NEWS AND EVENTS
COVID-19: Kenya records 413 new cases, 396 recoveries and 12 deaths
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.
DCI reopens post election violence cases as victims claim new threats
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
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
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,
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, 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
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 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
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
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
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.
• 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.
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.
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
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
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.
• 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.
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
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’
- 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
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.
• 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 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
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 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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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”.
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.
“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.
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
- 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.
• 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.
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 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
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
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
“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
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
• 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 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.
“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.
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.
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
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
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
“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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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
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.
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.”
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
- The signature collection will take a record one week.
- ODM leader has been meeting stakeholders to build consensus but opposition has been mounting.
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.
Media in Kenya, and Africa as a whole, has been challenged to observe accuracy and objectivity in their coverage of the existing relationship between China and Africa. Amid skepticism over the East Asian country’s interests in the continent, journalists have been encouraged to scrutinize this collaboration from a development perspective.
The majority of the speakers who addressed the China-Africa Media Cooperation Forum 2020 held in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, argued that a close analysis of the relationship holds the answer and will help demystify what they believe has been an outright misrepresentation of the situation.
Coming at the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation, FOCAC, Former deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission Erastus Mwencha notes that there has been widespread misinformation regarding China’s agenda in the continent, for instance, under the framework of Belt and Road Initiative.
Ambassador Mwencha, who also sits in the High-level Advisory Council of Belt and Road, noted that the only way to remedy this situation is for journalists to carry out investigations and read more about what China is offering Africa.
“What I see is people and journalists quoting or reporting what others have said or written in the past” Mwencha said
He said the role of the Fourth Estate is to not only hold the people to account, but also to inform the society.
His views resonated well with those of Kenya Film Classification Board Chair Dr. Ezekiel Mutua who insists that trade relations and opportunities availed by China through the Belt and Road Initiative must be broken down to the citizenry in a way that is both factual but sensible.
“China-Africa collaboration must be premised on development and common interests that focus on improving the lives and livelihoods of our people. The media both in China and Africa must commit to communicating this relationship in a way that people find them mutually beneficial.” The KFCB boss reiterated
Addressing the forum via video link from Beijing, the Executive Secretary of All-China Journalists Association Tian Yuhong urged media practitioners from both sides to resist the temptation to publish unverified reports. He noted that for some time, the western media have leveraged their advantages in digital technology to discredit China and Africa cooperation.
“The Chinese and African press should be more united and jointly advocate objective, rational, and scientific media coverage, enhance mutual understanding between China and Africa, and cement the traditional friendship between our two sides.” He stressed.
On his part, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Managing Director Dr. Naim Bilal acknowledged that there has been a great involvement of China in the continent particularly in aiding development. He says this cooperation has been extended to the Media industry.
He recalled his time at the helm of Kenya News Agency where China donated state-of-the-art digital equipment worth in excess of Kshs.72 Million that was distributed throughout government information offices across the country.
“We have had great partnerships between China and Kenya. I have attended many Belt and Road forums in China where I have seen great interest with China to partner Africa in a variety of areas, media being one of them.” Dr. Bilal remarked
Lauding the existing cooperation between Beijing and Africa, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Zhou Pingjian says his country has always paid attention to the voices of Africa, respects the continent’s will, and seeks to be in line with Africa’s needs.
“Guided by the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith, China is fully committed to strengthening solidarity and cooperation with Africa.” He said
At the same time, Deputy Director-General of China’s communication bureau of cyberspace Zhang Yong termed the media cooperation “an effective mechanism for leading media organizations to engage in policy dialogue, content cooperation, talent exchanges, and technical and industrial cooperation.”
Over and above this, Media Council of Kenya chairman Maina Muiruri noted that media, especially in Kenya, has come of age and that journalists have the capacity and the wherewithal to exercise independence. He noted that the swift adoption of digital technology by the media industry in Kenya will strengthen this endeavor.
“Digital technology has shown what opportunities are there and can be adopted and we have the capacity to produce our own stories,” He said
Gov’t to probe child trafficking syndicate after BBC exposé ‘The Baby Stealers’
- The going-rate in Nairobi to steal a child from a woman is roughly Ksh. 50,000 for a girl or Ksh. 80,000 for a boy.
- The driving force behind the black market is a persistent cultural stigma around infertility.
- There are no reliable statistics on child trafficking in Kenya – no government reports, no comprehensive national surveys.
The government has set up a multi-agency to probe child trafficking syndicate exposed by ‘The Baby Stealers‘ BBC Africa Eye documentary.
Labour and Social Services CS Simon Chelugui said the investigation is at a preliminary stage to establish all the networks behind the syndicate.
“Following this expose, a team of officers and experts from the relevant government agencies has been constituted to exhaustively investigate and take the necessary action. As the Government of Kenya, we do not condone child trafficking and we will do everything possible to get to the bottom of this issue,” he said during a Press briefing on Tuesday.
The Labour CS sought to assure Kenyans that health facilities across the country are secure and safe for mothers and children.
He further urged the public to report any case involving child trafficking to Child Helpline 116, the police or relevant government agencies.
“The Government of Kenya is committed to the safety and security of all children and would like to inform Kenyans that if for one reason or the other, they may not have children of their own, that there are legal procedures for adopting,” the CS added.
The expose by the BBC’s Africa Eye revealed that vulnerable women are being preyed on in Nairobi to feed a thriving black market for babies.
Over the course of a year-long investigation, Africa Eye found evidence of children being snatched from homeless mothers and sold for massive profits.
The team uncovered illegal child trafficking in street clinics and babies being stolen to order at a major government-run hospital.
Worse still, Africa Eye said they were able to purchase an abandoned child from a hospital official, who used legitimate paperwork to take custody of a two-week old boy before selling him directly to the team.
The baby stealers are reported to range from vulnerable opportunists to organized criminals – often both elements working together.
Among the opportunists are women like Anita, a heavy drinker and drug user who lives herself on and off the street, and makes money stealing children– targeting mothers with infants under the age of three.
The going-rate in Nairobi to steal a child from a woman is roughly Ksh. 50,000 for a girl or Ksh. 80,000 for a boy.
There are no reliable statistics on child trafficking in Kenya – no government reports, no comprehensive national surveys.
According to BBC’s Africa Eye, the agencies responsible for finding missing children and tracking the black market are under-resourced and under-staffed.
One of the few safeguards for mothers whose children are taken is Missing Child Kenya, an NGO founded and run by Maryana Munyendo.
In its four years in operation, the organisation has worked on about 600 cases, Munyendo said.
“This is a very big issue in Kenya but it is underreported. At Missing Child Kenya we have barely scratched the surface,” she said.
The driving force behind the black market is a persistent cultural stigma around infertility.
“Infertility is not a good thing for a woman in an African marriage,” Munyendo said.
“You are expected to have a child and it should be a boy. If you can’t, you might get kicked out of your home. So what do you do? You steal a child,” she added.
WHO sees limited COVID-19 vaccine doses in early 2021
- Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial.
- Together with Pfizer Inc’s vaccine, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.
The World Health Organization’s chief scientist said on Monday she expects there to be “very limited” COVID-19 vaccine doses available in the first half of 2021.
