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Seven Kenyans sue government seeking to have their passports back

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Seven Kenyans  on Monday sued the Immigration department chief Gordon Kihalangwa and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i demanding to have their travel documents back.

This followed a directive that suspended their passports two weeks ago.

They include Nasa strategist Dr David Ndii, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, businessman Jimi Wanjigi, University of Nairobi lecturer Dr Adams Oloo, lawyer Paul Mwangi and Mr Henry Mien who is a member of the Opposition’s strategy team.

In their plaint filed at a Nairobi court, the seven say they were informed through a letter dated February 5 that their passports would be suspended or confiscated after which the government made good the the threat.

They argue that  the move has unreasonably restricted their movement.

Their lawyer, Jackson Awele, says they were not granted a fair hearing hence their rights have been grossly violated.

“The impugned restriction is otherwise tantamount to a condemnation of guilt based on unilateral suppositions of the Immigration director and the Interior CS without a hearing,” said Mr Awele.

“It is only fair and just that this court expeditiously intervenes to secure as well as preserve their rights and freedoms as guaranteed under the Constitution, pending the determination of this case.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kidero surprises many as he says God has chosen Sonko as governor, showers him with praise

A crackdown by the government targeting members of the Coalition has intensified in the last two weeks following the swearing in opposition leader, Raila Odinga. Lawyer Miguna Miguna, who claims to be the general of proscribed National Resistance Movement (NRM-Kenya) and who has admitted to commissioning Mr Odinga’s oath, has since been deported to Canada.

The government has seized about 15 passports belonging to NASA luminaries.

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Nairobi Governor Sonko to spend two more nights in police cells

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and his co- accused will have to remain in police custody for two more nights pending the ruling on his bail application in the graft case.

Sonko lawyers had applied for bail application, arguing that the governor was sick and needed medical attention, but Prosecution team opposed the application saying the governor was a flight risk having escaped from jail before.

While setting the ruling date to Wednesday at 11am, the magistrate ruled that the governor be treated in the presence of the prisons’ authority.Sonko and his co-accused comprising county officers and directors of companies denied multiple corruption and economic crimes charges before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi on Monday.

Prosecution team led by Gitonga Riungu and James Kihara had objected Sonko’s release on bail, citing the 1998 incident in which he was convicted for failing to appear before a Mombasa court three times in his previous cases.

The prosecution referred to the instance where the Shimo La Tewa Commissioner of Prisons advanced claims that Sonko escaped from lawful custody after going to Coast General Hospital for treatment.But Sonko’s defence team rebutted arguing that his alleged escape from Shimo La Tewa is a malicious claim aimed at mudslinging him.

The accused face nine charges including conspiracy to commit offence of corruption, willful failure to comply with procurement laws, conflict of interest, abuse of office, unlawful acquisition of public property, deceiving principal, money laundering and acquisition of proceeds of crime.

READ ALSO:   FULL NBI GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE VIDEO: Drama as Miguna calls all the other candidates thieves to their face, Sonko says Miguna's head has a problem

In the soup are also county officials who have been charged with benefitting from the irregular procurement and payments. They are County Secretary Peter Mbugua; Head of Supply Chain Management Patrick Mwangangi; Negotiation, Tender Opening and Evaluation Committee members Edwin Kariuki, Lawrence Mwangi, Preston Mwandiki and Clerical Officers Wambua Ndaka and Andrew Nyasiego.

While setting the ruling date to Wednesday at 11am, the magistrate ruled that the governor be treated in the presence of the prisons’ authority.Sonko’s lead lawyer Cecil Miller introduced a phalanx of his lawyer colleagues ahead of the plea taking.

They included Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Harrisson Kinyanjui, Daniel Maanzo, Kipchumba Murkomen, Nelson Havi, George Kithi, Kwanga Mboya, Osundwa Micheal, Alphonce Mutinda, and Phillip Kaindu among many others.

The governor alongside the directors of Web Tribe Ltd is accused of corruption and conspiracy to defraud the county government of Sh24 million.The charge sheet tabulates other fifteen charges of conflict of interest involving Governor Sonko and Web Tribe Ltd, ROG Security Ltd associated with Antony Otieno Ombok among other companies and their directors.

The governor is largely accused of receiving Sh1 million from Yira Enterprises in each of the several deals that involved hiring heavy equipment from the county government.Under the charge of conflict of interest, Sonko is accused of acquiring Sh1 million from Fredrick Odhiambo of Yiro Enterprises on multiple occasions which are proceeds of crime.

READ ALSO:   Beautiful Kenyan girl loses battle to rare cancer in Atlanta, family devastated

Sonko also faces charges of money laundering and receiving proceeds of crime from Hardi Enterprises Ltd and Toddy Civil Engineering Ltd associated with Antony Mwaura Ng’ang’a and Rose Njeri Ng’ang’a.

On Monday, another charge sheet emerged in which the governor was accused of committing three offences during his arrest in Voi on Friday. They include assault of police officer, willfully resisting arrest and using abusive language towards police officers.He protested his arrest yesterday and blamed his woes on politics.

