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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.

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.

 

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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Diaspora

VIDEO: Emmy Kosgei in town as Atlanta Majuu Cultural Expo opens this Friday, runs through Sunday

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Kenyan Cultural Expo –April 27th – 29th, 2018

The annual Kenyan American Cultural Expo is here. Beginning this Friday, Kenyan American Community Church (KACC) will be hosting the “Atlanta Majuu Cultural Festivals” from April 27th–29th, 2018. The event will be held at the Cultural Center located in Marietta, Georgia and will be graced by popular gospel artiste, Emmy Kosgei among other guests.

The event showcases cultural diversity, bringing together thousands of participants from different US cities as well as invited guests from outside the country who exhibit an extravaganza of different cultures and lifestyles.
During this festival, minority groups and local communities will tell their story through music, dance, story-telling, poetry and drama.
The festival also brings together inter-generational artistes who display among others, traditional dances, children and youth cultural fashion shows.
Booths and traditional huts  will be on display showcasing Kenyan diverse ethnic groups’ cultures.

This year’s event coordinator, Ms Catherine Nogu, told this reporter that the event is expected to be bigger and better than last year’s.

“The event is aimed at promoting Kenya Cultural awareness and celebration among the Kenya-Diaspora community in USA thereby enhancing cultural diversity and consciousness,” she said.

“Those in attendance may also win two weeks vacation for two in Jamaica too,” she added.

In a nutshell, this weekend’s Festival will be featuring the following key events;

 

  • African Cultural show – “The African Village”
  • Vendor booths
  • Traditional African Music & Dance
  • Art & Crafts Display & Show
  • Youth & Children Cultural Show
  • Children Entertainment
  • Taste of Kenyan Cuisine

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Africa

SA-based Kenyan journalist Christine Esipisu speaks to VOA on the unrest in the country

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BY BMJ MURIITHI
The situation in North West province of South Africa escalated Friday as violence mounted on the third day of riots that paralyzed the city of Mahikeng as the locals protested against corruption, lack of jobs, hospitals and better living conditions, among other things.
It got so volatile that it forced the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to cancel his engagements at this year’s Commonwealth Summit in London, where he was also pitching to multinational investors with a message that “S Africa is open for business.” He had to hurriedly return home to try and contain the situation in the town that is about 300 km West  of Johannesburg.
For three days in a row, crowds had taken to the streets in and around the capital of the province  calling for the resignation of the territory’s premier Supra Mahumapeloa.
In recent weeks, unions and businessmen in the region have been calling for Mahumapelo to resign over allegations of corruption in the award of state tenders but he has denied any wrongdoing.
Speaking to Voice of America’s Harrison Kamau Friday, Ms Christine Esipisu, a South Africa-based journalist said the premier was being accused of corrupt tendencies.
She said that upon arrival from London, Mr Ramaphosa went straight into meetings with the local leaders in an attempt to quell the situation.
“Soon after arrival in the Northwest Province, to try and quell an outbreak of violent protests that forced him to cut short a visit to a Commonwealth summit,” She said. “
“He is holding meetings with officials to discuss the demonstrations against corruption, poor public services and the local government which is led by a member of his ruling African National Congress (ANC),” she added.
Listen to VOA’s Harrison Kamau as he  interviews South Africa-based Christine Esipisu on the radio show, “Indepth:

“We want the president to tell Supra he must go. That man is full of corruption,” 25-year-old Oratile Seadira, a construction worker who lives in a shack on the outskirts of Mahikeng, was quoted  as saying.

Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma as president in February, has staked his reputation on rooting out the corruption and mismanagement associated with Zuma’s nine scandal-plagued years in power. His critics have however accused him of abetting the vice by “appointing people who have been accused of corruption into his cabinet.”

“We have nothing. No houses. No good schools. No hospital. People are saying they will burn the city if he doesn’t go.” The streets around him were quiet as Ramaphosa arrived.

 

Miriam Visage, 52, told the media that she and other South Africans in the region had been neglected.

