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Jubilee, NASA hit deadlock on the much anticipated national dialogue

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Jubilee and NASA hit a deadlock on the much anticipated national dialogue

SUMMARY

  • Jubilee and NASA leaders have hit a gridlock on the much anticipated national dialogue to end the political stand-off brought about by last year’s elections.
  • Ruling coalition says opposition leaders are only interested in sharing power but NASA’s team dismisses allegations, saying talks must be focused on electoral justice
  • American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the Opposition coalition and the ruling Jubilee should give national dialogue a chance.

 

By ALLAN TAWAI

The ruling party, Jubilee,  and National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders have hit a gridlock on the much anticipated national dialogue to end the political stand-off brought about by last year’s hotly contested polls.

Politicians from both sides are already dismissing each other’s agenda for the proposed dialogue that is being championed by diplomats,  religious and the business community.

On Thursday, American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the Opposition coalition and Jubilee should give national dialogue a chance, noting that discussions between the two sides on the structure of the talks are ongoing.

However, his statement that talks were ongoing was immediately disputed by politicians from both NASA and Jubilee, in a classic example of what happens when parties cannot trust each other, and how far political henchmen would go to protect their turfs. Kenyans, unfortunately, are caught in the middle.

Interviews with politicians from across the political divide reveal a fractured, fidgety approach to the conversation about electoral and judicial dialogue, with either side arguing that the other wants to swindle the process.

Jubilee majority leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale, said he cannot understand the incentive for dialogue yet the electioneering period is already behind Kenyans.

“Kenyans long picked their leaders,” he said. “What else does somebody want us to dialogue over? If we must talk with the opposition, it must be about achieving universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security and manufacturing. Nothing else.”

Duale held that when the opposition took up positions in parliamentary committees and minority and whip positions, it inadvertently recognised President Kenyatta’s win.

But then, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, who is a close ally of Kalonzo Musyoka, the NASA running mate in the August 8 presidential elections, said such talks must be on electoral justice, and that its agenda must be endorsed by Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.

“In the event of such talks, we will insist on achieving electoral justice, not a boardroom deal. We are not interested in anusu mkate (coalition government) arrangement. We want talks that will return victory to its rightful owners — Raila and Kalonzo,” he said.

These positions point to a stillbirth at the negotiating table as neither side trusts the other, and so the environment does not give room for agreement on the dialogue’s agenda.

Jubilee party vice-chairman David Murathe said President Kenyatta has been very clear that he wants healing, inclusion and focus on his four pillars to deliver to Kenyans, and “if there is need for any dialogue, it will be directly with the people”.

“NASA is having dialogue directly with their people’s assemblies, na hata sisi tutaongea na wananchi (we will also engage the public directly),” he said, posing: “Who said we must sit around a table with a few select people?”

Mr. Murathe added that NASA has tried hard to “externalise” the political tussle. “They were even calling for the United Nations to supervise elections and we refused. We said as long as these are Kenyan issues, only Kenyans will solve them.”

The vice- chairman dismissed those pushing for dialogue between NASA and Jubilee as “busybodies”, adding: “The envoys have talked to the clergy, the private sector, and even Raila and his team. I do not know whether the President is in the loop, but I know there are people imagining that there will be a caucus in terms of dialogue. That is wishful thinking.”

He said the diplomatic community has no business minding Kenya’s internal affairs.

“If Kenyans need international participation, it will have to follow the correct channels, and the right channel is for Raila to talk directly to Uhuru and suggest the areas they need to tackle. But to get stuck like a broken record singing the same electoral justice tune… what is election justice? When they win?”

The American Ambassador to Kenya had earlier in the day said that “dialogue is important”, and that “the country must be as strong and united as possible”.

“The elections are over,” he continued during a meeting with Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi, where they also discussed the promotion of devolution. “They are now behind Kenyans. It is now time to move forward.”

As a result of the standoff, the opposition coalition NASA said it will swear in Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as president and deputy president, respectively, this month.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) executive director Oduor Ong’wen said that Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have formed, and are set to unveil, an assumption to office committee that will work on the modalities of their swearing-in ceremony, tentatively set for the end of January.

