I Will Revoke Fake Titles Without Fear Or Favour: Swazuri

| Caroline Mango

National Land Commission chair, Professor Mohammed Swazuri, says nothing stands in the way of his commission implementing the explosive Ndung’u Report on land without “fear or favour” against some of the most prominent and powerful personalities in the country.

The chairman insists that there will not be ‘piecemeal or selective’ solutions as it seeks to exercise its mandate under the new constitution. He asserts that all public officials or persons and professionals, whether serving in the current government or past regimes, who facilitated or participated in the illegal allocation of public land, will be investigated and prosecuted in accordance with land laws.

Alive to the ‘heat’ that is the Ndung’u Report because of the influential names it lists as being involved in illegal acquisition of public land, Prof. Swazuri says the National Land Commission (NLC)’s ammunition will be the law.

The 2004 report of the Commission of Inquiry into the Illegal Allocations of Public Land chaired by lawyer Paul Ndung’u, and popularly known as the “Ndung’u Report”, mentions a raft of former ministers, MPs, judges, civil servants and military officers as having acquired land illegally. It also alleges that the family of President Uhuru Kenyatta and former presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki illegally acquired chunks of prime land and public utilities along the Coastal strip.

The report recommends that the large majority of such awards be revoked, a recommendation that is now well covered in the mandate of the Swazuri commission, as envisaged in the new constitution.

Mohammed Swazuri

Mohamed Swazuri

When asked by Coast This Week whether the NLC would be bold enough to investigate President Uhuru and/or his family based on sections of the Ndung’u report which suggest that the President’s family owns over half the Coast region, Prof. Swazuri said:  “We are dealing with the law here. Everything is in black and white. This is no big deal. Former President (Moi) has surrendered land voluntarily in Kwale and the serving Vice President (Ruto) has lost land to a citizen of this country through a court of law. The law does not look at who Uhuru is or who Kibaki is, and that should demonstrate that this is not a witch hunting mission.”

The Ndung’u Report’s recommends a process of revocation and rectification of titles in the country, computerization of land records which should be made available to the public for inspection and the establishment of a Land Commission and revocation of the powers of the President and Commissioner of Lands to allocate land as some of the far reaching steps that have now been envisaged in the laws that govern land issues in the country.

Other powerful provisions within the new laws that govern the independent government commission, is for instance, the Land Act 2012 which empowers the state to ‘acquire any title or other interests in land for a public purpose subject to prompt payment of compensation’. The Act also stipulates that private land can be converted into public land through compulsory acquisition, reversion of leasehold interest to government after expiry, transfers or surrender.

Land owners at the Coast who include prominent Arab and Asian families including Swaleh Nguru, the Mazrui dynasty and Abdallah Baghoza are hopeful that the commission will be fair to all those involved and take proper action on those who continue to enjoy ‘ill gotten wealth from fake title deeds.

“The Commission must scrutinize afresh, all title deeds and clean the system that has given these people (grabbers) an easy time, always running along the corridors of justice, every time they are about to be unmasked,” says Munir Mazrui. “Authentication of title deeds will be a very important exercise which will also protect those who acquired land through the right legal processes like myself.”

Prominent Mombasa lawyer and political activist Abubakar Yusuf says the commission has the constitutional and legal framework to discharge its mandate. Yusuf however says the challenge lies on the individual ability by the commission to be bold enough to face the ‘land grabbers’ and take action without fear.

“Land grabbers, whether in this or past regimes, will not sit and fold their arms to wait for Swazuri’s commission or return land they grabbed from poor people,” he says. “The problem if you ask me has never been the law. The problems lie in the implementation of reports that are in public domain and which continue to gather dust in government shelves simply because the forces behind land grabbing have been able to maintain status quo.”

Prof. Swazuri says the commission appreciates the fact that its mandate will face major challenges like transfer of ownership of land but adds that they are empowered to seek correct information, a provision that will allow them trace back documents and refer to various sources.

But critics feel that the national government is clearly by design, interfering and undermining the commission’s purpose which was to work hand in hand with county governments. In response, Prof. Swazuri says that even though the commission is faced with the major issue of under-funding, there is no interference by the national government; notwithstanding the move by the Ministry of Lands to issue over 60,000 title deeds, and more recently, the summoning of all county registrars and their deputies in Nairobi to ‘take stock and facilitate transition’ of land titles.

