Posts tagged as: senator

Ruling Party Confident of Winning Nairobi Governorship

Photo: Charles Kimani/DPPS

Mike Sonko, left, the Jubilee Party’s gubernatorial nominee for Nairobi , with deputy governor nominee Polycap Igathe in the county on May 17, 2017.

By Patrick Lang’at

The Jubilee Party on Wednesday exuded confidence of winning the Nairobi gubernatorial after pairing Mike Sonko with Polycarp Igathe.

Deputy President William Ruto backed the team, describing Senator Sonko, who is Jubilee Party’s nominee for the county’s top job, as the solution to the problems facing the capital.

At a press conference he personally managed, ushering speakers and arranging how they will sit, the DP said the Jubilee Party leadership fully supported Mr Sonko, who has picked Vivo Energy Kenya Managing Director Igathe to become his running mate.

“Under the leadership of these two gentlemen, we actually have a winning team. We can now do the things we have so much wanted to do as Jubilee administration in Nairobi,” said the DP at the Jubilee Party headquarters in a three-minute speech he made after unveiling the duo.

For the Jubilee Party in 2013 elections, having not won Nairobi, which controls up to 60 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product besides being the seat of power, has haunted them for the past four and a half years.

“This team understands the challenges of this city and are going to provide the solutions for the problems this city faces. And they have the right partnership with us to make sure that Nairobi truly becomes the City in the Sun, again,” Mr Ruto said.

PETER KENNETH

Mr Sonko, a streetwise politician and a ruthless mobiliser, has cut the image of a man who has related with the hoi polloi, the chunk of the 2.3 million voters in the city.

To clinch the Jubilee Party ticket, however, the senator had to fend off challenge from 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, who had painted himself as the manager that Nairobi needed.

Mr Kenneth’s team had hoped to win the primaries by painting Mr Sonko as an erratic leader hell-bent on violence and unqualified to lead the city.

But, like a man fresh from being baptised, the senator had taken Mr Kenneth’s advice, debuting a new image, one he hopes will catapult him to the helm of City Hall.

Gone are the heavy gold and diamond rings and chains, the multicoloured mohawk and dyed hair, the ripped jeans, and punching of walls or sleeping on the tarmac.

On Wednesday, he once again portrayed the new image, one donning a business suit, and choosing his words carefully.

“I have been like the de facto governor because all the complaints by the county residents have been brought to me for action and mainly issues regarding land grabbing which incumbency has never addressed,” Mr Sonko said in a five-minute prepared speech.

‘GOOD GOVERNANCE’

“As you will see from our manifesto, which we will be unveiling shortly, our agenda for this county is issue-based and will be anchored on good governance, transparency and I shall not entertain any form of corruption in whichever form.”

He promised to tackle corruption, address garbage collection, which he said had been taken over by cartels, restructure the City Inspectorate Department and address drainage and cleanliness, a job he said he will accomplish with Mr Igathe.

“You will appreciate my choice of running mate reflects the corporate governance image that the residents of Nairobi would like to serve them and his CV in corporate leadership speaks for itself,” he said of Mr Igathe, who he said will run policy, development and political affairs.

Mr Igathe, who said he went through a rigorous interview to win the seat with 11 others, said he will complement his boss, if they win. “I took a leap of faith and left a job at the private sector for politics because 60 per cent of our country’s GDP in Nairobi can no longer be left in the hands of clueless people,” he said.

5 Less Obvious Reasons Why People Vie for Political Seats

By Margaret Njugunah

Nairobi — What would make a millionaire who seems to have everything want to vie for a political seat? Why would someone who already has extensive influence in society want to gamble by getting their hands involved with the dirt that is politics? Even the poor are now doing it, but why?

US President Donald Trump had built a business empire in America and is considered one of the richest men in America, and still vied for a political seat.

Despite making a name for himself in sports and having massive influence in the sport, boxing legend Manny Pacquiao vied for a political seat and is currently serving as a senator in Philippines.

There are also the unlikely ones, like Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar who is considered to be one of the wealthiest criminals in history. Escobar vied and was elected as an alternate member of the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia.

We’ve seen them locally too, men and women who had wealth and influence before getting into politics. So why would such people choose to seek elective positions?

