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‘Secret’ Uhuru, Raila China visits worry Kenyans

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President Uhuru Kenyatta this week returned from his fourth visit to China as quietly as he had left, without the usual razzmatazz that characterised previous tours. His departure was not announced on the official State House communications channels as had been the practice before, when pictures of him being seen off by government officials would be splashed before he took his flight.

Instead, in what is seen as a shifting communication strategy around the President’s official visits abroad, State House, which now has a new communications team, chose to only give updates on his engagements abroad after his arrival. The first update was on November 4 when he was meeting his host, President Xi Jinping. His return was also not announced.

The next update was on November 8, when he had already arrived and was in Eldoret to officiate the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) recruits’ passing out parade. President Kenyatta has been to China twice in the last three months. Since he was elected as President, he has visited China at least four times, making the country his most visited nation as head of state.

It is not just the President who has been visiting China. Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka have also recently been to China in what is understood as part of the plan by China to insulate itself against rising political temperatures. China wants both the government and opposition to read from the same script. Raila did not give details about his October visit.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru to support Raila in 2022 - Prof Herman Manyora

His spokesman issued a statement on October 13 announcing his departure, but also unlike previous announcements where he would give details of what his boss was up to during foreign visits, he chose to keep the details secret. Your opinion is valuable. Take this quick survey to help us improve the website and content Raila came back via Addis Ababa where he accepted appointment as special representative of African Union on infrastructure and development, a role China is deeply involved in.

On his part, Kalonzo, who was the second in command in the opposition alliance, accompanied President Kenyatta during his September visit for the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Kalonzo was booked in the same hotel with the President, in what kept many people guessing on what role an opposition leader was going to do at the two-day summit. But no one has accepted to give any comment on the record on what his foreign engagement with china was all about.

China has been facing criticism in the recent past for using debt to control African nations, however it has challenged this narrative on grounds that it was being funded by the west which has been losing its clout on the continent. Social media has also been getting brutal on the President every time he has announced any visits to China. This perhaps explains why his communications team is changing strategy to focus his messaging on investment deals struck and is keeping off the controversial issue of debt.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kenyan man tears Uhuru's administration apart in rare tirade

An official at the Chinese Embassy said his government is committed to having a long-term relationship with Kenya, but was concerned by negative political and media reports that are threatening this relationship. During his latest visit, the head of state said he was in Chinafollowing an invite from president Xi to attend the inaugural China International Import Expo (CIIE).

Besides other bilateral meetings, President Uhuru Kenyatta came back having signed a number of investment deals, among them with Guangdong Silk-Tex Group, the world’s largest producer of silk, to set up in Kenya. The deal will see the company set up a silk processing factory at the Export Processing Zone in Athi River but will also establish a silk farm. The firm will establish a cocoon farm on 8,237 acres of land and is expected to create over 300,000 jobs for Kenyans.  “In another sitting, President Kenyatta met officials of Cherami China-Africa Investment Management, a firm that plans to construct a cancer treatment centre in Kenya, in partnership with the University of Nairobi,” State House said.

Another deal inked was the agreement on food, plant and animal safety – known as sanitary and phytosanitary measures, which clears the way for Kenya to start exporting a selection of fruits and vegetables, flowers and meat to China.  Trade between Kenya and China remains tilted in China’sfavour and the deals are expected to try to change this, albeit in a small way.

READ ALSO:   DPP Haji comes to the aid of Uhuru, Raila over alleged involvement in fake gold scam

China is now Kenya’s biggest trading partner and it accounts for 17 per cent of its annual trade by value or more than Sh400 billion. But it is China that has been the one doing most of the taking. Feasibility study Last month, the President was also in Beijing to attend the 7th FOCAC summit.

He was also supposed to use the September visit to sign financing for the second phase of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). But the deal fell through after China asked Kenya to do a feasibility study. Before this visit, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia had spoken as if it had been a done deal, that Kenya was going to sign the $3.8 billion (Sh380 billion) financing deal with Beijing to extend the SGR between Naivasha and Kisumu.

It is still a puzzle how Kenya was seeking the project funded without the completion of the feasibility study. An official at the Chinese Embassy says part of the main reason why China went slow on the project was due to the negative media reports from Kenya, rising debt concerns as well as rising hostilities between the two nations.
Standardmedia.co.ke

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Health

4 FGM victims taken to Embu safe house

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Four girls who underwent female genital mutilation in Gitugi Village, Embu County, have been discharged from hospital and taken to a safe house for psychosocial support.

They will join their three cousins, who were rescued as they were being prepared to undergo the cut, at the rescue centre.

RAMPANT

The cut was carried out by a retired nurse.

Nominated MCA Sicily Warue said they were monitoring the progress of the girls, who are aged between eight and 12 years.