“The commission was formed under the former President and so far, we feel that the Jubilee government is committed in solving the land issues not only at the Coast but the country as a whole. So far, we are clear and ready to undertake our mandate without fear or favor,” says Prof. Swazuri.


How not to binge eat at Eid

health binge_eating

| CTW Writer

Celebratory occasions and fun days in the company of loved ones with meals of sumptuous food and desserts (particularly when one has been fasting an entire month) can be absolutely irresistible. Eid, Christmas and other holidays often gives us the perfect excuse to binge or in other words, to over eat.

Binge eating means eating a large amount of food in a short period of time. Most of us may overeat during a special occasion, like a holiday. But people who have this disorder binge eat on a regular basis and feel a lack of control over their eating.

It might not sound like a serious thing, but binge eating is a disorder. If you uncontrollably and regularly consume large amounts of food when you are not feeling hungry at a fast rate and to the point when you are uncomfortably full, then you are binge eating.

People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may experience stress, trouble sleeping, and depression. Binge eating disorder may lead to weight gain and to related health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

If you know that you’ll be around family and friends for a great time of indulging in food, be ready for it and try to keep your eating under control. Remember to balance it out the very next day!

 The easiest way to put an end to binging? Drink up! If you feel the urge to keep eating, drink more water it will make you full in an instant! Please bear in mind that we’re talking about water and not sodas or sugary juices.

Too much salt can make you bloated and retain water. Pay attention to the salt content in your meals and try not to consume salty food. Your stomach will thank you for it!

  The day after binge eating, consume more colourful veggies and fruits it will always make you feel better because they are low in calories and high in nutrients and fiber! Still craving for cake? Eat a banana instead!

“Of wigs, weaves and hair-raising predicaments” – Timbuktu

| Timbuktu Express

Toon tim x_48

I am broke and it seems this is becoming routine. The matatu as they say ‘is on stones’ meaning broken down.

I wish vehicles were like people and can be given simple, cash-free mouth to mouth resuscitation every time they act up.

On the other hand, Michelle is also acting up. Her problem is she has not been to the salon in a long time. The gusto with which she harangues me would make you believe that fixing one’s hair is the forth human need after food, shelter and clothing.

But I cannot be fooled because I have the misfortune of intricate knowledge of her. To begin with, the woman is as bald as an egg with just a few tufts here and there upon which they sew a weave when she visits the salon. The entire shaggy mass is then pickled in oil as hot rollers hold it in place to give it a shiny gloss.

Were it not for the fact that her head starts smelling like the operation theatre of a cheap salon after some time, I would appreciate all the money that gets poured into the project.

The whole drama however makes me wish that I could sometimes sleep beside a woman whose head smells human.

“Honey, just this once pray for me,” I plead with her as I head out of the house. “You know how much I would like to meet all your demands and this is guy is promising me a job on the strength of my friend’s recommendation,” I continue.

“Just don’t feed me lies when you come back. I am getting fed up,” she simply said as the looked at her image in the dressing table.

I keep time, dressed to kill in my crisp suit, as I knock on the hotel chain manager’s door. After introducing myself as the cousin to a friend of someone he knew, we settle down to business.

tim toon 60 clean

“The only available vacancy is that of a Maasai,” he tells me blandly. “What do you mean, Sir, after seeing my degree. I will never be a watchman,” I vehemently protest.

“I did not mean a watchman but a Maasai showman. These guys are quite popular with the tourists and you will be surprised how much in tips they take home in addition to the 5K retainer and free meals from the hotel.

“But what if the tourists find out I’m a fraud?” I protest. “Will I not get lynched?”

“I assure you they can’t find out and even if you decided to give yourself away, they won’t understand. Their knowledge of Kiswahili begins and ends with ‘Jambo’.”

I take the job just for the tips. I hear these come in the form of real dollars and Euros and not the local legal tender whose value erodes with every successive regime.

I join our leader who outfits me with a loin cloth, traditional bling, weapons and a pair of shoes made of tires. “All you have to do is leap as high as you can and chant the chorus when the rest are singing.” And that does it for my orientation.

Before we get on stage that evening, a makeup technician fixes a wig on my bald head. It is then smoothed over with mud and animal fat “to make it as colorful as the sun rising over the Savannah” she says.

