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Machakos governor candidate Nzioka Waita conceded defeat during a press conference. [John Muia, Standard]

Former State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita has conceded defeat in the Machakos gubernatorial race.

His main rival for the Machakos governor seat is former Transport and Infrastructure Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Wavinya Ndeti, running on a Wiper Party ticket.

Addressing journalists on Friday, August 12, Waita congratulated Ndeti and wished her team the best. 

By the time Waita conceded defeat, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had not yet announced the winner of the Machakos gubernatorial race. 

"We are taking this opportunity to formally concede this election and to pass a message to the people of Machakos [County] that we are grateful for the support they gave us.

Election irregularities claims

"We are grateful they came out to vote in large numbers. To the team that will take over, we wish them all the best," he said.

Waita, however, alleged that the Machokos election was marred by irregularities. 

"A number of presiding officers had already taken sides and objections noted by our team was not taken into account.

"Our opponents stormed the polling centres in the middle of the night intimidating the people counting and non of these objections were taken into account," Nzioka lamented.

On February 9, Waita officially resigned as Chief of Staff to focus on his Machakos Governor quest. He and his running mate, Florence Mwangangi, had promised to revive the county’s fortunes by fighting poverty and corruption. The former public servant now says that his ticket ideas carried the day but their opponent's tactics had the way.

The Machokos governor seat had four candidates. Apart from Waita and Ndeti, the other two are Johnson Muthama, United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Chairman and Rose Mulwa who was running under the Empowerment and Liberation Party (ELP). By Stephanie Wangari, The Standard

  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking to Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at a past event.  FILE 
  • Former Vice President, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, played an important role in boosting the numbers of former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, in the August 9 presidential vote.

    According to Forms 34B uploaded on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) portal, Kalonzo's three counties of Ukambani delivered a total of 769,422 votes to the former Prime Minister's basket.

    The data, which represents 75 per cent of the total votes cast in the region, was derived from 22 Form 34Bs representing all the 22 constituencies in the three Ukambani counties - Makueni, Kitui and Machakos. 

    Raila defeated his main competitor, Deputy President William Ruto, with a wide margin. The latter garnered a total of 242,187 votes in the three counties.

    Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka signs the condolence book during the burial of Johnson Muthama's daughter on Monday, May 2, 2022.
    Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka signs the condolence book during the burial of Johnson Muthama's daughter on Monday, May 2, 2022.
    FILE

    According to the data, the former Prime Minister got the most votes from Machakos county which contributed a total of 304,830 votes. This is despite Raila and Kalonzo's fallout with the county's governor, Alfred Mutua. 

    In Makueni, Raila got 229,187 votes while in Kitui, he received 235,408 votes.

    Constituency-wise, the former Prime Minister gained the most from Mbooni Constituency in Machakos County (50,649) followed by Machakos Town (50,114) and Makueni Constituency (48,774).

    Out of the 1,699,724 registered voters in the three counties, 1,030,292 individuals turned up to vote representing a 60 per cent turnout. 8,924 votes were, however, spoilt.

    Kalonzo and Raila entered into an agreement in June 2022 with the Azimio leader promising the former Vice President a Chief Cabinet Secretary slot as well as several Cabinet slots.

    In return, the former Vice President agreed to drop his presidential bid and support Raila.

    Initially, Kalonzo had opted out of the Azimio coalition after protesting for being snubbed as Raila's most preferred running mate. 

    The official presidential results are yet to be announced by the IEBC.

    File photo of Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga reading a Bible in Church
    File photo of Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga reading a Bible in Church. FILE By Derrick Okubasu, Kenyans.co.ke
     
 
  • Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa casting his vote at Kimilili DEB primary school Kimilili Constituency, Bungoma County on August, 9, 2022 FACEBOOK DIDMUS BARASA 
  • The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has deployed a special team of detectives from Nairobi as the manhunt for Kilimili Member of Parliament elect, Didmus Barasa, intensifies.

    Barasa, who is wanted for questioning in relation to an alleged fatal shooting incident of his opponent's aide, has been in hiding since the incident was reported two days ago.

    In a statement on Thursday, August 11, DCI stated that a special team had already been deployed with the Legislator given 6 hours to surrender.

    Members of Kenyas Anti-Terror Police Unit pictured during a drill.
    A photo of a Kenyan police officer conducting a drill at a past training. FILE
     

    "Hon Barasa is wanted for the cold-blooded murder of Brian, whom he shot on the forehead killing him on the spot, on Tuesday, August 8, at Chebukwabi in Kimilili, Bungoma county.

    "A specialized team of sleuths based from the elite Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau and the Homicide department has been dispatched to augment the teams on the ground for his manhunt," read the DCI statement in part. 

    Further, the police warned that action will be taken against those who are found to have aided the legislator in beating the police dragnet.

    The orders by the investigative agencies come a day after various reports indicated that the legislator was seen trying to cross to Uganda.

    On the other hand, the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (ODPP) added that it was treating the matter with urgency, adding that the Barasa was using various tactics to escape arrest.

    Despite being active on social media on numerous occasions, the DPP stated that the MP could not be traced using his phone.

