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Dickens Agumeneitwe, the main suspect in the murder of Makerere University student, Jackline Nakabembe, has asked for a pardon, saying that he never intended to kill her.

Nakabembe was reported missing for several weeks in October until her body was found in a trench in Naguru, a suburb of Kampala. In the aftermath, police tracked one of her mobile phones which was found with a one Rasta, a resident of Naguru Go-Down.

Upon interrogation, Rasta said he got the phone from Agumeneitwe and led police to his home where police also found her passport-size photos. However, even with the findings, Agumeneitwe told the police at the time that he did not know the person they were looking for. He was subsequently detained at Kira Road police division and later transferred to flying squad headquarters at Kampala central police station (CPS).

Upon further interrogation, Agumeneitwe explained that he suspected that Nakabembe was cheating on him, and decided to trick her using a phone that was unknown to her pretending to be another person. To his surprise, he says, the girl did not stop the 'strangers' advances and kept leading him on until they agreed to meet.

He explained that when she eventually showed up for the meeting and noticed that her partner had disguised himself as a new boyfriend, she knelt and started apologizing. In the process, he said, they chose to sit under a tree at his home but Agumeneitwe who was boiling with anger punched her in the chest and she, immediately stopped breathing.

Today, Agumeneitwe who was being taken to City Hall court said that he punched Nakabembe out of anger but he never thought that the punch would end her life.

“My punch wasn’t intended to kill her. I was angry but the punch landed on the wrong side. She fell down and died. I left the body where we were sitting and it was taken by heavy rain. But I am sorry for what I did,” a detective quoted Agumeneitwe’s statement.

Patrick Onyango, the Kampala metropolitan police spokesperson also said that Agumeneitwe asked for forgiveness as he was being taken to court. Nevertheless, Agumeneitwe has been charged with two counts of murder and robbery of a mobile phone. Nakabembe’s body was exhumed about three weeks ago from Kampala Capital City Authority KCCA cemetery at Bukasa, Bweyogerere division, Kira Municipality, Wakiso district where she had been buried. - URN/The Observer

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich (left) with an official from Thomson Rivers University, Canada

 

Kenyans seeking passports will wait longer to get the critical travel document, with the Immigration department grappling with shortage of booklets.  

Immigration and Citizen Services Director-General Alexander Muteshi said they are in urgent need of Sh150 million to purchase booklets for printing passports.

Appearing before the Senate National Security and Defence committee, Mr Muteshi said the department had requested the National Treasury to allocate them Sh300 million to digitise all its processes and services but only half of the amount has been disbursed.

This despite passport and visa issuance contributing significantly towards promotion of tourism and investment in the country, raking in about Sh500 million every month in revenue to the national government.

He said the directorate also generates additional revenue from the provision of consular services in missions abroad and from prosecution of immigration offences.

The DG decried that despite the department collecting about Sh12 billion annually in revenue, they are cash-starved and do not even have funds to buy new printers and pay its staff. “We are appealing to this committee to help push the National Treasury to release the funds so that critical service delivery can be offered,” said Mr Muteshi.

He further told the Baringo Senator William Cheptumo-led committee that the printers they currently use are old and obsolete, with a capacity of only 1,500 passports per day.

“If we buy new and modern printers, we will be able to reduce the backlog by printing 10,000 passports per day,” he said.

On the poor working conditions of its staff, the DG revealed that Immigration officials in missions abroad are at the verge of depression owing to non-payment of their dues. 

He said the department has 41 officers working across Kenya’s 31 missions abroad and some of them are on the verge of being thrown out of their houses due to lack of pay as the Exchequer is yet to release funds.

“I received a call from the Ambassador that an officer in Tel Aviv-Israel was on Tuesday last week hospitalised because of depression due to delays in payment of salary,” he said.

Meanwhile, the directorate is planning to put up an integrated border management service, digitisation, facial recognition, e-gates, passenger name record (PNR) and advance passenger indexing (API) projects.

This is in line with the country’s plan to fully migrate to the use of the new East African Community biometric e-passport, doing away with the old generation passports.

The new e-passport contains the holder’s biodata and is aimed at enhancing efficiency and remove any security loopholes.

Mr Muteshi said once a new Immigration Services Principal Secretary is sworn in, they will move with speed to enact a Migration Policy aimed at streamlining the role of immigration in national security and development.

“The draft policy has been prepared awaiting submission to Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kithure Kindiki,” he said.  By Collins Omulo, NMG

 

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”.  

Chameleon

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

FILE - Maasai men converse at the Msomera village in Handeni, Tanzania

Tanzanian authorities have started rationing electricity and water supply because of a drop in hydropower generation brought on by drought, the national provider said Wednesday, with some areas set to suffer nine-hour outages.

The East African nation has the capacity to generate nearly 1,695 megawatts through hydropower, natural gas and other means. But it is facing a shortage of 300 to 350 megawatts, Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) managing director Maharage Chande said.

"There are two major reasons which have caused the shortages in generation: prolonged drought and ongoing maintenance in some of our plants," Chande told reporters in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, on Wednesday.

The affected plants include Kihansi in the southeast Morogoro region, whose capacity has fallen from 180 megawatts to 17 megawatts, he said.

"Water levels have decreased in most sources, forcing our plants to generate below their capacity," Chande said.

The country is trying to increase its hydropower capacity, including through the construction of the controversial Julius Nyerere dam project in the Selous Game Reserve, which is expected to produce 2,100 megawatts once operational.

Tanzania, like its East African neighbours, has been experiencing poor rainfall and delayed monsoons, leading authorities to impose water rationing in Dar es Salaam last month because of a drought-induced fall in water levels. Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are in the grip of the worst drought in four decades after four failed rainy seasons wiped out livestock and crops. Written by VOA

 
  • 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< Kenyans.co.ke
     
 

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