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Macharia Kamau: The diplomat with fast fingers and quirky views

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Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Macharia Kamau, the son of a PCEA cleric, cuts the image of a distinguished diplomat.

With more than three decades in foreign service and the UN system, few of his contemporaries are still serving in the Kenyan government.

When Parliament vetted him for the PS job, he said he was “drawing the line in the sand” to stop any further violations of Kenya’s territorial integrity or torture of its citizens abroad.

Outside of Kenya, he is associated with environmental advocacy, having served as Special Envoy of the President of the General Assembly on Climate Change and UN Secretary General on El Niño and Climate.

While serving as Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, he was awarded the Elizabeth Haub Award, Gold Medal, for Environmental Diplomacy.

But he is also a controversial diplomat. This week, through his unverified Twitter account, he attacked a panellist appearing on KTN News and called her, among other things, a “nincompoop”.

Ms Jerotich Seii, the activist and fierce critic of Kenya Power’s services, was appearing in a KTN News show hosted by Ben Kitili where the subject was Chinese loans to Kenya.

The show on Tuesday came in the wake of Chinese and Kenyan governmental denial that the standard gauge railway (SGR) extension was part of the agenda when President Uhuru Kenyatta met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping last month.

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The key question Ms Seii asked was why the government has refused to publicly diverge details of the SGR loan.

“What about this issue of one million Chinese who are supposed to make their way quietly into Kenya regularly … then dispatched to different locations … where are these Chinese? She posed on the show, referring to an alleged plan to ship in Chinese to work in Kenya in exchange for the Asian nation loans, which the government has previously denied.

“Our bureaucrats are too short-sighted, too corrupt and too foolish to understand that this is a long game,” she said.

The allegation appeared to incense Mr Kamau. He went ahead to incorrectly say the old railway line, the Lunatic Express, was constructed by the British under a loan arrangement (It was actually part of the British strategy to conquer the hinterlands and acquire the highlands).

“It’s a wonder we are still not slaves!!Where do they find these nincompoops? Where would Kenya be without the loans and rail?” he wrote.

When members of the public called him out for violating free speech, he said it was sacrosanct.

“That was never my contention. Mine is the manner of the uptake by some. The reason I like this medium is precisely because it avails feedback (sic). Some welcome, some not so. But all good. And for your information, the views here are personal.”

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So why does the distinguished envoy rant in an office where diplomatic tone is almost daily dose?

In an interview with the Nation, he argued that he speaks his mind and tries to balance between office needs and his personal convictions.

“You have seen my tweets. Sometimes don’t say things that are flattering to the government of the day. Because even though I am a principal secretary, I am also a private citizen,” he told the Nation in April.

“And I have to manage this relationship. I am proud that I live in a country where I am free to do this even though I am a government official.”

He takes his liberty as a private citizen to exercise certain rights, “knowing very well that they might be perceived by some people, including journalists, as non-governmental. This is an amazingly progressive government.”

This freedom has seen him criticise Nairobi City County’s traffic jams and the National Environmental Management Authority’s lethargy in addressing noise pollution near his holiday apartments at the Coast during Christmas.

On the global scale, when serving as envoy to the UN, he infamously wrote to the UN Security Council asking it to stop ICC’s “offshore” trial of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto as it was hindering them from serving Kenyans.

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Later, the contents of the 13-page letter were thrust into mystery after then-Attorney-General Githu Muigai claimed Kenya would continue to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. The cases were later dropped.

But Mr Kamau also dislikes the way journalists report on government. “I think there is an abdication of patriotism on the part of Kenyan journalists. Their interpretation of patriotism, sadly, appears as bashing the government of the day,” he said.

His first fit of anger, outside of Twitter, came when he criticised Somalia for auctioning oil blocks (which it denied), and summoned Kenya’s Ambassador to Somalia back Nairobi.

“Am I angry? Are you happy to learn that you are about to lose a third, if not half, of your maritime area? Does that make you feel good as a Kenyan?”

To the diplomat, making sense in international relations today also means you have go to the edge of ideas. “You can’t’ just sit there saying nice conservative things and hope that you are going to provide leadership on the world stage,” he said.

source:Nation

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Entertainment

Nick Mutuma: I do romantic movies for my female admirers

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Babe magnet, actor and film producer Nicholas Munene Mutuma better known as Nick Mutuma, has explained why he makes romantic movies.

