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FILE PHOTO: A worker holds coffee berries as they to sundry at the Bradegate coffee factory in Karatina near Nyeri, Kenya June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Monicah MwangiREUTERS

NYERI, Kenya (Reuters) - Kenyan butcher David Mwangi likes to start his day with a mocha or a cappuccino at a newly opened coffee shop in his area - the first such outlet in a farming town where a sweet, milky cup of tea is the way most people start the day.

The small coffee chain - which has six outlets in central Kenya - was founded last year by Joshua Kariuki, who returned home to Nyeri town after 15 years as an aid worker, including in South Sudan.

He hopes Kilele will add profit and value for local farmers as it relies on them for the supply of raw coffee. 

"We want to have a coffee drinking culture at the local level," Kariuki said.

A booming domestic market could nurture a new generation of farmers in a flagging industry, said Matthew Harrison, an Amsterdam-based buyer at specialty coffee sourcing company Trabocca.

Kenya's coffee production peaked at 129,000 tonnes three decades ago but has dropped to around 40,000 tonnes due to poor management, global price swings and climate change.

Now the East African country accounts for just 1% of the global crop, but its high-quality arabica beans are sought after by roasters for blending with other varieties.

Demand at home for the beans is rising, as newly minted members of the urban middle class and even those in the countryside develop a taste for specialty coffee.

Kenyans consume just 5% of total output, compared with neighbouring Ethiopia, where domestic consumption accounts for nearly half of production, thanks to a strong coffee drinking culture. 

But the local consumption in Kenya has tripled to 1,500 metric tonnes per year in the past decade, figures from the global business data portal, Statista, showed.

That benefits farmers like Thuo Mathenge, who closed his medical business in the Kenyan capital Nairobi to return to his village a decade ago. He now processes beans from his sprawling coffee farm at the base of Mount Kenya and sells the product in his retail outlets.

Mathenge attributed the rise in Kenyan coffee culture to the growing knowledge of the beverage's potential benefits, including triggering alertness and boosting energy.

He produces more than 50 tonnes of coffee a year, and the proportion of the coffee he sells locally has doubled to 60% from 30% seven years ago. The rest goes to the United States, Britain and Belgium.

His organically grown, processed coffee fetches 2,000 shillings ($18.49) a kilo, compared with the less than 100 shillings that most small-scale farmers in the area get for their raw coffee abroad, thanks to the fact that he does not use chemicals in growing.

"Coffee is gold," he said, adding that he is planting more coffee trees on a separate 20 acre piece of land.

($1 = 108.1500 Kenyan shillings) (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Anil D'Silva) Copyright 2021 Thomson Reuters/US News

Photo Courtesy DT


Jacob Zuma's case will be heard in open court, after Judge Piet Koen appears to have been persuaded by the former president's team. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The former president will have his in-person hearing next week and get to see advocate Billy Downer face-to-face when his lawyers argue for the prosecutor’s removal from the case. 

On Wednesday morning the Pietermaritzburg High Court issued a directive that the hearing will be heard in open court – something Zuma’s legal team has spent the last month motivating for. 

In their latest submissions to the court, filed on Monday, Zuma’s lawyers said the court’s proposal to have the hearing of Zuma’s special plea application in his Arms Deal corruption trial heard virtually was a violation of the former president’s right to a fair trial.  

“To do so would be unconstitutional and illegal, irrespective of the situation in a particular case, a particular date or the particular circumstance which may or may not prevail on 9 August 2021,” his lawyer said in a short two-page submission to the court.

The National Prosecuting Authority was adamant that the hearing could go ahead virtually because no evidence was expected to be led.  

“A virtual hearing of oral argument of the special plea on 10 August is possible and will be satisfactory in every respect. The parties and their legal representatives and the public (through the broadcasting of the live feed) will be able to observe the proceedings,” the NPA argued.

However, Judge Piet Koen appears to have been persuaded by the Zuma team, revoking his earlier directive of 15 July that the case should be heard virtually. 

In a court order dated 4 August, Koen said the hearing will be conducted “in open court at the High Court in Pietermaritzburg”.

“The currently applicable Disaster Management (Covid) regulations, particularly those regarding the wearing of face masks, maintaining social distance and the restrictions on the numbers of attendees at indoor venues, must at all times be adhered to strictly,” he said.

Indications are that security services will be preparing for crowds to attend the Zuma hearing, as the NPA indicated in its court papers. 

“As to an in-person hearing, the security services have advised the NPA that if an in-person hearing were to take place on 10 August they will take all reasonable steps to ensure that it happens peacefully. They have not given any assurance they will succeed,” the NPA wrote.

“Supporters of the first accused are presently being mobilised on social media to gather in their numbers in Pietermaritzburg on 10 August.”

