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Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya supremo Raila Odinga now wants Trade and Industry Cabinet Secretary (CS), Moses Kuria to apologize to Kenyans for his remarks on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).

While announcing that the Kenya Kwanza administration will clear the way for the importation of 10 million bags of duty-free GMO maize to mitigate the effects of hunger, the CS stated that there was no harm in bringing in GMO maize as Kenyans were, in any case, already dying from varying causes. 

“We have two deliberate steps. One is that we have so many things that can kill us in this country,” he said at the Strathmore Business School during a Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises forum. “Living in this country you are a candidate for death,” he said, sending the audience into sustained laughter.

“That’s why we have deliberately decided to allow GMOs into this country,” he said. He explained that the decision to allow the importation of duty-free maize was because the country is experiencing a dire food shortage which has exposed more than four million Kenyans to hunger.

“Until we are satisfied that we have enough maize in this country, our staple food, tomorrow I am signing a gazette notice to allow for the importation of up to 10 million bags of maize, duty-free for the next six months until we achieve food security,” he said arguing that it is the cardinal responsibility as a government to ensure the country is food secure. “I know this will offend some people, from the GMO opponents and importers, but I will do this and will do it as government,” he maintained. 

“Even if we will lose some votes here and there, at least we will see the Kingdom of Heaven,” Kuria continued. 

Raila castigates Kuria

In a rejoinder Raila who termed the remarks as 'regrettable' stated that Kuria's comments were a mockery to the people of Kenya and subsequently stated that he should apologize.

"CS Kuria’s remarks on this matter are regrettable. To say that even without GMOs, Kenyans will die anyway is a mockery to the people of Kenya. Raila Odinga, therefore, says Kuria should apologize to the people of Kenya, "Raila stated.

The former premier further maintained that the decision to lift the ban on GMO foods by the Kenya Kwanza government was a betrayal to the country.

He also alleged that President William Ruto was working as a puppet for foreign nations to promote foreign biotechnology institutions abroad. 

"We consider the decision to lift the ban on GMO foods and their importation a betrayal to our country. On this, the Ruto administration is not working for Kenya. Ruto is being a puppet, working for foreign nations and their multinationals against our interest as a nation," Raila said in a statement.

"Ruto is not working to promote Kenyan research work in Kenyan universities, colleges and institutions. He is working to promote foreign biotechnology institutions abroad," he added.

Raila further called on Ruto's administration to reverse the decision until a debate on the matter is held and the matter is addressed amicably.

"We call upon the UDA regime to immediately reverse this decision on GMO foods until Kenyans have a robust debate on the matter," Raila said. 

By , People Daily

IEBC commissioners from left: Justus Nyang'aya, Francis Wanderi, Vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera and Irene Masit at Serena Hotel, Nairobi on August 16, 2022. Azimio la Umoja coalition party alleged a plot by Kenya Kwanza to remove the four from office.


Azimio la Umoja coalition party has alleged a plot by Kenya Kwanza to remove from office four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) members who differed with Chairperson Wafula Chebukati on the August 9 presidential election results. 

Four petitions presented in the National Assembly on Tuesday seek to remove from office Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, Mr Justus Nyang’aya, Ms Irene Masit and Mr Wanderi Kamau on the grounds of gross violation of the Constitution and a breach of their oath.

The petitions, filed separately by the Republican Party, Geoffrey Langat, Jerry Owuor and Reverend Ndwiga Nthumbi, and presented by Speaker Moses Wetang’ula, have lifted the lid off the plan by Kenya Kwanza to kick-start the process of hounding the four out of office so that they proceed home together with Mr Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, who are retiring.

The petitioners say the four have no legitimacy to hold the offices. They want MPs to find the commissioners unfit to hold public office and recommend to President William Ruto to set up a tribunal to probe their conduct.

“The tribunal shall investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a binding recommendation to the President, who shall act within 30 days,” reads the Constitution. 

The petitions have been transmitted to the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, which has 14 days to report back to the House on whether they have merit.

This means the panel has until November 29 to present its report just two days before the House goes into long Christmas recess (December 2–February 12). Once the committee tables the report, the House will have 10 days to decide whether the petitions have valid grounds for the removal of the commissioners.


ODM-nominated MP John Mbadi told Sunday Nation that Kenya Kwanza is treating the four as its enemies and wants to push them out to get friendly replacements.

“They want seven commissioners at IEBC who can sing their tune and do their bidding and that is not how to run a country. We need to be careful because we are seeing dictatorship creeping back,” he said.

“We are now cheering as they want to hound out the four commissioners; if we are not careful, we may end up with a commission that is compliant to Kenya Kwanza and even root for the extension of the term limit. We, therefore, need to be careful.”

But even as the four petitions are set to be considered by the committee starting next week, Azimio has questioned why three other petitions by Shem Otieno seeking to remove Mr Chebukati, Prof Guliye and Mr Molu filed in the National Assembly on October 17 and officially processed by the Main Records Unit on October 25 never reached the floor of the House, yet those seeking to remove the dissenters were quickly processed and sent to the House.

