Business News

Varsities’ academic staff encouraged to publish on-line

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 13:05

University scholars in Kenya have been encouraged to venture into on-line publishing to increase digital learning resources in local higher learning institutions.

While presiding over an Electronic Resources workshop at Egerton University, Dr Karen Metcalf, the marketing executive of Elsevier, an on-line publishing company based in South Africa exemplified the importance and impacts of digital information resources in modern learning skills in higher learning institutions.

She observed that in order for African countries to embrace the fast growing digitally oriented learning methods in higher learning institutions, its scholars must embrace on-line publishing.

Said Dr Metcalf: “One advantage of using on-line information resources is that a learner or researcher has a chance of accessing more sources of information cheaply and conveniently through hyperlinks.”

She observed that African scholars were lagging behind in the on-line publishing industry thus hindering motivation and awareness of plenty of on-line academic materials to African students and researchers.

Elsevier boasts of over 12 million electronic academic articles, 20,000 electronic books and over 5,000 peer reviewed journals that universities all over the world subscribe to.

The workshop organised by the library department, was attended by library members of staff, academic staff and a section of students aimed at popularizing the company’s electronic resources products among the university community.

Former councillor calls for polytechnic construction

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 12:37

A former Githiga Ward councillor has urged the county to construct a polytechnic to absorb the increasing population of ‘o’ level students who do not join university every year.

Andrew Mwangi, says that acquisition of skills among the youths would be the lasting solution to the challenges facing them. Mwangi who was addressing his supporters at Githiga said that unless higher education is improved, the area would witness a huge wastage of intellectual power.

“I urge the county government to put up a polytechnic that will answer the challenges affecting our youth. I will help equip the polytechnic with the latest equipment,” said Mwangi.

He said that the technical institution would provide solutions to some of the problems being experienced by the youth in the area.

“We expect the graduates to be self-employed and create opportunities for other youths. The polytechnic can offer research for solutions to the immediate problems facing the residents of Kiambu County,” said Mwangi.

He added that such an institution will help improve infrastructure, health and security.

Woman handed life sentence for killing husband’s lover

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 11:04

A Narok businesswoman accused of murdering her husband‘s lover was yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Nakuru court.

Nancy Soila was stunned after the court handed her a life sentence for the offence of murder which she was charged with.

Lady Justice Roseline Wendoh, who delivered the judgement, said that the court was satisfied by evidence produced in court by five witnesses who testified.

“The evidence given in this court leaves no doubt that you committed the heinous act. l will therefore accordingly convict you to serve as an example to would-be offenders,” said Wendoh.

Soila had been charged with stabbing Mary Wanjiku Chege three years ago at Enoosupukia area in Narok County.

In her previous testimony in court, she had distanced herself from the murder, saying that she learnt about the death of Wanjiku when in police custody.

She had told the court that on the ill-fated night of October 7 2011, she welcomed the deceased, who had accompanied her husband to spend the night in her househelp’s room.

Soila said that her husband of three years then, Peter Ntaiya, arrived home drunk at around 10pm, quarreled her before a fight ensued between the two.

She said that the fight was quelled minutes later by neighbours.

Ntaiya said he welcomed the deceased to their home where she had come in search of a farm to lease.

He said he came home at night and went to talk with the deceased before his wife stormed into the room with broken window glasses and used them to stab her.

However, the accused’s lawyer, Olali Cheche, said the investigating officer and the arresting officer have not been called to testify in the case.

“There is no evidence to warrant conviction in this case. There is a lot of benefit of doubt in the case which should go to the accused and be acquitted," Cheche emphasized.

The prosecution in their part maintained that Soila murdered the visitor and was arrested the same night and taken to police custody.

In her mitigation she told the court that she was young woman with a young family and urged the court to be lenient on its judgement.

However, the judge said that on considering the magnitude of the offence committed she deserved life imprisonment. She was given 14 days to appeal.

Another ODM youth group dismisses 'men in black'

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 10:31

A new group of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) youths has emerged disputing an earlier claim that Nakuru youths have abandoned the party.

Group chairman Moses Ogolla say they condemn the earlier claim by a section of youth that they are members of the ODM security team in Nakuru County. In a statement, Ogolla warned those issuing such statements on behalf of the party stewardship to desist from such careless remarks.

