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Repentant one day, divisive the next; you can hardly take to the bank anything about the former banker’s behaviour. Pool I Nation Media Group

Erratic, controversial, divisive and downright reckless are just some mild adjectives that have been used to describe Trade Cabinet Secretary (CS) Moses Kuria. 

Critics of the former Gatundu South MP have often described him as having a “loose tongue”.

If he is not making statements alleged to be capable of inciting or fanning hate speech, he is busy thinking of another rash statement to spark controversy.

Talk of a man who cannot save himself from himself. Even his elevation from an MP to a Cabinet Secretary cannot seem to tame his acerbic tongue.

Repentant one day, divisive the next; you can hardly take to the bank anything about the former banker’s behaviour. 

If folklore was to be written about the politician, would legend describe him as one with an uncanny ability to disengage his brain whenever he spoke? 

Last week, Mr Kuria was again at his best element. The 51-year-old said the government had deliberately lifted the ban on importing Genetically Modified (GM) food to increase causes of death in Kenya.

The CS said Kenyans face death courtesy of many problems bedevilling the country. 

“By just being in this country, you are a candidate for death. And because there are so many things competing to kill you, there is nothing wrong with adding GMOs to that list,” said Mr Kuria during a press conference.

Probably the man spends a lot of his free time watching movies and to be specific, A Million Ways to Die.

He has been a frequent visitor to courtrooms and police cells over allegations of making incendiary statements although he always maintains that “nothing in my DNA is synonymous with hate”.  


In 2015, he was accused of fanning ethnic hatred by saying that a terror attack at Gikomba Market that killed 15 people was orchestrated by “Odhiambos” and not “Somalis”. 

But like a true chameleon, he would quickly be seen in Gor Mahia jersey attending a football match and even contributing to their cause. 

In that same year, he sparked another controversy when he appeared to incite his constituents to slash politicians opposed to the National Youth Service projects. 

Speaking in his native language, he said: “Those pangas are not just for cutting grass. Someone like that (opposed to NYS programme), you first prune him and finish him.”

But in his true element, he said he had no regrets for uttering the statements. “I only regret that they were misconstrued”.

Early this year, he said he could only join Raila Odinga-led Azimio la Umoja when dead and went on to deride Jubilee Party, saying “itasahaulika kama duka la kamisi (the party will be as irrelevant as a petticoat shop).

Assault charge

Last year, he was charged with assault but was later set free after the case was dropped. He was also part of the infamous “Pangani Six” politicians who were charged with hate speech.

The fifth-born in a family of nine has always been a rabble-rouser for most of the slightly over a decade he has been in the public limelight.

However, he blames his eccentric character on the kind of politics he was exposed to while growing up, saying “any perceived extremism or divisiveness on my side has been shaped by the kind of political culture we have had”. 

With MPs’ threats to impeach him losing steam, but the GM maize controversy still heated, Mr Kuria is likely to remain the man to watch.  By Collins Omulo, NMG

  • Azimio leader Raila Odinga addresses the media in Kisumu on Sunday, November 27, 2022.  DENNIS NYAMBANE 
  • Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga has announced that he will hold countrywide rallies to engage the public on the ouster of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice Chair Juliana Cholera.

    Speaking in Kisumu county on  Sunday, November 27, Raila stated that the rallies will begin in major cities in Kenya and will spread out to other towns.

    Odinga, who initially declared mass action, resorted to consulting with Kenyans before taking a final stand on the fate of Cherera, Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit, and Francis Wanderi.


    "We will have a meeting on Wednesday, November 30, at the Kamukunji grounds to ask them if they accept these commissioners to be sent home," Odinga revealed.

    The second and third rallies will be held in Mombasa and Nakuru respectively.  

    Raila insisted that the four commissioners were innocent and accused President William Ruto of going after the commissioners because they refused to fold into his demands.

    He claimed that Ruto wanted to do away with the IEBC staff who would be a stumbling block to him defending his seat in 2027.

