Officer, Alice Sitawa said she was very pleased with the results and added that the district is on the right track.
" Last year we produced the top candidate in the county, a girl again from Cheptikit Academy, we were ranked the second district in the county after Bungoma South, let those who underrate Mt. Elgon know that we have woken up," Sitawa said.<<
Kenya AG opposes Mt. Elgon Sabaot case application for review of its Judge.
ARUSHA, Tanzania, Posted 24 January 2013: The Attorney General of the Republic of Kenya has asked the Appellate Division of the EACJ to dismiss the Application by Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) seeking the review of its own judgment which was rendered on 15th March 2012 in favor of the Kenyan Government as the Court ruled that the matter was filed out of time.
Appearing before Justices Harold Nsekela, President, Philip Tunoi, Vice President, Emillie R. Kayitesi, Laurent Nzosaba and James Ogoola on Tuesday, State Attorney Mr. L. Ngugi Muiruri representing the Attorney General of Kenya argued that EACJ does not have the jurisdiction to review its own judgment and that the application was not properly before the Court. He said that there are no errors shown as alleged that the Court did not consider the police report and no grounds as well to show that injustices have been caused to the Applicants.
Ms. Kethi Kilonzo, an advocate for Independent Medical Legal Unit (IMLU) however prayed Court to allow the Application and find that it has the jurisdiction to review the judgment under Article 35 (3) of the Treaty for Establishment of East African Community. The Article provides that An Application for review of judgment may be made to the Court only if it is based upon the discovery of some fact which by its nature might have had decisive influence on the judgment, if it had been known to the Court at the time the judgment was given, but which fact, at that time was unknown to both the Court and the Party making an Application..
She argued that the Court concentrated on the errors of Laws not errors of facts and evidence and therefore did not consider the Police Investigation Report which was substantial in considering the computation of time under Article 32 of the Treaty and therefore caused injustices.
The subject of the matter is where the Kenyan Government is accused of failing to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for executions, acts of torture, cruelty, inhuman and degrading treatment of over 3,000 Kenyan residents in Mount Elgon District was in contravention of the Treaty.
The said acts were a result of land settlement schemes in the Mt. Elgon area where an armed militia known as Saboat Land Defence Force was formed in the district and grew to terrorize and execute residents of that area, causing the government to deploy security forces to carry out an operation known as OPERATION OKOA MAISHA.
During the operation, residents of Mt. Elgon reportedly lost their lives and were tortured in an attempt to flush out the members of the Sabaot Land Defence Force, houses were burnt, women and young girls were raped, innocent residents were arrested and money was extorted from residents for release.
Court said its judgment on the matter would be delivered on notice.
SOURCE: East African Court of Justice (EACJ)_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Mt. Elgon Coffee farmers set to reap big from Norway market.
By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted on 22nd January, 2013.
The future of coffee farmers in Mt Elgon is looking bright after a Norwegian based businessman entered into an agreement with a local factory to purchase their coffee.
The businessman, Tim Wendlboy, who is an international coffee roaster signed a deal that would see him purchase over a million kilograms of coffee annually from Sasuri Farmers Cooperative Society Ltd in Cheptais District, Mt Elgon Constituency in Bungoma county.
Speaking to The Standard, Sasuri Factory Chairman Amos Mamboleo said the agreement was a culmination of a prolonged wait for the approval of their products by the client.
“The new development between the businessman and Sasuri is the outcome of a thorough and tireless process of visitations, consultation and product assessment conducted by teams from the two entities,” Mr. Mamboleo said.
The chairman noted that it was upon the farmers to work extra hard because the company has a challenge to bridge the gap of about 300,000kg.
“We produced 709,800kg of coffee in the previous financial year and our partner demands a million kilograms. I therefore appeal to farmers within Mt Elgon to scale up their production to enable the company honor its obligation within the new arrangement,” he said.
Unstable prices: According to the Mt Elgon District Co-operatives Officer Willys Opemi, a total of 3,403,412 kilograms of coffee was delivered by various marketing societies within the region and sold at the rate of Sh65.50 per kilo in 2011.
Despite being the predominant cash crop in the region, the coffee industry has been dodged with various setbacks in the past including exploitation and unstable prices.
Samson Kimobwa a Kenyan World athletic legend succumbs to sudden illness.
When SIDO News Network through Esly Kania spoke to the widow Mrs. Bilha Lutilo Kimobwa (a teacher at Kipkorinya primary school), she was at great pains explaining the sudden illness that took away his beloved husband. Indeed Bilha was so emotionally distressed during the interview that it took the intervention of Kimobwa’s son Philip in order to get more details surrounding the sudden death of Kenya’s athletic legend, coach, mentor, teacher and a father. Kimobwa leaves behind wife Bilha, eight children and five grandchildren. Kimobwa’s children are: Vilha (finished TTC), Alkman (Diploma in Hotel Management), Ivanovic (Student Business Administration at Makerere University), Nicholas, Philip Kiplagat (Student at Moi University), Stephen Kibet (Student at KMTC in Kakamega), Negusta Korir (Form four student candidate), Gilbert Kipkoech (Student at Moi University), Yussuf Tarus (Form two student candidate) and Sarah Cherotich (class eight student candidate).
Kimobwa’s early life: His great grand parents originally lived in Kamarang in Cheptais (Mt. Elgon District) before they relocated to settle in Kapenguria-West Pokot due to British colonial carnage. Hence Kimobwa a Sabaot-Kalenjin of Kabwerek clan, was born in 1955 at Kitalaposho village, Mnagei location, Kapenguria (West Pokot). He enrolled at Kamarow primary school and then joined Chewoyet High School (1971-1974). He was an employee of Kenya Prison police for a few months prior to receiving a track scholarship to Study in USA-Washington State University. It was his athletic prowess that made Chewoyet’s British Principal Mr. Veach to link Kimobwa with US based controversial coach John Chaplin that eventually necessitated his Educational profession and athletic career.
Education and athletic career in USA: Kimobwa (whose last name was misspelled as Kimombwa in his college days) attended Washington State Universty (WSU) from 1975-80 graduating with Bachelor of Education majoring in Agriculture and Economics. According to WSU records and its athletic website, Kimobwa in the span of a couple of weeks in 1977 he captured the NCAA 10,000m outdoor title and then became the first African to set the world record for the 10,000 meters with a time of 27 Minutes 30.47 seconds during the world games in Helsinki, Finland. During the race after 3km, Kimobwa was 5.9sec behind the pace set by David Bedford (Great Britain) during his 27min 30.5sec world record set in 1973. After another three kilometers all covered in around 2min 47sec each, Kimobwa was 9.7sec behind Bedford's schedule. Kimobwa then proceeded to tear the race apart, by blitzing the 7th and 8th kilometers in 2min 41.7sec and 2min 43.1 sec respectively. This placed him 1.5sec ahead of Bedford's pace at 8km, and, although he slowed in the final kilometers, he finished in 27min 30.5sec, breaking Bedford's world record by 0.3sec. Kimobwa's record led to a flood of invitations from meet directors all over Europe, most of which he accepted, including competing in the 5000m at the British AAA Championships in London (Crystal Palace) on 23 July 1977 where he finished third. Although he ran another 10000m in 27min 37sec only three days after Helsinki, his performances deteriorated gradually from that point. Kimobwa also participated in 3000meters Nice-France where he clocked 7:47.8h and 5000m in Zürich-Sweden where he clocked 13:21.56.
Kimobwa’s 10,000 meters mark stood for a year, when it was broken by his Kenyan friend and college-mate at WSU – Mr. Henry Rono. Mr. Kimobwa and Rono were part of WSU’s procession of world-class runners, starting with John Ngeno, who dominated the distance events in the 1970s and early 80s. They were recruited to Pullman out of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley by track coach John Chaplin.
At WSU opposing coaches grumbled about Chaplin’s unconventional, globe-wide recruiting efforts, the WSU-Cougar head man saw fit to erect flag poles around Mooberry Field. During events, Chaplin would fly the colors of every country represented on his team. The two Kenyan students (Henry Rono and Kimobwa) were so good that a US based Sports Illustrated Magazine devoted a lengthy feature story to them in 1977.
Sports officials at Washington State University revealed that that Kimobwa and Rono used to run more than 100 training miles a week on the streets and side roads of Pullman and Whitman County. A soft spoken Kimobwa was only 5-foot-6 and weighing121 pounds but he left a very a permanent footprints in WSU. By the time he graduated in 1980, he had garnered nine all America certificates, captured three conference titles, and had eight top five finishes including being number one in 10,000 meters at the 1977-NCAA championship (USA). Consequently, last year Kimobwa was inducted to WSU Athletics Hall of Fame.
Samson Kimobwa and his Kenyan friend/collegemate Henry Rono training at Washington State University-USA.
Teaching, Coaching and Mentoring Career in Kenya: Kimobwa started his teaching career in 1982. He taught Marakwet High School 1982-2001. Then he transferred to Kapenguria boys High school where he taught from 2001 untill his demise. During his teaching career he coached many famous Kenyan athletes. Some of those he coached are: Moses Kiptanui, Ishmael Kirui, Richard Chelimo, Boaz Cheboiywo, Vincent Malakwen, Reuben Kosgei, and many more.
Kimobwa was also deeply involved in national/international athletic events. In 1992 he was one of the officials who took the Kenyan team to Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In 1993 he was among Kenyan official entourage to Junior athletic championship in Australia. In 1994, he took Kenya’s athletic team to Lisbon Portugal. In 1995 he was with the Kenyan athletic team in Harare, Zimbabwe. In 1996 he was among the Kenyan Officials in charge of the Kenyan team in Olympic Games in Atlanta-Georgia. In 1997, he took the Kenyan team to Ibadan-Nigeria. In 2011 he took the Kenya team to Uganda for the 10th Edition of the East Africa Secondary Schools Games and Sports Competition. Most recently in 2012, he was in Bujumbura-Burundi as the Head of the Kenyan team at the 11th Edition of the East Africa Secondary Schools Games and Sports Competition.
"We have lost a role model, a colleague and person who inspired many young athletes," Patrick Sang of Athletics Kenya and a 1992 Olympic 3 000 metres steeplechase silver medalist told Reuters.
Burial arrangements and fundraising: Samson Kimobwa’s body is scheduled to be buried on 26th January, 2013 at his farm in Kapenguria. The funeral committee is appealing for funds in order to give this Kenyan legend a befitting send-off ceremony and also be able to financially help his children who are in college and high school. Any financial help can be channeled through MPESA using telephone # 0724-891-545 (This is Samson Kimobwa’s cell # which is accessible by his wife) or rather you can email: email@example.com or those in USA/Canada can call SIDO New-Network telephone # 763-568-4575 for additional information on how to contribute to Kimobwa’s Funeral Fund.
Samson Kimobwa has left permanent athletic footprints in this planet and we pray that his family to be able to endure the pain of loosing a loving husband and father. Rest thee well and hopefully we will be able to meet again and reaffirm your competitiveness in the next world. Indeed Knute Rockne gives a vivid summary of Kimobwa’s life in sports: “One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than fifty preaching it”.<>
Article authored by: Esly Kania (Minnesota-USA). email: firstname.lastname@example.org.____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kenyan student gets published in the US
By DANIEL PSIRMOI. Posted Dec. 1st, 2012.
At age 23, Levi Cheruo Cheptora is a published author. He has penned a novel and an anthology of poems regardless of tedious juggling with formulas as a Pure Mathematics student at the University of Nairobi.
Cheptora’s titles, “The Bitter Pills”, a novel, and poetry anthology titled “Songs from My Soul”, are in bookshops in America and can be read Online.
He points out that his tough upbringing in Machewa village at the foothills of Mt.Elgon, BungomaCounty, inspired his writings after his parents divorced.
“I must admit that the tough upbringing by divorced parents, lack of both fatherly and motherly love; and the love of a helpless grandmother who brought us up single-handedly, must have sowed a seed of writing, whose fruits are ripening today,’’ he says.
But, this aside, the violence that rocked Mt.Elgon some years back, and the insecurity in the area also played a role in influencing content of his literary works.
The Bitter Pills is about the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) and touches on the ensuing mayhem. He boldly takes the bull by the horns and speaks his mind on a matter that would remain a wart in the history of the region and Kenya. In the book, he gives a first account of what happened during the bloodletting period of 2006-2008, where he fearlessly mentions suspects, including political leaders.
“I was lucky to be at home during that time. I was waiting to join university. I saw everything. I have narrated it all in the book as a first witness,” says Cheptora.
Because of the content of the book, rubbing shoulders with ‘who is who’ in the country over the Mt Kenya killings, local publishers snubbed his works, which were later published by the America’s Dorrace Publishing Company. His publishers pay a glowing tribute to the Third Year student at Chiromo Campus, describing him as “a true young Kenyan whose compelling love for justice and fairness for all has necessitated the writing of his work”.
His 274-page “Songs from My Soul” is a collection of narrative poems about life, love and politics as inspired partly by his background. He cleverly shares the icy tales of fate, which he has encountered in life.
“I started asking myself a thousand and one questions about human nature: What makes them tick? What gives them the inspiration to love not, to hate yes, and to helplessly succumb to the raging wrath of jealousy? This rhetoric did become the pillars of my writings,” he adds.
For this mathematics student, to have such a creative work, he had to struggle with his inner desires, the inevitable pressure from friends and relatives; and the naked truth that the present life state demands flexibility and creativity. Apart from the two published titles, the soft-spoken writer has finished writing another book that he says could be more controversial. The forthcoming book’s title is “The Greatest Thieves in Kenya”, with a Kiswahili version “Yajapo Yapokee” in the offing. And another novella, “A Letter to Mr. President” is also soon reaching the market.
Article source: Standard Digital Newspaper (Kenya)
The Standard writer Daniel Psirmoi can be contacted through: email@example.com; and Levi Cheruo can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mt. ElgonUganda: Charcoal Prices Up in Uganda.
By Rashid Muzungyo. Posted 28 Nov. 2012
Charcoal prices in Kapchorwa have increased following a drop in supply by the charcoal burners from the lower belt of Sebei sub-region.