“We have only one spokesperson in the entire Nakuru County dealing with security affairs and that is Moses Ogolla. No one else is allowed to speak on behalf of the party,” the statement read.

They said that the office is called Nakuru County ODM Secretary for Security Affairs and there is nothing like “Men in Back” as alleged by some people who purport to be members.

Ogolla added that the entire Nakuru County security affairs office was strongly behind the referendum plebiscite dubbed ‘Okoa Kenya’. He added that the party has already collected 15,000 signatures in Nakuru Town, Nakuru West, Nakuru East and in Subukia Constituency.

The statement added that the party plans to hold rallies in other parts of the county to collect more signatures. 

Two dead in early morning accident

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 10:09

Two people have lost their lives this morning after a matatu lost control at Daraja Mbili which is a kilometre away from Olenguruone town.

Witnesses say the matatu lost control when a cyclist trying to overtake the matatu saw a lorry from the other side of the road forcing him back on the lane.

The cyclist and the matatu conductor died on the spot. The conductor was allegedly trying to escape.

Passengers in the matatu escaped with minor injuries and were rushed to Olenguruone Sub-district hospital.

The conductor allegedly died after getting stuck on the matatu and was run over.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after to control the traffic jam which had started building up. The accident brought business to a stop at the busy Olenguruone town for about three hours.

Olenguruone OCPD Sam Mburu attributed the road accidents at that spot to the poor state of the road. He said that the tarmacking has deteriorated over time making manoeuvring by road users tricky.

He added that the Olenguruone-Kiptagich road is in a poor condition with no trace of tarmack.

Residents from that area chaired by council of elder Jeremiah Ng’eno from Daraja Mbili village have threatened to demonstrate against the poor state of the road. The date for the demonstration is yuet to be set.

Nakuru residents apply for Green Cards

Published on Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 06:30

Nakuru youths and residents have welcomed the registration for the 2016 United States Diversity Visa Program, commonly known as the "green card" lottery.

The registration opened today with most of the cyber cafes receiving more clients than expected as people went to them to apply for the green card.

Jacinta Kinuthia, a cyber cafe operator along Kenyatta Avenue says today the number of clients have doubled and this is expected to last for a month.

“We are happy for the US visa program as it creates more jobs for us and photographers. I will also try my luck,” said Kinuthia.

The program opened on Wednesday and is scheduled to close on November 3, 2014, the US Department of State said.

Kenyans wishing to submit entries must do so electronically during the registration period.

“I am so delighted to have been among the first applicants and I hope to get the chance to win the green card. I have tried five times but in vain," said James Munene Kanyingi, a fourth year student at Egerton University.

Applicants who submit paper entries will be rejected. All applicants are encouraged to print and retain their online confirmation page after completing their Diversity Visa entries to enable them check their entry status.

Entrants selected during the draw will receive instructions on how to proceed. They can then go ahead and apply for immigrant visas for themselves and their eligible family members.

Last year, most residents did not apply for the Diversity Visa Program as it was on the chopping block when the US Senate passed a Bill aimed at reforming the US immigration system.

Corporate singles day out takes place in Nakuru

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 19:30

The Corporate Singles Day Out event will take place on October 4 at Lake Nakuru Lodge.

The event will kick off at 7.30pm and last until dawn. The event, whose main aim is bringing all the singles from the corporate world for a day which will be filled with fun and networking, is the fourth of its kind to take place in Kenya.

According to one of the organisers of the event, the charges for the event are Sh4,000.

"The charges will cater for transport to and from the venue", the organizer who introduced herself as Maureen said.

She added: "The trend nowadays is meeting someone online. We want to take people way back where they used to meet and get to know each other more face-to-face. We want them to come and get to meet each other and get to know each other more. You never know what the future holds with the person that you will meet that day."

Maureen adds that there will be numerous activities which will take place on that day and among them is horse riding and bird watching.

Dutch government to clean Naivasha water for Sh300m

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 16:01

The Dutch government has expressed very high concerns over the high levels of fluoride in water being used by Naivasha town residents.

Following the high levels of the mineral found in the water in Naivasha, Netherlands has committed itself to give more than Sh300 million for water and sanitation in the town.

According to Noeke Ruiter, visiting first secretary from Netherlands Embassy in the country, the money will be distributed through the Naivasha water and sanitation company.

