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Daily Nation

Tricky balancing act as Uhuru meets Zuma and Ramaphosa
President Uhuru Kenyatta Thursday indicated that he will return to South Africa sometime in the first quarter of this year to sign bilateral agreements reached with his counterpart President Jacob Zuma. The announcement was made during a post-meeting press conference in Durban where the two African heads of state discussed matters of mutual interest, including trade, digital infrastructure, peace and security and regional issues. President Kenyatta said the talks had helped deepen the partnership beyond the already good relationship between the two states. “We discussed regional issues to do with peace and security,” said the Kenyan leader. The heads of state covered previous agreements between their nations during their wide-ranging discussions.
America scraps travel advisory against Kenya
The US State Department announced on Wednesday that it is scrapping its travel warnings for specific countries, instead launching a four-level “travel advisory programme.” Kenya is placed in the second tier under the new system. When visiting countries in that grouping, US citizens are urged to “exercise increased caution.”
Donald Trump uses slur to describe immigrants from Haiti, Africa
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called “shithole” countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats, and revived questions about Trump’s tendency to make racially charged remarks.

The Standard

New head teachers face growing opposition from local leaders
Five county politicians were arrested Thursday as a wave of protests against new head teachers swept across schools in the country. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) ordered the re-deployment of more than 500 long-serving head teachers to new schools. However, the directive has sparked protests, with some leaders opposing the posting of some head teachers to their schools.
Kiamba acquitted
Former Nairobi County Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Kiamba was Thursday acquitted of Sh17.9 million fraud charges and abuse of office.
Kiamba was acquitted alongside former county secretary Lilian Ndegwa, Regina Rotich and former head of treasury, Stephen Osiro. Milimani Anti-Corruption Court magistrate Kennedy Bidali ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove its case against them.
Mystery over killing of suspected robbers
Parents of the three young men are demanding answers on the killings in Nairobi. When the youngsters, all in their early 20s, were shot at the Kariobangi South roundabout bridge on Tuesday, police described them as gangsters. Their bodies were taken to City Mortuary where they were recorded as unknown.

The Star

Ruto’s 2022 bid causes stir in Mt Kenya
He was once said to be a shoo-in for President, but Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 succession plan now appears uncertain. Though Ruto is a known survivor, major hurdles are being thrown in his way as regions and politicians hatch their own plans for power in five years. And President Uhuru Kenyatta has not yet formed his second government. Further, not everyone applauds the UhuRuto pact that they will rule for 20 years — 10 by Kenyatta and 10 by Ruto. The Opposition calls this a poisonous ethnic duopoly and that narrative resonates with many people embittered after the election. More immediately, support from Mt Kenya, Jubilee’s bedrock, seems shaky; opinion on the ground is shifting. Machinations are said to be underway to clip Ruto’s wings starting with the Cabinet, the apex of government where he wants to position his own allies for his State House run. Most Mt Kenya politicians are noncommittal about supporting Ruto in 2022. Despite Jubilee’s much-touted unity during the election, a number now say they will announce their position at the ‘right time’.
Dozens of migrants arrested in east Libya for deportation
The migrants had escaped from smugglers after failing to reach Europe. They were reported to authorities by an imam at a mosque on the coast to the south of the Libyan city of Benghazi, officials said. “They were arrested in the Zueitina area at a camp of illegal migrants,” said Ahmed al-Arifi, an official from the department for countering illegal migration in the eastern city of Benghazi. “They were arrested for deportation back to their countries.”
Heartless staff cause users to abandon ARVs
At least 85,000 Kenyans living with HIV will miss treatment this year simply because of the attitude of workers in health facilities, a new study suggests. The study shows 5.7 per cent of patients enroled on the life-prolonging antiretroviral therapy are usually lost to follow up, but no sufficient effort is made to locate them. Others die a few months after being put on ARVs. The study found health facilities with a proactive culture report fewer deaths and less cases of patients lost to follow up. “Factors such as long waiting times for clients, using staff who do not have specialised training in HIV care, failure to contact individuals who do not attend clinic, and lack of communication between pharmacy and clinic staff if ART drugs are not collected lead to patients being lost to follow-up,” says the study conducted in Nairobi.

Business Daily

Inflation charge points to higher power bills in January
A slight drop in charges for diesel-generated power has been offset by a surge in inflation and forex adjustment costs, piling pressure on homes and businesses facing increased electricity bills. The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) raised the forex levy in power bills for January to a five-month high of Sh1.40 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from Sh1.16 per unit last month, the effect of which will see bills rise by about Sh200 million in total. The charge compensates for foreign currency costs, including loans that power producers have in their books. The inflation charge has touched a new all-time high of Sh0.42 per unit from Sh0.39.
Direct US flights create 150 jobs at Kenya Airways
Direct flights to the United States will create about 150 jobs at Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ, the national carrier has announced, giving a glimpse of the economic benefits expected from the new route. Kenya Airways on Thursday started booking passengers for the inaugural October 28 flight to the US, which will instantly cut by six hours flight time between New York and the Kenyan capital. The flights are expected to further boost tourism and trade between the two countries.
Aircraft imports surge in poll year
Kenya aircraft imports rebounded 57 per cent in nine months to last September, aided by a tax waiver in an election year that saw politicians take the battle for votes to the skies. Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows aircraft and associated equipment imports increased by Sh3.7 billion to Sh10.1 billion in the year to September from Sh6.4 billion recorded in the previous year. The 2017 political campaigns were characterised by branded helicopters as politicians took to the sky in style in order to boost voter appeal.

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