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February, 2018

 

Aftershocks continue in Papua New Guinea after 7.5 magnitude earthquake

Background

An earthquake measuring M7.5 occurred on 26 Feb 2018 at 0344hrs (PNG) / 25 Feb 1744hrs (UTC) in Southern Highlands. There have also been a series of at least 70 aftershocks recorded since the earthquake.

Located in the vicinity of the quake affected area are several economically significant operations namely the PNG LNG project, the Ok Tedi mines and Porgera mine.

Communications with quake-affected locations have been hampered by disruptions to connectivity.

Current Situation

Initial estimates by the National government-led rapid assessment team indicate that Tari (provincial capital of Hela) is possibly worst impacted.
The media continues to report incidences of damage or destruction to homes, properties and infrastructure across Hela and Southern Highlands. A number of unconfirmed deaths and injuries have also been reported in both provinces.

An aerial survey flight between Mt Hagen and Mendi conducted by aviation partners observed large landslides.
The area south of Komo (Southern Highlands) was also observed to be badly affected by large landslides.

Access to clean water is reported to be scarce in both provinces due to damage to water storage facilities and water sources.

The two main health facilities in the quake-affected area are Tari and Mendi hospitals. Tari hospital remains fully functional while Mendi hospital is suspected of experiencing disruption to both water and power supply resulting in reduced operations. Status of other rural health facilities remain unknown.

Power disruptions and telecommunications remain a challenge in Tari with possibly more than 30 cellular towers affected by the earthquake.

According to media reports, Tari airport is closed until 2 March with all commercial flights temporarily suspended. Komo airstrip is identified as unusable due to large surface cracks and damaged edges while other airstrips were observed during aerial survey to be undamaged. Moro airport remains operational and Mendi airport continues to receive flights.

According to the National Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management, aftershocks are likely to continue up to several weeks but is expected to weaken with time.

Response to Date

A national technical team led by National Disaster Centre has undertaken aerial assessments since 27 February and will continue with ground assessments in both Hela and Southern Highland Provinces. The assessments are expected to be complete by 1 March. The PNG Prime Minister accompanied by key ministers together with several heads of national technical agencies also conducted an aerial survey of the affected provinces.

The operator of the PNG LNG project is planning for an initial limited response to address immediate healthcare needs of communities around the Hides site. The joint aerial survey is being undertaken by partners on 1 March.

Humanitarian clusters have initiated preliminary discussions with government counterparts to identify estimated impacts and likely priorities. The PNG Disaster Management Team continues to support the National Disaster Centre with information management and coordination of assessments.


International migration from sub-Saharan Africa has grown dramatically since 2010

By Phillip Connor

Sub-Saharan African nations account for eight of the 10 fastest growing international migrant populations since 2010, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the latest United Nations data on the number of emigrants, or people living outside their country of birth.

The number of emigrants from each of these sub-Saharan countries grew by 50% or more between 2010 and 2017, significantly more than the 17% worldwide average increase for the same period. At the country level, only Syria had a higher rate of growth in its number of people living in other countries.

The total number of emigrants worldwide from all sub-Saharan African countries combined grew by 31% between 2010 and 2017, outpacing the rate of increase from both the Asia-Pacific (15%) and Latin America-Caribbean (9%) regions. Only the Middle East-North Africa region saw a larger increase (39%) of people living outside of their birth country during the same span, driven largely by people fleeing conflict in Syria.

Some 25 million sub-Saharan migrants lived outside their countries of birth in 2017. (Sub-Saharan Africa includes all countries and territories in continental Africa except Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Western Sahara. Sub-Saharan Africa also includes islands Cape Verde, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mayotte, Reunion, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, and St. Helena.)

The number of international migrants from sub-Saharan Africa between 2010 and 2017 has grown at a higher rate (31%) than in the 2000s (25%) and the 1990s (1%).

And as international migration has increased, the breakdown of where sub-Saharan emigrants live has changed. In 1990, 75% of emigrants from the region lived in other sub-Saharan countries, a share that dropped to 68% by 2017. Over the same period, the share of sub-Saharan emigrants who live in the United States climbed from 2% to 6%. This has helped make African immigrants a small but fast-growing slice of the overall U.S. immigrant population. As of 2017, nearly 1.5 million sub-Saharan immigrants lived in the U.S., according to UN data.

More substantially, the share of sub-Saharan migrants living in European Union countries, Norway and Switzerland rose from 11% in 1990 to 17% in 2017.

