Category archives for: Kenya

An Open Letter to the Kenyan Politician

By Scheaffer Okore

I know this letter will find you well in your heavily guarded mansion with beautiful lawns that haven’t missed watering even during this drought and water-rationing season.

I cannot even begin to imagine how busy you are drafting fresh deceitful promises for this election year so I wont take much of your time.

Brevity will be my modus operandi just like your memory is when it comes to your deliverables.

As I write this I’m drawing relation from the words of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Subcity’ to the current Kenyan situation with astounding similarity.

Chapman sings of an underground city that no one would like to admit exists: a dejected society where everyday people live off the decay and waste of their fellow men. You need to know and be certain that this underground dwelling people are not going to gentrify their language or actions when it comes to the true nature of things.

HOOLIGANISM

We can’t possibly watch the unlawful way in which the party primaries have been conducted and say nothing. How is it that despite the destruction, bloody fist fights and burning of stuff no political party has taken any tangible action against their members? Have we actually forgotten the unforgettable path our country took in 2007? We cannot and will not be led down this path again we just won’t.

Kenyans need the institutions tasked with ensuring law and order during this primaries to demonstrate that they’re able to enforce these laws. It’s clear that the main political parties engaging in the primaries don’t have the political will to practise the democracy they preach the evidence is all there. Favouritism, hooliganism and sabotage is smeared all over the method in which they choose to conduct themselves and to the underground dwelling Kenyans, it’s alarming. This cannot be a reflection of what we should expect in August we must do better.

RESPECT LAW

It makes you wonder what exactly the cost of winning is and that if someone must win at all cost do they actually deserve to lead. Kenyans don’t need neither do they have to be led by people who have no respect for the law or institutions they represent.

Mr Politician this is why the electorate talks about Fagia Wote not as a trending topic but as a simple strategy acting as a genesis towards a clean house.

Not a single one of you can comprehend the struggles Kenyans endure because of your poor choices, lack of leadership and insatiable hunger for ill-gotten wealth. We are working our hardest not only because it’s a civic requirement but majorly because you Mr. Politician are working thrice as hard to steal from us. Please I beg of you to desist from commenting on burdens you’ve intentionally and continually pilled on our backs.

HIGH COST OF LIVING

Do you at any point wonder how essentials needs like sugar, milk, bread and maize flour have become luxuries in Kenyan households? 1Kg of tomatoes has risen from Sh50 to Ksh80, 1Kg of peas is now Sh200 from Sh60, 1Kg of onions is now Sh80 from Sh40, 1Kg of beans shot to Sh100 from Sh80 and the price of 1Kg rice is now Sh180 from Sh130 all in the span of a month. Almost every single thing in Kenya right now is tremendously expensive some food products have even reduced in quantity whilst their prices continue to rise. We are hungry Mr. Politician while our families are making due, your own families dwell in surplus. This is why we need new leaders of integrity who have the people’s needs in mind. New people who will put the people in power not the individuals they’re aligned to. Our institutions must deliver and they must do it right, there’s so much at stake to repeat past mistakes.

UNEMPLOYMENT

We are jarred that a section of you are seeking a second term based on development projects that only exist virtually not physically while the rest of you are seeking an opportunity to be gently recycled back into office. Honestly if this was a comedy scene, I’d pause and have a good laugh but it’s a real life scenario where the joke is on us. Sometimes I wish your own children who are foreign educated would be degraded to the levels in which the Kenyan graduate is: standing by sidewalks holding placards begging for work. Maybe then you’d begin to address unemployment as a fundamental issue and not just another regrettable vice that Kenya leads in like corruption.

KENYAN PEOPLE

There’s such an open disrespect and disregard towards the citizenry demonstrated by how you misuse our taxes, control and share our opportunities amongst your fellows. Sadly none of you fighting each during the primaries is honestly fighting to serve us or sort out our issues. Most of you are busy securing positions for self-preservation that’s why we find those of you who lie so openly and boldly that it’s the Kenyan people who’ve coaxed you to pursue politics highly insolent.

