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Why was Amina ‘demoted’ as CSs mentioned in mega scandals were spared?



President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday fired a warning shot at his Cabinet when he booted Sports Cabinet secretary (CS) Rashid Echesa, alongside Broadcasting and Telecommunication Principal Secretary (PS) Fatuma Hirsi.

Coming a day after talking tough about impending high-profile arrests, the President’s Executive Order No3 of 2019 also re-assigned six PSs, as the storm over runaway graft in ministries hit an all-time high this week.

And as Kenyans demanded more blood in the Cabinet, Uhuru added stock to his Cabinet bulldozers, promoting the no-nonsense chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), Prof George Magoha, to the position of Education CS.

CS Amina Mohamed, whose tenure at the Education docket has been characterised by one misstep after another, was relegated to the Sports docket vacated by Echesa.

But it is the last-minute intrigues leading to the announcement of the executive order that saved the day for a number of CSs implicated in recent graft probes.

An early meeting between the President and his Deputy William Ruto at State House is said to have slowed the move against five other CSs whose fates are hanging on a thread. “The argument from one of the sides was that sacking them without evidence could amount to witch-hunt.

It would also subject them to a public lynch mob. But the die was cast when one side posed where the lynch mob will stop at once encouraged with immature sackings,” a source privy to the meeting said.The State House meeting was also attended by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. The DP arrived for the meeting as early as 6am.

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The President is reported to have heeded to the concerns and called for intelligence report on the affected CSs, whose ministries have dominated the headlines lately over questionable contracts and transactions that saw Kenyan taxpayers lose billions of shillings. “The President reportedly called National Intelligence Service (NIS) director Philip Kameru to ask for the report on them.

The NIS report was not ready, and that is how the five kept their jobs, at least for now,” disclosed another source within the Presidency. The sources hinted that the CSs are not off the hook yet.“A new executive order is being worked on.

The release date has not been indicated,” the Saturday Standard was informed.Without mentioning names, the Saturday Standard can authoritatively confirm that the CSs who survived the purge yesterday manage ministries that have been in the spotlight for various omissions, graft and delayed initiation and implementation of flagship projects and the Big Four Agenda.

In the executive order number three, the President directed that his government shall be reorganised as stated. “That the portfolio responsibilities and changes in the structure of government set out in the order shall come into immediate effect and the Executive Order No.1 of 2018 (nominated and reassigning the Cabinet) is hereby further amended accordingly,” read the President’s Order.

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Early this month, at a Cabinet meeting when the President warned CSs against engaging in politics, he did not have kind words for Echesa, signalling the beginning of his exit journey.

Sources say the President in particular directed his anger at the CS who had been engaging with local leaders in a war of words in their support for the DP.“Echesa was told he is not a Luhya CS. There is no docket for Luhya affairs,” the Saturday Standard reported.The official reasons for the sacking of Echesa and Hirsi was not communicated.

The PSs reshuffled include Peter Tum (Labour), Ali Noor Ismail (Cooperatives), Dr Ibrahim Mohammed (Environment and Forestry), Margaret Mwakima (East African Community Affairs (EAC)) and Dr Susan Koech (Wildlife).

The president could however not delay the sacking of Echesa over an ongoing investigation by the director of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti.

He flexed his muscle after he told Kenyans to brace for high-profile prosecutions, guaranteeing that there will be no sacred cows.The President’s announcement is however a total departure from the past, when he would emerge from State House to address the media, side by side with his deputy.

In 2013, they were even clad in similar white shirts, folded sleeves and red ties, accompanied by the nominees. With time, the funfair seems to have fizzled out as they keep off the media glare and appear to be rekindling the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s and retired Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi’s leadership styles of announcing changes in the Cabinet.

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War on graft

Kenyatta has reaffirmed his total confidence in Kinoti and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji, lauding them for a good job done and assured Kenyans that the new war on graft will rid the country of the vice.Senate Minority Leader James Orengo recently called on the President to deal decisively with graft in his government. “I am beginning to have a feeling that the fifth government is getting a little weak in dealing with some of the problems

When you want to kill a viper, you do not go for its tail. Other countries have demonstrated how to do this when they have had problems like this, by dealing with the problem directly,” said Orengo.He said a time had come for the President to change strategy if he wanted to deal with grand corruption.“If you read the report on the maize crisis in the Senate, keenly analyse the dam scandal, and if you look at other scandals that relate to waste of public resources and embezzlement, all the roads seem to lead towards one headquarters,” said the Siaya senator.


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PHOTOS: Two Kenyan men, Kamau and Mwaura, tie the knot in US



Two Kenyan men have said “I do” in the United States.

Benson Kamau and James Mwaura tied the knot at a gay wedding ceremony in Chicago, Illinois, this past weekend.

According to, as US based news website, Kamau and Mwaura are both natives of Kenya.

Sam-sex marriage has been legal in Illinois since June 1, 2014 after Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill legalizing such marriages on November 20, 2013.