The NPA also raises concerns about rising Covid-19 numbers in KwaZulu-Natal: “There is no good reason not to opt for a virtual hearing of the oral arguments on 10 August and to assume the risks attendant on an in-person hearing.”

The court has set aside three days to hear Zuma’s special plea in which he wants Downer to be removed as prosecutor, alleging bias. 

Zuma’s team argues that the prosecutor should be removed from the case due to political influence in the prosecution dating back to the origins of the case more than a decade ago. DM

Dianne Hawker is a news editor at Newzroom Afrika and has been a legal journalist for more than 15 years. Source: Defend Truth

Former Defence Minister Elias Kwandikwa working at his parliamentary office. Photo Muungwana Blog


Tanzania’s Defense and National Service Minister Elias Kwandikwa died on Monday night in Dar es Salaam, the office of the president said on Tuesday.

“We have lost an important person whose contribution in the public service will not be forgotten. He was a strong leader who was implementing his duties in accordance with the law and regulations,” the presidency said in a statement, with no mention of the cause of death.

Kwandikwa, 55, has become the first high-ranking official in Tanzania to die since President Samia Suluhu Hassan assumed power in March following the death of her predecessor John Magufuli.

The death of Kwandikwa is a setback to the government as the country is working to defend its territorial integrity since the outbreak of violent insurgency in Mozambique.

The president sent a message of condolences to Gen. Venance Mabeyo, chief of Tanzania’s Defense Forces, over the death of Kwandikwa.

Stargomena Tax, executive secretary of the Southern African Development Community, said the late minister will be remembered for his immense contribution in dealing with violent extremism in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique.

“We have received with great sadness the news of his passing, may the almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace” she tweeted.

Kwandikwa, who was a member of parliament for the Ushetu constituency in the impoverished Shinyanga region, was born on July 1, 1966. He had also worked as deputy minister of works, transport and communications since October 2017. - Kizito Makoye, Anadolu Agency

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.  Image: FILE
In Summary

• The authors had handed it over at the end of May and gave the UK authorities 60 days to respond.

• There has not yet been a response and the UN investigators - known as special rapporteurs - said they were disappointed that there was no apology for what had happened and no move for compensation.


The UK government has reiterated its stance "against cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and punishment" in response to a report by UN investigators on the treatment of Kenyans by the British colonial authorities in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries.

The report, which was made public on Monday, highlighted the horrific abuses people in a part of western Kenya - now Kericho county - were subjected to. 

The authors had handed it over at the end of May and gave the UK authorities 60 days to respond.

There has not yet been a response and the UN investigators - known as special rapporteurs - said they were disappointed that there was no apology for what had happened and no move for compensation. 

In a response sent to the BBC, a government spokesperson said:

“A UK Government statement made in 2013, recognising the victims of torture and ill-treatment during the emergency period, was part of the settlement by the UK Government of claims made by Kenyan citizens. 

“We regret that these abuses took place and that they marred Kenya’s progress towards independence.”

However, the 2013 statement specifically referred to the British treatment of suspected Mau Mau members and others and not the broader context of what happened in the colonial era. BBC/Star

Photo Courtesy PD


A declaration by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka that the vote-rich Mt Kenya region owes him a political debt has attracted mixed reactions.

Kalonzo, who spoke in Mombasa over the weekend, called on the Mt Kenya vote bloc to pay-back for his support of retired President Kibaki during his final term. 

Mt Kenya region has been of interest to presidential candidates hoping to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta once his term ends next year.

Speaking to People Daily, Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo said it would only be fair if Mt Kenya pays back for the good gesture Kalonzo extended to them in the past.

“We have helped Raila for 10 years, we helped Moi for 20 years and Kibaki 10 years. These are 40 years of sacrifice and now it’s their time to pay-back.”

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua who is campaigning for presidency on a development platform dismissed Kalonzo’s take saying that the region owes no one a political debt. 

Mutua, who served as a government spokesman in Kibaki administration, says he stands a better chance of winning the hearts of Mt Kenya region people than any other presidential candidate wishing to succeed Uhuru.

“Mt Kenya has no political debt. I am the only candidate apart from Ruto, who can garner support in Mt Kenya. The people of that region are wary of people who cannot be relied on,” said Mutua.

And for Maanzo, Kalonzo unlike his competitors who are pegging their campaign wishes to economy, he will be telling Kenyans to elect him for peace and unity of a Nation.  

Kalonzo hinted that he will seek  to undo deputy president  William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s influence when he tours the regions in the coming months maintaining he is the best bet for the 2022 presidency.

According to Chama Cha Uzalendo secretary general Phillippe Sadja, the issue of political debt is an unrealistic fallacy. “ The political debt narrative is an issue that I call “a bad strategy,” for any presidential candidate to use to convince voters,” said Sadja. By Mutuku Mwangangi, People Daily

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