Elgeyo Marakwet Authorities Strategize on Combatting Banditry

ELGEYO MARAKWET – Local security officials in Elgeyo Marakwet County convened a critical meeting in Chesongoch, Marakwet East, to formulate strategies against the recent surge in banditry that has led to school closures and the displacement of hundreds of families in the area. The session was aimed at discussing sustainable peace solutions and security measures to counter the escalating banditry incidents.

According to Kenya News Agency, the meeting was essential, especially following a brief period of calm, to consolidate gains and address the urgent need for enhanced security. The region has been experiencing recurrent cattle raids and violent attacks, prompting significant concern and the need for decisive action. In response to the President’s directive, local security forces have relocated police posts closer to the Kerio River, achieving about 70% of the intended relocation goals to date.

Korir elaborated on the operational improvements made, including the construction of access roads to new police posts and camps, which has significantly boosted the response capabilities of security personnel. Despite these advances, he underscored the necessity for continued vigilance and inter-agency cooperation to tackle the underlying issues fueling banditry.

In addition to law enforcement efforts, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich called for community involvement in promoting peace and collaboration with security forces. Acknowledging recent successes in recovering stolen cattle, with 80% already returned to rightful owners, both Korir and Rotich emphasized the ongoing commitment to recovering the remaining livestock and ensuring the safety and well-being of the county’s residents.

Governor Rotich also highlighted plans to improve local infrastructure and convene meetings with various community stakeholders, including professionals and local leaders, to develop a comprehensive approach to eradicating banditry. Such initiatives aim to foster a sense of community resilience and collective responsibility in maintaining peace and security across Elgeyo Marakwet.

Kenya Communication Authority Unveils New Broadcasting Programming Code

NAIROBI – The Communication Authority of Kenya (CA) has officially announced the release of the 4th Edition of the Programming Code for broadcasters, a significant development aimed at enhancing the quality and relevance of broadcasting content across the nation. This latest version of the code has been established following extensive public consultations and is designed to address the evolving needs and standards of the broadcasting sector.

According to Kenya News Agency, the new Programming Code was formalized after a thorough review process, incorporating feedback from various stakeholders. It was gazetted on March 8, 2024, marking a crucial step towards its implementation. The CA’s announcement highlighted the availability of the Programming Code for free download on its official website, encouraging all broadcasting licensees to familiarize themselves with its provisions.

The directive from the CA mandates compliance with the Programming Code for all broadcasting service providers. This adherence is essential not only for maintaining broadcast standards that resonate with the diverse Kenyan audience but also for ensuring the integrity and accountability of the broadcasting industry. Licensees are advised that compliance with the Programming Code is integral to the annual certification process and will influence the renewal of broadcasting licenses.

The CA, as the regulatory body overseeing information and communication technologies in Kenya, plays a pivotal role in setting industry standards. With responsibilities ranging from telecommunications to broadcasting and cybersecurity, the CA is instrumental in shaping the media landscape to reflect societal values and norms. The updated Programming Code reflects the authority’s commitment to fostering a responsible and responsive broadcasting environment, catering to both free-to-air and subscription-based services.

Furthermore, the CA’s responsibilities include managing national resources like numbering and frequency spectrum, administering funds for universal service provision, and safeguarding ICT service users’ interests. The introduction of the new Programming Code aligns with the CA’s broader mission to promote the development and ensure the sustainability of Kenya’s broadcasting industry.

Kiharu MP Advocates for Enhanced Entrepreneurship Policies at Thika Forum

THIKA – At the Entrepreneurship Hub Africa 2024 forum held at Mount Kenya University, Kiharu Member of Parliament Ndindi Nyoro emphasized the critical role of entrepreneurship in Kenya’s economic future. He advocated for comprehensive policy support across various sectors to bolster entrepreneurial activity and drive national prosperity.

According to Kenya News Agency, successful global economies like South Korea have demonstrated the transformative power of governmental backing for entrepreneurs. He argued that Kenya could achieve similar economic strides by fostering an environment conducive to business innovation and growth. “The true agents of change for Kenya are its entrepreneurs,” Nyoro stated, emphasizing that governmental roles should focus on policy enhancement to support economic development.

