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Kenyan law allows Cabinet Secretaries to campaign



Does the Kenyan law allow cabinet secretaries to campaign?

“…but the truth of the matter is, no civil servant is allowed to take part in political campaigns – that is the law – except the Cabinet Ministers. Cabinet Ministers are free to engage, that is in the law.”
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju on PressPass, June 19, 2017

Mr Tuju was responding to a question about public servants in political campaigns which came up as the panellists debated a story written by Daily Nation journalist Walter Menya, who had been arrested the day before.

The government has been criticised for a number of actions during the election period. These include creating a website and TV advertisements by the President’s Delivery Unit outlining the Jubilee government’s accomplishments.

These actions contradict the Election Offences Act. Section 14 (2) says:

No government shall publish any advertisements of achievements of the respective government either in the print media, electronic media, or by way of banners or hoardings in public places during the election period.

The same Act makes it an offense for a public officer to engage in activities of parties or candidates, show support or opposition for the same, to engage in campaigns or other political activities or start new development projects in a constituency or county using public money to support a political party or candidate.

However, Cabinet Sectaries are allowed to campaign by the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012. In Section 23 (1), the Act exempts cabinet secretaries or county executive committee members from a requirement that State Officers not act as agents of political parties or candidates or show support or opposition for parties or candidates.

According to Mr Kibe Mungai, a constitutional lawyer, there is no conflict between these laws, because Cabinet Secretaries are a political position. “Under the presidential system of government, a cabinet secretary is part of the political administration of the President, so that Cabinet, in the strict sense of the word, is a political body,” he explains. “This is the reason why, for purposes of Cabinet Secretaries, the President does not even recruit through the Public Service Commission.”

So the claim that Cabinet Secretaries can campaign according to the law is true


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Meet the Harvard trained lawyer who said No to Uhuru’s ambassadorial appointment



He is perhaps one of the best constitutional lawyers Kenya has ever had. Meet former Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohamed; Smart, articulate and well read.

This is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s advisor who turned down an ambassadorial appointment, it is now emerging. Kenyatta’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs advisor politely declined to take up his new posting as Kenya’s ambassador to South Korea.

He had been nominated by the President on February 13 including Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Solicitor General Ken Ogeto and re-designation of Njee Muturi as deputy Chief of Staff. While Mr Njee took office immediately, Mr Ogeto’s name was sent to Parliament for vetting and has since been approved.

Justice Kariuki, new ambassadorial nominees, among them the one to replace Abdikadir’s are due for vetting by Parliament. Dedication to service “He courteously declined the position on personal grounds. It was a painful decision especially knowing his dedication to service of his country and the immense respect he has for the presidency,” a friend of his told Sunday Standard.

It is understood that the personal grounds which have since been accepted by the President include concern for his young family – with children at delicate stages of their life, career mismatch fears and his passion for private sector. “He also felt his expertise would be less suited or needed in that particular posting and that there were more suitable Kenyans to execute the task at hand,” the source added. In 2013 and at young age, Abdikadir became the first MP to announce retirement from politics after serving only one term.

At the time, and although clan politics in Mandera are said to have influenced his decision, he said politics was choking his soul. He served as legal advisor to retired President Kibaki in the transition period before he was fully adopted by President Kenyatta when he was sworn into office in 2013.

Together with Isaac Awuondo, he chaired the taskforce on parastatal reforms whose report is yet to be implemented. During his term in the 11th Parliament, the Harvard trained lawyer served as the chair of the Parliament Select Committee on the Constitution which birthed the 2010 constitution.

He is credited for being the only politician who has ever defeated Deputy President William Ruto in a contest after he walloped him in the PSC election. At the time, Ruto had been fronted by Raila Odinga’s ODM to chair the make-or- break committee while Abdikadir, a Safina MP, was fronted by President Kibaki’s PNU.

Moderates from both sides of the divided closed ranks to elect him on account of his freshness and affability. “I am afraid I cannot comment on the matter of my nomination suffice to say I am most grateful to His Excellency for the trust he has bestowed on me now and in the past,” the ex-MP told the Sunday Standard. He joins a list of Kenyans who have in the past rejected presidential appointments or redeployment.

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Kenyan Diaspora mother and two kids who died in suspicious house fire buried



A Kenyan mother and her two children who perished after their house caught fire under mysterious circumstances in Canberra, Australia, last month were laid to rest on Friday in an emotional sendoff.

The remains of 45-year-old Anne Wachera Muhoro, her son Ezvin (8) and her daughter Furaha (5) were retrieved by firefighters from their house in Bonner on February 19th, after a house fire police say was deliberately lit.

Ezvin and Furaha were fare-welled alongside their mother in a private burial ceremony held at the Norwood Park Crematorium in Gungahlin on Friday morning. The funeral was attended by family and members of the local community.

Ms Muhoro’s estranged husband, who declined to be named, described his two kids as “playful” and “cheerful”, if not a little bit shy.

“Ezvin travelled around the world in 2012. He liked Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. He said he always wanted to go back there.”

It [ceremony] was nice but memories are so strong, They will be greatly missed,” he said.

Some of the family members attending the funeral traveled all the way from Kenya.

