EACC Recovers Sh100 Million Public Land From Grabbers In Machakos


The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered public land valued at Sh100 million that had been seized by grabbers in Machakos town.

EACC Spokesperson Eric Ngumbi said the land measuring approximately one acre belonging to the Ministry of Housing and leased to various government institutions including the judiciary had been grabbed by land cartels.

‘We have successfully recovered the property and returned it to the government, ‘said Ngumbi.

The spokesperson spoke in Machakos during a training for journalists from lower eastern conducted by the commission to enable the scribes to effectively participate in unearthing corruption and other malpractices relating to the governance of the country.

He noted that the seized land is among other properties that EACC is trying to recover from land grabbers in the region amounting to Sh1.2 billion.

‘We are pursuing other properties that are currently in the hands of grabbers.

It is estimated that the value of government’s land and houses in the han
ds of cartels in Machakos, Kitui and Makueni counties is over Sh1.2 billion,’ he added.

Ngumbi said part of the properties include 13 plots for Kenya Prisons in Machakos, five acres of land valued at Sh300 million belonging to Seme Primary School and a Sh250 million property belonging to visually impaired persons in Kitui grabbed by a church.

He noted that land grabbing remains a big challenge in the country and disclosed that most government properties especially those belonging to the Ministry of Housing in various parts of the country are in the hands of private persons.

‘The land is taken by grabbers in collusion with corrupt land officials. Cumulatively these government plots are more than what the government requires for the affordable housing project, ‘added Ngumbi.

He however noted that many Kenyans who had grabbed public land were willing to settle the matter outside court cutting down on costs and time on litigation.

‘The EACC welcomes Alternative Dispute Resolution on matters relating to grabb
ed public land, ‘said Ngumbi.

He appealed to anyone occupying public land to come forward and enter into negotiations with the commission and voluntarily return what they have grabbed instead of waiting for the lengthy and costly litigation in court.

‘We are also putting on notice corrupt land officials and especially registrars who re -allocate what has been recovered to unscrupulous people,’ said the spokesperson.

Ngumbi said besides recovery of public land the commission was carrying out investigations in matters related to crime for purposes of prosecuting those culpable.

‘We have cases touching on County Executive Committee Members and County Assemblies in each of the three counties. The cases are at various stages with some pending review by the Director of Public Prosecution while others are in court, ‘he added.

He pointed out conflict of interest was the leading cause of graft in devolved units and underscored the need for tough laws to curb the vice.

‘Conflict of interest in the county governme
nts has been the bedrock of all the graft cases being handled by the commission especially top government officials including governors who do business with the government by allocating tenders to family members, relatives and their associates, ‘said the spokesperson.

Ngumbi said a total of 10 governors, both former and current are facing corruption charges mainly attributed to conflict of interest.

‘That’s why you seen governors being charged alongside their families and associates, ‘he added.

The spokesperson however expressed his concerns on the Conflict of Interest Bill, 2023 saying the proposals made by the Senate will cripple the war on corruption.

He said the changes being proposed by the Senate will have far reaching implications on the fight against graft if fully adopted.

Among the notable changes in the bill that Ngumbi said will cripple the fight against corruption include proposals by the Senate to delete the provisions that gives EACC the mandate to implement the Conflict of Interest Bill,
2023.

‘Senate proposes to have EACC removed as an implementation agency and have the responsibility given to private entities. It is unconstitutional because conflict of interest is one of the issues under chapter six of the constitution relating to the conduct of state officers where EACC has been vested with the mandate and the responsibility to implement, ‘he added.

The spokesperson also noted that the Senate proposes to amend the existing laws by repealing the existing provision that makes conflict of interest a criminal offence.

‘It is a dangerous move if the bill becomes law. Conflict of interest is the main causes of scandals in the country including the ten governors already in court, ‘said Ngumbi.

He called on the national assembly to shoot down the proposals saying the bill if passed will claw back the gains made in the fight against corruption.

He called on county assemblies to conduct their oversight role in the devolved units to curb graft.

‘County Assemblies have failed Kenyans for not doi
ng oversight. Infact majority of the Members of the County Assembly collude with the executive to steal public funds, ‘added Ngumbi.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Samuel Eto’o will vote for Paul Biya in 2025

The President of the Cameroon Football Federation, Samuel Eto’o has revealed that he will always vote for President Paul Biya. Adding that it is his civic duty.

