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KENYAN Law makers must now introduce a substantive motion in Parliament on the State Capture and it’s effect on the Kenyan economy.
This is because a few unscrupulous business men and women have mastered the art of influencing the Government’s decision making process to their own advantage and Jaswant Rai is one example.
He wants to monopolize the Sugar sector while a milk company associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta wants to monopolize the milk sector something we can’t as a country allow to continue this way as our dairy and sugarcane farmers suffer.
This reminds us of a deal struck between President Kenyatta and President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda where the two countries agreed that Kenya exports diary products to Uganda and Uganda exports cheap sugar to Kenya.
Just recently it was announced that Kenya was ready to import 20,000 metric tonnes of sugar from Uganda through five sugar factories each to export as follows; Kakira- 7,750 tonnes, Kinyara- 4,250 tonnes, SCOUL- 4,000 tonnes, Hoima- 1,500 tonnes & Atiak/Horyal- 2,500 tonnes. Notice of the above companies Kinyara and Hoima belong to Rai.
So the Kenya-Uganda deal to my opinion was to benefit two people here and that is President Kenyatta through his Brookside Milk and Jaswant Singh Rai through his sugar factories based in Uganda meant to import cheap sugar from Brazil then export to Kenya purporting to be from Uganda then reaching Kenya the same Sugar is shared among his three other sugar factories based in Kenya.
According to the letter dated 23rd December signed by the Uganda’s PS for Trade & Industry Emmanuel Mutahunga, the factories in Kenya were to sit down and agree on how to share the consignment meaning Rai would still get the lions share given his three factories here in Kenya.
So even as we discuss about the ‘Kabila mbili’ narrative we should challenge President Uhuru to also come clear and address the issue of monopoly in Milk & sugar sectors by himself and his friend Rai. Don’t forget Comesa safeguards have been extended like five times with the latest one expiring in March 2023.
It has been repeatedly said time and again that Kenya is not honest as far as the extensions are concerned because that is the only way other players can be locked out and give Rai a leeway to import sugar from Brazil through Uganda and then to Kenya.
The Sugar taskforce report which is lying at Statehouse on the other hand is inherently flawed, it never took into account the various existing laws that needed to be changed nor the court of appeal rulings that had been made, it made a mockery of the hard work farmer’s do and promoted more taxation in effect it put our future in the hands of governors.
Therefore we must ensure that the regulations are gazetted and the sugar bill to establish Kenya Sugar Board (KSB) in parliament is enacted and farmer’s are paid through using sucrose content and weight.
Most importantly farmers need to seek advice from FAO and the EU to help develop farmer friendly policies in effect we need to change the rules of the game from within and without.
Kenya medics are yet again celebrating another milestone after doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital successfully performed a rare surgery.
The KNH multi-disciplinary team of surgeons and other specialists re-attached a limb for a seven-year-old boy whose hand had been severed in an operation that lasted eight hours.
Young Benovelence got his hand accidentally chopped off by a chaff cutter on 4th October, 2020 in Kiambu.
The doctors are due to issue a press briefing on the groundbreaking procedure later this morning.
“After the chopped hand reached KNH in a cool box, our team of specialists embarked on an intricate eight hours surgical procedure that reclaimed the boy’s hand”, said KNH in a statement from the corporate affairs department.
The boy is now stable and recuperating in the ward as he continues with treatment.The complex hand reattachment operation is the fifth successful surgery of its kind that KNH has performed since the first case in February 2018.
“As KNH, we endeavour to pursue our strategic destination of being a multi-speciality centre of excellence by offering services that meet international certification standards. We continue to improve our skills in specialized care by building the capacity of our specialists and investing in the best facilities available in the region” said the hospital.
The Ministry of Interior has Wednesday ordered the properties and funds of nine Kenyan individuals to be frozen over terror links.
The nine individuals include Halima Adan Adan Ali (ID 25142129, Passport no. A1659348), Waleed Ahmed Zein (ID 22711263, Passport no. A120391), Sheikh Guyo Gorsa Boru (ID 22711263), Mohammed Abdi Ali- Abu Fidan (ID 33220948), Nuseiba Mohammed Haji (ID 10761897), Abdimajit Adan Hassan (ID 32480689), Mohammed Ali Abdi (ID 5964712, Passport no. A092562), Muktar Ibrahim Ali (ID 21629220, Passport no. A2576117), Mire Abdullahi Elmi (ID 3352339).Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i through a statement said that the action is part of Kenya’s counterterrorism strategy to disrupt terrorist operations.
