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VIDEO: Uhuru checks into Hotel Nacionale in Havana, Cuba

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Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday evening for a historic State visit that his handlers say will be dominated by bilateral talks on health, trade and heritage.

Kenyatta touched down on a commercial flight at 5:01 pm Havana (0001 am Thursday, Nairobi time) and was met by senior Cuban presidency and foreign ministry officials.

President Kenyatta’s visit is expected to boost his efforts in achieving the ‘Big Four’ agenda, especially in the provision of universal healthcare, where Cuba is a key global player.

Cuba has a doctor-patient ratio of 1:150 compared to Kenya’s 1:16,000.

“The President will explore how to build Kenyan capacity, increase the number of medical specialists in orthopaedic surgery, oncology, neurology, and trauma management; and collaborate in research on cancer and diabetes drugs, and eradication of malaria,” State House Spokesperson, Manoah Esipisu said ahead of the President’s departure.

On Wednesday, Mr Esipisu said: “A debate on how and whether we can have access to Cuban health capacity, including doctors, is a healthy one. The government has an agenda and has to speak to partners that can help meet that agenda.”

Cuba has engineered a system based on accessibility and preventive medicine and regards health as a basic human right.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru receives hero's welcome as he unveils his father's bust in Cuba

Much of Cuba’s success in these areas is due to its primary healthcare system, which is one of the most proactive in the world.

Cuba’s population of 11.27 million has 452 out-patient clinics and the government gives priority to disease prevention, universal coverage and access to treatment.

Health services are offered for free and include check-ups, surgery, medical dispensing and doctor visitations.

Cuba’s relationship with African liberation movements began as early as the 1960s and the Cuban revolution was a great inspiration particularly during the struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

President Kenyatta will hold talks with Cuban President Raul Castro on Thursday. He will also open Kenya’s embassy building in Havana.

Amb. Anthony Mwaniki Muchiri, Kenya’s top envoy in Cuba, said the opening of the Kenyan mission to the Caribbean would cement relations between the two countries.

He said after liberation, Cuba helped many African nations build and strengthen their health sectors. “A lot was done by Cuba in terms of establishing Africa’s health sector, giving African students scholarships to study in their tertiary institutions,” he said.

“Kenya has to increase the number of doctors in it’s health centres for it to achieve the universal healthcare goal,” Amb. Muchiri added.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amb. Monica Juma, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Achesa Mohamed and Health Chief Administrative Secretary Dr Rashid Amani.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru receives hero's welcome as he unveils his father's bust in Cuba

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Google honours Mekatilili Wa Menza 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Google is celebrating Mekatilili wa Menza, with a doodle of the Kenyan freedom fighter made visible on its search engine platform on Sunday.

Known for inspiring the Giriama people to resist colonial rule, circa 1900, Mekatilili wa Menza is revered as one of the nation’s first Mau Mau fighters.

“The recognition of Mekatilili Menza by Google goes along way in reinforcing what we believe in as Kenya National Heroes Council and a country.

“We believe our Heroes deserve better. They have played their part in nation building. We must affirm them at all times so that we can inculcate the culture of Heroism; the culture of service.

“We shall ensure more of our female heroines are unearthed, highlighted and feted. Other than giving birth to many celebrated our women were at the fore front of our liberation, our struggles and our future remains solely in their hands.

“That is the spirit of the Kenya National Heroes Act,2014 and what we stand for as a Council,” said Amb. Yvonne Khamati-Yahaya, the CEO of the Kenya National Heroes Council.

Mekatilili wa Menza led the Giriama people in the early 20th century and is commemorated during the festivities of the traditional Malindi Cultural Festival, an annual celebration of local history and pride.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru receives hero's welcome as he unveils his father's bust in Cuba

She was born in Matsara wa Tsatsu during the mid-19th century.

By the early 20th century, British colonial rule had threatened the sovereignty and freedom of the Giriama people with forced labor and taxation.

At a time when women’s power was limited within her society, Menza was compelled to organize her people against colonial control.

The Google Doodle artwork features a depiction of Menza leading the energetic kifudu dance that called so many to action.

The artist behind the Google doodle is Wanjira Kinyua who is based in Nairobi

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CS Matiang’i addresses relationship with DP Ruto 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i sent tongues wagging after he opened up on his relationship with Deputy President William Ruto.

In an interview with NTV’s Mutuma Mathiu, the CS was put to task to come clean on his relationship with the DP amid reports of tension after he took over some of the roles that were previously performed by the DP.

Asked about his relationship with the DP, the CS responded with a curt “I don’t know”, denying any knowledge of the existence of any special relationship with the DP.

He added that the latter is the Deputy President of Kenya and such is their relationship.

The CS was also put to task to come clean on any perception of conflict between him and the DP in exercising his responsibility (as a Super CS) a role that was perceived to be that of the DP but which was handed over to Matiang’I by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“In exercising that responsibility, does it create a perception that this is a job that should have gone to the DP…There is no conflict of roles? Asked Mutuma.

“I don’t know of any perception, The Deputy President is the DP of Kenya, what is my relationship with governor (Anyang’) Nyong’o? he is the governor of Kisumu county..”, Matiang’i said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru receives hero's welcome as he unveils his father's bust in Cuba

The CS has been hailed as a performer with many opining that he should be on the ballot in 2022, seeking to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Among the latest to throw his weight behind Matiang’i is health CS Mutahi Kagwe.

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Reward Raila with presidency in 2022, Murathe asks Kenyans 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Jubilee Party vice-chairperson David Murathe has asked Kenyans to prepare for Raila Odinga as president in 2022.

Murathe, a very close ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, said it was time for Kenyans to reward the African Union envoy with the presidency for his struggle and fight for a democratic Kenya.

Speaking to KTN News on Saturday, August 8, the former Gatanga MP said 2022 would be a Nelson Mandela moment for the country as Raila would be a one-term transitional president.

He said the 75-year-old Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader will clear the way for a generational change in Kenya’s political order.

“We think it’s time Kenyans rewarded the years of struggle of Raila Amollo Odinga. They owe it to him. It’s like Mandela, and 2022 will be a Mandela moment.

“And we would also like to tell him (Raila) to be a transitional president who will then nurture the young generation to take over in 2027,” he said.

According to the vocal politician from the Mt Kenya region, there shall be a poster during 2022 campaigns which will have a portrait of the handshake partners.

“Assuming we go by the formation unveiled at Bomas, we will probably have a prime minister coming from Mt. Kenya.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru receives hero's welcome as he unveils his father's bust in Cuba

“You may have a deputy prime minister coming from coast and the other possibly from the Rift Valley,” he said.

Murathe said Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka should give Raila a chance to try his luck for the last time.

“I don’t know what the arrangement is on the NASA side but if you ask me I would like him (Kalonzo) to also let Raila run,” he said..

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