NEWS AND EVENTS

Thirdway Alliance unveils Miguna’s running mate

Thirdway Alliance party Nairobi deputy governor candidate Angela Mwikali in Nairobi on December 31,2020.

Thirdway Alliance has unveiled Angela Mwikali as lawyer Miguna Miguna’s running mate for the upcoming Nairobi governor by-election.

The National Elections Nomination Board assured residents of Nairobi that the two will be on the ballot come February 18 and urged supporters to ignore remarks by ousted party leader Ekuru Aukot.

Chair of the board, Cripus Wathimba on Thursday said Miguna will be in the country soon to campaign for his candidature.

“Do not ask me when or how Miguna will come but he will be in the country soon. We expect the government to obey court orders that were issued allowing him to return,” he said.

Miguna, a Kenyan-Canadian lawyer, was deported on March 26, 2018 after he swore in opposition leader Raila Odinga as the “People’s President” after the 2017 presidential elections.

Mwikali, a PhD graduate from University of Nairobi, said residents of Nairobi now have an opportunity of correcting the mistakes they made during the 2013 and 2017 elections.

“Miguna and I have the competence to fight cartels and gangs that have derailed development in Nairobi,” she said.

Addressing the media at a hotel in Nairobi, Mwikali added that she has been holding virtual discussions with Miguna, who resides in Canada.

“We have been planning and strategising virtually but he will soon be in the country to join me in the campaign trail. The general will be back home to clean up Nairobi,” she said.

She asked the government to obey court orders and allow Miguna back to the country.

Mwikali unsuccessfully contested for the Embakasi South Parliamentary seat during the April 5, 2019 by-election.

Aukot has disputed the party’s endorsement of Miguna as the candidate for the by-election.

He termed the nomination as fake and a move engineered by rent-seekers within the party.

Aukot is involved in a legal battle in efforts to retain his seat after the party’s governing council expelled him.

The party’s National Chairperson Miruru Waweru however said Miguna shares the party’s belief that Nairobi cannot be entrusted to the hands of cartels and criminal enterprises.

Aukot was ousted by the Party in September due to what the National Executive Committee termed as financial impropriety, lack of civility, and transparency to party members, and failure to attend disciplinary hearings.

Secretary general Fredrick Okango said party supporters have indicated that they will fund Miguna’s campaign.

“We have thousands of supporters who have said they are willing to contribute the little they have to fund Miguna’s campaigns,” he stated.

He asked supporters to ignore sentiments by Aukot saying Miguna’s candidature was overwhelmingly endorsed by the National Executive Committee and the National Elections Nomination Board.

“We have the NEC and NENB here as we speak. Do not listen to those speaking from the periphery,” he added.

Chiloba appointed member of Youth Enterprise Development Fund

•In August, former IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe claimed Chiloba had threatened her to shut up over Chris Msando’s murder.

•Akombe, had revealed that Msando, the commission’s slain ICT manager, was led to “the slaughterhouse” by IEBC insiders.

Ezra Chiloba Biography, Age, Education and Career - whownskenya

ICT CS Joe Mucheru has appointed former IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba as a member of the Youth Enterprise Development Fund board for three years.

Chiloba was in 2018 sacked as chief executive officer.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati had twice suspended Chiloba, citing procurement malpractices ahead of the August and October 2017 elections.

At the time, Chiloba said the outcome of his disciplinary process was predetermined and the process was a mere formality. Chiloba warned that the issues he faced will affect the next officer if not addressed.

He said the matter of his disciplinary process revealed a major governance crisis at the electoral agency.

In August, former IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe claimed Chiloba had threatened her to shut up over Chris Msando’s murder.

 Akombe, had revealed that Msando, the commission’s slain ICT manager, was led to “the slaughterhouse” by IEBC insiders.

She said she was willing to testify at an inquest if there is one, and likened the killers to Judas Iscariot.

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Ruto attends Msambweni MP Bader’s homecoming party

• Bader, who contested as an independent candidate, trounced ODM candidate Omar Boga after garnering 15,251 votes against Omar’s 10,444.

• Bader said he will focus on completing the late MP Suleiman Dori’s agenda.

DP William Ruto, Msambweni MP Feisal Bader and other politicians at the latter's homecoming on December 31, 2020.

 

Deputy President William Ruto on Thursday attended Msambweni MP Feisal Bader’s homecoming party.

Bader was on Tuesday last week sworn-in as a Member of Parliament days after clinching the seat.

The short swearing-in ceremony was presided over by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.

Bader, who contested as an independent candidate, trounced ODM candidate Omar Boga after garnering 15,251 votes against Omar’s 10,444.

The by-election which arose following the death of Dori was seen as a battle between Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Ruto threw his weight behind Bader after the ruling Jubilee Party announced that it would not field a candidate.

This is the first time for the DP to set foot in Msambweni since backing Bader.

Bader vowed to support Ruto in his 2022 presidential bid.

Bader said Ruto supported him in his hour of need when he wanted political assistance.

He said the only thing that he can give back to the community is service to the people and rallying behind Ruto.

“I was an orphan but Ruto decided to back me up, I won’t forget that and from now on henceforth we will support you, ” he said.

He spoke at Dr Babla Secondary School ground in Ukunda.

Bader said he won’t take the win for granted promising to use his power to serve the locals diligently.

He narrated his ordeal in ODM, saying he was thrown out.

Lunga-Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani said come next national campaigns the hustler name will reign.

Others present were Governor Salim Mvurya, his deputy Fatuma Achani, Lunga-Lunga and Kinango, MPs Khatib Mwashetani and Benjamin Tayari, Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika, Kandara MP Alice Wahome among other national leaders.

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Iker Casillas, David Villa among superstars who retired from professional football in 2020

Former Spain and Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas leads other thirteen high-profile footballers who called it quits with professional football in 2020.

Iker Casillas, David Villa among superstars who retired from professional football in 2020

As the year draws to a close, here we look at some top players who decided to hang their boots during the manic year which include Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany. The former Real Madrid shot stopper Casillas retired from the beautiful game and returned to work as an official of the club’s foundation. 

He left Los Blancos in 2015 to join Portuguese giants FC Porto where he spent another trophy-laden five years to wrap-up his incredible career. 

Ex-Manchester City captain Kompany officially retired in August and was appointed as Anderlecht’s full-time manager. Argentina and Barcelona icon Javier Mascherano also ended his professional career during the year as well as 42-year-old former Brazilian full-back Lucio. Lucio announced his official retirement in January this year, months after leaving Brasiliense. 

1. Vincent Kompany (most appearances for Manchester City: 360)

 Vincent Kompany, Manchester City - Manchester Evening News

2. Mario Gomez (most appearances for Stuttgart: 230)

Mario Gomez, one of the last survivors - BeSoccer

3. Essam El Hadary (most appearances for Al Ahly: 243)

FIFA Confederations Cup - News - El-Hadary: Egypt back where they belong -  FIFA.com

4. Leighton Baines (most appearances for Everton: 420 

Everton F.C. vs. Tottenham Hotspur: match preview, projected lineups,  predictions, and how to watch - Cartilage Free Captain

5. Aritz Aduriz (most appearances for Athletic Bilbao: 405)

 Aduriz denied fairytale send-off but his sterling Athletic legacy will live  on long after postponed Copa final | Goal.com

6. Andre Schurrle (most appearances for Bayer Leverkusen: 83)

André Schürrle

7. Iker Casillas (most appearances for Real Madrid: 725) 

Iker Casillas retires: Watch legendary goalkeeper's best saves for Real  Madrid and Spain

8. Stephan Lichtsteiner (most appearances for Juventus: 259)

Arsenal: 3 things Stephan Lichtsteiner would bring to the club

9. Javier Mascherano (most appearances for FC Barcelona: 334)

 Javier Mascherano - Argentina | Player Profile | Sky Sports Football

10. Daniele de Rossi (most appearances for Roma: 616)

 Daniele de Rossi: why was he more beloved by Roma fans than Totti?

11. Aleksandr Hleb (most appearances for Stuttgart: 221)

Alexander Hleb (@ahleb10) | Twitter

12. David Villa (most appearances for Valencia: 220)

OFFICIAL: Barcelona Sign David Villa From Valencia | Goal.com

13. Lucio (most appearances for Bayern Munich: 218)

14. Milan Baros (most appearances for Galatasaray: 116)

Milan Baros | Liverpool FC Wiki | Fandom

 
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Ruto dismisses call to support Western region 2022 presidential candidate 

Deputy President William Ruto has affirmed that he will not back-pedal his 2022 presidential ambition to support another candidate. 

Deputy President William Ruto in a past address. Photo: William Ruto.

The second in command has since dismissed a call by a section of Western region leaders imploring him to shelve his aspiration and support one of their own. While addressing mourners on Saturday, December 26, at Nakhwana Primary School in Bungoma during the internment of Maurice Mabonga ( the father of Bumula MP Mwambu Mabonga), the DP said he will not support Musalia Mudavadi or Moses Wetang’ula as they are all dynasties. 

“ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi is the son of a minister and even Wetang’ula here, I am told, is the son of likuru (village elder) while my father was just a mere peasant and not even a village elder yet you are asking me to support them. Is that logical?” he posed. The Jubilee deputy party leader also preached his hustler movement gospel insisting that the children should be taught that one can make it into the country’s leadership despite coming from a poor background. 

Failed Big Four Agenda 

In his speech, Ruto faulted the bromance between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga to the seemingly failed Jubilee administration. He reiterated that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and the handshake hijacked the development plans the ruling party had for Kenyans, hence failure to accomplish the Big Four Agenda. 

“During our first term in office, we did lots of development. We made roads, made railway lines, we connected people to electricity and water, we built technical training institutes until this second term that has been hijacked by politics of the handshake and BBI,” said Ruto. The DP insisted that Kenyan development should not be derailed by people who are greedy for positions leaving out the hustlers who have suffered for long. 

Return the favour 

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala as previously reported implored Ruto and Raila to return Luhyas the favour who have stood by them by supporting Mudavadi in his 2022 presidential quest. “For the longest time, we (Luhyas) have been so loyal to you for a very long time, we know inside your heart you love us. For this reason, I urge you to humbly return the favour to the Luhya community by supporting Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi,” said Malala. 

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EU signs Brexit trade deal with Britain

•Britain formally left the EU nearly a year ago.

• The new partnership agreement will regulate ties from January 1.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signs Brexit trade agreement due to come into force on January 1, 2021, in Brussels, Belgium December 30, 2020.

With a call for both sides to look forward to a new chapter in their relationship, EU chiefs signed the Brexit trade deal agreed with Britain and sent the text off to London on Wednesday for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to add his signature.

Against a backdrop of EU flags, top EU officials signed the treaties struck on December 24 to preserve Britain’s tariff- and quota-free access to the bloc’s 450 million consumers.

“It is of the utmost importance for the European Union and the United Kingdom to look forward, in view of opening a new chapter in their relations,” the bloc said in a statement, calling for joint action on climate change and international affairs.

A British Royal Air Force plane was due to take the documents to Johnson before returning one copy to Brussels with a signed copy bearing the bloc’s golden stars on the blue leather folder.

Britain formally left the EU nearly a year ago and the new partnership agreement will regulate ties from January 1 on everything from trade to transport, energy links and fishing.

After both sides have signed, the deal will be in place until the end of February, pending final approval by the European Parliament that would make it permanent.

EU lawmakers are to debate the treaty – the result of months of negotiations that often came close to collapse – later on Wednesday. The British parliament will also debate, and is expected to pass, the deal.

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Cop arrested after firing 10 bullets at friend at Gigiri station

•When other officers rushed to the scene, they found the body of the victim at the driver’s seat of his Toyota Probox.

•Witnesses said the officer, who had earlier been chewing miraa with the victim, was disarmed and arrested.

 

He used his AK47 rifle to fire 10 bullets at the man.

A police officer was arrested after he shot dead his friend during an argument in Gigiri.

The motive of the murder is yet to be known.

The constable based at Gigiri’s Nyari Police Patrol Base is in custody following the death of his civilian companion on Tuesday night, police said.

He used his AK47 rifle to fire 10 bullets at the man, who was in his car parked at the station after an argument.

When other officers rushed to the scene, they found the body of the victim at the driver’s seat of his Toyota Probox.

Witnesses said the officer, who had earlier been chewing miraa with the victim, was disarmed and arrested.

Nairobi police boss Rashid Yakub said detectives have launched investigations to establish the motive behind the killing.

“We are yet to know the motive of this incident but our officers are talking to him,” he said.

He termed the incident isolated, adding the suspect is in custody.

The victim was a regular visitor to the station but it is not clear if he was an informer or a friend.

The body was taken to the mortuary. 

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Governor Nyaribo dissolves cabinet a day after being sworn in

• The process comes a day after he was sworn in as governor on Tuesday.

• This is his first exercise in office after he assumes office as the county boss.

Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo taking oath of office at the Nyamira primary school grounds in Nyamira town on Tuesday./ALVIN RATEMO

Nyamira County Governor Amos Nyaribo dissolved the entire cabinet on Wednesday evening.

The governor asked all the County Executive Committee Members to handover immediately.

The process comes a day after he was sworn in as governor on Tuesday.

This is the first process after he assumes office as the county boss.

More changes are expected as he has limited time to complete the various projects awaiting him in the next 18 months before the 2022 general elections.

Nyaribo was been sworn in as the second governor for Nyamira County.

He took over as the county boss after the death of John Nyagarama on December 18.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at the Nyamira Primary school in Nyamira town on Tuesday.

A number of leaders attended the event, including the Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Council of Governors Chairman, and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya among others.

Nyaribo was sworn in by Nyamira High Court Presiding Judge Esther Maina.

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How Covid shook, rattled global economy in 2020

•Government-mandated shutdowns of businesses and any non-essential activities in much of the world unleashed a wave of joblessness.

• Unemployment levels varied dramatically across the globe.

Negative test results for coronavirus.

When 2020 dawned, the global economy had just notched its 10th straight year of uninterrupted growth, a streak most economists and government finance officials expected to persist for years ahead in a 21st Century version of the “Roaring ’20s.”

But within two months, a mysterious new virus first detected in China in December 2019 – the novel coronavirus – was spreading rapidly worldwide, shattering those expectations and triggering the steepest global recession in generations. The International Monetary Fund estimates the global economy to have shrunk by 4.4% this year compared with a contraction of just 0.1% in 2009, when the world last faced a financial crisis.

Government-mandated shutdowns of businesses and any non-essential activities in much of the world unleashed a wave of joblessness not seen since the Great Depression. Still, unemployment levels varied dramatically across the globe.

In some countries, like China, COVID-19 infection levels were effectively suppressed through strict but relatively brief lockdowns, allowing unemployment rates to remain low. Others, such as Germany, deployed government-backed schemes to keep workers on company payrolls even as work dried up.

Elsewhere, including in Brazil and the United States, the uncontrolled spread of the virus and patch-work government health and economic responses fueled rampant job losses. Some 22 million people in the United States were thrown out of work in March and April alone and the unemployment rate jumped to near 15%.

Most economists expect it to take a year or more for labor markets to return to something resembling the pre-pandemic era.

The pandemic delivered a body blow to global trade, with export volumes dropping abruptly to their lowest in nearly a decade in March and April.

The recovery since then has been led largely by China, which stands alone among major economies in seeing year-over-year growth in exports.

Unprecedented levels of government stimulus prevented even larger damage to many economies but also added to a global mountain of sovereign debt amassed by governments, raising questions about whether a financial crunch is the next crisis the world must deal with.

However, historically low interest rates hovering around – and sometimes below – zero percent mean that debt servicing costs for the Group of Seven (G7) economies are at their lowest since the 1970s, when the debt burden was only a fraction of what it is now.

“Debt today is sustainable and it will remain so for a few years because as long as economic activity and employment have not recovered momentum, central banks are unlikely to do anything with their interest rates. That allows governments to keep up the fiscal support in the form of retention schemes and support to firms,” said Laurence Boone, the OECD’s chief economist.

One offshoot of that largesse has been that consumer spending has held up better than many had expected. While spending on services plunged and remains depressed – at restaurants and for travel and leisure in particular – consumers did lay out for goods, especially big-ticket items such as cars and home improvements that benefited from rock-bottom interest rates.

As a result, retail sales in many economies are up on a year-over-year basis, in some instances by more than they were at the end of 2019.

Another direct effect of all that government spending has been a surge in savings among consumers in many parts of the world. Government support payouts in developed economies padded household bank accounts and, with consumers hunkered down in the pandemic’s early days in particular, savings rates soared.

They began returning to earth in the latter part of 2020 but remain well above pre-pandemic levels. Some economists see this as the dry tinder to help fuel an economic rebound in 2021 and beyond when COVID-19 vaccines allow a wider recovery to take hold and consumers to begin moving about – and spending – more freely.

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Sorry for ‘burning bridges’ typo, IEBC says

• The tweet raised an uproar among Kenyans On Twitter, forcing the commission to tweet a number of tweets apologizing over the earlier tweet marked with an error.

• The commission had said that 400 clerks were needed for the verification process and will be paid Sh1,200 per day for the exercise. 

Chairman of IEBC Wafula Chebukati on April 20, 2018.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday apologized to the members of the public as well as its stakeholders after a typo in its tweet.

The commission kicked off the signature verification exercise, which was collected by the Building Bridges Initiative team.

In the process, the commission posted in its Twitter account that:

“The launch of the Burning Bridges Initiative Supporters Verification Exercise at the Bomas of Kenya.”

IEBC had intended to tweet that:

“The launch of the Building Bridges Initiative Supporters Verification Exercise at the Bomas of Kenya.”

The tweet raised an uproar among Kenyans On Twitter, forcing the commission to tweet a number of tweets apologizing over the earlier tweet marked with an error.

The commission’s chair Wafula Chebukati said that the error does not in any way reflect the position of the commission or its staff.

“Earlier today, the Commission posted a tweet on the launch of the Verification of BBI supporters. However, there was a typographical error in the tweet which was made inadvertently. The error does NOT in any way reflect the position of the Commission or its staff.”

It added that “ The Commission sincerely apologizes to all its stakeholders and the General Public.”

The commission said that the venue of the supporters’ verification exercise has been equipped with sufficient facilities including sanitisers and handwashing points to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 safety measures.

Also, all clerks, staff, and observers are encouraged to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all.

The commission had said that 400 clerks were needed for the verification process.

They will be paid Sh1,200 per day for the exercise. This will cost Sh480,000 per day.

Applicants were to be  Kenyan citizens with high integrity,  with a form four certificate, computer literate, with data entry skills.

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International 

Yemen war: Deadly attack at Aden airport as new government arrives

At least 22 people have been killed and more than 50 wounded in an attack at the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, officials say.

There was at least one explosion shortly after a plane carrying the war-torn country’s newly formed government arrived from neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Aid workers and officials were among the casualties. But the prime minister said he and his cabinet were “fine”.

The information minister accused Houthi rebels of a “cowardly terrorist act”.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in 2015, when a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states launched a military operation to defeat the Houthis and restore President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s rule.

The fighting has reportedly left more than 110,000 people dead; triggered the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, with millions on the brink of famine; and left the country even more vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Video footage of Wednesday’s incident showed that there was a large blast as passengers began leaving the plane that had flown the new cabinet to Aden.

A crowd that had gathered on the tarmac to welcome the ministers fled as thick smoke billowed from the airport terminal. The sound of gunfire was heard soon afterwards.

An AFP news agency correspondent reported hearing at least two blasts in total, as did Minister for International Co-operation Najeeb al-Awj.

The cause was not clear, but a security source told Reuters news agency that three mortar shells landed on the terminal.

Saudi television channel Al-Hadath meanwhile broadcast a video that it said showed a missile hitting the tarmac and exploding.

In August 2019, 36 people were killed in a Houthi missile attack on a military parade in Aden.

People take photos of passengers getting off a plane at Aden airport on 30 December 2020

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a member of staff was killed in Wednesday’s attack, and that two others were unaccounted for and three were injured.

“Our staff were transiting through the airport with other civilians. This is a tragic day for us and the people of #Yemen,” it tweeted.

Yemeni news website Al-Masdar Online reported that an undersecretary at the labour ministry, Yasmin al-Awadhi, was killed and that Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Moneer al-Wajeeh and Deputy Transport Minister Nasser Sharif were among the injured.

Smoke rises from Aden's airport after an explosion on 30 December 2020

Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed and his cabinet were taken to safety following the attack.

Mr Saeed tweeted: “We and the members of the government are in the temporary capital of Aden and everyone is fine.

“The cowardly terrorist act that targeted Aden airport is part of the war that is being waged against the Yemeni state and its great people,” he added, without directly blaming the Houthis.

“It only increases our determination to carry out our duties.”

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths strongly condemned the attack.

“I wish the cabinet strength in facing the difficult tasks ahead,” he said in a statement. “This unacceptable act of violence is a tragic reminder of the importance of bringing Yemen urgently back on the path towards peace.”

Later on Wednesday there was another explosion near the Maashiq presidential palace where the prime minister took refuge. Saudi-funded Al Arabiya TV reported that an explosive drone was shot down.

Yemen’s newly formed “unity cabinet” was always going to have a rocky start. But it clearly did not anticipate this disaster when it announced its arrival would be livestreamed on television.

The red carpet was rolled out to send a signal to long-suffering residents in the south that a new government was on its way to address their many complaints, including the infighting between the government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) that has blighted their lives and weakened the fight against Houthis in the north

In a video message, the prime minister declared they would not be scared away.

The president and many ministers have been leading comfortable lives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. This audacious attack, which they blame on the Houthis, underlines the risks of coming back, and the risks of staying away. It is also a blunt message to their Saudi and Emirati allies, trying to extricate themselves from this punishing fight, that it is still far from over.

2px presentational grey line

Mr Saeed’s new cabinet was formed in an effort to heal a long-running rift between Saudi-backed government forces and militias loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council, supported by the United Arab Emirates.

The two sides are supposed to be allies in the civil war against the Houthi movement, which controls the capital Sanaa and much of north-western Yemen.

But in the past two years a power struggle has triggered several rounds of fierce infighting.

In August 2019, the STC seized control of Aden and refused to allow the cabinet to return to its temporary home until Saudi Arabia brokered a power-sharing deal that November.

The agreement was never implemented and there were fresh clashes this April, when the STC declared self-rule in southern Yemen.

The separatists rescinded their declaration three months later and agreed to revive the power-sharing deal after receiving a commitment that there would be equal representation for northerners and southerners in the 24-member cabinet. The two sides also agreed on the separation of forces inside Aden.

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Diamond’s mum responds to critics over photo of singer’s dad in matatu with scathing remark 

Diamond Platnumz’s mum, Mama Dangote, appears to have been aggrieved by comments about her son not supporting his dad, Mzee Abdul Juma. 

Diamond's mum responds to critics over photo of singer's dad in matatu with scathing remark

This is after the singer’s estranged dad was spotted boarding a matatu while carrying a sack on his shoulder, a few weeks back. 

The fan alluded that the Bongo star and his mom failed to accord a sense of comfort and luxury, that they both enjoyed, to Abdul and had left him to suffer in silence. Mama Dangote responded to the ‘cheap talk’ asking the fan what he expected the old man to get because he was already receiving enough from his son. “What else do you want him to be given. If it is assistance, he has already been assisted enough,’ she wrote. She also disclosed that Abdul had a much older child than Diamond, who should also take care of him but everyone was having a go at her son. She asked if critics wanted the artiste to carry his dad on his back to confirm that he did support him. The annoyed mother wrote. “He has a much older child than my son but you only criticise my child. You want him to carry his father on his shoulders and walk with him?”

This comes exactly two weeks after Mzee Abdul was spotted in Tanzanian boarding a matatu with a sack on his back. The old man appeared to be heading for work after previously revealing that he sold shoes to enable him to make a sustainable living 

Fans wondered how the father of one of the richest musicians in Africa could be living such a poor man’s life while some noted it was all he deserved for abandoning his family. There were others who urged Diamond to forgive and forget his dad’s past mistakes as it was only fair but also something that would please God. 

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Uganda Police deny arresting Bobi Wine during campaign trail, says he was escorted home 

The Uganda Police Force has denied claims it has arrested Kyadondo East MP and presidential candidate Bobi Wine.

Uganda Police deny arresting Bobi Wine during campaign trail, says he was escorted home

In a statement, the police dismissed as false reports it had arrested the firebrand politician clarifying that what officers did was to escort Wine to his home in Magere, Kampala. The police said the politician was restrained from continuously holding massive rallies citing the COVID-19 pandemic that is infecting several dozens every day in the President Yoweri Museveni-led country. According to authorities, the only people who were arrested were rowdy supporters who were seen deflating tyres of police vehicles and obstructing officers on duty. “We would like to clarify that the candidate was restrained for continuously holding massive rallies amidst the increased threats of coronavirus, in total disregard of the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Health guidelines. He’s being transferred to his home in Magere, Kampala. Part of his advance team, captured on CCTV cameras and several video footages, while deflating tyres of police motor vehicles, inciting violence, obstructing police officers on duty, violating the health and safety protocols and various traffic offences, have been arrested,” the statement read. PAY ATTENTION: Help us change more lives, join TUKO.co.ke’s Patreon programme 

Uganda Police deny arresting Bobi Wine during campaign trail, says he was escorted home

The UPF made issued the statement on the evening of Wednesday, December 30, shortly after wine wrote on his social media platforms that he had been arrested alongside his team. “Bobi Wine and his entire campaign team arrested in Kalangala! Media blocked,” the statement read. Wine, who is seeking to succeed President Museveni, had taken his campaign trail to Kalangala to woo voters. He was, however, blocked by the police and the army. The campaign period is nearing the homestretch period ahead of General Election slated for January 14. Museveni is also in the race and hopes to retain the seat he has held since January 1986. Wine has, however, accused the president of using the police to suppress his campaigns in areas where he commands a lot of support in the pretence of enforcing COVID-19 regulations. The MP, who is also a musician, has been arrested severally and some of his supporters killed during campaign trails “Citing COVID, they prohibited campaigns in areas with the most numbers of my supporters. However, Gen. Museveni campaigns there beneath the pretence of launching projects. He pays supporters to come and cheer him under state security! The disgrace!” He tweeted. The presidential candidate has also accused the army of murder of his bodyguards. Francis Senteza Kalibala was run over by a military vehicle on December 27, according to Wine. 

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Why a post-COVID 2021 could be your best year to start a business

Why a post-COVID 2021 could be your best year to start a business

You could be an out-of-school youth, or newbie entrepreneur wondering whether your great idea will work in a pandemic-induced recession. Perhaps you’ve already dipped your toes into business and need to get more funding, technical skills, or mentorship to scale your business to new levels. For many business owners, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic brought opportunities and threats in equal measure. Businesses that had embraced digitisation seem to be thriving more than some of their counterparts who continued in the traditional way of doing things. Fortunately, every challenge – big or small – always presents an opportunity to reflect, adjust, and grow. Here is why you should trust your instincts and go all-in on the business ideas you are considering in 2021. 

Consumers are seeking more solutions 

For many businesses, COVID-19 showed what works and what hasn’t worked, making it easier to readjust ideas and strategies for 2021. Consumers, on the other hand, are looking for more solutions to their ever-increasing needs and problems

Why a post-COVID 2021 could be your best year to start a business

As an entrepreneur, this is a golden opportunity to start a business whether you’re getting into e-commerce, coaching, design, or engineering. In addition, the wake of the pandemic saw e-commerce spike by almost 40%, meaning it’s easier to spot trends in where the world of business and consumption is headed. If you think about solutions that you wish you had and that aren’t being met currently, chances are there’s a large group of consumers seeking similar solutions. Stay-at-home has helped people hone their skills, gifts, and strengths Staying at home once looked like a “punishment” but over time, it meant more free hours away from the usual traffic jam, and the hassles of city life. We have seen budding entrepreneurs set up meal delivery businesses, get creative with the mask-selling business, and hone their talents in different things including cooking and artwork. You’ve no doubt discovered some things you’re effortlessly good at, passionate about, and you enjoy to the point that the energy shines through your work. Start your business in 2021 and take the next step towards your highest desires as you live in true alignment with what your heart and soul truly desire. Large workforce available post-COVID COVID forced millions of people across the globe out of their jobs, and if these people don’t set up their own businesses, they will be looking for opportunities to join those who do start businesses. Many people will be looking for jobs immediately the pandemic is crashed. Photo: KCB. Source: UGC For any entrepreneur, this is a gold mine because these are people who are ready and able to put their expertise and experience where it’s most valued. Not only would you be helping the affected who need financial relief in such hard times, but you’re also connecting them with new, life-changing business ideas and missions. Where to get funding and skills for your business idea in 2021 While the world of business is changing and you’re expected to change with it, he good news is that you don’t have to struggle in your hustle. The 2Jiajiri program has ready funding through 2Jiajiri and Bankika Loans for out-of-school youth and micro-entrepreneurs looking to start out or grow existing businesses. 2Jiajiri also offers out-of-school youth opportunities to get technical skills scholarships necessary for growing their micro-enterprises. As an existing micro-entrepreneur, 2Jiajiri will upskill and certify you to move your business from the informal to the formal sector, so you can access discounted asset and capital financing to set off your business. If you are still hesitating about starting your business in 2021, consider the three reasons why it will work, instead of why it may not work. What you focus on will grow. 

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Magoha to headteachers: Be innovative, use tree shades as classrooms

• The CS further asked boards of management to handle expectant teens gently and ensure they go back to school.

• Magoha said that there are no new classrooms across the world that have been constructed following the virus disruptions.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha

The Ministry of Education has indicated that all the schools will resume learning in January 2021 after a long interference caused by the coronavirus.

Speaking in Murang’a county on Wednesday, Education CS George Magoha urged school headmasters to be innovative and ensure Covid-19 protocols are adhered to.

The CS said that the school heads can take advantage of good sunny weather and use tree shades within the school compound as classes.

“If the weather is as good as now, nothing stops the headteacher, who is an excellent teacher from having classes there in addition to others being inside the rooms. Let us be innovative and stop criticizing without a solution,” Magoha said.

Magoha said that there are no new classrooms across the world that have been constructed following the virus disruptions.

He said that the schools will officially be reopened on Monday, January 4, 2021.

The CS asked parents to prepare their children for the resumption of learning, saying the government is doing everything possible to ensure schools are conducive for learning.

He also instructed teachers to ensure all children are given access to schools and warned them against sending children home for not paying fees.

“Primary education is free as per the constitution but in cases where it is payable, we are asking teachers to identify the needy children and support them. Let’s not have a situation where a pandemic has occasioned the loss of jobs and then we send children back home,” he said.

The CS further asked boards of management to handle expectant teens gently and ensure they go back to school.

“When ready to deliver, they will be allowed to go for delivery and come back to school. Even those who are married, all students, especially candidates must go back to school so they can sit for the national exams,” he added.

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Ignore politics, schools will reopen on Monday – Magoha

•Students from private schools that will not be able to reopen will be admitted in public schools.

•In case they are candidates, the government will issue directives on how the examinations will be undertaken since they are already printed.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with education stakeholders at Mjini Primary School on December 30, 2020.

Education CS George Magoha has reiterated that schools will be reopened next Monday despite growing resistance from a section of stakeholders.

Magoha, who spoke while inspecting Mjini Primary School in Murang’a town on Wednesday, said there is nothing that will block the reopening of schools.

Magoha asked parents to prepare their children for the resumption of learning, saying the government is doing everything possible to ensure schools are conducive for learning.

“Schools will reopen on Monday. We must stop listening to toxic politics. We are not politicians, we are workers and our children do not belong to any political party,” he said.

The government, he noted, anticipates social distancing challenges once learning institutions reopen but added that that will not deter its efforts.

Magoha urged teachers to be innovative with the space they have in their individual schools, saying countries have not built new classrooms due to Covid-19.

The Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (Kepsha) has said schools are too underfunded to handle the large populations of pupils, adding it would be impossible to adhere to the Covid-19 prevention protocols.

Kepsha Chairman Nicholas Gathemia said the over 23,000 public schools have over 12 million pupils and were not given funds to improve their infrastructure.

But Magoha urged stakeholders to stop criticizing the government’s efforts without offering solutions.

He further noted that the masks that the government has prepared for needy children are ready and will be distributed through a system that will prioritise those in dire need.

He said parents will only need to buy two reusable masks and will only require a maximum of Sh100.

“Don’t listen to politicians. They did not help you reproduce your kids. Let them retain their kids at home but allow us to take our children back to school,” he said.

The Sh19 billion meant for free education will be released to schools by Monday with Sh.14 billion going to secondary schools while Sh5 billion will be channeled to primary schools.

Magoha instructed teachers to ensure all children are given access to schools and warned them against sending children home for not paying fees.

“Primary education is free as per the constitution but in cases where it is payable, we are asking teachers to identify the needy children and support them. Let’s not have a situation where a pandemic has occasioned loss of jobs and then we send children back home,” he said.

The CS further asked boards of management to handle expectant teens gently and ensure they go back to school.

“When ready to deliver, they will be allowed to go for delivery and come back to school. Even those who are married, all students, especially candidates must go back to school so they can sit for the national exams,” he added.

Magoha further pointed out the majority of the schools have prepared for the re-opening with the help of the government and some NGOs.

He emphasized that the national examinations will be undertaken as scheduled and cautioned those out to sabotage them that they will not succeed.

The CS said many schools have already completed the syllabus for the candidates and that those yet to will have done so before the exams.

Students from private schools that will not be able to reopen will be admitted in public schools.

In case they are candidates, the government will issue directives on how the examinations will be undertaken since they are already printed.

In case the private school is still there but the students are unable to pay fees, they will be admitted to public schools on temporary basis but will undertake exams in the schools where they were registered.

He lauded field officers for ensuring the majority of the schools have had their desks delivered under the Sh1.9 billion stimulus package.

“We are working round the clock to ensure those yet to be delivered are delivered by Monday,” Magoha said.

Artisans who produced the desks are being paid through M-Pesa, he said.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with Murang'a East Deputy County Commissioner Virginia Githumbi at Mjini primary school on Wednesday.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with Murang’a East Deputy County Commissioner Virginia Githumbi at Mjini primary 
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IEBC under fire after ‘burning bridges’ tweet

• The tweet, which was part of a thread, was hurriedly deleted, but not without the attention of Twitter users who took screenshots of the same.

• The error elicited reactions from among users, some expressing their ire at the commission

The tweet was deleted.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Wednesday came under fire after publishing an erroneous tweet.

The polls agency, while announcing the launch of signatures backing the proposed amendments to the Constitution, used the phrase ‘burning bridges’.

“Happening now: The launch of the Burning Bridges Initiative Supporters Verification Exercise at the Bomas of Kenya,” the tweet read.

The tweet, which was part of a thread, was hurriedly deleted, but not without the attention of Twitter users who took screenshots of the same.

The error elicited reactions from among users, some expressing their ire at the commission and accusing it of showing signs of not backing the BBI process.

ODM political affairs secretary Opiyo Wandayi said:

Image

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Some tweeps called for the disbandment of the electoral commission, saying the tweet could be surmised as an indirect attack targeting President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The two are behind the Building Bridges Initiative, which followed their March 8, 2018 handshake that ended the tension of the 2017 polls.

During the launch of the verification of BBI signatures, the IEBC said 400 clerks hired for the process have taken their oath of secrecy and would begin the exercise immediately

“The 400 clerks who were recruited for the exercise have taken their oath of secrecy and will begin their training shortly,” IEBC said via Twitter.

IEBC  called for applications for the posts of signature verification clerks on December 19.

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William Ruto, Mama Rachel spend quality time grazing cattle at their ranch 

Deputy President William Ruto and his wife Mama Rachel have taken some time off this holiday season to spend time together at their ranch in Taita Taveta 

William Ruto, Mama Rachel, spend quality time grazing cattle in their ranch

The DP, who has by all accounts had a tough year in his political career, seemed relaxed while grazing the large herd of cattle in his farm. In pictures shared on social media by blogger Dennis Itumbi, Ruto was alongside his wife and a young lady, presumably one of their daughters, while looking after the animals. 

He ditched his usual official look and was instead dressed in a red polo shirt, a pair of blue jeans, a hat and a pair of sunglasses. The second lady, on the other hand, put on checked trousers, a white t-shirt and a hat.

The couple was all smiles for the camera and the DP could also be seen engaging with some two men while grazing the cattle. Even as the second in command takes time to relax during this festive season, political analysts opined 2021 will be a critical year for him. According to the analysts, Ruto is currently between a rock and a hard place after his disgruntled allies applied to have a party previously associated with him, Party for Reforms and Development, renamed to United Democratic Alliance (UDA) under the slogan Kazi ni Kazi. The big question remains whether he will quit Jubilee Party and campaign for the presidency under UDA or will brace the humiliation he is undergoing in the ruling party until Parliament is dissolved. 

This is not the first time the DP is taking some time off to rejuvenate in his home. On July 18, 2020, Ruto, who was in mud boots, a pair of jeans and a black shirt, spent the day with his Sugoi farmworkers who seemed elated to have him around. The DP was also seen having a plate of githeri which he was offered by one of the women in the workforce and from his comments on the food, he did not quite enjoy it. He asked the cook why the maize was not fully cooked and this left his employees in stitches. 

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Mandera: Al-Shabaab militants attack ambulance ferrying woman in labour, kill husband 

Al-Shabab militants have attacked an ambulance in Elwak, Mandera county killing one person on the spot.

The expectant lady is reported to have later delivered a bouncing baby boy. Photo: WHO

 

The militants laid ambush on the vehicle which was ferrying an expectant woman who was in labour to the Elwak hospital to deliver. According to reports, the extremists sprayed bullets on the vehicle which burst into flames and killing the woman’s husband on the spot. The woman later delivered a baby boy. Other occupants of the ill-fated vehicle including the nurse and a driver sustained serious injuries and were rushed to Elwak hospital.

Migori: Man jailed for 5 years for illegally disconnecting electricity 

A man has been slapped with a five-year jail term for illegally disconnecting electricity.

Migori: Man jailed for 5 years for illegal disconnection of electricity

Jared Omondi committed the crime on December 27, 2020, at Marindi village in Awendo. According to a report by Citizen TV, Rongo Resident Magistrate Raymond Langat said the man was in contravention of Energy Act No 1 of 2019. The convict now has two weeks to appeal the ruling or will serve the sentence as ruled by the court. Rongo sub-county administrator Seth Odoyo lauded the magistrate’s decision and said it will serve as a lesson to locals as cases of vandalising electrical apparatus in the region have increased. 

Odoyo also asked residents to report anyone perpetrating the illegal action. This came as Kenya Power conveyed its concern because of the reduction of power consumption among its key industrial customers opting for much cheaper energy. The power distributor in its annual report said about 54.8 % of revenue from the industrial users was on the downward trend as they shift to solar energy. The company generated KSh 63 billion from industrial customers which accounted for 45% of its total revenue. In other news, a Form Three female student who attacked two police officers attached to Ugunja Police Station in Siaya was released on a free bond. Sheril Awino was released on Monday, December 28, after the two officers, Dennis Mugo, the boyfriend, and his colleague Solomon Kipchumba, failed to fill a P3 form to aid in the investigations of the case. 

According to a police report, the suspect picked a piece of glass from a broken glass table which she used to attack her lover and his colleague. 

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Top 5 richest families in the world 

Despite the coronavirus pandemic wreaking havoc around the world and forcing companies to shut down, there are those whose fortunes continue to increase. They are the world’s richest families and their gains this year have been magnificent

1. The Walton family

 Top 5 world richest families

Sam Walton bought his first store in 1945, and today his family is worth $215 billion. 

The Walmart family is the richest family in the world with KSh 23. 3 trillion net worth. The family owns Walmart, the world’s largest retailer by revenue, with sales of KSh 55 trillion from more than 11,000 stores worldwide. 

Sam Walton bought his first store in 1945, and when he died in 1992, his eldest son identified as Rob became the chairman. In 2016, Steuart Walton replaced Bob on the board of Walmart. 

2. The Mars family 

Frank Mars established Mars Incorporated, an American multinational manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products and a provider of animal care services. The Mars family’s net worth is KSh 13 trillion.

Top 5 world richest families

The Mars family is worth $120 billion. 

3. The Koch family 

Fred Koch co-founded the Wood River Oil & Refining Co in 1945 and his four sons, Frederick, Charles, David and William inherited the company after his death. The brothers disagreed over the control of the company in the early 1980s, prompting Frederick and William to leave the family business while Charles and David stayed. The company has since grown into Koch Industries, a conglomerate with annual revenue of about KSh 12.5 trillion. The Koch family’s net worth is 11.8 trillion.

Top 5 world richest families

The Koch family is worth $109.7 billion. 

4. The House of Saud 

The House of Saud is the ruling royal family of Saudi Arabia. The family has a net worth of KSh 10.3 trillion. The net worth estimate is based on cumulative payouts royal family members are calculated to have received over the past 50 years from the Royal Diwan, the executive office of the king. 

Top 5 world richest families

The ruling royal family of Saudi is worth $95 billion. 

5. The Ambani family 

Dhirubhai Ambani was the founder of Reliance Industries. His sons took control of the conglomerate when he died in 2002. The family’s net worth is KSh 8.8 trillion. The Mumbai-based conglomerate owns the world’s largest oil refining complex.

Top 5 richest families in the world

It should be noted that the ranking did not feature first-generation fortunes and those fortunes controlled by a single heir. 

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10 prominent Kenyan politicians who died in 2020 

The year 2020 has been characterised with tragedies and devastations that have hit the country hard and left many people heartbroken. 

10 prominent Kenyan politicians who died in 2020

1. Former president Daniel Arap Moi 

Kenya’s second president died on February 4, 2020, after spending the better part of his last days in and out of hospital. 

His death brought the country to a standstill as he was one of the most revered presidents stayed in power for a record 24 years. Kenyans remembered him for his investment in education where he constructed schools, universities and introduced free milk programme in primary schools to motivate children to seek education. He died at 95 years and was laid to rest at his Kabarak home in Nakuru on February 12.

2. Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori 

Dori breathed his last on March 9 while receiving treatment at the Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa. He was laid to rest on the same day according to Muslim tradition. Dori was born on October 19, 1977 in Gazi and was the lastborn in a family of 11 children, three brothers and eight sisters. He joined politics in 2013 and won the Msambweni seat on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket

The lawmaker died aged 42.

3. Former Changamwe MP Ramadhan Kajembe 

Kajembe died on August 7 after ailing for a while. His death came barely months after he lost his two wives. His first wife Mama Aziza Kajembe died on July 24, just four months after the death second spouse Mama Zaharia Kajembe. Kajembe was first elected MP for Changamwe in 1997 on a KANU ticket. He retained the position in 2002 through the NARC coalition. He passed on at the age of 66. 

4. Senior Counsel Philip Nzamba Kitonga

The renowned lawyer breathed his last on October 25. Kitonga was remembered for his role in the drafting of the 2010 Constitution. Before he died, Kitonga had suggested there was need for a review on of the current constitution for possible amendments. In 2013, he ventured into the murky waters of politics, vying for the Kitui gubernatorial seat which he lost to Julius Malombe. 

5. Matungu MP Justus Murunga

Murunga died on November 15 while receiving treatment at a Mumias hospital. He reportedly succumbed to COVID-19. 

6. Former Kilifi South MP Mustafa Idd 

Mustafa passed on on November 25 after a short illness. He had been admitted at Premier Hospital in Mombasa. He served as Kilifi South MP from 2013 to 2017. At the time of his death, the former legislator served as the Coast Water Works Development Agency Chairman, a board tasked with developing water infrastructure at the Coast. 

7. Kabuchai MP James Lusweti Mukwe

Lusweti was pronounced dead at the Nairobi Hospital on December 4 after spending the better part of the year in and out of hospital. He was serving his second term having been elected in 2017 on a FORD Kenya ticket. He had previously served as a council for Chwele ward for 10 years. 

8. Machakos Boniface Mutinda Kabaka

Senator Kabaka was admitted in Nairobi Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on December 5 after collapsing at an apartment in Kilimani Estate. He died a week later. Kabaka was a polished lawyer who was serving his first term as a senator having floored seasoned politician Johnson Muthama.

9. Former Cabinet minister Joseph Nyagah 

Nyagah died on the same date as Kabaka, December 11. He was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in 2007 and was one of the five top leaders who formed the famous ‘Pentagon’ Nyagah served as MP for Gachoka constituency from 1998 to 2007 and was nominated to parliament by ODM party in 2008. He served in several ministerial dockets including the cooperative development and marketing docket. 

10. Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama 

Nyagarama was pronounced dead at Nairobi Hospital on Friday, December 18. He had been admitted to the city facility’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for close to a month. Reports indicate the county boss succumbed to COVID-19. He died aged 74 years. 

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Intenational

Trump urges Congress to amend ‘wasteful’ coronavirus aid bill

• In a video message posted on Twitter, he said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.

• “It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said.

US President Donald Trump

US President Trump has urged Congress to amend a $900bn (£670bn) coronavirus relief bill to more than triple its stimulus payments to Americans.

In a video message posted on Twitter, he said the package “really is a disgrace”, full of “wasteful” items.

“It’s called the Covid relief bill, but it has almost nothing to do with Covid,” he said.

The $900bn bill includes one-off $600 payments to most Americans, but Mr Trump said the figure should be $2,000.

His statement stunned Capitol Hill. Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating a coronavirus stimulus rescue package since July and Mr Trump – who has largely stayed out of the talks – had been expected to sign the legislation into law following its passage through Congress on Monday night.

The package of measures is linked to a bigger government spending bill, which includes foreign aid funding as well as a $1.4tn spending measure to fund federal agencies for the next nine months. Those agencies will have to shut if the president vetoes or refuses to sign it by midnight next Monday.

Most legislation that comes from Congress requires the approval of the president before becoming law.

However, Mr Trump has not specifically said he would veto the bill. Even if he does, US media say there could be enough votes from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to override his veto.

What did Trump say?

In Tuesday night’s message from the White House, Mr Trump baulked at spending in the bill on other countries, arguing that this money should go to struggling Americans.

He said: “This bill contains $85.5m for assistance to Cambodia, $134m to Burma, $1.3bn for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment, $25m for democracy and gender programmes in Pakistan, $505m to Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.”

The president questioned why the Kennedy Center, a performing arts complex in Washington DC, was set to receive $40m when it is not open, and more than $1bn has been allocated to museums and galleries in the capital.

Mr Trump concluded: “Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it. It wasn’t their fault. It was China’s fault.

“I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000 or $4,000 for a couple.

“I’m also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and to send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a Covid relief package.”

What’s in the aid bill?

On Monday afternoon, congressional leaders unveiled a 5,593-page package and voted on it several hours later.

Several lawmakers protested that they had not been given an opportunity to read the contents.

Nevertheless the bill sailed through the House of Representatives by 359-53 and the Senate by 92-6.

The relief package contains a number of provisions that will help tens of millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet in the pandemic-battered economy.

The one-off payments of $600 are half the sum provided by the last major coronavirus aid bill in March, which contained $2.4tn in economic relief.

Monday’s package extends federal jobless benefits of up to $300 per week for 11 weeks, although this again is half the amount provided by the previous bill.

The package contains $25bn in rental aid and extends an eviction moratorium that was due to expire at the end of this month, a lifeline for millions of Americans.

The bill also bans surprise medical billing – where hospital patients get slapped with often exorbitant stealth fees because they were treated by a doctor who was not covered by their health insurer.

But after poring over the mammoth legislation, journalists and critics have highlighted a string of alleged giveaways for lobbyists.

The Washington Post, for example, reports that the package contains $110bn in tax breaks for sectors such as the liquor industry and motorsports entertainment.

How have politicians reacted?

On Tuesday, President-elect Joseph Biden said the coronavirus bill was merely a “down payment” and vowed he would press lawmakers to pass another stimulus bill after he enters office next month.

“Congress did its job this week,” the Democrat said, speaking from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, “and I can and I must ask them to do it again next year.”

The most powerful congressional Democrat, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, usually a fierce antagonist of the president, said she agreed with Mr Trump’s call for $2,000 one-off stimulus payments for every American.

“Let’s do it!” she tweeted, pledging that her party would bring the proposal to the floor this week.

Such a plan would need to be passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, where it may well face resistance.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch ally of President Trump, responded to Ms Pelosi with his own tweets welcoming her support for increasing payments, and saying “let’s go further” and “agree with President Trump that Big Tech needs to be reined in by winding down Section 230 liability protections”.

The Democratic minority leader of the Senate, Chuck Schumer, tweeted: “Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we’re glad to pass more aid Americans need”.

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Bunyenyezi, man who paid Raila’s air ticket to exile in Norway dies aged 76

• He is also the co-founder of Kiss FM, the pioneer outlet in Radio Africa Group, and became the founder chairman of the group.

• Raila’s daughter Winnie Odinga told mourners during a mass service for Bunyenyezi that an intelligence officer from US embassy had told her father that the Moi government at the time was after him and “this time they would not spare you.”

The family of the late Ezra Bunyenyezi after his mass service.

When ODM leader Raila Odinga was fleeing the country from detention in 1991 to seek asylum in Norway, an anonymous Good Samaritan in Uganda would pay his air ticket.

He only came to know him later in life to be Ezra Bunyenyezi.

The business magnate died on December 18 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 76.

Details from the family indicate that the businessman was suffering from carcinoid syndrome, a condition which was diagnosed in 2016.

“In October this year, his illness intensified and on the afternoon of December 18, he passed away in his sleep at the Aga Khan hospital in Nairobi. His wife and children were at his bedside,” the tribute said.

Raila’s daughter Winnie Odinga told mourners during a mass service for Bunyenyezi on Wednesday that an intelligence officer from US embassy had told her father that the Moi government at the time was after him and “this time they would not spare you.”

Business magnate Ezra Bunyenyezi died on December 18 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 76.

So he disguised himself in a perilous boat ride through Lake Victoria to Uganda.

At the UNHCR offices, she said, Raila was told to find means of leaving for Norway as the UN agency did not have funds to buy him a ticket.

The police from Kenya had also learnt that he had fled to the neighbouring nation and it was a matter of time before they came for him. So it was urgent.

At the time, Bunyenyezi was owning a Ugandan travel bureau.

“So my father went to the bureau and requested that he books a ticket and then organize with him family in Bondo to send the money,” she said to a still quiet audience.

But an attendant at the bureau went to the back office and came back with a fully paid ticket.

“My father said ‘no I don’t have the money yet. I’m just booking’ but the attendant said she had been instructed to give a person with such names the ticket,” she said.

“Ezra never told my father that he did this to him even though they later became close friends for many years. He only learnt of it through another person,” she added, thanking Bunyenyezi’s family for saving her father’s life.

Bunyenyezi was eulogized as a genius businessman who had a gut feeling of what business would succeed, and they all succeeded.

Besides the Uganda travel bureau, he also established the Rwanda travel bureau and Capital FM in Uganda.

He is also the co-founder of Kiss FM, the pioneer outlet in Radio Africa group.

He became the founder chairman of the group.

Bunyenyezi is survived with his wife of 40 years Chantal and three children Gad, Keza and Nshuti.

Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said he first met Bunyenyezi when he was studying in Makerere university and their friendship over decades have only grown stronger.

Politician Peter Kenneth said the prolific businessman was widely knowledgeable, social and friendly.

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Government should lobby for affordable Covid-19 vaccines – Kalonzo

• Clearly, the worst of Covid-19 is behind us. With reports of new vaccines coming up, we can only hope for the best.

• Despite the good news about the vaccines, I urge you, however, not to let down your guards. 

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and usher in the New Year 2021, I extend a message of goodwill and congratulate all Kenyans for your perseverance and resilience during this very difficult year for Kenya and the world.

Indeed, 2020 has been extremely challenging to all of us.

Covid-19 has ravaged Kenya and the world since the beginning of the year, wreaking havoc to humanity through massive loss of lives, as well as destruction to economies. 

Millions of Kenyans have borne the brunt of the devastation caused by Covid-19.

Families have been shattered by loss of lives of their members, and many have lost jobs and earnings.

Despite the gloom, however, we have held out against all odds and kept our hope alive.

We have held steadfast onto the Kenyan spirit of optimism; and our trust and faith in God remains unshaken.

I urge all of you, my dear brothers and sisters, to keep up the optimism, faith and resilience as we celebrate this Christmas and usher in 2021.

Clearly, the worst of Covid-19 is behind us.

With reports of new vaccines coming up, we can only hope for the best, and in this regard, I call upon the Government to lobby for affordable vaccines that would not be out of reach of the common mwananchi.

Despite the good news about the vaccines, I urge you, however, not to let down your guards.

Covid-19 is still with us. It continues to ravage our towns and rural areas alike.

Please do not stop wearing masks, sanitizing, and keeping social distance.

We must keep exercising these precautions until this deadly disease is fully contained.

At this time, it still portends a great danger to our lives. We must stay ever alert.

Given that 2020 has also witnessed heightened political temperatures arising from various by-elections as well as the Building Buildings Initiative, I am calling upon Kenyans to fully embrace the spirit of Nationhood.

We may differ in principle, but we are all Kenyans.

The ideals that unite are greater than the imaginary walls that divide us.

We must never let partisan political interests take precedence over Nationalism.

May this Christmas inspire in us Kenyans a desire to embrace one another with love and purity of heart, fully aware that we are children of not only the Great Nation of Kenya, but also share a common Creator!

Let us renew our faith and belief in God our Maker, for, a Nation that abides in God’s Law of Love shall never suffer shame among Nations.

God Bless You All! God Bless Kenya! One Nation One People.

Hon Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, EGH, is Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan.

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Doctors call off strike after signing return to work formula

 Reports indicate they have called off the strike after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention. 

• Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union officials have been in a closed door meeting with the ministry since morning. 

KMPDU acting secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda addresses the media at the union's offices along 5th Avenue Ngong on July 11, 2020.

Doctors on Thursday called off their strike after signing a return to work formula with the government.

Reports indicate they have called off the strike after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s intervention.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union officials have been in a closed door meeting with the ministry since morning.

The union SG Chibanzi Mwachonda says the return to work formula was signed after assurance by the ministry that their grievances will be addressed.

For instance the government has assured them that quality and standard personal protective gear will be availed to them in their line of duty.

Similarly, talks have commenced in counties like Laikipia and Kirinyaga where doctors had been fired to ensure they go back to work by Monday.

The doctors say they have decided to call off the strike after majority of their grievances were addressed.

In the document signed at Afya House, it was agreed that there would be no victimization of king by the parties involved and salaries withheld by counties arising from the strike be released immediately.

“The ministry of labour and social protection is available and ready to conciliate on the pending issues so as to find a lasting solution to the grievances by healthcare workers,” the document reads in part.

Those who were present and appended their signatures include the CS Mutahi Kagwe, CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, Labour Committee chair governor James, Ongwae, KMPDU SG Chibanzi Mwachonda, the chairman Samwel Oroko and witnessed by the Labour CS Simon Chelugui.

According to the document, the decision was arrived at to allow the National Treasury to fast track release of required budgetary allocations to enable the counties to procure a comprehensive Group Life, last expense, enhanced work injury benefits and group personal accident cover as provided for by the NHIF.

“Additionally, counties will make arrangements to procure the comprehensive medical cover as provided for by NHIF on expiry of the running contracts signed between the counties and other insurance providers by February 28, 2921,” it reads.

It was also agreed that consultations between the ministry, SRC and the treasury to continue to allow for payment of call allowance owed to doctors.

Similarly, it was agreed that the ministry considers renewal of the contracts of the 116 doctors recruited to serve in the Covid-19 isolation and treatment centres across the country subject to availability of funds.

“Consideration shall be made for the 206 doctors working at the KNH on contract terms either temporary, one year or three years to be established as permanent and pensionable subject to availability of funds,” the agreement reads.

It adds: “The parties herein agree to engage further in good faith and trust to restore industrial harmony in the public health sector.”

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Matungu by-election: 8 independent candidates cleared to compete, ODM yet to nominate aspirant

Matungu by-election has attracted a total of eight independent aspirants who have so far been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). 

Matungu by-election: 8 independent candidates cleared to compete, ODM yet to nominate aspirant

The eight candidates include former MP Justus Murunga’s wife, Christabel Amunga, who had hinted at vying for the seat during the burial ceremony the late legislator.

ODM delay 

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had not nominated a candidate for the mini poll as of December 21, the deadline set by IEBC for political parties to submit a list of persons intending to contest for nominations. 

One of the Orange party’s aspirants Paul Posho said they had been asked to present themselves for nominations on December 24. He exuded confidence the Raila Odinga-led outfit will have a candidate in Matungu before Christmas. Posho is battling for ODM ticket with former MP David Were who is keen to make a comeback after being floored by the late Murunga. 

Matungu by-election: 8 independent candidates cleared to compete, ODM yet to nominate aspirant

Independent candidates 

The first cadre of politicians who were cleared by IEBC to contest for the parliamentary seat include close family and political allies of the late MP. They include wife Christabel Amunga, Matungu NG-CDF chairman Athman Wangara Khamis and Constituency Manager Odanga Mutimba Pessa. Others are Samuel Munyekenye, Wilberforce Chitechi, Notcus Borry Kevin and Stanislaus Kubende and Charles Lutta Kasamani. Noah Haji Shiunzi was cleared to vie ob Roots Party of Kenya, an outfit associated with veteran lawyer George Wajackoyah. Earlier TUKO.co.ke reported ANC gave one Peter Nabulindo a direct nomination to fly the party flag during the by-election. 

The late Murunga was elected on an ANC party ticket. 

Jubilee Party 

The ruling party through Secretary-General Raphael Tuju announced it will fielding candidates in Matungulu and Kabuchai by-elections. It is, however, not yet clear whether or not the outfit has nominated an aspirant to date. Deputy President William Ruto’s allies in Kakamega county led by former senator Boni Khalwale said they were waiting to be given a direction by the DP. The politicians said they will rally behind any candidate the second in command will endorse. 

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Don’t dare break rules in coming by-elections, NCIC warns politicians

  • Kobia promised to punish politicians who will threaten good relations and peaceful co-existence of persons of different ethnic and racial communities as they hunt for votes.
  • Kobia said NCIC had learned “very valuable “lessons in the just concluded by-election in Msambweni, which was marred with obscenities during the campaign period.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has vowed to take stern action against politicians “who will break the rules” during the forthcoming by-elections.

