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  • ODM leader Raila Odinga sharing his birthday cake at the Bomas Kenya, Nairobi on Friday, January 7, 2022 RAILA ODINGA'S TWITTER PAGE 
  • The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, celebrated his 77th birthday in a special way and revealed some unknown facts about his childhood.

    Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on Friday, January 7, where the birthday celebrations were being held, the former Prime Minister explained to the crowd that graced his event why he chose to cut his birthday cake at exactly 11:47am.

    Raila explained that 11:47am signifies the exact time he was born. He went on to reveal that immediately after he was born, he was given the name 'Onyango.'

    ODM leader Raila Odinga dancing alongside Kieni MP Kanini Kega and a local artist during his birthday party at the Bomas of Kenya , Nairobi on Friday January 7, 2022
    ODM leader Raila Odinga dancing alongside Kieni MP Kanini Kega and a local artist during his birthday party at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi on Friday, January 7, 2022

    The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development noted that before his mother passed on, he only used that name (Onyango) when referring to him.

    "Today, there is one person I would pretty much like to appreciate, unfortunately she is not here. That is my mother. She endured a lot of pain," Raila stated. 

    "I was born at exactly 11:47am, the time we have cut my birthday cake. That means my name is Onyango. My mother gave me that name and all while she was still alive, she used to call me Onyango to signify the time I was born. That is why I always tell men that you must respect all women."

    He appreciated his mum's efforts in raising him to become an upright citizen with immense contribution to the country's fight for democracy.

    Raila's cake was also symbolic in a way, being a 5-tier cake. The cake represented different important phases Kenya has undergone since gaining independence in 1963.

    The first tier of the cake represented the late President Jomo Kenyatta's reign from 1964 to his death in 1978. The second tier represented late former President Daniel Arap Moi who ruled for 24 years from 1978 to 2002.

    The third tier represented President Mwai Kibaki's reign from December 2002 until April 2013, then the fourth one represented President Uhuru Kenyatta's time in power.

    The last represented his fifth stab at the presidency expressing his confidence to clinch the August 2022 presidential election. 

    In his speech, Raila expressed the confidence in his administration to transform the country in all sectors.

    "I have been to many countries and what I am saying is possible. We can transform this country and make it an industrialized one. We must change the way we do things and how we approach development in our country," he stated.

    He extended an invitation to the youth to join his campaign trail as he starts making inroads in search of votes.

    "I want to work with the youths of this country, I want all youths to participate and be in Baba’s army. In 5 years’ time, I can promise you a different Kenya. I have been the Prime Minister of this country and I know where the money is." 

    The event was attended by top political figures, business people, and different groups sharing his political ideologies. Those who did not attend took to their social media platform to wish him a happy birthday including Deputy President William Ruto.

    "Happy birthday Jakom. May you be blessed with many more," the second-in-command wrote.

    ODM leader Raila Odinga arriving at the Bomas of Kenya for his birthday celebration on Friday January 7, 2022
    ODM leader Raila Odinga arriving at the Bomas of Kenya for his birthday celebration on Friday January 7, 2022 Geoffrey Lutta,

Photo via The Observer


Stanbic bank has earmarked Shs 600 billion in school fees loan offers to help financially stressed parents return their children to school. 

In his New Year address last week, President Museveni authorised schools to re-open next week on January 10. Now in response, Stanbic bank says it’s moving to assist the financially-indebted school owners and the education sector in general by coming up with booster plans for the schools.

The bank will write off accumulated interest on loans owed by indebted private schools, officials announced during a press conference on Wednesday in Kampala.

Under the discounted booster finance, schools are able to borrow up to Shs 500 million in collateral-free (unsecured) loans to prepare their institutions for reopening. Parents can also access up to Shs 250 million in unsecured loans processed digitally and dispersed within five minutes at zero processing fee.

Furthermore, the bank revealed that its decision to waive all 2021 unpaid accumulated interest on loans to privately owned schools is a proactive initiative based on the understanding that schools have not been earning and that they need to be supported to regain their ability to settle their liabilities.

Speaking at the press conference, the bank’s chief executive officer Anne Juuko said the "bold decision by management even in the face of uncertainty, speaks to our commitment to walk the talk of our business purpose, which is that we drive Uganda’s growth, as such, we have to exercise our corporate responsibility to the country’s education sector."

Dr Kendrace Turyagenda, the director of education standards in the ministry of Education and Sports lauded Stanbic's corporate leadership and urged other players in the financial sector to emulate them. She noted that the successful reopening of schools will require all stakeholders to play their part.

Uganda’s education sector has more than 28,000 schools, of which 80% are privately-owned. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., The Observer

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. (Photo: AFP/ANGELOS TZORTZINIS) 

MOMBASA, Kenya: China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi will tour Beijing-funded infrastructure projects in Kenya and discuss future economic opportunities with President Uhuru Kenyatta during a visit Thursday (Jan 6) to the East African nation.

Wang arrived in the Indian Ocean port city of Mombasa late Wednesday from Eritrea, a closed-off country that was the first stop on his three-nation tour of Africa. 