“Accessing quality and healthy water in Naivasha and its suburbs has been a major problem. High fluoride levels are a major problem that seriously needs to be addressed,” said Ruiter.

Bob Okello, Coca Cola public affairs and relations manager added that Coca Cola will spend more than Sh42 million on water and sanitation in Naivasha town.

"More than 50,000 residents of Naivasha will benefit from this project which we have officially launched. Many youths in Naivasha are suffering from dental fluorosis and skeletal formation disease which is usually caused by high flouride levels in water," said Okello.

The two were speaking at Naivasha Sub-county offices after meeting with the area leaders.

The fluoride levels in water featured prominently during the disputed police recruitment exercise where most recruits from Naivasha were allegedly turned away due to dental fluorosis. The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has said that this was one of the reasons the recruitment exercise was biased against the Naivasha youth.

Kiambu senator backs Cord ban in Nakuru

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 13:23

Kiambu senator Kimani Wamatangi has come to the defence of Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua stating that he was in order barring Cord from campaigning in Nakuru.

Governor Mbugua has criticised as detracting, the 'Okoa Kenya' push by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (Cord).

In an interview at a local television station, Wamatangi stated that the governor knows the region well and the coalition only wanted to incite people and instigate hatred in a region known for its diversity.

“As a leader, there are times you have to take choices that are for the good of the people. Nakuru was a hot-spot during the 2007/08 post-election violence and many people lost their lives due to irresponsible leaders’ utterances so the governor is right”, he said.

Governor Mbugua dared the opposition not to set foot in his county and even confiscated Cord’s signature collection booklets.

This was however not well received by the opposition who through their secretary general Anyang' Nyong'o stated that Kenya is a free nation and everyone has the freedom to move to every county with no restriction.

The senator said that the words used by Cord leaders during their campaigns are very provocative mentioning that issues like land grabbing can stir up violence in a nation that is still healing from the 2007/08 post-election violence aftermath.

He advised the leaders to put the interests of Kenyans at heart and not their own selfish agendas for political relevance. 

Ngunjiri calls for police officers removal over insecurity

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 11:11

Bahati Member of Parliament Kimani Ngunjiri has condemned the state of insecurity in his constituency.

The legislator is accusing the police of laxity and engaging in corrupt activities leading to increased insecurity cases in the constituency. Ngunjiri said despite him raising the matter to some of the higher authorities over the incompetence of the police officers in the area, no action has been taken.

“We are in a state where residents are being coerced and intimidated to part with bribes for non-existent offences. The officers are soliciting money from innocent residents at the expense of service delivery,” the legislator said.

Ngunjiri who was speaking in his constituency on Monday said that he will raise the matter in parliament since there seems to be inaction from the higher authorities in the police force.

He cited a situation where suspects arrested are made to pay bribes at the police station and wondered whether the police stations were now courts of law. Ngunjiri said in some cases, suspects accused of robbery with violence charges have been released after they parted with money.

“It has reached at a point where we do not require the police officers. I want to tell the Inspector General, David Kimaiyo to remove them from here,” he said.

Anti-riot police engage hawkers in Nakuru - again

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 10:58

Business along Pandit Nehru Road in Nakuru town was temporarily paralysed last evening as hawkers engaged the police and county government askaris.

The hawkers are opposed to an eviction from the area following traders along the road complaining against competition from the hawkers.

It all started in the morning when a section of traders who own shops along the street held a peaceful demonstration to the governor’s office demanding that the hawkers be evicted from the area.

The move prompted county askaris and the police officers to evict the hawkers who also accused the county government of double standards. On of the hawkers, who identified himself as Thomas, said that the hawkers have been paying a monthly fee of Sh360 to the county government and therefore it would be unfair to evict them with no alternative area to operate from.

In defence, the shop owners said that they have also been paying for single business permits and therefore allowing hawkers to display their wares outside their shops was unfair.

In June, the shop owners said they wanted hawkers around their shops to be evicted for being a ‘nuisance’.

Taj Habib, a business man in the cosmopolitan town, said the hawkers had become a ‘nuisance’ by blocking streets.  He said the hawkers affected their businesses as clients cannot find parking space or room to do their shopping. 

Cycle with the Rhino race raises Sh4m

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 10:42

The 10th Edition of the Cycle with the Rhino race raised Sh 4 million which will be channelled into conservation.

