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ODM leader Raila Odinga gives his last respect to the late Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile at his Kivuthini home in Mbui Nzau, Kibwezi, Makueni County. Photo Stephen Nzioka, Standard

 

Opposition leader Raila Odinga gave the clearest indication yet that he will be on the ballot in next year’s election, leading yet another grand coalition to rout out entrenched corruption.

Speaking during the burial of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile in Mbui Nzau, Makueni yesterday, Raila said he has for long led a coalition of progressives to fight injustices, and will not let “latter-day progressives” to confuse the country.

The burial attended by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was dominated with calls for opposition unity, with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu putting the leadership present on notice that failure to unite will present early morning victory to Deputy President William Ruto.

Raila said Ruto’s claim to represent ‘hustlers’ was meant to hoodwink vulnerable groups into supporting his bid. He said his team will apply the tactics used by late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, because it cannot be business as usual.

“We have a budget of 2 trillion plus, but most of it will be stolen. We do not lack. Money is stolen. We will stop all opportunities of theft and you will see for yourselves what we can do with the little we have. Magufuli did in Tanzania in five years, we can do it too.”

Creating confusion

He complained that stolen money was creating confusion in Kenya’s political scene. He said he had come along away with Kalonzo, and would not make a mistake of separating with him. Raila criticised former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, saying he denied them justice when they filed a petition against the 2013 presidential election results.

“We have stood for justice, myself and Kalonzo. In 2013, we took evidence of electoral theft, they said we were late. Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga dismissed us, now he is pontificating about justice….”

Earlier this week, Mutunga issued a scathing attack against President Uhuru Kenyatta over his failure to appoint six judges recruited by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Mutunga urged Kenyatta to resist “those who have built a thriving pettiness cottage industry, completely consumed by the pursuit of personal vendetta, at the expense of the national good and Kenya’s fledgling constitutional democracy”.

But Raila described him as a hypocrite, saying his successor Justice David Maraga went on to affirm NASA’s victory had been stolen in the 2017 presidential election. Raila said they had not given up on leading Kenya, because they have a plan:

“Kalonzo and myself, we cannot separate. We will unite and bring true redemption to Kenya.”

Kalonzo said NASA was still alive, and One Kenya Alliance (OKA) was also on the cards. He said he would not run alone, but on an alliance ticket that would sweep the country clean.

“We are much aware that not a single one of us can run alone and win. But we have allowed every one of us to show their ambition, including Governors Kibwana and Mutua. However, when the trumpet is sounded, you will see for yourself. You will see them standing behind me,” Musyoka said.

At the burial, Ngilu braved hostile mourners to present a unity message to Raila and Kalonzo. She said from her experience, if the opposition approached the election divided, they would essentially be handing Ruto victory.

She said when she vied in 1997, she bagged majority of Kamba votes but ended nowhere. But when in 2002 she united with Mwai Kibaki, Wamalwa Kijana, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo, they easily floored Kenyatta.

“Don’t hate me, I just gave you a message. What will it profit Kamba community to support Kalonzo for presidency and lose? We must agree to unite and work with Raila in order to beat Ruto. Mutua, Kibwana and Kalonzo should come to a negotiating table with Raila and agree on a compromise candidate.”

Suna East MP Junet Mohammed who also spoke at the burial took issue with Maraga for recommending the impeachment of President Kenyatta. 

“Maraga is saying the president should be impeached by the same Parliament which he recently, before retiring, termed as unconstitutional. Unconstitutional Parliament can’t impeach a president,” Mohammed said.

Mutua steered clear of 2022 succession debate, he instead called for prudence in government expenditure. 

“The government must learn to live within its means. We must stop the culture of having to borrow in order to finance operations. We must as a country be efficient in budgeting,” Dr Mutua said.

Recorded message

Kibwana, whose recorded message was played to the mourners, eulogised the late Ndile as a humble achiever whose works will not be forgotten. Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba mourned Ndile as a great and brave patriot who left deep imprints on the sands of time.

