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

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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s expanded cabinet will cost taxpayers almost half a billion each year in salaries alone. The 22 Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) including a part-time one and the new 21 Chief Administrative Secretaries will cost Sh486.4 million each year if they earn the same pay.

The State functionaries are also expected part with Sh285.78 million in gratuities, pensions and insurance which is 60 per cent of their gross pay – bringing the total cost to over Sh772 million a year. The CSs earn fixed salaries of Sh924,000 down from Sh1.056 million while Principal Secretaries (PSs) earn Sh765,000 from Sh874,500 as per the new pay structure the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) announced on July 10. President Kenyatta has appointed 38 PSs, who will be paid an estimated Sh348.8 million a year with Sh209.3 million in gratuities.

This brings the total cost of running the Executive to Sh1.33 billion. It comes at a time when Treasury is trying to cut down spending after warning that recurrent expenditure demands could affect the economy. “Recurrent expenditure is a risk and we are having pressures on the wage bill from unions and if you allow me Chairman Budget from parliament,” Treasury PS Dr Kamau Thugge said during the presentation of the 2018 draft budget. He made the remarks after MPs overturned SRC cap on mileage which would pave way for the 416 MPs to pocket Sh668,000 extra in allowances and salary at the end of this month.

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According to the 2018 Budget Policy Statement by the Treasury, the public sector wage bill has increased by nearly Sh100 billion over the last three years despite the Government’s efforts to tame recurrent expenditure. Treasury predicts the wage bill, which stood at Sh307 billion in 2015 and has since risen to Sh401 billion, will hit Sh444 billion next year. Treasury data shows Kenya will pay Sh304 billion as interest on loans and Sh76 billion as pensions next year leaving less for development.
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Commonwealth silver medallist’s mother spends night in prison

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Ms Hannah Wambui, mother to Gold Coast Commonwealth 800metres silver medallist Margaret Nyairera, spent the night in Mweiga Police Station cells in Nyeri following her arrest on Saturday over the disputed land

Ms Wambui mother will on Monday be charged in court with forcible detainer of a three-acre piece of land.

Ms Nyairera and the family could not raise the Sh20,000 cash bail police were demanding, forcing the 50-year-old to spend Saturday night behind bars.

According to Ms Nyairera, her mother was arrested at her home in Endarasha, Kieni West on Saturday at 3pm.

“I was called yesterday about my mother’s arrest. We still do not understand fully the reason for the arrest,” the athlete said.

She said that the officers, who arrested her mother, had gone to oversee the fencing off of the property.

“I understand that they had documents which they presented to my mother but she cannot read. She resorted to scream and that is when she was arrested,” Ms Nyairera explained.

The disputed land was bought by the athlete after she won the 800m bronze medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016. The land was bought at a cost of Sh2.4million.

Commonwealth 800m silver medallist Margaret Nyairera (right) chats with her mother Hannah Wambui outside Mweiga police cells in Nyeri on September 23, 2018. The athlete's mother was arrested on September 22, 2018 for forcible detainer of a three acre parcel of land at Endarasha. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI |

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Uhuru will not meet Kenyans in US as he visits New York

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President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is expected to arrive in the US for the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73), has no plans to meet with Kenyans living there.

Speaking to the  Nation from New York on Saturday, Kenyan ambassador to the US Robinson Njeru Githae said neither the embassy nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has scheduled any meeting between the president and the Kenyans in diaspora.

“As far as I know, there are no such plans but the President will be attending so many meetings with heads of states and development partners while in New York,” said Mr Githae.

This is the second time President Kenyatta has shunned the diaspora during his trip to the US in less than a month.

Late last month, President Kenyatta was in Washington, DC for two days to meet with President Trump at the White House but did not meet with the diaspora.

TAX LAW

But analysts say the current politics is not right especially after the President signed into law the controversial bill that raised taxes.

“The president was bound to face a barrage of questions if not outright heckling from the diaspora. Many had planned to ask very tough questions,” said Dr Duncan Obare of Manchester, New Hampshire.

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The 73rd General Assembly opened on September 18.

The first day of the high-level General Debate will be on Tuesday September 25 and is scheduled to last for nine working days.

Mr Githae said President Kenyatta will, among others, reaffirm multilateralism and shared responsibility, discuss peace and security, champion youth leadership and entrepreneurship, promote investment in Kenya and promote the launch of direct flights to New York.

Daily Nation

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Clues that linked Obado to murder

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

A statement by one of Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s aides assisted detectives to break the deadlock that led them to arrest him over the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.

Although detectives say phone records show the governor communicated with some of those arrested before him at around the same time Sharon went missing, the police were under pressure to conclude the case that was nearly going cold.

Casper Otieno who runs errands for the governor presented himself to the police on Tuesday after a Toyota Fielder he drives was identified as having been used in the kidnap two weeks ago. The governor’s other assistant, Michael Oyamo, has been in custody since September 2 and has already been charged with Sharon’s murder.

What was remaining was to determine whether the two assistants to the governor together with three others in custody acted on their own or there were other people involved. It is said the police tried to convince them to confess and get a lesser charge in return.

This will be seen in the coming week as it has not yet been determined whether to compile the six suspects into one case or charge them separately. Oyamo and former Kanyadoto MCA Lawrence Mula have already been charged with the murder.

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Among the options being considered is to charge those who have cooperated with a lesser offence of conspiracy to commit murder and turn them into state witnesses against the rest.

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