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MPs quiz Kenya’s loss of billions at crowded Malaba border post : The Standard

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Heavy commercial vehicles piled up along Malaba-Bungoma road on Saturday June 29, 2019. (Ignatius Odanga/Standard)
Lack of electronic scanners to fast track clearance of trucks, and the poor road infrastructure, are causing huge snarl-ups at the busy Malaba border post and denying the government billions of shillings in revenue.

A parliamentary committee report has also revealed that the congestion has had social consequences, with cases of single parent families, early pregnancies and spread of HIV/Aids on the rise.
And to sum it all, the slow clearance of the commercial trailers is delaying businesses and costing the government millions of shillings in revenue.
The report by the Senate’s Roads and Transport Committee says the situation has been compounded by poor road infrastructure leading to and around the border and inadequate security despite the congestion.
SEE ALSO :KeNHA to open Witeithie footbridge to the publicThe report by the Senator Kimani Wamatangi-led committee indicates that the stalled construction of the Sh622 million One Stop Border Point complex has worsened matters.
While moving the Motion for the adoption of the report, Mr Wamatangi said the construction of a small loop within the border post that would cost the country less than Sh100 million was the reason the entire project failed.
Construction worth almost Sh1 billion had been done yet there was a small loop within the inside of the border post costing less than Sh100 million which was supposed to be constructed.
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The project, which was initiated in 2012, stalled in 2015 for lack of money to complete it.
World Bank, which co-funded the project with the government, pulled out in 2015, leaving the project that had gobbled up Sh496 million in a limbo.
SEE ALSO :Plans for 500km Mau Mau road begin“One of the glaring points that we noted is the fact that, the road is not only narrow, but unsuitable for use by heavy commercial traffic ferrying goods to other countries from Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda,” said Wamatangi.
“It is no longer business worthy for an investor or even a transporter to take their cargo from Mombasa to Uganda, Burundi or Congo. They would rather avoid Kenya and go through Tanzania to find another alternative route because this country could not invest less than Sh100 million to complete a project on which they had already invested almost Sh1 billion,” he said.
In terms of social impact, Wamatangi explained that when the trucks line up the whole of these 20km, drivers and turn boys convert the local area, the roadside and the few homesteads around there into toilets.
“If you look at the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, which we oversight, the amount that it was given from our national budget is close to Sh300 billion. How can one explain that the ministry is not able to set aside less than Sh100 million to complete that? That kind of ineptitude is what we have to call out. If need be, we have to make sure some of those people do not retain their jobs because they are not worth it.”
Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), which implemented the projects, terminated the contract due to lack of finance.
SEE ALSO :Road works could ruin water tower, say conservationistsThe termination, KeNHA explained, was to avoid any anticipated contractual claims from the contractor due to default by the authority to pay for the work done.
Senator Enock Wambua (Kitui), while seconding the Motion, said the government had spent Sh496 million to establish the one-stop border point in Malaba and that the balance for the completion of the project was only Sh58 million.
According to Mr Wambua, and based on the submissions of the Kenya Revenue Authority officers, in a single month with all the problems of traffic, they were collecting more than Sh250 million

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DCI probes Nzoia bosses over Sh961k scandal: The Standard

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KenyaAccording to an insider at Nzoia Sugar, the 228 bags were supplied to a trader based in Nairobi, who made the payment to the miller’s account.

