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Jubilee, NASA hit deadlock on the much anticipated national dialogue

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Jubilee and NASA hit a deadlock on the much anticipated national dialogue

SUMMARY

  • Jubilee and NASA leaders have hit a gridlock on the much anticipated national dialogue to end the political stand-off brought about by last year’s elections.
  • Ruling coalition says opposition leaders are only interested in sharing power but NASA’s team dismisses allegations, saying talks must be focused on electoral justice
  • American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the Opposition coalition and the ruling Jubilee should give national dialogue a chance.

 

By ALLAN TAWAI

The ruling party, Jubilee,  and National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders have hit a gridlock on the much anticipated national dialogue to end the political stand-off brought about by last year’s hotly contested polls.

Politicians from both sides are already dismissing each other’s agenda for the proposed dialogue that is being championed by diplomats,  religious and the business community.

On Thursday, American ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec said the Opposition coalition and Jubilee should give national dialogue a chance, noting that discussions between the two sides on the structure of the talks are ongoing.

However, his statement that talks were ongoing was immediately disputed by politicians from both NASA and Jubilee, in a classic example of what happens when parties cannot trust each other, and how far political henchmen would go to protect their turfs. Kenyans, unfortunately, are caught in the middle.

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Interviews with politicians from across the political divide reveal a fractured, fidgety approach to the conversation about electoral and judicial dialogue, with either side arguing that the other wants to swindle the process.

Jubilee majority leader in the National Assembly, Aden Duale, said he cannot understand the incentive for dialogue yet the electioneering period is already behind Kenyans.

“Kenyans long picked their leaders,” he said. “What else does somebody want us to dialogue over? If we must talk with the opposition, it must be about achieving universal healthcare, affordable housing, food security and manufacturing. Nothing else.”

Duale held that when the opposition took up positions in parliamentary committees and minority and whip positions, it inadvertently recognised President Kenyatta’s win.

But then, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua, who is a close ally of Kalonzo Musyoka, the NASA running mate in the August 8 presidential elections, said such talks must be on electoral justice, and that its agenda must be endorsed by Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka.

“In the event of such talks, we will insist on achieving electoral justice, not a boardroom deal. We are not interested in anusu mkate (coalition government) arrangement. We want talks that will return victory to its rightful owners — Raila and Kalonzo,” he said.

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These positions point to a stillbirth at the negotiating table as neither side trusts the other, and so the environment does not give room for agreement on the dialogue’s agenda.

Jubilee party vice-chairman David Murathe said President Kenyatta has been very clear that he wants healing, inclusion and focus on his four pillars to deliver to Kenyans, and “if there is need for any dialogue, it will be directly with the people”.

“NASA is having dialogue directly with their people’s assemblies, na hata sisi tutaongea na wananchi (we will also engage the public directly),” he said, posing: “Who said we must sit around a table with a few select people?”

Mr. Murathe added that NASA has tried hard to “externalise” the political tussle. “They were even calling for the United Nations to supervise elections and we refused. We said as long as these are Kenyan issues, only Kenyans will solve them.”

The vice- chairman dismissed those pushing for dialogue between NASA and Jubilee as “busybodies”, adding: “The envoys have talked to the clergy, the private sector, and even Raila and his team. I do not know whether the President is in the loop, but I know there are people imagining that there will be a caucus in terms of dialogue. That is wishful thinking.”

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He said the diplomatic community has no business minding Kenya’s internal affairs.

“If Kenyans need international participation, it will have to follow the correct channels, and the right channel is for Raila to talk directly to Uhuru and suggest the areas they need to tackle. But to get stuck like a broken record singing the same electoral justice tune… what is election justice? When they win?”

The American Ambassador to Kenya had earlier in the day said that “dialogue is important”, and that “the country must be as strong and united as possible”.

“The elections are over,” he continued during a meeting with Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi, where they also discussed the promotion of devolution. “They are now behind Kenyans. It is now time to move forward.”

As a result of the standoff, the opposition coalition NASA said it will swear in Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka as president and deputy president, respectively, this month.

Speaking in Nairobi on Thursday, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) executive director Oduor Ong’wen said that Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have formed, and are set to unveil, an assumption to office committee that will work on the modalities of their swearing-in ceremony, tentatively set for the end of January.

 

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BREAKING: Binyavanga Wainaina dies aged 48

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Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina

Kenneth Binyavanga Wainaina, a renowned Kenyan author, gay rights activist, blogger and 2002 winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing, has passed on aged 48.

Wainaina, an acclaimed African literary giant and founder of the Nairobi-based journal Kwani, died after suffering a stroke, according to his family and sources at his Kwani Trust.

Kwani Trust Chairman Tom Maliti on Wednesday told the Nation that the writer died a few minutes past 10pm at a Nairobi hospital.

GAY

He is one of the most high-profile individuals to announce their gay sexuality in Africa having made the bold move in 2014 after publishing an article titled I Am a Homosexual, Mum that got Kenya, Africa and the world talking.

An excerpt from the piece relieved him his closely guarded secret as he let the world know through a re-imagination of his mother’s last days as she lay on her deathbed.

“Never, mum. I did not trust you, mum. And. I. Pulled air hard and balled it down into my navel, and let it out slow and firm, clean and without bumps out of my mouth, loud and clear over a shoulder, into her ear. “I am a homosexual, mum.”

He later tweeted that “I am, for anybody confused or in doubt, a homosexual. Gay, and quite happy,” putting to rest the debate the article stirred.