 The commission’s chairperson Samuel Kobia said NCIC had learned “very valuable “lessons in the just concluded by-election in Msambweni, which was marred with obscenities during the campaign period.

“The Msambweni by-election is still very fresh on our minds. We analysed every detail of it and we will use lessons learnt during by-elections in Matungu, Kabuchai, Nairobi and Machakos,” he said.

Speaking on Wednesday his office in Nairobi, Kobia promised to punish politicians who will threaten good relations and peaceful co-existence of persons of different ethnic and racial communities as they hunt for votes.

Kobia said politicians who will incite people against each other will pay the price.

“We have always been told that we are a dog that cannot bite. I want to assure Kenyans that we will not just be summoning those who will go against the law, we will be taking action against them as well,” he stated.

He urged politicians to exercise restraint as the campaign for their respective candidates.

“Politicians must hunt for votes within the law. We will not spare anyone,” he vowed.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is preparing for a by-election in Nairobi County and Matungu constituency.

Nairobi residents will head to the polls on February 18, 2021, to elect another governor following the impeachment of Mike Sonko.

The campaigns in the run-up for the Nairobi seat will start on January 18, 2021 and end on February 15, 2021.

On the other hand, the electoral agency set March 4, 2021, as the date for the Matungu Constituency by-election to be held alongside five ward mini-polls.

IEBC is waiting for Machakos and Kabuchai seats to be declared vacant following the deaths of Boniface Kabaka and James Mukwe Lusweti respectively.

NCIC recently summoned ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa Sifuna to record statements over vulgar remarks they made during the Msambweni by-election campaigns.

The two were asked to appear in person, failure to which, NCIC would institute contempt proceedings against them.

Sifuna appeared before the commission on Monday while Jumwa presented herself on Tuesday. They both apologised for the remarks and promised to exercise restraint in future.

Leaders have since expressed concern that the Kabuchai parliamentary by-election would be chaotic following recent clashes of Ford-K supporters at a church service.

Worshippers had to scamper for safety when rival groups turned the church into a battlefield.

Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi who was the chairman parliamentary committee that was in charge of the burial preparations has since warned politicians against inciting residents into causing chaos.

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Jim Carrey will no longer play Joe Biden on ‘SNL’

Can Jim Carrey Solve Joe Biden for 'Saturday Night Live'? - The Ringer

New York (CNN Business)Jim Carrey‘s short stint as Joe Biden has come to an end.

Carrey will no longer play the president-elect on “Saturday Night Live,” the comedian announced on Twitter Saturday.
“Though my term was only meant to be 6 weeks, I was thrilled to be elected as your SNL President…comedy’s highest call of duty,” Carrey tweeted. “I would love to go forward knowing that Biden was the victor because I nailed that s***. But I am just one in a long line of proud, fighting SNL Bidens!”
    Carrey played Biden for six episodes on the NBC variety show this season. His sketches usually found himself playing off Alec Baldwin as President Trump and Maya Rudolph as his running mate, Kamala Harris.
    The decision to end his role as Biden was Carrey’s choice, according to a source close to the show. Carrey planned to only play the candidate in the run-up to the election, and since he lives in Los Angeles, it would be difficult for him to travel back and forth for the show in the long term, the source said.
    “SNL” did not announce who would be playing Biden on the show going forward.
    Carrey was a surprising choice to play Biden when the show announced he’d be taking on the role in September.
    For starters, Carrey is not an “SNL” cast member, and others have played Biden in the past including Woody Harrelson and former cast member Jason Sudeikis.
    Carrey’s performance was notable and brought a lot of attention to the show, but it ultimately garnered mixed reviews with some critics saying that, despite Carrey’s comedic talents, his Biden was missing the mark.
    “It sounded like a great get at first. Here was a big-time star that could balance out the heft of Alec Baldwin’s Trump. But after three episodes, Carrey still hasn’t managed to break through,” Vanity Fair wrote in October. “Maybe he’s too physical a performer, or too needy a showman, to capture the flapjack earnestness of the former vice president.”
      The L.A. Times concurred writing in November that “despite the aviator glasses, silver hair and ‘here’s the deal’ phraseology, the gregarious Carrey has had a hard time exploiting Biden’s demeanor on the national stage this year — deliberate, controlled and understated.”
      “Saturday Night Live” returns for a new episode on Saturday night. Kristen Wiig will host alongside musical guest, Dua Lipa.
      dbn.co.ke news

      Andrew Yang files paperwork to run for New York mayor

      Andrew Yang defends random money giveaway - POLITICO

       

      Washington (CNN)Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has filed paperwork to participate in New York’s 2021 mayoral race, according to city records.

      Yang’s name appears on a list from the New York City Campaign Finance Board of candidates for the city’s 2021 elections. CNN reported last week that Yang, a former tech executive, was planning to mount a bid for the mayor’s office in the coming weeks.
      Yang’s presidential bid ended earlier this year, and he spent time as a CNN contributor after leaving the campaign trail. At the time he ended his campaign, Yang had said he had no plans to run for mayor in New York, where he has lived for nearly 25 years.
        Already, Yang is joining a field of dozens of mayoral candidates, according to the city records. The contenders are all vying to take charge of a pandemic-stricken city, where unemployment is skyrocketing, poverty and hunger are growing, and a budget crunch on the horizon could force the next mayor to make deep cuts to public sector jobs and services.
        Largely unknown outside of tech circles before the 2020 primary, Yang won the affection — if not always the votes — of Democrats who appreciated his happy warrior persona on the debate stage and campaign trail. And he was backed by supporters branded the “Yang Gang,” who helped him raise $40 million over the course of his run — including a surprising $16.5 million as the race heated up in the final three months of 2019.
        The former tech executive pushed the idea of a Universal Basic Income into the mainstream of political conversation during his presidential run. After leaving the race, he founded Humanity Forward, a nonprofit he used to test some of the ideas that animated his campaign, like UBI. In March, he began giving hundreds of working families in New York $1,000 a month to determine the effectiveness of such a program. The organization also endorsed down-ballot candidates across the country.

        Trump issues 26 new pardons, including for Stone, Manafort and Charles Kushner

        Here are the high-profile pardons and commutations Trump has granted during his presidency

        Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump on Wednesday evening announced 26 new pardons, including for longtime ally Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner’s father, Charles.

        The pardons extend Trump’s streak of wielding his clemency powers for criminals who are loyalists, well-connected or adjacent to his family. While all presidents issue controversial pardons at the end of their terms, Trump appears to be moving at a faster pace than his predecessors, demonstrating little inhibition at rewarding his friends and allies using one of the most unrestricted powers of his office.
        The pardons of Manafort and Stone reward two of the most high-profile and widely condemned former advisers of the President, both of whom were indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller, went to trial and were convicted by juries of multiple crimes.
          Manafort, who is serving home confinement, admitted his crimes and initially agreed to cooperate with Mueller then lied to prosecutors, while Stone never cooperated after lying to Congress to protect the President. Manafort spent close to two years in prison for bank and tax fraud, illegal foreign lobbying and witness tampering conspiracies before being released because of the Covid-19 pandemic, while Stone’s sentence for obstruction of Congress and threatening a witness was commuted by Trump earlier this year days before he was set to surrender.
          Charles Kushner, meanwhile, had been prosecuted by then-US Attorney for New Jersey Chris Christie in the early 2000s for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.
          He eventually pleaded guilty to 16 counts of tax evasion, one count of retaliating against a federal witness — his brother-in-law — and another count of lying to the Federal Election Commission.
          Christie in early 2019 went on to say that Charles Kushner committed “one of the most loathsome, disgusting crimes” he had prosecuted, referring to an elaborate revenge plot that the older Kushner hatched in 2003 in order to target his brother-in-law, William Schulder, a former employee turned witness for federal prosecutors in their case against Kushner.
          As a part of the plot, Kushner hired a prostitute to lure Schulder into having sex in a Bridgewater, New Jersey, motel room as a hidden camera rolled.
          A tape of the encounter was then sent to Kushner’s sister and Schulder’s wife, Esther. Ultimately, the intimidation stunt failed. The Schulders brought the video to prosecutors, who tracked down the woman and threatened her with arrest. She promptly turned on Kushner.
          Also included in Trump’s pardon list Wednesday evening is former California GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter’s wife, Margaret, just one day after Trump granted Duncan Hunter a full pardon. Margaret Hunter had pleaded guilty last year to conspiring “knowingly and willingly” to convert campaign funds for personal use.
          Beyond the high-profile pardons, Trump also pardoned more than 20 other individuals, including those who had pleaded guilty to various cyber crimes, firearm possession and mail fraud. He also commuted the sentences of three others.
          The wave of pardons Wednesday evening comes after Trump used his expansive pardon powers Tuesday for a list that included former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, former US congressman Chris Collins, and the four Blackwater guards involved in the Iraq massacre.
          Also in that batch were Alex van der Zwaan, the Dutch lawyer who was sentenced to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to lying to Mueller investigators; two Border Patrol agents convicted in 2006 of shooting and wounding an unarmed undocumented immigrant and then covering it up; and several people convicted of non-violent drug crimes serving lengthy sentences.
          The crush of pardons, poised to be a defining facet of Trump’s final weeks in office, follows a flood of calls and emails into the West Wing from people looking to benefit from the President’s broad clemency powers.
          Throughout his term, the President has largely ignored the established government process to review and recommend clemency requests, instead relying on the word of friends, donors and Fox News hosts.
          Of the 20 clemencies Trump issued Tuesday night, only three had existing petitions with the Justice Department’s Office of Pardon Attorney, the department said.
          The department previously told CNN in November that it played a role in only eight of the 27 pardons and commutations Trump had granted at the time.
          dbn.co.ke news

          UK announces travel ban on South Africa due to “increased risk” from new coronavirus strain

          The UK has announced a travel ban on anyone who has been in or transited through South Africa in the past 10 days due to an “increased risk from a new strain of coronavirus,” the country’s Department for Transport said in a statement. 

          The ban begins Thursday, December 24 at 9 a.m., according to the statement.

          Only British and Irish nationals, visa holders and permanent residents coming from South Africa will be able to enter England, but they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days with their households, the Department for Transport said in its statement. 

          The ban excludes cargo and freight without passengers.

          This decision comes on information from health authorities in South Africa of a Covid-19 variant strain that is different to the UK variant, “meaning a travel ban is critical to prevent further domestic infection,” the Department for Transport statement says.

          The new variants: There is no evidence to suggest that the new Covid-19 variants discovered in the UK and South Africa have a different impact on people, according to Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed in the United States.

          Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief adviser for the Defense Department's Project Warp Speed, speaks during an Operation Warp Speed vaccine summit at the White House in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, December 8.

          During a media briefing Wednesday, Slaoui said that while there is data suggesting — but not demonstrating — that these variants may be more infectious, there is no evidence that their pathogenesis or impact on people is any different than the strains that have been circulating.

          dbn.co.ke news

          International

          Patient experiences severe allergic reaction after receiving Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine

          A vial of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine that received emergency use authorization is seen at George Washington University Hospital on December 14, in Washington, DC.

          A person experienced a severe allergic reaction several minutes after receiving Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, the Alabama Department of Public Health said Wednesday in a news release.  

          The patient, who received the vaccine on Tuesday, is “stable and appears to be recovering,” ADPH said.  

          The department said the patient had a previous history of severe allergic reactions to biological agents but decided to receive the vaccine following a risk assessment.

          “As required by the emergency use authorization (EUA), the adverse reaction has been documented and reported to the manufacturer,” ADPH added. 

          Vaccine numbers: As of Wednesday morning, 15,286 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had been administered in Alabama, according to ADPH. More than 1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the US.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Kalonzo Musyoka resists calls for a coalition with Ruto: “I want nothing less than presidency” 

          Wiper Democratic Movement party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has resisted calls by Deputy President William Ruto’s allies that he should form a coalition with the second in command ahead of the 2022 General Election. 

          Kalonzo Musyoka resists calls for a Ruto coalition: "I want nothing less than presidency"

          Speaking during the burial service of former Machakos senator Boniface Kabaka at Mikuyu village, Masinga sub-county, the former vice president insisted he will make another stab at the country’s top seat. “Prepare for a straight fight nationally because you know I am very well known in the Rift Valley…I am very well known everywhere in this country…Let’s leave these sideshows, my brother prepare Omundu Khu mundu (man on man), Kalonzo versus Ruto,” the Wiper leader said.

          While speaking earlier at the same function, some Tanga Tanga lawmakers led by Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen pleaded with Kalonzo to work with Ruto in one camp. “I want to tell Kalonzo as one of the leaders in Kenya that he should stay together with William Ruto and other like minded leaders and plan on how to take the country forward,” Murkomen said. Ruto also wooed the former National Super Alliance deputy captain as he sang his praises. “Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka is a leader whom we very well understand. He is a former VP of the Republic of Kenya, I have heard some of you saying he should be an elder in this region, my friends, aren’t you bringing down his status?” Ruto posed. In December 2019, Kalonzo denied an alliance with the DP was in the offing after former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama let the cat out of the bag. 

          The veteran politician termed the speculations of wanting to work with the country’s number two as “malicious”. “In the light of recent conversations and speculations about working with the DP, please note that these speculations are malicious. They are a desperate attempt to drive a wedge between me and the President and have failed. Remarks by individuals should not be attributed to me,” he posted on Twitter.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Governor Ojaamong tells health workers to persevere, wait for BBI to pass 

          Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong is on the spot after a video of him asking front line health workers to persevere until the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is passed emerged.

          Governor Ojaamong tells health workers to 'perservere', wait for BBI to pass

          This came hot on the heels of Doctor Stephen Mogusu’s death which left the country broken especially after the medics’ union revealed the deceased had not received his five-month salary and comprehensive health insurance at the time of his passing. 

          Speaking on Sunday, December 6, the governor said counties too had not received money from the national government but were still surviving nonetheless because things were not good in the country. “I want to tell nurses, clinical officers and doctors who want to strike; even when you down your tools, how will it help? Let’s have talks and see what we can achieve. “The health people should persevere just for a little more time at least until the BBI is passed; it could bring better things,” the county boss said. His comments left Kenyans with a bad taste in their mouths with many stating he was oblivious to the suffering of medics who were putting their lives on the line every single day to save lives. 

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          Raila Odinga says he’s ready to take COVID-19 vaccine in public 

          Opposition leader Raila Odinga has said he will take the COVID-19 vaccine in public once it is approved and declared safe for use. 

          Raila Odinga says he's ready to take COVID-19 vaccine in public

          The former prime minister said he would be among the first people to receive the jab in order to encourage to do the same Speaking to KTN News on Wednesday, December 16, the ODM leader said he will only need to be assured the vaccine is safe and effective. “If this vaccine is proven to be safe for use, there is no reason why I will not be ready…if it will help to encourage our people to take it in order to contain this pandemic,” he said. 

          Insensitive remarks 

          Raila who recently caused an uproar after asking health workers who were threatening to go on strike to be patient and understanding used the platform to clarify his remarks. He noted his statement was taken out of context by the media and blown out of proportion. “I only asked our health workers to be a little understanding and sympathise with our people, it is not that I was vilifying them as alleged. I only wanted them to understand the situation were are in and give room for dialogue,” he said. 

          The Opposition chief who is lobbying for amendment of the constitution through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) came under sharp criticism from Kenya who felt he was being insensitive to the plight of health workers. A section of activists and politicians called out him and asked that he equally demonstrates some level of understanding by dropping the push for a referendum amid a pandemic.

          First consignment 

          Raila’s comment came barely hours after the Ministry of Health announced Kenya would be receiving its first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the government has placed an order of 24 million Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine doses. Kagwe noted the doses would cover 20% of the country’s population with priority being given to individuals at high risk of contracting the viral disease. The government has allocated KSh 10 billion for extra doses that would cover another 10% of the country’s population. Globally, former US president Barack Obama and George W Bush have expressed their willingness and readiness to take the jab on camera to promote public confidence. They, however, maintained that would only happen after the Food and Drug Authority has approved the vaccine. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Michael Olunga becomes first African footballer to be voted MVP 

          Michael Olunga has become the first African footballer to win the prestigious Most Valuable Player of the year award in Japan.

          Michael Olunga becomes first African footballer to be voted MVP

          Olunga bagged the award thanks to his sensational form for Kashiwa Reysol in the J1 League that saw him emerge top scorer in the just concluded season.

          The tally accounted for nearly half of Reysol’s 60 goals scored in the season under review as the side finished seventh on the standings with 52 points. 

          The feat was also enough to help Olunga ink his name in the history of Japanese books as the first African player to be voted as the MVP. The Harambee Stars striker also became the eighth player to win both the Golden Boot and the MVP awards in the same season. Speaking on the achievements, the 26-year-old thanked his teammates, the club and fans for helping him earn them. 

          “Glad to be named theMost Valuable Player (MVP) 2020 in the Meiji Yasuda Jleague .Firstly, I want to thank God for this opportunity and blessings throughout this season,” he tweeted. 

          “Also, the collective effort from myself, my team mates, the entire Kashiwa Reysol fraternity and fans helped make this dream realizable for me and for this am grateful. I hope this is the beginning of more achievements in my career,” he added. Olunga, who only joined Reysol in 2018 will be hoping to replicate his form once again next season. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          William Ruto will not scare me from running in 2022, says Raila Odinga 

          Opposition leader Raila Odinga has downplayed claims the rising popularity of Deputy President William Ruto could be posing a threat to his 2022 presidential ambition. 

          How Raila Odinga is enjoying the trappings of power - Citizentv.co.ke

          The ODM leader said he does not fear taking on Ruto in the ballot but was only waiting for the right time to make the decision on whether or not he will be contesting for the top seat again. 

          Fixing loopholes 

          Speaking to TV 47 on Wednesday, December 23, Raila said he was still focussed on fixing the challenges that affect the country every electioneering period before informing Kenyans about his future political ambition. He noted he will not vie for the presidency where chances of winning are slim. “I will not run if I do not stand a chance…Ruto will not scare me from running in 2022. Kenyans are intelligent and are able to see propaganda for what it is,” he said. 

          Working with Ruto 

          The former premier also dodged a question about his willingness and readiness to work with Ruto ahead of 2022 should their political paths conveniently cross. “I don’t know and I cannot say it for know, he is already charting his path alone,” he said. 

          Speaking to KTN News on Wednesday, December 16, Raila said he had no personal problem with Ruto and dismissed claims he sacked him from the grand coalition government over corruption allegations.

          Pentagon fallout

          Ruto was part of Raila’s pentagon movement that gave former president Mwai Kinbak a run for his money in 2007 General Election. Following the formation of a grand coalition government to ease political tension and violence that proceeded the disputed election, Raila was made the prime minister and Ruto appointed the minister for Agriculture. He was later moved to the Ministry of Higher Education and finally kicked out over corruption allegation. Raila was accused of orchestrating the dismissal of the then Eldoret North MP from Kibaki’s Cabinet. The two parted ways in the run up to 2013 General Election with Ruto joining President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp which floored Raila’s Coalition for Restoration of Democracy (CORD).

          dbn.co.ke news

          Allow children with no fees back in class upon reopening, Magoha directs schools

          • The CS was on an inspection tour to assess the level of schools’ preparedness.

          • Public school heads have also been ordered to admit Children from private schools that were closed down during the pandemic.

          Education CS George Magoha during an inspection visit to Roysambu Primary school in Nairobi on December 23, 2020.

          Education CS George Magoha has urged schools not to send children with no fees back home when schools reopen in January.

          Magoha has ordered the unconditional return of all learners to class and proposed that the institutions and parents come up with payment schedules.

          “All children have to return back to school, head teachers and principals should go slow on those who would be unable to pay fees,” he said.

          The CS was on an inspection tour to assess the level of schools’ preparedness.

          However, Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Indimuli Kahi urged the government to release capitation to enable institutions to run their operations upon reopening.

          “Schools solely depend on direct fees paid by parents and capitation. If parents will not be able to give the money on time, then the government should,” Kahi said.

          Magoha noted that Rift Valley, Central and Nairobi top in preparation but the same was not the case in Northern Kenya. Turkana is the worst prepared, according to the CS, at about 12 per cent.

          He also said the government is working to assist learners displaced by floods during the closure period. He said the ministry had mapped about 25 schools in Bundalang’i, Nyando, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot.

          Public school heads have also been ordered to admit children from private schools that were closed down during the pandemic. He also indicated that KCPE, KCSE exams are ready.

          For those taking exams in such schools, “the government could be forced to create temporary examination centres in schools that have been closed down”. 

          Upon reopening, the schools will hugely depend on masks to protect learners from Covid-19, the CS argued.

          The development comes even as the institutions grapple with congestion; however, Magoha argues that this should not be sensationalised to derail the planned reopening.

          He insisted that the government will not be able to provide masks for all learners but only those from the poorest families.

          “We have provided close to one million masks to schools that will be given to the poor families. The government will not be in a position to provide masks to each learner, so parents have to get into their pockets and at least provide two reusable masks for their learners. This should not be a hard thing to do,” he said.

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          I’ll rout Ruto and Raila candidates in Matungu — Wajackoyah’s man

          • Should he be elected, Shiunzi said he will prioritise education and empowerment of the youth and women.

          • The Matungu by-election has been set for March 4 next year.

          Matungu constituency Roots Party of Kenya nominee Noah Shiunzi receives his certificate from party logistics director Paul Omolo at Lion Place, Westlands, Nairobi, on December 23, 2020 .

          Roots Party of Kenya aspirant for the Matungu by-election Noah Shiunzi on Friday expressed confidence that he will emerge the winner.

          Speaking in Nairobi after he was given the green light to fly the party’s flag, Shiunzi said he is ready to face off with big boys being sponsored by the political bigwigs. 

          ODM leader Raila Odinga, Deputy President William Ruto’s Tangatanga faction and the Jubilee Party have all indicated that they will field candidates. 

          Roots was founded by former presidential candidate George Wajackoyah. 

          Shiunzi said he has what it takes to succeed Justus Murunga who passed away last month after a short illness.

          “I have my manifesto and I have already rolled out my campaigns. I had already started my campaigns since I was to challenge Murunga in 2022,” he said.

          Should he be elected, Shiunzi said he will prioritise education and empowerment of the youth and women. He said with the collapse of Mumias Sugar Company, which was the main source of employment in the Kakamega county, he will work round the clock to create jobs for the youth.

          “Literacy levels in the constituency have dropped over the years and therefore I intend to rally the community on that. We are also facing the challenge of early marriages, which I will address,” the trained teacher said.

          The by-election has been set for March 4 next year.

          Shiunzi called on the residents not to accept to be bribed “by individuals who after winning will no longer care for them”.

          “The people of Matungu need a leader who will improve their lives. That is why I have offered my candidature because I am determined and I have the vision to change Matungu for better,” he said.

          “I am ready to face my competitors whether I have money or not. Leadership is about what you plan to do for the people and not how deep your pocket is.”

          Roots Party of Kenya head of logistics Paul Omole said they settled on Shiunzi because of his vision for residents.

          “Roots Party of Kenya stands for justice and democracy. Shiunzi has proved that he is that man who is ready to empower the people, hence we have given him the certificate. This is a young man who is a teacher by profession and we have confidence that he will win. He is the best candidate,” Omole said.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Governors ordered to stop paying striking health workers salaries, hire new ones 

          The Council of Governors (CoG) has directed all county governments to withhold salaries of striking health workers and commence the process of hiring new ones. 

          Governors ordered to stop paying salaries to striking health workers, hire new ones

          Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya who also doubles up as the Council of Governors’ chair. Photo: Wycliffe Oparanya Source: Facebook In a statement released on Tuesday, December 22, the CoG noted the health workers had violated court orders suspending the strike and further frustrated the process of negotiation, thus leaving county governments with no other option. 

          Fire and hire

          The CoG chair Wycliffe Oparanya who doubles up as the Kakamega governor said the decision was arrived at after a lengthy discussion with the national government and other stakeholders in the health docket. 

          “We note with utmost concern that unions have failed to adhere to the court orders by failing to call off the ongoing strike. This has negatively affected service delivery in county health facilities,” read the statement in part. As such, the CoG asked governors to stop salaries for striking health workers and commence the process of recruiting new staff with immediate effect. “Effect stoppage of salaries where employees have not rendered their services. This is in accordance with section 79(6) and 80(1)(b) of the Labour Relations act. Initiate disciplinary action where the employees have failed to report to work without any valid reason Immediately start the advertisement for the positions where abdicated their responsibilities,” directed the CoG. 

          Slavery Read 

          The directive was strongly condemned by Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) acting secretary-general Mwachonda Chibanzi who likened it to slavery. “Slavery was abolished in the 18th Century. We live in the 21st century; workers have a right to present their grievances for resolution through Strikes. Sacking and denial of salaries is akin to Slavery. Doctors will not be slaves in their own country,” responded Mwachonda. 

          Kagwe’s warning 

          The governors’ resolve to fire and hire new health workers came barely days after Health Cabinet Secretary issued a warning to the effect that the government would replace all striking workers if there were not going to call off the industrial action. Speaking on Saturday, December 19, Kagwe urged unemployed nurses to apply for the vacancies once counties advertise the positions. “Those nurses who want a job can apply once the county governments advertise those opportunities so that we can end this stalemate. We, however, wish to continue working with those who are already in the system, we want to agree so that we proceed with the work,” he said.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Nairobi gubernatorial by-election to be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021 

          The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has gazetted Thursday, February 18, 2021, as the official date when a by-election to elect a new governor for Nairobi county will be conducted. 

          Nairobi gubernatorial by-election to be held on Thursday, February 18, 2021

          Timelines

          The commission has asked political parties intending to participate in the upcoming mini poll to submit names of persons who will be contesting for the party ticket before Monday, December 28.

          In a gazette notice dated Tuesday, December 22, IEBC advised public officers intending to vie for the gubernatorial seat to resign within seven days from the date the office was declared vacant. “A public officer who intends to contest in the by-election shall resign from public office within seven (7) days of the declaration of the vacancy,” read the notice in part. According to the electoral body, all political parties will be expected to submit the final list of candidates nominated to take part in the by-election by January 11. “Political parties intending to present candidates in this election shall, after its primaries, resolve all intra-party disputes and submit the list of persons nominated to the Commission on or before January, 11, 2021,” The campaign period will officially commence on, Monday, January 18, and end on Monday, February 15, this being 48 hours before the by-election day. The campaign time will run from 7.00 am to 6.00pm. 

          Mike Sonko’s petition 

          Nairobi governor Mike Sonko had filed a petition at a Nairobi High Court challenging his impeachment. The curtain fell on Sonko on Thursday, December 17, when the Senate upheld the decision of Nairobi county assembly to kick him out. The troubled leader was, however, unsatisfied with the verdict and moved to court on Monday, December 21, to seek legal redress. He argued the Senate was politically influenced and thus did not give him a fair hearing and trial. Sonko also asked the court to stop IEBC from conducting a by-election in Nairobi to elect a substantive governor until his case is heard and determined. His petition was filed barely hours after Nairobi county Speaker Benson Mutura was sworn in as the acting governor. Mutura will be at the helm of the city-county for a period not exceeding 60 days from the date he took oath of office. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Mourners walk out on Kalonzo reading Uhuru’s speech

           Kalonzo was reading the President’s message of condolence to the family during the late legislator’s funeral service when three-quarters of the mourners walked out.

          •The funeral service was attended by a number of politicians including impeached Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

          Politicians pay final respect to late college Machakos senator Mutinda Kabaka

          Drama unfolded on Tuseday at the funeral of Machakos Senator Boniface Mutinda when mourners walked out on Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

          In a video seen by the Star, Kalonzo was reading President Uhuru Kenyatta’s speech when three-quarters of the mourners walked away.

          Those who witnessed the events said the mourners protested why Kalonzo was reading the speech and not Deputy President William Ruto who was present.

          The funeral service was attended by a number of politicians including the recently impeached Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko, Machakos Govenor Alfred Mtua, Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Narok Senator Ledama Olekina.

          Sonko called for a fast probe into the senator’s death to put to rest speculation surrounding his death.

          “I’m calling on respective investigative agencies to fast-track the probe on the cause of his death to end speculation on the Senator’s sudden death,” Sonko said.

          Kabaka died on December 11 while receiving treatment at a Nairobi hospital.

          Mutua said Kabaka’s demise was due to the effects of a stroke arising from a blood clot that has been bothering him for a while.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Separately or united they can’t match Ruto in 2022

          • However big the coalition will be, William Ruto will also have a huge coalition of the hustler nation and God
          • Single-handedly, the DP managed to change the BBI report – a document that had been worked on for two years
          • Soy MP Caleb Kositany in Eldoret on July 18, 2020.
          • We faced the same alliance during the Msambweni by-election but we still beat them. But such an alliance is very welcome. It is very healthy.

            It is good that they have realised that separately or divided they cannot face the Deputy President and even united, they cannot handle him. We are ready and they are most welcome.

            We shall face them with all their might. We shall be with the people. They have the system and deep state and we have God and the people. So, we have no problem with them.

            We knew the alliance would be there. We knew they will come together because of their selfish interests and not the people’s interests. We represent the interests of the people and we will definitely be ready to face them.

            However big the coalition will be, William Ruto will also have a huge coalition of the hustler nation and God. We will face them.

            Single-handedly, the DP managed to change the Building Bridges Initiative report – a document that had been worked on for two years.

            He just spoke in one function where he was the minority and everything changed. All those who attended the launch of the BBI report at Bomas of Kenya had been choreographed or programmed to clap and say yes, yes to the BBI without questioning.

            The DP spoke and the document was changed.

            So, really, we have no fear at all. We don’t fear them at all.

            Jubilee, our party, had decided not to field candidates in recent by-elections. But because of Msambweni, where they supported the ODM candidate and we floored them, they have now decided to field candidates in the Kabuchai and Matungu by-elections.

            Some of us are already fed up with Jubilee because the decision is driven by selfishness. They are not doing that in good faith.

            So, they can go ahead with their plans but we have already charted our own way. We will support any other candidate but Jubilee’s.

          • dbn.co.ke news

          Gideon: A big ‘bullet’ coalition in the offing

          •  Baringo senator reveals ongoing talks will ensure a team of six bigwigs craft a powerful vehicle to produce Kenya’s fifth President, succeeding Uhuru Kenyatta.

          • DP Ruto’s allies dismiss the line-up as inconsequential.

          Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Narok Governor Samuel Tunai and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth at the thanksgiving ceremony of Anglican Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit .

          Kanu chairman Gideon Moi has said a super coalition is being forged to face off with Deputy President William Ruto in 2022. He called it a “bullet”.

          The Baringo senator said that ongoing talks will ensure the country’s six bigwigs forge a strong vehicle to produce the fifth president, succeeding Uhuru Kenya.

          Gideon, the scion of former President Daniel Moi, said the team to be birthed after the Building Bridges Initiative referendum will travel the rest of the journey to the August 22 General Election.

          “We have a journey. The first journey is to ensure BBI is passed and support President Uhuru Kenyatta,” Gideon told a gathering of Kanu members in Samburu on Saturday. Gideon speech was broadcast live and shared in a WhatsApp group.

          He said they are friends with ODM chief Raila Odinga, ANC’s Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya of Kakamega.

          Gideon, the Kanu boss, is the sixth member of the future coalition.

          “We are a huge team and we are all on the same journey… And about the future, don’t worry, we will produce one bullet. The bullet will lead us. We don’t fear,” he stated. 

          The BBI Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 has proposed the creation of the position of a prime minister and two deputies, as well as the existing president and deputy president’s posts.

          Some Cabinet ministers will also be picked from amongst members of the National Assembly. This would make it easy for presidential candidates to share out top positions among regional kingpins.

          The question complicating the touted coalition, however, is who will take which position.

          Already, Mudavadi has said he will settle for nothing less than president.

          Both Raila and Gideon are the two leading lights in the Uhuru succession matrix and the Star has learnt that the Kenyatta family is working on a formula to have them on one ticket in 2022.

          The two have not formally declared their candidature, but in the last few months their heightened political activities have left little doubt about their plans.

          It is understood President Kenyatta is torn between which of the two should assume his mantle.

          On one hand, it was Raila who entered into a handshake with him in March 2018 and the two are the brains behind the push to amend the 2010 Constitution to expand the Executive.

          Considering the support the former Prime Minister has given to President Kenyatta, he is widely expected to return the favour and endorse him.

          Uhuru is under pressure from Kikuyu elders – who have held several strategy meetings with Raila – to endorse the ODM chief as away of settling a historical debt between his father Jomo Kenyatta and Raila’s father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

          Raila’s father served as Jomo vice president but the pair fell out and Jaramogi quit in 1966, sparking a political rivalry that persisted between the Luo and Kikuyu over the years.

          On the other hand, Gideon is looking to Uhuru to endorse him in return of what Mzee Moi did for the young Kenyatta.

          Moi brought Uhuru into the political limelight in 2001 by nominating him to Parliament and subsequently appointing him to the Cabinet as the Local Government minister.

          In 2002, he picked Uhuru as his preferred successor.

          Uhuru and his family have over time been very supportive of Gideon, and by extension, the greater Moi family.

          ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula confirmed talks are ongoing between Gideon, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula.

          He said, however, he is not aware if the same conversation is being held with other politicians.

          “Things are taking shape behind the scenes and in the months to come, Kenyans will be able to see the direction we will take. It will be a strong alliance. 

          The Lugari MP said Gideon and Mudavadi have already agreed they will jointly support an ANC candidate in the by-election in Matungu constituency, Kakamega. Then ANC will support a Ford Kenya candidate in a similar poll in Kabuchai constituency.

          “We have spoken with Gideon and we have agreed to work as a strong team. Our candidate will triumph,” he said.

          Tiaty MP William Kamket said Uhuru, Gideon, Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and other politicians are working together on the succession plan.

          Gideon’s close ally said it will depend on who among the five the President will select as his successor.

          “President Kenyatta is at liberty to support anyone to succeed him. If we’re lucky enough to earn his support, that would be an added advantage. But we’re not resting on our laurels waiting for endorsement. The final and most important endorsement is by the people of Kenya,” Kamket told the Star on the phone.

          “As a Kanu member and a resident of Baringo, my first port of call is my party leader and neighbour, Gideon Moi,” he said.

          He said the team that has come together to first ensure BBI sails through will also slam the brakes on Ruto’s brigade.

          “That is the political formation pre, through and post BBI. It is the formation that has naturally come about to stop an insidious, divisive, theft-prone group called Tangatanga from misleading our youth and country,” he said.

          Ruto allies dismissed the coalition, calling it ‘an inconsequential grouping of the dynasties’.

          Kimilili MP Didmas Barasa said the 2022 presidential race will have dynasties on one hand and hustlers on the other.

          “Kenyans have advanced. Those who still believe in tribal formations are living in the past. Gideon and Raila can collect as many political rejects as they want.

          “We the hustlers are ready to face them. They may have money but we have God and the ordinary Kenyans who are tired by being used by these dynasties,” he said.

          Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua asked why Raila has been visiting the homes of individuals in Mt Kenya instead of seeking to address the people.

          He said Raila is against most of the things the people of vote- rich Central region want and are being championed by Ruto.

          “Raila has the democratic right to move and seek votes anywhere in the Republic of Kenya. However, he should be made aware we already have our candidate in William Samoei Ruto.

          “Raila is against harambees, building churches and other development projects that Ruto supports,” Gachagua told the Star.

          “Now that elections are around the corner and the very same people who have been criticising DP’s engagement with the people, the DP who has been bringing us projects, are coming to ask for votes. NO way. We are passed that,” the MP said.

          Inspector of police arrested for sodomising six boys in Chogoria

          Officer arrested

          Chief Inspector of Police has been arrested for sodomising four boys and two adults for an unspecified period in Chogoria, Tharaka Nithi county.

          “Upon expeditious interrogation of the boys, it was established that the senior officer has been sodomizing them for an unspecified period,” DCI George Kinoti said.

          Via Twitter on Tuesday, Kinoti said in a horror-like scene the boys were found sleeping on the floor in the perpetrator’s house in within Chogoria Township.

          “The perpetrator is supposed to safeguard the rights of such victims as a law enforcement officer,” Kinoti said.

          Kinoti said officers rescued the four boys aged between 14-15 years and two young adults of 18 & 19 years, from the yoke of sodomy.

          The suspect has since been placed in custody pending further investigations and arraignment,” he said.

          He thanked the member of the public who provided information leading to the perpetrator’s arrest.

          “Equally, we appeal to Kenyans to continue making such reports anonymously, through the DCI emergency toll free line 0800722203, for decisive action by our detectives,” he added.

          Panic in Wajir as al Shabaab abducts, cuts assistant chief into pieces

          •They then went with the administrator for unclear reasons.

          •The head was found placed on the roadside between Khorof Harar and Konton by herders yesterday. The herders called police who picked up the head.

          An aerial view of Wajir county. /FILE

          There is panic at a village in Wajir County after the head of an assistant chief who was kidnapped on Friday by al-Shabaab militants was found on the roadside.

          The torso of Assistant Chief of Gumarey Sub Location Omar Adan Buul was missing when the head was found.

          Buul was abducted from the village on Friday when a gang of militants raided there and lectured the locals.

          The head was found placed on the roadside between Khorof Harar and Konton by herders on Monday.

          They then went with the administrator for unclear reasons. The herders called police who picked up the head.

          Police said they are still looking for the body.

          Al-Shabaab militants have been roaming the area in the past two weeks threatening large scale attacks.

          They on Friday attacked a communication mast in Mandera county.

          They also attacked the same area two ago and destroyed a police station before escaping.

          Security agencies are on alert in the border area following reports the terrorists are planning an attack.

          There are fears of more such attacks after dozens of the militants crossed from Somalia to Kenya in Garissa border.

          The gang was in three groups when they crossed into Kenya with an intention of attacks on security officials.

          The border region has borne the brunt of repeated attacks from the militants who are at times aided by locals.

          Somalia has not had a stable government after the fall of Siad Barre in 1991.

          The area is near the Somalia border and the militants usually cross at will and stage attacks before escaping back.

          Al-Shabaab terrorists have been attacking places in the region especially in Mandera and Garissa counties after breaching security zones, which left dozens of civilians and security officials dead and wounded.

          The terrorists have been planting explosives on the routes used by the security agencies attacking them.

          More personnel have since been sent to the area and operations by the Border Patrol Unit heightened to tame the surge.

          Kenyan troops are in Somalia to pursue and suppress the activities of the terror group. 

          dbn.co.ke news/I.O.O

          Mozzart donates ICU equipment worth KSh 3M to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

          As part of its continued corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative dubbed “supporting our healthcare facilities”, Mozzart has donated medical equipment worth KSh 3 million to the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

          HOW TO DEPOSIT – Promo

          Kenya's 'Mama Lucy': A First Lady Not to be Messed With

          Mozzart donates ICU equipment worth KSh 3M to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

          Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital acting medical superintendent, Essam Said Ahmed, talks after receiving the donation from Mozzart. Photo: Mozzart.
          Source: UGC

          Mozzart is targeting to support key healthcare facilities in Nairobi and different counties in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

          Previously, the company had made a donation of KSh 10 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE’s) to frontline professionals.

          Mozzart donates ICU equipment worth KSh 3M to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

          Hospital beds, patients bedside lockers, baby incubators and patient monitors with movable stands donated to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital by Mozzart. Photo: Mozzart.
          Source: UGC

          Donated items to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital included an incubator, six 15-inch patient monitors, bedside lockers, and patient beds complete with Macintosh mattresses.

          The event was held at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital and was attended by the hospital’s acting medical superintendent Dr Essam Said Ahmed amongst other staff from the facility and Mozzart.

          Mozzart donates ICU equipment worth KSh 3M to Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital

          Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital staff and Mozzart team pose for a photo with the dummy cheque representing the sum of the donation. Photo: Mozzart.
          Source: UGC

          “We are very glad to get these equipment as they will help us get better as fully functioning 24/7 hospital. We thank Mozzart and hope more organisations and companies can do the same as most hospitals around the country are under-equiped,” Essam Ahmed said.

          “Strengthening the healthcare system in Kenya is very important and I am happy that Mozzart took up this initiative. On behalf of Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital, I want to thank them once again for this kind gesture,” he added.

          Mozzart intends to spread out the donations to other regions in the coming days.

          “We have so far donated equipment to the Pumwani Maternity Hospital, Ngara Health Centre, Chemolingot Sub County hospital in Tiaty, the Mathare North Health Centre, Kahawa West Health Centre and now Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital,” Frank Ochieng, Mozzart Bet marketing manager said.

          “We are also going to donate more medical equipment to the Mukuru Health Centre, Kayole One and Kayole Two Health Centres this week. We will roll out to more hospitals across the country soon. We are here to support Kenyan communities in the long term,” he added.

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS/I.O.O

          Virus Overwhelms U.S. and Europe Even as Vaccines Roll Out

          The head of U.S. vaccine distribution apologizes as at least 14 states are getting fewer doses than expected in the near term. Britain heads into a harsh lockdown, citing a new variant of the virus.

          Here’s what you need to know:

          • As vaccines arrive, the virus continues to ravage the U.S. and Europe.

          • The head of Operation Warp Speed apologizes for shortfalls in vaccine deliveries to at least 14 states.

          • Boris Johnson orders a severe lockdown, saying a more infectious variant of the virus is ripping through Britain.

          • Congress, grasping for a stimulus deal, resolves a dispute over the Federal Reserve’s power.

          • The C.D.C. advisory panel has endorsed the Moderna vaccine.

          • Thousands of internal documents reveal how China censored its internet in the early days of the pandemic.

          • Emmanuel Macron’s condition is stable ‘compared to Friday,’ according to his doctor.

          • Coronavirus cases in Syria go uncounted amid shortages of critical supplies and medical personnel

          As the coronavirus continues its surge across the United States and Europe, where vaccinations recently began, total infections around the world have now topped 75 million.

          In the United States, more than 128,000 people had been vaccinated as of Friday, according to a New York Times database tracking vaccinations. But that total is just slightly more than half the number of new cases reported across the country the same day.

          The United States, the world’s largest coronavirus hot spot with more than 17.6 million people who have been infected over all, on Friday reported its first single-day caseload of more than 250,000 new infections.

          In Sweden, there have been 66 new daily cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days, a rate nearly identical to that of the United States. Lithuania has the world’s highest current rate of spread, with a daily average of 98.6 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past week.

          Over 15 million total cases have been reported in Europe, with the continent’s boundaries defined by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. India has reported more than 10 million infections, the second most of any country, followed by Brazil with more than seven million.

          More than 1.6 million people around the world have died from Covid-19, according to a New York Times database. In the U.S. alone, more than 315,000 people have died — 3,611 of them on Wednesday, shattering the previous single-day record of 3,157 on Dec. 9.

          Over 137,000 people in the United Kingdom have been vaccinated, according to Bloomberg, with 108,000 of those in England, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday announced plans for a harsh lockdown on London and much of the country’s southeast. The U.K. reported 28,507 new cases on Friday.

          China, which has reported only 96,400 cases total, says it has already administered more than a million doses, though its vaccines have not been fully tested. (Chinese officials have said that so far there have been no adverse reactions.)

          On Friday, an international body established to promote global access to Covid vaccines, known as Covax, said it had reached deals with manufacturers to deliver a billion doses to low- and middle-income countries.

          The announcement included news about a method for countries with excess doses to share them. Wealthy countries like the United Kingdom and the United States have secured a surplus of vaccines. Canada, which could receive as much as six times the amount needed to vaccinate its entire population, said it would contribute its extra doses through Covax. France made a similar commitment.

          The sharing would be welcome help for lower-middle-income countries like India, Egypt and El Salvador, which have not secured enough doses to vaccinate their entire populations. Even upper-middle-income nations like Argentina, Turkey and Thailand have not met the 100 percent threshold.

          dbn.co.ke news/I.O.O

          Hospitals reject thousands as medics’ strike takes hold

          • A patient at Coast General Hospital said someone must have a serious injury to be treated at the emergency department.

          • At the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Henry Ouma was being wheeled out of a ward and sent home a day after his urinary bladder was partially removed.

          Coronavirus in Africa: Contained or unrecorded? - BBC News

          At one hospital, you needed a serious injury  – maybe a crushed leg – to be seen by two exhausted nurses who did not go on strike.

          At another, a patient was discharged a day after major surgery.

          Only the mortuary was open at another facility. 

          Countrywide, thousands of people in need were turned away from public hospitals.  

          This was the situation in public health facilities on Monday as doctors joined nurses and clinical officers in a nationwide strike while the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.

          Nurses and clinical officers went on strike on December 7.

          Their demands include comprehensive health insurance, Covid-19 treatment, PPE, higher risk allowances, promotions, designations, back pay and a national health services commission. Doctors’ demands are similar.

          At Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, the accidents and emergencies wing remained open but was staffed by two weary nurses who sent away most patients.

          The situation was the same everywhere and private hospitals said they will soon be full and will be overwhelmed if the strike continues.

          Care seekers who said they cannot afford fees in private hospitals said they would take their needy patients back home and wait for any eventuality.

          At Coast General Hospital in Mombasa, only the emergency department was open on Monday and security guards were instructed to turn away patients who are not ‘seriously injured’.

          “Wagonjwa wa kawaida hawapati matibabu (routine medical check-ups are not available),” said a security officer at the gate.

          Patient Rose Makulia, who had a doctor’s appointment on Monday, said you need to ‘know someone’ to see any of the few doctors still working.

          “My uncle had to call a doctor who is his friend before I was allowed to see him. Security is beefed up in all the offices with the few doctors around. There’s at least one security officer at the door,” Makulia said.

          Another patient said that to be allowed into the emergency department you must be seriously injured.

          Her two-year-old baby has a vein disorder but was turned away.

          “You must have strong evidence before you are allowed to access the emergency department which has two doctors, for example, a plaster on your hand, leg or evident serious injury,” she said.

          Amina Mohammed, who had taken her father for treatment, was referred to a private hospital.

          “I brought my father because he was complaining of body aches but we have been told there are no services unless it’s an emergency issue,” Mohammed said.

          In Kwale, Mwanahamisi Ali, whose father has high blood sugar, high blood pressure and arthritis, said the medics’ strike was the biggest threat to his life.

          She said this was the second time her father has missed his regular check-up and other services to manage arthritis and stabilise his blood sugar and hypertension.

          “Last Tuesday, I took my father for the blood sugar and blood pressure clinic at Kwale County Hospital but unfortunately there were no services. We were told medics were on strike.”

          Her father’s health deteriorates by the day, she said, but private hospitals are too expensive.

          Ali said one dose of insulin for a diabetic is about Sh5,000 and it is required every three weeks.

          Halima Rashid, an expectant mother, said she was forced to go home because of the go-slow at Msambweni Hospital on Monday morning. She is five months’ pregnant.

          Halima said she can’t afford maternity services in private hospitals as they are very costly.

          “I don’t have anything, what is left is fare to take me back to Ramisi and the non-government clinics are expensive,” she said.

          The mother said she will have to take a risk and seek midwives’ services until normalcy is restored in public health facilities.

          Kwale Health executive Francis Gwama said, “We are doing everything possible to keep the services running as the national government and medics try to solve the problems.”

          In Western Kenya most public hospitals’ services have ground to a halt.

          At Kisumu County Hospital, heavily pregnant Myrose Otieno, who is due to give birth at any time, said she does not know where she will deliver as private hospitals are expensive.

          She’s due for a final check-up on Wednesday but fears no one will attend to her.

          Only the psychiatric ward and the HIV clinic were partially operating.

          Medical superintendent Francis Oyugi said they were forced to halt all services and send away all admitted patients.

          At the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Henry Ouma was being wheeled out of the ward and sent home, a day after surgery to partially remove his urinary bladder.

          Ouma said the nurses told him that if the pain gets worse, he should seek treatment at a private facility.

          “It’s very sad because I could not afford the private hospitals, that’s why I came here. I don’t know what will happen to me should I be in an emergency,” he said.

          Another patient, 16-year-old Jane Achieng, was discharged though she still needed more medication for her sickle cell anaemia.

          A few of the contract nurses who are not on strike at the facility said they were overwhelmed.

          Benard Owino, the nurse in charge at Ahero Subcounty Hospital, said the maternity wing was open but there were only one or two nurses. The theatre was closed.

          The facility sees 100 to 200 patients daily and medics deliver more than 10 babies a day. It’s paralysed.

          “The situation is very unfortunate since people are suffering and with time they might start dying,” Owino said.

          “Ahero covers a large area, especially for maternity, but due to the strike, women have been forced to deliver in their homes, which is kind of risky.

          “I wish the government could hear our grievances out to enable us to attend to the people.”

          In Kisii county, beds at most public hospitals remained empty as the doctors strike began Monday.

          Long before the doctors announced their strike, caregivers had already pulled most patients from most public hospitals, citing lack of health services.

          Mogire Ochoe, who accompanied his mother to the hospital, said he processed her admission to Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital on Thursday but was forced to request a discharge on Monday morning. Nobody had attended to her throughout the weekend.

          “Initially we had thought the doctors would attend to her but it appears they are too overwhelmed,” he told the Star outside the facility.

          The situation has forced most people to take their patients to private and mission hospitals.

          A few others sought referrals to Tenwek in Bomet and Kijabe Hospital in  Nakuru county.

          Private facilities in Kisii town – Christamarianne Mission, Nyanchwa Adventist, Getembe, Oasis and Nyangena – reported soaring admissions.

          Some caregivers said they did not have the money to take their patients to private hospitals.

          “I do not have money to take my ailing father to a private hospital. Due to lack of money, we thought it was good to purchase drugs for him as we wait for the doctor’s strike to end,” George Omori said.

          Proprietors of private hospitals said they will soon run out of beds if the strikes go on.

          “Already, we are at full bed capacity, let’s be optimistic these strikes will end soon,” an official at Christamarianne Hospital said.

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS/I.O.O

           

          Moses Kuria mulls resigning as Gatundu South MP to vie for Nairobi governor’s seat

          Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria says his life is in danger » Capital News

          Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria is contemplating resigning from his seat to vie for the Nairobi governor position that fell vacant following the ouster of flamboyant politician Mike Sonko from City Hall. Speaking to People Daily, the outspoken Jubilee legislator said he will seek the mandate of Nairobians on a People’s Empowerment Party ticket. The Tanga Tanga allied MP has already made a poster asking the city’s residents to rally behind his bid as lobbying for the lucrative seat intensifies. 

          If he launches his bid, Kuria will join the likes of former MPs, Dennis Waweru (Dagoretti South), Margaret Wanjiru (Starehe), Peter Kenneth (Gatanga) and ex-Kiambu governor William Kabogo who are rumoured to be interested in taking over the leadership of county number 47. Exiled lawyer Miguna Miguna who vied for the gubernatorial position in the last General Election has also announced his candidacy. 

          Having received competent legal advice from @waikwawanyoike on December, 19, I, Miguna Miguna, a Kenyan citizen by birth and registered voter in Nairobi, hereby declare my candidature for the position of governor of Nairobi in the upcoming by-election. Volunteers are welcomed,” Miguna tweeted. 

          Kuria’s announcement came after Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Benson Mutura was sworn in as the acting governor where he would serve for a period of 60 days before a by-election is held. The county has had no deputy governor since January 2018 when Polycarp Igathe resigned citing frosty relationship with his then boss Sonko.

          dbn.co.ke news/I.O.O

          Miguna Miguna declares interest in upcoming Nairobi gubernatorial by-election

          Exiled lawyer and author Miguna Miguna has declared interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat that fell vacant following the impeachment of Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

          Miguna Miguna declares interest in upcoming Nairobi gubernatorial by-election

          Through his Twitter handle on Saturday, December 19, the fiery barrister said he had made up his mind to contest again despite being in exile. He maintained he was still a Kenyan citizen and would exercise his democratic rights without limitations. “Having received competent legal advice from Waikwa Wanyoike on December 19, 2020, I, Miguna Miguna, a Kenyan citizen by birth and registered voter in Nairobi, hereby declare my candidature for the position of governor of Nairobi in the upcoming by-election. Volunteers are welcomed,” he declared via his Twitter handle.

          Dismal performance 

          Miguna vied for the prestigious city seat in 2017 but performed dismally, coming in a distant fourth with less than 10,000 votes against Sonko’s 832,750 votes. He, however, refused to concede and spent most of his time criticising Sonko’s leadership and questioning his ability to run the affairs of the county. Majority of Kenyans felt Miguna was qualified to lead and had good policies but lacked the support of political heavyweights in the country. The lawyer’s rants and bare-knuckle political confrontations also worked to his disadvantage.

          Lobbying from exile

          Miguna’s post attracted a barrage of reactions from his followers most of whom endorsed his candidature and wished him well. However, the question of how he will pull through the murky political contest while in exile remained lingering in many Kenyan’s minds. The politician’s quest to return to Kenya has been faced with a lot of hurdles most of which have been deliberately erected by the state to keep him at bay. 

          Despite having received over 14 court orders compelling the government to facilitate his return, the Peeling Back the Mask author has been frustrated and contained in his ‘hideout’ by the state. The last time he attempted to come back to Nairobi was in January 2020. He was, however, blocked at the airport a few hours before the flight’s take-off time. The Lufthansa plane management denied him entry saying a red alert on his travel had been issued by Kenyan authorities.

          Sonko ouster 

          Sonko’s fate was sealed by the Senate on Thursday, December 17, after an overwhelming majority of 27 senators endorsed the impeachment motion against him. Only 16 MPs opposed the motion. Nairobi county Speaker Benson Mutura is expected to be sworn in as an interim governor for 60 days, period within which a by-election should be held. Mutura was supposed to take the oath on Friday, December 17, but failed after the judge who was scheduled to preside over the event reportedly delayed by a minute. 

          The function, according to the constitution, should be held before 2pm. Some sources have, however, been casting aspersions on Mutura’s academic qualifications, alleging the Friday event was called off after it emerged the Speaker did not have a degree hence unfit to occupy the governor’s office. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Nairobi Speaker sworn in as interim governor 

          Nairobi county assembly Speaker Benson Mutura has taken oath of office to serve as the interim governor following Mike Sonko’s impeachment. 

          Road Alerts.

          Mutura will be in charge of the county government affairs for 60 days before the county holds an election to elect the new governor for the remainder of the term. The county has had no deputy governor since January 2018 when Polycarp Igathe resigned citing frosty relationship with his boss Sonko.

          At least 27 senators against 16 voted to remove Sonko ending his two-year calamitous reign. And with vacancies arising in both governor and his deputy governor’s offices, the former Makadara legislator will assume the governor’s office until the new office holder is sworn in. “If a vacancy occurs in the office of county governor and that of deputy county governor, or if the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor,” states Article 182 of the Constitution. Attempts by Sonko to replace Igathe were often met by resistance both political and legal. 

          Mike Sonko.

          Jubilee hands

          Mutura served as Makadara MP for one term until 2017 when he lost the seat to Reuben Ndolo of Orange Democratic Movement. 

          The Jubilee Party prevailed upon him in August 2020 to take over from the former Nairobi speaker Beatrice Elachi who resigned in the same month. 

          Mutura garnered a total 99 votes in a seemingly rushed exercise that lacked pomp and colour which characterised past similar speaker elections inside the assembly. Exiled lawyer and author Miguna Miguna became one of the politicians to declare interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat. Through his Twitter handle on Saturday, December 19, the fiery barrister said he had made up his mind to contest again despite being in exile. “Having received competent legal advice from Waikwa Wanyoike on December 19, 2020, I, Miguna Miguna, a Kenyan citizen by birth and registered voter in Nairobi, hereby declare my candidature for the position of governor of Nairobi in the upcoming by-election. Volunteers are welcomed,” he stated. Miguna was one of the aspirants in the 2017 gubernatorial contest and was also one of the first nominees by Sonko for the position of the deputy governor in 2018. 

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

          Benson Mutura: Acting Nairobi governor signs budget to release KSh 37.5B hours after oath 

          Newly sworn-in Nairobi county acting governor Benson Mutura has stamped his authority by appending his signature on budget warrants to pave way for the release of KSh 37.5 billion.

          Benson Mutura: Acting Nairobi governor signs budget to release KSh 37.5B hours after oath

          Mutura was sworn in on Monday, December 21, to replace former governor, Mike Sonko, in an acting capacity. Sonko was ousted by the Senate over accusations of corruption, abuse of office and gross misconduct.

          Hours after taking the oath, the acting governor urgently approved the proposed budget to break the financial stalemate that has been in existence since October.

          Sonko’s standpoint 

          Sonko had refused to approve the budget on grounds that his administration was illegally being forced by the state to share part of the money with the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS). He argued under the Deed of Transfer which he signed at the State House to effectively transfer four key county functions to NMS, it was never agreed his government would share its budget with the General Mohamed Badi-led team. Sources indicate the former governor’s refusal to approve the budget formed the basis of his impeachment 

          Mutura promise

          The Acting governor pledged to ensure effective and efficient service delivery to the people of Nairobi for the period he will be in charge of the county. Mutura assured Nairobians he will not let them down as it had been alleged by some of his critics who had cast aspersions upon his academic credentials. 

          The former Speaker was supposed to take the oath of office on Friday, December 18, but the event was called off after the judge who was scheduled to administer the oath arrived late by a minute. According to the constitution, such an event should be held before 2pm. Mutura will be in charge of the city county for 60 days, a period within which a by-election is supposed to conducted to elect a substantive governor.

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

          Magistrate who dismissed Pastor Ng’ang’a’s dangerous driving case found dead in woman’s house 

          Kisumu Law Courts chief magistrate Godfrey Hillary Oduor has died.

          K24 TV.

          Oduor was found dead in an apartment located within Nairobi’s South B Riverbank estate on Thursday, December 17. 

          His remains were discovered by a woman identified by the police as Njoki Muhia and who claimed to be his girlfriend and a tenant in the said house. Njoki said he had returned from work on the fateful evening when he knocked the door but silence from inside welcomed her, prompting her to peep through the bedroom window. 