When and where did you and I talk about your re-election? I find it demeaning that a politician will use the collective that is the Kenyan person in pursuit of their selfishness. Do you realise the title Kenyan people was fought and paid for by blood? The struggle for us to be called Kenyan people was a difficult horrific experience yet you throw this title around like it’s something we picked up on our leisure walk to independence can you get serious? Leave us out of your rhetoric you’re not for us and never will you be let the electorate continue to clean house.

The writer is a Programme Officer Civic Engagement at Siasa Place

Twitter: @scheafferoo

Ex-Street Boy Wins Jubilee Ticket for Bulla Pesa Ward

By Vivian Jebet

Residents of Bulla Pesa ward in Isiolo town have nominated a former street urchin to contest for the seat in the concluded Jubilee primaries.

Despite all odds, Abdi Kasanya, 26 emerged winner after battling out with his three opponents.

Mr Kasanya is optimistic that he will unseat the incumbent Moses Kithinji who is seeking to retain his seat on a PNU ticket in August 8 polls.

He holds a diploma in Social work and has been on the forefront in championing for establishment of a mentorship and rehabilitation centre in the county to help the street families who have turned into drug addicts.

He polled 1,794 votes against Hajj Hajjira Abdi’s 1,161 and Leloon Ismael Lekisho who garnered 781 votes.

He will face off with Mr Kithinji (PNU), Mohammed Ahmed (ANC), Lenah Nkatha (Narc-Kenya), Robert Mugambi (Maendeleo Chap Chap), Mr Idi Kimathi (Independent) and Mr Witherford Mwirigi (Independent) during the general elections.

Mr Kasanya said he will prioritize youth empowerment, talent creation, roads construction and reduction of street families in town if elected in August elections.

Residents led by Mrs Sadia Mohammed said Mr Kasanya who is known to pulling carts at Isiolo market for a leaving is a man of integrity, hard work and principled.

Mr Kasanya thanked locals for nominating him pledging to offer a fresh leadership.

The youthful aspirants said funds allocated to special groups including the street urchins by the national and county governments were benefiting some cartels.

“I will ensure that funds meant for the vulnerable groups will reach to owners if elected,” he added.

Kenya

Thank You! President Kenyatta Says for Active Participation in Jubilee Primaries

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and thanked Governors Ken Lusaka, Salim Mvurya, Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai and… Read more »

Thank You! President Kenyatta Says for Active Participation in Jubilee Primaries

Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and thanked Governors Ken Lusaka, Salim Mvurya, Samuel Kuntai Ole Tunai and Hussein Dado for standing with the Jubilee Party and helping in the quest to deepen democracy in the country.

The President was speaking at a meeting at State House, Nairobi that was also attended by Deputy President William Ruto. He commended them for their role in creating a conducive environment for free, fair, transparent and credible Jubilee Party primaries in their areas.

The governors were accompanied by legislators Gideon Mung’aro, Joyce Lay and Dan Mwazo. The three – all former opposition MPs – will contest the August 8 elections on Jubilee tickets.

The President said he appreciated their partnering with the Jubilee Government in its transformative agenda to grow the economy and lift the lives of Kenyans.

Governors Lusaka (Bungoma), Dado (Tana River) and Mvurya (Kwale), and Taita Taveta Senator Mwazo on Friday accompanied the President on his meet-the-people tour of his populous Kiambu home county.

During the tour, the President thanked Jubilee supporters for coming out in large numbers to exercise their democratic rights and to give him a new team to participate in the August polls.

In the primaries, the people have sent a clear message that leaders must prudently manage public resources and deliver efficient services to the electorate if they wanted to retain their elective posts.

Kenya

Ex-Street Boy Wins Jubilee Ticket for Bulla Pesa Ward

Residents of Bulla Pesa ward in Isiolo town have nominated a former street urchin to contest for the seat in the… Read more »

Media Freedom in Africa ‘Not Great’

interviewBy Chrispin Mwakideu

Media watchdogs are voicing concern about curbs on press freedom. DW looks at the media in Africa where restrictions range from subtle forms of censorship to imprisonment for journalists just doing their jobs.

Global press freedom has hit a 13-year low, the US rights organization Freedom House said on Friday. Earlier this week, Reporters Without Borders warned that press freedom was facing serious threats in 72 countries. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) maintains that governments are using increasingly sophisticated tactics to control information and limit critiicsm. DW has been talking to CPJ’s advocacy manager, Kerry Paterson.

