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Kenyan-born journalist honoured in US for exemplary reporting

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BY STEVE JOHNSON

A Kenyan-born US based journalist was feted on Thursday for exemplary service during the coverage of the 2017 Kenyan general election.

BMJ Muriithi – who is a multimedia specialist – received the award at a ceremony held at the Voice America headquarters on Independence Avenue in Washington DC.

While presenting the Superior Achievement Award, the agency’s Africa Division Chief, Negussie Mengesha, praised the journalist for “outstanding reporting and going beyond the call of duty” while covering the polls in the East African nation for radio, TV and online platforms.

Muriithi was among thousands of journalists representing international media organizations who traversed the country and extensively covered the events relating to the much publicized exercise in August – including the campaigns, interviews,l the voting, vote tallying, transmission process, the announcement of the results and the aftereffects.

“I am elated for this recognition but must hasten to add that it was team work that made the reportage have the desired effect and impact. I thank our audience across the globe as well as  all my colleagues who made it possible,” said Muriithi who wore a big smile.

“These stories must be told as objectively as possible especially now that we live in the era of Fake News. It is a phenomenon that compels us to be extra vigilant while trying to be as prompt as possible in disseminating our content.  We have to check and recheck our content before hitting the publish button,” he told this reporter.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: The day Biwott left Uhuru and Ruto in stitches

The presidential poll is set to be repeated on October 26th after the results were overturned by the Supreme court owing to what the majority judges on the petition panel called “irregularities and illegalities” during the exercise.

Kenyan-born journalist BMJ Muriithi (left) displays his certificate at a ceremony held at the VOA headquarters on Independence Avenue in Washington DC. The award was presented by the Director of VOA’s African Division, Negussie Mengesha (right).

On 28 August, the Kenyan Supreme Court heard Mr Odinga’s arguments for the first time. Permission was granted to allow two agents of both the ruling party and Odinga’s NASA party to audit the IEBC results,  though Odinga’s lawyer James Orengo, alleged afterwards that the IEBC was denying his team full access to the servers and other equipment that transmitted results from polling stations to the tallying centre despite the court allowing “read-only” access.

Closing arguments then concluded on 29 August and it was announced that the court would make a decision on 1 September surrounding the results of the presidential election. It was later announced on 30 August that the IEBC had submitted all result forms for scrutiny to give the Supreme Court a clear picture on how Kenyans voted during the elections.

READ ALSO:   DEATH ANNOUNCEMENT: Loise Mumbi Mukundi of Huntsville, Alabama

On 1 September, the Supreme Court nullified Kenyatta’s election victory and ordered that a new presidential election take place within 60 days.

On 5 September the IEBC set the next presidential election to be held on 17 October. However, Odinga announced  he would not participate in a new presidential election without “legal and constitutional guarantees” against alleged electoral fraud.  However, It was later announced on 21 September that the election would be delayed until 26 October after the IEBC sought more time to prepare for the voting processes. The same day, IEBC Legal Affairs officer Praxedes Tororey succumbed to sustained pressure from NASA and resigned from her post.

Following several aborted meetings between IEBC and representatives of the political parties, NASA annonced that its supporters would be holding demonstrations every Monday and Friday, until the electoral body addresses the following ‘irreducible minimum’ demands:

  • Appoint and gazette returning officers  in consultations with political parties and candidates.
  • Establish a technical monitoring committee with representatives of the main political parties, coalitions or candidates to oversee implementation of the technology in use.
  • Stop use of Al-Ghurair to print ballot papers and results declaration forms as well as engage an electoral technology company other than OT Morpho (a French multinational company specializing in security and identity solutions and which has since changed its name to IDEMIA.)
  • All Forms 34Bs should be pre-printed indicating the names of polling stations in the constituency and names of candidates
  • Elections results to be announced at the Constituency level. Results sent electronically must be accompanied by corresponding statutory result declaration forms
  • Candidates’ agents should be part of receiving teams at the constituency and national tallying centers, and be allowed to confirm entries before transmission
  • Establish defined roles of the security agencies and eliminate undue influence by the provincial administration and other public officials
READ ALSO:   VIDEOS: Mzungus not welcome to take political leadership in Kenya - Moi

In the meantime, Jubilee members of parliament introduced a bill in parliament seeking to change some of the electoral laws preferably before the date of the repeat poll.

“The journalist has reported on all these issues with dedication and exemplary professionalism,” read part of the message on the certificate.

Muriithi has been covering stories from around the world with special emphasis on East and Central Africa.