Lake Nakuru National Park Senior warden Dickson Ritan on Tuesday said that the Saturday race was very successful and that the participation was higher compared to last year.

"Cycle with the Rhino is held every year and the money which comes from the race is used for conservation at the park. It is a Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) initiative which is aimed at rehabilitating the 51 kilometre out of the 74 kilometre perimeter fence," said Ritan.

Ritan said some of the money will also be used to implement some of the community projects which have been initiated by the KWS in collaboration with the park.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate all those who won in the various races and also all those who participated in the race", said Ritan.

This year’s race, which was the 10th edition since the initiative began, was dominated by Iten-based Kenyan Riders who took the top three slots.

Paul Ariko, one of Kenya’s road race cyclists at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland cruised to victory clocking 3.55.21 in the newly introduced 140km course.

Youth want procurement laws reviewed

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 19:30

Gitiha youth have asked the Kiambu County government to review procurement laws to enable them have a stake in county tenders.

The Gitiha Youth Group has petitioned the county government to put in place mechanisms to enable them access county tenders floated within the county.

Speaking today at the Gitiha Trading Centre during a youth seminar, group chairman Boniface Waiganjo said that youth from Kiambu have been left out in the procurement process.

“We the youth would like the county government to review the procurement law to enable us access county tenders. We are not benefiting from the 30 per cent set aside for the youth due to influence of the politicians,” said the chairman.

He said that the youth have a role to play in the development of the county and they should be given a chance.

“The youth have a stake in the development of the county. The county government should review the procurement laws to attract the youth as a way of creating job opportunities,” said Waiganjo.

He called on the Public Procurement Oversight Authority (PPOA) to intervene in order to enable them realise their dreams.

“Thirty per cent of the procurement is supposed to be reserved for the youths. This has not been possible here,” lamented Waiganjo.

Battery maker plant closure affects hundreds in Nakuru

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 15:34

More than 100 workers at EveReady East Africa Ltd will go home after the Nakuru-based plant is converted into a rental property.

The workers will allegedly be sent home at a cost of Sh110 million while the 20-acre piece of land the company occupies is converted for other use.

“We have no alternative but to shut down the factory. We have sent our workers home waiting for their terminal benefits,” said a senior employee outside the gates who opted to remain anonymous.

He added: “We had hoped to talk to the workers but unfortunately they have left in a huff. We hope to talk to them when they will be coming to pick their termination letters,” said another senior employee.

More than 18 G4S guards were strategically stationed at the five gates around the factory located along the Nakuru–Eldoret highway to prevent any commotion that would arise. John Kimwaki, a casual worker, said they were never given any notice and pleaded with the labour ministry to intervene.

“We were never alerted and to our surprise this morning, we were chased by the guards. Even if the premise has been rented out, they should not replace us since we have got families to take care of. I hope the ministry of labour and the county government will come to our rescue,” said Kimwaki.

The Nakuru branch management opted not to speak to journalists and said the managing director Jackson Mutua would have a media briefing in Nairobi.

Chief leads prayer session advocating for peace

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 12:58

Ikinu residents have been asked to form groups that will sensitise people on the need of having peace.

Area chief Amos Kamau said the area and the country will grow more if residents can carry out their activities in peace. Speaking on Sunday when he led tens of residents for prayers at the Kiaibabu Trading Centre in Githunguri Constituency, the chief said that peace was the catalyst for economic development not only in the country but globally.

“We expect the residents to have peace. This will allow residents to enjoy stability in our county which is good for our growth,” said Kamau.

He added: “Without peace there can be no development. Each one of us has responsibility of maintaining peace for the sake of this nation.”

Dave Maina, a bodaboda operator said that the move by the local chief came at the right moment when the country is in need of peace. He said that the country needs peace for it to achieve its development goals.

Egerton three star hotel upgrades target global market

Published on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 - 12:04

The tourist class Agricultural Resource Centre (ARC) hotel at Egerton University, Njoro has gone a notch higher by adding new facilities.

Some of the additions include a modern gymnasium and a refurbished half Olympic swimming pool.

While commissioning the two facilities on Friday last week, the university’s deputy vice-chancellor in charge of research and extension Prof Gowland Mwangi said the new facilities will ensure that the hotel offers adequate services required of its standard.