DW: How would you describe the state of media freedom in Africa?

Kerry Paterson: Not great is the honest answer. Over the past couple of years there are many countries which have frequently been poor performers when it comes to protecting press freedom, but within the last year or two we’ve really seen some slipping in the countries that have traditionally been quite good on press freedom on the continent, countries like Ghana, Kenya, or South Africa. We’ve seen a real slip backwards from countries that used to be continental leaders.

Is there any reason as to why things are getting worse?

Obviously, each of these different countries has very different political situations, but I think local politics has a huge hand in it. We’ve seen a lot of crackdowns on the press from leaders trying to hang on to power – certainly that was true for what happened in Burundi, in Kenya, with this being an election year, you see an increased effort to clamp down and keep the media toeing a government line, so I think that politics ultimately has a pretty large role in it.

Talking about Kenya, the opposition has just appointed its presidential flagbearer. Looking ahead to the August 8 elections in that country does the current political situation favor freedom of the press?

Kenya is certainly one to watch and we will be watching very closely. CPJ put out a special report on Kenya in 2015 looking at the ways in which the government had paid lip service to press freedom but has actually failed to protect journalists or freedom of the press in a meaningful way. Then, in July of this past year, Alan Rusbridger, the former editor of The Guardian and board member for CPJ, did a mission to Kenya where he interviewed many of the same people who were interviewed in our 2015 report and what we found was that by and large, you still see very much the same government pressure to toe the line. You see moves that appear to be quite obviously political but are harder to prove [as such] and when governments threaten to pull out things like financial support or advertizing revenue from newspapers, then those newspapers are often forced or compelled to fall in line. I think the media is seeing itself under a lot of pressure in Kenya, which is troubling in part because Kenya has been a leader in East Africa when it comes to protecting the press. They have a vibrant media there but it’s going to be tough and we’ll be watching closely to make sure journalists are able to cover the elections in a way that is free and fair and responsible and without intimidation or reprisal.

In Cameroon, we’ve seen an RFI journalist Ahmed Abba sentenced to 10 years in prison on terrorism charges. What message does his sentence send to other journalists working in Cameroon?

A pretty terrible one. Cameroon has really deteriorated quite quickly in the last several months. We’ve been tracking other cases since he was arrested. The ten years is obviously a completely ridiculous sentence. What was his crime? It was an act of journalism. So it is absolutely absurd that he has been sentenced at all. But he also faced the death penalty. The idea that this was the lesser of two punishments he was facing is really the staggering part. Cameroon went from having no journalists in jail to arresting Abba – I think Abba is now one of eight journalists currently behind bars in the country. We’ve seen an increase in other forms of pressure on press freedom, internet shutdowns or censorship or threats and intimidation. Denis Nkwebo, who was the head of the journalist syndicate there, had his car blown up outside of his house a couple of years ago. Journalists are really being sent a message that they are being watched and they need to watch what they say, which is, of course, in direct violation of the press freedom promises that these governments make.

To be fair to African countries, though, we’ve been seeing how US President Donald Trump is waging a war on the mainstream media there. Knowing how much influence the US has on the rest of the world, presumably this is not very good for press freedom?

Absolutely. It’s troubling. By no means are our concerns on press freedom limited to Africa. We see issues of surveillance and attacks on the press in Britain, in France, in America, in Canada. We’re seeing a real clampdown on freedoms that shouldn’t be taken for granted, but has been taken for granted in those countries. As far as Donald Trump is concerned, it is really troubling because it sends a message that it is OK to behave this way, that it’s OK to imprison journalists, that it is OK to dismiss news you don’t like as being fake. You see that he is leading less. You see that echoed by other leaders, you see that with Erdogan in Turkey, you see that with President Xi in China. These are countries that embrace censorship and are silencing dissenting and critical voices. Donald Trump is certainly not doing things at that level yet, but the rhetoric he uses and the way he engages with press certainly suggests a similar animosity towards them which is really troubling, not just for journalists operating in America, but for the message it sends to leaders around the world.

Kerry Paterson is the advocacy manager for the Committee To Protect Journalists (CPJ).

