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Discontent as Uhuru, Ruto strongholds take half of public jobs

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Unrest as Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto strongholds monopolize half of public jobs

By ALLAN TAWAI

The home regions of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have been rewarded with more than half of all senior appointments, a survey by The Standard on Saturday has revealed.

However, the appointments have not been received well by a section of Kenyans, with some pointing out that the government is dominated by two regions.

Of the 42 parastatal heads named by the President, 13 representatives come from Mount Kenya region (30 per cent); Rift Valley has 10 appointees (23.8 per cent); Coast and Nyanza follow with five appointments each (14.3 per cent). However, most of the appointments from Nyanza were from the Kisii community whose Gershom Otachi was appointed new chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Policyholders’ Compensation Fund. Otachi is a member of President Kenyatta’s defense team at the International Criminal Court.

Mt Kenya and Rift Valley regions hold a combined 57.5 per cent of the 87 appointments made by the nine-month-old Jubilee administration. Each has 25 appointments, which translates to 28.7 per cent each, while Nyanza follows with 10 which at 11.5 per cent.

The appointments, which commenced soon after Kenyatta and Ruto took office, saw the Coast region bag nine slots (10.5 per cent) while Eastern and North Eastern had six each (6.9 per cent).

President Kenyatta and Ruto have come under repeated attacks for sidelining some regions from public appointments, most recently their choice of state corporation chairpersons.

But there has also been pointed criticism of the alleged failure to strike a gender balance, to reward the youth and recognize special interest groups – all requirements under the Constitution. The Deputy President has also had to fight off a spirited wave of denigration in his Rift Valley stronghold that he was not getting his URP’s share of public positions agreed under the 50-50 pre-election power-sharing pact with Kenyatta’s TNA.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission reminded the two principals in an interview yesterday not to overlook other parts of the country in the appointments, saying it was against Article 10 (b) of the constitution which envisions equality, equity, non-discrimination, inclusiveness and protection of the marginalized.

NCIC CEO Hassan Mohammed said although they had not done an analysis on the appointments, they should be nationally representative. He, however, said it was too early to conclude that the appointments were uneven because, in his view, they represented only a fraction of the whole.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo (Left) and Hassan Mohamed (Right) NCIC CEO.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission, Chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo (Left) and Hassan Mohamed (Right) NCIC CEO.

But sources at the commission said a protest letter to be addressed to the president has been prepared following the appointments.

“I know there is a protest letter and a notice that is supposed to run in the papers expressing fears by the commission that the appointments could generate public unrest in some parts of the country,” said the source who sought anonymity.

Asked if he thought the appointments represented the face of the country, Mohammed said his office is yet to take an analysis of the appointments because President Kenyatta has said more are coming.

“We are yet to analyze the appointments. We have to wait until when the whole process is over so that we can look at the lists in totality. But the two principals should stick to the constitution on all public appointments,” he said.

Some URP legislators have also claimed that they had been short-changed by TNA, giving the Deputy President sleepless nights as he tries to contain the hullabaloo. Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter, who has been leading an onslaught against Ruto in Rift Valley, claimed that the party had been short-changed by TNA.

“The appointments have been skewed against the 50-50 power sharing basis agreed upon earlier,” said the legislator.

Nonetheless in dismissing the claims, Ruto has asked Rift Valley residents to give him time, saying there are more appointments on the way.

President Kenyatta told critics that he had not even made half of the appointments with more than 100 left, while Ruto asked the Kalenjin community to be patient with the current government appointments and told off those questioning them, terming them “petty”. But nine months into a five-year tenure, Kenyatta and Ruto’s top allies have been rewarded in the appointments that also saw his competitor in the 2013 presidential election, Mohamed Abduba Dida, detailed for a job.

Dida, who came fifth in the race, was appointed chairman of the Constituency Development Fund Board (CDF) to replace Jennifer Nafula Barasa.

appointed chairman of the Constituency Development Fund Board (CDF)

Dida appointed chairman of the Constituency Development Fund Board (CDF)

However, he will have to wait a while longer for Parliament to approve his nomination. The appointments will see the replacement of public officials named by the coalition government of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, which the Jubilee government replaced last year.

TNA Secretary General Onyango Oloo is the new Lake Basin Development Authority chair while Edwin Yinda, a former Youth for Kanu (YK92) official and former Alego Usonga MP was picked as the chairman of Kenya Information and Communication.

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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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Africa

I truly love my 54 year old American boyfriend, says 21 year old Kenyan woman

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A Kenyan student in the United States is the subject of discussion after her relationship with her American boyfriend became a trending topic over their age-gap.

Speaking to Mail Online, Rehab Kimani, 21, said she met Joe Singiser, 54, through work at a nursing home in New Jersey.

 A student and home health aide, Rehab said that her friends got disgusted by her choice of boyfriend. They even stopped her from talking about her man whenever she was around them

“I thought he was very attractive and immediately wanted him,” she revealed. “I really liked his big muscles and that everyone at work was afraid of him.”

Rehab with Joe [Courtesy]

Rehab also reveals that despite being very comfortable on their first date, it was hard for her to deal with the way her family reacted as they did not take it positively.

“I just see him as my boyfriend and my best friend. If anything, the difference is that I take this relationship as more serious than previous ones. It took everyone a long time, but they are finally understanding of us being together.” She said.

Mr Singiser is a father of four and Rehab’s supervisor at work. He says he was ‘startled’ when he got interested in his younger employee but opted to press on with the relationship because he knew it was true love.

He says he noticed her beautiful smile from the across the room and would find excuses to come out of his office just to see her.

[Courtesy]

Rehab says that she no longer sees the age difference. However, they do draw looks from strangers on the streets.

“We get looks while in public all the time,” she said. “Someone even came up to me once and said I should be ashamed of myself because I just want his money. I did get sensitive, but I just walked away.”

The couple, who have been together for a year now, lives together and are planning on starting a family together having started discussing the possibility of marriage and having children.

-Standard

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