Whether their destination is a neighboring country, Europe or the U.S., many sub-Saharan emigrants face obstacles to relocating. For example, reports indicate hundreds of thousands of emigrants from south of the Sahara Desert have gathered in Libya in hopes of crossing the Mediterranean into Europe. Many live in overcrowded, crime-ridden camps while they wait to make the journey, with some allegedly even being sold in slave auctions.

Sub-Saharan emigrants are only part of Africa’s international migration story. North African nations have also experienced decades of significant outmigration to Europe and other parts of the world. In 2017, about 5.2 million North African immigrants lived in EU countries, Norway and Switzerland, compared with about 3 million in 1990. Despite the large increase, the North Africa-to-Europe migration corridor is dwarfed by the world’s largest corridor – Mexico to the U.S. Some 12 million Mexican immigrants live in the U.S. as of 2017.

Looking ahead, the number of international migrants from Africa as a whole is expected to increase in coming decades, due in part to the continent’s growing population. How receiving nations will respond remains to be seen. Currently, Europe is sending money for development to assist African countries. Meanwhile, the U.S. government has reduced the number of refugees it resettles and proposed cutting back on other legal pathways to the U.S.

This is the first in a series of posts, reports and data visualizations from Pew Research Center focused on migration from Africa to the U.S. and Europe.

Phillip Connor is a senior researcher focusing on demography and migration studies at Pew Research Center.


Airstrikes, shelling continue in Syria despite Security Council’s ceasefire call – top UN officials

Despite the Security Council’s demand for a ceasefire throughout Syria, violence continues to plague the war-ravaged country, worsening the humanitarian situation and the suffering of its people, top United Nations political and relief officials said Wednesday, calling on all parties to the conflict to “fulfil their obligations to end the fighting.”

“The brief respite you [Security Council members,] unanimously demanded only days ago in resolution 2401 has not materialized. The airstrikes, shelling, and ground offensives continue. There are even reports of yet another chlorine gas attack,” Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said at a Council meeting on the situation.

“What we need is implementation of 2401, and that is not happening.”

Speaking alongside Mr. Feltman, Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator relayed some questions received by the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which he heads up, since the resolution was adopted this past Saturday.

One question asked what has happened in Syria in the last few days?

“More bombing. More fighting. More death. More destruction. More maiming of women and children. More hunger. More misery. More, in other words, of the same,” answered Mr. Lowcock.

Both Mr. Lowcock and Mr. Feltman underscored that the resolutions adopted by the Security Council, including resolution 2401, must be implemented for any positive change to be possible.

Meanwhile, on the ground, the situation remains precarious: millions of Syrians are unable to access any assistance and hundreds of thousands, such as those in eastern Ghouta, remain trapped in sieges.

Speaking on other parts of the country, Mr. Lowcock, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said that in Deir ez-Zor, the first UN assessment mission in three and a half years found that while the town is about 80 per cent destroyed, it is still home to 100,000 people.

The situation in Damascus city, Idleb, Afrin, Aleppo, Raqqa, Rukban, and in other places also remains concerning, he added.

In two weeks, the conflict in the country will enter into its eighth year, during this time, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed and millions have been displaced from their homes or forced as refugees in neighbouring countries.

“There are no words to express our frustration over the collective failure of the international community to end this war. But that frustration is nothing compared to the suffering and destruction visited ceaselessly upon the Syrian people,” said Mr. Feltman, warning that the conflict also continues to threaten regional and international.

Underscoring that there is no military solution to the conflict, the UN political chief stressed that that the Organization “remains convinced that a political solution is the only way forward” and called on positive and constructive engagement of all stakeholders.

“Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura is pressing forward on facilitating the establishment of a constitutional committee in Geneva, as part of the overall intra-Syrian political process towards full implementation of resolution 2254,” he added, noting that the full support of the Security Council and the international community is vital if UN efforts “are to have a chance of reinvigorating a serious and meaningful political process.”

“I trust that [Mr. de Mistura] will have that support.”


