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What makes Uhuru an angry man in race against time to secure his legacy

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Since late last year, he is increasingly displaying anger in public, often telling off those he feels don’t support his agenda

Slightly more than a year into his second and final term in office, President Uhuru Kenyatta seems to be betraying a hint of impatience on the goings-on in his administration as he races against time to secure his legacy.

On Thursday, the President once again publicly ridiculed his Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) and those who had started early campaigns for the 2022 elections.

State House insiders, who spoke to the Sunday Nation in confidence, said the President is increasingly frustrated by the slow progress of projects with less than four years to the end of his term — but was determined to take on those he thought were responsible instead and was not ready to be portrayed as a lame-duck.

Apart from the slow pace of the Big Four agenda projects and his warnings on 2022 campaigns, the President is also said to be feeling that the war on corruption is losing steam with fingers pointed at the Judiciary.

Since late last year, the Head of State is increasingly displaying anger in public, often telling off those he feels do not support his agenda well enough and threatening to sack them.

His critics have, however, often pointed out his harsh words are rarely matched by action.

Nonetheless, such anger was again on display on Thursday when he addressed a crowd in Kitengela town on his way to Arusha, Tanzania, for the East African Community Heads of State Summit.

During his speech, he even uttered some words in his native Gikuyu language to what was largely a cosmopolitan audience as he harshly cautioned the CSs to resign if they were not comfortable with his leadership.

“During today’s Cabinet meeting, I reminded our CSs that there are many young Kenyans who are willing and ready to work if they felt they are not up to the task,” said the President who was accompanied by hsi deputy William Ruto. He warned those who were choosing to politics instead of focusing on development.

A State House source explained that it was the President’s “robust stand” that had prompted his deputy to issue a statement disassociating himself with the 2022 campaigns.

Others like Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa are said to have earlier been warned to go slow on politics and concentrate on their dockets.

“You are going to see more of this. The President will not sit back and watch people sabotage his second-term agenda,” said our source.

The President’s attack on his Cabinet on Thursday was not new. On a number of occasions last year, he was forced to publicly rebuke Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri over the scandal in the maize purchase programme at the National Cereals and Produce Board where nearly Sh7 billion was lost through unscrupulous individuals.

But economist and policy analyst David Ndii attributed the Presidents’ recent outbursts to a personality trait, a sluggish economy and the 2022 succession dilemma.

“The President is feeling more of a lame-duck than he thought he would be,” said Dr Ndii who was in ODM leader Raila Odinga’s think-tank in the 2017 presidential campaigns. “It’s inevitable in politics, but perhaps he wasn’t prepared for it.”

Dr Ndii, a harsh critic of the Jubilee administration, notes that unlike his predecessor, President Mwai Kibaki, who was prepared to retire, President Kenyatta is trying to manage his exit “and the tantrums seem to suggest it is not working that well.”

“He is shouting at his ministers who are not toeing the line and this is linked to the fact that the “lame-duck phase” set in early,” he says.

He adds: “ He seems to have an imperial, even monarchical mien in his life complete with palace corps who kowtow to him. This is not concomitant with the rough and tumble of politics.”

After being sworn-in for a second term in November 2017, the President unveiled four key agenda he will concentrate on and which he hopes he will be remembered for long after he leaves the House on the Hill: the provision of affordable housing, provision of universal healthcare, development of the manufacturing sector and, finally, ensuring food security for all.

He called them his Big Four agenda and much of the government resources and energies have been expended to have them delivered in the shortest time possible, and without being coloured by the stain of corruption which plighted many government projects during his first term.

And this perhaps explains why the President seems to be on the edge nowadays at the snails-pace at which the projects seem to be coming up.

This point was driven home vividly by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria whose tweet on Friday evening about the pace of delivery of the housing project alone was a stark reminder of how far the Big Four agenda was from realisation.

“We have 42 months left in the current term of the Jubilee government,” said Mr Kuria who caused a storm early in the year when he accused President Kenyatta’s government of neglecting his Central Kenya backyard in development.

