Newspaper summaries-May 11 2017

Newspaper summaries-May 11 2017

The Star

Voter verification begins today as IEBC announces electoral timelines

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission today kicks off a month-long biometric voter verification.

Kenyans will be able to confirm the accuracy of their details in the voters’ register and make corrections.

Yesterday, the commission announced details of the verification and announced key timelines ahead of the August 8 vote.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the voter verification will end on June 9.

A similar verification will be rolled out from May 15 to May 30 in five countries where Kenyans registered to vote. They are Burundi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.

 Global Fund auditors probe Afya House alleged corruption

Investigators from the Global Fund have camped in Nairobi to probe whether any of their grants to Kenya may have been embezzled.

Global Fund finances most of Kenya’s HIV, malaria and tuberculosis programmes.

The fund carries out routine audits in recipient countries, but a Health ministry official said the current visit was largely prompted by last year’s Sh5 billion health scandal. “They came on Monday and they will leave this week on Friday,” the official said.

They are particularly interested in the Sh50 billion grant allocation for 2014-16.

 Hopefuls face tough battles in August poll

Most politicians are not out of the woods yet even after the bruising primaries, and will face stiffer competition from considerably stronger candidates on August 8.

Despite most candidates fighting for party tickets to guarantee them a win in the August polls, the dynamics are not working due to the rapidly changing political landscape.

The chaotic party primaries, which ended on May 6, provided a soft landing for candidates who lost or opted for smaller parties.

Experts warn that losers in the party nominations will pose a significant threat to the status quo enjoyed by established parties. Established parties, which control segments of the country, are ODM, Jubilee Party and Wiper.

Daily Nation

Kenya accuses US of acting in bad faith by cutting funding

The government has accused the United States of acting in bad faith by cutting funding to the Ministry of Health over corruption and mismanagement concerns despite a meeting with Afya House officers two weeks ago.

Health Permanent Secretary Julius Korir also disputed the claim that taxpayers had lost Sh5 billion in a procurement scandal at the ministry as reported in a preliminary audit last year, stating that the final analysis by the National Treasury indicated that there was no money lost.

This came as Council of Governors chairman Peter Munya requested the US to channel the Sh2.1 billion

Nairobi County pleads with workers over salaries delay

Nairobi county workers have been urged to be patient over their delayed April salaries.

City Hall spends Sh1.3 billion on salaries for its 13,000 workers and suffered a major blow when the Central Bank transferred money from the county governments’ account to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to cover arrears of up to Sh1 billion.

Speaking to the Nation, county Secretary Robert Ayisi said City Hall wants to have the transfer reversed. He said officials were exploring all avenues, including meeting with Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and taking legal action.

 Jubilee wants balanced, high quality presidential debates

The Jubilee Party wants media houses planning the presidential debates to be done in July to ensure they are of high quality and are balanced, reports Brian Moseti.

The party’s Secretary-General Raphael Tuju yesterday called on the organisers to also ensure that the debates are devoid of bias and that rules of engagement are agreed on with the candidates who will participate.

Three debates are lined up, the first one on July 10, the second one – involving running mates – on July 17, and the final one for presidential candidates on July 24.

Kenyans await to see just who will be in the debates, bearing in mind that there are about 10 independent presidential candidates besides those sponsored by several political parties.

The Standard

KDF to stay and pacify Somalia, says Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) will continue to be part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The President further proposed that AMISOM, an active regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union (AU) with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia, be transformed into a UN Peace Keeping Mission.

Uhuru, who is attending a regional leaders’ meeting to discuss Somalia’s security progress in London, called for a joint effort to ensure a peaceful and stable Horn of Africa.

Wiper leaders extend olive branch to Muthama amid cracks in party

Sharp differences have emerged in Wiper party in the aftermath of Senator Johnstone Muthama’s decision to sever ties with party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

While a number of Wiper leaders led by Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Secretary General Hassan Omar preached reconciliation, party newcomers led by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana and Machakos governor aspirant Wavinya Ndeti want action taken against Mr Muthama.

Muthama revealed that they had prevailed on Prof Kibwana and Kitui’s Julius Malombe not to hold a press conference to condemn Muthama’s claims that the two were imposed.

The senator on Monday accused Kalonzo of imposing candidates on voters in the controversial party nominations. 

How Trump health cuts will hurt Kenya

Kenya faces deeper US aid cuts in President Donald Trump’s proposals to dismantle his country’s foreign aid agency and for a 30 per cent cut in aid.

United States Agency for International Development (USAid) would fold and be placed under the State Department.

If endorsed by Congress, the move could spell doom for the proposed Sh65 billion ($626,367,000) worth of US aid to Kenya in 2017.

At least 87 per cent of the funding, equal to Sh55.6 billion, is proposed for the health sector, followed by Sh4.5 billion for economic development.

 Business Daily

Unilever relaunches original Royco Mchuzi Mix

Unilever Kenya has reintroduced the original Royco Mchuzi Mix in the market.

The product will be available in stores alongside the Sundried version that the firm introduced a year ago.

Royco Mchuzi Mix has been in existence since 1955 and has so far emerged as one of the top three brands for Unilever.

“We have always said that our consumers are the heart of our business and we aim to satisfy their needs above all else. Our prioritisation of their needs is what has enabled us to remain market leaders for so long,” said Unilever head of brands Agnes Kitololo.

 Opera says will create 100 jobs at Nairobi hub

Mobile browser Opera Software plans to open an office in Nairobi that will employ a hundred people under its Sh10.5 billion investment across Africa.

The Kenyan office will become the East African hub. The Oslo-listed firm said it plans to hire the 100 Kenyans over the next three years. They will be trained on web development to drive product penetration via an artificial intelligence engine for smartphones to ensure content discovery.

Opera, which recently celebrated its 100 million user in Africa, said it will also open another office in Nigeria to serve the West African region.

 Treasury cagey on its plans for taming high food prices

The Treasury on Wednesday remained guarded on budget proposals to be presented to Parliament within a week to curb rising food prices.

Economic secretary Geoffrey Mwau who is working on supplementary budget, declined to offer details on where there will be tax cuts or subsidies to lower food costs.

The expensive food such as sugar, flour and vegetables has become a political liability for President Uhuru Kenyatta as he seeks a second term in August 8 elections.

“I don’t have all the details now, but the idea is to bring down food to affordable levels,” said Dr Mwau.

Previous 14 dates and timelines you need to know pertaining the August 8 election
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