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Intensify war on graft, US envoy Mc Carter tells Kenyans

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Kenya may not successfully implement its Big Four Agenda should the government fail to tame the runaway corruption, US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has said.

Ambassador McCarter said graft has become common in Kenya that citizens appear to give power to individuals with the hope being given something big in return.

 “It seems normal in Kenya for someone to offer you a bribe or share crooked deal and it goes without being condemned,” said Mr McCarter.

Speaking at Mwangaza Primary School in Lurambi sub-county, Kakamega County, on Saturday, the US envoy said in Kenya, leaders accused of corruption and serious economic crimes have found it easier to get elected to public offices than people of impeccable records.

The diplomat called for conviction of individuals who engage in graft.

“We are nurturing the young generation into a bad nation. We are making them think that taking something that is not yours is not bad,” he stated.

He asked the leadership of the country to wake up to the reality that if corruption is not firmly condemned, it will be difficult to realise the implementation of the ambitious Big Four Agenda.

The government is focused on delivering to its citizens affordable housing, food security, universal healthcare and enhanced manufacturing.

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“We need to take the war on corruption seriously, punish thieves who steal from the poor to make themselves wealthier. It is time they stepped aside,” the US envoy said.

“We should not allow an unethical culture to invade on our public space, communities should stop protecting their people who engage in corruption,” he added.

According to McCarter, the US is committed to assist Kenya fight corruption if proper systems are put in place.

He called on Kenyans to get seriously bothered with the social evil since it is them who bear the brunt of corruption.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has admitted that corruption poses a great risk not only to his legacy but to the future of the country’s economy.

He has put in place measures to fight the evil by strengthening the offices of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Inspector General of Police, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney General.

The President has further introduced demonetisation and ordered lifestyle audits and vetting of procurement officers in his efforts to tame graft.

The envoy called on Kenyans to stop entertaining people who grab what belongs to them to enrich themselves.

“The campaign to end corruption lies in the hands of the Kenyan voters and the Judiciary, young people should lead in saying no to corruption,” he said.

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Lurambi MP Titus Khamala who hosted the diplomat called for punitive measures to end graft.

“If we have an opportunity for a referendum, we must guard our national revenue and create laws that will wipe out corruption that has left our schools ill-equipped, youths jobless, wanting infrastructure, factories collapsed and hospitals ill equipped,” said Mr Khamala.

The lawmaker accused courts of giving an impression that the those in power and the rich can escape justice by using their ill-gotten money to frustrate legal processes.

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Turkana dancing shrine where the wayward turned into stones

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Some 30km on the north-west outskirts of Lodwar town, enroute to Lake Turkana, is Kalokol shrine.

The shrine, also referred to as Namorutunga by the locals, is believed to be home to the ancestors of the Turkana community, who lived over 4,000 years ago.

The Namorutunga shrine is considered one the greatest Turkana heritage sites and sacred place, and folklore has it that the ancestors were joined by their earthly god for a renowned traditional dance, Edong’a, which is performed at nightfall to celebrate their economic gains.

Elderly members of the community, both male and female, take part in the dance, which includes admiring their fattened bulls.

They also have to follow stern instructions from the lead dancer, lest a curse befalls them.

Among the instructions is caution against mocking the earthly god, including his dressing code and dancing style.

But in one of the dances at Namorutunga, the villagers are said to have defied the orders and ridiculed their god, with some of them fouling the air while he danced and they were turned into stones.

The smooth stones are in different positions; some standing, others believed to be running away and some lying on their bellies or squatting.

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“These are our frozen ancestors who were transformed into stones after they ridiculed our god as he danced,” said Mr Titus Ekiru, a culture expert in Turkana County.

The stones evoke images of ancestors up to date and there are plans by the county government to market the site as a Turkana cultural and historical site and tourist destination.

“Whoever visits the site is expected to place four stones on top of the frozen ancestors to appease them and whoever takes away the smooth stones invites a curse,” Mr Ekiru said.

But the historical and cultural site is facing a threat from individuals who have been assembling the stones for building and construction purposes.

“This shrine forms our rich heritage and measures need to be put in place to protect the stones from being taken away by individuals who consider them a source of income,” said Mr Eroo Lotokoromoe, an elder at Namoturunga village.

According to the elder, the Turkana used to erect large stones in which they buried their dead but culture has since changed and they now bury their loved ones in coffins.

“The increased demand for stones for construction purposes is proving to be a major threat to the survival of this shrine and the current generation should sensitised on its values,” said Mr Lotokoromoe.

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Lodwar town and its environs are experiencing rapid transformation with the mushrooming of high-rise buildings, whose building material are sourced from the Turkana basin, including Namorutunga village.

by nation.co.ke

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Police retrieve bodies of five pupils

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The bodies of five children who drowned in Murang’a County at the weekend have been retrieved. Two of them drowned in Kandara on Saturday while the other three drowned in Kiharu on Sunday.

In the Kandara incident, bodies of Silvan Chege, 11, and that of a girl, 16, were retrieved and moved to General Kago mortuary in Thika on Saturday.

Chege drowned as he tried to rescue the girl after she was swept away by the rising waters of Thika River.

He was a Standard Six pupil at Waitua Primary School.Kandara Sub-county police commander Paul Wambugu said the two drowned during an expedition.

In Kiharu, bodies of the three children who drowned in Mukungai River during a school swimming expedition, were retrieved on Monday.The three, aged between 11 and 13, were pupils at Weithaga Primary School.

By Standard

READ ALSO:   US Ambassador lands himself in trouble for condemning corruption in Kenya
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Four in Briton’s murder case blame Saitoti

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The lawyers of four police officers charged with the murder of British aristocrat Alexander Monsoon have claimed the deceased’s family exerted political influence to force their trial.

Naftali Chege, Charles Muganda, Ismael Baraka and John Pamba have been charged with the murder.Alexander, 28, the son of Lord Nicholas Monson, was arrested for allegedly smoking cannabis in the Diani Beach Resort in May 2012, and died at a hospital after falling ill at Diani police station.

A postmortem showed he died from blunt force to the back of the head and scrotum.The Monsoon family has maintained that their son was killed by police, while the four officers claimed he died of a drug overdose.The four were charged with the murder on May 19, 2012, at Diani.Yesterday, defence lawyer Daniel Wamotsa said the Monsoons approached the then Internal Security Minister George Saitoti (now deceased) to help them unravel the mysterious death of their son.

Institute investigationsMr Wamotsa told Judge Eric Ogola that Saitoti ordered then Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere to commence investigations and he (Iteere) in turn ordered inspector Mohamed Amin to institute investigations.

“The family of Alexander went to Saitoti to seek assistance and was referred to Iteere, who ordered police officer Mohamed Amin to investigate the matter. There was an element of exerting political pressure on the case,” said Wamotsa.

READ ALSO:   US Ambassador lands himself in trouble for condemning corruption in Kenya

Wamotsa poked holes in the investigations report produced by Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) officer in charge of investigations Jeremiah Arodi, which implicated the four officers.

He said Alexander had died out of drug overdose and that his family tampered with the body in an attempt to divert attention by claiming that he died by an injury inflicted on the head at the police station.While testifying, Mr Arodi (pictured) said the four officers were culpable.

By Standard

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