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BREAKING: Why Uhuru has extended Huduma Namba registration deadline to May 25th



President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday extended the deadline for Huduma Namba mass registration, a day to when the exercise was set to be completed.

He extended it by a week with the exercise expected to conclude on Saturday, 25th May 2019 at 6.00pm.

In a statement to newsrooms, the head of state noted that the long queues observed at the centres in the final days necessitated the extension.

“I have observed with concern the long queues formed during these final days of the exercise in different parts of the country. It brings to the fore an ingrained last-minute rush habit that holds us back. Nevertheless, Kenyans are determined to register for their Huduma Namba and I have obliged to the numerous requests to give them an opportunity to do so.

“I have directed the National Inter-ministerial Committee for implementation of this programme to extend the registration period for another 1 week. In this regard therefore, the exercise will effectively close on Saturday, 25th May 2019 at 6.00pm,” he stated.

He urged those who had not registered to take full advantage of this extension and not to wait until the last day.

President Uhuru Kenyatta registers for Huduma Namba at a function in Machakos earlier in the year. FILE PHOTO

“The Diaspora mass registration exercise which started on May 6th, 2019 will continue throughout all our missions globally and shall close on 20th June 2019.

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“I encourage each and every Kenyan to become a part of this momentous change that will help to positively transform Government delivery services for the benefit of all Citizens,” he added.

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VIDEOS-Raila:Nobody can stop Reggae



Calls for constitutional amendments gained momentum at the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Mombasa on Saturday when leaders supported the call for a referendum.

Led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and senators James Orengo and Moses Wetang’ula, more than 20 governors, senators and tens of MPs declared the referendum was inevitable.

Deputy President William Ruto ally Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who led Tangatanga leaders in the meeting at Mama Ngina Drive, threw his weight behind the BBI.

Mr Odinga also supported 16 resolutions by the coastal people among them the need for a referendum. The resolutions were read by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi.

The opposition leader said that the drive for referendum through BBI was “a train that has already left the station.”

 “What we now need to do for us to reach our destination is to be an iron like a lion in Zion. We have heard what the coastal people want. They are not new because this is not the first time that they are being said, but the difference is that this time around those issues will be implemented,” said Mr Odinga.

Top among the issues the coastal leaders want included in the BBI report that will be presented to the task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta is the issue of land ownership, expansion of the executive by having a position for a President, a Prime Minister and two deputies, creation of and upper and lower coast region, establishment of regional governments while retaining the counties and all port operations to be undertaken at the port facilities.

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Mr Odinga said the formation of three-tier government was pushed by Coast leader Ronald Ngala.

Mr Musyoka said for the issues raised by the coastal leadership to be achieved, there must be the Constitution which can only be done through a referendum.

“For us to have a federal system, we must have a referendum. You cannot touch some laws without going through it,” said Mr Musyoka.

Governor Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, said going by the number of governors at the meeting, the referendum push was already realised.

“We have at least 24 governors here. What we need is 20 counties for us to pass the referendum. Tell me who can stop that. What Raila has said cannot be stopped,” said Mr Joho.

Mr Wetangula said the changes that are being proposed to the BBI should not go beyond 2020.

He said the constitutional change and referendum were inevitable. Mr Orengo said the country will be having the referendum by July.

In reference to Mr Murkomen’s support for the BBI and the referendum Mr Orengo said: “If you want to see a miracle, do not go to church tomorrow [Sunday] because it has happened today. Murkomen has called Raila Baba and talked of the referendum.”

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When he took to the stage, Mr Murkomen stunned the crowd after he started his address by acknowledging Mr Odinga before he threw his support for the referendum.

“It is no longer us versus them. We will work together as Kenyans. I support the creation for the position of PM and other positions to be made,” said Mr Murkomen.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who led Mt Kenya leaders in the meeting, said through BBI, there will be a referendum that would allow women have a chance in the next government.

“We will also be able to do away with the issue of having only two tribes leading other Kenyans. We will see the issue of inclusivity addressed once and for all through BBI,” said Ms Waiguru.

Kilifi governor who spoke on behalf of the coastal leaders said they had faith that BBI would address issues affecting the region.

He said the coastal people hope BBI will address the issue of land grabbing, economy will improve and coast leaders will have a chance to represent their people at the national table.

Other issues that formed part of the resolutions Mr Kingi read included provision of funds for growth of key sectors in the region, revival of defunct industries in the region, creation of an independent social and economic impact assessment commission and creation of a blue economy ministry that would be led by a CS from the region.

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The others were equitable inclusion and representation of the coastal people, exploitation of natural resources to benefit the locals, equity in education, creation of regional police authorities to address the issues of insecurity, fight against graft and development of special programmes to revive tourism.


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Kenya could lose Sh3bn US funding over graft



Kenya’s persistent corruption blot may hinder its early access to a US multimillion-dollar development programme.

Nairobi is ranked 137 out of 180 countries on the latest Corruption Perceptions Index published by global watchdog Transparency International, indicating that despite the latest push to combat the vice, the war is far from being won.

With prevalent bribery and kickbacks in tendering and a police service clamping down on protesters, the US government suggests that Kenya’s access to funding for poverty alleviation programmes may be delayed.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Sean Cairncross, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), said Kenya is eligible for funding this year, but it must demonstrate obvious improvements in governance.

“One of the hurdles on our scorecard is the corruption indicator and so we recognise that in creating a dynamic economy and a market that is going to benefit the citizens of a country and reduce poverty through economic growth, corruption is a major constraint,” Mr Carincross said in Nairobi on Thursday.