          “Upon checking, she saw her boyfriend namely Godfrey Hillary Oduor totally asleep but emitting foam on his mouth,” police said in a report. The deceased had moved from his house in South C over rent issues. The police report which was filed at the Industrial Area Police Station on the very day also confirmed the door was locked from inside. The detectives who arrived at the scene broke into the house and found the judicial officer already dead. The outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga expressed his condolences to the bereaved family. “We are grateful for the time he served the Judiciary and pray that God grants his family to fortitude to bear this loss,” he stated. 

          Oduor was moved recently to Kisumu station from Nakuru county where he served briefly upon being transferred from Kiambu Law Courts. In May 2018, the magistrate presided over a case in which controversial televangelist James Ng’ang’a was accused of killing a passenger by way of dangerous driving in Limuru. 

          Oduor acquitted the preacher on grounds that the prosecution had insufficient ground to prove its case against Ng’ang’a and three other suspects and dismissed the case. Interestingly, as TUKO.co.ke had formerly reported, prosecution said it had presented over 30 witnesses in the case.

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

          Ruto won’t match Uhuru, Raila in Nairobi

          Deputy President William Ruto, President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at a past event.

          We have to study what Deputy President William Ruto did in Msambweni constituency for us to understand what he is likely to do in Nairobi.

          In Msambweni, he stayed away. The DP never went there so that the local people would assume it was a local fight between Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and other politicians there.

          Once victory was delivered, Ruto took the credit. He publicly came out to congratulate the winner calling him his friend.

          Now, can he be able to do the same in Nairobi City County? The answer here is No. Why?

          First, Nairobi is not a small place like Msambweni. It is a place where President Uhuru Kenyatta has personal interest in. He has taken keen interest in it. It has the Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) in it.

          Secondly, Nairobi is a county that has been ruled by ODM and Jubilee respectively. So, we are seeing a situation where both ODM and Jubilee parties have a stake in the capital city.

          Thirdly, it is going to be virtually, and in fact, impossible for the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga to take it casually the way they did in Msambweni.

          But we also need to ask ourselves; would Ruto field a candidate where there is a Jubilee candidate? In Msambweni, there was no Jubilee candidate. But here, most likely, there will be a Jubilee candidate.

          The way things have been; where the President has not fielded a candidate in favour of Raila where his party previously held the seat, then Uhuru and Raila will field one candidate in Nairobi.

          Will Ruto have the guts to do that himself when the President has fronted one on Jubilee ticket? The answer is No.

          There is no way the President is going to allow that a pro-DP person is fielded. That is impossible. That is not going to happen.

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

          Court orders will not stop us, doctors commence strike amid sack threats

          • Union officials while addressing members of the press said despite the warning by the government, they are not ready to back down till their demands are met.

          • Speaking in Kisii, Kenya Medical Pharmacists and Dentists Union officials termed the flurry of sacking threats by Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe as mere jokes.

          KMPDU offivcials when they officially announced their nationwide strike

          Doctors on Monday officially began their nationwide strike despite warning that they would be sacked.

          Union officials while addressing members of the press said despite the warning by the government, they are not ready to back down till their demands are met.

          Speaking in Kisii, Kenya Medical Pharmacists and Dentists Union officials termed the flurry of sacking threats by Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe as mere jokes.

          Chibanzi Mwachonda said doctors would rather stay home poor rather than be driven to work in environments where they are not guaranteed of their safety.

          “Nobody is going to force us to undertake a suicide mission, no amount of threats is going to work,” said Mwachonda .

          Mwachonda was in Kisii in solidarity with other doctors and union officials to attend the burial of their colleague Dr. Stephene Mogusu who succumbed to the current Coronavirus disease while working in Machakos.

          Last week Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe sounded a warning to striking health workers to resume work or face the sack.

          Kagwe said the courts had stopped the strike to allow room for negotiations noting that the government has continually engaged health workers’ unions over the issues raised.

          Kagwe said as amicable solutions to the issues are sought, the health workers need to go back to work especially as Kenyans indulge in the festivities.

          “I can confirm that my Ministry and that of Labour and Social Protection continues to engage with union officials to find an amicable solution to the issues that concern their members. Kenyans can now enjoy their holidays without anxiety and fear of seeking unavailable services in our public facilities as it should be,” he said.

          Some of the issues they have raised, he said, are legitimate and that the government has put in place measures to ensure they are resolved.

          He cited the issue of Personal Protective Equipment that health workers demanded saying they have been provided to all private and public health care facilities.

          “And that is why we are asking all striking health workers to go back to their work stations all the country and avoid being a statistic of the people who will be looking for jobs come January,” Kagwe said.

          But Mwachonda said already 33 doctors have since died of the disease since it struck the first case was reported in March.

          He said doctors have legitimate concerns that need to be addressed before any such threats are issued.

          No doctor, he said, is ready to resume work unless the government provided a comprehensive group life insurance cover for them and also give them personal protective gear.

          The union boss said currently the insurance cover is dished out in a discriminatory manner with some cadres being left out.

          “Doctors in Counties and in Universities are not benefiting from it, if we continue to deal with doctors with so careless abandon then we are driving the country down the drain,” he said.

          Mwachonda said it is incumbent upon the government to protect the lives of doctors if it insists on wanting to deploy them to fight the disease.

          “We have drawn the line, this is about protecting the lives of doctors, if their lives are not protected then we will be left to fight for our lives,” he said.

          The union officials said the government should harmonize the provision of health care services in the country as long term solution to the perennial problems facing the sector.

          Mwachonda rubbished orders from the court saying said no amount of court orders are going to persuade them from calling off the strike.

          He said the issue at hand is a life and death issue and not about the rights of patients alone.

          KMPDU officials during a press conference

          ‘’Court orders will not stop doctors from dying, or reduce infections among doctors, it is our right to withdraw services until the issues we have tabled on the table are attended to. There is no politics in this, it is our right,” Mwachonda said.

          The union said there were some political vultures misadvising the president on the issue of health.

          “We want the president to know that we are doing this because we want to save our own lives not because of any politics at all,” said Mwachonda.

          He said doctors had been working on very dangerous grounds and will only be away until the government finds solutions to their plight.

          He however said as union officials they are still willing to have constructive discussions with those in authority so as to end the stalemate.

          “But we would only be engaging those who make decisions, not junior officials who come to make indecent proposals to buy time and people suffer,” he said.

          Nyanza region union chair Kevin Osuri told the health minister to be serious and stop public relations antics.

          He said the of Mogusu has jolted them to sad realities of the grave dangers facing the health care providers in the country.

          “I sent a very strong warning to Kagwe that this is not a PR show, this is something about life, we rather stay home and die there than sending us to die in hospitals where we are not protected,” Osuri said.

          Senate upholds Mike Sonko’s impeachment

          The rise and fall of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko - Citizentv.co.ke

          Troubled county boss watched pensively as senators voted either to uphold or reject the impeachment motion against him. Sonko was charged with five counts that ranged from violation of the Constitution, gross misconduct, abuse of office to crimes committed under the national law. The flamboyant politician had earlier on the day spent the better of the session to defend himself against the accusations which he claimed were malicious and political. After lawyers from both side were done with the near six-hour cross-examination, it was the turn of the senators to ventilate on the matter which largely touched on the governor’s integrity and suitability. 

          27 against 16 senators 

          And when Speaker Kenneth Lusaka read the final verdict based on the outcome of the voting, it was nothing sort a confirmation of the ouster motion. The governor who punched his way to the national politics, was impeached with majority 27 senators voting to send him home while 16 rejected the motion. Only two senators, Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and his Makueni colleague Mutula Kilonzo Junior abstained from the exercised that came to a close at 11: 30 pm on Thursday, December 17. Majority of the senators who voted no had raised concern on how the matter was being prosecuted.

          Government hand 

          Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen claimed the national government had a hand in Sonko’s removal, in terms of resources to push the agenda and machinery. “Unlike last time, this term of the four impeachment processes, three have an element of state sponsorship. Two particularly have a full support of the state including this one,” Murkomen said. 

          uring the special sitting, it emerged that the governor had spent taxpayers’ money to fly his daughter and wife to the US, an allegation he flatly denied. “There is nothing that was transferred to her account (daughter), even to my wife, we catered for some things. No, for my wife, was catered for by the county, I think,” he answered. 

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

          ‘Senate drama’: Sonko uses phone torch to read documents

          Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko uses his phone torch to read documents at the Senate during the hearing of his impeachment case on December.17th.2020/EZEKIEL AMING'A

          Nairobi governor Mike Sonko on Thursday treated Kenyans to theatrics as he used his phone’s spotlight to read documents presented before him.

          As we all know the spotlights are used when it is dark, for Sonko, he was not seeing the papers clearly.

          Sonko was seen using his spotlight to read the sentences in the white pieces of paper in front of him.

          This prompted the speaker of the assembly Ken Lusaka to ask him if it was dark.

          Lusaka: Is it getting darker governor?

          But this was not all, Sonko and the Lead Counsel Nairobi County Assembly Ndegwa Njiru had a back and forth during the cross-examination process.

          Here are some excerpts;

          Ndegwa: Governor, you will answer. If you want to be acquitted by this House you will answer these questions. You’ll not choose to say and what to do, you’re a witness. Let’s go to Cecil Mila. What documents were we asking for?

          Sonko: Those are your colleagues, you could have written to them directly instead of asking me those questions. I’m not supposed to be answering these questions, just deal with my impeachment.

          Ndegwa: What are we asking Governor?

          Sonko: on pre-qualification?

          Ndegwa: What other document were we seeking?

          Sonko: Letter of instruction for the case.

          Ndegwa: yes, what else?

          Sonko: Fee note.

          Ndegwa: We’re limiting ourselves to the documents that I have, these are not documents before the Senate. When was he paid?

          Sonko: He was paid on 16th July 2019 and he’s talking about funds being diverted for 2020.

          Ndegwa: When was Kwanga Mboya paid that amount?

          Sonko: I’ve got the voucher here with me. Even I’ve got the bank receipts let me just check. Just give me a minute for that, I’ll answer right now.

          Sonko: The money was paid from the county account on 16th July to Kwanga Mboya’s account. The same day after one hour Kwanga remitted the money to beneficiary, Okoth & Kiplagat and Company Advocates who were the vendor’s lawyers

          Ndegwa: And Cecil Mila. How much was he paid?

          Sonko: Let me finish counsel.

          Ndegwa: Governor it’s me leading

          Lusaka: Counsel, let him answer.

          Sonko: Enda polepole wacha speedy. Mimi sipelekwangi mbio my friend I’m a fan of cases.

          Ndegwa: Would you explain to this Senate…

          Sonko: I’ve not finished talking about the legal payment. Let me finish reading the invoice

          Ndegwa: You’ve answered the question and I’m satisfied with that answer.

          Sonko: I’m not satisfied with my answer.

          Sonko: The invoice being payment of legal fees in respect of petition 218 of 2018, Musa Yego vs Nairobi County Government. The invoice for his fees was Sh 5 million.

          Ndegwa: Sh 5 million, thank you.

          Fresh Ruto, Raila clash as DP begins planning minus Jubilee

          PHOTOS: Raila, DP Ruto meet by chance at Tuju's Karen home | Kenyan_Report

          Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga are headed for another major clash in two by-elections in Western that will test their might in possible 2022 test runs.

          It has also emerged that Ruto is assembling his own political machine and could again sponsor non-Jubilee candidates for the polls.

          Buoyed by a decisive victory in Msambweni, Ruto’s so-called hustler nation is now determined to test Raila’s grip in Western Kenya in by-elections in Matungu and Kabuchai.

          Ruto backed the victorious independent candidate in Msambweni Feisal Bader.

          The Matungu by-election has been set for March 4 next year to replace MP Justus Murunga who died.

          The IEBC is yet to schedule the Kabuchai parliamentary contest.

          Murunga was elected on Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC ticket but was openly hobnobbing with Ruto’s allies.

          To launch his elaborate plan to capture Western, the Star has established the DP will be in Kakamega county on Friday, hosted by Malava MP Malulu Injendi.

          Injendi is making a comeback to Tangatanga after a short stint with Raila’s camp.

          On Saturday, Ruto will attend the burial of Kabuchai MP James Lusweti of Ford Kenya in a significant ceremony likely to be marked by high political temperatures.

          The upcoming by-elections will provide a platform for Ruto to consolidate his gains in Western, which is home to Mudavadi and Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula.

          The two have been overshadowed by Raila who has most of the MPs from the region.

          To deliver the two seats, Ruto will bank on key allies from Western, including former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Didmas Barasa (Kimilili) and a host of Tangatanga politicians.

          Western, like the Coast, has been on Ruto’s radar for years and he has made several trips to the region, hosting church harambees and launching government projects.

          Khalwale told the Star the hustler nation – was “dusting their lab coats” for another gruelling contest.

          “Overconfidence is not the trademark of the hustler nation movement. Ours is humility and engaging with the people. We will work with the candidate the people of Matungu gives us,” Khalwale said.

          The vocal ex-lawmaker was a pillar of the hustler campaign team that includes former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama and snatched the Msambweni parliamentary seat from ODM.

          Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa told the Star the DP’s troops are rolling up their sleeves to confront any challenge in Western ahead of the polls.

          “We are prepared and ready to roll out campaigns. Politics is now shifting and becoming people-centred. Whoever William [Ruto] will endorse will be our candidates,” Echesa said. He is a former ODM national youth leader.

          Echesa, who was pushed out of the Cabinet in March last year, warned Ruto’s rivals to prepare for a bruising battle. He said Western has already embraced the hustler nation.

          There are indications the Ruto candidates could be sponsored by non-Jubilee Party outfits. 

          The DP and his lieutenants sponsored Esther Kamau of the People’s Empowerment Party for the Gaturi ward by-elections in Murang’a.

          They also sponsored Simon Wanyoike of the New Young Democrats Party for Lakeview ward in Nakuru.

          The two won by comfortable margins. Ruto’s team now says the DP can survive without Jubilee following what they say are months of humiliation by some party officials.

          The DP is also said to be planning to field a Senate candidate in Machakos county following the death of Boniface Kabaka as part of a plan to penetrate Ukambani.

          Ruto’s barreling hustler nation train will then encounter rivals in at least six ward by-elections in Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Makueni and Kisii counties.

          On Thursday morning at his Karen office, Ruto hosted People’s Democratic Party and former South Mugirango MP Omingo Magara who led a delegation from Kisii. They discussed Ruto’s efforts to consolidate the region.

          “We have a duty as leaders to cooperate, unite Kenyans and direct our resources, energy and time at transforming our country rather than establishing factions and engaging in ethnic-based politics,” Ruto told the delegation.

          “Let us compete on the platform of issues, ideas and development track records that will make Kenya an equal opportunity for all,” the DP tweeted.

          In the clearest indication yet that Raila was raring for a fight to protect one of his loyal territories, the ODM National Elections Board on Thursday called for applications from aspirants.

          “The NEB hereby gives notice to all interested ODM party applications [for by-elections] in the areas that applications be submitted in the prescribed form to the party headquarters at Chungwa House by end of day Monday 21 December 2020,” the notice to party members read.

          The Jubilee Central Management Committee, controlled by allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta, on Friday is expected to make an announcement on whether it will field a candidate in Matungu constituency.

          “We are doing consultations this afternoon (Thursday), then we will announce the way forward,” Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju said.

          The panel is already reeling from the shocker of Ruto’s surprise win in Msambweni through Bader. He won decisively despite Jubilee pulling out of the poll in favour of ODM’s Omar Boga.

          The by-elections in Western will also be an acid test for Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya after the bitter Msambweni loss by his Mombasa counterpart, Hassan Joho. The Mombasa governor is an ODM deputy party leader. So is Oparanya.

          Joho has been accused by some ODM insiders of running a chest-thumbing, roughshod campaign that cost the party the Msambweni seat.

          Ruto’s allies insist the DP must sponsor a candidate in the two by-elections to  send a clear message to his adversaries in Jubilee that he is ready to chart his own political destiny.

          Political analysts say the DP is keen on building his hustler nation network  across the country to propel his 2022 presidential campaigns while using the by-elections as test runs.

          The DP’s allies have described the Msambweni win as a major breakthrough by Ruto after months of humiliation and attempted intimidation by top Jubilee Secretariat leaders who had boxed him out of power.

          On Thursday, Barasa said Ruto will employ the same strategy deployed in Msambweni in the by-elections, warning that Raila will be in for another rude shock.

          “The two late leaders (Murunga and Lusweti) were dedicated members of the hustler movement and I know their spirit is with us,” Barasa said.

          He blasted ODM for relying on old tactics to campaigns in the modern Kenya while expecting different results.

          “The strategy he used in NDP, LDP and ODM are the same. You cannot win the election with the same strategy. Kenyans have moved on, it is no longer about  liberation credentials,” he said in a swipe at Raila.

          Washiali said the DP’s allies are no no longer interested in fielding their candidates in Western through the Jubilee Party, saying it has been captured by external forces.

          “We are no longer interested in the Jubilee Party. If they want to field a candidate, that’s well and good. For now, we want to listen to the voice of the hustlers. Jubilee has been mismanaged and is no longer living up to its founding tenets,” Washiali said.

          However, Lugari MP Ayub Savula said the Matungu race is do or die for Mudavadi, saying the ANC has already identified a candidate whowill be introduced soon.

          The ANC deputy party leader told the Star that they will mobilise resources and mount a strong campaign to recapture the seat.

          “It was an ANC seat and we will go the extra mile to recapture it. What happened in Msambweni is different. The winner there is a former personal assistant to the late MP,” Savula said.

          dbn.co.ke news/I.O.O

          (Edited by V. Graham)

          Kenya to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January, dose to cost KSh 700 

          Kenya is set to receive the first consignment of COVID-19 vaccine in January 2021, the Ministry of Health has announced. 

          Kenya to receive COVID-19 vaccine in January, dose to cost KSh 700

          Cheaper than Pfizer 

          The 24 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to be made available to Kenyans in the first quarter of 2021 with each dose estimated to cost about KSh 700. Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on Wednesday, December 15, announced the government will give priority to individuals at high risk of contracting the virus such as health workers, teachers, police officers and the elderly. 

          Kagwe noted the first batch would cover up to 20% of the country’s population, adding the government was exploiting more alternatives of getting extra doses. The CS stated the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was cheaper and easy to store and distribute than other developed vaccines such as Pfizer. “The Ministry of Health is working closely with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) in carrying out tests. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has been found to be cheaper and can be stored in an ordinary fridge, unlike the Pfizer one which requires extremely cold temperatures of up -70 degree celsius,” Kagwe told Daily Nation. 

          Free cost 

          Health Director-General Patrick Amoth said the ministry submitted its request for the doses to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on December 7 and is expected to receive the consignment in January. Amoth noted the 24 million doses will be supplied to Kenya for free courtesy of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) foundation. 

          “We have, however, allocated KSh 10 billion to get more vaccine that will cover another 10% of the country population,” said Amoth.

          Kagwe’s Caution

          CS Kagwe expressed doubts on the efficacy of the developed vaccines. He insisted the government would not spend taxpayers’ money to pre-order a vaccine that was yet to be scientifically tested and accepted. The sentiments sparked rage among Kenyans who felt the CS was being unrealistic about the situation the country was in. Kagwe, however, clarified he only cautioned against rushing for the vaccine without proper assessment of their efficacy. The minister added Kenya was also developing her own vaccine which would help in offering a solution to the global challenge. 

          dbn.co.ke news/I.O.O

          Ngunjiri Wambugu congratulates Ruto’s team for winning 3 by-elections: “They were organised” 

          – In Msambweni, independent candidate Feisal Bader backed by William Ruto and his allies beat Omar Boga by 15,251 votes to 10,444 – Esther Mwihaki from the little known People’s Empowerment Party linked to Gatundu South lawmaker Moses Kuria trounced Jubilee candidate in Gaturi ward, Rosemary Wakuthie – Ngunjiri Wambugu, a fierce DP critic argued the 2022 presidential aspirant had managed to “outsmart” Jubilee and the so called Kieleweke faction by running a better campaign 

          Nyeri Town Member of Parliament Ngunjiri Wambugu has congratulated Deputy President William Ruto’s team for winning three by-elections that took place on Tuesday, December 15. 

          MP Ngunjiri Wambugu tells Ruto to shape up or ship out, says Jubilee not  his property

          The DP’s Tanga Tanga team managed to bag the Member of Parliament seat in Msambweni constituency as well as Member of County Assembly positions in Gaturi and Lakeview wards in Murang’a and Nakuru counties respectively. In Msambweni, independent candidate Feisal Bader backed by the second in command and his allies beat Omar Boga, deemed the handshake aspirant, by 15,251 votes to 10,444. 

          Esther Mwihaki from the little known People’s Empowerment Party linked to Gatundu South lawmaker Moses Kuria trounced Jubilee candidate in Gaturi ward, Rosemary Wakuthie by garnering 3,974 votes to the latter’s 3,423. On the other hand, having garnered 1,451 votes representing 39% of total votes cast, Simon Wanyoike of the New Young Democrats Party was declared the duly elected county ward representative for Lakeview in Naivasha sub county. 

          While reacting to the results, Wambugu, a fierce Ruto critic argued the 2022 presidential aspirant had managed to “outsmart” Jubilee and the so called Kieleweke faction by running a better campaign. “I take this opportunity to congratulate Tanga Tanga for their victory in the Msambweni Parliamentary by-election, as well as the Gaturi and Lakeview County Assembly by-elections. As a proud member of the Jubilee Party I accept that we supported the candidates who have lost this time.

          He added: “You have done an absolutely fantastic job and our Jubilee candidates in Gaturi and Lakeview Wards, as well as the #handshake candidate in Msambweni (who even took a photo with our party leader President Uhuru Kenyatta), fairly lost to a much better organised team.”

          CONGRATULATIONS TO THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT, AND THE TANGATANGA BRIGADE

          I take this opportunity to congratulate #TangaTanga for their victory in the Msambweni Parliamentary By-Election, as well as the Gaturi and Lakeview County Assembly by-elections.

          As a proud member of the Jubilee Party I accept that we supported the candidates who have lost this time. We have lost in this particular battle. We have also watched your performance both in the campaign, turning out the vote, and protecting it. Your GOTV was especially on point. Your propaganda machinery was also very impressive.

          You have done an absolutely fantastic job and our Jubilee candidates in Gaturi and Lakeview Wards, as well as the #handshake candidate in Msambweni (who even took a photo with our Party Leader President #UhuruKenyatta), fairly lost to a much better organised team.

          #Kudos! We have watched and I believe we have also learnt. Fortunately as Jubilee we will live to fight another day as the war is not over yet. We look forward to the next battle.’stated Wambugu Gunjiri

          #AlutaContinua
          #JubileeDaima
          #Kitaeleweka

          Raila now says Msambweni by-election not a litmus test for popularity after ODM loss 

          – Raila said the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) would have a problem if ODM lost Msambweni by-election – On Wednesday, December 16, the electoral body announced Independent candidate Feisal Bader as the duly elected MP for Msambweni, having trounced ODM’s Omar Boga – Raila has now said he only meant the effect of ODM’s loss in the mini poll would be felt in Msambweni and not across the country

          Opposition leader Raila Odinga has denied claims that he meant ODM’s loss in Msambweni by-election would have a bearing on the party’s popularity and the future of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

          Raila now says Msambweni by-election not a litmus test for popularity after ODM loss

          “Only in Msambweni” 

          Raila clarified he only meant BBI would have a problem in Msambweni constituency and not across the country if ODM lost in the by-election. The former premier who was speaking to KTN News on Wednesday, December 16, said the outcome of the by-election should not be interpreted to mean BBI would fail when subjected to a referendum. 

          “I only said BBI will have a problem in Msambweni because that is where the election was taking place, I did not mean that is what will have across the country,” said Raila. The ODM leader even argued his party never lost in the mini poll, noting the winner, Feisal Bader who run on an independent ticket, was a member of the Orange party. “The winner was a member of ODM who chose to avoid the nomination and vied as an independent candidate, there are some supporters of ODM who voted for him because of the work he did as an assistant to late MP Suleiman Dori,” Raila argued.

          Raila’s address

          During one of his rallies in Msambweni, Raila made it clear the outcome of the by-election would determine whether BBI referendum would sail through or not. He told the gathering that if ODM failed to recapture the seat, then that would be a clear message the BBI referendum would possibly collapse. 

          This election is not just here in Msambweni, it is all over, you know BBI referendum is coming and if ODM loses here, then it will be an indicator that BBI will be in trouble,” said Raila.

          The outcome

          The Orange party fronted Omar Boga who garnered 10, 444 votes against Feisal’s 15, 251. Feisal bolded out of ODM’s nomination held on October 1, arguing it was designed to favour one candidate. He sought the support of Deputy President William Ruto who endorsed him as an independent candidate. 

          Kenya biggest loser in diplomatic row with Somalia

          • The people we have hosted in Nairobi are very unpopular on the ground; people do not want to secede.
          • The whole world, the international community, is going to side with Somalia.
          • Former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim.
          • We stand to lose everything in this diplomatic row with Somalia.

            Somalia has been a cash cow for Kenya all these years, providing employment for our young men and women. Kenya is the destination of choice for Somalis. So many of them invest in our country, literally growing our economy.

            But we kept chasing them away and playing with their dignity, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

            How can you as a country meddle in their internal affairs? Imagine the Somalia President supporting one of the Kenyan governors. Yet we have the audacity and arrogance to call for a break-away in another county?

            The whole world, the international community, is going to side with Somalia. Somalia has just severed diplomatic ties with Kenya and next, it will announce it is closing its airspace to Kenya.

            Planes to Somalia generate revenue for this country.

            The miraa sector has suffered. Meru county is at a standstill because its main cash crop (miraa) cannot be exported to Somalia.

            Somalia is likely to order the Kenya Defence Forces to get out of the country, arguing that soldiers no longer play a productive role.

            This situation is a godsend to the current President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

            He will mobilise the nation by presenting himself as the only man courageous enough to stand up for their dignity, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

            The people we have hosted in Nairobi are very unpopular on the ground; people do not want to secede. That is why Ethiopia has changed tack—kneeling down before Somalia and saying ‘forgive us for what we have done to you all these years. We are going to respect and never destabilise you further’.

            A destabilisation scheme was hatched many years ago between Ethiopia and Kenya. But dynamics have changed. Former President Daniel Moi was a smart guy. He abandoned that and instead created a good relationship between Kenya and Somalia. Somalia was literally stabilised by Moi.

            Now we are in a big problem—look at the performance of our shilling against the dollar.

            Our shilling is losing against the dollar because 200,000 Somali families that were living in Kenya and spending on our economy have moved to Turkey.

            Our President has been misadvised and I am sure he is regretting it.

            DBN.CO.KE NEW/i.o.o

          Video of Raila declaring Msambweni mini poll a litmus test for BBI emerges

          A video of Opposition leader Raila Odinga declaring the Msambweni mini poll to be the litmus test for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) has emerged on social media. 

          President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga during the launch of the BBI signature collection exercise at KICC. Photo: Raila Odinga.

          The clip resurfaced barely hours after ODM suffered a setback in the by-election as independent candidate Feisal Bader triumphed over the party’s Omar Boga 

          Litmus test 

          In the 34 seconds video, Raila enthusiastically said Msambweni’s election outcome will determine the fate of the constitutional amendment report. 

          “This election is not only about here in Msambweni, this will be a bearing to show where we are heading as a country. This election will be a control experiment to show if the BBI will succceed or not. If ODM will be defeated here, then the BBI will have a problem,” declared Raila.

          Raila was speaking in Kwale county on Thursday, December 10, while drumming support for Boga and the controversial constitutional amendment report. 

          Just as Raila stated, the outcome will be a clear reflection of how the people will most likely vote in the BBI referendum. Bader’s win is likely to be a pointer that the residents agree with Deputy President William Ruto’s push for a consensus and a multiple-choice referendum. 

          Hassan Joho 

          Apart from the BBI, the outcome of the election is also a weigh on the Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho’s political future. During the campaigns, Joho as previously reported publicly stated that the Msambweni election may plunge his political future in jeopardy if ODM loses the seat. “If ODM’s Omar Boga loses this election, it will greatly affect my political future. You must vote for ODM and Boga,” said Joho. The flamboyant governor was the chief campaigner of the ODM’s candidate.

          dbn.co.ke news /I.O.O

          Msambweni by-election: ODM concedes defeat, congratulates Ruto’s man Feisal Bader 

          The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has conceded defeat in the just concluded Msambweni by-election. 

          ODM's Omar Boga tells his story after contracting virus | Nation

          Msambweni MP-elect Feisal Bader (in yellow) receiving his nomination certificate from IEBC officials. Photo: Dennis Itumbi. Source: Facebook The Orange party which had fronted Omar Boga to reclaim the parliamentary seat suffered a setback on Wednesday, December 16, morning, when the electoral body declared Independent candidate Feisal Bader as the duly elected MP. 

          “Great effort” 

          The Opposition party’s secretary-general Edwin Sifuna accepted the outcome of the mini poll and commended the winner. 

          Sifuna also congratulated ODM candidates who emerged victorious in Kisumu North and Dabaso wards. “Congratulations to all winners in yesterday’s by-elections especially @ The ODM party candidates in Kisumu North and Dabaso Wards. We came up short in Msambweni and Wundanyi /Mbale but we regroup and forge ahead.Thanks to all our teams everywhere for the great effort,” said Sifuna in a tweet.

          Shocker 

          Feisal, whose candidature was endorsed by Deputy President William Ruto garnered 15, 251 votes against Boga’s 10,444. The results came as a shocker to many considering the constituency was perceived to be ODM’s stronghold. The late MP, Suleiman Dori, was elected on ODM party ticket and many expected the Raila Odinga-led outfit to recapture the seat. 

          Bribery and rigging allegations 

          On the voting day, Tuesday, December 15, allegations of voter bribery and attempts to rig the election were reported in at least two polling stations. 

          Jomo Kenyatta Primary School was the most notorious centre that witnessed several incidents of political confrontations. Nyali MP Mohamed Ali clashed with his Mvita counterpart Abdulswamad Nassir (ODM) over voter bribery allegations. Lunga Lunga MP Abadallah Mashetani was cornered by Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho over similar allegations. Photos later surfaced online showing Mashetani interacting with voters in a manner that suggested he was giving them handouts. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Donald Trump announces resignation of US attorney general William Barr on Twitter

          As Donald Trump announced in a tweet, Attorney General William Barr will resign before Christmas, ending their dispute a little over a month before the president leaves office 

          Donald Trump announces resignation of US attorney general William Barr on Twitter

          The two had recently clashed over Barr saying that the Department of Justice did not uncover the systematic electoral fraud that the outgoing president says is to blame for his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden. Once Barr has officially left the department on December 23, Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will become the AG. “Just had a very nice meeting with Attorney General Bill Barr at the White House. Our relationship has been a very good one, he has done an outstanding job! As per letter, Bill will be leaving just before Christmas to spend the holidays with his family…” Trump wrote. “…Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, an outstanding person, will become Acting Attorney General. Highly respected Richard Donoghue will be taking over the duties of Deputy Attorney General. Thank you to all!” he added. 

          The fall of Barr from the good graces of the president underscored just how easily a trusted hand might one day receive nothing but approval from the boss and be on his naughty list just a few days or weeks later. Barr’s final misstep came when he acknowledged that no credible allegation of widespread voter fraud had been found by the DOJ. 

          There’s been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results,” Barr told the Associated Press, also referring to the Department of Homeland Security. “And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that,” he added. Trump’s tweet amounted to his latest attempts to counter-programme Biden’s transition period

          But many Twitter users were sceptical about the cheery tone in Trump’s tweet, considering Barr had recently risked getting on the president’s bad side. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Raila Junior speaks his mind on Msambweni by-election: “Leadership is about ability to influence” 

          Raila Odinga Junior, the son of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga, has shared his thoughts on the Msambweni by-election where the Opposition outfit’s candidate Omar Boga was trounced by independent aspirant Feisal Bedar who was backed by Deputy President William Ruto. 

          Raila Junior attacks Baba's party over Sudi's arrest – Nairobi News

          In a tweet on Wednesday, December 16, morning after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission declared Bader the winner with 15, 251 votes to Boga’s 10,244, Junior opined leadership is about ability to influence and not about the position one holds. “Leadership isn’t about title or position, but your ability to influence others,” he said. 

          Some tweeps opined he was sending a message to the Orange Party to reorganise itself following the defeat in what was considered its stronghold. David Kojo said: “I hope the guys at Orange house with their titles have heard. They told you off when you asked them to work for Kenyans. Now they have to hold a crisis meeting.” 

          The ODM Party lost the Msambweni seat previously held by Suleiman Dori who lost his battle to cancer in March. While many analysts expected the Raila-led outfit to recapture it, Bader’s win sent shock waves among handshake supporters. While reacting to the results, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna said they would live to fight another day. “Congratulations to all winners in yesterday’s by-elections especially @ The ODM party candidates in Kisumu North and Dabaso Wards. We came up short in Msambweni and Wundanyi /Mbale but we regroup and forge ahead.Thanks to all our teams everywhere for the great effort,” said Sifuna in a tweet. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Msambweni by-election: Independent candidate Feisal Bader declared new MP-elect 

          – Feisal Bader garnered 15,251 votes against his close competitor Omar Boga’s 10,444 to be declared the MP-elect – The results were announced by IEBC Returning Officer Yusuf Abubakar who issued Bader the election certificate – Wiper’s candidate came in third with 790 votes, followed by Hamisi Mwakonje with 230 then Marere Machai with 300 votes

          DP Ruto hosts Msambweni aspirant Feisal, Coast MPs at Karen home - The  Standard

          Bader, who was fronted by the Tanga Tanga team garnered 15,251 votes against his close competitor ODM candidate Omar Boga’s 10,444 to be declared the MP-elect. The results were announced by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Returning Officer Yusuf Abubakar, on Wednesday, December 16, who issued the victor the election certificate. “We thank God we have come to the conclusion of this exercise. By garnering the highest votes, I declare Feisal the winner for Msambweni Constituency by-election,” said Abubakar. 

          Image

          Bader had taken an early lead right from the beginning of the tallying of votes exercise carried out at Dr. Babla Secondary School. Wiper’s candidate came in third with 790 votes, followed by Hamisi Mwakonje with 230 then Marere Machai with 300 votes. 

          Victory speech 

          In his victory speech, the Deputy President William Ruto’s ally said he will work with his opponents vowing to carry out his duties diligently. “I want to thank the people of Msambweni for believing in me. I want to thank all the people who walked with me through to victory. We will work with our opponents for the sake of our constituency,” said Bader. He also thanked the second in command for supporting him. The Msambweni Parliamentary seat fell vacant following the death of MP Suleiman Dori who captured the seat on an ODM party ticket.

          Arrests 

          As previously reported, the Tuesday, December 15, Msambweni by-election witnessed a series of fracas with Raila and Ruto’s teams taking on each other. Nyali MP Mohamed Ali who is part of Ruto’s Tanga Tanga team clashed with his Mvita counterpart Abdulswamad Nassir over allegations of voter bribery. Lunga Lunga MP Abdallah Mwashetani also clashed with Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho on Tuesday morning over similar claims. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          COVID-19 update: 11 more die of disease, death toll rises to 1,604 

          The Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced 404 more cases of COVID-19 in the country. 

          COVID-19 update: 11 more die of disease, death toll rises to 1,604

          Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe said the new cases were identified from 4,878 samples tested in the last 24 hours, bringing to 92,459 the number of confirmed positive cases in the country. “The cumulative tests are now 978,683. From the cases, 364 are Kenyans while 40 are foreigners. The youngest is an eight-month-old infant while the eldest is 79 years,” said Kagwe. 

          Distribution of the cases

          Nairobi county accounted for 118cases Kilifi (110), Mombasa (66), Makueni (26), Nakuru (23), Kiambu (12), Kisumu (11) and Turkana (nine). Other cases were from Kwale and Nyeri (five each), Siaya and Kajiado (four each), Murang’a (three), Machakos (two) while Meru, Kakamega, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Marsabit and Lamu had a single case each. 

          Recoveries

          Kagwe revealed that some 527 patients had recovered from the disease, 408 from the Home-Based Care Program, while 119 had been discharged from various hospitals. “Total recoveries now stand at 73,979,” he said. Unfortunately, 11 patients succumbed to the disease on Tuesday bringing the cumulative fatalities to 1,604 from 1,593 recorded on Monday. 

          Hospitalisations

          The CS further stated that there are 871 patients admitted in various health facilities countrywide and 6,284 on Home Based Isolation and Care. Some 46 patients are in the ICU, 23 of whom are on ventilatory support, and 17 on supplemental oxygen. Six are on observation. Another 46 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen out of whom 35 are in the general wards. 11 are in the High Dependency Unit (HDU). As of Tuesday, countries like US, UK, Canada, Russia, China and Indonesia had already started vaccinating their populations. Priority is being given to frontline workers, the elderly and people with underlying health complications.

          dbn.co.ke news 

          Mombasa man killed a day after his wedding 

          – During the sad incident where the deceased was attacked, six other people were injured and were rushed to Mlaleo Health Centre in the coastal city of Mombasa – Kisauni OCPD Peter Maluki wondered why the victim’s close friends decided to end his life instead of solving the issue amicably – Watuwa who tied the knot on Saturday, December 12, during the Jamhuri Day celebrations, left behind a widow and a two-year-old child 

          Mombasa man killed a day after his wedding

          A man in Kisauni, Mombasa county has been killed a day after his wedding.

          David Watuwa met his death after he allegedly refused to share KSh 15,000 he had reportedly won in a gambling game, NTV reported. During the sad incident where the deceased was attacked, six other people were injured and were rushed to Mlaleo Health Centre in the coastal city of Mombasa. 

          Watuwa’s house broken into

          Watuwa’s death was confirmed by the area village elder Safari Jacob who said the suspects demolished the wall to his house before beating and killing him. “At around 8pm, we heard screams and shouts and loud bangs emanating from the house. We rushed to the scene only to find a section of Watuwa’s wall had been demolished. Soon after spotting us, the perpetrators began to hurl stones at us,” Jacob narrated the ordeal.

          Kisauni officer commanding police division (OCPD) Peter Maluki wondered why the victim’s close friends decided to end his life instead of solving the issue amicably. “I don’t know how they were to share the KSh 15,000 amount. If you gamble and win, the money is supposed to be yours,” Maluki said. The police boss said two suspects in connection to the case had already been arrested adding the men in uniform had been dispatched to conduct investigations. 

          Watuwa who tied the knot on Saturday, December 12, during the Jamhuri Day celebrations, left behind a widow and a two-year-old child who would surely miss him. In a related story, a groom in Uganda died a day after getting married in a grand wedding. Roy and Anita Watuula tied the knot in a beautiful wedding on Saturday, December 6. The cruel hand of death However, took away the man just a day later leaving behind his inconsolable wife. His cause of his death was not immediately revealed. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Muthama arrested after chaos erupt in Msambweni mini polls

          •The reason for his arrest was not known. According to one of his security, Muthama is now being taken to Mombasa.

          •He said former Kakamega senator Bony Khalwale was to be arrested but he locked himself in the car and the police left him.

          Nyali MP Mohammed Ali, Independent candidate Feisal Bader, Khatib Mwashetani address the media at Gazi in Msambweni.

          Police have arrested former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama at Jomo Kenyatta primary school in Msambweni.

          Muthama and other leaders were monitoring the ongoing voting exercise, before attracting a crowd.

          The police then blocked the former legislator and detained him in one room.

          The reason for his arrest was not known even-though he was able to tweet about it.

          I have just been arrested with no cause in Diani, Mswambeni and currently been booked at KPA police station. I have numerously been asking the officer why am being arrested, “orders from above!”,” Muthama tweeted.

          According to one of his security guards, Muthama is now being taken to Mombasa.

          He said former Kakamega senator Bony Khalwale was to be arrested but he locked himself in the car and the police left him.

          Meanwhile, Lunga-Lunga MP Khatib Mwashetani has denied allegations that he was arrested.

          The incident happened immediately after he addressed the media at Gazi polling station when the Independent candidate Feisal Bader casted his vote.

          Bader was accompanied by Nyali MP Mohammed Ali and his Malindi counterpart Aisha Jumwa.

          According to Mwashetani the police wanted to escort him to the station to record a statement on an issue he raised.

          It is alleged that on Tuesday night there were some confrontation between ODM team and Bader’s.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Kenya won’t retaliate against Somalia, team to seek solution formed – Oguna

          •This was after Somalia cut its diplomatic ties with Kenya citing constant violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

          •Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced that Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.

          Government’s Spokesperson Col. (Rrd) Cyrus Oguna during a press statement at KICC on Tuesday,15, 2020.

          The government will set up a team to seek a diplomatic solution between Kenya and Somalia, Spokesman Cyrus Oguna has said.

          This was after Somalia cut its diplomatic ties with Kenya citing constant violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

          Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced that Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.

          Addressing the media on Tuesday, Oguna said the Kenyan government will not follow the same route taken by Somalia.

          “We are a higher nation, we cannot do the same thing Somalia has done. If we do so it will look like revenge hence, we will let the IGAD and Comesa take control of it,” Oguna said.

          Oguna spoke on Tuesday at KICC, Nairobi, while briefing the nation on locusts’ infestation situation, among other issues affecting the nation.

          Ministry of Foreign affairs told the Star that Kenya had not received any official communication from Somalia about cutting its diplomatic ties.

          The Ministry said it could only take up the matter once officially notified.

          Kenya appeared to strengthen its ties with the self-declared country Somaliland.

          President Uhuru Kenyatta even welcomed the Somaliland President Muse Bihi on Monday at State House, Nairobi, where they discussed the bilateral trade between the two countries.

          The Somaliland president also met with the AU convoy Raila Odinga where they discussed security and development issues.

          He said that payment of the healthcare workers employed by the Ministry of Health under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program, and those on short term contracts following the Covid-19 pandemic has been addressed.

          dbn.co.ke news

          NCIC probes Jumwa, Sifuna over reckless speech in Msambweni

          •During the campaigns, Deputy President allies campaigned for the independent candidate Feisal Abdallah.

          •Jumwa, who is a close ally to Ruto is among the leaders who campaigned for Feisal.

          Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna being investigated by NCIC.

          NCIC has condemned the reckless utterances made by ODM SG Edwin Sifuna and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa during Msambweni by-election campaigns.

          Jumwa and Sifuna are claimed to have made the statements on December 11, 2020, during campaigns that attracted eight contestants. 

           The Commission has commenced investigations. We urge Kenyans to exercise tolerance and allow the law to take its cause,” NCIC said via a statement on Tuesday.

          NCIC chair Samuel Kobia said that the two have already been summoned to appear before the commission to answer for their utterances.

          “The use of such political rhetoric and vulgar language is wrong, unethical and shameful, the fact that any leader, especially those of the stature of MP and secretary general, can even consider using such language is a low point for them and this nation,” Kobia said.

          Kobia added that such remarks might mutate to hate speech, thus disturbing the peaceful coexistence among Kenyans especially their followers.

          The chairperson has further said that the commission is working closely with the registrar of political parties to ensure that politicians who fail to meet chapter 6 requirements in the eye of the commission, the EACC, and the registrar of political parties to be barred from political office forthwith. 

          “Indeed as a commission, we are committed to ensuring that there is a legal, societal, and political consequence for bad behavior. We urge all Kenyans to keep being vigilant and continue calling out bad behavior and statements wherever they occur.”

          During the campaigns, Deputy President allies campaigned for the independent candidate Feisal Abdallah.

          Jumwa, who is a close ally to Ruto is among the leaders who campaigned for Feisal.

          ODM candidate Omar Boga equally received big support from a section of ODM leaders, including party leader Raila Odinga, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho,  Sifuna among others.

          Other contestants are ; Charles Bilali (Independent) Mansury Kumaka (Independent), Ali Hassan Mwakulonda (Party of Economic Democracy), Marere Wamwachai (National Vision Party), Sheikh Mahmoud (Wiper Party) and Khamis Mwakaonje Liganje (United Green Movement).

          Msambweni residents are currently voting, in an exercise that is marred by voter bribery, intimidation and chaos.

          The supporters from all the sides have accused each other of undermining free, fair, and credible elections.

          The claims saw former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama being arrested on in a polling station.

          Muthama was arrested by the police officers at Jomo Kenyatta primary school.

          He was among other leaders who were monitoring the ongoing voting exercise in various parts.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Raila asks AU,UN to allow divorce between Somali and Somaliland

          ·Raila said this on Tuesday after meeting Somaliland President Muse Bihi who ended his official two-day visit to Kenya.

          •Speaking at the Liaison Office in Nairobi, the AU’s High Representative for Infrastructure said that it is impossible to reunite Somalia and Somaliland.

          AU special envoy Raila Odinga.

          AU special envoy Raila Odinga has challenged the union to speed the process of recognizing Somaliland as a fully independent country.

          Raila said this on Tuesday after meeting Somaliland President Muse Bihi who ended his official two-day visit to Kenya.

          Speaking at the Liaison Office in Nairobi, the AU’s High Representative for Infrastructure said that it is impossible to reunite Somalia and Somaliland.

          “AU needs to wake up to the reality that it is not going to be possible again to bring these two countries together, and recognize them as two separate countries,” Raila said.

          Raila, in his opinion, said that he does not regret making the same remarks earlier while in the UK.

          “I have talked in the UN, and I have talked in the London Charterhouse. I said, and I have no regret and I will say it again that Somaliland is a reality, that the world has got to live with,” Raila said.

          The opposition chief in the country added that Somaliland will continue to progress and service without depending on Somalia.

          He added that the sooner the issue is solved by the international bodies, the better for the two countries.

          Raila said AU should step in and open a conversation about Somaliland, the way it handled the Western Sahara disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa.

          The collaboration talks between Kenya and Somaliland has attracted unfriendly setback from Mogadishu, which has ended its ties with Kenya.

          Nevertheless, Uhuru appears unmoved by the spiraling diplomatic spat between Kenya and Somalia.

          State House issued a joint communique by Uhuru and Muse Bihi where they directed their respective senior officials to work together to develop a general cooperation framework agreement.

          In the agreement, Kenya is expected to open its Consulate in Hargeisa by end of March 2021.

           Somaliland would also upgrade its Liaison Office in Nairobi within the same timeframe

          On Monday night, Somalia announced that it was cutting ties with Kenya citing constant violation of Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

          Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced that Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Househelp charged with theft of Sh300,000 in Kileleshwa

          •Luyeku is accused of stealing from Joyce Kayere, on diverse dates between October 10 and October 27 in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

          •She was also charged with the second count of possessing Kayere’s clothes all valued at Sh50,000.

          A house help has been charged with the theft of Sh300,000 at a Kibera Court.

          Consolata Luyeku who was accused of stealing the money from her employer, was charged before Kibera senior principal magistrate Derrick Kuto.

          Luyeku is accused of stealing from Joyce Kayere, on diverse dates between October 10 and October 27 in Kileleshwa, Nairobi.

          She was also charged with the second count of possessing Kayere’s clothes all valued at Sh50,000.

          The complainant is said to have tried to contact the accused person but to no avail.

          The accused person denied the charges at a Kibera court and pleaded for lenient bond terms.

          She was released on Sh300,000 bond or a cash bail of Sh 150,00.

          The case will be mentioned on January 21.

          dbn.co.ke news

          KRA Commissioner General appointed as chairperson of the Africa Initiative

          Africa Initiative is an institution of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

          • General Githii Mburu expressed his commitment to champion the adoption of robust tax evasion programmes across Africa.

          KRA Commissioner General James Mburu

          Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner-General Githii Mburu has been appointed as the first chairperson of the Africa Initiative.

          Africa Initiative is an institution of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes.

          The Africa Initiative is a continental programme launched in 2014 by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (the Global Forum), its African members, and various partners.

          It aims at unpacking the benefits of tax transparency and exchange of information (EOI) to fight tax evasion and other illicit financial flows (IFFs) and serve African countries’ development.

          Speaking when he addressed the Global Forum Virtual Plenary session, Mburu expressed his commitment to champion the adoption of robust tax evasion programmes across Africa.

          “While the global community has moved to combat tax evasion and other forms of illicit financial flows (IFFs), the African continent has lagged. For this reason, I commit to actively champion efforts to unlock the potential of tax transparency and Exchange of Information for African countries,” Mburu said.

          Following a reorganisation of the Africa Initiative Governance structure, Mburu has been appointed to provide leadership for a one-year term.

          His appointment was preceded by the member countries’ ratification of a proposal to extend the Africa Initiative operating term and mandate for a further three-year period beyond December 2020.

          Mburu explained that the Africa Initiative comprising of 32 African countries, 11 regional and international partners, will strive to ensure that the member states are equipped to optimise the improvements in global tax transparency.

          The Africa Initiative will also foster programmes to tackle tax evasion and other forms of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs); while mobilising domestic resources to facilitate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as the African Union Commission’s Agenda 2063.

          Initially launched for a three-year period (2015-2017), the Initiative was renewed in Yaoundé, Cameroon in 2017 for another three years (2018-2020).

          It has become the flagship programme of the Global Forum which has inspired other continental programmes across the world.

          Through the Africa Initiative, the number of African countries involved in international work on tax transparency has grown.

          In 2009, only 4 African countries were members of the Global Forum. Now, Africa is well represented with 32 African countries serving as members of the Global Forum.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Somaliland President meets Raila, discusses security

          •Bihi is in the country for a two-day official visit. He arrived in the country on Sunday evening.

          •In a tweet, Bihi said that he discussed a range of regional issues with Raila, who is also the ODM party leader.

          Somaliland President Musa Bihi Abdi met with the African Union convoy Raila Odinga on Tuesday, 15, 20120.

          Somaliland President Musa Abdi on Tuesday met African Union convoy Raila Odinga.

          Bihi is in the country for a two-day official visit. He arrived in the country on Sunday evening.

          In a tweet, Bihi said that he discussed a range of regional issues with Raila, who is also the ODM party leader.

          “It was my pleasure to have a meeting with our nation’s great friend, Raila Odinga in Nairobi… Discussed various topics on the security and development of the region,” he said in his Twitter account.

          Image: COURTESY

          Raila’s mandates in the AU includes mobilising further political support from member states and the regional economic communities.

          Bihi and president Uhuru Kenyatta discussed on a number of subjects of mutual interest between Kenya and Somaliland when Bihi arrived on Monday.

          Bihi’s visit to Kenyan has caused a diplomatic difference with Somalia, which has also cut its ties with Kenya.

          Somalia Minister of Information Osman Dubbe announced this at around 1:40 am Mogadishu time on state-run SNTV.

          Dubbe said Mogadishu will in the next seven days withdraw all its diplomats from Kenya.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Orphan who repaired tuktuks for a living finally gets scholarship 

          Nigerians have joined hands to help a 13-year-old boy who was recorded repairing a tricycle. 

          Kid whose parents died and could not go to school finally gets scholarship

          Ashamu Lekan’s video went viral as he resorted to being a mechanic to make ends meet instead of being in school. Ashamu wanted to complete his studies but he had no one to support him or even provide for him. The 13-year-old appealed to Nigerians to help him complete his education. Days after, a good Samaritan with the Twitter handle @AnatuGreen coordinated donations from willing Nigerians so the young kid can achieve his dream. 

          On Thursday, December 3, @AnatuGreen said with the help of many other people, Ashamu resumed his learning at BrainField School, Abule Egba in Lagos state. The man added that it was the first time in five years the young teen would set foot on a school. Sharing photos on Twitter, the man posed with the kid and one other unnamed person as they sat in an office. 

          The man known as The Shy Guy on Twitter said that his child wrote a note to him and his mother asking them to knock before entering his room. It was quite the shocker to the two African folks who do not have the word knock in their vocabulary. The clever boy plastered the paper on his door which read “Please knock before coming in.” 

          While the dad found the gesture to be a tad bit amusing, he was really surprised that his kid was actually that daring.

          dbn.co.ke news 

          Turn Weston Hotel into school if you want to give Kenyans exam, Junet hits at Ruto

          Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed has differed with Deputy President William Ruto’s proposal to have a multiple-choice structured referendum. 

          Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohamed. Photo: Junet Mohamed.

          Junet, who is the co-chairman of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat said they have already prepared a Bill that will be voted for in either a Yes or No manner. The outspoken lawmaker told of the second in command that he should turn his deluxe hotel, Weston, into a secondary school if he wanted to give Kenyans an exam. 

          “This bill does not talk about multiple issues, we as the secretariat have created a bill containing Kenyans proposals collected for two years. We will present to Kenyans as a whole to vote Yes or No. If he (Ruto) wants to do an exam, he can change his Weston Hotel into a school and present multiple choices ABCD there,” said Junet. 

          Multiple choises referendum 

          The DP had vouched for a Bill that would give Kenyans options to vote on each specific item proposed in the report rather than having it presented in a blanket form. The Jubilee deputy party leader argued such options would allow citizens to still make positive choices rather than shooting down the whole document just because they did not agree with a few issues. 

          He suggested the proposal would condense the questions to a minimum number to make it easier for voters to comprehend and make informed decisions. “Our law, the Elections Act proposes that on issues like on the BBI case, we should have a multiple-question referendum. They should not be afraid of what the people will choose because this is their country and this is their Constitution,” he said on Sunday, December 6.

          Unconstitutional

          Siaya Senator James Orengo weighing on the matter asked Ruto to stop lying to Kenyans about the possibility of a having a multi-choice referendum because it is unlawful. Speaking on Saturday, December 5, the lawyer said the Constitution only provides an elaborate process that culminates into a referendum vote and not a multiple-choice vote.

          dbn.co.ke news

          International News

          History as Joe Biden nominates first African-American as Defense Secretary

          US President elect Joe Biden said Austin understood how to handle terrorism threats well – Retired army major general Paul Eaton who served with the 67-year-old described him as a man of integrity saying he was a great pick to lead the US military in a dangerous world – Earlier, Kamala Harris had become America’s first black female vice president-elect following Biden’s decision to nominate her as his deputy 

          History as Joe Biden nominates first African-American as Defense Secretary

          Austin will in the process become the first African-American to head the pentagon with over 2.2 million service members, making it the largest employer in the world. Biden confirmed the news on his Twitter page on Tuesday, December 8, saying his nominee understood how to handle terrorism threats well. 

          “I know General Austin. I trust him. Because I know how he reacts under pressure. When ISIS emerged as a terrorist threat, President Obama and I turned to General Austin in the Situation Room and he led us through. Now, I turn to him again as Secretary of Defence.

          Okiya Omtatah in court to block DCJ Philomena Mwilu from taking over David Maraga’s position 

          – Activist Omtatah said DCJ Mwilu should not succeed Maraga unless the graft allegations against her are dropped – The activist certified his petition as urgent and he is waiting for directions from the duty judge – He made his petition just a day before Maraga starts his retirement 

          Okiya Omtatah in court to block DCJ Philomena Mwilu from taking over David Maraga's position

          Okiya Omtatah told the court to bar JSC from appointing Mwilu as Maraga’s successor. Photo: Citizen TV. Source: UGC Okiya made his petition on Thursday, December 10, just a day before Chief Justice David Maraga officially commences his retirement on Friday, December 11. In the petition, the activist argued Philomena should not succeed Maraga because of the corruption allegations levelled against her by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). Omtatah said the deputy DJ should only be allowed to ascend to the seat of Chief Justice if the graft accusations are cleared. 

          He certified his petition as urgent and he is waiting for directions from the duty judge. A couple of days ago, Maraga asked Kenyans to pray hard for his successor saying he experienced several challenges in the course of his work which hindered him from fully succeeding. The Supreme Court president said he will retire a happy man having enhanced physical access to the courts by overseeing construction of over 20 court buildings. Maraga took a swipe at Members of Parliament over their alleged failure to enact legislation to ensure proper funding of the Judiciary arguing the main challenge he faced was underfunding of the third arm of government. 

          Mwilu’s graft allegations

          Mwilu was facing 13 counts including fraudulently obtaining money from the collapsed Imperial Bank. Her woes began in 2018 when she was arrested at the premises of the Supreme Court in Nairobi for alleged involvement in corrupt dealings involving the bank. 

          She was subsequently released on a KSh 5 million personal bond and ordered to appear in court on August 29, 2018, to take plea. In a turn of events, the Nairobi Court set her free on Friday, May 31, 2019, after it emerged the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) illegally obtained the DCJ’s bank statements without her prior knowledge. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          International News

          US election: Trump says Biden’s administration will be full of scandals 

          President Donald Trump has made another controversial claim about the US presidential election – The incumbent claimed President-elect Joe Biden will plunge the country into a crisis and should not be allowed to lead – He has once again asked the Supreme Court to save American’s from a Biden presidency President Donald Trump has said the administration of Joe Biden will be full of scandals for many years. 

          US election: Your administration will be full of corruption - Trump makes huge allegations against Joe Biden

          Donald Trump has refused to recognize Joe Biden was the winner of the presidential election. Photo: Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool, Mandel Ngan Source: UGC Trump who made the claim via Twitter on Friday, December 11, also urged the US Supreme Court to follow the constitution and do the needful. The incumbent, apparently referring to the outcome of the US presidential election, asked the court to save the USA. 

          He has consistently repeated his unproven claims that there were massive fraud and massive rigging in the election. Meanwhile, leaked audio reportedly obtained by The Intercept has purported that Joe Biden said the Republicans used the defund police movement to defeat Democrats in down-ballot races in the November election. He challenged the election of the Democratic party candidate in the Supreme Court but the case was thrown out on Tuesday, December 8. The petition had been filed by a Republican congressman, Mike Kelly, to cancel Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania during the presidential election. Kelly’s application challenged the state’s law which approved no-excuse absentee voting and insisted that the expansion of mail-in voting was outrightly unconstitutional, The Guardian reported. Apart from the apex judicial body, many other US courts had ruled against the suit on the ground that it was dead on arrival because Kelly waited till 2020 when the law (enacted in 2019) was already in place. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          International News

          US election: Hillary Clinton calls for abolition of Electoral College voting

          Former United States presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton has called for the abolition of Electoral College voting in the country’s presidential election. 

