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President Ruto:Harsh Economic Conditions Increased Criminals in Kenya During Uhuru’s Tenure

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In Summary

  • He said these conditions were stoked by shutdowns in economic activity, disruption of supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
  • The report also outlines the drought experienced in Kenya and the region as a cause for the high crime rate.

Tough economic conditions drove up crime cases last year, a State of National Security Report forwarded to the Parliament reads.

This is in the period between September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2023.

In the report dated October 26, President William Ruto, who was sworn in on September 13, 2022,  attributed the surge in criminal activities to harsh economic conditions that prevailed worldwide.

He said these conditions were stoked by shutdowns in economic activity, disruption of supply chains by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

The report also outlines the drought experienced in Kenya and the region as a cause for the high crime rate.

This is considering that the unprecedented droughts not only decimated crops but also led to losses of livestock resulting in food insecurity and especially in arid and semi–arid lands.

In the Horn of Africa, at least 8 million farm animals were estimated to have died during the drought.  

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 20 million people in the region were pushed into crisis levels of food insecurity.

“It was during the same period the country was conducting general elections, a period which has always seen heightened political activity and a rise in crime rates due to the strains to the available public safety and security resources,” Ruto added.

During the period under review, Kenya witnessed crimes ranging from homicides, to sexual-based violence, and murder.

At the time, a total of 100,651 cases were reported compared to the 86,271 cases which occurred between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

Ruto noted that this translated to an increase of 14,380 cases which is 16.7 per cent.

“It is important to underscore here that, the largest number of those arrested committing crimes are in the age group of between 30 – 44 years of age, which therefore calls for targeted interventions to address these concerns,” he added.

Further, in the period under review, there was a recorded increase in 48 offences, among them general stealing by 4,010 (32.9%), and other Penal Code offences by 2,300 (24.3%).

Theft of stock increased by 552 (23.2%), possession of dangerous drugs by 1,779 (33.6%) and robbery with violence by 529 (23.4%).

Decreases were reported in 17 offences including murder by 111 cases (5.7%), creating disturbance by 114 (2%) and arson by 55 (7.9%).

The report recorded Nairobi as the leading county with high crime cases, being 10,078.

“This can be attributed to its high population as compared to other counties,” Ruto stated adding, “General stealing recorded the highest number of cases in the county with 2,129 reported.”

Kiambu County was second with 9,242 cases while Meru County was following with 6,278 cases.

Nakuru and Machakos took fourth and fifth places with 4,850 and 4,516 cases respectively.

Mandera County recorded the least cases of crimes at 323.

The President said most of the counties recorded an increase in crime as compared to the same period between September 1, 2021 and August 31, 2022.

Nairobi County recorded the highest increase of 1,944 cases translating to 22.4 per cent.

Ruto further said threats to national interests within the reporting period include general crime, organised criminal gangs, sexual and gender-based violence, road traffic accidents, illicit brews and substance abuse.

The presence of terrorism, inter-communal conflicts, corruption, transnational crimes such as trade in fake and counterfeit products, the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons, drug and human trafficking, money laundering and cybercrime are also a threat.

In a bid to lower the rates, Ruto said the government has put in measures that include preventative and protective public safety and security measures.

It has also enhanced multi–agency cooperation amongst national security agencies and deepened whole-of-nation approaches to national security in general.

“One of the notable initiatives launched during the period under review is the process to examine the appropriate terms and conditions of service for officers within the National Police Service, the Kenya Prisons Service and the National Youth Service,” he said.

The officer’s recommendations are expected to outline the measures that would help in uplifting their morale for better service delivery.

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NEWS

IPOA Identifies Two DCI Detectives Who Abducted, Tortured Spy Queen Jane Mugoh

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In Summary, 

  • IPOA, a Kenyan oversight body, investigated the November 2023 attack on Jane Mugo.
  • They concluded detectives Mumba Karisa and Joseph Kahuki were responsible.
  • IPOA urged the prosecutor to charge them with abduction, torture, and assault.
  • Mugo, a former undercover agent, runs a private investigation firm.
  • She has previously faced accusations from police, which she denied.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) has instructed the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to press charges against two detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) regarding the abduction and torture of Private Detective Jane Mugo.