Soumya Swaminathan said that she remained optimistic that the body would be able to work with many manufacturers to have a wide selection of vaccines as part of its global distribution scheme.
She said that the Moderna results were “quite encouraging”. Its final efficacy and safety profile would still be needed, as well as follow-up on trial participants for two months for any side effects.
Pfizer and Moderna candidate vaccines both use mRNA technology and appear to achieve high efficacy, she added.
“But there are many, many questions still remaining about the duration of protection, the impact on severe disease, the impact on different sub-populations especially the elderly, as well as the adverse events beyond a certain period of time,” Swaminathan said.
Clinical trials must continue to collect more data, she said, adding that more results were expected in coming weeks from the other vaccine trials.
“We are looking at at least the first half of the year as being a period with very very limited doses. Supplies are going to be limited, there are bilateral deals that many of the companies have done, so many of the doses have already been booked by some countries,” Swaminathan said.
Moderna is a two-dose vaccine and its delivery means, as well as storage, were also important considerations, said Kate O’Brien, director of WHO’s immunisation department.
“We will be looking really carefully at the ease at which different vaccines can be delivered and certainly about the number of doses that are required,” she said.
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus lauded Moderna after its experimental vaccine showed 94.5% efficacy but said that “many questions” remained and it was no time for complacency.
“While we continue to receive encouraging news about COVID-19 vaccines and remain cautiously optimistic about the potential for new tools to start to arrive in coming months, right now we are extremely concerned by the surge in cases we are seeing in some countries, particularly in Europe and the Americas,” he told a news briefing.
It marked his return to the Geneva agency from quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus some 17 days ago. Tedros said he had no symptoms and had seen no need for a test.
Moderna Inc’s experimental vaccine is 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, the company said on Monday, becoming the second U.S. drugmaker to report results that far exceed expectations.
Together with Pfizer Inc’s vaccine, which is also more than 90% effective, and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available this year.
Arsenal midfielder Elneny tests positive for Covid-19
- Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty, the Egyptian Football Association has announced.
- The 28-year-old is not showing any symptoms but tested positive on arrival in Togo for Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday.
Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has tested positive for Covid-19 while on international duty, the Egyptian Football Association has announced.
The 28-year-old is not showing any symptoms but tested positive on arrival in Togo for Egypt’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Premier League announced 16 positive results from 1,207 players and club staff tested for coronavirus between 9 and 15 November. Those players and staff who tested positive will self-isolate for 10 days.
Elneny’s result comes after his Egypt team-mate, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, tested positive for coronavirus on Friday.
The Egyptian FA said Elneny had previously returned three negative tests since going on international duty, including one after their home 1-0 win over Togo on Saturday, when the midfielder played the full 90 minutes.
Elneny has featured 11 times for Arsenal in all competitions this season, with the Gunners 11th in the Premier League and top of their Europa League group.
He has returned to Cairo where he will be tested again but could now miss Arsenal’s Premier League game at Leeds on Sunday (16:30 GMT) and a Europa League tie in Norway against Molde on 26 November (17:55).
Earlier on Monday, the Republic of Ireland announced that Tottenham defender Matt Doherty and Stoke midfielder James McClean had tested positive for coronavirus after the 1-0 Nations League loss to Wales on Sunday evening.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho, who will now be without Doherty for Saturday’s home Premier League game against Manchester City (17:30 GMT), posted a sarcastic message on Instagram.
It said: “Amazing week of football. Great emotions in the national team matches, superb friendlies and total safety.
“Covid test results after matches been played, randomers running on the pitch while team sessions are taking place and much more.
“After another training session with only six players, it is now time to take care of myself.”
Motorist burns to death after three vehicles collide on Nairobi-Mombasa Highway
The three ill-fated vehicles included a Toyota Fielder, a Probox and a Toyota Hilux.
According to witnesses, the Probox and the Fielder burst into flames after the nasty collision.
Athi River police station OCPD Goerge Kashimiri confirmed the incident, saying that one person died in the burning vehicle.
Five others who sustained serious injuries were rushed to the Machakos Level Five Hospital where they are currently admitted.
The occupants of the Toyota Hilux told the media that they were travelling to Limuru from Oloitoktok for a funeral.
The body of the deceased was moved to the Machakos Level 5 Hospital Mortuary while the vehicles were towed to Kyumvi Police Station,
Kirinyaga county offices closed after staff test positive for COVID-19
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has announced the closure of the county’s main offices after staff tested positive for COVID-19.
According to her, infections have been spreading rapidly among county officers despite implementation of prevention and control measures.
“Even more worse is some reported fatalities attributable to the COVID-19 disease. Despite efforts to keep the offices running and staff continuing to physically interact while strictly observing Ministry of Health COVID-19 guidelines, these have not borne the desired results; if anything, cases appear to be increasing by the day at the headquarters,” Governor Waiguru said in a statement.
She directed that the county offices be closed for two weeks with effect from Monday, November 16, 2020.
Departments will be required to conduct virtual meetings and use electronic devices to transmit information and data.
Further, Governor Waiguru instructed that all officers be available on phone especially during working hours and respond in a timely manner to communication via email.
“Health CECM is required to ensure mass testing of officers in the affected departments and communicate their results while also ensuring that families are decontaminated/sanitised,” she added.
A multi-million scandal brews at the Ministry of Education
A multi-billion shillings scandal is brewing at the Ministry of Education following revelations that top officials at the ministry have been colluding to pay for non-existent pupils in ghost schools.
According to the Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, a staggering 500,000 plus people have been receiving free primary school education yet they do not even exist.
At the center of these fresh allegations is the distribution of Free Primary Education money with Prof.Magoha claiming the ministry has been losing a whooping 750,000,000 annually….
In the primary school sector our due diligence identified an inflation of numbers of learners from 8.47 million to 9 million learners. The shortfall of 529,997 learners has led to the saving of Kshs. 752,594,740 annually.
Though silent on how long this has been happening, Magoha’s words indicated the alleged theft has been happening for a while.
Upto 2018, the government released capitation money to schools based on the records submitted by respective headteachers and approved by the county directors of education.
The records would then be authenticated by Quality assurance officers before money was released.
The government however embarked on an online digital system, The National Education Management Information system ( NEMIS) where all student data was collected online and schools received money based on the information captured.
At some point, heads of schools were up in arms against the programme saying several students had been left out.
“This management approach has been instrumental in identifying lapses within the Ministry where Public Funds have been misappropriated and measures to ensure that I effectively intervene have been deployed,” Prof. Magoha said.
In addition, there are claims emerging that top ministry officials tasked to oversee the procurement of the desks through the recently launched Government stimulus programme also were on a mission to squander public money.
The figure presented to CS Magoha was inflated by an extra Ksh.1700 per desk which means the 1,.9 billion shillings allocated for the programme could only deliver 250, 000 desks.
CS Magoha however says, over 600, 000 desks will be supplied
The Ministry set the prices at Ksh 2500 and Ksh 3800 for primary and secondary school desks respectively.
The government will now be able to supply 622,157 locally assembled desks to 5,136 public primary (359,450 desks) and 5,243 public secondary schools (262,707 desks, lockers and chairs).
BBI: Inside MPs’ demands on Uhuru
President said to have agreed to have the changes reflected in the final report.