    "DPP Noordin Haji has given directions to have Hon. Didimus Barasa apprehended, record a statement and have the relevant file availed to his office for appropriate action. Barasa who is the incumbent MP, Kimilili Constituency, was reported to have shot and killed Brian Olunga, on 9th August 2022 at Chebukwabi Polling Station.

    "Olunga was a bodyguard to Mr Brian Khaemba, who was Mr Barasa's opponent in the elections. According to police in Bungoma, the MP is still at large and his phone is switched off," read the DPP statement in part. 

    Barasa was elected to serve another term by the Kimilili residents in the just concluded elections.

    However, the Returning Officer declined to release his election certificate saying that the MP must receive it himself.

    How depression pushed Buruburu cop into depression
    Image of DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road   DAILY NATION
     
    fatal murder arrest killed By Washington Owino, Kenyans.co.ke

Photo Courtesy

The energy and climate goals that Western governments, the United Nations, and other organizations are pushing on Africa constitute a crippling blow to its economies. As the least developed region, Africa should unequivocally prioritize economic development. One would think that amid energy poverty in Africa, Western governments and “development” institutions would prioritize energy security for African countries over energy transition.

African countries must have reliable, abundant, and cheap energy (e.g., fossil fuels) to accelerate economic development. Fossil fuels power economies and people’s lives. To deny these countries the possibility of developing with fossil fuels by imposing climate goals that the Western world itself fails to achieve is hypocritical. And malicious.

Climate Alarmism and Energy Hypocrisy

Many environmental and energy experts acknowledge the imperative to address climate change but reiterate that there is no need for apocalyptic alarmism. Bjørn Lomborg is one such expert. In his book False Alarm, he makes the case that climate panic costs trillions of dollars and hurts people in undeveloped countries disproportionately. He warns:

With 194 signatories, the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, the most expensive pact in human history, is likely to incur costs of some $1–$2 trillion per year by 2030. With ever more nations making promises to go carbon neutral over the next decades, these costs could escalate to tens of trillions of dollars annually in the coming years.

Any response to climate change will cost money (if addressing the problem made money, doing so wouldn’t be contentious and we’d already be doing it). If a relatively low-cost policy could fix most of the problem, that could be money well spent. However, it turns out that the Paris Agreement in its best-case scenario will achieve just one percent of what the politicians have promised (keeping temperature rises to 1.5°C (2.7°F)), and at huge cost. It is simply a bad deal for the world.

Worse still, like most governments, African governments are technically insolvent and thus dependent on systemic aid (i.e., loans and grants) to stay afloat. Africa’s tax burdens are rather heavy already. More debt, deficit spending, and heavier taxes further damage Africa’s economies. Fiat money printing cannot help either. In short, African governments cannot afford Western/UN-imposed climate and energy transition goals.

Another such voice is Michael Shellenberger, a veteran environmentalist and author of Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All. Shellenberger has penned a letter in which, on behalf of all environmentalists, he apologizes for the false climate scare. A part of the letter reads:

On behalf of environmentalists everywhere, I would like to formally apologize for the climate scare we created over the last 30 years. Climate change is happening. It’s just not the end of the world. It’s not even our most serious environmental problem. I may seem like a strange person to be saying all of this. I have been a climate activist for 20 years and an environmentalist for 30. But as an energy expert asked by Congress to provide objective expert testimony and invited by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to serve as Expert Reviewer of its next Assessment Report, I feel an obligation to apologize for how badly we environmentalists have misled the public.

Climate alarmism, indeed.

In his article “The Reason Renewables Can’t Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To,” Shellenberger also notes that:

Between 2000 and 2019, Germany grew renewables from 7 percent to 35 percent of its electricity. And as much of Germany’s renewable electricity comes from biomass, which scientists view as polluting and environmentally degrading, as from solar. Of the 7,700 new kilometers of transmission lines needed, only 8 percent have been built, while large-scale electricity storage remains inefficient and expensive. “A large part of the energy used is lost,” the reporters note of a much-hyped hydrogen gas project, “and the efficiency is below 40% … No viable business model can be developed from this.”

Meanwhile, the 20-year subsidies granted to wind, solar, and biogas since 2000 will start coming to an end next year. “The wind power boom is over,” Der Spiegel concludes.

All of which raises a question: if renewables can’t cheaply power Germany, one of the richest and most technologically advanced countries in the world, how could a developing nation like Kenya ever expect them to allow it to “leapfrog” fossil fuels?

Though Germany may be one of the most severely affected countries in the developed world, the energy crisis is undoubtedly global. As such, Germany, the US, China, and other countries are looking to increase coal-fired power generation to mitigate the crisis. In the US, the Biden administration chokes off domestic fossil fuel production but asks Saudi Arabia to increase its own output. Likewise, Europe is looking to African and other countries to secure access to natural gas as the continent moves away from Russian energy.

So, the developed West is looking to fossil fuels to solve its energy problems, but undeveloped Africa should transition to solar and wind?