The hunk, whose good looks drive many women crazy, says he develops such movies because of the ladies.

ROMANTIC MOVIES

Drawing comparison from American rapper and actor 50 Cent, Mutuma has revealed that he studied his market and realised most of his clients are ladies and as such, he is compelled to create or feature in content that they like and would want to see from him.

“50 Cent has done the take. What works with 50 is that he tells stories that are relatable to his target market. He knows what people want to see. So even for me a very common question I always get is ‘why do I always make romantic comedy’, ‘why do you always make movies that are more female skewed’. You know it’s understanding your market. These are the people who put food on my table,” Mutuma explained in a conversation with radio presenter Shaffie Weru.

IN A RELATIONSHIP

When asked how he keeps at bay ladies who are always thirsting for his attention the 6 foot lady-killer said he prefers staying at home if he ain’t working.

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He was however quick to put a disclaimer stating that he is in a relationship with actress Bridget Shighadi.

“Every time I talk about this stuff she is normally upset because she is a very private person. She doesn’t like her stuff out there. I’m in a relationship, I’m a dad and I’m gonna leave it at that,” the actor said.

Mutuma and Bridget have been together for years now and are blessed with a two-year-daughter Dua.

By Nairobi News

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Woman throws her three children into River Nzoia

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A 24-year-old woman dumped her two children into River Nzoia in Lugari Constituency, Kakamega County last night seconds before jumping into the river with a third child on her back.

The woman who has been identified as Winnie, left her sister’s house where she had been staying at 9 pm duping her children that she is taking them to the shop. It is when they got to the bridge that she asked the children to close their eyes before pushing them one after the other into the roaring mass of water moments after taking the same leap to her death.

One girl survived after clutching on to a branch a distance from where she plunged into the water. The standard two girl explained the horror when she called for help holding on a weak branch.

“She grabbed our hands and jumped in the river. I reach in the middle of the river and got hold of a stick and lurched to it. I was crying,” said the little girl in tears.

According to Alice Magoma, the sister to Winnie, she had come to stay with her after some small disagreement with her husband.

“I didn’t see any problems with her. She had been staying with me for about a week and the husband even came to pick her up yesterday but they disagreed over a certain text message. I asked him to come another day when she has cooled down,” explained Alice.

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Alice explains that her sister was Okay in the evening, relaxing and chatting. She had left her to cook supper only to come back and find her and the kids not present in the house.

“That’s the last time I saw my sister. She didn’t tell me anything. She didn’t tell me her plan. I thought she was going to sleep at the neighbour’s place. I was wrong.”

The standard two girl who survived was found by Joseph Maleso, the chairman of the Nyumba kumi who took her to his home, gave her some tea and later took her to the police station where they recorded a statement.

The bodies of the woman and her two children are yet to be found.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Entertainment

Autopsy shows Churchill Show comedian Kasee was poisoned

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BY KEVIN KOECH

An autopsy report released on Friday, July 3, from the Chiromo mortuary has revealed the late comedian Kasee was poisoned.

The news was made public by by Kenya Comedians Society chairman, Ken Waudo, who quashed reports linking Kasee’s death to alcoholism and depression.

According to Waudo, the deceased, born Joseph Musyoki, received a call from friends on Sunday, June 28, early morning to join them for drinks at a local joint.

He then left his wife and kids to honour his friend’s wishes but never returned home.

“Kasee was chilling at home with his wife and kids when he was called to go hang out with friends and have some drinks.

“He later felt unwell saying his stomach was disturbing him and even called his dad to inform him of the same,” Waudo said.

Kasee had promised to call his dad immediately he got home but never did.

Waudo said at the place the comedian was found dead, there were some kids who revealed he had complained of stomach problems and decided to take a nap before going home.

This was the exact place that the comedian was confirmed dead on the evening of Sunday, June 28.

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“It was around 6 in the evening and cops who arrived on the scene confirmed he was dead.

“The examiner said his brain was clear and nothing to do with depression and his liver was not that bad, so he was probably poisoned,” Waudo added.

Waudo also revealed investigations were ongoing.

Kasee is survived by two children and a wife.

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