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NASA sends out invitation cards for Raila’s ‘inauguration’

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The National Super Alliance (NASA) has sent invitation cards for the inauguration slated for December 12, which will also be Kenya’s 54th independence day celebration.

The countdown to Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s self-declared big day began yesterday with the creation of a team to oversee his swearing in as the people’s president.

The appointment of the seven-member organising committee comes in the wake of Raila’s announcement on Tuesday that he will be sworn in as the people’s president through the people’s assemblies, which the Government as termed unconstitutional.

The digital invitation cards with Raila’s names appended do not however indicate the venue of the event. “You are invited. Come witness the swearing-in of the peoples’ president Raila Amollo Odinga on 12th December at 12 noon.

Location to be communicated after vetting of RSVP,” reads the card, which strictly admits one. Though details of the swearing-in are still scanty, NASA leaders said they are preparing for the event. It is not clear who will conduct the ceremony, its constitutional threshold, what instruments of power Raila will have, what kind of ceremony it will be and if a guard of honour will be mounted by defence forces as happens at the presidential swearing-in ceremony.

That notwithstanding, NASA has indicated the event will be graced by regional and international leaders — but their identity has also not been revealed. The coalition insists the event will be done constitutionally and will be bloodless, in seeking electoral justice in Kenya.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I may form a government in exile, says Raila

The committee, which also doubles up as the People’s Assembly National Steering Committee, will be led by economic strategist Dr David Ndii. Free and fair election It comes just days after President Uhuru Kenyatta started his second term in office amidst protests from NASA leadership, which has vowed not to recognise his re-election.

Making the declaration yesterday, former senators Boni Khalwale and Johnstone Muthama said the team will deliberate on and produce the road map towards the achievement of NASA’s goals through the peoples’ assemblies.

They said the assemblies will lead the country to a free and fair election or a path to secession. They also lashed out at the police over the brutality meted out on opposition supporters and demanded that culpable officers be punished accordingly. “The work of the organising committee will be to guide, facilitate and coordinate the programme of various assemblies across the country,” said Dr Khalwale, who read the statement on behalf of the NASA leadership at Okoa Kenya office in Nairobi. “It will further set up a national secretariat that will be the centre for the activities of these assemblies, among other duties.”

The former Kakamega senator told the Saturday Standard that they have set on a mission to deliver Kenyans to the “promised land”. “We have put in place an elaborate plan. There is no more accept and move on. We also want our activities to be within the law. We are aware the Government is waiting with baited breath to arrest us if our activities are unlawful,” said Khalwale.

READ ALSO:   Raila new found status

The team comprises Dr Ndii, former Senator Judy Sijeny, Hamida Kibwana, Dr Mutakha Kangu, Oduor Ong’wen, Koitamet ole Kina and former East African Legislative Assembly MP Peter Mathuki. Already, 10 counties aligned to NASA have passed the motion to form the people’s assemblies, with the latest being Kwale County. Others are Kisumu, Homa Bay, Siaya, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Kitui, Makueni and Migori counties.

Court order

Though the High Court issued conservatory orders barring the formation of the assemblies, NASA has termed the orders unconstitutional, insisting that its activities are well within the law. On November 22, Justice Lillian Mutende granted the orders suspending the formation of the assemblies until January 25 next year when the matter will be heard inter-party between the petitioner and 50 respondents in the civil suit.

Justice Mutende’s orders followed the petition filed by Counties Development Group, an NGO that sought the county assemblies and MCAs to be restrained from constituting special colleges for the appointment or election through the assemblies. “We assert that as per Article 1 of the Constitution, the right of citizens to exercise their sovereignty at the county level is not subject to supervision or veto by the national government,” said Khalwale, flanked by the committee members. “We have embarked on the final pillar of restoring democracy, just Government and legitimate leadership and the selected individuals will lead the way.”