Décision Dcc 18-044 de la Cour constitutionnelle: La nomination de Dandi Gnamou à la Cour suprême validée

La nomination de Dandi Gnamou comme conseiller à la Chambre administrative de la Cour suprême, au titre de juriste de haut niveau, n’est pas contraire à la Constitution. Ainsi en a décidé la Cour constitutionnelle à travers sa décision Dcc 18-044 du 20 février 2018. La nomination de la professeure de rang magistral et praticien du droit avait été attaquée par un citoyen qui a formé un recours en inconstitutionnalité contre cette promotion. Le requérant trouve que Dandi Gnamou ne totalise pas encore les quinze années au moins d’expériences professionnelles exigées par l’article 134 de la Constitution. Lequel permet au président de la République de nommer, sur proposition du président de la Cour suprême, des juristes de haut niveau pour siéger à la chambre de la Cour suprême soit en qualité de conseiller ou de président de chambre. Une disposition reprise par l’article 6 de la loi n°2004-07 du 23 octobre 2007 portant composition, organisation, fonctionnement et attributions de la Cour suprême. La Cour constitutionnelle a tranché désormais la polémique. Se fondant sur les éléments attestés du curriculum vitae fourni par Dandi Gnamou, la Haute juridiction valide la nomination de cette dernière qui a fermé plus de 15 années d’expériences professionnelles révolues en qualité de juriste de haut niveau. En effet, pour les sages de la Cour constitutionnelle et à l’aune de leur jurisprudence constante, la qualité de juriste de haut niveau s’acquiert à partir de Bac +5. Un statut que Dandi Gnamou a atteint depuis le 1er octobre 2001 où, alors nantie d’un Bac +5, elle a été recrutée comme enseignant-chercheur contractuel en droit public au service de l’Université Paris Sud-XI. Ainsi, entre le 1er octobre 2001 et le 4 août 2017, date de la nomination de Dandi Gnamou comme conseiller à la Cour suprême, il s’est écoulé déjà plus de quinze années, martèle la décision Dcc 18-044 du 20 février 2018 de la Cour constitutionnelle.


Parents don’t know how to assess report cards: study

By OUMA WANZALA
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Majority of parents do not know how to use school report cards to improve their children’s performance in schools, a UN agency report says.

The Global Education Monitoring Report 2017/2018, which was released on Wednesday by Unesco at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), indicates that 72 per cent of parents surveyed said they do not know how to use information about their children’s literacy and numeracy.

Study findings were released during the event that was presided over by Basic Education director-general Robert Masese on behalf of Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

HOMEWORK
The report dubbed Accountability in Education notes that knowing how to use the information is as important as making it available and accessible.

Findings released last month by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) revealed that most parents were not involved in their children’s studies.

According to the report, only one in 10 fathers helped with their children’s homework.

Mothers consistently performed better, with two in 10 helping their children.

In the rest of the cases, the children either did the homework on their own or were assisted by their siblings.

Ms Mohamed in her remarks asked parents to take a leading role in the education of their children.

MOTIVATION
The report by Unesco also points out that school leaders have wide-ranging responsibilities.

“However, they are usually not well-prepared to deal with these challenges. Where preparation is offered it is usually in the form of brief professional training sessions,” the report adds.

The study also notes that school principals viewed management, organisation and record-keeping as their key jobs and did not mention the importance of their role in teaching and learning processes.

“Accountability pressure affects principals, but they often lack the capacity or motivation to use the opportunity to improve their school,” the findings add.

RESPONSIBILITY
Ms Mohamed said the Ministry of Education in collaboration with other government agencies had put in strategies to promote accountability in education.

These she said include development and regular review of sector policies and plans that outline the policy direction and strategies towards promoting quality education in Kenya, establishment of performance management systems for ministry officials and teachers to improve service delivery and development of a collaboration and partnerships framework.

“While these efforts have born fruits, there is need for all of us to remain vigilant and engaged to sustain and improve the gains made,” the CS said.

Unesco director-general Irina Bokova said education is a shared responsibility between governments, schools, teachers, parents and private actors.

“It must be designed with care and with the principles of equity, inclusion and quality in mind,” added the director-general.


Counties claim 'ownership' of Nyahururu town

By STEVE NJUGUNA
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Present-day Nyahururu town was formerly known as Thomson’s Falls.

The town sprouted when the colonial railway line connected Nairobi to Laikipia region in the late 1920s.

Initially, little was known of the town, which is now at the centre of a battle between two counties – Laikipia and Nyandarua.

Shops were opened, especially by Indians who were frequent visitors to the Thomson’s Falls.

Years later, Nyahururu became a big town. At the advent of devolution, the town acquired new significance because, by then, it had grown.

Consequently it became the centre of conflict for two counties.