Poor me, I am no different from Michele with a fake wig dripping of smelly fat. But then again my wig will make money while hers punches a hole in my pocket.

We troop out at the appointed hour after the guests have been dined and are busy getting drunk. The songs go mighty well and we climax to a deafening crescendo when the spirit of the wild takes over and we start leaping high up in the air.

The wazungus are happy and they cheer and clap at our antics as some join the dance.

We almost bring down the house with renditions out of Africa. I can’t wait to start receiving the tips. So when an old German lady approaches me, I welcome her with a big wide Kenyan smile.

“Jambo Herr Masai,” she greets me. “Jambo yourself lady. Hakuna matata,” I yell at her.

That was as far as we could communicate but I understood when she invited me to have a drink on her. I knew European money was headed my way.

We toast our new found friendship after the usual photo shoot during which she stands rather close. I must say the only other thing of interest besides her money is the sweet smell in her hair unlike Michelle’s.

“Mercedes,” I say the only German word I know as I imitate driving. She smiles happily and launches into her language. I of course am interested with what she has to say so I bring in a waiter who understands Deustche.

“Ich bin eine einsame Witwe. Sie wäre mein schöner Maasai Freund einen guten Ehemann,” she says. I look at the translator who shakes his head in disbelief.

“Are you always this lucky mtunguyaz?” he asks winking at me. A kaleidoscope of Deusche Marks in varying denominations flash before me. “She says her husband is dead and you are strong and handsome enough to fit into the old Kampfer’s (soldier) boots,” he tells me with the air of one informing a Kenyan that they have won Tetemesha na Safaricom.

I am shocked beyond words and excuse myself to visit the bathroom. I know I won’t get a Mercedes, but one wife is more than enough. I just hope I don’t get nightmares of her dead husband chasing after me with his Kanonn.

GROWING YOUR MONEY – ABCs for stock market Investors


“If you’re learning to invest, but don’t take action, you’ve done nothing more than those who never bothered to learn in the first place.”  Robert T. Kiyosaki


|  John Macharia(Investment Planner)

Investing in the stock market is a rewarding experience for some and a disappointment for others. Many individuals aspire to own stocks. However, there’s a perception that the stock market is the province of high net-worth persons only.

This is not the case. The market offers equal opportunity to all investors; financial capacity notwithstanding. Some investors start on a wrong footing and end up losing hard-earned cash. They burn their fingers in the first attempt, learn no lessons, and then quit the market with losses and frustration.  This can be avoided. Good knowledge of the basics help you understand how stock trading works.

The first lesson is that those with knowledge about stock trading stand a better chance of success. The second is that even the most refined investors have made losses along the way. Investors should set realistic expectations in terms of returns. Any worthwhile investment will at some point reflect a big profit, big loss, small profit, small loss or breakeven.

What investors seek to do is mitigate big losses and make reasonable returns. One needs to have clear objectives, outlining the amount of money available for investment, time frame to meet these objectives and the risk vis-à-vis expected returns. Once the decision to invest has been made, stock selection follows. This is an obvious but difficult step in stock trading.

With a wide variety of stocks available, one must first consider which sector one wishes to invest in and then start to research on stocks in those selected sectors.  An analysis of each stock to know its actual worth and future prospects is a must, as well as technical analysis to ensure you don’t buy it expensively. As some analysts say, the stock market is 85% psychology and 15% in economics; for one to be a successful investor, good technical analysis is indispensable.

Proper planning, prudence and patience are critical recipes for success.  These guide the decision making process when buying or selling and eschew dealings initiated out of emotion. The plan should include an exit strategy to allow the investor to jump out of the market with profit. For beginners it’s desirable to start small, invest wisely and stay a distance, as you build confidence.

Another aspect that investors tend to overlook is choosing the right stockbroker. A good stockbroker should offer advice, guidance and support to take you through the trading process. A seasoned stockbroker with a good track record can become a powerful partner in pursuit of wealth creation. However it is  important to remember that any investment decisions  you make will ultimately be your own.

The path to investment path can be bumpy. However, if you clearly identify your investment goals, learn investment basics, choose quality stocks and closely monitor and manage your portfolio, you enhance your chances of success.


Work-abroad Scheme To Be Introduced

| Mwamadi Sumbukeni

Youths seeking to work abroad will no longer have to be exploited by greedy middlemen who ask for exorbitant charges for jobs that are already available thereby locking thousands of Kenyans from potential employment.

