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ODM senator and former AG Wako recognises Uhuru as the President of Kenya, crowd goes wild

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Former kenya’s attorney General Amos Wako and current senator for Busia County surprised the audience on Saturday  when he openly recognised Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta as the President of Kenya, despite most of his party members holding a different opinion.

Mr Kenyatta, who was accompanied by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda during the commissioning of the One Stop Border Post in Busia town, just smiled on as Mr Wako, an ODM member, gave his speech.

“I now welcome the two Presidents – Mr Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of Uganda and Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the president of Kenya  – to Busia,” said Wako.

“I would like to tell you that these two presidents are committed to the greater economic and social integration of East Africa,” he added as the audience rose in applause.

This is in sharp contrast to the position taken by his party leader Raila Odinga, who insists that Kenyatta is not the bona fide president of Kenya. This comes at a time when analysts say, cracks within the National Alliance (NASA) are getting wider by the day. Odinga and his co-principals have however denied any knowledge of divisions within the political outfit.

Wako became the first senator for Busia county in Western province of Kenya in 2013 and was reelected in 2017. Wako won the senatorial seat after defeating former minister of finance Chris Okemo. He won the senator seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) being led by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

A lawyer by profession Amos Wako served as the Attorney General of the republic of Kenya for 20 years (from 13 May 1991 to 26 August 2011). during his reign as the attorney general Wako was an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya,a member of the International Commission of Jurists, Member Council of Legal Education, was a Member Council of International Bar Association. Legal Advisor to Young men Christian Association (Y.M.C.A.) and Kenya Boy Scouts Association.

According to the Kenyan government, the infrastructure project will ease the movement of people and goods across our two countries for the prosperity of our people.

During the event, Kenyatta  said the integration of the East African region will be achieved with the development of shared infrastructure and political commitment of regional leaders.

 

He said the region must integrate to be a truly bigger market, and economically attractive to compete with other economic giants.

“We want to compete with the economic giants of the world. If we have

to compete with giants we have to be giants ourselves,” said President Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni were in Busia town to commission a one-stop border post to ease the movement of goods and people across the shared border. They addressed a public barasa on the Ugandan side of Busia town.

President Museveni spoke to Uganda’s commitment to integration, but, in reference to fishing disputes by Kenyan small-scale traders, called for radar and tech surveillance to grow fish stocks as well as tackle disputes.

The customs facility, straddling the border comprises offices and space for immigration processes and verification; warehousing and cold rooms for the goods traded across the border; and facilities for expediting trade.

The one-stop border facility is part of measures President Kenyatta and his counterparts from other EAC countries have spearheaded to ease the movement of goods and people within the region.

The One-stop border post concept combines two national border controls into one thereby reducing the time it takes to clear goods and people across the shared

borders. This reduces costs and overall time it takes to transport goods from one point in the region to another.

The first one-stop border post to be commissioned under the EAC integration plan was at Taveta/Holili on the Kenya-Tanzania border. Similar facilities will be set up in all border points all across the region.

President Kenyatta said the commitment of the leaders of the region is bearing fruit as substantial progress has been achieved in the integration process

“I am glad that the people and the leadership of the East African Community have taken this point to heart: wherever I go in the region, I find a new appreciation of the importance of integration, and a new commitment to bringing the people of East Africa together,” said President Kenyatta.

The opening of one-stop border posts and other projects aimed at easing trade in the region has reduced the time it takes to move goods across the EAC. While in the past it took a minimum of 27 days to move a container of goods from Mombasa to western side of EAC, it now takes a maximum of five days.

President Kenyatta was in Uganda from Thursday for an official visit during which he attended the 19th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community Heads of State. He also attended a Heads of State retreat that discussed funding for infrastructure development and health.

President Museveni said economic integration will bring prosperity, security and unity.

Additional reporting by PSCU

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Africa

Unmasking MPs: How they tricked Kenyans on new tax vote

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MPs may have tricked Kenyans into believing that they were on their side when they met for a special sitting on Tuesday and Thursday to consider President Uhuru Kenyatta’s memorandum on the Finance Bill, 2018.

A section of the MPs had planned to veto President Kenyatta’s reservations on the bill because it was going to increase the cost of living.

They cited the President’s proposal of eight per cent VAT on petroleum products, the 1.5 per cent levy on housing fund as well as the extra Sh18 for every litre of Kerosene among others.

In so doing, they lobbied a good number to shoot down the President’s views ahead of the big day. Just like amending the Constitution, it requires two-thirds or at least 233 of the 349 MPs in the House to veto the memorandum.