REVENUE
Both counties lay claim to the town that today boasts of several modern amenities.

Major institutions in the town include Nyahururu County Referral Hospital, Nyahururu New Kenya Corporative Creameries, and Nyahururu Law Courts among others.

The colonial town’s well-established infrastructure is another advantage that has led to the two counties locking horns over its location.

Revelations that the town generates an estimated Sh600 million annually in revenue have also seen leaders fight over its location.

The revenue has generated a political battle over its location.

Currently the town is administered from Laikipia County.

DIALOGUE
A fresh battle over the town has emerged with leaders reviving debate about the town’s location.

The debate emerged even as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is set to start reviewing of constituencies and ward boundaries in the country.

The subject took centre stage over the weekend during the burial of Mr Wokabi Muriithi, an elder brother of Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, at Shamanei in the outskirts of Nyahururu town.

During the burial, leaders from Laikipia led by Woman Rep Catherine Waruguru called on leaders from the two counties to dialogue and put the debate to rest.

“We are all good neighbours and have lived in harmony. We should come to the table and resolve the issue amicably because I believe that there is no fight between us,” she said.

Ol-Kalou MP Njuguna Kiaraho and Jeremiah Kioni (Ndaragwa) were to lead a team to spearhead the agenda of the relocation of the town.

Though he has been in the forefront in fighting for the town to be reverted to Nyandarua, Governor Francis Kimemia, who was also present during the burial, kept off the debate, noting that Nyandarua and Laikipia are good neighbours.


Alarm as counties fight over resources and boundaries

By PATRICK LANG’AT
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The eight-hour blockade of the busy Nairobi-Nakuru highway motorists had to endure on Monday over a dispute on a ban on charcoal burning some 200 kilometres away in Kitui County has brought to the fore heightened conflicts over resources among devolved units.

While Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu denied having incited youth to burn charcoal-ferrying lorries, the angry demonstrators in Limuru deflated tyres of vehicles, causing a major snarl-up on the busy route as they demanded compensation for the burnt lorry.

“As we speak now, there is no rain in the entire Ukambani. If we do not fight the burning of charcoal, sand harvesting . . . this county is going to be declared a desert,” Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka summarised his client’s argument before the Francis ole Kaparo-led National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

Then he warned: “If you ask me, I imagine that the third world war would be around resources.”

COUNTY NATIONALISM
Nearly half of Kenya’s 47 counties are involved in a vicious war for resources with one or more neighbours.

Kinuthia Wamwangi, the former Transition Authority chairman, theorises:

“There is a growing sense of county nationalism. It is a feeling of power, and internal democracy.

“There is a sense of ownership of county resources and, with it, comes a feeling and urge to protect ‘our own,”‘ he says, adding that counties are now getting awakened and positioning themselves as autonomous centres of power, with the mandate to protect what they have.

With that comes, at times, a feeling to hive off what’s your neighbour’s — a classic case of only the strong surviving in the jungle of 47 counties attempting to make as much money of their own as the national government did in 50 years.

“With devolution, we have put these resources under the control of the counties, and their people. The people feel they are the protectors of these resources, and the rewards are instant,” he says.

JOBS
Kiambu and Kilifi counties early this year passed laws barring Kenyans from the other 47 counties from taking more than 30 per cent of the job openings in the two counties.

Most recently, tea-growing counties have been embroiled in a push-and-pull with Mombasa County to scrap the Sh32 levy imposed by the county for each package entering the port city.

While these are only the most recent examples, at least 18 other boundary disputes – that are always centred on a resource whose location is undecided – are raging across the country.

Devolution expert Mutakha Kangu argues that we got it wrong from as early as the creation of the boundaries themselves.

In creating the current 47 counties, he argues, the Committee of Experts copied and pasted the boundaries as set out in the Districts and Provinces Act of 1992 under the independence Constitution that stood repealed after the 2010 document was promulgated.

“In creating these boundaries, we gave no other reason other than the districts as had been set out in the Act of 1992, but unlike in that repealed law, we failed to state, to the specific longitude, the boundaries of these regions,” Dr Kangu argues.

LEVY
Given that some districts had developed attachments to some resources, the advent of devolution, and the semi-autonomy that comes with it, Dr Kangu opines, has just made matters worse.

In Kericho, apart from the fight to remove the Sh32 levy imposed by Mombasa, a border war with Kisumu in Sondu has been there for years, and which ropes in Nandi County on the Chemelil border.