This is because the Youth Enterprise Development Fund is initiating an ambitious scheme where those seeking for abroad job opportunities will be supported through an integrated process where local job seekers and foreign employers will be handled by a structured labour export secretariat that would cut out job agencies.

A section of youth following proceedings at a chanuka ujitegemee event. PHOTO/Mohamed Seif

A section of youth following proceedings at a Chanuka Ujitegemee event.
PHOTO/Mohamed Seif

A Youth Employment Scheme Abroad (YESA) secretariat will be set up in all 47 Counties where people will be able to upload their credentials and the secretariat will facilitate job searches by scanning opportunities available abroad that matches the particular qualifications of an individual, according to Youth Enterprise Development Fund’s Chairman Gor Semelang’o.

At a time when there have been increasing cases of shoddy employment contracts leading to disputes especially for Kenyans working in the Gulf countries this scheme also means that Kenyans working abroad will be cushioned from the whims of such bosses.

“It means that we will look at the contracts that you sign before you travel abroad and we’ll also be able to inform our ambassadors abroad the people who are going and where they are going and the contract they’ve signed and a copy of that contract so that young people would no longer be molested in foreign countries when they seek these employments” said Mr. Semelang’o.

As part of the scheme those leaving the country will also be granted a migration loan in the form of a three per cent non repayable air ticket loan in addition to free medical test and small upkeep money.

“We are also partnering with the ILO and IOM to do what is called pre-departure training, we train you before you leave the country for the culture shock,” he added.

Noting that this model has been successful in the Philippines he stressed the need of borrowing a leaf from the East Asia country in an effort to streamline the labour export industry.

“That’s how Philippines has done it and we want to do that here because there are many young  people who have skills here but they don’t have jobs,” said Mr. Semelang’o. “It is structured labour export it means we can ask the government to give us a billion and we put back into the economy shs30 billion” he said.

County Set For Population Explosion

Leaders in Kwale County have been urged to clear up misconceptions on family planning and to urge Kwale residents to plan their families so that development can be achieved.

“We have an opportunity to plan our future and our families. We have embarked on a journey to transforming this country. Transforming the population to be self dependent and people live in prosperous country,” said the County Commissioner, Evans Achoki.

Mr Achoki said that Kenya’s Vision 2030, envisage a middle income economy where people shall be able to access their necessities, however Achoki noted that for this to happen effective planning is mandatory.

Kwale’s population as at the 2009 Census was 649,931 persons and is projected to increase to 713,488, 783,261 and 833,527 persons in 2012, 2015 and 2017 respectively.

According to statistics from the National Council for Population Development (NCPD) 36 per cent of county’s residents are youth and 55 per cent are children.

“If (these youth and children) do not realize their dreams then we will have a big problem in our society.” Mr Achoki said adding that society has a role in reminding youth of their role in  development.

“Boys need to be taught that their role is not to impregnate girls and run away and girls needs to be taught how to safeguard themselves from getting early pregnancies.” said Karugu Ngatia, the NCPD Deputy Director Programmes and Coordinating.

Mr Ngatia, who was speaking at a sensitization workshop on the new national population and development policy, emphasised that family planning is not for the women but for the family.


Archbishop: Strikes Will Destroy This Nation

| Mohamed Seif

A senior clergyman is calling for the voice of reason to prevail in the teachers’ strike.

Anglican Archbishop Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala says teachers should be reasonable. PHOTO/Mohamed Seif

Anglican Archbishop Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala says teachers should be reasonable. PHOTO/Mohamed Seif

Speaking in Likoni on Tuesday, Anglican Archbishop Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala said that the agitation for higher salaries by parliamentarians, county reps, nurses and now teachers, are causing the country’s goals to be being sidelined.

“It is almost three years since we started the journey of the new constitution. There were numerous expectations from the constitution that may have made us not to take cognizance of the warnings about the storms that abound the journey,” the Archbishop said.

He said frequent disruptions to the country’s development could be an indication of misplaced priorities including the existence of constitutional gaps, lack of due diligence in ensuring proper planning and a negative societal attitude among others.

“My call is that we need to consult and solve our problems through negotiations because at the end of the day strikes will destroy this nation” he said. “I am persuaded that we will weather these storms if we  stick together and focus on our national goals and aspirations and remain ready to sacrifice for their realization.”