“The strategy focuses on bringing to book the perpetrators, financiers, and sponsors of these reprehensible acts in line with our national laws and international obligations,” CS Matiang’i said.
The CS further said that he acted in pursuant to the provision of regulation 11(1) of the Prevention of Terrorism -POTA (Implementation of the United National Security Council Resolutions on Suspension of Terrorism) Regulations 2013.
Terrorism is the single biggest threat to global peace and security.“Being on of the nations at the frontline against this vice on the continent, Kenya now faces blatant, increasingly complex and evolving terror threats, particularly from Al-Shabaab, whose aim is to attack, destabilize and disrupt our way of life,” he said.Matiang’i through the statement also emphasized that the enemy is also progressively planting operatives among the civilians strategically to advance his agenda through recruitment and radicalization to violent extremism and terrorism.“In light of this, Kenya is facing subtle threats from all-pervasive domestic actors, both individual and entities, attacking from within.”
On a positive note, Matiang’i said that Kenya has registered tremendous gains through the security forces in protecting the lives of and properties of citizens as well as Kenya’s critical infrastructure.“So far, we have made great strides towards strengthening our community deterrence efforts which have allowed us to sustain this fight.”In concluding his statement, CS Matiang’i said the only way to deny terrorists the means to threaten Kenyan’s way of life is to choke their facilitation networks.
A notorious drug trafficker who has been operating with impunity in Nairobi has been arrested.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) says the suspect was arrested Sunday by a combined team of detectives from Transnational Organised Crime Unit (TOCU), Special Services Unit (SSU) and Anti Narcotics Unit(ANU) from his hideout in Utawala.
The suspect Tom Ouma Aero is also believed to sponsor gangs in Korogocho, Huruma and Dandora to protect his business of drug trafficking.
Nabbed also during the Sunday morning operation were two of his associates namely Paul Ochieng Otieno and Stephen Wandera Barasa.
The three suspects are in custody awaiting arraignment on Monday.
A few days after word filled the air that NIS had raised concerns about how Jaswant Rai had ensared Agriculture CS Peter Munya, the CS issued a statement banning Brown sugar imports, banning of raw sugarcane imports from the neighbouring Uganda and hinting to the Public the government’s intentions to lease all its 5 sugar factories namely; Muhoroni, Chemilil, SONY, Nzoia and Miwani.
As good as it may look, It is now evident that all the three factors were crafted to favour the sugar barons led by Rai and his accomplices as follows;
- BROWN SUGAR BAN: This move was a well calculated one keeping in mind that in 2018/19 reports that Rai and other barons had imported hundreds of thousands of metric tonnes of illegal sugar into the Country were allover in the media to an extend that some of it was found stored at the Webuye Panper mills which he has so far converted it to a warehouse.
According to the Daily Nation of June 24, 2018, the barons had dumped over a billion kilograms of sugar which was enough to feed the Country for two years without growing a single cane.
The sugar in question is still with us here and even the little one that was displayed to the media by police is so far finding its way into the market.
So looking at it with the naked eye, the banning of the importation of sugar may look absolutely good but in real sense it is a well calculated move to allow the over a billion kilograms of sugar dumped into the market by Rai and group to clear from the market before more is allowed in again.
- BAN ON RAW SUGARCANE: Much as I may not support the importation of raw sugarcane for the sake of our farmer, I find it more interesting ridiculous as to why the same Rai through his subsidiary Olepito sugar should be the lead complainant in this matter and not the farmer.
I think Rai should only be worried when his competitor is poaching what belongs to him and not when a competitor resorts to importing sugarcane so for him to get worried that Busia Sugar Industries was getting it’s raw materials from the neighbouring Uganda I think he is not being honest.
The truth of the matter is that he does not want BSI and any other competitor to survive now that he is being favored by the newly gazzeted recommendations by the sugar Taskforce that saw the initial regional zoning removed to allow free market.
With free market Rai who has been allowed by Government to operate with impunity for many years now will make sure that with the muscles gotten through cheap sugar imports he will get all the raw materials to his side and with the Ban of sugarcane importation your guess is as good as mine.
