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Daily Nation : February 1st 2014
22 | National News MY TOWN | Mtito Andei is strategic because it is at the centre of Mombasa and Nairobi Where your carving can be made as you wait A The town is commonly called ‘Mombasa Nusu’ and has a community owned FM radio station BY GIDION MAKENZI email@example.com s one cruises to the Coast from Nairobi, the sparsely populated scenery of the vast Lower Eastern begins to make the journey look boring and long. That is until you reach Mtito Andei. No matter how resilient you are, pangs of hunger will force you to stop in this small town, locally known as Mutitu wa Ndei or the forest of vultures. The history of this town stretches back to the early 20th century during the construction of the Uganda railway. At that time, Mtito Andei was known for the infamous lions that fed on railway workers. No one ever knew that the lion-infested place would years later turn into a thriving tourist hotspot. Most appreciated Mtito Andei is now the fastest growing town in this region. As you approach from Nairobi, the aroma of various dishes welcomes you from hotels spread out on the highway. In recent years, the hotel industry has grown and is most appreciated by tourists and tired local travellers. The cosmopolitan town is famously known as ‘Mombasa Nusu’, due to its geographical SATURDAY NATION February 1, 2014 Bank has opened a branch. Others have agents. The Kenya Women Finance Trust opened its offices recently and other microfinance organisations are expected to follow suit. Higher education institutions have not been left out. South Eastern Kenya University opened a campus last year and is expected to enrol its first batch of students this year. With the population increasing, chances are that more universities and colleges will come knocking. Kikamba broadcast The town also has its own FM FILE | NATION The economy of Mtito Andei heavily relies on tourism. Here, local and foreigh tourists have just had a feel of Tsavo National Park and are now heading to Tanzania. position. It is midway between Nairobi and Mombasa. This is the reason many private and commercial travellers make a stopover here even if it is just for a few minutes. The town is also the gateway to the largest national parks in Kenya: Tsavo East and West. The economy heavily relies on tourism with hoteliers. Its hinterland boasts of good hotels like Kilaguni Serena Hotel, Ngulia Lodge and Severin, which are in the heart of Tsavo West. Kilalinda Lodge and Tsavo Farm are in Tsavo East. These hotels are fully booked in the high tourism season. Mtito Andei is the only place where a sculpture of you or an animal of your choice can be made from a tree trunk as you wait. It takes about two hours. The wood carvers are known for their adeptness, with their products fetching high prices locally and abroad. The town boasts of four petrol stations and their services are good due to competition. Banks have started opening offices here, too. Kenya Commercial radio station, Radio Mang’elete, which has been broadcasting in Kikamba since 2005. It plays songs and hosts a variety of shows on local issues. As in other towns in Kenya, the boda boda business is vibrant. Being a largely rural town, many people come from as far as the banks of Athi River at the foot of Yatta plateau to do business. They make the biggest use of the boda bodas. firstname.lastname@example.org Tell us the interesting things about your town. Send your stories to email@example.com Panel can scrutinise police chiefs again, says Kavuludi BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Police officers cleared to continue serving will be scrutinised afresh if new credible information touching on their integrity and competence is provided. The National Police Service Commis- sion chairman Johnston Kavuludi (left) yesterday said that the vetting panel’s decision to retain the three senior officers after further interrogation was Senior officers told to vacate juniors’ houses BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Sixteen senior officers at the Western police headquarters have been ordered to vacate houses meant for their juniors. The senior police officers have been given two weeks to move out of the houses or face disciplinary action. The deputy provincial police boss, Mr Gerald Mbaabu, said the matter had been brought to his attention by county police boss Menegene Warui and the officers told to vacate the houses. “The senior officers have asked to look for alternative accommodation outside the police quarters since they are paid houses allowances,” said Mr Mbaabu. purely based on their findings. Mr Kavuludi’s team on Wednesday retained the deputy director of police reforms, Mr Zachary Kingori Mwangi, CID deputy boss Gideon Kimilu Mwangi, and Administration Police director of operations Peter Pamba, whose vetting results had been withheld previously as other issues were still under investigations. “We can still determine the officers’ suitability to continue serving. The police vetting is not an event but a process,” said Mr Kavuludi. Some members of the public have criticised the police commission for clearing all the three officers despite what they considered overwhelming evidence to prove that they were unfit to continue serving. However, the panel claimed that some of the people who had given information later refused to record statements. The commission did not indicate the Maseno University lecturers issue 7-day strike notice over bank loan remittances BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Maseno University has seven days to pay staff and lecturers Sh16.5 million or else their unions will call for a strike. In their strike notice, the Kenya Universities Staff Union (Kusu) and University Academic Staff Union (Uasu) officials accused the management of failing to remit their loan repayments to the banks on time yet the institution deducted the funds monthly. ‘‘We want to know why the deduc- tions for our loans are remitted late because this has caused the banks to penalise us and withhold our salaries,’’ said Kusu secretary-general—Maseno chapter—Bernard Orwa. Submitting a memorandum to the vice-chancellor’s office yesterday, Maseno’s Kusu chairman, Mr Mar- tin Owidi, accused the university of misusing the cash by channelling it to pay ghost workers. ‘‘We are struggling to churn out open minded graduates to the market, but all we get at the end of it all are peanuts, we should be paid a reasonable salary,’’ said Mr Owidi. The lectures also demanded to be paid for teaching self-sponsored students, saying the workload was too much as the university had inadequate teaching staff. The chairman alleged massive corruption at the institution and called Sh16m Amount the lecturers and staff want the university to pay them. on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate it. ‘‘It is of concern that staff who retired many years ago are still on payroll,’’ claimed Mr Owidi. The funds in question, the officials said, were part of the 2010-2013 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) where the government gave universities Sh7.8 billion to increase their basic salaries and house allowances. The disgruntled lecturers demanded immediate jump-starting of negotiations of the stalled 2012/2013 internal CBA talks. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Aca- demic Affairs Madara Ogot said the university was facing financial challenges making it hard to pay the lecturers arrears. ‘‘The university management has forwarded the issue to Salaries Commission,’’ said Prof Ogot. measures it had put in place to protect those who provided information The commission boss added that of- ficers could be retired in the interest of the public if they do not discharge their duties effectively or no longer inspire confidence in the public. The panel received several com- plaints against some of the officers but the chairman said that few were specified, making it difficult for them to defend themselves. BRIEFLY TRANS NZOIA Parents warned against ejecting heads The education chief in Trans Nzoia has warned parents against ejecting heads from schools. He advised them to follow the right channels when problems arise in schools. Cases of heads being thrown out of schools because of alleged misconduct or poor results have been on the increase in the area. The county’s education director Joseph Wamocho, said it was not right for parents to take the law into their own yet many of the problems can be solved easily. “There are challenges in the quality of our education but they should desist from ejecting heads as this does not provide any solution,” he said and added that his office would institute charges against such parents.
January 31st 2014
February 2nd 2014