Sleuths from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have started probing senior Nzoia Sugar Company managers over the loss of 228 bags of sugar valued at Sh961,400.
At the centre of investigations are managers of a local bank in Nairobi where the payments to the miller’s account were made, but the money could not be traced thereafter. 
According to an insider at Nzoia Sugar, the 228 bags were supplied to a trader based in Nairobi, who made the payment to the miller’s account.
SEE ALSO: Detectives nab two suspects for conning man Sh72,000
Bungoma South DCI boss Yusuf Nzioka (pictured) told The Standard yesterday that they are following crucial leads that will help in the prosecution of the company’s managers, as well as the bank staffers who were involved in the syndicate.
Nzioka said following the supply of the 228 bags, the trader made payments in cash to the bank, which reflected to the firm’s account but could not be traced later.
“We are following up on how the payments were made in cash to Nzoia Sugar, which reflected in its account but could not be traced. We will leave no stone unturned until all the suspects are prosecuted,” said Nzioka.
Nzoia Sugar Managing Director Michael Wanjala, in a press statement dated May 27, confirmed that the sugar could not be accounted for and a probe was underway. 
“Nzoia Sugar Company has lost 228 bags of sugar worth Sh961,400 to a fraudster who presented a fake cash deposit slip to the company on May 14,” said Wanjala.
SEE ALSO: DCI intercept, arrest man linked with sale of fake alcohol brands
“We would like to confirm that the company reported the case to the relevant authorities and investigations are underway.”
He said a complete report of the investigations would be communicated to the public once the investigation is concluded.
Nzoia Sugar resumed operations on February 14 this year after a five-month maintenance break and has paid farmers Sh180 million since it resumed operations.
“We ask farmers to be patient as we are on the right track, since we have paid out Sh180 million to some of them,” said Wanjala.

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Father, son jailed for 20 and 15 years respectively for raping neighbour: The Standard

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Rift ValleyCourt rules prosecution had submitted enough evidence against the two

A man and his son have been handed 20 and 15 years-jail terms respectively for raping a woman in Kuresoi North in 2018.
John Chirchir, 58 and his son Vincent Lang’at, 28 were found guilty of raping the 28-year-old woman from Telowa village.
According to the court, the two jointly violated the woman who was their neighbour against her will on June 27, 2018.
SEE ALSO: COVID-19: Nakuru MCAs risk lives to meet over Sh14,500 allowance
The two were arrested on the same day and produced before court on the following day for plea taking.
While delivering his judgement, Molo Resident Magistrate Emmanuel Soita said the prosecution led by John Limo had submitted enough evidence against the two.
The Magistrate noted that five witnesses were called on testifies against the suspects.
The same court also handed a ten-year jail term to Samuel Kiprono who is accused of defiling a nine-year-old girl at Keringet area in Kuresoi South.

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Sudan says three jailed Bashir aides have virus

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AFP

By AFP
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Sudanese authorities said Wednesday that three former senior aides to ousted president Omar al-Bashir have caught the novel coronavirus in prison.

Former officials Ali Othman Taha, Ahmed Mohamed Haroun and Abdulreheem Mohamed Hussein have been held in Khartoum’s Kober prison since Bashir’s military ouster in April 2019 following mass protests against his rule.

All three are awaiting trial in Sudan for corruption and other offences.

Haroun and Hussein, who held top government positions under Bashir, are wanted by the International Criminal Court over their role in the Darfur conflict.

On Wednesday, Sudan’s public prosecution said the three men had tested positive for Covid-19, which has so far infected 4,146 people and killed 184 in the country.

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Haroun has been in an isolation centre in northern Khartoum since late April, the statement said.

Prison authorities tested the others on May 20 and transferred Hussein to a hospital in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, and Taha to an isolation centre in central Khartoum, according to the statement.

Taha served as vice president under Bashir between 1998-2013, and was previously Sudan’s foreign minister.

Hussein served in several positions including defence and interior minister. He was also assigned governor of Khartoum before Bashir’s ouster.

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Haroun served as minister of state for the interior, minister of state for humanitarian affairs, and governor of the conflict-ridden South Kordofan.

All three were members of Bashir’s now-defunct National Congress Party.

The Hague-based ICC charged Bashir and others — including Haroun and Hussein — with war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Darfur conflict which erupted in 2003.

The fighting started when ethnic minority rebels took up arms against Bashir’s Arab-dominated government, accusing it of political and economic marginalisation of their region.

The United Nations estimates around 300,000 people were killed and 2.5 million others displaced in the conflict.

Human rights groups say Khartoum targeted suspected pro-rebel ethnic groups with a scorched earth policy, raping, killing, looting and burning villages.

In February, Sudan’s transitional authorities, who took power in August, agreed that Bashir and his aides should stand trial before the ICC.

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