At last, Nasa has a power sharing deal: The Opposition alliance has said that it will announce its presidential candidate on Thursday next week and has already agreed on how to share power if victorious at the General Election. Nasa (National Super Alliance) also admitted Bomet governor and Chama Cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Ruto into its ranks, creating what ODM boss Raila Odinga christened the Nasa Pentagon. Thursday’s meeting had been billed as the day a major announcement would be made, creating the expectation that the alliance’s flagbearer would be named. But the announcement was that a day for the major announcement had been agreed on and that Mr Ruto had officially joined the Opposition.
Uhuru warns against chaos as Jubilee goes to primaries: President Uhuru Kenyatta marshalled Jubilee supporters before the party’s nominations today. He warned that violence would be severely punished. The President said leaders who incited their followers to violence would be disqualified on the spot, while election officials found engaging in any form of irregularity would face the law. “Any acts of violence will lead to disqualification and misconduct may be subject to penalties under the law. The culture of hooliganism during the electoral process must not and will not be allowed to gain currency and acceptance,” he told journalists at a news conference in State House, Nairobi.
8-4-4 on its last days as schools test new system: The pilot for the new education system was launched today. The plan is to have it up and running in January. Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i presided over the launch at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi. He said a report on the exercise will be presented to the Cabinet for adoption before being submitted to Parliament for approval by the end of this year. Dr Matiang’i said the government is keen to have the piloting run smoothly.The pilot in 470 schools will test the feasibility and validity of the planned curriculum, teacher preparation and assessment in different contexts and levels.
Return of Pentagon: The Opposition coalition, NASA, once again failed to name its flag-bearer for the August 8 General Election and pushed the announcement to Thursday April 27. Instead of the much-anticipated nomination, the coalition said it had formed the highest organ of the coalition, the Pentagon. This will be a team of five regional leaders and is a replica of the 2007 organ on whose campaign the ODM party mounted its presidential run. This came with the inclusion of Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto as the fifth principal of the coalition. The five leaders declared that they would campaign in all the corners of the country to deliver victory in the August elections.
Jubilee’s big decision today: Political careers will be hoisted and shattered when thousands of aspirants scramble for Jubilee Party’s ticket in hotly contested primaries. Yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta sought to calm anxiety among aspirants with assurances that there are no preferred candidates. This came on the back of protests against alleged favouritism and vote rigging. President Uhuru said he and his deputy, William Ruto, are neutral in the process and are ready to work with whoever will be elected by the people. The leaders assured the more than 8,000 aspirants that it had invested a lot of resources in delivering a free, fair, and credible process. Uhuru further warned the 60,000 Jubilee poll officials that no monkey business will be entertained by the party.
KCB starts sending staff home to save Sh2billion per year: Kenya’s KCB Group, the country’s biggest lender by assets, said it has offered employees voluntary early retirement in a bid to save 2 billion shillings ($19.36 million) each year. KCB, which also operates in five neighbouring countries, had already said it would cut an unspecified number of jobs, mainly due to technological changes and the capping of commercial rates in Kenya last September. Kenya has been a global pioneer in technological innovations in finance, launching the M-pesa mobile phone cash transfer system a decade ago and the first mobile phone-based bond last month.
Pentagon is back; candidate on 27th: NASA principals will “unveil the team that will redeem Kenya” at Uhuru Park in Nairobi on April 27. It is expected that they will name the principal who will challenge President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8. “We have a date with you,” Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula told a charged meeting at Bomas of Kenya. Wetang’ula said the decision will not affect the principals positions as equals. Other members of the coalition are Raila Odinga (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Isaac Rutto (CCM). Rutto of Chama Cha Mashinani joined the team on Tuesday. The principals have been under pressure to name the person who will battle it out with President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8.
Ex-MP Ndambuki joins Makueni governor race: National Social Security Fund board chairman Gideon Ndambuki has thrown his hat in the ring for Makueni gubernatorial seat. Ndambuki who met various groups at Kilala and Kaumoni markets in Kaiti Constituency yesterday said he will vie on Jubilee ticket. The former Kaiti Mp will face incumbent Kivutha Kibwana (Wiper) and Nairobi-based business mogul David Masika who is contesting on a New Democrats ticket. Ndambuki who was the minister of Planning and National Development during former president Daniel Arap Moi’s regime had announced to vie for the Makueni top seat on a Wiper ticket sometimes last year but has since been quiet.
Man kills sister over pregnancy: A 29-year-old man killed his 16-year-old sister because she was pregnant then surrendered himself to Siritanyi police station. Kizito Wafula allegedly committed the crime in Misemwa village, Kanduyi, Bungoma county on Wednesday evening. He had had a longstanding dispute with standard eight pupil Abigail Wafula over the pregnancy, their father Emanuel Wafula told journalists yesterday. The girl was five months pregnant, he said. Abigail and Kizito had quarrelled then he kicked hard in the stomach, making her fall on the ground. She started writhing in pain and her relatives called a motorcycle to take her to hospital, but she died, her father said.
Matiang’i launches trial of plan to replace 8-4-4 curriculum: The Ministry of Education on Thursday officially launched the testing programme for the new education curriculum, setting the stage for the phasing out of the 8-4-4 system in January next year. Education secretary Fred Matiang’i said the government had allocated sufficient resources to implement the new system. “We are taking decisions that we know we can live with financially,” said Dr Matiang’i during the launch of the pilot programme at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD). The programme, involving 470 schools, aims to test the feasibility and validity of the planned curriculum designs, teacher preparation and assessment models.
Blow for firms as MPs rally behind plastic bags ban: Efforts by manufacturers to save the multibillion shilling plastic business looks set to fail after Parliament scoffed at calls to reverse an order seeking to ban their products. National Assembly’s Environment committee said the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has failed to provide sufficient ground in their petition asking Parliament to suspend a gazette notice stopping the use, manufacture and importation of plastic bags. “I see this move (petition) as aimed at delaying implantation of the new law. It looks suspicious and I think this is a delay tactic to impede implementation of this good notice so that it doesn’t happen,” said Committee’s Chairperson Amina Abdalla.
Home owners face jail for not installing solar power: Owners of large residential and commercial buildings who have not installed solar water heaters risk jail or a Sh1 million fine beginning next month when the energy sector regulator begins to enforce compliance with a law that came into force five years ago. The law requires owners of residential and commercial houses, whose hot water needs exceed 100 litres per day, to include solar water heating systems in their building designs. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said in a notice that it will begin enforcing the Energy (Solar Water Heating) Regulations 2012 on May 27 when the grace period it provided last year comes to a close.
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