The Court of Appeal has stopped more than 1,300 coffee pickers from having their battle with late Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume (pictured) over a 518-acre piece of land worth Sh3 billion in Kiambu County heard by the Supreme Court.
According to Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Hannah Okwengu and Sankale Ole Kantai, the issues they want to raise before the highest court in the land are similar to what had been settled and there were no conflicting verdicts that would prompt the court to ask the Supreme Court to intervene.
“The identified issues do not raise any novel issues that have not been determined before nor is there in existence conflicting decisions arising from similar situations which will require the Supreme Court to address,” the court ruled.
This saga began when Ms Norah Fangor sold the piece of land and moved to Malindi where she died, leaving two warring factions, one led by former powerful minister Njenga Karume and the other consisting of coffee pickers, fighting over ownership.
The battle over Kiu River Farm involves Gitamaiyu Trading Farmers and the Nyakinyua Mugumo Kiambaa company and has outlasted the reigns of Presidents Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel Arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki, and spilt into President Uhuru Kenyatta rule.
The pickers first sought the President’s intervention and when that failed, they turned to the courts. The Gitamaiyu group, comprising 600 members, most of them landless, claimed they bought the expansive land, causing Mzee Kenyatta to summon Karume to State House Nakuru to explain what was happening.
In a letter dated August 15, 1977, by Francis Da Gama Rose and Company advocates and signed by the then Gitamayu chairman Njuguna Kaguima, treasurer Charity Wanjiku and Secretary Peter Waruinge, it was alleged that Fangor offered that to sell her land for the first time in 1973 at a cost of Sh1.5 million.
She allegedly raised the price one year later, in 1974, to Sh2 million, which Gitamayu members claimed they agreed to pay. Gitamayu alleges that they signed a sale agreement for the land in February 1977, but without transfer since Norah failed to sign land consent forms.
In total, Gitamaiyu claims they paid Sh1 million in cash to Fangor and the remaining cash in coffee picking dues.
But in a rebuttal, Karume claimed that the first sale proposal was to him in 1975 at Sh 2.68 million, which he was allegedly required to pay 10 per cent deposit within a day, which he did.
“I am replying to your letter dated January 3, 1980, which was attached with a petition by members of Gitamaiyu Trading Company Limited to His Excellency the President. The above farm was offered to me in 1975 at Sh 268,000 and the owner gave me one day to pay a 10 per cent deposit.
“I accepted the offer and promised to pay the deposit as required,” the late Karume explained to the District Commissioner in a letter dated January 30, 1981.
Karume said that he opted to look for potential groups which would buy the land but found none. He opted to ask Ite Farmers, whose membership incorporated some of his employees. He stated that two days after his proposal to Ite Farmers, Gitamaiyu directors approached him offering to refund his deposit as they had allegedly collected Sh300,000. They, however, did not honour their promise.
“They told me they had been collecting money to buy that farm on which some of their members lived as squatters,” Karume said.
He claimed that the seller returned his deposit and that he approached Kiambaa and Nyakinyua Women who were over 300 in number with an offer for the land.
The Gitamaiyu group claimed that Karume’s wife, Wariara Karume, was the chairperson of Mugumo Nyakinyua Farmers Company.
But in his letter, Karume denied that his wife Wariara was the chairperson of the Mugumo group. He said that she was only persuaded to become a shareholder by the women in the group, adding that some of the women were even linked to the Gitamaiyu one.
“After the women bought 100 per cent shares in the company, the directors of Gitamaiyu went to the late President and told him that I had denied them the right to buy the farm and instead bought it for myself.
“On coming back from overseas, I was called (sic) to Nakuru. I told him that this farm was bought by Mugumo Nyakinyua Kiambaa Co.Ltd,” the letter read.
According to Karume, Fangor died before signing the land consent form, but Charles Njonjo, who was minister for Home and Constitutional Affairs in President Moi’s Government at that time, allegedly intervened.
The standoff spilt into the courts in 1994 and was determined by High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule who dismissed Gitamaiyu’s case. They filed an appeal in 2013. The case is yet to be determined to date. - Kamau Muthoni, The Standard
KITUI, Kenya, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday joined citizens in mourning the death of 24 people who drowned after a bus with more than 30 passengers plunged into River Enziu at a village in Kitui County, eastern part of the country.
