Newspaper summaries-September 8 2017

Newspaper summaries-September 8 2017

Daily Nation

Chebukati throws Chiloba under the bus: Four IEBC commissioners yesterday disowned a memo from chairman Wafula Chebukati blaming chief executive Ezra Chiloba for the systemic flaws in the August 8 General Election, revealing the extent of turmoil and infighting within the agency. In the explosive memo, which was leaked to the media, Mr Chebukati directs Mr Chiloba to explain why some election result forms lacked security features, explain the purchase of satellite phones that never worked and why hundreds of polling stations did not send results of the presidential election to the national tallying centre. He also demands an explanation on how an account created in his name was used to log into the elections management system thousands of times.

I’ll beat Raila again, says Uhuru: President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday said he was confident of trouncing  Nasa candidate Raila Odinga in the repeat presidential poll, maintaining that he won fairly in the annulled election. During tours to three counties, the President, who was accompanied by his Deputy William Ruto, said the Jubilee administration’s development record had endeared them to many voters. The two continued to fault the Supreme Court for invalidating President Kenyatta’s win, saying the best way to have handled the matter was through a recount rather than a fresh election. Speaking at Amtalla Stadium in Kimilili, Bungoma, the Jubilee leaders said they were confident of emerging victorious in the repeat election.

Court declines to suspend new poll team: A lobby group has moved to court to challenge recent staff changes by the electoral body ahead of the repeat presidential election. The case has been filed by Kenya Independent Commissions Workers Union. In an urgent application filed at the Employment And Labour Relations Court, the lobby argued that the changes are likely to lead to suspension or termination of employment, which is not based on any investigations, report or finding, determining their alleged illegal conduct. The lobby argues that in the appointment of the new team, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) implied culpability on the part of the replaced employees.

The Standard

Leaked memo from Chebukati to Chiloba exposes scandal at IEBC: The crisis at the electoral commission has deepened following a leaked memo detailing the irregularities in the bungled elections. These include satellite phones worth Sh848 million for results transmission that never worked. The terse letter by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati demanding answers from Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba on 12 concerns, majorly violations of electoral procedures in results transmission, escalated the fallout following the Supreme Court ruling that nullified the victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August 8 poll.

MPs to contribute millions to Raila’s campaign kitty: Opposition MPs will contribute up to Sh500,000 each to Raila Odinga’s campaign. A meeting at Wiper Party headquarters on Wednesday resolved that those who have been re-elected contribute Sh500,000 each while their newly elected colleagues give Sh200,000. The money, officials said, will help NASA concentrate its campaign in areas it performed dismally on August 8. The money will mainly cater for logistics, campaign materials, and advertisements. The MPs from NASA affiliates – Wiper, Amani National Congress (ANC), Ford Kenya, and Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) – said other than their contributions, they will also spearhead NASA campaigns in their constituencies.

Treasury moves to restrict counties from adding taxes: Treasury is seeking to bar county governments from introducing new levies for at least one year. The measure is meant to standardise the establishment of new county taxes, fees, and licences. This is part of proposals in the County Governments (Revenue Raising Regulation Process) Bill, 2017 published on Wednesday by the National Treasury. The proposed law spells out new requirements counties must fulfil before slapping taxpayers with new levies. County administrators will now be required to seek approval from several bodies, including the Treasury, the Auditor General, and the Commission on Revenue Allocation before introducing new charges.

The Star

Chebukati’s 12 questions for Chiloba excite NASA: IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has put CEO Ezra Chiloba on the spot over “irregularities and illegalities” that led to nullification of the presidential vote. In a stern memo on Tuesday to the CEO, Chebukati seeks answers to 12 issues, including why his account was created and used to undertake 9,934 transactions in the IEBC server without his knowledge and consent. In the leaked memo, the chairman asks why 595 polling stations failed to send any presidential results, while 682 polling stations had identical numbers of rejected votes. The damning, detailed, three-page memo is the first admission by the IEBC chief that the August 8 General Election was deeply flawed.

Kaparo unaware of Kuria, Waititu hateful remarks: MP Moses Kuria and Governor Ferdinand Waititu are back on the spot for incitement. On his Facebook page, the Gatundu South MP on Tuesday evening wrote: “Manhunt is on tonight for the 200,000 people who did not vote and the 70,000 that voted for that other demon”. “Kiambu has spoken. They have said Wembe ni Ule Ule. Wangige and Kiambu people are seething with anger. 1 million of their votes were cancelled by 4 people. But they are so ready to do it again. And even more.” Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju has condemned the post.

Political uncertainty hurting Kenyan economy, PS says: The political uncertainty in Kenya is hurting the economy, Planning PS Irungu Nyakera has said. Yesterday, he said there is need to remain vigilant amidst the current political developments to ensure that macroeconomic stability is maintained, investor confidence is secured and adequate supply of food is sustained. In a statement, Nyakera said though the country had a peaceful election, the Supreme Court ruling that nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection has led to unnecessary tension. “This year the General Election spreads across two quarters and it is not clear when political tensions will ease. The prolonged uncertainty created by the election is likely to slow down the growth of the economy,” he said.

Business Daily

Kenya Airways in Sh2.6bn plane sub-lease losses: Kenya Airways has reported a Sh2.61 billion loss on the sub-lease of its aircraft, indicating the heavy burden that the national carrier continues to shoulder from previous years of rapid expansion that was not matched by proportionate growth in customer demand. KQ, in its freshly released annual report for the year ended March 2017, says aircraft recently leased out to reduce the airline’s over-capacity were yielding less rentals than the cost charged by the primary owners from whom it bought the planes. During a similar period last year, KQ incurred Sh4.05 billion loss from aircraft sub-leasing contracts, which means the national carrier cut last year’s loss by more than a third.

Western diplomats warn Kenyans on fake news: Twelve Western envoys have warned Kenyans against spreading alarmist and unconfirmed reports that are intended to raise political tensions, saying such messages have the potential to trigger deadly election violence. Led by US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, the envoys noted on Thursday that the repeat presidential poll slated for October 17 had seen exponential outbreak of “fake news,” that was raising political temperatures.  While acknowledging that the fake news menace is a global reality, the diplomats said its impact in Kenya is becoming increasingly prominent and negative.

IFC invests Sh619m in mobile tech firm Africa’s Talking: The International Finance Corporation is investing up to Sh619 million ($6 million) in mobile tech firm Africa’s Talking, with the funds earmarked for the company’s expansion in Africa. In a disclosure, the IFC said it would also use its relationships and knowledge of the continent to help Africa’s Talking as it moves beyond the current seven markets where it has a presence. “What we are looking for is to continue expansion into Africa and to expand our product offering,” Africa’s Talking chief operating officer, Bilha Ndirangu, told the Business Daily. Ms Ndirangu did not reveal the stake that IFC would acquire in Africa’s Talking, saying that this was still under negotiation.



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