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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.

READ ALSO:   Confusion as Raila re-edits his Twitter Bio 4 times within 12 hours

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.

READ ALSO:   ALL KENYA TV STATIONS: Watch live updates on Raila's swearing in or lack of it

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.

READ ALSO:   EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Raila arrives in London amid speculation over his next move

“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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Diaspora

Police investigate Margaret Nganga’s death as family reels in shock

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Police in Canton, Georgia, say an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death of a 44-year-old Kenyan-born nurse whose body was found  in her car Tuesday night at the parking garage of Northside Hospital-Cherokee, about 40 miles North of the city of Atlanta.

The body of Margaret Nganga, 44, who worked at the hospital, was discovered by a security guard.

Northside Hospital spokesperson Katherine Watson said that the institution’s administration and coworkers were shocked by the incident.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” she added. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the nurse’s family, friends and co-workers.”

On Thursday, Canton Police Department spokesman Pacer Cordry said There was no evidence of foul play or nothing evident to indicate a medical issue.

“At this point it doesn’t look suspicious,” he said. “However, a postmortem will be conducted to determine a cause of death,” he added.

According to the hospital spokesperson, Margaret  was expected at work on Monday but did not report as scheduled.

A hospital security guard later discovered her body in her car, Cordry said.

“The security guard was looking for her but she didn’t show up for work.”” Cordry said. ”

READ ALSO:   EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Raila arrives in London amid speculation over his next move

Ms Ng’anga’s death has shocked the Kenyan community in metropolitan Atlanta, many of whom knew her.

An aerial view of Northside Hospital-Cherokee. PHOTO/COURTESY

Below is a message from Margaret’s first born daughter, Mercy Nganga:

 

BY MERCY NGANGA

On Monday May 21st 2018, my loving mom went to work and did not make it back home.  My mom was a healthy nurse and always jovial as any 43 year lady would be. There were no signs of illness neither did she complain of any ailments.

Her sudden death has left our family saddened and baffled as to the cause. We are left to plan for an event every human being avoids thinking of- laying one’s loved one to rest.
As we await police investigations, my 3 siblings, dad and I are seeking any help you can accord to deal with this tragedy.

Click here to support the funeral arrangements:

GOFUNDME – Margaret Nganga Memorial Fund

 

Northside Hospital-Cherokee

More Updates

It is with deep sorrow that we inform you that Margaret Nganga wife to Daniel Kimani (General) of Acworth, Georgia passed on Tuesday, May 22nd 2018.

She leaves behind four young children; Mercy, Evah, Ben and Mumbi.

Prayers

Family, Friends and well-wishers are meeting daily for prayers from 7pm at

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Raila did not withdraw from Oct 26th Presidential election - Supreme Court

KACC: 771 Elberta Dr. Marietta, GA. 30066

 

Memorial & Celebration of Life

Sunday, May 27th 2018 at 1PM at

KACC: 771 Elberta Dr. Marietta, GA. 30066

 

Financial Support:

Bank: Bank of America

Account name: Kenneth Nganga & Mary Njambi Kinyanjui

Account# 3340 5449 7557  /  City: Acworth / Zip Code: 30101

 

CashApp: 678-933-9427

 

 

Contact:

Virginia Miringu 770 815 5525

Jeremiah Thuku 404 642 7729

Kate Njeri 770 826 2738

Titus Ngugi 404 579 0802

SK Kimani 404 482 8923

 

Other arrangements will be communicated as they become available.

Please uplift the family with prayers.

May her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace

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Diaspora

Kenyans in Diaspora condemn 15 year jail term for woman who had sex with a boy

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News that a 24-year-old woman was on Wednesday jailed by a Kisumu court after she admitted that she had sex a 16-year-old boy, has riled a section of Kenyans in the Diaspora.

Judith Wandera was found guilty of defilement and intentionally performing indecent act on a minor contrary to Sexual Offences Act, on July 5, 2017 at Kicomi area.

READ THE STORY HERE: Kenyan woman slapped with a 15 year jail term for raping a 15 year old boy

The case has generated debate with many Kenyans, including senior lawyers, terming the sentence unfair in the circumstances.

Writing in various Kenyan Diaspora Facebook groups, many are questioning the rationale used at reaching the decision by Chief Magistrate JN Wambilyanga.

Most comments seen by ksnmedia.com appear to suggest that although the two had sex, it was consensual and there was no way for the woman to tell that the “man” was actually a minor.

Maggie Marikah Kwabena of Atlanta wrote: The word rape is being bandied around too loosely here.