• MPs have opposed the BBI taskforce proposal to elect 47 women senators to the Senate and scrap the equivalent in the National Assembly.
• They also want a Parliamentary Oversight Fund to facilitate members of both houses
Electing 47 women to the Senate and scrapping Nairobi as a county are among the proposals in the Building Bridges Initiative report that could be rescinded.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his handshake partner Raila Odinga struck a deal with MPs on November 2 that could allow fundamental changes to the BBI report.
“They agreed to incorporate the proposal we made and we hope that will happen,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr said of the changes fronted by the Senate and National Assembly.
Mutula sits in the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee which with its counterpart in the National Assembly scrutinised the BBI document and proposed the changes.
According to the document, the MPs oppose the BBI task force’s proposal to elect 47 women to the Senate and scrap the equivalent in the National Assembly.
The committee noted that women representatives play an important role in the National Assembly as that House directly represents people in constituencies.
“It is therefore prudent that they be retained in the National Assembly to continue performing their important representative role and have an opportunity to serve in the Cabinet,” reads the report.
Further, the panel said that the proposed amendment contradicts Article 89 of the Constitution as it does not properly address the issue of gender representation in the National Assembly.
“The Committee further notes that removing these elected women representatives from the National Assembly will also affect the funds that reached women and other marginalised groups through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund,” the committee said.
The MPs also rejected the election of two senators – man and woman – per county, saying that the move will create confusion especially because the key role of the Senate is to protect the interests of counties and distinct entities.
“The role of protection of counties may be compromised when, for instance, the two Senators disagree and therefore do not vote the same way on a matter,” reads the report.
The committee said that jurisdictions that have more than one Senator per constituency such as the United States have far higher populations compared to Kenya.
They want the Senate to maintain the 47 elected members.
Further, the legislators opposed the proposal to repeal Article 123 of the Constitution on voting in the Senate – by delegations or otherwise. This has the implication that voting will be one vote per senator.
“The Committee notes that this deletion ought to be removed, especially noting the Committee’s proposal to only have 47 Senators from each of the Counties,” they said.
The MPs want all members of the Cabinet, except the President and his deputy to report to both Houses of Parliament and, when called upon, attend sittings of both Houses of Parliament and their committees.
They also want a Parliamentary Oversight Fund to facilitate members of both houses in carrying out their oversight work at the National Assembly and county levels.
In another proposal, the MPs want the proposal to scrap Nairobi county rescinded, arguing that such a move could spell doom for devolution.
“The Committee notes that this proposal flies in the face of devolution and is likely to be the first step in killing devolution. Devolution is the bedrock of the current Constitution and its benefits to Kenyans cannot be gainsaid.”
The committee further noted that the proposal restricts the power of the people of Nairobi to exercise their sovereign power.
It discriminates against the people of Nairobi in contravention of Article 27 of the Constitution, the committee said.
Concerning the Judiciary, the legislators have opposed the suggestion to have Judiciary Ombudsman sit in the Judicial Service Commission and report to the President and Parliament.
“The Committee notes that the judiciary ombudsman is an investigative office and should therefore be an ex-officio member of the JSC and further that her/his approval for appointment should be done by the Senate,” reads the report.
The committee further notes that the requirement for the ombudsman to report to the President and to Parliament should be removed. This would ensure the judicial independence, and therefore the independence of the Judiciary Ombudsman.
However, Raila last week indicated there will be ‘no new ideas’ to be incorporated into the report despite calls to tweak it.
Raila announced that the tedious process of collecting one million signatures to begin the referendum process starts this week.
President Kenyatta mourns Matungu MP Justus Murunga
In his message of encouragement, the President eulogised Hon Murunga as a diligent and industrious servant of the people who dedicated his energy to improving the welfare of the residents of Matungu Constituency.
“In this hour of sorrow, I convey my deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Hon Murunga’s family, relatives and the people of Matungu Constituency. My thoughts and prayers are with you,” the President said.
The first term opposition MP is reported to have died last evening on his way to hospital in Mumias after collapsing at his rural home.
The Head of State wished the family of the departed legislator, relatives, friends and residents of Matungu God’s fortitude as they come to terms with the loss of their leader.
The MP who recently left hospital was recovering at his home when he developed breathing complications.
He was rushed to the St Mary’s Hospital in Mumias but succumbed on the way.
Outspoken Mombasa MCA Mohammed Hatimy Succumbs To COVID-19
MOMBASA, Kenya Nov 14 – Mohammed Hatimy, the outspoken County Assembly member in Mombasa is dead.
Hatimy, who was also the Chairman of county’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), died on Saturday morning.
“He passed on at 3am. He was suffering from lung infection,” Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Ibrahim Khatri said. He had been admitted to Mombasa Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Hatimy was husband to Dr. Khadija Shikelly, the Mombasa County Medical Services Chief Officer.
Hatimy was among seven MCAs who tested positive leading to the temporary closure of the assembly on October 27.
He chaired the Finance Committee in Mombasa County Assembly.
His family said they were planning to bury him at the Kokowani Cemetery later Saturday.
Magoha Lands In Trouble With PSC For Insulting Education Official
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha will no longer be in charge of the Human Resources department at the ministry.
The role was withdrawn by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on Friday night after a video went viral on social media, in which he dressed down a senior county education official in public, even telling him he was “silly and stupid.”
Magoha insulted Uasin Gishu County Director of Education Gitonga Mbaka over the state of Langas Primary School, saying it was dirty, even as the official explained that construction was underway. He had gone to the school for a tour.
PSC Chairperson Stephen Kirogo said all human resource matters requiring the attention of the Public Service Commission shall henceforth, be handled by Principal Secretary at the ministry, Belio Kipsang.
“The purpose of this general letter is to inform you that in view of the recent incident in the Ministry of Education relating to the role of the Authorized Officer, the Commission has in the meantime withdrawn the delegation of its powers and functions from the Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George A. O. Magoha, CBS and delegated the said powers to the Principal Secretary for Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr. Richard Belio Kipsang, CBS with immediate effect,” Kirogo stated.
The circular was addressed to chairpersons of Public University Councils and copied to the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua.
Kirogo said that that the move was in exercise of the Commission’s “powers and commitment to protect public servants against undignified and unwarranted attacks.”
The head of PSC further called on Authorized Officers to act in a manner that is consistent with provisions of the Constitution, applicable statutory requirements, regulations, policies, guidelines and manuals for effective management of the public service including public Universities.
Cabinet Secretaries, as Chief Executive Officers of Ministries and State Departments, are designated as Authorized Officers exercising delegated powers and functions of the Public Service Commission in the management of human resources under their purview.
Magoha’s remarks and actions sparked anger among education stakeholders, with the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Uasin Gishu Secretary General Elijah Maiyo demanding an apology from the CS.
Mayo pointed out that Prof. Magoha’s sentiments undermined the sanctity of the Kenyan education sector, and subjected the area County Director to mockery.
“He insulted the County director in front of students, parents, teachers and visitors, this is wrong and will not be tolerated,” Maiyo said after Magoha’s visit.
Mayo announced that the Union had petitioned President Uhuru Kenyatta to fire the ever serious professor, accusing him of incompetency.
Further, the Union members vowed to boycott all the CS’s meetings in the region unless the matter was resolved.
