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MP Mabongah in a presser flanked by leaders including Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula |FILE

The Kabuchai Parliamentary byelection is metamorphosing into a litmus test that may decide the future of Bungoma County politics.

Coming on the heels of a coup, fronted by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi,his Tongareni counterpart Eseli Simiyu and Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati, in the region’s age old party Ford Kenya,the duel pitting United Democratic Alliance candidate Evans Kakai against Ford Kenya flag bearer,Joseph Majimbo Kalasinga as the front runners has prompted leaders from the region to draw battle lines and claim association with parties aligned to the two.

On Majimbo’s side is Bungoma Senator and embattled Ford Kenya Party Leader Moses Wetangula and the Member of County Assembly from Chwele/Kabuchai Ward out of the four wards that make up Kabuchai. On the other hand,Evans Kakai enjoys support from three MCAs led by his home MCA Hon. Wapang’ana and all the members of parliament from Bungoma county.

Mabongah makes a point at Musakasa TTI |FILE

The shift in this race to succeed the late Hon. James Mukwe,who succumbed to arthritis after a long unsuccessful battle,has got Wetangula flat footed forcing him to seek help from outside of Bungoma county. Wetangula has been inviting Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa,Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka to accompany him in his effort to counter the wave created by MPs led by Bumula’s Mwambu Mabongah.

In an exhibition of extreme desperation, Wetangula invited Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka,Gideon Moi and Martha Karua for a lap of solidarity with his candidate. Wetangula claimed that their union was set to grow into a formidable ‘alliance of new ideas’. Pundits have been left wondering which new ideas Kalonzo,Mudavadi,Karua and Gideon will bring to the table after serving in various cadres in several governments.

That Wetangula is desperate to get even a single legislator from Bungoma to his side was exhibited by his Media and Public Relations team. The team,operating under his firm instructions, has taken to social media chastising legislators whom Wetangula feels threatened by. Latest on their radar is Mwambu Mabongah who the senator views as the one determined to inherit the political clout he enjoys currently. The senator’s team is out to sever his ties with the Hustler team by accusing him of seeking the senator’s audience.

The legislator has been the face of the scathing political wave weaving that has catapulted Evans Kakai to rank favourably in opinion polls. Circles in the senator’s team intimate that with Mabongah leading the pack against him,he is bound to lose since his wit,oratory prowess and his ability to meticulously counter the Senator almost to a word cannot be compared to any other politician.

Reached for comment on the purported calls,Mabongah has asked Wetangula to play to his stature or come clean and tell the people that they overate him.
“This politics of intimidation and blackmail is what we are fighting against in Bungoma and Kenya. If Wetangula wishes to call me he is free to. But he must be told that I will ask him to support Kakai and join us in redeeming Kabuchai and Bungoma,” Mabongah said.

The push,pull and shove is expected to be well addressed by the voters in the March 4 elections.

Wamboka’s Thuggery Reaches Climax as he Seeks to Vandalize CDF Office,Equipment

As Bumula politics 2022 starts unfolding,aspirants seeking to unseat the sitting MP Mwambu Mabongah, are employing dirty tricks to distract him from his development agenda so as to brand him as a nonperformer.

One Jack Nelson Wanami Wamboka, who unsuccessfully vied for the seat on a Ford Kenya ticket has come out employing unorthodox tactics to get a grasp of the masses.

Wamboka,who is associated with political violence and organised crime,which landed him in jail in 2015 during the Bungoma County senatorial byelection seems to be escalating his criminal activities. Today,the aspirant,who is a member of the Kenyan Commission in the World Food Programme, mobilised a group of youth and booked space in the CDF Hall in the guise of an NGO,only identified as HLC,and incited them to vandalize property.

Insiders in the meeting claim,one Evans Juma was spearheading the war mongering, and he was targeting computers and bursary application forms for the financial year 2020/2021 so as to cripple official operations of the office and popularise his own bursary scheme,which is funded by proceeds of underhand deals at WFP.

It took the intervention of the OCS Bumula,Mr. Njeru to get the youth vacate the CDF Hall and avert the criminal activities that would have affected services and disadvantaged many vulnerable families who are expecting to benefit from the bursaries and fund their education.

The OCS has now asked politicians from the region to shun thuggery and play a clean game,warning that the surge in crime that such dirty politics would cause will be regretted by the proponents.

He has promised to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to book.
“Public offices are not dens of political meetings. I am informed that the intention of the purported meeting was not among activities of the NGO but to cause chaos and vandalism at the office. We are investigating the incident and will bring the culprits to book. My officers will deal with any criminal acts and I advise politicians to stop funding and inciting youth to organised crime,” he said.