Violet Kissa and Judith Apil, both residents of Senior Quarters Cell, said a basin of charcoal, which originally cost sh3,000, currently goes for sh5,000, while a sack that used to cost 20,000, is being sold at 24,000.
Grace Nakoko, a charcoal dealer in Malat village, Kaptanya sub-county, attributed the low supply to adoption of farming by the charcoal burners. The district environment officer, Sam Chemusto, told a UNDP-funded workshop last year that some tree species had disappeared due to increased charcoal burning.
Kapchorwa district chairman Nelson Chelimo recently urged NAADS stakeholders to ensure environmental conservation. He said the district had faced several environment disasters such as soil erosion and landslides due to environmental degradation.
SIDO's Journalist (Daniel Psirmoi) moves to Standard Newspaper-Kenya.
Posted 27th Nov. 2012
Photo of Daniel Psirmoi.
Two years ago I met Daniel Psirmoi at a social networking site and that is when our journey of being colleagues in SIDO News-Network commenced. During our initial discourse we discovered the common innate goals and aspirations that both of us shared towards uplifting our downtrodden community. Since then I have known Psirmoi (who recently graduated from Moi University) as a young man with lots of energy and willingness to succeed in all spheres. While at SIDO he always accomplished his assignments on time even when it meant fasting from sleeping at night in order to get news articles ready for next day publishing on our News Networks. Henceforth, it is evident that his relentless hard-work is now yielding dividends.
Today I am delighted to announce that Mr. Psirmoi will be ascending to the Standard Newspaper (Kenya) to become a news correspondent based in Bungoma county with a special focus on Mt. Elgon sub-county. SIDO News-Network will still continue to indirectly publish some of his news articles relevant to our mission statement.
On behalf of SIDO leadership, I wish Psirmoi a prosperous career in his new undertaking.
By Esly Kania - SIDO Chairman & CEO, (Minnesota,USA).
Related article: http://www.thejackalnews.com/m/index.php?id=2143
‘Stranded’ Drunkard turns out to be married woman’s lover.
By DANIEL PSIRMOI. Posted 4th November 2012.
The Swahili adage ‘mgeni kumpokea kumbe ni kujitongea’ seems to have been coined for a middle aged man in Kipsongo slum in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia county, who recently became the laughing stock of the estate after a drunk man he agreed to host, after being coerced by his wife turned out to be her lover.
The woman, a renowned illicit brew seller in the estate, the story goes, insisted that her visibly drunk customer will spend the night in her house against the wishes of her equally inebriated husband.
According to a neighbor of the couple who declined to be named, the man of the house had questioned the wisdom and expressed reservation of letting the visitor spend the night in their home.
“Mgeni wetu atalala wapi, kitanda ni moja tu na hatuna malazi extra kwa hii nyumba (Where will our visitor sleep and we only have one bed and no extra beddings in this house?” he was overheard asking his wife.
She put her foot down and explained that it was already late and unsafe for her guest and customer, a first time visitor to the area to leave.
“You know crooks lurk in alleys in this estate, a child fell into River Kipsongo the other day and was swept away by the raging waters, mgeni tutamtandikia hapa chini, alale aende kesho”, the wife is reported to have said.
The head of the house had no other way out but to welcome the man, though he remained apprehensive and had lingering doubts and suspicions about the whole arrangement. After supper, beddings were spread on the floor for the visitor.
However the tranquility of the night was broken by a piercing scream at dawn, which woke up immediate neighbors who were blissfully snoring.
One of the residents close to the family said that the husband was shocked beyond words when on tossing around in bed and on reaching out for his wife she was nowhere in bed! On groping around the room, he found his wife blissfully snoring in the arms of the stranger on a mattress that was spread on the floor!
Naturally, being an informal settlement with tightly squeezed houses in rows, a sizeable crowd gathered in a few minutes. Some of the people that heeded the alarm turned up armed with clubs and spears- rushed to the compound thinking armed robbers had struck or somebody had died.
A citizen arrest was effected upon the half naked stranger and he was subdued when he tried to escape. He was set upon with kicks and blows for being ungrateful and
“Why are you courting death like this? Why do you shamelessly fool around with somebody’s wife right under his nose as if he is dead? Kama pesa ya lodging hauna, hata kwa mahindi hamugeenda kufanya mambo yenyu (if you could not afford to pay for a lodging, you couldn’t even do your thing in the maize fields)? You are so shameless and ungrateful!” an elderly man was heard shouting contemptuously
On being ‘cross-examined’ by a section of the citizens, the wife of the cuckolded man caused laughter when she said she did not know how she slept next to the stranger, that all she remembered was that she went outside the house for a short call and being not so sober, she must have ‘unknowingly’ fallen fast asleep besides the man accused as being her lover.
The daring culprit and the man’s wife were frog marched to Kitale Central Chief’s office, where they were handed over to the administration policemen stationed at the office as they waited for their fate with the chief.
Senior Chief Jackson Chemining’wa who spoke to Crazy Monday revealed that he had handled many such like cases and they require great tact and wisdom. Being an old hand and experienced in such matters, he settled the case in less than an hour, but not after first ordering the administration policemen to send away the wananchi who were milling around his office, he requested to be left alone with the interested parties.
“We settled the matter amicably, I will not delve into details of how we did it as the affected people might read your paper and be ridiculed by other readers and those who know them,” he said.
He however cautioned wananchi, especially married couples not to host strangers of the opposite sex as this people may break marriages if an incident like the one above happened.
Source: Crazy Monday Magazine of The Standard Newspaper- http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000068480&story_title=%27Stranded%E2%80%99-drunkard-turns-out-to-be-lover
Mt.Elgon-Kenya: Mother of three attempts suicide over domestic strife.
Written by Phanice Chepkemoi. Posted October 15th 2012.
Mt.Elgon, Bungoma County - A 22 year old mother of three from Chemwesus Location Mt.Elgon District has been admitted at Kapsokwony District Hospital after attempting to take her life by taking poison.
Nelly Chebet as she is known decided to take a pesticide known as Diazole having had a confrontation with her husband after catching him entertaining another woman at a local joint.
The area OCPD Mr. James Kithuka said that her father in law suspected something was wrong after he heard a commotion from her son's house and responded by immediately rushing her to Kapsokwony District Hospital when he realized she had taken poison. She was admitted at the hospital on a critical condition.
The Police boss said that the father in-law was the one who reported the matter to the police and that the lady is in a stable condition and shall be arraigned before a court of law of attempted murder as soon as she is discharged.
The OCPD has however urged couples within the area to look for amicable ways of solving their differences instead of resorting to criminal methods.
Elsewhere at Singorowet village in Toywandet Sub-location, Kipsiro Division of Cheptais District a somber mood has descended after a 39-year-old man died by hanging himself.
The area assistant chief Mr. Kennedy Chepkorm identified the deceased as Mr. Geoffrey Kwenden stating that he was separated by his wife prior to his death.
According to the assistant Chief, the deceased body was discovered yesterday around six in the evening dangling from the branch of a tree near River Kapkosobei in the same village.
The assistant chief points to the likelihoods of domestic stress as the genesis of the tragedy saying that the wife of the deceased had recently left him and gone back to her father’s home.
The body of the deceased has since been taken to Webuye District Hospital awaiting postmortem.
However, the assistant Chief has urged the residents to seek counseling from the elder members of the community when confronted with issues they are not able to handle instead of resorting to suicide.
Long Serving Intelligence-Officer Moses Gerishom Succumbs to sudden illness.
By SIDO News-Network Team. Posted 29th September, 2012.
Just two days after his wife's death (Eunice), a dual tragedy hit Gerishom Monoo's family when our long serving Sabaot-Kenyan Intelligence officer Mr. Moses Kibera Gerishom (popularly known as "Morna" to his peers) died on 28th September 2012 at Aga-Khan National Hospital in Nairobi-Kenya. Kibera was born on 26th May 1957 at Cheptais Location in Mt. Elgon-Kenya. He had successfully finished attending a one week workshop in Mombasa and had just arrived for another scheduled one-month training workshop on forthcoming Elections Security in Nairobi when he suddenly fell sick in his Hotel room before being rushed by colleagues to Aga-Khan Hospital where he was admitted at the ICU unit. The doctors gave their best but to no avail with the long mysterious hand of death. His body is being preserved at Aga-Khan Mortuary in Nairobi.
Prior to his demise Mr. Kibera was the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) branch manager in charge of Migori county. Mr. Kibera also worked at Kibera Law courts as a chief prosecutor for a few years before joining the NSIS. He served the intelligence service for over 24 years in many parts of the country having steadily risen in ranks due to his unrelenting hard work of safeguarding the peaceful coexistence of Kenyan citizens. The Kenyan Director of Intelligence service Mr. Michael Gichangi while at Aga-Khan Hospital paid tribute to Mr. Kibera for his outstanding service to the agency and the Kenyan government as a whole. He has died at a time when the intelligence agency is on an overdrive workload and hawk-eyed to protect Kenyans from internal and external threats posed by Al-shabaab extremist movement based in Somalia. Briefly about NSIS: It is an independent Kenyan government corporation whose mandate is to identify internal and external threats against the security of Kenya by collecting and analyzing intelligence information on these threats, and thereafter advising the Government accordingly.
Kibera leaves behind his second wife Maximilla Kibera. Kibera’s children from both his first late-wife Eunice Tamnai and Second wife Maximilla are: James, Bernard (Police Officer), Kimtai (Police Inspector), Naomi (Student at Nairobi University), Mary (Student at Moi University), Nickson, Paul, Mercy (Sangalo Technical Institute), Jackline, Sudi, David, Silvia, Boy and Josphine. The late was brother to Patrick Moss of Delaware-USA, Abiud Namninia (Rtd. Police Officer), Fredrick Mokoit, Peter Monoo, Maurice, Sudi, Roselyne Yeko, Loice Juma, Grace Kisumu and Agness Mamboleo. He was paternal-uncle to Caroline and Hillary Moss both residing of Delaware-USA.
Tentative burial schedule availed to SIDO News-Network indicates that both Mr. Kibera and his wife Eunice will be buried simultaneously on Saturday 6th October 2012 at their Cheptais Home in Mt. Elgon. Additional funeral details will be relayed later through our News-Network outlets (Sabaots Website, Sabaots Yahoo-Group and Facebook links). Meanwhile friends and community members can make inquiries and also offer funeral contributions by MPESA through either Lillian Moss: 0716-942075 or through Naomi Kibera: 0712-817833.
Biblical quote:".........For he knows how we are formed. He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass, He flourishes like a flower of the field; then the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it not more. But from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord's love is with those who fear him" - Psalm 103: 8-17.
May God rest Mr. and Mrs. Kibera’s souls in eternal peace.
By Esly Kania – SIDO News-Network, Minnesota-USA.
Prof. Beatrice Chemengich, Lecturer at Kenyatta University Passes away.
By SIDO News-Network Team.
We regret to inform you about the death of one of our academic leaders, Dr. Beatrice Tengecho Chemengich. Until her death she was a Lecturer in Kenyatta University from 1978 (34 years) at the Department of Zoological Sciences, Ecology and Entomology. She passed on in her sleep on Tuesday night 25th September, 2012. She is the daughter of Stephen Chemengich of Kaptama Location, Tulwo Sub-location, Mt. Elgon-Kenya. The body is currently lying at Kenyatta University Morgue.
A brief history about Dr. Tengecho as documented in our sabaots website (www.sabaots.com) is as follows: She was the first Sabaot lady with a PhD academic achievement. In 1985 she received her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from Kenyatta University in Ecology and Taxonomy of the family Agromyzidae. She was a member of the following professional societies: Kenya National Academy society, East African Natural History society (Nature Net), Member of 1978 Brathay Expedition, Member of 1983 Conference of Bird populations and Atlas of network (London), and was also a Member of Entomological society of Kenya (ESK). Her extensive research also included the study of our own Ecosystem/Biodiversity in the slopes of Mt.Elgon where she wrote several scientific papers and also published two Sabaot Botanic books, one on plants and the other on Birds. For more information click the following links:
From SIDO organization, we convey our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the family of the bereaved and pray to God to grant them peace, hope and strength to withstand this great loss during this mourning period. We will convey further details regarding funeral meetings, fundraiser, burial date and place. However for general inquiries get in touch with Lucy Chemengich of Kenyatta University on mobile no: 0720 793 783 or Victor Chemengich on 0726 438 112.
We pray that the lord will rest her soul in eternal peace.
By Esly Kania and Vincent Sambrir – SIDO News-Network Team.
Sebei college: The school that gave Uganda Kiprotich
The main signpost of Sebei College in Kapchorwa (L) and London 2012 Olympic marathon Gold medal winner Stephen Kiprotich also an officer in the Uganda Prisons Service. Photos by David Mafabi and Agencies.
On a rainy day from a distance, an early morning mist blurs you from seeing clearly SebeiCollege, Tegeres. But when the mist clears, it makes the school’s beautiful gate visible.
The school is located along Mbale-Sironko-Kapchorwa high way in Tigeres hills. Set on the slopes of Mt.Elgon, the scenery is spectacular, surrounded by lush greenery and winding valleys, just about 6Km away from Mt Elgon national park.
Abbreviated by students as SECT, Sebei college, Tegeres perhaps the oldest government school in Sebei sub-region [Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween districts] started as a Junior school under then Kapchorwa County in Bugisu district local government and Sabiny community in 1956.
It is a mixed day and boarding secondary school that stood out in the 1980s as an academic giant in the sub-region, it is therefore no wonder that every highly placed Sabiny will point at SECT as his centre of excellency. But the school like any other in the country started going down academically in the 1990s todate.
The headmaster, Mr. Stephen Musobo says the good news is that although the academic performance has been fluctuating since 2000, it is generally on an upward trend, registering 37 first grades in Senior Four in 2011 and sending about 8 students to Makerere university.
Years of glory
According to Mzeei George Willian Cheborion SECT was founded in 1956 by the local government to educate the marginalised children of Sebei, a cattle-keeping nomadic tribe that did not value education.