Power

“Power is one of the biggest reasons why people get into politics. It’s the first and foremost reason. This is especially so for rich people who may have attained everything that money can buy but still do not have the amount of power that comes with an elective position,” Professor Macharia Munene a political analyst from the United States International University-Africa (USIU) says.

Protection of wealth

People, especially the rich, seek elective positions to protect their wealth. For them, being friendly with the authorities is no longer enough to protect their hard earned wealth. “When you are in power, you are able to protect your riches in a way that you cannot if you were not in an elective seat,” he adds.

To make a name for themselves

There are people who also seek elective positions for fame and to make a name for themselves. They are not necessarily interested in winning. “There are people who just want to hear that they were in the ballot box. They knew very well they could not win but being among the candidates and the amount of fame they get is satisfying for them.”

Widen their network

The Political analyst also exposes a side of elections that not many people know about, the network that a person may be able to create. “Elections will expose you with the high and mighty in the society. There are people will, therefore, vie to be close to others in the race.”

Money

Elective positions, especially in Kenya, come with a lot of money, be it high salaries and the accompanying allowances. There is a lot the money that is left under your care and also the opportunities to make money that come with the seats.

Kenya

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Nigeria: Senate Summons Amaechi Over ‘Exclusion’ of Eastern Corridor From Rail Project

By Hassan Adebayo

The Senate has resolved to invite the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, for briefing, after a Senator said the eastern corridor rail line had been excluded from the federal government’s proposal for loan to finance railway projects across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in April sought the approval of the National Assembly for the federal government to secure loan from the China EXIM Bank for modernization of Lagos-Kano modernisation projects, Lagos-Ibadan segment $1.231 billion; Lagos-Kano railway modernisation project, Kano-Kaduna segment $1.146 billion; and coastal railway project, the Lagos-Calabar segment, N3.474 billion.

But while the request is still pending legislative approval, a senator of the Peoples Democratic Party Senator from Abia State, Eyinnaya Abaribe, raised the matter on Tuesday, praying the Senate to suspend the consideration of the loan bid in view of the exclusion of Eastern corridor line.

“The Eastern section of the rail segment which has link between South-Eastern and North-Eastern segment if the rail line is completely left out,” Mr. Abaribe said.

“The loan being a federal government would be paid by all sections of the country; therefore, every section of the country should be taken into consideration.

“For the railway project to have meaningful impact on the development of the country it should cover all parts of the country.

“Exclusion of the Eastern section which links four zones of South-South, South-East, and North -Central and the North-East, and the key cities such as Port Harcourt, Enugu, Aba, Markurdi, Lafia, Gudi, Bauchi and Maiduguri is inexplicable,” submitted Mr. Abaribe.

Although he included in his prayers that the consideration of the loan request be suspended pending “correction”, the Senate decided to delete that prayer.

It however uphold the prayer that Mr. Amaechi “appear and explain” reason for the exclusion of the Eastern rail corridor.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said already the leadership of the Senate had been making efforts to address the concern.

When Mr. Buhari sought the approval on April 26, he asked quick approval to enable Nigeria access the China-Africa fund package already included in 2016-2018 external borrowing plan which was forwarded to the National Assembly last August.

The Senate had rejected the borrowing plan entirely in November last year.

Mr. Buhari explained that the funds accessible under the package were limited and that applications from other African countries were treated on first-come first-serve basis.

Senate Calls for Exports Diversification, Value Addition

By Emmanuel Ntirenganya

The Senate has called for further increase, diversification and value addition to Rwanda’s export products to help the country to reduce imbalance between imports and exports.

Senators said that Rwanda should go well beyond its three traditional export commodities namely coffee, tea and minerals, to embrace other commodities such as vegetables, fruits, meat, ICT services in order to widen its exports base and wither through effects of international price fluctuations.

The Senate plenary was deliberating on the country’s Budget Framework Paper (BFP) and the medium term budget estimates for 2017/18 -2019/20.

BPF is a document outlining government economic policies over the medium term that helps lay the foundations of the next fiscal year.

As per the Monetary Policy and Financial Stability statement released by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) in February 2017; Rwanda’s trade deficit improved by 5.9 percent in 2016, to $1649.7 million from $1752.5 million in 2015.