 

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Seven Kenyans sue government seeking to have their passports back

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Seven Kenyans  on Monday sued the Immigration department chief Gordon Kihalangwa and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i demanding to have their travel documents back.

This followed a directive that suspended their passports two weeks ago.

They include Nasa strategist Dr David Ndii, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, businessman Jimi Wanjigi, University of Nairobi lecturer Dr Adams Oloo, lawyer Paul Mwangi and Mr Henry Mien who is a member of the Opposition’s strategy team.

In their plaint filed at a Nairobi court, the seven say they were informed through a letter dated February 5 that their passports would be suspended or confiscated after which the government made good the the threat.

They argue that  the move has unreasonably restricted their movement.

Their lawyer, Jackson Awele, says they were not granted a fair hearing hence their rights have been grossly violated.

“The impugned restriction is otherwise tantamount to a condemnation of guilt based on unilateral suppositions of the Immigration director and the Interior CS without a hearing,” said Mr Awele.

“It is only fair and just that this court expeditiously intervenes to secure as well as preserve their rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the Constitution, pending the determination of this case.”

A crackdown by the government targeting members of the Coalition has intensified in the last two weeks following the swearing in opposition leader, Raila Odinga. Lawyer Miguna Miguna, who claims to be the general of proscribed National Resistance Movement (NRM-Kenya) and who has admitted to commissioning Mr Odinga’s oath, has since been deported to Canada.

The government has seized about 15 passports belonging to NASA luminaries.

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Former Kenyan TV presenter Louis Otieno goes deaf

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Former television news anchor Lious Otieno has appealed for financial help to enable him undergo specialized treatment to regain his hearing. The family has revealed that Lious Otieno, who worked for a number of TV stations including KTN, KBC and Citizen, suffers from acute pancreatitis.

The journalist has been in and out of hospital over the past few years.  The Louis Otieno Medical Fund was launched on Friday by a committee formed to raise funds to help in offsetting the medical bills. The committee said Louis lost his hearing while in hospital.

“Efforts to get his hearing fixed including using hearing aids have not been successful,” it said. “During this period, he has not been able to engage in any gainful income generating activities which has been strenuous for him and family.”

The only way his hearing can be fixed is by having a procedure undertaken in India called Cochlear implant. A cochlear implant (CI) is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing in both ears; as of 2014 they had been used experimentally in some people who had acquired deafness in one ear after learning how to speak.

Cochlear implants bypass the normal hearing process; they have a sound processor that resides on the outside of the skin (and generally worn behind the ear) which contains microphones, electronics, battery, and a coil which transmits a signal to the implant. The implant has a coil to receive signals, electronics, and an array of electrodes which is placed into the cochlea, which stimulate the cochlear nerve.

“The cost of this very needed surgery is quite high and hence our reaching out to friends, well-wishers, former peers and anyone who feels moved to support this man get his life back again,” the committee says.

Louis-Otieno-medical-fund Former TV presenter Louis Otieno goes deaf

Otieno has not been in good health for the past four years. In 2014, images of a frail Lious at Matter Hospital appeared on social media, which left many wondering what had happened to him.

At the time, Louis, the son of long-time radio presenter Elizabeth Omollo, was battling alcoholism.

 

LOUIS OTIENO MEDICAL FUND APPEAL

The committee, family and friends of Louis Otieno would like to inform you of the official launch of Louis Otieno Medical Funds Drive. As you all may be aware Louis has been unwell and in and out of hospital being treated for acute pancreatitis. During one of his admissions, Louis lost his hearing while in hospital. Efforts to get his hearing fixed including using hearing Aids have not been successful. During this period, he has not been able to engage in any gainful income generating activities which has been straineous for him and family.

After consultations with doctors, it was agreed that the only way the hearing could be fixed was by having a procedure undertaken in India called Cochlear implant.

The cost of this very needed surgery is quite high and hence our reaching out to friends, wellwishers, former peers and anyone who feels moved to support this man get his life back again.

