Newspaper summaries-June 1 2017

Newspaper summaries-June 1 2017

Daily Nation

Ride of the century: President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday joined more than a thousand Kenyans and diplomats in an inaugural ride on the brand new passenger train from Mombasa to Nairobi. The journey aboard the Madaraka Express, travelling on the standard gauge railway, saw close to 1,300 people travel to Nairobi from Coast for free. They were also treated to free food and drinks. The number of passengers exceeded the 1,200 limit but President Kenyatta told reporters aboard one of the coaches that the trip signalled the start of good tidings for the Kenyan public transport system. During several stop-overs, the President said travellers will be charged Sh700 on the economy class between Nairobi and Mombasa and as little as Sh50 for a ride between Mombasa and Mariakani.

Uhuru to lead Madaraka Day fete: President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga will share a podium for the first time since they were cleared by the elections agency to vie for the top job during Madaraka Day celebrations in Nyeri today. The leaders will join more than 20,000 people expected to attend the ceremony – the first to be held in Mt Kenya region since independence – at Kabiru-ini stadium. Both leaders were earlier this week cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to run for the presidency in the August elections and have not shared a platform ever since. Mr Odinga told journalists yesterday that he will be among Kenyans who will attend the national celebrations marking the 54th year since Kenya attained self-rule.

Nasa joins case on presidential results: The Court of Appeal has allowed the Opposition to join a case challenging a High Court verdict on presidential poll results being announced in constituencies declared as final. Judges Milton Makhandi, William Ouko and Kathurima M’Inoti allowed the request from the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) to join the case in which the electoral agency appealed against the verdict by the lower court. “By consent, Cord is herein joined as a sued party to this appeal, they should therefore file their case documents within seven days,” the judges said. Cord, now the National Super Alliance (Nasa), had argued that it was adversely affected by conflicting laws on the announcement of presidential results at the constituency level being subjected to alterations by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) at the national tallying Centre in the last polls.

The Standard

SGR roars to life: At exactly 11am yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta boarded the standard gauge railway train for the inaugural trip to Nairobi. Eight hours and 20 minutes later, he disembarked at the Nairobi terminus. Completion of the first phase of the project culminated in the symbolic ride, and the Head of State hopes the railway will be a game changer in the country’s economic front. Donning a white, African print shirt with the national colours boldly displayed, Uhuru could not hide his joy as the initial part of the project he hopes will define his legacy came to fruition. The fact that the first phase was delivered 18 months ahead of schedule gave the President something to smile about.

Kenyans purchasing maize flour at Sh180 despite Government subsidy: Despite subsidy, maize flour still costs Turkana residents Sh180. Turkana residents are buying a 2kg packet of maize flour at Sh180 two weeks after the Government launched the subsidised one. The subsidised flour is retailing at Sh90 but it is not available in Turkana County. Wyclife Masinde, a resident, said: “When you go to shops and supermarkets in Lodwar, flour still costs Sh180. This has made life difficult for many people here. We depend on food from Kitale and that means you buy everything, but having flour at Sh180 is too expensive.” Janet Akiru, a vegetable vendor, has sought alternatives as she cannot afford maize flour.

Secret Nairobi cops who warn suspects online before killing them: Recent posting of images of a slain woman suspected to have been a criminal has once again turned the focus on a person(s) believed to be a police officer(s) active in social media under pseudo names. A source within the police confidentially said they are police officers who have taken to social media to fight violent crime in parts of Eastlands. Interviews with a number of undercover detectives reveal those operating behind the pseudo names are real officers involved in the fight against crime specifically in Kayole, Huruma and Dandora. So far the names being used in online posts include Hessy wa Kayole, Hessy wa Eastlando, Hessy wa Huruma, Hessy wa Dandora and Blackest Widow.

The Star

Execute economic saboteurs – Uhuru: “God forgive me, but I will not hesitate to sign the death warrant of anyone found guilty of vandalising the SGR to sabotage our economy.” That was President Uhuru Kenyatta’s grim warning yesterday as he flagged off the first passenger train on the Sh327 billion Chinese-built and Chinese-financed Nairobi-Mombasa line. He also kicked off his reelection campaign. “This is a historic day and a day everyone of us should feel proud to be a Kenyan,” Uhuru said, adding the SGR will be a cornerstone of development. “Despite criticism and opposition, we have launched the Madaraka Express to reshape the story of Kenya for the next 100 years,” he said.

Blocking Joho from SGR launch totally unacceptable – Raila: Blocking Hassan Joho from attending a government function in his county is totally unacceptable, NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga has said. The Mombasa Governor had demanded an explanation for an extra Sh100 billion cost for the project and promised to stop the launch if answers were not given. Reports indicated security officials kept him off the venue and that he was seen arguing with GSU officers at the Miritini gate while the ceremony went on at Port Reitz. Speaking during a briefing in Nairobi on Wednesday, Raila said Joho should not miss functions in his own county.

PAC demanded Sh10 million bribe to clear me – Waiguru: Anne Waiguru has for the first time claimed that some MPs demanded Sh10 million to clear her in the Sh1.8 billion scandal at the National Youth Service. Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee recently released a report recommending that Waiguru be barred from holding public office over the scam. But Waiguru said during an interview on Citizen TV Wednesday night that PAC members asked for the bribe so that they would write a favorable report. “Sometimes, some PAC members would ask for money, so they can write a favourable report. I was asked for 10 million. I said I did not have it, told them to write what they wanted,” she claimed.

Business Daily

SGR cargo pricing pushes troubled Rift Valley Railways into a corner: The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is set to squeeze the second operator on the Mombasa- Nairobi line Rift Valley Railways into a corner after the newly launched service announced significantly lower freight charges. The SGR train service launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta announced it will charge shippers about Sh7 (7 US cents) per tonne per kilometre compared to the Rift Valley Railways (RVR’s) current rate of Sh24. The initial average cost of shipping a standard 20-foot container from Mombasa to Nairobi by SGR train has been set at $500 (Sh50,000), which is significantly lower than RVR’s cost. The RVR has a 25-year concession to ferry goods between Mombasa and Kampala.

MPs demand immediate reversal of plastics ban: MPs have demanded the immediate suspension of a Gazette notice that banned the production, importation and use of plastic carrier bags beginning September, potentially handing a major victory to manufacturers. The move is a big setback to Environment secretary Judi Wakhungu’s effort to curb widespread pollution caused by the non-biodegradable plastic bags. The National Assembly’s Environment and Natural Resources committee said the decision to back a petition seeking suspension of the Gazette notice was based on the “unreasonableness of the time frame to implement the legal notice.” On February 28, Ms Wakhungu published the legal notice announcing a ban on both domestic and commercial use of plastic bags from September this year.

Eveready to lose industry listing at stock exchange: Eveready East Africa   will be demoted from the manufacturing category at the Nairobi Securities Exchange after the firm shut down its battery plant in Nakuru in September 2014.

The NSE will now move Eveready to the commercial and services class after the company transformed into a trading firm importing and retailing batteries and personal care products. “The exchange is in the process of reclassifying the company to the commercial and services sector which will be effected from June 1, 2017,” NSE told the Business Daily. Eveready in October 2014 announced that low sales due to illegal imports of cheap batteries and high energy costs had forced it to shut its Nakuru production factory in favour of importing batteries from Energizer.








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