- LEASING OF SUGAR FACTORIES: This is a good idea from face value but the truth of the matter is that Rai is going for the two big ones namely; Nzoia Sugar Company in Bungoma County and SONY sugar Company in Migori.
There is no doubt that with the government on his side Rai will get the two bringing the total sugar factories in his pocket to six namely; West Kenya Sugar in Kakamega County, Olepito Sugar in Busia County, Sukari Sugar in Homabay, Kinyara Sugar in Uganda and of course Nzoia & SONY.
So we should not be quick to forget what happened to Panpaper mills in Webuye a few months ago where the same government helped Rai to buy it at a throw away price of Ksh 900 million from an asset worth of over Ksh 2billion.
The memories of how President Uhuru Kenyatta officiated the opening of Panpaper under Rai are still fresh so are the dead hopes the people of Bungoma were given when they eventually saw smoke bellow from the factory little did we all know that it was all PR presided over by the head of state.
What is more hurting is the manner in which Rai has pocketed the who is who in government, politicians and even including leaders of various Sugar organisations leaving the farmer on their own as Rai smiles his way to monopolize the sector.
Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya says County governments should be allowed to source for drugs and medical supplies from other entities not Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (KEMSA) to enable them to adequately respond to the pandemic.
In a statement Saturday, he called upon the High Court to expeditiously dispense the matter challenging the Constitutionality of the KEMSA (Amendment) Act.
“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis which calls for urgent solutions.” He said
Oparanya said it is quite unfortunate that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an avenue for KEMSA officials to engage in corruption there by putting the lives of Kenyans at risk.
“To avoid such eventualities, County Governments opposed the amendment to the KEMSA Act by seeking redress at the High Court to challenge section 3 of the aforementioned Act which requires County Governments to procure both pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical supplies from the Authority. “He added
The Chair said this particular section has interrupted service delivery to the Mwananchi as the Authority has failed to fully satisfy medical needs of all the 47 County Governments.
” It is saddening that KEMSA, an independent Authority with obligation to ensure the well-being of the Mwananchi can resort to such unbecoming conduct while the country is facing an international crisis.”
This follows the suspension of KEMSA Chief Executive Officer Dr Jonah Mwangi Manjari, the Commercial Director Eluid Muriithi and the Procurement Director Charles Juma on Friday.
The suspension according to the board is to pave way for the completion of the ongoing EACC investigations on COVID-19 procurements and other related issues.
Edward Njoroge Njuguna, the Operations Director has since been appointed by the board as the acting CEO, while Edward Buluma and Dr George Walukana will be the acting Procurement and Commercial Directors respectively.
EACC is investigating the top officials at KEMSA in relation to a controversial Ksh 7.7 billion tender for the emergency procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that was to be delivered by July 22, 2020.
A preliminary probe by the EACC revealed that KEMSA officials flouted procurement procedures by direct sourcing under the cover of emergency needs, despite the fact that they were given three months to supply as opposed to one month.
Additionally, other companies with less than six months in operation received tenders without credible financial records being presented.
The direct sourcing coupled with other procurement irregularities saw KEMSA procure COVID-19 equipment at double the price.
For instance, a special audit revealed that KEMSA procured over 1.8 million KN95 masks at a cost of Ksh 700 per piece, yet a single mask goes for Ksh 450 on the higher side.
Additionally, the disposable 3-ply surgical masks were procured at Ksh 90 per piece against the market price of Ksh 50 when bought in bulk, with personal protective equipment being procured at Ksh 9,000 when the kits were going for Ksh 4,500 on the market.
On June 23, EACC officers stormed Kemsa offices and carted away documents over suspected procurement irregularities linked to the construction of Ksh 3 billion warehouse.
EACC boss Twalib Mbarak wrote to Manjaari on June 18 seeking to have tender advertising notices, bank tender documents, all bids submitted, tender opening minutes, list of bidders and individual tender evaluation score sheets.
“This commission is conducting investigations into allegations of procurement irregularities at KEMSA in relation to tender KEMSA/CONST/OIT4/2019/20. To facilitate our investigations, kindly furnish us with the original documents relating to the above tender,” said part of the letter to the Kemsa boss.
