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Deputy President William Ruto. Image via The Star

 

Deputy President William Ruto has hit back at ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka for plotting to unite against his 2022 bid instead of presenting their agenda for the country. 

“I heard them saying that they want to unite so that they can beat Ruto. I want to tell them, let them look for policies and development agenda to sell to Kenyans. Uniting to beat someone cannot help anyone,”DP Ruto said on Saturday.

Raila and Kalonzo on Friday hinted at reuniting ahead of the polls to defeat ‘thieves' during the burial of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile.

Raila said he and Kalonzo have never broken ranks, adding that they would team-up to defeat people they described as hyenas in sheep’s clothing.

The duo worked together in the moribund Nasa that gave Jubilee a run for its money in the 2017 elections and were also in Cord in 2013.

“Mimi na Kalonzo hatuwezi kosana. Mimi na Kalonzo tutashikana tutoe hawa wezi, fisi waliovalia ngozi ya kondoo,” Raila said.

But the DP, speaking in Tala, Makueni county, told them to look for an agenda to woo Kenyans, warning that he would beat them at the polls if they don’t have proper development policies.

“You cannot just unite merely because you want to defeat somebody. What if you don’t defeat him? What will happen? And you don’t have an agenda?” he posed.

Ruto challenged the duo and those coalescing around them under Nasa to collapse their parties and form one formidable vehicle to face him next year. 

“I am giving them free advice. They are saying they are uniting and they have about 100 parties. Let them collapse their parties and form one, like ours so that we can compete,” he said.

Nasa brings together ODM, Wiper, Ford Kenya, ANC and Chama cha Mashinani.

However, Chama Cha Mashinani party leader Isaac Rutto has since shifted and pledged to support the DP.

Ruto said his ‘hustler movement’ has a clear agenda of transforming the country’s economy through the bottom-up economic model.

The agenda, he said, would ensure every Kenyan is actively engaged in an income generating activity though creating and development of small businesses.

“As hustler movement, we have an agenda for the transformation of our nation. That is why we are changing our economic model so that it is no longer trickle down where a few people and a few leaders benefit.

“But an agenda that makes sure that every ordinary citizen in Kenya, either has a job or an enterprise or a business so that we can expand the number of taxpayers in Kenya.

“We can raise sufficient money. We can earn more savings. We can develop our country using our own resources and we do not have to borrow from Chinese to run our nation. That is our plan,” he said. - Julius Otieno, The Star

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui addresses the people during the Nakuru BBI consultative meeting at Central Rift Valley Agricultural Showground. The meeting was held in preparation for the BBI rally on March 21. Image: LOISE MACHARIA.
 
In Summary

•Last week, the senators voted for a report of the House Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations that recommended promotion of the town.

•The approval by the Senate sparked celebrations in the town with the residents and county officers taking to the streets to celebrate.

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and DCI boss George Kinoti have been summoned by a Senate committee over 'missing' five street children rounded-up from Nakuru town by county askaris.

The Labour and Social Welfare Committee wants Kinyanjui and the Kinoti to explain the whereabouts of the street children who were reportedly picked up and dumped in a forest in what could dent the much-awaited elevation of Nakuru town to a city.

The children were part of a group of 41 forcibly removed from the streets by county officials, held in detention and later on the night of February 6, 2019 dumped in Chemasusu forest in Baringo County, according to a report by the committee. 

“We think that even others could have lost their lives. People must be held accountable for that. It is not the first time this is it is happening in Nakuru.it means there are notorious officers in that county and action must be taken against them,” Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja told the Star.

The lawmaker held they will seek to know steps the county government has taken to rehabilitate the street families while DCI will explain the status of investigations into the missing children.

Last week, senators voted for a report of the House Devolution and Intergovernmental Relations that recommended promotion of the town.

The approval by the Senate sparked celebrations in the town with residents and county officers taking to the streets to celebrate.

With the senate nod, the President is now expected to grant a charter conferring city status to Nakuru.

Section 7 of the Urban Areas and Cities Act provides that the President may, on the resolution of the Senate, confer the status of a city on a municipality by grant of a charter in the prescribed form.

Last year, Sakaja’s committee noted that despite the incident of unlawful detention and dumping of the children being reported to the Central Police Station in Nakuru under occurrence book number 69/7/2/2019 and subsequent follow ups by the DCI officers on the issue, the matter remains inconclusive. 

The nine-member committee stated that the actions of Nakuru County were in violation of international conventions that Kenya is a signatory to regarding the protection and care of children, the Constitution and the Children’s Act, 2001.

The Committee on Labour and Social Welfare in its recommendations observed that the process of conferment of city status should be put on hold until the matter of these street children was resolved.