He added,”It is a crime to seek to turn public places for political purposes. Wamboka knows this and he must answer some questions.”

Wamboka escaped arrest and is being sought by authorities.

Ujenzi wa Ikulu Dodoma-Rais Magufuli Akagua Hatua.

Rais wa Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania, Mhe. Dkt. John Pombe Magufuli leo tarehe 08 Desemba, 2020 amekagua maendeleo ya ujenzi wa Ofisi za Ikulu Mkoani Dodoma na kuelezea kuridhishwa na kiwango na kasi ya ujenzi wa majengo ya ofisi hizo unaofanywa na Jeshi la Ulinzi la Wananchi wa Tanzania (JWTZ) kupitia Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa (JKT).

Ujenzi wa Ofisi hizo ulioanza tarehe 17 Februari, 2020 unatarajiwa kukamilika katika kipindi cha miezi 3 ijayo na unafanywa kwa usanifu na muonekano sawa na Ofisi za Ikulu zilizopo Jijini Dar es Salaam.

Msimamizi wa ujenzi wa ofisi hizo, Luteni Kanali George William Nyisa amemueleza Mhe. Rais Magufuli kuwa ujenzi huo utakamilika kwa wakati uliopangwa.

Akikagua majengo yanayojengwa, Mhe. Rais Magufuli ameelezea kufurahishwa kwake na uimara wa nguzo na kuta zinazojengwa na amesema ni fahari kubwa kwa Taifa kujenga ofisi yake ya Ikulu kwa kutumia Jeshi badala ya kutumia wakandarasi kutoka nje ya nchi.

Mhe. Rais Magufuli pia amezungumza na Vijana wa JKT wanaoshiriki ujenzi huo ambapo amekumbusha ahadi yake kuwa vijana hao 2,424 wataandikishwa katika JWTZ mara watakapomaliza jukumu la ujenzi wa Ofisi za Ikulu.

Pamoja na kuwapongeza vijana hao, Mhe. Rais Magufuli pia amewapongeza vijana wa kiraia wanaoshiriki katika ujenzi huo ambao ni mafundi, na amewaahidi kuwa atawaangalia mara baada ya kumaliza kazi hiyo.

BBI: The Fallacy of Revenue Allocation Increment

President Uhuru receives the BBI report from the taskforce Chairman, Senator Yusuf Haji|COURTESY

One of the key sweeteners in the BBI is the purported increase of revenues to counties from 15% to 35%. Proponents of BBI, including CoG Chair, have rallied Kenyans in various counties in this regard, pledging that they will get more than twice as much funds as they are getting now. Nothing could be further from the truth!

For the past 8 years of devolution, total revenue allocations to counties have ranged between 30% to 43% of the national revenue except this financial year (2020/21) when shareable revenue was maintained at the same amount as in the previous year. The annual AVERAGE allocations to counties was 36% throughout this period as shown in the table below (source: Division of Revenue Acts 2013 – 2020). Hence, purporting to increase revenues to counties from 15% to 35% is hot air!

Revenues allocated to counties are based on functions transferred to them from national governments. As a result, there is no way these allocations would have been lower than this percentage, based on functions already devolved during Kibaki government. Uhuruto has not devolved any functions since taking office.

Similarly, the maximum funds that can be allocated to counties cannot exceed 40% unless more functions are devolved to counties. Education, security & defense ministries alone take up nearly 50%, not to mention16 other ministries, state agencies, constitutional commissions, judiciary, parliament and above all the national public debt redemptions and pensions. No one should cheat Kenyans that with BBI, up to 50% of the revenues will go to counties.

The opposite is true. With the rising public debt redemptions, ever-increasing public service and the so-called legacy projects, Big 4, etc, and declining revenues, the revenue allocations percentage will be on a downward trend. Even the 36% average we had past years may not be realized in future. You can take it to the bank! Today, Treasury can hardly disburse funds to counties because it is cash starved. And this financial year was the lowest allocation to counties in 8 years – only 27%!

Hence, its all hogwash; mere sugar-coating to canvas support for BBI.


