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  • IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera during an IEBC briefing at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 1, 2022. IEBC 
  • The National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) on Thursday, December 1,  parliament recommended the suspension of the four dissenting Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners. 

    The report compiled by JLAC under its Chairperson, George Murugara, requested President William Ruto to form a tribunal to investigate the IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya over their alleged misconduct in the last general election. 

    “The committee recommends that the President suspend the four Commissioners herein pending the Tribunal verdict,” read the report in part.

    Back Row, From Right: Former Azimio Secretariat Spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua, ODM Leaderc Raila Odinga and Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka appear in JLAC committee sessions in solidarity with the four dissenting IEBC commissioners.
    Back Row, From Right: Former Azimio Secretariat Spokesperson Prof Makau Mutua, ODM Leader Raila Odinga and Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka appear in JLAC committee sessions in solidarity with the four dissenting IEBC commissioners. MAKAU MUTUA 

    The resolve was a culmination of sessions held for the past week in which the aforementioned commissioners were summoned to appear before the committee in defence of the accusations levelled against them. 

    Cherera and the three commissioners were accused of gross misconduct and incompetence in managing the operations of the electoral body. However, the commissioners failed to appear before the JLAC committee which prompted the members to proceed with the process of compiling the report without their input. 

    According to their lawyers, JLAC committee lacked the jurisdiction to prosecute the petitions against them. In a statement presented before the committee, Commissioner Irene Masit's lawyer hinted at pursuing redress in court over the petitions. 

    The decision to snub the committee sessions followed an earlier appeal by former Prime Minister and Azimio la Umoja Chief Raila Odinga urging the four commissioners to boycott the summons. 

    Consequently, members of the JLAC affiliated with the Azimio coalition staged a walkout from the committee sessions arguing that the committee was hell-bent to see the removal of the dissenting four without according them a fair hearing. 

    Upon approval by members of the National Assembly in the plenary, the President will gazette their suspension and subsequently form a tribunal to investigate into their conduct. 

    The resolve of the JLAC came amid threats by the opposition faction to hold national wide demonstrations to oppose the move to impeach Cherera and her colleague commissioners.  

    Raila, while announcing the postponement of the scheduled consultation rallies reiterated the ruling side was determined to settle political scores against Juliana Cherera for the role they played in the August election. 

    Raila also alluded to a plan aimed at influencing the outcome of the 2027 general election. 

    From leftIEBC Commissioners Juliana Cherera, Commissioner Abdi Guliye and Chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 8, 2022
    From left: IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, Commissioner Abdi Guliye and Chairman Wafula Chebukati at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 8, 2022. KENYANS.CO.KE Robinson Ndungu
     
 

 

Former Kiambaa Member of Parliament and billionaire Stanley Githunguri is dead.

Reports reaching the Standard say the former politician died at an undisclosed city hospital, however, the family is yet to communicate.

He died at the age of 77.

In a condolence message, the incumbent Kiambaa MP John Kawanjiku mourned the lawmaker as a dependable leader whose undivided focus was the unity and progress of the country.

“I interacted with Githunguri as a young man, he was a dedicated leader who was committed to the welfare of his people”, said Kawanjiku.

Githunguri ventured into politics in 2007 capturing the Kiambaa constituency seat then held by a former cabinet minister and businessman the late Njenga Karume.

He served as a member of parliament from 2007 to 2013.

In 2013, he vied for the Kiambu senatorial seat but lost to former Senator Mr Kimani Wamatangi.

In a multi-billion property row, her daughters Lilian Ngagaki and Lilian Wanjiru had disclosed to the court that he(Githunguri) suffered from dementia, blood pressure, and diabetes and he had also undergone a kidney transplant.

After losing to Wamatangi, Githunguri settled for a quiet life in business away from the public domain.

He owns Lilian towers that host the Nairobi Safari Club, Ridgeways Mall, and other properties in Ruiru and Kiambu Sub counties.

Githunguri was also once the CEO of the National Bank. - Fidelis Kabunyi, The Standard

 

Dickens Agumeneitwe, the main suspect in the murder of Makerere University student, Jackline Nakabembe, has asked for a pardon, saying that he never intended to kill her.

Nakabembe was reported missing for several weeks in October until her body was found in a trench in Naguru, a suburb of Kampala. In the aftermath, police tracked one of her mobile phones which was found with a one Rasta, a resident of Naguru Go-Down.

Upon interrogation, Rasta said he got the phone from Agumeneitwe and led police to his home where police also found her passport-size photos. However, even with the findings, Agumeneitwe told the police at the time that he did not know the person they were looking for. He was subsequently detained at Kira Road police division and later transferred to flying squad headquarters at Kampala central police station (CPS).

Upon further interrogation, Agumeneitwe explained that he suspected that Nakabembe was cheating on him, and decided to trick her using a phone that was unknown to her pretending to be another person. To his surprise, he says, the girl did not stop the 'strangers' advances and kept leading him on until they agreed to meet.

He explained that when she eventually showed up for the meeting and noticed that her partner had disguised himself as a new boyfriend, she knelt and started apologizing. In the process, he said, they chose to sit under a tree at his home but Agumeneitwe who was boiling with anger punched her in the chest and she, immediately stopped breathing.

