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VIDEO: Uhuru between a rock and a hard place over external debts

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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s low key return to the country on Sunday night after attending this year’s Forum on China-Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) in Beijing is the classic tale of a leader between a rock and a hard place.

The president’s return comes at a time when the political class and the media have already set the agenda; the issue being the rise in fuel prices.

As it stands, all Kenyans’ eyes are trained on him to see what course of action he takes amid public outrage over the matter.

He has two options; to succumb to public pressure and sign the Bill into law or send back the Bill to Parliament with recommendations.

It is a tough balancing act for the president who has in the recent past been meeting world leaders for bilateral talks and drumming up support for his Big Four Agenda.

If he signs the Bill, he risks sending the country into the bad books of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has put into question the country’s credit worthiness due to the ballooning public debt which stands at a mind-ruffling Ksh5.1 trillion.

Watch as Citizen TV explains the debts in plain langauge:

In 2015, the government entered an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to raise funds internally after the institution raised the red flag over the government’s borrowing appetite and budget deficits. The agreement allowed Kenya access to a standby credit facility which the country can draw in the event of financial distress.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: My father recommended a wife for me - Uhuru

That facility is yet to be renewed and the decision depends of generating revenue from internal taxes and repealing the cap on bank interest rates, which MPs also shot down. MPs want the 16% fuel tax VAT put on hold for a further two years.

The other option isn’t pretty either; if he sends it back to Parliament, he will be inviting the public’s fury which until now, has been directed at Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.

The issue has united Kenyans across the political divide, a scenario that down not look pretty for the Jubilee administration.

The government has been under immense pressure to raise revenue to finance the Ksh2.7 trillion budget amid a shortfall of Ksh530 billion in collections by the taxman.

The government is seeking to raise Ksh 71 billion from taxing the petroleum products, attempts which have been termed as insensitive to the common man by politicians and experts.

On September 6, the High Court sitting in Bungoma suspended the tax pending presidential assent or sending back of the bill to parliament. Orders which the government has defied. “We have not been served with the order. If we are served we shall comply but the order is mainly on the National Treasury,” said Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Director General Pavel Omieke in a statement on September 10.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru posts 13 new ambassadors to different countries

A crisis meeting between Rotich and the parliamentary leadership over the fuel tax on September 6 ended without any resolutions.

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JKIA gets drugs sniffer dogs ahead of direct US flights

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Kenya has acquired three narcotic and explosive busting sniffer-dogs to beef up checks at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and Moi International Airport ahead of New York-Nairobi direct flights.

Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Enforcement Manager Kamau Ng’ang’a said the three join a fourth German Shepherd donated by America to be manned by 10 specially trained handlers.

“We are ready and set for the US-Kenya direct flights and this has seen us re-align our strategies to ensure all parcels and carrier bags are checked for prohibited drugs or explosives. We have also acquired new scanners from China that supplement the work of the dogs,” he said.

Kenya is a transit point for drugs bound from places like Afghanistan and the US.

“Our main role is to assess, collect and receive payments but must also ensure illegal substances are not passed through Kenya to other markets. We are glad Kenya now has dog-training schools that will supplement foreign dog-training for enhanced results,” Mr Ng’ang’a said.

Kenya has received the final nod to start direct Kenya-US flights which will open a new avenue for the movement of goods and passengers thereby helping shore up revenue for both countries.

Main exports from Kenya to the US include clothing which earned Sh37 billion last year.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: My father recommended a wife for me - Uhuru

Flower exporters expect higher revenue from sales to the US with Kenyan traders enjoying lower import charges due to the shorter route.

The dogs’ unit was established in January 2005 and has helped nab consignments of heroin, cocaine and bhang as well as other harmful chemicals conceiled in carrier bags and parcels.

Mr Ng’ang’a said the dogs would help fast-track inspection thereby supplementing the physical and scanning checks at the international airports.

The handlers were trained locally with some undertaking specialised training in Japan.

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VIDEO: Finding my Father

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BY TENDAI MTANA

Born on the 23rd January 1977, in pursuit of life, my struggle in the absence of fatherhood for 21 years despite having a father triggered a journey in search of finding destiny. Faced with a struggle against condemnation and a dis-empowering education system all the way to University in 2000, my early teenage life set me on a journey in search of  mercy and grace from the only person that mattered; God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in 1998.

In my life’s journey I battled against the pride of tribe in my years of public service in Mvita, knowing that having come onto the earth from a strict and disciplinarian Kenyan father and a loving and comforting Zimbabwean mother I knew my journey was an African one. At one point, I summoned my courage and ran against the “Sultan of Mombasa” – the one and only Governor Hassa Ali Joho…and it was rough. Watch the video below:

After 7 years in active politics both in the United Kingdom and Kenya, my life in 2008 presented me with a struggle against financial debt and faithfulness in relationships. In this season all I lived on what my Pastor at Nyali Baptist fed me from 2002 – 2007, a promise from God that He would never leave me nor forsake me. With food from this storehouse, I began my journey of accomplishment in my ordination of leadership in 2009 and marriage to Terri Wanjiku in 2010, desiring this good thing for my entire generation.

READ ALSO:   Magufuli beats Kenyatta to bag the prestigious Mandela Peace Prize

In this place I have found and learnt the expression of fatherhood from a man who I have come to call father in the name of Chigbo Ndukwe. In this place I found my expression of family and know my African experience has been birthed. Having birthed our son Gabriel in 2011, this encounter has had me seek the forgiveness of Mtana Lewa, the man I called Baba from birth and in this season begun a journey of restoring a son to his father after 20 years of bitterness and anger.

My life’s struggle against the expression of the world’s identity on the one hand, and my image and likeness in God on the other hand, has set me firmly on this dedicated path of establishing the account of my ability and the response to this ability based on faith in the Word of God. This is the only way that my life can please God.

This is my story, the journey of our generations’ search to connect their dignity to destiny.

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KQ receives final green light on direct US flights

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Kenya Airways (KQ) has finally received formal approval for direct flights from the country to the US after America’s Transport Security Administration (TSA) approved that Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) meets the federal transport agency’s standards.

TSA’s approval letter was handed over to KQ Managing Director Sebastian Mikosz by US Ambassador Robert Godec at a ceremony at the Pride Centre – Kenya Airways, in Embakasi, Nairobi.

“This will now permit us to fly daily non-stop direct flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York, as scheduled on October 28, 2018,” said KQ chief executive Mikosz.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the formal approval marked a major milestone in Kenya’s aviation industry. “Going forward, it will make our country an attractive destination and open up fresh opportunities for investment, trade and tourism.”

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READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo shocks Raila after saying Uhuru should rule for two and a half years
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