EACC also requested due diligence report, professional opinion, tender award notifications and regrets, acceptance letter from the winning bidders, contract agreements, inspection and acceptance certificates, payment vouchers and appointment letters to committees.
A joint audit report by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Global Fund said there were massive financial and procurement irregularities at KEMSA.
It said the organization was taking advantage of its monopoly in supplying drugs to public health facilities to overcharge counties by as much as 77 per cent for some drugs.
The audit proposed restructuring the entire procurement system and the establishment of a new accountability system.
KEMSA currently serves 371 hospitals, 4,415 rural health facilities and 5,047 sites that offer rapid testing across Kenya.
KEMSA, which falls under the Ministry of Health, offers procurement, warehousing and distribution services for medical commodities for clients like USAid, World Bank and the Global Fund.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FOR BUSIA SUGAR INDUSTRY ON SUGARCANE FROM UGANDA
The media has been awash with misconstrued reality of the situation on the ground about the Ugandan cane coming to Kenya.
In Busia Sugar Industry Limited perspective on the matter, we want to state as follows:
When Busia Sugar Industry Limited started setting up of the sugar milling factory, it was working against a well calculated plan and program knowing that by 2016, the construction phase will be completed and milling commences as from 2017.
With such arithmetic at hand, BSIL went into robust and formidable Cane Development program that would sustain it’s crushing capacity of 3,500 TCD.
With enthusiasm of the farmers around Busia County and neighbouring Counties like Bungoma, Kakamega and Siaya, farmers in their thousands embraced the project and were recruited and contracted to plant cane with BSIL.
BSIL had confidence in the laid down plan and compounded by the feasibility study, BSIL was confident that Busia County alone has the potential and capacity to sustain its operations in terms of availing the raw material which is Sugarcane.
However, one of the rival Millers in Busia County; after realizing that BSIL had a workable and systematic program that threatens its market, decided to fabricate over 12 court cases that had no basis just but to frustrate BSIL’s operations.
This was the beginning of challenges in Busia Sugar Industry Limited’s Cane Development program that has distabilized it to date. The court issued injunctions after injunctions that hampered construction phase. The worst was the holding of our operations licence even after construction phase was done.
As a result, our farmers whose cane was mature and ready for harvest did not have anywhere to take their cane. On the other hand we were frustrated even more since we had a contractual obligations to harvest the cane since that was what we had agreed with the farmers.
As if that was not enough, hundreds of millions of shillings worth of investment in those farmers was rotting away; dealing BSIL a triple tragedy.
On the other side, our competitor who fabricated court cases against us went on rampage to loot our cane in broad daylight. Over 500 acres worth of mature cane was stolen by the same rival Miller. This was a surly well orchestrated move by the rival Miller to bring Busia Sugar industry limited.
When ultimately the last case was thrown out and BSIL given a clean bill of health to start operations, there was nothing to start from in terms of raw materials. Despite that, BSIL started from the little cane that survived the eyes of the well known poacher Miller in Busia County.
It was on that basis that farmers from both Kenya and Uganda realized that there was scarcity of sugarcane in Kenya while there is surplus in Uganda beyond the capacity of the uptake of Millers there.
The farmers and local traders engaged the government officials of the two countries in negotiations and later agreed under strict terms of compliance to transact the cross boarder business.
On 8th August 2019, the acting Director for AFFA Mr. Solomon Odera together with facilitators of cross border trade met the management of Millers where the rival Miller also attended to agree on modalities of engagement with farmers and traders who would be supplying the Millers with cane.
This for BSIL was a gap fill measure to help us come out of scarcity of cane caused by the rival Miller through court cases and looting of our cane. This program was going hand in hand with extensive Cane Development program to reinstate what had been stolen and open up new fields for Cane Development.
Besides the cane from Uganda cane as a relief to hundreds of families whose lives had been disenfranchised due to COVID-19. Traders, vendors and many other people who engaged directly or indirectly in the Uganda cane business got a source of income.
In view of the above, Busia Sugar Industry Limited stresses that it does not import sugarcane from Uganda but it is purely businesses run by individuals and groups of people.
-Stephen Mula Siachire
Public Relations Officer/Spokesperson
Equity Bank on Tuesday said that it has concluded the purchase of 66.53 percent of the issued share capital of Banque Commerciale du Congo (BCDC) which is based in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) at a cost of 10.3 billion shillings (about 95 million U.S. dollars).
