Kenya

  1. Housemate to be charged over murder of LGBTQ activist

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto, popularly known as Edwin Chiloba

    A court in western Kenya has set free four men who were arrested last month following the killing of LGBTQ activist Edwin Kiprotich Kipruto, popularly known as Edwin Chiloba.

    But prosecutors told the court that the main suspect, Jacktone Odhiambo, will be charged with the murder of the activist

    Mr Odhiambo was said to be a housemate and partner of Chiloba - who was also a fashion model.

    Chiloba's body was found dumped in a metal box by the roadside near the town of Eldoret in January.

    Kenya’s chief pathologist Johansen Oduor said he had "died from asphyxia, which is caused by smothering".

    Chiloba's death sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ community in Kenya, where homosexuality is taboo and gay sex is punishable by 14 years in prison, although that law is rarely enforced.

    More on the story:

  2. Kenya bans night and dawn classes

    Ashley Lime

    BBC News, Nairobi

    A primary school in Kenya
    Image caption: It's described as "unnecessary mental torture" by the education minister

    Kenya’s Education Minister Ezekiel Machogu has banned early morning and late evening studies in schools, saying "we don’t want to subject the kids to strain - kids should sleep for nine hours".

    Mr Machogu directed that classes in both private and public primary schools be held between 08:00 and 15:45 to ensure learning takes place within the designated times.

    "The syllabus should be covered appropriately between the stipulated time. Let us not subject pupils to unnecessary mental torture," he added.

    The minister said he had noticed a trend where school buses pick children up as early as 05:00 and drop them off as late as 20:00.

    The issue of school reporting times has been contentious in Kenya.

    The BBC carried out an investigation in 2021 when there was a spike in arson cases in secondary boarding schools, and revealed that students were in class as early as 04.30 up to 22:00. Students who were interviewed then complained of a tight academic schedule and lack of extra-curricular activities.

  3. Kenya seeks to protect water resources from attack

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Kenya's government has launched a police unit to protect its water resources against vandalism and terrorism.

    Kenya’s Interior Secretary Kithure Kindiki said that all critical water infrastructure would now be under the protection of the Critical Infrastructure Police Unit (CIPU).

    Making the announcement, Prof Kindiki said that there had been attempts to access this infrastructure by criminals for economic reasons and "to attack our country’s security".

    In recent years, Kenya has faced constant attack and threats of attack, especially from the al-Qaeda linked group al-Shabab, whose raids on schools, public places and public transport have killed hundreds of people.

    Additionally, Kenya’s critical infrastructure, which includes water reservoirs like forests and dams, has been the subject of vandalism and illegal occupation by squatters, which the water ministry says has been costing the country millions of dollars annually.

    Paul Rono, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, said that Kenya intended to build close to 100 huge dams and more than 1,000 smaller ones in the coming years.

    "There is need to make sure that this infrastructure is protected against vandalism, destruction and damage," Mr Rono said.

    Vandalism is not a new problem in Kenya. In 2020 former President Uhuru Kenyatta threatened to have vandals hanged for damaging the country’s $3bn (£2.4bn) standard gauge railway.

    Vandals had been stealing guard rails for sale in the scrap-metal black market, which is estimated to be worth millions of dollars.

    There have also been concerns about vandalism of Kenya’s electricity pylons and power lines

  4. Kenya wildlife body defends lion vasectomy

    A lion in Kajiado, Kenya
    Image caption: Kenya’s lion population is estimated at about 2,500

    The Kenya Wild Service (KWS) over the weekend explained why a captive lion had to undergo vasectomy earlier in the week

    KWS had initially said the procedure was meant to control the lion’s breeding, but Kenyans questioned why it could not instead be released into the wild amid a decline in the endangered species.

    But the KWS has explained that the big cat would be vulnerable in the wild, and noted that breeding was not permissible in captive facilities.

    “When wild animals are hand-reared, they lose their natural instincts and if released back to the wild, they are vulnerable. The cat family end up being problem animals as they look for easier prey,” it said in a statement.

    KWS said human-wildlife conflict leading to injury and retaliatory killings was among the main threat to lion conservation in the country.

    Currently, Kenya’s lion population is estimated at 2,589, according to the KWS.

  5. Kenya pushes one-pub-per-town order to fight alcoholism

    Alcohol

    Kenya's deputy president has ordered government administrators in the country's central region to enforce a one-pub-per-town directive that was issued last week.

