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IEBC prepared for any by-elections

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has reiterated its readiness to manage by-elections arising from annulments of polls it conducted in August last year for various elective seats.
Wafula Chebukati, the agency’s Chairperson told reporters at the coast that the commission has a requisite budget to run successful by-elections should poll petitions filed by various aspirants sail through.
“I’m happy to note that many petitions have been dismissed by courts while others are still pending. In terms of by-election we have five that I know of so far,” he said adding that IEBC had budgeted for by-elections.
So far, three governors have lost poll petitions in High Courts.
They include Homa Bay’s Cyprian Awiti, Embu’s Martin Wambora, and Wajir’s Mohamed Abdi.
Wanga dropped, PSC slot given to Amani’s Khaniri
The Orange Democratic Movement was on Thursday forced to drop Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga from its list of nominees to the Parliamentary Service Commission.
The Opposition party has now donated their spot to Vihiga Senator George Khaniri of the Amani National Congress “in the spirit of the Coalition” and nominated Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa to the remaining slot.
“As the bigger brother in terms of numbers and because of our magnanimity we have decided that because of that one slot which was our entitlement, we give one, George Khaniri, who is actually the most experienced MP in the Republic of Kenya,” Minority Leader John Mbadi told the House.
The move comes after the Opposition suffered a blow in its bid to block Ben Momanyi from the list reserved for the Opposition after Wiper Party outwitted Minority House Leaders and wrote to Speaker Justin Muturi providing minutes of its National Executive Council stating that it had nominated Momanyi and not Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo as its pick.
Joho’s poll victory over Shahbal, Omar upheld by the High Court
The High Court on Thursday dismissed a petition challenging the election of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Judge Lydia Achode said petition filed by former Senator Hassan Omar lacked sufficient evidence to invalidate Joho’s poll win.
In her ruling, Achode instructed the petitioner to pay Sh8 million in costs.
Omar had presented 10 grounds that included voter bribery, ballot stuffing, misuse of public resources among others to overturn the August 8 election verdict saying it was not credible and transparent.

Business highlights

Government to set up 4 new cancer centres
Treatment hopes for cancer patients have been raised after the Ministry of Health announced plans to set up four new cancer centres in the country. The sh8 billion project is expected to kick off in June targeting patients from Nyeri, Nakuru, Kisii and Mombasa as well as sorrounding counties.
“We have already started procuring equipment to start them off. By June the facilities should be well equipped with chemotherapy unit as we plan for the radiotherapy and palliative care unit,” said Dr Anne Ng’ang’a, the Head of the National Cancer Control Programme in the Ministry of Health.
KRA suspends filing of nil tax returns
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has suspended the filing of nil tax returns on its iTax system citing need for a system reconfiguration. The filing of 2017 tax returns commenced on January 1st and runs up to June 30.
“The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) would like to advise taxpayers who file NIL returns to be patient as our technical team works on reconfiguring the iTax system to facilitate you better,” said KRA in a notice.
Africa advised against hydro power over reliance
African nations have been urged to find alternative means of energy production, do as to stop over relying on hydropower. This comes in the wake of severe drought experienced around the continent, creating an undersupply of water for hydro power plants.
“You need a mix that allows you to mitigate those types of issues,” said George Njenga, GE Power’s regional executive for sub-Saharan Africa at an energy conference in Johannesburg.

Sports highlight

Sunderland owner Ellis Short ready to give away club for free

Owner Ellis Short is prepared to give Sunderland away for free if a buyer can be found to take on the Championship club’s substantial debt.
Short has said he is open to offers for the relegation-threatened club, but has failed to find a buyer.
Reports had said the American would accept £50m for his shares.
But he is now ready to sell for nothing as long as any new owner takes on debts which stood, according to the last published figures in 2016, at £137.3m.
It marks a stunning fall in value with Short believed to have set an asking price of £170m as recently as late 2016, when the club was still in the Premier League.
Ruben Semedo: Villarreal defender charged with attempted murder in Spain
Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo appeared in a Spanish court on Thursday charged with attempted murder.
The court in Lliria, near Valencia, also charged the 23-year-old with robbery, assault, “illegal detention” and possession of illegal weapons.
Semedo, who was arrested on Tuesday, has been remanded without bail.
The former Portugal Under-21 centre-back joined the La Liga club in June for 14m euros from Sporting Lisbon.
The court, the Tribunal Superior de Justicia de la Comunidad Valenciana, told BBC Sport: “The court of Lliria has ordered provisional detention, without bail, for Villarreal player Ruben Semedo.
Police officer dies in clashes before Athletic Bilbao v Spartak
A police officer has died during clashes between fans before Athletic Bilbao’s home Europa League match against Spartak Moscow at San Mames.
The officer from the Ertzaintza – the Basque Country’s police force – reportedly suffered a heart attack.
More than 500 officers were deployed for the fixture and reports say at least five arrests were made.
“Our condolences to colleagues, friends and relatives of the Ertzaina deceased in act of service,” Bilbao police said.
After the game, the La Liga club tweeted: “Our heartfelt condolences to the family and companions of the deceased officer today.
“The Athletic Club shows its strongest rejection of the violence generated around football.”
Videos of the violent clashes showed supporters firing fireworks at each other on the streets.
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