“I am convinced that my arrest was politically-schemed and designed to humiliate and embarrass me,” read his statement.“There was no point for the deployment of a police helicopter, more than 25 police cars, and 200 police officers to locate and arrest me while we all know on that on the same material day there was terror attack in Wajir County where the chopper with this kind of reinforcement, deployment and operation was needed.”He denied claims that he was trying to escape to Tanzania on Friday when he was arrested in Voi.The Nairobi County crisis has compelled the Council of Governors (CoG) to urgently ask for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta following the arrest of Governor Mike Sonko.

It is not clear when Uhuru will honour the request.The President on Sunday said no leader would use their position to escape prosecution.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS: Wetang'ula withdraws from senate race

He added that leaders found guilty of corruption should carry their own cross.He was speaking at St Francis of Asisi Catholic Church in Ruiru town during a fundraiser.In a statement on Sunday, CoG, the body that brings together all the 47 county chiefs, said it has been monitoring and consulting widely.

“We are, however, aware of the uniqueness of the County Government and therefore shall reach out to President Uhuru Kenyatta to convene an emergency Summit to address the evolving situation,” the council chair Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said.

What next for Nairobi?

Without a deputy governor, Nairobi County has found itself in a dicey situation but lawyer Duncan Okatch argues that there is no cause for alarm.”The seat of the governor has not fallen vacant, therefore, we are not in the situation where the law indicates that the Speaker act for 60 days,” he said, in an interview with Standard Digital.

BY Standard Digital

 

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Son of ex-VP Wamalwa dies at their Milimani home in Kitale

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A son of the late former vice-president Michael Kijana Wamalwa, William Makali Wamalwa, is dead.

His uncle, Robert Wamalwa, Monday confirmed that his nephew died on Sunday evening at their Milimani home in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

The family suspects it could be diabetes that led to his death but are waiting for a post-mortem report.

“My nephew was diabetic and that might have led to his death but, of course, when the official post-mortem report is out, we will know what happened,” Mr Wamalwa told the Nation.

Makali, who was the third born in his family, was in his mid-20s and was a second year student at the University of Nairobi where he was studying commerce.

His uncle dismissed claims on social media that Makali died of depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.

“It is far from the truth. It is very unfair and people should not capitalise on something like that. They should respect the family and the dead,” said Mr Wamalwa.

He added that he was with his nephew the previous day and he looked fine.

An official family statement will be given after a post-mortem examination report is released.

Makali will be buried at the family’s Three Rivers farm in Saboti on December 14, 2019.

READ ALSO:   FULL NBI GUBERNATORIAL DEBATE VIDEO: Drama as Miguna calls all the other candidates thieves to their face, Sonko says Miguna's head has a problem

by nation.co.ke

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Welcome to the Nyeri matatu stage, a ‘highway to heaven’ for drivers, touts

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For a long time, the matatu sector has been viewed as a hotbed of deceitful, dishonest, cunning and undisciplined people. Already overburdened commuters often struggle with the whimsical arbitrariness of the charges demanded by the public transport operators.

But matatu operators in Nyeri town are trying to portray themselves in a new light. Every morning at 8am at the main matatu stage, a group of men in blue and maroon uniforms plug in a sound system and begin their morning fellowship.

They start with prayers and a number of worship songs. Their aim, they say, is to reach out to as many drivers, touts, businesspeople and passengers at the terminal as possible.

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

“I was afraid that people would not embrace it but I decided to try it anyway and on July 16, 2017, we held our first prayer meeting. There were only a few people but that was more than I expected,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Outrage as high bride price in Kenya becomes unmanageable, turns men off

With time, more people embraced the idea and with their help they received enough donations to purchase a public address system.

“I started these morning prayer meetings to reach out to the operators, who are usually too busy and they do not go to church on Saturday or Sunday. There are also passengers who have been travelling and they need it too,” he said.

Mr Ndirangu and his team start the prayers at 8am with singing, prayers and a devotion.

He says that the prayers have brought sanity to the stage, with the young men turning over a new leaf by quitting drugs and some being bold enough to participate by playing the instruments and being on the alternating preaching schedule.

“We have managed to reach out to the youth and pull them from drugs and substance abuse and now they work just like the rest of us to make an honest living,” he said.

A few metres away at an open field, where lorries are parked just behind the governor’s office, Pastor Joseph Kinuthia preaches to a group of men who are quietly seated and patiently listening to him. They are lorry drivers.

He started the fellowship in 2018 after many members of the Nyeri Lorries Self Help Group, which he chairs, were afflicted by diseases and death.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Young Kenyan Mukurino who works for World Bank and is a Professor in US

“Every week we would have at least two cases we were contributing to. Other members were being arrested for fights, and being a pastor, I knew that these issues could be solved if we indulged in our faith,” he said.

He says the group, which has at least 300 active members, embraced the idea and now they hold their fellowships three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

At a glance
HOW IT STARTED

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

by nation.co.ke

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