EACC says governors be locked out of polls: Anti-corruption authorities want governors, county officials and members of county assemblies who have corruption-related court cases to be locked out of this year’s General Election, the Nation can reveal. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is compiling a list of the affected based on those who are already facing charges and those under investigation and intends to refuse them clearance. “So as to stop the misuse and rampant wastage of billions of shillings given to counties, we will go for those who have enriched themselves using taxpayers resources. They will be taken to court and those hoping to vie barred from getting clearance for nomination,” Mr Michael Mubea, the chief executive of operations at EACC, said in an interview.
Cord MPs rush to back Ouko in probe: Opposition MPs have set the stage for a fierce contest with their Jubilee rivals over the fate of Auditor-General Edward Ouko, who is the subject of a petition for removal from office over a raft of allegations. MPs from the opposition coalition dominated the proceedings of the Finance, Trade and Planning Committee as it started hearings in the petition by advocate Emmanuel Mwagambo Mwagonah. Using the provision that an MP can attend any committee meeting as “a friend of the committee”, eight Cord MPs joined members of the Finance team and took an active role in putting Mr Mwagonah to task.
State urged to rescind move on adverts: Journalists and lobby groups have urged the government to rescind its decision to stop advertising its services in commercial media. The government plans to restrict its advertisement of tenders and jobs through its newspaper, My.Gov. Lobby groups said this was a wrong move that will hurt the country’s media. About 30 per cent of media advertising revenue comes from the government.
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi said this will hurt the Fourth Estate, their shareholders and investors. “Jubilee has had a love-hate relationship with the media. In the love triangle, Jubilee leaders haven’t hidden their appetite to gobble up media ownership through insider acquisitions.”
NASA stirs up Meru: Opposition leaders have challenged the electoral commission to come clean on their state of preparedness to conduct the August 8 General Election. A day after touring Meru, National Super Alliance leaders yesterday visited neighbouring Tharaka Nithi County where they challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to respond to their concerns over the polls. On a day IEBC cancelled a tender for a crucial system for voter identification and results transmission citing tender wars, the Opposition leaders gave the commission seven days to respond to a letter they had written to it raising their concerns about the level of preparedness for the elections.
Sh171 bilion gold discovery excites Western: The discovery of high-grade gold in Kakamega County has revived dreams of a better life among villagers, decades after collapse of gold mining in the region. Soon after the announcement about the discovery was made, word spread like bush fire and residents are now hoping to be the biggest beneficiaries of the mines. Boniface Andabwa, a peasant farmer from Isulu in Ikolomani, is optimistic the discovery will automatically change his life. A UK company, Acacia Mining, is currently exploring the mineral in Andabwa’s one-acre parcel. Ainea Khakanga, also from Isulu, expressed his joy at the discovery and maintained hope that the firm will seek alternative land for those who will be affected by the find.
Molo residents torch 15 trailers after two die in accident: Angry Marioshioni residents set on fire trailers estimated to be worth Sh160 million as they protested at the death of a motorcyclist and his passenger. Mr Rodas Kibet, an eyewitness, said the rider was trying to overtake a trailer at Marioshioni on the road to Elburgon when he was crushed by another lorry that was coming from the opposite direction. “The drivers escaped unscathed but the rider and his passenger died on the spot,” Kibet said. One of the trailers was ferrying logs from Kiptunga Forest. Local residents protested at the death of the two, a local pastor, Robert Ranoi, and the rider, David Leharash, by burning 15 vehicles belonging to Comply Industries Limited.
Jubilee in turmoil after merger with small parties: Six months to the polls, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s mega Jubilee Party is in turmoil and key allies are regretting the merger of 11 smaller parties. Six months after JP’s celebrated formation as the saviour of Kenyan democracy and unity, there are numerous defections, bitter infighting, distrust and claims of weak internal structures. Uhuru’s close advisers are rethinking strategy. Details of disarray emerged as the newly energised National Super Alliance, NASA, holds mammoth rallies in real and perceived Jubilee strongholds. However, JP secretary general Veronica Maina dismissed reports of discord as false. Discontent reflects divisions among Uhuru aides and close allies who say people behind the mega party — launched on September 9 last year — do not grasp the convoluted political landscape.
Rosemary Odinga flown to SA in fight with brain tumour: Kibra MP aspirant Rosemary Odinga has been flown to South Africa for further treatment after being in hospital for eight days. Rosemary, Cord leader Raila Odinga’s second born, was flown out at about 11am yesterday accompanied by neurosurgeon Oluoch Olunya and Amref flying doctors. A source privy to the matter revealed this to the Star yesterday, but could not identify the South African hospital to which she was admitted. The source said she had been flown to South Africa for rehabilitation. Reports earlier indicated that Rosemary had a brain tumour but that it was non-cancerous. She was admitted to Nairobi Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit after complaining of constant headaches.
No pay rise, no work, lecturers tell government: Lecturers’ union officials yesterday ignored the call by a Senate committee to call off their strike as it intensifies arbitration to resolve the negotiation impasse with the state. The UASU officials, led by secretary general Constantine Wesonga and chairman Muga K’Olale, told the Senate Education committee they will only end the strike once the government agrees to enhance the Sh10 billion offer to address the pay rise demand in their 2013-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Universities Academic Staff Union representatives said they are ready to resume duties immediately if their CBA is signed and the government accepts to add about Sh9 billion.
Cement tycoon buys Moi out of Sh8bn Menengai power plant firm: Steel and cement tycoon Narendra Raval has bought Baringo Senator Gideon Moi’s stake in a company that won a lucrative deal to build a 35-megawatt geothermal power plant in Menengai, Nakuru County. The billionaire’s Devki Group now fully owns Sosian Menengai Geothermal Power, one of the three firms that State-owned Geothermal Development Company (GDC) awarded exclusive rights to set up a steam plant under a build–own–operate model. Mr Moi previously owned a stake in the geothermal venture through an entity dubbed Sosian Energy Ltd, but has since relinquished his stake. Mr Raval, known by his nickname Guru, has interests in steel making, cement manufacturing, roofing materials and aviation.
Isuzu takes control of motor dealer GM: Detroit-based General Motors has exited the Kenyan market after selling its 57.7 per cent stake in motor dealer General Motors East Africa (GMEA) to Japanese firm Isuzu Motors. The transaction effectively means Isuzu is going to rely less on GM to sell its products in Kenya and other markets outside Japan.
Isuzu pick-ups, trucks and buses account for 95.6 per cent of GMEA’s total sales in East Africa – making the acquisition critical. GM has also responded to the takeover deal by taking away its Chevrolet car franchise from GMEA, noting that it will not transfer the brand to another dealer as it moves to effect a complete exit from the local market.
Governors hit out at Foreign Affairs PS in special US visas row: Governors have hit out at Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Monica Juma following a change in policy denying county officials special visas to the United States (US) when not travelling on national government business. The governors have threatened to sue the ministry if it fails to facilitate their travel to the US by providing Diplomatic Notes required to facilitate visa processing. “As it is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that issues Diplomatic Notes to foreign missions in Kenya for travel by State officers, it is discriminatory and hence unconstitutional for the ministry to deny Diplomatic Notes to a section of constitutional office holder,” reads the letter by the CoG.
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