Kenyatta sent his condolences to the families that lost their loved ones in the unfortunate incident in Mwingi area when a bus they were traveling in plunged into River Enziu on Saturday afternoon.
The police said the passengers who were choir members of Mwingi Catholic Church were heading for a wedding in the Nuu area from Mwingi Town on Saturday.
Mwingi East Sub-County Commander Joseph Yakan said the driver of the bus was attempting to drive the vehicle past a flooded bridge when water tides overpowered the vehicle, sweeping it into the river.
Yakan said the bodies of the 24 people who died have been recovered while 12 others were rescued after the incident.
He said the 12 survivors include four children and eight adults, adding that 15 of the dead are members of the same family who were going to attend a wedding. - Xinhua
The fashion industry could make or break global climate goals. The industry is responsible for between 4% to 10% of global emissions and is the second biggest consumer of water. This problem could get worse: a continual rise in global GDP has increased income worldwide, leading consumers to purchase new clothes more frequently. The industry must achieve an absolute emissions reduction of 45% by 2030 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F). However, emissions will grow to 1.588 gigatons by 2030 without immediate action.
The industry will need to address the significant amount of waste it produces to achieve this emissions reduction. Post-production textile waste is one contributor, as up to 20% of fabric is lost during clothing production. This waste produces its own emissions through transportation to landfills or those released when clothes are burned.
Challenges in addressing waste are especially pronounced in East Africa. The region produces a large amount of the global share of textiles and, as a result, contributes a lot of post-production waste. In Kenya, garment manufacturers generate an estimated 400,000 tons of cotton waste per year, which often ends up in toxic dumps that pollute soil and put waste pickers at risk. Even when manufacturers can recycle materials, they lack circular waste-to-value solutions that maintain the value of textiles. As a result, textiles are often converted into lower quality materials with reduced functionality like floor mats, cushion stuffing and insulation material.
The fashion sector, in East Africa and beyond, needs transformative solutions to reduce waste. One partnership in Kenya is successfully showing what these solutions can look like in practice. Their work could provide valuable lessons for other countries around the world as they shift their fashion industries toward more sustainable methods. This shift, in turn, will help achieve global climate goals and economic growth.
A New Partnership Transforming the Fashion System
Reducing waste throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing to recycling, requires an intermediary that can process waste into sustainable raw materials for new clothing production. That is where Closing the Loop on Textile Waste in Kenya comes in. They use a revolutionary chemical recycling technology, developed by U.S.-based company PurFi, which recycles textile waste into high-quality products that can be re-used in new manufacturing.
This technology uses 99% less water, up to 90% less greenhouse gas emissions and 90% less energy than typical approaches to textile waste recycling. While chemical use itself isn’t environmentally neutral — more than 15,000 chemicals are associated with garment production, some of which are toxic — PurFi’s innovative rejuvenation technology maintains a closed process that absorbs the recycling chemicals back into the resulting fabric.
In addition to climate benefits, the partnership exemplifies how social equity and environmental impact intertwine. They train previously unemployed women in the community, helping ensure decent and safe jobs that allow them to provide for their families. This all-women sorting team processes 36,000 kg of waste per month and is working to scale that up to 100,000 kg per month. Collectively, the partnership has sold 100,000 kg of textile cotton waste so far.
This multistakeholder initiative — led by the non-profit Enviu, alongside PurFi and Upset Sourcing East Africa — is built on a successful 2018 project from India. Kenya’s growing textile production and lack of recycling solutions created the perfect opportunity for the partnership to replicate India’s model.
Each year, Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) State-of-the-Art Partnership Awards recognize the world’s most impactful partnerships that are accelerating innovative business models. Closing the Loop on Textile Waste earned the Partnership of the Year for 2021, announced at COP26, for its work to transform textile recycling throughout Africa.
The Future of Closing the Loop and Kenya’s Fashion Industry
Closing the Loop’s work is happening at a critical time, as Kenya is rapidly expanding its prominence in the fashion industry. Rebuilding Kenya’s domestic textile industry is a national priority in Kenya’s Big Four Agenda, which emphasizes job creation in the manufacturing sector and improved living standards. Recent trade agreements and the creation of special economic zones have also incentivized growth in textile manufacturing for export. As a result, Kenya’s textiles and garments export is projected to increase by 25% each year over the next five years.
