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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:   REVEALED: Raila Odinga among 10 wealthiest persons in Kenya -Tuko

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

Kenya Airways to resume NY direct flights on 29th November 2020

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Kenya Airways will resume direct flights to New York on 29th November 2020 after a seven-month hiatus occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, the airline was slated to commence the New York direct flights on 31st October 2020 but has since extended the resumption date due to increased cancellation of flight booking to the city.

According to CEO Allan Kilavuka, early bookings for the October 31 flight had registered a 40 percent cabin factor load. The airline plans to operate two weekly flights on Sundays and Wednesdays and gradually increase the frequency to three flights subject to demand.

In this case, Kenya Airways says that the three flights will run on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The direct flights to New York launched in 2018 and by October 2019 had completed 594 trips to and from New York and flying 105,084 passengers.

Kenya Airways has been keen to resume its former routes following opening of international flights in major cities across the globe. For instance, the airline resumed the Nairobi to Mumbai flights plying the route thrice a week.

The onset of the pandemic saw the airline’s revenues fall due to travel restrictions and lockdowns that reduced network activities connecting the home market to key cities. In the first six months of 2020, total income fell by 48 percent to Ksh30.2 billion compared to Ksh58.6 billion recorded in the six months to June in 2019.

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The effect of the pandemic was evident in the 55.5 percent reduction in passenger numbers to 1.1 million in the six months compared to 2.4 million in a similar period last year. The drop in revenue saw loss for the period rise from Ksh8.5 billion in H1:2019 to Ksh14.3 billion in the H1:2020.


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Ginimbi had planned his burial, including dress code, VIP tent and guest list

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Flashy Zimbabwean businessman Genius Kadungure, popularly known by the sobriquet Ginimbi, had fully planned how his burial will be conducted several months before he died on Sunday, November 8, 2020, his sister says.

Ginimbi, 36, died after the vehicle he was driving, a Rolls Royce Wraith, collided head-on with a Honda Fit in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Following the crash, Ginimbi’s car hurtled off the road and hit a tree, sparking a huge fire that engulfed the entire vehicle, instantly calcining the three trapped occupants to death.

Ginimbi had been rescued from the driver’s seat by well-wishers, but succumbed to his injuries a few meters from the fire scene.

The other three, who died in the accident, include fitness enthusiast Mimi Moana, her female friend Elisha and Ginimbi’s friend Limumba Karim.

Mimi Moana was celebrating her birthday party on Saturday night, hours before she was involved in a fatal crash alongside Ginimbi and two others. [PHOTO | COURTESY]

The four had Saturday night celebrated Moana’s birthday at Dreams Nightclub in the capital Harare, and were on their way to Ginimbi’s home when the accident happened.

Elisha also died in the Sunday morning crash. [PHOTO | COURTESY]

The crash occurred at Borrowdale, a residential suburb in the north of Harare. The neighbourhood forms the most affluent and prestigious residential area in the whole of Zimbabwe, online search shows.

Following news of Ginimbi’s death, his eldest sister, Juliet Kadungure, has now come out to reveal that her flamboyant brother had fully planned his burial months in advance.

“Genius was a fun-loving character,” Juliet told The Herald, which is the largest daily newspaper in Zimbabwe.

“He always reminded us about how he wanted his funeral to be conducted. In fact, he had a plan and always said ‘ndiri big’, so make sure on my funeral, you do not hurriedly bury me,” said Juliet.

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According to Ginimbi’s wish, all the people who will attend his burial penciled in for Saturday, November 14, 2020 must be dressed in white attire. The dress code is synonymous with Ginimbi’s trademark dressing for the lavish parties he used to host.

Juliet said her brother used to tell them that he wanted a big burial ceremony.

“Take time, planning for it. Check my requirements well and one of the things is that I want everyone who will be at my funeral to be dressed in all white, no matter who. Please, make sure you emphasise that, remember, I am an all-white guy. The all-white should be on the day of burial.”