He added: “ARC hotel will gear towards marketing itself in Nakuru County as well as country and worldwide levels. This will help the hotel compete with other hotels of its class to attract visitors at the university and Nakuru County as a whole.”

The hotel is located about one kilometre from the Nakuru-Narok highway within the university. It sits on a serene landscape offering conference, accommodation, a cyber café, bar and restaurant facilities. It is also offering nature rides at the university’s botanical garden and visits to the Lord Egerton Castle Museum.

Matatu crews turn to religion to improve image

Published on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 15:31

A group of 30 matatu drivers and conductors from Nakuru have embarked on a mission to preach the gospel in order to eliminate the negative perception associated with the industry.

For one year now, the players in the matatu industry under the 3N to Matatu Sacco have been delivering sermons in various churches where they have managed to inspire hope to many especially their colleagues in the public transport industry.

According to the group leader, Peter Mwangi Njuguna, they have managed to lead a big number of people to salvation sentiments echoed by his colleague Nicholas Mutuku.

He said that the initiative has won them the confidence of many people and the same has impacted positively on their work. Matatu conductor Michael Warugongo said that on many occasions, they have been insulted by passengers who demean them owing to bad habits exhibited by errant drivers and conductors.

He said that every month, they spare a day or two to hold open air interdenominational crusades.

Business community calls for dialogue over permit rates

Published on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 13:47

Naivasha Business Community chairman Stephen Mungai has called for dialogue between the county government and business people before implementation of the new proposed permit rates.

Addressing the media on Sunday, Mungai said that they will not allow implementation of the new rates without consultations. The chairman said that all stakeholders have to be consulted before the county moves ahead to implement the permit rates.

“We want to ask the county government to engage us before implementing the proposed new rates. The new rates are very high and likely to push small scale traders out of business,” he said.

The county government has proposed Sh3,000 permit rates up from Sh500.

Mungai indicated that failure by the county government to engage them in consultations will see them moving to court to block the implementation.

At the same time, the chairman called on the county administration to create a conducive environment for business people in Naivasha.

Last week the chairman complained of high incidents of insecurity targeting business people in some parts of Naivasha Sub County.

Samsung’s off-grid appliances changing rural Kenya electronic landscape

Published on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 11:26

Households in rural Kenya can now have exciting TV viewing experience even with unavailable or unstable power supply.

This follows groundbreaking innovations meant for such settings by global electronics manufacturer, Samsung Electronics. The Samsung Multi Power TV enables simultaneous connections of both AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current) power. In the event the AC power fluctuates or is unavailable, DC power, for instance a solar charged battery, can be used to power the television.

Lack of electricity or its instability has prevented millions of Kenyans living in rural areas from acquiring electronics which will improve their lives.

Robert Ngeru, Samsung Electronics Vice President and Chief Operation Officer (COO) for East and Central Africa, reiterates the company’s commitment to provide products that fit the African market under the “Built for Africa” initiative.

“One of the hindrances to Kenyans owning household appliances is the lack of electricity, and its instability in areas already connected to the grid. At Samsung, our ultimate goal has always been to offer our customers a great experience with technology, no matter their locality,” Ngeru says.

Access to energy for all Kenyans is an issue that the country’s policy makers have grappled with over the years. Though gains have been made in increasing electricity connections in rural Kenya, a lot still needs to be done.

The demand for rural electrification in the country has been on the growth curve. The Kenya Economic Survey 2014 indicates that the demand for rural electrification power increased by 12.3 per cent last year.

In maximising the effectiveness of the electric power usage, the 23” Multi Power TV provides for the highest level of efficiency. Samsung has also enhanced the durability of the televisions by ensuring that the sets are not damaged by an electric circuit when the voltage is too high at times of unstable voltage.

This function is further enhanced with the ‘Triple Protector’ which enables TVs to endure the voltage changes, frequent lightning hits, as well as the high humidity experienced during rainy seasons.

“With 'Triple Protector,' users can enjoy TV without inconvenience in spite of either the scorching heat or damp air,” adds Ngeru.

The Multi Power TV, which is locally available, has been recognised globally, having been awarded the Large TV category award at the Global LEAP Outstanding Off-Grid Appliance Awards.

Skilled manpower shortage hindering Nakuru’s growth - governor

Published on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 09:43

Nakuru Country needs to produce manpower that will steer the county towards realising vision 2030 goals, Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua has said.