    Rigathi Gachagua also wants entertainment joints in the region to only operate between 17:00 to 23:00 in new measures meant to deal with alcoholism.

    There are fears the directives could see many resort to homemade alcohol - often laced with industrial chemicals. Deaths from illicit brews have previously been reported.

    But Mr Gachagua on Thursday insisted that alcoholism in the region was dire and told officials not to renew pub licences once they expire.

    "Let us deal with these issues, let us save the next generation, otherwise we have a problem as society," he said.

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  6. Kenyan court convicts Venezuelan diplomat of murder

    Dwight Sagaray
    Image caption: Dwight Sagaray had denied the charges

    A Kenyan court on Wednesday convicted a Venezuelan diplomat over the murder of the Latin American nation's acting ambassador 10 years ago at her official residence in the capital, Nairobi.

    Dwight Sagaray, who was the Venezuelan embassy's first secretary, was found guilty of the killing of Olga Fonseca on 27 July 2012.

    Three Kenyan nationals who had been charged alongside Mr Sagaray were also convicted.

    The diplomat was tried for the murder after his diplomatic immunity was waived by Venezuela.

    The court found that Mr Sagaray was heading the mission before the arrival of Ms Fonseca and was angered by her presence since he wanted to continue overseeing the embassy, Reuters news agency reports.

    Ms Fonseca, 57, was killed less than two weeks after she started her new role in Nairobi on 15 July.

  7. Dramatic rise in child refugee malnutrition in Kenya - MSF

    Marcus Erbe

    BBC World Service News

    There's been a warning of a dramatic rise in the rate of malnutrition among child refugees in northern Kenya.

    The charity Médecins Sans Frontières said conditions in part of the overcrowded Dadaab complex had worsened, and required an urgent response from donors.

    MSF blamed factors including a cholera outbreak, severe drought and conflicts in the region.

    Dadaab hosts a quarter of a million people, many of them Somalis. Some of the refugees have been there for decades.

  8. Mass cholera vaccine drive gears up in Kenya

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC Africa health reporter, Nairobi

    Cholera vaccines - stock photo.
    Image caption: Health officials want to bring the outbreak under control (stock photo)

    Kenya is set to begin a mass vaccination drive against cholera, which has killed 78 people since September and infected a total of 4,000.

    Cholera caught early is easily treatable. But public health experts are warning that if people do not have access to clean water and improved sanitation, tehre could be a rise in cases that could overwhelm hospitals.

    A total of one million vaccines are needed, says Kenya's health chief, who warns that majority of patients seeking treatment in hospitals come when at a late stage, and some die as a result.

    Speaking to the BBC, Director General of Health Patrick Amoth said the campaign will first be rolled out in the capital, Nairobi, and three other counties in the arid north of Kenya – where infections are high. A total of 14 counties are to be targeted.

    Cases in urban areas have been linked to people eating out and not observing proper hand hygiene. On-going drought in semi-arid has made it difficult for people to access clean water and they are also moving further away from health facilities.

  9. Raila refuses to recognise Ruto's presidency in Kenya

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Crowd at a rally

    Kenya’s opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has said his political coalition does not recognise William Ruto as the President of Kenya and declared the new Kenyan government as "illegitimate".

    Mr Ruto beat him in last August's poll, but Mr Odinga - who appeared at Nairobi's Kamukunji Stadium along with his running mate Martha Karua, and other allies - repeated claims that the results were manipulated. Claims that had already been rejected in court.

    He declared that he and his movement "reject the 2022 election result totally", which was received with great cheers and applause from an adoring crowd.

    "We cannot and we don't recognise the Kenya Kwanza regime," he continued.

    The 2022 election was Mr Odinga’s fifth attempt at the presidency, but he was beaten by Mr Ruto who was declared winner in the absence of four election commissioners who dissented and accused the commission chairman of delivering what they called “opaque” results.

    Mr Raila then rejected the results and took the case to court .

    But the Supreme Court upheld Mr Ruto’s victory. The aftermath has been dramatic with accusations and counter accusations.

    Election chief Wafula Chebukati has claimed he was under intense pressure from unspecified forces to announce different results, and most recently, President Ruto sensationally said there had been an assassination plot against Mr Chebukati.

    Some of Mr Odinga's partners in his Azimio Coalition have since decamped and declared their support for the Kenya Kwanza administration.