Although the MPs had been lobbied by their respective party leaders to pass the proposals, they were in a Catch-22 situation.

They were to please their party leaders, Mr Kenyatta, who held a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday and the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Mr Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga had chaired the Nasa parliamentary group at Orange House on the same day Mr Kenyatta did at State House. However, the tricky part was that they were to please their party bosses without betraying the public.

But how possible could this have happened? Unbeknown to the public, the MPs may have just killed two birds with a stone.

On Thursday afternoon, after approving the supplementary budget the MPs retreated to the committee of the Whole House to consider the memorandum.

Narok Woman Representative Soipan Tuya, also a member of the Committee of Chairpersons, was the chair of the committee for the afternoon.

When Ms Tuya put the clause on the eight percent VAT on fuel products to vote, she declared the “ayes” had won.

Those in opposition protested and stood up as the House almost degenerated into chaos.

According to Article 115 of the Constitution, those voting “nays” have the obligation to confirm that they have the requisite two-thirds majority before the presiding chair calls for a division.

Though leader of majority Aden Duale led some members out of the chamber, a claim he confirmed saying it was meant to deny the others the numbers, it is a trick that even the opposition previously employed to have their way.

However, under the same provision and Article 122, those voting “ayes” just need to be 26, being the simple majority.

In a voice vote, the only legally known and procedurally simple process is to rule that the “ayes” have it like Ms Tuya did so that the “nays” can vote electronically or by way of being counted, which is called roll call vote so that their number of 233 is confirmed.

The roll call vote is quite popular in the US congress.

When Ms Tuya called for a roll call, the MPs would not listen with Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Dida Jaldesa captured on the table microphone saying that they did not want the roll call because it would be known which side they were leaning on.

She would also be heard advising Mandera North MP Bashir Abdullahi against the roll call vote.

One of the MPs, who was against the memorandum blatantly told a parliamentary orderly that all they wanted was to be allowed to shout, as they did not have time for a roll call.

Daily Nation

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Kenyan woman in US who shot dead her ex-husband arrested

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Police in the United States are holding in custody a Kenyan woman for shooting dead her ex-husband last week.

Marie Kendale Kimani a resident of Rhome, Texas, who reportedly shot dead Jonathon Tumbo, was arrested in her apartment on Wednesday.

Officers who were responding to a call from Kimani about an argument between the two found the lifeless body of Tumbo at the home.

The man reportedly succumbed to a single gunshot wound to the chest.

EVIDENCE

When questioned by police, Ms Kimani said she was involved in a physical altercation with Mr Tumbo.

“Subsequent follow up investigation by investigators and related evidence was not consistent with Kimani’s account of a physical altercation,” the Sheriff’s office stated in a press release.

Ms Kimani, 35, is currently being held in a County jail as she tries to raise Sh100 million ($1million) bail.

Nairobi News

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I don’t talk to my dad – Louis Otieno’s son

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Louis Otieno’s son, Silas Miami, has opened up about his relationship with his dad.

Miami, a filmmaker, photographer, musician and lecturer based in South Africa revealed to The Nairobian that he doesn’t talk to his father, though their relationship is ‘cordial’.

In the interview, Silas said he only spoke to the dad around the time when he was sick and needed financial help.

“My mother was technically a single mother. I had no relationship with my father. He was the man we watched on TV.  However, we met later on in life when he fell sick and I was helping with the bill. We have a cordial relationship. “

“Although we do not talk, I wish him well and he does the same for me. I got to the point where I realised that parents too are only human and a product of what they have seen in life. I have come to recognise my father’s failures, but also acknowledge his humanity.

“I mean, our parents made the best decisions with what they had. I had to make the decision to let go and to ask myself, how can I do better? Of course it was not easy, but in letting go, I set myself free not just to be a better son, but a better human being,” said.

Asked if he has forgiven him, he quickly pointed out: “I don’t think I’ve dealt with it completely. That’s going to be a lifelong journey of forgiveness. People imagine that it happens in one go and I don’t think that’s true. You do not wake up one morning and it isn’t as heavy as it was before, but it doesn’t magically erase trauma. So, we are not there yet, but we are heading there.”

At the time Louis Otieno was coming out to ask for financial help, he was living with his mum and there was no mention of his kids.

Louis Otieno was one of the most decorated of media personalities in Kenya whose ignominious fall came after the death of his girlfriend Careen Chepchumba in 2012. He later became sick and has been seeking treatment.

Louis Otieno

 

 

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