John Kariuki wrote: The so called boy was a big man complete with dreadlocks. You would think he was older than the woman. What did you expect her to do? Ask for his ID.

Jacinta Kemunto wrote: Too harsh a sentence. These magistrates are so quick to punish people waliokuwa kwa raha zao yet it takes decades to jail maize smugglers and members of the various cartels. Give us a break.

READ ALSO:   NASA sends out invitation cards for Raila's 'inauguration'

Babiekk wrote: Who is complaining? The magistrate should look at merits and demerits carefully. Why waste the life of a woman whose only sin is to be seduced?

This was happening as a law firm, Dome and Kedogo Advocates, volunteered to appeal jail sentence pro bono (free of charge).

Wandera, who did not have a lawyer, did not present any witness during the case and instead, sought to prove that she never thought the boy was a minor since they met in a club in the Kondele slums where he offered to buy her alcohol and they started dating.

In her defence, she said looking at his physical appearance, the boy, a thread-locked boda boda rider, did not appear a minor. They had dated for one year before they were arrested on July 17 last year after the boy’s mother lodged a petition. She added he used to smoke bhang.

Ms Wandera, a single-mother of one, did not dispute the affair, a factor the magistrate took into account in sentencing her.

“Both admitted having sex, sometimes protected, sometimes unprotected. According to her, she could not tell how many times they did it,” said Ms Wambilyanga in her ruling.

However, critics have taken issue with the ruling, saying the magistrate failed to take into account provisions in the Sexual Offences Act, which allow for misleading physical appearances to be used as a defence by the accused and instead ruling she should have made effort to determine his age.

She added that the two were arrested twice and on those occasions asked to stop the relationship after the complainant’s mother raised the age-difference issue, but the woman ignored.

READ ALSO:   ALL KENYA TV STATIONS: Watch live updates on Raila's swearing in or lack of it

“The mother was not happy because the woman was older,” said the magistrate.

In her mitigation, Wandera asked for forgiveness, saying she has a son, a brother and her mother she was taking care of.

“I am the only person taking care of all of them. Please forgive me I will never repeat the offence,” she pleaded to no avail.

Among those who have questioned the ruling are lawyers Kamotho Waiganjo, Nelson Havi and Wahome Thuku. Those who reacted to their various positions challenged them to take up the issue on a pro bono basis.

 

Nelson-Havi Law firm to appeal Judith Wandera's 15-year jail termImplementation of the Sexual Offences Act, which was originated by then Nominated MP Njoki Ndung’u, now Supreme Court Judge, has been problematic as it sets a minimum jail term of 15 years giving little leeway to judges and magistrates to consider other circumstances.

Critics also three parallels with the 2016 ruling by Justice Said Chitembwe, which set free Martin Charo, 24, who had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for having sex with a 13-year-old on the basis that crying was not enough evidence of defilement and that she “enjoyed it.”

Nelson-Havi Law firm to appeal Judith Wandera's 15-year jail term“Where the child behaves like an adult and willingly sneaks into men’s houses for purposes of having sex, the court ought to treat such a child as a grown up who knows what she is doing. She went to the appellant’s place to have sex. She had known the appellant for about three years. She dodged her brothers after going to the beach and sneaked into the appellant’s house,” he argued.

READ ALSO:   Confusion as Raila re-edits his Twitter Bio 4 times within 12 hours
The ruling was awarded the Golden Bludgeon in Spain on Wednesday by Women’s Link Worldwide, beating 18 other cases to emerge the world’s worst ruling for women’s rights in 2016. The State appealed the ruling.

Others have, however, defended Wandera’s jail term, saying defilement of minors, especially, girls has become rampant with many being wooed by money and presents, including sanitary towels.

Business Today has conributed to this report

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Majanja’s body received in Nairobi, to be buried Saturday in Kakamega

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

The body of Timothy Majanja, a 71-year-old homeless Kenyan who has been living in the United States and who, at one point, wanted to return home after 46 years in North America, arrived in Nairobi Thursday ready for burial in Lubao Village, Kakamega County on Saturday.

His body was received by Umash Funeral home in the Kenyan capital before it was transported by road to its final resting place in Kakamega.

Majanja died last month at at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta where he had been rushed in an ambulance while in critical condition.

Medical personnel at the hospital said he died from complications emanating to an earlier ailment which led to him having “extremely high blood pressure.”

Soon after receiving the news of his death, Majanja’s relatives in Lubao, Kakamega, expressed their wish that the body could be flown home for burial.

On Thursday, Protus told Ksnmedia that he was very happy that the body arrived home.

“Is this what we would have wished? Of course not…but I can tell you  that we are very delighted to see the body of  Mzee Majanja. This will bring some form of closure,” he said.