Despite the observed improvement in the trade balance in 2016, BNR said, the import bill continued to outstrip export receipts, exerting pressures on the Rwandan franc exchange rate as the Franc depreciated against the dollar by 9.7 percent in 2016 compared to a depreciation of 7.6 percent in 2015.

Senators said that given that the prices of Rwanda’s export products at international market face fluctuations which Rwanda has no control over, there is a need for product diversification and ensuring value addition through processing.

For instance, figures from National Agriculture Exports Development Board (NAEB) show that the average price of coffee reduced from $3.30 in 2015 to $3.05 in 2016, which badly affected coffee export revenues.

Yet, NAEB states that horticulture is seen as critical for exports growth and diversification, whereby Rwanda aims to increase horticulture exports more than tenfold, from $11 million in 2013 to $120 million (about Rwf99 billion) by 2018.

Senator Tito Rutaremara said that “it has been realised that the period we have reached now, we are going to need more imports’, citing major national level projects like construction of the $400 million-Bugesera International Airport.

He called for measures to increase locally made products.

“We should not only rely on the three traditional export commodities,” Senator Rutaremara said referring to coffee, tea and minerals.

“We should have say six crops,” he said, calling for more investments in horticulture and meat production projects such as the Gako Beef project for cow fattening and intensive beef production in Bugesera District, which he said Rwanda can develop to get more earnings from meat exports.

The senate also called for more efforts in providing skills to Rwandans especially those needed in industries and other job-creation sectors for the youth.

Senator Chysologue Karangwa said that “what Rwanda is putting more efforts in, is developing industries based on the locally produced materials. “Empowering the youth with skills to be able to work in such industries is very important as it will ensure that investors in manufacturing get local skilled labour force,” he said.

The Upper House also called on government to put priority on availing basic infrastructures in industrial parks in districts to facilitate investors to set up their factories, hence enabling the country to increase made in Rwanda products.

Senator Celestin Sebuhoro, the Vice-Chairperson of the senatorial Committee on Economic Development and Finance, said that 66 percent of the country’s budget will be financed through domestic revenues while once loans are added, it will reach 83 percent, which he said shows a progress in the country’s self-reliance.

Proposed budget for fiscal year 2017/18 is Rwf2,094 billion, Rwf140.7 billion higher than Rwf1,954.2 in the 2016/17 revised budget, according to Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

The Budget Framework Paper for 2017/18 – 2019/20 underscores government’s commitment to address Balance of trade by increasing exports to foster economic growth.

The senate also called for strategies to make use of developed marshlands and valleys in a bid to combat climate change which results in growing food prices and inflation because of food shortages.

While presenting the Budget Framework Paper to parliament last month, finance minister Amb. Claver Gatete said that key targets and interventions in 2017/2018 fiscal year will include growing traditional exports to 19%, promoting non-traditional exports, growth of the service sector by 33% as well as cross cutting interventions such as promotion of made in Rwanda, developing cross border and trade logistics infrastructure, and development of industrial parks among others.

Oburu Headed to EALA, Wiper MPs Set to Reject Kalonzo Son

By Walter Menya And Kitavi Mutua

Nominated legislator Dr Oburu Oginga could be preparing to quit as MP and move to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala).

This comes as a row is brewing within the Wiper Democratic Party following the nomination party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s eldest son Kennedy Musyoka to the regional assembly.

Jubilee Party which has five slots of the available nine has also nominated Kamkunji parliamentary loser Simon Mbugua among others to Eala.

ODM sources said that the decision to nominate Dr Oginga to serve in the regional assembly was to give him a soft landing after he lost the party’s ticket for Bondo constituency to the current MP Gideon Ochanda.

He will therefore join the chairperson of the National Elections Board of ODM Ms Judy Pareno and Mr Abubakar Zein as the party’s nominees to serve in Eala.

SUBMITTED PAPERS

The Nation could not reach either Dr Oginga or ODM secretary-general Dr Agnes Zani to react to the matter but a top party official said that “indeed he has submitted his papers.

Some MPs advised Jakom (Raila Odinga) that he could not just leave Oburu in the cold.” Dr Oginga is the elder brother of Mr Odinga.

It therefore means that Dr Oginga would have to quit as ODM’s nominated member of the National Assembly.

The National Assembly resumes on Tuesday until June 7 when it will be dissolved ahead of the August 8 General Election.

