Help! Mutua is eating county like Pilau Njeri– Machakos MCA’s Cry

[Courtesy of Pashamole ]

Machakos MCAs together with the county residents have called on the government institutions to stop governor Alfred Mutua from his insatiable eating appetite of the county money.

The MCAs and residents have written to the EACC and the Auditor General to come down and carry out a thorough probe, including lifestyle audit on governor Mutua.

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Kitui: Political Class Sacrificing Local Mwanachi over Poorly-thought Emotional Cost-implicating Decisions

Monday, October 9, Kitui. By Brian Peter

The common Kitui mwananchi is facing a possiblility of getting burdened with unnecessary debts that may spill over years, owing to rashly done poorly-thought projects, bad politically-driven decisions, and laxity in oversight roles by the county assembly.

Several flopped mega-projects, and unnecessary accumulated debts have dotted the timeline of the current Kitui County Government regime since it came in power over a year ago. Kitui Newspaper has gone back in time to highlight some of the projects and accumulating debts that will burden the Musangis for years to come:

1. The Ndengu Revolution

Kitui County Government, late last year, started a green-gram farming project, in partnership with Red Cross Kenya. This project, which has made the current regime lose some of its popularity, saw the local mwananchi lose around 400 million in an agricultural production project that lacked the most-basic of any value-added production: a market-driven approach. Despite the County Government’s initial promise of Ksh. 100 per kilo, Kitui farmers have been left stranded with a massive production surplus crop, with the only thing they’ve got to date being stories of banned imports in India and a possiblility of a potential market in Vietnam.

2. The bed-bugs fumigation

Earlier this year, Kituians woke to the shock of over 40 million worth of taxpayers money that was allegedly used for fumigation of bed-bugs in Kitui East sub-county. This was after allegations that a bed-bug had been spotted crawling up the shoulder of the Governor during one of her functions in the area. It has never been clear to date which company was awarded the tender, or exactly how much was used for the project; but one thing is very vivid- no local of Kitui East can testify of any fumigations having been done in their homes or environs.

3. Unpaid contracts from previous regime

There are 87 major construction tenders lying unpaid by the Kitui County Government, simply because of what is seemingly a getting back at the previous regime supporters move.

Roads construction and drifts jobs that were issued in June 2016 still remain unpaid to date, despite the jobs having been completed and certified. Kitui Newspaper has dug deep into the controversy behind the unpaid contracts and unearthed interesting details.

The total cost for those jobs is Ksh. 1.2 billion. Majority of the contracts had been completed by October 2016 and the County Assembly passed a supplementary budget of 600 million between December 2016 and February 2017 to facilitate the first leg of their payments. Being in the wake of the 2017 General Elections, political powers fell almost immediately into play, accusing the former governor of using the tenders as a guise to raise campaign funds. EACC showed up almost at once and began investigations into allegations that these were ghost projects. All the 87 contractors were summonned and they produced their documents. These documents raged from LSOs, award letters, contract forms, compliance documents, among other legal company documents.

EACC visited the sites in question afterwards to confirm the projects were done, and even summoned technical officers(national government engineers). The engineers did randomn sampling of 41 projects and assertained they were done to precision. In their report to the EACC (which Kitui Newspaper got a chance to read but unable to publish since it’s a classified document), the engineers even mentioned that some of the contractors had been ….underpaid, according to the level and scope of the work done.

In 18th May 2018, EACC wrote a letter to the Kitui County Government clearing the said contractors for payment. According to the official stamp in the letter (which Kitui Newspaper managed to get a copy of) the County Government of Kitui recieved the letter on 22nd May 2018, yet not a single contractor has been paid up to date.

A copy of the letter by the EACC to the County Government of Kitui clearing the contractors for payment

So, what is the implication of this reluctance to pay the contractors to the local Mwananchi?

Kitui Newspaper consulted with a renown scholar in business law who sought anonymity for privacy reasons, and he made it clear that Legally, the witheld payments accumulates a 16% interest annually, payable to the contractors along with their initial dues.

Going by the math thus, a 16% interest of the 1.2 billion is 192 Million every year! Multiplying this by the three years due, the figure sky-rockets to 576 Million! The contractors have already gone to court to demand their dues, and insider sources have told Kitui Newspaper that the judgement is expected by the end of this month.