          US election: Hillary Clinton calls for abolition of Electoral College voting

          The Democrat argued the winner should be determined by the popular vote and not by a group of electors. In a tweet on her official Twitter handle on Monday, December 14, Clinton who was one of the New York electors who voted for Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris said voters on the ground should determine their leader. 

          “I believe we should abolish the Electoral College and select our president by the winner of the popular vote, same as every other office. But while it still exists, I was proud to cast my vote in New York for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” she said. 

          Biden beat Republican Donald Trump by 306 electoral votes compared to the incumbent’s 232 to officially become the 46th US president, the oldest in history. The confirmation dealt Trump a major blow in his unprecedented attempts to block Biden from ascending to power after filing longshot lawsuits and mounting pressure on lawmakers to overturn the results. 

          The president-elect said the rule of law had prevailed as he expressed his joy on winning the seat. “Today, the members of the Electoral College cast their votes for president and vice president. And once again, the rule of law, our Constitution, and the will of the people have prevailed. Our democracy—pushed, tested, and threatened—proved to be resilient, true, and strong,” Biden said in a tweet. 

          Clinton had lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election through Electoral College votes despite winning the popular vote. Trump surpassed the 270 mark threshold by garnering 306 votes to Clinton’s 227 dealing her a big blow as several opinion polls had projected she would emerge victorious. 

          dbn.co.ke news

          Nairobi County conducts donkey and dog vaccination campaign

          • This follows a recent outbreak of rabies within the Sub-County where donkey owners reported a case of ‘wild’ donkey at Stage 26.
          • Cases of donkey vaccination against rabies are rare with the last one being done three years ago.
          • County director of veterinary service Wilson Serem gives a dog an an anti-rabies injection when the vaccination drive began in Chepalungu on Monday.
          • The Nairobi City County Directorate of Veterinary Services, KENDAT, Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) and Brooke East Africa has carried out rabies vaccination campaign in Kasarani Sub County.

            This follows a recent outbreak of rabies within the Sub-County where donkey owners reported a case of ‘wild’ donkey at Stage 26.

            The aim of the campaign is to create awareness on the impact of Rabies to communities and reduce cases of human and animal Rabies through vaccination the dog and donkey population.

            The vaccination centres included Kamulu Market, Twenty-Six, Kanjo, Ruai, Njiru, Githunguri, Utawala and Mwiki areas at no cost.

            During the exercise over 500 donkeys and 3,000 dogs were vaccinated against rabies over the weekend following an outbreak of the disease in the area.

            According to  Samantha Opere, KENDAT, project manager, the exercise was necessitated by an incident two weeks ago where a rabid donkey bit and infected a number of donkeys and people at stage 26.

            She said reports indicated that the donkey had earlier on been bitten by a rabid infected dog in the month of April and had spread the disease to six more donkeys in the area.

             “Two weeks ago, a rogue donkey bit its owner and several other donkeys. We visited the farm with a team of veterinary officers and established that it had rabies and we had no other option but to have it killed,”

            Kamulu, Ruai and Utawala are among the estates that have a high donkey population, which the community relies on for domestic services like fetching water and transporting construction materials.

            Donkey owners in the area led by Ruth Wanjira, Dorothy Kathambi and Jotham Kimani welcomed the vaccination exercise, terming it a relief to them.

            “Once reports of a donkey that had been infected with rabies surfaced, we were afraid for our animals. The vaccination is welcome, however, there are some farmers who are yet to bring their animals for vaccination and might deter efforts to weed the disease out of this area,” said Jotham Kimani.

            The Chairman of Nairobi County Donkey Owners’ Association Stephen Kamuiru Muthamia called on donkey owners to join groups where their welfare can easily be addressed.

            Cases of donkey vaccination against rabies are rare with the last one being done three years ago.

            According to KALRO report of 2019, one donkey earns its owner an average of Sh 11,390 per month.

            Patrick Mutua, the owner of the rabid donkey has not only lost his only source of livelihood but has to cater for his own Rabies post exposure prophylaxis. The cost of which has further put a dent in their income.

            On average Rabies post exposure prophylaxis costs between Sh 5,000 and Sh 7,500.

            The Rabies virus attacks the brain, once symptoms appear, it is 100 per cent fatal. Symptoms include fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis and mental confusion.

            “Dog owners should be responsible for the care of their animals. They need to ensure that their dogs are well fed and are vaccinated in a timely manner. It is cheaper to prevent Rabies by vaccinating dogs than treating human Rabies” Dr Opere.

             Treatment

            Once bitten by a rabid animal, thoroughly wash the wound with soap and water

            Seek medical care, which will entail post exposure prophylaxis rabies vaccination and management of the wound

            Prevention

            Human rabies can be prevented by vaccinating at least 70 per cent of the dog population

            Rabies is a preventable viral disease of warm-blooded animals, which is usually spread through the bite of a rabid animal or contact with its saliva. Dogs are the main source of human rabies.

            Data from the World Health Organization estimates that one person dies from human rabies every nine minutes. It further states that 40 per cent of the rabies victims are children under the age of 15 years.

            Poor rural communities are most affected by rabies because their dogs are left to roam freely in search of food.

            These dogs rarely receive veterinary care as such they are not likely to be vaccinated in a timely manner.

          • dbn.co.ke news

          Over 230 police killings, abuses reported in three years – DPP

          • Data shows that most of those killed were youths from informal settlements, with Nairobi accounting for most of the cases.
          • Of the cases, 107 were in respect of killings by police officers in the process of handling suspects.

          Director Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

          The Directorate of Public Prosecutions has handled at least 236 cases of police abuses in the past three years.

          This brings to the fore the extent to which police excesses have continued to blight the lives of Kenyans.  

          Of the cases, 107 were in respect of killings by police officers in the process of handling suspects.

          DPP Noordin Haji, in a report for the years 2017 to 2020, said at least 31 cases involved shooting by law enforcement officers.

          Thirty other cases, the DPP said, involved deaths of suspects while in the custody of police officers.

          During the period, the DPP also handled five cases of persons killed by alleged stray bullets and 19 under other circumstances.

          Over 70 cases of assault and inhumane treatment by police officers were also handled by the DPP during the period.

          Haji said there were enhanced efforts to ensure criminal justice accountability during the period under review.

          Even so, the numbers are low compared with the cases reported by various agencies monitoring police abuses.

          Missing Voices, a website that documents police killings, says at least 376 people were killed or forced to disappear during the period.

          It reports 27 cases of police killings and enforced disappearances in 2017; 75 in 2018; 144 in 2019; and 130 in 2020.

          Data from the website show that most of those killed were youth from informal settlements with Nairobi accounting for most of the cases.

          The concern over the years is that those killed by the police do not get justice.

          Haji, in the report, said his office has taken measures to address the violations and excesses of the law enforcement agencies.

          His office has established a civil rights division to enhance the promotion of human rights and address cases of inaction or action by law enforcers that result in criminal violation of citizens and non-citizens.

          The division, he said, is tasked with ensuring violations are prosecuted or dealt with administratively by the National Police Service.

          Haji said his office is working with IPOA to negotiate a memorandum of understanding to create rules of engagement between the two agencies.

          ODPP is also developing a standard operating procedure for IPOA to guide investigators and prosecutors on dealing with police abuses.

          Haji said they have designated an IPOA desk to follow up on all cases of police excesses.

          “The ODPP officers act as contact persons between the two institutions,” Haji said in the report handed over to President Uhuru Kenyatta last month.

          The DPP has also formed a team to liaise with the civil society with a view to coming up with regulations to actualise the Constitution’s provisions for freedom of peaceful assembly.

          The office has established a division to deal with such abuses arising from instances where victims were exercising freedom of speech.

          Extrajudicial killing is generally becoming costly even to the exchequer, taking the case of the over Sh820 million the Attorney General’s office is reported to have spent in compensation of victims of police abuses.

          In June, Duncan Ndiema was taken to court for the murder of 13-year-old Yasin Moyo, which is among notable cases in the DPP’s file.

          The youngster was shot while standing on the balcony at his parents’ flat in Mathare on March 30.

          Beckham Osoro Orwaru was charged, following public outcry, with the killing of 26-year old Karani Kinyiri in Mathare.

          The death occurred while the officer was enforcing curfew orders.

          Former Mlolongo OCS Stephen Lelei and former AP officer Fredric Leliman allegedly killed Jacob Mwenda and Elizabeth Nduku in 2016 in Mlolongo town.

          Leliman is also an accused person in the 2016 murder of rights lawyer Willie Kimani and two others.

          Emmanuel Ambunya of Kenyatta National Hospital police post was charged with the murder of university student Carlton Maina in Kibera slum.

          The officer was accused of murdering the Leeds University student on December 22, 2018 at Laini Saba and is out on Sh60,000 bail.

          AP officer Zaddock Ochuka Oyieka was charged in March with the murder of Daniel Mburu Wangari, a boda boda rider, outside Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital.

          The rider was shot on February 18 following an argument over an unofficial Sh50 parking fee with security guards at the hospital.

          Mburu had volunteered to rush to the hospital a two-and-half-year-old boy retrieved from a river in Korogocho slums.

          These cases are a fraction of the pending complaints before IPOA and with the police.

          There are those that are yet to go to court as they are still being investigated, among them the killing of a two-and-half-year-old boy in Kahawa West and that of three-year-old girl in Kahawa Wendani.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Kenya orders 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine

          A medic holds a bottle labelled Vaccine Covid-19.

          Kenya has ordered 24 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine, enough to cover 20 per cent of the country’s population, the Star has learnt.

          The Ministry of Health submitted its request to the global vaccine alliance Gavi last week.

          The doses will cost Kenya a total of Sh10 billion, the ministry confirmed.

          This is approximately the cost also given by Gavi, which says each dose will cost about $3 (about Sh320).

          The amount is already heavily discounted by Gavi through donations from a number of developed countries, the World Bank, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others.

          “The first to be vaccinated will be frontline workers, then the vulnerable and the elderly,” acting director-general of Health Patrick Amoth told the Star.

          He said Kenya did not dictate which vaccine to receive because Gavi has signed agreements with manufacturers of about nine vaccine candidates.

          “The Oxford University-Astrazeneca candidate will be ideal for Kenya because it fits within our cold chain supply system. It can be stored in 2-8 degrees and we have refrigerators for that,” Amoth said. “It is also being tested in the country in Kilifi.”

          Pfizer- BioNTech’s, Moderna’s and Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines have all reported efficacy of more than 90 per cent.

          However, the first two require ultra-cold storage not widely available in Kenya.

          The Pfizer candidate is also not among the contracted vaccines that will be supplied to poor countries through Gavi.

          Kenya expects to receive a vaccine early next year, but Amoth did not specify the timeframe.

          He said Kenya will grant emergency use approval to the appropriate candidate immediately that vaccine gets such approvals in Europe and the US.

          “Once they get the approval from the European Medicines Agency and in the UK, then we will also consider granting such authorisation in Kenya,” he said.

          The announcement means Kenya has applied for the largest number of doses in East Africa.

          Last week on Thursday, Uganda’s Ministry of Health said it ordered nine million doses to cover 20 per cent of the country’s population of 43 million people.

          “Plans are underway to secure additional doses of the vaccine to cover more people,” the Ugandan Health ministry said in a statement.

          Uganda said it specifically applied for the Oxford University-Astrazeneca vaccine because it has no capacity to store other vaccines that require ultra-cold conditions.

          Rwanda’s Minister of Health Daniel Ngamije on Sunday also announced they had applied for either AstraZeneca or the Moderna vaccine.

          Ngamije didn’t, however, say how many doses they applied for but said they hoped Rwanda would be among the first countries in Africa to receive them.

          It is not known if Tanzania, which claims there is no Covid-19 there, applied for any vaccine.

          Separately, Egypt announced it applied for 20 million doses from Gavi, and expected to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

          In Egypt, priority will be given to medical staff, followed by those with chronic diseases, Health minister Hala Zayed said,

          Egypt has also received its first batch of coronavirus vaccine, produced by the Chinese company Sinopharma.

          Gavi is supplying Covid-19 vaccines to 92 developing countries, including Kenya, through a facility called Covax.

          Covax was created by Gavi, Unicef and the WHO to deliver two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.

          The facility says it has already secured millions of ready-made doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca candidate, ready for distribution to the 92 developing countries. 

          The Geneva-based Gavi had given beneficiary countries up to December 7 to make their requests.

          Experts say although there won’t be enough vaccines for every Kenyan, getting the shots to the right people could tame the pandemic.

          Although Covax has signed agreements for nine different candidates, the Oxford candidate might reach developing countries first because it can utilise existing infrastructure in most countries.

          The Oxford vaccine can utilise standard 2-8 degree cold chain infrastructure for transport, storage and delivery.

          Gavi says it has already secured “hundreds of millions of doses” of the candidate through an MoU between Gavi and AstraZeneca, as well as through agreements between Gavi, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Serum Institute of India, the contracted manufacturer.

          “Access to safe and efficacious Covid-19 vaccines for the most vulnerable groups everywhere in the world is the only way to bring the acute stage of this pandemic under control,” Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley said in a recent statement.

          The Oxford vaccine — being tested in Kilifi in a phase I trial — uses a harmless, weakened version of a common virus that causes a cold in chimpanzees.

          The Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, said it has already manufactured millions of doses and will make millions more immediately governments authorise its use.

          Kenya has formed a Covid-19 Vaccine Taskforce, which will develop policies and guidelines on how the vaccines will be rolled out once available.

          “These are processes that are currently underway. We are quite excited and we are going to have a discussion with AstraZeneca to ensure that Kenya is first in line because about eight countries are on trial for the vaccine,” Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi said recently.

          In September, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunisation endorsed new guidelines on groups to prioritise for vaccination while supply is limited.

          The framework advises countries to prioritise health workers who are directly engaged in the Covid-19 response.

          The framework also leaves countries to make their own decisions depending on the type of vaccines that are available and what countries intend to achieve.

          “Health is not, however, the only dimension of wellbeing that has been severely affected by the pandemic,” the guidelines say.

          This means the choice for Kenya might also depend on whether the highest priority for the country is just to prevent death or to curb the spread of the virus and return to normalcy.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Sonko, MCAs file papers in Senate impeachment battle

          On Thursday, Sonko, through his legal representatives – Kinyanjui, George Kithi and Cecil Miller – will take four hours in the morning to discount the evidence fronted against the governor.

          • The sitting comes amid intense behind-the-scenes lobbying in which senators have been divided down the middle.

          Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in Riverside on December 1, 2020.

          Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is set to submit his rebuttal on Tuesday as his accusers file their evidence.

          Sonko will face off with MCAs before the Senate plenary starting 9am on Wednesday in a two-day session. The session will end with a decision on Thursday evening on whether the governor gets impeached or not.

          Senate Speaker Kenneth Lusaka told the Star on Monday he would gazette Wednesday and Thursday for the special sitting. Senators will participate both physically and virtually.

          Sonko’s lead lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui and head of communications Elkana Jacob said they were rushing against time to beat the 4pm Tuesday deadline for the submission of the documents.

          “Our lawyers will submit the evidence because everything is ready,” assembly Majority leader Abdi Guyo said.

          The sitting comes amid intense behind-the-scenes lobbying in which senators have been divided down the middle.

          A section of lawmakers working with a Jubilee politician and the governor’s allies, have been meeting and working on a plan to save Sonko.

          “The same strategy we used to defeat the committee route is the same strategy we are going to employ to defeat this motion,” a senator familiar with the intriguing and intricate lobbying told the Star.

          Last week, Senate Majority leader Samuel Poghisio declined to give a notice of motion to debate the formation of an 11-member committee to investigate the charges against the governor.

          The Star established that the move was a result of the work of the governor’s sympathisers, who successfully fought to defeat the formation of the committee which they claimed could have worked against the county chief.

          During Wednesday’s session, according to the schedule of events, the two parties will be accorded 30 minutes each for opening speeches. The MCAs, through their lawyers, will take the stand to present their case.

          On Thursday, Sonko, through his legal representatives – Kinyanjui, George Kithi and Cecil Miller – will take four hours in the morning to discount the evidence fronted against the governor.

          The senators will then hold a meeting in camera to deliberate on the submissions before they resume to take a vote that will eventually decide whether Sonko will continue to serve as governor or if he will lose his job.

          “Each party will have their day,” Senate Minority chief whip Mutula Kilonzo Jr said.

          If at least 24 of the 47 elected senators or, in their absence, their representatives (nominated) vote to uphold any of the four charges against the governor, he shall stand impeached.

          The MCAs are accusing Sonko of four broad allegations of gross violation of the Constitution or any other law, abuse of office, gross misconduct and crimes under national law.

          The MCAs accuse Sonko of presiding over ‘massive loss and theft’ of public funds amounting to Sh204.2 billion, bloating the county’s debt and crippling the operations of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS).

          “The governor’s continued willful refusal to execute the statutory warrants essential to the release of funds from the CRF, which has grounded the provision of services of not only the county executive but of the NMS and its exercise of the transferred functions,” the charges read

          He is also accused of persistently harassing, intimidating and molesting county officers and using City Hall cash to fly his daughter to the County First Lady’s Conference in New York, USA.

          These actions, the ward representatives argued, amount to abuse of office.

          “He has been blackmailing his county executive committee members and chief officers with one-year contracts, whose renewal he has undertaken arbitrarily, leaving the officers jittery about their employment and creating a climate of fear, uncertainty and despondence,” the charges read.

          dbn.co.ke news

          MP mulls retaining seat with eyes on Cabinet appointment

          • Fresh trouble is brewing at the Nairobi City county assembly, just days after the controversial impeachment of Governor Mike Sonko.
          • Panic has gripped office of a Cabinet Secretary.
          • Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga
          • An MP from western Kenya who had declared his intention to run for governor position in the 2022 General Election is said to be considering dropping his ambition and seek re-election as a legislator. A bird close to the MP whispered to Corridors that the legislator is hoping to land a Cabinet position if the BBI proposals being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga (pictured) sail through. He is however said to have lost popularity among voters in his constituency and there is a strong possibility that he may lose to a rival who has put up a well-oiled campaign machine. Because of the stiff competition, the legislator is said to be weighing the option of still going for a parliamentary seat but in another constituency, where he is said to have other family interests.

            ***

            Fresh trouble is brewing in one of the county assemblies after a deal involving MCAs went bad. It is understood that a bigwig in the county who played a key role at a recent political activity is now an isolated man after his colleagues in his camp dumped him for being too mean with their “bonuses”. Two MCAs in the man’s camp have now vowed to expose him. They claim the bigwig made a fortune from the activity, which some interested external forces were keenly pushing for. And with the Christmas less than two weeks away, the MCAs who were keen to line their pockets with the proceeds may have counted their chicks before they hatch.

            ***

            In yet another similar situation, a governor aspirant from Mt Kenya region has had his 2022 ambitions slip into shaky ground. This is after the man who has previously served as an MP for two terms opted to lead BBI signature collection against the advise of his think tanks. A source in the know says the politician miscalculated his move despite his team of advisers who included two professors and religious leaders telling him the BBI was not popular in his county and he should wait and see how the matter transpires. Just on Saturday, the team of advisers is said to have quit his Whatsapp group leaving the man to his own thoughts. This world can be that savage.

            ***

            Panic has gripped the office of a Cabinet Secretary. Reason? Corridors understand cash that was nabbed recently is connected to the office. The highly connected CS is said to have pulled strings from West Africa over a deal struck some months ago. The perplexed CS is now on the throes of missing the rest of the cash as the seized money negates the second batch that was expected later before the end of the year. The wheeling and dealing in the high places goes on and on.

          • dbn.co.ke news

          Covid vaccine: Poor nations left behind

          • Wealthy countries will be able to vaccinate their entire populations in the next year
          • Poor nations could be waiting in the back of the line until 2024.
          • Britain has secured two million doses of Moderna vaccine./COURTESY
          • December 8 marked what many now characterise as V-day. Margaret Keenan, 90-year old British woman, was the first to receive what will be billions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines that will be dispensed around the world.

            The United Kingdom has ordered 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The US ordered 100 million doses with the option to buy another 500 million doses. Canada, the third country to authorise the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will receive 249,000 initial doses of a 76 million doses that Pfizer has committed to deliver. Pfizer is committed to deliver 120 million and 200 million to Japan and the European Union respectively.

            As more countries race to approve the use of the first Covid-19 vaccine, manufacturers are working flat out to deliver on their very ambitious production targets. In fact, the delivery is on pre-purchased doses. For example, Pfizer and BioNTech have pre-sold nearly 600 million doses against a production capacity of only 50 million by the end of the year. According to Pfizer officials, the target is a paltry 1.3 billion by the end of 2021, enough to inoculate just 600 million people.

            An analysis from researchers at Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center, found that high- and middle-income countries have already purchased 3.8 billion doses, with options for 5 billion more. Hence, wealthy countries will be able to vaccinate their entire populations in the next year while poor nations like Kenya and the rest of the countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America could be waiting in the back of the line until 2024.

            The race to vaccinate against Covid-19 has opened an unconscionable and revolting frontier of inequity. According to Oxfam, wealthy nations, the likes of the UK, USA, Canada, Japan and the European Union, comprise just 13 per cent of the world’s population and yet they have secured more than 51 per cent of the doses of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates.

            Given this context of blistering inequity, Covax is critical to equal access of vaccines by low- and middle-income countries. COVAX aims to distribute two billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines by end of 2021. These doses will cover up to 20 percent of the populations in the funded countries. It is expected that the low- and middle-income countries will raise the resources to purchase vaccine doses to inoculate the rest of their populations.

            Cost remains a critical barrier to purchasing and distributing Covid-19 vaccines in Africa. It is estimated that it would cost between $7 and $10 billion to vaccinate 60 per cent of Africa’s population, about 780 million, with the two doses necessary for full protection. Moreover, manufacturing capacity is also a crippling bottleneck.

            Urgent global action is needed to increase cooperation between the leading vaccine producers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and other producers. Hence, the call by South Africa and India for the World Trade Organization to suspend intellectual property (IP) rights on Covid-19 vaccines and related therapeutics is both timely and mission critical. The world must rally behind India and South Africa.

          Uhuru allies prepare ground for Raila in Mt Kenya

          • Uhuru allies want to use the BBI campaigns expected next year to market the Uhuru-Raila bond in his Mt Kenya backyard.
          • The new strategy will be a litmus test for Deputy President William Ruto who is also eyeing the region’s vote.
          • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga lays a wreath on the grave of Nominated MP Maina Kamanda's mum before meeting Mt Kenya leaders at Kamanda's home in Ol Kalou.
          • President Uhuru Kenyatta’s allies in Mt Kenya are working on an elaborate scheme to prepare residents to welcome ODM chief Raila Odinga who once was demonised in the region.

            The President’s troops are increasingly coming out to declare Mt Kenya will back Raila for president as the region’s best bet to protect its interests.

            The Star has established that bigwigs have lined up a series of meetings across the region to popularise Raila and endear him to about eight million voters.

            Raila has not declared his intentions to succeed President Kenyatta but his supporters are putting pressure on him to run again for president.

            For years, before the 2013 and 2017 polls, Raila had been vilified as the enemy of the Kikuyu people, a mad man who would destroy their interests.

            Uhuru too joined the anti-Raila chorus. Then came the handshake.

            “The meetings will mostly be private but with invited leaders and residents because of the Covid-19 restrictions,” veteran politician Maina Kamanda told the Star on Monday.

            Part of the new plan is to get all influential Kikuyu leaders in Raila’s corner, countering the old bogeyman narrative and signifying the country’s politics is turning a new leaf.

            The new strategy will be a litmus test for Deputy President William Ruto who is also eyeing the region’s big vote basket for his own presidential bid.

            A meeting last Friday at Kamanda’s Ol Kalau home, Nyandarua county, was the first among many scheduled to drum up support for Raila.

            The meeting was attended by five governors, some openly pledging to back the former prime minister’s State House bid.

            They included Meru’s Kiraitu Murungi, Kiambu’s James Nyoro, Kirinyaga’s Anne Waiguru, Nyandarua’s Francis Kimemia and Embu’s Martin Wambora.

            “Let us negotiate a good position for Mt Kenya region, let us not divide over our eight million votes,” Kiraitu said

            “I want us to calculate well and see who will implement the new Constitution and if you say it is Raila, I will be with you on that.”

            The session was also attended by some of the President’s closest allies including Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe and National Assembly Majority leader Amos Kimunya.

            In fact, Kimunya announced the meeting was convened with the President’s blessing.

            Three other crucial meetings have been planned in Nyeri, Murang’a and Meru counties.

            An endorsement by the Kikuyu Council of Elders in January next year is also expected in Nyeri, months after their historic visit to Raila’s Bondo home in October.

            Raila is also scheduled to meet Njuri Ncheke elders.

            On Monday, Kamanda, an influential nominated MP, told the Star the President’s troops across Mt Kenya region are being whipped to toe the line and back Raila.

            “We have told our people we are going to support Raila because this country will be safe in his hands,” Kamanda said, adding that Jubilee’s promises to DP Ruto had collapsed.

            National Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore told the Star Mt Kenya was warming up to Raila and it was not if but when major declarations will be made.

            “What is certain is that we are supporting ODM leader Raila Odinga because that is where the handshake is taking us. We shall talk to our people directly and tell them who the real enemy is – it is not Raila,” the Igembe North MP said.

            Maore, a key figure in Uhuru’s circle, said the region stands to gain more under a Raila presidency than in any other arrangement.

            “We are in for Raila for the long haul,” Maore said.

            The ruthless charm offensive planned by the President’s allies in his backyard could deflate Ruto’s support and complicate his State House bid, 19 months to the general election.

            Political analysts say the DP now faces an uphill battle in his bid to succeed the President.

            Kimunya said Mt Kenya will not support Ruto because the DP is opposed to the BBI referendum, which he said proposes major benefits for the region.

            “He [Ruto] has opposed the one man one shilling revenue formula and now he is pushing for the multiple-choice referendum so he can reject the 70 new constituencies. We cannot support such a man,” Kimunya said.

            With the Building Bridges Initiative referendum likely to be approved by a majority of voters, Kimunya said, the region should support the ODM leader to continue the President’s legacy plans.

            “When one retires, the other remains [in leadership] to implement. As we pass BBI in Mt Kenya, we also carry the chief architect with us as the implementer past 2022,” Kimunya said of the need to support Raila.

            He signalled the significance of the BBI in planning for the President’s succession.

            Ruto’s allies have insisted Uhuru should honour a pre-2013 Jubilee election pledge in which the President declared that he would hand over to Ruto for another decade-long rule.

            The President has, however, lashed out at Ruto for being impatient and running in the opposite direction instead of waiting for the succession baton at the right relay position.

            Uhuru’s allies have maintained the region is not aware of any binding deal to back Ruto in 2022. The March 9, 2018, handshake is seen as the way to retool Mt Kenya’s political direction.

            “This marriage was about two people, the rest of us went just to witness. If the [Uhuru-Ruto] marriage is dead, let it die and nobody should cry because we were not part of that,” Kamanda said on Friday.

            He went on, “Stop coming here to tell us that it was 10 years for Uhuru and 10 years for another one … We were not part of that.”

            The significance of the Ol Kalau meeting was captured by the attendance of luminaries from Mt Kenya, including ex-Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

            Kenneth, a 2013 presidential candidate, is being touted for a key national position – either prime minister or deputy president – in Raila’s BBI succession matrix.

            Murathe is a key Uhuru confidant with a lot of sway within Jubilee and has disavowed any 2022 deal between Uhuru and Ruto, saying the DP should be ready to face competition for the party ticket.

            The meeting at Kamanda’s home was also attended by MPs Kanini Kega (Kieni), Sabina Chege (Muranga Woman Representative) and Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba, among others.

            Raila has denied his handshake with Uhuru is loaded with 2022 succession missiles, saying their coming together is about the unity and prosperity of the country, not the 2022 General Election.

            “We agreed with Uhuru that for now, we are not talking about 2022. That poll is an event that will come and go but Kenya will remain,” Raila said at the event.

            dbn.co.ke news

              

          Somalia has cut its ties with Kenya and ordered the country’s envoy to leave country within seven days over what it termed as violation of her sovereignty and territorial integrity.

          Somalia orders Kenyan envoy to leave country within 7 days, cuts ties with Kenya

          Somalia’s Minister of Information Osman Abukar Dubbe made the announcement on Tuesday, December 15, at about 1.40am broadcasted on SNTV, the state run television. Dubbe said all Somali diplomats in Nairobi should go back to the Horn of African nation with the same applying to Kenyan diplomats in Mogadishu who were expelled. 

          The Minister said Kenya was always interfering with its internal politics adding Nairobi frequently wanted to create problems with Mogadishu. The diplomatic tiff between the two neighbouring countries re-emerged after President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks with a delegation from Somaliland led by President Muse Bihi Abdi on Monday, December 14.

          Image

          It was the first time Bihi visited Kenya since he took over as Somaliland’s leader in 2017. Kenya and Somaliland bilateral talks The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the Uhuru and Bihi’s meeting would create a platform for direct diplomatic representation in Hargeisa. A fortnight ago, Somalia expelled Kenyan ambassador to the country Lucas Tumbo over alleged interference in its elections slated for February 2021. 

          The country’s envoy to Kenya Ahmed Nuur Tarzan was also recalled for what they termed as consultations. “The Federal Government of Somalia express its deepest regret with the Kenyan Government’s continuous interferences in the internal and political affairs of Somalia,” Mogadishu said in a statement. 

          Msambweni by-elections: Murkomen claims top police officers transferred, asserts foul play

          Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has claimed something fishy transfers are happening on the eve of Msambweni by-elections.

          Msambweni by-elections: Murkomen claims top police officers transferred, asserts foul play

          The senator claimed some top police officers had been transferred from various stations adding that a team of law enforcers who have been meeting a governor in Mombasa were set to take over. In his statement on Twitter, the Tanga Tanga politician questioned Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai the motive behind the alleged transfer. “Msambweni top security officers transferred a night before elections meanwhile a team of police officers who have been meeting a Governor in Mombasa are set to take over from to tonight. What is the motive?”he posed. 

          As Msambweni residents head to the ballot on Tuesday, December 15, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said voters who will not adhere to COVID-19 rules will not be allowed to vote.

          Yusuf Abubakar, the returning officer at Msambweni said clerks will be on standby to ensure voters have face masks and observing other protocols. William Ruto allies showed massive support for Feisal Abdullah Bader who is among the eight aspirants in the polls. The by-election pits ODM’s candidate Idd Boga against Bader and will be held to fill the seat that fell vacant early this year when Suleiman Dori passed on.

          As the final day of vote hunt came to a close on Saturday, December 12, a section of Tanga Tanga politicians led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany joined Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya to campaign for Bader who is running as an independent candidate. 

          Among others, Senator Millicent Omanga, MP Oscar Sudi, former senator Boni Khalwale, MP Aisha Jumwa and Kositany were among the Ruto allies who drummed up support for the candidate. 

          Woman praises man who raised her daughter like she was his own 

          Sindi Nkosi took to Facebook to share how she feels about the man that she loves. She met him when she was pregnant and despite the baby not being his he raised her like his own. 

          Woman praises man who raised her daughter like she was his own

          Sindi Nkosi shared her story and praised the man she loves for being there for her daughter. Photo credit: Sindi Nkosi Source: UGC They have been together for six years now and she is so grateful to him for being there for both of them. She captioned a pic of her and her man with the following: “First time posting this is the guy who falls in love with me when I was pregnant he raised my daughter from birth till today and she’s 6 years now and for that #Iamstaying ❤️❤️.” 

          Here are some reactions from Facebook users to her touching story: Bongy Blose Bongy Blose: “May God be with him always Nd you must stay faithful to him.” Barbie KgaoKgethi Mashifane: “Rare of the rarest please hold him like a King he is cause he deserves it.” “God bless your union” Mel Sibiya: “I respect him take care of him and your child..you are blessed ” In other news, a woman recently shared an amazing post about her step-father who she said changed her life for good. Mjebha Mgiba threw a beautiful birthday party for her step-dad to celebrate his love and generosity. Mr Mgiba, as she called him, came into her life when she was just 11 years old and changed her life for the better. Meanwhile, the hit song from Master KG, Jerusalema, has been an international success and has reached even the furthest corners of the globe. 

          Lee-Anne Germanos took to the #ImStaying group on Facebook to share an amazing story about how the Constitutional Court got in on the #Jerusalemachallenge. She said that a foreign clerk from Mexico who worked at the Constitutional Court had revealed during his farewell speech that our songs are important and that in Mexico songs are often sung during difficult times to remind us of where we came from. 

          dbn.co.ke

          Cop among three arrested after gang raids Manu Chandaria’s home

          Billionaire Manu Chandaria Has only FIVE SUITS! He Reveals Why

          A police officer is among three arrested in the robbery incident in Businessman Manu Chandaria’s home in Muthaiga.

          DCI George Kinoti said Police Constable Jared Makambe was arrested alongside two other private guards Judah Wafula and Stephen Omwega.

          Makambe is reported to have been on guard at the businessman’s residence during the Sunday incident.

          Kinoti said two armed thugs gained entry into Chandaria’s house and robbed him of an unknown amount of money and assorted jewelry at gunpoint. 

          The thugs then escaped while firing a G3 rifle alleged to have been stolen from the AP officer on guard.

          “Officers responding to the scene conducted a thorough search leading to the recovery of the suspected stolen G3 rifle at a nearby bush,” he said.

          The trio are in lawful custody as further investigations ensue.

          Kinoti appealed for any information that may help with the investigations. Those with information should call DCI Hotline Number – 0800 722 203.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Gunmen steal Sh600,000, jewelry from Manu Chandaria’s Muthaiga home

          Dr. Manu Chandaria - Creating Emerging Markets - Harvard Business School

          Gunmen raided the Nairobi residence of billionaire-industrialist Manu Chandaria and robbed the family of Sh600,000 on Sunday night.

          The gunmen also stole jewelry of unknown value in their Muthaiga residence.

          Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations said the robbers managed to disarm an Administration Police officer of his G3 rifle.

          Other guards on duty were found tied in a room as the gang escaped towards Karura forest.

          Chandaria told police he heard a loud bang on his entrance and when he woke up to check what had happened he found two men in his bedroom.

          This was after his efforts to reach the security through the phone didn’t bear fruits.

          He said the gang was armed with a pistol and a cutter when they arrived in the bedroom and they demanded cash and jewelry before he showed them where the safe was.

          They then fired to the air as Chandaria and his family and the neighbors caved in for their safety.

          The gang left the G3 rifle they had grabbed from the police officer they had attacked.

          Police also recovered two spent cartridges belonging to a pistol meaning the gang was also armed.

          Detectives have launched investigations to establish whether it was a case of collusion or just a normal robbery.

          Such attacks have not been common in the area where several prominent individuals including former President Mwai Kibaki, Mama Ngina Kenyatta and businessman Jimmy Wanjigi among others reside.

          dbn.co.ke news

          Ugandan presidential candidate sits on road barefooted after being denied access to fuel

          Unending intimidation and sabotage have continued to be meted by a section of Uganda’s presidential aspirants seeking to dethrone incumbent President Yoweri Museveni. 

          Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Patrick Amuriat. Photo: Patrick Amuriat.

          On Sunday, December 13, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate Patrick Amuriat said his campaign had been cut short after being denied access to a petrol station to fuel his campaign cars. Speaking sorrowfully to the Daily Monitor while sitting in the middle of a road barefooted, Amuriat said the remaining fuel was not enough to attend all the rallies he had scheduled for Sunday. 

          ” We have been stoped from adressing a rally in Moroto by the police, we have been denied access to gas stations. Now we cannot move because we dont have enough fuel. I feel very bad that democracy has been stopped from progressing,” lamented Amuriat. 

          The FDC flagbearer blamed the National Resistance Movement leader for his woes saying those were his tactics to bar his competitors from campaigning. The former Kumi county legislator added that Museveni who has ruled the nation for 35 years was determined to stay in power at all costs. “Museveni is determined not only to stop his competitors from campaigning but also to kill in order to stay in power,” said Amuriat. He finally challenged Ugandans to rise to the occasion and rebuke bad leadership in order to liberate the country. 

          Bobi Wine

          Just like Amuriat, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine’s presidential campaigns have also been sabotaged thanks to Museveni as he claimed. The National Unity Platform (NUP) party leader while speaking to a CNN journalist said he had escaped two assassination attempts during his campaigns. “I have to put on a bulletproof jacket in order to campaign. I have survived two assassination attempts in the last two weeks where bullets have been shot in my car, on the tyres and the windscreen. We are being teargassed every day by the police and the military,” stated Wine.

          The 38-year-old also said he has been barred from being interviewed on any radio or television station. The singer noted that he has not been allowed to access any major town in the country, he said he has been only been allowed to tour remote areas where there are no people. 

          He finally added that he has been blocked from using the major roads in the country by the military. As previously reported by TUKO.co.ke, Wine was forced to sleep by the roadside inside his car after being blocked by a contingent of police officers from accessing a hotel.

          Bobi Wine 

          Our plan to spend the night in Hoima was frustrated as police blocked all roads. We drove to Migera but police under DPC Patience Namara and OC Byaruhanga ordered all hotels not to host us. We had to spend the night on the roadside, sleeping in vehicles! In our

          own country!!

          ImageImageImage

          International News

          USA: Trump says Biden’s administration will be full of scandals

          President Donald Trump has said the administration of Joe Biden will be full of scandals for many years. 

          Donald Trump Vs. Joe Biden 2020 Quiz: Who Said That Quote?

          rump who made the claim via Twitter on Friday, December 11, also urged the US Supreme Court to follow the constitution and do the needful. The incumbent, apparently referring to the outcome of the US presidential election, asked the court to save the USA. 

          Donald J. Trump

          On his twitter handles stated the following

          ‘Now that the Biden Administration will be a scandal plagued mess for years to come, it is much easier for the Supreme Court of the United States to follow the Constitution and do what everybody knows has to be done. They must show great Courage & Wisdom’. Save the USA!!!

          He has consistently repeated his unproven claims that there were massive fraud and massive rigging in the election. Meanwhile, leaked audio reportedly obtained by The Intercept has purported that Joe Biden said the Republicans used the defund police movement to defeat Democrats in down-ballot races in the November election. He challenged the election of the Democratic party candidate in the Supreme Court but the case was thrown out on Tuesday, December 8. The petition had been filed by a Republican congressman, Mike Kelly, to cancel Joe Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania during the presidential election. Kelly’s application challenged the state’s law which approved no-excuse absentee voting and insisted that the expansion of mail-in voting was outrightly unconstitutional, The Guardian reported. Apart from the apex judicial body, many other US courts had ruled against the suit on the ground that it was dead on arrival because Kelly waited till 2020 when the law (enacted in 2019) was already in place. 

          DBN.CO.KE NEWS

           

          IEBC officially closes by-election campaigns ahead of Tuesday polls

          IEBC (@IEBCKenya) | Twitter

          The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has officially closed the by-election campaigns ahead of elections slated for Tuesday, December 15. 

          The campaign period commenced on October 15 and lapsed on the midnight of December 12. The by-elections will be held in, Msambweni where residents will elect their Member of Parliament and in Kahawa Wendani, Kisumu North, Lake View, Dabaso and Wundanyi where residents will elect their ward representatives. The electoral commission announced on Sunday, December 13, that it was set to conduct the exercise. 

          Happening now: Training of Presiding Officers and Deputy Presiding Officers at Milimani High School, Naivasha ahead of the #Dec15byelections in Lakeview CAW

          ImageImage

          Msambweni

          Among all the seats that are expected to be voted for, the Msambweni parliamentary seat which fell vacant after the death of Suleiman Dori attracted the attention of political heavyweights. Deputy President William Ruto’s camp and Raila Odinga’s tried to outdo each other while drumming support for their candidates 

          As the final day of the vote hunt came to a close on Saturday, December 12, a section of Tanga Tanga politicians led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany joined Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya to campaign for Feisal Bader who is running as an independent candidate. Among others, Senator Millicent Omanga, MP Oscar Sudi, former senator Boni Khalwale, MP Aisha Jumwa and Kositany were among the Ruto allies who drummed up support for the candidate. 

          Msambweni by-elections: William Ruto allies campaign for independent candidate Feisal Bader ahead of Tuesday poll

          William Ruto allies have shown massive support for Feisal Abdullah Bader who is among the aspirants running in the Msambweni by-election. 

          Ruto allies pitch tent in Msambweni to campaign for independent candidate -  People Daily

           

          The by-election which pits ODM’s candidate Idd Boga against Bader is set to be held on Tuesday, December 15, to fill the seat that fell vacant early this year when Suleiman Dori passed on. As the final day of vote hunt came to a close on Saturday, December 12, a section of Tanga Tanga politicians led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany joined Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya to campaign for Bader who is running as an independent candidate. 

          Among others, Senator Millicent Omanga, MP Oscar Sudi, former senator Boni Khalwale, MP Aisha Jumwa and Kositany were among the Ruto allies who drummed up support for the candidate.

          dbn.co.ke news

           

          Gamblers win big: High Court allows SportPesa to do business in Kenya

          The High Court has barred the Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) from interfering with the operations of the popular sports betting platform SportPesa. 

          SportPesa shareholders - who owns the company?

          This comes as good news for football fans who use the platform to place bets for their favourite teams. Milestone Games Limited, the company operating SportPesa, sought the court’s intervention to halt an earlier decision by BCLB stopping it from using the name ‘SportPesa’ and the domain www.ke.sportpesa.com. On December 3, High Court Judge Pauline Nyamweya issued orders prohibiting BCLB from interfering with Milestone’s business and operations pending the hearing and determination of the matter. This means Milestone Games Limited is legally entitled to continue using the ‘SportPesa’ name and domain as well as the shortcode 29050 and Paybill numbers 5212121 and 955100. 

          The High Court further ordered BCLB against taking any further action against SportPesa until the case is heard and determined. On December 2, Milestone moved to court seeking to bar BCLB from meddling in its business after the regulator threatened to cancel its licence. Milestone argued the move by BCLB amounted to a violation of the orders issued by the High Court on November 16 prohibiting the betting regulator from interfering with the company’s business and operations. The case will be heard next year January 25. The previous brand owner Pevans’ license was withdrawn in July 2019 along with several other companies some of which have since been allowed back into the market including new ones like Nigeria-based Betking, Betsafe, Triple5Bet among others. SportPesa’s return has not been easy with several and serious attempts to criminalise some of Pevans East Africa’s directors including character assassinations that have played out in the media after the ouster of controversial businessman Paul Ndung’u as chairman of Pevans East Africa. Ndung’u surprisingly fell out with fellow directors and sought to lead a public attack on the lucrative company and its remaining directors. SportPesa was a major investor in the country’s sports, at one point making history by bringing in the first-ever English Premier League side to visit Kenya for a pre-season match – Everton. It was also the main shirt sponsor of popular football clubs AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia as well as the Kenya Premier League. However, its woes have been fueled both internally and externally pitting the former chairman against his former business associates. 

          dbn.co.ke news

           Eswatini’s prime minister ‘Ambrose Dlamini’ dies month after testing positive for COVID-19 

          Eswatini’s Prime Minister Ambrose Dlamini has died aged 52, the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini has announced. 

          Eswatini PM Ambrose Dlamini dies after contracting COVID-19

          Eswatini is formally and still commonly known in English as Swaziland. Dlamini died while undergoing treatment at a hospital in South Africa on the afternoon of Sunday, December 13. ” I inform the nation of the untimely death the prime minister Ambrose Dlamini. He passed on this afternoon in a hospital in South Africa. Government and family will inform you of the subsequent arrangement,” read a statement written by deputy prime minister Themba Masuku. 

          Their Majesties announce the sad passing of His Excellency the Prime Minister Ambrose Mandvulo Dlamini

          Image

          dbn.co.ke news

          Emotions run high as bubbly TV girl Joyce Omondi quits TV show 

          Sultry gospel singer and TV host Joyce Omondi has hanged the lapel as she called it quits from Switch TV. 

          Emotions run high as bubbly TV girl Joyce Omondi quits TV show

          Dbn has learnt the beautiful lass resigned from her job recently in a move that was made public on Friday, December 11. For starters, Joyce announced her departure on the aforementioned date as she hosted her last show on the Red Cross owned TV station. During the show, Joyce was surprised by her hubby Wahiga Mwaura and Benjamim Zulu who came through to bid her farewell even as she left the station. 

          Until her exit on Friday, Joyce was hosting the morning show Full Circle. Following her resignation, Switch TV sent out a lovely message to introduce Joyce’s replacement on her show.

          Before taking over Full Circle, Mwikali was part of the entertainment show Chat Spot, alongside Kush Tracey and Nana. ”The curtain closes on it today but indeed the show must go on and Mwikali Mary will take on from here, as the new host of Full Circle. Thank you very much Joyce Omondi for being part of Switch TV Kenya . We wish you all the best!!! Ciao,” Switch TV announced. 

          Oscar Sudi says Uhuru has defected to ODM, bids him goodbye 

          Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s heart is no longer in Jubilee. 

          Oscar Sudi: A loose tongue or misunderstood?

          While reacting to pictures of Uhuru’s meeting with ODM’s candidate for Msambweni Idd Boga, the William Ruto ally said the president had defected to the Opposition party. Taking to his Facebook on Thursday, December 11, Sudi bid Uhuru farewell and wished him well in “his new political formation”. “Uhuru Kenyatta has been spotted with ODM candidate Omar Boga. This is now the second evidence that the President has defected to ODM. His heart is completely out of Jubilee. 

          “We stood firm with him during heydays and we wish him well in his new political formation. Bye-bye,” the lawmaker wrote. 

          Uhuru Kenyatta has been spotted with ODM candidate Omar Boga. This is now the second evidence that the President has defected to ODM after the Naivasha press conference addressed by Orengo. His heart is completely out of Jubilee. We stood firm with him during heydays and we wish him well in his new political formation. Bye bye 

          The head of state hosted Boga at State House Mombasa on Thursday in what seemed like an endorsement. Interestingly, the Jubilee Party previously announced it had withdrawn from the Msambweni race. According to Raphael Tuju, the ruling party pulled out from the race to reflect the handshake spirit between Uhuru and his handshake partner Raila Odinga. This left Ruto’s outfit with a bad taste in their mouths as many of them lamented they had not been consulted by the party. On his part, the deputy president said though he did not agree with the SG’s announcement, he would support it. “I was of a different view on the party fielding a candidate in Msambweni but because a decision has already been made and communicated to the public, we will all stand by that decision that those who had intentions of vying on a Jubilee ticket in Msambweni will now look for alternatives may be run as independent candidates or in other political parties,” he said.

          Former cabinet minister Joe Nyagah is dead 

          President Kibaki mourns ex-minister Joe Nyaga as a consummate diplomat »  Capital News

          Nyagah has been receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital and is suspected to have succumbed to COVID-19. The family confirmed the former lawmaker’s death on Friday, December 11. 

          Political journey 

          The long-serving politician was a member of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) in 2007 and was one of the five top leaders who formed the famous ‘Pentagon’ movement. 

          He also contested for a presidential seat in 2017 but lost. Nyagah also served as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Airways. 

          The late served as MP for Gachoka constituency from 1998 to 2007 and was nominated to Parliament by ODM party in 2008. He also held the position of assistant minister of East African Community (2004 – 2004), assistant minister of Agriculture (2003 -2004), assistant minister office of the President (2002- 2002) and minister for lands and settlement (1999-2001). He has died aged 72. 

          Condolences 

          Political leaders trooped to social media pages to mourn Nyagah’s as a great and astute leader who gave his best at every level of leadership he served. Amani National Leader Musalia Mudavadi who was part of the Pentagon movement described Nyagah as a distinguished diplomat and leader.

           Image

          The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) said of Nyagah as an illustrious as well as an industrious political and corporate leader who served the country with great distinction. “Joe had an illustrious as well as industrious political and corporate careers during his life time. A founder member of our party and an astute debater in Parliament. Curtains have fallen on a man who lived a good life. A man who enjoyed being called a politician,” tweeted the Orange party. 

          Sen. Moses Wetangula

          My condolences to the family of Joe Nyaga on his demise. Joe served our country in various capacities with great distinction. On my behalf, my family & Ford Kenya fraternity we pray for his soul to RIP.

          Family pays full wedding cost for Ugandan househelp, thanks her for 6 years of service 

          What kind of relationship should an employer have with a domestic helper? Obviously, this is not an easy question to answer 

          Family pays full wedding cost for Ugandan househelp, thanks her for 6 years of service

          Most of the employers would try their best to get along with their helper and will consider them as a family member although this is a rare occurrence in the Middle East where cases of domestic workers being bused have been on the rise. 

          However, a relationship founded with mutual trust and understanding will certainly enhance the daily communication with helpers just like that of YouTuber Khalid Al Ameri. As time goes by, the helpers will also feel comfortable discussing their personal lives and problems and as shared by Khalid on his Facebook page, his helper was comfortable enough to even invite his family to her wedding. According to the YouTuber who is known for his daily videos about life with his Arab wife Salama Mohamed, their helper identified as Sarah who is from Uganda had worked for them for six years. “Sarah has been part of our family for six years and she is now returning to her home country to get married and start a family of her own. So we decided to give her a couple of surprises before she leaves,” said Khalid. The adorable couple and their two children first started off with surprising Sarah with a goodbye cake while reminiscing the good times they had shared together. 

          The warm-hearted helper is said to have started working with the family that lives in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) when Khalid’s last born was only 2-years-old and the two had built a special bond. As the family exchanged hugs and showered Sarah with praises, they could not hold back their tears as they let one of their favourite helper who had become part of the family over the years. “We love you and will miss you so much Sarah, you will always have a place in our hearts and in our home,” added Khalid. An emotional Sarah could not believe when the couple finally revealed they were going to cater to all her wedding expenses and that she did not have to touch any of her money. “I want to tell the world that there are people you never imagined you will meet but they make you happy,” said Sarah. 

          “I never lacked anything. Anything I asked for I was given. They never say no,” she added. Khalid and Salama further revealed they would also be attending Sarah’s wedding that is scheduled for January 2021. Their kind gesture and warm send-off touched Internet users who flocked the comment section to congratulate Sarah and laud the couple for going out of their way to make Sara’s day extra special. Alleos Kaballeros wrote: “This is so awesome. Especially with all the stories, we hear about African girls being mistreated in the Middle East. Khalid and Salama this is awesome. Thank you all for taking care of our sister.” Pamela Lagony wrote: “Am crying, am Ugandan and to see the love u guy gave Sara, is just amazing and much respect for u guys.” Sinksar Simeneh said: “Such a blessed family may God bless you more and more Kahlid and Selama we only have few people like you guys in this world.” 

          Mother-in-law actress Lisa weds hubby in secret wedding 16 hours ago

          Mother-in-law actress Faith Mary Nyaga, known to many as Lisa, and her better half have finally decided to officiate their union.

           Mother-in-law actress Lisa weds hubby in secret wedding

          DBN has learnt the beautiful and calm Lisa who played the role of Robert Mwamba’s wife in Mother-in-law show walked down the aisle with her boo on Friday, December 11. It is not yet clear where the colourful wedding ceremony was held but DBN can confirm it was a very private event that saw the attendance of only a few family members and friends. 

          Photos and videos shared online, Lisa looked stunning in her white wedding gown as she flashed smiles all through the entire ceremony. Her hubby on the hand also brought his A-Game with his groom’s suit and a cheerful personality to seal the package.

          Woman self-delivers baby in moving car on way to hospital, chilling video goes viral 

          – A woman has self-delivered a beautiful baby girl in a moving car on the way to a hospital 

          A chilling video that is fast going viral on social media shows how a pregnant woman gave birth while her husband was driving as fast as he could to reach the hospital. 

          Woman self-delivers baby in moving car on way to hospital; chilling video goes viral

          Woman self-delivers baby in moving car on way to hospital; chilling video goes viral Source: Instagram, Factsandtruths_official Source: UGC The emotion-filled footage shared on the official Instagram handle of @factandtruths_official started off with the woman screaming her husband’s name. “Mike, the baby is coming out”, she said to the man who was bouncing his eyes off the road and his beloved wife and was heard saying in shock, “no, she is not!” 

          The couple’s older child who was at the back of the car could be seen screaming and crying on top of her voice in the fear of what might befall her mother and the unborn baby. 

          The pregnant woman herself was wailing when, all of a sudden, she felt the movement of the baby descending down and quickly grabbed her with both hands. Mike’s wife pulled the up to her chest in the chilling video to end the nerve-wracking episode. Many things could have easily gone wrong because of the heightened emotions but gladly, the driving was safe, the delivery was safe and both mother and child were safe. Many internet users who were impressed by the woman’s courage to self deliver her child flocked he comment section to shower her with praises and congratulatory messages. 

          Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka is dead 

          Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka has died while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital.

          Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka is dead

          Kabaka was admitted to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on Friday, December 4, after collapsing at an apartment in Kilimani Estate. He was pronounced dead by the city-based health facility on the morning of Friday, December 11, after a week of ailing. The news came barely a day after speculation about his death was widely shared on social media but his family dismissed the reports reaffirming the senator was still recuperating in hospital.

          On Friday last week, TUKO.co.ke reported Kabaka was in the company of a female friend moments before he collapsed inside the apartment they had been booked themselves in. Reports indicated the lawmaker developed a severe headache and breathing complications before he collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital and was admitted to the ICU.

          The country has lost three lawmakers in a span of less than a month including Kabaka. On November 15, Mutungulu MP Justus Murunga died at a Mumias-based hospital while undergoing treatment. 

          The lawmaker reportedly succumbed to COVID-19 complications. About a week ago, Kabuchai MP James Lusweti Mukwe died in hospital after a long ailment. The late legislator was receiving treatment at a Nairobi hospital until Friday last week when doctors attending to him confirmed he was no more. 

          Media Council suspends journalist over misconduct

          Journalists covering a past event

          The Media Council of Kenya has revoked the membership of a local journalist over unethical conduct.

          In a statement on Friday, MCK said Dennis Kipyego’s membership had been suspended for breaching and violating the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism.

          “…Kipyego’s membership MCK015913 is suspended for unethical conduct. This is due to breach of code of conduct..,” the statement read.

          According to linkedIn, Kipyego is a freelance journalist with Media Max.

          MCK said it will not take responsibility for any transactions between Kipyego and the members of the public on account of his MCK membership.

          It further said it has put in place various mechanisms to help with verification of a journalist’s accreditation status, reporting cases on violations against journalists, hate speech and fake news.

          Media Act 2013 governs the conduct and practice of all media practitioners in the country.

          Man with 2 degrees starts own company after failing to get a job

          A young man identified as Henry Mamulu has given an account of his journey to greatness, showing that it was never an easy one. 

          Frustrated man with two degrees starts own company after years of unnemployment

          Many people on LinkedIn congratulated him on the brave move. Photo source: Henry Mamulu Source: UGC Henry said that after he got his first degree in accounting, he tried hard to get formal employment but no firm would hire him. Thinking he needed to improve on himself, the young man enrolled for his post-graduate and bagged a master’s degree in finance. Despite that extra effort, he still could not get any company to give him a job. With all chips down, the man took charge of his destiny and studied how to become a retail investor. 

          After that, the man launched his own company. In a LinkedIn post, the man said: “2020 is not the year of excuses but execution.” Below are some of the reaction his post got: Pamela Johnson asked: “How can I get the motivation that you possess? I’m running into the same issues with job hunting.” Jason Lloyd said: “That’s awesome Henry Mamulu! I’ve been working on retail trading since 2016. While I’m not over PDT limits, I have been profitable during most of this time. Wish you well on your journey!” Maltida B said: “I love the name ”The Yield Group”. The word ”Yield” is forever ingraved in my memory since the day I gave birth to my daughter, at home, some 36 yrs ago. I was assisted by an American midwife.” Lydiah Owinyo said: “Great move.” 

          Uhuru hosts Msambweni ODM aspirant Omar Boga ahead of by-election 

          President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, December 10, hosted ODM candidate for Msambweni parliamentary seat Idd Boga at State House in Mombasa 

          Uhuru hosts Msambweni ODM aspirant Omar Boga ahead of by-election

          President Uhuru Kenyatta (l), Idd Boga (c) and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho. Photo: ODM Party. 

          Msambweni by-election is slated for December 15. The Msambweni legislative seat fell vacant following the death of MP Suleiman Dori early this year. The meeting between Uhuru and Boga is expected to stir a heated debate as a section of players in the political class may term it as an endorsement. 

          It may also be seen as bringing to the fore the uneasy relationship between the president, who doubles up as the Jubilee Party leader, and his deputy William Ruto

          We understands that Ruto and his Tanga Tanga brigade are backing Independent candidate Abdallah Bade. The two leaders, Uhuru and Ruto, appeared to read from different scripts after the Jubilee Party, through Secretary-General Raphael Tuju announced that the ruling party had withdrawn from the Msambweni race. 

          According to Tuju, Jubilee pulled out from the race to reflect the handshake spirit between President Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga. 

          Uhuru hosts Msambweni ODM aspirant Omar Boga ahead of by-election

          The meeting between President Uhuru and Boga is likely to be considered as an endorsement by the Jubilee Party leader. Photo: ODM Party. 

          Shortly before the announcement, Ruto had matched to the Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani alongside Sharlet Akinyi, who was eying to be handed the party’s ticket to vie in the by-election. Akinyi had just ditched the ODM party after disagreeing with its leadership. 

          Ruto said he did not agree with the party’s verdict but stated that they (Jubilee Party) will in future find better ways to handle such situations. “I was of a different view on the party fielding a candidate in Msambweni but because a decision has already been made and communicated to the public, we will all stand by that decision that those who had intentions of vying on a Jubilee ticket in Msambweni will now look for alternatives may be run as independent candidates or in other political parties,” he said. 

          Buzeki threatens to quit

          Businessman Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki during a meeting in Eldoret on March 3rd

          A major row has erupted in Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) party after former Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto declared that the party will support Baringo Senator Gideon Moi for the presidency in 2022.

          The statement irked Secretary-General Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki who is now threatening to quit the party if Rutto who is its leader continues to make unilateral decisions and statements on key matters without consulting party organs.

          Buzeki says the statement by Rutto was reckless and made without consultations and that at no time had CCM party organs met to talk about the issue.