    "This regime which came into power through rigging elections is hell-bent to send home commissioners who stood firm on the truth.

    "IEBC is a referee and cannit be appointed by a player. So we will not allow Kenya Kwisha to impose a commission, that is not acceptable," the former Premier explained.

    In addition, Odinga called out the President for not taking any action to lower the cost of living in the country citing the rise in costs of basic commodities.

    On the contrary, he blamed Ruto for making life harder for Kenyans by doing away with some of the income-generating opportunities created by the previous regime. 

    "People are suffering  and some of the palliative measures which had been introduced by the previous government like Kazi Mtaani  have also been stopped," the Opposition chief stated.

    Raila rebuked the Ruto for failing to deliver the promises he made to Kenyans during the August 2022 campaign trail and shamed him for introducing interest to the Hustler fund.

    The issue of the four commissioners was led to a public exchange between the two leaders on social media with each accusing the other of trying to impose their way on the people of Kenya.

    A collage of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and President William Ruto (right)
    A collage of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (left) and President William Ruto (right) FILE By Paul Kurgat<


Rwandan lawyer, Florida Kabasinga has been elected the Secretary General of the East Africa Law Society (EALS).

The EALS is a regional bar association for East Africa and has over 19,000 members.

Kabasinga is the Founder and Managing Partner of Certa Law, a well-known local law firm.

She boasts almost two decades of experience in the fields of International Criminal Law and Domestic Commercial and Criminal Justice.

In addition to her new responsibilities, she is also the Chairperson of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the East Africa Law Society and a member of the American Bar Association.

Kabasinga holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA.

The EA Law Society includes all national bar associations of the EAC, including the Law Society of Kenya, Tanganyika Law Society, Uganda Law Society, Zanzibar Law Society, Rwanda Bar Association, Burundi Bar Association and the South Sudan Bar Association. - Esther Favour, The New Times

Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PA/Photo Courtesy

The Home Office is routinely changing the dates of birth of unaccompanied child asylum seekers to classify them as adults, according to experts who say the practice is now happening on a “horrifying scale”.

As a result, many children are being wrongly sent to the notorious Home Office site at Manston in Kent, the experts warn, and detained in unsafe conditions for up to several weeks.

The Refugee Council said interviews with 16 children released from Manston revealed that even in the cases of some boys who had identity documents stating they were children, the Home Office changed their dates of birth to make them over 18.

One of the children, interviewed at a hotel in London last week, said they had been attacked by adults in Manston, and others described fights and the police being called. 

Sonia Lambert, who works for the Refugee Council, described boys giving their ages as 15 to 17, but Home Office staff not accepting their stated ages. One had his birth date altered by one year, putting him over the dividing line of 18. “I cried so much but they still didn’t change it back,” said an Afghan boy.

Three of them showed images of ID documents or passports on their phones to officials from the Refugee Council’s age-dispute project, which had been either ignored or discounted by the Home Office. Some of the boys said they could not understand why they had been “given” a new age despite their protests.

Categorising the unaccompanied child asylum seekers as adults meant some were placed in Manston for more than 10 days at a time, and several for over 20 days.

Manston was emptied last week following a series of controversies at the site, including overcrowding, allegations of drug selling by guards, asylum seekers being left stranded in central London after their release from the centre, and outbreaks of infectious diseases, such as diphtheria.

On Saturday the Home Office said that the recent death of a migrant held at Manston may have been caused by diphtheria, a highly contagious infection that affects the skin, nose and throat.

Lambert, who was among those who visited the hotel where the children were interviewed, said: “One of the most shocking things to me is how young many of them looked. Several even had proof of their ages, and showed us images of ID cards or passports, which seem to have been ignored or discounted by Home Office staff.”

Of the 16 interviewed, eight said they were 16, six said they were 17 and two 15. Three had documents which appeared to prove their age, but had been ignored.

One of the 15-year-olds, from Iran, had an image of his passport and his ID card, but said that Home Office officials were “not interested”. He claimed they told him it didn’t matter that they’d given him a new date of birth because there would be a chance to correct it later on. The boy went on to spend 24 days in Manston.

