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What Raila’s new Africa job means

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NASA leader Raila Odinga’s appointment as African Union Special Envoy elevated him to a continental statesman whose time will now be divided across Africa.

Raila joins the league of former presidents and senior leaders in the continent and this places him near a climax of his pursuit as a Pan Africanist.

With a lot of travel around the continent rallying political support to his new cause, Raila might find himself divorced from local politics.

But just where does this appointment place the opposition leader?

As a special envoy of the AU chairperson, Raila will have an office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, but with frequent travel across the continent.

He will mediate in peace negotiations and conflict resolution. Raila will also have a fully-furnished office in Nairobi, with staff and advisers to boost his local presence and unity programmes with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Addressing the country during Mashujaa Day celebrations at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega County Saturday, President Kenyatta celebrated Raila’s appointment.

“When we come together, it allows us to be better. See now our brother has got a continental job, the biggest beneficiaries is us as Kenyans,” Uhuru said.

He said the new appointment will help his government achieve the Big Four agenda in terms of infrastructure and development of the country. “Raila will work closely with my government to ensure he allocates more resources to Kenya to fast track infrastructural development so as to make Vision 2030 a reality. We have made history as a country and with the handshake deal in place, Kenya stands to achieve more,” he added.

Mr Odinga meets with an AU dignitary in Addis Ababa. FILE PHOTO

Bury hatchet

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“Our agreement to bury the hatchet and work together with the Opposition leader has been recognised globally. The AU Commission has appointed Raila as the High Representative for Infrastructure and Development in Africa,” Uhuru said.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi said Raila’s appointment was well deserved at the continental level. “It was a great recognition of the roles he has played in our country,” Muturi said.

Senate speaker Ken Lusaka wished the Opposition leader well, saying Raila has what it takes to transform the continent in infrastructure.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale congratulated the Nasa leader for the new posting and urged him not to forget the Building Bridges Initiative that he initiated with President Kenyatta.

Political risk analyst Dismas Mokua says in theory, with such an appointment Raila should now exit the local political space and stay focused on the infrastructure at the continental level.

However, in practice, Raila is not likely to leave the Kenyan political scene and will therefore be forced to balance between the two.

Saturday, he said he had accepted the position and promised to use his political experience spanning over 30 years to fast track infrastructural development in the continent.

Raila is expected to pay much attention to the missing links along the transnational highway corridors identified as part of the Trans-African Highways Network, with a view to facilitating their development and modernisation.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Is NASA calling for increase of Cabinet slots to 40 to be accommodated?

He will focus on the continental high-speed train that is one of the flagship projects of the First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063.

In making the appointment, AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki acknowledged Raila’s “rich political experience and strong commitment to the ideals of Pan-Africanism and African integration, as well as a deep knowledge of infrastructure development.

“In this respect, his mandate includes mobilising further political support from Member States and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and facilitating greater ownership by all concerned stakeholders on the continent,” Faki said.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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Africa

PHOTOS: Uhuru all smiles in Namibia as drought crisis persists in Kenya

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President Uhuru Kenyatta led a high-powered delegation to attend Namibia’s independence day celebrations, despite the raging drought crisis in the country.

Pictures shared on the State House social media accounts show the head of state and those on his entourage all smiles during the celebrations that were held at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek.

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to Namibia’s independence day celebrations. PHOTO | COURTESY

“President @UKenyatta arrives at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to join the people of Namibia for celebrations to mark 29 years of their country’s independence,” read the caption.

Some of those in his delegation included his daughter Ngina, personal assistant Jomo Gecaga, ministers Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs), James Macharia (Transport) and Mwangi Kiunjuri (Agriculture), among others.

President Uhuru Kenyatta is welcomed at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek to Namibia’s independence day celebrations. PHOTO | COURTESY

At least 10 people have been reported dead as a result of the drought that has hit a number of counties.

The worst-hit are Baringo, Turkana and West Pokot.

Senior government officials, including Deputy President William Ruto, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa have, however, claimed that no Kenyan has died from starvation. They say the situation is under control.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru, Ruto have no mandate to lead Kenya, says US-based Kenyan

SOURCE: Nairobi News

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Zambia High Commissioner dies while receiving treatment in Nairobi

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Zambia High Commissioner to Kenya, Her Excellency Brenda Muntemba-Sichilembe has died.

The 49-year old High Commissioner has been receiving treatment since she was involved in a fatal road accident at Machakos on February 26.

Foreign PS Macharia Kamau has confirmed the death.

Ms Muntemba-Sichilembe was initially admitted at the Machakos Level 5 Hospital, and then flown to Nairobi and operated on to stem internal bleeding where she was admitted in Intensive care unit (ICU).

Prior to her appointment to this role, she served as Chief Program Officer at UNESCO in Zambia.

More to follow…

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I thought Uhuru would receive me at the airport, says Raila
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Museveni accepts proposal to run for 6th term in 2021, says he’s ‘still very able’

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Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, aged 74, has affirmed he still has the strength to extend his rule to hit the four-decade mark.

He spoke after the National Resistance Movement (NRM) lawmakers endorsed him to continue leading the party and the state in a controversial move.

The parliamentary caucus in Kyankwanzi District unanimously endorsed the Chobe resolution by the party’s central executive committee (CEC) to have President Museveni continue leading the neighbouring East African nation.

“I’m therefore very pleased with your confidence in me and since I am still very able and I happen to be among the most conversant with this journey, I happily agree to serve,” said the President, fetching a thunderous applause from the legislators who nominated him unanimously on Sunday.

NRM Spokesperson Rogers Mulindwa, in a statement on Sunday, said the legislators’ position was taken shortly after secretary-general Justine Ksaule Lumumba’s presentation titled: Towards 2021: Milestones and Strategies for the NRM Party. 

This development implies that Museveni, already in power for 33 years, will be seeking a record sixth term in power during the 2021 general election.

He will battle it out in the 2021 poll with 37 year old MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and 62 year old Kizza Besigye, who has unsuccessfully tried to dislodge Museveni in Uganda’s 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 elections.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS VIDEO: Ngilu joins NASA, says Uhuru and Ruto are extremely corrupt

Museveni has been in power since January 26, 1986.

source: Nairobi News

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