Before Dr Oginga’s entry into the race for Eala seat, some of the leading candidates were Silas Jakakimba, an aide of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, educationist Prof Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha and Jotham Nyukuri.

POLITICAL DIVISIONS

The election of the nine people who will represent Kenya in Eala is May 16.

Meanwhile, the choice of the young Musyoka sparked new political divisions in Wiper party with some MPs openly opposing his nomination.

A section of Wiper MPs have ganged up with their party rebels who decamped to Jubilee to oppose the young Musyoka’s appointment when the names are finally tabled on the floor of the House for approval.

The MPs feel that it is politically unwise for the Wiper party leader to nominate his own son months to a charged presidential contest as this will give excuse for rival Jubilee party to castigate him.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior who is a member of the parliamentary select committee that will vet the names was apprehensive of the backlash the young Musyoka’s name is likely to attract during the vetting process.

EXPECT CRITICISM

“Parliament has minimal role other than verifying personal details and competencies but of course we expect some criticism from rival parties but we’ll just stick to our mandate as a committee” said Senator Mutula.

However, the Nation learnt that Mr Musyoka has defied all the counsel and warning from his close allies on the expected public backlash and embarrassment the appointment may cause and gone ahead to push for Kennedy.

“The entire party top brass including senators and MPs have advised against this but Mr Musyoka is determined to see his son through the process that will be open for public scrutiny,” said a source familiar with Wiper party affairs.

Mwingi north MP John Munuve criticized the appointment and vowed to oppose the young Musyoka’s name at the committee stage and on the floor of the House.

“I will attend the committee sittings as to oppose this appointment. Wiper should have nominated another person because Kenyans have rewarded his father with high ranking public offices,” Mr Munuve declared.

HEIGHT OF SELFISHNESS

Mr Munuve said it is the height of selfishness for Mr Musyoka to ask Kenyans to elect him to the highest political office while at the same time pushing parliament to approve his son’s nomination to EALA.

Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao also said he’ll oppose the appointment saying it doesn’t reflect the wishes of the majority of Wiper party supporters.

“This position should have gone to one of the countless supporters who have stood with Kalonzo throughout his career as reward for loyalty. Those behind his political ambition will feel cheated and unappreciated” said

However, the outgoing Wiper representative to EALA Peter Mathuki defended the young Musyoka saying that as a lawyer he was immensely qualified having handled matters at the East African Court of Justice.

The Nation established that the party had promised its former executive director Dr Temi Mutia the EALA slot and he was even prevailed not to run for Mwingi west parliamentary seat.

Storm Over Opposition Leader’s Son’s Nomination to EALA

Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation

National Super Alliance leader Kalonzo Musyoka during media briefings at his office in Nairobi on May 3, 2017.

By Samwel Owino And Ibrahim Oruko

The nomination of Kennedy Musyoka, son of Nasa presidential running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, to the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has elicited mixed reactions in the political arena.

Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale said on Thursday that MPs will not allow any form political dynasty in the EALA nominations.

“The era of political dynasties is long gone and we as voters will not allow it back in this country,” Mr Duale said.

Minority whip in the National Assembly Thomas Mwadeghu on Thursday submitted the names of Kennedy Musyoka, Judith Pareno, Ronald Ng’eny and Abubakar Zein as Cord’s nominees for EALA.

However, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka has shrugged off the raging controversy.

STORM

Besides, his son’s name on the list, that of a former aide to Raila Odinga, Silas Jakakimba, has elicited sharp debate.

The opposition’s list, however, does not have names of representatives from either the Amani National Congress (ANC) or Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), the two parties that teamed up with Cord to form the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Whereas ODM’s strength in Parliament gives it three slots in Eala, Wiper has only one while Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya has none.

But it is the choice of the young Musyoka that is likely to deepen the raging political storm in the Wiper Party, just days after Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama withdrew from the senatorial race citing Mr Musyoka as the reason for his decision.

On Monday, Mr Muthama threw a surprise when he announced he would not defend his seat even after he had been cleared by the party and accused Mr Musyoka of dictatorship and betrayal. The party has since replaced the senator with another candidate.

ATTACK

But deputy minority leader Jakoyo Midiwo said they will not allow “few people to sit in a hotel and come up with only four names instead of the required twelve.”

