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Ruto allies want Raila arrested

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Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday continued his onslaught against former premier Raila Odinga, as his allies scaled it further demanding his arrest for swearing himself as a president ahead of the handshake.

Ruto said Raila is the chief sponsor of alleged ongoing moves to undermine development projects that are being implemented by jubilee administration.

Speaking at Kiwawa Boys Secondary School in West Pokot during a fundraiser in aid of construction of administration block, the DP said the opposition leader is currently an impediment in the realization of the big four agenda.He was categorical that as a party, they will not buy into the opposition tricks of undermining and creating division in the country.

“I know Raila Odinga, he has the tendency of breaking parties, he broke CORD, NARC, KANU, ODM and recently he disunited NASA. He is now in Jubilee to bring it down but he should be wary because we will protect our party and ensure that Kenyatta’s projects and legacy is upheld,” he said.He added: “He will not take us back to the politics of tribalism and disunity because he is known for negativity and destruction,”The DP observed that Raila has recently been raising issues on corruption as one way of sabotaging, demeaning and stalling development projects by Jubilee

READ ALSO:   Odinga family opposed Raila ‘swearing-in’, says Oburu

.He pointed out that it was the former premier that made allegations on Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), National Hospital Fund (NHIF) saga, Euro-bond and Mombasa port terming them a lie.Ruto made reference to the recent graft claims on Kimwarer and Arror dams in Elgeyo Maraket.

He said: “They do not understand how Kenyans are suffering because of the water scarcity. The dam project will go on as planned their lies and propaganda will not hinder the construction of 55 dams including Arror and kimwarer dams.”He added: “We are going to stop the noises of propaganda and negative narratives being used by the opposition against government projects for their own political reasons,”Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen who was part of the team that accompanied the DP slammed the opposition leader over his public stint in 2018 when he swore before his supporters at Uhuru Park as the people’s president and wondered why no action was taken against him.

He questioned the Director of Criminal Investigation (DCI) over its failure to institute charges against Raila for swearing himself a move which he said is treasonable.”If they are not going to arrest him then there is no need of raising an alarm against impunity and yet the opposition leader himself is a free man and has no authority to lecture people on impunity,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Raila is worth over Sh200 billion, claims Miguna Miguna

He termed the handshake between Kenyatta and Raila as ‘fraud’ saying it is one of the unfortunate move that took place in the country a year later because it has created more divisions. Local leaders led by area governor John lonyangapuo, MPs David Pkossing (Pokot South), Mark Lumunokol (Kacheliba) drummed support for the DP saying he is the ultimate choice for presidency in 2022.

Lonyangapuo said as a community they will rally behind an individual who has development record.”People should not be surprised whom I will support. Will gauge the leaders based on the kind of development they have done to citizens,” he said.

-Standardmedia.co.ke

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WATCH LIVE: Mt Kenya BBI rally happening now [VIDEO]

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The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Meru kicked off shortly after 12pm Saturday.

Governors from all the Mt Kenya counties including Meru, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Tharaka-Nithi, Embu, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Laikipia, Murang’a and Nakuru are in attendance.

ODM leader Raila Odinga is the chief guest.

The meeting is expected to, among other objectives, provide a political solution to the future of Mt Kenya politics.

MPs allied to the Deputy President William Ruto are expected to attend the meeting.

But , several meetings held across the region in the run-up to today’s rally were boycotted by some MPs who support Ruto.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I may form a government in exile, says Raila
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Pricey tomatoes push up the cost of living in February

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The high cost of tomatoes contributed to a spike in the cost of living in February with overall prices of goods and services in the economy increasing by 6.37 per cent.

This was a nine-month with the increase in general prices of food and non-alcoholic drinks standing at 10.58 per cent, year-on-year.

In January, inflation rate, or the annualised percentage change in price in a basket of goods, stood at 5.78 per cent.

Price of a kilogramme of tomatoes, whose high price has been the butt of many jokes online, increased by 62.4 per cent from Sh82.4 in the same month last year to Sh133.8.Another foodstuff that saw its price rise at a fast rate was maize grain (loose), with a kilogram retailing at Sh50.8, an increase of 42.8 per cent compared to the same period last year

.A kilogramme of onions touched Sh110.29 from Sh89.41, according to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).

“The increase in inflation was driven by increase in prices of several food items outweighing decrease registered in respect of others,” said KNBS.

Sukumawiki

“Notably, the prices of tomatoes increased by 62.4 per cent in February 2020 compared to the cost in February 2019. However, prices of mangoes and loose maize grain dropped by 8.39 and 1.3 per cent respectively.”While the heavy downpour depressed the supply of tomatoes, it was a boon for other foodstuff such as Sukuma Wiki.A kilogramme of sukuma wiki retailed at an average of Sh40, this was 15.4 per cent lower compared to Sh47.3 in the same month in 2019.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Drama as Uhuru reads Riot Act to his closest political ally, followed by deletion of his Social media accounts

Mangoes, potatoes, carrots and spinach also saw their retail prices decline during this period.House rents went up, with the index on housing, water, electricity , gas and other fuels increasing by 0.47 per cent.

“However, during the same period, the cost of electricity consumption kerosene dropped,” said KNBS.

A litre of petrol retailed at Sh113.3 last in February, an increase of 12 per cent, from Sh101.13 in January.An inflation rate of 6.37 per cent remains within the Central Bank of Kenya’s target of between 2.5 and 7.5 per cent.

By Standard

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Top researchers caught in toxic scandals over money and sex

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A half a billion-shilling complex, claims of sexual harassment and corruption allegations are at the heart of a bitter war threatening to tear apart one of Africa’s mapping centres of excellence.