          He said Gideon Moi had not formally requested for support from CCM for the top seat.

          Although Buzeki said he was still SG of the party, sources in CCM say he was on his way out following the row between him and Rutto.

          “I am still the SG of the party but if such unilateral statements continue to be made then I will not be a party to that. I will have to consult my supporters and make a decision,” said Buzeki.

          Buzeki who was speaking to the Star on phone said he was a person who believes in institutions and that when he joined CCM with his supporters there was an understanding with Rutto’s wing on how they would operate.

          He said when Rutto made the statement in Bomet a week ago during the launch of BBI signature collection, his (Buzeki’s) supporters were taken back and surprised because no decision had so far been made on whom to back for the presidency.

          Property of flamboyant billionaire who financed Jubilee's 2017 campaigns to  be auctioned | Kenyan_Report

          “I was overwhelmed by enquiries from supporters over the statement. Some said they did not know that I was using Isaac Rutto as my political short cut to reach Gideon Moi yet that has not been the case,” said Buzeki.

          He said he had since talked to Rutto over the statement but the former governor had explained that his statement was taken out of context.  

          The launch of the BBI signatures collections was presided over by Gideon but Buzeki was not present.

          “If you declare that you will run for the presidency in 2022, then you will have our backing,” Rutto was quoted to have said during the Bomet function.

          Rutto’s phones had been switched off and he could not be reached for comment on the row in the party but Buzeki said CCM must operate by its constitution including through the National Executive Committee (NEC) which has powers to make key decisions.

          Buzeki says he is a politician of an independent mind who respects procedures and party organs and that he cannot accept to be pushed around.

          “The era when party leaders used other members to drive their agenda is long gone and I don’t expect that in CCM,” said Buzeki.

          Buzeki quit the Jubilee Party in May 2019 after a row with Deputy President William Ruto and his allies.

          He accused the DP and his allies of misusing their positions in Jubilee to frustrate him politically.

          The millionaire businessman had vied for the governorship in Uasin Gishu through Jubilee but lost to Governor Jackson Mandago during fierce party nominations.

          He later vied as an independent candidate and came second to Mandago.

          Buzeki has indicated that he would vie again in 2022 through CCM and also ensure that the Isaac Rutto-led party field candidates in all areas in Rift Valley.

          Buzeki says eventually they would decide on which candidate to back for the presidency in 2022 but at the moment they had been concentrating on strengthening CCM.

          Four months ago Buzeki as SG, led the party in signing a coalition agreement with Jubilee and he says he is not aware of any other coalition agreement including that with Kanu.

          Gideon and Rutto had a week ago said they would work closely ahead of 2022 and they have already initiated plans to rival DP Ruto’s influence within the Rift Valley region.

          Uhuru congratulates Ghana’s President Nana Akufo on his re-election

          President Nana Akufo-Addo and Ghanaians to Beware of Chinese Covid-19  Freebies

          • Akufo-Addo was declared the winner after he obtained 51.6 per cent of the votes defeating his main rival, former President John Mahama.

          • He has wished his Akufo-Addo good health and God’s favour as he embarks on his second term of service to the people of the West African nation.

          President Uhuru Kenyatta has congratulated his Ghanaian counterpart Nana Akufo-Addo following his re-election for a second term in office.

          Uhuru said the re-election of Akufo-Addo’s in the hotly contested poll demonstrates the strong confidence and trust the people of Ghana have in his visionary and progressive leadership.

          “On behalf of the Government and the people of Kenya and on my own behalf, I wish to extend my warmest congratulations on Your Excellency’s re-election as President of Ghana,”Uhuru said.

          He added in his congratulatory message to President Akufo-Addo that:

           “I believe, under your visionary and strong leadership, Ghana will certainly consolidated and expand the gains made during your first term in office for the benefit of your people and the African continent.”

          President Akufo-Addo was declared the winner after he obtained 51.6 per cent of the votes defeating his main rival, former President John Mahama, who garnered 47.4 per cent of the votes cast.

          Uhuru said that he is looking forward to continuing working closely with Akufo-Addo to enhance bilateral cooperation between Kenya and Ghana for the benefit of the people of the two countries, as well as to advance the African agenda of a stable, peaceful, and progressive continent.

          He has wished his Akufo-Addo good health and God’s favour as he embarks on his second term of service to the people of the West African nation.

          The president issued the statement from Mombasa County on Thursday.

          Bobi Wine takes boda boda to campaign venue after police block his convoy 

          Uganda’s presidential candidate on National Unity Platform (NUP) Bobi Wine was forced to rode on a boda boda to a campaign venue after police blocked his convoy. 

          Bobi Wine takes boda boda to campaign venue after police block his convoy

          Bobi Wine takes boda boda to campaign venue after police block his convoy 

          Wine was heading to Amuru District to drum up support for his presidential bid ahead of January 14, 2021, poll, when he was stopped and frustrated by security officers. He abandoned the convoy, jumped on a boda boda and proceeded to the venue as hundreds of his supporters followed him, some on foot, other using motorbikes. 

          The incident happened moments after another presidential candidate, Patrick Amuriat, was also blocked by the police from holding a rally in Manafwa. According to NTV Uganda, the police fired teargas canisters to disperse crowds that had gathered to listen to Amuriat’s address, prematurely ending his rally. Museveni who is seeking to extend his leadership to 39 years has been using the police to frustrate and disrupt political rallies of his opponents, particularly Wine who is perceived to be his closed rival. As earlier highlighted by TUKO.co.ke, the 38-year-old politician has been undergoing a series of political torture, harassment and intimidation ever since he started marshalling support for his presidential bid. On the day he presented his nomination papers, Wine was arrested by the police and detained for three days without trial. On several occasions, the vocal MP has also been denied access to hotels and was once forced to sleep by the roadside.

          He recently survived an attempt on his life after police officers fired live bullets on the windscreen of his car and further deflated the tyres after forcing him off the main road to a remote feeder road Speaking to CNN Africa in Wednesday, December 9, Wine said he had been denied access to media coverage and was only using social media to address his supporters.

          Top Google searches in 2020, Oscar Sudi, Papa Shirandula and Money Heist tops the list

          Google has released the ‘Year in Search’ lists for the year 2020 

          This is Google's latest way to help you find your pictures - CNET

          Google is a giant search engine

          The lists are compilations of all searches done in the year for countries in the world, including Kenya. This year, the lists are categorised into trending general searches, local and global personalities, deaths and health searches. Other categories include trending movies and TV shows, sports, ‘how-to’, and ‘what is’ searches. “The 2020 Year in Search lists not only reveal the most popular trends from the past 12 months but also give insight into the biggest events in the news, politics, sports, entertainment and popular lockdown trends. As people continue to look for information in new and different ways, Google Search keeps evolving to make the world’s information accessible and useful to all,” said Dorothy Ooko, Google’s Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Africa. According to the leading search engine, the English Premier League (EPL), U.S. Elections, coronavirus in Kenya and Tanzania, fallen actor Papa Shirandula, lawyer Miguna Miguna, TV series Money Heist and coronavirus were topped searches on Google. Kenyans were keen to know the reopening dates for schools, making it the fifth trending search query. Boris Johnson and coronavirus in Italy trended at number seven and eight respectively. The UK Prime Minister tested positive for the virus in April while Italy witnessed high COVID-19 deaths, becoming one of the most hit countries in Europe. Ninth on the list was the impeachment of Governor Anne Waiguru which later hit a snag. Also widely searched, was the London Marathon after it was confirmed that world record holder, Eliud Kipchoge, would participate. During the run, Kipchoge came in the with the position. 

          Below are the Trending Searches by Kenyans in 2020:

          1. Top 10 trending general queries English Premier League This favourite football league was for the first time this year disrupted from March 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic. When it resumed in June, soccer fans globally could not hide their joy. US elections US elections were held on Tuesday, November 3. Joe Biden emerged the winner and is set to be sworn in on January 20, 2021. President Donald Trump has not conceded defeat and is contesting Biden’s win court. Coronavirus in Kenya COVID-19 pandemic struck Kenya on Friday, March 13. It led to restrictions of movements and unprecedented economic meltdown.

          Thank you coronavirus helpers Schools reopening in Kenya Tanzania coronavirus Boris Johnson Coronavirus in Italy Waiguru impeachment London marathon

          2. Top 10 trending local personalities Miguna Miguna Lawyer Miguna Miguna has been keeping tabs on all political developments in the country after his unlawful deportation in 2018. He has openly been criticising President Uhuru Kenyatta, describing him as a despot. He has branded his former friend Raila Odinga a conman Embakasi East MP Babu Owino Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe Joan Kubai Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi TV host Willis Raburu Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria Education CS George Magoha

          3. Top 10 trending global personalities US president-elect Joe Biden Kim Jong-Un, the Supreme Leader of North Korea US vice president-elect Kamala Harris UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Mike Oliver Prince Charles Felicien Kabuga Tanzania President John Magufuli Mikel Arteta Businessman and philanthropist Jack Ma

          4. Top 10 trending losses Papa Shirandula The revered actor died of COVID-19. Kobe Bryant The celebrated basketballer perished in a helicopter crash. Former President Daniel Moi Ken Walibora The author died after a hit and run accident along Nairobi’s Jogoo Road. Kenny Rogers Chadwick Boseman Papa Dennis Naya Rivera George Floyd Tecra Muigai PAY ATTENTION: Click ‘See First’ under ‘Follow’ Tab to see Tuko.co.ke news on your FB Feed

          5. Top 10 trending health queries Coronavirus Quarantine Dexamethasone Pfizer Vitamin C KEMSA Chloroquine Asymptomatic Sanitiser Ventilator

          6. Top 10 trending movies and TV Shows Money Heist Maria Ringo Extraction Contagion Blood and Water Nazar Raised by wolves The Witcher Cursed

          7. Top 10 trending sports queries English Premier League UEFA Champions League Serie A League Europa League La Liga Bruno Fernandes FA Cup NBA Willian Borges Kai Havertz

          8. Top 10 trending general “How to” queries How to file nil returns How to open a pdf file How to check NHIF status How to write a report How to play chess How to style braids How to register a company in Kenya How to clear from CRB How to download music How to plant onions

          9. Top 10 trending tech “how-to” queries How to fill Tpad online How to create a website How to connect a phone to TV How to make my electric plate cooker work How to take a screenshot on a laptop How to create a Paypal account How to open bin file How to create a YouTube channel How to save photos on Google How to create an email account

          10. Top 10 trending “what is” queries What is coronavirus What is curfew What is happening in Nigeria What is Halloween What is fever What is BBI What is my IP What is entanglement What is hantavirus What is quarantine. 

          Twitter Of Love

          Twitter was abuzz as a man shared a photo of his lover, saying their first meeting was on the app 

          Man marries woman he met on Twitter, see photos of the beautiful places they went to enjoy themselves

          The two lovers have been to different places in the world

          According to him, they both met on Twitter and most men on the platform used the opportunity to take a soft jab at ladies who do not reply to their DMs. The man’s post had gathered over 53,000 likes and thousands of quoted replies that bordered on banters and seriousness. He tweeted: “Bae and I…. All Started on Twitter.” A further look at the man’s Instagram page shows the couple had travelled to different destinations around the world. 

          I.O.O of dbnnews compiled some of the online reactions below:

          @chillyhearn72 said: “Smh, God’s light shines on you my brother! Know your blessings. All the happiness in the world to you & she.” @fina_ny said: “Thaaaaat’s one perfect picture…and to have found your perfect other half on Twitter, well, that’s amazing!” @TheBull_Ndume said: “Which version was that… I would like to use it maybe my rib is there.” @Alanzoroy said: “Share your secret in finding such lovely woman. Let us singles know your success formula.” @Xaheed__ asked: “This same Twitter we use or there is another Twitter?” 

          dbn.co.ke

          President Magufuli of Tanzania sacks deputy Minister. 

          Francis Ndulane who had been appointed the deputy Minister for Minerals, failed to accurately read the content of his oath of office during the function that was presided by President John Magufuli 

          Euromoney Political crackdown harms Tanzania's infrastructure ambitions

          According to The Citizen, the no nonsense head of state said he would replace Ndulane with another nominee after he failed to read the oath despite being being given three opportunities to do so. 

          Magufuli said he would ask authorities to investigate whether the Member of Parliament had forged his academic certificates. “I can see the prime minister looking at me carefully because together with him (Ndulane) they are the only MPs from Lindi in the Cabinet. We will look for someone who can properly read the documents before entering his office and unveil whether there are forgeries,” Magufuli nicknamed the bulldozer said. 

          I’m not joining K24 Claims journalist Hussein Mohammed 

          Former Citizen TV anchor Hussein Mohamed has said he is gutted by rumours circulating concerning his career. 

          Hussein Mohamed's Most Controversial Interviews at Citizen TV - Kenya Gist

          Hussein interviews DP Ruto |photo opera images

          Hussein has cleared the waves by promising his fans that, he will alert them when he decides to return to the screens. claiming he is set to join K24 as its newest destination, the ever composed journalist scribe those were nothing but lies and propaganda. His face was plastered onto a Facebook post containing the media house’s logo. “Please treat this as fake. You will hear it from me soon enough whether or not I will be coming back to TV or any other platform,” Hussein wrote.

           

          Assassination : In two weeks I have survived two assassination attempts, ‘Bobi Wine’

          Ugandan presidential hopeful Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu popularly known as Bobi Wine says he has survived two assassination attempts in the past two weeks 

          Yalguzag sniper rifle - Wikipedia

          Bobi Wine said he had been forced to wear bulletproof vests during his campaigns as the military had taken over the process. Speaking to CNN on Monday, December 7, the singer turned politician said he survived by a whisker after police officers shot into his car. 

          “I have survived two assassination attempts in the last two weeks where bullets have been shot in my car on the tires and in the windscreen, teargas has been lobbed in my campaigns and sometimes police shot live bullet,” said Wine. 

          by:I.O.O dbn.co.ke NEWS REPORTER.

          I was 4 years old when Museveni took power, I’m risking for Ugandan people, Bobi Wine

          Uganda's Bobi Wine named in FP's 2019 Global Thinkers | Africanews

          Uganda’s presidential candidate Bobi Wine

          Ugandan presidential candidate on the National Unity Platform (NUP), Robert Kyangulani also known as Bobi Wine, has vowed to continue with his aggressive politics in the quest to end President Yoweri Museveni’s 34-year rule. 

          Media blackout 

          Speaking to CNN Africa on Wednesday, December 9, the musician turned politician said he was taking the risk of challenging the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leader for the sake of Ugandans whom he noted have suffered for long. 

          Speaking to CNN Africa on Wednesday, December 9, the musician turned politician said he was taking the risk of challenging the National Resistance Movement (NRM) leader for the sake of Ugandans whom he noted have suffered for long. 

          “I was four years when Museveni took charge of our country but just to mention that majority of our population, to be precise, more than 80% are young people, the unemployed, the excluded, the have nots. These are the masses who are looking for change and they are the people I am representing,” he said. 

          Assassination attempts 

          The vocal lawmaker has also been blocked from accessing hotels on several occasions and at one point was forced to sleep by the roadside. As earlier reported by TUKO.co.ke/I.O.O dbn.co.ke, Wine claimed he has so far survived two assassinations in the past two weeks. He, however, restated his commitment and dedication to soldiering in the quest to end Museveni’s regime. 

          “I have to put on a bulletproof jacket in order to campaign. I have survived two assassination attempts in the last two weeks where bullets have been shot in my car, on the tyres and the windscreen. We are being teargassed every day by the police and the military,” stated Bobi.

          Unfair election 

          The NUP presidential candidate said he was already aware the election would not be free and fair but insisted they will take part in it, nonetheless. “We already know this is election is not free and fair, we are just going in as a protest vote and I strongly believe there are many Ugandans who are going to turn out in large numbers to vote out Museveni because 35 years in powers is just enough,” said the Kyadondo East MP. 

          Lack of Ksh.200k was the reason Stephen Mugusu couldnt be put on ventilator, says Father

          • Bail Out When You Can!" Late Doctor Stephen Mogusu Warns. - Sharon Madonna!
          • Stephen Mugusu
          • The father of Stephen Mogusu, a doctor who recently succumbed to COVID-19, has disclosed the family lacked KSh 200, 000 needed for him to be put on a ventilator. 
          • Doctor Stephen Mogususuccumbed to COVID-19 on Monday, December 7. Photo: Stephen Mogusu. Source: Facebook Naftal Ongweno said he walked around the village in Marani Sub-county in Kisii county pleading with neighbours and relatives to help him raise the money in order to save his son but it was difficult. Ongweno who spoke to The Standard said he became increasingly restless whenever he received a call from Mogusu whose health, he had been informed, was deteriorating each day. “From the moment he was admitted to hospital after contracting coronavirus while working with infected patients, we had to pay all the bills,” said Ongweno. 

          Uhuru-Ruto secret deal: Why BBI Bill could be amended

          • Uhuru, Raila allies in crunch talks over BBI consensus, Uhuru wants the DP to board the BBI train. 
          • The DP’s side says it hopes the talks will address their scaled-back demands.
          • Uhururo
          • Allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto could reach a consensus likely to see the BBI referendum Bill reopened for ‘slight’ amendments.

            This possible compromise comes despite claims by some proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative process that there is no window for any changes to the published bill.

            It appears President Kenyatta is engaged in behind-the-scenes manoeuvres to ensure Ruto boards the BBI train.

            Ruto has claimed the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 can be amended to address his concerns for a win-win situation in the referendum. He calls for an uncontested plebiscite.

            Ruto’s concerns as well as pressure by Uhuru’s handshake partner Raila Odinga’s camp that the bill is closed have pushed the President into a corner.

            It has emerged that in order to accommodate some of the DP’s reduced BBI demands, the Bill might be republished after some minor changes are made.

            The Star has established that a 12-member team leading consensus talks from Kieleweke and Tangatanga has made significant progress.

            The President’s team of six negotiators is led by Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata, while the DP’s faction is led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

            On Tuesday Kang’ata told the Star they are exploring options to address the DP’s conditions, including sponsoring legislative proposals in Parliament.

            “We are exploring legislative remedy to their concerns,” Kang’ata said when asked how they intend to address the DP’s issues.

            “We are thrashing out issues and we hope to finalise by Thursday,” he added.

            Ruto’s camp has tabled three demands including review of the Equalisation Fund sharing formula, election of the 47 woman representatives to the National Assembly and a multi-choice referendum.

            They dropped other demands, including holding the BBI referendum and 2022 General Election on the same day.

            While two of the DP’s issues can be addressed through legislative interventions, the 47 woman representatives issue might require the BBI Bill be altered.

            The current BBI constitutional amendment proposal provides that the woman representatives currently in the National Assembly be moved to the Senate.

            Kuria, who is Ruto’s lead negotiator, insisted the DP’s side hopes that a deal can be reached without hurrying the BBI process.

            “The ball is in their court. We have submitted our issues during the meetings and we hope these issues will be brought on board so we don’t have to go into a divisive referendum,” Kuria said.

            He added, “I hope wisdom prevails before Friday. We have no problem going per the current signatures collected if we agree.”

            He said they are not ready to back down on their demands and want all of them fulfilled if there is to be any consensus. 

            The BBI secretariat co-chaired by Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and Dennis Waweru last week had said they would present the BBI signatures to the IEBC by Friday.

            When asked if the negotiators had made progress, Kuria said he is yet to “see white or black smoke” in consensus building but said, “There is room.”

            Concerns emerged, meantime, whether a bill to amend the Constitution by popular initiative can be amended after signatures have been collected.

            Constitutional expert Bobi Mkangi said the BBI Bill can be amended as long as it has not been submitted to the electoral commission for signature verification.

            “Once submitted to the IEBC with at least one million signatures, that is when the legality can be triggered. As the Bill is now, it can be amended by the promoters,” Mkangi told the Star.

            The DP’s team is said to have demanded the number of MPs be capped at a maximum of 504 – with only six to be nominated, including three women.

            Ruto’s camp says the rest of the lawmakers in Parliament should be elected, including 47 woman representatives in the National Assembly and 47 in the Senate.

            This is on top of the 360 constituency representatives.

            Details of the ongoing talks reveal the President’s signals to yield to some of the demands being pushed by the DP’s camp as part of efforts to build consensus on the referendum.

          11-member commitee to decide Sonko’s fate,unveiled by senate

          • Sonko will face an 11-member committee to defend himself against allegations fronted by MCAs if senators approve the formation of the panel.

          • The Senate Business Committee released the proposed names of members to sit in the committee moments before the senators convene for a special sitting 

          Kenya: Nairobi Governor Sonko arrested on multiple charges

          Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko will face an 11-member committee to defend himself against allegations fronted by MCAs if senators approve the formation of the panel.

          The Senate Business Committee released the proposed names of members to sit in the committee moments before the senators convene for a special sitting to consider the governor’s ouster.

          The proposed members are:

          • Samson Cherargei (Nandi)
          •  Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga)
          • Hargura Godana (Marsabit)
          •  Abdullahi Ali (Wajir)
          • Alice Milgo (nominated)
          • Christine Zawadi (nominated)
          •  Okongo Omogeni (Nyamira)
          • Mohammed Faki (Mombasa)
          • Judith Pareno (nominated)
          • Petronilla Were (nominated)
          • Fred Outa (Kisumu)

          Should the house approve the formation of the committee, they will investigate the charges against the governor and file a report to the House within 10 days.

          Sonko is accused of abuse of office, a gross violation of the Constitution and gross misconduct.

          His refusal to assent to the budget was at the centre of the impeachment.

          Sonko declined to approve the budget, saying there was no way MCAs could allocate NMS Sh27 billion out of the Sh37.5 billion budget.

          dbn.co.ke|I.O.O

          Raila will oppose BBI referendum, Says Lawyer Ahmednasir

          – The ODM Party wants the 2020 Constitutional amendment Bill revisited afresh despite its earlier stand that the Bill would not be altered at all – The Raila-led outfit wants the 70 additional Member of Parliament seats to be redistributed based on constituency population and not county population 

          City lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi has said there is a 95% chance former prime minister Raila Odinga who is one of the chief proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) will lead a no campaign against the 2020 Constitutional amendment Bill.

          ODM decision that has angered many of the party's die-hard supporters –  Nairobi News

          The senior counsel remarks came after it emerged that, there was a BBI stand-off over the push by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to demand new changes in the Bill ahead of the referendum in 2021. 

          In a tweet on his handle on Tuesday, December 8, Ahmednasir popularly referred to as the Grand Mullah argued most Kenyans may not participate in the plebiscite to amend the 2010 Constitution. “There’s a 80% chance that Kenyans will not vote in a referendum to change the constitution (BBI) in 2021. In the unlikely event that Kenyans go to referendum to change the constitution in 2021, there is a 95% chance that Hon Raila and ODM will lead the no vote,” he said.

           According to The Star, the Opposition party wants the Bill revisited afresh despite its earlier stand that the Bill would not be altered at all after Deputy President William Ruto called for consensus to iron out contentious issues. 

          ODM’s demands 

          The party has also challenged the manner in which the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners would be appointed saying political parties should be involved after the proposal was expunged in last minute changes. 

          The party has also challenged the manner in which the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners would be appointed saying political parties should be involved after the proposal was expunged in last minute changes. 

          Multi-choice referendum

          Speaking on Wednesday, December 2, after meeting a section of lawmakers at his Karen residence, the DP suggested a multiple choice referendum was the way to go insisting Kenyans should not be forced to a win/lose situation. 

          “I know you are used to this yes or no, winners or losers, but we want something higher than that. That’s why we are asking for multiple choices. Why do you want us to ask Kenyans to vote Yes or No?” he posed. 

          you can get more of our news on dbn.co.ke

           

          Health Chief Administrative Secretary, (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi, mourns Dr Mogusu, announces 14 more deaths

          Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi has mourned 28-year-old Doctor Stephen Mogusu and described the medic’s death as heartbreaking. 

          MTRH and KNH now testing for Covid-19 - CAS Mwangangi

          Mwangangi said the government had plans afoot to ensure Mogusu who succumbed to COVID-19 complications on Monday, December 7, was given a decent sendoff. The CAS stated the government was also committed to averting the deaths of medics to COVID-19 by securing their welfare and providing them with a safe working environment. 

          “Yes indeed…losing a 28-year old is regrettable. It is actually heartbreaking. We have seen the concerns and we have talked to friends to Dr Stephen Mogusu. We are well aware of the heartbreak they are going through. We are in discussions to ensure the family is able to get the aid that they require but additionally to ensure that such a situation does not reoccur among health care workers. We are aware of the issues and we are working on them. The complains that can be dealt with today have been dealt with. What requires a simple stroke of a pen has been dealt with. What requires long deliberations, we are working on it,” said Mwangangi. 

          The government official made the remarks on Tuesday, December 8, at Afya House during the daily COVID-19 update. She announced the country had lost 14 more patients to the disease over the past 24 hours raising the death toll to 1,545. On new cases, the medic said out of 4,721 samples tested between Monday and Tuesday, some 521 specimens had returned positive results. “This brings to 89,100, the number of confirmed cases,” said Mwangangi. Another 425 patients, the CAS said had recovered from COVID-19 raising the number of discharges to 69,839. The CAS spoke against the backdrop of a looming health crisis in the country. On Monday, over 2,300 nurses downed their tools demanding better pay. Doctors were also set to commence their strike on the same day but their union officials postponed it for 14 more days to provide room to broker a deal with the government. The physicians have 11 demands among them better perks, comprehensive medical insurance and supply of quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs). 

          Mogusu joined a list of at least 12 doctors that have lost their lives to COVID-19 over the recent past. As of Tuesday, over 35 health care workers had died of COVID-19. 

           DP Ruto’s Interview with Joe Ageyo sparks heated debate online

          Ageyo hosted Ruto on Thursday, December 4, night, for an extensive interview that lasted close to two hours – The 47-year-old journalist had a heated debate with the DP on certain issues particularly regarding the BBI report – Some Kenyans accused the veteran TV journalist of being openly biased and dwelling on a single agenda for the better part of his interview – Some felt Ageyo was ill-prepared and failed to hold the deputy president to account for the things he has done or failed to do

          Ageyo hosted Ruto on Thursday, December 4, night, for an extensive interview that lasted close to two hours. A section of Kenyans trooped to social media to share their divergent views regarding how the host conducted the session shortly after Ruto gave his partying shot.

          Majority of those who reacted to the interview accused the veteran TV journalist of being openly biased and dwelling on a single agenda for the better part of his interview. 

          Image

          Some felt Ageyo was ill-prepared and failed to hold the deputy president to account for the things he has done or failed to do as a leader. However, there those who felt the 47-year-old scribe was apt and put the DP on the edge through the interview. 

          Joe Ageyo is the most biased journalist I’ve ever seen on Kenyan interviews @citizentvkenya I don’t why but that guy should’ve not interviewed @WilliamsRuto because of the bias status in his profile.
           below are some of the comments;
          H.E @WilliamsRuto is too smart for Joe Ageyo. The latter should allow the DP to address the issues on the table without unwarranted interjections.
          @Joe Ageyo it’s like u are asking questions and want to answer them as well. Let DP answer the questions..
          #DecodingRuto @citizentvkenya Joe Ageyo is campaigning for #BBIReport 
          Joe Ageyo is speaking like a politician….joe unaudhi…its like he is interviewing and answering questions for himself and making alot of noise..
          Joe Ageyo as a journalist, I find him too casual , rigid, personal and his language unprofessional on his interview with the DP

          Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

          Babu Owino warns against increasing university fees 

          BABU OWINO: "Uhuru is the next Prime Minister, My President is still young"  - TV47

          Embakasi East Member of Parliament Babu Owino.

          The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) lawmaker insisted university fees can only be reviewed downwards. Taking to Facebook on Thursday, December 3, the outspoken legislator said instead of tripling the amount charged, the government should plan how to make university education free. 

          “University fees must never be increased in anyway, it can only be reviewed downwards. Government must give our children opportunity to get free education at the university level,” said Babu. 

          University fees must never be increased in anyway,it can only be reviewed downwards.Government must give our children opportunity to get free education at the university level.I miss my SONU days as the President of the University of Nairobi.

          Mutula Kilonzo Jnr blasts Kibwana for fighting BBI: “It’s the only way to peaceful election”

          Why Mutula Kilonzo Junior could succeed governor Kibwana in 2022

          – Mutula Kilonzo Junior urged Kenyans to support the BBI constitution amendment bill arguing it will cure divisive politics in Kenya – The Makueni senator also slammed Governor Kivutha Kibwana who recently sought an advisory opinion on BBI at the Supreme Court – The governor had in the past endorsed the constitutional amendments through BBI during a public sensitisation forum in Kitui 

          Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior has said the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) amendment bill will put an end to divisive general elections in Kenya. 

          Mutula Kilonzo Jnr appending his signature to endorse BBI. Photo: Mutula Kilonzo Jnr. Source: Facebook Mutula said it was unfortunate to see some political leaders peddle lies and propaganda with the sole purpose of misinforming the masses for their own selfish interests. 

          William Ruto suggests referendum be held alongside 2022 General Election 

          – William Ruto said the country should focus on mitigating COVID-19 pandemic instead of organising a referendum – Ruto also proposed the plebiscite to have multiple choices instead of a simple ‘Yes or No’ question – He said Kenyans should be given real choices on real issues instead of making it a contest between people 

          William Ruto's presidential bid in peril after multibillion arms  procurement scam linked to his office

          While admitting there were more urgent issues such as COVID-19 that the country needed to focus on, the second in command questioned the logic behind holding a plebiscite that will potentially empty the country’s coffers in the middle of a pandemic. 

          Speaking at his Karen residence on Wednesday, December 2, after meeting a section of lawmakers, the DP told the proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to persuade him and his allies why the referendum cannot be postponed to 2022. 

          “We are in the middle of a pandemic that has ravaged our country. We should commit every resource towards the pandemic. There is a possibility of having this referendum alongside the general election in 2022,” Ruto said. 

          Mudavadi tears Ruto apart for taking followers in circles without clear BBI stand 

          Musalia Mudavadi claimed William Ruto was showing poor leadership by failing to make a clear decision on BBI – The ANC leader reckoned there was a need for consensus and dialogue to iron out contentious issues but wondered why the DP’s team did not make submissions – Ruto who hosted close to 200 politicians at his Karen residence said it was never too late to republish the bill 

          Mudavadi says 'done backing other candidates,' to launch own State House  campaign » Capital News

          Musalia took an issue with the DP’s fresh demands among them the reduction of the number of MPs and the proposal to defer or hold the referendum alongside the 2022 General Election. 

          The Opposition leader said the DP’s indecisiveness and failure to make his position on the Building Bridges Initiative known was a clear indication of failed leadership. 

          Even though Musalia reckoned there was a need for consensus and dialogue to iron out contentious issues, he wondered why the Tanga Tanga team did not submit its proposals on time. “Building consensus is key, but time is of the essence. The BBI has timelines that should be adhered to for the country to have a say and move on. As a leader, taking Kenyans in circles without a clear position amounts to a failure to provide effective leadership,” he said.

          My relationship with Uhuru is not subject for discussion, DP Ruto 

          Deputy President William Ruto has once again opened up on his alleged fallout with President Uhuru Kenyatta saying the matter is not a subject for discussion.

          Ruto's pending impeachment ruffles feathers of Kenya's elite

          William Ruto, says Uhuru hasn’t complained about him skipping state functions. 

          The second in command who has been sidelined in the running of government affairs since the famous March 2018 handshake between the head of state and former prime minister Raila Odinga, argued he can never discuss the conduct of his boss in public.

          Speaking to Citizen TV in the evening of Thursday, December 3, Ruto insisted he respected Uhuru and dismissed claims his role in government had diminished. “The president has never told anybody in private or in public that I have absconded duty neither have I complained that I have a problem with him. The relationship between the president and I is not a subject of any discussion. He is my boss and you never discuss your boss,” he said. Reasons for skipping state functions On why he had skipped several state events presided by Uhuru, the DP maintained he had valid reasons to do so having notified the organisers. “There were valid reasons why I wasn’t in those functions. I am very careful when it comes to attendance of my duties…you can be absent with a reason,” Ruto said. 

          Public universities hit by cash flow crisis but Magoha says hiking fees not a solution

          The allocation to universities was cut by KSh 10 billion from KSh 123.6 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to KSh 113 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year – Several vice chancellors have requested the National Treasury for additional KSh 20 billion to cater for the shortfall – While it was initially reported education stakeholders planned to triple varsity fees, Education CS George Magoha said the matter is yet to be discussed 

          Kenyan public universities have been hit by cash flow crisis amid a sharp drop in the number of self-sponsored students (those in parallel programme). 

          CS Magoha directs school heads to monitor students with pre-existing  conditions - Citizentv.co.ke

          Education CS George Magoha.

          The allocation to higher institutions of learning was cut by KSh 10 billion from KSh 123.6 billion in the 2019/2020 financial year to KSh 113 billion in the 2020/2021 financial year and the management of universities have asked for additional KSh 20 billion to cater for the shortfall.

          Treasury Principal Secretary Julius Muia confirmed several universities had made a request to the exchequer highlighting the cash flow crisis they were facing during the coronavirus pandemic period.

          Several universities have already written to us and requested for additional funding amounting to Sh20 billion,” Muia told Parliament’s committee on education as reported by Business Daily.

          Treasury, Members of Parliament (MPs) and vice chancellors had reportedly endorsed a new financing plan to triple tuition fees from KSh 16,000 to KSh 48,000 amid resistance from students and parents. No plans to increase varsity fees In a new turn of events however, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has declared the government has no plans to increase varsity fees. The tough talking official said the state was yet to debate on the matter and as such he called on parents and guardians not to get worried. 

          As far as I am concerned the government does not wake up and hike university fees four times. We are yet to sit to consider and debate the issue. There’s a need for debate on the issue to reach a consensus. In fact, we need to engage all the stakeholders before taking any decision on the matter,” Magoha was quoted by People.

          The then chairman of the vice chancellor’s committee Francis Oduol said the cost of operations had gone up and should not be compared to what used to happen in the early 1990s. “The cost of everything has gone up. If we’re going to run universities in a way that would make them competitive, we need to ensure that they are properly funded. We can no longer work with the parameters of 1989 to run universities in 2019,” said Aduol.

          Murkomen says Mike Sonko’s impeachment is state-sponsored: “It mirrors Waititu’s”

          Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has said Governor Mike Sonko’s impeachment is state-sponsored and pretty much mirrors former Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu’s ouster. 

          Kipchumba Murkomen: Squatter's son down but not out

          The embattled Nairobi governor was impeached on Thursday, December 2, after 88 out of 122 Members of County Assembly voted him out on the grounds of abuse of office and gross misconduct. 

          Taking to his Twitter after Sonko was ejected, the former Senate majority leader claimed the ouster was state-sponsored adding that fraudulent figures were used in the process which he insisted the requisite two-third number was not met.

          here is Murkomen’s tweet;

          KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H
          @kipmurkomen

          Gov.Sonko impeachment mirrors Waititu’s. It is state sponsored. 2/3 threshold not achieved. Fraudulent figures announced. Impeachment is procured by force. Luckily Sonko has documented evidence well but don’t rely on Senate Orengo&Mutula with a call from above can do anything.

          MPs should employ BBI zeal on issues affecting us

          • Very few leaders have come out strongly to help children during Covid-19 pandemic.
          • Government needs to come up with more projects involving teenagers and youths to keep them busy.
          • With BBI we have seen just how serious our leaders can be when they put their mind to it. It makes us question if the BBI will be of more benefit to us or to them. When Covid-19 struck, we had a great challenge in accessing masks, protective gears for healthcare workers, soap and sanitiser.

            To-date we have Kenyans who cannot afford to buy a mask. If it were not for donations by well-wishers, we would be lagging behind in the fight against Covid-19.

            In this same period we have seen teenage pregnancies and drug abuse by teens rise. However, very few leaders have come out strongly to help children. We need our leaders to be more concerned with what affects mwananchi.

            The government needs to come up with more projects involving teenagers and youths to keep them busy. Even before we begin the fight against teenage pregnancies, we need to know what the main problem is.

            Parents need to monitor the people their children hang around and what they do when hanging out.Too much freedom given to children has its consequences.

            We have many influencers, it is time they used their fame to benefit this generation. Most teenagers and youth admire celebrities for their lavish lifestyle and achievements.

            It is important for these celebrities to use their social media clout to encourage youth and develop slogans that promote morality. They need to explain to the youth that nothing comes easy and that they should be patient and work hard to succeed.

            Now our leaders have gone to the grassroots to get BBI signatures, which is not bad but they should show the same spirit when it comes to creating jobs and development programmes in their constituencies.

          Ruto’s tough demands set stage for battle with Uhuru, Raila

          • Ruto says Uhuru and Raila are reasonable and should be able to reopen the bill for a final review.
          • The DP said Kenyans cannot afford a referendum in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.
          • Deputy President William Ruto with Tangatanga MPs at his Karen home on December 2.
          • Deputy President William Ruto has set the stage for a showdown with President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga by issuing  tough conditions to back the BBI referendum.

            Flanked by scores of MPs, he claimed there were 146, and a host of governors to demonstrate his clout, Ruto called for radical amendments to the already published BBI Bill.

            The DP and his troops are also demanding the referendum be held alongside the 2022 General Election. Political observers see calling for a dual vote as a tactic to oppose the plebiscite.

          • “Ruto is preparing his soldiers for a No campaign. He knows the demands are absolutely too late…The Constitution provides that where a Bill has been
          • published for amending a constitution, it cannot be amended,” National Assembly Chief Whip Emmanual Wangwe told the Star.

            ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi accused Ruto of taking Kenyans in circles and failing to provide leadership.

            “The suggestion to conduct a multiple question referendum is unrealistic. Even in the UK with high literacy levels, during [Brexit] referendum  the choice was simply yes or no,” Mudavadi said. 

            In a lengthy press conference, the DP and his troops fell just short of declaring Uhuru a reckless President. They said he pushed through a referendum amid a pandemic and a struggling economy, which they said was on the “verge of full-scale collapse”.

            “It is legitimate  to question the wisdom of expending Sh14 billion a year before an election that will cost another Sh42 billion [2017 figures], when the referendum could be conducted as a seventh ballot in the General Election at virtually no extra cost.

            “We believe it is prudent to hold the referendum along with the General Election in 2022,” they declared in a joint press statement.

            However, the DP’s tough demands are unlikely to be met by Uhuru and Raila who last week launched the BBI signature collection process. A showdown is looming.

            The Ruto team said Kenyans want the focus on the BBI redirected to “runaway corruption, heightened political intolerance, the securitisation of public affairs, as well as impunity and the flagrant disobedience of court orders by the Executive”.

            As the second in command, Ruto’s blistering attack on his own government has further exposed the inside wars within the Jubilee administration.

            The Ruto team has set out five irreducible minimums that must be addressed before a public vote.

            First, the polls must be held at the same time.

            Also, they insist on having a multiple-choice referendum as opposed to a single-question plebiscite, review of the appointment mechanism of Judiciary ombudsman and the restoration of 47 woman representatives elected to National Assembly.

            They also want IEBC given leeway to vary 70 additional constituencies by as much as 20 per cent.

            Having multiple questions as opposed to a Yes or No  vote means Kenyans can reject some proposals that Uhuru and Raila say are central to the handshake deal.

            While the BBI proposal fronted the removal of woman representatives, the DP’s faction proposes bringing back the 47 woman representatives to have 94 elected women in both houses.

            This, he said, will allow for the elected women in the National Assembly to be nominated to the Cabinet as opposed to BBI proposal that sends them to the Senate.

            Ruto and his allies said that as currently framed, the BBI proposals will increase the size of Parliament from  416 seats to as many as 640. 

            “An increase of more than 200 MPs is untenable and a hugely unsustainable  burden on the taxpayer,” they stated.

            The DP  argues  is proposal on the composition of Parliament will reduce the nominated MPs by at least 60 members by having more members elected by citizens.

            The DP’s side also wants the BBI Bill to be amended to give the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission leeway to vary the proposed 70 constituencies by as much as 20 per cent

            This, he said, will capture and accommodate the most expansive, arid and largely marginalised areas including Garissa, Nyeri, Wajir, Nyandarua, Kitui, Kisii and Migori.

            Raila has maintained that the referendum train has left the station and the collection of at least one million valid signatures is expected to be concluded by Friday.

            The DP termed as reckless the push by the BBI proponents that those opposed to the BBI Bill proceed and mount a parallel No campaign since the door for any amendments had been shut.

            “There are people who are saying it is too late. What is the crisis, what is the problem? This is our country. If the proposals we are making today are reasonable, all it will require is to republish the Bill and we will go to the referendum,” Ruto said.

            The DP said the ongoing process for signature collection is just the “easy part” of the whole process, insisting  the elephant in the room was format of the vote on the contents.

            The DP said the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 should be recalled and amended to accommodate a raft of proposals that he said would eliminate a personality-driven referendum.

            However, the DP’s push for a multiple choice referendum faces an uphill task as Uhuru and Raila’s allies are pushing for a Yes or No referendum.

            The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee – both dominated and led by pro-BBI forces – are said to have overturned an initial proposal for a multiple-choice referendum.

            Ruto maintained, however, the MPs had assured him there was a possibility of the House crafting a legal framework that would give Kenyans an opportunity to vote on each clause of the Bill.

            “We have as a team here agreed that we will support the proposal by CIOC in Parliament to provide a mechanism in the referendum so that Kenyans can vote for issues and not have just a Yes or No referendum,” Ruto said.

            He added: “There are Kenyans who have no issue with the 35 per cent going to the counties and will vote Yes. But there is a Kenyan who has a problem with the Judiciary Ombudsman and wants to vote No. Why do we force a Kenyan to vote for something he doesn’t want or vote against something he wants?”

            The DP’s battle for multiple-choice questions in a referendum would now head to Parliament where his troops have clear instructions to shoot down any attempts to legislate a Yes or No referendum.

            Ruto said unlike the 2010 Constitution in which Kenyans were asked to vote Yes or No on the promulgation of the new constitution, an amendment to the Supreme law – like the one by BBI – must provide choices for each clause.

            “We know there is a way we can make this referendum a win-win. We we know there is a way we can accommodate everybody, there is a way we can remove this referendum from being a win-lose. There is a mechanism that can allow us to vote on issues instead of the personalisation of the referendum,” Ruto said.

            The DP said the BBI Bill, which was published on November 23, can be recalled to address the contentious issues before Kenyans can be allowed to go for a referendum.

            “Even at Bomas we were told the window is closed. But we insisted it is never too late to do the right thing. Unless you are telling us that the issues we raise are not reasonable, then all it will take is to republish the Bill,” Ruto said.

            The DP Insisted that it would be against the spirit of the Building Bridges Initiative if the door is shut on other people’s views before the referendum, adding that BBI means reaching out to the other side.

            “There is nobody who will resist what is right. The people on the other side are reasonable people, they are intelligent. That is the way they  took suggestions of other people after the Bomas, even after they said the document would not be changed,” Ruto said.

          Nelson Havi ready to resign ahead of impeachment motion 

          The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) President Nelson Havi has said he will resign once members of the legal fraternity endorse a motion to remove him from office by way of impeachment. 

          Nelson Havi Breaks Silence on Love Triangle Accusation - Kenyans.co.ke

          In a notice of motion filed before the council on November 25, Havi is accused of abuse of office, gross misconduct and failure to uphold the dignity and decency with which the president of LSK is expected to live by. The motion tabled by Charles Midenga will be prosecuted on Saturday, December 5, and if adopted by majority of members, then Havi will have to step aside to pave way for further investigations. Reacting to the developments, the LSK leader said he was ready to take responsibility for whatever the decision the members will make regarding the censure motion 

          “Charles Midenga will be allowed to prosecute his Motion for my removal on 5.12.2020 at 11.00am from Gitanga Road. Unlike other Presidents before me who would rather die than resign, I will resign with immediate effect if Members pass a vote of no confidence,” he tweeted. 

           

          Bobi Wine returns to campaign trail days after suspending rallies: “I will fear no evil” 

          – Bobi Wine prayed to God to secure his life as he seeks to oust long serving President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986 

          Two days after suspending his campaign rallies over the fear for his life and that of his supporters, Ugandan presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, known by his stage name Bobi Wine has resumed his search for votes. 

          Bobi Wine: What exactly happened in Arua? My story

          Bobi Wine says he won’t give up in bid to oust Museveni. 

          In a tweet on his official handle on Thursday, December 3, the singer turned politician said he feared no evil as he prayed to God to secure his life as he seeks to oust long serving President Yoweri Museveni who has been in power since 1986. 

          Quoting the Book of Psalms 23:4 in the Bible,Bobi Wine said, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.

          Man causes stir online after jumping on money truck for a ride 

          In South Africa, not everyone can afford their own cars, and sadly, there are those who cannot even pay taxi or bus fare. This often results in people getting creative to get from point A to B. We have seen people using trolleys and wheelchairs on high ways and now another man has found a ‘new’ way to travel. 

          Haibo: Man hitches a ride with money truck, Mzansi can't deal

          A man was filmed hanging onto the back of a cash van in broad daylight and the video went viral on Mzansi social media. Photo: Boost Justice Mokoena. Source: UGC 

          The guy was filmed holding onto the back of a cash van in a video shared on Facebook on Wednesday by social media user Boost Justice Mokoena.

          Ken Mijungu Makes Comeback at KTN

          News anchor Ken Mijungu at NTV studio

          Reliable sources at the media house intimated to dbntv.co.ke that Mijungu joined on December 1 as his first working day. 

          Reports about Mijungu’s new job hit the interwebs after he was spotted within the company premises and further fuelled by a post on his social media that read, “Welcome Home” which is KTN’s slogan. 

          When reached for comment, the news anchor did not confirm or deny but stated that it would be a pleasure to work with the team at KTN. 

          Highly placed sources intimated that Mijungu would be unveiled as a news and assignment editor. He will also anchor news and host his own show just like Sidebar which he hosted at NTV. 

          “He probably doesn’t want to make an official announcement out of respect for many journalists who were fired from KTN at the end of November,” our source intimated.

          Most of those affected in the mass layoff are journalists drawn from the TV division comprising KTN and KTN News as well as from the Standard Group’s print division.

          Among the affected are KTN Managing Editor Ellen Wanjiru and The Standard Sub-editor Anthony Malesi. 

          Mijungu is yet to update his profile which still reads “Former host, Sidebar on NTV”.

          After exiting NTV in July, Mijungu concentrated on his businesses that include his law consultancy company, car imports and hire services and his newest ‘Car Under One Million’ business. 

          His love and passion for media have seen Mijungu return to the news industry. 

          He holds a CNN Africa Journalist Awards Special Commendation and among his biggest achievements include an exclusive interview with Deputy President William Ruto.

          His former colleague at NTV, Harith Salim, also joined K24 TV as an anchor. Salim will work at the station’s Swahili Department. 

           

          COVID-19: US warns its citizens against travelling to Tanzania, says country has level 4 corona virus

          COVID-19: US warns its citizens against travelling to Tanzania, says country has level 4 coronavirus

          The United States advised its citizens to avoid visiting Tanzania at all costs but if they must, then they should ensure they follow strict COVID-19 protocols – The Centre for Disease Control noted US citizens who would contract coronavirus in Tanzania would be required to isolate upon return and may be barred from entering the country – President John Mafuguli has on several occasions insisted his country has managed to contain the pandemic through prayers 

          The United States Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has warned its citizens against travelling to Tanzania to reduce the risk of contracting the novel coronavirus 

          Tanzania is yet to update its COVID-19 statistics since April. By then it had record 509 cases and 21 deaths 

          In a statement on Wednesday, December 2, CDC claimed the East African country has level four coronavirus while describing the number of infections as “very high”. 

          “Travellers should avoid all traveling to Tanzania. Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19,” CDC said on its website.

          IEBC needs enough time to plan for 2022 election

          • Past commissions have put a caveat on any radical reviews of the law being done a year to the succeeding General Election.
          • Beyond that, the IEBC might not guarantee a free and fair 2022 election because of fatigue and pressure.
          • Chebukati, IEBC commissioners in trouble as PAC releases audit report -  Citizentv.co.ke

            The IEBC will have to ensure the referendum is free and fair and the boundaries review is conducted in readiness for the 2022 election.

            It will also have to ensure that the boundaries review to accommodate the extra 70 constituencies is done before August next year if the electoral units will apply in the 2022 General Election.

            The Constitution states that if delimitation is done less than 12 months to a General Election, then that would not apply in the subsequent poll.

            It is critical to note that Kenya is smarting from the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with many Kenyans losing jobs and a failing economy.

            This means that the country will have to borrow heavily from the international market to finance the referendum, boundaries review and 2022 General Election.

            With the goodwill the Building Bridges Initiative is enjoying from the international community, financing the events will not be a big task for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

            What, however, will be a major issue is whether the two principals are determined to have the results of the boundaries review apply in the 2022 polls.

            If that is their agenda, then it would put a lot of pressure on the IEBC to conduct the review within the next seven months.

            The fatigue that will come with managing a referendum and the boundaries review will obviously impact on the commission’s preparedness for the 2022 polls.

          • Past commissions have put a caveat on any radical reviews of the law being done a year to the succeeding general election.

            This means that any event, including the referendum and the boundaries review, will have to take place latest by July 2021.

            Beyond that, the IEBC might not guarantee a free and fair 2022 election because of fatigue and pressure.

            It is my opinion that the twin issues–referendum and boundaries review–be concluded in time to allow the IEBC to concentrate on planning for the 2022 General Election.

          How Karua, Ndii, Kibwana intend to stop BBI push

          • The Star has established the two groups intend to erect legal hurdles, call for street protests, lead the ‘No’ campaigns or push for a referendum boycott.
          • Some political leaders and civil society have launched a multi-pronged strategy to scuttle the referendum process.
          • Members of the Katiba Forum group during a press conference in Nairobi on November 30, 2020.
          • A well-coordinated plan is afoot to throw into disarray President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s push to amend the Constitution, the Star has established.

            A section of the political elite and influential civil society players has teamed up and launched a multi-pronged strategy to stop the BBI process. If they succeed, scuttling BBI could deal a staggering blow to Uhuru and Raila.

            The plan involves mounting legal battles in court, calling for street protests and if that doesn’t work, leading a robust ‘NO’ campaign.

            It would focus, among other things, on BBI plans to expand Parliament to as many as 540 members – something hard pressed wananchi are not likely to cheer about.

            On Monday, civil society players won a major victory in their bid to stop the referendum after the High Court dismissed government efforts to kill a case challenging the law change.

            Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana are the political faces of the movement.

            The two are working closely with economist David Ndii, former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga and other veteran civil society players. Ndii used to be a Raila strategist.

            Karua told the Star on Monday she is ready to lead the ‘No’ campaign.

            “With humility and without hesitation, I am willing and set to lead the ‘No’ campaigns. We are calling on Kenyans to resist this illegitimate, illegal and ill-timed constitutional amendment initiative,” Karua said.

            Ndii told the Star they will employ all “legal means to stop the BBI referendum”.

             

            “If the state wanted to amend the Constitution, it should have gone the parliamentary way,” Karua said, adding that like-minded Kenyans will do everything possible to block the process.

            Karua has said it was illegal for the state to ask provincial administration officers to spearhead the collection of signatures if the process was really a popular initiative.

            “The provincial administration has been made to violate the Constitution. Dear Kenyans, you are not alone. Let us join hands because we are many. We are also appealing to the media to ensure that alternative voices also get a hearing.” she said on Sunday.

            It’s not clear if there is any nexus between the civil society players and Deputy President William Ruto’s axis.

            Ndii has previously said that he is willing to team up with Ruto to defeat the “dynasties”.

            “Several months ago, he [Ndii] attempted to convince the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) – the leading rights NGO – that both the KHRC and civil society should work with Mr Ruto,” lawyer Makau Mutua said of Ndii in a Sunday Nation op-ed.

            It has also emerged Ruto faces a massive dilemma in dealing with his allies who insist they will lead the ‘No’ campaigns, despite the DP appearing to suggest that he will support the BBI process.

            Kibwana who has been working with Ruto has stated that he will oppose the referendum.

            The Makueni governor said the government should focus on dealing with the country’s ballooning public debt and attend to the Covid-19 pandemic instead of leading campaigns for BBI.

            “BBI is about 2022, not change. All Kenyans who love their country must now lead the ‘No’ referendum campaign against BBI. I will be one among the number to the end,” Kivutha said last Friday.

            Former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama told the Star his position against the BBI process remains unchanged as the document failed to address issues raised by many Kenyans.

            “There needs to be consensus so we are told the criteria used to deny, for example, Mwingi a county [status]. Unless that is done,  I will not support the document,” he said.

            There are reports that the DP could be pushing for a referendum in which Kenyans will have an opportunity to vote separately on each BBI proposal in the referendum – not to vote yes or no on the entire document.

            The DP’s suggestion on a vote on each proposal is different from the proposal by President Uhuru and Raila who want the Bill submitted to the referendum as a package.

            On Monday Ruto fought off claims by his critics that he had turned into a ‘watermelon’ in the BBI process insisting “tremendous progress had been achieved” in the push for a non-contested referendum..

            “It is never too late to do the right thing…consensus on remaining issues and process so as to have a non-divisive vote is the best option,” Ruto tweeted.

            There are concerns within Ruto’s camp that he risks losing the church, the Muslims and the civil society groups seen as key pillars of his initial anti-BBI push. He has been banking on them for his 2022 presidential ambitions.

            Ruto on Wednesday is to hold talks with Tangatanga leaders at his Karen home to appraise them of his decision to back a referendum. This follows his shocking move to throw his weight behind the push to change the Constitution.

            After making a major U-turn and appearing to conditionally support the law-change push, Ruto has been walking a tightrope to balance the scales as the BBI referendum gathers momentum – as does the push to scuttle it.

            “We are talking about a multi-pronged strategy to save the Constitution of Kenya 2010 from the assault by the BBI proponents. We have some cases in court and before we start talking about a referendum, there are massive hurdles in the way for BBI,” Ndii said.

            On Monday, civil society players secured a major victory in their bid to stop the Building Bridges Initiative referendum after the court ruled that a case challenging the process will proceed.

            Constitutional Court judge Anthony Mirima declined to throw out the case filed by five activists, ruling that it raises weighty legal issues of high public interest.

            The judge referred the matter to Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a bench to hear and determine the case.

            “This matter is of immense public interest; the issues raised are not only weighty but also complex and unsettled…the petitioners have crafted clear issues of law to be dealt with,” the judge said.

             The case was filed by Ndii, Jerotich Seii, James Ngondi, Wanjiku Gikonyo and Ikal Angelei.

            The petitioners, through lawyer Nelson Havi, want the court to declare that five chapters of the 2010 Constitution – One, Two, Four, Nine and 10 – cannot be altered or changed through amendments, either by Parliament or popular initiative.

            They argue these chapters form the foundation of the country and should not be altered.

            Some of the chapters are identified for radical amendments through the BBI

            Should they fail in court, the group is determined to lead an aggressive national campaign against the BBI push to ensure the referendum outcome does not meet the requisite threshold.

            Signatures are now being collected; one million valid voters’ signatures are required.

            Karua said Kenyans are ready to reject what she termed as an “illegitimate attempt to overthrow the 2010 Constitution”.

            The Narc Kenya leader insisted that a popular initiative process to amend the Constitution cannot be initiated by State actors using public resources.

          Kenyans React After BRT Bus Fares Are Reduced To 30 Shillings

          Kenyans have fome online to show their appreciation and displeasure to the government after the new bus fares of the Rapid Bus Transport were revealed.

          Earlier on, the buses were to operate on a fixed fare of 100 shillings. This was to apply accross all routes and irregardles of time and schedule.That may not be the case going forward after pictures of the new ticket prices surfaced online.

          The fares to most destinations will now be thirty shillings. This is cheaper than nlst buses plying the city currently which charge up to 100 shillings when it rains. A distance that should be averagely fifty shillings.

          Kenyans online went on to appreciate the efforts of the government as they claimed that those buses were more classy than the current ones on the road which are driven hectic.

          The major purpose of the BRT isbto decongest the city since they are able to carry many travelers at one ago. This is different with the current matatus that have to carry a few passengers each go.Follow for more updates.

          Court Blocks Sonko Impeachment Until A Case Challenging It Is Determined

          NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – The Labour Relations Court has blocked the Nairobi County Assembly from debating the impeachment motion against Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko pending a case challenging it.

          The order was issued on Tuesday by Justice Nzioka Makau following a suit filed by the Governor.

          “It is hereby ordered that conservatory orders be granted in terms of prayers pending hearing of the matter December 3, 2020,” Justice Makau ordered.

          The motion to impeach the Governor was fronted by the Assembly’s Minority leader Michael Ogada. It had been scheduled for debate on Thursday this week.

          Ogada had stated that 86 Members of the County Assembly had appended their signatures, meeting the signature threshold for instituting the removal of the Governor.

          At the center of the Governor’s ouster bid is his refusal to sign the recently passed Nairobi County government, denying NMS monies meant for the implementation of the four transferred functions.

          The Governor is also accused of abuse of office, gross misconduct as well lack of physical and mental capability to run county affairs.

          This is the second attempt by the MCAs to impeach the Governor after the first attempt failed in March after the court suspended the proceedings pending hearing and determination of the matter after the Governor challenged the process in court.

          On Monday, police violently dispersed a meeting convened by the Governor in which some of the MCAs who had signed to impeach him disowned the signatures.

          Covid-19 Wrecked 2020. Will 2021 Be Different?

          Paris, France, Dec 2 – 2020 was a year turned upside-down by the novel coronavirus. But with the prospect of several vaccines coming online and less stringent restrictions, experts say it’s possible 2021 will return to a semblance of normality.

          With a second Covid-19 wave currently battering Europe, the United States battling its third, and Hong Kong facing a fourth, disease specialists say they can’t rule out more resurgences in cases and deaths as 2021 gets underway.

          – ‘Surgical strikes’ –

          France’s scientific council, which guides government policy on the pandemic, envisages “several successive waves” of Covid-19 over the winter and well into next year.

