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Archive for September 30th, 2011

Don charged with stalking Catholic nun

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2011

A lecturer at the University of Nairobi was yesterday charged with stalking a Catholic nun. Gatune Mwaura Kingstone denied the charge of creating a disturbance by running  after Sister Josephine Warua Kariuki, of Our Lady of Peace Church and taking her photographs without her consent.

Warua, 48, said she noticed the man as she was walking by a hospital on  her way to the post office. She said when she realised he was taking her photos with a digital camera, she told him to stop but he refused  saying he would  continue.

An altercation ensued attracting a crowd of people. By the time police  arrived at the scene, Mwaura had reportedly deleted the pictures from  the camera. He was arrested  and booked at the Karen police station and the camera was impounded.

He denied the charge and was released on a Sh10,000 bond by Kibera principal magistrate Frida Nyakundi. The hearing will be on October 31 but will be mentioned in two weeks.

Source: http://www.the-star.co.ke/national/national/42418-don-charged-with-stalking-catholic-nun

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Nairobi on list of worst places to park

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2011

Nairobi drivers are among the most frustrated in the world according to a survey that was carried out by IBM.

The IBM Global Parking Survey, which was released Thursday, said that lack of parking spaces had driven motorists to despair with some venting their anger on other motorists. (See related: Nairobi among cities with worst jams)

“In the past year, nearly six out of 10 drivers have abandoned their search for a space at least once, and more than a quarter have argued with a fellow motorist over a parking space,” said the report.

Nairobi drivers are as frustrated as their Bangalore, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Mexico City, Milan, Paris and Shenzhen counterparts.

Drivers in Nairobi averaged 31.7 minutes in their longest search for a parking spot compared to 30 minutes in Bangalore and 41 minutes in Milan.

The time spent looking for parking has both a financial and emotional cost and IBM hopes that this data will be used by urban planners to better manage traffic in the city.

“Today, there is a massive amount of transportation data available that can help cities alleviate congestion and improve transportation services, such as parking,” said IBM Smarter Cities global general manager Gerry Mooney.

IBM East Africa country manager Tony Mwai said that combining both the information collected and the needs of drivers can better match the limited parking supply against the massive demand.

This is expected to ease the gridlock, which according to a Kenya Bus Service study carried out in 2008 found that traffic jams cost the country nearly Sh30 billion annually.

The IBM global parking survey collected data from 8,042 commuters in 20 cities around the world and is part of IBM’s annual Commuter Pain survey which is  conducted to better understand consumer attitudes around traffic congestion, as the issue reaches crisis proportions around the world, and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns.

jgachiri@ke.nationmedia.com

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/Nairobi+on+list+of+worst+places+to+park/-/539550/1245230/-/enf6dcz/-/index.html

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US firms step up race for Kenya’s high-end market

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2011

Workers pack drugs for export at a pharmaceutical factory in China. US companies have shown renewed interest in Kenya after China’s gains. FILE

Workers pack drugs for export at a pharmaceutical factory in China. US companies have shown renewed interest in Kenya after China’s gains. FILE

A number of US-based companies dealing in high-tech products are lining up to enter the Kenyan market over the next six months as America races to protect its share of the East African market from Asian countries.

Chinese, South Korean and Indian exports to Kenya have grown steadily in recent years at the expense of the US and other western nations.

This shift in trade ties is behind America’s rising concern over Asia’s growing power in East Africa’s largest economy as recently revealed in leaked diplomatic cables.

Now, the US’s chamber of Commerce is scouring for opportunities for its firms with bias in the services sectors where its sees little competition from Asian countries that flooded the Kenyan economy with low cost electronics, clothes and toys.

Some of the firms looking to set up shop in Kenya are Marriot Hotels, military and civilian engineering company BAE Systems, solar water systems contractor DACC Global and private security and disaster response firm Pax Mondial, says Camille Richardson, the commercial counsellor at the US Embassy in Nairobi.

Others such as IBM and General Electric are planning to expand their operations in the country.

“We have had many inquiries in the last few months from American companies that want to set up in Kenya. We are telling them this is the best time to come in because of ongoing reforms,” said Mr Richardson.

He added that US could pose stiffer competition in the services sector where it sees no competition, as Asian firms led by China dominate infrastructure business.

Production and export of cheap toys, mobile phones, radios, television sets and clothes has fuelled China’s booming economy in the past decade, propelling it to the world’s second largest and sparking debate over how best America should respond.