During the debate on the Devolution committee report, several senators took issue with the county’s actions to round-up the urchins.

“Criminal action should be visited on somebody. This Senate cannot pussyfoot around that issue. There is blood on the officers at the county government of Nakuru,” Makueni senator Mutula Mutula said.

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula termed the actions by the county government as inhuman and criminal and called for culpability on the part of county officials.

Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki said the disappearance of the five street children who have never been found, must be addressed whether the Municipality is conferred with the status on or not.

“We want to make sure that county governments become accountable because we are talking about orphans and children whose whereabouts are unknown,” Prof Kindiki said.

He added: “I believe this constitutes crimes against humanity irrespective of the number of children so long as we can approve a government policy to enforce forced displacement,”

Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko regretted that what Governor Lee Kinyanjui and administrators of Nakuru County did to the poor and vulnerable people is not acceptable.

“Let us not throw out the baby with bathwater. Let us ensure that if there is any punishment, and there should be, it should be visited on the individuals,” Ochillo advised. By Julius Otieno, The Star

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani poses for a photo at Parliament Buildings ahead of reading the Budget on June10,.2021. Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani arrived in Parliament on Thursday afternoon for the announcement of 2021-22 Budget estimates.

A GKB 951 Volkswagen Passat carrying the CS drove into Parliament at 2.18pm.

He was received by National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, Minority Leader John Mbadi, clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, Budget committee chairman Kanini Kega among other top leaders.

The CS then posed for a photo before proceeding to the chamber to read the Budget.

 
 
 

Treasury CS Ukur Yatani's car arrives at the entrance of Treasury building to pick him for Budget reading on June.10, 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga gives his last respect to the late Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile at his Kivuthini home in Mbui Nzau, Kibwezi, Makueni County. Photo Stephen Nzioka, Standard

 

Opposition leader Raila Odinga gave the clearest indication yet that he will be on the ballot in next year’s election, leading yet another grand coalition to rout out entrenched corruption.

Speaking during the burial of former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile in Mbui Nzau, Makueni yesterday, Raila said he has for long led a coalition of progressives to fight injustices, and will not let “latter-day progressives” to confuse the country.

The burial attended by former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was dominated with calls for opposition unity, with Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu putting the leadership present on notice that failure to unite will present early morning victory to Deputy President William Ruto.

Raila said Ruto’s claim to represent ‘hustlers’ was meant to hoodwink vulnerable groups into supporting his bid. He said his team will apply the tactics used by late Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli, because it cannot be business as usual.

“We have a budget of 2 trillion plus, but most of it will be stolen. We do not lack. Money is stolen. We will stop all opportunities of theft and you will see for yourselves what we can do with the little we have. Magufuli did in Tanzania in five years, we can do it too.”

Creating confusion

He complained that stolen money was creating confusion in Kenya’s political scene. He said he had come along away with Kalonzo, and would not make a mistake of separating with him. Raila criticised former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, saying he denied them justice when they filed a petition against the 2013 presidential election results.

“We have stood for justice, myself and Kalonzo. In 2013, we took evidence of electoral theft, they said we were late. Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga dismissed us, now he is pontificating about justice….”

Earlier this week, Mutunga issued a scathing attack against President Uhuru Kenyatta over his failure to appoint six judges recruited by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

Mutunga urged Kenyatta to resist “those who have built a thriving pettiness cottage industry, completely consumed by the pursuit of personal vendetta, at the expense of the national good and Kenya’s fledgling constitutional democracy”.

But Raila described him as a hypocrite, saying his successor Justice David Maraga went on to affirm NASA’s victory had been stolen in the 2017 presidential election. Raila said they had not given up on leading Kenya, because they have a plan:

“Kalonzo and myself, we cannot separate. We will unite and bring true redemption to Kenya.”

Kalonzo said NASA was still alive, and One Kenya Alliance (OKA) was also on the cards. He said he would not run alone, but on an alliance ticket that would sweep the country clean.

“We are much aware that not a single one of us can run alone and win. But we have allowed every one of us to show their ambition, including Governors Kibwana and Mutua. However, when the trumpet is sounded, you will see for yourself. You will see them standing behind me,” Musyoka said.

At the burial, Ngilu braved hostile mourners to present a unity message to Raila and Kalonzo. She said from her experience, if the opposition approached the election divided, they would essentially be handing Ruto victory.

She said when she vied in 1997, she bagged majority of Kamba votes but ended nowhere. But when in 2002 she united with Mwai Kibaki, Wamalwa Kijana, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo, they easily floored Kenyatta.

“Don’t hate me, I just gave you a message. What will it profit Kamba community to support Kalonzo for presidency and lose? We must agree to unite and work with Raila in order to beat Ruto. Mutua, Kibwana and Kalonzo should come to a negotiating table with Raila and agree on a compromise candidate.”