The Raila Odinga-led coalition is reading a sinister motive on how the Otieno petitions have been hidden, terming it part of a wider scheme to shield Mr Chebukati from answering accountability questions in relation to the election.

Articles 37 and 119 of the Constitution give every member of the public the right to petition Parliament on any matter that is under its jurisdiction. One has to send such petitions to the office of the clerk of the National Assembly or of the Senate.


Upon receipt, a petition is processed at Parliament’s main records unit, where it is stamped and forwarded to the speaker for approval and onward tabling.

In the House, the petition is read by the speaker and assigned to the relevant committee. The public can petition directly or through their elected leaders.

Mr Wetang’ula on Wednesday said his office had not received Mr Otieno’s petitions, telling Azimio to confirm with the office of the clerk on their whereabouts.

Chebukati role questioned

Mr Otieno accuses Mr Chebukati, Prof Guliye and Mr Molu of gross violation of the Constitution, incompetence and gross misconduct.

He avers that, contrary to the Constitution, the three undermined the authority of the IEBC by overriding, excluding, vetoing and ignoring the other commissioners when discharging their duty.

“The chairperson usurped the powers collectively vested in the IEBC by constantly issuing policy and press statements without due regard for and consultations with the other members of the commission,” reads the petition.

Sunday Nation has learnt that the delay in relaying the petitions to the floor of the House is among the schemes Kenya Kwanza is employing to ensure the remaining days in the tenure of Mr Chebukati and the two commissioners are not interfered with.

In the process, the coalition will then argue that the matter has been overtaken by events as the three will have left office, making the petitions irrelevant. This will give the House a perfect opportunity to deal with the Cherera group. 

In the plan, once the term of Mr Chebukati and the two commissioners ends, the Legal Affairs committee will be ready with the report on the four commissioners—which will then be prioritised, adopted and transmitted to the President for further action.

As the process will be going on, Kenya Kwanza MPs will consider the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2022, sponsored by National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa.

The bill was on the Order Paper on Thursday and was set to be introduced for the first reading, but the election of Kenya’s nominees to the East African Legislative Assembly, which continued late into the evening, led to the alteration of the order of business.

The bill is seeking to reduce the current allocation of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), which nominates four of the seven members of the panel. It wants the PSC to nominate two members down from the current four, while donating the other two slots to the Political Parties Liaison Committee and the Public Service Commission.

The Law Society of Kenya and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya will retain their one and two nominee slots respectively, in the proposed amendments.

“The principal object of this bill is to amend the first schedule to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission No 9 of 2011 to change the composition of the selection panel that oversees the filling of vacancies in the commission,” it states.

Azimio has vowed to shoot down the proposal, terming it an attempt by President Ruto to “capture” the electoral commission ahead of the 2027 General Election. Pokot South MP David Pkosing told Sunday Nation that Kenya Kwanza wants a new IEBC team after the exit of Mr Chebukati and the two commissioners. “They know Mr Chebukati is leaving and they want everybody else to leave,” he said. 

Nyando MP Jared Okelo said Kenya Kwanza is determined to ensure the Cherera group is sent home. “Up to now, Kenya Kwanza believes that those four commissioners are our (Azimio’s) people and, therefore, even if they replace Mr Chebukati and the two other commissioners, they will still be the minority.”

Mr Okelo said Kenya Kwanza is aware that the four commissioners will be at the core of the 2027 elections, hence its desire to send them home.

“Their eyes (Kenya Kwanza) are trained on the 2027 election, believing that Mr Odinga will be on the ballot, but the people who drafted our Constitution made it difficult to remove constitutional office holders and, therefore, it’s not going to be a walk in the park to remove the commissioners,” Mr Okelo said.

Azimio questioned why the speaker allowed the petitions to be committed before JLAC, yet there is a similar matter in court.

“For a petition to be admitted before the House, the matter must not be pending in court. That is the requirement of the Standing Orders,” said an MP. By Samwel Owino, NMG

A man has been sentenced for rhino poaching, while his accomplices remain at large after skipping bail. Picture: Armand Hough


A man has been sentenced to 34 years in prison for rhino poaching by a court in Mpumalanga. This comes against the backdrop of another court in the area sentencing a man to 17 years for rhino poaching. The Skukuza Regional Court sentenced Sipho Titus Khosa on Friday to 34 years in jail. 

The SAPS provincial commissioner in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela said the sentence stems from two poaching incidents which took place in 2016.

Kruger National Park section rangers had reportedly seen two poachers enter the park on September 27, 2016 through the Stolznek area. Additional field rangers were immediately called in and a search commenced. The two helicopters which were dispatched to assist with the search, played a vital role in enabling the team to spot the two males hiding in thick bushes.

Once the two men were in custody of Kruger field rangers, they were searched and found to be in possession of two rhino horns, a hunting rifle fitted with silencer, a magazine loaded with 11 rounds of live ammunition, two extra magazines, an axe and a backpack containing food.