TSC Boss Nancy Macharia| COURTESY

The Teachers Service Commission, TSC, has declared advertised 5000 vacancies in secondary Schools to support 100 percent transition from primary schools to secondary schools. The teachers recruited will serve on permanent and pensionable terms of service. Interested and qualified candidates should submit their application online through the commission’s website, under careers’ in Procedure:

There will be no hard copy applications. If you are interested and qualified, then submit your applications online through TSC website; under careers or deadline for making your application is not later than September 14, 2020.QUALIFICATIONS FOR SECONDARY SCHOOL APPLICANTS.For you to be considered for the secondary school posts, you must meet the following qualifications:You must be a Kenyan Citizen,You must be a holder of at least a Diploma in Education,You must be registered with TSC.VACANCIES FOR PROMOTION AND DEPLOYMENT TO SECONDARY SCHOOLS (1,000 POSTS)The Commission is also advertising 1,000 promotion posts for practicing teachers in public primary schools. For you to qualify, you must meet the following minimum qualifications:You must be a Kenyan Citizen,You must be a holder of a P1 Certificate,You must be a holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Education with two (2) teaching subjects offered at Secondary schools,You must have attained at least a C=(plus) mean grade at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations or its equivalent and a a C+ (plus) or its equivalent in the two teaching subjects.You must be serving under TSC.Please note that successful candidates under this category shall be appointed at T-Scale 7, Grade C2 under the Career Progression Guidelines for teachers and shall be deployed to secondary schools where vacancies exist.GENERAL INFORMATION TO ALL APPLICANTS.The 2020/2021 TSC recruitment guidelines shall apply.Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.Shortlisted candidates will be required to produce original professional and academic certificates,Successful candidates must not fill more than one employment forms. Filling two or more application for employment forms will lead to automatic disqualification.Manual applications will not be accepted.Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously been employed by TSC.


After the confirmation of two cases of Covid-19 in Bungoma County, Governor Wangamati has today emphasized the need for enhanced coordination and joint collaboration between the County and the National Government in dealing with the issue of testing and contact tracing among truck drivers along the Bungoma Malaba Highway.

The two cases were picked from increased surveillance and mandatory testing of truck drivers at the three designated highway entry points into Bungoma County that was launched by the County Government of Bungoma in its efforts to prevent the spread of the deadly Corona virus.

Governor Wangamati decried the congestion of trucks along the highway which posed a health threat to the people of Bungoma, especially those working in the service industry along the highway including accommodation centres, restaurants, car wash facilities, commercial sex workers and boda bodas.

The Governor called upon the national Government to consider Bungoma as a high risk county given its border location and also as a transit point for people and goods across the Eastern African region, and consider setting up a testing lab in the county immediately in order to accelerate testing of the novel Corona Virus.

Bungoma County Government has also identified and flagged high risk market centres and marked them as possible hotspots for the contracting of the virus and has since taken measures aimed at curbing the spread; with the latest measure being the fumigation of the centres by the county Department of Health. The centres include: Webuye Weighbridge,Matisi Market,Bukembe Market,Sikata market,Kanduyi,Kimwanga,Kimaeti Market,Kimilili shopping center,Chwele market and Lwakhakha border.

These measures come in the wake of recent developments that saw the county record 2 Corona virus cases that were traced to long distance truck drivers. The drivers have since been quarantined and contacts traced down for further testing and quarantine.

Governor Wangamati |FILE


Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has been airlifted to Nairobi following his arrest in Voi, coming just hours after orders were issued by DPP Noordin Haji.

Scene at Ikanga airstrip just before Nairobi
Scene at Ikanga airstrip just before Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was airlifted to Nairobi. PHOTO | Courtesy

The flamboyant governor, who recently posted on social media pages videos of his swanky office and house parties, was arrested at a roadblock while heading to Mombasa from Nairobi in a bid to escape arrest.

A police source told the Nation that he was locked up at the SGR police cells.

Once in the capital, he is expected be processed and face subsequent arraignment later today.

A police helicopter takes off to Nairobi from
A police helicopter takes off to Nairobi from Ikanga airstrip with Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO | Courtesy

Kenya’s public prosecutor had Friday morning ordered the immediate arrest and arraignment of the county boss for alleged corruption.

The city county boss and others are expected to appear before the anti-corruption court Friday to face charges over the loss of Sh357 million.

Other City Hall officials expected in court are county secretary Peter Mbugua and members of the tender committee, Patrick Mwangangi, Samuel Ndung’u, Edwin Kariuki, Lawrence Mwangi, and Preston Miriti, among others.


The DPP also ordered the arrest of directors of various companies that he said had been contracted by the county government for various services and are liable for money laundering to a tune of Sh24.1 million.

They include Webtribe Ltd CEO Danson Muchemi, director Robert Muriithi and agent Zablon Onyango. ROG Security Ltd director Anthony Ombok is also implicated along with Yiro Enterprise partner Fredrick Odhiambo.

The governor and the officials will face charges of conspiracy to commit an economic crime, willful failure to comply with the law and conflict of interest.

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had yielded sufficient evidence to sustain the charges.


written by Sophie IbbotsonJuly 19, 2019

Sophie Ibbotson writes about Rhinos Without Borders, a project which aims to move 100 rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to new safe homelands in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.


