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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.

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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:   Seven Kenyans sue government seeking to have their passports back

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:   Odinga family opposed Raila ‘swearing-in’, says Oburu

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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Diaspora

Kenyan Woman in the Diaspora Found Dead in Her Room

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Dorene Wangare, a 36-year-old Kenyan was found dead in her room in Qatar on Wednesday morning.

This, according to her family, was barely two months after she moved to the Gulf nation.

According to Wangare’s mobrother , she traveled to Qatar in November last year and was optimistic the job she had landed there would help her earn enough money to support her two kids. Her son, 14, is a Form Two student while her eight-year-old daughter is in Class Three.

“She was the family breadwinner and would come to our rescue whenever the landlord locked us out due to accumulated rent arrears,” said Mable Masitsa, the deceased’s mother.

When thirty-six-year-old Dorine Wangare bade her family goodbye to travel to Qatar in November last year, she knew her dream of helping her poor mother and siblings had finally come true.

The mother of two was excited at the prospect of working in the Middle East country according to her follower brother, Reinhard Mwangi. Little did Dorine know that that was her last goodbye to her family.Dorine was optimistic the job she had landed in Qatar would earn her enough money to help her support her son, 14 and daughter 8, who are in Form Two and class three respectively.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US raise Sh 2M for Raila campaign, set up Gofundme account

“She was the family breadwinner and would come to our rescue whenever the landlord locked us out due to accumulated rent arrears,” said Mable Masitsa, the deceased’s mother. According to Ms Masitsa, her daughter never thought her journey to the Middle East would be her last with family.Dorine died in Qatar on Tuesday night moments after she had a long chat with her mother and the brother leaving her family with many unanswered questions even as they await a postmortem report.

Dorine Wangare (standing second right) before she left for Qatar. She was found dead in her room on Wednesday morning. [Courtesy]

“Dorine called inquiring about school fees for her two children and other items required in school so that she could budget for them. The news of her death came as a shock. I cannot believe my daughter left us in such a mysterious way,” said Ms Masitsa.A somber mood engulfed their home at Shitawa in the outskirts of Kakamega town with family, friends and church members condoling with Ms Masitsa.“I talked to my sister until late into the night. She told me it was too cold in Qatar and she had been forced to put on two sweaters and a pair of trousers.

I told her to stay indoors and that was the last communication I had with Dorine,” recalled Mr Mwangi.According to Mwangi, the sister developed some complications whenever the weather was too cold.“She was allergic to cold weather. A friend of hers said she opted to use a Jiko in her room where she would be discovered dead on Wednesday morning.”Dorine’s Kenyan friends in Qatar have been updating the family on how things have been progressing since the death of their kin.However, Ms Masitsa and her son are at loss on how they will facilitate the transportation of the body from Qatar to Kenya.“We don’t have anywhere to run to for help.

READ ALSO:   Stop being petty, Raila tells Kenyan legislators over Mwende Mwinzi standoff

Dorine was supposed to send money for rent, food and school fees but death took her away, it is a pity to imagine we might not be able to see her body anytime soon,” she said.  The family is appealing to the national government to help them have the body airlifted from Qatar to Kisumu.“It will be easy for us to make arrangements to have the body ferried here even though we face the dilemma of where to bury her,” said Mwangi.It was not the first time Dorine had travelled to the Middle East in search of greener pastures.She first spent at least four years in Saudi Arabia where her employer tortured her before returning home.The deceased adds to the growing list of Kenyans who endure suffering in the quest for employment opportunities in the Middle East.

-Agencies

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Cash mistakes that the rich don’t make

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Who doesn’t want to avoid unnecessary expenses like millionaires do?

However, while we’ve all heard the advice about not spending as much as we earn, faithfully following a budget, and all that other good stuff, most of us tend to forget a lot of it.

But if you’re sick of having to live hand-to-mouth and can’t figure out how to squeeze a little bit more out of the money you do have, maybe you’re making some money mistakes that you can correct. These are some of the expenses the rich avoid.

1. Paying bank fees

A lot of us pay bank fees, yet we’re not taking advantage of the benefits tacked on to these costs.It may not seem like much on a monthly basis, but if you’re looking to clean up your expenses column and stick to what you absolutely must pay for, then saving on bank fees is a smart move.

You can play by the bank’s rules to avoid ledger fees, which may mean keeping a certain minimum balance or limiting the number of withdrawals you make in a month. And remember to review your statements for any errors.

2. Sticking with a low-interest savings account

In an era of capped interest rates, there’s also a minimum amount your deposits in a bank should attract. At the moment, it’s 6.3 per cent.If your bank is giving you less than this, then you need to shop around for a better deal.

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Also, confirm with your bank if the savings account you opened is still designated as such, and wasn’t reclassified as a current account when interest rate capping came into effect. Every shilling you earn counts.

3. Making poor real estate decisions

Many Kenyans hold on to the dream of owning their own home. But before you sign up for a mortgage or sink your life savings into purchasing a house, be sure you’re making the right decision.There are no guarantees that the price of your home will increase, so don’t saddle yourself with what’s basically a dead investment.