    Others have remained steadfast with him in this renewed fight for what they call electoral justice.

    The next general election is four years away, however the main opposition is already calling for sweeping electoral reforms, and is calling for the current administration to leave office.

  10. Video content

    Video caption: Africa Eye: Filmmaker Noella Luka documents her battle with the bipolar disorder

    Noella Luka documents her own descent into bipolar disorder challenging the stigmas surrounding the issue of mental health in Kenya.

  11. Bahati: From gospel roots to Afrobeats

    DJ Edu

    Presenter of This Is Africa on BBC World Service

    Bahati

    Bahati is a Kenyan singer who some might say lives up to his name, which means lucky in Kiswahili. But luck has nothing to do with this man's rise to fame.

    He was born in the Nairobi slum of Mathare and lost his mother at the age of six. His father remarried and moved elsewhere leaving Bahati and his brothers to fend for themselves.

    "You have two options. You either become a street child or you end up in crime. You have no-one to look up to."

    He tried to survive on the streets collecting scrap metal. "It was so tough for me."

    But then a woman from Iceland came to take photographs of the living conditions in Mathare, and Bahati tried to ask for help in his poor English.

    "I remember telling her: 'I need school, and stomach!' She took me in and started a children's home. I was actually one of the first kids she took in."

    At the children's home he had regular meals and went to school where he started playing guitar and writing music.

    He completed his secondary education but then had to leave the children's home to give someone else his place. On his return to Mathare, he began trying to contact musicians via social media, as he saw music as his only option to progress.

    "I wrote DMs to every big super star in Kenya. One thing I believed was that you can make it from anywhere if you push yourself."

    As a result he met music producer RK who worked on his first big hit, Mama, written in appreciation of his mother. "I always wanted her to be proud of me as I fight to make it in life."

    Bahati made his name in Gospel music winning Best Gospel artist at the Afrima Awards. He then decided to change genres to play more contemporary music.

    "I'm a risk taker. I believe by taking risks you get to new markets."

    In 2023 he wants to undertake more projects to help the youth through his foundation.

    He also wants to conquer the rest of Africa and become one of the biggest Afrobeats artists.

    Bahati is married to fellow performer Diana B, and as well as having his own children, he adopted a boy from the same children's home he grew up in.

    "Living with him for eight years, reminds me of my roots and most importantly it keeps me humble".

    The full interview will be broadcast on This Is Africa on the BBC World Service. More details here

  12. Kenyans making illicit liquor in Arab nations - minister

    Kenya Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua
    Image caption: Kenya's foreign minister says the situation of Kenyans working in the Middle East is not as bad as it sounds

    Kenyan Foreign Minister Alfred Mutua says there are nationals in the diaspora brewing illicit alcohol in Arab countries where it is not allowed.

    “It breaks my heart.. there are Kenyans there with chang’aa [a local home-brewed illicit spirit] dens, selling chang’aa to other Africans, an illegality of illegalities in a Muslim country,” he said at an interview with local television station, Citizen TV.

    He said Kenyans doing illegal activities were undermining the government's efforts in dealing with issues of welfare for its citizens abroad.

    He was responding to concerns about some Kenyans facing difficulties including reports of abuse of people working in the Middle East.

    He said the government was doing everything possible to improve the welfare of Kenyans there.

    He said he found the situation not as “bad as it sounds” when he initially visited Saudi Arabia soon after being appointed a minister.

    “The problem is that some Kenyans engage in illegal and criminal activities when they go there,” he said.

  13. Man convicted after BBC probe into people trafficking

    James Zengo Nestory
    Image caption: Magistrate Agnes Wahito noted that James Zengo Nestory (pictured in court) was disabled

    A man at the centre of a BBC Africa Eye investigation has been found guilty of trafficking disabled people in Kenya, and ordered to pay a fine of 30,000,000 Kenyan shillings ($242,000; £196,000) or face 30 years in prison.

    Last June, a BBC undercover investigation exposed a human trafficking network smuggling disabled children from Tanzania to Kenya.

    Many were taken from their parents with the promise of a better life. Instead, the children were forced to beg on the streets - often for years - while their captors took all of the profits.

    Some of the victims alleged they were beaten if they did not make enough money.