“We have been neglected. We want Cyril Ramaphosa to come and see how we live, to scramble in the mud like us,” She said.

She added that she lives in a two room township house with her six children and seven grandchildren.

“The ANC is full of empty promises,” said Visage, accusing the police of firing live rounds during the protests. “We were very peaceful. Do they think we are wild animals to be shot?”

South Africa-based Kenyan-born journalist, Christine Esipisu. She spoke to VOA’s Harrison Kamau about the escalating situation in Nort West Province. PHOTO/COURTESY

 

 

 

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Africa

Drama as 80-year-old man demands divorce, share of millet and pans

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A jilted old man, 80, and wife, 79, are locked in an unusual divorce case and property wrangle that has bounced back and forth between village and sub-county authorities without resolution.
The Ugandan man, Paul Osinge, filed the case before the Akaramai village committee, seeking separation from his 79-year-old wife, who he claims has ejected him and has moved on with another fairly young man of 60 years.
The estranged couple accept they have lived peacefully for the last 18 years in Akaramai Village, Labori Sub-county, Serere District, but disagree whether it was as husband and wife.
The frail looking Osinge said his decision to seek separation from Norah Iningoi, 79, is a painful one.

“I felt a sense of both rejection and dejection as my wife has for the last two months moved on with another fairly young man,” he lamented.
But Ms Iningoi, a mother of six, with multiple grandchildren, dismisses Mr Osinge’s claims that they have been living as wife and husband.
Speaking from her home at Akaramai Village, Labori Sub-county, Ms Iningoi said: “I hosted him here since 2000 as a gesture of humility and hospitality, not as my husband. His claims of being my husband are lies. At my advanced age! Do I look like a young woman with feelings?”
But Mr Osinge, a father of five children and nine grandchildren, said he understands they have not married officially but seeks fairness in the split.

He said Ms Iningoi has stayed with him and wasted his productive years at her home.
“My going to the area village committee is to help us divide the five bags of dried potato chips, chicken we have raised together, a bag of sorghum, a bag of millet, saucepans, and one goat we equally worked for, and I will leave her home,” Mr Osinge said.
Official stuck with case

But the divorce case is stuck before the Labori Sub-county community development officer, Mr Mathias Elau, who said the case is unusual.
“I received the cries of that 80-year-old man, but I couldn’t handle the case. I referred him to his area village committee to handle,” he added.
Mr Osinge told Daily Monitor that until February, they had lived amicably as husband and wife, but his wife’s attitude suddenly changed.
“I got to learn later that in my absence there was a fairly young man in his 60s, who has been filling my space,” he said.
To his surprise, he said, he discovered it was the wife of one of his sons, who was a matchmaker for her mother-in-law.

Mr Osinge said his companion has thrown him out of their house and tossed his beddings to the kitchen to officially create room for her new love.
But Ms Iningoi said she made up her mind to kick out Mr Osinge because he was much of a liability, only eating food she toils for.
“I told him that now that you have aged, kindly look for the whereabouts of your clansmen, in case of any sickness, I may not be of help because I am also now frail,” she added.

She said this did not go well with Mr Osinge. “It’s here that he started to frame me as being in love with another man.”
Ms Iningoi said out of goodwill, she offered Mr Osinge a bag of dried potato chips, but he reportedly sold off the entire bag, and has now placed additional claims for her property before the village committee.
But Mr Samuel Okello, one of the grandsons of Mr Osinge, received the news of his grandfather’s ejection with joy.

“It is a wakeup call for him to go and resettle with his clansmen in Kyere Sub-county, Serere District, where he deserted 56 years ago.
Mr Peter Aisu, the area village chairman, together with his committee members, said their attempts to mediate a peaceful separation between the two have not yielded any fruit after Ms Iningoi refused to share any property.
“As the village committee, we looked into the contested property, and thought they would divide, but the old woman has not bought the idea,” he said, adding that they will refer the matter to the sub-county.

-monitor

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