Mbugua says this can only be achieved through provision of quality education that is relevant to the needs of the society. He said that the county should focus more on technical education since creativity and innovation have been lacking among technical school graduates in the county who opt for white collar jobs.

“I am informed that currently we have a great shortage of workers with appropriate technical skills for industrial production. We do not have qualified masons, plumbers, and modern industrial machine operators in Nakuru who can undertake assignments as per internationally accepted standards,” said Mbugua.

He added that there is great need for the county to align the curriculum of technical institutions with market demands to make the training received by the youth relevant and attractive.

“Technical training should be seen as a preferred option in education and not as the last resort,” he said.

Currently, the entire Nakuru County has 1,557 students in technical institutions.

Mbugua said that his government is working closely with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and institutions of higher learning to improve opportunities for quality focused internship programmes that will expose students to the actual expectations of the workplace.

They are also focusing on developing existing youth polytechnics to enhance their optimal performance and also seeking to establish new ones in areas that do not have them.

The county government has allocated Sh70 million to improve youth polytechnics this financial year. 

Proposed law to enhance revenue collection - officer

Published on Monday, September 29, 2014 - 08:47

The proposed county finance bill will enhance the collection of revenue by the county government.

Senior officer in the county ministry of finance Torome Parsaloi Kapaya said that the bill if enacted into law will increase the amount of money being collected by the county government as revenue by at least 15 percent.

Speaking during a public forum about the proposed county finance bill at the Bahati Chief’s camp, Kapaya said that most taxes have not been increased but have just been rationalized. He disputed claims from people that the taxes have been doubled.

“If you look at the bill carefully, you will realise that in some cases we have in fact reduced the taxes. We have just rationalised the taxes based on the economic status of every town since you cannot have uniform taxes across the county,” he said.

Kapaya said that an effective revenue collection system will enable the government fulfil its mandate of bringing development closer to its people.

“The government needs money to implement its projects. Therefore, residents must also pay for the services they receive from the government,” he added.

He said that the county government has no intention of imposing prohibitive taxes on residents saying that the views from the public will be considered when drafting the final bill.

The proposed county finance bill, which is in the public hearing stage, has sparked outrage among businessmen in the county. Some say that they might be forced to relocate if the bill becomes law due to prohibitive taxes.

Chief praises police-civilian relationship

Published on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 16:15

Manyani chief Joseph Ouma has praised the existing police-civilian relationship in the location in Nakuru County.

Ouma says that the relationship has opened up a forum where police and civilians interact with each other.

“The cordial relationship that is being witnessed between members of the public and the police has enabled them work together. Policemen are our brothers and part of our society. The public should not hate them,” said the chief.

Ouma was speaking on Friday at Manyani Trading Centre after the completion of a clean-up exercise and unblocking TM Road in the area.

He urged the public to strengthen the relationship to enable them realise rapid development in the area.

“The local residents should strive to strengthen the relationship with the police for our benefit,” said the chief.

Jacqueline Otieno, a local resident hailed the police for working with the community and the association that the two are currently enjoying.

“We are very happy to be associated with police in community work. It is evident that they are part of us,” said Otieno.

The exercise was witnessed by members of the police force from Nakuru and local residents who volunteered their services.

New business owners association elects officials

Published on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 16:00

A new association bringing together general business operators Mawanga and Teachers estates has elected a ten member team to steer the activities of the association for the next two years.

The elections held on Friday were gender sensitive to address gender balance in running the association’s affairs.

This comes ahead of the grand opening of a new Constituency Development Fund (CDF) sponsored market in the area that will be presided over by Deputy President Wiliam Ruto early next month.

In a colourful event that was held at the Teachers Deliverance Church grounds, and attended by various local leaders and members of the public, the more than one hundred association members elected their officials who promised to protect the interests of the traders based on its constitution.

The ten include: Julius Maina Njoroge (Chairman), Esther Muthoni Wanyoike (Vice-Chairperson), Enock Omanga Nyairo (Secretary General), Agness Njambi Mwaniki (Treasurer), and Andrew Muleshe Osundwa (Organising Secretary). Others are; Raymond Maina Ngunjiri (First Vice-Chair), Monicah Adhiambo (First Secretary General), Angelika Ngaira, Patrick Kimani Njuguna and Caleb Juma (Members representatives).