“To build 500,000 houses within the 42 months left, we need to build 11,905 houses per month from today going forward. That means 397 houses per day (including weekends). This weekend alone we should build 1,000 houses. Every hour we should build 16 houses,” he said.

The government’s strategies for raising Sh57 billion a year for the construction houses in five years, has been dealt a major blow after the high court suspended the 1.5 per cent of the employee’s monthly basic salary. The matter is still pending in court.

Dr Ndii could not be drawn into discussing pros and cons of the President’s Big Four agenda and its implementation, but said he was not surprised that the project has not picked up.

Losing steam

“The economy is not doing well. He had hoped that the so-called infrastructure- driven growth strategy would deliver some margins. But it hasn’t because the policy capability of his government is very poor,” he said.

With just three years to the end of his presidency, the universal healthcare is still at piloting stage covering just four counties out of the 47.

Meanwhile the push for securing food security by 2022 has been overshadowed by corruption in the maize sector.

On the other hand, the Galana Kulalu irrigation project has failed to deliver so far despite the billions of shillings pumped into it.

Similarly, the war on corruption seems to be losing steam away prompting the President to lead his Executive arm of government in berating the Judiciary for allegedly slowing down the fight against graft.

Muranga County Senator who is Senate Deputy Majority Whip, Irungu Kang’ata, rejected the insinuation that President Kenyatta is exhibiting anger in his public displays.

Positive legacy

“The President is acting with the realisation that he must cultivate a positive legacy before he exits from power by 2022,” said Mr Kang’ata adding “Even in private conversations he talks strongly about corruption.”

Political analyst Martin Andati sees the President’s tough talk as a way of asserting his authority.

“The implementation of his agenda is not moving as fast as he would wish and this gives him a reason to be angry,” he said.

Mr Andati said, noting that continued 2022 succession politics has only worsened the situation for him as he increasingly feels he is being written off from national politics too early.

“Even though he was ridiculed, Daniel arap Moi will be remembered for leaving behind a united country. Mwai Kibaki is remembered for the infrastructure projects. What will President Kenyatta be remembered for?” said Mr Andati.

Nominated MP Maina Kamanda claimed DP Ruto’s 2022 campaigns have distracted the President and frustrated the implementation of the Big Four agenda.

“The inauguration of ‘fake’ projects gave the government a bad name, forcing the

President to intervene by appointing Dr Fred Matiang’i (Interior CS) to coordinate their implementation,” he said.

Mr Barasa Nyukuri, a Nairobi based governance expert, says the new forceful images the President has cut since winning his second term arises from the fact that he is not bound by the power-sharing agreement with his deputy as it were in his first term.

Source: Daily Nation

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Wind may blow locusts away: UN

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The armies of locusts which have been ravaging parts of Kenya for the last three weeks may not march through the breadbasket counties, after all, a forecast by the United Nations shows.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) instead expects the pests to head northwest into Baringo and Turkana counties before entering Uganda.

Some swarms will fly to Ethiopia, which is battling other locust swarms.

The news comes as a relief to farmers in Nakuru, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Narok, Bungoma and West Pokot counties where much of the country’s staple, maize, is produced.

Officials who run the country’s economy can also sigh with relief.

The swarms crossed into northeast Kenya on December 28, 2019 and have spread to Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru and Laikipia.

The locusts – a lethal species of the grasshopper family that eats every green matter in its their sight – have the potential to knock down seasons of food, prompting acute hunger and substantially slow down the economy that is dependent on agriculture.

Panic had gripped the country when swarms were spotted in Kirinyaga, sparking fears that the pests were on a southwards march.

According to Dr George Ongamo, an entomologist at the University of Nairobi, FAO is basing its predictions on the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) projections that indicate a shift in the wind patterns in Kenya.

The ITCZ is where the trade winds that flow over the country meet.

When, for instance, the ITCZ shifts to north of the Equator, the southeast trade wind changes to a southwest wind as it crosses the Equator.

Dr Ongamo, who is involved in the locust control programme at the Entomological Society of Kenya, said there are indications that the zone would shift next month.