While the expansion of Kenya’s textile industry will lead to important economic growth, post-production waste is already piling up as a result. The partnership is working to expand alongside the industry and embed recycling practices into the supply chain through two critical approaches:
1. Public-Private Collaboration
Closing the Loop’s waste-to-value solution gives them a unique opportunity to support both government agencies and garment manufacturers in solving the textile waste challenge.
The partnership has engaged Kenya’s Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) under the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and Enterprise Development, which is responsible for promoting export-oriented commercial initiatives. EPZA currently lacks sustainable and circular solutions to manage the massive amounts of textile waste generated by large garment manufacturers inside their agency. At the same time, 450 new production lines are being developed inside EPZA, which will lead to more post-production waste.
By collaborating with EPZA, Closing the Loop can provide the agency with the circular solutions they currently lack. The partnership will have access to the textile waste generated in both old and new production lines, which will allow them to recycle even more materials.
The partnership has also signed sourcing agreements with waste management companies and manufacturers in Kenya. By building deep integration with suppliers, the partnership can closely trace waste throughout their supply chain. Traceability is often difficult, as a complex web of intermediaries source and manufacture different products. By working closely with multiple manufacturers, the partnership will have better insights into where the most waste is produced, and in turn, allow them to better prevent and recycle that waste.
2. Increased Scale and Efficiency
Closing the Loop’s collaborations will allow the partnership to access and recycle more waste than ever before. On the flip side, being able to process such a large amount of waste will require the partnership to work more efficiently and at a larger scale. Recognizing this, Closing the Loop plans to expand to a larger facility where they can store more post-production materials, hire more staff and access more tools. This will allow the partnership to sort the massive influx of waste they will receive.
In addition to increased waste reduction, expanding their work will have economic benefits for the partnership and the communities they work in. Larger waste volumes from suppliers and increased sorter output will reduce the cost per sorted kilogram of waste. This will also allow the partnership to continue providing socially fair jobs and contribute to Kenya’s Big Four Agenda.
Ultimately, Closing the Loop plans to expand its technology across Kenya and build a network of local, robust textile waste centers. This network would return recycled post-production waste to the same companies who produced it. In turn, they would facilitate a constant flow of waste material for rejuvenation. If they are successful, the partnership will play a major role to help Kenya’s textile industry transition from existing ineffective informal waste systems to a formal circular system.
Creating a Sustainable Global Fashion Industry
The Closing the Loop on Textile Waste initiative shows it is possible to shift to circular textile waste management, foster social equity and create jobs in the communities most impacted by the industry. This inclusive model demonstrates that local solutions can play a larger role toward the transition to sustainable practices. Additionally, these solutions can lead to large-scale benefits: Addressing environmental challenges in textile production would not only combat climate change, but provide a $192 billion overall benefit to the global economy by 2030.
P4G is developing a cluster of partnerships that, like Closing the Loop, are turning waste into an asset across textiles, plastics and food. Closing the Loop builds on synergies with P4G’s Circular Fashion Partnership, which brings together brands, manufacturers and recyclers to increase the value of waste by repurposing it into new textile products in Bangladesh. Through collaborating and sharing lessons across the globe on textile reuse and recycling, these partnerships have the potential to broaden their impact, improve transparency and trace waste across the global fashion system.
The world needs more innovative business models that rapidly transform traditional systems. Partnerships can advance these models across the supply chain, but only with support from investors and fashion industry stakeholders. If they follow the example of Closing the Loop, they can achieve the collaboration and scale necessary to create a truly sustainable fashion industry. - Ian de Cruz and Robyn McGuckin, World Resources Institute
Chief Justice Martha Koome during the swearing-in ceremony of Court of Appeal president Daniel Musinga at the Supreme Court on June 11. Image:FILE
This has at times made the media a flawed agent of accountable governance," Koome said.
• Koome noted that the Judiciary and the media were blamed for contributing to the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
• The CJ noted that the media plays a critical in the democratic lifeblood of a country, but it has in some instances become a weakness because of the interests of media owners.
Chief Justice Martha Koome has said that the media should adopt a more activist role when reporting the news.
Speaking on Friday, at the Editors Guild Convention, the Chief Justice said that media should embrace its accountability role as an independent institution in the political system and promote a healthy, accountable democratic discourse.
Koome stated that this role will mean that the media will speak with its own voice and not merely echo the voice of the political actors.