 

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Africa

Invitation to the African Girls Hope Foundation Annual Gala happening this Saturday in Atlanta

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BY BEN KAROMO

African Girls Hope Foundation (AGHF) annual Gala is happening this Saturday at the Kenyan American Community Church in Marietta, Georgia, USA. AGHF  is a non-profit founded by Grace Faraja, a former refugee from the 1990s civil war that ravaged the DRC. She started the foundation to help educate girls in rural Congo caught in the ongoing civil unrest, poverty and disease.

As a former beneficiary of a full scholarship that changed her life, Grace believes providing an education to orphaned and less privileged girls can open a world of opportunities to them and help then end the cycle of poverty and early marriages.

This year, AGHF’s aim is to provide full-year scholarships to 120 girls at a cost of $29 per month per girl. We are seeking your help to raise funds to meet the overall goal of $34,000 for the year 2019-2020.

We ask you to help us meet this goal by donating on our website at https://africangirlshopefoundation.com/.

We prayerfully desire to support the education of 120 girls in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. With hope that God will open doors to other African countries in the near future. We have partnered with a local pastor running a school in the village of Mulenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

READ ALSO:   VIDEOS: Mzungus not welcome to take political leadership in Kenya - Moi

Our partner has identified numerous girls in the village who are orphans of father and mother. Girls selected as AGHF beneficiaries are 65% of orphans of both parents.

Atlanta residents, please join us for our Annual Fundraising Gala dinner, to be held on November 9th at the Kenyan American Community Church KICC in Marietta, Georgia. Dinner and parking will be provided.

Below are some of the girls who need our help:

 

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Africa

Kenya’s Filthy Rich and Politically Connected running Govt Agencies

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Kenya has become the butt of jokes (no pun intended!) as the country wastes away due to corruption overseen by those in the highest office in the land.

Despite the billions being wasted daily repaying loans that have benefited a few individuals, Kenyans, on the other hand, are languishing as those entrusted with making their lives better continue looting. The country has become a gangsters’ paradise.

Wambui Kibaki and Her Millions

The first agency that was established by an act of parliament to empower youth is the National Employment Authority which has become a fresh wound for job seekers who never seem to meet the criteria for securing a government job.

On Tuesday, Kenyans were up in arms after it became public that President Uhuru Kenyatta had appointed President Kibaki’s wife, Mary Wambui, as the Authority’s Chairperson.

For a term of three years, Wambui is expected to ensure that jobless Kenyans get opportunities and jobs that can alleviate their suffering.

Ironically, Wambui, a conservative and controversial millionaire does not need the job in the sense that she already has more than enough. But why would she take such a position? That is for the appointee and the appointing authority to explain to Kenyans.

 

 

Most other authorities are led by people whose only merit is being politically connected.

These include the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) whose leadership comprises of Eng Joseph Nakodony Nkadayo as the Chairman with Captain Gilbert Macharia Kibe as the Director-General. Nkadayo succeeded a political reject, Samuel Poghisio, who left the entity in 2017 after serving for 2 years.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru now takes to Facebook Livestreaming to talk to electorate, will be live this Sunday

The other is Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) whose disappointing performance could only go to show the incompetence of those appointed.

Interestingly, the former long-serving head of civil service Francis Muthaura is the chairman of the tax collector. He was appointed for the position last year.

The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) non-executive chairman is John Mati Munuve.

An interesting political reject serving on the SASRA board is former North Imenti MP Silas Muriuki Ruteere.

Muriuki is a teacher by profession with specialized training in Special Education.

Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) is chaired by Halima Abdillahi Shaiya who was fired from the Kenya Meat Commission in 2014.

A suspension letter presented in court showed that the KMC board was fired for breaching procurement rules, poor performance and failing to implement directors’ resolutions.

The Retirement Benefits Authority (RBA) is chaired by a relative to President Uhuru Kenyatta Victor R. Pratt. Pratt is the husband to Christine Wambui Kenyatta, now Kristina Pratt, who is Uhuru’s older sister.

A politician on the board of directors going by the information on the Authority’s website is politician Sammy Koech who is the MP for Konoin.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) is chaired by Lt Gen (Rtd) Jackson Ndungu Waweru. He was appointed in 2016.

READ ALSO:   CABINET: Jobs for the boys? Why does Uhuru need 22 Chief administrative Secretaries as well as Principal Secretaries???

Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) is chaired by Eng Erastus Mwongera whose appointment was challenged in court. In the petition by Peter Tana, Mwongera’s appointment was in gross violation of the rule of law.