This means the winds would change their southern-bound course and shift to the west.

“Desert locusts are poor fliers, meaning they can only fly while being carried by the wind. If direction changes after the meeting zone for the trade winds, the insects cannot fly against the wind despite the abundant vegetation elsewhere,” Dr Ongamo said.

The official, however, warned the country against complacency “since there are more swarms in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Egypt”

“We are not out of the woods yet. Caution is still advised as there are swarms of locusts outside the country to worry about,” he said.

Dr Ongamo said scouts are on the ground in affected areas looking for sites where the insects laid eggs “to eliminate them with pesticides at the larva and nymph stages”.

Meanwhile, disputes in the government and civil society have denied Kenya quick access to funds which would have been used to stop the invasion of locusts, the Nation can report.

During a climate change summit in France in 2015, developed nations agreed to raise $100 billion by 2020 to address the pressing needs of the developing world.

Kenya was to be a direct beneficiary of the programme.

“There is a conflict between the Ministry of Environment, which coordinates activities related to climate change, and Treasury, which is the recipient of the GCF money,” said Dr George Wamukoya, lawyer and the lead official on agriculture for the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.

Dr Wamukoya notes that the locust invasion is directly linked to global warming and adds that control of the locust menace should be financed by the National Treasury using money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The Fund was established under the 2016 Climate Change Act.

The Act established the Climate Change Council, chaired by the President and which is the supreme agency when it comes to making decisions.

However, the council is yet to become operational since its establishment in 2016.

This is because the civil society has not been able to agree on a representative at the council as required by the law.

It is a setback for Kenya because emergency decisions to release funds for situations like the current locust invasion can only be taken by the council.

Mr Peter Odhengo, Senior Policy Adviser for climate finance at the National Treasury, said money can only be released from the kitty if the locust invasion is declared a national disaster.

“Had the Climate Change Council been formed, it would be easy for it to sit down, assess the situation and release funds based on advice from experts,” Mr Odhengo said.

As a result, the burden now rests with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA).

“The sad thing is that there have been warnings and updates by FAO in its forest locust disaster watch from as early as June 2019 when the invasive and destructive insects affected parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and moved further South of the Red Sea, but there was no reaction from those concerned,” Dr Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said.

The direct link of the desert locust invasions to climate change is the unpredictability of rainfall patterns.

According to experts, rains are heavier and lasting longer than usual or expected. The ensuing greenery is what entices the otherwise slow breeding insects (in calm deserts) to be more active and fast in reproduction.

by nation.co.ke

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Dennis ‘the Menace’ Oliech retires from football

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Former Harambee Stars international Dennis Oliech has officially announced his retirement from football.

Oliech, who is said to have had hopes of being signed by a club currently in the Kenya Premier League (KPL), played for perennial champions Gor Mahia last after joining them in January 2, 2019.

As quoted on a local news outlet, Oliech resorted to hanging up his boots after failing to secure moves to the KPL, and has moved into business.

“I have officially retired from playing football and will venture into business. I had stated that I would bounce back by joining Wazito or Bandari, but nothing is forthcoming, that’s why I have not seen any need to continue,” Oliech said.

Premier League clubs are reportedly not interested in Oliech’s services.

Oliech is also reported to have cited financial constraints currently surrounding the Kenyan football scene as why he chose to retire.

“Kenyan football is on its deathbed and that is evident by the go slows and walkovers in the league,” explained Oliech.

Oliech questioned why the league’s management could not stand on its own like it did before the arrival of major sponsorships from companies like SportPesa.

The Harambee Stars talisman revealed his next step in life, saying he would act as an agent for young aspiring footballers in Kenya.

“I will be an agent for young talented footballers so as to enable them get clubs in Europe,” Oliech revealed.

Harambee Stars

Oliech in action for Harambee Stars against South Africa in a past match [COURTESY]

Oliech is Harambee Stars’ record goalscorer with 34 goals, having announced his retirement from international football in March 2016.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from the national team Harambee Stars. At this point I don’t feel my contribution has been appreciated by stakeholders. It has become difficult playing for the national team when you are not appreciated,” a dejected Oliech announced.