UN Warns Of War Crimes In Spiralling Ethiopia Conflict
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nov 13 – The United Nations warned Friday of possible war crimes in Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, after 10 days of fighting that the country’s prime minister claimed had his enemy “in the final throes of death”.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of last year’s Nobel Peace Prize, ordered military operations in Tigray last week, shocking the international community which fears the start of a long and bloody civil war.
Hundreds are reported to have been killed, some in a gruesome massacre reported by Amnesty International, and thousands have fled fighting and air strikes in Tigray, whose leaders Abiy accuses of seeking to destabilise the country.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for a full investigation into the report of mass killings in the town of Mai-Kadra, where Amnesty said it had “digitally verified gruesome photographs and videos of bodies strewn across the town or being carried away on stretchers.”
“If confirmed as having been deliberately carried out by a party to the current fighting, these killings of civilians would of course amount to war crimes,” she said in a statement.
Amnesty said it had not been able to confirm who was responsible for the killings, however witnesses blamed forces backing the region’s ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Witnesses also reported the identity cards of some victims indicated they were from the Amhara region, an area with a long history of tensions with Tigrayans, notably over land.
Thousands of Amhara militiamen have deployed to the Tigray border to fight alongside federal forces.
Abiy says his military operation came in response to attacks on two federal military camps by the TPLF, which once dominated Ethiopian politics and claims it has been sidelined and targeted under Abiy.
The party denies carrying out the attacks.
Long-running tensions between Abiy and the TPLF hit a new low in September when Tigray pressed ahead with its own elections, insisting Abiy was an illegitimate leader after national polls were postponed due to the coronavirus.
On Friday Abiy addressed the region, especially its soldiers, urging them to “rise up” and side with the national army.
“This mischievous force is surrounded on all sides. It is a force in its final throes of death. Your children are suffering death and injuries on the frontline,” he said in the Tigrinya language in a speech broadcast on Facebook.
“Rise up against the clique or defect to the Ethiopian Defense Forces, use the opportunity given to you by your country in the next two or three days… save yourself.”
A communications blackout in Tigray has made it difficult to verify competing claims on the ground, but Abiy has vowed to deliver a decisive win “in a relatively short period of time”.
“This is a daydream, just a daydream,” Debretsion said. “We are proud people who can defend ourselves. This is a burial ground for invaders.”
Bachelet warned that if the conflict continues “there is a risk this situation will spiral totally out of control, leading to heavy casualties and destruction, as well as mass displacement within Ethiopia itself and across borders.”
“I am also extremely alarmed at reports of cuts to essential water and electricity supplies, in addition to the communications blackout and blocking of access by road and air.”
There are mounting worries about how Tigray’s population is faring after intensified fighting and several rounds of air strikes that Abiy’s government says targeted fuel and weapons depots.
Thousands have already crossed the border into neighbouring Sudan, while Debretsion said hundreds of thousands had been displaced within Tigray.
He also said civilians had been killed in government air strikes in the regional capital Mekele, and in the city of Adigrat close to the border with Eritrea.
“People are running in every corner. So the most important consequence of the conflict currently is displacement. Of course there are casualties, but we don’t have the numbers. This is too big to manage,” Debretsion said.
Ethiopian state media reported that an arrest warrant had been issued for Debretsion and other TPLF leaders.
On Friday, an African Union official confirmed the body had replaced its head of security, an ethnic Tigrayan, after Ethiopia’s defence ministry complained he was “assumed to be not honest” and could jeopardise the relationship between Ethiopia and the AU, which is headquartered in the capital Addis Ababa.
AU chief Moussa Faki Mahamat complied with the request, and a letter from his office dated Wednesday ordered the official, Gebre-egzhiaber Mebratu Melese, be terminated “with immediate effect.”
The Government has recruited 6000 youth under the one year internship program, who are expected to report to their respective stations in January 2021.
The government jobs were applied through the Public Service Commission.
Last year, 4000 youth were offered a one year internship program which ends on 1st of December 2020.
Government Spokesperson Col. (rtd) Cyrus Oguna was in Busia on a Kazi Mtaani Programme sensitization forum.
“Our youth joined by women and people living with disability can benefit from various programs within Government,” he said.
In the meantime, Oguna has urged the youth in Busia to join the Kazi Mtaani Programme which is aimed at utilizing the labour intensive approaches to sustainably support public goods in urban settlement sector.
He said that the Kazi Mtaani programme is a response strategy to employment creation towards absorbing the increasing numbers of youth joining the labour market.
“The Kazi Mtaani program is a response strategy to employment creation towards absorbing the increasing numbers of youth joining the labour market,” he added.
“Containment measures instituted by the Government led to contraction of the economy and this negatively affected low-income earners who are mainly involved in casual work for daily wages.”
The Kazi Mtaani Programme targets resident youth from informal settlement areas aged between 18-35 years who are unable to find work due to the disruption by Covid-19.
The Ksh 10 billion Kazi Mtaani Programme is expected to run until the end of the year.
According to the Government Spokesperson, Ksh 5 billion has already been utilized in paying the youth in terms of labour.
Through the Governments intervention, Safaricom offered to waiver the recovery of Fuliza loans with participants being given a grace period allowing them to withdraw their earnings once paid.
“Even as the Government strives to create employment opportunities, our call to the youth is for a change in attitude about the job market,” said Government Spokesperson Cyrus Oguna.
He encouraged the youth to use the knowledge acquired to engage in self-employment.
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 13 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday inaugurated a modern 100-bed capacity hospital built in a record time of three months to cater for COVID-19 patients.
The Sh846 million ($8 million) facility, which is equipped with 15 bed intensive care unit and 45 bed high dependency unit, is a partnership project of the Kenya Government, United Nations and Nairobi Hospital.
Speaking during the function, President Kenyatta noted that the new medical facility is a towering monument of the transformative power of collective global action which will serve as a showcase of the United Nations in Africa and globally.
The President said the fully-fledged hospital with modern facilities such as laboratories and operating theaters will serve UN staff and Kenyans way beyond the current Covid-19 pandemic.
“It will cater for United Nations staff and their families, the entire diplomatic community and augment the health care capacity in Kenya. It will also be accessible to all Kenyans even after the pandemic is eliminated; and will, in future be used to treat other infectious diseases,” President Kenyatta said.
The President who was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Mutahi Kagwe (Health) and Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) said the treatment centre will reinforce the position of Nairobi as the United Nations Medevac center in the Southern Hemisphere
Coffee farmers in Kiambu County have come up with a new strategy of milling and selling their produce directly through the New Kenya Planters Cooperative Union (New KPCU) in efforts to eradicate middlemen and fetch maximum proceeds.
The farmers have joined 10-member cluster groups through which they will be milling and marketing their produce rather than taking their produce to cooperative societies which, they said, had exploited them over the years.
During a meeting organized by Thika town MP Patrick Wainaina yesterday, over 100 farmer representatives said they can never entrust cooperative societies with their produce due to massive corruption and theft by management.
They recounted how they received peanuts after waiting for payment for a year despite putting in massive investment in the sector.
Joseph Gichia from Gatundu North Sub County said the frustrations have forced many to abandon coffee, vegetables, bananas, avocados and macadamia farming and instead invest in real estate which has better returns.
