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SA-based Kenyan journalist Christine Esipisu speaks to VOA on the unrest in the country

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BY BMJ MURIITHI
The situation in North West province of South Africa escalated Friday as violence mounted on the third day of riots that paralyzed the city of Mahikeng as the locals protested against corruption, lack of jobs, hospitals and better living conditions, among other things.
It got so volatile that it forced the country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, to cancel his engagements at this year’s Commonwealth Summit in London, where he was also pitching to multinational investors with a message that “S Africa is open for business.” He had to hurriedly return home to try and contain the situation in the town that is about 300 km West  of Johannesburg.
For three days in a row, crowds had taken to the streets in and around the capital of the province  calling for the resignation of the territory’s premier Supra Mahumapeloa.
In recent weeks, unions and businessmen in the region have been calling for Mahumapelo to resign over allegations of corruption in the award of state tenders but he has denied any wrongdoing.
Speaking to Voice of America’s Harrison Kamau Friday, Ms Christine Esipisu, a South Africa-based journalist said the premier was being accused of corrupt tendencies.
She said that upon arrival from London, Mr Ramaphosa went straight into meetings with the local leaders in an attempt to quell the situation.
“Soon after arrival in the Northwest Province, to try and quell an outbreak of violent protests that forced him to cut short a visit to a Commonwealth summit,” She said. “
“He is holding meetings with officials to discuss the demonstrations against corruption, poor public services and the local government which is led by a member of his ruling African National Congress (ANC),” she added.
Listen to VOA’s Harrison Kamau as he  interviews South Africa-based Christine Esipisu on the radio show, “Indepth:

“We want the president to tell Supra he must go. That man is full of corruption,” 25-year-old Oratile Seadira, a construction worker who lives in a shack on the outskirts of Mahikeng, was quoted  as saying.

Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma as president in February, has staked his reputation on rooting out the corruption and mismanagement associated with Zuma’s nine scandal-plagued years in power. His critics have however accused him of abetting the vice by “appointing people who have been accused of corruption into his cabinet.”

“We have nothing. No houses. No good schools. No hospital. People are saying they will burn the city if he doesn’t go.” The streets around him were quiet as Ramaphosa arrived.

 

Miriam Visage, 52, told the media that she and other South Africans in the region had been neglected.

“We have been neglected. We want Cyril Ramaphosa to come and see how we live, to scramble in the mud like us,” She said.

She added that she lives in a two room township house with her six children and seven grandchildren.

“The ANC is full of empty promises,” said Visage, accusing the police of firing live rounds during the protests. “We were very peaceful. Do they think we are wild animals to be shot?”

South Africa-based Kenyan-born journalist, Christine Esipisu. She spoke to VOA’s Harrison Kamau about the escalating situation in Nort West Province. PHOTO/COURTESY

 

 

 

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Africa

VIDEO: Now DP Ruto, Aisha Jumwa tell Matiang’i off and call for his resignation

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Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said all those mentioned in the latest fake gold scam should carry their own crosses and desist from dragging the name of the president into the scandal.

Without dropping any names, Ruto said that “the political conmen had now tuned to gold.”

Walipanda ndege hapa na kwenda huko Dubai na kufanya maneno yao. Wabebe mizigo yao na waache kumuingiza rais kwa mambo hayo,” said Ruto during a fundraiser at a church in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County,.

Meanwhile, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, a close associate of Mr Ruto, has asked for the immediate resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matian’gi.

A section of Jubilee MPs havealso told ODM leader Raila Odinga to state what he knows about the fake gold scandal.

They said Interior CS Fred Matiang’i should also explain how the country’s security was protecting the premises with fake gold.

Speaking  on Saturday when they accompanied Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of various development projects in Trans Nzoia, the lawmakers asked Matiang’i to state what he knows about it.

The leaders were Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia), Rahab Mukami (Women Rep, Nyeri), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Janet Jepkemboi (Turbo), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).

This as it emerged that the Director of Public Prodecution, Nordin Haji, had defended President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga.

Mr Haji issued a statement on Saturday about a recording circulated on social media that suggests that some information was relayed to President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Interior minister Fred Matiang’i, and that discussions followed.

He condemned the release and circulation of the recording, saying, “Such claims and their circulation through social media, specifically through leaked phone recordings in today’s age of real-time, borderless publishing, are alarmist and may needlessly cause disaffection.

He warned that “unless all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material.”

SPEEDY PROBE

Mr Haji said he had personally received complaints from victims who said the person behind the scam had been invoking the President’s name in dealings and conversations.

“Having realised that they were conned on the availability of the gold, and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the President, the former Prime Minister and CS Matiang’i, they resolved to [file] a report [with] Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings.”

The DPP said he had thus directed Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to speed up the probe; he said the file should be forwarded to him in the next seven days.

Mr Haji also asked members of the public with helpful information to report it to authorities.

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VIDEO: Vote for our very own top Diaspora Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja

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It’s back.

The 2019 edition of Groove Awards with Safaricom event is officially here. As was the case last year and years before that, the awards will celebrate excellence in Gospel music in Kenya and across Africa.

Celebrated Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the finalists in the Diaspora Artiste of the Year Category. Please take a little of your time to vote for here here.

Since 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom has celebrated excellence in gospel music in Kenya and across Africa. The awards, entering their 14th year in Kenya (and 6th in Rwanda), are this nation’s most prestigious and recognized Gospel music awards event, enjoying regional resonance and relevance.

Groove seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective – “Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”

Groove Awards has seen over 1,800 artists/groups nominated and almost 400 Groove statuettes presented to gospel musicians in Kenya and beyond.

The Venue and date for this Year’s Gala will be communicated in due course.

 

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Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland

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Apopular Kenya comedian has been invited to the United States to perform at this year’s   Makadara Day celebrations, organized by the Diaspora Baltimore Community.

In a letter by Deputy Chief of Mission, David Gacheru, the comedian is invited to The Hermes Center of St.Demetrios 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, 21234 to perform to the Diasporans on June 8, 2019.

“To have you as one of our guests would be an honor to the people who will be there and the whole organization,” read part of the letter.

According to the embassy,  the event is attended by a huge number of Diasporans every year.

An excited Omondi took to his social media platforms toannounce the development.

“We need private jet guys!!! Baltimore see you in two weeks,” he wrote.

 

In Kenya, the Madaraka Day celebrations will be held at the Narok stadium, where the committee chairman, PS Karanja Kibichio, had visited over the weekend.

He was visiting the place to inspect how prepared the County was ahead of the celebrations which will be held on June 1, 2019.

The Principal Secretary assured the public that the stadium would be ready by next week.

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