So intense is the infighting at the Kasarani based Regional Centre For Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD) that four whistle blowers, among them a technical director, have been sacked.

The working environment at the 44-year old institute is so toxic that members of staff are now fearing it will compromise operations.

Investigations by Saturday Standard indicate that bad blood between some top managers has forced the board of governors drawn from 20 countries in East and South Africa to intervene.

RCMRD’s Director General Emannuel Nkurunzinza insists he is a victim of a plot to sabotage his work, dismissing claims of harassment against him.In October last year, some staff complained to the council chairperson Bonolo Elizabeth Khumotaka about Nkuruzinza’s governance style.Some — John Kiema (director of technical services), Joseph Masatu (staff assistant head), Byron Anangwe (business development) and Ann Kingori (executive secretary) — have now been pushed out.

All the four had testified against the director general when a raft of allegations were presented to the council last October.

“I had worked for RCMRD for 20 years. My contract was to expire in December last year and I expected it to be renewed. However, after I testified, my letter of termination was dropped at home, shortly before Christmas. What they did was not right but I have accepted this and moved on,” Mr Anangwe said.

He said he had complained about bad governance as there was too much interference by his director, whom he claimed was antagonising partners and shooting down other ideas, in the process killing creativity among staff.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: New comer Muthiora Kariara shines as others stay away

Anangwe said he was concerned after all the reserves the centre had been saving for two decades were committed to the construction of a four-storey complex that will cost $5 million (about Sh500 million).But Nkrunzinza said Anangwe’s contract and those of his two colleagues had been terminated by the governing council which had also directed they should not be renewed.

Nkrunzinza, a Rwandan, has also been accused of unilaterally awarding two contracts for training in use of drones in mapping in Zambia and Rwanda a compatriot, Rhona Nyakuluma, instead of letting the centre do the work and earn some money.

The director however defended himself, saying the centre had been contracted by the World Bank to engage the consultant who they had already identified and that it was only supposed to be paid an administration fee of 17 per cent.

Subscription fees

Each member country is supposed to pay an annual subscription fee based on its Gross Domestic Product. There was controversy surrounding how some arrears owed to the centre by Uganda in form of subscription fees had been settled.Nkurunzinza dismissed as untrue allegations that he had waved off the debt after he secured a contract for the recovery of data from a destroyed disk for a Kampala based firm irregularly.

“Uganda has cleared all its arrears. Those making those allegations do not know what they are talking about. The centre’s accounts are scrutinised by external auditors and no queries about our finances have been raised,” he said.

A complaint letter to the chair seen by Saturday Standard detail the frosty working environment at the centre. It reads in part: “2019 has been a very difficult year for TSD (technical service department)  and indeed essentially because of unwarranted interference in the management of TSD) and lack of support from the Director General.” According to this petition, staff had raised their grievances to the management, issues they said were never discussed.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I will stop Raila's Reggae, says DP Ruto who later raises funds to build a Mosque in Embu

The staff had complained of sexual harassment of students and interns during a meeting held on April 5, 2019, but the director general conclusively dealt with the matter through a memo on May 20, saying the claims had no basis.The staff had further claimed there had been a doubtful payment of about $37,945 (Sh3,832,445) in 2017 to a Ugandan firm after it repaired a computer disc that had vital data.

According to documents seen by Saturday Standard, the payment was suspected to be fishy because another firm in South Africa had unsuccessfully tried to repair the disc.

While requesting for payment, Banuli Kasanga of Dream Soft Uganda Limited had confirmed that his firm had repaired the faulty device which had been tested at at the DG’s office and found to be working.Nkurunzinza had on July 5, 2017 written to Dream Soft: “This is to acknowledge that Mr Babuli Kasango has today delivered data recovered from Dell Power Vault MD32000 and on a sample basis  demonstrated that the data is in good condition,” he wrote.This raised questions among the technical staff who wondered why the repaired disc was never returned to the centre and why the DG had gone to Uganda not long after the payment had been made.

Received data

But the director general maintained that he had indeed received the data which he had handed over to a client who had been patiently waiting for it.When these issues were presented to the governing council, which conducted  its sittings in Nairobi between November 28 and 30 last year, things turned nasty for the whistle blowers.In a case of the hunter becoming the hunted, Prof Kiema received a letter from the governing council dated January 24 informing him of the turn of events.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Given a choice between Raila and Ruto, I would go for the former - Martha Karua

“Reference is made to your letter of November 28, 2019 addressed to me in which you raised a complaint against the Director General. The governing Council undertook investigations in Nairobi. From the investigations, undertaken no evidence has been established supporting your allegations.

”The chairperson of the board said their investigations had unearthed incontrovertible evidence of insubordination towards the director general and the whistle blower was given five days to show why severe disciplinary action could not be taken against him.Ultimately, the axe fell on Kiema on February 3 when Khumotaka fired back:  “I wish to inform you that I have received your explanation on the offences you were accused of. However, I do not find the explanation satisfactory”.She added: “In the interest of  smooth running the centre, your contract is terminated with immediate effect by paying you three months salary in lieu of notice in accordance with your contract of employment”.

When asked why the witnesses had been sacked barely a month after testifying against him, Nkurunzinza said although the complainants had poisoned the working environment with baseless allegations, this was not the basis of their loss of jobs.“Their contracts ended in December and the governing council opted not to renew them. They were not victimised for reporting me,” the DG said.

On sexual harassment allegations, Nkurunzinza said when the investigators came, nobody came forward or presented evidence to back the claims.

By Saturday Standard,

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