READ ALSO:   Seven Kenyans sue government seeking to have their passports back

He added: “We wish to make it clear that Kenyans cannot and shall not accept the blatant usurpation of power by the Jubilee administration and its determination and efforts to revert this nation to an authoritarian rule and the attendant abuse of our human rights.” The task force will also look into the systemic governance weaknesses that have precipitated the unfolding political impasse, said Khalwale. The leaders also took a swipe at the killing of NASA supporters who went to welcome Raila at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport when he came back from the US, saying it was unashamed abuse of power which was plain for the whole world to see.

“Their only crime was to welcome Raila upon his return from the US. The State unleashed terror on the citizens again on Tuesday 28 during President Kenyatta’s inauguration costing five more lives, including that of a seven-year-old,” said Khalwale. The boy was shot dead by a stray bullet in Pipeline, Embakasi, when NASA supporters engaged police in running battles after the opposition attempted to hold prayers for those killed at Jacaranda grounds.

Raila said in October that the people’s assemblies would be a broad-based forum consisting of elected leaders and the leadership of other sectors of society, particularly workers, civil society, religious leaders, women, youth and economic interest groups.

-Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

VIDEO: Optiven CEO opens up about growing up in abject poverty, doing laundry for fellow students

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George Wachiuri, the CEO of Optiven Limited, has opened up about a side of him few people know about. Despite having built a multi-billion Shilling Real Estate Company and becoming one of the most recognisable names in the field, Wachiuri has remained a humble servant, who says he views his customers as associates and greatly respects and values his work mates. 

In an interview with Jeremy Damaris of Kenya Diaspora Media, he tells of how he struggled, lost money and friends, before rebounding “by the grace of God.”

A Certified Public Accountant – CPA (K) and is a former Lecturer at Daystar University, his entrepreneurial spirit developed early, and was awarded the Entreprenuer of the year 1997 by the University of Nairobi.

He is currently a PhD candidate at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

He holds a Masters’s degree in Business Administration (University of Nairobi), and a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing option) Degree from University of Nairobi.

Watch as he tells his amazing story in Gīkūyū


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Lifestyle

‘Kikambala hotel bombing in 2002 changed our lives’

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The scars on Mercy Neema Mwagambo’s body are a stark reminder of what happened at Paradise Beach Hotel in Kikambala 18 years ago.

On November 28, 2002, a two-pronged terrorist attack hit an Israeli-owned hotel but missed a plane belonging to Arkia Airlines.

A vehicle crashed through a barrier outside the hotel on the Kilifi-Mombasa highway and blew up, killing 17 people and injuring 80 others.

Every year today, Neema and 13 victims of the attack and their families converge at the deserted hotel to pray for the souls of their departed relatives.

However, today could be the last annual ritual as the owner has put the hotel for sale.

Annual ritual

For Neema and other victims, it’s not clear if the prospective buyer would allow them to continue with this annual ritual.

It is an attack that left villages of Musumarini in Kilifi County destitute, negatively affected Israelis’ investments at the Coast and damaged the tourism sector.

“I am trying to sell this property even at a throwaway price,” said Yehuda Sulami, an Israeli, on phone from Tel Aviv, although he did not reveal the price.

Sulami claims that after the attack, there were efforts to push him out of business.

The former special forces officer said he had no money to compensate victims of the attack.

“I’ve faced an avalanche of litigation on compensation. There was no insurance cover on terrorism,” said Sulami.

It is the first time has spoken publicly on the matter.

He said while he sympathised with those who lost their loved ones or suffered injuries, he lost his lifetime investment and close friends and “there was no one to comfort me.”

READ ALSO:   Seven Kenyans sue government seeking to have their passports back

Among the 17 who perished were 14 Kenyans and three Israelis. The deserted hotel is arguably the only remaining mark of Israel investment in Coast.

Prior to the attack, over 100,000 tourists from Israel had made Mombasa and Kenyan Coast their second home away from home.

“Arkia Airline used to bring in between 250-270 guests per flight. It had operated Mombasa route for close to seven years before the attempted missile attack,” said Sulami.

After the attack, the airline stopped flying the route and Israel investments at the Coast started dwindling.

Sulami claimed that what followed was a number of litigation and attempts to force them to close down the hotel.

“We became the target yet the Kenyan government had promised to assist the affected persons,” said Sulami, without providing any evidence of the alleged persecution.