Juliet said according to the plan left by Ginimbi, they will have to wait for his foreign-based friends to arrive for the ceremony, failure to which, the event should be postponed.

“He would say: ‘make sure you get in touch with my other friends abroad and wait for them to come,” said Juliet.

“That is why we are saying for now the funeral will begin on Thursday, [November 12] and for now people are gathered at our father’s residence which is 400 metres away from Ginimbi’s mansion.

“We have set up a tent because there are lots of people coming from all walks of life and we could not accommodate them at the mansion.”

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Juliet said there will be two tents pitched for the wake.

“There will be a tent for friends and fans, then a VIP tent,” she said.

“Ginimbi will be buried on Saturday, [November 14] in his yard as he wished to. It is very difficult for us as a family and we kindly request the public to respect us and avoid spreading malicious rumours.

“For now, we have put a family spokesperson who is Clement Kadungure. Anything you hear which is not from him, is not true.”

Juliet said the family was not stopping people from mourning Ginimbi at his mansion, as being reported on social media, but the reason why the funeral was on the other side was to accommodate everyone.

“You may think the yard is big, but it is not big to accommodate everyone as you know many people are coming,” she said, adding: “Like I said, we decided to pitch tents at the open space near my father’s house. It is also for the security of the house.”

Juliet said Ginimbi always wished for his house to be turned into a museum or a hotel upon his demise.

“We are going to invite some local artistes so they will perform on Friday, [November 13], when his body lies in state at his mansion,” she said.

“Remember, Genius owned G-Entertainment where he promoted some local artistes, so we will do his wishes and they will also be dressed in white.”

READ ALSO:   Raila to be sworn in at Uhuru park on January 30, says NASA

Chief executive officer of Ginimbi’s G4K security company, Dr Peter Gwaza, said some people were coming with the intention of stealing Ginimbi’s property.

“We have already caught two people who had stolen plastic chairs,” he said. “Again, the house has a lot of property that needs to be protected. I respect the decision by the family to have the funeral outside the mansion.”

Who is Ginimbi?

Ginimbi had interests in oil and gas business. [PHOTO | COURTESY]

Genius Kadungure had business interests in gas and petroleum. It is reported, in a section of Zimbabwean media, that he owned several filling stations in the capital Harare, and other parts of Zimbabwe.

However, it was alleged that he engaged in fraudulent activities to defraud wealthy Zimbabweans and South African businesspeople.

Ginimbi was popular on social media platforms, particularly Instagram, where he had over 650,000 followers and 644 posts at the time of his death. On the social networking pages, he flaunted the “good life” he lived, including posting pictures of the high-end vehicles he bought nearly on a yearly basis.

Some of the car brands Ginimbi owned include Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, Range Rover, Ferrari, Bentley, among others.

Ginimbi hosted multi-million-shilling birthday parties annually since 2009. In March 2018, he paid Nigerian artiste Davido to perform in Harare.

In Kenya, Ginimbi was a friend of socialite Huddah Monroe.

In Uganda, Ginimbi enjoyed a close relationship with socialite Zari Hassan’s late ex-husband Ivan Ssemwanga.


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Why Kenya Airways postponed resumption of New York flights

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On Saturday, October 31, Kenya Airways announced that they had postponed New York flights’ resumption. Through a notice, the airline said the decision to postponed the flights was informed by the increased cancellation of flight bookings to New York. The resumption, which was set for Saturday, was postponed to November 31.

“We regret to announce that due to increased cancellations of flight bookings to New York City, we have pushed back the resumption of our service to this destination to November 29. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused,” read the statement.

The national carrier last operated the passenger flights using the route in April after disruptions by the Covid-19 pandemic. Kenya Airways resumed international flights in August after suspending all its operations in March following the government’s directives on Covid-19.

Kenya Airways inaugurated direct flights to the US in October 2018, cutting the journey to 15 hours. In October 2019, KQ flew at least 105,084 passengers after completing 594 flights to and from New York.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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