‘You, who love and appreciate me, know that I do not hide to express my ideas. Yes, in 2018, I voted for President Paul Biya. And I continue to give him my unwavering support. I stand by this. And no, I will not let anyone deprive me of my rights as a citizen.’

In a statement on his social media handles on Thursday night, Eto’o said his choice is President Paul Biya, denying any rumours of him wanting to become the President of Cameroon.

‘As for me, let’s be clear: the presidency of Fecafoot is not a stepping stone to the presidency of the Republic. I say it loud and clear again: I, Samuel Eto’o fils, am not a candidate for the presidency of Cameroon. This clarification seems necessary to end this unhealthy focus on my modest person.’

He further revealed that speculations about him being a candidate has frustrated many of his friends and families
who fear to be targeted

‘It causes suffering to my family, frightens my friends, hinders our sports project, and poses a threat to my safety.’ Eto’o said.

By implication, should President Paul Biya send his candidacy for Cameroon presidency, Samuel Eto’o Fils will vote him.

Paul Biya will be almost 93 years old next year during the 2025 Presidential election. He has spent 42 years in power but has barely made strode for the improvement of the lives of Cameroonians.

Though he preached rigor, moralisation and integrity, Biya’s presidency has been marked by wide ranging corruption and embezzlement by mostly people from his clan.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

State, WEEE Collaborate On E-Waste Management


The government, in partnership with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), is conducting education forums for government officers on electronic waste (e-waste) management.

Under the partnership, which is being spearheaded by the Information and Communication Technology Authority (ICTA), public officers will now be able to surrender their obsolete office equipment for refurbishment to the authority and ensure such items can be put in use again.

The WEEE directive is a legislative act that the European Union adopted to address the growing amounts of e-waste that come from electrical and electronic gadgets.

Dubbed the National Refurbishment, Assembly, and E-waste Management Programme, ICTA intends to employ civil servants as the first line of defence in sensitising the public on the proper management of e-waste as a response to the ever-growing threat emanating from their unregulated disposal.

Mr. Kioko Mutunga, an ICTA project Manager, says the Government has so far collected 15,000 pieces of obs
olete electronic equipment from across the country, which are currently undergoing refurbishment, with the number expected to grow in the coming months.

‘Government officers have obsolete equipment that they do not find the right way to dispose of on our Kenyan market. These devices end up filling stores, and even when disposal comes into play, people are not able to purchase them. We want to sensitise civil servants who will become our ambassadors on how we can save our environment and ensure there is safe handling from the point of buying up to the point we dispose of them safely,’ he told KNA yesterday during a one-day sensitisation workshop for government officers in Nyeri.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) puts Africa’s annual e-waste generation at a staggering 2.9 MT, which accounts for at least one per cent of all global waste.

In Kenya, at least 17,000 metric tonnes of e-waste were generated in 2017, with this figure totaling to 127,000 metric tonnes by last year.

And with the e
ntry of electrical and electronic gadgets expected to maintain a steady projectile in the country, Kenya’s annual e-waste is expected to hit an average of 51,3000 metric tonnes in the coming years.

On top of the table are household equipment such as refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, televisions, radios, computers, and cell phones.

Given that the information and technology revolution has exponentially increased the use of new electronic equipment, it has also produced growing volumes of obsolete products, making e-waste one of the fastest-growing waste streams globally.

‘We must not necessarily take them (electrical and electronic wastes) to where we collect them, but the government has very many institutions where we are going to distribute this functioning equipment. We have learning institutions, digital institutions that require them, and even government institutions that require them,’ explained the official.

Mutunga says once the first phase of collecting the devices is complete, they will
then embark on the second phase, which will entail the establishment of collection centres for e-waste across the country.

On her part, Nancy Ng’ethe, who is a WEEE officer, underscored the need for Kenyans to understand the vital link between e-waste management and environmental conservation.

She noted that with the growing consumer appetite for high-end gadgets such as smartphones and household electronic items, the majority of which have a short lifespan, there is a need to come up with mechanisms that will address how such products can be disposed of without endangering both humans and the ecosystem.

‘Our key role is to create awareness around e-waste to make sure that everybody, from the corporate to the informal sector, is aware of what e-waste is and the dangers of not disposing of it properly. The government has been very supportive, and we now have rules and regulations around how e-waste management should be governed, which was not the case around 12 years ago,’ she said.

Kenya’s e-waste managem
ent and disposal is anchored under Article 42 of the Constitution, the Public Procurement and Disposal Act Section 165(2), together with the National ICT Policy 2019 and the Environmental Management and Conduct Act (Revised 2015).