Today, Agumeneitwe who was being taken to City Hall court said that he punched Nakabembe out of anger but he never thought that the punch would end her life.

“My punch wasn’t intended to kill her. I was angry but the punch landed on the wrong side. She fell down and died. I left the body where we were sitting and it was taken by heavy rain. But I am sorry for what I did,” a detective quoted Agumeneitwe’s statement.

Patrick Onyango, the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson also said that Agumeneitwe asked for forgiveness as he was being taken to court. Nevertheless, Agumeneitwe has been charged with two counts of murder and robbery of a mobile phone. Nakabembe’s body was exhumed about three weeks ago from Kampala Capital City Authority KCCA cemetery at Bukasa, Bweyogerere division, Kira Municipality, Wakiso district where she had been buried. - URN/The Observer

  • An image of DPP Noordin Haji at a past press briefing.  FACEBOOK 
  • The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Noordin Haji applied to withdraw murder charges against Sarah Cohen on Tuesday, November 29.

    Sarah was accused of killing her estranged husband, Tob Cohen, in September 2019.

    In the statement sent to the High Court, Haji requested to halt her prosecution.  

    "I hereby enter a Nolle Prosequi (do not prosecute) and inform this Honourable court that the Republic intends that the criminal proceedings against the above-named persons,

    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor submitting his submission at the Supreme Court on August 31, 2022
    Senior Counsel Philip Murgor submitting his petition at the Supreme Court on August 31, 2022 FILE

    Who are charged with the offense of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code, Laws of Kenya shall not continue," read part of the statement.  

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Sarah Cohen's lawyer, Senior Counsel, Philip Murgor, confirmed the intention to drop the case and lauded the ODPP for heeding his call. 

    "We saw the intent to drop the case, and we asked for correspondence of the same. The case is as good as dropped. ODPP will now launch an inquest," Murgor stated. 

    Sarah had earlier appealed for the murder charges against her to be dropped after incriminating evidence was presented against former Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti.

    She demanded fresh investigations into the case. Through her lawyer, Sarah argued the new evidence would be key to guaranteeing justice.

    Notably, the former DCI was accused of tampering with the case, by coercing the DCI detective to sign a fake affidavit that painted Sarah as the prime suspect.

    Additionally, former Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai's retirement was also used to call for fresh investigations.

    "We have requested that the mentioned politicians also be subjected to investigations on their roles in the disappearance and death of the deceased and their persistent role in attempting to disinherit our client," the lawyer demanded.

    The DPP also applied to drop the murder charges against Public Service Cabinet Secretary, Aisha Jumwa. 

    Prime suspect in Tob Cohen's murder Sarah Cohen and her lawyer Philip Murgor in court on October 3, 2019.
    Prime suspect in Tob Cohen's murder Sarah Cohen and her lawyer Philip Murgor in court on October 3, 2019. FACEBOOK

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich (left) with an official from Thomson Rivers University, Canada

 

Kenyans seeking passports will wait longer to get the critical travel document, with the Immigration department grappling with shortage of booklets.  

Immigration and Citizen Services Director-General Alexander Muteshi said they are in urgent need of Sh150 million to purchase booklets for printing passports.

Appearing before the Senate National Security and Defence committee, Mr Muteshi said the department had requested the National Treasury to allocate them Sh300 million to digitise all its processes and services but only half of the amount has been disbursed.

This despite passport and visa issuance contributing significantly towards promotion of tourism and investment in the country, raking in about Sh500 million every month in revenue to the national government.

He said the directorate also generates additional revenue from the provision of consular services in missions abroad and from prosecution of immigration offences.

The DG decried that despite the department collecting about Sh12 billion annually in revenue, they are cash-starved and do not even have funds to buy new printers and pay its staff. “We are appealing to this committee to help push the National Treasury to release the funds so that critical service delivery can be offered,” said Mr Muteshi.

He further told the Baringo Senator William Cheptumo-led committee that the printers they currently use are old and obsolete, with a capacity of only 1,500 passports per day.

“If we buy new and modern printers, we will be able to reduce the backlog by printing 10,000 passports per day,” he said.

On the poor working conditions of its staff, the DG revealed that Immigration officials in missions abroad are at the verge of depression owing to non-payment of their dues. 

He said the department has 41 officers working across Kenya’s 31 missions abroad and some of them are on the verge of being thrown out of their houses due to lack of pay as the Exchequer is yet to release funds.

“I received a call from the Ambassador that an officer in Tel Aviv-Israel was on Tuesday last week hospitalised because of depression due to delays in payment of salary,” he said.

Meanwhile, the directorate is planning to put up an integrated border management service, digitisation, facial recognition, e-gates, passenger name record (PNR) and advance passenger indexing (API) projects.

This is in line with the country’s plan to fully migrate to the use of the new East African Community biometric e-passport, doing away with the old generation passports.

The new e-passport contains the holder’s biodata and is aimed at enhancing efficiency and remove any security loopholes.

Mr Muteshi said once a new Immigration Services Principal Secretary is sworn in, they will move with speed to enact a Migration Policy aimed at streamlining the role of immigration in national security and development.

“The draft policy has been prepared awaiting submission to Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki,” he said.  By Collins Omulo, NMG

 

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