Morning newspapers summaries

Daily Nation

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in in historic handshake
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in shook hands Friday over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries in a gesture laden with symbolism ahead of a historic summit.
“I am happy to meet you,” Moon told Kim before the visitor stepped over the line, making him the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended in an armistice 65 years ago.
The two men briefly stepped back over the line into the North before walking to the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom for the summit — only the third of its kind since hostilities ceased in 1953.
It is the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
Our deal is not about 2022, say Uhuru, Raila
President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday criticised those who are opposed to their unity deal which, they said, had nothing to do with 2022 succession politics.
The leaders, who said they are united in creating a new path for the country, spoke in Murang’a just hours after Deputy President William Ruto tore into a proposal by Mr Odinga to amend the Constitution to create more posts and regions.
The President and Mr Odinga said their formula for working together was not pegged on the 2022 succession politics and that those linking the March 9 unity deal to succession politics are wrong.
“Our unity deal is not about 2022. There will be 2022, 2027 up to the next decade. Let us leave this politics aside and focus on what matters to our people,” President Kenyatta, who is expected to leave office in 2022 when his second term ends, said.
Embattled IEBC boss Chebukati retains lawyer Donald Kipkorir
Electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has retained city lawyer Donald Kipkorir to protect his interests as his job comes under increasing scrutiny.
Mr Chebukati said speculation over his tenure had increased following the sending on leave of the agency’s chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba and the resignation of three commissioners, which left the commission’s ability to discharge its legal mandate in question.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman said unnamed forces are bent on removing him from office and were behind claims he had instructed the lawyer to negotiate a compensation of Sh700 million for him and the two remaining commissioners to leave office.
“Not true. That is part of a series of rumours created to put pressure on my two commissioners and I, with the sole purpose of attempting to remove us from office,” Mr Chebukati said.

The Standard

Uhuru, Raila say handshake has nothing to do with 2022
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga yesterday told off critics of their handshake, vowing to stay put in their new resolve to unite the country.
Speaking during the funeral service for the late Kenneth Matiba at General Ihura Stadium in Murang’a, the two, who appeared to be reading from the same script, opened the lid on their new found unity, saying it was about bridging differences and not politics.
They said their coming together was aimed at promoting peaceful coexistence in the country, and that it had nothing to do with the 2022 succession politics.
President Kenyatta urged for support of his unity deal with Raila, saying he is aware some Jubilee and NASA politicians are unhappy with the gesture.
Public workers handed Sh45 billion in hefty salary hikes
Civil servants could get a pay rise within weeks as the Government races to bring sanity to the labour market ahead of Labour Day celebrations on May 1.
MPs have awarded teachers, lecturers, doctors and the disciplined forces Sh45 billion, a move that could see university students back to class.
Offices of the president and his deputy, collectively known as the Presidency, have collectively been granted Sh1 billion to spend in May and June for “coordination of State functions”.
The changes are contained in the last review of the spending plans – Supplementary Budget II, for the financial year expiring June 30, meaning the increments could be effected in May.
Prison warden arrested in connection to Kirinyaga deputy governor video clip
A prison warder has been arrested over a video showing a naked Kirinyaga Deputy Governor Peter Ndambiri being assaulted by some men.
Police in Thika are holding the suspect in connection with the video that has been circulating on social media, featuring Mr Ndambiri with a woman.
The suspect was arrested by detectives in Mwea yesterday morning and taken to Thika Police Station.
Thika OCPD Willy Simba said police were pursuing more suspects.
The arrest comes after Ndambiri recorded a statement with the police.

