Monthly Archives: April 2014

Chelsea knocked out by Atletico

Chelsea’s hopes of reaching a third Champions League final in six years were ended as Atletico Madrid produced a stunning counter-attacking display at Stamford Bridge to set up a final against city rivals Real.

AthleticoJose Mourinho’s side went ahead in the tie when Fernando Torres put Chelsea in front with a goal against his former club nine minutes before half-time.

But Chelsea allowed Atletico back into the match just before the interval, as Adrian Lopez scrambled home.

With Atletico ahead on the away goals rule following a goalless first leg, Chelsea needed to score to reach the Lisbon final but it was the Spaniards who struck again, Diego Costa putting them in front from the penalty spot before the excellent Arda Turan added a third with 18 minutes remaining.

At the final whistle, the visitors danced in front of their fans as John Terry stood in the centre circle and shed tears. It is the first time Atletico have reached a European Cup final since 1972 – and their meeting with Real will be the first time two clubs from the same city have ever contested the final.

For Mourinho and Chelsea, this had been an opportunity to exorcise the spirits of semi-finals past, not create more. To “ghost” goals, penalty shootouts, high-profile rows with Norwegian referees, add this painful defeat.

Mourinho had reached this stage of the competition in each of the past five seasons, but in that time has only managed to reach the final in 2010, when he won it with Inter Milan.

The script appeared to have been written for the Portuguese to return to Lisbon to face Real Madrid, the club he left amid accusations of failure.

Atletico had other ideas and a fairytale of their own to write. Central to their victory was the performance of their goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, on loan from Chelsea. During a frantic second half, he denied Terry and David Luiz just as it seemed Chelsea might find a way back into the tie.

There had been early warning signs for Chelsea, even though for much of the opening 40 minutes they had looked in total control.

Koke’s fourth-minute cross drifted onto Mark Schwarzer’s crossbar, but in the early moments it was Chelsea who threatened.

Torres led the line with purpose from the outset, playing with the kind of vim and vigour that he had in making his name in the red and white of Atletico. Willian curled a free-kick over the bar, before Luiz produced an acrobatic overhead kick that went wide.

Atletico came into the game on the back of a ninth successive La Liga win, with a sixth successive clean sheet. It took a former idol to break that streak as Torres fired Chelsea in front after 36 minutes following fine work by Willian and Cesar Azpilicueta wide on the right. Torres raised his hands as if to apologise to the travelling supporters who once idolised him.

But within eight minutes Atletico were back in the tie, as Chelsea switched off with half-time approaching. Tiago floated a ball to the far post, where an unmarked Juanfran pulled it back across for Lopez to stroke into an empty net. It was the classic sucker-punch.

Worse was still to come for Chelsea. Substitute Samuel Eto’o collided with Costa in front of the referee. The Spain international stepped up and buried the spot kick to silence Stamford Bridge.

With Chelsea needing to push for a goal of their own, wide open spaces began to appear for Atletico and they took full advantage.

This was a counter-attack as decisive and devastating as the ones perfected by their city neighbours at Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Koke’s cross from wide on the right found Turan charging at the back post. His initial header was tipped onto the bar but the Turk followed up to ram home the rebound and put the result beyond doubt.

Mourinho turned to his staff, knowing the game was up.


Chelsea knocked out by Atletico

Mumias hosts AK meet: Athletes will gauge speed as they focus on national trials

Western Kenya will play host to the fourth and penultimate Athletics Kenya track and field meeting this week.

Silas Kiplagat (right) and Caleb Mwangangi during the AK Relays Series trials at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD

Silas Kiplagat (right) and Caleb Mwangangi during the AK Relays Series trials at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD

Mumias Sports Complex will host the two-day championships on Friday and Saturday. Upcoming athletes will will be keen to gauge their speed ahead of the national trials slated for June.

The meeting would also be used to mark the International Association of Athletics Federations World Athletics Day.

It will serve as a build-up for athletes from Western Kenya,  South, North and Central Rift as well as the disciplined forces before the action reverts to the grassroot ahead of three major international events in the athletics calendar.

