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Court orders students to face arson charges as CS convenes crisis: The High Court has today overruled a decision by a magistrate court and ordered eight students of Sunshine Secondary School to face arson charges. This came even as Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i convened a crisis meeting today with members of the clergy and secondary school heads representatives to help find a solution to the escalating school fires. In the courts, Justice Luka Kimaru overturned a decision that allowed eight Sunshine Secondary School students to settle an arson case they were facing out of court. His decision followed an appeal by the Director of Public Prosecution against the lower court’s decision saying there is sufficient evidence to charge the students with arson and conspiracy to commit felony. Justice Kimaru ruled that the children’s court magistrate made an error of judgment when she allowed the parties to use alternative dispute resolution mechanism. The students will now take plea on August 2. The DPP had argued that the ruling failed to recognize the mandate of the office of prosecution while pointing out that the students were already past the age that would hinder him from instituting charges.

MPs appeal to President Kenyatta to step in and end wave of fires: Four Members of Parliament have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to step in and end the ongoing wave of arson attacks in schools. Geoffrey Odanga (Matayos), Florence Mutua, (Busia Woman Representative), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba) have asked the President to speak on the matter saying his silence is worrying. While addressing a press conference at Parliament Building, the MPs said the situation is now getting out of hand and the executive can no longer afford to remain silent about it. “We remain extremely concerned about the ongoing unrest in schools and the uncoordinated and counterproductive approach adopted by the government. In particular, we are deeply concerned about the safety of thousands of children in schools,” said Odanga. They said they will announce their next step of action should the President fail to address the matter two days time. Odanga who read the statement on behalf of the lawmakers said the government has lost control and the arsonists are in charge of schools. “We demand that the government embarks on immediate consultations with KNUT, KUPPET and school heads association to get to the bottom of the matter and prescribe remedies,” he said

Ombudsman: EACC boss ignored our advice: Embattled Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Philip Kinisu has only himself to blame for his current troubles, the ombudsman has said. The Commission on Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Amolo Mr Kinisu took up the job at the helm of the EACC against an advisory opinion from the commission to rescind his decision since as a company he had served as a director had transacted with the National Youth Service that had been laced with corruption allegations. Mr Amollo told X news that the commission had foreseen such an occurrence of conflict of interests despite the absence of a law that prohibits a state officer from transacting business with government agencies. “It was a lapse of judgement from Kinisu’s end to accept an appointment to head the EACC secretariat noting that he had transacted business with NYS at a time it was being accused of mega corruption,” Otiende said. However he was quick to note that Kinisu cannot be forced to step aside as he had only been accused of ‘conflict of interests’ and not corruption as no evidence has been produced against him.

Sonko maintains his ground over Kidero remarks: Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko has maintained that he will not offer any apology to Governor Evans Kidero over remarks he made against him last month at a senate committee sitting. Sonko who appeared before the Senate House Business committee yesterday declined to apologise for calling Kidero a thief and a murderer. “I will not resign nor withdraw anything that I had said, I have evidence on everything that I said earlier,” Sonko said. Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Sonko said he is not afraid of any action that the committee might take against him. “I am not afraid of any action, punishment or sanctions that the committee will take against me. I’m speaking the truth and I have documents to support all my claims,” Sonko said.   The two leaders clashed during the Senate Public Accounts Committee sitting for which Dr Kidero had been summoned to answer to audit querries raised by the Auditor General. The matter was referred to the powers and privileges committee. Kidero wrote to Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro to have parliamentary privilege insulating Senator Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko from prosecution be lifted to allow him seek legal redress. Sonko accused governor Kidero of murder and corruption and exchanged abusive words before the Public Accounts committee. The senator refused to withdraw his statement saying he has evidence and was ready to meet the Governor in court.

 

 

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