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Corruption features in Kenyatta’s speech at UN as Kenya signs Sh 1.3b deal to build 100,000 cheap houses

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Kenya’s president, Uhuru kenyatta, who has been under fire at home over widespread corruption in East Africa’s economic hub, is now blaming graft on a “globalised financial and legal system.”

Mr Kenyatta told the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday that the “trust deficit grows” with governments as the free press and social media share news of fraud.
He said Africa has lost trillions of dollars in illicit outflows in recent decades.

Earlier this year, 18 Western nations including the United States urged Kenya to take strong action against corruption after scandals were revealed around several government ministries.
Kenyatta at the time vowed “there will be no mercy for the thieves.”

He declared corruption a national security threat in 2015.
On Wednesday, Kenyatta also denounced the inequality of nations in the UN Security Council, adding that Kenya joins in the demand for two permanent seats for Africa.
“Africa is under represented in the non-permanent category of the Security Council and we are totally not represented at all in the permanent category”, he said, calling it “historical injustice”.

Meanwhile, Kenya and the United Nations have signed a deal that will have 100,000 cheap housing units constructed in the country.

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The project will be financed through a partnership between the Kenyan government and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The signing of the deal was done on the of the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd session of United Nations General Assembly in New York and was witnessed by President Kenyatta.

“Our Affordable Housing Program seeks to implement interventions that will ensure that developers can produce housing units at scale, homebuyers can access affordable financing facilities that allow them to buy homes, and that the enabling environment facilitates innovation, embraces technology, and commercial arrangements that can bring down the cost of construction,” President Uhuru noted when he witnessed the signing of the agreement.

The 100,000 affordable houses will be built in different parts of the country at a cost of 1.3 billion shillings. The President said government looks to deliver the affordable housing pledge without putting much pressure on Kenyan taxpayers.

“We are therefore focusing on financing and investment frameworks that will unlock private sector financing for this program,” said President Kenyatta.

“We believe that we will be able to utilize our labor and create 3 to 5 direct jobs and up to 8 indirect jobs per unit we build,” he added.

Meanwhile, corruption and off-shore accounts featured prominently in his speech at the plenary on Wednesday. Watch:

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-Mwakilishi.com contributed to this story

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Africa

Kenyans reject Uhuru’s avocado, baby carrots deal with Mauritius

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The news that Mauritius had lifted a ban on Kenyan avocados has not been well received by the Kenyan online community.

Kenyans online have lamented that they are already grappling with a decrease in production of their “dear avocados” and did not want a trade deal involving the produce.

The government of Mauritius lifted a ban on several Kenyan farm produce, including avocados, baby carrots, baby beans and broccoli.

The decision was is part of a trade deal made during bilateral talks between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his host Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth.

President Kenyatta said the lifting of the ban will help improve Kenya’s export and will greatly boost horticultural farmers in the country, especially women who are the majority in the sector.

At the same time, China on Sunday completed an inspection tour by two experts from the Chinese National Plant Protection Organisation who were hosted by the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (Kephis) for eight days as a prerequisite given by the country before it opens its market for Kenyan avocados.

ONLINE UPROAR

But online Kenyans were not happy about the recent deal with Mauritius citing shortages of the prized fruit.

“Why export when local demand and supply is still wanting?” Sarati A. Richard wondered.

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“Ile drought iko huku jamani badala zipelekwe huko Kwanza…. We don’t have an oversupply of the produce in discussion,” Migwi Sam lamented.

“DP told us guys to diversify tukasema maize maize… sasa ona,” Cherotich Carren Kiki wrote.

“This ovacado thing kumbe was true! Maize farmers kwisha,” Buluma Godwin commented.

“Ati avocado? Mkipeleka wapi? Msijaribu,” Kenneth Makau warned.

“We don’t even have enough avocadoes in Kenya to feed the demand in the country,” Wachira Jackson commented.

source:nairobinews

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PHOTOS: Uhuru arrives in Mauritius for four-day State Visit

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius for a four-day State Visit.

The plane carrying Mr Kenyatta and his entourage touched down at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shortly before 7pm local time.

On arrival, the President – who was received by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth – inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the special mobile force of the Mauritius Police Service followed by a 21-gun salute.

After the arrival ceremonies,  Kenyatta paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of Mauritius Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory at State House, Le Reduit.

His visit to Mauritius is largely aimed at boosting the economic, cultural and social ties between the two nations, according to PSCU.

The forum will be used to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius and Kenya.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) among other senior government officials.

PHOTO COURTESY: PSCU

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PHOTOS: Narcotic miraa seized at JKIA

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Detectives at Jomo Kenyatta airport, Nairobi, have intercepted 500 kilogrammes of narcotic dry miraa concealed as tea packets for export to the US, Australia and Austria.

The drugs were hidden in 52 packets, packed as green stevia tea, according to a statement from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

DCI on Tuesday said the packets were sent by various exporters and were on their way out when detectives smoked out the drugs during a routine screening.

The heroin that was found hidden inside speakers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. PHOTO | COURTESY

The Kenya Revenue Authority has issued a seizure notice on the narcotics.

While this was khat (also qat) laced with hard drugs, debate on whether miraa is a drug or a harmless stimulant has been raging on for years.

The leaf, whose active ingredient is cathinone, is grown mainly in Yemen and East Africa— Kenya, Ethiopia, some parts of Uganda and in Madagascar.

It has been associated with various health problems, such as impotence in men, dental complications as well as heart conditions.

The compounds cathinone and cathine, active ingredients of the mild stimulant, were listed in a schedule of harmful compounds in the 2000s, effecting the ban on the crop in the US, Norway, Canada and Sweden.

Khat is quasi-legal (its legality is ambiguous), as Lee Cassanelli, a scholar who wrote a seminal chapter on the drug, once said.

The heroin that was found concealed as make-up. PHOTO | COURTESY

In Kenya, it is not only legal but also a main cash crop in Meru and Tharaka Nithi counties.

Miraa gained popularity in the rest of the world after Somalis, who are very fond of it, trevelled with it around the globe.

But in 2013, the Netherlands, which acted as a transport hub for the drug to rest of the world, also banned it.

The then Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers is quoted by Radio Netherlands as saying that 10 percent of Somali men in the country were badly affected by the drug.

“They are lethargic and refuse to co-operate with the government or take responsibility for themselves or their families,” he said.

A government report released to back the ban also cited that noise, litter and perceived public threat posed by the men who used the drug were the reasons behind the move.

The UK soon after declared miraa a class C drug, banning further imports of the stimulant into the country.

Kenya’s biggest market for miraa today is Somalia, with 90 percent of the product going there.

Mogadishu once banned the stimulant after Nairobi banned direct flights between the two cities over terrorism fears.

source:nation.co.ke

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