Afternoon news headlines

News highlights

KNH discharges patient who received unnecessary brain surgery

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has discharged the man who mistakenly underwent brain surgery even as the crisis at the institution deepened. Also discharged is the patient who was supposed to undergo the surgery on the day the wrong patient was wheeled into theatre due what the hospital attributed to confusion in their name tags. Samuel Kimani and John Nderitu were all discharged late Wednesday, with doctors declaring that they are all out of danger and can recuperate at their homes.

Agriculture Ministry vows to pay disgruntled maize farmers

The Ministry of Agriculture has promised to compensate maize farmers following a mix up that shook the sector in recent weeks. Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri admitted mistakes in the collection of maize from farmers following the closure of depots that are fully stocked. Kiunjuri noted on Wednesday that the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) is facing a crisis as stores in the North Rift are full. But he said the board’s CEO Newton Terer has been directed to move some of the maize to empty stores in Bungoma and other areas.

Rogue loggers arrested in Naivasha

Several ranches in Naivasha were raiding today as Administration Police arrested 30 people on allegations of logging and burning charcoal. The APs stormed into properties in Kihoto and Kedong along Naivasha-Mai Mahiu highway. Tens of bags of charcoal and logs were found. Naivasha Deputy Commissioner Isaac Masinde said the suspects will face charges including trespassing into private farms.

Business highlights

Kenya asks IMF for 6-month extension on $1.5 billion standby loan

Kenya has asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend its $1.5 billion standby credit facility that is expiring this month for a further six months, the IMF said on Wednesday. The IMF said last month that Kenya had lost access to the funds meant to cushion it against unforeseen external shocks last June because of a failure to complete a review of the programme. In a statement issued at the end of a mission to Nairobi, the IMF said the new request for an extension will be put to the board before the facility expires on March 13. The IMF said the government had committed to reduce the fiscal deficit and substantially modify interest controls, imposed on banks in 2016, which have been partly blamed for choking private sector credit growth.

Government to cut allocation to counties due to a Sh70 billion shortfall

The National Treasury has admitted that the government is running low on funds and has a deficit of Sh70 billion in its 2017/2018 financial year budgetary allocations for the counties. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich says the prolonged electioneering period for resulted in a slowdown in business activity, in turn, curtailing the expected revenue collection in the 2017/18 financial year. In his presentation to the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget, Rotich has also blamed the drought for the shortfall in revenue collected by Kenya Revenue Authority.

US State Secretary urges African countries to weigh Chinese loans carefully

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has today told African countries to weigh Chinese loans carefully, while adding that Washington was not trying to keep Chinese investment away from the continent. Tillerson is seeking to bolster security alliances on a continent increasingly turning to Beijing for aid and trade.

Sports highlights

England Women lose to USA in SheBelieves Cup finale

Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley scored an own goal as England Women suffered a 1-0 defeat to the United States, who reclaimed the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. The Lionesses were hoping to take away one point from the match to win the title, but after confusion in defence in the 58th minute, a clearance attempt by Millie Bright hit keeper Bardsley to give their American hosts the advantage. England continued to pile on the pressure and an equaliser nearly arrived late in the game as Ellen White’s header came within inches of the goal, but bounced off the inside post.

Leeds fall 0-3 to Wolverhampton

Wolves won 3-0 at Leeds to restore their six-point lead on Wednesday. Romain Saiss, Willy Boly and substitute Benik Afobe all scored as Wolves ended their three-game winless run and got their title bid back on track. Leeds, meanwhile, now have just one win in six games under Paul Heckingbottom and stay 13th in the table, nine points off the play-off places.

Midfielder Emre Can to decide his future at Liverpool at the end of the season

Liverpool midfielder Emre Can says he has reportedly blocked all negotiations over his future until the end of the season in order to focus on his football. Can is out of contract in the summer and has been widely linked with a free transfer to Serie A champions Juventus. The 24-year-old is eligible to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club but insists he has yet to decide his future and could remain at Liverpool for next season.

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