          Flavio Toxvaerd, lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Economics, told AFP the question of how many waves the world still faces depends on a variety of factors.

          These include “seasonal changes in contact patterns as well as how well the disease is managed through a combination of social distancing and vaccines,” said Toxvaerd, who specialises in the economics of infectious diseases and economic epidemiology.

          Lessons learned from past interventions could allow countries to fine-tune their counter-virus measures, implementing modified restrictions while avoiding total lockdowns.

          Governments will seek to administer “the minimal effective dose” of measures, such as bans on large gatherings or high-risk activities, according to Anne-Claude Cremieux, an infectious diseases expert at Paris’ Saint-Louis hospital.

          She referred to a strategy of “surgical strikes” against the virus.

          That would require full knowledge and control over the transmission chain, with an effective “test, trace, isolate” system and particular care taken over protecting vulnerable and elderly individuals.

          – Vaccine barriers –

          “We need to hold on until relief arrives, and the relief is a vaccine,” said Cremieux.

          She however cautioned that “it’s clear we’re not going to vaccinate the entire world in six months”.

          Even if several vaccines are made available, they alone will not be enough to return to normal.

          Arnaud Fontanet, an epidemiologist at the Pasteur Institute told RMC/BFMTV television that normality could be restored “only by Autumn 2021” — and even then only if 80-90 percent of the population are vaccinated.

          Universal coverage would be “an extremely ambitious goal given the hesitancy that exists today towards vaccines,” he said.

          Fontanet echoed concerns expressed by fellow experts that a massive effort is needed to overcome anti-vaccine sentiment worldwide.

          With some countries debating making Covid-19 vaccinations mandatory, Toxvaerd sounded a note of caution.

          “In the current climate, making vaccines mandatory may backfire and cause even more resistance to the vaccine,” he said.

          “Instead, positive incentives to vaccinate should be considered.”

          CAPITAL HEALTH

          Govt Has 21 Days To Remit Sh500mn For Health Workers’ Insurance Cover: Parliament

          NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 2 – The National Treasury and Ministry of Health have 21 days to remit Sh500 million to the National Hospital Insurance Fund Scheme for the provision of Group Life Insurance Cover for all COVID-19 frontline medical staff working in all Counties and the National Referral Hospitals.

          This is after the National Assembly unanimously approved an amended version of the report by the House Health Committee for the funds provided for in the Supplementary Appropriation Act (No. 2) of 2020.

          As a result of the adoption of the committee resolution, NHIF will also have 21 days to ensure that all medical staff in the counties and national referral hospitals are placed under the Group Life insurance Cover.

          The resolution by the House has further compelled the Council of Governors to ensure that all the nineteen counties that have no medical cover for its health workers sign-up for the Comprehensive Medical Cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

          “The National Treasury and Council of Governors establishes a centralized pool of medical cover through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Comprehensive Medical Scheme for all county medical staff. The Scheme should be in place at the beginning of the Financial Year 2021/22 and that the Ministry of Health and Counties do make provisions of the same in their respective FY 2021/22 budgets,” the Committee Report on its Inquiry into the Utilization of the Funds Appropriated to the Ministry of Health in the Financial Year 2019/20 for the Control and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic, with Focus on the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) noted.

          The Cabinet in September approved an insurance cover that addresses only one of the key demands of health workers following protests.

          The doctors’ union has threatened to mobilise a national strike from Monday next week unless their demands are met.

          The Kenya Health Professionals Society, which consists of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO), Kenya National Union of Laboratory Officers (KNUMLO), Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists (KNUPT) and the Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians (KUNAD) have also demanded that an additional 10,000 health workers be employed.

          Ministry of Health and Governing Councils of University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology were also given 14 days to settle all Call Allowances owed to doctors as per the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Return-To-Work Formula of March 14, 2017, signed between the Ministry of Health, Council of Governors and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union.

          Kenya Records 551 New COVID-19 Cases And 5 Deaths

          NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1- Kenya recorded 551 more COVID-19 cases and 5 deaths Tuesday, marking a continued decline in the virus infections.

          Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr. Rashid Aman said infections in the country had risen to 84,169 following the new cases that were confirmed from 4,675 samples.

          Deaths also rose to 1, 474 even as 1,275 patients were hospitalised.

          Dr. Aman said 266 more patients had recovered from the disease raising the number of recoveries to 55, 610.

          On Monday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Kenya will extend its search for COVID-19 vaccine to other countries like China, India and South Korea amid increased deaths from the virus.

          Already, the country through the research programme dubbed Kemri-Wellcome Trust is engaged in a search for a vaccine mission, in a collaboration with the Oxford University, Astra-Zeneca.

          Some 7 countries among them the United States are participating in the research, with 60,000 participants expected in the trials this month.  

          “The Government remains open to collaborative opportunities,” the CS said.

          The disease however claimed 17 lives, bringing the cumulative fatalities to 1, 469

          Biden Commits To Work With Kenya During Call With President Kenyatta

          NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1- US President-elect Joe Biden has committed to working closely with Kenya, in tackling the threat of regional security and instability, when he takes over from incumbent President Trump next month.

          He made the assurance during a call with President Uhuru Kenyatta, who had called to offer his congratulatory message following his recent victory.

          “The president-elect offered his gratitude for President Kenyatta’s congratulations and expressed his appreciation for the strong and lasting ties between our two countries,” the Biden-Harris transition team said on Tuesday.

          Further, the President-elect also offered to collaborate with Kenya in addressing the threat of climate change and supporting refugees and their host communities.

          Kenya is a host to the largest refugee community from Somalia and South Sudan.

          With increased instability in the region, Kenya continues to receive thousands of refugees, particularly from Somalia which is yet to gain stability.

          But even as Biden prepares to take over, Trump has maintained that there were massive irregularities during voting, vowing to fight to the end in what has thrown the transition team into confusion.

          Likoni floating bridge set to be opened and residents can’t wait

          • The Sh1.7 billion bridge, expected to be opened to the public in mid-December, will be 800 metres long and will have a six-metre wide walkway.

          • The bridge will have a 150-metre long movable part, right at the middle, which will be open and close to allow for ships to pass through to and from the Mombasa port.

          The more than 300,000 Likoni ferry users cannot wait for the Likoni floating bridge to be completed.

          The Sh1.7 billion bridge, expected to be opened to the public in mid-month, will be 800 metres long and will have a six-metre wide walk way.

          The bridge will have a 150-metre long movable part, right at the middle, which will be opened and closed to allow for ships to pass through to and from the Mombasa port.

          The movable part will be connected to motors on both sides of the section to allow the bridge to open and close.

          The northern trestle, which is the part between the start of the bridge on the Island side where the movable part will start, will be 248m long. The southern trestle will be 188m long.

          The road approaching the start of the bridge on the Island side, known as the North approach road, will be 162m long while the South approach road on the mainland side will be 175m long.

          Kenya National Highways Authority engineer Erick Wambua said piling, which forms the foundation of the bridge, is made of special concrete that is strong enough to withstand the weight of the bridge.

          It is reinforced by steel structures which will also support the actual floating bridge.

          Pontoons will be placed on either side of the movable section to reinforce the support structure of the bridge.

          “The floating bridge will be safe even during harsh ocean conditions,” Wambua said.

          The bridge will decongest the Likoni ferry crossing channel that handles about 300,000 people and 6,000 vehicles daily.

          The government also has plans to construct bus termini on both ends of the bridge to allow for easy movement.

          The bridge will do away with ferry scheduling that inconveniences those who use the ferries to and from work every morning and evening.

          “You will come at your own time and cross at any time you want. There will be no setting of time to pass like at the Likoni crossing channel where at a certain time the ferries are not available,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said when he visited the project.

          Users will only wait when a vessel is passing.

          Rama Mwachipulo, a Mtongwe resident, however said the floating bridge will not help Mtongwe residents, who, he said, prefer to wait for the Mtongwe ramps to be constructed so the Mtongwe ferry can operate without interruption.

          Mwachipulo said it does not make sense to walk from Mtongwe to Mwingi Babu Road and then to Peleleza to get to the footbridge. It is too far, he said.

          “The footbridge you are talking about does not help Mtongwe residents at all. We would rather board a matatu to Likoni,” Mwachipulo said.

          Mwachipulo said they would rather have a bridge constructed from Meza Creek to Peleleza.

          “If that does not happen, Mtongwe residents will stay for 10 years without using that footbridge,” Mwachipulo said.

          He spoke on Friday during a public participation forum for the construction of the Mtongwe ferry ramp at Mtongwe.

          Coast regional coordinator John Elungata said the footbridge will open up parts of Likoni constituency which have been deserted since the Mtongwe ferry services were stopped following the 1994 disaster.

          “The footbridge will save people time and effort,” he said.

          The floating bridge will have a special committee that will be in charge of its management.

          The committee is composed of representatives from the Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Ferry Services, the local community, the Likoni and Mvita MPs’ offices, the National Government Administration Office and Beach Management Units, among others.

          There will be no cyclists, motorcyclists or tuk-tuks allowed. Only pedestrians will be allowed to use the bridge.

          However, this is subject to confirmation by the management committee, which will meet next week to discuss the launch and usage of the bridge. There will be no charges for using the bridge.

          “At first it was suggested that nothing motor-like will be allowed to pass through the bridge. Cyclists and pedestrians only. But this keeps changing,” a member of the committee said.

          “There are different suggestions being floated. These suggestions are then discussed before a final decision is made,” the committee member, who sought anonymity, told the Star.

          The National Police Service will present a suicide assessment report before the committee detailing the number of suicide cases that occur at the Likoni crossing channel, the frequency at which they occur, the underlying causes, among other issues.

          “This report will inform the actions or measures that will be taken to prevent such from happening at the floating bridge,” the source said. 

          The bridge will have divers on standby on a 24-hour basis to rescue anyone who may fall into the water.

          “The bridge is a highly mechanised one. Two tugboats will be there to push open or close the movable section of the bridge in case the machines fail and the movable parts fail to open,” the committee member said.

          Constructed by the China Road and Bridge Corporation in conjunction with Kenha, the floating bridge is one of its kind in Africa. Engineers say this is the second of its kind in the world. The first is in China.

          “The bridge will be used for about five years, by which time the Mombasa Gateway Bridge is expected to be ready for use,” said the committee member.

          Ruto’s BBI game plan as he meets 150 MPs

          • Ruto to host 150 MPs to discuss BBI Bill and adopt common position.

          • His allies are split down the middle over whether it’s time to amend the Constitution, or not.  

          DP William Ruto, Governor Lee Kinyanjui and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri after the memorial service for Edith Wanjiku Ngunjiri, mother to Ngunjiri at St Michael's Catholic Church Maili Sita in Bahati

          Deputy President William Ruto has fashioned a strategy to either completely scuttle the referendum or neutralise the political consequences of the plebiscite.

          Publicly, Ruto is pushing for consensus on contentious Building Bridges Initiative proposals, which he says will avert a divisive referendum.

          But what will his hustler loyalists say if he joins the ‘dynasties’?

          Behind the scenes, his associates are trooping to court with prayers that have the potential of throwing into disarray the entire process.

          On Wednesday morning, Ruto is expected to host at least 150 MPs at his Karen residence to discuss BBI and adopt a common position.

          Speaking in Nakuru county on Tuesday the DP said it’s still possible to achieve consensus even after the signatures collection was launched.

          “We must not have winners and losers. We can fashion a win-win and that is possible and it will be possible. I am very confident we will do so together,” the DP said.

          He spoke during the burial service of Wanjiku Ngunjiri, the mother of Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

          In an apparent attack on ODM leader Raila Odinga, Ruto said there are politicians dying to turn the referendum into a political contest.

          “We have seen the ugly side of divided people and there are politicians, even on this issue of BBI, who are looking on how to divide people into camps so that they compete for certain outcomes. No. Let us look for a way to have all of us united. What will it benefit you to divide us to create enemies when we can agree?” he asked.

           

          Ruto’s think tanks believe his stand on the BBI could have implications for his 2022 presidential bid, with the referendum coming hardly a year to the General Election.

          With political heavyweights backing the referendum, there are fears in Ruto’s camp that leading a ‘No’ campaign could isolate him and set him against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya backyard.

          It could also drain him financially before the presidential contest.

          It is not clear if Uhuru and Raila will accept further amendments to the BBI Bill. It appears to be closed except for minor tweaks.

          However, a non-contested referendum would neutralise  any political consequences for the DP.

          Nonetheless, Ruto’s associates are seeking to scuttle the referendum bid through the courts. There’s talk of mass protests and a boycott.

          The latest to file a petition in the Supreme Court is Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana.

           Kibwana, who has pledged to oppose any attempts to amend the 2010 Constitution, has been working closely with Ruto in recent months.

          In his petition, the governor wants the Supreme Court to determined if a state officer can use public resources to promote a popular initiative to review the supreme law of the land.

          The governor says a constitutional review through a popular initiative cannot be driven by government, state officers, or its organs. Or local chiefs and their assistants.

          Doing so, he said, would lead to wanton wastage of public funds by state officers promoting the initiative.

          The county chief is also seeking a determination on whether one Bill containing proposed amendments can amend several issues in the Constitution.

          According to Kibwana, under the Constitution amendments like the ones being pushed under the BBI Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 must be limited to a single issue – not omnibus legislation.

          This, Kibwana says, would ensure that the authority to amend the Constitution is not abused and does not degenerate into a total overhaul.

          Clarity, Kibwana argues, will enable the public to understand which issues are being amended so they can freely exercise their will on whether to support or oppose the separate amendments.

          “It makes it easy for the public to understand what issue is proposed to be amended and for the people to freely exercise their will on whether to support the amendment without being confused about having to choose between too many issues,” Kibwana said.

          An earlier petition was filed in the High Court by five activists led by economist David Ndii.

          Ndii, a former Raila strategist, has been publicly accused by insiders within the civil society of recruiting for Ruto.

          Lawyer Makau Mutua accused Ndii of attempting to convince the Kenya Human Rights Commission to work with Ruto.

          In their petition, through lawyer Nelson Havi, they want the court to declare that five chapters of the 2010 Constitution – One, Two, Four, Nine and 10 – cannot be altered or changed through amendments, either by Parliament or popular initiative.

          They argue these chapters form the foundation of the country and should not be altered.

          Some of the chapters are identified for radical amendments through the BBI.

          Ruto has been under immense pressure from his allies to oppose the BBI. Some of his cohorts on Tuesday trashed the constitutional amendment process in his presence.

          Nominated MP David Sankok said it is meaningless to amend the Constitution, which is yet to be fully implemented.

          He said the majority of the problems the country is facing are the lack of political goodwill to implement the supreme law.

          “Why are we changing the Constitution? No one is telling us this or that article in the Constitution is bad. Women have been calling for implementation of the two-thirds gender rule and and we the people with disabilities have been asking for implementation of Article 54 . Youth have been asking for jobs,” he said.

          Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said President Uhuru should give priority to the coronavirus pandemic and the battered economy, not a plebiscite that will create more jobs and a Parliament of as many as 550 members.

          “The money that is being diverted for a referendum should be channeled to buy hospital beds and oxygen for patients,” he said.

          Rigathi, who is a close ally of the DP, faulted the manner in which the signature collection is being carried out. At least one million valid signatures are required to begin the referendum process.

          He said Kenyans have not read the Bill, nor has civic education been carried out. The government is forcing the Bill down the throats of unwilling Kenyans.

          “You cannot sign something that you have not read. Let them bring it first and then we read.

          “Even the proposal to increase positions for women is good but you don’t need to reserve the seats for them. Let them stand for election as others have done. If they have good plans for development, they will be elected,” he said.

          Gilgil MP Martha Wangari said Kenyans should be given an opportunity to vote clause by clause, issue by issue, noting that there are good things in the Bill while others may not be popular.

          “Proposals such as creation of more constituencies I support but there are some things I don’t like. Therefore, Kenyans should be given an opportunity to decided case-by-case. That is how we are going to move forward together without leaving others,” she said.

          Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi questioned how the unity deal through the handshake between Uhuru and Raila was transformed into a referendum review process.

          “It’s intention was to unite the country but how did it end up being a constitutional amendment? BBI is not bad but it is coming with a huge burden for Kenyans. Kenyans should be warned.

          “As an MP I will continue earning my huge salary at the expense of taxpayers,” he said.

          Molo MP Kimani Kuria said there is still a window of opportunity to fine-tune the Bill, saying Parliament will be required to pass key legislation to make it workable.

          “There has been a misinformed narrative that this document is final. There is a schedule at the end that there are pieces of legislations that need to be passed by Parliament.

          “This discussion of it as  a finality is false. There is room for us to discuss and debate what is good for us as a country,” he said.

          Soy MP Caleb Kositany, his Turbo counterpart Janet Sitienei and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika said the BBI process has been rushed and the country may end up with bad laws that will haunt Kenyans.

          Sonko tells court 62 MCAs did not sign motion to impeach him

          • On Tuesday, the Labour Court prohibited the county assembly to deliberate, table for debate, or vote for the removal of Sonko as governor pending inter-parties hearing.

          • Sonko maintains that another court had in February stopped his impeachment and that the order is still in force.

          Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko

          Embattled Govenor Mike Sonko claims that 62 members of county assembly did not append their signatures on the motion calling for his impeachment.

          According to documents before Justice Nzioki wa Makau of the Employment and Labour Court, the 62 MCAs have sworn affidavits denying ever appending their signatures to any motion.

          On Tuesday, the court temporarily stopped the impeachment motion in the county assembly pending the hearing and determination of the case.

          Makau prohibited the Nairobi county assembly from deliberating, tabling for debate, putting a vote on the motion by MCA Michael Okumu for the removal of Sonko as governor pending inter-parties hearing on Thursday.

          In the case, Sonko claims he has affidavits of the 62 MCAs who never signed the impeachment motion.

          He has sued the assembly clerk, the speaker, the county assembly and MCAs Peter Imwatok and Michael Okumu.

          Sonko says his removal as the governor is a weighty matter and neither a casual nor mere business of the county assembly.

          He argues, through lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, that Justice Byrum Ongaya had in February stopped his impeachment and that the order is still in place.

          Kinyanjui says on November 26, the county assembly moved to set in a new motion to unlawfully and wholly unconstitutionally impeach the governor notwithstanding that the process had been stopped.

          He claims Imwatok’s impeachment motion has not been withdrawn formally. According to the lawyer, it is only the member who gave the notice of the motion who can withdraw it and that this has not been done.

          The governor says he has not been served with any affidavit affirming the veracity of the allegations in the impeachment motion by Okumu as the standing orders demand.

          He further claims he has not received any exhibits to support Okumu’s allegations.

          “This deliberate withholding of evidential material by the speaker and MCA Okumu is an express violation of Article 10 of the Constitution on good governance,” Sonko argues.

          Kinyanjui maintains that the county assembly has no power to remove Sonko from an elected position through “illegal means and avenues”.

          Meanwhile, Nairobi resident Paul Musyimi has filed a constitutional petition seeking to stop Sonko’s impeachment.

          Musyimi wants the court to stop the debate of Sonko’s impeachment pending the hearing of his petition.

          The governor has sworn an affidavit, saying the motion was brought to the assembly in bad faith.

          He says he is likely to be subjected to a hearing on issues in court where a judge has already stopped his impeachment.

          “The subject matter and the grounds upon which the said motion is premised are substantively and actively pending determination before court and involves the same parties,” the document states.

          Kanyari to his ex, Betty Bayo: Marry a holy man

           He dissed her pick as poor and below his expectations, but Betty declined to respond

          Gospel singer Betty Bayo

          Pastor Victor Kanyari has broken his silence after his ex-wife Gospel singer Betty Bayo got engaged during her 33rd birthday last week on Wednesday.

          Sharing the news with her fans on social media, the Eleventh Hour crooner posted a cutout picture of her fiancé on one knee, putting the engagement ring on her finger with the caption, ‘Taken’.

          Speaking to Word Is, the controversial pastor said he is aware the mother of his two children got engaged but was shocked to learn that the man she is dating is a divorcee.

          “I thought she was going to marry ‘Jesus’ after all the hateful things she said about me,” he said.

          “He is a man who left his family, a wife and two children somewhere. She did not look for Jesus, tell her to marry a holier ‘Jesus’ kind of a man so she can surprise us, not a man who has been used somewhere.”

          Kanyari hopes that his children will be well taken care of.

          “I have given my children the best life and I promise to take them to the best schools in America. Now that there is another man in her life, I hope he will be chipping in.”

          Betty is now planning a grand wedding, and Pastor Kanyari said he is invited.

          “I thought she was going to marry ‘Jesus’ after all the hateful things she said about me,” he said.

          “He is a man who left his family, a wife and two children somewhere. She did not look for Jesus, tell her to marry a holier ‘Jesus’ kind of a man so she can surprise us, not a man who has been used somewhere.”

          Sakaja dragged into Sh7.8bn Kemsa PPE scandal

          • Suspended procurement director Charles Juma mentioned the lawmaker’s name when he was grilled by the Public Investments Committee on Tuesday.

          • He said his secretary informed him that the senator was at CEO Jonah Manjari’s office when the latter was pressuring them to draft a commitment letter for Shop N Buy.

          Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has been dragged into the Sh7.8 billion PPE scandal at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency.

          Suspended procurement director Charles Juma mentioned the lawmaker’s name when he was grilled by the Public Investments Committee on Tuesday.

          He quoted a third party — his secretary — as having informed him that the senator was at CEO Jonah Manjari’s office when the latter was pressuring them to draft a commitment letter for Shop N Buy.

          The company is among 50 companies on EACC radar for their role in the questionable deals that have left Kemsa with a Sh6.2 billion stock it is unable to dispose of — unless at a loss.

          Speaking under oath, Juma said the letter that handed the firm Sh970 million worth of supplies was backdated to April, yet it was processed in June.

          “The commitment letter for Shop N Buy was raised on June 5. The CEO called my secretary and instructed her to prepare the letter and backdate the same to April 30.”

          Juma said that when he questioned the secretary further, he was informed that the CEO’s personal assistant had asked for the format of the commitment letters.

          The procurement officer, claiming there were threats to his life, said the CEO kept reminding him there were consequences if he did not act.

          “I was coerced. He gave me directives. There were a number of threats. The CEO told me I didn’t know the people I was dealing with. I perceived it as a threat to my life,” Juma said. “I can confirm that my life was in danger.”

          He also told the committee chaired by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir that eight firms were awarded tenders without his knowledge afterwards.

          The firms are Regal Freighters (Sh270 million), Northlink GSC Ltd (Sh135 million), Meraky Healthcare (Sh340 million), Everywhere Distributors Ltd (Sh118 million), La Miguela Holdings (Sh180 million), Medilife Biologicals Ltd (Sh240 million), and Komtel Kenya Ltd (Sh283 million).

          The procurement manager said it was Manjari who also issued a commitment letter to Kilig Ltd without reference to procurement department. The letter was cancelled.

          He added that the chief executive also expressly told him not to touch Wallabies Ventures Ltd as it “had a lot of influence at Afya House”.

          Juma said he was away from office when his secretary — identified as Pamela Kaburu — informed him of how she was called by the CEO to prepare the Shop N Buy letter.

          “When she got there, she found Senator Sakaja seated there. I don’t know whether the letter was for the senator,” he said when prodded further.

          MPs have sought that Kaburu appears before the committee to respond to the allegations raised by Juma and explain the backdated letter.

          Maragua MP Mary Wamaua said the secretary be called to enable the committee get the full picture.

          “We need to invite the secretary. She knew she was committing an offence. We need to invite her so that we confirm the allegations.

          “It seems there were big men and women in this country whom the CEO was issuing letters against the advisory for no further commitments,” Wamaua said

          When asked for comment, Sakaja said he was at Kemsa in his capacity as then chairperson of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Covid-19.

          “I was chairman of Covid-19 Ad Hoc committee. I have no links with Shop N Buy. I’m neither a director nor shareholder there,” Sakaja said.

          Juma said his advisories  to his colleague directors to cancel the tenders after they exceeded the budget were ignored thrice.

          He said Shop N Buy is not among Kemsa prequalified firms and it was the first time his office was interacting with the company.

          The officer alluded to the existence of powerful individuals who influenced the fraudulent tender awards.

          Juma said there was undue pressure on the management and despite delaying some supplies, the company was granted an extension by the CEO.

          “The CEO appeared to be under duress and kept reminding me that we never knew what he was going through,” he told PIC.

          Juma said when he sought to stop further purchases for lack of budget, the CEO informed him some individuals had assured him there was a budget.

          The officer said the firms were assigned commitment letters from the CEO’s office and the procurement team only knew after suppliers sought payment for what they delivered.

          On whether there was the need and budget for the supplies, Juma said Manjari once informed them that he had met some individuals who were going to assist Kemsa get a budget.

          The officer was hard pressed to explain how Kemsa continued to issue commitment letters after April 21 when he issued a memo advising against further issuance.

          Nassir said it was irritating that the procurement director wrote the advisory but continued giving letters to firms to the tune of Sh3.9 billion.

          The committee further heard that procurement plan was drawn after the suppliers delivered goods to Kemsa warehouses.

          Some companies did not have KRA PIN certificates at the time of the award, hence considered non-compliant.

          Juma said after he advised against further commitments, he was compelled to prepare commitment letters – running into hundreds.

          PIC has taken statements from Health PS Susan Mochache, Manjari, suspended commercial services director Eliud Mureithi and Kemsa board chaired by former Murang’a Senator Kembi Gitura.

          The committee is seeking to unravel the faces behind the mess that has caused Kenyans Sh2.3 billion loss in the purchases.

          EACC boss Twalib Mbarak said investigations into the scandal were at advanced stages.

          MPs told the procurement manager that he could not run away from the breaches of procurement, much as he claimed being coerced.

          “The question is how they shot the supplies to the levels that Kemsa got to. Now that the goods are stuck, why would we take you (Juma) seriously?” Nassir asked.

           

          ‘Sh4,000 rent, food’: Bahati sues Peter Blessing over Sh2 million label fraud

          •Bahati said Blessing had been trying to see him for close to eight months without much success.

          •”My workers told me that there was a young man who had been coming to my office for the last eight months to see me,” he testified.

          Image may contain: 1 person, sunglasses

          The trial case of an artist accused of defrauding former gospel musician Kevin i Kioko, popularly known as Bahati, of Sh2 million commenced on Tuesday at Milimani court.

          Bahati, who is the key witness, was testifying against Peter Blessing aka Peter Mwanyalo who is accused of conning him out of Sh2million by false pretences after he left the EMB record label.

          Bahati told senior principal magistrate Benard Ochoi that Blessing knelt in front of his car requesting him to help him boost his music career in July last year.

          Bahati said Blessing had been trying to see him for close to eight months without much success.

          “My workers told me that there was a young man who had been coming to my office for the last eight months to see me,” he testified.

          led in his evidence in chief by State Counsel James Gachoka, recounted how a desperate Blessing went down on his knees at Membley Estate in Ruiru in his office.

          He accused Blessing of signing a contract in 2019 to be nurtured musically by EMB records and promised to have all returns go to EMB records Studios, a promise he allegedly did not honour.

          “He knelt In front of my car and asked me to help me boost his music career. He told me he could sing and asked for my support. After which I would recoup my investments from his performances and music sales,” he testified.

          The court heard Bahati used to pay the struggling artist’s rent of Sh4,000, buy his clothes and food.

          “I used to pay his rent, bought his clothes and even the food that he ate, I paid for it,” he said.

          He added that after he took him on his EMB record label, Blessing took off and started attending shows without his knowledge.

          “He has been earning through performances and getting other benefits from the music we recorded for him without our knowledge, this has caused us losses because we are yet to recover our expenditures on him,” said Bahati.

          Lawrence Munyao, Bahati’s manager testified that EMB studios records used the Sh2,039,000 on Blessing hoping it would be recovered when he becomes his own brand but he left unceremoniously.

          Munyao told the court that they only learnt on blogs and from the media of the Blessing’s announcement that he left EMB and was now an independent.

          Blessing was charged that between July 4, 2019 and January 5, 2020 at EMB records Studios in Nairobi county, with intent to defraud obtained Sh2,039,00 from Kevin Kioko aka Bahati by falsely pretending he was able to produce music videos with the said EMB records, a fact he knew to be false.

          The case was adjourned until February 24, 2021

          Bahati at Milimani law courts on December 1, 2020.

          Bahati at Milimani law courts on December 1, 2020.

          Bahati said Blessing had been trying to see him for close to eight months without much success.

          “My workers told me that there was a young man who had been coming to my office for the last eight months to see me,” he testified.

          The entertainer who was being led in his evidence in chief by State Counsel James Gachoka, recounted how a desperate Blessing went down on his knees at Membley Estate in Ruiru in his office.

          He accused Blessing of signing a contract in 2019 to be nurtured musically by EMB records and promised to have all returns go to EMB records Studios, a promise he allegedly did not honour.

          “He knelt In front of my car and asked me to help me boost his music career. He told me he could sing and asked for my support. After which I would recoup my investments from his performances and music sales,” he testified.

          The court heard Bahati used to pay the struggling artist’s rent of Sh4,000, buy his clothes and food.

          “I used to pay his rent, bought his clothes and even the food that he ate, I paid for it,” he said.

          He added that after he took him on his EMB record label, Blessing took off and started attending shows without his knowledge.

          “He has been earning through performances and getting other benefits from the music we recorded for him without our knowledge, this has caused us losses because we are yet to recover our expenditures on him,” said Bahati.

          Lawrence Munyao, Bahati’s manager testified that EMB studios records used the Sh2,039,000 on Blessing hoping it would be recovered when he becomes his own brand but he left unceremoniously.

          Munyao told the court that they only learnt on blogs and from the media of the Blessing’s announcement that he left EMB and was now an independent.

          Blessing was charged that between July 4, 2019 and January 5, 2020 at EMB records Studios in Nairobi county, with intent to defraud obtained Sh2,039,00 from Kevin Kioko aka Bahati by falsely pretending he was able to produce music videos with the said EMB records, a fact he knew to be false.

          The case was adjourned until February 24, 2021

          Bobi Wine guard, supporters injured in running battles with security

          One of the police guards attached to presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine being helped after he was injured in Kayunga as security operatives tried to disperse supporters. PHOTOS/ ABUBAKER LUBOWA

          Several people, including a police guard attached to presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine have been injured as security operatives Tuesday fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse supporters in Kayunga.

          ASP Kato was injured on the head and rushed to hospital for treatment.

          The Kyadondo East MP said several of his supporters, including his music producer, Dan Magic, had also been injured and admitted to hospital.

          “The police and military have attacked us yet again, shot and injured many of my team members and other Ugandans who gathered to wave to me in Kayunga. My friend and producer Dan Magic has been hit in the face! ASP Kato, a police officer attached to me has also been badly injured. Many comrades are gravely injured. Pray for us. Pray for Uganda. We shall overcome!” he said in a statement posted on his social media platforms.

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          Mudavadi slams Raila for pushing for contested referendum 

          – Mudavadi hit out at Raila Odinga and said he was managing the BBI like his personal project – The politician said there were politicians who were determined to make him join the No camp of the plebiscite – Mudavadi explained he decided to support the handshake report because the concerns he had raised had been addressed in the document 

          Mudavadi blames Raila for pushing for contested referendum

          Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has slammed ODM leader Raila Odinga for pushing for a contested 

          Musalia Mudavadi said the concerns he raised had been addressed in the document. Photo: Musalia Mudavadi. Source: Facebook While leading a signature drive at his party headquarters, Mudavadi hit out at the his former coalition partner and said he was managing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as if it was his personal project 

          Speaking in the event, the ANC party leader said there were politicians who were determined to make him join the No camp of the plebiscite 

          He explained he decided to support the handshake report because the concerns he had raised had been addressed in the document. “I know there are people who are disappointed. They wanted Mudavadi to go the No camp. This is the game they wanted to play,” he said. The politician said Raila was not happy when President Uhuru Kenyatta summoned the party leaders at State House some few week ago to discuss the document. 

          Uhuru changed tune and said amendments will be allowed to the BBI after meeting key party leaders three weeks ago. The top party leaders led by Raila Mudavadi, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and KANU secretary general Nick Salat who was in the meeting on behalf of Senator Gideon Moi discussed the handshake the report and aired their reservations. It is during the convention that the head of state agreed to accommodate dissenting views in the handshake report before it is presented to county assemblies. 

          Deputy President William Ruto also changed his mind on the BBI and is now endorsing it. 

          Mike Sonko: Court stops county assembly from debating impeachment motion against governor 

          Reprieve for embattled Nairobi governor Mike Sonko after the Employment and Labour Court put on hold his impeachment debate. Justice Nzioki wa Makau issued conservatory orders on Tuesday, December 1, barring the county ward representatives from proceeding with the planned ouster motion. The governor had moved to court to challenge the motion which was tabled by Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada on Thursday, November 26. In the ruling, Makau granted Sonko his prayers until the case is heard and determined. 

           

          Lewis Hamilton tests positive for Covid-19, set to miss Sakhir GP

          • His team, Mercedes, said the Briton woke with mild symptoms on Monday and returned a positive result at a subsequent test and again at a retest.

          • Hamilton, who is new self-isolating, won the Bahrain Grand Prix at the same circuit on Sunday.

          Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton smiles in a past news conference

          Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain after testing positive for coronavirus.

          His team, Mercedes, said the Briton woke with mild symptoms on Monday and returned a positive result at a subsequent test and again at a retest.

          Hamilton, who is new self-isolating, won the Bahrain Grand Prix at the same circuit on Sunday.

          Mercedes said a replacement will be named in due course.

          Thika SDA church split over affair between pastor, elder’s wife

          •EKUC President Pastor Samuel Makori has refuted the allegations by the elders, saying the said pastor is no longer serving because his contract was not renewed.

          •Makori told the Star that in the SDA church each level of the church does its work and so when this issue was brought to the office in early March, the alleged elder’s wife was called into the office and she denied ever having an affair.

          A sex scandal at the Thika SDA church is as the centre of a wrangle pitting 131 elders drawn from the larger central region against their regional leaders.

          The elders have accused the leadership of the East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC) of not taking appropriate action when the scandal was reported to them.

          However, EKUC President Pastor Samuel Makori has refuted the allegations by the elders, saying the said pastor is no longer serving because his contract was not renewed.

          Makori told the Star that in the SDA church each level of the church does its work and so when this issue was brought to the office in early March, the alleged elder’s wife was called into the office and she denied ever having an affair.

          However, Makori says when she was called back she confessed to the affair with the pastor.

          Makori says the woman was lied to that if she agreed that she had an affair with the pastor her husband will take her back.

          “With that manipulation she wrote a letter to us saying it’s true that she had an affair but she did not specify what kind of relationship they had,” Makori said.

          Makori says the matter is ‘church politics’ and as a leadership they are ready to defend the decision they took in the matter.

          He claims that upon cross examination the woman had inconsistencies in her statement saying that in an earlier statement she said they used to meet in the pastor’s car but later said they met in his house.

          Makori says the husband brought to them an audio clip alleged to be of the pastor with his wife however he was not able to tell the source of the clip.

          But the 131 elders have insisted that the EUKC leadership are yet to take action against the pastor as has been alleged by Makori.

          The wrangles have now spilled to court with the elders seeking to remove seven officials from the office for not adhering to the church policy.

          Through Lawyer Danstan Omari, the elders say they will move to court to challenge decision by the SDA Central Kenya Conference (CKC) and the East Kenya Union Conference (EKUC) not to discipline the man of God according to the church policy.

          Alfred Omwando, their District Secretary, said as the elders of the church they wanted to defend the image of the church and that will only occur if all the current officials are removed for gross violation of the church manual.

          They faulted the leadership for not taking disciplinary action against the pastor even though they have “overwhelming evidence”.

          Elder Ezekiel Kurunye, while addressing the congregation at Thika Central SDA church, said they have M-Pesa statements showing the pastor had sent money to the elder’s wife for over two years.

          The wife had also confirmed to having an affair with the pastor and so the local church took action against him by removing him from active duty due to the act he committed.

          On reaching out to the alleged pastor and he referred us to his lawyer Kirimi Mbobua who said they will not comment on the matter because it will be subjudice even though they do not have a court order now.

          The News Brief: Karua, Kivutha replace Ruto in anti-BBI campaign

          Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana are becoming the face of the ‘No’ campaign against the proposed BBI referendum. The two have teamed up with civil society players including David Ndii, Boniface Mwangi and Jerotich Seii to oppose the proposed changes under the umbrella ‘Linda Katiba’.

          This comes at a time when Deputy President William Ruto who was seen as the most likely leader of the ‘No’ campaign took a step back. Ruto has insisted that the country can go into a non-contested referendum though which he says some of his political opponents seek to use to play catch up in the 2022 race. Ruto is expected to meet various people for consultations this week before announcing the way-forward.

           

          Kivutha Kibwana moves to Supreme Court to challenge BBI process 

          – Kibwana sought an advisory on whether a bill containing a proposed amendment should only be limited to a single issue of the constitution – The county boss stated that limiting the amendment to one issue makes it easier for the public to understand which issue is supposed to be amended The governor also sought an advisory on whether state or public officers can use public resources to finance and seek support to amend the constitution 

          Kibwana sought an advisory on whether a bill containing a proposed amendment should only be limited to a single issue of the constitution. Photo: Nation

          Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana has moved to Supreme Court seeking an advisory on the proposed constitutional amendment through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). 

          Kibwana sought an advisory on whether a bill containing a proposed amendment should only be limited to a single issue of the constitution 

          In a statement released on Monday, November 30, the governor argued that the constitution expects that a bill to amend it should be limited to only one issue to ensure the authority to amend the constitution is not abused to replace or overhaul it. 

          The county boss also stated that limiting the amendment to one issue makes it easier for the public to understand which issue is supposed to be amended. “It will be easier for the public to understand what issue is proposed to be amended and for the people to freely exercise their will on whether to support the amendment without being confused about having to choose between too many issues,” read the statement in part.

           

          Image

          Image

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          Governor Kivutha argued that one issue will make it easy for county governments that are tasked with facilitating civic education and public participation to formally and adequately inform them what is proposed to be amended. Kibwana said the BBI for instance has proposed the amendment of 78 different issues that affect at least 13 of the 18 chapters of the constitution. He said many issues presented will confuse the public in exercising free will during the proposed referendum and is likely to result in our constitution that totally lacks in internal coherence 

          Use of government resources Kibwana also sought an advisory on whether national or county government or state or public officers acting in their official capacities can use public resources to finance and seek support to amend the constitution. Kibwana said by the state officials using government resources to drum support for the BBI, then it will be unfair for people opposing the report and don’t have access to such resources. Kibwana added that allowing public officers to use state resources to make constitutional changes will result in significant wastage of public funds. As previously reported, the Makueni boss has also lately been a strong critic of the constitutional amendment report. In subsequent posts, the professor of law-trained his guns on proponents of the BBI report led by Raila who he accused of hijacking the process. 

          Kibwana who has announced his interest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022 vowed to join other Kenyans in opposing the amendments during the referendum. 

          Kivutha Kibwana
          @governorkibwana

          @KLM_VUMA @JubileePartyK @TheODMparty If the JUBILEE-ODM govt. does not facilitate a genuine national conversation on the proposed BBI law changes, I WILL BE ONE AMONG MILLIONS OF KENYANS who oppose Handshake Constitution. Constitution 2010 must be saved and implemented fully.

          Governor Sonko banks on 80 MCAs ahead of his impeachment motion 

          The MCAs claimed the 86 signatures appended to support Governor Mike Sonko’s impeachment were obtained irregularly – Nominated MCA Silvia Museiya said a few signatures were collected through coercion and intimidation while the rest were picked from a Kamkunji meeting held two weeks ago – The ward reps signed affidavits against the said signatures and warned against being forced to impeach the governor – Sonko’s impeachment motion is slated for Thursday, November 14 

          Governor Sonko banks on 80 MCAs ahead of his impeachment motion

          Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is banking on 80 MCAs to stop an impeachment motion against him. Photo: Mike Sonko. Source: Facebook The ward reps drawn from both Jubilee and the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition said they were opposed to the censure motion against the embattled Jubilee county boss. 

          Kamkunji signatures The county leaders who addressed the media in Nairobi on Monday, November 31, amidst disruption from police officers claimed the purported 86 signatures appended to support Sonko’s impeachment were obtained from an attendance list for Kamkunji meeting held two weeks ago. 

          Nominated MCA Silvia Museiya said only a few signatures were collected through coercion and intimidation. “We are here to make it clear that the signatures that they purported to have collected were not true because they were collected from a Kamkunji meeting held two weeks ago,” Sylvia alleged. They vowed to shoot down the motion that was tabled by Emkakasi MCA Michael Ogada. Call for truce The MCAs called on President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to dialogue with Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over the budget stalemate in the county. According to the MCAs, the budget wrangles that have delayed funding of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) was being wrongly used as a basis for impeaching the governor. 

          ”The Nairobi Regional Police Commander should stop taking orders from Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo who lied to the President that Hon. MCA’s have appended 86 signatures on my impeachment motion. We will not allow that!” Said Sonko.

          Waithaka MCA Anthony Karanja said it was important for the two leaders to intervene and solve the dispute amicably to allow service delivery and other crucial county operations to continue. 

          “Let the President and the former prime minister lead talks that will help bring this issue to an end,” Karanja said. The 82 ward reps further signed affidavits against the purported signatures and warned against being forced to impeach the governor. ”We are here to say that we fully behind Governor Sonko and the NMS. We do not oppose NMS but all we want respect to the rule of law,” Karanja added. 

          Sigh of relief The impeachment motion prompted by the governor’s refusal to sign the 2020/2021 appropriation bill was tabled by Embakasi ward MCA Michael Ogada. Ogada accused the county boss of gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office, gross misconduct and other related charges. Sonko allied MCAs, however, dismissed the charges and insisted the censure motion emanated from the budget-making process which some ‘cartels’ wanted to arm-twist him to sign illegal transactions. “The biggest contention is the budget that was passed recently and it is a budget which did not have our input and that of the governor,” Karanja said 

          The new move could serve as a sigh of relief to the governor who was also present at the private residence where the press conference was held. To impeach him, at least 82 out of the 122 MCAs must vote in favour of the motion, meaning if 40 MCAs rally behind him he will escape the onslaught. 

          Saboti MP Caleb Hamisi beaten, chased away by irate youth 

          Saboti Member of Parliament Caleb Hamisi has been beaten and chased away by irate youth in his constituency over alleged non performance. 

          Saboti MP Caleb Hamisi beaten, chased away by irate youth

          The Orange Democratic Movement legislator in a video seen by DBN could be seen lashing out at a group of youth after the ordeal saying he could not understand why they waylaid him yet he was in the constituency to launch an administration complex at Masinde Muliro Secondary School. 

          You mean I cannot come here to launch projects peacefully without interference by the youth? When my term is over and I have not achieved anything…you are the ones who will tell me I haven’t done anything and yet when I come here to open a school you create chaotic scenes…you have beaten and injured me in the process,” the angry MP lamented in a 1.33 minutes clip posted by a Facebook page dubbed NorthRift News. 

          https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=862454041223209

          Hamisi said he had reported the matter to the concerned authorities. “I am a Member of Parliament and I am being chased away from my own constituency…what is this?…That Caleb has been injured by his own people… meaning my own constituents do not want me.. There is one youthful man named Ifrah whom I have been helping in my office but he comes here to incite you…I have reported the matter to the police,” he said. 

          Agriculture ministry headquarters closed over rising Covid cases

          •According to a notice sent by Agriculture CS Peter Munya, the offices and facilities within the compound have been closed for two weeks with effect from December 1.

          •”This is due to a significant rise in Covid-19 infections among the staff at the building,” read the notice.

          Agriculture CS Peter Munya.

          Kilimo house, the headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture, has been closed following a rise in Covid-19 cases.

          According to a notice sent by Agriculture CS Peter Munya, the offices and facilities within the compound have been closed for two weeks with effect from December 1.

          “This is due to a significant rise in Covid-19 infections among the staff at the building,” read the notice.

          Munya has directed all staff members to work from home until December 15 during which time fumigation and other relevant safety measures will be taken.

           

          1.5 million signatures collected so far – BBI secretariat

          •The team on Monday said it expects to hit two million signatures by close of business today.

          •The exercise is expected to end on Thursday

          The BBI secretariat has said it has so far collected 1.5 million signatures. 

          The team on Monday said it expects to hit two million signatures by close of business today.

          The exercise is expected to end on Thursday.

          The 1.5 million signatures include those collected through the online app.

          “This is a civic duty, not political event. No citizen should be left behind,” secretariat co-chair Junet Mohamed said.

          One million signatures of registered voters are required to back the draft constitutional amendment Bill.

          President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga launched the signature collection last Wednesday. 

          The BBI secretariat is racing against time to have the signatures by Thursday.

          “Latest, by Thursday we should be done,” Junet said.

          According to the action plan, the secretariat is expected to submit the signatures and the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2020 to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on December 9 for verification.

          The Constitution says that if IEBC is satisfied with the signatures, it will submit the draft Bill to each county assembly for consideration within three months after the date it was submitted.

          “If a county assembly approves the draft Bill within three months after the date it was submitted by the commission, the speaker of the county assembly shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it,” Article 257(6) states.

          If the Bill is approved by a majority of the 47 assemblies -at least 24- it shall be introduced in Parliament without immediately.

          The Bill is passed if it is supported by a majority of members in both the Senate and the National Assembly and submitted to the President for assent.

          However, because the amendment Bill touches on the supremacy of the 2010 Constitution and also seeks to alter Parliament and devolution, it will have to be subjected to referendum.

          Mudavadi: Powerful forces wanted me to say no to BBI process

          • When you raise concerns and then they are addressed, do not look for other reasons to cause trouble
          • I saw no need of opposing the Bill since my demands had been adequately addressed in the final document
          • ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi.
          • ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi has claimed that there were forces hell bent on having him take a “N0” position on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2020.

            Without giving names, Mudavadi said some powerful politicians wanted him to oppose the Bill after President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the signature collection drive alongside ODM leader Raila Odinga last week.

            He however said he saw no need of opposing the Bill since his demands had been adequately addressed in the final document.

          • “There are people who are very mad at me because they wanted be to say No to the Bill. There was no reason for me to say no since the concerns I had raised at Bomas of Kenya had been addressed,” he explained.

            Speaking during the launch of the party’s signature collection drive, Mudavadi regretted that there were political leaders who look for every excuse to get into a fight.

            “We should not be spoiling for a fight all the times. When you raise concerns and then they are addressed, do not look for other reasons to cause trouble,” he said.

            He added: “There are people who have been going round saying a referendum votes would not be sweet if there is no one opposing the process”

            Present during the function held at party headquarters in Nairobi were senators Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) and Petronilla Were (Nominated) and MPs Ayub Savula (Lugari), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale) Sawa Tandaza (Matuga), Chris Aseka (Khwisero), Oku Kaunya (Teso North) and Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga County).

            Malala asked Deputy President William Ruto to come clear on whether he supports or opposes the he Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2020.

            “It is sad that some senior government officials have not come to declare their full support for the process,” he stated.

          • He said ANC needs to know the position of the Deputy President since it need to know if the second in command will be incorporated in its plans to drum up support for the process.

            “The Deputy President is a scientist but he is taking too long too read and understand the document. Kenyans want to know which side he is on,” he stated.

            ANC will conduct its signature recruitment drive this week and then embark on civic education from Monday.

            “We will have a semi-autonomous secretariat which will oversee civic education across the country. We will be reaching out to our supporters to tell them why they should support BBI,” he explained.

            He appealed to the government to produce as many copies of the Bill as possible to be distributed to Kenyans. “Government printer should move with speed and produce enough copies for civic education,” he added.

            Aseka said the focus of the party would be to ensure people fully understand the contents of the Bill.

            Mudavadi added that the government will save money if the referendum is less contested. “The money that would have gone to tighten the security in a hotly contested referendum will be saved,” he explained.

            He added “That money can be directed towards the fight against Covid-19 pandemic”

            Sakwa said Kenyans should vote in good leaders even with the passing of BBI come 2022.

            “It will be very sad if we have very good laws but a very bad leadership,” he added.

          Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko arrested

           Police officers stormed Mike Sonko’s meeting with MCAs at Office Park, 14 Riverside Drive and lobbed teargas – The governor was meeting ward reps allied to him at the home of tycoon Paul Kobia – The county boss, who is also facing impeachment, was later released after the drama 

          Mike Sonko was briefly arrested on Monday, November 30.

          Reports indicate the vocal county boss was detained briefly then released on the afternoon of Monday, November 30, while holding a meeting with a section of Members of County Assembly (MCA). Police officers disrupted the meeting and lobbed teargas at the governor and the ward reps who were set to hold a press briefing. 

          The governor, who is also facing impeachment, is said to have been apprehended at Office Park, 14 Riverside Drive during the meeting which was taking place at the home of tycoon Paul Kobia. 

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          Kenya Power worried as Kenyans shift to cheaper and reliable solar, renewable energy 

          Kenya Power is alarmed by the reduction of power consumption among its key industrial customers opting for much cheaper energy 

          KPLC.

          The power distributor in its annual report said about 54.8 % of revenue from the industrial users was on the downward trend as they shift to solar energy. The Business Daily reported that the company generated KSh 63 billion from industrial customers which accounted for 45% of its total revenue.

          Firms with own solar plants 

          “The dampened demand growth is further compounded with the increased threats of grid defection by the industrial category as decentralised renewable energy options are becoming more available and cheaper,” it stated. 

          Business Daily.

          Some of the former power consumers who have since installed own-generated solar energy are Africa Logistics Properties, Mombasa International Airport and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE).

          Female teacher, hubby excite Kenyans with video of themselves cooking chapo together 

          Female teacher, hubby excite Kenyans with video of themselves cooking chapo together

          A lot of women often say they would consider themselves lucky if they ever got a man who was willing to help with the house chores. Irene Cherop, a teacher, got this and more. She was blessed with a man who saw the value of helping out in the kitchen. The mum and proud wife shared a video of herself and her husband busy at the sitting room preparing some mouthwatering chapatis.

          A lot of women often say they would consider themselves lucky if they ever got a man who was willing to help with the house chores. Irene Cherop, a teacher, got this and more. She was blessed with a man who saw the value of helping out in the kitchen. The mum and proud wife shared a video of herself and her husband busy at the sitting room preparing some mouthwatering chapatis.

          Local firm approved to produce Covid syringes globally

          •On Thursday, Nigeria became the first country to receive the auto-disable syringes from the Kenyan firm based in Kilifi county.

          •Revital Healthcare sales director Roneek Vora said the company produces four million immunization syringes a month.

          Revital Healthcare sales director Roneek Vora at the freight terminal of Moi International Airport in Mombasa on Wednesday

          A Kenyan firm has put the country on the global map in the fight against Covid-19 after it became the only company in Africa licensed to produce Covid-19 vaccine syringes.

          Revital Healthcare (EPZ) Limited is one of only six firms in the world approved by the World Health Organization to produce the specialized syringes.

          On Thursday, Nigeria became the first country to receive the auto-disable syringes.

          Auto-disable syringes are those that can only be used once. They are automatically disabled once used.

          The first shipment of 800,000 pieces of the syringes worth Sh4 million to Lagos, Nigeria, left Moi International Airport in Mombasa on Wednesday at 5pm aboard Ethiopian Airlines.

          The syringes will be used for Sputnik V, the first officially registered Covid-19 vaccine, which Nigeria received from Russia.

          Speaking on phone on Saturday, Revital Healthcare sales director Roneek Vora said the company produces four million immunisation syringes a month, among a range of other medical products.

          Because of the expertise and experience in production of immunisation syringes, the WHO granted Revital Healthcare the license to produce and sell WHO PQS-certified syringes, including fixed dose immunisation syringes 0.5ml, 2ml, 3ml and various other sizes.

          “This approval made the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approach us last month to pre-plan for the vaccine syringes.

           “The foundation has partnered with us so as to mass-produce the vaccines syringes for them,” Vora said.
           
          Revital Healthcare has been manufacturing 14 medical disposable products, including

          immunisation syringes, auto-disable syringes, Covid-19 testing kits, PPE kits and surgical face masks for the last 12 years.

          They have been supplying the products to 14 African countries including six government agencies.

          The countries include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi.

          “In the 12 years that we have been in production, we have not received enquiries from outside Africa.

          “But now, after the WHO license, we are getting enquiries from UK, the US, Brazil, Canada, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, among other countries,” Vora said.

          Vora said for the first time they have exported face masks to the UK, showing the confidence other countries now have in the firm.

          “This is largely because President Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda has empowered us and now we would encourage Kenyan firms to help promote local products through the ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ initiative,” Vora said.

          Revital Healthcare located in Kilifi county has employed over 400 locals, majority of whom are women.

          The manufacturer has offered to equip all the 47 counties with Covid-19 test kits, which can test at least 1,000 samples a day.

          “The machines will be give for free, provided that 25,000 kits are purchased for VTM (Viral Transport Medium) for extraction and transportation,” Vora said.

           

          “This approval made the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation approach us last month to pre-plan for the vaccine syringes.

           

          “The foundation has partnered with us so as to mass-produce the vaccines syringes for them,” Vora said.

           

          Revital Healthcare has been manufacturing 14 medical disposable products, including immunisation syringes, auto-disable syringes, Covid-19 testing kits, PPE kits and surgical face masks for the last 12 years.

          They have been supplying the products to 14 African countries including six government agencies.

          The countries include Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Madagascar, Mozambique and Malawi.

          “In the 12 years that we have been in production, we have not received enquiries from outside Africa.

          “But now, after the WHO license, we are getting enquiries from UK, the US, Brazil, Canada, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, among other countries,” Vora said.

          Vora said for the first time they have exported face masks to the UK, showing the confidence other countries now have in the firm.

          “This is largely because President Uhuru’s Big Four Agenda has empowered us and now we would encourage Kenyan firms to help promote local products through the ‘Buy Kenya, Build Kenya’ initiative,” Vora said.

          Revital Healthcare located in Kilifi county has employed over 400 locals, majority of whom are women.

          The manufacturer has offered to equip all the 47 counties with Covid-19 test kits, which can test at least 1,000 samples a day.

          “The machines will be give for free, provided that 25,000 kits are purchased for VTM (Viral Transport Medium) for extraction and transportation,” Vora said.

          Why Kilifi is struggling to tame teen pregnancies

          The teenage pregnancy rate in Kilifi remains stubbornly high, despite efforts by various stakeholders to find solutions. Thousands of schoolgirls fall pregnant every year. 

          While an estimated 18.4 per cent of girls ages 15-19 across Kenya have begun childbearing, in Kilifi the rate is higher, at 21.8 per cent, with girls more vulnerable this year as they stay out of school due to the pandemic.

          To fight this worrying trend, a group of youth from Mariakani are running mentorship and education programmes.

          Mary Kazungu, 26, says they did a survey that found many girls fall victim to teenage pregnancy due to lack of sanitary pads. The study was done in conjunction with Kilifi Citizen Forum and Bunge la Mwananchi Sauti ya Wanawake. 

          The survey also found that boda boda operators, often suspected of preying on girls, are not necessarily the cause of teenage pregnancies.

          “Boda boda operators told us they are just messengers who are sent to pick girls from one point to a certain destination. There are several cases at the police station, which we followed up,” Kazungu says.

          The youth champion said among the cases is a father who impregnated his daughter. “After being questioned, he seemed unworried about ‘eating his own honey’,” she says.

           
           
           

          To fight this worrying trend, a group of youth from Mariakani are running mentorship and education programmes.

          Mary Kazungu, 26, says they did a survey that found many girls fall victim to teenage pregnancy due to lack of sanitary pads. The study was done in conjunction with Kilifi Citizen Forum and Bunge la Mwananchi Sauti ya Wanawake. 

          The survey also found that boda boda operators, often suspected of preying on girls, are not necessarily the cause of teenage pregnancies.

          “Boda boda operators told us they are just messengers who are sent to pick girls from one point to a certain destination. There are several cases at the police station, which we followed up,” Kazungu says.

          The youth champion said among the cases is a father who impregnated his daughter. “After being questioned, he seemed unworried about ‘eating his own honey’,” she says.

           
           
           
           

          How people get conned at Luthuli Avenue

          It's business as usual on Luthuli Avenue

          • Crime on the street has evolved from simple tricks by con-artists to outright violence

          Nairobi’s Luthuli Avenue has a spacious new look after a facelift completed by the county government in 2019. It seems, though, that old habits die hard on the street that was once Kenya’s leading source of household electronics.

          Any lucrative business is bound to attract characters who wish to reap where they did not sow. Criminal behaviour in the consumer electronics business at Luthuli Avenue has evolved from simple tricks by con-artists to outright violence, as a recent case shows. Three electronics traders from a shop located on the street are facing assault charges for allegedly beating up two customers who had demanded a refund of money they had paid for a television.

          Lucy Muoki is among many Luthuli Avenue victims. Lucy went into town one weekend, hoping to buy a flat screen TV she had seen before and for which she had been saving. She got into the shop, found the TV she wanted, negotiated the price and paid. That’s when drama started.

          “First, the shop attendants demanded I buy a digital TV decoder. I told them I already had a decoder at home and that I did not need a new one, but they forced me to buy it,” Lucy recalls. The ordeal was not over as the attendants demanded additional money for what they called, “licence fees” that every TV must have. In reality, the government abolished licence fees for personal TVs and radios many years ago.

          “We argued and I told them they were being dishonest. They refused to refund my money,” says Lucy. In the end, she was forced to pay for things she did not need in order to leave with the TV. Lucy wishes she had gone to a supermarket to buy the TV. “You can’t negotiate prices in a supermarket but at least you don’t get conned,” she says.

          The latest criminal case involving Luthuli Avenue traders has encouraged many people to speak up online. The stories include being forced to take an inferior item after paying for a high quality brand, being falsely accused of breaking an item in the shop, and being forced to pay for accessories that should be free. A common trick is to switch items during packaging. The consumer gets home to find either a broken electronic item or something of inferior quality. Some people have claimed they were threatened with violence for returning defective items to the shops.

