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Daily Nation : February 16th 2014
SUNDAY NATION February 16, 2014 Governor launches campaign to market Lake Ol’bollosat Nyandarua County has em- barked on a major campaign to market Lake Ol’bollosat as a tourist destination. The lake, the only natu- ral water mass in Central Kenya, is famous for hosting rare bird species and marine life including more than 400 hippos. Governor Daniel Waithaka Mwangi said his administration will partner with the private sector to fence off the lake before embarking on its rehabilitation. The project is expected to cost more than Sh200 million. “My administration has identified Lake Ol’bollosat as a major tourist attraction as it boasts of over 300 species of rare birds and marine life including hippos and mud fish,” Mr Mwangi told a delegation of pilots who paid him a courtesy call at his Ol’Kalou town office. The pilots led by Captain Solomon Nyanjui of the Kenya Wildlife Service, who hails from Munyeki in Ol’kalou, and Nairobi businessman James Muigai, expressed interest in putting up a multimillion shilling eco-lodge at the lake. The governor said Nyandarua has unique tourist sites including the famous Mau Mau caves in Kipipiri and Kinangop sub-counties, the former colonial homes in the famous Happy Valley, the wildlife in the Aberdares, and rare birds in Lake Ol’bollosat. At the same time, county tourism minister Judy Muhia has encouraged communities living around the lake to help to conserve it and avoid encroachment. Appealed to investors Noting that it was the only lake in the entire Mt Kenya region, Ms Muhia said the water mass was a great resource and emphasised the need for its protection and conservation. The minister spoke as she conducted a tour of the area for senior government officials to identify the beacons around the lake to facilitate the fencing. The delegation included of- ‘‘ ficials from the KWS, Kenya Forest Service, National Environment Management Authority and Friends of Lake Ol’bollosat led by the project manager John Wairi. Ms Muhia appealed to My government has identified Lake Ol’bollosat as a major tourist attraction,” Nyandarua Governor Daniel Mwangi investors to help in building hotels in the area so people coming from across the world to tour the lake could find accommodation. She said there was enough land to use to set up tourist facilities and called on private sector players to present their ideas and proposals on how they could partner with the government to achieve this. (Nyandarua GPS) County divided over decision to shift HQ BY MUCHIRI GITONGA email@example.com Daggers have been drawn among Laikipia leaders after a resolution by the county assembly last Wednesday to shift the county headquarters and county assembly from Nanyuki town to Rumuruti. Residents of Laikipia West have voiced their support for the decision while those from the eastern part of the county are vigorously opposed to it. A group of leaders and businessmen led by TNA county chairman Christopher Maitho were contemplating going to court to seek orders to block the relocation, on the grounds that the motion was tantamount to an ambush because there had been no public participation. “We are going to seek legal redress. The Constitution is very clear — there must be public participation in such crucial decision. The county assembly members merely applied jungle law,” Mr Maitho said. A task force appointed in 2011 to decide on the strategic location for county headquarters had settled for Mutara trading centre which was said to be more central. Sunday Review 31 BY-ELECTION | It’s back to the drawing board for Othaya electorate Ms Mary Wambui after the Nyeri Court of Appeal nullified her election as Othaya MP last Thursday. JOSEPH KANYI | NATION Wambui exudes confidence as Jubilee, Cord vow support The ousted MP says she will be re-elected with a bigger margin but King’ara declares it will not be that easy BY DANIEL OTIENO @Danielotieno2 firstname.lastname@example.org I n less than three months, voters in Othaya constituency will be electing their Member of Parliament afresh after the Court of Appeal nullified the election of Ms Mary Wambui. Less than seven days after the court’s ruling, the plot for a dramatic campaign is already taking shape with Ms Wambui declaring that the people of Othaya will give her another chance in the by-election. Speaking during a press briefing at a Mombasa hotel, Ms Wambui said she was confident of retaining her seat owing to the work she has done for Othaya residents. “I thank my constituents for standing with me and I am humbled. I am not shaken because Othaya residents know what I have done for them and I am confident that I will triumph,” she said. Last year’s race was dubbed the Kibaki vs Wambui duel after President Kibaki backed Mugambi Gichuki against Ms Wambui, who had been President Kibaki’s right-hand person in the constituency. The relationship grew so acrimonious that on several occasions, police blocked Ms Wambui from joining presidential functions. This was despite the fact that she had been a political supporter since the 1980s. But yesterday, Mr Essau Kioni, who contested the seat on a DP ticket and lost on March 4, said the retired president should keep out of the by-election as he was no longer formidable on the ground. Mr Peter King’ara, who successfully contested Ms Wambui’s election in court, also argued that former president Kibaki’s exit from power was likely to cause a major shift in the campaigns. “By design or default, the provincial administration had their preferred candidates. Some of us were barred by the police from campaigning or joining the retired president at functions. That he is no longer in power is going to significantly change the thinking of the electorate,” he said. Jubilee, Cord back Wambui And in a new twist, Cord and Jubilee legislators vowed to back Ms Wambui’s re-election. Maara MP Japhet Kareke CHRONOLOGY How the Othaya MP lost her seat March 4, Mary Wambui wins Othaya Parliamentary seat Mr Peter King’ara, her opponent, contests the win High Court, however, uphold’s Ms Wambui’s victory Mr King’ara moves to Court of Appeal which nullifies Ms Wambui’s election. Mbiuki said both coalitions have resolved to support Ms Wambui in her re-election campaign. “For the last one year we have been with her in Parliament, we have seen how useful she is as an MP. Both President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto together with the former Prime Minister will be in Othaya to ensure she recaptures her seat,” said Mr Mbiuki. Nyando MP Fred Outa confirmed that Cord will support Ms Wambui to regain her seat. “I want to confirm that Ms Wambui has done a good job and she deserves to be reelected. What the Court of Appeal has done is not justified since she was elected rightfully by the people of Othaya. I want to assure her that we will support her to regain her seat as the Othaya MP in the coming by-elections,” said Mr Outa. Juja MP Francis Waititu said it will be a Jubilee-Cord reloaded affair, dubbed Wambui Rudi Tena. However, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati urged Ms Wambui to defect to ODM where she would get the party’s full support. Ogiek elders demand reforms in forests law BY FRANCIS MUREITHI @FMureith1 email@example.com Members of the Ogiek community want the government to undertake a comprehensive review of the Forest Act which was last reviewed in 2005. The national chairman of the Ogiek Council of Elders Joseph Towett said the Act had been overtaken by events as there were some clauses that are discriminatory to the indigenous communities that have been living in the forests since time immemorial. “Government forests have been turned into money-minting grounds where timber merchants are awarded lucrative logging FILE | NATION Ogieks’ lifestyle rotates around the forest tenders while the indigenous communities, who have been raised in the middle of the forest do not benefit,” said Mr Towett. Last month Kenya Forest Service director D. K. Mbugua placed a tender notice in local dailies calling on sawmillers and poles operator to undertake harvesting of exotic timber and power transmission poles in KFS-managed forests. Mr Mbugua said the tender was only open to the youth, women and persons with disabilities. But Mr Towett said this was not possible as those who own the machines and have the financial muscle to undertake such an exercise were not youth and women and people with disabilities, but rich timber merchants. The Ogieks have vowed to stay put in spite of the impending government move to forcibly remove them from the government forests, which they claim to be their ancestral land.
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