He said the county was over the years regarded highly for producing high quality coffee but this has slowly declined and is not the current case. He added that the cost of producing and delivering a kilogramme of coffee beans is Sh35 and was therefore a rip-off when they get paid Sh30.
“The cost of harvesting, farming, chemicals and pruning is high and being paid peanuts has led to many farmers to abandon the crop in favour of high paying ones,” he said.
Kamau Gichenu from Gatundu South Sub County said milling and selling coffee directly would sort out the challenges that they have faced and also make more farmers revert to coffee farming and improve on production.
The MP who initiated campaigns to revive the sector told the farmers that the government is firmly in control and is coming up with policies to revive the tea and coffee sector.
He told farmers not to give up on the two sectors as much was being done on the sidelines to revive the sectors to ensure farmers get good returns.
“This is one of the steps to improve marketing and eradicate brokers. I shall link you with the new KPCU to help in marketing your coffee and I assure you that you will get good returns,” said Wainaina.
He also called on the government to be ruthless with directors who have milked coffee societies dry and cartels that are frustrating the sector.
Police in Kiambu yesterday sought for four days to conclude investigations on an Italian national accused of being in the country illegally.
The Italian Maurisio Montcalli also faces charges of assault and causing disturbance at a Kiambu estate over the weekend.
Appearing before Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo, corporal Evans Wambani sought the time which he said would enable him to carry out thorough scrutiny on Maurisio Montcalli’s immigration documents to verify their status.
The officer from Kiambu police station said in his affidavit that Montcalli is being accused by Mr David Chomba that he assaulted him with a knife and also smashed his vehicle’s headlamps and windscreen on 6th November. The suspect is also said to have assaulted Mrs. Magdalene Michdine Jeridia and several others on the same day.
The investigating officer further told the court that Montcalli was also beaten up by members of the public at Eden Ville estate. They even threatened to lynch him.
When he was allowed to speak Montcalli who seemed very weak and in pain begged the court to release him so he could seek medical attention.
His lawyer John Njuguna asked the court to dismiss the case saying his client had been injured and that he required medical attention. He added that the suspect was also married and had lived in Kenya since 2011 and was therefore not a flight risk.
However Ms Mutile Wamae for the ODPP in her submissions mentioned that montcalli’s case was of public interest as a video showing him assaulting a woman and other members of the public was circulating on social media.
Ms. Atambo instructed the investigating officer to ensure the suspect is attended to by a doctor and treated before she makes a ruling on the case within four days.
What you need to know:
- In the case, Mr Obado is charged alongside 10 people including his four children and business associate Jared Peter Odoyo.
- He wants the DPP forced to reduce the counts from 22 to not more than 12 before proceeding with the criminal trial.
Public Prosecutions (DPP) to reduce the number of charges levelled against him in the Sh73.4 million graft case, which is pending at an Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi.
In the case, Mr Obado is charged alongside 10 people, including his four children and business associate Jared Peter Odoyo. They are facing 27 charges together but the governor is carrying the lion’s share of 22 counts.
He wants the DPP compelled to reduce the counts from 22 to not more than 12 before proceeding with the criminal trial.
In an application filed before Milimani Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi Friday, the governor said the charge sheet is overloaded.
“The number of counts against Mr Obado makes it a near impossibility that his trial will begin and conclude within a reasonable time as required by the Constitution,” he said through his lawyer, Senior Counsel Kioko Kilukumi.
Mr Kilukumi says preferring 22 charges against his client will impede a fair trial, “which is a fundamental right and freedom that cannot be qualified, limited, restricted or otherwise whittled down by virtue of Article 25(c) of the Constitution”.
“The law recommends no more than 12 counts if the fair trial package right is not to be violated or contravened,” he says.
Mr Obado, who is out on a cash bail of Sh8.75 million, is facing charges related to money laundering, conflict of interest and unlawful acquisition of public funds.
The DPP opposed the application, saying the decision to prefer the 22 charges was made after evidence was evaluated and found to support all the counts.
Through senior prosecution counsel Evah Kanyuira, the DPP said the charge arose from facts which are part of a series of similar transactions and that should be tried together.
Ms Kanyuira said the governor has not demonstrated that the DPP breached any written law in making the decision.
“The request made by Mr Obado has all the indications of inviting the court to direct the prosecution on what charges to prefer against him and how to conduct the trial. This is unconstitutional and unconventional in an adversarial system,” she said.
She also argued that Mr Obado has not demonstrated how his right to a fair trial has been limited, constrained or threatened since the prosecution intends to line up all witnesses within reasonable time.
The governor will have the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses, the prosecutor said.
“He has not specified with clarity the prejudice or embarrassment he will suffer due to the number of counts contained in the charge sheet as he is considered innocent until proven guilty. ”He pleaded not guilty to the charges without raising any issue as to clarity or ambiguity in those counts or an objection to the number of counts.”
Ms Kanyuira also noted that Mr Obado’s application is an after-thought which should be dismissed and the case allowed to proceed.
The case will be mentioned on November 23 and a date given for delivery of a ruling on Mr Obado’s application
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) insists its recommendation of collective criminal responsibility in the BBI still stands despite opposition from Governors.
The Commission forwarded its recommendations to the BBI steering Committee which are aimed at strengthening the war on corruption.
In press statement EACC says, “We have noted with concern the press statement issued on 10th November 2020 by the Council of Governors in regard to the proposals on criminal liability. The Council of Governors has proposed the removal of collective criminal responsibility in management of resources at the County Governments level to align with the principle of personal criminal culpability.”
EACC CEO Twlib Mbarak said there is need to need to consider constitutional and legislative reforms that will go a long way in strengthening the institution and the laws and not those that will erode the gains made so far.
“The Commission’s experience in conducting investigations, has demonstrated the modus operandi of several Governors to conceal their role when engaging in corrupt conduct. This includes issuing verbal instructions to junior employees, intimidation and eventually receiving benefits through proxies. Due to the foregoing, EACC will not be in support of excusing Governors from collective criminal responsibility,” He said.
According to Twalib, “Corruption is a white-collar crime committed by government and business professionals. It is well planned, executed and characterized by deceit and concealment. Responsibility for crime has both elements of personal and collective culpability.”
The EACC has therefore cautioned against considering the proposal by Governors to remove the element of collective criminal responsibility saying such a law or regulation would give immunity to some of the main perpetrators of corruption and economic crime hence promoting impunity in Kenya.
President Kenyatta mourns former Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings
The former Ghanaian leader who passed on Thursday at the age of 73 is credited for his efforts of restoring political stability in Ghana after a series of coups in the 1960s and 1970s.
In his message of encouragement to President Nana Akufo-Addo, the Government and the Rawlings family, President Kenyatta said Africa has lost an icon and a great statesman whose contribution to peace and prosperity of the continent will be remembered for generations to come.
“On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya, and on my own behalf, I wish to express my sincere and profound sympathy to the Government and people of Ghana and the Rawlings family for the death of this great son of Africa,” said President Kenyatta in his message.
“We will forever be grateful for his efforts to open the eyes of Africans especially on the management of their resources to develop their own countries. His leadership style transformed the minds of many people of this continent to see their possibilities in achieving the best with what they have,” he added.