“We were devastated by the news and the elders here couldn’t fathom the idea of their son being buried or cremated  in a foreign land, thousands of miles away from his ancestral home,” said Protus Muhanji Shikoli, Majanja’s nephew.

“We have been through a lot as a family….we wished we could see him alive but obviously, it was not meant to be,” he added.

After Majanja’s death, well wishers, friends and family members got together and raised enough money to pay for the services at West Cobb Funeral home where the body was preserved and also to repatriate it to Kenya for burial.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo shocks Raila after saying Uhuru should rule for two and a half years

“Let us never grow weary of doing good,” said Pastor Salania Salania quoting part of a Biblical verse (Galatians 6:9 when Apostle Paul was writing to the Galatians). He was one of the organizers of a  fundraiser held at believers’ Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where close to $7,000 was raised. Most of those who contributed money had not even met Majanja in person. “We didn’t have to know him to help,” added Mr Salania.

According to Ms Catherine Ogembo, Majanja’s niece who lives in the New Hope City in Minnesota, and who is accompanying the boday, her uncle’s final journey will be on Saturday when he will be laid to rest on his piece of land in Kakamega.

Mr Majanja was in the news in 2014 when NTV aired a story about his plight in which he appealed for help to return to Kenya after living in North America for an uninterrupted period of 46 years.

He told the Nation that he had had enough of the US and wanted to go back to Kenya and rejoin his family. He however did not have any travel documents.

Following the story, many Kenyans expressed their willingness to help him return home.

Watch related video below:

Majanja left Kenya for Canada in 1968, moved to the state of Georgia in the United States in 1993, and has been living in squalor since losing his job 25 years ago.

READ ALSO:   Blow to Raila as his buddy-S Africa's VP- pledges to work closely with Jubilee

“I have been leading a miserable life here and it is high time I left this country,” he told this reporter in an interview on Memorial Drive in Atlanta, Georgia.

After the story aired, Mr Alphonce Shikoli, his elder brother, told NTV’s Namukabo Werunga that the family was excited to know that their relative was alive.

“We eagerly await the return of our ‘prodigal son’. We are fattening a bull to slaughter upon his arrival,” said Shikoli at his rural home in Lupao Village, Kakamega County.

 

In December of the same year, Majanja was hospialised at Grady Hospital where he had been taken after falling ill.

And in an email to the Nation then, an official at the Kenyan embassy in Washington, DC, said the hospital had been in touch, seeking help in tracing Mr Majanja’s relatives.

“But I was not able to talk to him as I was informed that he is not coherent,” said Ms Evelyn Cheluget, the then immigration attaché at the Kenyan mission.

In the 2014 interview which went viral,  Majanja, however, said he was stuck because he lost all his documents and cannot travel and appealed to the Kenyan Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to help him out.

POLITICAL OFFICE

In 1973, he was recruited by the Canadian government into the prestigious Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he served before venturing into politics.

He run for political office as a city representative in Calgary, Alberta, before unsuccessfully contesting a vacant mayoral seat.

Mr Majanja, however, declined to disclose when or why he left the Canadian police service.

“That matter is confidential,” he said.

READ ALSO:   ALL KENYA TV STATIONS: Watch live updates on Raila's swearing in or lack of it

After relocating to Atlanta, he worked for a transport company before losing his job.

“I lost my driver’s license and all the other documents which I had kept in a safe deposit at a local bank,” he said.

Mr Majanja said he has sought help several times from the US and Canadian governments without success.

“I have no single document and can’t travel anywhere,” he said, adding, “I appeal to the Kenyan embassy to give me some travel documents so I can visit my relatives back home.”




MARRIED TO CANADIAN

During the interview with the Nation, he showed photos of his sojourn in Canada in which he looked young and energetic.

“I married a Canadian lady and we had a son, but now I can’t even travel there to visit them,” he said.

“I thought I was strong enough, but now I need help,” added Majanja, who looked weak and a pale shadow of his former self.

Though hardly reported due to the stigma associated with homelessness, drug addiction or mental illness, cases of destitute Kenyans living in the United States have risen in recent years.

In 2012, the body of a homeless Kenyan was discovered in a lake near Boston, Massachusetts.

Early in 2014, police in Atlanta found a homeless and mentally unstable Kenyan man in a forest in Decatur, Georgia.

The authorities handed the man over to the pastor of a Kenyan community church who asked the congregation to raise money for his upkeep and eventual repatriation to Kenya.

In May of the same year, he was reunited with his family in Kenya.

Watch related video below: Is homelessness among Kenyans in US exaggerated?

 

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