Ms Warue said the County Assembly of Embu would soon enact an anti-Female Genital Mutilation law to stop the rampant cases of circumcision of schoolgirls.

MCAs who are members of the Gender, Culture, Children and Social Services Committee said the outlawed practice was still common in the county due to lack of a county law and stringent penalties for circumcisers.

BILL

Speaking after visiting the Embu Level Five Hospital, Ms Warue said the committee was drafting the legislation that would prescribe stiff penalties for traditional female circumcisers.

The nominated MCA said she would lobby all female MCAs to back the legislation.

Ms Warue said male MCAs had also pledged to ensure the bill, which is still in the draft stage, would sail through in the County Assembly.

READ ALSO:   DPP Haji comes to the aid of Uhuru, Raila over alleged involvement in fake gold scam

Nominated MCA Elizabeth Kibai urged her counterparts to support the proposed legislation when it is tabled in the Assembly in order to save girls from further abuse.

CLERICS

FGM is practised with the full knowledge of religious leaders, she said.

Ms Kibai urged clerics to be at the forefront in speaking out against female circumcision in Embu.

Joan Kiema, the County Executive Committee member for Gender, Culture, Children and Social Services, supported the move to draft a legislation to curb FGM.

Dr Kiema said FGM had not been effectively eliminated in Embu County due to lack of proper mechanisms to hunt down and prosecute circumcisers.

By Nation Counties

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Lifestyle

Suspect in death of Keroche heiress faults investigators

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Omar Lali, the boyfriend of the Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Muigai, has questioned the pace of police investigations into the death of his lover.

Through his lawyer Yusuf Abubakar, Mr Lali accuses Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) detectives of dragging their feet in the case.

He says the days the police sought from the court to conclude their inquiries were more than enough and they ought to have concluded their investigations.

The lawyer said that when the post-mortem results came out, prosecutors requested more days to conduct toxicology tests (an analysis of potential toxins), something that could have been done within the time they had been given by the court.

The court allowed prosecutors to hold Mr Lali for 21 days as they investigated the death. After the post-mortem exam, they asked the court for five morel days, but the court declined.

Mr Abubakar says the country has advanced technology that enables toxicology tests in a few days, “but they waited until the days they had been given lapsed and came to request … more days.”

The post-mortem exam conducted on May 12 at Nairobi’s Lee Funeral Home showed that the injuries were consistent with a fall down a staircase.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kenyan man tears Uhuru's administration apart in rare tirade

Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor, who led the procedure, said Tecra died of injuries she suffered on the left side of her head.

But the family is said to have termed the outcome inconclusive and demanded further analysis, which involves toxicology tests.

A police source told the Saturday Nation that the toxicology tests are to determine, among other things, whether Tecra could have been poisoned.

But Mr Abubakar said the delay in charging his client in court is deliberate. “The police are not doing independent investigations. There are three teams of officers doing investigations into a single case. Officers from the Coast could not be given the job; it had to be officers from Nairobi. This should tell you that something is cooking.”

The lawyer also said that police had not shared with the defence the post-mortem results. The police argued that giving the results to the defence would jeopardise investigations.

He said Mr Lali had cooperated with the police since the investigation started and should face a fair case.

The police say Mr Lali has a case to answer, with sources telling the Saturday Nation that they plan to charge him with murder.

The police insist that the suspect pushed Tecra to her death. There are reports that there was an argument between them before she fell, a claim that the lawyer has vehemently rejected.

READ ALSO:   Details on Plan to Form New Uhuru-Raila Party revealed #RAIHURU #RAOHURU

Tecra is said to have fallen from the stairs in a private house in Shella on Lamu Island where she was staying with Mr Lali.

After falling, a source said, Tecra was taken to a local dispensary and later airlifted to Nairobi for treatment, but she succumbed to her injuries.

By Saturday Nation

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Immigration News

Are you the lucky one? Check the results of 2021 Green Card lottery here now

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The results for the DV-2021 Green Card lottery (Diversity Visa) are available  here begining June 6th 2020.

If you registered for the lottery during the open registration period that ran between October 2nd, 2019 and November 5th, 2019, all you  need to have  is your confirmation number, last/family name, and birth year to find out if you have won.

The State Department, which runs the program, had initially announced the results would be available starting on May 5, 2020, but the results were delayed by a month due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

What really is the Diversity Visa Lottrey?

Popularly known as the green card lottery, the DV Lottery makes available some 50,000 green cards (permanent resident visas)  to nationals of countries with low immigration rates to the United States in the last five years.

Kenyan nationals were eligible to participate in the DV-2021 lottery although those from the following countries were not because they had exceeded their quota: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

Results are now available here.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kenyan man tears Uhuru's administration apart in rare tirade
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