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Ruto’s absence at Uhuru cabinet announcement sends tongues wagging

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Why absence of Ruto from statehouse cabinet announcement raised eyebrows

By ALLAN TAWAI

Deputy President William Ruto’s conspicuous absence during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet announcement on Friday raised questions with some speculating that there could be tension between the two.

Despite being in the country, Ruto was not standing next to President Uhuru Kenyatta during the unveiling of part of the second and final term Cabinet and one in which 13 Cabinet Secretaries were sacked.

Unlike in the previous announcement where the two walked to the podium side by side, in white shirts and red ties as a sign of solidarity, yesterday’s announcement spanked of one of a lone ranger bent on finally asserting himself on the last leg of his presidency.

President Kenyatta and DP Ruto in a past public function

President Kenyatta and DP Ruto in a past public function

In the past public announcements that the two have had, they have projected this image of a perfect pair of friends and colleagues who are united in purpose in the delivery of services to the public.

During the 2013 unveiling of Cabinet, DP Ruto appeared alongside President Kenyatta with both leaders adorning red ties to convey solidarity. In September 2017, the deputy president accompanied the President to his first presser after the Supreme Court annulled their victory.

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But on Friday, President Kenyatta, who exhibited a different body language, was using more of ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ in his address and ‘according to the powers conferred upon me under the Constitution,’ rather than ‘after consultations we have decided.’

Also missing was the excitement that was previously witnessed in the other such announcements, the President cut the image of someone who simply wanted to say what he had to say and retreat to the comfort of his office.

However, speaking to the Saturday Standard yesterday, the DP’s spokesperson David Mugonyi dismissed speculation of tension between the President and his deputy saying: “The Constitution is very clear on who appoints the Cabinet. We should stop this nusu mkate (half loaf) mentality that has existed in some people’s minds. Who says so and so must be present for something to have concurrence,” he paused

Mr. Mugonyi cited other functions at State House where the DP did not attend including a recent meeting between the president and MPs in deciding on parliamentary committee chairmen. “Maybe it is the new way of doing things,” another source close to the DP said.

The formation of the next Cabinet is being watched keenly because it is the team that is expected to form the legacy for President Kenyatta.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto during launching of their reelection campaign manifestos

President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto during launching of their reelection campaign manifestos

Nevertheless, the formation of the Cabinet is also being seen as a pointer towards the kind of politics the country will be looking at in the next five years as Ruto prepares himself to inherit the mantle of the Jubilee Party’s flag bearer. Analysts said the absence of Ruto can mean that the excitement may be coming to an end.

“It could mean that the excitement is over or that the dalliance is dissipating. It could also mean nothing,” Herman Manyora, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and a political analyst said.

On his part, Dr. Mark Chetambe, a lecturer of Kenyatta University said that the president did not look as relaxed as he always was when making similar announcements alongside his deputy.

“It appeared a little odd when he showed up alone. His body language also showed that he was not as relaxed as has been in the past,” Dr. Chetambe said.

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, the most vocal Jubilee leaders who comment on almost every issue, could not be reached for comment.

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Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi threatens to sue Safaricom

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, has threatened a class action against Safaricom.

The lawyer said he has been receiving countless messages from third-party companies, of which he had not subscribed to.

“Lately, I’ve been receiving unsolicited sms from these numbers inter alia…21026, 23050, 40720, Creditinfo BNTSMS, Senti, 60040…and others. It’s very obvious that Safaricom allows third party to have access to my number without my permission,” Ahmednasir tweeted.

Ahmednasir called it a gross violation of his right to privacy, stating that a class action would, then be appropriate.

“This is obviously a gross infringement on my Right to Privacy under Article 31 of the Constitution. I suspect this breach of privacy is rampant and Safaricom may be charging fees the entities it gives access to phone data. I think class action is an appropriate step. What do you think, people?” He added.

In response to allegations, Safaricom denied ever granting access to third-parties.

Last year in June, one Benedict Kabugi sued the telecommunications giant for Ksh 115 trillion over breach of privacy.

However, Safaricom has always maintained that the user may have subscribed to the services through other prompts.

Following overwhelming responses in the affirmative, Ahmednasir said that he would proceed to write to the formally next week.

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“Seeing the overwhelming response by Kenyan subscribers of Safaricom, I will INSHAALLAH formally write to them next week and then formally start a class action.

“Safaricom has been mining data and then gives access to third parties to our telephones…Kenyans, this is how law is made.” He said.

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Moses Kuria refuted claims that GEM leaders held meeting to discuss Uhuru’s succession 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has refuted claims that leaders from the Mt Kenya region held a meeting to discuss President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession.

Kuria claimed that the meeting at Thika Greens was not about politics, adding that the GEMA leaders were discussing development issues in the region.

According to Kuria, these meetings are as a result of the revenue sharing bill.

He also revealed that the GEMA leaders would be meeting up a lot in the next weeks.

The MP further disclosed that other regions in the country might also be meeting up to discuss development issues, and people should stop suspecting the Mt. Kenya region.

“Yesterday we kicked off a series of meetings as mps and leaders from mt kenya region to discuss the repositioning of our core counties with the additional resources that will ultimately come with the new formula,” Kuria said.

“Sadly, when mt kenya meets its followed by suspicion, misinformation, innuendo and propaganda. there was no politics- absolutely none- at thika greens yesterday, let alone succession politics,” he added.

Ngunjiri Wambugu, Nyeri Town MP, also backed Kuria insisting they did not discuss politics in the meeting.

He further went on to explain that they only discussed issues affecting the region and how they can overcome them.

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“I was present at this meeting. we did not discuss anything to do with the 2022 presidency. in fact, we didn’t discuss 2022 elections at all,” Ngunjiri stated.

The MP also revealed that GEMA leaders would continue meeting up to discuss on development agendas affecting the Mt. Kenya region.

Prolific leaders, including PS Karanja Kibicho, attended the Thika Greens meeting. However, some Jubilee leaders from the GEMA region did not get the invite.

Some of them were MPs Alice Wahome, Ndindi Nyoro and Kimani Ichung’ wa.

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NMS issues statement after video of mother giving birth outside hospital went viral on social media

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) has issued a statement after an unidentified woman gave birth outside Pumwani Hospital.

Addressing the matter, NMS said its was so unfortunate for security guards to turn away the woman in such a scenario.

According to Director of Health Services Dr. Josephine Kibaru, the incident happened at a time nurses were on a legal go-slow

NMS also apologized to the mother, her child and Kenyans at large.

“We take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to the mother and her child, their family, Nairobians and our mothers in particular for this most unfortunate incidence. We affirm our commitment to improve, ensure the delivery of affordable, accessible and quality Health Care,” the statement read.

“The Nairobi Metropolitan regrets the incident of a mother delivering at the gate of Pumwani Hospital,” the statement added.

The statement added that the incident happened when healthcare professionals were on a kegal go slow.

“It has since been confirmed that the incident took place on Sunday 13th September, 2020. This was two days after nurses began a legally notifies go-slow, which has since ended after NMS and the Health workers agreed on a return to work Formula.

“The security guard denied the patient access to the premises in a very unfortunate incident, before a nurse from the maternity ward was notifies of the occurrence and rushed to the scene to assist in the delivery and admission to the maternity ward,” it added.

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NMS added the mother in question was later on admitted at the facility, until September 18th when she was discharged and allowed to go home.

Both the mother and the Baby are doing well.

The incident had caused an uproar among Kenyan who expressed displeasure in the manner which it was handled.

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