Tanzanian medical body faults plan to send doctors to Kenya: The Medical Association of Tanzania has faulted its government’s plan to send 500 Tanzanian doctors to Kenya, citing safety concerns and the unimplemented agreement between Kenya and its doctors. “The association would like to know who will be responsible for the safety of the foreign doctors, given that there are already indicators of hate. “We would also wish to know why this request has been made during the strike, and the implementation has to come a few days after the agreement to terminate the strike,” read a statement sent to newsrooms. Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Saturday announced the plan to send 500 doctors to Kenya to help address shortage of health workers and also mitigate effects of the just ended strike.
No mass action after polls, warn security chiefs: Police officers will arrest anyone who refuses to accept the results of the August elections, calls for mass action, or carves out parts of the country as their exclusive political zones. These are some of the recommendations in a government document seen by the Nation on Monday, that also criminalises “incitement, zoning areas exclusively as belonging to particular candidates or parties, engaging organised criminal gangs to intimidate opponents, bribery of voters, disruption of opponents’ campaign meetings, and encroachment by people living near forests.” After voting, likely offences are listed as “refusal to accept results, incitement and calling for mass action, disruption of counting of votes.
Teachers threaten to call strike, say TSC disrespectful: A teacher’s union has threatened to call out its members for a nationwide strike if their employer does not engage them immediately. Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive officer Nancy Macharia must call an emergency meeting to resolve pending issues which are affecting teachers. “Note that some issues are so dear to the teachers and we are under very intense pressure from our members and these are matters that border on industrial,” said Mr Sossion in a letter to Mrs Macharia dated March 20.
NASA’s drastic step: The National Super Alliance (NASA) has dropped one of its key options for picking a joint presidential ticket holder before the April 15 deadline. Due to time constraints, the coalition technical committee has zeroed in on two options of identifying its presidential candidate. The NASA committee, which held a meeting Monday, has developed a scheme that will see either the principals agreeing among themselves or constituting a select electoral college to name a flag bearer. The electoral committee will be constituted by a select team of members from the four member parties that form NASA. The decision comes after the technical committee earlier toyed with the idea of using the US-style primaries.
Wakulima Market where millions change hands every day: Nairobi is a ghost town at 2.30am. Except for a distant howl of a hound or a croaky snore from a sleeping quarter, the country’s capital city is as silent as a graveyard at these wee hours. Because these are out-of-business hours, the almost Sh3 trillion city economy is fast asleep. At exactly 3am, our car glides into the outskirts of the CBD; the chaotic and filthier part of the city centre. And, voila, there is a burst of life. We have literally walked into a totally different time zone. Shops are open, hawkers are busy. We are at the Wakulima Market — Kenya’s largest wholesale fresh produce market. Popularly known as Marikiti, this is the first place most of the fresh produce you consume lands first.
Why Matiangi asked Abagusii community to vote for Uhuru: Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has taken the role of leading President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election campaign in Gusii region. Dr Matiang’i told public gatherings that he would be jobless after the August elections should the Abagusii community fail to re-elect the President in the August polls. Uhuru is touring the region starting today. The Cabinet secretary was speaking in Nyamira on Sunday when met with county youths. He said Jubilee would form the next Government, adding that his stay as a Cabinet secretary would depend on how the community voted in the August polls. Matiang’i, accompanied by Youth Enterprise Fund Chief Executive Josiah Moriasi, pleaded with the people to vote for Jubilee if they wanted him to continue serving in Government.
Uhuru abuses power, needs our prayers, declares Raila: Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday launched a scathing attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing the head of state of abusing power by abusing ODM governors. In an exclusive telephone interview with the Star, Raila said the President was using his office to insult, intimidate and harass opposition governors. “This behavior by the President needs prayers from Kenyans. He is not just abusing his powers but he is demeaning the institution of the presidency,” Raila said. The former prime minister said the President should be censured for not behaving like a head of state. “Something is very wrong,” Raila said, speaking on a stopover in Amsterdam.
Kidero likely winner as Sonko, Kenneth feud: Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero could retain the seat if Senator Mike Sonko and former presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth go to the next polls individually. An opinion poll released yesterday by Infotrak found that 35.3 per cent of the sampled people said they would vote for Kidero, 23 per cent for Sonko and 20.2 per cent for Kenneth. Eight hundred respondents were sampled with a margin of error of -/+ 3.5 at 95 per cent degree of confidence. The race for the county’s top job boils down to the three candidates across all the parties. Sonko and former Presidential aspirant Kenneth remain Jubilee’s favourite controlling a total of 43.2 per cent of the electorate.
Kenya would be doomed if Senate were scrapped: Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro has said the future of Kenya lies with the Senate and if it will be dissolved, the country will be doomed. He said the senate future is in the hands of young people. The Speaker said Senate and other institution were created deliberately after witnessing “50 years of skewed development and bad politics.” He said Kenya was on the brink of disintegration during 2007-08 PEV due to poor leadership that had preceded the hotly contested polls. Ethuro said with institution like county governments and Senate, the future of Kenya is bright.
Treasury pushes Kenya into more debt with fresh Sh82 billion loan: The Treasury has taken yet another expensive short-term loan from a group of international banks, pushing Kenya further into debt. Reuters news agency reported that the $800 million (Sh82 billion) syndicated loan deal was signed last Thursday with a consortium of four banks including StanChart, Standard Bank, Citi and Rand Merchant Bank — and is due to be drawn any time now. “The deal was signed last Thursday. They are now waiting for the drawdown,” Reuters quoted a source who did not wish to be named. The terms of the loan were not immediately known and Treasury secretary Henry Rotich was yet to confirm the interest rate chargeable on the loan, its tenor, and what use it is to be put by the time of going to press.
Budget unit names MCAs with highest sitting perks: Trans Nzoia ward representatives received the highest amount in sitting allowances in quarter one as four counties breached pay caps, according to a new report that shows how devolved units will this year spend Sh3.3 billion on meeting fees. The Controller of Budget’s report shows that on average each MCA in Trans Nzoia was paid Sh171, 400 per month in the one quarter to September. Their 40 counterparts in Vihiga spent the least on sitting allowances relative to other devolved units with an average monthly pay of Sh24, 798. On average, each of Kenya’s 2, 267 MCAs pocketed Sh93, 857 in sitting allowances for the year under review.
Kenya Power says 1m customers on prepaid meters are not paying: Electricity distributor Kenya Power says 940,668 customers connected to the national grid have not loaded their meters for months. This makes them “zero vend” customers, which refers to prepaid meters installed but have not yet purchased any tokens. Kenya Power acting managing director Ken Tarus on Monday attributed the idle prepaid meters to low consumption of power by some customers as well as illegal connections and the bypassing of meters by rogue consumers. The Kenya Power boss said new customers will now be required to buy their own tokens before accessing power to reduce the number of idle connections.
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