In their investigation report submitted to the DPP, IPOA has advised that CI Stephen Mumba Karisa and PC Joseph Kahuki be charged with abduction and torture offences.

According to IPOA’s findings, Karisa should also face charges for assaulting Mugoh.

On Thursday, November 24, Jane Mugo was assaulted by unidentified individuals around 6:30 pm at the Ainabkoi-Kapsabet junction while travelling from Bungoma to Nairobi County. She reported the incident at Kondoo Police Station in Kesses, Uasin Gishu County, stating that her abductors blocked her vehicle with a saloon Subaru. Unfortunately, she couldn’t capture the vehicle’s number plates.

The assailants used a machete to inflict injuries on Mugo’s face and hands. They kidnapped her driver, Kevin Okoth, and passenger Newton Manyana, before stealing her Prado vehicle along with her mobile phones and personal items.

After the attack, Mugo sought medical treatment at Burnt Forest County Hospital before being transferred to Reale Hospital in Eldoret Town.

In 2022, Mugo caused a stir in court by alleging that individuals intending to abduct and harm her were present during her arraignment. She claimed to have been kidnapped and tortured on November 24, 2021, and expressed concern that one of her potential assailants was present in court, using journalists to track her.

Following accusations of abduction and torture by law enforcement officers, IPOA launched an investigation to ascertain their veracity. They concluded that two detectives within the National Police Service were responsible and recommended their prosecution by the DPP.

Jane Mugo, a vocal investigator with training in criminology from Kenyatta University and the DCI, runs Trimo Security Limited, offering undercover investigations, debt collection, and security services. Despite facing accusations and threats from certain police officers, she remains dedicated to her work.

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NEWS

Nakuru Residents Urge MPs to Prioritize Land Use Policy for Affordable Housing

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In Summary,

  • Residents in Bahati and Molo support the Bill but want amendments to make it more inclusive and help low-income earners own houses.
  • A former slum upgrade program participant recommends involving experienced people in the Affordable Housing Fund.
  • Committee Chair Hon. Kuria clarified that building applications and a 10% deposit are required, not just paying the housing levy.

Residents of Nakuru County are urging for the introduction of a Land Use Policy to bolster the Affordable Housing Program for their region.

They specifically advocate for the policy to include guidelines designating areas for agriculture, even as the Affordable Housing Program aims to minimize the division of fertile land and improve food security.

The public participation in Nakuru marked the seventh engagement with the public in an exercise aimed at collecting views and memoranda on the Affordable Housing Bill, 2023.

Members of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning during public hearings for Affordable Housing Bill 2023 in Nakuru County

The House team comprising of the Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Public Works which is sitting jointly with the Committee on Finance and National Planning is led by Hon. Johana Ng’eno.

In support of this initiative, Prof. Isaac O. Kibwage, the Vice Chancellor of Egerton University, emphasized the looming threat of food insecurity due to the continuous division of arable land.

He highlighted that passing the Affordable Housing Bill could aid agricultural communities in preserving more land for farming.

Prof. Kibwage, a representative from Kisii County, emphasized the urgency of allocating more land for agriculture, given the diminishing availability.

He stressed the need to act promptly, considering that by 2050, Kenya’s population is expected to reach 91 million. He proposed the enactment of the housing plan as a crucial step in ensuring food security for the country.

Additionally, he urged legislators to allocate resources for universities and tertiary institutions to construct student hostels. Prof. Kibwage acknowledged that immediate payment might be challenging for these institutions but suggested they would eventually fulfil their financial commitments.

Public hearings in Bahati and Molo Constituencies received positive feedback on the Bill, with residents suggesting amendments to enhance inclusivity and facilitate homeownership for low-income earners through affirmative action.