4. The Mt. Kenya Stores Closure

Mid this year, the County Government of Kitui closed up the Mt. Kenya Stores businesses in Kitui Town, under terms that the owner moved to court to challenge. With allegations that raged from ‘selling poisonous sugar’ to ‘health concerns’, the government closed up the business located just behind the Kitui County Assembly chambers, even stationing law enforcement officers to guard the premises day and night.

Insider sources from the court have told Kitui Newspaper that Mt. Kenya Stores is currently claiming damages of over 78 million from the County Government of Kitui, and the figure keeps imcreasing with the advent of days. The reasons for the county government’s closure of the store has never been comprehensive or coherrent to the common mwananchi, with some people reading political motives all over the script.

“Both the contractors and the store owners have valid claims against the County Government of Kitui, and not against the political class. Even in the event of the current regime’s tenure expiring, if they ever win the case against the government, it would be the local mwananchi who will shoulder the burden of political mistakes and pay the accrued debts, ” advised a renown Kitui advocate.

The Kitui County Assembly has continued to turn a blind eye to these matters that fall squarely into their role of oversight to the government, as the mwananchi sings the Mbee Nzei totally oblivious of the impeding predicament.

Carmels of Carnage:The Unheard Cry of Mutha Residents, Kitui County

Tuesday, October 2, Kitui.

By Ruth Mutheu.

A man walks past grazing Somali camels, just meters from Musenge Market in Mutha. Pastoralists from Tana River County have encroached the Kitui County farming lands in Mutha, sparking land disputes that have led to crimes and atrocities in the past.

For more than 20 years,there has been an outcry by Mutha residents who feel that they have turned slaves in their own land and that the administration has shown no efforts to end the continuous Camel herders intrusion in their land.

Claims have it that these herders from bordering Tana River County have settled in their land, graze on their farms and are killing men and raping women among other issues,creating mental disturbances especially to women and school going children.

This has led to insecurity in the areas of Mutha, precisely Kalambani Location (Ingo, Musenge, and Kekuku, just to name a few).

Kitui Newspaper paid a visit to some of the affected families and confirmed that security at Musenge Sub Location is wanting.A family in Ingo village, where a man was killed in May, 2015 at Kyatune, his wife narrates that they came at night and woke him up.

“After opening the door, they took my husband some metres from the house and brutally beat him to death”, she said. Questioning the law action proceedings, the widow said police came in the morning and took the body to Mutha Police Station and later to Kitui.

The killer was arrested and released after denying charges at Mutha Police Station,under conditons unknown to the family.

“We were called at Mutha Police Station and again at Kitui but never understood what transpired because after the suspect denied the charges we can’t explain what happened later,” lamented one of his three wives saying they are living miserably since the demise of the family’s bread winner.

A second case of killing sited was of Benjamin Muthokoi, a pastor at AIC Musenge. The pastor was murdered on May 2017, at Syunguni. He was reportedly shot while riding on his motorcycle.

“He was burning charcoal at the bush when he heard a gunshot and ran towards where he was spending unfortunately on the way he met the enemies and they shot him and left,”explained his wife full of tears.

The widow added that the security officers visited her at home after the incident and promised all was well and she was to be compensated, which till today has not been done.

The mother of four says that her lower primary school-going daughter who is supposed to come home at 1pm is forced to wait for her elder sister to accompany her from school in fear of being raped .

Huwa wanakuja nyumbani wanabisha mlango wanakuitisha maji ya kunywa na ukiwanyima kuna siku wataikujia usiku (They come during the day in pretext of asking fir drinking water, but if you turn them away, they’ll come back for you at night),” Said an old woman who sought anonymity.

Mutha village women narrate the endless terror they are forced to live with, during an interview with our reporter.

A 20 year old man who used to be a driver was shot in 2012 but he survived the bullets although he can no longer drive for he is partially disabled.

On our tour we found camels grazing a few metres from Musenge Market and truly in peoples farms. The residents are appealing to the Interior Security Minister Matiang’i to come to their rescue since the security officers in the area have been reluctant on driving these herders out.