“We are expecting a full house in Mumias this weekend. Our athletes are preparing for the Youth Olympics and Africa Championships and this meeting will provide the best platform for testing their preparedness,” said Western Regional Athletics Kenya chairman Francis Afundi.

Series meetings

Athletics Kenya was running two parallel weekend series to accomodate newly introduced Safaricom Relay Series and Sprints meet. Each took place on alternating weekends.

The Relay Series, which begun in February in Nairobi, reached the climax at Nyayo Stadium during the national  trials for the inaugural World Relay Championships, which will be held on 24th and 25th May in Nassau, Bahamas.

On March 14th and 15th, AK staged the first of the five track and field weekend Meetings in the South Rift with Rift Valley Institute of Science and Technology hosted the openning round, which had low turnout.

Young turks

With elite runners giving the weekend meeting a bye, new talents dominated the two-day competitions with Kericho-based Patrick Rono and Prison’s Miriam Chepkemboi ruling the roost in the 800metres while Lawrence Kemboi (Kenya Prisons) and Purity Cherotich of Sigowet emerged winners in the 3,000metres steeplechase.

After Nakuru, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University in Bondo and Gusii Stadium in Nyanza South have also hosted the series.

Both senior and upcoming athletes are using the build-up series as they prepare for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games on July 23rd to August 3rd and the Africa Senior Athletics Championships that are scheduled for Marrakesh, Morocco from August 10-14.

For the juniors, the series will see them warm-up to the second African Youth Games (Gaborone, May 22-31), IAAF World Junior Championships (Eugene, USA, July 22-27) and the second Youth Olympic Games that takes place in Nanjing, China, on August 16-28.

The Safaricom Relays concluded on Saturday with the yet-to be ratified all-time mark of 17:05.8 set by the quartet of Irene Jelagat, Ann Karindi, Mercy Cherono and Perin Nenkampi in the women’s 4x 1,500m.

By JOSEPH NGURE, The Standard

Mumias hosts AK meet: Athletes will gauge speed as they focus on national trials

Handicap 12 bags overall award at Chairman’s Prize golf tournament

Samuel Wachira produced a fine round to emerge the overall winner of the Chairman’s Prize playoffs, sponsored by Kenya Forest Service (KFS), over the weekend.

Anoop Sahota tees off during the Nakuru Chairman’s Prize KFS sponsored golf tournament at the Nakuru Golf Club over the weekend. PHOTO: BONIFACE THUKU/ STANDARD

Anoop Sahota tees off during the Nakuru Chairman’s Prize KFS sponsored golf tournament at the Nakuru Golf Club over the weekend. PHOTO: BONIFACE THUKU/ STANDARD

The tournament, which was played at Nakuru Golf Club, was termed one of the most difficult as members complained of a tough course.

This, however, did not deter Wachira who was playing off handicap 12. He posted a total of 39 stableford points, posting 19 points on the 1st nine and 20 points on the 2nd nine to claim the overall prize.

Wachira could not hide his joy after winning the overall award.

While pleased with his win, he said that the course was good but the greens were not so good, which is what hindered him from scoring 43 points.

The men’s prize went to Bernard Kandie who posted a score of 38 points.

The runners-up prize went to Raphael Kimani who scored 38 points but was beaten on count back by kandie.

The third prize went to Ronak Shah who also posted a total of 38 stable ford points.

The staff winner’s prize went to KFS Chief Corporate Communications Officer Charles Ngunjiri who posted 28 points followed by the Principal Kenya Forestry College Prof Donald Ogweno who posted 21 stableford points.

The lady’s prize was won by Wangui Kimani who returned a score of 35 points.

The junior award was won by Eric Kibuthia who scored 36 points, followed by Anoop Sahota who posted 21 points. The third prize for the juniors went to Tevin Kihumba who posted 20 points.

Nearest to the pin

The other winners for the day were Paul Muhia who won the nearest to the pin, Joseph Gathumbi who won the longest drive men while Esther Karuga won the longest drive ladies.