The chairman elect, Maina Njoroge said the association’s goals basically rested on the need to strengthen the bargaining power of the local business community since it faces several challenges. Njoroge added that the team will soon meet several local stakeholders in the business industry including county government officials and committees as well as security organs to present to them the group’s constitution and agenda for recognition.

“Our agenda is basically tied to improving the welfare of business people in this area and to enhance our services to residents,” he said.

Present during the elections were among others, the area chief Mary Kamau and MCA Michael Macharia Mwangi. Mwangi pledged to help the new association meet its goals to serve residents better.

Government to boost fish farming in Githiga Ward

Published on Saturday, September 27, 2014 - 15:15

The government is ready to step up fish production in Githuguri Constituency through construction of several fish ponds, a senior agriculture expert has said.

Sam Wambugu, the District Agricultural Officer says that the county government will set aside some money in the next financial year to increase the production of fish in the area.

“We have urged the county government to increase its allocation to the fishery sub-sector in the coming financial year. The residents should also embrace fish farming as the county government will give them financial and technical support,” said Wambugu.

Speaking on Friday at Githiga Trading Center during launch of the Githiga Fish Pond, Wambugu said the county government will assist farmers financially to construct fish ponds and also follow up to make the whole process a success.

He added that the county government will construct two cooling plants and a processing factory in Githiga to boost farmers’ income.

Speaking to this writer, Peter Mwangi, the chairman said: “This time round, the county government has shown keen interest in fish farming. It is our hope that we will reciprocate through rearing of fish to supplement our incomes.”

He urged local residents to pool their resources together to fulfil their dreams.

“Apart from the county government’s support, members will be required to chip in. We cannot wait for the government to wholly finance the project,” he added.

Kiambu farmers urged to keep camels

Published on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 12:45

Farmers in Kiambu County have been urged to rear camels for their delicious meat and milk.

According to the Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA) liaison officer Jeff Kariuki, inadequate physical and institutional support and poor marketing outlets have been cited as constraints inhibiting many farmers in Kiambu County from camel rearing.

Kariuki added that camels were popular and could be relied upon to create more job opportunities.

Addressing journalists in Limuru, Kariuki cautioned that like any other animal, anyone who may be found mistreating camels will be held accountable. He said that although camels were known to be kept by pastoralists, farmers who can diversify and join the industry were likely to reap maximum benefits.

“A mature trained sport camel fetches close to Sh200,000 while untrained ones go for between Sh50,000 to Sh100,000,” he said.

He added that camels are only available in two species- Dromedary (two humped) and Bactrian (without a hump).

He added that camel prices have risen 20 times in the past three years following the opening up of a camel export corridor to other parts of the world like Ethiopia and the Middle East.

Kariuki however said that consumption of camel meat remained low among Kenyans as a result of lack of consumer education about its nutritional value.

He added that a litre of camel goes for Sh150 and a camel can produce 20 litres of milk per day depending on the type of feed given.

Banana protection still a challenge, official says

Published on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 08:58

Crop protection still remains a major challenge in the production of high quality bananas in Kenya despite efforts to promote the sector, an agricultural officer said Thursday.

Nakuru County agricultural officer, Stephen Mureithi, said demonstrations are currently underway to introduce farmers to bagging of banana branches to avoid post-harvest challenges.

He revealed that the Horticultural Crop Development Authority and Amiran Kenya Limited have partnered to introduce proven and innovative technologies that will address crop protection and post-harvest management challenges.

“l urge banana farmers to use the Amiran banana bags because they have an anti-microbial effect and are effective in the control of insect pests such as thrips,” he said, adding that the bagging will protect the bananas against pests and diseases during growth and development.

The officer also noted that for Kenya to export bananas, the farmers need to ensure that the European Union production regulations are adhered to fully.

“Bagging protects the bananas from developing black batches and when they ripen they remain just yellow without any blemishes,” he stated.

He added that ripe bananas with black patches reduce their market value and they cannot be accepted in the EU market.

Alibhai Shariff sets up shop in Nakuru

Published on Friday, September 26, 2014 - 08:30

Hardware provider Alibhai Shariff has set up a branch in Nakuru town to meet the needs of property and real estate developers in the county.

Located along Nakuru town’s Kijabe Road, the branch officially launched on Friday will supply house various products from top international brands, ranging from hand and power tools among others.