The elders at Musenge Shopping Centre have called upon the government to drive these herders out immediately, and set up a Police Post in the area to strengthen security. “We do not have an MP to speak for us, Kitui East Member of Parliament Nimrod Mbai on his side is breathing fire due to insecurity in his area and the government is quickly responding,where is our MP?”Said an old woman.

A family member points out a fresh grave where one of the victims of the Somali-Kamba conflict was burried.

Hon. Anthony John (MCA Mutha Ward) and Cyrus Musyoka alias Sonko who had spent a day with residents of Mutha, in Kitui South Constituency, asked for calmness as the matter was on course for action. “We are collecting signatures to petition on this matter at the County Government of Kitui to ensure that all the land is utilized and that there will be no idle land for Somali herders to graze their camels . Let’s remain calm as we wait for our governments to respond and act,” Said Anthony who also demanded for a quick intervention by the security agents.

Nitaenda kuongea na county commander na county commissioner watupatie askari (I am going to talk to the county commander to allocate you some officers) as we wait for a long lasting solution,” said Hon. Anthony.

The legislator feels like many young families will continue being poor and that the government should come up with ways to ensure affected families have been compensated.

Cyrus Musyoka a youth leader from Kitui South urged the government to see the plight of people and ensure that this problem is sorted once and for all.

“I urge all leaders to come together and put viable security installations to enable Mutha people enjoy their constitutional right of security and peace which has been elusive for years,” said Musyoka.

He said that insecurity has largely affected education and farming in the area siting that the poverty level is of great concern.

A tombstone of one of the victims allegedly murdered by Tana River County pastoralists in Mutha Ward, Kitui County

“The government is aware of the problems which Somali herders bring to our people because deaths and serious security violations have been reported” Said the concerned youth leader who assured the community that he will mobilize youth from the constituency and other like minded leaders to join hands and push the government to push the Somali herders out of Kitui County.

Call for Intervention, As Talented Youths Result to Brick-making and Manual Jobs to Fund the ongoing FKF Kitui County League.

Wednesday, September 26, Kitui. By Brian Peter

Teams warming up ready for a game during the ongoing FKF Kitui County League. Youths have resulted to Brick-making and such manual jobs to finance the league and logistics as the league management requires each team to pay the referee ksh. 2,000 per game.

Kitui County youths are calling on the government and well-wishers to intervene and sponsor them in the ongoing FKF Kitui County Football League.

Most of these talented youths can barely eke a living, with most of them unemployed and residing in their rural homes with no definite sources of income. Most of the team members playing in the league have resulted to desperate alternatives of making money to fund the league and cover logistics expenses; ranging from brick-making, sand harvesting, construction casuals and such manual jobs.

Wii FC team members engaging in brick making to raise money for the FKF Kitui County Football League. The team will be playing against Torenion FC on Saturday 30th September at the Wii Primary grounds

After a successful conclusion of the league,some of the well performing teams will proceed to a higher rank which is Division 2. This covers the Eastern Region from Isiolo, Kitui,Machacos to Makueni counties.”Our biggest worry remains: will the youths be able to pay for the referee fee in the division 2, which in the past has never been less than Ksh. 5,000 and pay the security fees as well?” wondered Robinson Sammy, the organizing Secretary Utoo FC, one of the teams on top of the league. “Again, how will the teams cater for accommodation and transport to all these places with brick making which is seasonal?” he added.

In the current league Division 1, each team has been required to pay a referee fee of Ksh. 2,000 for each match they play, which totals to Ksh. 4,000. Travelling expenses for the away matches, meals and refreshments, and the emergency kitty brings the total to around Ksh. 10,000. Most of these teams have a game almost every weekend.

“It’s getting harder for us with every single day, “disclosed Robinson in an interview with Kitui Newspaper. “The youth have shown lots of determination and dedication towards nurturing our talents, what I can’t understand is why the County government and our elected leaders have continued to ignore us all this time! “he lamented.

None of the teams are aware whether there exists any budget for the league either from the County or National Government. Efforts to reach the league organisers have been futile, as the provided telephone number was still going unanswered by the time of going to press.

At a glance, the FKF Kitui County Football League:-

Utoo FC of Kitui West in action during a past game.