One of the boys, from Syria, said: “I’ve never been more frightened than I was in Manston.” Another, from Sudan, added: “It’s the worst place I’ve ever been to.”

Renae Mann, executive director of services at the Refugee Council, said: “This is a misuse of power by the government. These children are very vulnerable and have been through so much already.

“Our staff are seeing many young people aged 15, 16 and 17 who have been wrongly treated as adults by Home Office staff. It is only once we get involved that these children are recognised as such and are taken into local authority care.” Once classified as adults the boys are at risk of being “dispersed” to adult accommodation, usually hotels, throughout the UK.

The Refugee Council has worked with 92 young people at the same hotel since the start of September, all of whom it has successfully managed to have taken into care. Mann added that the government had not published data that offered a clear picture of the numbers of children affected.

“As the government works to address the huge challenges in the asylum system, the treatment and welfare of children must be prioritised.”

A Home Office spokesperson said: “Age assessments are challenging but vital to identifying genuine asylum seeking children and stop abuse of the system. We are taking a holistic approach to prevent adults claiming to be children, or children being wrongly treated as adults – both present serious safeguarding risks to children.

“Our reforms through the nationality and borders act aim to make assessments more consistent and robust by using scientific measures, and creating a new national age assessment board. If there is doubt whether a claimant is an adult or child, they will be referred for a local authority assessment and will be treated as a child until a decision on their age is made.” By Mark Townsend, Guardian


At the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit, a Commonwealth Observer Group (COG) will be deployed to observe the country’s general elections scheduled for 6 December 2022. 

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, constituted the five-member group of observers, which will be led by Kenya’s former Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture and former Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Amina Mohammed. 

The Secretary-General said: 

“The Commonwealth has a long and proud history of standing in solidarity with citizens as they prepare to choose their leaders. 

“Under the chairmanship of Hon. Amina Mohammed, I firmly believe that the observer group will provide an informed, comprehensive, and impartial assessment of the electoral process.” 

The observer group will arrive in Roseau on 30 November 2022 and stay until the completion of the electoral process. During their stay, which will see them deployed throughout the country, they will be supported by a team from the Commonwealth Secretariat led by Ms Chantal Sciberras, Adviser and Head of Europe in the Governance and Peace Directorate. 

The COG will observe all aspects of the election process - from the opening of polling stations and the voting process to the counting of ballots and announcement of results - and determine whether the elections are conducted in line with international standards as well as the domestic democratic standards to which Dominica has committed itself. They will also meet and hold briefings with stakeholders, including election management officials, representatives of political parties, civil society groups, the media, and other key stakeholders. 

As per the COG’s mandate, observers will act impartially and will adhere to the standards of the Commonwealth Guidelines for the Observation of Elections as well as the International Declaration of Principles for Election Observation, to which the Commonwealth is a signatory. 

Two days after election day, the Observer group will issue an interim statement outlining its initial findings. A final report, which will include the assessment of the electoral process and a set of recommendations for reforms to improve future elections, will be presented to the Government of Dominica, the Electoral Office, and other stakeholders, before being made public. 

The group will depart Dominica by 11 December 2022.


The Commonwealth Observer Group members are:


Hon. Amina Mohamed - Chairperson

Former Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture and former Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs



Hon. Liberata Mulamula

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs

United Republic of Tanzania


Prof. Praja Trivedi

Commonwealth Envoy



Mr Ian Hughes

Assistant Chief Electoral Officer of Elections Commission

Antigua and Barbuda


Mrs Wyvolyn Patterson



The Commonwealth has been observing electoral processes for over four decades. In that time, more than 160 elections have been observed in 40 countries. ​

Commonwealth Observer Groups (COGs) are independent and autonomous and will normally be chaired by a former Head of Government or senior political figure.

They are composed of eminent persons from a range of fields, including electoral commissioners, parliamentarians, legal experts, gender experts, human rights experts, and media experts.

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