"This will necessitate embracing a “more activist role” that involves asserting the media’s own voice in commentary and analysis, scrutinizing the consequences of the utterances and policy proposals by political actors, and promoting the idea of peaceful national co-existence and resolution of any electoral disputes," she said.
"It is when you adopt the activist role that I have talked about that the Kenyan media will fulfil the media’s historic role as the fourth estate which is to be a force for the promotion of democratic governance."
The CJ noted that the media plays a critical in the democratic lifeblood of a country, but it has in some instances become a weakness because of the interests of media owners.
"This has at times made the media a flawed agent of accountable governance," Koome said.
She said the growth of our young democracy demands public and private media houses to assert editorial independence.
Koome promised the support of the Judiciary as the media embraces this for good of the country, as we approach the electioneering period.
"I, therefore, urge the Editors Guild to be at the forefront in steering the vocation of journalism and the media industry towards the pursuit of editorial independence and political neutrality in its reporting, analysis, and commentary."
The Chief Justice said that the judiciary has constituted a Judiciary Committee on Elections and developed a comprehensive work plan to train judges, judicial officers and staff on efficient mechanisms to handle election disputes.
Koome noted that the Judiciary and the media were blamed for contributing to the 2007/2008 post-election violence. Edited by D Tarus, The Star
Kenya's Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau speaking during a diplomatic briefing in the capital Nairobi on November 29, 2021.
NAIROBI, Kenya Nov30-Kenya has slammed measures taken by various nations against countries that have detected the new COVID-19 Omicron strain, mainly in Southern Africa.
Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau said shutting borders can not be a solution to the war against the virus, and urged better policies, including capacity building.
“We believe that we don’t support each other as a global community by locking up each other. What the world needs now is the building of capacity to deal with the realities of COVID-19. Knee jerk reactions targeting specific Nations is not the answer to a disease that will mutate with time,” Macharia said Monday.
Various European nations have closed borders, in measures targetting Southern African countries and others from the continent where the new strain has been detected.
Kamau said that the time is ripe for the global community to adjust to the new normal of a mutating virus and that locking out certain countries will not support the fight against the pandemic.
“For Covid-19 to end, it will take time and therefore, as a country, we believe we have to adjust to the new normal,” Macharia stated.
Kenya’s Health Ministry has said there are no immediate plans to close borders or resort to extreme containment measures following the discovery of the new virus elsewhere.
“Whether the mutation will work to weaken or strengthen the virus only time will tell. Kenya is ready and willing to work with her partners to find innovative ways of dealing with this new reality,” Kamau said during the diplomatic briefing on the upcoming major conferences which Kenya will play a major role including UNEA5.2, UNEP@50, Africities, Stockholm+50 and 2nd UN Oceans Conference to be held early 2022.
The Omicron COVID-19 variant which was detected last week in South Africa has been identified in Europe – two in the UK, two in Germany, one in Belgium and another one in Italy, while a suspected case was found in the Czech Republic.
The United Kingdom and Israel have already banned flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe over the fast-spreading variant.
Despite the scenario, Kenya has recommended that UNEA 5.2 which is scheduled for February 8, 2022 to March 2, 2022 and UNEP@50 which will be held on 3rd to 4th March will be physical.
“Our current realities in this era of the COVID-19 pandemic call for extra care and vigilance to ensure that delegates are safe, and receive the necessary care in the event of any exposures. To this end I wish to reaffirm that the Government of Kenya has the requisite capacity to support the hosting of the two meetings,” he assured.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry also assured the diplomatic community that a government task force will be formed involving the MOH, Ministry of Interior, Foreign Affairs, and other stakeholders to ensure coordination so as to make the event a success.
“Kenya’s has an acclaimed track record in the successful hosting of international conferences and UNEA 5.2 and UNEP@50 will be no different. It is our aspiration that UNEA 5.2 and UNEP@50 will both be held in person, with representation at the level of Head of State. The proposed configuration for the meetings is 1+4,” Kamau said.
Apart from the Africities event the country is set to hold, the rest require a budget of $5 million dollars to ensure efficiency and a successful event. Kenya is currently is facing a shortfall of approximately $4 million.
“I urge all Member States to be receptive and answer to the call for voluntary contributions in cash and in-kind to supplement any identified gaps in the budget,” said Kamau. By Irene Mwangi, Capital News
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