The Kitui FKF County Football League kicked off on 27/05/2018 with a total of 10 teams from the Kitui sub-branch and 11 teams in the mwingi sub-branch which makes a total of 21 teams from Kitui county. The league is intended to come to an end on the 18/11/2018. The teams from Kitui sub branch are
Dynamo FC from Kitui Central
Majengo Heros Kitui Central
Utoo FC Kitui West
Ikanga FC Kitui South
Kwa-Vonza United from Kitui Rural
Kathivo FV from Kitui West
Torenian Kitui West
Kyanika FC Kitui East
Mutune FC from Kitui Central
And Wii FC from Kitui Central.
The various clubs pay a referee fee of 2000 per match every weekend and need organised security for referees. Players also cater for their own transport expenses and meals for all away matches.

League fixtures and table of points for the FKF Kitui County League Division1 Pool A

Suspects arrested in Kabati with 1M fake currency

Tuesday 3 July, Kitui West. By Brian Peter

Two suspects are being detained at the Kabati Police Station after they were arrested in Kabati Market, Kitui West sub-county with a suitcase full of 1 million fake notes last weekend.

The suspects, a 22 years-old Mr Martin Mbwele Kyalo alias Wesley and 27 years-old Lucas Wambua Mathina alias James, are currently detained at the Kabati Police Cells on fraud charges, pending investigations. The duo was nubbed during an operation by DCIO officers from Kabati Police Station on Saturday, after allegedly defrauding a business woman of Ksh. 54,400 in Kabati Town. Liquids believed to be used in cleaning the fake one thousand denomination notes were also seized during the raid. One fake identity card belonging to Mr Wesley Ndiragu was also found on the subjects.

Exhibits of the consignment found with the suspects during arrest by the Kabati Police DCIO officers at the Kabati Market on Saturday. Fake notes worth 1M shillings was also impounded

According to official records in the DCIO office, the two suspects are from Machakos County, Donyo Sabuk area, and both speak fluent Kamba and Kikuyu languages. They are believed to have been operating chiefly from Thika Town, and only lodged in guest houses in Kabati Town during their spree.

The suspects were arraigned in court on Monday 2nd July 2018 but did not plead since the prosecution requested to be granted seven days for the DCIO to complete investigations, a request that was granted by the Kitui Magistrate Court.

The DCIO Kabati Police Station has sent a notice to the public for anyone with complains against the two, or who has been a victim of fraud in the past, to visit the Kabati Police Station at Ndolos Corner Kitui West and see if they can identify the suspects.

Photos of the two fraud suspects. Share widely to reach all their past fraud Victims.

Suspects arrested in Kabati with 1M fake currency

Tuesday 3 July, Kitui West. By Brian Peter

Two suspects are being detained at the Kabati Police Station after they were arrested in Kabati Market, Kitui West sub-county with a suitcase full of 1 million fake notes last weekend.

The suspects, a 22 years-old Mr Martin Mbwele Kyalo alias Wesley and 27 years-old Lucas Wambua Mathina alias James, are currently detained at the Kabati Police Cells on fraud charges, pending investigations. The duo was nubbed during an operation by DCIO officers from Kabati Police Station on Saturday, after allegedly defrauding a business woman of Ksh. 54,400 in Kabati Town. Liquids believed to be used in cleaning the fake one thousand denomination notes were also seized during the raid. One fake identity card belonging to Mr Wesley Ndiragu was also found on the subjects.

Exhibits of the consignment found with the suspects during arrest by the Kabati Police DCIO officers at the Kabati Market on Saturday. Fake notes worth 1M shillings was also impounded

According to official records in the DCIO office, the two suspects are from Machakos County, Donyo Sabuk area, and both speak fluent Kamba and Kikuyu languages. They are believed to have been operating chiefly from Thika Town, and only lodged in guest houses in Kabati Town during their spree.

The suspects were arraigned in court on Monday 2nd July 2018 but did not plead since the prosecution requested to be granted seven days for the DCIO to complete investigations, a request that was granted by the Kitui Magistrate Court.

The DCIO Kabati Police Station has sent a notice to the public for anyone with complains against the two, or who has been a victim of fraud in the past, to visit the Kabati Police Station at Ndolos Corner Kitui West and see if they can identify the suspects.

Photos of the two fraud suspects. Share widely to reach all their past fraud Victims.