The Head of State said his servant leadership ensured that Ghana steered back to its foundations of a free, fair and just society.
The President prayed to God to comfort the Rawlings family and the people of Ghana at this time of mourning.
‘Collection of one million BBI signatures to begin next week,’ declares Raila
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga now says collection of one million signatures, which are expected to be submitted to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) together with the draft Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill, will begin next week.
Raila, addressing the press on Friday outside his Capitol Hill offices after meeting Coastal leaders, reiterated his earlier statement that the window for giving divergent views on the BBI report was already shut.
“We will be doing the launch of the signature collection sometimes next week. We want that exercise to be done as soon as possible so that the matter can be handed over to the electoral commission, and then we can move towards the next phase of a referendum,” he said.
“This matter, as already mentioned before, should be concluded by latest April next year. That is where we are as far as BBI is concerned.”
Responding to a question from a member of the press on when the draft BBI Bill will be ready, the opposition leader said “Very soon. And very soon is very soon.”
The former premier hit out a section of the clergy who recently slammed the report for allegedly not taking their opinions into consideration saying “they’re entitled to their views, but we go by the views of the majority of our people.”
Roselyn Akombe dismisses Uhuru’s State of the Nation Address, says there’s nothing to celebrate.
Former Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Roselyn Akombe has continued with her stinging criticism of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.
The United Nations employee who fled Kenya prior to the repeat 2017 presidential election, said there was nothing to “celebrate” in the head of state’s address on Thursday, November 12. Unsustainable debt In a series of tweets, Akombe argued Uhuru and his government would leave Kenya with an unsustainable debt that would pose a challenge for his successor.
“#FellowKenyans the State of our Nation is “brimming with the promise of an even brighter tomorrow” despite the unsustainable external debt, which has been squandered by a handful of buddies. She added: “Even as we are told #FellowKenyans that the State of our Nation is “brimming with the promise of an even brighter tomorrow”, our brothers and sisters who live in Mathare, Kipsenga, Nyalenda, Muoroto, KOl’ Lessos have a different story to tell.”
Veteran radio presenter Leonard Mambo Mbotela is appealing for financial aid to settle a medical bill of KSh 1.1 million accrued upon admission at Nairobi South Hospital.
Mbotela was admitted at the health facility on Thursday, October 29, and has been receiving treatment since then. In a letter dated Thursday, November 12, the hospital noted the 80-year-old journalist was recuperating well and was due for discharge on Friday, November 13. The facility’s Human Resource Manager Stephen Mutavi, however, appealed to the public to help the patient in offsetting the bill.
“He (Mbotela) is due for discharge Friday November 13, 2020 as per the doctor’s recommendations to continue with homecare treatment. The medical bills have accumulated to KSh 1, 105, 498.78 as of today and have to be cleared upon discharge. Any assistance given towards offsetting this bill will be highly appreciated,” stated Mutavi in the letter.
To clear the air, Mbotela denied the rumours in a statement to the media. He stated he was alive and called on Kenyans to ignore the unfortunate reports about him. Mbotela has been on the airwaves for close to 60 years, having started his professional career in 1964 at Voice of Kenya, currently Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC)
Nigeria vs Sierra Leone AFCON qualifier will go down at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium – The Leone Stars are aiming for their first win when they clash against the Super Eagles – Sierra Leone FA has now confirmed they will investigate their striker Kamara over a viral video PAY
Maraga appoints 5 judges to hear case challenging his advisory on Parliament dissolution.
The stage is now set for the hearing of a petition challenging Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve the parliament over gender rule. This was after Maraga appointed a five-judge bench led by by Lady Justice Lydia Achode to give further directions on hearing of the application and petition.
The other judges as named on Wednesday, October 14, included justices George Odunga, James Makau, Anthony Ndungu and Pauline Nyamweya. The CJ had written to the president demanding that he dissolves the Parliament, both the National Assembly and the Senate, over failure to enact the two-third gender rule.
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Man United star begs club to let him leave.
Man United are said to have blocked Sergio Romero’s potential loan move to Everton – Romero is sure to have game time hard to come by at United following the return of Dean Henderson from Sheffield United where he was on loan – The Argentine is yet to make any appearance for the Red Devils this season and has already been axed from the side’s Champions League squad – The ex-Monaco keeper is thought to be keen on a switch to the Major League Soccer Man United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has reportedly pleaded with the club to let him leave.
Romero is sure to have game time hard to come by at United following the return of Dean Henderson from Sheffield United where he was on loan. Photo: Getty Images. Source: Getty Images Romero has fallen out of favour at United despite playing an integral part last season as the side’s second choice goalkeeper. The Argentine got the Red Devils to three cup semis last term including the Europa League and the FA Cup. However, following the return of Dean Henderson from loan at Sheffield United, Romero is sure to suffer lack of game time.
Politicians do not need permission to hold meetings, Martha Karua tells off gov’t.
NARC Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua during a past public rally. Photo: Martha Karua. Source: Facebook Karua said political leaders to do not need the permission of anybody, including police officers, to hold public functions, adding enforcement of such a policy amounts to violation of the constitution. The former presidential candidate who was speaking to Citizen TV on Tuesday, October 13, said politicians are only required to notify police officers that a meeting would be held within their jurisdiction on a certain date and time.
Karua said political leaders are only required to notify the police about the intended meeting – She tore into the state for applying the law on public gathering selectively, warning it would lead to civil strife if not addressed urgently – The former presidential candidate also took issue with the manner in which President Uhuru Kenyatta was treating his deputy William Ruto.
Msambweni by-election: Ruto summons 3 aspirants despite Jubilee Party’s withdrawal from race.
The three aspirants, Feisal Bader, Bashir Kilalo and Peter Nzuki are set to meet Ruto for consultations on who will face ODM’s Omar Iddi Boga – The DP is testing his influence in the Coast with the upcoming Msambweni polls as he seeks to succeed Uhuru in 2022 – The Jubilee Party had, however, withdrawn from the race in favour of the Opposition’s candidate.
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Kenyan newspapers review for October 13: Ruto calls allies to Karen for tactical meeting in wake of public gathering laws
Daily Nation County governments are set to receive monies from the national government beginning Tuesday, October 13, after struggling with financial challenges for over four months. President Uhuru Kenyatta last week approved the 369 billion kitty for counties which include equitable share and conditional grants for financial year 2020/2021. The delays were caused by the protracted disagreements among senators on the most appropriate formula to be used to share the revenue. The intervention by the president to add an extra KSh 50 billion to the initial allocation of KSh 316 billion helped to break the stalemate.
The Standard The first day of reopening of schools was characterised by confusion and excitement as teachers and leaners tried to adjust to the new normal of wearing masks, affording handshakes, hugs and maintaining social distance. Learners were restricted from playing as most schools grappled for spaces to enhance social distance in classes and dormitories even before full turnout. Shortage of teachers was also witnessed since classes were split further to enforce social distance policy, thus requiring more teachers or compelling those available to go an extra mile.
US President Donald Trump tests negative for Covid
The newspapers on Tuesday, October 13, widely reported on the confusion and fascinating experiences witnessed in schools on first day of reopening since they were closed March 2020.