If you’re not moving to your rural area, don’t sink millions of shillings into building a house you won’t occupy for decades – you could put that money to better use.

And be wary of cons in the real estate sector. Do your homework, and where necessary, enlist the services of an expert.

4. Paying inflated interest rates

Mobile money loans have generally been a lifesaver, but they’ve also made getting into debt that much easier.While the temptation to borrow from one of the many mobile loans platforms may be strong, do your math and settle on the application that gives you the best rate.

And sometimes, you could borrow from family or friends at a friendlier interest rate. Explore your options to keep your debt levels as low as possible.

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5. Buying into designer labels

Few people can tell the difference between an original Hermès Birkin bag and a knock-off, so unless you can absolutely afford the $10,000 (Sh1 million) starting price without breaking the bank, don’t bother.

Extend this attitude to products as basic as coffee – you don’t get any richer by buying an expensive cup of takeaway coffee; cut your costs by carrying your own brew or buying from less established outlets.

6. Flirting with credit card debt

Swiping plastic to pay for your purchases can be terribly addictive. But while your limit may be high, stay within it. Don’t spend more than what you can pay back without breaking a sweat – you don’t want to try keeping up with credit card interest payments.

Also, when getting a credit card, find out from you bank how you can avoid some of the attendant costs, such as joining fees.

7. Falling for sales lingo

When buying your electronics, salespeople will sometimes try to get you to pay for things like extended warranties. But before you fall for this, research the kind of coverage the product comes with, and its reviews online.

You may find you don’t need to pay any extra to keep the product in top condition.Also, before deciding to splurge on items that are on ‘sale’ or are ‘up to 70 per cent off’, do some comparison shopping. You may find the product cheaper at another store.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans in US raise Sh 2M for Raila campaign, set up Gofundme account

8. Impulse buys

We all know we should never buy anything on impulse, but it can be hard to help yourself when you walk into a supermarket to pick milk but know you’ve got money in your wallet and no plan for it.One of the best ways to avoid impulse buying is to use a shopping list and stick to it.

You can also leave your cards at home and carry just the cash you need, as well as plan your meals in advance to keep your food costs low and minimise the number of times you need to step into a store.

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Ignore the nonsense, Ruto says on widening Jubilee rift

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While it is obvious the UhuRuto union is tottering on the brink of total collapse, Deputy President William Ruto  has once again come out to term media reports of the rift as ‘paid-for propaganda nonsense’.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, the once vibrant principal assistant to the head of state, who was always seen by the President’s side, played down questions raised on his apparent absence in nearly all presidential excursions these days.

The latest occurrence was on Thursday, when the DP was a no-show at State House, Mombasa, when President Uhuru Kenyatta met security chiefs.

Sources indicated Ruto was at the Coast but missed the meeting between Uhuru and 24 governors.But in his tweet Ruto denied it, saying ” I was in the office the whole day never in Mombasa.”

William Samoei Ruto, PhD

@WilliamsRuto

Kenyans should ignore this choreographed, paid-for propaganda nonsense. I was in the office the whole day never in Mombasa.

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A week ago, Ruto was locked out of his official residence in Mombasa, which is just metres away from State House. This came days after he was denied clearance to fly straight to Mombasa from Botswana to meet the President.
The UhuRuto rift has sucked in Ruto’s footsoldiers who are facing heat that range from being denied access to presidential functions to getting sacked or demoted.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Here is what Raila and Uhuru had to say about their tribal blocs
In his latest Cabinet reshuffle, whose announcement was made in the absence of the DP, Uhuru sacked Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri who is considered a Ruto sympathiser.
Going by the challenges experienced in the docket during Kiunjuri’s tenure, one would say his sacking was expected; however, being Ruto’s strong supporter may have inked the pen.
On Tuesday, Tangatanga politicians were denied access to an Uhuru event in Nakuru, yet another perk of being pro-Ruto.
Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika were blocked from entering the Rift Valley Regional Headquarters Grounds where the President was issuing title deeds.Kihika tweeted, “I am utterly shocked. Why would I be barred from a function being graced by my President at my home county?”
Despite these telling occurrences Ruto insists his road to the presidency in 2022 is clear.
The rift in Jubilee started widening after the March 9, 2018 Handshake, when Uhuru signed a deal with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Following the unity deal and the developing Jubilee cracks, new tendrils begun to sprout where politicians opposed to the bromance started running their campaigns under the euphemism tangatanga while those who support it called themselves Kieleweke.
It is unclear whether Ruto’s woes are strengthening his political muscle or hurting his 2022 ambitions. What is clear though is that the DP’s popularity in parts of the Mt Kenya region has been growing.
Reports also indicate that his plan for 2022 seems to be on course, the only thorn in his flesh may be calls for a referendum that have emanated from BBI, which he claims has been hijacked by ODM to craft its 2022 political line up.

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