“The colonial government expected the Sabiny to move from Bukwo to Nabongo for lessons and never thought about opening up a school for the Sabiny. So one Bugisu district council where Sebei belonged as a county, I demanded for a school to the level of even beating up one councilor who was against my demand so after this fight, the colonial government gave us this school,” said Mr Cheborion.
He said until 1990, it was an academic powerhouse in the east and was always among the top 20 schools in the national examinations at both O and A’levels. Mr Isa Bukose, an old student of SECT who worked as a director of studies at the school said they had qualified teachers, a well-stocked library and well-equipped laboratories. Because of its good performance, it attracted the best students in the country.
“It is the poor funding and turmoil that characterized most secondary schools in the country in the 1970s through to the 1980s and the 1990s, that also affected Sebei College Tegeres to the level that getting a single student in first division became impossible,” said Mr Bukose.
Under the Motto: We strive for excellence, SECT has been and is training responsible, knowledgeable and patriotic citizens in the line with President Museveni’s new programme for all secondary school teachers and students with quality in put for quality output.
“We teach both academics and life skills through counseling and guidance with great emphasis on discipline in order to produce an all round person to develop Uganda in the near future,” says Sam Cheptoris, the LCV chairman for Kapchorwa and also former headmaster Sebei college Tegeres.
As if fulfilling the dream of the founders, SECT products have from time to time occupied key positions in politics, civil service and academia in the post independence and contemporary Uganda.
The school promoted critical and independent thinking through debates on African politics and colonialism which took centre stage at post independence and contemporary Uganda to enviable position of being the only school that produces national athletes for Uganda.
The headmaster Mr Musobo says SECT started with 38 students in senior one and four students joining from junior secondary two and junior secondary three respectively.
It had a handful of one white teacher, one classroom block, and a mud and wattle staff room until later in the early 1970s that it gained more classrooms from first IDA project.
Mr Musobo revealed that teaches all sciences and Arts for both Ordinary level and Advanced level with agriculture, commerce, Literature, Fine Art, Kiswahili and Christian Religious Education as the optional subjects “In S.1, every students is expected to take 15 subjects,” adds Mr Musobo.
The school boasts of a total of 1066 students with 735 boys and 331 girls being looked after by a teaching staff of 45 teachers with a fees structure of Shs230, 000 for continuing students while new comers for S.1 and S.5 pay Shs310,000.
The school offers facilities like Library, Laboratories for science subjects, Electricity, sports and games facilities, main hall that acts as a stage for drama shows and in-door games and 4 acre land turned into a school farm for students agricultural demonstration.
“Hard work, discipline and dedication on the side of my teachers and students has enabled the school’s academic candle to continue lighting in this region. Thanks should also go to the parents for paying fees in time to enable the students have enough time for concentration, they have contributed greatly,” says Mr Musobo.
He revealed that the school in bid to improve standards at the school, holds internal workshops for teachers to improve teaching methods by external examiners and workshops, seminars, continual testing for students to enhance the learning process.
The school has football team, volley team, Netball team, Basket ball and table tennis as the games in the school and every students is expected to participate. And in football the school boasts of holding the football trophies for three consecutive years.
In athletics, the school for the last four years has had the best performance in athletics winning medals and shields at the district, region, national and international levels.
While most up-country schools have large tracts of land lying idle, SECT, has put the school land to optimum use. Instead of waiting for government support, the school has established a dairy farm of about 50 cows that provides milk to the teachers and sometimes students.
They also have 20 acres of land with bananas, maize and other crops to supplement the students’ and staff food. Another eight acres is under eucalyptus trees, used for firewood and making furniture.
Future Plans: According to Mr Musobo the school intends to build dormitories for the increasing number of students, a library and laboratories to enhance teaching and learning. “The new administration at SECT seems to be on the road to recovery. From the administration block to the laboratories to the classrooms, Sebei College looks new and attractive but our appeal is that the old boys and girls should come on board to help the school regain its past glory as an academic giant in the sub-region,” said Mr Musobo.
Perhaps inspired by Gold winning athletes like Mr Stephen Kiptorich, an Old boy of the school who won Gold for Uganda in London Olympics after 40 years of waiting, the students at the school now exhibit, braveness, courage and fierceness in their life endeavors.
Prominent Former Students of Sebei College:
Dr John Boyo--United Nations
Mr Elifasi Muwanga-Makerere University
Dr Ibrahim Musobo--working in Rwanda
Mr Kibale Wamimbi--former MP and district chairman Sironko
Ms Beatrice Chelangat--ED REACH
Bishop Augustine Salimo-Sebei diocese
Sam Cheptoris--current district chairman Sironko
AIP Stephen Kiprotich--Olympics Gold Medal winner London 2012
Mr Mike Cheptoek-Sironko District Education Officer
Source: click here.
Kitale-Mt. Elgon, home to Kenya’s smallest park
By Allan Olingo. September 20 2012
Situated in the western part of Kenya, Kitale is a tourist puller in the country, especially because of its close proximity to the Cherangani Hills and Mount Elgon.
This area is a rich treasure trove of wild flora and fauna, which is such a major attraction for all nature lovers. Traveling around this area offers an enchanting experience that is sure to add something new to the traveller’s itinerary.
Some exciting and fun-filled experience could be derived from an adventurous safari at the SaiwaNational Park, KakamegaForest to even the Mount ElgonNational Park.
The Kitale museum, located at the edge of the railway line was the first of the inland museums to be developed in Kenya. Then it was known as the StonehamMuseum, named after Lieutenant colonel Hugh Stoneham, an amateur naturalist who lived in Kitale. The museum itself began with a collection of birds, butterflies and ethnographic memorabilia on the Turkana people that belonged to Lt Colonel Stoneham. The museums got its first curator in 1974, a Mrs Linda Donley.
This attractive museum has a lot of ethnographical materials and also practices environmental conservation.
In 1977, the museum acquired 30 acres of a natural riverine forest. The forest has been used for conservation of various plant species and wild animals.
Next to the museum is the Olaf Palme Agro forestry Centre for nature lovers and those interested in trees. This is a place to visit. This centre comprises of an agro forestry plot, information centre and arboretum with 46 species of indigenous trees.
Another tourist attraction is Mt Elgon, Kenya’s second highest mountain. The Kenya-Uganda border bisects this mountain. On its summit, is the spectacular flat-topped basalt column known as Koitobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 50 metres wide and frequented by elephants and other animals digging for salts.
Mt Elgon National Park was gazetted in 1968 and covers the North Eastern slopes of the mountain, from lower montane forest to the caldera edge. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mt Elgon Forest Reserve. The Ugandan side of the mountain is protected within Uganda’s Mt Elgon National Park. The forests and caves in Mount ElgonNational Park add to the enriching experience of traveling to this area.
Kitale is also home to the SaiwaNational Park. This is the smallest park in Kenya, measuring approximately only three kilometres square. It was established to protect the semi-aquatic antelope, the Sitatunga and encloses the swamp fed by the SaiwaRiver together with its fringing belts of rain forest. The park is enclosed by subsistence farming settlements.
Kitale has quite a few good hotels that provide good rooms and facilities at the most affordable rates. Some of the noteworthy hotels are Bongo Hotel, The Alakara Hotel, Mid Africa and The Vision Gate among many others. You will part with approximately Sh700 to Sh2,000 for accommodation in this area.
Apart from great traditional recipes one can indulge in camping, log fire, excursions, bird watching, nature walks, game viewing, trekking and horse riding. With an array of blended experiences, traveling to Kitale is a long cherishing memory.
Source: Click here.
Kenya and JHPIEGO organization mourns the death of Dr. Kenneth Chebet.
By SIDO News Network Team. Posted 21st September, 2012.
Our Sabaot comrade, the late Dr. Kenneth Chebet will be buried on Saturday 22nd September, 2012 at his home in Kapseret Farm in Eldoret-Kenya.
The Jhpiego family is saddened by the passing of their colleague Dr. Kenneth Chebet was the Chief of Party of the USAID-funded APHIAplus KAMILI project, a project led by Jhpiego in Kenya. Dr. Chebet, 51, passed away peacefully on the afternoon of September 10, 2012, while undergoing treatment in India. Joining Jhpiego six years ago, Dr. Chebet worked on programs in family planning and HIV. Colleagues remember Dr. Chebet for his passion and advocacy for reproductive health and HIV, and his warmth for and dedication to the people of Kenya. Ken will be greatly missed by all of us at Jhpiego. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and loved ones.
Just last month, Dr. Chebet (mostly referred as Ken by his colleagues) was honored as one of Jhpiego's innovators for his work in developing and introducing a "health wagon," a customized health clinic that brings quality, skilled health care services to underserved communities in rural Kenya. He spoke eloquently and passionately of the impact of these clinics on the health of Kenyan women and families. "Amazing," he said.
Here are some thoughts from Dr. Chebet's colleagues at Jhpiego organization:
Ø The Global Learning office deeply regrets the passing of Dr. Chebet. Many of us had the opportunity to work with him directly on the development of creative training solutions aimed at improving the health of people in Kenya and the East African Region. Ken was a good friend and amazing leader to all who had the opportunity to work with him. His presence and contributions will both be greatly missed. -- Peter Johnson, Global Learning Chief.
Ø The Mozambique team would like to express our deepst condolences for this sad loss. Our prayers and thoughts are with Dr. Chebet and his family. -- Debora Bossemeyer, Country Director.
Ø The Jhpiego Equatorial Guinea team are so sorry this great loss… Almudena González-Vigil, Project Director SMN.
Ø The Botswana office sends its deepest condolences to Dr. Chebet’s family and friends. This is a huge loss to Jhpiego family, the Kenya office, and the international public health. --Galina Stolarsky, MS, MPH, Country Director Country Director.
Ø The Jhpiego Zambia Country Office would like to extend its sincere sympathy to Dr. Chebet’s family and the whole of Jhpiego. We will always remember him for who he was- a kind, gentle and professional person. MHSRIP Kwame Asiedu, Zambia Country Director.
Ø We will dearly miss his incisive brilliant contributions in public health arena. --Dan Wendo, Chief of Party, SSDI-Services Project, Malawi
Ø I found Dr. Chebet full of passion for doing things which would make difference in the lives of women and children. --Bulbul Sood, India Country Director
Ø Pakistan team sends its deepest condolences to Dr. Kenneth's Chebet's family. --Shabana Zaeem, Pakistan Country Director.
Ø The Guinea team would like to present sincere condolences to Dr. Chebet’s family. --Pr. Hyjazi Yolande, MCHIP/Guinea Country Director
Ø The Ethiopian team is shocked to learn of Dr. Chebet’s death and express our deepest condolences for this sad loss. His passing will definitely leave a void in the hearts of everyone who knew him. --Tadele Bogale, Ethiopia Country Director
Ø The Lesotho team expresses their deep condolences for this sad loss and extends their sympathy to Dr. Chebet's family. --Laura Skolnik, Lesotho Country Director
Ø The Madagascar team express their deep sadness for the death of our mutual friend Dr Chebet. Our comforts for his family and the great team of Jhpiego. --Jean Pierre Rakotovao, Chief of Party, Mother Child Health Integrated Program
Ø Jhpiego/Nigeria deeply regrets the untimely passing away of our dear friend and colleague, Dr. Kenneth Chebet. -- Emmanuel ‘Dipo Otolorin, FRCOG, Nigeria Country Director.
Ø The Afghanistan team offers our sincere condolences to Dr. Chebet’s family and the Kenya team. Denise Byrd, Afghanistan Country Director.
Ø On behalf of the Jhpiego/Tanzania family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Ken Chebet, particularly his Jhpiego/Kenya family, on his untimely passing. Ken’s voice of wisdom will be greatly missed. Poleni sana to all of us. --Maryjane Lacoste, Tanzania Country Director.
Ø Sincere condolences from the Jhpiego Ghana team to the family and colleagues of Dr Chebet. --Chantelle Allen, Ghana Country Director.
Note: Jhpiego (pronounced "ja-pie-go"), is an international non-profit health organization affiliated with JohnsHopkinsUniversity in USA. Through designing and implementing low-cost, hands-on solutions to strengthen the delivery of health care services, front-line health workers in emerging countries are helping to save the lives of women and families around the world.
Jhpiego's work focuses on: maternal and family health, family planning and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, infection prevention and control, malaria prevention and treatment, and cervical cancer prevention and treatment.
Jhpiego has worked in more than 150 countries worldwide and is currently working with 60 programs in such countries as Angola, Indonesia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar.
Jhpiego’s Main Office in USA:
1615 Thames Street
Baltimore, MD21231......Source: Click here.
Edited and Posted by Esly Arap Kania - SIDO News-Network, USA.
Related Previous News:
Dr. Kenneth Chebet Passes on while undergoing treatment in India.
By SIDO NewsNetwork Team. 11 September, 2012. [NEW - More updates latter]
We sadly regret to announce the death of Dr. Kenneth L. Chebet who passed away yesterday 10th September 2012 while undergoing treatment in India. His wife was by his bedside during and prior to his demise. Dr. Chebet, (a Sabaot-Kalenjin) was born in Mt. Elgon.
Before his demise, Dr. Chebet was currently the Director of the National Aids/STDs Control Programme [NASCOP] - http://nascop.or.ke/. He also previously held high profile jobs in Kenya like: Rift Valley Provincial Medical Officer, Director of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital Eldoret (MTRH), and was also a Personal physician of retired President Moi.
We will soon give more detailed updates (through www.sabaots.com) regarding his personal/career background, the transportation of the body back home and burial arrangements.
May God rest the soul of His own child and servant, Dr. Chebet, in eternal rest.
By Esly Kania, SIDO Chairman & CEO Minnesota-USA.
The First Sabaot District Commissioner in Kenya Mr. Enock Psenjen Passes away.
By SIDO News-Network Team. 12 September, 2012. [NEW - More updates latter]
Elder Enock Psenjen who was the first Sabaot to be appointed District commissioner and worked as D.C for over 20 years in Kenya has passed away. He was born at Kipyeto in Kaspsakwony-Kenya. He passed on yesterday 11th September, 2011 at 11.00pm in Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi-Kenya.
