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VIDEO: Raila cheered on as he addresses mourners in Zimbabwe

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Thousands of Zimbabweans gathered yesterday to bid a final farewell to opposition veteran Morgan Tsvangirai. Mr Tsvangirai was one of Africa’s most globally admired politicians and lived to see the fall of his political nemesis, Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai, the country’s fiercest opponent of former president Mugabe’s tyrannical 37-year rule, died last Wednesday aged 65 at a hospital in South Africa, where he had been undergoing treatment for colon cancer.

His body was flown to the burial ceremony aboard a military helicopter, accompanied by his mother, Mbuya Tsvangirai. Thousands of mourners gathered for the burial at Tsvangirai’s Buhera rural home, 220km (135 miles) south of Harare.

Many people in the crowd blew whistles and wore red shirts emblazoned with Tsvangirai’s portrait, some weeping openly. Tsvangirai’s dreams of unseating Mugabe through the ballot box were dashed at several elections.

Political oppression Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga, attending the event, condemned political oppression in Africa as he addressed backers of Tsvangirai whose electoral ambitions, like Raila’s, were thwarted at controversial polls.

“Africa is littered with elections which are rigged,” Raila told the crowds. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in the first round of presidential polls in 2008 but narrowly fell short of the total required to defeat Mugabe outright, according to the official vote count.

READ ALSO:   Rosemary Odinga says she played role in Raila-Uhuru handshake

Tsvangirai pulled out of an election run-off following violence which, he said, claimed the lives of at least 200 of his supporters. Raila insists he was the rightful winner of general elections in Kenya in August which extended President Uhuru Kenyatta’s rule. “We need to have clear and proper transparent elections in Africa.

 

 

Rigged elections will not help Africa,” Raila told mourners. “Morgan’s election victory was stolen a year after mine was stolen in Kenya,” Raila said, referring to the 2007 elections which Raila alleges were rigged to ensure Kenyatta’s victory.

Tsvangirai was a tenacious opponent of ruling ZANU-PF party’s four-decade hold on power. Following the 2008 election violence, he was forced into a power-sharing government with Mugabe, who was ousted last year following a military takeover. “He agreed to sacrifice his victory in order to save Zimbabwe. He became one of the leading icons of the second liberation of Africa,” Raila said, describing Tsvangirai as ‘my dear brother’ and a ‘hero’. ALSO READ: Raila: I have full confidence in Ndii, Magaya Yesterday, Siaya Senator James Orengo and businessman Jimi Wanjigi finally flew to Zimbabwe after 18 hours of drama at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), where they had been blocked from travelling.

READ ALSO:   WATCH LIVE: Raila addresses the nation on his next course of action

The two flew out of JKIA yesterday at 1.45pm after the Immigration Department returned their passports. “We are on board, we are on the way. Harare here we come,” they said via video as their plane took off. The two had booked tickets to fly to Harare to attend Tsvangirai’s burial when they were blocked at the airport on Monday night.

They had gone to the airport armed with a court order restoring their passports that had been suspended. Director of Immigration Services Gordon Kihalangwa, who had suspended the travel documents, said he had not been served with the order to enable his officers to allow the two to leave. He later tweeted saying he had been served yesterday at around 11am. Court orders “We were served with court orders this morning as requested in regard to the travelling of Hon James Orengo and Mr Jimi Wanjigi.

They have been cleared and allowed to travel.”  Orengo and Wanjigi later said they were to go to their residences for refreshments and return.  “We are not criminals. I am a State officer. If you can deal with me this way it means the authority of Parliament is emasculated,” said Orengo. Zimbabwe is due to hold crucial general elections by July and the country’s new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has pledged they will be free, fair, and credible – in honour of Tsvangirai.

READ ALSO:   Blow to Raila as his buddy-S Africa's VP- pledges to work closely with Jubilee

After being repeatedly beaten and jailed by the regime, Tsvangirai became a symbol of resistance to the ruling ZANU-PF’s authoritarianism, entrenched since Zimbabwe broke from its colonial master Britain in 1980. “We want to thank Morgan Tsvangirai for fighting for our rights.