In a thin veiled attack at Ms Judy Pareno who is also the chairperson of the ODM National Elections Board, Mr Midiwo said some of the four nominees presented by Opposition cannot pass the integrity test as enshrined in chapter six of the Constitution.

“Mr speaker if you allow somebody somewhere sitting in a hotel and then bring names here for the National Assembly to rubberstamp, then you are killing democracy, we do not choose, we elect,” he added.

Marakwet East MP Kangongo Bowen said the Opposition should at least give the House options to choose who will serve in the regional parliament.

“Let them give us options to choose from as long as they are qualified to be Members of Parliament because they are going to make laws and not to represent their families,” Mr Bowen said.

“Let us look at the qualification because we need to choose people who are qualified no matter who are they are,” Mr Bowen said in relation to the nomination of Mr Musyoka’s son.

NOMINATION RULES

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa urged MPs not to sow seeds of political hatred following the nomination of Mr Musyoka’s son saying candidates should be looked at objectively.

“We must look at all candidates objectively then we decide through election. I do not see anything wrong with Kalonzo’s son. The current President Uhuru Kenyatta is a son of a former first president but Kenyans elected him anyway,” Dr Wamalwa said.

Speaker Justin Muturi said he is yet to formally receive the list of the Opposition nominees but urged it to abide by the nomination rules.

Mr Muturi said there is no harm in nominating anybody as it is MPs who will decide which people to represent the country at EALA.

“Please comply with the rules as was crafted by the joint committee. You can’t make rules and just because of some recent political re-inclination you want to forget the same rules you crafted,” Mr Muturi said.

Nigeria: Govt Considers Partnering Bi-Courtney On Construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

By Damilola Oyedele

Abuja — The federal government may have agreed to enter a funding agreement in a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) deal with Bi-Courtney Highways Limited to ensure the timely construction and rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway project.

The issue was the crux of discussion at a meeting wednesday evening in the National Assembly, where it was also agreed that Motorways Assets Limited would be part of the PPP arrangement for the expressway.

The reconstruction of the highway was concessioned to Bi-Courtney in 2009 under a Build, Operate and Transfer deal, but was revoked in 2012, allegedly because the company violated some terms of the agreement.

Wednesday’s meeting which held behind closed doors, and had in attendance the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Danjuma Goje, and his Finance counterpart, Senator John Enoh.

It also had in attendance, the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Highways Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin and the Chairman of Motorways Asset Limited, Mr. Abdulrasaq Oyinloye.

Adeosun declined to speak with journalists after the meeting, but sources told THISDAY that the federal government and the Senate agreed that the expressway must be completed as soon as possible.

“We also expect that the expressway must be completed in such a manner that it will be a model for infrastructural development in this country,” a source said.

Another source added that under the new agreement, Bi-Courtney and Motorways are expected to merge their current concessions into a new company which would be a special purpose vehicle for the project.

The government would provide the new company with financial instruments, through which it can raise the necessary funds.

“The underlining objective of the new agreement is to ensure that quality work is done on the road which is said to be central to the nation’s economy and that the work is completed in the shortest time possible. Very soon, all parties would sign a formal agreement on this deal,” the source said.

Nigeria

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Nigeria: WHO – Patients’ Safety in Nigeria Deplorable

By Senator Iroegbu

Abuja — The World Health Organisation (WHO) has deplored the level of measures adopted for patients’ safety in Nigeria.

Therefore, the global health agency has called for improved efforts towards better patient management in the country.

The WHO Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu, stated this yesterday during a national healthcare management conference on patient safety in Abuja.

Alemu said the present situation showed that there is more work to be done to achieve patient safety in Nigeria and in Africa.

He said: “The burden of unsafe health care delivery is huge, not only to the patient but to the healthcare system and to the nation in the long run, as it results in loss of confidence in the health care system.

“Common patient safety issues include misdiagnosis, medication errors including antimicrobial resistance, workforce safety, health care-associated infections, and surgery-related complications.”

According to him, addressing patient safety issues would lead to huge savings for countries on healthcare expenditure.

Alemu said the leadership in healthcare must rise to the situation by providing a conducive environment for change in practices, regulation and coordination of patient safety interventions and effort.