Tana said that is not suitable to serve in the capacity since he had already served two terms. The tenure at KeNHA is to end in March 2021.

Mwongera cannot discharge any official duties as KeNHA Chairperson until the hearing and determination of the petition.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is chaired by John Konchellah but the interesting twist is the political connections in the authority’s op management.

Rejects serving at NEMA include Agostinho Neto who was the Ndhiwa MP in a by-election in 2012 and re-elected in 2013.

The immediate former Tana River woman representative Halima Ware Duri also serves as a board member.

In March this year, the Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) board appointments caused an uproar since the maximum number of 10 appointees was surpassed by 3 members.

The board is chaired by former MP Jackson Kiptanui.

And the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is chaired by another political appointee Retired Joseph R.E Kibwana.

Kibwana, who was the first Navy officer to occupy the office of the Chief of General Staff, oversaw the transition of power from President Daniel Moi to President Mwai Kibaki after the 2002 election.

The General has a chequered career having been among the first of 10 African officers and servicemen recruited to the Navy in 1964.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: The day Biwott left Uhuru and Ruto in stitches

The Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) is chaired by Isaac Awuondo.

In August, KAA announced the departure of its Managing Director/CEO Jonny Andersen, effective September 30, 2019.

“Jonny has been with the KAA since November 2016 opted not to renew his contract which was due to expire on November 21st 2019,” said a statement from the Authority.

James P.M. Ndegwa is the Chairman of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA). Coming from among Kenya’s wealthiest families, his seat at the table is reserved.

Interestingly, Muthaura’s son Paul Murithi is the CEO. He was appointed on April 22, 2016 with the call backdated to January 2, 2016.

He is expected to leave CMA at the end of this year after serving for seven-and-a-half years.

Out of the 14 Authorities in Kenya, most of them have politicians who have lost in elections appointed as board members or chairs.

In a country where a majority of the youth are wasting away despite their academic qualifications, consecutive governments have consistently sidelined the youth in favour of the politically connected.

Only President Kibaki gave the youths a considerate treatment when he opened the system for youth self-employment. Kibaki’s time saw the country register the highest number of the motorbike industry jobs.

It is at this time that boda bodas became part and parcel of the Kenyan society.

-businesstoday.co.ke

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Africa

Remains of victims of Ethiopian Airlines crash flown home

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The remains of thirty-two Kenyans who perished in the tragic Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 plane crash on March 10, 2019, have been flown to Nairobi today.

An Ethiopian Airline plane carrying the fragments of the deceased landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday morning.

The remains arrived in specialised caskets and a brief function was held after arrival. Only close family members are to be given the caskets bearing the fragments.

The bodies were severely damaged beyond recognition prompting Ethiopian Airlines to consider DNA analysis to identify their remains.The 32 victims are among 157 people who were killed in the plane crash at Bishoftu town, shortly after taking off to Nairobi.

It is after the International Police through its Incident Response Team revealed on September 12, 2019, that it had successfully identified the 157 passengers who boarded the plane.The team declared the exercise a success saying “six months on after the plane crash, every single victim has been successfully identified.”

Family members of the victims of the Ethiopian Plane crash that killed 157 people from different nationalities visited the crash site to give their last respect and prayers to their departed one at Tulu Fera in Ejera. [ Maxwell Agwanda, Standard]

“The INTERPOL Incident Response Team (IRT) deployed following the crash of the Ethiopian Airlines plane in March has completed its task, assisting with the successful identification of all victims of the deadly disaster,” the Interpol noted on its website.It noted that the identification exercise was prompted by a request from the airlines’ company.

READ ALSO:   SAD: Kenyan woman dies in Washington DC

It stated: “At the request of the Ethiopian authorities, two days after the accident INTERPOL sent an IRT to assist with the operation. The team’s role was to coordinate the international police disaster victim identification (DVI) response and coordinating the antemortem data supplied by member countries.

”Interpol further revealed that the process was aided by a team of 100 DVI experts drawn from 14 countries in Africa, Europe and America. The exercise took 50 days.

Fingerprints and DNA samples were extracted from 48 people, Interpol noted.Also in September, the US-based Boeing planes manufacturer had announced that it had set aside USD2 billion as Financial Assistance Fund for assisting families of victims of the plane crash, which involves the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 nosedived just six minutes after leaving Bole International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport killing all on board.In the incident, Kenya was the worst-hit country losing 32 victims in the crash.

By Standard

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