Kalembe’s widow Magdalene, together with her children, mourned their father for his commitment to family.  At the burial, Raila and Kalonzo told the church off for meddling in BBI politics.

“I am Christian but I beg the church to let us do our politics, let the church do its biblical work, and let the reggae continue. Don’t tell us what to do,” said Kalonzo.

He claimed that it was not the first time the clergy were challenging a review of the constitution: “They did the same in 2010 and Kenyans passed it, nevertheless.” -  Stephen Nzioka & Erastus Mulwa, The Standard

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani poses for a photo at Parliament Buildings ahead of reading the Budget on June10,.2021. Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani arrived in Parliament on Thursday afternoon for the announcement of 2021-22 Budget estimates.

A GKB 951 Volkswagen Passat carrying the CS drove into Parliament at 2.18pm.

He was received by National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, Minority Leader John Mbadi, clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, Budget committee chairman Kanini Kega among other top leaders.

The CS then posed for a photo before proceeding to the chamber to read the Budget.

 
 
 

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani's car arrives at the entrance of Treasury building to pick him for Budget reading on June.10, 2021

Germany’s offer to fund projects in Namibia worth more than €1 billion ($1.22 billion) over 30 years to atone for its role in genocide and property seizures in its-then colony more than a century ago is not enough, Namibian Vice President Nangolo Mbumba has said.

“No amount of money in any currency can truly compensate the life of a human being,” Mbumba told journalists as Windhoek officially briefed the nation on the outcome of six years of negotiations with Germany which concluded last month.

“We need to recognise that the amount of €1.1 billion  agreed upon between the two governments is not enough and does not adequately address the initial quantum of reparations initially submitted to the German government.”

Germany apologised on May 28 for its role in the slaughter of Herero and Nama tribespeople in Namibia more than a century ago and officially described the massacre as genocide for the first time, as it agreed to fund projects. 

Thousands of Herero and Nama people were killed by German colonial forces between 1904 and 1908 after the tribes rebelled against German rule of the colony, then named German South-West Africa.

Survivors were driven into the desert, where many ended up in concentration camps to be used as slave labour, many dying of cold, malnutrition and exhaustion. Herero paramount chief Vekuii Rukoro last week dismissed the deal agreed by the two governments as “an insult” because it did not include payment of reparations.

“These are historic choices we have to make, very difficult as they are. If there were other opportunities to squeeze money out of the Germans, we could have done it,” Mbumba said. “I don’t think that any Namibian would think that the money is enough to compensate for all that happened – to be killed, to be chased out of your country; no amount of money can do that,”  – Reuters/The Herald

Boda boda riders and their passengers in Kampala. Photo The Observer

 

Uganda’s motorcycle taxis riders threaten to derail the country’s fight against HIV because of risky sexual behaviours, including sex with clients in lieu of payment, according to a new study.

At least 12% of a sample of 281 commercial riders, a common informal job known as boda boda and dominated by young men, admitted to engaging in transactional sex with customers who failed to pay their fares; 65.7% reported having had sex with more than one partner in the past 12 months; and 23% had had multiple partners in the same period, with 57.1% reporting that they did not use a condom at all in the six months prior to the survey, conducted by Makerere University College of Education and External Studies (CEES).

“Engaging with multiple sexual partners is a high-risk sexual behaviour, especially in the absence of condom use. It leads to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, and unwanted pregnancies,” said Lillian Mbabazi, a researcher at CEES, presenting the research findings at a workshop in the capital, Kampala, last week.

“It shows a need to educate young Ugandans to understand unsafe and irresponsible sexual behaviour.”

The study was conducted in the districts of Wakiso and Namayingo.

“The revelation from this study, that customers who can’t afford to pay their service freely offer sex and a high proportion are actually engaging in risky sexual behaviours with multiple partners without a condom, is concerning,” Daniel Byabakama, head of HIV prevention at the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), said.