Oliech first played for the national team in 2002 at the age of a 17 against Nigeria in an international friendly in Lagos which Harambee Stars lost 3-0.

He went on to play in 68 matches for Harambee. His last match for the team was when he featured against Zambia in a 2-1 loss in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier tie.

Club Career

He joined AJ Auxerre on loan, where he stayed for six years, scoring 25 goals in 165 appearances [COURTESY]

Oliech started playing football for Dagoretti Santos before securing a transfer to Mathare United. He had trials with Ligue 1 side Marseille while still with the ‘Slum Boys’.

He began his career as a pro in 2003 when he signed for Qatar-based side Al-Arabi, where he scored 12 goals in seventeen appearances.

In 2005, Oliech joined French side Nantes on a four-year contract, making his debut for them on March 11, 2006. He scored only four goals in 32 appearances.

He joined AJ Auxerre the next summer on loan, where he stayed for six years, scoring 25 goals in 165 appearances.

He announced he wanted to leave Auxerre in 2013 and joined AC Ajaccio, then in the Ligue 1 on a two-and-a-half-year deal. He scored on his debut and went on to score another seven times in 50 appearances.

He moved to Dubai CSC in February 2015 after terminating his contract with the French club.

In 2019, Oliech agreed a two-year deal with Gor Mahia, which never lived to see the light of day after the club unceremoniously terminated his contract on grounds of alleged misconduct.

By Standard 

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Lifestyle

Raburu’s wife goes on a self-discovery journey weeks after losing her daughter

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Marya Prude wife to Citizen TV host Willis Raburu has said that she is trying to rediscover herself once again weeks after the loss of her daughter.

The couple, who were expecting their first child, have taken time off after they lost their unborn baby.

Weeks ago Mrs Raburu had questioned God for leaving her when she needed him the most. Well she is making an effort to reconnect with God.

‘I don’t know who you are anymore but I want to embark on a self discovery journey and find you and love you as you deserve coz you only deserve the best.’

Willis Raburu’s wife Marya.

On Wednesday January 8 through Instagram, Prude penned a heart wrenching prayer to God explaining her emotional state.

“EVERYONE IS SO QUICK TO TELL ME ABOUT GOD. WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW IS THAT EVERY WAY I KNEW HIM, HE WAS TESTED AND HE DIDN’T PROVE HIMSELF,” SHE WROTE.

Adding,

“SO AS THEY SAY YOU SHOULD KNOW GOD FOR YOURSELF, I NOW CAN SAY, I DON’T KNOW HIM. AND I DON’T THINK I WANT TO KNOW HIM COZ HE LEFT ME WHEN I NEEDED HIM THE MOST,” MARYA LAMENTED.

A week later, Willis penned a long post to his daughter saying that she is forever etched on his mind and heart.

‘My beautiful daughter, some days are easy some days are so hard.

Today I woke up trying to imagine what it would be like to watch you sleep, ( that’s the only image I have of you) what it be like you hold warm fingers, what a sleepless night would feel like.

What it would be like to go to work tired Koz you kept me up at night, who you would look like now?

what color of your skin? if you would drink as much milk as I did when I was your age. My daughter, you are an angel now, or so they tell me and when I look up to the sky sometimes I cry, sometimes I sometimes I laugh.’

Adding

‘I want you to make so much noise in heaven, or in the multi-verse you are in,I want you to have all your the people who are with you there say “Yeap that’s Willis’ child” I miss you so much.

It’s funny that I have a picture of you but even before I look at it, your face is engrained in my heart, etched in my soul, tattooed in my very essence.

Willis Raburu

My daughter, my sweet lovely beautiful daughter, I’m sorry that you have to see daddy weak and in grief and not the pillar of strength that you and your mother need.

But my daughter, daddy loves you, since He listens to you talk to Him and tell Him, daddy doesn’t understand but daddy needs help. Rest In Palaces, RIP because you are royalty. 👼🏾👸🏾#QueenAdana.‘

By Mpasho

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