    James Zengo Nestory was arrested and has now been convicted by a court in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

    “I have also noted that you are disabled. Prison might not be a good environment for you," said magistrate Agnes Wahito.

    "This is your first offence so I have given you the minimum sentence to pay 30,000,000 [shillings]. If you don’t have [that] you will be jailed for 30 years in prison.

  14. Ruto alleges plot to kill electoral chief in last polls

    Wafula Chebukati and William Ruto
    Image caption: President Ruto (R) has previously called the electoral chief a "hero"

    Kenya's President William Ruto has made sensational accusations of a plot to abduct and kill the head of the electoral commission in the run up to the announcement of the presidential results last year.

    Mr Ruto was declared the winner of the presidential election held August 2022, taking 50.5% of the vote, amid dramatic scenes at the vote tallying centre.

    At the time, electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati said he had done his duty despite receiving threats.

    On Tuesday the president claimed the plot to abduct Mr Chebukati was sanctioned by the "highest" office, according to local media reports.

    "We know that there was a direct attempt to abduct Mr Chebukati and murder him so that the commission would be paralysed, or a compliant commissioner take over and subvert the people’s sovereignty. It was a hard, cold and lonely time, the threats were dire, the promised rewards lavish and the pressure relentless,” President Ruto said.

    He made the remarks during a meeting with commissions and independent offices at State House, Nairobi.

    The president's rival at the elections, Raila Odinga’s party, ODM, has scoffed at the remarks, calling it a “well-choreographed chorus".

    “They should present the claims before a commission of inquiry when it is formed."

  15. PHOTOS: Kenyan murdered LGBTQ activist set for burial

    Ferdinand Omondi

    BBC News, Eldoret

    Edwin Chiloba's burial

    Kenyan gay rights activist Edwin Kiprotich Kiptoo, who was known as Chiloba, is due to be buried on Tuesday in Sergoit village, in the western part of the country.

    His body was found two weeks ago dumped in a metal box by the roadside near the town of Eldoret.

    The government's chief pathologist said he died due to suffocation caused by stuffing of pieces of cloth in his mouth and nose.

    Friends and family collected his body from a mortuary on Tuesday morning.

    A family spokesperson, Gaudencia Tanui, has said everyone is welcome to pay their last respects.

    Edwin Chiloba's burial

    Ms Tanui said she was hopeful that Mr Chiloba's killers would be brought to justice and that the homicide department was in constant touch.

    Five suspects, including Chiloba's partner, are in remand as police conclude investigations before formally pressing charges.

    Ms Tanui also told the BBC that they were shocked by the social media vitriol directed at the family, which she said had left them deeply hurt.

    Edwin Chiloba's burial
  16. Tanzania's mouthy pugilist excites Kenya ahead of bout

    Michelle Katami

    BBC Sport Africa

    Madonga (l) and Wanyonyi (r)
    Image caption: Madonga (l) and Wanyonyi (r) will fight tomorrow

    A flamboyant and loquacious Tanzanian boxer is in Kenya ahead of his first international bout.

    Karim Madonga nicknamed mtu kazi (translated in street Kiswahili as "a fighter") has a huge following in East Africa and is known for his over the top boasts of his boxing ability.

    In his last fight he described his punch as a "heat-seeking missile". Now before Saturday's bout, he compared his punch to a "Ukrainian missile".

    The 43-year-old has won three fights, lost three and drawn one.

    He drew crowds as he walked around the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

    “I have been received well in Kenya. I started boxing in 2002, boxing has made me a brand. Boxing took me to the city. I am the only boxer who became a star after losing a fight. And when I am beaten I talk about it, when I win, I talk more about it. In boxing you have to know how to talk and fight. I know both. Wanyonyi will be beaten,” Mandonga told BBC Sport Africa.

    His opponent, 39-year-old Daniel Wanyonyi, says Mandonga’s personality is good for the sport.

    “His talk makes him popular. We love such boxers. I am good at boxing, he is good at talking. I am ready for the fight tomorrow, it will be 10 rounds. There is pressure because we are at home and everyone is expecting me to win... However, I am telling Kenyans to leave that to me, victory will remain at home,” Daniel said .

    Their fight will serve as a curtain raiser for the main fight between Kenyan boxer Rayton Okwiri and Tanzanian boxer Ally Ndaro.

    A total of 11 fights will take place at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC). Organisers are hoping that the event will raise the profile of the sport which has waned over the years.