He added that this could be done through provision of strategic direction and sustained political will for the institutionalisation of patient safety culture in our healthcare system.

The WHO representative noted that the priority actions to start with include development of a policy for strategic direction and mainstreaming patient safety, building capacity of health workers and employing the use of safe and suitable infrastructure as well as ensuring maintenance culture and safety of the healthcare environment for patients and even the health care providers.

Others include patient safety education and training at all levels; developing quality improvement plan for health care delivery; making functional regulatory framework that ensures patient safety; and measuring the burden and cost of unsafe health care system through surveillance, vigilance, and use of technology and innovations.

Corroborating WHO’s observation, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was represented by Dr. Omobolanle Olowu, said many patients have gone to health facilities to seek solutions to their health problems only to come out worse because of so many unwarranted causes that could be avoided.

Adewole said the country must urgently find strategies to medical errors, negligence to patients so that they could be reduced or completely avoided.

Also, the Dean of Rova College of Healthcare Executives, Dr. Emmanuel Abolo, called for systems and orientation of healthcare providers that would make it difficult for errors to occur.

In her remark, the Executive Director of International Society of Media in Public Health (ISMPH), Ms. Moji Makanjuola, said there was need to mentor young doctors in order to end the many preventable deaths from medical errors.

Why Sonko Will Be Nairobi’s Next Governor

opinionBy Machel Waikenda

Two weeks ago, Sonko, one of the most determined politicians in Kenya, decided to show Kenyans, and especially Nairobians, that he had more to offer. This was in the form of a documentary that showed what he has done for Nairobi.

Most Nairobi residents were moved at what a selfless leader Sonko is, and were amazed at what developments they saw due to his work. Nairobi residents have been looking for service delivery on many fronts and Sonko showed them that he was not waiting to be Governor to do it.

But Sonko was not done. Last week, he was interviewed on Jeff Koinange Live and what we saw was a transformational governor in waiting that was articulate, aware of issues and ready to work for Nairobi residents.

At one point, he made the current Governor Evans Kidero look clueless. Kidero had in an earlier interview claimed that Sonko cannot tell who the United Nations Secretary General is. Sonko did not only give Jeff the name but also wondered why Kidero had not asked that he name the chairman of the Nairobi boda boda association or that of the hawker’s association.

This showed Sonko as a man in touch with the realities of Nairobi and one not interested in the status that comes with the office of Governor. In fact, sentiments online were that Sonko had easily shed off his thuggish tag and was now looking even presidential.

In short, those who have claimed that Sonko did not have the demeanour of a Governor were left wiping off eggs from their faces. Sonko has proven that all that we saw before about him is not what he is today and that he is ready to show his true character. But besides what we have seen in the last couple of weeks, there is a lot that attracts Sonko to the residents of Nairobi. And this is why he easily out-washed all his opponents during the Jubilee Party primaries where the closest had less than half of the votes he got. One of the key issues that have made Nairobi Senator a darling of the masses is the ‘Sonko Rescue Team’. And this is something that he started way back when he was still Makadara MP.

The Sonko Rescue Team has come to the aid of many Nairobians over the years, and especially the low-income earners. This team has offered free services to Nairobi residents who have been neglected by their county government. Services delivered include supplying free water and assisting residents affected by disasters. One of the other strong points of Sonko is that he has been able to fight for the rights of all the residents of Nairobi. Whether the affluent or the poor, Sonko has been someone that many Nairobi residents have counted on to get protection. He has stood against land grabbers whether in the upmarket areas of Westlands or the slum areas of Kayole. His is a genuine love for the people and ensuring that their rights are not trampled upon. Some have argued that his credentials are in doubt and that he is not well educated to be Governor.

But we all know that Sonko, while he may have struggled with his academics in his past like many Kenyans, he has in adult life picked up and gotten the required academic qualifications. But even as we talk of credentials, Nairobians must ask themselves whether the highly educated and polished Dr Evans Kidero has delivered for them. This should not be a reason to deny Sonko the opportunity of working and delivering for the people of Nairobi.

The best gift that Nairobi residents, and especially Jubilee voters, can give President Uhuru Kenyatta, is a Governor who has remained loyal and proven that he can deliver for all. All Nairobi residents must ensure that Sonko becomes the next governor of the capital to ensure there is better service delivery.