Medical equipment

While China’s cheap goods have flooded the streets and supermarkets in Africa, America is set to deepen its presence in the high-tech goods market such as planes, medicines and medical equipment.

This is expected to cause worry to both Japan and US, who for decades have controlled a larger share of the hi-tech market including software development, medicine and aerospace while  China has increased its research spending by 10 per cent each year for the past decade.

Over the last 10 years, the sales of Chinese goods in sub-Saharan Africa rose more than eight times and Chinese firms have won major construction deals in the region, causing jitters in Western capitals. China’s main interest in Kenya has been in infrastructure that also helps open untapped markets and vast natural resources tucked away in neighbouring Uganda, Sudan, and parts of the DR Congo.

US is also seeking to increase its trading volume with Kenya, which has had stagnant growth .Volume of trade between Kenya and US grew from Sh35.9 billion in 2002 to Sh68 billion in 2010 compared to growth of Kenya-China trade from sh6.3 billion in 2002 to sh180 billion in 2010.

US embassy officials said US will increasingly focus on the high end market where it believes it has an edge even as China moves up the ladder in research and development (R&D) investments. Data from R&D Magazine reckons growth in US research funding will slow down this year, while China is expected to eclipse Japan for second place globally in R&D investments.

But the official said the growing interest in Kenya from US companies is not a response to growing presence of Chinese companies but is because of  business reforms.

US companies are generally more sensitive on political process and business environment issues in non-oil producing countries they invest in unlike Chinese companies whose choice of where to invest is only influence by level of personnel security and whether that country respects the one China policy.

smbogo@ke.nationmedia.com

Source: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate+News/US+firms+step+up+race+for+Kenya+high+end+market/-/539550/1244618/-/9t2kqv/-/index.html

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Kenyan nabbed in airport for cocaine

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2011

CEBU CITY — A Kenyan woman was arrested at the Mactan airport minutes after she alighted from the plane that left Doha, Qatar.

 

Asha Apiano Ogutu, 24, of Nairobi, Kenya, was said to be carrying two to three kilos of powder that authorities suspected to be shabu.

 

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Ogutu was onboard Flight 656 of Qatar Airlines, which arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport from Qatar at 4:45 p.m. Thursday.

 

A joint team of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) made the arrest.

 

BOC Sub-Port of Mactan Examineer Calvin Bonaobra said that using an NBI information, Ogutu was placed under surveillance upon her arrival.

 

He said the dogs sniffed Ogutu’s brown trolley bag much longer.

 

Bonaobra opened Ogutu’s bag and found two large silver packs hidden in the bag’s linings.

 

Each weighed 1.5 kilograms and would have a street value of P15 million.
An initial chemical test done by Dr. Rene Cam of NBI Central Visayas found it to be positive of illegal drugs. A confirmatory test will be conducted.

 

NBI Regional Director Edward Villarta said they received information from the central office that a courier from Doha was flying in to Cebu with a package containing illegal drugs.

 

Ogutu refused to issue any statement.

 

BOC Sub-Port of Mactan Collector Paul Alcazaren said under the law, the BOC has exclusive jurisdiction over the illegal drugs and therefore, it’s his office that will file charges against Ogutu.

 

But the NBI wanted to take custody of the drugs, Alcazaren said.

 

But before they booked and detained Ogutu, the law enforcers quarreled over who got custody of the confiscated items.

 

BOC District Collector Ronnie Silvestre, in an interview, said it was only an argument over jurisdiction, as the arrest was done in the BOC zone.

 

Silvestre said he talked with Villarta about the incident and settled things.

 

Villarta said his office coordinated with the government agencies before he carried out the operation.

 

Silvestre said they’ve learned a lesson when they arrested two Chinese nationals last March 2011 for carrying three kilos of white powder, which were found to be ephedrine, a 95 percent ingredient of shabu, during a field test conducted by laboratory experts of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) infront of ABS-CBN and GMA 7.

 

However, the PDEA in Manila who conducted the confirmatory test declared it to be negative of ephedrine. The Chinese were released. (EOB/JKV/Sun.Star Cebu)

Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/local-news/2011/09/30/2-kilos-shabu-found-luggage-kenyan-182261

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What we want: Kenyans in Diaspora speak out

Posted by Administrator on September 30, 2011

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