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Sh40m PCEA theft case hits snag



The theft case against former Presbyterian Church of East Africa moderator David Gathanju failed to start Tuesday when prosecutors applied to amend the charges.

Rev Gathanju and two former church employees are accused of stealing Sh40 million. Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo was to hear the case for three days.

Defence lawyers said the intended changes, which will see the amount increased by Sh10 million, prevented them from proceeding as they needed more time to prepare.

Rev Gathanju was the PCEA moderator from 2009 to 2015.


His fellow accused — Mr James Muiruri and Mr Peter Kamuthu — have already denied stealing Sh39.9 million between January 2, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

State counsels Christine Mbevi and Thomas Matwa told the court that they had instructions to amend the charges to increase the stolen amount to sh50.9 million.

Prosecutors said they would also add seven counts to charges against Mr Kamuthu.

He is to be charged with forging the signatures of PCEA Secretary-General Peter Kania and Treasurer Amon Nderi at Equity Bank on January 20, December 5 and December 16, 2016, and on January 17, 2017 with the intention of defrauding the church.


The case was to begin in November 2017 but was delayed over a litany of instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Defence lawyers Danstan Omari, John Njuguna, Kimani Wakimaa and Stanley Kangahi accuse the DPP of unwillingness to proceed with the case.

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Woman kills self over ‘chama’ debt



A 23-year-old woman drowned after jumping into River Kuja, in Ongito village, Uriri, Migori County. Sylvia Aluoch plunged into the river on Thursday on her way home from a women group’s meeting.Police claim the group had threatened to auction her property over a Sh9,000 debt, but it was not clear if this pushed her to her death.

“The woman secured the loan from a Sacco and was under pressure to re-pay,” said Uriri sub county police commander Peter Njoroge who added that the woman had attended the merry-go-round of Wabongo B Group.

She reportedly boarded a motorcycle to her home but alighted on the way.“She had boarded a motorbike of one of the group members and she requested to alight and pick her shawl which had dropped. When the motorbike stopped she jumped into River Kuja,” Njoroge said.

The officer noted that attempts to rescue the woman were futile since “the raging waters swept her downstream”.“That was a small debt that never warranted such a weird action. I could have even chipped in and paid the money if I was approached over the matter,” said Njoroge.

The body has not been recovered.

By Standard

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US investors express interest in pyrethrum



Pyrethrum farmers are set for good tidings following increased interest in the sector by foreign investors. This follows an announcement by US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter that investors from his country are already in Kenya scouting to establish pyrethrum processing plants.McCarter said some US investors have already started setting up production factories in Nairobi.

“Pyrethrum is something that Kenya historically has seen a lot of prosperity from, and that market is coming back,” the envoy said during his tour of North Rift region recently. The envoy, who was speaking in Iten, Elgeyo-Marakwet County, said the US will continue supporting investments in Kenya, particularly in agriculture.

The cash crop used in the manufacture of agrochemicals including insecticides and pesticides was abandoned in the late 1990s following declining fortunes occasioned by the loss of key markets.McCarter encouraged pyrethrum manufacturers who had quit the business in Kenya to return, saying there was immense potential in the sector.

“We shall continue our support for agriculture. We have some US investors who are already in Kenya now to invest in pyrethrum. We want to encourage investors who left the country to return,” he said.

Largest producer

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos said his county was the second-largest producer of pyrethrum before the loss of market that triggered a shift to potatoes.The county boss noted that farmers from Elgeyo Marakwet highlands were ready for a revival of the crop as soon they are assured of a market.

“We invite investors from the US to our county. I wish we knew when the production factory was being established in Nairobi. We would have requested them to set it up in Elgeyo Marakwet,” said Tolgos.

He wooed American investors to set up another processing factory in Elgeyo Marakwet, which he noted will reduce transport costs to Nairobi.“Once we are assured of a market, our people will immediately start growing pyrethrum. We will also increase funds to the sector in our subsequent allocations.”Early this year, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui announced plans to revive pyrethrum through a partnership with four State agencies.

These are Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service, Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation, the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya and Egerton University.In the 1980s and early 1990s, Kenya was a major producer and player in the world’s pyrethrum sector. Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kiambu, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Kisii and West Pokot were the highest producers.

By Standard

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Why flights to this part of Kenya have been suspended




Amboseli airstrip was on Thursday closed by the Kenya Wildlife Service(KWS) after heavy rains pounded the area.

Following the airstrip’s closure, local airlines also suspended their flights on Friday in the wake of the KWS advisory.

There’s massive flooding at the airstrip, including the key amenities after heavy rains prompting the closure.

KWS has put a temporary closure of the airstrip effective 12th Dec 2019 following heavy rains,” a statement from Air Kenya read in part.

In the statement, the main entrance to the Amboseli National Park is also flooded.

The park’s Kimana Gate is periodically flooded and inaccessible as are some parts of the park,” KWS said.

Therefore, all visitors to Amboseli National Park are advised to seek guidance about the status of the roads via the park’s hotline number 0716493335,” the statement added.

The meteorological department has issued a warning of more heavy rains and thunderstorms in many parts of the country, and other regions will experience floods.

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