Dubai Islamic Bank Gets Nod to Operate in Kenya

By Brian Ngugi, Business Daily

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed the Dubai Islamic Bank – owned by the United Arab Emirates’ largest Shariah lender Dubai Islamic Bank – to carry out operations in the country.

CBK said in a statement that DIB intends to exclusively offer Shariah compliant banking services in Kenya.

“It becomes the third fully Shariah compliant bank to be licensed in Kenya, after Gulf African Bank Limited in 2007 and First Community Bank Limited in 2008,” said CBK Friday.

The lender has a presence in Bosnia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and the UAE.

End of licensing freeze

DIB’s entry into the market marks the end of a moratorium imposed by the CBK on licensing of new banks.

“CBK welcomes the entry of international brands such as DIB into the Kenyan banking sector. DIBs entry will expand the offerings in the market, particularly in the nascent Shariah-compliant banking niche,” said the regulator.

Central bank said its entry signifies long-standing economic ties between Kenya and the UAE.

As at September last year, the Emirati bank had an asset base of $47.6 billion and capital of $7.4 billion.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

Independent Candidates for August Polls Hit 1,500

By Simon Ndonga

Nairobi — The number of candidates who are seeking to contest for various seats independently is on the rise.

Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u told Capital FM News the number has hit 1,500 so far.

The number has increased as political parties wind up their primaries.

Most have cited the spate of shambolic or unfair nominations across the country as the reason for the last minute decision to quit.

The disgruntled candidates rushed to the Registrar of Political Parties to effect the changes even as the nomination deadline was extended to Sunday.

To be cleared to run as an independent candidate, the aspirant is required to submit an application letter of request for clearance, a copy of their ID and a fee of Sh500.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

Uber Kenya Now Accepting Low Cost, Older Cars

Photo: The Citizen

(file photo)

By Kennedy Kangethe

Nairobi — Competition in the mobile technology ride-sharing service has pushed Uber to introduce an economy product in the Kenyan market dubbed UberSELECT.

The firm announced that it is introducing a low-cost product in Nairobi designed to be cheaper for riders and more affordable for partners.

The move comes after the firm increased its prices following drivers’ protests who have been demanding a review of rates amidst increasing competition in the ride-sharing sector.

Among the competitors include MondoRide that offers both cars and motorcycles (boda-boda) transport services, Safaricom-backed Little Cab company which offers free WiFi for clients as well as Taxify, Maramoja and Dandia among others.

“Riders have been going for other ride-sharing service providers since Uber raised their minimum prices to Sh300 from Sh200. My driver makes more money from Taxify than any other ride-sharing service,” said Jairo Ombasa, an Uber partner, who has also invested in Taxify.

Uber says it has now relaxed its rules allowing all types of cars for its new UberSelect product that will be cheaper, adding it no longer enlisting cars for its UberX product.

“To encourage cars to be added to the new, low-cost product, we are offering Sh3,000 as an incentive for a limited time only after the car takes 20 trips on the new product alone. Existing uberX partners can have cars on both products,” the firm says.

All types of cars will be accepted on the low-cost product with Uber recommending low cost, fuel efficient cars that include a Toyota Vitz or 800 -1200cc car models.

Requirements for the new, low-cost product are different from the requirements for uberX but includes NTSA inspection and sticker, PSV insurance and a Copy of logbook.

“We will continue to monitor market conditions and activate cars when needed on a first come, first served basis depending on market factors and business priorities,” the firm notes.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

Bishop Wanjiru Challenges Court Decision to Detain Her

Photo: Capital FM

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru.

By Maureen Kakah

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru has moved to the High Court to challenge the decision to deny her bond and detain her in custody for five days until after Labour Day celebrations.

Through lawyer Kennedy Ochieng, Bishop Wanjiru, who was gunning for the Nairobi Jubilee Party ticket in the just-concluded primaries, argues that the prosecution did not seek for more time to have her detained so as to record witness statements yet Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi ordered that she remains in custody.

In a letter to the presiding judge of the High Court’s criminal division, Mr Ochieng has faulted the magistrate for issuing directions for her continued incarceration as a gross violation to her rights as an accused person.

