News headlines December 22 2016

elections-kenya

CORD co-principal Raila Odinga has warned there will be no elections in August next year should Jubilee insist in changing the electoral laws.

DAILY NATION

Why Cord, Jubilee MPs are fighting: As the bickering continues over proposed amendments to the laws that will govern the 2017 elections, the Nation spoke to ODM chairman John Mbadi and has followed up on the arguments by National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale in the House on why they support or oppose the changes.

“If any change has to be made to the laws that were made through a negotiated process, we then need to sit and go through the same process for any amendment,” Mr Mbadi said.

He was referring to the 14-member team that brokered the exit of the electoral commissioners and also came up with proposals on how to conduct the 2017 General Election.

No elections if laws are changed, Raila warns: Coalition for reforms and democracy (Cord) co-principal Raila Odinga has warned there will be no elections in August next year should Jubilee insist in changing the electoral laws. Mr Odinga warned that should the Jubilee coalition attempt to use its high numbers in Parliament to change the law, then Kenyans will resort to other means to stop them.

“Kenyans love peace. They have tolerated Jubilee government for long but tolerance has its limits,” he said in Homa Bay during the Luo Cultural Festival.

Uhuru would be re-elected if elections were held today, opinion poll shows: President Uhuru Kenyatta would be re-elected if elections were held today, according to an opinion poll released on Wednesday. The survey by Ipsos predicts that President Kenyatta would get 50 per cent of the votes, way ahead of Cord leader Raila Odinga, who trails him in second place at 22 per cent. The poll is likely to generate controversy especially from the opposition as it shows that Mr Kenyatta would defeat the Cord leader even in their perceived strongholds of Western, Coast and Eastern.

READ ALSO: Keep off party nominations, IEBC warned

THE STAR

There are idiots in parliament, says Uhuru: Shortly after lawmakers brawled in Parliament, President Uhuru Kenyatta pronounced some MPs “idiots” using the august house to insult him at will. He did not refer to the MPs from both sides who threw punches — and even used pepper spray — on Tuesday night during a tempestuous session on amending electoral laws. It was aborted and the video feed cancelled so the public could not see the scrimmage. The same could happen today in two sittings. Jubilee is pushing for changes, the opposition says weakened laws will be used to rig the election. The President commented about idiots on Tuesday night, just hours after Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo was caught on camera hurling insults at him.

READ ALSO: Three female aspirants wants Parliament dissolved.

If elections were held today, half of Kenyans would vote for Uhuru: Half of Kenya would vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta if presidential elections were held today, a poll by Ipsos released yesterday suggests. The poll shows that while 50 per cent of those polled would vote for Uhuru, only 22 per cent would vote for his 2013 main challenger, Cord leader Raila Odinga. The poll suggests that Uhuru has lost one point from the 51 per cent he got in a previous poll in June, while Raila has shed six per cent from 28 per cent. Ipsos chief researcher Tom Wolf explained that while Uhuru’s candidature is under the Jubilee Party, Raila is still in talks with other opposition leaders on who should be the flag-bearer.

Kuria threatens to insert bottle in MP Millie: In an obscene Facebook post, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has threatened to insert a broken bottle into Mbita lawmaker Millie Odhiambo for insulting the President. On his official Facebook account, Kuria on Tuesday night castigated Odhiambo for calling Uhuru Kenyatta “a fake President” who rigged the last election. Kuria, notorious for offensive comments, said Odhiambo had “crossed the red line” and told her to “keep off Parliament.” He posted in English, “You have pushed our patience to the end. Last year you got your way through removing your smelly panties to suffocate us with the repugnant stench of your maggot-infested things.”

THE STANDARD

No polls if new law are amended: President Uhuru Kenyatta and Cord leader Raila Odinga yesterday differed over a move to amend the elections laws.

“I want to make it clear that we will not let a few people dictate how elections will be conducted next year. IEBC is an independent body that must be left to do its work independently,” Uhuru said.

“I want every Kenyan to mark my words today that there will be no general election in this country following conspiracy by president Uhuru Kenyatta to go ahead with the amendments without consulting other stakeholders,”  said Raila Odinga.

Survey Reveals four leading fears Kenyans grapple with daily: Hunger, corruption and the high cost of living are the most serious problems facing Kenyans, according to a survey released by Ipsos yesterday. The survey, conducted between December 17-19, shows that 17 per cent of Kenyans across the country barely have enough to eat due to drought. It further found that Kenyans were over burdened by the high cost of living and bogged down by the effects of corruption. It rated corruption is the second biggest concern in the country, at 16 per cent.

Why county staff may miss December pay: Thousands of employees of county governments will have a bleak Christmas as December salaries will be delayed over a hitch on automated financial integrated system. CoG chair Peter Munya says pay platform has not been functioning for the last three days while Treasury says it is slow but undergoing upgrade.

BUSINESS DAILY

AfDB links up with female MPs in push for women property rights: The African Development Bank (AfDB) in partnership with female MPs is pushing for women property rights as a means of hastening development. Vice-President and special envoy on gender Geraldine Fraser Moleketi yesterday said securing women’s property rights will deliver positive development outcomes on the society.

“Our collaboration with women MPs is precisely to take forward the first part of our strategy because the legal status of women is closely intertwined with the strengths of the bank, which is economic empowerment,” said Ms Moleketi.

Lecturers petition MPs to lift ban on GMO food, field trials: Biotechnology lecturers in public universities have petitioned Parliament to lift the ban of GMO food and demanded the issuance of permits for field trials of locally developed biotech maize. The Kenya University Biotechnology Consortium (Kubic) says the government violated the Constitution when it banned the consumption of GMO food in October 2012. Kubic reckons that it is only the National Biosafety Authority (NBA) that has the mandate to control the importation, field trials and commercial planting of GMO food.

READ ALSO: Students quitting course over GMO ban

Volkswagen unveils Sh1.65m passenger car as Uhuru inaugurates plant in Thika: The Volkswagen Group Wednesday unveiled its first locally assembled passenger vehicle in four decades during the official opening of its production line at the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturing plant in Thika. The vehicle, VW Polo Vivo, which has been assembled in three months, will retail at Sh1.65 million inclusive of value-added tax. The group will in its initial phase produce up to 1,000 vehicles per year, a number that will be increased to 5,000 units annually at the assembly. DT Dobie CEO Zarak Khan said the new Volkswagen Vivo demystifies the thinking that locally assembled vehicles are limited in options with its wide range of standard features including alloy wheels, CD players and other features.

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