Enock's close friend and classmate Rtd. Pastor Patrick Kania at Karura (Nairobi) SDA Intermediate Primary school in 1953-1954 eulogised Enock as being a very intelligent and hardworking person both during his education and work career both in government and private sector.
Enock completed his high school with division one distinction in 1960 at Bugema SDA School in Uganda and proceeded to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Nairobi University.
After retirement Enock and his brother Peter Co-founded the most successful private primary school in Mt. Elgon-Kenya named Cheptikit academy located in Kapsakwony town.
The late Enock was the husband to Loise Psenjen and father to Nancy Ngeywa of Kapsokwony, Late Ann Njuguna, David Psenjen, Stephen Psenjen of Nairobi, Late Andrew Psenjen, Michael Psenjen and Samson Psenjen. He was brother to Peter Psenjen who is the co-founder and Director of Cheptikit academy.
The fundraiser and funeral arrangements will be communicated later.
Article compiled by: Esly Kania, SIDO Chairman & CEO Minnesota-USA.
Four killed in Mt. Elgon-Kenya attack.
By Roselyne Obala and Sammy Jakaa. Updated Thursday, September 07 2012.
Four people among them a newly wed couple were brutally killed on Wednesday night in Mt Elgon District by unknown assailants. Tension is high in Kipyieto village, Nomorio location as locals tried to come to terms with the shocking incident.
Western PPO Alfred Ombaba said an unknown number of people attacked the couple at about 8pm on Wednesday night and left. Ombaba noted that the deceased, aged 23 and 19 respectively were slashed to death while having supper in their house under mysterious circumstances. “Two brothers were also shot dead a few meters away from the scene at a nearby maize plantation,” he said. He said they two were shot and their throats slit by the same gang that attacked the couple. He said one of the two was a Standard Seven pupil at Korsok primary school.
The PPO said a team of detectives has been dispatched to the region to investigate the incident. Ombaba said two of the deceased were witnesses in a murder case, and they are investigating to establish if there is a link.
Area MP Fred Kapondi condemned the incident and urged the Government to move with speed and apprehend the culprits to solve the mysterious killings.
He noted that Mt Elgon is a sensitive region healing from past atrocities committed against residents by members of Sabaot Lands Defense Force (SPLF).
“If these incidents are not resolved, it will set a bad precedent owing to where the region came from just some years ago,” he cautioned.
Area Kenya National Union of Teachers secretary Stephen Chemonges condemned the act terming it heinous.
Chemonges said that it was very sad for an innocent pupil to be brutally killed.
The bodies were taken to Webuye District Hospital Mortuary.
At 116, Sebei-Kween grandma could be Uganda’s oldest
By David Mafabi. Posted Saturday, 1st September, 2012.
Ms Kokop Sindet Chesha Kurus at her home in SostoVillage, NgengeSub-county, Kween District - Sebei, Uganda [Photo by David Mafabi].
On a hot Saturday afternoon on August 25, I bend to enter a mud-and-wattle hut in SostoVillage, NgengeSub-county in Kween District. Mission? To meet 116-year-old Kokop Sindet Chesha Kurus who could be Uganda’s oldest person.
Even in her advanced age, Sindet is neat and keeps her gray hair short and well-trimmed. Her frail look, however, reveals her advanced age and weakness as she struggles to sit on the ground.
Her two grass-thatched hut sits at the foot of Ngenge Hill that spreads across like a green bed; one hut serving as a kitchen while the other served as her main house.
Sindet smiled as I entered her hut. She welcomed me in and searched for what I could sit on unsuccessfully before she told me to move out.
Augustine Kerenget, 91, who is Sindet’s son says his mother could be 116 years old or more. “From my conversation with her, she should be about 116 or more. She told me when her she came to Kapchorwa from Kenya in 1907, she was about 10 years old,” Kerenget adds.
During the interview, I notice that Sindet’s memory could be fading. At first, she could not recognise her only surviving son Kerenget, who guided us through the Ngenge Hills to where she stays.
“I don’t know my age but all my children who have died, I know their ages,” says the old woman. “There was Kokop Cheprui who died at the age of 91 in 2006, but the first two died in 1971 and 1978 respectively,” says Sindet.
“But what I recall very well is that those days Sabiny girls circumcised at about 11-15 years before getting married and I could have got married at the age of 20,” says Sindet.
She says although she goes to church sometimes, she was never baptised by the “religion that was brought by the Mzungu” [whites]. “My father Tituk Chemaswet who died around the end of Second World War told us the white man had come to rob us and asked us never to use anything of the whites, not even names,” she says.
Kerenget, who occasionally interrupts his mother during the interview, says he was born a year after World War I and that at that time, their mother had produced two other children, her first born child Isaiah Kerenget, who was about six years then.
“She tells us stories about the origin of Female Genital Mutilation and how they crossed from Kenya to Uganda when she was a young girl. Records here indicate that the Sabiny could have crossed into Uganda in 1910, this was before she got married which helps us tell her age,” explains Kerenget.
Sindet has sharp memories of her early childhood. “I grew up as a good, decent woman. I didn’t move around with men and it was only after female circumcision that the man who wanted me came for me, I agreed and we got married,” she says.
Asked about her peers who are still living, Sindet says most of them were killed by Karimojong cattle rustlers and others died natural death but there are those who are still living in Bugiri District.
She says they went there at the beginning of cattle raids, but does not recall the year.
According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) data survey of 2009, the oldest living person in Uganda was 114 years at the time.
The New Vision article named Gabriele Osele, 103, of Bukedea, as one of Uganda’s oldest people in 2009 and the Observer newspaper named Agali Nesiga; at 115 as the possible oldest person in 2009.
The BBC recently reported that at 130, Sohan Dosova of Kazakhstan could be the world’s oldest person. Ubos says in a 2009 report that at the last census, 7.1 per cent of the people in Bukedea were aged 60 and above, making it the district with the oldest population. At sub-county level, Bumasifwa leads with 8.6 per cent; with the eldest person in the sub-county aged 114 years.
Unlike Sindet and Nesiga, who cant tell their exact age, it was easier to tell Sohan Dosova’s age for certain because of her Soviet passport indicating that she was born on March 27, 1879.
For Sindet, her age can be guessed basing on her memory that her family crossed into Uganda in early 1900s and that by then, she was close to or more than 10 years old.
They settled in NgengeSub-county in the newly-created Kween District and lived in eastern Uganda all her life.
“I have no stress; even after my husband died in 1940s. People usually go to an early grave because of hardships and stress,” she says. Sindet explains that she has never taken any Western/modern medicine.
“I occasionally take alcohol but I mix it with local herbs,” she says, adding that her life has been peaceful and “without conflict”. She says she grew up eating millet or maize bread, roasted meat, milk butter and local sodium bi-carbonate as salt, which have enabled her to stay strong.
Those close to Sindet testify that she hardly falls sick. Although she had swollen feet during the time of the interview --the only sign of ill-health noted, Sindet says she does not see clearly like in the past.
When she smiles, her wrinkled face is lit up by the white set of teeth, all of which are still intact. When asked if she has ever visited a dentist or hospital, she laughs and says: “Have never seen one (dentist) in my life. I just eat a lot of natural foods and greens with no sugars and oil.”
Other than eating good food, Sindet is also a hard worker. Every morning, she walks two kilometres up the hill, to attend to her goats. She recalls that as a young girl, she and her colleagues would join the boys to go hunting in Ngenge Hills and at the slopes of Mt.Elgon.
Speaking about marriage and fidelity, Sindet says: I didn’t move from one man to another like most girls these days, they are immoral that explains why the Sabiny circumcise girls to cut down their libido.”
She says although she was in a polygamous marriage, there was no stress and “no conflict as we were trained to cook food for our husband and the entire family with my co-wives in turns.”
The Kween District Health Officer, Dr Kenneth Chemutai, says residents in the area live long due to the cool temperatures and the hilly terrain that encourages people to exercise.
“In such hilly areas, there are normally no reported cases of malaria that threaten the lives of the people. The people gather vegetables in the forest to cook and the frequent climbing of the hills strengthens their muscles,” says Dr Chemutai.
The MP of Kween, Mr Kisos Chemaswet, says he has known Ms Sindet for long and that his great grandfather would occasionally talk about her in the early 1980s. “This woman is old because our great grandfather died above the age of 80 in 1985 and used to talk about her when we were young but she remained living to-date. She is old and is the encyclopedia for Sebei culture because she knows everything,” says Chemaswet.
According to survey, whereas people can do many things to live long and healthy lives, the places we live in also shapes our health and lives. For instance, at regional level, eastern Uganda leads with 5.3 per cent oldest people followed by western with 4.4 per cent central 4.4 per cent and northern 3.9 per cent. On Districts level, in Buganda, Mityana District leads with 6 per cent while in the west, Kisoro leads with 5.5 per cent. In the north, the regional giant is Nebbi, with 4.8 per cent. While in Sub-counties. Sub-counties level with persons aged 60 per cent and above included Bumasifwa in Sironko, Ngenge, Buwalasi in Sironko Malera in Bukedea, Omodoi in Katakwi, Kalungu in Masaka, Busoba in Mbale, Buyobo in Sironko and Kolir in Bukedea 1,257 7.5.
Kween MP Hon. Chemaswet is a Man of Principles (Uganda)
BY SULAIMAN KAKAIRE, 5 AUGUST 2012
Kween countyMP, Abdi Fadhil Kisos Chemaswet, was perceived as a political neophyte shortly after he joined Parliament for his first term.
He often spoke less and was barely noticed in the overcrowded August House, with 386 lawmakers. But when he moved a motion for contempt of Parliament against the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Internal Affairs minister Hillary Onek, for refusing to honour a Parliament resolution and step aside, Chemaswet was thrust into the limelight. Many lawmakers admired his courage and, as he began to make headlines, he became a darling to the media.
Following an acrimonious debate in Parliament, Mbabazi and Onek rejected Parliament's resolution to step aside before a probe could investigate allegations that they took hefty bribes from oil firm Tullow. This prompted Chemaswet to move a motion finding the two liable for disdaining Parliament decorum. But a voter in Amama Mbabazi's constituency, Severino Twinobusingye, threw a spanner in the works.
He petitioned the Constitutional Court and in their verdict, the Justices ruled that Parliament's resolution, demanding that the implicated ministers step aside, was unconstitutional and erroneous. Although last year's accusations formed hard political times for Mbabazi and company, for Chemaswet they were an opportunity he seized with both hands. He gained fame that has today made him a recognisable figure. "I have no regret about whatever happened. My position was based on principle regardless of the people who were accused," Chemaswet told The Observer.
Born 39 years ago, in the remote Ngenge sub county in the newly created Kween District, Chemaswet traces his political trajectory way back from his school life. A former guild president of Islamic University in Uganda between 1999 and 2000, Chemaswet was at one time a prefect and chairperson of Uganda National Students at ChemwaniaHigh School, where he completed his high school.
After completing his advanced level education at Elgon High School Mbale in1997, he proceeded to IUIU, where he obtained his bachelor of social sciences in 2000. Like many graduates, Chemaswet found the job market in Uganda difficult, which prompted him to seek greener pastures in the neighboring Kenya.
"I failed to get a job here and there was no other alternative apart from Kenya, where I knew very well that I could not fail to get something to do," he said.
While in Kenya, he engaged in some business, which opened a rapport to some of the Kenyan politicians including, at one time, serving as a political assistant to the former Minister for Environment and Natural Resources, Joseph Kimkung. In 2003, he came back to Uganda and pursued a Certificate in Basic Store Management, School Of Logistics and Engineering, Jinja which opened his chances of joining the auxiliary force.
In 2003, Chemaswet was involved in the operation Iron Fist where he operated as a logistician and he says that his involvement in the operation was premised on the fact that the Lord's Resistance Army had caused suffering to his compatriots. After a three years service in the Auxiliary force, Chemaswet went back to Kenya to pursue a Master of Public Administration at MoiUniversity.
Road to parliament
Due to his established network of friends from KweenCounty, Chemaswet picked interest in joining Parliament as a representative of the area. Chemaswet, who claims to have launched his Parliament bid in 2009, says mobilizing the voters was very easy as a logistician. "I knew what the people wanted and I gave whatever they requested as I presented my manifesto," he cheekily said. No wonder, that it took long for the NRM to announce him as the flag bearer. Unlike his opponent, Dr Yeko Kiisa Arap, he (Chemaswet) was not known in the NRM structures. Eventually, during the general elections he trounced his main challenger, Arap, who stood as an independent.
Today, as a legislator, Chemaswet seems to have developed cold feet contrary to last year's steam, which has raised suspicions of having been compromised by the executive. Early, this year Chemaswet was among the group of MPs who defended Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile when Parliament wanted to find him culpable for paying a bloated compensation of Shs 169bn to businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba. But, he denies the allegations, saying his defence of Mutebile was premised on principle. "If you are pursuing an issue for the good of the people, you are not supposed to personalize them. For that case there was no basis for finding him liable and as a person I do not follow things that have no basis," he said.
In light of a planned move by the Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko to form a political party, Chemaswet is among the group of rebel MPs who have openly come out to back Nsereko's move. "I am in support of the proposed party because as politicians we are bound by the doctrine of a social contract and in case it is violated a new one is supposed to be sought," he said.
Chemaswet adds that his political departure from the NRM will be premised on its failure to full the promises it made to the people as well as a vague succession process. "We need a transparent process that will help us have a good successor to the president," he said.
A father of two daughters and a son, Chemaswet says his priorities are to advocate for service delivery and good governance. END
OUR LADY HAS PASSED AWAY IN LONDON-BRITAIN.
The late Julia C. Simotwo
A Kenyan lady has passed away in London. The late Julia C. Simotwo passed away on Saturday 18th Aug. 2012 at St. Thomas Hospital in London. Julia was born on the 21st April, 1970. She was daughter to the late Bamaba Simotwo Prismoi and Mama Christine Kiso Simotwo and step daughter to Veronica Simotwo all of Kapsokwony, Mt. Elgon District.