1.The Standard The first day of reopening of schools was characterised by confusion and excitement as teachers and leaners tried to adjust to the new normal of wearing masks, affording handshakes, hugs and maintaining social distance. Learners were restricted from playing as most schools grappled for spaces to enhance social distance in classes and dormitories even before full turnout. Shortage of teachers was also witnessed since classes were split further to enforce social distance policy, thus requiring more teachers or compelling those available to go an extra mile.
2. Daily Nation County governments are set to receive monies from the national government beginning Tuesday, October 13, after struggling with financial challenges for over four months. President Uhuru Kenyatta last week approved the 369 billion kitty for counties which include equitable share and conditional grants for financial year 2020/2021. The delays were caused by the protracted disagreements among senators on the most appropriate formula to be used to share the revenue. The intervention by the president to add an extra KSh 50 billion to the initial allocation of KSh 316 billion helped to break the stalemate.
Mike Sonko angrily lectures Uhuru: “Tumechoka na serikali yako”
Mike Sonko said his meltdown had nothing to do with Uhuru taking over various functions of Nairobi but with the suffering of Kenyans – The governor said the president was surrounded by officials who were misleading him and making Kenyans suffer – He said the government had enough resources to help evictees settle in other places instead of leaving them in utter desperation.While reacting to the demolition of houses in Kibera constituency, a seemingly agitated Sonko questioned why Uhuru had become an inhuman leader who was overlooking the pain of Kenyans.https://dbntv.co.ke/dbn-news/?et_fb=1&PageSpeed=off
Fighting your deputy isn’t merely political joke, it’s also political risk, Murkomen tells Uhuru.
Kipchumba Murkomen said the fallout between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Ruto also posed an economic threat to Kenya – Murkomen said the shilling will continue dropping due to the heavy borrowing by the Jubilee government adding that Kenyans will pay heavily – Ruto allies have been crying foul over the sidelining of the DP in government affairs.
Kipchumba Murkomen said the economy was set to suffer for the fallout between Uhuru and Ruto. Photo: Kipchumba Murkomen. Source: Facebook Murkomen said Uhuru was taking a political risk by having a frosty relationship with the DP and added that that the economy would suffer the blow for the animosity between the two. Taking to Twitter, the former majority leader said the economy will exacerbate due to their duel which will cause the shilling to continue dropping due to the heavy borrowing by the Jubilee government.
Arsene Wenger backs Arsenal to finish in top four this season after hot start to campaign
Arsene Wenger believes Arsenal’s new summer signings will catapult the club to greater heights – Wenger insisted Mikel Arteta is the right candidate to take the Gunners back to their glory days – The Emirates dwellers currently sit fourth on the EPL standings with nine points from four matches Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal will finish among the top four teams this season after a bright start to the new campaign. The Gunners endured a difficult campaign last season, finishing eighth on the standings.
The Emirates dwellers currently sit fourth on the EPL standings with nine points from four matches. Photo: Getty Images. Source: Getty Images However, they sneaked into the Europa League via the FA Cup after they stunned rivals Chelsea in the finals to clinch the title. The north London club have evidenced significant improvement under the tutelage of Mikel Arteta who also recently helped the side win the Community Shield. Arteta has already managed to steer Arsenal to a fine start, having already picked nine points to sit fourth on the standings.
Rise in Covid 19 cases
Today, 442 samples tested positive for Covid 19 raising the total number of confirmed cases to 40620. There has been four new deaths today raising the fatality number to 755.
Though the country had been experiencing a low number of confirmed cases of Covid 19, the trend seems to be changing since the re-opening of the country. The Ministry of health says the increase in number of cases is due to the reduction in following the necessary measures to prevent Covid 19.
As I have observed in several towns including the city of Nairobi, businesses and public transport no longer require their customers to wash their hands before serving them. Some vehicles still don’t observe the social distance directive.
The Ministry of Health also stated that they are working closely with the Ministry of Education in coming up with the specific protocols to be observed for resumption of schools.
Please observe the protocols and directives given by the Ministry of health and the World Health Organization to avoid contacting the disease.
Alleged Storm in Cabinet is false; Ruto says.
Responding on twitter, the Deputy President denied the allegations published today on a local newspaper. Laughing off in the post, he said,
“Cabinet Secretaries challenging who? Hii itumiwe kufunga matumbo na mara.”
Referring to the newspaper, he said that it should be used to wrap intestines. The story surfaced stating that during a meeting, cabinet secretaries told the deputy president to resign instead of fighting the government from within. The newspaper further added that the cabinet secretaries said he should resign instead of speaking against senior officers in his rallies.
Similar remarks had been made by the former prime minister Raila Odinga who said that the DP was missing in action when he is supposed to be the assistant of the president and he should therefore resign just his father did if he is uncomfortable in the government.
The newspaper was accused of propaganda and publishing fake news.
DP Ruto falls victim to new Regulations
Police officers raided DP Ruto’s supporters who had gathered at Kebirigo High School waiting for him to arrive.
The Deputy President was scheduled to meet youths and bodaboda operators to lobby funds as stated by Meshack Mose, Kitutu Masaba Member of Parliament.
Though the meeting had been arranged before the announcement of the new regulations, police still raided the meeting and dispersed people. The new regulations requires politicians to inform the respective OCS days before the meeting.
While the local administration remained rigid on the event not happening, Ruto’s allies insist that the meeting will take place. They claim that their event was to serve the people of Nyamira and that it shouldn’t have been stopped.
The occurrence of these events, caused different reactions among the people of Kenya. Responding on twitter, some argued that the actions by the local administration was to protect its people while others believe that they tried to stop a good thing for the people of Nyamira.
MPs Meshack Mose, Vincent Kemosi and Joash Nyamoko frantically rebuked the police saying they were being used by their leaders to stop them as they do not mind their welfare.
With the new regulations and the hustler narrative continuing to gain popularity, it is clear that the political temperatures are rising and the its games advancing. While it may be between the politicians, it is starting to cause worry and even action among the people as witnessed in Murang’a. Since the election is two years away, the politicians ought to turn their ways away from politics and instead focus on serving the people. The time for campaigns and elections will come.
Yet another pointing fingers to Interior Security Officials over Murang’a chaos
Like Ruto’s allies, the former Senator Boni Khalwale has pointed to Cabinet Secretary of Interior Fred Matiang’i, IG Mutyambai and Principal Secretary for the State Department of Interior and Karanja Kibicho following insecurity in Kenya.
Speaking during an interview with a local media station , Former Senator said that the head of Public Service should not address Kenyans concerning the recent events, following the new regulations. Khalwale dismissed Kinyua’s words indicating that matters of security should be addressed to state officials responsible for security in the nation.
In her part, nominated senator Millicent Omanga questioned the move by the head of public service.
“What is National Security Advisory Committee that Joseph Kinyua purports to chair? A political hit squad formed against those that the system want politically decimated? Cowards,” Part of her statement on the twitter account stated.
The New Regulations include:
All social media users shall be held individually liable for all content on their social media profiles. Social media users shall ensure that all the content on their profile is written in a language that does not constitute hate speech ethnic contempt, incitement to violence, abuse defamation or intimidation.
Administrators of social media platforms are bound to moderate their platforms and discussions that have been brought to the attention.