 “With respect to Kenya, that is one of the issues that we are engaged on. We are kicking off programme development, so we don’t have yet a programme design and don’t know what that is going to look like.”

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The leader of the US agency that says it applies a “new philosophy” to development aid was in Nairobi as part of an assessment to determine areas of need and funding structure, a process he said could take several months to be approved.

Last November, Kenya and Mozambique were prequalified for programmes targeting the poor as well as reforms in key departments. Further assessments based on indicators by the World Bank will determine when the money will be made available and who the recipients will be.

Kenya was qualified for the MCC Threshold, which means that once assessors approve of its progress on good governance indicators, Nairobi could access as much as $30 million (Sh3 billion) to run a three-year programme. According to MCC, the selection of Kenya for the programme is part of the US government’s efforts to reform institutions long clogged up with inefficiency.

If approved, the funding for Kenya from MCC could be the first in nearly a decade. The country routinely failed on certain indicators of “ruling justly”. Kenya received $12.7 million (Sh1.27 billion) from MCC between 2007 and 2010 — during the Mwai Kibaki presidency.

According to a programme profile provided to the Sunday Nation, the money went to changing procedures at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency, the principal State organisation charged with supplying drugs to public hospitals, to reduce corruption in procurement and stock taking. After the programme ended, however, MCC indicated the government had slackened in the criteria and didn’t approve any further programmes until now.

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 “We are going to go through a process of several months of diagnostics and design to determine specifically how it is going to look like. There will undoubtedly be institutional and policy reform focus that is going to target corruption,” he told the Sunday Nation.

Since 2010, however, Kenya has introduced county governments which means that the assessment will now involve both levels of government. Mr Cairncross indicated the lessons learnt in the first programme will drive the new way of working this time round.

“It is an iterative process for us to learn to do things better.

“One of the things that we learn is to bring on board real private sector engagement because without that you are not going to have a sort of real economy that is going to benefit the entire population.”

BY Sunday Nation

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Peace deal earns Uhuru and Raila US invite



The architects of the peace deal, President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, will be sharing a podium in the US on February 5 to tell their “personal journey of faith and reconciliation” during the International Lunch in Washington, DC.

The International Lunch will take place a day before the annual US National Prayer Breakfast, to which President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have also been invited, according to a letter of invitation that the Sunday Nation has seen.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will be the guests of honour at the National Prayer Breakfast.

The International Lunch is one of the annual National Prayer Breakfast-related events and honours members of the Diplomatic Corps based in the US.

President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga will be the joint keynote speakers for the lunch, according to an invitation from the US Congress’ National Prayer Breakfast co-chairs, John Moolenaar and Thomas R. Suozzi.

In the invitation, the co-chairs ask Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta to “consider speaking at the International Lunch on Wednesday February 5, 2020, at 12.30pm”.

“As the keynote speakers for the lunch, we would like to ask you to share your personal journey of faith and reconciliation.”

Mr Odinga had made reference to himself and President Kenyatta meeting in the US during a public rally at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega last Saturday to drum up support for BBI.

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“The handshake has got many people talking. I was recently invited to Togo to help them find a way to work together with the opposition in that country. This time around, President Kenyatta and I have been invited to Washington, DC, in February to the National Prayer Breakfast so that we can tell them more about the handshake, because it is a unique thing,” Mr Odinga said.

It is still not clear if President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga will travel together to Washington or just link up there.

State House spokesperson Kanze Dena gave a “No comment” response to the Sunday Nation on the significance of the two handshake architects taking their reconciliation message across borders to the US. Mr Odinga’s office and the US Embassy in Nairobi did not respond.

The US has been a great supporter of the handshake and, according to ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi in his biography, Washington was instrumental in having President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga announce the unity pact through carrot-and-stick diplomacy.

The day of the handshake in March 2018 coincided with the arrival in Nairobi of then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

At a press conference later in the afternoon, Mr Tillerson announced that “the United States looks forward to supporting the process that was announced … to bring the country together and to address the various national divisions”.

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The invitation to the two leaders comes at a time when there is acrimony between political leaders allied to President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga on the one hand and those allied to Deputy President William Ruto on the other.

The deputy president had initially opposed the public rallies organised by allies of the President and Mr Odinga to popularise the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, terming them a waste of public resources.

However, ahead of another BBI rally on Saturday in Mombasa, Dr Ruto’s allies announced that they would join the rallies.

“After consultations as leaders, we have decided that in order to pursue the original spirit of the BBI irrespective of our concerns against the use of public resources in a process that has been blessed with full nationwide consensus, we will participate and, where necessary, take charge of these public rallies,” the Senate Majority Leader and a confidante of Dr Ruto, Kipchumba Murkomen, said.

In an interview with the Nation on Friday, Dr Ruto had been cagey over whether he would attend the Mombasa rally.

“It is not anybody’s business to invite me to Mombasa or compel me not to go. I will have consultations with my boss (Uhuru Kenyatta) and we will agree on the attendance of the meeting or subsequent ones,” he said in the interview.

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He also accused Mr Odinga and ODM of hijacking the BBI process to start planning for 2022 General Election.

“There are people who have arrogated themselves the role of chaperons to be inviting people there. Who gave them that responsibility? We are neither guests, refugees nor visitors in Kenya to be ushered in and out by anybody. BBI must give space to ordinary Kenyans to give their views on how to move forward,” he said.

BY Nation

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