Civic men hike
Perks by 35 p.c.
By DANIEL KITUKU
Councilors of Makueni county council will earn higher allowances after they passed a motion to increase their allowances by over 35 Percent.
The motion was unanimously agreed to by the council’s 52 councilors during a Full Council meeting. With the endorsement, the councilors increased their monthly allowances from currently Sh 43,000 to Sh 58,000, making them the best paid civic leaders in Ukambani.
The council which in recent past was engaged in divisive wrangles among councilors was certainly a different one when the motion was placed before them as they supported the move to approve a Sh 15,000 monthly increment to each councilor.
The council will now have to dig deeper to pay a total of Sh 780,000 monthly allowances resulting from the rise.
However the County Clerk Mr.Maina Gathura said that the allowances increment will have to wait for approval from the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government Mr Musalia Mudavadi. Mudavadi is unlikely to disallow the vote as it has all the traits of horse trading to create peace in the war-torn council.
The meeting further approved to spend Sh 76,386,044 towards LASDAP projects during this financial year. Among the projects to be funded include grading of roads, which will take Sh 10,725,000. Construction of sand dams will take Sh 5,000,000, and construction of public toilets will take Sh 3,861,044.
The councilors reallocated the Sh 2m earlier allocated to purchase a council vehicle The funds will now be used to construct culverts. They said that the council had enough vehicles for the time being.
The council is working to raise a total revenue of Sh 255 m to fund this financial year’s bud-get. The meeting chaired by their chairman councilor Bernard Musau did deliberate on the pending criminal case at a local court against seven councilors who are facing charges of creating disturbance and dam-aging council property during last month’s council meeting.
The councilors are out on bond of Sh5,000 each with the case set for hearing next month.
Town Hall dishes out road tenders
worth Sh75 million after long wait
THE Municipal Council of Machakos has finally given out tenders to close to 30 contractors for tarmacking and repair of some roads in the municipality.
The tenders have delayed for months as allegations of bribery and influence peddling flew past, delaying the process unnecessarily.
Among the contractors are Continental Contractors, Sinoe Contractors and Kitanga Contractors who will share out the works. Other local traders have been given jobs in the tenders that total close to Sh 78million. The contracts will see the road circling Mulu Mutisya Gardens fully paved- touching both exits on Syokimau Avenue (at Universal Traders Sacco) and Ngei Roads( next to Family Bank)
This tasks will be done by Kitanga Con-tractors. It will be their second major job in Machakos after they re-carpeted other roads in the town some two years ago. However it will be their first major task of constructing a tarmac road from scratch and residents will certainly be keen to see the kind of job that Kitanga Contractors will do at this key Central Business District section of the Akamba City.
Theirs is the biggest of all and is worth Sh 23m.
Continental Contractors will deal with sections of Rashid Road at Mjini area and all the way through Kafoca Hotel to Ikuuni, where they are expected to pave the parking area with Cabral works blocks. It will be the first time that the municipality will be embarking on building Parking Slots for motorists from whom they have been collecting Parking Fees, even with unmarked parking areas.
The contracts, which include grading a short slip road in Eastleigh is funded by the Road Maintenance Fuel Levy Fund that is usually disbursed to councils to maintain roads.
Hopefully, the allocation of the tenders will bring to an end a behind the scenes showdown that Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka and his henchmen have been involved in, with documents flying to the hands of the Director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission in seeking to influence who gets the jobs.
There have been allegations of officials receiving bribes to offer the contracts to one contractor, even when the bid documents set a limit the jobs a tenderer could bid for.
It is alleged in one document seen by The Anchor, that the council official visited the city contractor at Don Bosco within the Upper Hill area of Nairobi on May 5,2010, met the contractor, whose name we withhold, and received Sh. 100,000 to facilitate the awarding of a tender to tarmac five Machakos roads.
This claim seems ridiculous since the advertisement for the contract indicated that no contractor may bid for more than three jobs.
It is alleged further; “The Machakos Contractor was awarded contract No MCR/RMLF/4/2009-2010 MULU PARK ROAD worth Sh. 23 million. An inquiry at the council at the time indicated that the tender had not been allocated, meaning that the authors of the letter to KACC are most likely parties with vested interest and not necessarily soldiers of integrity.