Peter Waweru won the 1st nine with 22 points while John Mokaya won the 2nd nine with 20 points.

Amb Kandie of Ministry of Environment Water and Natural Resources won the hidden hole.

Speaking on behalf of the KFS Director, Prof Donald Ogweno said  he was pleased with the partnership between KFS and Nakuru Golf Club as it is a club that the Service holds dear as it usually marks the start of the annual Kenya Forest Service Golf Series.

He was also impressed by the high numbers of trees planted at the club and called on golfers to embrace the commercial tree planting opportunities provided by KFS.

The Nakuru Golf Club Chairman Michael Kandie thanked KFS for sponsoring the event whose turnout he said was one of the best in recent times

By BEN AHENDA, The Standard

Handicap 12 bags overall award at Chairman’s Prize golf tournament

Kenya unveils plan to build textile city

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Government plans to set up a fully serviced Textile City as part of the ongoing efforts to realign the textile and apparel sector to make it contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth prospects.

ndustrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed

ndustrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed

The Textile City model to be championed by the Ministry of Industrialisation and Enterprise Development will besides foreign investments attraction, be one of the key pillars earmarked as the national job creation platforms.

Industrialisation and Enterprise Development Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed said the efforts would start with attracting investors to set up manufacturing plants within the Export Processing Zones (EPZ).

Mr Mohamed was speaking at the Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) Complex in Athi River, when he hosted a delegation of 40 international garment manufacturing firms Wednesday.

High-ranking executives from PVH and VF Corporation who are some of the world’s largest apparel manufacturing companies, which own and market iconic brands worldwide are leading the delegation.

“Once the manufacturers set their plants in the country and are able to source for materials externally, we can explore ways of reviving the sector backwards,” he said.

Part of these will touch on efforts of reviving the ailing cotton industry in the country, and position the country as a key beneficiary of the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (Agoa).

Mohamed said the proposed city, which would be the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa, would meet the manufacturing investment needs for a number of leading global garment marketing firms.

The Cabinet Secretary said enterprises in the Textile City would be cushioned from annual National Wage Regulation Orders as wages in the sector would be regulated by an inclusive Textile and Apparel Sector Wages Council.


“By establishing a Textile City for onward leasing to potential investors, Kenya will be seeking to address existing industrialisation bottlenecks at the Athi River export processing zone as well as other locations,” Mohamed said.

The ministry, he said, targets to attract at least 100 textile investment firms at the Textile City and create more than 200,000 sustainable textile jobs by December 2016.

Such firms will be expected to take up investment opportunities relating to cotton ginning and yarn spinning, manufacture of textile fabrics and home fabrics, manufacture of apparel and manufacture of garment accessories and labels, among other ventures.

Mohamed said plans are in place to improve the textile and apparel sector.


Kenya unveils plan to build textile city

Inflation rate creeps up as CBK retains benchmark rate at 8.5pc

NAIROBI, KENYA: The cost of living went up slightly in April following a rise in prices of most goods and services as inflation rate rose to 6.41 per cent from 6.27 per cent in March.

CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u

CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u

However, this was not enough to make Central Bank change its benchmark-lending rate.

The banking sector regulator retained commercial banks at 8.5 per cent, underscoring the need to continue managing inflationary expectations and to sustain price stability. It cited stability in the overall inflation and stability in the exchange rate as key reasons for holding its Central Bank Rate (CBR) unchanged for the seventh consecutive time in a row.

The bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) pointed out that confidence in the economy remained strong while the banking sector remained solvent and resilient.

“The monetary policy measures had continued to deliver the desired price stability,” said Njuguna Ndung’u, the governor of Central Bank and the committee’s chairman. “The monetary policy path remains credible despite the slight rise in overall inflation,” he added.


Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows a rise in the cost of most of the commodities that are factored when computing the rate of inflation.

The areas that experienced significant spikes in pricing include food, transport due to a rise in cost of fuel and household fuels, including charcoal and cooking gas.