This is not the first time that a Kenyan man has entered into matrimonial union with another man in the US, In 2016, Mr Ben Gitau, 33, and Mr Steve Damelin got married at Ann Arbor, Michigan.

In a related development in February, 2018, a self proclaimed Kenyan Lesbian married an American woman in a low key ceremony held in Dallas, Texas, USA.

Manuella Mumbi tied the knot with her American lover,  Lisa Webb Clay.

Mumbi, one of the few Kenyan women who have boldly come out to declare that they are lesbians, was born and raised in Kahawa, Kiambu County and recently relocated to the US to live with her better half before their wedding.

Webb Clay is an American model who hails from Texas. She reportedly invited Mumbi to the US to formalize their engagement.

READ ALSO:   Amina’s Jogoo House tenure tainted with endless crises

RELATED: Kenyan woman marries her lesbian lover in US

Last week, the Court of Appeal in Kenya granted gays and lesbians the freedom to register their own umbrella lobby.

In a judgment delivered on Friday, a majority decision of the Court of Appeal held that human beings should not be denied their fundamental rights because of how they choose to live their lives.

This position was taken by judges Philip Waki, Asike Makhandia and Martha Koome while affirming the decision of the High Court.

Here are some photos from last weekend’s ceremony:

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Why are there so few women chefs?



It is believed that the kitchen is a woman’s place and as girls grow up cooking with their grandmothers and mothers, they carve their culinary career path from an early age.
But being amazing home cooks rarely elevates them to professional chefs.

At most high-end restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa, there are no female executive chefs.

The InterContinental Hotel, for instance, has a male executive chef and one woman sous chef. Out of the 50 chefs at the hotel, just 18 are women. The Nairobi Serena and Tamarind Tree hotels which both have male executive chefs also have female sous chefs, who are a step below the executive chefs.

At Utalii Hotel, which has a college that trains hospitality workers, the ratio of women chefs to men is one to three, says Catherine Sidi of the food production department at the college.

This is the reality in the rest of the top hotels. Even globally, the number of male chefs awarded Michelin stars, the ultimate accolade of fine dining, outnumbers those given to women.

An executive chef leads the kitchen teams and also participates in cooking, planning menus and creating new dishes. Whereas a sous chef plans and directs food preparation in a kitchen.

READ ALSO:   Amina’s Jogoo House tenure tainted with endless crises

So why don’t women rise to executive chef posts?

The pressure on women to juggle work and home life is nothing new but executive chef John Getanda of the Nairobi Serena says that a top chef’s job mostly involves running through 12 to 14 hour shifts and this could be the reason why more men take up the jobs as opposed to women.

“It is not easy and most women have given up along the way despite being capable chefs. Some want to start families and do something else after a short stint in the career,” he says.

Long hours

Sous Chef Corretta Akinyi of the Hotel InterContinental says that the hours are really what makes the job tough.

“For a woman to rise, she has to work long hours and be willing to stay even after work to perfect and learn new culinary skills that is just not easy for everyone,” she says.

Chef Corretta says while there are almost as many women as men when starting out in hotels, but most female chefs either divert to other ventures or stagnant on junior levels.

“Some prefer to be pastry chefs which is a flexible job in the sense that you can prepare the pastries a day before as opposed to working in the ‘hot kitchen’ where everything is done on the same day and with so much pressure,” she says.

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When I ask Chef Getanda whether the restaurant kitchen is like what we see in famed TV series Hell’s Kitchen and if that could be the reason why the job could is tough for women, he laughed.

“No, that is not how kitchens are, and if they were, it would be a bad environment for anyone to work in, not just the women,” he says.

He adds that the industry needs to work on its representation, conditions and image to achieve a truly diverse workforce.


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US firm reveals plan to grow marijuana in Kenya



A New York-based company is claiming to have obtained a licence to cultivate marijuana on 500 acres of land in Kenya, bringing closer home the current global debate about regulation and control of the narcotic.

In a notice, GoIP Global Inc, which is listed on the OTC Markets of New York, told its shareholders that it has secured a permit to grow the stimulant on a 500-acre plot in Kenya.

“After visiting Kenya and meeting with officials in the country, I am very excited about the prospects this agreement (licence) brings to our company. This is the first of several critical transactions that will transform GoIP into a relevant member of the burgeoning cannabis industry,” said company chairman Ike Sutton in the statement dated March 7.

“The lease term will be for 25 years and Kenya being on the Equator provides the best conditions for all-year round production,” the statement adds.

However, the Kenyan government denied issuing such a licence, warning that marijuana remains a prohibited plant in the country’s statutes. GoIP did not respond to our multiple requests for comment.

Agricultural Research Principal Secretary Hamadi Boga said he is not aware of any permit issued to GoIP Global Inc for the growing of cannabis.

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“I am not aware of the licensing of the said firm to grow marijuana. As you are aware, cannabis is not in the list of crops that we currently regulate,” said Prof Boga.

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