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  • Kitui governor Charity Ngilu during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting in Mombasa on January 25, 2020.
  • Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has been admitted at the Nairobi hospital after contracting Covid-19. 

    This was confirmed by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua during a public meeting held on Tuesday, July 27, at Royal Media Services Owner SK Macharia's home to celebrate the achievements made in the music industry. 

    Mutua pointed out that Ngilu had asked her to disclose her health status and deliver her apologies for missing the event graced by ODM Leader Raila Odinga. 

    Mutua did not disclose how Ngilu was fairing in the hospital but urged the public to ensure they guard themselves against the pandemic. 

    More to follow

Kenya has waived visa and work permit requirements for South Sudanese travellers with valid passports on the principle of reciprocity.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in a statement issued on Monday, confirmed that the waiver of the visa requirement for South Sudanese citizens was effective immediately and that an agreement to the effect will be signed in the near future.

“The Republic of Kenya has waived the requirement of obtaining a visa to enter Kenya for the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan who hold a valid Passport issued by the Government of the Republic of South Sudan.  Premised on the principle of reciprocity, the Republic of South Sudan has also waived visa requirements for Kenyans wishing to visit their country,” the statement read in part.

The ministry’s Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau noted that the visa waiver demonstrates the strong partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

“Further, in line with Article 10 of the EAC Common Market Protocol, the Workers of the two Partner States will be allowed to accept employment within the territory of each other,” the Foreign Office elaborated.

He said it will also enhance cultural ties and strengthen the countries’ economy by encouraging free movement of persons and labor which are key pillars in the integration of the East African Community. By Caroline Tanui, Capital News

A worker checks the temperature of travellers at the border post with Kenya in Namanga, northern Tanzania, on March 16, 2020. Photo AFP


Tanzania on Thursday banned "unnecessary gatherings" nationwide and urged those holding necessary meetings to take precautions to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

“I announce that from today I have prohibited of all the unnecessary activities,” Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima said in a statement.

She also directed regional and district commissioners to cooperate with regional and district chief physicians in carrying out their duties in accordance with the Health Act and set procedures for those applying for permits for mandatory activities.

Dr Gwajima further said that though many citizens have been following health guidelines, the response has been unsatisfactory in some areas.

“This situation has continued to contribute to the increase in the number of hospitalised patients. As of July 21, 2021 in healthcare facilities across the country there were 682 patients suffering from Covid -19 diseases,” she said.

Dr Gwajima praise health professionals for continuing to provide quality care.

She added that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with all stakeholders will continue to provide education on health measures and monitor the implementation of all guidelines.

The minister said health professionals are being trained on Covid-19 vaccination and assured Tanzanians that the vaccines that will be made available are safe and certified by the World Health Organization (WHO). - DOROTHY NDALU, The EastAfrican

ODM leader Raila Odinga with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium Kisumu during Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2021.[Collins Oduor, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has ceded ground over the contested political parties funding in a last minute effort to woo back his estranged partners in the opposition coalition. Raila yesterday wrote to the four partner parties in NASA, agreeing to share funds attributed to Members of Parliament.

This was a climb-down by the former premier, who has previously insisted that he does not owe his coalition partners even a cent. Raila wrote to Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC), Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Chama Cha Mashinani’s Isaac Ruto. 


“The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is appreciative of the constructive consultations that have taken place among the leaders of our respective parties,” said Raila in the letter obtained by The Standard.

“Consequently thereto, our party has deliberated internally and resolved that, without prejudice, we share with our coalition partners ODM’s share of the Political Parties Fund attributed to parliamentary (and excluding presidential, gubernatorial and county assemblies) votes for the financial years 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/2020,” added Raila.

Raila expressed optimism that the decision would bring to closure the “unhealthy exchange of words that has been attended to the matter”.


The latest development comes even as Wiper yesterday unanimously resolved to quit the coalition. Mudavadi’s ANC also made a similar decision last Thursday.

Kalonzo said the decision to severe links with ODM would not make them enemies, since they were still free to join forces in the new formation ahead of the next poll. The former Vice President said had Raila taken the move to resolve the money standoff earlier, NASA would not have disintegrated.

This, as he accused “extremists” in the party of misleading Raila to take a hard stance on the matter. “I have received a letter signed by Raila, and ODM has now agreed to share the political parties funding with the partner parties,” Kalonzo said yesterday at a press briefing. “I always knew there were extremists that always misled him. He had not seen salient clauses of the agreement that we signed on revenue sharing,” he added. He said the four parties would separately file the letter with Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP).