A pay bill number has been opened (LOUIS ARMSTRONG OTIENO.Paybill Number 333957) and is active so you can send your donations directly to the paybill. The committee is also planning a harambee to support Louis. We all know of the great work he did in media and we wish to see him continue this good work.

Join us in the initiative to help Louis Otieno gain his hearing back again!

Thank you all in advance for responding to this call and may God bless you.

Sincerely

Committee of Louis Otieno Medical Fund.

……………………………….

Troubled career

Louis Otieno took a low-profile after quitting the screen five years ago. He has been on the spot over the 2012 death of his girlfriend Careen Chepchumba, the former Kenya Power employee who was found dead in her apartment. The family believes Louis Otieno, who was dating the then 26-year-old lady, had something to do with her mysterious death. He has since denied the charges including accusations that he extorted money from her.

Careen father, Hosea Kili, made the sensational revelations at the opening of the inquest into the death of Ms Chepchumba in May 2016 before a Kibera court.

-Business Daily

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Sad day as broadcaster Njoki Ndegwa of Jambo Radio passes away in Dallas, Texas

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Popular Diaspora Radio show host Njoki Wa Ndegwa is Dead. Ms Ndegwa, one of Kenya Diaspora pioneer  Radio show hosts and the proprietor  of Jambo Radio Network (formerly Jambo Boston Radio) passed away Friday in Dallas, Texas.

“It is true she has passed on,” a family member who spoke to this reporter Friday evening said. “We thought we were ready for any eventuality but I guess nobody is really ever ready for death…I can tell you the news of her passing has shattered me and the rest of the family,” she added.

Njoki had been ill for some time, having being diagnosed with breast  cancer in 2014. Later in  October 2016, doctors told her that she had Metastatic Brain Tumors, following which she underwent treatment and several surgeries at Parklands  Hospital in Texas.

In September 2017, she lost her voice and mobility  due to aggressive Metastatic Brain Tumors.

Njoki  Wa Ndegwa required Chemotherapy,  24 hour bedside homecare services,  rent, medical supplies and specialized breathing machine.

Two weeks ago, friends, family and well wishers got together for a well attended fundraiser in Texas. Another harambee had been scheduled for this Sunday at Ushindi Church in Lowell, Massachusetts. It was in Boston, MA, that  she initially set up her broadcasting station.

As soon as the news of her death broke, her family, friends, Kenyans in US and fans from around the world took to social media to express shock and disbelief.

Before coming to the U.S., Ms Ndegwa was a successful radio personality in Kenya, working for popular radio station which broadcasts in Kikuyu language, Kameme FM .

Once here, she thought she’d be a nurse, but quickly discovered her future wasn’t in medicine, choosing instead to follow the path she knew best…broadcasting.

Her friends urged her to go back to Kenya and resume her successful radio career at Kameme FM, but Ndegwa thought, “why not be a Kenyan radio host in Boston?”

The station did well but she later moved to Texas where she set up her equipment and continued with what she did best; connect people through her radio shows. This she did until she got ill.

 

Watch a BBC documentary focusing on Njoki’s work as a radio presenter:

On Friday night, Timothy Ndegwa, the CEO of Mykenyanlink Network, a close friend to the deceased wrote on Facebook: It’s a sad day at
#JamboRadioNetwork

I remember this day vividly. The last photo we took in Atlanta on June 18th 2017 around noon. The last time I saw you standing on your feet. Three months later you were bed riden never to walk again. Several times I visited with you in the hospital and at home. You struggled but stayed strong. We communicated through gestures. The smiles and noding were affirming. I am honored to have been a partner with you at Jambo Radio Network.
May your soul rest in peace.
#JamboRadioNetwork
#RipNjokiWaNdegwa
#NjokiWaNdegwa
#MyKenyanLink

Timothy Ndegwa poses for a photo with Njoki Ndegwa in Atlanta in 2016. PHOTO|COURTESY

 

Njoki Wa Westlands wrote: Indeed it is. What a black Friday… God help us to overcome this cup.
Jane Njenga: It’s unbelievable, very sad.
John Wachori: Iguru ria maundu mothe Ngai Ithe Witu ni mwega. Na eekaga uria we onete ati niwega. We bless His Holy Name.

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