However on scrutinizing the claim, the officials mentioned as having collaborated do not see eye to eye due to the intricate relationships at the council, and it is highly improbable that they could have sat together to carry out such a deal.
Machakos Mayor Fidellis Kimuyu told The Anchor that the tenders were allocated by the council tender committee that has a Procurement officer seconded from the Minister of Finance to set smooth the council's procurement process. " We have faith that the contractors will do a good job for the residents of Machakos", the Mayor said.
Machakos Municipality has been under intense pressure over allegations of corruption. A council resolution to invite KACC is still awaiting a positive response. One of the clear monuments of graft at the council is a water tanker that was funded by Machakos Town CDF and intended for fire fighting purposes but was rejected by former Town Clerk Stephen Mbondo after the contractor build it on the wrong specifications.
The CDF team nonetheless paid for the tanker at Sh. 1.6m, even when it can not fetch Sh. 300,000 in the competitive market. It initially planned to use Sh. 1.5m for the tanker. The Council says it can only use it for other purposes as it is heavier than the Fire engine.
Govt disbands management
of B2 Co-operative Society
The Government has dissolved the Management Committee of trouble-ridden B2 Yatta Ranching Co-operative Society in the Kitui County.
The committee led by Mr James Simba was disbanded for gross mismanagement and financial misappropriation running into millions of shillings.
A five-man interim committee was appointed run the society pending election of new officials later in the year. The new team will be headed by Francis Mututa.
The Eastern Provincial Co-operative Officer David Obonyo said that the move followed various complaints and resolve from the members who passed a vote of no confidence in the former officials.
During a tense Annual General Meeting held at the society’s offices at Katoteni, in Kitui West, Obonyo stopped attempts by the irate members to oust the manager Stephen Katee who accused him of working in cahoots with the dissolved committee to rip off the society.
The PCO said the members’ action would mount to violation of the ministry of Co-operative Development and Marketing regulations.
The co-operators were angered by loss of the society assets including livestock which they attributed to incompetence of the former officials, high handedness and unnecessary court cases.
Ambassador Kimanzi Ilako led the members in criticizing Simba’s leadership for using the recent drought as a scapegoat to sell hundreds of live-stock without the consent of the shareholders.
Statistics at the society show that by last year the society earned more income from livestock trading and revenue collection from illegal grazing in the ranch.
The current livestock population stands at 380 heads of cattle which, the members observed were not enough for the ranch to become a co-operative society.
The December 31, 2009 balance sheet and final accounts of the society prepared by the ministry of Cooperative Development and Marketing show that the society is in red and cannot meet its ob-ligations.
The report indicated that the net assets of the society decreased by Sh20.8 million from 2008 to2009 while no dividends were paid to the members.
During the 2009 drought, the society earned Sh17.8 million from livestock sales up from Sh 7.1 million it got in 2008. The number of livestock then dropped from 2000 to only 800.
Obonyo said incompetence, wrangling among the members and unnecessary court cases brought the society to its knees and the only way out was to dissolve it. An interim team has been picked to replace the dissolved Management Committee of trouble-ridden B2 Yatta Ranching Cooperative Society in Kitui County.
The Kitui District Co-operative Officer, George Nduto, supervised the installation of the new committee officials at the co-operative offices. The new team will be in office for 90 days before a special annual general meeting is called.
The new office bearers include Henry Mulandi (chairman), Ndambo Mulila (vice-chairman), Joel Katolo (secretary), Kitothya Isika (treasurer) and Francis Mututa (member). At the weekend, the Government dissolved the entire society’s management committee, citing gross mismanagement and financial misappropriation.
Mwingi Police rescue
girl from child labour
By Wambui Kirubi
A senior Provincial Administration official in Mwingi Central District led policemen in the rescue of a school girl from child labour at an eatery in Mwingi town.
The high noon raid at the dingy eatery attracted a milling mob of onlookers as both plain clothed and armed police officers stormed the place and arrested the 14 year old school girl.
After the arrest, the Mwingi District Officer One Priscilla Wanyiri held the girl firmly in her grip preventing her from escaping as the premises owner’s wife, Faith, was briefly interrogated by police. Her husband had sneaked away.