“The HIV infections will definitely go up. The boda bodas need to know that HIV is still real and people are still contracting the virus,” he said. Uganda has a 5.6% HIV prevalence rate.

“This study is a wakeup call that if we keep on scaling down the targeting of these boda bodas as a high priority, then we may end up in shock,” said Byabakama.

“We should continue prioritising them, helping them and offering HIV prevention services, such as free condoms, so that they don’t contract or transmit the virus.” Some of the boda boda riders in Wakiso said transactional sex and multiple sexual partners were occupational risks.

“What do you expect me to do with a client who can’t afford to pay the fee and offers you sex instead?” said Patrick*, a boda boda rider at Kyaliwajjala. “I can’t just let her go free. Of course I will have sex with her in exchange.”

“Some of these clients are just stubborn and tempt us. The ladies intentionally refuse to pay and offer you a sex deal. If you are interested, you fall and go for it,” said Joseph*. “Of course, most of the time you might not be having a condom. You end up having live [unprotected] sex.”

Byabakama said it was a worrying picture: “We are seeing resurgence of bad sexual behaviours among this group, they are having sex with multiple sexual partners, they don’t first test for HIV, and a good number of them don’t use condoms. This is worrying.

“They don’t care about avoiding HIV because they think there are ARVs [antiretrovirals]. It’s a misconception. We continue to encourage them to practise HIV prevention measures as we have always taught them. We need to rekindle and reinvigorate the campaign.”

Paul Birevu Muyinda, deputy principal at CEES, said the “nomadic” industry was booming and employed more than 50% of people aged 18-35 in the east African country, but riders face myriad health risks.

“The solution is to organise and bring order to the industry. Make it a safe and gainful industry and provide continuous professional training aimed at bringing positive behavioural change,” said Muyinda.

“These project findings will go a long way in helping the government to develop scientifically proven evidence-based interventions aimed at influencing behavioural change of boda boda riders in Uganda,” said James Katunguka, road safety officer at the ministry of Works and Transport. - via The Observer

 “Praise God. God is good all the time,” Seth Mahiga proclaimed at the altar of Life Church International in Nairobi, Kenya. Just two days earlier he announced his resignation as general secretary of the Atheists in Kenya Society.

“I’m just grateful to tell you I was the … general secretary of the Atheists in Kenya Society. It is the largest in Africa. … It represents more than around 5 million atheists in Africa,” Mahiga said in the Apostolic church. “I think a couple of days ago I’ve been going through some difficulties in life, and then I decided to resign as the secretary. I’m so happy to be here.”

Mahiga is now in the majority in the country of about 55 million people. More than 85 percent of Kenyans are Christian, according to 2019 numbers from Statistica, with more than 20 percent of Christians there described as evangelical, and more than 33 percent identifying as Protestant. Statistica counted 1.6 percent of Kenyans as “nones.”

Mahiga’s May 30th profession of faith was broadcast live on the church’s Facebook page and Elevate TV, which regularly broadcasts the church’s services.

As the church prayed for Mahiga, Pastor Mark Mutinda described Mahiga as “a point of contact (for) all those people who are in darkness and all the atheists who say there is no God,” and encouraged prayer that “the grace of God reach out to wherever they are.”

As Mahiga prayed the sinner’s prayer, led by a member of the church’s pastoral staff, he described himself to God as “a new creature no longer doubting about your existence. Indeed you are my God, and I will forever confess you are God. In Jesus’ name I accept you and I give my life to you.”

Atheists in Kenya was formed in 2016 in Nairobi, but suspended for two years after Christians complained. It regained active status in 2018 and describes itself as an organization of secularists who believe no deity exists.

The secular group announced Mahiga’s resignation in a press statement, including a link to a portion of the May 30th worship service.

“Seth’s reason for resigning is that he has found Jesus Christ and is no longer interested in promoting Atheism in Kenya,” group chairman Harrison Mumia said. “We wish Seth well in his newfound relationship with Jesus Christ. We thank him for having served the society with dedication over the last one and a half years.” Baptist Press

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