This brings us to the hypocrisy part. Lomborg wrote:

The developed world’s response to the global energy crisis has put its hypocritical attitude toward fossil fuels on display. Wealthy countries admonish developing ones to use renewable energy. Last month the Group of Seven went so far as to announce they would no longer fund fossil-fuel development abroad. Meanwhile, Europe and the U.S. are begging Arab nations to expand oil production. Germany is reopening coal power plants, and Spain and Italy are spending big on African gas production. So many European countries have asked Botswana to mine more coal that the nation will more than double its exports.

Meanwhile, South Africa is getting money from Western countries to phase out coal while the same Western countries look to increase coal-fired electricity generation. The display of hypocrisy is blatant and will severely undermine Africa’s economic development. But though Western meddling has been harmful, if today African economies are still undeveloped and in a precarious state—over fifty years since “independence,” Africans should look at the leadership, or the lack thereof, as the ultimate culprit.

Energy Transition? Not Exactly

In theory, there is an energy translation happening. In reality, no such thing is taking place. Today’s global energy crisis conclusively demonstrates that the world desperately needs more, not less, fossil fuels. Consider the case of biomass, the first energy source used by humans. Despite tremendous advancements in technology and the existence of coal, oil, and natural gas, biomass is still part of today’s energy mix. This being the case, it does not make sense even to talk about phasing out fossil fuels, which meet almost 80 percent of the world’s energy needs. To think otherwise is absurd.

There is no such thing as an energy transition happening. What we do have is energy source accumulation. Humanity started with biomass and over time added coal, hydro, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar. Today we can use these energy sources combined. Not exactly a transition.

Source: Visual Capitalist

A transition from fossil energy to wind and solar is unattainable for material, technological, and environmental reasons, among others. All existing wind and solar farms’ combined energy output does not even supply 5 percent of the world’s energy needs, yet their environmental harm is already noticeable. For example, West-funded wind farms in Kenya threaten birdlife, including endangered species. Same in the US, where wind turbines have been killing eagles and other rare birds.

Only one energy source can enable humanity to phase out coal, oil, and natural gas. And that is nuclear. Nuclear power can provide clean, reliable, abundant, and cheap energy for everyone and for the foreseeable future. So, if we are serious about net-zero emissions and environmental protection, we must embrace nuclear power. Yes, it is safe, and can be made even safer.

 

Africa’s Way Out of Energy Poverty

Before I was born, Angola already was mired in severe and chronic energy problems. I am gravitating toward forty years of age, and Angola is still mired in these problems.

The government controls the production and distribution of energy products and services through companies that it wholly or partially owns. Undeniably, the government has failed to provide Angolans with reliable, abundant, and cheap energy goods and services. Angola’s government is not the only African government that failed to deliver energy prosperity to its people. Energy woes are entrenched across the continent. Even in South Africa, Africa’s most developed energy state, the energy situation is going from bad to worse.

African governments should finally step aside, which is the least they could do after decades of accumulated policy failures, and let free enterprise and free trade reign in energy production and distribution. Anyone able and willing to produce, distribute, and sell energy goods and services should be free to do so. The onerous mountains of regulations and bureaucratic measures must be removed.

Politicians failed to deliver energy prosperity. Now politicians should have humility and let markets perform their economic miracle. The free market is the fastest and most effective approach to making African societies sustainably energy rich.

Conclusion

Climate change is real. And so are climate alarmism, ecocolonialism, and Western energy hypocrisy. Environmental and energy policies based on pseudoscience and exaggerated reports are pushing even advanced economies such as Germany and California toward energy precarity and potential blackouts. But that pales in comparison to the harm ecocolonialism can do, and in fact does, to African economies and lives. Still, however hypocritical and malicious Western regimes may be, the responsibility for energy abundance and economic development lies entirely with Africa’s decision-makers. Mises Wire

 

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Photo Courtesy

Two polling stations in Malava Constituency, where voting was done manually, are yet to transmit their Forms 34 A to the national tallying centre in Bomas of Kenya, the electoral body says.

This comes at a time when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that 46, 156 out of 46, 229 polling stations had transmitted their Forms 34A. 

This represents 99.84 per cent. It means that only 73 polling stations are yet to transmit their Forms 34A. The results from areas where voting was done manually have all transmitted their Forms 34A except two in Malava constituency. Remember we allowed manual voting in some parts of Kakamega and Makueni Counties,” Chebukati said.

“Transmission of Forms 34A is currently at 99.84 per cent. So far 46, 156 polling stations out of the total 46, 229. We will give more updates on progress by end of the day,”.

Chebukati has also urged Kenyans to remain calm until the commission declares the winner of the presidential election.

“The commission gave access to media in polling stations as well as the portal. Our intention was to have media joined to report results from one source but they opted to do it independently,” he added. 

“Tallies vary because each media house access the portal and the Forms 34A at different times and using different criteria. The final announcement and declaration will be done by the IEBC chairman. I hope the results will be similar,” 

On the other hand, IEBC commissioner Abdi Guliye has also warned candidates in areas where elections were suspended against campaigning. He has reiterated that the official campaign period was closed.

“You cannot campaign in areas where the election was suspended because the official campaign period is over,” commissioner Guliye said. By Winfrey Owino, The Standard

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