Participants recommended learning from past programs to address any shortcomings and ensure the effectiveness of the Affordable Housing Program.

Ms. Loise Kiige, a former participant in the Boma Yetu Housing program, proposed considering individuals with experience in similar initiatives for appointments to the proposed Affordable Housing Fund.

Responding to concerns about housing unit allocations, Hon. Kuria Kimani, the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Finance and National Planning, clarified that formal application processes were necessary.

He emphasized that the housing levy, earmarked for affordable housing and slum upgrades, did not guarantee housing unit allocation. Applicants must undergo the application process and pay the required 10% deposit.

Another proposal discussed during the session was the establishment of a legal framework enabling Saccos to finance their members in acquiring housing units.

Hon. Kuria assured residents that the Committee would consider this proposal during their retreat when reviewing public submissions across 19 counties.

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World

King Charles III Accused of Secretly Upgrading Real Estate with Deceased Citizens’ Assets

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King Charles III Under Fire for Upgrading Royal Properties with Assets of Intestate Citizens

The lavish real estate portfolio of King Charles III is once again embroiled in controversy, this time over his reported use of an obscure feudal law to acquire assets from deceased British citizens without heirs.

The Duchy of Lancaster, a historic estate known for generating significant income for the King, stands at the center of the issue. Under a centuries-old legal principle called “bona vacantia,” assets of intestates – those who die without a will or living relatives – within the Duchy’s jurisdiction automatically fall to the Crown.

While the Duchy has long claimed to channel these funds towards charities, a recent investigation by The Guardian revealed a different story. Over the past decade, an estimated $76 million generated through bona vacantia has reportedly been directed towards renovations and upgrades on Duchy properties, boosting their rental value and profitability.

This practice, deemed “antiquated” and opaque by critics, has sparked public outcry. Friends of deceased individuals whose assets were allegedly used this way expressed outrage, stating that the deceased “would turn in his grave” if they knew their wealth was enriching the royal coffers.

The revelation that these “free money” funds, referred to as a “slush fund” by insiders, were never publicly disclosed further amplifies concerns about transparency and accountability within the Duchy.

King Charles III himself has remained silent on the matter, but a Duchy spokesperson defended the practice, claiming it aligns with a policy of using funds for “restoration and repair” of historic buildings. However, critics argue that this rationale masks a self-serving motive to enhance the King’s personal holdings through dubious means.

As public scrutiny intensifies, King Charles III faces mounting pressure to address the ethical concerns surrounding this controversial inheritance practice and demonstrate greater transparency in the management of his vast landed wealth.

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Counties

Mombasa Journalist Fights for Life: Heart Surgery Needed, Family Appeals for Help

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In Summary,

  • Fatma Rajab, a journalist in Mombasa, needs urgent heart valve replacement surgery.
  • The family cannot afford the cost of the procedure.
  • They appeal for help from well-wishers, NGOs, and the government.
  • Any contribution can help save Fatma’s life.

Fatma Rajab, a 27-year-old journalist in Mombasa, Kenya, is battling a serious heart condition. Diagnosed with rheumatic heart disease at 14, she now urgently needs valve replacement surgery.

Fatma’s journey has been a tough one. In 2014, she underwent valve replacement in India, funded by generous community support. Sadly, the prosthetic valve has worn out, forcing her to face the ordeal again.

Hospitalized at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital, Fatma’s condition is stable but critical. The procedure can be done locally for under Sh1 million, a significantly lower cost compared to the Sh1.8 million quoted by Nairobi hospitals.

However, the financial burden remains immense for Fatma’s family. They’ve already exhausted resources, including selling property, to ensure her previous treatment.

With limited options, Fatma’s family and fellow journalists are desperately reaching out for help. They plead with well-wishers, NGOs, and the government to lend a hand in saving their daughter’s life.

This is a call to action for anyone who can help. Every contribution, big or small, can make a difference in giving Fatma a fighting chance.

Please share this story and consider donating to support Fatma’s fight for life.

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