She was mother to Kimberley Jerotich Kipngengoi of Egerton University teaching Nursery school aged 4 years and 8 months. She was sister to Patrick, Bernard Moses, Jane, Eunice, Mrs Murere, etc. Mr. and Mrs. Mandu of Kenya High Commission London were generous enough to let friends and relatives to meet at their residence at 80 Woodlands, Golders Green, London, NW11 9QU. The meetings to facilitate repatriating the body commenced on Monday 19.08.2012. Meeting dates are Wednesday 22.08.2012 as from 7.00 p.m. and Saturday 25.08.2012 as from 4.00 p.m.
Friends are meeting daily to raise funds for this purpose. Please we request all to assist and contributions can be send to Mrs. J.N.M. Mandu's account at HSBC Bank, Account number 41493000 Sort code 40-03-15. You can reach Mrs. Mandu by telephone number 07936187450 or Mr. Mandu 07936187493.
Edwin Chemoiywo: His resilience and dedication to uplift our community.
By DANIEL PSIRMOI
One thing that greatly bothers Edwin Chemoiywo, is seeing many young energetic graduates and professionals from the Sabaot community trooping to cities and towns in droves in the name of hustling for jobs. Yet there are many more rewarding opportunities in their respective villages where one can make a difference in the lives of people.
Indeed for a man that graduated 7 months ago, he should rightly fit the profile of a ‘hustler’ and should be ‘tarmacking’- especially in the present day Kenya where jobs are hard to come by according to many people. But that is as far the as the similarity go.
The former student leader at EgertonUniversity is passionate about community mobilization, mentoring young people and giving back to the community. Edwin’s resilience and diligence with community work paid off handsomely early this year when he was made the County Coordinator of Winrock International, an N.G.O that deals with the youth for Bungoma and Busia Counties. As the coordinator, he has brought for engagement programmes close to 1000 youths in his home district Mt.Elgon as well as offered free training. That’s not all, besides this, he’s a budding entrepreneur, a farmer and a motivational speaker all rolled into one.
Born 26 years ago in Cheriwet village near CheptaisMt.ElgonSub-County the 1st born son of Chief in a family of 7, made up his mind at a tender age that he will work with the community. After high school in 2005, he taught as a volunteer teacher at a secondary school that is near his village for 4 months after which he joined a computer college in Bungoma for a short course on computer packages. To prove his love for the community Edwin who also has a passion in I.C.T started a computer training school in Cheptais market
“ Starting off with one computer, in my ‘ college’ I taught over 100 people basic computer skills,” he recalls with a tinge of pride , then adds that each student paid a Ksh.300 per package, a tidy sum then considering that he was fresh from school. Half of his students were working class people.
Edwin Speaking at a meeting.
“Apart from regular students who had cleared form four, I also trained three quarters of staff and health workers from the nearby Cheptais Sub-District hospital. And also teachers and policemen,” he says.
In August 2007, he joined Egerton University for a Bachelors degree in Education Science, specializing in Chemistry and Biology. Here his leadership became evident as he was elected a student leader by his fellow students during his third year.
While in this position at the Students Union of Egerton University (SUEU) body, according to his former college mates successfully bridged the gap between the administration and the students. He won an excellent student leadership award on the day he graduated.
Apart from KipsisGirlsSecondary School, Edwin had other short teaching stints at Kapsabet Girls for his teaching practice, KimaboleSecondary School and at his former school- TeremiHigh school. It is while at this last school that the bug of working with the community bit him again.
The young man who admits that he personally admires and is inspired by U.S President Barrack Obama, especially his community mobilization skills; got wind that an N.G.O; Dot Kenya was looking for volunteer coordinator in his home district. He applied and got the job.
“Dot Kenya majorly dealt with empowering people with ICT entrepreneurial and general life skills” he says and quickly adds that it’s while working here that the current organization spotted him.
“Winrock International took me in as their community mobilizer. In essence I had two concurrent jobs. Among other duties I also organized meetings between the local chiefs and youth groups”, he says.
He was promoted and he became a facilitator where he emerged tops after being evaluated. He got promoted further.
“I became a mentor of youths and a trainer of trainees in Bungoma and BusiaCounties and subsequently I was absorbed as a full staff member of the organization.”
Chemoiywo who says his role model locally is Hon. William Ruto - because of his courage and handwork. Edwin in no time he has risen to his current position -County Coordinator for Bungoma and BusiaCounties. His duties include among others: monitor youth training programs and offer advisory roles to youth led groups.
He also conducts youth mobilization programs, through which he has been able to bring in ex militiamen associated with the once dreaded Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF).
Being at the helm, he states that he has given a number of young people opportunities to fend for themselves. He also points out that Mt.Elgon being close to his heart has always received the lion share of the available job and training opportunities.
“I love my home Mt.Elgon I will do anything for my youthful kinsmen and women including pushing and lobbying for employment opportunities for them” says Edwin who also reveals that he loves reading inspirational books, biographies and listening to speeches. His other hobbies include playing volleyball and writing inspiration quotes.
“I like writing putting down my thoughts and sharing it with others in an effort to inspire them”, he says, and adds that he at times visits both primary and secondary schools to mentor pupils and students.
“Let the sabaot young people know that youth life is a business of choices, anything you do today adds to your legacy with which you will be remembered for when you are gone tomorrow.”
“It is not speed but direction one takes in life that matters. Opportunities come to those who look for them”, he advices the young people.
Where does he see himself in the next five years or in the near future? I ask.
“In the next 5 years I will ask the people of Mt.Elgon Constituency to give me an opportunity to represent them in parliament, he states and continues to say that his dream is to see an orderly society where handwork is rewarded, the strong are just, the weak are secure and the captives set free.
He reveals that he has actually been approached by many people who have been impressed by his good work asking him to try a hand in politics, but retorts that he will not contest now. He feels he got a duty to educate the electorate.
“Sabaot graduates and young professionals should appreciate working with the community, it is so rewarding. There is no need to go to towns and cities to hustle and look for work while you can make a difference in your own village, through working with your own people and changing their lives,” he says in conclusion.
Shock as Form Four student goes blind in Mt. Elgon-Kenya.
By DANIEL PSIRMOI
Caleb(center) with family members.
A family of a 19 year boy in a village in Mt.Elgon, Sub County are in a shock after their son, a form four student at Moi High School Kaptama went blind. Members of the Tendet family at Kaborom Village near Kaptama where the boy hails from are in distress and are finding it hard to believe that their son, who was very promising at school and who was the hope of the family will be blind forever.
When I visited the Village, a sombre mood had engulfed the homestead. We found family members huddled together and in a discussion outside the main house.
Caleb Kiprotich Tendet, 19 , says he drank what he thought was methylated spirit on Thursday 26th, while in school for reasons he is at pains to explain. He says the school laboratory prefect gave him the chemical after he requested for it, so that he could apply it to a wound he had on his leg. He applied the substance on the wound and drank the remainder, about 15 millimeters according to him.
The form four student at Moi Kaptama Secondary School started loosing his sight after imbibing the drink which doctors later suspected to be methanol. On 30th Monday July , Caleb was rushed to Sabatia Eye Mission Hospital, where doctors to the shock of his family members declared that he was totally blind and there was nothing they could do to help him.
Caleb, who readily admits to have ‘tasted’ and drank methylated spirit several times with his friends in school, is in a state of denial.
“I didn’t know it would come to this. Doctors at Sabatia told me I will never see again because the chemical killed my optical nerves,” said Caleb while wiping tears from his eyes, which look normal at a first glance.
The news was particularly hard for Julia Tendet, Caleb’s widowed mother. The father passed away one year ago and the mother has been selling firewood to keep his last born son in school.
“Of my 9 children, Caleb was my hope. Being my last born son, he is traditionally supposed to take care of me. I do not know what I will do now,” narrated a tearful Julia, then added,” I have struggled singlehandedly with my son, selling firewood to pay his school fees. He used to guide me and tell me not to worry because after school he will get a good job, now see what the devil has done, when he was just about to complete his studies.”
The family is now appealing to well wishers to come and assist Caleb to go to a special school because his life has changed.
“We all know a person who can not totally see is not useless, he can still be a resourceful member of the society. All is not lost for this young man if he is assisted to go to a special school” said Ben Latebo, the boy’s uncle.
“We appeal to well wishers and anybody who can assist to come help me take Caleb to school or accord us any help. I do not want him to stay here at home, helplessly because stress and thinking too much will surely kill him,” said the Mother Julia Tendet.
When contacted for comment, Jacob Psero, the Moi Kaptama Secondary School Principal said the entire school was saddened with what befell their student. However he believes Caleb sourced the drug from elsewhere because according to him the school has not stocked the chemical for the last two years.
“I personally had to scour through the list of chemical purchased by the school, and the chemical that Caleb is said to have ingested has not been purchased by the school for the last two years,” said the principal. He quickly added that the school will support the boy and the family where they can.
More about Methanol:
Methanol is an industrial alcohol used in the manufacture of dyes and has been used as an additive to chang’aa by some illicit brewers to increase its potency and intoxicating effects. It is highly poisonous substance and as little as 30 mililitres is enough to kill a person, with 10 mililitres being enough to cause blindness. The chemical kills optic nerves.END.........To offer medical or financial help to Caleb please email: email@example.com
Bukwo-Uganda: Is Barley Farming Worth the Effort?
By Emma Onyango, 6 AUGUST 2012
Bukwo, Uganda — With arms locked behind his back and looking from a distance, Wilfred Kusuro a barley farmer in Bukwo district about 270km East of Kampala City on the slopes of Mount Elgon is seemingly lost in thought as he inspects vast acres of barley.
Braving the chilly weather, he is inspecting the lush green barley plants belonging to beer maker Nile Breweries limited who in an effort to reduce the amount of barley imported, opted to source the product locally.
Kusuro told the East African Business Week that he first started growing the crop in 1994 but because it was not profitable enough, he opted to concentrate all his efforts to growing wheat and maize that had low costs of production and yet it brought in better returns.
The Sebei region of Uganda, infamously known for the grisly act of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is also known for the athletic talent that has often put Uganda on the world stage. In recent years however, this area is fast establishing itself as a major food basket in the country as a result of the fertile soils on the slopes of the Elgon mountain.
Travelling to this area is no mean feat as the roads are almost impassable especially after the rains, the makeshift bridges do not help the matter. The vast land sprouting with very beautiful crops like maize, wheat and the barley leaves one with sour grapes because the farmers cannot easily take their crops to the market.
In recent years, Uganda's large breweries, Nile Breweries, a subsidiary of SABMiller and Uganda Breweries opted to locally source barley for their malting processes. Kapchorwa and Bukwo were some of the few areas that the crop can thrive.
Speaking to farmers in Kapchorwa recently, I was captivated by their success stories and getting to Bukwo, the story doesn't look all that rosy as we later found out on a media excursion two weeks back.
Kusuro told this reporter that barley farming is very challenging and yet it does not bring in good returns.
"We have been producing barley at a higher cost and yet we are getting low prices for it. We buy barley seeds at Ush1,250 a kilogram and then sell the same crop at Ush800 a kilogram to Nile Breweries. We believe that the buying farm gate price needs to change to Ush1,500 a kilogram. This will at least bring in significant profits to the farmer", he said.
He added, "Compare that to the price other crops for instance maize which has a low cost of production, currently being sold at Ush1,200 a kilogram, beans also with low production costs is also sold at Ush2,000 a kilogram and wheat at Ush850 a kilogram."
This is in total contrast to the barley farmers in the neighbouring Kapchorwa who say that the crop has transformed their lives because of the high returns.
A field officer who spoke to the East African Business Week on condition of anonymity said that the cost of producing barley per unit area is very high compared to other crops like maize.
"You have to prepare the garden three times; primary cultivation, secondary cultivation then you do harrowing. Then you have to plant with a machine; that is already about Ush300,000 ($125) used for that process alone. Then the herbicides, pesticides and then the fungicides which are all highly priced. Then there's harvesting, processing and drying.
"Compared to maize where you only do the primary cultivation then you plant, then you weed may be once and that's all. That's why it is difficult for us currently to convince farmers to begin growing barley. They say, 'After all I can grow my maize at a low cost, harvest and store it till the price is right.
He added that the seed is sold to the farmers at Ush1,250 a kilogram then they (NBL) later on buy it at Ush800.
"The fertilizers are being given to them at Ush155,000 ($65) per a 50kg bag - an acre needs 80kg of fertilizers. Then you have to top dress it with urea," he said.
Nile Breweries currently needs 20,000tons of malting barley to run its Maltings plant in Jinja at optimum capacity but for the current brewing requirements, the company needs 15,000tons of barley to convert into Malt annually.
According to information from NBL, barley growing is just being developed and the best NBL has received in the past four years is 5,000tons. The major challenge according to the brewer is quality because not all the barley produced in Uganda is of malting grade which is required.
This year, NBL is importing 8,000 tons of barley from Australia and it expects 4,500tons of malting barley grade from the local farmers.
"If NBL uses local malt from locally grown barley to produce beer, it pays 40% excise compared to 60% excise paid on directly imported malt from other countries," read a statement from the company.
Responding to the farmers' requests to revise the price of the crop, NBL said that, "NBL has consistently been reviewing prices and will continue, so long as it makes business sense. When we started barley project the price was at SHs.400 per Kilogram, now at Shs.800. NBL has already been credited to making barley a high value crop in the region but any farmer will always ask for a high price. Our role as NBL is to maintain the profitability of barley."
It only remains to be seen whether just like Kusuro, the barley farmers in Kapchorwa will be staring into the distance with satisfaction or they will still be staring into the distance hoping for a new savior.
Source: Click here.
MP-Kapondi under fire as race for parliamentary seat heats up.
By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted 5th August, 2012.
Pic: SIDO's file photos of former Elgon MP Wilberforce Kisiero(L), current MP Fred Kapondi(C), and former MP Joseph Kimkung(R) during burial of Bishop Okiring'.
Mt.Elgon-Kenya MP Fred Kapondi re-election in next year’s general election faces an acid test as potential contenders have emerged to end his stay in power.
A new force that is composed of professionals is working on a strategy to present a single candidate to floor Kapondi- who first vied for the parliamentary seat in 1992 then also lost in 1997 elections but later won in 2007 general election.