On the other side of the Kitui border, conflicts between herders of Somali origin from Tana River County and the residents led to the death of 30 people in 2017 alone – showing just how fatal the conflicts can become.

At the heart of the conflict are the Nziu and Aithi community ranches, which cover 40 square kilometres, and by virtue of being dormant, have attracted a host of pastoralists seeking to graze their cattle.

BOUNDARY REVIEW
With a planned boundary review by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission starting this year, and ending in 2021, the battle for the shifting of these boundaries for the benefit or loss of resources to various counties will be closely watched by many.

In Kwale, Governor Salim Mvurya, Senator Issa Boy and Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari early this month issued a scathing statement against Taita-Taveta and its Governor Granton Samboja over Mackinnon town.

It is a lucrative township claimed by both counties.

These cases, Mr Wamwangi said, will continue.

“While tribe has been the dividing factor for long, now we see people of the same tribe but different counties going against each other,” Mr Wamwangi said.

KONZA CITY
The multibillion shilling Konza techno city is under intense push-and-pull pitting Makueni, Kajiado and Machakos counties, each claiming ownership and rights to collect taxes.

The three counties are also at war over sharing of water resources from Oloitokitok in Kajiado after Governor Joseph ole Lenku said that his constituents will no longer suffer lack of water, arguing that the water should only be pumped to Machakos and Makueni when Kajiado has had enough.

“Most of these conflicts, you will notice, are about sharing of resources. Others are a battle to have the boundaries changed as part of the same fight for resources.

“If not addressed, there is a huge risk that this could create chaos,” Senior Counsel Nzamba Kitonga, who chaired the Committee of Experts that drafted the 2010 Constitution, said.


CS Wamalwa to resolve delay of funds disbursement

By STEPHEN ODUOR
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By CHARLES LWANGA
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Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa has pledged to address delayed disbursement of funds to counties.

He said he had received complaints on the delays from members of the Senate and promised he would meet National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich to address the issue.

“Yesterday we had a meeting with members of the Senate. This is one of the key issues we were looking at.

“When I get to Nairobi we will sit down with the Treasury CS and ensure disbursement of funds to county governments is done on time,” he said.

Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi and his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho had accused the national government of frustrating devolution by delaying funds meant for development.

WATER
Speaking at Wayu and Garsen in Tana River County where he was accompanied by Chief Administrative Secretary Hussein Dado and Devolution Principal Secretary Micah Powon to distribute relief food, Mr Wamalwa urged governors to work together with the national government to strengthen intergovernmental relations.

“We are ready to work with counties to serve the people effectively,” he said.

At Garsen, where he was joined by Senator Juma Wario, he said he would work closely with county governments to ensure smooth flow of services.

The CS promised to buy a water bowser to provide water for Wayu residents hit by drought.

He said the government planned to construct more than 60 water pans in various parts of the country, including Tana River.

DROUGHT
Mr Wamalwa told security agencies at Galana Kulalu to go easy on residents, as part of the land had been given to them by the national government and they had a right to access it.

He said the Galana Kulalu irrigation project in Kilifi and Tana River counties is producing enough food to feed residents affected by drought.

“Some of the relief food supplied to Kilifi, Lunga Lunga and Kinango, among other places, is produced at Galana Kulalu,” he said, adding “the region has the potential to feed the nation. We want to make it Kenya’s bread basket.”

He said the government would improve Bura, Hola and Galana Kulalu irrigation projects.

The CS told chiefs, deputy county commissioners and headmen to ensure relief food reaches the targeted people.

He urged pastoral and farming communities to co-exist peacefully.

Later, he toured Mandigo and Oda areas to distribute relief food.


Ministry issues alert on foot and mouth disease

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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Livestock farmers are facing yet another crisis following an outbreak of foot and mouth disease, which has struck in the wake of an ongoing drought that has claimed tens of cattle.

The Ministry of Agriculture, through the State Department of Livestock, issued an alert on the dreaded disease that has affected different parts of the country.

The spread has partly been blamed on the ineffectiveness of the old vaccine used to protect cattle against the disease.

The Director of Veterinary Services, Dr Obadiah Njagi, also attributed a combination of uncontrolled livestock movement and low vaccination coverage to the fast spread of the viral infection.

NEW STRAIN
But of major concern is the emergence of a new strain of the virus that causes the disease, which has complicated matters for livestock owners.

