News highlights February 20 2017 – Moses Kuria and Ferdinand Waititu acquitted of hate speech charges

News highlights February 20 2017 – Moses Kuria and Ferdinand Waititu acquitted of hate speech charges

Kuria and Waititu acquitted of hate speech charges

  • Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu acquitted of hate speech charges
  • Nairobi Magistrate Charity Oluoch said the move was due to lack of evidence
  • The politicians were facing incitement to violence charges having been accused of uttering words tantamount to orchestrating the death of opposition leader, Raila Odinga

The two MPs denied committing the charges at Kasarani during Njogu wa Njoroge’s thanksgiving service where they spoke in their native Gikuyu. The Magistrate ruled that the English and Kiswahili translations provided as part of the evidence in the case were incorrect.

MPs Ferdinand Waititu and Moses Kuria in court.

In her ruling, Magistrate Oluoch concluded that the video content of the evidence adduced in court could have been altered or edited.

Other leaders arrested with them at the time were Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Timothy Bosire of Kitutu Masaba, Kimani Ngunjiri of Bahati and Women’s representatives Aisha Jumwa and Florence Mutua of Kilifi and Busia respectively.

READ ALSO: We will bar politicians who spew hate messages from contesting in August polls-NCIC warns

Junet and Mutua had threatened to storm the office of the Inspector General of Police unless Kuria and Waititu were arrested and charged for their utterances while Muthama was accused of making similar threats on June 11, to storm the IG’s office.

Ngunjiri on the other hand uttered words that members of the Luo community should vacate Nakuru and go back to Kisumu.

Bosire had allegedly said President Uhuru Kenyatta had failed to unite the Republic and that chaos would erupt, as Jumwa was accused of saying that there would be no peace following remarks by Kuria.

The other legislators are yet to know their fate.

Previous cases of hate speech have suffered the same fate for a lack of or weak evidence.

On January 27, a Nairobi court dropped hate speech charges against Kiambu Governor William Kabogo for lack of evidence.

Like Kuria and Waititu, Governor Kabogo was taken to court for allegedly making disparaging remarks against Mr Odinga.

Kenyatta will face Odinga in a run-off vote, new poll suggests

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta will have to face opposition chief Raila Odinga in a run-off vote if elections were held today, a new Ipsos poll says
  • According to the poll, Kenyatta would garner 47% of the votes against Odinga’s 30%
  • Data states that Kenyans would have to return to the ballot to decide who becomes the country’s chief executive

The Ipsos survey, which was conducted between January 9, 2017 and January 26, 2017, had a sample size of 2057 respondents randomly selected from the country’s urban and rural settings.

Ipsos Lead Researcher Tom Wolf was quick to point out that the findings of the survey were inconclusive as a lot could change between the period the survey was done and the August General Elections.

A file photo dated 09 March 2013 showing President Uhuru Kenyatta smiling as he speaks in front of supporters at his campaign headquartes in Nairobi, Kenya, after defeating his main rival Raila Odinga by winning 50.03 percent of votes. Reports on 30 March 2013. EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU

The National Super Alliance (NASA) four co-principals – Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) are this week expected to sign a coalition agreement that will front one of them to challenge President Kenyatta.

READ ALSO: More politicians ditch Jubilee for Maendeleo Chap Chap

Wolf also added that the survey did not limit respondents to registered voters only as the mass voter registration exercise that concluded yesterday began a week after the start of the survey.

He clarified that the survey was devoid of political interference saying it was an in-house undertaking without party funding.

Uhuru’s strongholds are in Central, Rift Valley and North Eastern provinces while Raila would receive the lion’s share of votes in Nyanza, Coast and Western, the survey noted.

The president enjoys 63% confidence in respondents sampled while the former premier has 51% confidence level.

Reasons given for Uhuru’s lead include the government’s development efforts especially in infrastructure and energy sectors citing the ongoing Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and the Last Mile Electricity Connectivity program.

READ ALSO: SGR created over 40,000 jobs

56% say that the president was honest in the fight against corruption with a quarter of those who doubted his anti-graft stance saying they would not give him a second stint at State House.

83% of respondents rated the Sh1.6 billion scandal at the National Youth Service as the worst followed by the Sh3 billion scam at the Ministry of Health at 24%.

One in every five respondents remain undecided on which coalition to support with majority of them coming from the Western region.

The survey comes hot on the heels of another one conducted by the same firm which showed that Kenyans would vote out 60% of their members of parliament.

Vision 2030 boss says new education curriculum will reduce high unemployment rate

  • The new education system set to be implemented from May 2017 will eventually reduce the high unemployment rate in Kenya
  • Vision 2030 Director General Julius Muia has said the reforms will see more youth acquire diverse business skills and valuable hands-on experience
  • Government has resolved to do away with the theory-heavy 8-4-4 system in favour of a practical-oriented 2-6-3-3-3 from May

Dr. Muia pointed out that the ongoing roll-out of digital learning devices to primary school pupils and focused attention on vocational training institutions will reduce the number of unemployed youth by giving them a source of livelihood and boost industrialization.

He said the new education reforms will herald a new era of highly skilled and youthful workforce that is suitably equipped to support their own survival and prosperity as well as anchor a consistent growth for the economy.

He added that the implementation of the reforms will accelerate the Government’s efforts of transforming Kenya into a knowledge-based, upper middle-income and industrialized nation.

Students revise in a classroom at the Spurgeons Academy, which provides education for free to about 427 orphans and less privileged children from Kibera slums through charity in Nairobi, Kenya, 18 January 2017. EPA/DANIEL IRUNGU

Over the last four years, the government has spent over Ksh7 billion in the expansion of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

READ ALSO: Stakeholders push for the inclusion of oral health ahead of school curriculum reforms

As result, the number of TVETS has increased from 79 to the current 121.

At least 32 TVET institutions have been fully equipped with the necessary materials to support practical lessons while 43 others are still being equipped with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB) amounting to Sh9 billion.

To improve the capacity of TVET institutions and enhance the learning outcomes, at least 40 institutions have been connected to the internet through fibre optic. Also, smart classrooms have been established in 10 institutions to boost access to TVET programmes.

These developments coupled with curriculum reforms, Dr Muia noted, play a pivotal role in increasing access to quality education and training as well as enhancement of skills for the labour market and wealth creation.

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