Kapondi’s political star has been waning after he acrimoniously started falling out with his close friends and professionals from the community that helped him clinch the seat. A section of the electorates, especially the youth accuse him of failing to live to their expectation.
A section of student leaders from various universities that hail from Mt. Elgon stated that the MP has not been effective in supporting education in the area. They say the area has lagged behind even further than other constituencies in BungomaCounty during his tenure leading to decline in academic standards.
“We expected him to give education, especially higher education; a priority by investing heavily in it so as to turn around the lives of the constituents, but this has not been the case”, said Newton Ndiwa student leader at Kabarak University, adding that the legislator is a hand-off leader when it comes to education matters he doesn’t provide the required leadership in the field.
Early this year university students through their umbrella bodyMt. Elgon College and University Students Association ( MECUSA) protested over the preferential treatment primary school teachers pursuing degrees in universities locally and in a nearby country received when it comes to allocation of bursary funds from the C.D.F kitty. The students questioned why well- to-do-teachers, who receive salaries, are funded to study in Uganda at the expense of needy students from poor families in local institutes of higher learning. The students even threatened to move to court in April allegedly disputing the mismanagement of the fund and the new system of disbursement of the bursary through the use of clan chairmen and elders.
''CDF is from our taxes, everybody equally deserves it, but sadly here in Mt. Elgon it has been turned into a cash cow for certain politicians and their cronies.'' said Job Shangani the MECUSA chairman. He called for complete overhaul of the CDF committee and have professionals from the community and student representatives in the body.
''The team that is in place is completely unable to serve our interests and should be disbanded with immediate effect’’, offered Shangani, who is a student at the University of Nairobi.
The young scholars also decried the glaring disparities in the disbursement of the finances and called for equity when it comes to awarding of the funds.
“It makes little difference to be given Ksh.2, 000 and you are a Parallel (Module II) student paying Ksh.120,000 and another one from a rich family gets sh30,000 and he/she is on regular programme. It is even better if you were not given said Ivor Kirong, the MECUSA Secretary General.”
Mr. Kapondis apparent lack of enthusiasm to push for the interests of the community and his reluctance to help his Sabaot people secure jobs, considering that he chairs a powerful Parliamentary Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security and he is known to be close to some big shots in government, has not gone down well with members of the community and may be a factor that may deny him a second term.
Some professionals from the community cite the case of resettling of ‘foreign’ I.D.P.S in Endebess and that of the county commissioners’. Additionally the most recent plight of Jeniffer Masis ,a nominee for the East Africa Legislative Assembly from the community where they believe he (Kapondi) did not do enough lobbying of his parliamentary colleagues. Masis narrowly lost capturing the slot by 7 votes. The issue of Chebyuk squatters who the government bought land for in TransNzoiaCounty is yet another matter. Almost a year after the ministry of land released SH.1 Million the 352 families are still in the cold and have not been resettled.
They complain that out of 5 district commissioners from the community, none got the county commissioners’ job despite the information that he was privy to the going on and was in a position to influence.
“ He has supported the annexing of our land he fully supported the resettling of I.d.p.s in Endebess constituency against the public mood ” observes a professional from the community who requested anonymity because he is a civil servant and quickly adds that the MP was against the sub-division of Mt.Elgon into two constituencies and has openly frustrated efforts of a section of activists’ and politicians from the community who sued I.E.B.C for the transfer of four sub-locations to Sirisia Constituency .
But when contacted for comment the MP denied the allegations saying the issues are fabrications and mere campaigns tactics by his opponents meant to tarnish his good name and subsequently sabotage his re-election.
“I have initiated several developments projects in Education, Health and other sectors of the economy across the entire mountain and my development record speaks for the last five years speaks for itself,”said the legislator adding that most of the projects have been completed while others are on-going.
He refuted the claims made by the university students that he has not supported education saying that everyone from constituency knows education has been his priority .
“From 2006 to when I took over in 2008 Mt.Elgon used to send an average of 10 students to university through joint admission board (JAB) over the years the number has steadily risen. This year for example a record high of about 84 students will join university directly since they got grade B+ and above. What is that?” he posed. Adding that unlike his predecessors he has chosen not to meddle with school affairs and instead works closely with the head of the secondary schools in the constituency. He also said that he has secured chances for some to students in the community to go study medicine in the university of Nairobi and MoiUniversity
He advised the university students to concentrate on the studies and avoid being misused by certain politicians.
“It’s sad that the students through MECUSA, have become political power brokers of a certain aspirant. Let the young men know that the era of political brokers in Mt.Elgon ended long ago.”
On the EALA nomination that saw his kinswoman narrowly loose out, Kapondi absolved himself and URP Party and its leader William Ruto from fault, saying that the party that nominated Jeniffer Masis( Wiper Democratic Movement should be square to the blame. He said he and his URP brigade did their best.
The lawmaker while responding to the question on the now contentious issue of the county commissioners whose fate still hangs in the balance up to date said that the community was lumped together with their fellow Kalenjin brothers.
“ Appointment of the county commissioners was based on work experience and seniority in service at the provincial administration, women district commissioners were the only lucky lot as this criteria wasn’t followed strictly.”
“The Chebyuk forest evictees, who missed out on the reallocation of farms in Chebyuk phase 3 schemes, will be resettled starting the end of this month and by mid August everyone will be fully resettled in the farm that the government bought for them in Trans-Nzoia.”
Without mentioning names the MP, who also said he doesn’t fear competition, further stated that some people should learn to be grateful and appreciative instead of spreading cheap baseless propaganda and criticism.
“Let our people work hard and stop listening to idle gossip. It’s wrong to bring somebody down based on hearsay. Let us instead cease lamenting and concentrate in development activities,” he said.
Candidates posing a serious threat include a Mombasa based businessman Harry Kimtai and former area MP and Planning Assistant Minister Hon. John Serut. Kimtai , A Masters degree holder in Economics, who contested in the last general election is viewed by many people as a neutral and sober candidate who can change the fortunes of the constituents.
“I have the vision, ideas, connections through my vast business experience and track record to bring about change in Mt.Elgon, the former Principal Revenue Officer at KRA said recently at funeral in Kaptama.
Other candidates in the race for the seat include another former MP Joe Kimkung, businessmen: Evans Kiprotich and John Ngononin, former banker Benard Mungou and accountants: Michael Kawon and Allan Mayiek who is the Amagoro CDF fund manager.
A REFLECTION SEMINAR OF AUTHOR Amb. B. E. KIPKORIR.
By Paul Kipchumba
ABOVE EVENT WILL BE HELD ON THURSDAY 23 AUGUST 2012 FROM 9 A.M. TO 4 P.M. AT EDUCATION BUILDING, 2ND FLOOR, ROOM ED213, AT THE CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE, MAIN CAMPUS, UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI. A multi-disciplinary seminar convened by Paul Kipchumba in collaboration with the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (IAGAS) at the University of Nairobi
Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir (B E Kipkorir) after serving in different capacities in 5 decades since 1960s has contributed a lot in the advancement of multi-disciplinary scholarship. The most notable of his contributions were at the Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies (IAGAS) at the University of Nairobi. He helped to coordinate, research, compile and edit Kenya districts socio-cultural profiles that numbered at least 19 by the time he left the Institute.
Amb. Dr Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir has done extensive researches on Kalenjin history, spanning five decades. He studied at Makerere University (BA) and University of Cambridge (UK) for PhD, which he completed in 1969, being the first Kalenjin to have received such qualifications at the time. Thereafter, he taught at the Department of History, University of Nairobi, for thirteen years, being the director of the Institute of African Studies for seven years. He is the author of several books on the history and social anthropology of the Kalenjin: The Marakwet of Kenya (1973, revised 2008), Kerio Valley Past, Present and Future (1983), Descent from Cherang’any Hills (2009)
The following are some of the available volumes and articles by B. E. Kipkorir:
v Biographical essays on imperialism and collaboration in colonial Kenya (1980). University of Nairobi.
v Descent from Cherang’any Hills: memoirs of a reluctant academic (2009). Macmillan (Publishers) Kenya/ Moran Publishers.
v “Introduction” in Politics and nationalism in colonial Kenya (1972). East African Publishing House & Historical Society of Kenya. pp xiii-xii. [Edited by B A Ogot]
v Kalenjin History and Misri Legends (1971). University of Nairobi.
v Kenya districts socio-cultural profiles (1970s and 1980s). Government Press.
v Kerio Valley past, present, and future: proceedings of a seminar held in Nairobi at the Institute of AfricanStudies, University of Nairobi, May 21-22, 1981 (1983). University of Nairobi. [Edited with R Soper and W Ssenyonga]
v Non-formal education in Kenya (1973). University of Nairobi.
v People of the Rift Valley (1978 & 1985). Evans Brothers.
v “The AllianceHigh School and the making of Kenya African elite, 1926-1962” (1969). PhD thesis, University of Cambridge.
v “The Kolloa Affray, Kenya1950” in Transafrican Journal of History (vol. 2 no. 2 of 1972. pp 114-129).
v The Marakwet of Kenya: a preliminary study (1973 & 2008). Kenya Literature Bureau & East African Educational Publishers. [With F Welbourn]
v “The Sirikwa” in Uganda Journal (1964).
v “The sun in Marakwet religious thought” (1974). University of Nairobi.
v “Whites as education experts in Colonial East Africa:a look at some of the men (and their ideas) responsible for African education inthe region with special reference to Kenya, 1919-1939” (1978). University of Nairobi.
The works are well researched but have not generated intense scholarly inquiries. This seminar, therefore, aims at re-introducing the works by provoking further discussions and debates on the ideas, issues, theories and philosophies advanced.
The seminar organizers welcome papers in all fields based on any, some or all of the works. That may include application or transformation of B E Kipkorir’s ideas, theories or philosophies in other fields or in real life situations, while refuting or supporting any claims made therein. The papers presented will be compiled, edited and published by IAGAS.
Those who would like to present papers should e-mail 100-300 word abstract(s) to Amos Kibet Koech at firstname.lastname@example.org and Dennis Khamati Shilabukha at email@example.com by Monday 6 August 2012. However, if you would like to attend and participate in other ways send a confirmation for participation e-mail to the same e-mails by Friday 17 August 2012.
There is a cover charge of KES 500 payable upon registration.
If you will have trouble accessing the works of B E Kipkorir, we will help you at a small fee that will cover the cost of purchasing, photocopying or mailing, whichever is applicable.
Source: G. Kipsisey Sobett - Nairobi, Kenya
VP urges Kenyans to elect upright leaders while in Mt.Elgon. Posted 5th August, 2012.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who is on his third day tour of the North Rift said Kenyans are more enlightened now than before and will not accept to be swayed by empty political rhetoric.
Mr. Musyoka noted that the wider democratic space has enabled Kenyans to make informed decisions particularly in choosing upright leaders who are able to address their plight.
He urged people in the region to vote for him in the forthcoming general election, as he understands best the aspirations of ordinary Kenyans.
"Every Kenyan has been guaranteed by the constitution including right to food, shelter and medication,'' he said.
The Vice President was addressing wananchi in the new Endebes constituency at Mt.Elgon lodge in TransNzoiaCounty after a day series of political rallies in the area.
Mr. Musyoka once again he urged voters to elect him as their president, citing his long experience in politics in the country's governance.
"Your vote will determine your lives and destiny of this great nation. Do not gamble with it, we need leaders of substance who will steer this country to greater heights of prosperity,'' said Mr. Musyoka.
The Vice President said the principle of equal opportunities that he intends to pursue would ensure marginalized and minority communities received their fair share of national cake.
He urged people in North Rift to speak in one voice and elect leaders who are capable to utilize developed system of administration to their advantage.
Speaking later to Sabaot elders and leaders at the Mt.Elgon lodge, Mr. Musyoka urged them to guide the community and particularly the youth to identify true leadership qualities of the aspirants to enable them vote wisely come the next general election.
Mr. Musyoka at the same time called on elders and religious leaders to be at the forefront in promoting peace by advising the youth on the importance of peaceful coexistence.
The Vice President stressed the need to resolve any differences amongst the communities through respect and dialogue.
Kenyan Security Forces Face U.S. Funding Ban over Mt. Elgon Human Rights Abuses
By Bernard Momanyi (Nairobi, Kenya).
The US Senate has banned any funding or training to units of the Kenyan military and police found to have been involved in human rights abuses in Mount Elgon in March 2008.
The Senate has also directed US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to also consider similar bans for other units of security forces in Kenya which have violated human rights in operations carried out in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera between November 2011 and January 2012; and in Dadaab in December 2011.
The directive is contained in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill 2013 that has been seen by Capital FM News.
"The Committee directs the Secretary of State to take steps to ensure that no United States training, equipment, or other assistance is provided to any Kenyan military or police personnel who have been credibly alleged to have violated human rights in Kenya," the Committee on Appropriations wrote in the report dated May 24, 2012.
The report tabled in the US Senate contains appropriations for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013.
The Secretary of State is now required to submit a report to the Committee on steps taken by the Government of Kenya to conduct thorough, credible investigations of such violations and the identification of military units responsible.
The Kenyan military and some units of the police force were accused of having violated rights of innocent Kenyans during an operation to flush out members of the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) in Mt Elgon in 2008, resulting in the killings of an estimated 750 people and disappearance of hundreds more.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) estimates that up to 300 people or more are still missing to date.
In March 13, 2012, HRW wrote to Kenya's Defence Minister Yusuf Haji seeking answers on letters it had written to the ministry previously over violations meted on innocent people in Mt Elgon and latest ones in Northern Kenya during the ongoing 'Operation Linda Nchi.'
"I would also like to request further information pursuant to our letter of November 18. That letter raised concerns about possible violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by Kenyan armed forces during three incidents connected to Operation Linda Nchi," HRW said in its letter dated March 13 addressed to Haji.
The letter signed by Leslie Lefkow, HRW's Deputy Director of Africa Division also states that it is in the process of documenting abuses by both the military and Al Shabaab members and their sympathisers both at the Northern part of Kenya and inside Somalia.