Earlier, a brief drama ensued when the girl who was said to have run away from Musukini Primary School where she is in standard seven attempted to flee but police stopped her in her tracks.
Later, the security officers bundled the school girl into a waiting Land-Rover and drove off as a manhunt for her employer was launched. It was suspected that her employer sneaked upon learning about the raid shortly before the security men arrived. A police officer who was among the raiders said the girl would be released to her father who operates the “Mwingi Bado ni Hilton hotels” chain in the town after being medically examined to find out if she had been sexually molested.
Speaking to the press after the raid, the girl’s father, Musyoka Mwaniki said she ran away from school soon after schools opened for the third term and went missing until he was tipped by relatives that the girl had been spotted at the dingy eatery.
He said he suspected that the daughter had been introduced to hard drugs and was used for illicit trades like peddling bhang and at worse, “having been used as a sex slave”.
He said that the fear that the young girl could have been used in illicit activities in the name of having been employed had driven him into seeking the intervention of the security officers.
Just why does DEO ignore
mess at Ngelani Secondary?
By Anchor Reporter
Irate parents of Ngelani secondary school in Machakos district are infuriated by the school’s principal Bernand Malonza over alleged incompetence and high handedness, amid claims of misappropriation of school funds.
The parents blamed the principal of decline in performance at the school which previously posted impressive results in national examination results.
After a series of bad events in the school, a parents day was organized towards the end of last year for all these issues be discussed. But the principal scuttled the meeting de-spite the fact that some of the parents had traveled from far to attend the meeting.
The school was closed prematurely be-fore the end of the term over protests by students as the rowdy parents demanded an explanation as to the poor leadership and questionable administration.
The school has witnessed a series of strikes characterized by arson, breaking of glass during demonstrations.
Now matters have taken another route involving the parents with all fingers pointed at the Principal and Machakos DEO Abdulkadir Ali who has refused to take action despite all indications that all is not well in Ngelani.
They accuse Malonza of expelling and suspending the innocent students from poor families while leaving the guilty who are from wealthy families to continue with their studies.
In 2008, several students were admitted in Machakos General hospital after they were seriously injured by school prefects. Students also complained that they were sodomized by their colleagues during odd hours.
During the incident four prefects were suspended for criminal activities that sparked unrest at the school. The unrest led to the premature closure of the school as tension rose considerably, with some of the violence victims seeking police intervention.
The Prefects are accused of beating and injuring seriously students at the school. There had not been action from the school until the matter got out of hand and was reported to the police as students became restless in seeking to have the school administration take action.
Fifteen other students were suspended after they were alleged to have been planning to set the school on fire barely a fortnight after a dormitory in the school was torched by suspected arsonists who the principal alleged at the time were outsiders.
It was alleged that the prefects assaulted the boys at the behest of the school administration or at least with their knowledge, an indication that the management had left a critical role of discipline in the school in the hands of prefects. The systematic battering of students came into the limelight when one of the battered and injured students Stephen Muendo escaped the beating and sought refuge at the Machakos Police Station as the school had become unbearable. Police took him to the Machakos General hospital where he was treated and discharged.
It could also be that the principal may be far removed from the events unfolding in the school he heads and questions must be asked if indeed he is up to the job of discharging the responsibilities of Principal.
After a short while of witnessing all these incidents at Ngelani school now the school has managed to buy a school bus but sources have revealed that there was misunderstanding in the school board during its purchase a feud that is yet to be settled.
Purchase of school busses is now fashionable, with sources saying that school heads receive a kick back in form of a Toyota Salon upon placing an order for a bus through a particular intermediary.
The boys at Ngelani lowered their moral standing that the blatantly attacked boys from Masii High School while drunk, leaving some critically injured at Machakos bus park. Boys from Masii were rescued by wananchi and taken to hospital by the municipal ambulance. Police arrived later at the scene and could be heard saying that indiscipline at Ngelani was spilling to the town since the school’s administration is not effective.
The Machakos DEO Abdikadir Hassan Ali is blamed specifically for not taking any action over the principal since the first in-ci-dent was reported in 2008.