He was a humble man – a man who was loved by people,” said Christopher Chikwati, a 70-year-old resident of Tsvangirai’s village. “We will remember him forever.” Former opposition leader Arthur Mutambara, who served as Tsvangirai’s deputy in the power-sharing government, said Tsvangirai was Zimbabwe’s rightful president. “We are here to mourn the president of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai – a great Zimbabwean, a great African,” he said.  “He was arrested. He was beaten. The people of ZANU-PF are also here, they are the people who killed Morgan Tsvangirai.”

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Mututho escapes death by a whisker after being attacked by armed gunmen

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Former Naivasha Member of Parliament John Mututho last night escaped death by a whisker in Nakuru Town West sub-County.

Mututho said he was driving from Bomet when he was accosted by armed men at Jua Lako area on Saturday around 1950hrs.

“I was engaged in a shooting incident with two individuals on a red motorcycle who both wore helmets,” said Mr Mututho.

He explained that the motorcycle pulled alongside the car on the driver’s side and opened fire on him.

Mututho who is a licenced gun holder said the unknown people only managed to shoot once before repulsing them.

“I engaged them successfully before driving Central Police Station Nakuru where I recorded a statement vide OB.67/12/09/20,” he said.

He was alone at the time of the incident, he said in a Facebook post, driving towards Racecourse Estate.

In 2012 in an interview with The Standard, Mr Mututho said he had been shot at twice in a bid to silence him over his stand on the production, sale and consumption of alcohol.

The Alcoholic Drinks Control Act of 2010 stopped production of illicit liquors and gave drinking window leading to the closure of liquor making enterprises.

“I’m not one who is easily intimidated when fighting for what I believe is right for the country,” said Mututho.

READ ALSO:   Irate youths storm ODM headquarters demanding Raila be sworn in
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Facebook set to open second office in Africa

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Facebook on Friday announced its plans to open a new office in Lagos, Nigeria which is expected to become operational in the second half of 2021.

The new Lagos office will be the first office on the continent with a team of engineers and will support the Sub-Saharan region.

This comes five years after Facebook opened its first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa and the 2019 opening of the Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos.

“The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world,” said Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The office in Lagos is part of Facebook’s ongoing investments in Africa and will be home to several teams across its business including Sales, Partnerships, Policy and Communications.

READ ALSO:   EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Raila arrives in London amid speculation over his next move

It will also be key in helping to expand the company’s client services across the continent.

Facebook says it has made a number of investments across the continent to support the tech ecosystem, provide reliable connectivity infrastructures and help businesses grow locally, regionally and globally.

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Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi threatens to sue Safaricom

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Lawyer, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, has threatened a class action against Safaricom.

The lawyer said he has been receiving countless messages from third-party companies, of which he had not subscribed to.

“Lately, I’ve been receiving unsolicited sms from these numbers inter alia…21026, 23050, 40720, Creditinfo BNTSMS, Senti, 60040…and others. It’s very obvious that Safaricom allows third party to have access to my number without my permission,” Ahmednasir tweeted.

Ahmednasir called it a gross violation of his right to privacy, stating that a class action would, then be appropriate.

“This is obviously a gross infringement on my Right to Privacy under Article 31 of the Constitution. I suspect this breach of privacy is rampant and Safaricom may be charging fees the entities it gives access to phone data. I think class action is an appropriate step. What do you think, people?” He added.

In response to allegations, Safaricom denied ever granting access to third-parties.

Last year in June, one Benedict Kabugi sued the telecommunications giant for Ksh 115 trillion over breach of privacy.

However, Safaricom has always maintained that the user may have subscribed to the services through other prompts.

Following overwhelming responses in the affirmative, Ahmednasir said that he would proceed to write to the formally next week.

READ ALSO:   EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Raila arrives in London amid speculation over his next move

“Seeing the overwhelming response by Kenyan subscribers of Safaricom, I will INSHAALLAH formally write to them next week and then formally start a class action.

“Safaricom has been mining data and then gives access to third parties to our telephones…Kenyans, this is how law is made.” He said.

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