Nyoro further highlighted the need for government initiatives to nurture an entrepreneurial culture through awareness campaigns, acknowledgment of entrepreneurs’ contributions, and financial support mechanisms like grants and loans. He pointed to international success stories, such as Hyundai, as examples of how government support can propel businesses onto the global stage.

Echoing Nyoro’s sentiments, East African Legislative Assembly Member Maina Karobia urged Kenyan entrepreneurs to tap into the expansive East African Community market, emphasizing the importance of regional integration and the elimination of trade barriers to facilitate business expansion.

Additionally, Digital Strategist Dennis Itumbi addressed the forum, encouraging the youth to leverage digital opportunities, including digital currencies. He advocated for the reintroduction of World Coin in Kenya, predicting its significant economic potential and pledging to campaign for its acceptance.

The forum underscored the collective call for actionable entrepreneurship policies and cross-border trade facilitation, aiming to unlock Kenya’s economic potential through innovation and regional collaboration.

Garissa University Commemorates Attack Anniversary with Anti-Extremism Portal Launch

GARISSA – On the anniversary of the tragic Garissa University attack that claimed 147 lives nine years ago, the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has unveiled the Jasiri Observatory, an online information portal aimed at bolstering the fight against violent extremism. This digital platform is dedicated to enhancing public understanding and engagement in countering radical ideologies.

According to Kenya News Agency, the Jasiri Observatory is an educational and interactive resource designed to sensitize and empower Kenyans in identifying and combatting the ideologies of violent extremism. Speaking at the portal’s launch at Garissa University, Nyawira emphasized the importance of public participation in recognizing and challenging extremist narratives, thereby contributing to national security and societal resilience.

The portal is envisioned as a comprehensive tool for raising awareness and facilitating engagement in preventive and counter-extremism efforts. It aims to provide valuable insights into the causes and manifestations of violent extremism, offering strategies for community-based prevention and intervention. The platform is also intended to foster a collaborative approach to preventing violent extremism, linking various stakeholders in a unified network to enhance the effectiveness and coordination of their efforts.

Nyawira highlighted the significance of launching the Jasiri Observatory on the somber anniversary of the Garissa attack, marking it as a time to reflect on the progress and continued commitment to safeguarding Kenya from the threats of terrorism and violent extremism. The observatory is named “Jasiri” – Kiswahili for “resilience” – underscoring its role in fostering a resilient and informed public poised to reject and counteract extremist influences.

Kiambu Coffee Millers Granted Licenses Boosting Local Processing

KIAMBU – In a significant development for the local coffee industry, Kiambu County has facilitated a major step forward for coffee farmers by issuing processing licenses to key millers, enabling local processing and promising enhanced industry efficiency. This move is part of broader government efforts to reform and invigorate the coffee sector.

According to Kenya News Agency, Livestock and Irrigation, licenses were awarded to several millers, including Sasini PLC Millers, a subsidiary of Sasini (K) LTD, and Kofinaf Company Limited, now managed by Coffee Management Services (CMS). Additional beneficiaries are Komothai Coffee Society and the Aberdare Limited, which represent small-scale coffee producers in the region. The licensing ceremony was led by the Acting County Secretary and Head of Public Service, Peter Ndegwa.

The initiative aims to bring milling services closer to farmers, reducing their costs and facilitating more efficient production and distribution. Chief Officer for Crop Production, Irrigation, and Marketing, Benson Njoroge, highlighted the distribution of millers across key coffee-growing areas, ensuring broad access for farmers. The licenses are part of ensuring that millers comply with regulatory standards and contribute positively to the local economy.

This licensing action addresses concerns raised by Kiambu coffee farmers earlier in the year regarding the delicensing of private millers, which had significantly impacted their operations and profitability. The local discontent echoed broader issues within the agriculture sector, where farmers like George Nduati lamented the adverse effects of market manipulation and price hikes attributed to cartels.

These new licenses are a component of ongoing national coffee sector reforms initiated by President Ruto’s administration, which aims to dramatically increase Kenya’s coffee production and curb the influence of detrimental market forces. The reforms are expected to transform the coffee industry, aligning with the government’s goal to escalate coffee output significantly within the next five years.