The Star

Senators get Sh2.7bn in budget to oversight Counties
Senators have been allocated Sh2.7 billion to oversight counties.
According to the Parliamentary Service Commission budget estimates tabled in the National Assembly yesterday, they will get the cash for “operating expenses”.
The senators have also got Sh612 million for basic wages of temporary staff in their county offices.
They have made several unsuccessful bids since 2013 to be given the funds, but they have always been frustrated by the National Assembly at the last minute. This was blamed on supremacy battles between the two Houses.
National Assembly members have been rejecting senators’ quest to control the funds on grounds it is illegal and violates the Public Finance Management Act.
Senators have always argued they are not to blame for not holding their governors to account over huge waste of public funds as their oversight roles have not been enhanced through a special kitty.
Ruto rejects Raila 3-tier system, says devolution structure works
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday opposed Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s proposal of radical changes to the Constitution.
Ruto dismissed Raila’s push for a three-tier system of government saying the current devolved system is working and doesn’t need changes.
He appeared to liken Raila to a poor workman who blames his tools to justify his failures.
“A bad workman quarrels with his tools. If you are a bad workman, you will find all manner of excuses; blame the Constitution or the MCAs or senators. We built the SGR and didn’t need to amend any Constitution. It’s all about being focussed,” Ruto said.
“Because he is a bad workman…he wants to quarrel with his tools and get excuses for his failure.”
Ruto was among those who unsuccessfully opposed the 2010 referendum that paved the way for a new Constitution.
Kenya gets Sh400m to buy ARVs for children
Kenya has received a Sh400 million HIV grant to buy antiretroviral drugs for children.
The money was donated by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation. It will be channeled through the Global Fund, which supports HIV, TB and malaria control programmes in Kenya.
Global Fund said 10 counties with the lowest testing, treatment and viral suppression rates of HIV will be the main beneficiaries.
“Three hundred million will be used to procure pediatric ART commodities with the remaining amount to be used in essential supporting interventions related to service delivery,” the Global Fund said in a statement yesterday.
Currently, Kenya has about 120,000 children aged 14 and below who are living with HIV.
There are also hundreds of newborns with positive parents who need testing and specialised care to prevent infection.

Business Daily

MPs, senators plan to spend Sh6bn on trips
Members of Parliament have set aside a whopping Sh5.9 billion for their foreign and domestic travel in the next financial year — nearly doubling the Sh3.2 billion reserved for the same purpose this year.
The amount is contained in the estimates of recurrent and development expenditure of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) for the year to June 2019 that were tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
The 67 senators will spend Sh1.5 billion in foreign and domestic travel, up from Sh981.4 million in the current financial year, while the 349 members of the National Assembly are to consume Sh4.4 billion, up from Sh3.5 billion, on the same.
The amount is contained in the legislative services and committee services votes, which is primarily expenditure that is directly incurred by MPs while executing their mandate.
2,000 jobs at risk as James Finlay closes Kericho flower farms
UK agriculture multinational James Finlay on Thursday announced plans to stop flower production on its Kericho farms, thrusting some 2,000 workers into a future without jobs.
The company, which is one of world’s largest tea producers and exporters, said high cost of labour in Kericho coupled with persistent industrial action had forced it to abandon flower farming.
“James Finlay Kenya regretfully announces the start of the phased closure of its flower operations in Kericho. The closure of both Chemirei and Tarakwet farms will take place over a two-and-a-half year period starting May 2018 to end of December 2020,” the company said in a statement.
“It has been an extremely difficult decision but labour costs in Kericho are significantly higher than other locations in Kenya, causing the Kericho farms to be uneconomic and uncompetitive,” Finlay Flowers general manager Steve Scott said.
Blow as donors freeze Sh5bn for Aids, malaria
Kenya has suffered a major setback in its fight against HIV/Aids, malaria and tuberculosis after donors withdrew Sh4.9 billion for combating the killer diseases.
Details of the supplementary budget tabled in Parliament on Thursday show that donor funding from international financing organisation, The Global Fund, for HIV/Aids has been cut by Sh3.1 billion, hurting purchase of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that prolong the lives of thousands of people.
The fund’s support for tuberculosis has also been cut by Sh1.4 billion and that of malaria is down by Sh400 million.
The fund’s cash is mainly used for buying commodities and life saving medicines for HIV/Aids, TB and malaria — the three infectious diseases that are among the leading causes of deaths in Kenya.

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