It also has annexes of some of the documentations so far but to date, the Ministry of Defence has not replied to HRW's letter.
HRW has however, welcomed the latest development by the US Senate banning any further funding or support to units in the Kenya military and police found to have participated in the abuses on citizens.
"The US Senate decision to ban funding and training to military and police personnel that took part in recent abuses in NorthEasternProvince is a step forward for accountability in Kenya," said Neela Ghoshal, East Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch.
"It will put pressure on the Kenyan military and police to uphold their promises to investigate abuses. For the women we interviewed who were raped or assaulted by police in Dadaab in December; for the elderly men forced to roll in the road in Wajir while being beaten by the KDF, for the children who were beaten by soldiers in Garissa and Mandera, this may provide a glimmer of hope," she added.
There was no immediate response from Department of Defence Spokesman Bogita Ongeri, Military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir and Cyrus Oguna as their mobile phones went unanswered.
Earlier this year, the Department of Defence formed a board of inquiry into abuses reported in Garissa, Wajir and Mandera but little has been heard of its outcome, if any.<<<
Girl killed as storm hits Mt. Elgon - Kenya.
By NATION TEAM firstname.lastname@example.org . Posted Thursday, May 24 2012 at 22:30
A nine-year-old girl died and five other people were injured in a storm that left more than 50 families homeless in Mt. Elgon District.
Fostine Cheruto died at Moi Teaching and ReferralHospital in Eldoret from injuries sustained after a storm destroyed her parents’ house in Chemweisus village. Her father, Mr Phillip Ngeywa, said she had been removed from the debris and taken to hospital. The girl and other family members were indoors when the house was hit by the storm and collapsed.
“She was unconscious and bleeding from the mouth and nose when she was taken out,” he said.
Five other people are being treated at KapsokwonyLevelFourHospital for injuries caused by flying timber, iron sheets and falling trees, outgoing Mt.Elgon district commissioner Kassim Farah said.
He said more than 200 people spent the night in the open and appealed to well-wishers to assist.
The storm flattened crops and swept away livestock.
A classroom at Chemweisus Primary and several shops and kiosks were also destroyed. Iron sheets, blankets and mattresses hang from trees where they had been blown by the wind.
Mrs Rita Cherop said she sheltered in a makeshift tent with her eight children after three of her houses were destroyed. She lost all her belongings, including clothes and bedding.
“We have nowhere to go and we cannot rebuild as we have no money,” Mrs Cherop said and appealed to the government to allow them to cut trees to build new homes.
The Meteorological Department has warned that the rains will continue for the next few weeks.<<
Source: Nation Newspaper - Kenya.
Uganda's Sebei cooperative union:Is Captain Seiko flogging a dead horse?
By Allan Chekwech. Posted Tuesday, May 24 2012 at 00:00
New government policy in 1986 made most cooperatives unsustainable to run due to the collapse of agriculture extension services, mismanagement and damages to their assets during the past wars in Uganda. Sebei Cooperative Union has not been saved from that curse.
It feels good to be trusted by farmers to lead them, but it another thing to deliver to their expectations. And Capt. Juma Seiko has a plateful as the chairperson of Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union (SECU) for the last three years.
In 2009, the retired soldier beat Mr Joseph Cheptai to the helm of the region’s prized farmers’ institution. He promised to revamp the once bee-hive of activity facility supporting farmers in the region.
However, speaking to this newspaper in an exclusive interview last week, Capt. Seiko said his term of office has not been an easy one. He admits that he has come close to failure but faith has kept his team afloat.
“The journey has been a tough one. We have had to work with a meagre resource envelope but we still hope to improve farmers’ living conditions,” he says.
Capt. Seiko, a successful farmer himself, adds that for the cooperative to benefit farmers and the community, the government ought to finance the sector as it is of the country’s major source of income.
The union, located in the heart of KapchorwaTown, is as silent as it is dark.
Last week, the Trade and Industry Minister, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, said the government has only allocated Shs196m to awaken cooperative societies. Ms Kyambadde indicated to Parliament that the sector has been hit by inadequate legal and regulatory framework, poor storage facilities and infrastructure.
What the trade minister told legislators is only a tip of an icebag given what Seiko and his farmers experience in the mountainous sub-region.
A mountain of challenges
When the board assumed power, a grotesque debt of Shs1.4b accruing from operation costs stared in their faces even before they could dust off the shelves of the preceding regime.
Employees, according to Seiko, were demanding the cooperative Shs200m, which is yet to be offset. But he is quick to add that Salim Saleh’s company, Divinity Union, helped the union with at least Shs800m to clear part of the debt and this would give the cooperative some new life.
Asked why the union, which used to process coffee and maize flour, is rotting away, Seiko says the problem lies in the lack of starting capital which they do not have.
They need at least Shs1b to re-start the coffee processing project, and Shs500m to resume buying and processing of maize flour, which will eventually provide market for more farmers’ produce.
Currently, the union deals with barley. But not many farmers grow the cereal.
“We inherited a shambled cooperative. The union was in a terrible state but we are doing our best to bring it back to life,” Seiko adds.
Just last week, the chairperson travelled to Bukwo to settle complaints that Kapyoyon farm, the company’s largest land, had been rocked by land give-away.
The irregularities are the freshest hardships to hit the one-time industrious institution.
Mr Dismas Sande, a farm manager at the cooperative, says the land scandals emerged after farmers were not stopped from paying money in the bank to hire the land.
“The collection of money was not done by individuals. It was done in the bank and I was not consulted on the developments. When my role to allocate land came, I was overwhelmed by the number of farmers with bank receipts,” Mr Sande said.
The farm manager says he was not aware that some land had been given to Nile Breweries and was shocked when he was told there was shortage of land. But he said the situation has been contained and the matter will be resolved amicably.
But Mr Patrick Chesang, a farmer says they have no option but ask for their refund because the land has already been cultivated. Mr Basil Mangusho, the Secretary General says, the private company will buy the produce at Shs8,000 to Shs9,000 a kilogramme.
Middlemen in control
The death of cooperatives gave rise to private buyers and middlemen who exploit farmers and have frustrated the sector because the cooperative can no longer buy coffee.
Pivate firms like Masai Tours and Travels have filled the gap. They purchase the cash crop though not at attractive rates. But other private individuals have also been buying the coffee.
Nothing going on here
During a visit by the facility’s management, area MPs and Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesigye last weekend, it emerged that most of the machines, though expensive and relevant, were dead asleep and very cold. Inside the enormous building yearned for lighting.
So why doesn’t the factory whirr? Seiko says the generator is worn out and cannot facilitate the union’s activities. Besides, SECU is not connected to the national electricity grid.
Capt. Seiko says Umeme wants them to buy their own transformer, which is a dream come true for the already cash-strapped cooperative.
According to Umeme Chief Commercial Officer, Ms Florence Nsubuga, a transformer can cost between $5,000 and $20,000 (about Shs12m and Shs49m).
She adds that this depends on the size and does not include other requirements and accessories such as wires and poles. Ms Nsubuga says a transformer cannot be bought in isolation.
Lessons from BCU
However, the neighbouring Bugisu Cooperative Union is a planet away in functionality and returns.
It still purchases and process coffee and maize at reasonable prices and farmers there have a reason to smile, save for the political wrangles therein.
BCU also gives bursaries to a number of students from the land. A mile, it must be said.
Before Nandala Mafabi became chairperson of BCU, farmers earned about Shs800 for a kilogramme of coffee, but that has since increased to Shs6,200 by the end of 2010.
But that is the only functioning cooperative in the country whose economy’s spine leans on agriculture.
So does SECU management watch BCU do their best and do not borrow a leaf?
Capt. Seiko says he hopes to revamp SECU operationalisation and offer better services to farmers. He also hopes to offer bursaries to the bright and needy.
But SECU management says the company’s success can only be achieved through government intervention.
“Government should come to our rescue. Farmers need to benefit from the union because Sebei is very conducive for agriculture,” Mr Mangusho says.
The cooperatives, which died countrywide in the early 80s, have a potential to increase export revenues, improve peoples’ purchasing power and minimise income inequalities. They are able to do this by providing available market for farmers’ produce and availing inputs.
Government has repeatedly promised to revamp the cooperative unions in its effort to create a middle income economy but 20 years on, nothing has been done to the effect.
In a “rescue mission”, SECU signed a contract with Nile Breweries to hire at least 750 acres of Kapyoyon farm in Bukwo District for barley growing at Shs140,000 per acre.
Seiko says the beer company had so much to offer: Improve the farm’s road network, connect electricity, fence the land and renovate the farm’s guest house. The Jinja-based company also had to pump water for irrigation to the farm and build a workshop there.
Besides the above, Nile Breweries would buy farmers’ produce and offer inputs.
Seiko says a maize mill has been acquired and will be in the facility in two weeks’ time and combine harvesters will also help boost growers of barley.
So will Seiko achieve his dream, or he is flogging a dead horse, given the state of cooperatives in the country?
Source: Monitor newspaper – Uganda.
Residents invade cooperative land in Kapchorwa - Uganda.
BY ALLAN CHEKWECH. POSTED MONDAY, MAY 24 2012 AT 00:00
Irregular formulas. Farmers accuse the cooperative of taking their money without giving them land, but the union says money was collected irregularly.
Farmers in Sebei have invaded land belonging to Sebei Elgon Cooperative Union, claiming they paid money to some of the cooperatives’ officials.
Capt. Juma Seiko, the chairperson of the union, during an interview with this newspaper last week said residents, who were evicted from Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve last year, invaded the farm, arguing that even Kenyans were being given land yet they had nowhere to cultivate. He said others claimed they paid money to hire land but are not reflected in the union’s books.
“We appeal to the government to resettle these people (about 400) because they have encroached on ccoperative’s land which has led to shortage and Nile Breweries, which had been allocated land in the farm, has threatened to so us over breach of contract,” Capt. Seiko said.
He added that he had ordered his managers to advertise the available land such that farmers would apply for it but he was defied and land was given away irregularly.
“The collection of money from farmers was crafty. We need to verify those who entered the land illegally and those who deserve land,” he said.
The chairperson said the cooperative had given at least 750 acres of land to Nile Breweries to plant barley but farmers encroached on it, leaving a paltry 450 acres for the beer company. This forced the Jinja-based brewers to threaten a suit.
Seiko, with the union’s secretary general, Mr Basil Mangusho, told this newspaper that some of their managers pocketed farmers’ cash and did not register them in the company’s books.
The duo added that there are those who genuinely paid money for land but did not get it.
While meeting farmers in Bukwo last week, Capt. Seiko appealed to them to be calm as the issue is settled.
“We ask all those who did not pay to the union to do so such that we compensate those who paid but did not get land,” he said, adding that farmers should not take the law into their own hands.
Capt. Seiko indicated that they had written a letter of apology to Nile Breweries and a meeting would be held this week in Jinja over the issue.
Mr George Mbogo, the local material sourcing manager at Nile Breweries, represented the company in the meeting with farmers.
The farmers said they would wait for the matter to be settled and called for transparency on the part of the cooperative. They said because they do not have elsewhere to cultivate, the farm is their only hope.
Nile Breweries Corporate Affairs Manager Onapito Ekomoloit was not available for comment yesterday as he was reported to be out of the country.
Kapyoyon farm has about 1,766 acres but only 1,350 acres are arable. Of these, 750 were given to Nile Breweries, 300 to 400 were to go to local farmers, and 200 would be cultivated by the cooperative.
The union had hired out the land to Nile Breweries for two years at a cost of Shs140,000 per acre. Each farmer was also expected to pay the same amount to the cooperative.
Source: Monitor Newspaper - Uganda.
Kenya: Mudslides Kill Two in Mt Elgon
By Nicholas Wamalwa, Posted 13 May 2012
Two people have been killed and property worth thousands of shillings destroyed by mudslides in three Mount Elgon villages caused by heavy rain.
Councillors Job Kipnusu and Pius Muyei told reporters in Kitale yesterday that James Bwayo, a former bursar at ChweleSecondary School, died at Changeywa village, and Boaz Wanyonyi from Kutere village also lost his life.
The councillors said the most affected areas are Changeywa, Chesikak and Teremi along River Sosio where more than 50 families are affected due to heavy rains pounding the area. "We want the government to relocate families living on landslide prone areas by offering them substitute land," said Muyei.
He appealed to the government and well wishers to intervene and help the affected families with medication and food. "We are also cautioning our people to be extra vigilant during this rainy season in order to contain further destruction," said Kipnusu. He said there was also need for the government to provide tree seedlings to locals to enable them plant more trees which can help prevent mudslides.<<
Posted by Esly Kania SIDO’s NewsNetwork Administrator. Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201205060056.html
Kenya: Sh1.8 Billion Water Project for Busia and Bungoma-Mt. Elgon.
By Reuben Olita, Posted 13 May 2012.
Preview: The project will provide water to communities in Cheptais, Bungoma West, Bumula, Teso North, Teso South and Nambale districts.
A Sh1.8 billion water and sanitation project to serve 600,000 residents of Busia and Bungoma counties was launched in Teso district yesterday. A World Vision Kenya-sponsored stakeholders' workshop at Hotel Levantes in Amagoro was yesterday told that the government has given out Sh10m for the feasibility studies. Regional Commissioner for Upper Western Mohammed Rashid led three DCs from Nambale, Bumula and Teso in its launch. The project will be funded by the World Bank, Unicef, ADB and World Vision, among other donors.
WVK-Angurai senior programme manager Harun Ndegwa said water catchment areas in the two counties are highly degraded due to deforestation, river bank encroachment, growth of eucalyptus in riparian areas and poor farming methods.
The Mt Elgon-Bungoma-Teso gravity water and sanitation project will increase water by 25 per cent by 2016. The project will provide water to communities in Cheptais, Bungoma West, Bumula, Teso North, Teso South and Nambale districts.
It will also be used to supply water for irrigation to the communities residing around the intake and along the pipeline. "The project intends to establish a gravity water scheme to serve the communities who are facing an acute water shortage," said Rashid.