The cost of almost all food items were on the rise, with the Food and Non-Alcoholic Drinks’ Index going up by 1.66 per cent. Food is the largest component in the consumer price inflation basket, accounting for 36 per cent of the CPI weight.

“The rise in the food index came as a result of the prices of more food items recording increases compared to those whose prices decreased,” said KNBS.

Price of cooking gas has in the recent past gone up to retail at between Sh3,100 and Sh3,500 depending on outlets and location.


“Between March and April 2014, housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index increased by 0.33 per cent.  This was mainly due to observed higher costs of common cooking fuels including charcoal, firewood and gas.

The cost of electricity consumption reduced slightly compared to last month, on account of forex charges dropping by 5 cents per KWh in April 2014,” said the statistics bureau.


Inflation rate creeps up as CBK retains benchmark rate at 8.5pc

China’s ZTE eyes Kenya’s smartphone market

NAIROBI, KENYA: Smartphone market in Kenya continues to grow as Chinese owned Telecommunications equipment and network provider Wednesday launched eight mobile devices, including smartphones.

ZTE CorporationZTE Corporation brought into the market China’s leading range of smartphones, which include the Nubian mini, ZTE bladeL2, and blade c2 plus, among others. This new variety of smartphones is expected to grow the local smartphone market, currently estimated at over 50 per cent.

The telecoms giant was last year ranked the third leading provider of smartphones in the world (after Apple and Samsung) after shipping a total of 13.6 million handsets to their global market. “We are very positive that our range of smartphones will explode in the Kenyan market.

Two thirds of every handset device sold in Kenya is a smartphone, this only means that Kenyans adopt very easily to smartphones, Mark Jin, ZTE’s sales director (terminal products) for Kenya and Somalia region said during the launch.

Jin said that their competitors, who also provide a range of products to the Kenyan market, have an upper hand against them because of the variety of and constant supply of smart phones to the Kenyan market. He said ZTE has therefore decided to join the trend and has promised to fight hard to stay relevant.


China’s ZTE eyes Kenya’s smartphone market

How soldier’s call to wife lined him for sniper bullet

Kenya: It is pitch dark and Kenya Defence Force’s platoon Commander Lieutenant Edward Juma Okoyo is in the muddy trenches of Somalia.

Doreen Magak, widow of the late Lieutenant Edward Juma Okoyo

Doreen Magak, widow of the late Lieutenant Edward Juma Okoyo

As with every African night, the chirping of crickets filled the air, while perhaps, a few of the soldiers who were not on night-watch, snored gently inside their jungle-green sleeping bags.

Then Okoyo, probably homesick, forlorn and thinking about the love of his life in Kenya, broke the single basic rule of survival; he pulled out his cellphone and called his 29-year-old new wife he had just recently married – Doreen Magak.

Or it could be that he had a premonition of his death, which would follow swiftly; in seconds. Perhaps something nudged him to make his last call and to the person that mattered most to him in life.

He had just finished the greetings and love jokes, and was now asking how Kenya was, unaware that the flicker of his phone’s screen had put him squarely in the crosshairs of a sniper.

In a matter of seconds, and stealthily (because snipers mute the sounds of their gunfire using silencers so as not to be located easily) Okoyo and some of his soldiers lay dead. The sniper’s bullet got the man next to one eye.

“He told me it would be okay, he said things would be alright,” narrates his widow. Okoyo made the phone call that his wife would regret for the rest of her life on the night of January 22, 2012, a month after they got married.

This is how Doreen recalls the lowest moment in her life: “I was on the phone with him when he suddenly went silent. He had been inquiring how Kenya was. He was calm, but then suddenly I was the only one on the line.”

She adds: “I tried speaking to him but he never responded.” She then sent several messages to him, which were never delivered. After several calls that went unanswered the ground beneath her shifted as the world around her crumbled. This was because of a three-worded SMS — probably from a soldier watching over Okoyo’s dead body — that came hours later. It ran: “He is dead’’.

By Paul Wafula and Nyambega Gisesa, The Standard

How soldier’s call to wife lined him for sniper bullet