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US official urges patience on Kenya graft cases

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A top US law enforcement urged frustrated Kenyans on Thursday to “be a little bit patient” concerning the outcome of corruption cases.

“Anti-corruption investigations are particularly complex,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Heather Merritt said in a press briefing.

“They tend to involve multiple jurisdictions because often corrupt officials are able to move assets amongst various jurisdictions both within your country and internationally,” Ms Merritt added.

She was speaking in response to a reporter’s question about the paucity of corruption convictions in Kenya.

Ms Merritt, who heads the State Department’s bureau of international narcotics and law enforcement, also cited US efforts to strengthen Kenya’s police service and to develop programmes intended to curb impunity.

She noted that she had co-chaired discussions on security and democracy as part of the recent US-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Washington.

The US pledged in that forum to provide “technical and operational assistance” to the internal affairs unit of the Kenya police service as well as to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority.

Ms Merritt emphasised that corruption can most effectively be addressed through strong national institutions that enforce accountability.

“It is all about stopping impunity,” she said. “It’s about society’s demanding accountability, but most of all it’s about developing strong independent institutions that are able to combat corruption across the criminal justice sector.”

The US official rejected arguments that corruption can be eliminated by increasing low salaries paid to law-enforcement personnel in poor countries.

“Adequate salaries are not enough,” Ms Merritt declared. “Even in countries where officials are very well paid, there are sometimes people who fall prey unfortunately to corruption and so we have got to do everything we can to strengthen institutions.”

She pointed to the example of the corruption scandal that shook the world football authority known as Fifa a few years ago.

“It’s not because (former Fifa head) Sepp Blatter was underpaid,” Ms Merritt said. “It’s not because the Fifa commissioners around the world were underpaid that they were susceptible to bribes… They made a decision to engage in corruption.”

The Fifa scandals were exposed because “there were institutions that were able to do investigations to hold accountable those who were involved,” Ms Merritt noted.

She also sounded an alarm about “burgeoning illicit markets” in Africa.

“Wildlife poaching and trafficking represents an escalating international security and conservation crisis,” Ms Merritt warned. “What we are seeing now in many of your countries is coordinated slaughter which was commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates.”

source:nation.co.ke

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Blogger Robert Alai arrested

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Police have arrested the controversial Nairobi-based blogger Robert Alai for allegedly sharing pictures of policemen who were killed in Sunday’s terror attack in Wajir. Alai has been reportedly driven to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Headquarters for questioning.

On Monday, Police Spokesman Charles Owino warned internet users against circulating the images terming the act unpatriotic and supportive of the actions of Al-Shaabab.

A statement from the police read in part: “The unfeeling act of posting pictures of our fallen heroes is online by one blogger is very unfortunate and inhuman. This is glorification of terror which is tantamount to supporting the same. It is also a cold-hearted display of insensitivity to families of the deceased, the NPS fraternity and the entire nation of Kenya.”

This was then followed by a warning by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission which called on Alai to pull down the graphic pictures of the dead police officers.“Whereas Mr Alai has the freedom of expression, such publications can be interpreted as propaganda for war which is not protected under the Constitution of Kenya,” The NCIC noted.

However, Alai  yesterday accused the government of neglecting the police. He vowed not be silenced by the criticism.He tweeted: “I will continue to speak out for the poor police officers who are neglected and their allowances taken by “wakubwa.” We must give our men and women who die wearing uniform, respect, dignity and honor they deserve. We shouldn’t treat our cops like dogs. I am angry!!”He also slammed the NCIC for not fighting for the plight of the police officers.“Ever seen NCIC condemn ethnic appointments in govt? Even seen them address the real issues preventing cohesion like the now fights in Marsabit? They are after silencing people addressing real issues. Police officers have asked me to help highlight their issues,” he added.

Alai burst into fame after he published graphic pictures of people making love in Kakamega’s Muliro Gardens. Over the years, Alai and has stepped on many toes through his fearless exposure of social evils.At one stage, his uncompromising tenacity compelled State House to rope into its communications whereupon he became a familiar figure during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s open forums at the big house on the hill, awarding him Head of State Commendation for raising pertinent social issues.

Source:Standard.co.ke

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Diaspora

US announces new approach to reduce Green Card, Citizenship applications backlog

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The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a new strategy it says will decrease processing times of green card and citizenship applications in some locations.

USCIS on Monday said it will shift caseloads between different field offices in a bid to decrease processing times in some locations. USCIS says with the new strategy, some applicants may be scheduled to appear for an interview at a field office outside of their normal jurisdiction. Biometrics appointment locations will not change, and applicants will still be scheduled at their nearest application support center.

The new strategy of scheduling applicants to a field office outside their jurisdiction affects Form N-400, Application for Naturalization and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

USCIS says an increase in processing times at some locations has been caused by an upsurge of the volume of applications received, with FY 2017 applications received being up 15.6% from FY 2016. FY 2016 receipts were 25.5% higher than FY 2015. Since the increase in volume has not affected all field offices equally, this has “resulted in some disparity in the processing times among field offices.”

SOURCE: Mwakilishi.com

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Larry Madowo pens emotional message to his late dad on Fathers’ Day

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Celebrated media personality, Larry Madowo joined many other Kenyans in the Father’s day celebration marked on Sunday 16 June with an emotional message to his late dad.

Taking to his Instagram, the BBC Africa Business Editor expressed how his dad loved them despite the short time he spent with his family, while hoping that his father would be proud of what he has become.

“It’s been 25 years since my dad left this world. I was just a little boy but I knew he loved us and he spoiled us rotten. It was almost as if he understood that he wouldn’t be with us for long. The years after weren’t always easy but I think we’ve made him proud #HappyFathersDay,” he wrote.

The former NTV journalist’s fans joined in to help him celebrate his late father with messages of condolence and encouragement.

Bucketlistcess He’s smiling from heaven, you’ve definitely made him proud. Happy father’s to the dads in heaven too.

Briankisuke 25 years so short for a loved one not to be around. You have never let his light dim.

Eva_soila So sad,take heart.A time like that is the hardest. Lost my Dad 3 months ago and still in denial. Hoping il recover soon.

Joemacha_ Happy father’s day to the handsome dad, he still had his thick hair haha

Dorothykinyakir I thought u should be sending happy father’s day to him cuss i trust he s still watching over you. But all in all sorry for that you arr not the only one take heart we r many in this…sorry again larrys

Warria.teddy You come from a strong stock! May you keep his fire alive and well. Peace and Blessings. #HappyFathersDay

Marabisimon You have turned out great…Your dad looked like that guy of Uko flani…wanafanana sana.

Source:Mpasho

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