(The writer is a political and communications consultant. Twitter @MachelWaikenda)

In short, those who have claimed that Sonko did not have the demeanour of a Governor were left wiping off eggs from their faces. Sonko has proven that all that we saw before about him is not what he is today and that he is ready to show his true character. But besides what we have seen in the last couple of weeks, there is a lot that attracts Sonko to the residents of Nairobi. And this is why he easily out-washed all his opponents during the Jubilee Party primaries where the closest had less than half of the votes he got. One of the key issues that have made Nairobi Senator a darling of the masses is the ‘Sonko Rescue Team’. And this is something that he started way back when he was still Makadara MP. The Sonko Rescue Team has come to the aid of many Nairobians over the years, and especially the low-income earners. This team has offered free services to Nairobi residents who have been neglected by their county government. Services delivered include supplying free water and assisting residents affected by disasters. One of the other strong points of Sonko is that he has been able to fight for the rights of all the residents of Nairobi. Whether the affluent or the poor, Sonko has been someone that many Nairobi residents have counted on to get protection. He has stood against land grabbers whether in the upmarket areas of Westlands or the slum areas of Kayole. His is a genuine love for the people and ensuring that their rights are not trampled upon. Some have argued that his credentials are in doubt and that he is not well educated to be Governor. But we all know that Sonko, while he may have struggled with his academics in his past like many Kenyans, he has in adult life picked up and gotten the required academic qualifications. But even as we talk of credentials, Nairobians must ask themselves whether the highly educated and polished Dr Evans Kidero has delivered for them. This should not be a reason to deny Sonko the opportunity of working and delivering for the people of Nairobi. The best gift that Nairobi residents, and especially Jubilee voters, can give President Uhuru Kenyatta, is a Governor who has remained loyal and proven that he can deliver for all. All Nairobi residents must ensure that Sonko becomes the next governor of the capital to ensure there is better service delivery. (The writer is a political and communications consultant. Twitter @MachelWaikenda)

Read more at CapitalFM:: Why Sonko will be Nairobi’s next Governor http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/eblog/?p=6398

Kenya

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Nigeria: Chibok Girls, Boko Haram Swap Deal ‘Best Decision’ – Senator

Photo: Premium Times

(file photo).

By Cletus Ukpong

Kaduna State senator, Shehu Sani, has defended the swap of newly released 82 Chibok school girls for Boko Haram fighters as being the “best decision”.

Mixed reactions have continued to trail the announcement by the Nigerian government that the girls were exchanged for some Boko Haram “suspects” held by the government.

The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had condemned the deal.

“The negotiations are in clear violation and indeed a direct assault on the generally accepted international principle never to negotiate with terrorists,” the PDP said in a statement by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye.

“This international principle is sound and logical because negotiation with the terrorists only fuels their urge to continue with their heinous crimes.”

The federal government responded by describing the statement from the PDP as “indecent, inhuman and ill-timed.”

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Mr. Sani (All Progressives Congress/Kaduna Central), who is known to have been involved in previous talks to free the girls, endorsed the process that led to Boko Haram freeing the 82 girls.”The negotiation settled for the swap than paying a huge sum of money as ransom. The decision taken was the best and of lesser consequence,” Mr. Sani tweeted.The senator made reference to the U.S and Israel engaging in a prisoner swap with the Taliban and Hamas respectively.He said in one of his tweets that no price was too high to pay for the release of the girls, adding that the swapped Boko Haram commanders were five, and not two as reported.”Chibok girls are not the only hostages with the insurgents, but their freedom rekindled the hope of freedom for others.”Chibok girls’ captivity tested the degree of our conscience, of our resilience, of our humanity and of our claim of responsibility to others,” he said.The released girls are among the over 270 abducted from their dormitories in a government secondary school in Chibok, Borno State in April 2014 as they prepared to write their final exams.Twenty-one of them were earlier released last October after negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government.Two other girls were found separately, in addition to those who escaped on the night of their abduction.With the latest release, about 80 Chibok girls are now being held by the Boko Haram.More on ThisMore Chibok Girls to Be Released Soon – Shehu Sani

The Senator representing Kaduna Central senatorial district at the National Assembly, Shehu Sani, has revealed that… Read more »

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