The backpack containing food may have meant that the poachers were hoping to stay in the bush for more than a single night.

Police were called to the scene and arrested the two men on charges of possession of an unlicensed hunting rifle, illegal possession of ammunition, illegal possession of a dangerous weapon (the axe), trespassing into the Kruger National Park as well as for killing rhinos. The pair, Sipho Titus Khosa and an accomplice, were granted bail after a brief court appearance.

Less than three months later, on December 4, field rangers patrolling the same area in Stolznek heard gunshots and proceeded to investigate. After an extensive search, rangers captured three poachers, one of them being Khosa. The trio were charged by the police after being found in possession of a hunting rifle loaded with ammunition, a silencer, three rhino horns, an axe, and a dangerous weapon. They were also charged for trespassing into the Kruger National Park. 

Khosa, 34, was the only poacher sentenced due to the fact that his co accused in the first incident never appeared in court after being granted bail, while in the second incident, the other two accused, who were also granted bail, never set foot in court again. Warrants are out for their arrest.

Khosa was sentenced to a collective 34 years imprisonment for his role in the poaching of rhino horn. Police Commissioner Manamela thanked the field rangers from SANParks, the SAPS team of investigators, the prosecution team and the judiciary for the individual roles that they played which resulted in the well-deserved sentence. By Dominic Naidoo, IOL


Five additional footbridges will be constructed on Nairobi Expressway to enhance pedestrian safety, the Kenya National Highways Authority has said. 

The authority said the footpaths will be constructed between Mlolongo and Airtel/Southern Bypass interchange and along Waiyaki Way.

It said the footbridges on Waiyaki Way will be between the Aga Khan School and the junction to Brookside Drive.

The authority said the construction of the pedestrian footpaths is part of the scope of phased repair works being undertaken on the old road beneath the Nairobi Expressway.

"These repair works will be completed before the end of this year, 2022."

In a statement on Saturday, the authority said the repair works is on the sections of the pre-existing Mombasa Road where damage was directly caused during the construction of the Nairobi Expressway.

"The project company and developer of the Nairobi Expressway, MOJA Expressway Company Limited through their Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) Contractor CALE Infrastructure Construction Company is progressively working to repair where damage was directly caused during the construction," the statement said. 

It added that KeNHA and the respective utility companies are also carrying out repair works to sections of the road that were damaged during relocation of water and sewer pipes, power lines  and ICT fibre cables.

"These relocation activities affected the side walks and pedestrian footpaths as well as road side drainage on the existing road," KeNHA said.

The authority said it has committed funds for the repair works and is in constant engagement with the state utility companies to ensure they effectively attend to their assigned repair works. - EMMANUEL WANJALA, The Star

Photo Courtesy

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the European Union signed a $7 million (around SSP4.3 billion) initiative to assist South Sudanese returnees in resettling in neighbouring countries.

According to Arafat Jamal, the UNHCR’s country representative, the funding arrangement for the Solutions Initiative is for three years and focuses on places that 

Arafat stated that the main objective of the project is to provide displaced persons and local communities with access to protection centres and self-reliance-oriented support that encourages reintegration, peace, and development. The project must be completed in a safe, sensitive to interpersonal conflicts, and environmentally responsible manner.

He said the UNHCR had identified seven counties in South Sudan where large numbers of people have returned to their communities. The places which he referred to as ‘pockets of hope’, had a little conflict, little environmental damage, little famine, and strong government support. 

The UN agency said that in Eastern Equatoria State’s Torit and Magwi counties, for instance, almost 100,000 South Sudanese have returned since the peace accord was signed in 2018.

Arafat said the agreement represents a vision of growth, productivity, and hopes for South Sudan, with a focus on those places where there is production and a chance to improve the lives of the people.

“They vaulted on their feet, took the decision on their own, and came back, and we showed them ourselves. We talked to them, and they are not wasting time, they are investing in their country, in their communities, developing and flourishing. We want to do is make sure that people like them are enabled to build their livelihoods even further,” he said. 

“We have pockets of hope along the border with Uganda; we have them in the north next to Sudan, and we also have them in the east next to Ethiopia.”

“This is the concept of the pockets of hopes, so part of the agreement with the European Union is actually investing in these pockets,’’ he commented.

“Recently, we have been working with the European Union on many levels on this, conceptually, strategically, but also practically,” Arafat stated.

Timo Olkkonen, the ambassador of the European Union to South Sudan, visited Unity State, Ruweng Administrative Area, Torit, and Magwi this week as part of his first official visit outside of Juba since being assigned to the country. He noted that the visits were both very interesting and extremely concerning because there is still much work to be done in South Sudan.

“Of course, the humanitarian emergency is much more severe, and we must assist the people of South Sudan in meeting the challenges that they face today, but we must also move forward in terms of development in terms of how we can support them in the medium and long term,” he said.

Timo reaffirmed the EU’s ongoing support for returnees having paperwork that upholds their rights. By Keji Janefer, The City Review

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