Akudu blocked the path to my tent. I looked across the channel from my deck at a giraffe sauntering by. And when I drove out in the late afternoon, the heat of the sun still burning, I envied the shaggy maned lion chilling out in the shade beneath a tree. The Gomoti Plains, a private concession to the east of the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, is remote and challenging to reach, but in the absence of many humans, the wildlife populations thrive.

What I had not expected to find, even here in this southern African Eden, was a rhino. It was a species I previously associated only with zoos, or occasionally staring out at me forlornly from the pages of National Geographic beside an article talking about their imminent extinction. Rare and precious, it hadn’t even occurred to me that I might drive out one evening and be confronted with a fully grown white rhino. But there he was, munching away on the grass, completely ignoring my presence. I struggled to stifle my shrieks of excitement and was grinning from ear to ear watching his every move, entranced.

The world’s rhino numbers have been decimated in the past 100 years. It is estimated that a rhino is killed every eight hours, and that South Africa alone has lost 7,130 rhinos since 2008. More rhinos are lost to poaching than are born, and most countries lack the resources to fight back against the illegal trade in rhino horn which drives the killing.

Botswana, however, offers a beacon of light for rhinos and other big game: it has more elephants than any other country in the world, for example. Though recent changes in hunting laws may be a cause for concern, as a rule, Botswana has a no tolerance approach to poaching. In the national reserves, anyone carrying a gun is a legitimate target for the wildlife rangers. This, combined with the low human population density, the proper resourcing of wildlife rangers (supported where necessary by troops) and constant monitoring of big game has ensured that Botswana is arguably the safest place on the planet to be a rhino right now.

This is all well and good if you happen to be a rhino born in Botswana, but what about rhinos living elsewhere? It is not as though they know to walk across a continent to this safe haven, or would be able to do so unharmed. Thankfully, Rhinos Without Borders is managing the logistics on the rhinos’ behalf, and in doing so might well save the species from oblivion.

Rhinos Without Borders – a joint project between &Beyond and Great Plains Conservation – aims to move 100 rhinos from poaching hotspots in South Africa to new, safe homelands in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Some 77 rhinos have already made the journey and it was one of these fortunate emigres that I met during my stay at Gomoti Plains Camp.

Translocating a rhino is no mean feat. You cannot simply put it into the back of a van and drive it along the road. (And remember: there are a hundred rhinos to move!). Every rhino had to be tranquillised and airlifted to safety, with a heavily armed guard to protect them whilst in transit. Flying reduced the journey time and risk of ambush while cutting down the amount of stress the rhinos had to endure so that they were more likely to settle in well when they arrived.

As you can imagine, flying a rhino anywhere doesn’t come cheap. Rhinos Without Borders estimate that it costs $45,000 to relocate each rhino and to secure it in Botswana, requiring a total budget of $4.5 million. Such funds couldn’t be raised overnight, and the translocation process also took time to refine. In the first three years, 37 rhinos steadily made the move and then the pace accelerated and 40 more were translocated in a three week period in 2018.

The work can’t stop once rhinos arrive in Botswana. They need time to acclimatise to their new surroundings, find out where to graze and recover from the shock and stress of the journey. Rhinos Without Borders commissioned purpose built steel bomas for their charges so that they could be closely monitored and then released once vets and conservationists were happy the animals were in good condition. Every rhino has a specially designed telemetry device so it can be tracked for research and security purposes; even in Botswana, no one is taking any chances.

Rhinos Without Borders have released the rhinos at multiple locations across Botswana, in both national parks and private game concessions. The chosen locations were kept secret during the move, but once released, the rhinos were free to roam.

A few days after my initial rhino sighting at Gomoti Plains, I was treated to an encounter with a mother rhino and her calf heading down to the river bank at Rra Dinare. Unlike the elephants, which stick together in huge herds, the rhinos seem to be much less sociable creatures. If these pair did have a guard (which many of the rhinos understandably do), he was well hidden, camouflaged amongst the bushes and grasses. It felt as though it was just me, the guide and two of the most precious, spectacular mammals on earth.

Sophie Ibbotson is the author of five Bradt Travel Guides, including the first guidebook to South Sudan. She travelled to Botswana with wildlife and wilderness specialists Africa Exclusive


A parliamentary aspirant from Bumula constituency has found himself on the defensive following his embarrassing and self-destruction goofs during a morning talk show on one of the local radio stations.

Mwalimu Augustine Kundu Luketelo appeared to have shot himself in the foot when he ignorantly amplified his Achilles’ heel live on Sulwe FM Wednesday morning Endekhelo show.