His visit comes on the heels of a trip to Africa by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in November that was in part aimed at countering China's growing influence on the continent.

China is Africa's largest trading partner with direct trade worth more than US$200 billion in 2019, according to official Chinese figures.

But it has been often accused of using its creditor status to extract diplomatic and commercial concessions.

China is Kenya's second-largest lender after the World Bank and has funded a number of costly infrastructure projects that have raised concerns about Nairobi taking on more debt than it can afford.

During his visit, Wang will tour the Port of Mombasa where China is constructing a new US$353 million terminal to allow larger oil tankers to berth. 

He will also meet Kenyatta and a team of ministers to discuss agreements on trade and investment, health, security, climate change and green technology transfer.

"The visit gives the two countries an opportunity to enhance bilateral relations by signing agreements," Kenya's foreign ministry said in a statement.

China has rejected suggestions its extensive lending to poorer African countries has trapped cash-strapped governments in debt dependency.

Beijing funded Kenya's most expensive infrastructure project since independence, loaning US$5 billion for the construction of a railway line from Mombasa which opened in 2017.

During a visit to Mombasa in January 2020, Wang described the railway as a "benchmark" of China's Belt and Road Initiative, a trillion-dollar push to improve trade links across the globe by building landmark infrastructure. CNA

Kakwenza Rukirabashaija was also held and allegedly tortured last year after writing The Greedy Barbarian, a novel about high-level corruption. FILE PHOTO | DAILY MONITOR | NMG


The European Union (EU) has joined other rights bodies in demanding the unconditional release of Ugandan novelist and activist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija, held incommunicado for more than a week despite court ordering police to free him.
In a tweet on Wednesday,  Mr Eamon Gilmore, the EU special representative for human rights, urged the authorities in Kampala to release Mr Kakwenza, who was kidnapped by gunmen on December 28 and disappeared until police acknowledged holding him.

“Uganda: I’m alarmed by reports of alleged torture and incommunicado detention of author [Rukirabashaija Kakwenza]. He remains in detention without trial, despite a court order for his unconditional release. I urge Ugandan authorities to uphold rule of law and due process,”  he tweeted.

Mr Gilmore’s concerns were shared by Ms Maria Håkansson, the ambassador of Sweden to Uganda, who expressed “full support” for the EU representative.  

The EU delegation to Uganda, which manages the “EU-Uganda relations, programmes and activities” also supported the call in response.

Mr Gilmore, a former deputy prime minister, and minister of foreign affairs of Ireland is charged with enhancing the presence, effectiveness and visibility of EU human rights policy in the EU external actions.

Police say they are holding Mr Kakwenza on allegations of offensive communication after a series of belittling, derogatory and abusive tweets about President Museveni and his son, Lieutenant General Muhoozi Kainerugaba (Commander of Land Forces). Daily Monitor

  • DP William Ruto and a snippet inside parliament building  KENYANS.CO.KE 
  • Members of Parliament on Wednesday, January 5, passed the Political Parties Amendment Bill despite several attempts by allies of Deputy President William Ruto to stall the process.

    The Bill was passed after amendments by the DP allies failed to sail through before the floor of the house as pro-handshake MPs flexed their muscles in a show of numbers.

    In a statement report to the speaker Justin Muturi, by Narok Woman Representative, Soipan Tuya, the legislator announced that the house had voted to pass the Bill which was in its Third reading stage.

    MPs gather at Deputy President William Ruto's residence in Karen for a press conference
    MPs gather at Deputy President William Ruto's residence in Karen for a press conference

    "Hon. speaker I beg to report that the Committee of the Whole House has considered the Political Parties (Amendment) Bill (NA Bill No. 56 of 2021) and approved the same with amendments," she stated.

    In a victory speech before the floor of the house, Majority leader Amos Kimunya downplayed accusations that the Bill was only beneficial to Raila’s Azimio la Umoja stating that all political parties would benefit from the Bill. 

    He defended the process in which the Bill was passed amidst the chaos that was witnessed on the floor of the house, insisting that the Bill underwent public participation.

    “There has been lots of talk about public participation about this bill since 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and I really want to thank the people who interacted with the bill,” Kimunya stated.

    Additionally, some of the pro- handshake MPs hit out at the DP for claiming that he had numbers in parliament even as they shot down amendments by Ruto allies.

    Previously, Ruto had stated that he would block the Bill from sailing through the house citing that he had the support of over 150 MPs in parliament.

    “I want to thank the people who helped us pass this bill, I can’t thank those who came here to fight us, we have won today as the people who were together as the Azimio group.

    "We have defeated TangaTanga very badly, they are bruised and I don’t know if they will recover from this,” Suna East MP, Junet Mohamed stated. 

    Following the passing of the Bill by the NA, another showdown between the UDA brigade and the handshake team is expected as the Bill moves to the Senate for debate.

    However, Ruto allies have stated that they will move to court in the event that the Bill sails through the Senate.

    Senate Proceedings
    Senate Proceedings FILE  fight  By Washington Mito,

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