The victims of the attack narrated to the Saturday Standard on how they were neglected by the Government and the owner of the hotel.

For instance, Neema cannot walk as her legs were seriously injured. She was working at the front office at the hotel.

On that fateful day, she was helping a guest check in as her colleagues were overwhelmed by the number of tourists.

“Had I remained inside the hotel at my work station, may be I would not have been injured this way,” said Neema.

November is a peak season for the tourism sector in Coast. On that day, as a group of 230 guests were leaving the hotel, another 250 tourists were checking in. All the guests were Israelis.

READ ALSO:   Woman Admits to Killing Baby "for Looking Like Former PM Raila Odinga" - Kenyan papers

“I reported early for duty on that fateful day and was looking forward to a rather busy day since we had huge check in and check out for guests,” she said in an interview.

At the gate, a troupe of Girima dancers were doing their jig to bid goodbye to outgoing guests and welcome the incoming ones.

Most of the incoming tourists had already been ushered in to the waiting lounge at the reception but a small group had joined the traditional dancers.

“What followed was a huge bang followed by fire all over the Makuti-thatched hotel,” Neema said, adding that she found herself on the ground.

Neema could not walk so she crawled to the swimming pool. She had suffered serious burns allover her body and decided to jump into the swimming pool to cool herself.

“I was taken to hospital in Mombasa and later airlifted by a military aircraft to Israel for specialised treatment at Jerusalem Hospital. I spent four weeks receiving treatment for my broken legs and burnt face and back,” she said.

The Kikambala bombing incident also robbed the family of Mufidha Mohamed of its breadwinner, Wildred Oyaro Owuor, who used to operate a taxi business at the hotel.

“My husband suffered a ruptured stomach. He died 21 days after he was admitted at Pandya Hospital,” Mufidha says. She was breastfeeding Zaki, their last born now 18 years, when the attack happened.

She said with the death of her husband, she was left as the sole breadwinner to fend for her five children.

“It has not been easy for us all. I have tried to venture into business with very little success,” she said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Nasa backs Uhuru Kenyatta's 8pc fuel tax with conditions

Today Mufidha, her children and a few other survivors will converge at the blast site to hold prayers and commemorate those who died.

“Today we shall go to the hotel which has now closed down to hold prayers. It is a ritual I’ll do until I meet him in the next life,” says Mufidha.

Dr Sam Ikwaye, Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (Kahc) Coast branch executive officer, says the events of the fateful day have had a long impact on Kenyan tourism.

Travel advisories

Dr Ikwaye says it is after the Kikambala bombing that key foreign tourists source markets started issuing travel advisories against Mombasa and the Coast region.

“This was the start of a very bad beginning for Kenyan tourism,” Ikwaye said.

He explained the Kikambala bombing marked the first time the industry experienced serious external shocks and has never fully recovered.

“Neighbouring nations too and the world experienced our pain years after we had suffered and today terrorism has been recognised as a threat not just synonmous with Kenya, but the world over,” he said.

Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo said it is unfortunate that no compensation was made to those who suffered the brunt of the terror attack.

“Both the national and county governments should be compelled to assist surviving families. This will not take away completely the suffering they have endured but will offer some sort of comfort to those affected,” said Justice (rtd) Madzayo.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Entertainment

‘We had invested…’ Churchill reveals how the pandemic has hit him

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Comedian Churchill says just like any other business, coronavirus has hit him too.

Churchill, real name Daniel Ndambuki has been doing ‘The Journey Series’ on his TV show which is originally a stand-up comedy show that attracts thousands of viewers.

Speaking to Mpasho, Churchill revealed;

“We had invested quite some amount in the production of the show. And now, you can’t use that gear, you have to put all that aside. You cannot set up something so big for like 200 people, that is loss-making. It almost takes us to where we began. We remain positive though”

Adding;

“I am happy with all that is happening from all other comedians.”

Churchill said this after the launch of TuKo App, which he is the brand ambassador.

Churchill Photo By Charlene Malwa

by Mpasho.co.ke


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READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Nasa backs Uhuru Kenyatta's 8pc fuel tax with conditions
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