“Some of the outbreaks were linked to an apparent new variant of serotype O that has hitherto not been detected in the country but is in circulation in neighbouring nations.

“The current vaccine may, therefore, have appeared to be unprotective,” Dr Njagi said in an advert on Tuesday.

The Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute, has been producing vaccines to control the disease.

Farmers have been using a water-based foot and mouth vaccine which, though effective, presented a number of challenges because it has a short shelf-life and has to be administered three times a year as its immunity lasts only 3-4 months.

This translated to high costs of vaccination and expiry of the vaccines when uptake was low.

VACCINE
But the country’s veterinary scientists, the official reported, are upgrading the vaccine to match all serotypes in circulation.

According to the 2009 animal census, Kenya was home to 17.5 million cattle, 17.1 million sheep, 27.7 million goats and 400,000 pigs.

Foot and mouth disease is endemic in Kenya and therefore the huge livestock resource can only be protected by vaccination.

Livestock diseases pose a challenge to dairy and beef production because they reduce productivity, increase the cost of treatment, or kill animals.

ECONOMY
Foot and mouth disease is one of the destructive diseases affecting cattle, pigs, goats and sheep and results in the imposition of quarantines which, in turn, affect trade in animal and animal products in the affected areas.

Dr Njagi said 84 outbreaks were reported last year, out of which 21 cases were in Nakuru, seven in Kiambu and six in Nairobi.

Other cases have been reported in Marsabit, Garissa, Kwale and Narok counties, which are experiencing drought according to statistics by the Ministry of Devolution and the Kenya Red Cross Society.


New twist in Uhuru kin Sh3bn land case

By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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The long-running legal dispute pitting two companies belonging to two cousins of President Uhuru Kenyatta and a top lender has taken a new twist after a Nairobi lawyer disowned the signed consent document that led to the auction of a Sh3 billion coffee farm.

Meanwhile, the police have now moved in to investigate how the consent order — whose original has never been found — was obtained after Nairobi lawyer Gideon Kaumbuthu Meenye disowned the document, which has all along been relied on by the courts.

In his letter to the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, the lawyer asks him “to cause an inquiry into the allegations that I acted for Benjoh, as it is obvious that someone is playing some mischief. The allegations are impacting on me negatively”.

AUCTION
Former Gatundu MP Ngengi Muigai and his brother Captain (Rtd) Kungu Muigai have been fighting in courts for the last 25 years contesting the sale of 443-acre Muiri Coffee Estate in Thika.

The land was auctioned by KCB to Bidii Kenya Limited to recover Sh70 million which the brothers contested.

KCB has all along relied on the consent note ostensibly signed by the Nairobi lawyer who is alleged to have been acting on behalf of Muiri Estate.

The two brothers have all along said that they had not sought the services of the lawyer.

In the impugned consent recorded on May 4, 1992 by Justice Erastus Githinji, Benjoh was allowed to negotiate for the sale of the principal security by private treaty and discharge the loan or there be a rescheduling of the loan repayment or such other terms the court shall direct.

LOAN
While that consent decree was set aside by Justice Githinji in 1997, saying there were no records to support the issue, it was reinstated on March 1998 by Appeal judges Richard Kwach, Philip Tunoi and Samuel Bosire who allowed KCB to sell the farm to realise its loan.

Now the Nairobi lawyer has disowned the document at the heart of the case.

“I did not execute the said agreement nor could I possibly have done so since I was not the advocate on record, had not been instructed by advocates on record to hold brief nor had I been instructed by Benjoh/ Muiri to appear and or represent them in the said case,” Mr Meenye says in the affidavit filed in the Court of Appeal on February 22.

Ngengi’s Muiri Coffee Estate had guaranteed Benjoh Amalgamated a limited guarantee of Sh11.5 million to start a flower farm in Nyandarua County and KCB had advanced the company a loan of Sh23 million.

FRAUD
In the fresh application filed by lawyer Kyalo Mbobu, Benjoh and Muiri are now relying on Mr Meenye’s letter to reopen a case that has been in virtually all the courts.

They argue that their lawyer at all times was DM Kinyua and that Mr Meenye was not its lawyer on record.

Further, they say that lawyer DM Kinyua never asked Mr Meenye to hold his brief in the case.

With these disclosures, it will be interesting to see what will become of all the judgements that have been entered in the 25 year-old case.

The two brothers say the sale was based on fraudulent accounts.