The franchise, according to Alibhai Shariff’s chief executive officer Rafiq Shariff, was opened in collaboration with Rift Valley Glaziers Limited, a popular supplier of glass, aluminium and hardware in Nakuru County.

“In the past few years, Nakuru town and its environs has recorded a boom in the construction industry. This branch comes in to address the growing need of construction materials,” he said.

He said the Nakuru outlet is the pilot project for establishment of franchise arrangements across the country.

In July this year, the company launched The Alibhai Shariff Centre of Excellence, at Nairobi’s Thika Road Mall in partnership with the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology and Housing Finance Foundation.

The Centre will enable local artisans enhance their skills in carpentry, metal fabrication, painting and electrical works, at no cost. 

Nakuru farmers to benefit from new seed varieties

Published on Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 13:45

Farmers in Nakuru County and the larger high potential regions in the country are set to benefit from new seed varieties that are being developed at Egerton University’s Agro-Science Park.

According to the manager of the park Prof Paul Kimurto, the university has received a grant of USD 150,000 which is equivalent to Sh13 million from the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to facilitate the expansion of Seed and Variety Development Unit Centre (SVUDC) at the park.

Prof Kimurto told this writer on Wednesday that the unit aims at promoting and commercialising new high yielding crop varieties to farmers in Nakuru County and the country at large. He added that the two year grant will assist in expanding the production of three bean varieties already in commercial production namely; Tasha, Chelang and Ciankui.

“Egerton University could be the only research centre and institute of higher learning in Kenya and the whole of East and Central Africa that has so far managed to have its developed varieties distributed and marketed to farmers in required packs and qualities,” he said.

The Agro-Science Park is one of the university’s vision 2030 flagship projects that aim at collaborating with stakeholders in the agro-products industry in the country and internationally to transform the industry.

Already, the university has entered into an agreement with a publishing company for an agri-business magazine titled Seeds of Gold.

Agriculture CS asked to intervene in potato packaging

Published on Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 11:30

Leaders from the potato growing counties are seeking for the intervention of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Felix Koskei in implementation of the potato packaging law.

Chairperson of the Nakuru County committee on agriculture Joseph Waithaka says that the inter-county committee consisting of agriculture executives from the fourteen potato growing counties have resolved to seek the intervention of the national government for the law to be effected.

The committee was to deliberate on uniform strategies to adopt in enforcing the law that caps potato packaging weight at 110kg.

“The committee resolved that the matter should be handled by the national government. We therefore are waiting for the agriculture cabinet secretary to issue an official date on which the law should take effect,” said Waithaka.

Regulations on packaging of the second most popular staple crop after maize in Kenya was first introduced through the Crop Production and Livestock Act of 2005 which set the limit at 110kg.

The law gazetted in the Legal Notice NO. 44 of 2005 and adopted by the local governments through Legal Notice No 113 of 2008 was however effected for just a year leaving the farmers under the mercies of exploitative brokers.

Waithaka said the CS is expected to visit all the potato growing counties before giving any directions on the crop’s packaging.

“The plan was that he makes the visits in June this year beginning from Molo but it did not happen. We are waiting for him to set another date,” he said.

Naivasha businessmen oppose proposed county finance bill

Published on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 16:30

Businessmen in Naivasha have opposed the proposed new county finance act saying that it will force most businesses to close down if it becomes law.

Speaking on Tuesday when the house finance committee held a public hearing session about the proposed act, Naivasha business owners chairman Stephen Mungai said that the amount of taxes being proposed by the bill are prohibitive and might force most of them to close shop.

“If you look at the amount of taxes the bill is proposing, most people here will not be able to pay them. It is not practical for the government to want us to pay huge taxes which even exceed our profits,” said Mungai.

During the session which was held to collect public views about the proposed law, the businessmen said that the government should revise the proposed bill and incorporate the public views.

They added that if their views are not taken into account, they might even consider shifting into the neighbouring counties.

Senior finance officer from the Nakuru County Charles Lwanga assured the business community that their views will be considered saying that the bill was still a proposal and there is room for amendments.

“This is just a proposal and that is why we came to collect your views. We will listen and consider all your views before drafting the final bill,” said Lwanga.

County assembly majority leader Waithuke Njane who attended the session promised the businessmen that the house will consider their suggestions when debating the bill.