          Gray Kassich, an IT expert in Nairobi, says he prefers buying electronics from supermarkets or brand dealerships to avoid getting conned. “Luthuli Avenue has been like that for many years,” he says. Other stress-free sources of electronics include credible e-commerce websites, but one has to watch out for fake sites operating on social media.

          All in all, consumers should have realistic expectations of what they can afford. It is best to check around to get an average price for the desired item. If you find a shop where the price is too low, it’s probably not the real price for the item.

          ‘Obama’s secretary’: Biden announces all-female senior press team

          President-elect Joe Biden addressing the Nation./FILE

          •Jen Psaki, who was President Barack Obama’s White House communications director, will be press secretary.

          •Mr Biden has promised to build a diverse administration that reflects the country

          US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed an all-female senior press team, in what his office claims is a first in the country’s history.

          The team will be led by Kate Bedingfield, former deputy campaign communications director for Biden.

          Jen Psaki, who was President Barack Obama’s White House communications director, will be press secretary.

          Biden has promised to build a diverse administration that reflects the country.

          “I am proud to announce today the first senior White House communications team comprised entirely of women,” Biden said in a statement.

          “These qualified, experienced communicators bring diverse perspectives to their work and a shared commitment to building this country back better.”

          The two top press aides to Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will be Symone Sanders and Ashley Etienne.

          Unlike cabinet positions, the press office does not require Senate confirmation.

          Following his election win, Biden has been unveiling his first choices for top cabinet positions.

          Last week, he said his selection is “a team that reflects the fact that America is back”. He added that his team would keep the country “safe and secure” while leading the world.

          Claudio Fernandez: Morgue worker who took selfie with Maradona’s lifeless body apologises 

          Claudio Fernandez: Morgue worker who took selfie with Maradona's lifeless body apologises

          Claudio Fernandez, an Argentine morgue attendant who took a selfie with Diego Maradona’s body has asked for forgiveness.The funeral attendant blamed the “disrespectful” and “offensive” actions on his son, claiming it was him who took the photos. Photo by Mariano Gabriel Sanchez. Source: Getty Images. 

          Uhuru free to run for 3rd term if BBI passes, Francis Atwoli says 

          The Central Organisation of Trade Union (COTU) secretary general Francis Atwoli has endorsed President Uhuru Kenyatta for 2022 presidential election. 

          COTU.

          COTU boss Atwoli hinted Uhuru may run for presidency again. Speaking in Kisumu on Friday, November 27, the trade unionist stated that nothing would stop Uhuru from seeking another term once the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill is passed. “Unless the president feels he has done enough, he is tired and wants to go home and rest, nothing stops him from vying again in 2022 after passing these amendments,” he said. 

          While rallying workers across the country not be dissuaded into rejecting the BBI report, he reminded them the document had amendments which will seek to address some of their challenges.

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          Retired Army General John Koech is dead 

          Former Vice Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General (Rtd) John Koech. Photo: Standard.

          Lt. Gen (Rtd.) Koech died on Sunday, November 29, while receiving treatment at the Nairobi Hospital – Koech will be remembered for serving the country in various spheres including military, politics and agriculture – The General served as the Army Commandant during President Mwai Kibaki’s reign – Between 2004 and 2005, the deceased served as a commandant of the National Defence College.After he retired from the military, he became the face of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) party supported Railas’s presidential quest in 2007. In 2008, he unsuccessfully sought ODM nomination to contest for the Ainamoi parliamentary seat by-election when the then Member of Parliament David Too was killed. In 2013, he was also floored by Charles Keter in his quest to serve as the Kericho senator. 

          COVID-19: Kenya records 413 new cases, 396 recoveries and 12 deaths

          COVID-19: Kenya records 413 new cases, 396 recoveries and 12 deaths
          FILE PHOTO: Kenyan ministry of health medical workers prepare to take swabs from truck drivers during a testing for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the Namanga one stop border crossing point between Kenya and Tanzania, in Namanga, Kenya May 12, 2020. 
          The Ministry Of Health on Monday said 413 people tested positive for COVID-19 from a sample size of 3,489 tested in the last 24 hours, bringing to 77,785 the total number of confirmed infections in Kenya.

          From the cases 399 are Kenyans and 14 are foreigners; 254 are males and 159 females, while the youngest is a five-year-old child and the oldest is 99.

          Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, in a statement to newsrooms, said 396 patients recovered from the coronavirus – 326 from the Home Based Care Program while 70 were discharged from various hospitals – taking the total recoveries to 51,903.

          CS Kagwe however also stated that 12 patients succumbed to the disease, bringing the cumulative fatalities to 1,392.

          “Currently there are 1,182 patients admitted in various health facilities countrywide, while 7,142 are on Home Based Isolation and Care. 52 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), 32 of whom are on ventilatory support, and 16 on supplemental oxygen, read the statement.

          “Another 86 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen out of whom 74 are in the general wards and 12 are in the High Dependency Unit (HDU).”

          Distribution of the cases by counties is as follows; Nairobi 229, Mombasa 46, Kiambu 22, Busia 18, Uasin Gishu 15, Kajiado 12, Machakos 12, Murang’a 9, Meru 9, Kisii 9, Kilifi 6, Nyeri 4, Kirinyaga 4, Embu 3, Kisumu 3, Laikipia 3, Kericho 2, Marsabit 2, Homabay 1, Elgeyo Marakwet 1, Nakuru 1, Kakamega 1 and Kitui 1.

          The 229 cases in Nairobi are from Lang’ata (29), Westlands (17), Embakasi West (16), Dagoretti North (15), Embakasi South and Kasarani (14) cases each, Kibra (13), Embakasi East and Makadara (12) cases each, Dagoretti South, Embakasi Central, Kamukunji, Mathare, Roysambu, Ruaraka and Starehe (11) cases each, Embakasi North (10).

          In Mombasa, the 46 cases are from Mvita (15), Jomvu (13), Nyali (8), Kisauni and Likoni (4) cases each, Changamwe (2). In Kiambu the 22 cases are from Thika (7), Kiambu Town and Kikuyu (5) cases each, Juja and Ruiru (2) cases each, Kiambaa (1).

          In Busia, the 18 cases are from Teso North (10), Matayos and Teso South (4) cases each. In Uasin Gishu, the 15 cases are from Ainabkoi (6), Turbo (5), Kesses (2), Kapseret and Moiben (1) case each. In Kajiado, the 12 cases are from Kajiado East (7) and Kajiado North (5).

          In Machakos, the 12 cases are from Machakos Town (7) and Athi River (5). In Murang’a, all the 9 cases are from Mathioya. In Meru, the 9 cases are from Imenti North (6) and Imenti South (3), while in Kisii, the 9 cases are from Bobasi and Kitutu Chache South (4) cases each, Bonchari (1).

          In Kilifi, the 6 cases are from Malindi (4) and Kaloleni (2). In Nyeri, the 4 cases are from Nyeri Central (3) and Mathira East (1). In Kirinyaga, the 4 cases are from Kirinyaga Central and Kirinyaga East (2) cases each.

          The 3 cases in Embu, are from Manyatta (2) and Mbeere South (1), all the 3 cases in Kisumu are from Kisumu Central, while all the 3 cases in Laikipia, are from Laikipia West. In Kericho, all the 2 cases are from Ainamoi, while in Marsabit all the 2 cases are from Saku.

          The case in Homabay, is from Rachuonyo South, the case in Elgeyo Marakwet, is from Keiyo North, the case in Nakuru, is from Nakuru East, the case in Kakamega, is from Butere and the case in Kitui, is from Kitui Central.

          Nairobi MCAs table motion to impeach Governor Mike Sonko’

          Tough times lie ahead for Nairobi governor Mike Sonko after the county assembly formally begun the process of impeaching him. The motion was tabled by Embakasi MCA Michael Ogada who is also the minority party leader in the assembly. The MCAs are accusing Sonko of holding the county at ransom, failing to appoint a deputy and his refusal to sign the Appropriation bill 2020/2021. Minority leader and embakasi MCA Michale Ogada, who moved the motion on Thursday, also cited gross violation of the Constitution, incompetency and inability to lead effectively. The MCAs further accused Sonko of being unable to control Nairobi’s debts and clear pending bills, gross misconduct and bringing the office of the governor to disrepute. “Sonko has however proved to members that he is not a manager, so he has to go,” Ogada added. Last week, governor Sonko said that he is not afraid of being impeached, vowing not to sign into law the budget which he says is illegal.

          “I can not sign something I know is illegal, the law must be followed in everything we do,” Sonko stated. This is the second attempt by the assembly to impeach the embattled Govenor after the first attempt early this year hit a dead end. This is after the court barred the assembly from executing an impeachment plan against him. Sonko has insisted that their is no legal framework through which the county can fund the NMS. Some MCAs however feel that he is out to frustrate the agency. 

          DCI reopens post election violence cases as victims claim new threats

          DCI reopens post election violence cases as victims claim new threats
          DCI George Kinoti addresses the press on November 23, 2020 on the reopening of the 2007/2008 PEV cases. PHOTO : COURTESY

          The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has reopened the lid into the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence (PEV) cases following claims by victims of new threats against their lives.

          DCI boss George Kinoti, speaking on Monday, sought to assure the public that perpetrators of the chaos will be charged locally upon the conclusion of investigations.

          Kinoti said they have received reports of ongoing ethnic profiling in certain regions of the country, vowing that the security apparatus is adopting a proactive approach to handle such cases.

          The DCI, who addressed the press after a section of the victims recorded their statements at the headquarters on Kiambu Road, said it was important to reopen the probe due to the atrocities that were witnessed such as Kiambaa church where several people were burnt to death.

          “We have registered around 72 cases from those whose wives, husbands, children were killed…We have recorded cases of some who were driven out of their homes…We have 118 cases in total registered today with complainants and witnesses,” he said.

          “I do not want to regionalize cases by stating the regions from where those who have registered the cases come from…As DCI, we are welcoming all Kenyans afflicted by this problem.”

          He added: “Tutaungana na ndugu zetu wa Administration police na Police service…We are going to the field and very soon you will see action.”

          DCI Kinoti further urged all victims and witnesses of the chaos to come forward and record their statements, saying they will go after the truth without fear regardless of where that path leads them.

          Woman who hosted 44 children at house party detained for 7 days

          Woman who hosted 44 children at house party detained for 7 days

          Millicent Kithinji, the host of 44 children arrested at a house party in Nairobi’s Mountain View Estate, was on Monday detained for 7 days pending probe completion.

          Ms Kithinji was arraigned and detained alongside three other suspects namely David Kibe Wambui, George Kamau Muthoni, and Michael Murega.

          The prosecution told the court that the teenagers were involved in pornography and drugs in the presence of the four suspects.

          The court heard that Kibe and Kamau, who are businessmen in Mountain View area, were involved in the supply of drugs and alcohol to the teenagers.

          The suspects will be remanded at Kabete Police station.

          They were arrested on Sunday in Kithinji’s house where 44 kids – including 26 boys and 18 girls aged between 14 and 17 years – were found.

          In a statement after the arrests, DCI detectives said various alcohol brands – whisky and vodka – and bhang were recovered.

          NMS Medical Services Deputy Director to be charged with child trafficking

          NMS Medical Services Deputy Director to be charged with child trafficking
          File image of Milimani Law Courts. PHOTO| COURTESY
          A Nairobi court has ruled that Deputy Director of Medical Services at NMS Musa Mohammed, Makallah Fred, Selina Awour, and all social workers at Mama Lucy Hospital be charged with child trafficking offenses.

          The hospital CEO Emma Mutio, administrator Juliana Mbete, Beatrice Njambi (who is in charge of a newborn unit), and Administrative Officer Regina Musembi were however discharged by the court.

          The prosecution said that they had completed their investigations and were ready to charge the three accused persons.

          Mr. Mohammed Musa did not appear in court on Monday as his representatives said he is sick and admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

          The other suspects appeared before Milimani Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Benard Ochoi.

          One of them – Makallah – was exposed by BBC negotiating with an undercover journalist in a well-orchestrated plot to sell a child who had been abandoned at the Mama Lucy Hospital.

          Trump hopes likely to fade in key states

          as Biden marches forward with Cabinet,

          As Biden marches forward with Cabinet, Trump hopes likely to fade in key states
          U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters following an online meeting with members of the National Governors Association (NGA) executive committee in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 19, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner/File Photo

          U.S. President Donald Trump’s increasingly tenuous efforts to reverse his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden could be dealt a lethal blow on Monday, as Biden turns to the task of building his cabinet.

          Michigan is set to certify its results Monday, and Pennsylvania is likely to move a step closer to doing so.

          Trump, a Republican, lost both battleground states in the Nov. 3 election, but he has refused to concede defeat and has, instead, launched a legal battle to overturn the results there and in other close races across the country.

          Trump’s hopes of preventing the Democrat Biden from taking office on Jan. 20 likely will be doomed if Michigan and Pennsylvania certify their results, confirming Biden as the winner of a combined 36 electoral votes. Biden won 306 electoral votes, 36 over the 270 threshold needed to win the White House.

          It remains unclear whether the process in Michigan will work as state law dictates. Michigan’s canvassing board, which is evenly split between two Democrats and two Republicans, will meet on Monday to decide whether to certify the results.

          Biden defeated Trump in Michigan by more than 150,000 votes, and the board is required by law to validate the count.

          But a Republican member of the board, Norman Shinkle, has suggested in recent media interviews that he favors delaying certification because of technical irregularities. Officials in one county noted irregularities that may have affected a few hundred votes, and the Trump campaign has suggested that points to widespread fraud.

          A deadlock on moving ahead with certification would likely force the matter into state appeals courts, where an order would be sought to compel the board to perform its function. If the members refused, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, has the authority to replace them.

          Monday is also the deadline in Pennsylvania for counties to report their certified tallies to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat. Boockvar likely would then certify the results on behalf of the state in a matter of days. Biden won Pennsylvania by more than 80,000 votes.

          Trump’s push to delay certification in several states has met with failure, most recently on Saturday, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit, saying it was not in the court’s power to violate the Constitution.

          BIDEN CABINET

          Biden, working in his home state of Delaware, has pushed ahead with his transition plans despite the lack of cooperation from the current administration. Ron Klain, the incoming White House chief of state, said on Sunday that Biden will announce his first Cabinet picks on Tuesday.

          Joe Biden will pick Antony Blinken as U.S. secretary of state, a person close to the president-elect’s transition said on Sunday, elevating one of his most seasoned and trusted aides as he prepares to undo Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.

          Blinken’s appointment makes another longtime Biden aide with a foreign policy background, Jake Sullivan, the top candidate to be U.S. national security adviser.

          The President-elect has chosen another veteran diplomat, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who held a top diplomatic post in the administration of former President Barack Obama, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, media reports said on Sunday.

          Biden said last week he had chosen a Treasury secretary, and would announce the winner near Thanksgiving, Nov. 26. Former Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen is said to be the top candidate.

          MORE RECOUNTS TO COME

          Meanwhile, Trump’s focus remains on his quixotic quest to overturn the election.

          Trump’s push to delay certification in several states has met with failure, most recently on Saturday, when a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a Trump campaign lawsuit, saying it was not in the court’s power to violate the Constitution.

          Ahead of Monday’s vote by Michigan’s canvassing board, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, a Trump ally, and Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox wrote a letter urging the board to conduct an audit before certification.

          Trump’s campaign has also filed a petition for another recount in Georgia, which on Friday certified results showing Biden had narrowly won that state, a longtime Republican bastion in presidential elections.

          While most Republicans continue to either publicly back Trump’s efforts or remain silent, a steadily growing chorus is imploring him to concede the election and assist with the transition to Biden’s administration.

          Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted on Sunday that “it is time to begin the full and formal transition process,” noting the courts had so far found Trump’s legal claims without merit and that the pressure campaign on state legislators “is not only unprecedented but inconsistent with our democratic process.”

          Electors in each state will convene as a so-called “Electoral College” on Dec. 14 to formally select the next president.

          KNUT threatens January strike over feud with TSC on new CBA

          KNUT threatens January strike over feud with TSC on new CBA
          File image of Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion. PHOTO| COURTESY
          Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion now says the only option left for the union in an ongoing dispute with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is industrial action to make the teachers’ views heard.

          Sossion on Sunday said KNUT will call a countrywide strike when schools reopen fully in January to get the TSC to listen.

          “It seems the only language TSC understands is a strike…we have tried all our best but the pressure from our members is too much, mgomo wetu will be the mother of all,” he said.

          The embattled Secretary General argued that the teachers’ employer has failed to engage the union in negotiations on the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that is to take effect from 2021.

          The commission has reportedly proposed a minimum 16% increment in basic salary for teachers in the proposed new CBA and has gone ahead to deposit at the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

          KNUT wanted the basic pay to be raised by between 120 per cent and 200 per cent.

          “We signed a CBA, we had a certificate but the employer decides unilaterally to suspend the CBA, blacklist the members of KNUT and deny them promotions,” added Sossion.

          He further pointed at continuous frustration by TSC. citing a massive withdrawal of members from the union’s register and failure to submit KNUT dues as a well-calculated move to frustrate the union and push it down a cliff.

          KNUT, a former giant teachers union, has in recent days lost its grip after close to 180,000 teachers apparently withdrew from the union to enjoy benefits provided under the Career Progression guidelines model of employment fronted by TSC and opposed by KNUT.

          A statement by KUPPET indicates that the union has advanced its talks with TSC over the implementation of the new CBA.

          Medvedev beats Thiem to claim ATP title

          Medvedev beats Thiem to claim ATP title

          In Summary

          • Medvedev will enter 2021 as the man most likely to make that breakthrough for the much-hyped next generation.

          Daniil Medvedev barged to the head of the queue of young pretenders as the Russian captured the biggest title of his career by beating Dominic Thiem 4-6 7-6(2) 6-4 in an absorbing climax to London’s last ATP Finals on Sunday.

          Thiem was on course to become the first Austrian to win the title, following on from his recent U.S. Open triumph, but the relentless Medvedev turned the tide to strike a blow for the new generation striving to shake up the tennis hierarchy.

          There was no big celebration as he fired an unreturnable first serve on match point to end the two hours and 42 minutes scrap, bringing the curtain down on 12 memorable years at the O2 Arena before Turin takes over as host of the tournament.

          Fittingly the London era ended as it began with a Russian winner after Nikolay Davydenko took the 2009 title.

          Sadly for an event that attracted 2.8 million fans over the years to the Thames-side arena, the finale, a vintage edition, played out in a silent arena because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

          But the millions watching on TV will have appreciated the skill of Medvedev, who became only the fourth player in ATP history to beat the world’s top three at the same tournament.

          He joins David Nalbandian (Madrid 2007), Novak Djokovic (Montreal 2007) and Boris Becker (Stockholm 1994).

          “It’s amazing,” Medvedev, who earned $1.56 million as an unbeaten champion, told reporters. “I beat Novak (in the group), Rafa in the semis and Dominic, the best players in tennis right now. It shows what I’m capable of.”

          Medvedev’s imaginative game, a blend of sledgehammer power, cunning angles and unreadable serving, proved beyond Djokovic in the group phase and then second-ranked Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s semi-final.

          The 27-year-old Thiem appeared to have mastered it but ultimately was overwhelmed.

          “I think Dominic was a little tired in the third set and to make him tired in a three-set match is tough,” Medvedev said.

          His triumph came a year after a chastening three defeats on his debut. The only other player to achieve such a drastic turnaround is Djokovic in 2008.

          After such a hot streak, including claiming this month’s Paris Masters, the Moscovite was due a dip and it arrived in the first set as he threw away a 40-0 lead on serve at 2-2, gifting Thiem a break with a double-fault.

          It proved enough for Thiem to pocket the first set and he went for the quick kill in the second as Medvedev’s usually rock-solid serve and forehand wavered.

          Thiem led 2-0 but Medvedev reeled off seven points in a row to ensure London’s farewell would go the distance.

          Thiem, who had also beaten Nadal and Djokovic this week, had spent two more hours on court than Medvedev to reach the final and his silky game began to fray.

          Medvedev stalked him with his power and accuracy and the Russian secured the vital break of serve at 2-2 with a stealthy approach and volleyed winner.

          Thiem dug in but world number four Medvedev never looked like letting his lead slip as he became the fifth successive first-time winner of the title.

          Medvedev’s peers Alexander Zverev, 23, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, 22, won the last two titles here but neither have gone on to claim a Grand Slam.

          Medvedev will enter 2021 as the man most likely to make that breakthrough for the much-hyped next generation.

          “For tennis there are exciting times coming,” Thiem said of the new vanguard. “Super important for the sport in general.”

          Detectives recover Ksh.52,000 from one of the rescued girls’ phone

           Published on:  November 23, 2020 

             Detectives recover Ksh.52,000 from one of the rescued girls' phone

          Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road. PHOTO| COURTESY

          Detectives are investigating a child trafficking syndicate targeting secondary school girls for sexual exploitation by enticing them to join modeling agencies to earn extra cash while in school.

          The six lost and found girls aged between 14 and 16 years on Sunday finally rejoined their families after two days of grilling by detectives at the DCI’s children protection unit.

          The girls, who underwent medical examination on Saturday night, are said to have opened up on the events leading to their disappearance and how they were recruited to what police believe is a child trafficking syndicate.

          A source privy to investigations told Citizen TV that one of the missing girls from Komarock had confessed that she spent the night at a house in Buruburu estate where 16 other girls were holed up in the company of four men.

          According to her statement, the other girls were picked by random men early the next day with the host who is only known by the name ‘Alex’ transferring her to Thika where she was to live in his brother’s house.

          It is in Thika where she was joined by two of her friends who were allegedly brought by ‘Alex’ for partying. One of the girls is said to have escaped from the home after she was mistreated and went to stay at a male friend’s house in Githurai area.

          Reports indicate that the girls used to shuttle from Thika to Buruburu and Kiambu to attend parties where after being served drugs and alcoholic drinks they could be recruited into stripping.

          Detectives are still on the trail of four suspects sought in relation to what was happening in those houses.

          The source intimated that during the probe, one of the girls was found with over Ksh.52,000, funds that they had contributed as a group to fund a secret trip to Malindi where they were to camp until January when schools are supposed to reopen.

          Detectives are also probing the ‘Carty Gang’, a group of nine boys who are high school students and who reside in Komarock area that is said to be actively involved in the recruitment of girls.

          This latest revelation now prompting the detectives to broaden their investigations in search of the recruiters and financiers of the illicit trade.

          DCI boss George Kinoti warned those involved in abusing children that stern legal action will be taken against them and asked parents to take a keen interest in their children’s activities at home and on social media networks.

          Two weeks after Biden named President-elect, Trump faces stinging setbacks

          Two weeks after Biden named President-elect, Trump faces stinging setbacks
          US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden. 
          Joe Biden on Saturday reached the two-week mark since becoming president-elect, with President Donald Trump stinging from back-to-back setbacks in his desperate, unprecedented bid to undo his election defeat.

          Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on Jan. 20, but Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is seeking to invalidate or overturn the results through lawsuits and recounts in a number of states, claiming – without proof – widespread voter fraud.

          That effort, which critics call an unparalleled push by a sitting president to subvert the will of voters, has met with little success. Trump’s campaign has suffered a string of legal defeats and appears to have failed to convince key fellow Republicans in states that he lost, such as Michigan, to buy into his unfounded conspiracy theories.

          Trump’s bid to cling to power appeared ever more tenuous on Friday after Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced a manual recount and audit of all ballots cast in the southern state had confirmed Biden as the winner there.

          A pair of Michigan Republican leaders delivered another blow when they declared on Friday night after a White House meeting with Trump: “We have not yet been made aware of any information that would change the outcome of the election in Michigan.”

          Trump, in his first public comments in days about the election outcome, again asserted “I won” during a White House event on lowering drug prices earlier on Friday.

          After a series of court defeats, the Trump team is resting its hopes on getting Republican-controlled legislatures in battleground states won by Biden to set aside the results and declare Trump the winner, according to three people familiar with the plan.

          It is a long-shot effort focusing on Michigan and Pennsylvania for now, but even if both those states flipped to the president he would need to overturn the vote in another state to vault ahead of Biden in the Electoral College.

          Such an event would be unprecedented in modern U.S. history. Biden, who became president-elect on Nov. 7 after his win in Pennsylvania prompted major television networks to call the election, was due to spend Saturday meeting with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and transition advisers.

          Trump will participate virtually this weekend in the last summit of the 20 biggest world economies (G20) of his term.

          Trump’s nationalistic “America First” approach has often created waves at multilateral summits like the G20, and many U.S. allies have quietly welcomed the coming change of leadership in Washington.

          Pressure for Trump to start the formal transition process has mounted, with a few more Republicans voicing doubts over his unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent voting.

          There is a “right way and a wrong way” for Trump to contest what he sees as election irregularities, Susan Collins, the Maine Senator, said in a statement. “The right way is to compile the evidence and mount legal challenges in our courts. The wrong way is to attempt to pressure state election officials.”

          The General Services Administration, run by a Trump appointee, still has not recognized Biden’s victory, preventing his team from gaining access to government office space and funding normally provided to an incoming administration.

          Critics say Trump’s refusal to concede has serious implications for national security and the fight against the coronavirus, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans.

          Shut off from government funds, Biden’s team on Friday ramped up their fundraising for the transition. Having taken in more than an initial $7 million target largely from wealthy donors, they turned to their campaign’s vast mailing list of small donors, asking – according to a fundraising note – for contributions as small as $25.

          Even as the Biden team remains unable to access resources and government experts to help assume management of the $4 trillion U.S. government on Inauguration Day, Trump officials have been making unexpected changes to programs, policies and agencies that could affect the incoming administration.

          The Treasury Department’s surprise demand that the Federal Reserve return hundreds of billions of dollars in credit designed to back loans to businesses drew a sharp response from Biden’s team on Friday, who called it “deeply irresponsible,” given the country’s accelerating COVID cases and new lockdowns.

          DCI probing cartel luring high school girls to party orgies

          DCI headquarters
          Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters in Nairobi. PHOTO| COURTESY
          Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are investigating an online cartel that has allegedly been luring high school girls from their homes for partying orgies that goes on for days.

          In a statement issued on Saturday, the DCI said preliminary investigations established that the girls were lured out of their homes through a social media account named Carty-gang-ent.

          “The cartel has been using internationally-registered telephone numbers, although they operate from Nairobi,” said the DCI.

          According to the DCI, the number of worried parents from Nairobi’s Kayole and Komarock estates reported that their daughters had gone missing from home for days.

          “The parents only reported their daughters were missing after they failed to go home several days later,” the DCI revealed.

          During interrogation by detectives attached to DCI’s Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Protection Unit and the Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau,  the young girls are reported to have revealed how they were lured from their home and linked up in partying joints in Nairobi.

          “The DCI wishes to inform the public that we are hunting down members of the cartel and they’ll be apprehended to answer for their crimes. The DCI further warns parents to take keen interest in their children’s activities at home and on social media networks,” cautioned the DCI.

          KNH Renal Unit boss Dr Were succumbs to Covid-19 complications

          The deceased was the President of the African Association of Nephrology and Deputy Director of the East African Kidney Institute.

          In Summary

          • The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union described Were as a teacher and mentor to many who has left behind a great legacy.

          • The deceased was the President of the African Association of Nephrology and Deputy Director of the East African Kidney Institute.

          Kenyatta National Hospital Head of Renal Unit and kidney specialist Dr Anthony Were.

          Kenyatta National Hospital Head of Renal Unit and kidney specialist Dr Anthony Were.

          The Kenyatta National Hospital Head of Renal Unit and kidney specialist Dr Anthony Were Omolo has died due to Covid-19 complications.

          Dr Were passed away on Friday night after 10 days in ICU where he has been receiving treatment after contracting Covid-19.

          The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union described Were as a teacher and mentor to many who has left behind a great legacy.

          “Heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the medical fraternity,” KMPDU said. The deceased was the President of the African Association of Nephrology and Deputy Director of the East African Kidney Institute.

          According to the Ministry of Health, as at Wednesday, 2,352 health workers had contracted Covid-19 since the virus hit the country in March.

          Thirty, among them 10 doctors, have succumbed to the virus. Earlier this week, three MPs cried as doctors narrated how they are mistreated and neglected by the national and county governments even as they put their lives on the line fighting Covid-19.

          In an emotional session on Wednesday, James Nyikal (Seme), Joyce Emanikor (Turkana Woman Representative) and Sarah Korere (Laikipia North) broke down on camera during a meeting of the National Assembly’s Health committee with doctors’ union officials.

          The committee met the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union officials to understand the challenges they are experiencing as they endeavour to save lives.

          The union has already issued a three-week strike notice to the government, a move that could see many Kenyans lose their lives in the wake of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

          KMPDU secretary general Chibanzi Mwachonda in the company of national chairman Samuel Oroko and Nairobi branch secretary Thuranira Kaugiria made a passionate presentation to the committee, narrating how doctors are being mistreated and neglected by the government.

          Mwachonda said the majority are not under any insurance cover by the government and they are not paid extraneous, risk and other allowances.

          This is despite the medics risking their lives as they struggled to save the lives of Kenyans battling Covid-19.

          Allow us bury MP as DNA test is done, widows tell woman

          Saturday, November 21, 2020

          Mrs Christabel Murunga  (centre), the wife of fallen Matungu MP Justus Murunga, is consoled by relatives and friends in Mumias  last Saturday. 

           The widows of Matungu MP Justus Murunga are pleading with the woman claiming to have had children with the fallen legislator to let the burial set for November 28 proceed even as she fights for recognition.

          Ms Christabel Murunga and Ms Grace Murunga, through lawyer Patrick Lutta, have told the court in an affidavit that Agnes Wangui Wambiri, who claims that Mr Murunga is the father of her two children, should be allowed to take DNA samples to verify paternity.

          “In order for justice to be served to all parties, we have no objection to the plaintiff’s medical experts taking samples from the deceased’s body for DNA analysis to determine the alleged children’s paternity,” the widows have stated in their response to a suit filed by Ms Wambiri. Ms Wambiri moved to court on Wednesday and obtained an injunction stopping the burial of the MP pending the determination of her suit, in which she wants the recognition of her two children.

          “The injunction order issued is disruptive as the burial for the deceased has been set for November 28,  in Matungu constituency, Kakamega County. That grave injustice will be caused if the injunction is maintained and the burial arrangement scuttled and the DNA return a negative result,” the widows say in their affidavit.

          Public health

          The other reason they cite for asking the court to lift the injunction and allow the burial to proceed as planned is because the public health department has directed the family to inter the body not later than November 28. Moreover, they say, many of Mr Murunga’s friends have made travel arrangements for November 27 and 28 and they would be greatly inconvenienced if the burial was to be delayed.

          According to the widows, if the court cannot lift the injunction, then Ms Wambiri should be required to deposit a security of Sh10 million to take care of the mortuary and other funeral expenses. Parliament, they say, will only pay the mortuary bills up to November 26 after which the family will be required to step in if the body will not have been removed by then.

          They also say their husband never told them of Ms Wambiri or the children. Also, that Ms Wambiri did not make any contact with them before heading to court.

          Mr Murunga died on November 14 due to Covid-19 complications. The body is preserved at the Lee Funeral Home, which has been listed as a defendant in the suit by Ms Wambiri.

          Residents surrender 10 firearms days after attack on police officers

          Residents of Daaba in Ngaremara ward have surrendered 10 illegal firearms to the Isiolo County Security team following an extensive police operation.

          Police officers have camped in the region for the last five days in search of bandits who recently attacked police officers at Makinya along the Isiolo-Meru border.

          Security has also been heightened after the attack where GSU Officers from Mariara police station in Igembe North and their Anti Stock Theft Unit counterparts based at Bullu who were responding to distress calls were attacked.

          Isiolo County Commissioner Herman Shambi has lauded the move to surrender the illegal weapons, and called on those still in possession of such weapons to surrender them before the ongoing operation catches up with them.

          Shambi said that the 10 firearms will be subjected to ballistic investigations to ascertain if they are the exact weapons used in the recent bandit attack on police officers.

          According to the administrator, if the guns are ascertained to be the ones used during the attack, their owners must then take responsibility of the despicable act perpetrated on innocent police officers who were on their usual patrol operation.

          Shambi said that the ongoing police operation will not stop until all those who were behind the attack are brought to book.

          He hailed Ngaremara area residents for their cooperation with the security agents conducting the operation, noting that names of those suspected to have taken part in the ambush have already been forwarded.

          Isiolo County Police Commander Joseph Kigen however cast doubts on the condition of the surrendered guns, noting that only two or three of them were functional, while the rest were old and defective.

          According to Kigen, the surrendered weapons include three AK 47 Rifles, one G3 Rifle, Four M16 Rifles, and two Rifle Number Fours. Two G3 Rounds of ammunition, Seven for AK47 and five 303 Calibre rounds of ammunition were also surrendered.

          He said that the residents surrendered the weapons out of their own volition, but called for all illegal weapons to be surrendered to the authorities.

           

          Raila’s AU obligation takes him back to DR Congo

          Raila Odinga(Left), with Governor of Haut- Katanga, DRC, Jacques Kyabula in Lubumbashi, DRC on Friday 20, Nov 2020. PICTURE/COURTESY

          Opposition leader Raila Odinga is on a tour of the Democratic Republic of Congo, barely three weeks after he made another visit to the Central African country. Confirmation of Raila’s continental travel was made late Friday evening amid speculations over his silence after the aborted BBI signature collection launch on Thursday.

          As the current African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, Raila confirmed that he was in DRC specifically to assess the progress being made in the construction of the Grand Inga Hydropower project.

          “The Inga Hydropower project remains one of the key infrastructure projects within the entire African Union. I had a discussion on its importance and progress with the Governor of Haut- Katanga, DRC, Jacques Kyabula in Lubumbashi this afternoon.” Raila indicated 

          Just last month, the former Prime Minister was in DRC where he held a meeting with the country’s President Felix Tshisekedi.

          Back home, however, talk regarding the fate of Raila’s clamor for a referendum has been rife. On Thursday, an event that had been planned for the launch of the collection of signatures in readiness for a popular initiative was called off by the BBI secretariat.

          This coincided with unconfirmed reports indicating that deputy president William Ruto, who rarely sees eye to eye with Raila and who is opposed to a contested referendum, held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on the day of cancellation of the signatures function. As to whether indeed, the meeting between the DP and his boss happened or that their talks revolved around the BBI is matter of conjecture.

          Ever since then, both sets of supporters have been involved in heated verbal exchanges regarding the direction the whole matter is likely to take.

          But Raila’s whereabouts was not the only concern. For the better part of Friday, social media was inundated with questions over Deputy President’s exact location as well, amid claims that he had flown outside the country.

          The actions and movements of the two political heavyweights clearly proving to be matters of enormous public interest.

          DCI detectives rescue 3 of the 7 teenage girls reported missing in Nairobi

          DCI detectives rescue 3 of the 7 teenage girls reported missing in Nairobi

          The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI)  detectives drawn from the Child-protection unit have rescued 3 of the 7 girls who went missing from their homes in Nairobi a week  ago.

          In a statement on Twitter, the DCI said efforts to rescue the others were underway. The latest comes hot in the wame of a viral video posted on social media by a kin of the missing girls.

          In the video, she said that her cousin and six other teenage girls had been lured from their homes by a caucasian male who had promised them lucrative auditions.

          “My cousin and six others were lured from their home in the dead of the night by a man in the guise of auditions that would help them make moneu,” Fiona Kenya captioned the viral video.

          The United States telephone number that had been used to communicate with the girls had gone off shortly after they went missing.

          Its not yet clear whether any suspect has been arrested in connection with the girls’ disappearance amid fears that the girls may have been lured by a trafficker.

          Donald Trump Jr tests positive for coronavirus

          Don Jr is the second of the president’s children to test positive.

          In Summary

          • Donald Trump Jr, 42, was diagnosed at the start of this week and has been quarantining at his hunting cabin since the result, the spokesman said.

          • There has also been speculation that Don Jr is interested in running for the White House, conjecture he hasn’t tried to tamp down.

          Donald Trump Jr gestures during a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of Election Day, in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S., November 2, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

          Donald Trump Jr gestures during a campaign rally for U.S. President Donald Trump ahead of Election Day, in Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S., November 2, 2020. 

          US President Donald Trump’s oldest son has tested positive for coronavirus, according to his spokesman. Donald Trump Jr, 42, was diagnosed at the start of this week and has been quarantining at his hunting cabin since the result, the spokesman said.

          “He’s been completely asymptomatic so far and is following all medically recommended Covid-19 guidelines,” according to the statement.

          Don Jr is the second of the president’s children to test positive. Barron Trump, 14, was also diagnosed last month but made a swift recovery.

          A firebrand speaker, Don Jr played a major role in his father’s presidential campaign. There has also been speculation that Don Jr is interested in running for the White House, conjecture he hasn’t tried to tamp down.

          Don Jr’s partner, Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News host, tested positive for the disease in July, and also recovered. He apparently did not contract the infection at the time.

          Earlier on Friday, Andrew Giuliani, a special assistant to President Trump, announced he had tested positive for coronavirus.

          Mr Giuliani, the son of the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, tweeted that he was experiencing mild symptoms after receiving his positive test on Friday morning.

          Earlier this month, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows was among several aides who tested positive for the infection.

          The president himself spent three nights in hospital at the beginning of October after being hit by Covid-19. First Lady Melania Trump also had a bout of the infection.

          Last month, Don Jr was criticised for downplaying the US coronavirus death toll. In an interview with Fox News, he argued that the media was focusing on the caseload, while ignoring the mortality rate.

          He said: “I was like, ‘Well, why aren’t they talking about deaths?’ Oh, oh, because the number is almost nothing. Because we’ve gotten control of this, and we understand how it works.”

          The virus has infected 11.8 million Americans and killed more than 253,000. On Friday alone, 192,000 people in the US tested positive for coronavirus, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

          Church patriarch dies from Covid-19 after leading open-casket funeral

           

          Head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irinej. PHOTO | REUTERS

           

          The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Irinej, died in a Belgrade hospital on Friday after contracting coronavirus, according to a statement from the church.

          Irinej, who was 90, led an open-casket funeral service for the church’s top cleric in Montenegro, Metropolitan Amfilohije Radović, on November 1.Three days later, Irinej was admitted to hospital after testing positive for Covid-19.

          Amfilohije’s body had been displayed in an open casket during the service before being interred in the crypt of the church in Podgorica, Montenegro.

          A large crowd had gathered in front of the crowded church, with only a few of the attendees inside the building wearing face coverings.

          Video of the service showed mourners kissing the deceased cleric’s hands and forehead, as is custom.

          None of the priests, including Irinej, who performed the liturgy, wore masks. On Friday, Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic confirmed Irinej’s death, posting a photo of him on Instagram with the caption: “I was honored to know you. People like you never depart.”

          An earlier statement from the Serbian Orthodox Church stated that he was intubated after his condition deteriorated on Thursday.

          Born Miroslav Gavrilovic on August 27, 1930, Irinej was enthroned as the spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Serbs in 2010.

          Serbia’s Ministry of Health reported on Thursday that 104,097 people have been infected with coronavirus in the country since the start of the pandemic, with 1,110 deaths.

          Bobi Wine released after charges over ‘acts likely to spread coronavirus’

          Bobi Wine released after charges over 'acts likely to spread coronavirus'

          In Summary

          • Police on Friday said the death toll sparked by the protests had jumped to 37.
          • Police spokesman Fred Enanga said detained protesters were involved in violence including targeting members of the public who do not support Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

          Uganda’s detained presidential candidate and pop star Bobi Wine was released on bail on Friday after authorities charged him over acts likely to spread coronavirus, an online TV channel reported.

          Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was detained on Wednesday while campaigning in eastern Uganda and his arrest has triggered mass protests which have lead to the deaths of at least 37 people.

          “It is Museveni who is supposed to be in this dock for killing innocent citizens,” Wine said while in court after he was charged, referring to incumbent leader President Yoweri Museveni.

          Police on Friday said the death toll sparked by the protests had jumped to 37.

          “Thirty-seven bodies have been counted so far,” police pathologist Moses Byaruhanga told Reuters.

          Police spokesman Fred Enanga said detained protesters were involved in violence including targeting members of the public who do not support Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP) party.

          “What we have seen in the last few days, that is violence, vandalism, looting, intimidation and threats, are crimes that were being committed (against) people who are not pro-NUP,” he said. “This is not something that we can tolerate.”

          Uganda, a nation of 42 million people, is due to hold presidential and parliamentary elections on Jan. 14, with Wine emerging as a serious threat to veteran Museveni, 76, who aims to extend his rule.

          Wine has amassed a large following among Ugandan youth, attracted by his bold criticism of the government, often in his lyrics.

          Wine has said that being “born hustling and born to hustling parents, raised in the ghettos” meant he could understand the struggles of ordinary, impoverished Ugandans, and he has repeatedly urged Museveni to retire.

          His arrest triggered immediate protests in Kampala and other major towns across the East African country. Youths have burnt tyres and other material on roads and erected barriers to block traffic, demanding his release.

          Coronavirus: Kenya records 19 new deaths, 1,048 cases and 326 recoveries

          Coronavirus: Kenya records 19 new deaths, 1,048 cases and 326 recoveries
          Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe during a past pres address. PHOTO | COURTESY
          The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country has hit 75,193 after 1,048 new infections were announced on Friday.

          The Ministry of Health said the cases were tested from 8,660 samples and pushed the total number of samples tested since March to 823,700.

          From the cases, 1,018 are Kenyans while 30 are foreigners; 594 are male while 454 are female.The youngest is a one-year-old baby while the oldest is 90 years.

          Distribution of the cases by counties is as follows: Nairobi 408, Kericho 84, Mombasa 80, Kiambu 71, Busia 52, Migori 36, Uasin Gishu 35, Kisumu 25, Machakos 25, Kajiado 23, Siaya 18,Bungoma 15, Nakuru 13, Kakamega 14, Taita Taveta 12, Bomet 11, Makueni 11, Nyeri 11, Kilifi 10, Laikipia 10, Baringo 9, Nandi 9, Kwale 9, Meru 8, Vihiga 6, Murang’a 5, West Pokot 5, Mandera 5, Kitui 5, Kirinyaga 4, Trans Nzoia 3, Embu 3 , Elgeyo Marakwet 2, Narok 2, Tharaka Nithi 2, Garissa 2, Tana River 2, Homabay 1, Turkana 1 and Nyamira 1.

          In terms of Sub County Distribution; the 408 cases in Nairobi, are from Lang’ata (83), Westlands (44), Dagoretti North (32), Starehe (30), Kamukunji (28), Makadara (24) Dagoretti South (22), Ruaraka (21), Embakasi Central (19), Kibra (18), Mathare (17), Embakasi South (16), Embakasi West and Roysambu (13) cases each, Embakasi North (12), Embakasi East (9) and Kasarani (7).

          In Kericho, the 84 cases are from Ainamoi (64), Belgut (12), Kipkelion East (5) and Bureti (3). In Mombasa, the 80 cases are from Mvita (38), Jomvu (14), Nyali (12), Kisauni (7), Changamwe (5) and Likoni (4).

          In Kiambu, the 71 cases are from Ruiru (16), Juja, Kiambu Town and Thika (10) cases each, Kikuyu (8), Kiambaa (5), Githunguri (4), Kabete and Lari (3) cases each, Limuru (2).

          In Busia, the 52 cases are from Matayos (29), Teso North (19), Nambale and Teso South (2) cases each.

          In Migori, the 36 cases are from Kuria West (17), Rongo (13) and Awendo (6). In Uasin Gishu, the 35 cases are from Ainabkoi (27), Turbo (5), Moiben (2) and Kapseret (1).

          In Kisumu, the 25 cases are from Kisumu Central (18), Muhoroni (3), Nyando (2), Kisumu East and Nyakach (1) case each. In Machakos, the 25 cases are from Athi River and Machakos Town (10) cases each, Kangundo (3) and Matungulu (2).

          In Kajiado, the 23 cases are from Kajado East (15), Kajiado North (6), Kajjado Central and Loitokitok (1) case each. In Siaya, the 18 cases are from Alego Usonga (10), Rarieda (7) and Bondo (1).

          The Health Ministry also announced 326 new recoveries; 219 from the Home-Based Care and Isolation and 107 from hospitals across the country.

          The total number of recoveries now stands at 50,984. On a sad note, the coronavirus death toll has hit 1,349 after 19 patients succumbed between Thursday and Friday.

          UAE suspends Visa issuance for Kenyans due to Covid-19 surge

          The suspension will however not affect those with already issued visas.

          In Summary

          • The other countries include; Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

          • It was not immediately clear what categories of Visa were also affected by this directive from the UAE.

          The United Arab Emirates suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Kenya and 10 other countries.

          The United Arab Emirates suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Kenya and 10 other countries.

          The United Arab Emirates suspended the issuance of new visas to visitors from Kenya and 11 other countries. The other countries include; Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

          However, only Pakistan appeared to confirm the news through reports in its media quoting government officials. The Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry said the suspension will not affect those with already issued visas.

          It was not immediately clear what categories of Visa were also affected by this directive from the UAE. Kenya broke its daily record of cases, recording almost 1,500 infections in one day with deaths soaring sharply.

          Current death count stands at over 1,300 deaths, and over 70,500 confirmed cases. The surge is caused by fewer people wearing masks and adhering to social distancing rules. 

          Early this month, political rallies and large gatherings were banned by the president. Officials and doctors are urging people not to become complacent and to continue to follow the rules.

          Kenya raises security at children’s homes, hospitals after trafficking scandal

          Kenya raises security at children's homes, hospitals after trafficking scandal
          File image of a baby. PHOTO| COURTESY
          Kenya is increasing security at children’s homes and hospitals after three medical officers were charged Wednesday with child trafficking.

          The arrests followed a report by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that found babies were stolen from illegal clinics and a Nairobi hospital and sold for hundreds of dollars each.

          Kenyan police spokesman Charles Owino said the child trafficking group involved collusion between medical workers at hospitals and children’s homes.

          After a court charged three medical workers with stealing and trafficking children, he said security was stepped up.

          “And (the) inspector general has given clear instructions to county commanders in other parts of the country to ensure that they work together with the multi-agencies, other government organs, and monitor children’s homes and government hospitals, and (the) operation of these children’s homes, so that we can be able to put them to accountability and to ensure that we protect children from trafficking,” Owino said.

          The court ordered the three suspects to be held for 10 days to allow the prosecution time to gather more evidence.

          The chairman of the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, Peterson Wachira, said it’s shameful that medical officers might have been involved. He called for tighter security to prevent child trafficking.

          “Of course, the hospitals should have measures to ensure that the children are more secure,” he said. “I don’t know if that will mean having CCTV coverage. But I know the biggest percentage of medics are people who are genuine, people who respect their oaths, and people who are not able to do that.”

          The daughter of 47-year-old Everlyne Ndimuli went missing two years ago in Nairobi.Ndimuli said she thinks her child was stolen because she was old enough go to school and come back home safely, but instead she disappeared.

          Missing Children, a Kenyan group that helps parents locate lost children, says 215 children went missing in 2019. Less than half were reunited with their families

          George Kabii Langata Police Station OCS succumbs to COVID-19

          Langata  Police Station OCS George Kabii succumbs to COVID-19
          Langata police station OCS has succumbed to COVID-19 while receiving treatment at a Nairobi Hospital, multiple sources have confirmed. Photo : Courtesy

          Langata Police Station OCS George Kabii has died, with reports indicating that he had been battling the new coronavirus.

          News of his death was shared on Thursday afternoon, with sources saying that Kabii- a diabetic- succumbed to cardiopulmonary failure while receiving treatment at a Nairobi Hospital.

          His body has been moved to the Umash hospital.

          The new coronavirus had claimed at least 1,313 lives as of Wednesday, November 18 according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Health.

          So far, 72,686 people have tested positive since the pandemic was first reported in the country.

          Kenya has also recorded 49,878 recoveries so far. 

          Major new look for Malindi town as waterfront recreation park is launched

            

          The resort town of Malindi received a major face-lift after the county Government of Kilifi launched the new state of the art Waterfront Urban Renewal and recreation park.

          The project, which is set to transform the tourism sector beginning this festive season, boasts of unique sporting facilities including beach volleyball kits, beach soccer and recreational facilities designed for the modern-day traveller. The waterfront project has two beach volleyball pitches, which are able to host international and local tournaments as well as a pitch for beach soccer.

          Speaking while touring the projects, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi said the Waterfront project was implemented at a cost of KSh. 80 million while the road to Mtangani cost 67 million shillings with the BP Mtangani road expected to cost 50 Million shillings.

          ”The Roads will reduce congestion from BP to Mtangani. The project is now in its final stages and once complete shall enable large trucks to use it as a bypass,” he said.

          Kingi says his administration has put in place elaborate measures including enhancement of Covid-19 health protocols to ensure those visiting the region are safe.

          ”It is true Covid 19 pandemic is all over the world. what I want is to assure those wishing to come for a tour of Kilifi or Malindi for holidays during Christmas and new year that elaborate strategies have been put in place to ensure their safety,” he assured.

          Malindi has remained a major tourist destination bosting of pristine beaches, historical sites, and the Tsavo east national park.

          Itumbi seeks to initiate private prosecution against Matiang’i over Ruaraka land

            

          Former State House digital director and blogger Dennis Itumbi
          The Ruaraka land saga has resurfaced yet again with former State House digital director and blogger Dennis Itumbi seeking to sue Interior CS Fred Matiang’i over alleged irregular compensation amounting to billions of shillings.

          Itumbi who has filed an application at the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrates Court has named the CS as the first respondent in the matter that he wants certified as extremely urgent in which he claims Kenyan taxpayers lost Ksh. 1.5 billion.

          Itumbi states that Dr Matiang’i who was in charge of the Ministry of Education at the time, initiated the process of compulsory acquisition of part of L.R No. 7879/4 situated in Ruaraka for the benefit of two government learning institutions namely; Drive-In Primary School and Ruaraka High School.

          He alleges that Matiang’i ignored the recommendations in the Quality Assurance and Standard Investigative Report that advised that the land where the two government learning institutions were situated was public land and that the two companies Afrison Export-Import Limited and Huelands Limited had no basis to be compensated.

          “In the process of undertaking this noble project, the Kenyan taxpayers lost Ksh. 1,500,000,000 due to the 1st Respondent’s abuse of office, negligence, conspiracy and/or collusion” part of the application reads.

          The controversial blogger is now seeking to be granted permission to conduct private prosecution defending his action as an initiative to neutralize what he says is an attempt to stifle the criminal justice system.

          He has listed the Director of Public Prosecutions as the second respondent in the 193-page affidavit for allegedly failing to prosecute the CS over the same while the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has been enjoined as an interested party.

          “Demonstrable grounds exist for believing that a grave social evil is being allowed to flourish unchecked because of the inaction of a pusillanimous Director of Public Prosecution and Office of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission who are guilty of a capricious, corrupt or biased failure to prosecute the 1st Respondent,” he stated in the affidavit

          He says the DPP who has state powers to prosecute according to Article 157 of the Constitution had displayed a nonchalant attitude in the saga that is of public interest.

          “Despite being forwarded the investigating file by the Interested Party to prosecute individuals, the 1st Respondent being among them, has since displaced a nonchalant attitude in dealing with this irregular award despite it being a public interest case; the refusal by the 2nd Respondent to prosecute the 1 st Respondent is culpable and in the circumstance without any reasonable cause;

          In 2018, businessman Francis Mburu, was paid Ksh.1.5 billion by the Ministry of Education, through the National Land Commission, as compensation for the 13.5 acres parcel of land, on which the two schools are built.

          The controversial payout was flagged by then Auditor General Edward Ouko whereas the high court last year ruled that the property was public land.

          “…..We therefore find that the compulsory acquisition of the land on which the two schools sit did not meet the threshold of public purpose and should not have been undertaken in the first place. One cannot purport to compulsorily acquire what is already public land,” a three-judge bench ruled.

          16 killed as protests over Bobi Wine’s arrest intensify in Uganda

          Bobi Wine

          Sixteen people have been killed in two days of violent clashes between Ugandan security forces and supporters of detained opposition leader Bobi Wine, police said Thursday, as tensions flared two months before a presidential election.

          Ugandan security forces fired teargas and rubber bullets at angry protesters who set fires, barricaded roads and looted stores in the capital Kampala, as calls mounted for calm ahead of the January 14 elections.

          The popstar-turned-presidential candidate Bobi Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, was still in detention after being arrested on Wednesday for allegedly violating coronavirus measures at his rallies, over the large crowds attending.

          “The death toll is now 16, with 45 injuries, some serious injuries,” Kampala police chief Moses Kafeero said, without giving details of those killed.

          “About 350 people have been arrested for participating in violent acts including looting, destruction of property, traffic disruption, theft and robberies during the riots,” he added.

          Protests kicked off on Wednesday, when police said seven were killed, after Wine’s detention ahead of a rally. Wine is considered the main challenger to veteran president Yoweri Museveni who is seeking a sixth term in power.

          Pockets of protests continued throughout the day in Kampala and other major towns, with youths barricading roads, starting fires and engaging in running battles with police who lobbed tear gas and fired rubber bullets at protesters, and in some cases, fired live bullets.

          Gunshot wounds

          The Red Cross said late Wednesday it had treated dozens of injured following “scuffles involving the police and the rioting masses”, including 11 people for gunshot wounds.

          While the military and police maintained a heavy presence, by the evening the situation had deteriorated with robberies taking place and shops being looted.

          A journalist saw hooded men stopping vehicles in a suburb of Kampala, and robbing passengers before police opened fire on the perpetrators.

          “My phone, money and handbag has been taken,” said 42-year-old Flavia Namutebi, a Kampala businesswoman who was in a taxi that was robbed.

          “They said they want money to bail out Bobi Wine,” she said.Another man identified as Ivan Kakawa, 29, a shoe seller, told AFP, “the men beat me and demanded I give them money.” 

          Uganda’s judiciary issued a statement saying a courthouse in the central town of Wobulenzi, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Kampala had been vandalised by protesters. 

          The old vs the new

          Wine, 38, has long been a thorn in Museveni’s side, attracting a widespread following through catchy pop songs about social justice and corruption.

          Many young Ugandans see him as their champion in a country mired in poverty and youth unemployment.Museveni, a 76-year-old former rebel who seized power in 1986, is one of Africa’s longest-serving leaders.

          Wine has been repeatedly arrested — most recently on November 3 after he filed his candidacy for the elections — his concerts are routinely banned and his public rallies broken up with teargas.

          In New York, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Thursday called for Wine’s release.”We call for the immediate release of the detained opposition leaders, including Bobi Wine, and it’s important that security forces act in a way that respects human rights principles and the rule of law in dealing with protesters.”

          The US embassy published a tweet saying it deplored the violence and extended its sympathy to the victims and their families.”We urge all parties to renounce violence, undertake good-faith measures to reduce tensions, and respect fundamental freedoms,” it said.

          Patrick Oboi Amuriat, the candidate with the Forum for Democratic Change, was also detained on Wednesday but was subsequently released.”I can say am out of police cells but not free as the police can arrest me any time as they have been doing,” he told AFP.

          He said his party was reviewing whether to continue their campaign or not.

          Two other presidential candidates, Henry Tumukunde and Gregory Mugisha Muntu, have called off their campaigns until Uganda’s electoral body takes action over what they called police brutality against opposition candidates. 

          Museveni made no immediate comment on the protests, and held a rally in the northeastern town of Karamoja

          Biden calls for national mask mandate to fight COVID-19

          Speaking with a group of leading US state governors on Thursday, Biden said wearing masks to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans to date, is “not a political statement”.

          “It is a patriotic duty,” said Biden, who won the US presidential election on November 3, the results of which are still being disputed by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

          The US has recorded 11.6 million COVID-19 cases and more than 250,000 deaths since the pandemic began early this year, Johns Hopkins University has reported.

          New case numbers are rising rapidly across the country at an average of more than 162,000 a day, according to data collected by The New York Times, and several states in recent weeks have instituted restrictions aimed at stopping the spread of infections.

           

          In remarks to the media, the US president-elect outlined policy priorities in his plan to defeat COVID-19 

          “It’s not shutting down. It’s calibrating based on what the threat is,” Biden said during a news conference after his meeting with 10 leading Republican and Democratic governors.

          Biden met virtually with members of the National Governor’s Association executive committee, which includes Republican governors Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Gary Herbert of Utah, Larry Hogan of Maryland and Kay Ivey of Alabama.

          It was the first time since the election that Biden has publicly met Republican officials. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, Jared Polis of Colorado and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan also joined the call alongside members of Biden’s presidential transition team.

          Economic relief

          Providing economic relief to cities, states and tribal communities affected by the pandemic is a top priority, said Biden, who also called on the US Congress to provide the funding for states and localities in a COVID-19 relief bill.

          So far, Trump and Senate Republicans have opposed such funding. Biden said a significant public education campaign to prepare Americans for “equitable” distribution of a “safe” and “free vaccine” would be necessary, as well.

           

          Meanwhile, the president-elect hit out against Trump for refusing to acknowledge the outcome of the election, calling the president’s baseless attacks on voting practices in key states “irresponsible”.

          The public is “witnessing incredible irresponsibility, incredibly damaging messaging to the rest of the world about how democracy functions”, Biden said. “Most of the Republicans I have spoken to, including some of the governors, think this is debilitating. It sends a horrible message.”

          He also expressed continuing frustration that Emily Murphy, the Trump administration’s secretary of the general services administration, has not yet designated him the apparent winner of the election, which would allow a formal transition process under law to proceed.

          “Until she does that, we don’t have access to all the information that we need from all the different agencies,” Biden said.

          National response planned

          Still, Biden said his advisory board would be following up with COVID-19 teams in the governors’ offices to further develop a national response to the pandemic.

          He also said that, as president, he would work to help states battle the pandemic.“Now, getting into the holidays you’re facing another surge … including huge pressure on your hospitals,” Biden told the governors, according to a pool report. “You need help. I want you to know I will be your partner in the White House.”

          Several states have enacted new restrictions in recent weeks to try to stem the spread of the virus.

          Following a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 hospitalisations in Arkansas, for instance, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced on Thursday that he would be requiring bars and restaurants to begin closing daily at 11pm through January 2021.