Police are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the three and are waiting for results of autopsy and other tests carried on their remains.

Detectives handling the case have appealed to anyone with information that might help in the investigations to come forward. Police said a camera footage taken from the estate between midnight of Sunday, February 18th and 8.45 am Monday, could be of great help.

Ms Muhoro had been working as a software engineer in Canberra and was set to attend a child custody hearing on the day of her death at the Family Court, but failed to show up.

Her estranged husband had moved to court seeking custody of their children. One suspect was apprehended the day after the fire, but was later released.

In 2011, a man identified as George Munene filed an online petition on a website ( against Ms Muhoro, accusing her of denying him a 50/50 child custody of their son, Ezvin Munene Mugera.

“Custody battles are rife and allegations of domestic violence have been misused (by a few women) to gain an upper hand in custody and property settlement battles,” George said in the brief petition.

He further lamented about losing his AUD0.6 million (Sh47.7 million) house to Ms Anne Wachera Muhoro.

At the Funeral Friday, friends expressed their deep desire for answers to the many questions left in the wake of the tragedy.

Ms Muhoro’s best friend, Edith Miuruka, paid tribute to her as a good Christian and a skilled migrant with an “enviable career” in software engineering.

Ms Miuruka expressed her deep grief and confusion over the death.

“There was no sign that our planned lunch would never be,” she said.

There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the Bonner house fire: police have not identified a cause, nor have they ruled out the three were already dead when the fire was set.

Ms Miuruka said her friend had weathered many “tough seasons” as a migrant in Canberra, but that she had said 2018 would be a good year.

“People may not know the true story … may divine intervention intervene to reveal Anne’s true story,” she said.

Police stand near their car while a house damaged by fire is obstructed by screens.

Ms Muhoro’s youngest brother, Peter, said when thinking about the deaths of a five-year-old and an eight-year-old, “you ask a lot of questions”.

“But you know, they had a great life, they had a joyous life,” he said.

Community desperate for answers

The unanswered questions also hung heavy in the speeches from community and church leaders.

Godfrey Munthomi, president of the East African Community Association, expressed thanks to emergency services workers who discovered the Kenyan family.

“We are grateful, as you try to unravel what may or may not have happened. No pressure,” he said.

Mourners sung in Swahili as the coffins were carried out

The High Commissioner to Kenya also spoke on behalf of the community, and offered the Kenyan Government’s condolences.

“As a community we learned with great shock … and in circumstances we are struggling to come to terms with,” Isaiah Kabira said.

“In God we trust that one day all shall be revealed to us.”

Chaplain Richard Bevan said as a church leader he was often asked “Why?” at a time of death.

Reflecting upon the three deaths, Mr Bevan said he asked himself the same question.

“One thing I am absolutely sure of was this was not God’s will,” he said.

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First ever Laundromat opens in Kenya



Kenyan entrepreneurs interested in the laundry industry are set to benefit from the launch of commercial laundromat by Alliance Laundry Systems, the US-based world leader in commercial laundry.

The world leader in commercial laundry is targeting entrepreneurs from major urban centres in the country who will receive full laundromat store concepts with all operational and technical support.

According to Jean-Paul Mailhac, Regional Sales Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa from Alliance, a fast growing demand for laundry services and products, combined with a booming economy and annual growth of more than 6%, makes Kenya the ideal place to start a laundromat.

“We have already witnessed that Kenyan entrepreneurs are passionate about a laundromat. Kenya is the country from where we have received the most inquiries by far. It is quickly becoming a need in this society as people spend a lot of time and effort on their looks,” Mr Mailhac said in a statement on the launch.

Urban centres have been targeted with Laundromats for what Alliance Laundry Systems terms as having the highest profit potential.

“For the majority of Kenyans living in urban areas, owning a washing machine is a considerable investment. The normal practice is washing by hand, an inefficient and environmentally damaging process. With an emerging market for Laundromats, this task can be easily and efficiently taken over,” Mr Mailhac explained.

Alliance attributes the lack of uptake of Laundromats in the country to the lack of global best practice experience, limited local technical expertise and no specific retail cleaning knowledge with Mr Mailhac adding that:

“These are exactly the reasons why we at Alliance decided to promote the laundromat concept. We will give Kenyan entrepreneurs the opportunity to make an excellent return on investment.”

The Laundromats are expected to offer convenience to their users in the urban centres and cutting the cost of running and owning a washing machine from their budgets.

“A Laundromat can professionally clean and dry laundry, making garments look newer, last longer, feel better, eliminating the need to own an expensive machine. One added advantage is having the flexibility to use the laundromat whenever necessary, due to the close proximity of stores. In the right locations, one store can service a 9km2 area – meaning plentiful opportunities in larger cities,” the Alliance Regional Sales Manager Sub-Saharan Africa pointed out.

To ease their entry into the country, Alliance plans to have a number of demonstration events in Nairobi to explain in detail all benefits their laundromat concept has to offer later in the year.

“We can help entrepreneurs from start to finish. Not only by providing the best-in-class machines, but also by giving them all the valuable input needed to operate a successful and profitable laundromat,” said Mr Mailhac.

Alliance Laundry Systems is present in 140 countries with a team of more than 2,900 employees.

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