The man, who is also the KUPPET Bungoma Branch’s Secretary unflinchingly confirmed to the listeners that he has not been living in Bumula ever since his school days thus affirming the fear that he is out of touch with the socioeconomic dynamics of the constituency.

This emerged when a caller sought to question his suitability to lead Bumula owing to the fact that his entire life has been spent out of the constituency. In his thoughtless and hurried response he said:

“I started teaching at Lwanda secondary school (Kanduyi constituency) and I was living in Bungoma town where I bought plots. From there I went to Namawanga Girls (Webuye West constituency) where I noticed that there was no good school in Bokoli ward. I bought land and built a very good school there which is doing very well. From there I went to St. Mathews in Webuye where I also bought land before going to Bituyu (Kimilili) where I also bought a plot and developed. I don’t have a house in Bokoli but I stay in Bokoli Secondary School with my wife who teaches there. But most of the time I stay in Bungoma town, I sleep in Bungoma town.”

His admission has confirmed to many residents that indeed the teacher-politician has no interests in Bumula constituency. It is said that the man does not have a house in his Nang’eni village but what is there is a house that was put up by his father. A visit at the home revealed attempts to renovate the abandoned house to serve his political interests.

However, Luketelo’s goofing did not end at the admission that he has lived entirely and invested heavily out of the constituency. The KUPPET official ignited a fight with upcoming young entrepreneurs from West Bukusu ward whom he dismissed as lacking capacity to take up small National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) contracts.

“The area MP is awarding contracts to young people of below 25 years in the constituency who do not have capacity to execute them. I am a seasoned contractor and I know what it takes. Those boys cannot take up jobs of up to 6 million shillings,” he decried.

However, when the hosts, Nyukuri Khayota and Kuuka Kisondio, pinned him down state as to whether the said projects are implemented to completion, it was another embarrassing moment for him to accept that indeed, projects started are completed thus contradicting his earlier allegations that those given NG-CDF contracts do not have ability to perform.

Before claiming that contracts are given to the youth who do not have capacity, Luketelo had alleged that the area MP awards himself the construction contracts through his own companies. However, when asked to provide the said companies with CR 12 forms showing shareholding, he once again ate humble pie and evaded the question.

It did not end there. Asked whether he had sought the services of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) or the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe his allegations, Luketelo’s response was another confirmation that his were funeral propagandist lies. He fumbled and said:

“Right now we do not have facts and evidence but we are building up a case. We have engaged a good lawyer and we are looking for evidence which we must use to imprison the M.P.”

The aspirant’s public embarrassment and humiliation has badly disoriented his social media handlers who are desperately trying to up a feeble damage control fight. However, given that the largest percentage of radio listeners in the constituency are not on Social Media, their efforts are inconsequential because the damage is already done.

KUPPET Secretary General and Bumula Parlimentary hopeful Augustine Kundu Luketelo on Sulwe FM’s Endekhelo political programme.|COURTESY


COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli has lauded Bumula MP Mwambu Mabongah for his development and oratory prowess.
Speaking during a fundsdrive to raise funds towards construction of classrooms at Mwiruti Primary School in Kabula ward, Atwoli expressed satisfaction with Mabongah’s efforts to turn around infrastructure in schools and gave colourful accolades to the MP for his firmness in decision making and his rare ability to play politics.

“Mabongah,you are doing great work for the people who elected you. When I see structures such as the one you have put up here at Mwiruti,I testify that you have proved beyond doubt that you are the right man for the job……And when I saw you speak,I remembered Wamalwa Kijana the late. You can be Luhya Kingpin and I am personally going to ensure you get there,” said Atwoli.

The flamboyant trade unionist,who is also husband to a Mwiruti-born news anchor Mary Kilobi-Atwoli,told the people to ensure Mabongah gets a new term. He swore to partner with the MP’s office to fund projects in the vast Constituency saying he is ageing and would like to see sharp brains take the mantle of the community and propel its political and economic agenda.

The trade unionist,who was chief guest in the harambee contributed Ksh.1 Million alongside a contribution of Ksh.2 Million by the National Social Security Fund(NSSF).

The function was attended by Deputy Governor Prof. Ngome Kibanani,Bungoma Woman MP Catherine Wambilianga, Sirisia Parliamentary hopeful Moses Nandalwe and a host of other leaders.

A CDF funded project at Mwiruti Primary School. Atwoli lauded the MP for these quality works.|FILE.
COTU Secretary General Francis Atwoli arrives for a harambee at Mwiruti Primary School in the company of Area MP Hon. Mwambu Mabongah and Bungoma Deputy Governor Prof. Ngome|FILE.