          “Today we implemented the first recommendation of the COVID-19 Winter Task Force, and I will address hospital capacity tomorrow,” Hutchinson said in a statement.

          Arkansas has nearly 17,000 active cases of COVID-19 with more than 400 new cases being added each day, and state health authorities said 146 people in hospitals were currently on ventilators.

          The US’s top public health agency, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also urged Americans on Thursday to avoid travelling for Thanksgiving on November 26 to avoid spreading the deadly virus.

          Magoha bodyguard under fire after allegations he sexually assaulted journalists

          Magoha bodyguard under fire after claims he sexually assaulted journalists
          Two journalists have accused the man in a purple shirt (front), who is Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha’s bodyguard, of sexually assaulting them. 

          In Summary

          • According to the Kisumu Journalists Network, the bodyguard grabbed a female journalist’s buttocks and pushed her to give way for the CS.
          • It has also been alleged that the same bodyguard harassed another journalist in Vihiga, inserting his fingers into his mouth.
          • The union is demanding that CS Magoha, Inspector General of Police Mr Hillary Mutyambai and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i take action against the said officer.

          A bodyguard attached to Education CS George Magoha has come under after complaints emerged that he sexually assaulted two journalists in Kisumu on Thursday.

          The incident is said to have occurred when Prof. Magoha was inspecting desks at Kosawo Primary School and one journalist bumped into the bodyguard while struggling to take pictures of the CS with the pupils.

          “Nation Media Group Photographer Ondari Ogega accidentally bumped into the said officer whose identity is not known and even apologised. However, as he made his way out of the classroom, the CS’s bodyguard followed him and reached for his fly before squeezing his genitals and threatening to do more outside the classroom,” a statement from the Kisumu Journalists Network reads.

          According to the union, the bodyguard also grabbed a female journalist’s buttocks and pushed her to give way for the CS. The second journalist has been identified as People Daily’s photographer Viola Kosome.

          It has also been alleged that the same bodyguard harassed another journalist in Vihiga, inserting his fingers into his mouth.

          The incidents have not only instilled fear among the journalists, but also amounts to sexual assault and suppression of the freedom of the press as enshrined in Articles 33 and 34 of the Kenyan Constitution,” the union’s Chairman Rushdie Oudia said.

          The union is demanding that CS Magoha, Inspector General of Police Mr Hillary Mutyambai and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i take action against the said officer.

          The journalists’ union further warns that If left to go scot free, the officer is likely to continue unabated with the ‘nasty and distasteful’ behavior against not only journalists but other members of the public.

          The incident comes days after the Media Council of Kenya released a report that found that 62 per cent of respondents have either experienced sexual harassment or know someone who has, either while working at their organizations or in the field.

          Additionally, the study titled Press Freedom Violations during COVID-19 also revealed that 73 per cent of female journalists are highly likely to experience sexual harassment during assignments.

          One killed in KWS aircraft crash at Isinya

          Trainee killed during routine training exercises at Orly Airpark.

          In Summary

          • The accident involved an AutoGyro aircraft model MTOsport2010 registered 5Y-KWV.

          • A KCAA official said a thorough investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the accident

          One person has been killed after an aircraft belonging to the Kenya Wildlife Service was involved in a crash on Thursday. KWS acting corporate communication manager Paul Jinaro confirmed the incident.

          The AutoGyro aircraft model MTOsport2010 registered 5Y-KWV that wa involved in the crash.

          The AutoGyro aircraft model MTOsport2010 registered 5Y-KWV that wa involved in the crash.
          Image: COURTESY

          Jinaro said the deceased was a trainee.“Today KWS is sad to confirm we, unfortunately, suffered an aircraft accident at 07.38a m that resulted in one fatality and the loss of the aircraft. The accident involved an AutoGyro aircraft model MTOsport2010 registered 5Y-KWV,” a Kenya Civil Aviation Authority official said.

          The scene where one person was killed after an aircraft belonging to the Kenya Wildlife Service was involved in a crash.

          The scene where one person was killed after an aircraft belonging to the Kenya Wildlife Service was involved in a crash.
          Image: COURTESY

          The accident occurred at Orly Airpark during routine training exercises.

          “A thorough investigation will be carried out to establish the cause of the accident. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the bereaved,” the official said.

          Four more suspects arraigned in connection with the Nairobi child-theft scandle

          Four more suspects arraigned in connection with the Nairobi child-theft syndicate
          A screen grab of the BBC expose on the child-theft syndicate.
          Four more suspects have been arraigned in a Nairobi Court in connection with the recently busted child-theft syndicate operating in Nairobi.

          A charge sheet seen by Citizen Digital says Dr. Musa Mohamed,Beatrice Njambi, Selina Awuor and Juliana Mbete are facing child trafficking charges contrary to Counter-Trafficking of Persons Act of 2010.

          The four are said to have colluded on diverse dates between May 11, 2020 and November 17, 2020 at the Mama Lucy Hospital jointly with others not before the court to offer a 6-month-old baby for adoption with the aim of trafficking him.

          On Tuesday police officers probing the matter had arrested three people in connection with the organized crime.The prosecution sought to have the suspects detained for 2 days pending a conclusio of investigation into the matter.

          Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital CEO Dr Emma Mutio, Dr.Regina Musembi and social worker Makallah Fred Leparan were presented before a Milimami court over the allegations of child trafficking.

          The twisted syndicate, according to the police statement, has been enabled by several children homes and public hospitals within the capital. An exposé by the BBC Eye had shone the spotlight on the thriving underworld of child trafficking in Kenya’s capital.

          The damning expose showed how children were hawked off from unsuspecting parents and children homes to selfish individuals, leaving behind desolate parents and unresolved crimes.

          Three dead, 34 injured in chaos after police arrested Uganda’s Bobi Wine

          Three dead, 34 injured in protests against arrest of Uganda's Bobi Wine
          Bobi Wine before he was arrested on November 17, 2020. PHOTO | COURTESY | BOBI WINE
          Three people died and at least 34 were injured, including with gun shot wounds, in protests that erupted after police arrested Ugandan presidential candidate and pop star Bobi Wine on Wednesday, Ugandan police and the Red Cross said.

          Wine, whose real name is Robert Kyagulanyi, has emerged as the strongest challenger against President Yoweri Museveni, 76, in the country’s presidential election due on Jan. 14.

          Police said in a statement they had detained Wine while he was campaigning in the country’s east for violating anti-coronavirus measures.

          They accused him of involvement “in the massive mobilisation of unauthorised assemblies and processions amidst the threat of COVID-19 in Uganda.”

          After news of Wine’s detention broke across the country, violent protests immediately erupted in the capital Kampala and several other major towns.In multiple parts of Kampala young people lit fires and erected barricades on roads, trying to block traffic and demanding the release of Wine. Squads of police and military personnel used teargas and live bullets to try to disperse the protesters, witnesses told Reuters and local television footage showed.

          Police said three people had died during the skirmishes and 34 were injured. The Uganda Red Cross said it had evacuated at least 11 people who had suffered gun shot wounds to hospitals.

          “The violent demonstrators set up illegal roadblocks and burnt tyres, violently attacked law enforcement personnel in the city centre” Police said, adding some protesters had also engaged in looting and vandalism .

          In a tweet earlier in the day announcing his arrest, Wine said police had broken into his vehicle and forcefully detained him.“The price of freedom is high but we shall certainly overcome,” Wine said in the tweet.

          Since expressing his intention to replace Museveni, Wine has won a large following, especially among young people in the east African country.

          Many supporters say they are drawn to him by the criticism of Museveni’s government woven into his lyrics. Others say that as a young leader he is better positioned to tackle the challenges they face.

          Wine’s large following has rattled the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) and security forces have frequently fired teargas at his rallies and detained and beaten his supporters, witnesses say.

          On the day he was nominated early this month, a squad of military and police personnel used metallic tools to break into his vehicle. He was subsequently detained briefly and police used teargas to disperse his supporters.

          41 people arrested in Homa Bay for flouting COVID-19 guidelines 

          41 people arrested for flouting COVID-19 protocols in Homa Bay
          FILE PHOTO: A police officer stops a car at the start of the lockdown restrictions set by the government to prevent the rampant spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Eastleigh district of Nairobi, Kenya May 6, 2020. 

          In Summary

          “A person who commits an offense under these Rules shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both,” the Gazette notice reads.

          Police in Homa Bay county have heightened enforcement of COVID-19 protocols with 41 people arrested on Wednesday for flouting the rules.

          They were arrested in various places across the county in an operation which saw four Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) impounded for carrying excess passengers.

          Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan said some people were found walking in the streets past curfew hours while others did not have face masks.

          They were taken to various police stations awaiting arraignment in court where they will be charged with flouting COVID-19 prevention measures.

          The impounded PSVs are at the Homa Bay Police Station and the drivers are to be charged as well.

          Commissioner Lilan warned that they will continue with the crackdown to ensure those found flouting COVID-19 protocols are brought to book.

          All public transport users are required to wear masks that must cover the mouth and nose as part of the measures announced by the Health Ministry to curb the spread of COVID-19.

          “A person who commits an offence under these Rules shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 20,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or both,” the Gazette notice reads.

          Further, the notice states that anyone found flouting the regulations will have their vehicle detained at a police station or any other place that the IG designates pending arraignment in court and/or for the duration of the restriction period.

          Kenya has so far recorded 72,686 cases from a cumulative sample size of 804,894.Total number of recoveries stands at 49,878 while deaths from coronavirus are 1,313.

          Nemesyus Warugongo former Kieni MP

          appeals for assistance to settle Ksh.15M hospital bill

          Former Kieni MP Nemesyus Warugongo appeals for help in settling Ksh.15M hospital bill
          Former Kieni MP Nemesyus Warugongo in a past photo
          The family of former Kieni MP Nemesyus Warugongo is seeking the help of well-wishers to assist them offset his medical bill that has now spiraled to a whooping Ksh.15M.

          Warugongo’s family said the former MP had been admitted to the Nairobi Hospital ICU for  four months and an additional three months in the general ward.

          According to his eldest son Stanley Maina, the former lawmaker who served as a one-time MP between 2007 to 2013 has been battling severe pneumonia and other complications since December last year.

          Maina said that their father who is now under home care medical management has undergone two throat operations in the last one year after he was unable to feed well, making him weaker by day.

          To help him pay for his bills, Warugongo’s family has organized a fundraising that will be held on November 26 at Panafric Hotel in Nairobi.The family is also requesting Kenyans of good will who will not manage to make it at the Upper Hill-based hotel to support them via Pay Bill number 192369.

          How Kenya will administer Covid-19 vaccine when it arrives

          In Summary

          • Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that final results from the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine show it was 95% effective.

          • Moderna Inc also announced that its experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing Covid-19 based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial.

          The vaccine.

          photo: The vaccine.
          Image: FILE

          The news of Covid-19 vaccines being over 90 per cent effective has left the world relieved and hoping for the best outcome.

          Pfizer Inc said on Wednesday that final results from the late-stage trial of its Covid-19 vaccine show it was 95 per cent effective, adding it had the required two-months of safety data and would apply for emergency U.S. authorization within days.

          Moderna Inc also announced that its experimental vaccine was 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 based on interim data from a late-stage clinical trial, becoming the second U.S. company in a week to report results that far exceed expectations.

          Kenyans received the news with mixed reactions with many people being optimistic. But the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe was apprehensive of the vaccine saying that he was not sure about them.

          “We will not commit the Kenyan taxpayer’s money to preorder vaccine candidates…” – CS. Kagwe called for caution days after he expressed reservations about the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine.

          “As Kenya, we will not be used as guinea pigs to test vaccines that are essentially not cleared, and those that we are not sure about,” he said.

          But what would happen after the vaccination arrives in Kenya?

          Vaccines have the potential to protect lives and limit disease spread.With the pandemic killing millions around the world, a large supply of vaccines would be necessary and would be needed quickly to stop the deaths and spread of the disease.

          Once the vaccines have been tried on volunteers and found to be effective without any serious side effects, the government of Kenya will have to purchase the vaccine in a bid to save its citizens.

          The public and private sectors will then mobilize to produce and distribute the vaccine, as quickly as possible to contain the situation. The Health Ministry in collaboration with other governmental bodies will then issue national guidelines prioritizing who should be vaccinated first.

          In Kenya’s case, when we get the vaccine, it will be administered to all health workers in Kenya by 2021.This is because health care provider offices would be overwhelmed with caring for the sick and would not have the capacity to administer vaccine.

          Pfizer said on Wednesday there had been 170 cases of the disease in its trial.Gavi said it has now secured funds to buy vaccines for nearly 20 per cent of the country’s population. 

          After the health workers, the vaccines will be administered to the elderly since they have weak immune systems. According to the CDC, as you get older, your risk for severe illness from the virus increases. People in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. 

          Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s.The government has urged those aged 58 years and above to stay at home and work remotely.

          This category of people has also been urged to adhere to Ministry of Health protocols.After the elderly, the vaccine will be administered to those with poor health. These are people who have underlying serious conditions such as diabetes, cancer, hypertension among other lifestyle diseases.

          Owing to difficulties in prioritization on the basis of chronic diseases, age is often used as a surrogate for identifying those at greatest risk of complications. However, the epidemiologic characteristics of the pandemic will need to be considered, as the main population groups affected may vary.

          The World Health Organisation said Africans living with non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are more likely to suffer severe cases of Covid-19 and die.

          In Kenya, around half of Covid-19 deaths occurred in people with NCDs.

          According to a WHO preliminary analysis of 14 countries in the African region, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and asthma are the co-morbidities most associated with Covid-19 patients.

          Finally, people without risk factors for complications will get the vaccine.This is to prevent or reduce morbidity. WHO notes that this is the largest group and would include both healthy adults and children. 

          The main goal in vaccinating this group would be to reduce demand for medical services and to allow individuals to continue normal daily activities. 

          Court stops burial of late Matungu MP Justus Murunga

          Published on 19th November 2020
            
          President Kenyatta mourns Matungu MP Justus Murunga

          The Court has stopped the burial of the late Matungu MP Justus Murunga until the determination of a case filed by a woman who claims to have sired two children with the MP.

          In her suit filed on 18th Wednesday, Agnes Wangui claims she bore the MP two children, a boy and a girl following a seven year relationship.

          Milimani Principal Magistrate Agnes Makau has now granted the petitioner her wish and directed her to serve the respondents in readiness for an inter parte hearing on 26th November.

          In an application certified as urgent, Wangui sought orders from the court to, “to issue a temporary injunction restraining the 1st respondent Christabel Murunga and the 2nd respondent Grace Murunga, their servants, agents, employees from conducting the burial, interment or cremation and in any manner whatsoever dispose of the body or remains of the late Justus Murunga Makokha.”

          She had also sought orders from the Court barring the 3rd respondent Lee funeral home, from releasing the remains of the late Justus Murunga Makokha to any person pending the hearing and determination of her case.

          Wangui also wanted the court to issue an order for the collection of DNA samples from the deceased and the two minors to ascertain of their paternity.

          Sammy Mbugua Nakuru London ward MCA dies after a short illness

          Nakuru London ward MCA Sammy Mbugua dies after a short illness
          MCA Sammy Mbugua from the London ward has succumbed while receiving treatment at a Nakuru Hospital
          Nakuru County London MCA Sammy Mbugua  has died while receiving treatment at a Nakuru Hospital, reports say. 

          The County Assembly Speaker, Joel Kairu confirmed the sad news on Thursday morning, saying the MCA died on Wednesday night at the Nakuru War Memorial Hospital.

          According to reports, the MCA checked in at the hospital on Tuesday where he was diagnosed with liver and pancreas failure.

          A member of the county assembly who spoke to Citizen TV said the deceased had been battling a pancreatic disorder for a while. 

          The cause of death was not immediately clear although the hospital had administered a COVID-19 test whose results are yet to be released. 

          Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyajui eulogised the MCA as an honest leader who worked tirelessly to resolve the problems of the people in his ward.

          “The sheng-speaking member was an easy going, likeable leader who had no time for petty disagreements. He was a peacemaker per excellence. At this difficult moment of sorrow, our hearts and prayers go to his family, friends and constituents,” the Governor’s condolence read in part.

          The late Mbugua was last seen in public on Tuesday tweek after the assembly resumed physical sittings following a 2-week closure.

          He was also present during the burial of his Hells Gate Counterpart John Njuguna in Naivasha on Saturday last week.

          Mbugua is the second Member of the County Assembly to pass on in a span of 2 weeks after his counterpart John Njuguna Succumbed on November 9.

           BBI signature collection drive called off after Uhuru, Ruto meeting takes place

          FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto after delivering a statement to ...
          FILE PHOTO | President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto after delivering a statement to the Press at State House in Nairobi 
          The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat on Wednesday evening cancelled the launch of the signature collection drive that was set for Thursday.

          The last-minute postponement came amidst reports of a three-hour long meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.

          “The postponement has been necessitated by late completion and publication of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020 that is scheduled for printing later tonight (Wednesday night),” the joint chairpersons of the National BBI Secretariat – Dennis Waweru and Junet Mohamed said.

          The secretariat indicated that a new date for the launch will be communicated in due course.Sources indicate that the President and his Deputy met at 2pm at State House, Nairobi on Wednesday: details of the talks between the two leaders is yet to be made public.

          DP Ruto has been at the forefront of challenging what he terms as ‘hardline position taken by some of those steering the process.’

          In a tweet earlier on Wednesday, the country’s second in command said: “I LOVE this country enough NEVER to be part of any ‘war.’Not when there is a real possibility for a WIN-WIN CONSENSUS beckoning. An ‘US vs THEM, ‘YES/NO’ contest that will lead to LOSE-LOSE outcome is UNNECESSARY & UNWARRANTED.A NON-CONTESTED referendum is possible. INAWEZEKANA.”

          And on Monday during a meeting with members of the County Assembly of Wajir, he was again categorical that the costly two-year product had turned out to be “highly controversial and with so many glaring gaps.”

          According to Dr. Ruto, those driving the BBI should not tell Kenyans that they have no time for further amendments.“If we cannot enrich the document, then we would end up with a bad constitution because its work was entirely unprofessional,” he said.

          For the country to rally behind BBI, he said, there was an urgent need to improve its presentation and content.“If we are trying to sort out the problem of divisive elections leading to a divided country via BBI, why then are we after a divisive referendum that would end up tearing apart the country?” he posed.

          He said there should be no rush in the process “if we are serious and mean well for this country”.“Could we be after a different outcome from the BBI other than the cohesiveness of our country?”

          The Deputy President said by the look of things, it was clear some quarters were pushing for a YES-NO referendum for political reasons that targets the 2022 polls.“Kenyans should not participate in this constricted agenda. Why should we railroad people to go to the presumed NO camp when we can all engage and have a consensus?” He explained.

          With the coronavirus intensely destroying livelihoods and taking away lives, the Deputy President said it was time the country’s leadership was united and mobilised resources towards confronting the outbreak rather than campaign for BBI which can be put on hold.

          Mr Gabane and Mr Hussein said Wajir County Assembly would not support a BBI that does not give prominence to the needs of the people.

          “We would ask the people to reject it from the onset unless our views are factored in the report. We cannot move the country forward by creating positions for a few leaders when a majority of Kenyans are suffering,” said Rashid Karshey, the Wagberi Ward MCA.

          New York City closes schools amid COVID-19 surge

          New York City closes schools amid COVID-19 surge
          Students exit a school following an announcement closing New York City public schools, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, in Brooklyn, New York, Nov. 18, 2020. 
          New York City Wednesday ordered schools to close, as the city recorded a seventh-straight day with a COVID-19 positivity rate of over 3%.

          “Public school buildings will be closed as of tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 19, out an abundance of caution. We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19,” New York City mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

          In-person school resumed for New York children between late September and early October, when the seven-day positivity rate was under 2%.

          Also on Wednesday, Clark County, Nevada, which includes Las Vegas, launched an app called “FixIt,” where residents can report issues including violations of virus restrictions.

          On Tuesday, the city of New Orleans announced it would cancel Mardi Gras parades in February, as the coronavirus continues to surge in much of the United States.

          City spokesman Beau Tidwell told a news conference the celebrations, which were scheduled to take place on Feb. 16, 2021, cannot happen with current limits on outdoor gatherings.

          “None of this should be a surprise to anybody,” Tidwell said. “The guidelines have been in place for some time.”

          In California, Los Angeles has ordered restaurants and bars that have outdoor operations to limit their number of customers to 50% capacity and to close by 10 p.m. Indoor, nonessential stores can operate at only 25% capacity, while businesses such as hair salons can provide services only by appointment.

          The new rules in Los Angeles go into effect Friday. Leaders are also ready to impose a three-week lockdown that would allow people out only for essential trips if the number of new cases and hospitalizations continue to rise. Daily case numbers have more than doubled in the past two weeks.

          The White House coronavirus task force warned in a weekly report that there is “aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread across the country, reaching most counties” in the United States. The surge in cases comes amid worries that the November 28 Thanksgiving Day holiday will further worsen the situation with people traveling and gathering with family and friends.

          Also Tuesday, U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

          Maryland and Ohio also imposed 10 p.m. curfews on bars and restaurants on Tuesday.
          But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, called Tuesday for a more uniform approach to fighting the virus.

          “We need some fundamental public health measures that everyone should be adhering to, not a disjointed, ‘One state says one thing, the other state says another thing,’” Fauci told The New York Times, speaking from a virtual press conference.

          During the past week, the United States has recorded an average of nearly 150,000 new cases per day, according to Johns Hopkins University. The country has registered more than 11.3 million total cases during the pandemic, the most in the world.

          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced late Tuesday it gave emergency use authorization to the first at-home COVID-19 test kit.

          A prescription is required to get the kit, made by Lucira, which the FDA says can provide results in 30 minutes or less. It cautions, however, that a negative test does not preclude a person from infection.

          “Making it possible for Americans to do their own rapid COVID-19 self-test at home by prescription is the latest addition to our constantly expanding arsenal of COVID-19 testing options,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

          Girl who wrote heartfelt letter to the President returns to school after Governor Mutua intervenes

          Girl who wrote heartfelt letter to the President returns to school after Governor Mutua intervenes

          In Summary

          • Governor Mutua commended Mutheu for her courage to pen the letter to the President bringing to light her desperate situation.
          • The 17-year-old and her younger sister–who are orphans–were reportedly being tossed from one relative to another.

          Philomena Mutheu, a Form Four student from St. Mary’s School in Kithangaini can now breathe a sigh of relief after her fees was paid in full.

          On Wednesday, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua said he cleared her fees balance of Ksh. 26,958.

          “She is now back in school and in class. Early this (Wednesday) morning, I established that her case is genuine and not a fabrication as some people had tried to purport,” Dr. Mutua said on Twitter.

          Following a conversation with the Principal of St. Mary’s School Madam Lillian Ireri, the Governor confirmed that Mutheu was among 45 students who were sent home due to lack of fees on November 6.

          According to Dr. Mutua, out of all the students who were sent home, only four have not returned.

          The Principal is said to have indicated that despite the directive by the National Government that no student be sent home due to school fees arrears, there was a shift in position as funds are yet to be received from the Education ministry.

          “She confirmed that the school’s board of management made this decision on October 30, 2020, and the Sub County Director of Education, a Mr. Simiyu, approved the sending home of candidates due to lack of fees and monies to sustain the students in the school,” Dr. Mutua added.

          The Governor also noted that county officials have since discovered that many other candidates are being sent home despite the government advisory against such a move.

          He commended Mutheu for her courage to pen the letter to the President bringing to light her desperate situation.

          The 17-year-old and her younger sister–who are orphans–were reportedly being tossed from one relative to another.

          Dr. Mutua also revealed that the two siblings have been receiving support from an organization known as Oasis of Hope which had already paid Ksh. 5,000 for her at the school.

          On November 6, Mutheu wrote a letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta pleading for help with school fees and other basic needs.

          “I am always top 10 in my class, I have nobody to assist me, this had led to a lot of stress and depression. I aspire to be a teacher but I have lost hope in life. I need a lot of guidance and counseling to gain strength,” her letter reads in part.

          Three medical officers arrested in connection with child-trafficking scandle in Kenya

          Three medical officers arrested in connection with child-trafficking syndicate in Kenya
          A screen grab of the BBC expose on the child-theft syndicate.
          Three medical officers have been arrested following a damning expose by the BBC Eye that shed light on a vicious child-trafficking syndicate operating in Kenya.

          In a statement sent to media houses on Wednesday, Inspector General of police Hillary Mutyambai said investigations have shown that smugglers have been working in cahoots with senior medical officers.

          The twisted syndicate, according the police statement, has been enabled by several children homes and public hospitals within the capital.

          IG Mutyambai has now promised swift action on the matter, saying there is a high possibility that more arrests will be made in the coming days as probe intensifies.

          At the same time, he has directed all County Police Commanders to work closely with children homes within their jurisdictions to unearth possible child-trafficking incidences in local public and private hospitals.

          The IG has also appealed to members of the public to volunteer any information to the police on any suspicion relating to the crimes.

          An exposé by the BBC Eye had shone the spotlight on the thriving underworld of child trafficking in Kenya’s capital.

          The damning expose showed how children were hawked off from unsuspecting parents and children homes to selfish individuals, leaving behind desolate parents and unresolved crimes.

          At least 10 people dead after boat capsizes in Lake Victoria

          At least 10 people dead after boat capsizes in Lake Victoria
          FILE PHOTO | A boat capsized in Lake Victoria at Usenge on May 2, 2020.

          Ten people drowned after the boat they were in capsized in Lake Victoria near Honge Beach in Bondo.

          According to the area Beach Management Unit Chairman Elly Odhiambo Masinde, the boat had 20 people on board and was transporting maize and bananas to Usenge beach.

          “It capsized after it was hit by strong winds on Tuesday night,” he told Radio Ramogi.

          The other 10 people–nine adults and one child–were rescued by fishermen who on a routine fishing expedition at the time of the incident.

          The BMU chairman said the boat regularly transports food items from Uganda to Usenge Beach.

          Assistant Chief of Got Agulu sub-location Fredrick Ochieng Abuonji added that the search for the ten bodies is ongoing.

          They appealed for government support to enable them to retrieve those bodies from the lake.

          In May this year, a ferry with an unknown number of passengers capsized in Lake Victoria.

          The water bus was plying the Mageta Island—Usenge beach route in Siaya County when the incident occurred.

          Sources say the boat could have been hit by strong winds and high tides partly attributed to rising water levels of Lake Victoria.

          Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccine induces quick immune response

          Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine induces quick immune response: study
          FILE PHOTO: A man works in the packaging facility of Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech
          Sinovac Biotech’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine CoronaVac triggered a quick immune response but the level of antibodies produced was lower than in people who had recovered from the disease, preliminary trial results showed on Wednesday.

          While the early to mid-stage trials were not designed to assess the efficacy of CoronaVac, researchers said it could provide sufficient protection, based on their experience with other vaccines and data from preclinical studies with macaques.

          The study comes hot on the heels of upbeat news this month from U.S. drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna as well as Russia that showed their experimental vaccines were over 90% effective based on interim data from large, late-stage trials.

          CoronaVac and four other experimental vaccines developed in China are currently undergoing late-stage trials to determine their effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

          The Sinovac findings, published in a peer-reviewed paper in medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, came from results in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials in China involving more than 700 participants.

          “Our findings show that CoronaVac is capable of inducing a quick antibody response within four weeks of immunisation by giving two doses of the vaccine at a 14-day interval,” Zhu Fengcai, one of the authors of the paper, said.

          “We believe that this makes the vaccine suitable for emergency use during the pandemic,” Zhu said in a statement published alongside the paper.

          Researchers said the findings from large, late-stage studies, or Phase III trials, would be crucial to determine if the immune response generated by CoronaVac was sufficient to protect people from the coronavirus infection.

          Sinovac is currently running three Phase III trials in Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey.The results must be interpreted with caution until Phase III results are published, Naor Bar-Zeev, a professor from Johns Hopkins University who was not involved in the study, said.

          “But even then, after Phase III trial completion and after licensure, we should prudently remain cautious,” he said. CoronaVac is one of three experimental COVID-19 vaccines China has been using to inoculate hundreds of thousands of people under an emergency use programme.

          The two other vaccines in China’s emergency programme, both developed by institutes linked to Sinopharm, and another vaccine from CanSino Biologics, were also shown to be safe and triggered immune responses in early and mid-stage trials, peer-reviewed papers show.

          Gang Zeng, a Sinovac researcher involved in the CoronaVac study, said the vaccine could be an attractive option because it can be stored at normal fridge temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36°-46°F) and may remain stable for up to three years.

          “(It) would offer some advantages for distribution to regions where access to refrigeration is challenging,” the author said.Vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna use a new technology called synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) to activate the immune system against the virus and require far colder storage.

          Pfizer’s vaccine must be stored and transported at -70C though it can be kept in a normal fridge for up to five days, or up to 15 days in a thermal shipping box. Moderna’s candidate is expected to be stable at normal fridge temperatures for 30 days but for storage of up to six months it needs to be kept at -20C.

          CoronaVac is also being considered by Brazil and Indonesia for inoculations in the coming months.Indonesia has sought emergency authorisation to start a mass vaccination campaign by the end of the year and vaccines produced by Sinovac and China’s Sinopharm are slated to be used in the early stages of the campaign.

          Brazil’s Sao Paulo also plans to roll out CoronaVac as early as January and has agreed a supply deal with Sinovac.“The excellent safety of CoronaVac, compared to other vaccines under development, makes for greater acceptance by the population,” Ricardo Palacios, trial manager of Brazil’s Butantan Institute biomedical centre, which is testing CoronaVac, told Reuters.

          Matatus to be relocated out of Nairobi’s CBD by Dec 1

          Matatus to be relocated out of Nairobi's CBD by Dec 1
          Matatus operating within the CBD will now be expected to terminate their journeys outside the city effective December 1.

          According to the Nairobi Metropolitan Services, PSV plying major routes leading to the CBD will terminate the trips at the Green park and the Desai road terminals.

          Works are on going at the green park bus terminal . The Nairobi metropolitan services busy at work to ensure that by 1st December PSVs plying Ngong and Lang’ata roads will terminate their journeys here .

          At the Desai road terminus in Ngara work is almost complete. Once completed the terminal will serve Matatus from Waiyaki way, Uhuru highway, Kipande and Limuru roads.

          PSVs from Mombasa road will terminate at another new terminal at the junction of Bunyala and workshop road, which is still under construction.

          The Muthurwa terminus is expected to remain as it serves PSV from Jogoo and Lusaka roads.

          “The reason why the previous plans by the government never worked was because we were never involved, they would just wake up on a random morning and say no PSV will enter the CBD, and we had to comply,”Kushian Muchiri , the Chairman ,Matatu and Boda Boda operators said

          This is not the first time the government has tried to deal with the nasty traffic congestion by blocking Matatus from the CBD

          Concern is now on whether terminals such as the existing Muthurwa one- known for its insecurity and traffic snarl-ups- will be maintained by the county government as nothing has been done at the moment.

          “If they cannot maintain this bus stop why should we believe them when they say that they will build and operate new terminals,” Daniel Aloka,  Matatu conductor poses.

          Pot holes , garbage , hand carts and general chaos characterise the Muthurua bus terminal . With buses from Jogoo Rd now expected to terminate their trips here questions are being raised over the capacity of the bus stop with operators saying that it has a capacity of 300 buses compared to the 10,000 busses that serve residents living along Jogoo road.

          FDA, US approves first COVID-19 test kit for home use in 

          FDA approves first COVID-19 test kit for home use
          FILE PHOTO: Dr. Vincent Carrao swabs a patient’s nose for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at Palisades Oral Surgery, in Fort Lee, New Jersey, U.S., June 15, 2020. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

          The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it had approved the first COVID-19 self-testing kit for home use that provides results within 30 minutes.

          The single-use test, made by Lucira Health, has been given emergency use authorization for home use with self-collected nasal swab samples in individuals aged 14 and older who are suspected of COVID-19 by their health care provider, the FDA said.

          “While COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been authorized for at-home collection, this is the first that can be fully self-administered and provide results at home,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said.

          The kit can also be used at hospitals and point-of-care settings but samples should be collected by a healthcare provider if the individuals who are tested are younger than 14 years, the health regulator said.

          Although a recent string of positive news from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc on their potential vaccines has raised hopes in combating the disease, testing still is a key factor in controlling the spread of the virus.

          “We look forward to proactively working with test developers to support the availability of more at-home test options,” said Jeff Shuren, the director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

          The United States crossed 11 million total infections on Sunday, just eight days after reaching the 10 million mark.

          Cargo train ferrying oil from Mombasa derails at Kambu

          Cargo train ferrying oil from Mombasa derails at Kambu
          The train was ferrying oil from KAPA oil refineries on Wednesday morning when the accident occured. 
          A Cargo train heading to Nairobi from Mombasa has derailed at the Kambu area on the old metre gauge.

          Makueni Police boss Joseph Ole Napeiyan confirmed the incident saying the train was ferrying oil from the KAPA oil refineries.

          Witnesses said the trail had stalled at Kalimani before rolling back at a high speed, ripping off the rails.

          A considerable amount of oil spilled in the area after the accident although no fatalities or injuries had been reported at the time of going to the press.

           

          China made a historic start

          China made a historic start

          – China continues to flex its space muscles. On Tuesday, it fired a rocket into the area scheduled for an early mission to the moon early next week, reports said. A.P.. Long March 5 will hold Chang 5, which aims to bring rocks and other materials from the moon – the first time humans have done so in more than 40 years, per Nature. The mission calls for digging the moon lander part of Chang 5 about 7 feet below the surface and retrieving what it finds. This complements a 2019 mission in which China Became the first nation To land a rover on the shore of the moon.

          “Taking it to the next level to return samples from the moon is an important technical ability,” says Caroline Van Der Bogart, a planetary geologist at the University of Monster. China currently has a mission to Mars. An analysis of the soon-to-be-recovered lunar rocks could answer questions about the moon’s evolution and perhaps even shed light on the planets. Nature. As for the first lunar mission, the Chinese rover continues to send back photos, and Space.com 

          Waiguru faces eviction in Sh44m Kitisuru rent row

          waiguru

          Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru. 

          Ms Waiguru has sought court protection from property developer Kihingo Village Ltd, which has asked the governor to pay the millions of shillings or vacate the Sh80 million house following a botched sale deal inked in September 2015.

          The former Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary (CS) reckons that she paid Sh40 million in cash for the property and had an agreement with KCB Group to offer an additional Sh40 million as mortgage .

          The mortgage agreement was not completed.The developer of the home has denied receiving payment from Ms Waiguru, calling the governor a tenant and not the owner. Kihingo has demanded that the governor pay rent for the five years she has been residing in the home or risk asset seizure by Chardor Auctioneers.

          “The applicant is apprehensive that unless the orders sought herein are granted, the consequences of the eviction will be dire as the suit property is her residential home where she resides with her family. The damage will be irreparable,” Waweru Gatonye, Ms Waiguru’s lawyer, told the court.

          “Further, the orders will embolden the defendants (Kihingo Village Ltd) to demand for rent which as stated above is unwarranted and untenable in law.”

          Ms Waiguru has sought permanent orders to stop Kihingo Village from demanding rent, arguing that she was the purchaser of the property and not a tenant.Justice Elijah Obaga issued temporary orders against the eviction, but asked the parties to settle the rent dispute among themselves.

          The governor reckons that the advice to settle the rent row could embolden Kihingo Village —which is associated with former Tetu MP Ndungu Gethenji — to evict her from the property.The parties appeared before Justice Obaga last week, who directed them to come for hearing in February 2021.

          The botched sale deal happened two months before Ms Waiguru’s resignation as Devolution CS, saying unsubstantiated allegations linking her to corruption in the ministry had taken a toll on her health.

          Her exit followed the charging of two high-ranking officials at the Devolution ministry in court with trying to block another senior official from informing the police about a plot to steal Sh695 million.

          Ms Waiguru argues that the action of Kihingo Village is meant to portray her as a person who does not pay rent and with no integrity and reputation.“Noting her status as the Governor of Kirinyaga County, such an unlawful and unwarranted action of evicting her will no doubt cast aspersion as to her reputation,” Mr Gatonye said.

          She first moved to court on February 20, saying the case was extremely urgent and should be heard on a priority basis.This followed an eviction notice from Kihingo Village that asked her to vacate the house by February 29 or risk auction.

          The company further sought rent arrears of Sh40.8 million, a demand the governor termed unlawful and unwarranted because she is not a tenant but the property owner.Ms Waiguru said she purchased the property through an agreement dated September 25, 2015 for Sh80 million.

          Kihingo Village, she said, allowed her to move in before completing the transaction and that she paid Sh40 million after signing the deal.

          In the agreement, she said, the company allegedly allowed her to get a financier to pay the balance of the purchase price and agreed to release the documents to the bank immediately after receiving the funds from the lender, to act as security.

          Court documents show that she approached KCB on January 22, 2016 for a loan of Sh40 million and charged the property to the bank.Ms Waiguru has blamed the property developer for delaying the KCB mortgage deal.

          “The delay in completion of the said agreement has been occasioned by the respondents who have failed to deliver the completion documents to enable the bank to register a charge against it before releasing the balance of the purchase price,” said Ms Waiguru in court documents.

          “… I am not a tenant in the suit property but a purchaser who has so far paid half the purchase price in line with the provisions of the lease agreement dated 25th September 2015.”

          Kihingo Village has been demanding the unsecured cash to complete the deal.Through Gichuki King’ara & Co. Advocates, the company threatened to evict and auction her, saying she cannot stay in the house for free, yet she does not own it.

          “Your client has unlawfully stayed for the last four years and 6 months in our clients premises without payment of rent and completing whatever other transactions that she has failed to disclose to us through documentation,” Gichuki King’ara & Co. Advocates said in a letter to Waiguru’s lawyers.

          “Our client is not aware if any sale transaction with your client where it was agreed to grant her five years to complete. If you have a copy of the same, please forward to us.”

          Rebels kill at least 35 in eastern DR Congo

          Attacks blamed on Ugandan rebel group Allied Democratic Forces

          Published on 18.11.2020

          Rebels kill at least 35 in eastern DR Congo

          At least 35 people have been killed by rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, local media reported Tuesday.

          Six people were killed and another was wounded after rebels stormed Kokola village in Beni territory, North Kivu province, said UN-run Radio Okapi, citing government officials.

          The brutal attack was blamed on the Ugandan rebel group the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).In a separate incident, 29 bodies were found Monday by a Congolese military patrol in the area of Mwalika in Beni.

          “This brings to at least 811 the number of civilians killed in this territory since Oct. 31, 2019,” said the Kivu Security Tracker (KST), a joint project of the Congo Research Group and Human Rights Watch.

          “The attack in Kokola occurred around 6 a.m. (0500 GMT). For the moment, there is no displacement of populations […] We have asked the people to stay calm,” Sabiti Mbafumoja, an administrative official in the Eringeti region, was quoted by Radio Okapi as saying.

          He said the injured were transported to a local hospital.The Central African country has been battling rebel groups for over two decades.

          The ADF, which originated in Uganda’s northeast in the 1990s, has been attacking and killing civilians in eastern DRC for several decades.

          The illicit exploitation of natural resources continues to be a root cause and driver of conflict in the east of the country, according to the UN.Most of the militia groups have set aside their political demands and are involved in mineral trafficking.

          High court lifts freeze on SportPesa’s bank accounts

          karauri

          SportPesa’s CEO Ronald Karauri.

          Justice David Majanja on November 13 gave Pevans East Africa, the company behind the SportPesa brand, control of its bank accounts that had been frozen since August 20.

          “The preservation order issued on September 11, 2020 and extended on October 5, 2020 be and is hereby discharged,” the judge ordered.

          “That this matter be and is hereby stayed pending the hearing and determination of Milimani High Court Misc. Application No. 045 of 2020 or until further orders of the court.”

          The taxman on August 20 issued preservation notices to Pevans’ bankers, invoking the Tax Procedures Act (TPA) that allows it to make such a move if it believes tax collection is being frustrated.

          The taxman said the freeze, which also affected SportPesa’s pay-bill and till numbers, was prompted by a tax evasion investigations. The KRA obtained an extension of the preservation orders on September 11 for 21 days. The orders were once again extended on October 5 for another 60 days.

          Justice Majanja, however, cut short the orders which were to run until December 4. The judge said the unlocking of the bank accounts was necessitated by Pevan’s successful argument that the KRA had failed to disclose material information to the court when seeking the ex-parte orders, including the fact that there are several pending cases addressing the same tax dispute.

          The taxman is demanding a total of Sh14.3 billion, arguing that it has been unable to collect the amount because of the gaming firm’s “fraudulent schemes.”Pevans said that the KRA was abusing the court process by filing new cases.

          Another judge, for instance, declined to grant any preservation orders on February 19 and directed the taxman to serve the application for hearing inter-parties.

          Pevans said the KRA has not prosecuted the matter which is still pending determination.The gaming firm also said that KRA failed to disclose that the claim of Sh14.3 billion is a combination of various demands made by the taxman in 2018 and 2019 for payment of withholding tax on winnings paid to punters and is the subject of various cases.

          The KRA argued there was no need to disclose the other cases because they are different. Justice Majanja, however, rejected the taxman’s argument, noting that the various cases have the same building blocks, including the Sh14.3 billion tax claim.

          “The statutory right of KRA to move to the court ex-parte is accompanied by an implied duty on KRA to disclose to the court all material facts that have a bearing on the matter,” the judge said.

          “This duty of candour is fundamental where a party approaches the court for ex-parte orders has been buttressed in a catena of decisions by our superior courts.”

          The KRA said its preliminary assessment showed that Pevans owed Sh12.3 billion as principal tax and Sh2.4 billion as penalties.The taxman sought to have the company’s bank accounts frozen to allow it to investigate allegations of its tax evasion schemes.

          Pevans’ operating licence was revoked in July last year over the tax row, freezing the popular SportPesa brand that had millions of loyal customers.The company’s chief executive, Ronald Karauri, recently tried to bring back SportPesa through a new Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) licensee, Milestone Games Limited.

          Mr Karauri had acquired an effective 54.4 percent stake in Milestone through a series of investment vehicles ahead of the attempt to revive SportPesa on October 30.

          BCLB, however, clamped down on the operation within hours, saying the SportPesa trade name belongs to Pevans.Milestone’s managers Wilson Karungaru and Bernard Chauro have since been charged in court with appropriating the SportPesa brand.

          BCLB said Milestone’s authorisation to operate under the Sportpesa brand was an error.

          “According to information in our possession, the tradename SportPesa belongs to M/s Pevans East Africa Limited,” the regulator wrote to Milestone, prohibiting the firm from using SportPesa’s domains, short codes and pay bill numbers.

          Nations League: Spain humiliate Germany 6-0

          Nations League: Spain humiliate Germany 6-0

          In Summary

          • In a repeat of the Euro 2008 final, former Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata headed in Spain’s first goal, before Torres volleyed home emphatically.

            Rodri made it three with a guided header, and Torres slotted in a fourth before curling home the fifth.Mikel Oyarzabal’s tap-in made it 6-0.

          Manchester City winger Ferran Torres scored his first career hat-trick as Spain inflicted Germany’s heaviest competitive defeat and joined France in the four-team Nations League finals.

          In a repeat of the Euro 2008 final, former Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata headed in Spain’s first goal, before Torres volleyed home emphatically.Rodri made it three with a guided header, and Torres slotted in a fourth before curling home the fifth.

          Mikel Oyarzabal’s tap-in made it 6-0.Spain and France will be joined by either Belgium or Denmark from Group A2 and Italy, the Netherlands or Poland from Group A1.

          It was a game that Spain dominated from the off – having 70% possession and 23 shots – but it was 20-year-old Torres who stole the show.

          His fast, intelligent movement and eye for a goal has impressed in the opening weeks of the season, and his performance here strengthened the idea that Manchester City may have got a bargain after only paying an initial £20m for his services.

          His raw pace and trickery set up an incorrectly disallowed Morata goal, before he showed composure to set himself and volley home his first.

          His second again demonstrated excellent technique, as he controlled a cross that was behind him before slotting underneath Manuel Neuer.

          He saved the best for last as he superbly curled home from the edge of the area to take his international tally to four goals.

          His performance will have delighted fans in the blue half of Manchester, with the man he replaced at City, Leroy Sane, completely ineffective for the Germans.

          The only setbacks on a fantastic night for Spain were muscular injuries to captain Sergio Ramos and Sergio Canales. But manager Luis Enrique said both injuries were “of very little importance”, adding “it is not pleasant for the clubs”.Going into the game, Germany were unbeaten in 2020, and in control of Group A4.

          They needed to avoid defeat to reach the finals and while that situation can sometimes lead to confusion about how to play, they were below par throughout.

          They failed to register a single shot on target, with Serge Gnabry coming closest when his 22-yard effort rebounded off the bar in the dying moments.

          It was a night filled with questionable tactical decisions, as Chelsea forward Timo Werner played wide left, with Gnabry through the middle in an uninspiring first-half performance.

          Manager Joachim Low was given the chance to rebuild the side after elimination from the 2018 World Cup in the group stages, but with his side ranked 13th in the world, this performance suggests he has significant work to do before next year’s rearranged European Championship.

          Low said he didn’t “know what really happened”, but said he still trusts in the players.He added: “Today we saw that we are not as far ahead in our development as we had thought and expected after the last games.”

          ‘Full-Scale Humanitarian Crisis Unfolding’ In Ethiopia: UN

          The United Nations said Tuesday that thousands of people were fleeing northern Ethiopia’s conflict-torn Tigray region and the border area with Sudan now faced a full-blown refugee emergency.

          “A full-scale humanitarian crisis is unfolding,” UN refugee agency spokesman Babar Baloch told a virtual press briefing.

          Some 4,000 people are fleeing across the border every day, Baloch said.

          In all, more than 27,000 people have now streamed into Sudan since the conflict in Tigray erupted there two weeks ago.

          “Refugees fleeing the fighting continue to arrive exhausted from the long trek to safety, with few belongings,” Baloch said.

          “The pace is very rapid,” he said, stressing that the Sudan was now experiencing “an influx unseen over the last two decades in this part of the country.”

          Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, announced a military campaign in the dissident northern region on November 4.

          He said it came in response to attacks by local ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), on federal military camps.

          The TPLF dominated Ethiopian politics for three decades before Abiy came to power in 2018.

          A bitter feud has grown as the party became sidelined, growing ever more defiant towards the central government.

          Ethiopia and the region of Tigray © AFP

          Abiy has resisted calls by world leaders to cease hostilities and accept mediation.

          The recent fighting has meanwhile left hundreds dead, although a communications blackout in Tigray has made it difficult to assess how the fighting is going.

          It also remained unclear how many people had been displaced inside Ethiopia, but UN humanitarian agency spokesman Jens Laerke said given the number of people crossing the border “there may be massive displacement” inside Tigray.

          Baloch also cautioned that the conflict was also “a major ongoing concern for the Eritrean refugee population” in Tigray, which he said numbered nearly 100,000.

          “Potential for further displacement of refugees inside the country is increasingly a real possibility,” he said, warning that the “humanitarian situation as result of this crisis is growing rapidly.”

          Pennsylvania court deals blow to Trump campaign’s bid to overturn Biden win

          Supreme court justices ruled observers were not blocked from the counting and also reversed a decision allowing observers within 6ft

          Police stand between two opposing groups of protesters outside the Philadelphia convention center, where officials were counting mail-in ballots.
          Police stand between two opposing groups of protesters outside the Philadelphia convention center, where officials were counting mail-in ballots. 

          Philadelphia election officials did not improperly block Donald Trump’s campaign from observing the counting of mail-in ballots, the Pennsylvania supreme court ruled on Tuesday, a major blow to the president’s already flailing legal efforts.

          The decision is significant because one of the Trump campaign’s loudest claims since the election has been that they were improperly blocked from observing the counting of ballots in Philadelphia.

          While campaign observers were always allowed to observe, the campaign alleged they were being kept too far from the counting – about 15-18ft – to make any meaningful observation. It secured a court order in the days after election day requiring Philadelphia officials to let observers within 6ft.

          But the Pennsylvania supreme court reversed that decision on Tuesday, noting that Pennsylvania law gives Philadelphia election officials wide discretion to decide the rules around observers.

          “The board did not act contrary to law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives during the pre-canvassing and canvassing process, as the election code does not specify minimum distance parameters for the location of such representatives,” justice Barbara Todd, a Democrat, wrote for the five justice majority.

          “We find the board’s regulations as applied herein were reasonable in that they allowed candidate representatives to observe the board conducting its activities as prescribed under the election code.”

          Even the two Republican justices who dissented from the majority opinion disagreed with the idea, advanced by the Trump campaign, that legitimate votes should be rejected because of improper observation practices.

          “Short of demonstrated fraud, the notion that presumptively valid ballots cast by the Pennsylvania electorate would be disregarded based on isolated procedural irregularities that have been redressed – thus disenfranchising potentially thousands of voters – is misguided,” wrote chief justice Thomas Saylor in his dissenting opinion.

          “Accordingly, to the degree that there is a concern with protecting or legitimizing the will of the Philadelphians who cast their votes while candidate representatives were unnecessarily restrained at the convention center, I fail to see that there is any real issue.”

          Joe Biden currently leads Trump in Pennsylvania by 72,832 votes.

          The decision came as Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, appeared in a Pennsylvania federal court on Tuesday to accuse Democrats in control of big cities of hatching a nationwide conspiracy to steal the election, despite no such evidence having emerged to support it.

          Lawyers defending the Democratic secretary of state, Philadelphia and several counties said the Trump campaign’s arguments lack any constitutional basis or were rendered irrelevant by a state supreme court decision.

          They asked US district judge Matthew Brann to throw out the case, calling the allegations “at best, garden-variety irregularities” that would not warrant invalidating Pennsylvania’s election results.

          While a ruling has not yet been issued, a loss in the case would likely doom Trump’s already-remote prospects of altering the election’s outcome.                                                                        Donald Trump’s refusal to concede …… risks jeopardising the transition for president elect Joe Biden, vice president elect Kamala Harris, and all those who believe in justice. It could disrupt efforts to take rapid action on the escalating pandemic, the climate crisis, and the migrant emergency in Central America. Trump’s false accusations of voter fraud are already being thrown out of courts, and appear to subvert the very foundations of democracy.

          Showdown as Uhuru and Raila launch referendum signature drive 

          In Summary
          • The signature collection will take a record one week.
          • ODM leader has been meeting  stakeholders to build consensus but opposition has been mounting.

          President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted by ODM leader Raila Odinga during a tour of Kisumu county on October 22.

          DRIVE BY THE TWO: President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted by ODM leader Raila Odinga during a tour of Kisumu county on October 22.

          A showdown is in the offing as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga launch the signatures drive for the contentious referendum.

          There’s no public consensus. An NIS report to Uhuru says only 19 per cent of the country wants a referendum – but the drive will begin on Thursday.

          The drive means the two have slammed the door on any changes to the disputed Building Bridges Initiative proposals.

          Some of its key proposals have drawn widespread strident criticism – and calls for more time and amendments. Raila says just vote ‘no’ at the ballot if you don’t like it.

          Deputy President William Ruto has threatened to lead the ‘no’ campaign in the contested referendum.

          On Tuesday, Raila announced the signatures collection drive will begin on Thursday, setting the stage for a  do-0r-die battle barely two years to the 2022 General Election.

          “On Thursday (tomorrow), me and the President will lead the country in launching the collection of signatures. We want it to be done as quickly as possible so that by latest end of next week we shall have concluded the exercise,”Raila said.

          For the first time, it has emerged the BBI secretariat will be led by Uhuru and Raila diehards.

          The Secretariat will be co-chaired by Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera and Sarah Kilemi, the wife of former Education assistant Minister Kilemi Mwiria.

          Ongera is a Raila confidant and served as ODM executive director for many years, including during the 2010 referendum when Raila was Prime Minister.

          Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru will constitute the political wing of the secretariat.

          They will be charged with coordinating all the activities and ensure that the BBI referendum sails through the population, county assemblies and Parliament.

          Waweru is a staunch supporter of the President who has no time for Ruto.

          Raila told reporters they are working on elaborate plans to ensure signatures of registered voters are collected within a week, a record time.

          The signatures will be submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for verification before the year ends.

          It is reported signature collection will be spearheaded by the provincial administration  with roots across the country  that is likely to make the exercise a walk in the park.

          In 2016, Cord failed to get one million signatures in its Okoa Kenya Referendum drive.

          With the door for further amendments bolted, it’s clear Kenya is headed for fiercely contested plebiscite. 

          On Monday, Ruto trashed the BBI recommendations as a “bad document” and warned against refusing to open it for amendments. 

          He expressed regret the costly two-year product had turned out to be “highly controversial and with so many glaring gaps”.

          “Those driving the BBI should not tell Kenyans that they have no time for further amendments. If we cannot enrich the document, then we would end up with a bad Constitution because its work was entirely unprofessional,” the Deputy President said.

          So far, the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, a wide section of civil society players and women’s groups have threatened to shoot down the initiative.

          The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops says the BBI report will birth an imperial presidency and a police state.

          In 2010, Ruto teamed up with the church to oppose enactment of the current Constitution.

          On Tuesday, Raila told Ruto to brace for an epic political battle in the impending referendum, ruling out possibility of further amendments on the documents as demanded.

          “Those are his views; he is entitled to his views. There will always be doubting Thomases in any process and that is why we are saying if you disagree with it [BBI proposals]l let’s meet in the field. Useme yako, tuseme yetu (You sell your position as we sell ours),” Raila said.

          The ODM leader spoke after meeting minority and majority leaders from all the 47 county assemblies.

          He was accompanied by Junet Mohamed and Nyando MP Jared Okelo during the afternoon meeting at a Nairobi hotel.

          During the Thursday launch at KICC, which will be attended by 300 people, the President, Raila and national leaders will sign the signature booklets before they are taken to counties, constituencies and wards.

          Raila, the former PM and current AU envoy for infrastructure, said any editorial adjustment will be concluded on Wednesday and the bill published this week.

          Junet hinted the bill might be published on Wednesday, ahead of Thursday’s signature launch.

          “The bill will be available at the signature launch,” he told the Star on the one.

          Already, a BBI secretariat has been set up that will spearhead the process expected to culminate into a referendum in June next year.

          The Star has established four experts have been identified to make the suggested editorial work on the document.

          They include university don Prof Ben Sihanya, ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen, Tom Macharia and former Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi.

          The experts are expected to finish on Wednesday and the bill published the same day.

          Initially, the signature collection drive was to be held on Monday but that idea was abandoned in what insiders called the need to build more consensus on the document.

          On Sunday, Raila met Western region governors to whip them into supporting the document after the Council of Governors raised a number of issues they demanded be addressed.

          Governors had proposed a long list of changes to BBI, including giving them a free hand in choosing their deputies after election, strengthening Senate and giving it veto power on all bills.

          They also want powers to hire and fire their deputies, as they do with members of County Executive Committees, given that BBI proposes DGs be given ministerial portfolios.

          Governors also want removal of a proposal that they choose deputies of the opposite gender, meaning they don’t want mostly women deputies.

          Apart of meeting county Assemblies’ leadership on Tuesday, Raila is also expected to meet the women leaders on Wednesday as he makes his final dash to build consensus.

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          William Samoei Ruto.

          The comical demeanor and the role the former nominated KANU MP and assistant minister played in Kenyan politics make him one unforgettable figure in the shaping of the current leadership.

          he decision by Too, who was born in Ndubeneti area in Nandi county, to give up his nomination seat for Uhuru Kenyatta in 2001 is deemed as a great step that helped the latter climb the political ladder. The surrendering of his nomination seat to Uhuru saw Moi appoint the current president minister for local government. The former vice-chairman of Lonrho East Africa once stated he accepted to give Uhuru his nomination slot because he had trust in his leadership. That was the time that the current president had just lost his bid to capture the Gatundu South parliamentary seat and it took the late politician’s interventions to revive Uhuru’s political life. Bwana dawa Too was also known as ‘Bwana dawa’ following his important role in fixing stalemates during Moi’s regime where he turned to be revered as an accomplished ‘fixer’ of government issues.

          The president assigned him to help stop the inter-ethnic conflicts in Kolongolo area in Pokot region where he arbitrated an escalating tension. Even after his death, Uhuru made it clear to the country that he owed his rise in leadership to the deceased. The president observed that the astute politician was always at the frontline urging him to enter into elective politics as one way of making an impact in society. Though it is now four years since his demise, Kenyans still remember his great contribution and even wish that he were still alive to calm the current political turmoil. Several of his hilarious videos have recently been circulating on social media with netizens reminiscing on the icon who they described as a unifying leader for the country. Problem solver His daughter Jenny Too is currently following in his footsteps as a nominated MCA in Uasin Gishu county.

          Jenny Too.

          “He wasn’t extravagant, he loved everybody from those that had nothing to the rich. He was an amazing human being, and God gave us this priceless gift as a father. Though he left too soon, we are proud of his love and care for our family,” she said. Jenny said her father was a wise disciplinarian who always told them that it does not pay to be rude whether you are in a position of power.

          According to the MCA, her late dad shaped the country’s politics and made a mark in education, something he will never be forgotten for. “My kind plea to the citizens is that we should continue to remember his deeds, uphold his spirit of peace and happiness even in tough political situation,” she added. The MCA was quick to note that it was time the country looks for a new Mr Fix It to mediate differing political factions. “I normally tell my colleagues in the assembly that if Mr Fix It would have been around, the current state of politics would be played differently. The friction will be not too much and democracy would be thriving,” she said. As one way of keeping his flame alive, the family is working on his biography and has also embarked on plans to set up Mark Too Boys’ secondary school in Uasin Gishu. 

          William Ruto says he was not invited to BBI signature launch event.

          Deputy President William Ruto in a past address. Photo: William Ruto.

          – The second in command’s spokesperson Emmanuel Tallam said he was not invited to the event.It stated Raila Odinga was to speak and invite the head of state to make his address – Despite missing the event, the Jubilee deputy party leader insisted on having a non-contested referendum.

          President Uhuru Kenyatta and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga presided over the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) signature collection exercise on Wednesday, November 25.