James Mwangi, CEO of the Equity Bank Group, said in a statement issued in Nairobi that his financial institution now has two subsidiaries in the DRC after having earlier acquired ProCredit, a German bank, now Equity Bank Congo.
“We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to acquire two of the most solid banks in the market. With the second and fourth-largest banks in the country being our subsidiaries, we are confident that amalgamation and merger of the two subsidiaries will produce a combined bank with a balance sheet in excess of two billion dollars with the capacity and capability to contribute significantly to the development and transformation of the DR Congo,” Mwangi said.
Mwangi noted that a merger of the two entities in the DRC will produce a subsidiary which contributes more than 20 percent of the group’s total balance sheet.
“The merged entity will firmly be on the path of becoming the largest banking entity in DRC within a period of one year given the leadership, managerial and financial resources of the group and the business synergies that will go with being a member of a regional group,” he added.
“We are glad that we now have the size and countrywide infrastructure that can bring our experience and capability to contribute significantly to the transformation of lives and livelihoods in DRC, while stimulating economic transformation of the country through resource allocation,” Mwangi said.
He observed that the addition of an amalgamation with BCDC will put Equity Group on the path to become a 9.2 billion dollar balance sheet business that will benefit from economies of scale.
Equity Bank has operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, DRC and a representative office in Ethiopia.
Residents of Nambale in Busia County are yet to come to terms with the fact that Nambale cotton ginnery which at one time was their pride and source of income is being turned into a bar.
The residents now blame their local leaders for turning a blind eye even as four individuals posing as Directors of Nambale cotton ginnery continue to act with impunity in blatant disregard of the law.
They are now appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to issue a directive that could help save one of the Country’s oldest ginneries.
Western governors through Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had recently hinted that President Uhuru had promised to revive all stalled industries in Western region.
In 2013 Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong also set aside Ksh50 million to revive four cotton ginneries in Busia namely Nambale, Malakisi, Muluanda and Amukura. Muluanda in Funyula received Ksh 5 million with the rest receiving Ksh 15million each.
The four Directors of Nambale cotton ginnery led by one Francis Omuse have so far sold all the machinery leaving behind a shell with rotten roofs.
Pascal Oduori is now appealing to the Directorate of public prosecutions Nurdin Hajji to come to their rescue. “Our leaders have abandoned us and we are now on our own”, said Pascal who is a resident and a cotton farmer.
“These Directors would have built a hospital to help in treating Covid 19 patients instead of turning the ginnery into a pub to help in spreading the virus”, an angry Pascal added.
The government is setting up an Integrated Molecular Imaging Center (MIC) at Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital.
Speaking during the daily press briefing on COVID-19 Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said, the Center will be the first Public Molecular Imaging Center of its kind in the country, as well as, East and Central Africa.
The Center which will be ready for use in nine months, will see no need for Kenyans to go to India or South Africa to access PETSCAN machines, and other key equipment to diagnose and treat Cancer.
“The Center will also set up the first Public Manufacturing Plant for consumables, used in the PETSCAN Machines,” said CS Kagwe, adding that “this manufacturing plant is called a CYCLOTRON, and is only available in South Africa and North Africa.”
President Uhuru Kenyatta, having approved the project to save lives of Kenyans, who wait for long periods to get proper and fast diagnosis of cancer, will be breaking the grounds for the project in the next few weeks.
While acknowledging that equipment alone is not enough to ensure delivery of health services CS Kagwe announced that twenty more Cuban doctors will arrive Friday to help the country fight COVID-19 pandemic.
“Indeed, the need to have specialized human resources cannot be gainsaid,” noted CS Kagwe.
The doctors specialized in internal medicine, cardiology and renal will be stationed at Kenyatta University Referral Hospital after their arrival to manage the disease in the country.
“With the COVID-19 cases rising, these specialized doctors will go a long way in supporting our doctors in managing the disease and in exchanging skill development,” he said.
The team which is from the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade will be in the country for three months which the Health CS said could be extended to six months.
The Governments of Kenya and Cuba have since 2018, partnered to improve health care services in the country, through an exchange programme.
This partnership has seen Kenyan doctors receive specialized training in Cuba, and Cuban Doctors provide health services throughout the country.