Media owners have also been discouraged from providing airtime to leaders who have been described as “inciters, hate mongers and tribalists”.
Should schools really be opened?
Many people, including parents and even politicians have reacted to the Cabinet Secretary’s statement on the partial reopening of schools.
Many parents have raised their issues on school reopening saying they do not have the means to send their children back to school. The country is just beginning to get back to its normal state and parents are saying they need more time to get money as schools are asking for full fee as students report back to school.
Most have not even had their jobs back while those in business are mostly trying to get back from their knees or the businesses died with the coming of COVID 19.
As those that are able to go back to school prepare, others like the schools flooded in Baringo are hoping the Ministry will push the dates to January.
With school property destroyed, these students and teachers have no where to go back to as others report to school on Monday.
Even as Wilson Sossion tries to assure parents that children are much safer at school than at home because necessary measures are being put in place, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr says that schools are not ready to reopen arguing that funds to schools have not been rebursed since March.
In a tweet, Mutula added that no school, particularly boarding schools in the next seven days will have procured sanitizers and other requirements. He has faulted the Ministry of education for rushing things he says ought not be rushed into.
Even as parent, teachers and children try to find a way to be ready for school by Monday, most hope the CS will give them more time for it is clear that the reasons not reopen schools outweigh reasons to.
Former ANC Secretary General moves on with Ruto
Even as some politicians continue to blame Ruto for the chaos in Murang’a, he seems to still be attracting people to his camp.
From the youths in Migori, and now the former ANC Secretary General.
Barrack Muluka, who resigned from ANC in August claiming it deserved a fresh start, has now joined Ruto saying that he is proud to be working under Ruto.
Being a communication strategist, he believes he has the right credentials to offer Ruto the services needed.
He said this in interview in a local TV station adding that it would be self delusion not to accept working for the second in command considering he has gone to school and gotten degrees and a doctorate.
“The difference between PLO and I is that I do my stuff in the open, he does his stuff surreptitiously; he hides.”
Muluka said this when Professor Lumumba joked that Muluka was a ‘kirukamito’ jumping from one politician to another. from Kalonzo to Raila to Mudavadi and now to Ruto.
Allies of DP Ruto claim the police boss is being misused by politicians
Two years to the ballot, and the political temperatures in Kenya are already rising.
Yesterday in Karen, where the Deputy President held an empowering meeting with Kitengela traders and bodaboda riders, MPs allied to him, claimed that the police boss, IG Mutyambai was being used by politicians to increase crimes against humanity.
Langata MP Nixon Korir said that the IG must be held accountable for the lives lost in Murang’a. He further added that Mutyambai is not working for a militia and he should join the political world if he only wants to serve specific group.
At the meeting, wa also Kikuyu MP Ichung’wa who said innocent and helpless people should not be arrested but instead arrest the ones that planned it.
“It is tragic, it was actually premeditated that there should be violence for whatever reasons,” said the Deputy President.
He urged politicians to use all other forms of competition other than violence.
The chaos that took place in Murang’a ahead of DP’s visit is a sad event that ought to awaken Kenyans not to be used by politicians against each other.
Politicians on the other hand ought to be civilized in the way that they sell their agendas to the public so that they can chose which one to buy.
Sudi was arrested on September 14 and charged with incitement – He was released on a cash bail of KSh 500, 000 four days later but his security was not reinstated – The MP argued he was a public figure and feels insecure walking in public without protection.
Senior state roads engineer on spot for receiving millions in bribes through KCB account
Benson Muteti Musila, a regional manager at Kerra, was under pressure to explain how he acquired at least 35 assets worth millions including land and other real estate properties – The properties spread across Kilifi, Makueni and Nairobi counties are managed by his wife Zipporah Mwongeli – The couple also runs hardware stores in Makindu, Makueni and Ruaraka in Nairobi whereas their son runs a construction firm identified as Mumbe Construction
2 Westgate Mall attack suspects found guilty of conspiracy to commit terrorist act
Mohamed Abdul and Hussein Mustafa were found guilty of more than three charges levelled against them – The court deduced the two who were first and fourth accused persons respectively, were in constant communication with terrorists before the attack – The third accused, Liban Abdullah Omar, was set free by over lack of tangible evidence linking him to the attack – Another suspect, Adan Dheq, was cleared of the charges in January 2019 after the prosecution failed to prove a case against him.
Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe loses seat.
Wanjiku Kibe won the Jubilee Party parliamentary nominations when she was still an elected member of county assembly (MCA) – She proceeded to win the 2017 Gatundu North parliamentary seat without having officially relinquished her position as an MCA – Former MP Clement Kung’u Waibara moved to court to challenge her eligibility as an MP basing his argument on the aforementioned ground – The court agreed with the petitioner noting Article 99 (2)(d) of the 2010 Constitution disqualifies a person from being elected as MP if he or she is still holding another office like that of an MCA.
Kenyans react after Uhuru declares 3 days of national prayers: “Another avenue to waste money”.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said prayers would be observed from Friday, October 9, to Sunday, October 11 – On Saturday, October 10, the head of state will convene an inter-faith national prayer service at State House, Nairobi – Kenyans took to Twitter to express their opinions on the matter with some agreeing with the call while others dismissed it asking the president to instead offer real solutions.
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The Dandora locals said the stadium is key to the development of sports in the area and urged Uhuru to allow its construction to continue – The construction of the arena stalled after investigative agencies launched a probe into possible embezzlement of taxpayers money – The project nears completion as 90% of the work had been completed by December 2019
Gatundu North MP Wanjiku Kibe loses seat Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/383811-gatundu-north-mp-wanjiku-kibe-loses-seat.html
Wanjiku Kibe won the Jubilee Party parliamentary nominations when she was still an elected member of county assembly (MCA) – She proceeded to win the 2017 Gatundu North parliamentary seat without having officially relinquished her position as an MCA – Former MP Clement Kung’u Waibara moved to court to challenge her eligibility as an MP basing his argument on the aforementioned ground – The court agreed with the petitioner noting Article 99 (2)(d) of the 2010 Constitution disqualifies a person from being elected as MP if he or she is still holding another office like that of an MCA Read more: https://www.tuko.co.ke/383811-gatundu-north-mp-wanjiku-kibe-loses-seat.html
Schools set to reopen next week Monday, October 12. Grade 4, Class 8 form four learners are set to resume learning while the rest remain at home. The KCSE and KCPE dates were also announced by the minister as follows:
KCPE will run from March 20,2021 to March 24, 2021
KCSE runs from March 25, 2021 to April 16, 2021
Despite the CS’ specificity about the dates and assurances that all schools will follow the COVID 19 containment guidelines and measures, most Kenyans are skeptical while others are unwilling to send their children back to school. This is as a result of the confusion previously experienced from the CS’ remarks.
Many parents have seriously been affected by the economic crisis brought about by COVID 19. They may therefore not be able to afford sending their children back to school.
The Cabinet Secretary also mentioned that though social distancing may be an issue, children should not be stopped from going back to school.
When I hear of Grade four children, I think of my 10-year-old brother who has to be constantly reminded and watched so that he can wash his hands well. I think of him playing with his friends and most of those games involve him and his friends too close to each other.
Hopefully, since there is few of them at school, it will be easy to manage and direct them.