But Ng’ethe is advising those intending to dispose of their old electronic equipment to ascertain that the items are totally unserviceable and therefore not worth storage.

She says any electronic gadget must either fall under the repair, reuse, or refurbishment category and can only be recycled if it fails to fit in either of the three.

‘Before you get to the recycle bit, you must ensure that your e-waste cannot be reused anymore. So, if you think you have an item that is no longer needed, you can look for a second person who can use it,’ she told KNA.

‘Recycling is basically saying this device has reached the end of life, and therefore the only remaining thing is to dismantle the item and then get the different partitions, either as glass, plastic, scrap, or the motherboard, wh
ich can thereafter be used in another way,’ she added.

If improperly disposed of, e-waste like old computers, mobile phones, or kitchen appliances poses environmental and health risks from exposure to lead, mercury, and other toxic materials.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Cameroonian questions government spending as tax collection intensifies

Cameroon’s recent tax enforcement measures have raised concerns among citizens about the government’s spending priorities.

The new measures, implemented in 2023, aim to increase tax collection and government revenue. However, some residents question whether the collected funds will be used effectively for public services.

The Ministry of FInance in a May 2024, stastement, stated that both pub;lic and private employees need to declare their taxes. They are expected to file their annual personal imcome taxes, a consolidated payslip deatiling earnings and tax withholdings.

‘The main question is what the government has been using taxes for,’ said one resident, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal. ‘We see many roads in disrepair, like the one between Amourmezam and Mobile in Bamenda. People pay taxes, but basic infrastructure isn’t being addressed.’

Critics point to past government spending on projects perceived as unnecessary, such as some foreign travel by officials. They argue that such spending st
rains the national budget while essential needs remain unmet.

The government has not yet publicly responded to these concerns.

Source: Cameroon News Agency

Geologists To Conduct Seismic Assessment In Murang’a Landslide-Prone Areas


The Ministry of Mining and Blue Economy has deployed geologists to conduct a seismic assessment to landslide-prone areas within Murang’a County.

Already, a team of senior geologists has commenced the assessment in parts of Kangema Sub County where earth faults have been witnessed.

Mining Principal Secretary Elijiah Mwangi said on Wednesday that the assessment will help in making well-informed decisions on the utilisation of the land, which has been prone to landslides.

He noted that the geologists were deployed following a request by the Murang’a County Government to develop a long-term technical report after the assessment that will help prevent deaths and destruction of property occasioned by landslides.

In many parts of the upper zones of the county, the PS said they were affected by land and mudslides during the recent rains, leaving a trail of destruction.

‘A team of senior geologists is already doing the seismic assessment at parts of Kangema. More geologists will be deployed to carry out the asses
sment in parts of Kahuro, Mathioya, Kigumo, and Gatanga that have been experiencing landslides during rainy seasons.

‘Their report will guide the government in making decisions on the utilisation of land. We will be in a position to decide whether to relocate people from the areas and utilise the land by either planting trees or for other purposes,’ added Mwangi.

Early on, a landslide hit Kiganjo village in Mathioya, killing six people and displacing more than 30 families.

‘After the assessment, people who will be found living in risky areas, will be relocated. This is to ensure the safety of our people,’ added the PS.

Meanwhile, Mwangi said his ministry is working in partnership with the local county government to invest in the value addition of local soils used to manufacture tiles.

‘Murang’a has a kaolin type of soil. This soil is the raw material for tiles and is currently being mined, transported to other areas of the country, and even exported. We have asked the county government to get us a piece
of land where we can bring investors and set up a tile manufacturing plant,’ Mwangi said.

‘Manufacturing the tiles locally will boost the economy of Murang’a and also provide employment opportunities to local youth. The kaolin soil is available in Gaturi and Mugoiri wards, and it can also be accessed from neighbouring counties.’

The Ministry, he noted, has launched the Rapid Results Initiative (RRI), targeting individuals who are mining in the country but do not have a license.

He said they are getting grassroots to have all artisanal miners registered and issued with mining licenses.

‘The RRI is also to ensure anyone mining, buying, processing, or doing other business with minerals is fully registered to do away with illegal mining. This is to streamline the sector and ensure all miners are in cooperatives to benefit from government incentives, among other forms of support.

‘I urge local artisanal miners, especially those who mine construction stones, to join cooperative societies. By doing so, they can
apply for financial support from various government funds,’ PS Mwangi added.

Source: Kenya News Agency

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