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That same year, Time Magazine named him as one of the “Most Influential People in the World” in its annual TIME 100.

The celebrated author first had his eyes set on a lucrative accounting career before settling on literature.

He moved to South Africa after transferring his credits from the University of Nairobi, where he was studying for a Bachelor’s of Education degree, to the University of Transkei to study commerce.

TIMID, SHY

However, he never completed the degree. Struggling to make ends meet as a young man in a foreign country, he began to run a restaurant business.

Later, he started writing food and travel articles for the Weekend Argus.

“I was fortunate to reside in a country that is very annoying to live in,” Binyavanga says of South Africa.

Born in Nakuru’s Milimani, Binyavanga says he was a timid and shy child.

“But I feel like now my season is beginning, in this continent called mine, and I am an African; I want no space to not welcome me,” he said while speaking at TED Talks in 2015.

His confession of being homosexual caught many by surprise.

“I am not afraid to talk. In fact, I am doing a documentary on it because this thing must be discussed.

“Kenyans should discuss it in all platforms but not before they hear the full story.

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BOOK LOVER

“I know you called me over this matter of coming out. I will talk but I don’t want the media to manage my story,” he said during an interview.

He added that he knew he was gay from age five.

“I was five when I closed myself into a vague happiness that asks for nothing much from anybody. Absent-minded. Sweet. I am grateful for all love. I give it more than I receive it, often,” he wrote on africasacountry.com blog.

“I can be selfish. I masturbate a lot, and I never allow myself to crack and grow my heart. I touch no men. I read books.

“I love my dad so much, my heart is learning to stretch. I am a homosexual.”

STROKE

“Look out for an essay I’m writing in January.”

In 2016, he dropped another bombshell: that he was HIV positive!

The prolific author, who was in Germany, used the occasion of the World Aids Day to reveal his status, adding that he was happy.

In November 2015, he appealed for help after suffering a stroke.

He was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit at Karen Hospital and got discharged three weeks later.

And in June 2016, he claimed to have been viciously assaulted by a taxi driver in Berlin, Germany, as a crowd watched while a Daad Fellowship.

READ ALSO:   Litter photos get Bonface Mwangi banned from Uhuru's event.

His short story Discovering Home scooped the 2002 Caine Prize for African writing and in 2003 he was given an award by the Kenya Publisher’s Association in recognition of his services to Kenyan literature.

source:nation.co.ke

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Has Saumu Sonko broken up with rich boyfriend?

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s daughter Saumu seems to have broken up with her latest catch.

This comes just months after the couple launched a nightclub, Wakanda Club, in Westlands.

Saumu, who had taken a social media hiatus, on Tuesday hinted at a breakup after unfollowing her bae and his club.

She also posted a suggestive write up stating; “I make mistakes, I get myself in stupid situations that I would have avoided from the start, I get hurt, I get used, I fail but one thing is for sure is that I never give up..I pick myself up, knowing so many people find inspiration in my doing and I’ve got to do what I have to do….one thing I would love to see in anyone looking upto me is never give up and perfection is overrated .your mistakes are what make you who you are …dont let anyone undervalue you!!PERIOD!!!”

Saumu has since deleted previous posts of the launch of the Wakanda Club.

The nightclub is reported to have been a joint venture between the two.

The couple went public about their relationship in early 2018, just months after Saumu’s bitter break up with baby daddy Ben Gatu.

Saumu at some point gave the man an ultimatum that the relationship was either leading to a wedding or a funeral.

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Saumu also braved online spats with her followers who accused her of snatching another woman’s husband.

source:nairobinews

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Banda School told to improve hygiene

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The Banda School, an elite learning institution in Nairobi, has been put on the spot over its failure to adhere to basic hygiene regulations.

The National Environment Management Authority (Nema) has since warned that failure by the school to adhere to set regulations will have consequences.

Officials from Nema’s Nairobi office visited the school and directed the management, led by Mr George Githui, to implement several recommendations.

The school, which is situated on Magadi Road, 500 students.

Among the concerns raised by Nema is the lack of an environmental impact assessment report which expired on February 21, 2018.

“(An) Effluent treatment plant is in place but [it is] not treating effluent to the set standards and discharging grey and blackish discharge into environment and storm drain on Magadi Road,” reads the notice sent to the school dated May 17.

The environmental watchdog is also concerned that water analysis reports do not meet the set standards as laid out in the water quality regulations of 2006.

“Evidence of some waste management records in place but some missing (contracts, licences and tracking documents),” reads the report by inspectors Regina Kio and Veronica Maina.

The school has since been directed to immediately stop any further processing of waste which leads to discharge into environment.

READ ALSO:   Litter photos get Bonface Mwangi banned from Uhuru's event.

The international school is required to install a properly working effluent treatment plant within 7 days.

The school’s management also appeared before Nema on Tuesday.

The management is also required to liaise with relevant authorities to address the concerns raised by Nema, failure to which officers at the institution will be prosecuted.

“You have a right to appeal to the national environment tribunal if aggrieved by the order,” reads the notice.

On Tuesday, Mr Githui said the institution is doing everything possible to implement the Nema directives.

Mr Githui said Nema has already inspected the school and held discussions with the management.

“We have committed ourselves to do as per the recommendations,” said the manager.

The institution is one of the most expensive schools in the country and charges a pupil Sh1.5 million a year.

source:nation.co.ke

 

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