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Two Kenyan journalists shortlisted for prestigious African fact-checking award

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Two Kenyan data journalists will contest a field of 11 reporters from across the continent for the fifth annual African fact-checking award which will be announced in late October in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Daily Nation Data Editor Dorothy Otieno and PesaCheck data scribe Soila Kenya are on the shortlist released by Africa Check, an independent organisation that has been running the awards since 2014.

Ms. Otieno gets the nod for an article titled “Why coal has no place in Kenya’s energy future” that looks at the financial and environmental viability of coal energy in the country.

The Daily Nation reporter is seeking to win the award for a second year in a row after scooping the best-fact check journalist title last year on behalf of the Nation Newsplex team for a series of fact-checking articles titled “Before You Vote” which were published in the run up to last year’s General Elections in the country.

Ms. Kenya has been nominated for a fact-checking piece that dealt with a claim by Mombasa County Health Chief Officer Dr. Khadija Shikely who had alleged that one gulp of shisha was equivalent to smoking 10 sticks of cigarettes. The article came in the midst of public debate on the shisha ban in Kenya.

The PesaCheck journalist is also in the running for an Africa Climate Change and Environment Reporting (ACCER) Award for penning a piece on the impact of toxic fumes and air pollution on children in Nairobi that was published in the Star Newspaper.

frica Check’s shortlist is dominated by fact-checking reports from Nigeria, with five of the 11 nominees hailing from the West African country. Another two on the shortlist are from Ivory Coast, with Senegal and South Africa receiving one nomination each.

The awards will also seek to acknowledge the best fact-checking student journalist, a five-person field that has attracted nominees from Senegal (3) and Nigeria(2). The student journalist submissions have impressed the judges.

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CNN’s Richard Quest speaks on being gay during Nairobi tour

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CNN anchor Richard Quest has opened up to being gay and has urged Kenyans embrace same sex relationships.

Quest was on Tuesday interviewed by Capital FM where he explained that he chose to live in New York and London because they have no restrictions on who one chooses to love.

They are both cities that people in this country can admire, would aspire to be in and would look forward to visiting. There is a reason why I live in those cities…There is a reason why those cities attract the talent and wherever because we can live our lives as we wish. We can love who we wish,” he said.

The journalist said Kenya should embrace same sex relationships to allow people to live and work freely and compete with other nations.

DECRIMINALISE HOMOSEXUALITY

I am obviously going to be advancing an agenda that says there should be at least the decriminalization of same sexual activity. It is straight forward, I am not gonna mess around with that one. That is obviously my belief…I do not for a moment, doubt the sincerity of those people who are against me on this issue.

And I can respect their point of view, I merely say that in this day and age, if you want to succeed, if you want Kenya to be a thriving, vibrant modern economy, you are going to look at this in a different way and ask yourself what is it about these very successful places that we need to at least try to attract. That is the way you do it. You let people live their lives, love who they want and the way they wish,” he said during the interview on the morning radio show.

The CNN anchor had back in 2014 opened up his fears before coming out, wondering how it would affect his family and friends, his credibility as a journalist and how people will view his ‘Quest Means Business’ show.

“All in all professionally, I know the work I do here every day is better because I’m honest about who I am,” Quest said in his show.

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Your Kenyan passport will be invalid from September 2019

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You will not be able to travel with your passport after October 2019, the Department of Immigration has said.

Dr Dan Opon, the Senior Assistant Director of Immigration said on Monday that the current Kenyan passport will expire on September 1 so Kenyans should acquire e-passports by March next year.

“No country will accept the current passport from September next year,” Dr Opon said when launching a new report on free and safe movement in East Africa.

Dr Opon said the department has started implementing the announcement President Uhuru Kenyatta made last year.

“The government’s efforts to promote regional integration by opening up territorial access to migrants is evidence of our position and commitment. To this end, the Department of Immigration is developing a National Migration Policy framework and has harmonised classification of work permits and encourage free movement of persons within the East African Community,” he said.

The government is also establishing the National Coordination Mechanism on migration. It will serve as a forum for all migration stakeholders, ministries, the academia and the civil society to engage with bilateral and multilateral partners on promoting safe and orderly migration in the region.

The government is also working in partnership with the University of Nairobi to develop a curriculum for a post-graduate diploma that will be launched in November.

Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda developed a coalition of the willing that allows citizens of the three countries to travel using their national identity cards.

Dr Opon noted, however, that a single visa territory within the East African Community remains elusive because the harmonisation of immigration practices and policies is yet to happen.

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CNN’s Quest ‘more than impressed’ in Nairobi

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Gliding into Nairobi’s airport early on Monday morning, the first thing I noticed was the light. Even over the terminal buildings, it was just gorgeous. I was back in Africa.

Almost immediately, my reasons for coming were further reinforced.

Yes, there were queues at immigration, but no more than one might find during a busy period at JFK or Heathrow.

Perhaps it felt a little chaotic, with some confusion in arrivals about where exactly passengers should go and what was required of them. But overall it worked. The staff was excellent and determined to help.

The building was modern, clean, attractive and made sense. The lines outside for taxis and Ubers were neat and orderly.

Of course, once I began my journey into the city by road, the cliche of traffic-clogged streets revealed itself to be true.

At one point I was able to hop out of the car to stretch and remove my jacket, with no fear whatsoever that my driver would gain more than a few inches of ground on me.

As we reached the city centre, that cliche was overtaken by something else though: a sense that Nairobi’s citizens take pride in their home.

The flowerbeds and neatly trimmed trees, the new roads, the signs, the general respect for other road users. There is something both gentle and genteel about it.

We spent the afternoon in Karura Forest. If you wanted something to underscore this sense of pride you would be hard pushed to find a more pristine example.

Here is a park that rivals New York’s Central Park, London’s Hyde Park, or Sydney’s botanic gardens.

Of course I discovered Karura’s remarkable history, learned about its sometimes checkered, shady past, the land grabbers, and the ultimately successful campaign to save it for the people. But more than that, I saw a place that Kenyans have taken to their hearts. This is a place that is ring-fenced, literally and figuratively, for ordinary Nairobians to enjoy. We saw couples hand in hand, joggers, women walking alone. We also saw wildlife, different species of monkey, all kinds of birds, all around us. It was safe, spotlessly clean, peaceful and completely beautiful. All this, just minutes away from the city centre.

I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting this. Our guide told us that 37,000 people visited Karura last month. I can see why.  I’m more than impressed.

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