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‘My life is in danger,’ says Kalembe Ndile as rivalry with Governor Mutua intensifies

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Friction between Machakos County Governor Alfred Mutua and former Kibwezi Member of Parliament Kalembe Ndile has now taken a new twist after the latter recorded a statement with the police over alleged threats on his life.

Addressing a press conference in Nairobi, the ex-politician said he was accosted by unknown individuals in a Machakos County government vehicle who threatened to break his leg if he did not stop antagonising Governor Mutua.

Ndile, who recorded the statement at Parliament Police Station in Nairobi, said he did not take the threats lightly, further accusing Governor Mutua of using county resources to harass him.

“A man in a white pick-up vehicle with county government number plates approached me and told me to move from Mlolongo or else they will break my other leg,” said Ndile, who previously suffered a broken leg in an accident two years ago.

The former legislator, who was flanked by by former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo and Nairobi businessman Stanley Livondo, called for government protection saying he will not be intimidated.

Ndile has in recent times been embroiled in a squabble with Governor Mutua over utterances he made after the county chief visited Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) and lamented over the poor state of national statues and monuments.

Mutua promised to personally oversee the refurbishment and maintenance of the statues, remarks which were rubbished by Kalembe who urged the governor to use the funds to develop Machakos County instead.

Following the statement, the county government Health department on Wednesday moved in and closed Ndile’s Macha Beach Hotel and arrested seven workers who were later charged.

The hotel was also cited for being built on riparian land among other illegalities.

The former MP’s rental apartments in Mlolongo were also raided by county government officials and tenants arrested.

The county government, in a notice to Ndile, accused him of constructing a commercial building without approved drawings and occupying the building which was under construction without a certificate of occupation.

He was thereby directed to produce the documents or have the tenants vacate the building.

Ndile has however said he has all the documents relating to the building and would sue the county government on Monday.

His tribulations have roped in Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko who on Thursday visited Machakos with several city legislators and condemned the closure of the hotel and arrest of workers.

Governor Mutua has since stated that his comments on the neglect of statues in Nairobi was not directed to Governor Sonko but the National Museums of Kenya.

Source:citizendigital

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Health

151 cases, but Kibra isn’t on lockdown

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The government appears hesitant to put Nairobi’s Kibra estate on lockdown despite increased number of Covid-19 cases that now stand at 151.

This figure is more than the cases recorded in Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town which are on lockdown until June 6, 2020. The two areas were put under lockdown by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on May 6 after recording 58 and 67 cases, respectively. So far, Eastleigh has 121 and while Old Town has 91 cases.

Issuing yesterday’s Covid-19 update where he announced 143 new cases, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said informal settlements in the country were on the government’s radar. “We have seen increasing concern around Kibra partly because of extended testing,” said Dr Aman.

Aman announced that surveillance teams were focusing on Kenya’s largest informal.“If these numbers continue to increase, necessary interventions have to be taken,” he said. The number of Covid-19 cases in Kibra have been increasing steadily.

Between May 21 and May 28, the area had 99 cases. The adjacent Lang’ata area had 31 cases, most of which the ministry said were from Kibra.

From yesterday’s figures, where 143 people tested positive across the country, Kibra came second after Makadara estate in Nairobi. Out of the 86 cases in Nairobi, 45 were from Makadara while 21 were from Kibra.

Embakasi South come third with six cases. Langata had one case. There was no reported case from Eastleigh. Health Director General Patrick Amoth said densely populated informal settlements have become hotspots for the disease.

“It is practically difficult to ensure social distancing. The only measure left (in informal settlements) now is hygiene and use of masks,” said Dr Amoth.

According to the Director General, lack of access to clean water has played a role in the disease’s rapid spread in informal settlements.

Apart from Kibra, Eastleigh and now Makadara, Mathare is the other informal settlement which has registered more cases, the highest being 33.

So far, the disease has spread to 33 counties, the latest being Kericho which reported one case in Ainamoi area. Uasin Gishu reported 11 cases, all truck drivers.

August peak

The peak of the disease in Kenya is expected to be around August and September when the Health ministry predicts a daily tally of 200. “By then, we will be at 4,000 or 5,000 cases and by our fatality ratio, we will be at 160 or 180 deaths then,” said Amoth.

Up to 63 people have died so far from the disease, majority being those with underlying health conditions like asthma, hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. Majority of the dead were more than 55 years old, prompting the Health ministry to issue caution on unique symptoms of the disease among the elderly. The common symptoms synonymous with Covid-19 are cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and cold.

“The elderly may have different symptoms that include lethargy, diarrhea, confusion, anxiety, unexplained strokes, loss of taste or brain inflammation,” said Amoth.

By Standard.co.ke

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VIDEO: We are about to reopen our economy, says President Kenyatta

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This  exclusive interview with Nation Media Group’s Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu aired on NTV Kenya at 7.30pm on Sunday.

“The economic and financial shocks associated with Covid-19 such as disruptions to industrial production and supply chains, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility and rising insecurity have derailed the already tepid economic growth and development,” the President said.

To address the socioeconomic challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, President Kenyatta said the global community needs to focus on the implementation of the United Nations Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Watch the Head of State as he articulates his agenda for the country.

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Business

Kenyan scientist Muthoni Masinde created an app that predicts droughts

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An app is combining weather station data with the traditional knowledge of African farmers to predict droughts.

To help prepare farmers for the effects of climate change, Kenyan computer scientist Muthoni Masinde has created mobile platform ITIKI.

The name stands for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge, and the platform sends farmers drought forecasts via an app or SMS message.

Although it uses meteorological data, Masinde says most African farmers can better relate to the traditional knowledge that is also used to formulate the platform’s predictions.

“I grew up in a [Kenyan] village and I noticed that most farmers do not have any form of science to tell [them] when to plant,” Masinde told CNN Business.

“They watch insects, they watch the behavior of animals and then they make a decision, ‘I think it’ll rain in two weeks’ time.’”

ITIKI employs young people in farming communities to gather photos and updates about animal behavior and local vegetation, such as which trees are flowering.

They capture their findings on the ITIKI app, and ITIKI collates this information with data from local weather stations to model weather patterns months in advance.

Farmers can subscribe to the service for just a few cents, and receive regular updates in their local language, helping them make early decisions about which crops they should grow and whether to sell or save their produce.

Economic impact of drought

Many African countries are especially vulnerable to climate change and small-scale farmers in particular, who rely on rainfall for their harvests, could face poverty and food insecurity, according to UN climate experts.

That could have major economic repercussions. Agriculture contributes about 15% to Africa’s total GDP, according to a 2017 UN report, and accounts for around half of the continent’s employment, according to the African Development Bank.

Now a professor at the Central University of Technology Free State, in South Africa, Masinde launched the app in 2016 in Kenya, where agriculture makes up around a third of GDP.

“Investments in climate adaptation solutions, especially targeting small scale farmers, would lead to GDP growth [in Africa],” said Masinde.

She added that African governments tend to react to drought and extreme weather, rather than proactively planning for these events.

“We do not prepare for [drought],” she said. “It’s like we just wake up and discover that people in rural Kenya are starving, that people on one side of the country have no rain.”

Masinde says ITIKI is now used by more than 15,000 farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. Since farmers started using the app their crop yields have increased by an average of 11%, according to Masinde.

ITIKI has received $750,000 in funding from the US and South African governments, which will be used to scale up operations. By the end of this year, Masinde hopes to have signed up over 100,000 farmers to the platform.

BY Citizen

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