Suna East MP Junet Mohammed who also spoke at the burial took issue with Maraga for recommending the impeachment of President Kenyatta. 

“Maraga is saying the president should be impeached by the same Parliament which he recently, before retiring, termed as unconstitutional. Unconstitutional Parliament can’t impeach a president,” Mohammed said.

Mutua steered clear of 2022 succession debate, he instead called for prudence in government expenditure. 

“The government must learn to live within its means. We must stop the culture of having to borrow in order to finance operations. We must as a country be efficient in budgeting,” Dr Mutua said.

Recorded message

Kibwana, whose recorded message was played to the mourners, eulogised the late Ndile as a humble achiever whose works will not be forgotten. Kibwezi West MP Patrick Musimba mourned Ndile as a great and brave patriot who left deep imprints on the sands of time.

Kalembe’s widow Magdalene, together with her children, mourned their father for his commitment to family.  At the burial, Raila and Kalonzo told the church off for meddling in BBI politics.

“I am Christian but I beg the church to let us do our politics, let the church do its biblical work, and let the reggae continue. Don’t tell us what to do,” said Kalonzo.

He claimed that it was not the first time the clergy were challenging a review of the constitution: “They did the same in 2010 and Kenyans passed it, nevertheless.” -  Stephen Nzioka & Erastus Mulwa, The Standard

Boda boda riders and their passengers in Kampala. Photo The Observer

 

Uganda’s motorcycle taxis riders threaten to derail the country’s fight against HIV because of risky sexual behaviours, including sex with clients in lieu of payment, according to a new study.

At least 12% of a sample of 281 commercial riders, a common informal job known as boda boda and dominated by young men, admitted to engaging in transactional sex with customers who failed to pay their fares; 65.7% reported having had sex with more than one partner in the past 12 months; and 23% had had multiple partners in the same period, with 57.1% reporting that they did not use a condom at all in the six months prior to the survey, conducted by Makerere University College of Education and External Studies (CEES).

“Engaging with multiple sexual partners is a high-risk sexual behaviour, especially in the absence of condom use. It leads to sexually transmitted diseases like HIV, and unwanted pregnancies,” said Lillian Mbabazi, a researcher at CEES, presenting the research findings at a workshop in the capital, Kampala, last week.

“It shows a need to educate young Ugandans to understand unsafe and irresponsible sexual behaviour.”

The study was conducted in the districts of Wakiso and Namayingo.

“The revelation from this study, that customers who can’t afford to pay their service freely offer sex and a high proportion are actually engaging in risky sexual behaviours with multiple partners without a condom, is concerning,” Daniel Byabakama, head of HIV prevention at the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC), said.

“The HIV infections will definitely go up. The boda bodas need to know that HIV is still real and people are still contracting the virus,” he said. Uganda has a 5.6% HIV prevalence rate.

“This study is a wakeup call that if we keep on scaling down the targeting of these boda bodas as a high priority, then we may end up in shock,” said Byabakama.

“We should continue prioritising them, helping them and offering HIV prevention services, such as free condoms, so that they don’t contract or transmit the virus.” Some of the boda boda riders in Wakiso said transactional sex and multiple sexual partners were occupational risks.

“What do you expect me to do with a client who can’t afford to pay the fee and offers you sex instead?” said Patrick*, a boda boda rider at Kyaliwajjala. “I can’t just let her go free. Of course I will have sex with her in exchange.”

“Some of these clients are just stubborn and tempt us. The ladies intentionally refuse to pay and offer you a sex deal. If you are interested, you fall and go for it,” said Joseph*. “Of course, most of the time you might not be having a condom. You end up having live [unprotected] sex.”

Byabakama said it was a worrying picture: “We are seeing resurgence of bad sexual behaviours among this group, they are having sex with multiple sexual partners, they don’t first test for HIV, and a good number of them don’t use condoms. This is worrying.

“They don’t care about avoiding HIV because they think there are ARVs [antiretrovirals]. It’s a misconception. We continue to encourage them to practise HIV prevention measures as we have always taught them. We need to rekindle and reinvigorate the campaign.”

Paul Birevu Muyinda, deputy principal at CEES, said the “nomadic” industry was booming and employed more than 50% of people aged 18-35 in the east African country, but riders face myriad health risks.

“The solution is to organise and bring order to the industry. Make it a safe and gainful industry and provide continuous professional training aimed at bringing positive behavioural change,” said Muyinda.

“These project findings will go a long way in helping the government to develop scientifically proven evidence-based interventions aimed at influencing behavioural change of boda boda riders in Uganda,” said James Katunguka, road safety officer at the ministry of Works and Transport. - via The Observer

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