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Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader Raila Ondinga and his wife Ida were Friday installed as elder and Kikuyu traditional woman respectively in a ceremony at historic Kabiruini show grounds in Nyeri county.

In what was dubbed as a mountain meeting the lake event, Raila was made an official Kikuyu elder by Kikuyu Council of Elders Chairperson Wachira Kiago.

Raila was presented with the official regalia that include clothes and a flywhisk signaling his acceptance as an elder.

“From today you are allowed to be part of us. You can come to our functions and we will recognise you as one of our own,” said Kiago .

Kiago directed senior politicians including Maina Kamanda (Nominated MP, Nairobi) to negotiate with Ondinga and ensure community interests are taken care off.

Similarly, the council’s women leader under the leadership of Agnes Kagure performed acceptance rites for Ida.

Ida was also renamed and will be henceforth be known as “Nyawira” and given Kikuyu regalia as women cheered on.

She will also be allowed in the league of women who can represent the community. 

After the two ceremonies, both Kikuyu and Luo (Raila’s community) elders conducted another ceremony to single unity among the two ethnic groups.

Food from both sides was shared signalling unity among the two communities.

Leaders present expressed hope that the unity of the two tribes who often been antagonistic in the national political arena will bring peace.

The ceremonies marked the commencement of Raila’s two-day visit in Nyeri where he was expected to meet professionals from the county and hold a series of rallies in the area.

During the ceremony Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga raised a storm after he told Raila on the face “to stop lecturing residents” and instead tell them their stake in his government.

“We as county residents are not interested in history, tell us what is our stake so that we can consider your candidacy,” said Kahiga.

Kahiga’s remarks made in reference to Raila’s efforts to popularise his presidential bid ahead of the 2022 presidential elections were dismissed by a section of leaders who attended the meeting. Those who rubbished Kahiga’s remarks said history is equally important. By Josphat Mwangi, Capital News

  • Veteran journalist Gatonye Gathura whose body was found in a morgue on Thursday, November 25. THE STANDARD 
     

     

    Detectives have disclosed that veteran journalist Gatonye Gathura was in possession of land files and intended to write an expose before his death.

    Preliminary investigations conducted by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) indicate that the expose would have shed light on a land dispute in the Ewaso Kedong area, a border between Narok and Nakuru Counties.

    Sleuths are now probing the matter to establish whether the expose is directly connected to his death and whether some individuals were out to silence him.

    f
    An undated photo of police officers and detectives at a crime scene in Kenya -FILE
     

    The journalist's body was found at the Naivasha Sub County Referral Hospital mortuary, a month after he went missing. This is after the Registrar of Persons took finger prints of the decomposed body.

    A copper wire was found on his neck, an indication that he had been tortured before he met his death. “We are treating his death as murder. We suspect he was killed elsewhere and the body dumped in Naivasha,” Naivasha Sub County Police Commander, Samuel Waweru, stated.

    According to his nephew, George Gatonye, the entire family was not aware that the seasoned journalist was missing for close to a month.

    His nephew stated that the journalist was a secretive man and never opened up on what he was going through, making it difficult for the family to keep tabs with him.

    The family had not received any threats or even any lead indicating Gatonye's life was at risk.

    "He had not expressed fear for his life, it was clear my uncle was strangled by unknown assailants."

    The scribe previously worked for the Nation and Standard newspapers. 

    He, however, left the two media houses and started his own health blog by the name Health and Science blog called Rocket Science.

  • An undated image of vehicles parked outside a police station

    An undated image of vehicles parked outside a police station FACEBOOK
 
 File: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at a campaign event in June (REUTERS)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is on the frontline with the army fighting rebellious Tigrayan forces in the northeastern Afar region, state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported.

Abiy was wearing military fatigues and speaking to the television in the local Oromiya and Amharic languages, according to the broadcast on Friday.

He announced late on Monday night that he would personally direct the fight against rebellious forces from the northern region of Tigray and their allies. The year-long civil war has been escalating in recent weeks as the rebels advance on Addis Ababa.

“The morale of the army is very exciting,” he said, promising to capture the town of Chifra, on the border between Tigray and Afar, by the end of Friday. 

“We won’t flinch backward till we bury the enemy and ensure Ethiopia’s freedom. What we need to see Ethiopia that stands by itself, and we will die for it,” Abiy said.

The Ethiopian PM, who is a former soldier, won the Nobel Prize in 2019 for leading negotiations that ended with a peace agreement with neighbouring Eritrea – a deal that sidelined the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF).

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the year-long war between Ethiopian and allied forces and fighters from the country’s northern Tigray region, who long dominated the national government before Mr Abiy took office.

The conflict has intensified in recent weeks as the TPLF and their allies have advanced and are threatening to march on the capital.

Mediation efforts by the U.S. and African Union in pursuit of a cease-fire and talks have made little apparent progress .

Canada on Friday became the latest country to urge its citizens to leave Ethiopia urgently, following similar warnings by nations including the UK, France and Germany.

The conflict has created a huge humanitarian crisis in Africa’s second most populous country.