Water sources in the area include rivers Tisi, Malakisi and Lwakhakha, with the latter producing the highest volume of 58,000 M3 per day. Rashid said the project will be implemented in four phases starting this year and will be completed in December 2016. He said the six districts are currently served by boreholes, hand dug wells, springs and small pumping schemes. "These water points are of low yields and most of them dry up during dry seasons. Pumping schemes are expensive to run and operate," he said. Bumula DC Raphael Muiruri and his Nambale counterpart, Francis Lenyangume said the project will help alleviate the problem of water.<<
Posted by Esly Kania SIDO’s NewsNetwork Administrator. Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201204270930.html
Kenya: Bomb Found On Farm in KaptaywaForest Scares Mt Elgon Residents
BY HILTON OTENYO, 27 APRIL 2012
A bomb was discovered on a farm in Mt Elgon on Wednesday evening by workers who were were clearing land at Kiptaywa forest. The workers reported the discovery to the assistant chief of Chemondi sub-location Ndiema Monno who informed the police who immediately sealed the area.
"Police have secured the place and are preparing to detonate the bomb. Residents should just remain calm since there is nothing to worry about," said Gabriel Musau a senior police officer at the Western provincial police headquarters. Musau said military bomb experts at the Banandege military camp have been informed about the explosive and will destroy it.
Police said the bomb may have been left in the area by military officers during the Okoa Maisha operation that dismantled the Sabaot Land Defence Force that was accused of killing over 1,200 people and displacing tens of thousands others from their homes. They said the discovery caused a lot of fear among the locals given recent reports by civil societies operating in the area that remnants of SLDF were regrouping.
Yesterday, Musau said bomb experts can determine the origin of the shell and then it will be established whether it is one of those used by the Kenyan military. He asked members of provincial administration to educate residents on the dangers of handling strange looking objects they come across.
Posted by Esly Kania SIDO’s NewsNetwork Administrator. Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/201204270926.html
Kenya: Mt Elgon Residents Stop IEBC's Voter Education
BY JOHN NALIANYA, 13 May 2012
A group of Mt Elgon residents yesterday stopped a voter education session called by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. IEBC officials were forced to cut short voter education in Mt Elgon following protests by the residents.
The residents said they could not allow IEBC to hold any meeting in Mt Elgon unless a boundary dispute is settled. Some of the residents have taken the IEBC to court to oppose a recent boundary review in Mt Elgon. Mt Elgon businessman Harry Kimtai has filed the case at the Bungoma high court.
Most residents are opposed to the moving of Chemuses from Kaptama to Kapskwony ward and the shifting of Kamuneru from Kapsowny to Kopsiro. "How do you expect us to listen to you when you know very well that we have a court case against you?" a resident told the IEBC officials yesterday.
The commission had organised the voter education seminar at the Kaptama Anglican Church. The seminar is part of its civic education programme that it has started across the country. IEBC has been sued in several counties over the recent boundary review.
Yesterday, the angry residents stormed the meeting when it begun and accused the IEBC of "short-changing" them during its hearings for boundary review. An effort by the officials - led by the upper western regional coordinator Japeth Yegon - to calm the resident failed.
They insisted that the commission waits for the court case before they begin voter education in Mt Elgon. "Kindly listen to us because we are not only teaching about the new boundaries but the new voting patterns as provided in the new constitution," Yegon told them. The IIEBC officials later rushed into their vehicles and drove away as tension built up.<<
Posted by Esly Kania SIDO’s NewsNetwork Administrator.
Pre-Colonial History of the Kalenjin: Methodological Approaches.
By Benjamini Kipkorir (Posted by Kipsisey Sobett). Posted 10th May, 2012.
A proposed multi-disciplinary seminar to be convened by Benjamin E. Kipkorir[i] on Wednesday 30 May 2012 at the Eldoret Club, Eldoret.
On behalf of Amb. Kipkorir, the convener, you are invite to the seminar which is now scheduled for Wednesday 30 May 2012 at the Eldoret Club, Eldoret-Kenya. Registration will start at 9 a.m.; formal proceedings to end not later than 5 p.m. All participants should make their own arrangements for travel to and from the club.
If you would like to make a presentation, please e-mail a 100-300-word abstract of it to me at <email@example.com> with copies to Prof. Peter Amuka<firstname.lastname@example.org> and Dr Priscah Tanui Too <email@example.com> by 25 May 2012 for ease of scheduling.
Soft drinks and lunch will be served. However, there will be a small cover charge of KES 200/- payable on registration.
The seminar concept is attached below. In case you need more information about the seminar or directions to Eldoret Club do not hesitate to contact me on 0720106721.
We look forward to your participation.
With best wishes,
Paul Kipchumba (For Amb. B E Kipkorir).
Briefly About Amb. Benjamin E. Kipkorir: He was educated at Makerere and Cambridge. He holds the B.A. (Hons) degree of the University of London and a PhD from Cambridge. His interest and desire to study his people led him to research and compile the material used in this book while still an undergraduate. He taught History and directed research at the University of Nairobi for over a decade. He later served as Chairman of the Kenya Commercial Bank and Ambassador to the US, among other postings. He has written/edited three books and published many articles in historical and other journals. Currently, Dr Kipkorir is engaged in historical research and consultancy in Kenya.
Preview of the Seminar Concept by Dr. Kipkorir:
There is general consensus among scholars[ii] that a comprehensive pre-colonial history of the Kalenjin does not exist. In trying to construct such a history issues of methodology must be resolved. Several schools of thought on this may be adumbrated. One approach employs the use of linguistic equivalence[iii]. A second espouses archeological evidence[iv]. A third argues for the use of oral testimonies. With respect to this last approach, two distinctions can be discerned. One employs oral traditions in general to build a cumulative history of the respective people. In this perspective, we find the works of Beech[v], Chebet and Dietz[vi], Huntingford[vii], Goldschmidt[viii], Massam[ix], Mwanzi[x], Peristiany[xi], and Toweett[xii] invaluable. The other perspective, which has not been considered so far, is a clan by clan historical survey, as suggested by Kipkorir and Welbourn[xiii]. The proposed seminar is concerned with taking the Kipkorir/Welbourn proposal a stage further.
Kipkorir and Welbourn raised the question of the importance of oral traditions of the Kalenjin in building pre-colonial history of the people and in linking it with the beginning of colonial and post-colonial histories: “Oral traditions are, at the best, extremely difficult to build into tribal histories. It is much more likely that their variations will provide material for structural analysis of myths or highlight the inter-group tensions”[xiv]. Two methods were suggested by the authors: (1) a cumulative history of the so-called Kalenjin people, and (2) a clan by clan historical survey: ... two methods of collecting and utilizing the oral traditions and accounts must be employed. First, the whole Kalenjin people, including the Sirikwa…must be surveyed, historically. We suggest that in this exercise, the Maasai should be included… The second method tends to contradict the first…that only a nuclear approach in the first instance, i.e. a clan by clan historical survey, will make the greater objective and wider perspective possible.”[xv]
The two methods have their own limitations. The former raises the question of the classification of the Kalenjin people. They have been categorized by both colonial/foreign scholars and early Kalenjin elite as Keiyo (Elgeyo), Kipsigis, Marakwet, Nandi, Pokot (Suk), Sabaot, Terik (Nyang’ori), and Tugen in Kenya, and the Tatoga in Tanzania. Others are the Dorobo who are remnants of Kalenjin speaking peoples among the Maasai and Kikuyu and reside in various forests such as Mau in Kenya. However, there is no certainty that other groups or remnants have not been left out. A clan by clan approach, while plausible, presents its challenges that include the starting and ending points. As Kipkorir[xvi] has pointed out, identities are not permanent. Change of a cluster’s clan identity, while not uncommon, would nevertheless not alter the value of its oral traditions in particular or respective clans in general. Quite often, it is assumed that a native Kalenjin scholar will ask the question “Whom am I?” If the response is Talaa (from Talai clan), then s/he will find out other clans that live side by side or that are mentioned in the Talai oral traditions. The authors have listed at least thirteen clans among the Marakwet, which should be of good use when getting started[xvii]. In the ending point, the challenge is whether you arrive at the political term Kalenjin or you will follow the migration history of the Talai until you reach Europe following Misri (Egypt) legends[xviii] or to any other part of the world.
However, there are still more challenges to arriving at pre-colonial history of the Kalenjin. The list of original narrators are diminished and, increasingly, there is likelihood of narrators confusing the oral histories with Biblical or other histories conceived with the increasing mobility and interaction of the people with the outside world through written, oral or virtual media. This calls for a systematic diachronic approach towards identifying the original frame of each text and in relying on comparative cross-examination of the authenticity of texts from different informants, which is an arduous task. In addition, Western scholars’ approaches also pose their own challenges in that, though some acknowledge importance of oral traditions in building the oral history of the Kalenjin, they have tended to be “scientific”. Thus they have not, to a larger extent, added to the Kalenjin intellectual horizon from their own perspectives.
Finally, the purpose of the proposed seminar is to invite scholars and oral historians to make contributions on Kalenjin oral history by asking questions such as (1) who are Kalenjin?, (2) is it possible to construct pre-colonial history of the Kalenjin?, or (3) what are the most plausible methodological approaches to the study of pre-colonial history of the Kalenjin?
The proceedings of the conference will be compiled, edited and published. Thereafter, a systematic study of the clan oral histories will be undertaken by encouraging students and other interested parties to pursue postgraduate studies in the areas identified for further study and following the most plausible, suggested methodologies.
The conference targets a total of 100 participants in four categories: (1) presenters, (2) panelists, (3) oral artists from different Kalenjin sub-tribes/ clans, and (4) interested parties. The presenters will present papers/ oral texts, whereas the panelists who are seasoned scholars in their respective fields will act as moderators.
[i]Amb. Dr Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir has done extensive researches on Kalenjin history, spanning five decades. He studied at Makerere University (BA) and University of Cambridge (UK) for PhD, which he completed in 1969, being the first Kalenjin to have received such qualifications at the time. Thereafter, he taught at the Department of History, University of Nairobi, for thirteen years, being the director of the Institute of African Studies for seven years. He is the author of several books on the history and social anthropology of the Kalenjin: The Marakwet of Kenya (1973, revised 2008), Kerio Valley Past, Present and Future (1983),Descent from Cherang’any Hills (2009),etc.
[ii]Kipkorir, B. E. and F. Welbourn. (1973, 2008). The Marakwet of Kenya: A Preliminary Study. Nairobi.
Moore, H. L. (1996). Space, Text, and Gender: An Anthropological Study of the Marakwet. UK: Cambridge University Press. pp17-18.
[iii]Ehret, C. (1971). Southern Nilotic History. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Sambu, K. A. (2007). The Kalenjin Peoples Egypt Origin Legend Revisited: Was Isis Asiis? A Study in Comparative Religion. Nairobi: Longhorn Publishers.
[iv]Chebet, S. and Dietz, T. (2008). Climbing the Cliff: History of the Keiyo. Eldoret: Moi University Press.
[v]Beech, M. W. H. (1911). The Suk. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[vi]Sutton, J. E. G. (1976). The Kalenjin.Kenya before 1900.Ed. B. A. Ogot. Nairobi: East African Publishing House. pp 21-52.
[vii]Huntingford, G. W. B. (1953). The Nandi of Kenya. London: Routeledge & Kegan Paul.
[viii]Goldschmidt, W. (1976). The Culture and Behaviour of the Sebei. Berkely: University of California Press.
[ix]Massam, J. A. (1927). The Cliff-Dwellers of Kenya. London: Sampson & Co.
[x]Mwanzi, H. A. (1977). A History of the Kipsigiis. Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau.
[xi]Peristiany, J. (1939). The Social Institutions of the Kipsigis. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
[xii]Toweett, T. (1979). Oral (Traditional) History of the Kipsigiis. Nairobi: Kenya Literature Bureau.
[xiii]Kipkorir, B. E. and F. Welbourn. (1973, 2008). The Marakwet of Kenya: A Preliminary Study. Nairobi.
[xiv]ibid; 2008 edition p. 67.
[xvi]Kipkorir, B. E. (2009). Descent from Cherang’any Hills: Memoirs of a Reluctant Academic. Nairobi: Macmillan Publishers.
[xvii]Kipkorir, B. E. and F. Welbourn. (1973, 2008). The Marakwet of Kenya: A Preliminary Study. Nairobi. pp 3-4.
[xviii] Kipkorir, B. E. (1971). The Kalenjin Phenomenon and the Misri Legends. History Department Seminar Paper, University of Nairobi.
Posted by Kipsisey Sobett- Nairobi, Kenya
Former Chief set to join politics. By Daniel Psirmoi. Posted 10th May, 2012.
A former chief of Kinyoro Location in Saboti constituency (Kenya) Mr. Henry Ndiema has announced that he will quit his current job and join politics. He will contest for the county representative seat of Kinyoro-Kisawai ward.
He was the area chief from 1996-2002. Prior to joining the local administration he was an administration police officer based in Kitale.
The former administrator who was redeployed back to his old job in 2002 and has risen through ranks in the Administration police to become a chief inspector, is currently the deputy chief security officer at the prime minister’s office.
Henry who made history by becoming a chief at the age of 27, opines that his 6 year stint as a chief puts him way ahead of other county representative aspirants and grants him competitive advantage,
“I have firsthand experience in working with people from diverse communities; I know entirely all villages in the new Kinyoro- Kissawai ward I know the problems of the residents,” he says and adds that its only when you work closely with people, like him that you get to know their problems.
He says his decision to run for the seat has been fuelled by a desire to offer service leadership to the common man and also because the current crop of leaders do not have the welfare of the people at heart.
“When I compare when I was chief and now in my new position, I helped people more in my days as an administrator. When I made it as a chief, why not now?”
“I have carefully reviewed all the elected leaders and even the aspirants gunning for this seat and I realize they have no real interest of the people. This ward being cosmopolitan doesn’t need a self-centered individual. It needs a selfless leader like me.”
Henry has many grand ideas for the people if voted in as the county representative. With his rich background top on his wish-list he states, will be to improve the security issue in the ward and also see to it that healthcare is improved.
The father of five who resides at Kitalale Phase 1 scheme calls on the residents of the ward to support his bid.