Questions are being raised as to why the DEO is turning a blind eye to the steam of administrative defects at Ngelani. “Is it that the DEO and the principal are have a common interest in the school, forcing the DEO to turn the other side when the school is being razed to the ground?”, asked an irate parent, George Kioko.
Matters have not been helped by claims that some principals in Machakos are paying education officials a retainer fee of Sh 50,000 per term to ensure that they are not moved from schools that have now been turned to a gravy train by mandarins in the education sector.
Kalonzo hits the ground
to seek top seat
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has kicked off his bid for the presidency come 2012 general election.
Kalonzo who made an extensive triumphant tour of Machakos town and its environs on declared he has his eyes set on the coveted seat.
He assured his supporters that he was up to the task and asked them not to waver but join him in soldiering to the end of the journey.
“Hakuna cha kupitia katikati yao tena raondi hii”. (There is no passing between anyone this time round), said Kalonzo amid applause from the cheering crowds.
The VP was greeted with chants of “Wiper,Wiper” as he walked through the streets where he stopped to acknowledge greetings from his supporters.
“I came here because I wanted you to see me and know that Iam there and rearing to go for the top seat on the land come 2012”,he told wananchi at Mutituni market, Grogon,and the local bus terminus.
The VP said he would traverse the country to market himself.
Kalonzo who was accompanied by Kangundo MP Johnson Muthama, former Machakos Town MP Jonesmus Kikuyu and a host of councilors urged his supporters to brace for a grueling political battle come 2012.
The Mwingi North MP revisited the referendum campaign saying some people wanted him to jump to the “NO” camp for their own ulterior motives.
“It was a political trap to push me to the “NO” camp and accuse me of allegedly abandoning President Kibaki”, he argued.
He said the country has a new constitution despite the divisions that arose during the grueling campaign for and against the new laws.
He defended those who voted against the new constitution, saying they were merely expressing their democratic rights.
The VP welcomed the formation of the parliamentary constitution implementation over sight committee and urged MPs to get down to business.
Kalonzo said the new constitution has created conducive environment for investment and exuded confidence that foreign investors will start tricking in.
He announced that all the Kamba MPs had met and resolved to work together in charting the political, social and economic destiny of the community.
The VP said talks among leaders, clergy and professionals from the region were on going to put in place structures for the Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties.
He singled out water and unemployment among the youth as some of the major challenges facing the three counties adding it only through unity and team work that the vices could be addressed.
The VP urged the community to rally behind their leaders in jealously guarding what belongs to the region.
Trouble brews over
Kitui's sex pest teacher
By Nzamba Mbui
Parents of Kaumba primary school in Kitui County want to withdraw their children from learning if an alleged sex pest teacher is not taken out.
The randy teacher is reported to have been interdicted by the Teachers Service Commission early this year after impregnating three girls in different schools but was hired in their school as a casual teacher.
The parents claim the safety of their girls is at risk and want the Government to take action against the school administration for hiring a person of dubious integrity. “We have received complaints of the teacher’s sexual misconduct from our daughters where he harasses them and yet the Head teacher has declined to take action despite getting the reports” said Lazaro Kivuiyo, a parent.
Records at the local District Education Office show that the teacher previously taught at Kanzauw’u, Ngomano and Kiongwe primary schools where he was implicated in a series of cases of impregnating a girl at each of the schools before he was eventually sacked by the TSC.
The irate parents who spoke to journalists in Kitui Town said the safety of their children cannot be compromised or negotiated and demanded the immediate removal of the PTA teacher. “How can we be forced to pay somebody whose character is a thorn in our families yet there are hundreds of fresh P1 graduate teachers jobless within our villages” said Mr Kivuiyo.
When contacted, the school Head teacher Jacob Mutua Mueke declined to comment on the matter but Kitui central District Education Officer Bonventure Wasikoyo urged the parents to stay calm as he dealt with the issue.
“It was unethical and wrong to allow such a character in classrooms because the authority to teach in public schools is only granted to teachers registered by the TSC” Mr Wasikoyo said adding once someone is sacked he should not be allowed back through the back door. He said stern action would be taken against the two for breaching educational ethics and abetting a crime affecting school children.