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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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Man accuses pastor of eloping with his wife

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A businessman from Juja Farm, KiambuCounty, has accused a pastor who presided over his wedding of eloping with his wife of 26 years.

Mr John Kanyua, a father of five, alleged the pastor supported them and even signed their marriage certificate.

Mr Kanyua claimed the pastor’s relationship with his wife started when his wife was appointed an assistant pastor of a church in Juja Farm.

“I objected Mr Kanyua’s appointment as an assistant pastor, but he (my husband) was determined to have his way. I confronted Mr Kanyua’s wife and threatened her not to play games with my husband,” said the pastor’s wife of 34 years.

The pastor’s wife says her husband soon began to invite Mrs Kanyua for family dinner.

“I confronted Mr Kanyua and asked him to keep his wife away from my husband, the two later eloped in 2015,” she added.

Mr Kanyua alleges that bishop would visit his house in the morning and spend the entire day locked with his wife in the house until he sought the intervention of the local administration and the church.

“The pastor later eloped with my wife and children and rented a house at a nearby market,” Mr Kanyua said.

Mr Kanyua alleges his parents-in-law have since asked him to accept a compensation of the dowry he paid to pave way for their daughter’s new wedding.

He alleges the pastor has informed his children of his intention to marry another wife after separating with their mother.

Mr Kanyua says he still pays school fees for his children and sends them foodstuffs.

“I won’t sit back and watch another man take away my family, I will not allow the wedding to continue,” said Mr Kanyua adding that he is ready to forgiver his wife.

The pastor’s wife says she still does not understand why her husband turned against her.

“We have passed through a lot when we started the church, I won’t allow him to marry a stranger,” she said.

by nation.co.ke

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Immigration News

Immigration Advice: How to Avoid Losing Your Green Card Or Becoming Ineligible for Naturalization

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Each year, about one million people receive US permanent resident status, also known as green cards. Lawful US permanent resident status gives an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) however says this right is only provided on condition that the green card holder does not commit any actions that would make them removable from the country under immigration law.

Failure to follow some guidelines could make green card holders be at risk of deportation, or make them ineligible for US citizenship.

USCIS and Immigration law experts provide some guidelines on how to maintain permanent resident status:

  • Maintain permanent residence in the US. The US government will find you to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you remain outside the US for a period of more than one year. If you intend to be out of the country for more than one year as a green card holder, USCIS and immigration experts advice you to first obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the US.
  • Do not commit crime. In addition to penalties you will face for committing crime, USCIS says those offenses are also considered immigration violations. Permanent residents who commit serious crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault on minors, fraud, terrorist activities, drugs and people trafficking, could lose their lawful permanent resident status and also become ineligible for naturalization in the future.
  • Always file taxes, and make sure to file the US resident tax return (Federal Form 1040). This applies even if all your income was earned outside the US.
  • Never claim to be a US citizen when you are not, whether verbally or in writing. Immigrants are especially warned that claiming to be a citizen to a law enforcement officer is considered a serious crime and could make you deported if found guilty, or make you ineligible for naturalization.
  • Permanent residents are warned to never vote in national, state or local elections that require voters to be US citizens. There are criminal penalties for illegal voting. Such voting could also lead to the loss of your green card.
  • Do not be a habitual drunkard. A permanent resident who is deemed to be drunk or uses illegal drugs most of the time is ineligible to become a US citizen.
  • Failing to support your family or pay child or spousal support could make permanent residents lose their green cards or ineligible for naturalization.
  • Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by US law to register for the Selective Service.

SOURCE: –mwakilishi.com

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Business

Safaricom achieves 50pc female employees target

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Safaricom says it has achieved 50 percent share of female employees on its payroll, coming amid an increase in the number of direct and indirect jobs it sustained in the last financial year growing nine percent to 979,000.

This is according to the telco’s 2019 Sustainable Business Report released on Thursday in which the firm also announced a plan to plant five million trees in the next five years as part of a carbon offset programme.

“We have achieved a 50:50 gender balance among our employees and 34 percent of senior management are women. In addition, 2.1 percent of our staff are persons living with disabilities,” the report notes.

In the year under review, the firm says 178 women-owned businesses were pre-qualified under its Women in Business initiative.

The firm supports 167,083 M-Pesa agents, 433 dealers, 1,138 suppliers, 4,503 permanent employees as well as other stakeholders.

The company had a staff headcount of 6,323 (permanent and contract staff) as at March 2019, an increase from 6,130 in 2018.

The latest Sustainable Business Report also notes that the telco disciplined 78 staff in the last financial year, even as an earlier released annual report had indicated that Safaricom fired 31 employees in the year ended March 2019 over fraud.

“We consistently review our compliance with regulatory obligations, particularly those surrounding fraud, corruption and anti-money laundering legislation,” the report adds.

by nation.co.ke

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