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Nana Gecaga to appear before House committee today



Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) CEO Nana Gecaga is today expected to appear before a National Assembly committee on the facility’s management and use of funds.

Also expected before the Sports, Tourism and Culture Committee, which is chaired by Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, is Bomas of Kenya General Manager Quresh Ahmed.

The two parastatals are accountable to the National Treasury, but the committee will be seeking an update on the implementation of government policies in regard to tourism and culture and efforts made to market Kenya as a tourist destination.

Two weeks ago, the committee was forced to cut shot its tour of the KICC after Ms Gecaga walked into the meeting casually dressed in a T-shirt and a pair of jeans trousers. The committee reprimanded her and called off the meeting.

Mwingi West MP Charles Nguna, who was among those who accompanied Mr Munyaka to KICC, said the committee was forced to cancel the inspection after a low key reception by the KICC management.

“Ms Gecaga was ill-prepared for the visit despite having been notified by the Clerk of the National Assembly two weeks prior to the visit,” Mr Nguna said.

“It seems she does not know how government systems work. She is the wrong person to be entrusted with this major institution.”

Ms Gecaga is President Kenyatta’s niece. KICC and Bomas of Kenya are among the few government agencies on which the committee has oversight and allocates funds in the budget.

source:Daily Nation

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Luxury Westlands hotel on auction over Sh240m debt



A luxury hotel in Westlands, Nairobi formerly known Westend is set to be auctioned over unpaid Sh240 million bank loan.

In a notice published in the dailies Wednesday, Dalali Traders invited potential buyers of We Hotel and Suites formerly known as Westend to attend the event Thursday.

“Under instructions received from the charges advocate, we shall sell by public auction the under mentioned property on Thursday 20 February at our offices along Kijabe Street next to Universal Church starting at 10:30am,” the auctioneer said in a notice.

The hotel is associated with media entrepreneur Purish Shah.

Mr Shah, who is the vice chairman of Radio Africa linked urban station East FM had earlier pushed back similar attempts to sell his We Hotel and Suites through the court.

The Business Daily has learnt the latest planned auction of the upscale hotel is due to the debt owed to Bank of India. The hotel comprises a seven-storey building with basement parking. It has 42 rooms, 14 serviced apartments, spa, gym, conference space and a restaurant on the 7th floor.

Its basement comprises 17 parking spaces and a security office. Its ground floor has a conference centre, laundry area, staff dining room, and stores.

Located on Stima Road off Lower Kabete in Westlands it sits on approximately 0.0858ha (0.212 acres).

READ ALSO:   Report: KICC assets at risk of auction over Sh211m debt

“A deposit of 25 percent of the sale price must be paid in cash or banker’s cheque at the fall of the hammer and balance paid within the 90 days to the charges,” said the auctioneers.

The auction comes as the number of properties going under the hammer or businesses crippled by mounting debt has risen sharply in recent months.

We Hotel and Suites joins the growing class of distressed hotels owned and operated by locals that have fallen to mounting debt and slowed down business as a result of the increased supply of rooms in the country and the government’s directive for public servants to hold their meetings in government institutions as part of cost-cutting measures.

By Business Daily

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Families want loved ones in Wuhan evacuated



When Lillian Morara’s daughter asked if her father would come back from Wuhan alive, she was caught off guard and could not answer the question.

During a press conference on Wednesday, Ms Morara sought an answer by posing the same question to the President.

“How can I reassure her that he will be all right and that he will come back alive? Do I have to wait for the day he is dead to pick her from school and tell her that her father is finally home,” she asked.

Her husband, Yuvenalis Morara, is a PhD student in Wuhan City, the epicentre of the coronavirus (Covid-19) and the family’s breadwinner. Since the outbreak, she said, he has not been able to provide.

“He is a captive in a foreign land, stuck in a room for hours on end,” she said.

Mr Patrick Wasikhyu said his daughter Hannah Wasikhyu has lost weight and is getting weaker by the day.

“My child is suffering and as a parent, when you cannot offer help to your children, then you feel like you have failed [them].

“If the government asks us to contribute whatever we have to bring them back, we are more than willing,” he said. He added that if she comes back, he will not consider letting her go back.

READ ALSO:   MPs angry after Nana Gecaga struts into meeting ‘wearing jeans and t-shirt’

Other relatives of students in Wuhan said their kin are willing to undergo all stipulated tests (both in China and on arrival in Kenya) and quarantine if they are helped to come back home.

On Tuesday, the government said it’s yet allocate funds for emergency evacuation of the students, but National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani said money would be provided should the need arise. He said the decision to evacuate them rests with the Foreign Affairs ministry.

“If the situation becomes compelling, money will be provided. And we are set,” Mr Yanani said.

Foreign Affairs ministry officials told the Nation that each of the students will receive a regular Sh15,000 in local Chinese currency (Yuan) to help them get by, but expects them to stay in the city until the epidemic is brought under control.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has so far investigated 13 suspected Covid-19 cases, which have all tested negative.

“Two of the cases investigated on Tuesday in Mutomo, Kitui, and Kilimani, Nairobi, did not meet the WHO (World Health Organization) case definition criteria,” the Health ministry said in a statement.

There are currently two isolation facilities in the country, one at Kenyatta National Hospital and another at Mbagathi District Hospital. There are ongoing consultations with the private health facilities in Nairobi to provide additional facilities when needed.

READ ALSO:   Uhuru niece and KICC CEO Nana Gecaga is looking for Mr Right


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VIDEO: Why “Deepfake” Technology could compromise US electioneering process



Camera apps have become increasingly sophisticated. Users can elongate legs, remove pimples, add on animal ears and now, some can even create false videos that look very real. The technology used to create such digital content has quickly become accessible to the masses, and they are called “deepfakes.”

Deepfakes refer to manipulated videos, or other digital representations produced by sophisticated artificial intelligence, that yield fabricated images and sounds that appear to be real.

  • Anybody who has a computer and access to the internet can technically produce a “deepfake” video, says John Villasenor, professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • “The technology can be used to make people believe something is real when it is not,” said Peter Singer, cybersecurity and defense focused strategist and senior fellow at New America.

READ ALSO:   Come for a husband in Kayole, pastor tells Uhuru niece
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