He therefore wants the High Court to examine the correctness of the verdict and ascertain the provisions of the law in such a case.

He also wants the High Court to review the orders issued on her continued detention as well as the bond terms.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

I Supported Man United As a Kid, Reveals Wanyama

Photo: Victor Wanyama

Victor Wanyama

By Timothy Olobulu

Nairobi — Among local football fans, the greatest rivalry as far as the English Premier League is concerned has always between Arsenal and Manchester United.

Kenya’s biggest football export, Victor Wanyama, who also skippers the national team Harambee Stars has revealed that he isn’t very far from such rivalry despite currently playing for Tottenham Hotspur, saying he supported Manchester United as a kid.

“When I was young playing in the streets with my friends, I used to watch a lot of games on TV. I used to watch the English Premier League. I loved it and I wanted to play in the EPL so bad since I was young.”

“Growing up I was a Manchester United fan, I used to love how they play and I loved some of the players there,” Wanyama revealed in an interview with CNN.

The burly midfielder who has been a cog in the Tottenham side this season since signing from Southampton FC in a 12-million-pound move has also revealed he looked up to Roy Keane when he began his football journey and has underscored his desire to meet him in person some day.

Mugubi, as he is now fondly referred as back home is expected to play another sterling role on Sunday evening when his Spurs side takes on Arsenal in the North London derby, a match that will be crucial in their outside bid to be crowned EPL champions.

“Everyone is expecting a tough game; it will be a great game for both teams. It is a game that always has a great atmosphere and it will be a nice game to play. This is one of the biggest games of the season and we have to go there and do our best,” the midfielder further states in the interview>

Spurs are four points behind leaders Chelsea and a win against Arsenal who have been on a resurgence coupled with a loss by Chelsea at the hands of Everton will inch them closer to a first EPL title since 1961.

Already, Spurs on 74 points have surpassed their best ever points haul in a season.

“Everything is possible we just have to take game by game and see what will come of it at the end of the season,” an optimistic Wanyama says.

The midfielder at the same time went on to reveal his strong religious beliefs, saying his faith is all-encompassing and helps him as a man and as a footballer.

“Sometimes it fills me up. Not only mentally, but physically as well. You feel the spirit. It’s important to have faith and it also plays a big part in my career,” Wanyama told CNN.

He also revealed that during his three seasons at Southampton, one of many clubs providing spiritual support to their players, he would often visit the club’s chaplain to talk about faith and football.

“We would talk about how you can have the relationship [between faith and football] and talk about how football can change people,” he said.

A lover of sports who seeks to tell the African story in an African way. Top ten finalist of the Abu Dhabi Sports Media Pearl Awards. Be it on the pitch, court, track, pool or course, the story will be told. On twitter @KakaTimm

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

Senator Peter Mositet Ditches Jubilee

By Joseph Ngunjiri

Kajiado senator Peter Mositet has ditched Jubilee party.

The Senator lost in the party’s nominations to a newcomer – Philip Mpaayei.

In the later dated April 27 and addressed to Raphael Tuju, the party secretary-general, Mr Mositet writes: “Following the party nominations in Kajiado County that were neither free nor fair, and were characterized by result manipulations, I hereby notify you of my resignation as a member of the Jubilee Party. The decision has not been an easy one and has been made after thoughtful consideration and meaningful consultation, with the people of Kajiado whom I serve.”

On Wednesday, Mr Mositet stormed the Kajiado County tallying centre, at the Maasai Technical Training Institute and engaged County Returning Officer Jeremiah Ole Ncharo in a heated argument and demanded to be shown forms that were signed by returning officers in the constituencies.

He was ejected from the tallying hall and the place cordoned off by armed policemen.

The results announced Mr Ole Ncharo, showed that Mositet polled 52,022 against Mr Mpaayei’s 62,077.

Mr Mositet was accompanied by Mr Tarayia ole Kores, who lost to former Internal CS, Joseph ole Lenku, in the gubernatorial nominations, and Parsimei Gitau, who lost to Joseph Manje in the Kajiado North Parliamentary nomination.

Kores and Parsimei also followed Mr Mositet in quitting JP. They promised to teach ‘Mr Ole Lenku a lesson’ in the August general elections.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

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