An agreement by the Opposition coalition indicates that partner parties were to benefit equally from the political parties funding attributed to the presidential candidate. The details are contained in a document filed with the ORPP on April 27, 2017.

“All votes accruing to the presidency shall be shared among the coalition parties. Funds due to the party from which the coalition presidential candidate has been attributed to the presidential vote shall be shared equally among the coalition parties,” states the agreement.

Previous efforts by the trio to engage Raila on the matter flopped, forcing Kalonzo to threaten court action. In a letter dated May 21, Kalonzo wrote to Raila over his lack of commitment to address the standoff’.

The outfit singled out ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna for fomenting mistrust and wrangles among the partners by besmirching “national leaders”. Wiper party yesterday welcomed the move by ODM, but indicated that they would still require negotiations to agree on what each party should get.

At the same time, Wiper also indicated that they would still engage ODM so that its members can continue holding parliamentary leadership positions.

Senate Minority Whip Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Deputy Minority Leader in the National Assembly Robert Mbui and Jessica Mbalu, the Public Accounts Committee vice chairperson stand to lose their positions once Wiper formally exits NASA.

Yesterday Kalonzo said ODM should not be quick to kick them out of the positions for the sake of a “bigger political future”.

“Where the law is specific that the seat goes to the minority coalition, then we will consider negotiations with ODM. You see we are not divorcing ODM partners. This is not divorce, this is reconstitution,” he added.

Addressing the Press after chairing a Parliamentary Group meeting at the party headquarters, Kalonzo vouched for the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) that he said was determined to capture power when President Uhuru Kenyatta exits.

The emerging alliance has convened a joint meeting in the coming days to put in place a strategy of making inroads in various parts of the country. The joint meeting had initially been scheduled to take place today, but was postponed following a request by Wetang’ula.

“We have had a very useful consultation culminating into a decision to exit NASA and welcome a new formidable coalition. In making this decision, we have no hard feelings and are cognizant of the prevailing political environment,” said Kalonzo.

“At One Kenya Alliance, we are open to receive and work with other like-minded political players. One Kenya Alliance will be working with Jubilee and we also welcome ODM. I want to welcome ODM as we start a new alliance because this country is at a crossroad,” he added. By Moses Nyamori, The Standard


Burundi's government suspended the operations of several international mining companies, arguing that it was not receiving its fair share of income from the country's mineral wealth, local media reported on Saturday.

British, Chinese, and Russian companies are among the seven firms affected by the decision. The key company among them is the British-listed Rainbow Rare Earths, which runs the Gakara project, Africa's only rare earth element production in western Burundi.

The decision was made earlier this month following "numerous failures to respect the country's mining code," a report said, quoting Mines Minister Ibrahim Uwizeye.

"The state, which owns the soil and minerals, is not making a fair share profit as it should because of the unbalanced mining contracts," he said.

This followed a report by an evaluation commission on rare earth element deposits in Gakara, which Rainbow Rare Earths says has "numerous and extensive veins containing nearly pure bastnaesite and monazite minerals."

These minerals are used in many hi-tech products.

"We want to renegotiate all these agreements for the benefit of Burundian people who look to these minerals to finance the development of the country," Uwizeye said.

Other companies whose operations have been suspended are engaged in gold and coltan mining.

Uwizeye said the government wants a more equitable share of revenue from the Gakara project and has suspended exports of rare earth concentrates until this complaint is addressed.

The East African country expects to earn about $1.5 million from mining in the 2021 fiscal year -- a miniscule amount when compared to what is exported, according to the government.

Gabriel Rufyiri, president of Burundi's main anti-corruption watchdog OLUCOME, believes mining is one of the sectors that costs the state a lot of money "because those who should ensure the protection of public affairs do not do so."

Rufyiri has called for the prosecution of those who represented the Burundian government in the negotiation of the contract.

Under the country's controversial mining code, the firm that signs an agreement holds 51% of shares in the project, while 39% are held by other shareholders and 10% by the Burundian state.

Under these conditions, the "win-win principle is not possible," said Rufyiri, describing the situation as a "looting of resources."

Rare earth minerals are major components used in manufacturing magnets in such industries as wind turbines, robots, and electric cars, as well as consumer goods such as smartphones, computer screens, and telescope lenses. - James Tasamba, Anadolu Agency

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