The spread of the year-old conflict into the neighbouring Afar and Amhara regions mean that 9.4 million need food aid as a direct result of ongoing conflict, the U.N.’s World Food Program announced on Friday.

More than 80% of those in need are behind the battlelines, it added.

Information from Tigray is scant because foreign media have been barred from there for much of the war, with communications links severed. Late on Thursday, Ethiopia‘s government issued an order seeking to restrict media reporting of the war, forbidding the sharing of non-official information on "military-related movements, battlefront results and situations." Reuters / AP

In making an executive order returning teenage mothers to school this week, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan has undone an injustice that had cut short the prospects for thousands of schoolgoing girls when, in 2017, her predecessor John Magufuli decreed that pregnant schoolgirls and teen mothers be ostracised from the school system.

Even in a generally pliant society like Tanzania, the move then by now deceased president attracted considerable domestic and international acrimony. While as Vice-President Samia was part and parcel of the Magufuli administration, in reversing that atrocious policy barely eight months into her tenure has made her regain the moral high ground.

As a woman, she was as much hostage to the policy of her predecessor as its more direct victims and the other members of the Executive that were bound by collective responsibility. The time it has taken to arrive at the decision also reflects the internal horse-trading between conservative elements and progressives in Tanzania’s delicate power balance.

By all measures, giving hope to likely victims of sexual violence is a positive move that rekindles their dreams and vastly expands their options in life. It also reverses a gross injustice in which the other party to the act — the boys or men — without whom procreation would have not been possible, walked scot-free.

Locking Tanzania’s victims of teenage pregnancy out of school was a double blow. It is bad enough for an adolescent to take on the responsibilities of parenthood. It is worse when any opportunities for a second chance and redress are snuffed out by public policy.

Coming against the backdrop of the United Nation’s 16 days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence that started on November 25, the timing of Samia’s decision couldn’t have been more poignant for the victims. Every year, millions of girls and women around the world fall victim to gender-based violence. Such violence should not manifest in the form of government policy, as happened in Tanzania four years ago. 

Outside the controlled environment of school, a girl becomes more vulnerable to all manner of threats, including unwanted pregnancy. The near universal experience of the Covid-19 lockdowns, during which several countries reported a spike in teen pregnancy, speaks volumes about the consequences of a policy that deliberately locks girls out of school for one reason or another. The sanitised environment of schools is good for girls because it shelters them from the common pitfalls that litter their path to adulthood.

Educating girls and women also has multiple benefits. Women who have had the benefit of an education raise healthier and more viable families. Keeping them in school also has implications for population growth and economic development, since many will postpone childbearing. Educated and working women also help reduce the dependence burden and support the formation and expansion of the middle class.

A lot more still needs to be done for the youth in Tanzania and Africa in general, but returning the girl-victims to class is a positive first step. There are simply far too many children in Africa who never achieve their full potential because of disruptions to social security.

Every child has a dream to be someone in adult life. Public policy should focus on creating the necessary safety nets that enable them to grow into the adults of their aspirations. The East African

A healthcare worker collects a swab from Bronwen Cook for a PCR test against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) before traveling to London, at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, Nov. 26, 2021. Photo Reuters

 

Kenya has not banned travel to southern Africa but its Ministry of Health says it will carefully screen people arriving from South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong for the new COVID variant discovered in South Africa.

The Kenyan government directs passengers arriving from southern African countries to take the COVID test before being allowed into the country.

South Africa and Botswana have reported a new variant in their countries that scientists say is highly transmittable and vaccine resistant.

Kenya’s Director General for Health Patrick Amoth told VOA his country is on high alert to combat the new variant.

"We are working to ensure that our surveillance system is top-notch and looking specifically at people coming from South Africa, Botswana and Hong Kong to put them through a robust surveillance system," said Amoth. "We insist on having you fully vaccinated before you come to the country. And you also need to have a negative PCR test taken 96 hours before your arrival in the country.”

This week, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta traveled to South Africa, where he signed deals to boost trade and economic cooperation between the two countries,

To combat the spread of the virus in the population, the East African nation launched a ten-day mass vaccination campaign Friday. Kenya has vaccinated at least 6.5 million people.

Amoth says they have enough vaccines to inoculate even more.

"It’s part of the ongoing vaccination process and we wanted to scale up in view of the events that are happening in Europe and the rest of the world," said Amoth. "So to ensure we reach herd immunity and the entire population is protected and now we have more vaccines available we thought to be able to scale up so that we can be able to reach more people.”

Amoth expressed confidence that more Kenyans will get vaccinated.

"For example, yesterday we vaccinated close to 111,000 people from the previous daily rate of about 50,000-60,000," said Amoth. "So Kenyans are enthusiastic to be able to take the vaccine and also now this emerging information we believe will sway the public opinion towards going for the vaccine instead of vaccine hesitancy.”

Kenya has a policy of not providing government services to unvaccinated people as a way of encouraging them to get inoculated.
Kenya hopes to vaccinate 10 million people by the end of the year. - Mohammed Yusuf, Voice of America

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