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How Aukot outwitted Uhuru, Ruto and Raila on referendum



It is fresh headache for President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga as the reality of a referendum looms.

On Thursday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati gave a nod to a popular initiative after it successfully presented more than one million signatures for the country to go into a plebiscite.

Mr Chebukati’s move follows constitutional lawyer Dr Ekuru Aukot and his Thirdway Alliance Party presentation of more than 1.2 million signatures for their Punguza Mizigo Bill 2019 initiative.

Has been down played

The possibility of a referendum sometimes next year, according to approximate timelines, could completely change the 2022 political arithmetic.IEBC’s clearance of the of the Punguza Mizigo Bill 2019 initiative takes the country to the verge of the first referendum on the 2010 Constitution.

But the initiative that has been downplayed since it started last year, has caught the political bigwigs flat footed including President Kenyatta, Dr Ruto and Raila who could now be forced to go back to the drawing table.

In March last year, Kenyatta and Raila formed the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which was tasked to collect views across the country with a possible change of the Constitution.

This was seen as a process that would lead the country to review the Constitution after five other similar attempts failed.But now the focus shifts to the County Assemblies, where Aukot’s team is supposed to get the nod of at least 24 of them for the Punguza Mizigo Bill.

By yesterday, some county assemblies had received the Bill from IEBC.

“Having received the Punguza Mizigo proposals in Nyeri County Assembly I will organise for sessions for members to objectively ventilate on all the proposals given. It’s expected that the MCAs will then make either an individual or collective stand on the proposals that shall inform the outcome of the vote,” Nyeri County Assembly Speaker John Kaguchia said, confirming receipt of the Bill.

READ ALSO:   IEBC spent Sh202m on legal fees in 2017

Aukot insisted that his process is for the betterment of Kenya.

He said: “We came to you, you listened and endorsed. We thank IEBC for the above board signature verification exercise. This is for the people of Kenya.”“If it passes through the County Assembly, whether Parliament passes it or not is immaterial, it will have to go through a referendum,” said former Committee of Experts (CoE) chair Nzamba Kitonga.

Former CoE member Bobby Mkangi concurred with Mr Kitonga saying the proces is unstopable once the County Assemblies approve the Bill.The recent development could easily throw Kenyatta and Raila’s initiative led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji in limbo and also disrupt the 2022 succession politics for the ruling party and the opposition.

Yesterday, the divided opinion about the initiative by top Jubilee leadership confirmed that Aukot may have upset the political order of the country.National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said the initiative was dead on arrival because of its attempt to reduce people’s representation in Parliament.

Funeral journey

“By attempting to cut on the representation of the people, the Punguza Mizigo Bill has begun its journey to the funeral at the County Assemblies, we will lobby them to reject in total,” said Duale.

But Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen disclosed that they are considering endorsing Punguza Mizigo Bill and said the proposal to make Senate an upper House is likely to be received well by senators.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Does BBI stand for "Beba Baba Ikulu?" Susan Kihika trashes Uhuru's project

“In the current context of what we are going through, the constitutional issues we are dealing with in the Senate and counties, Aukot’s proposals are extremely attractive to those who support devolution, if it is that attractive, there is high probability that his proposal will pass,” Mr Murkomen said.

“Because of the provision on strengthening Senate and strengthening devolution and guaranteeing 35 per cent going to counties again that is extremely attractive to Senate there is high chances senators might welcome his proposals based on the current struggle we have had for the last six years,” he added.He was optimistic that the proposal could sail through in more than 24 County Assemblies given the benefits it promises the devolved units once adopted.

Among the radical proposals in the Punguza Mizigo Bill are one term presidency, the Senate being the Upper House with veto power and the reduction of MPs from 416 to 147.

It proposes to use the ward as the primary unit of development replacing National Government Constituency Fund (NG-CDF) hence taking development to the people. It also proposes to abolish nominations in county assemblies and Senate.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka however, said the initiative came at the wrong time when the country was keenly following the BBI process which they hope will midwife the changes to the 2010 Constitution.

More funds

“We need to remain focused, the initiative might distract us from the real changes we are yearning through the BBI,” said Kalonzo.

Governors have also been pushing for allocation of more funds to counties and their crusade to achieve the same flopped through the Pesa Mashinani Initiative and now the Punguza Mizigo Bill has offered them a lifeline.Already, governors have planned a one million meeting at Uhuru Park to push for increased funding.

READ ALSO:   Nobody can stop reggae: Uhuru, Raila Dance at UB40 concert in Nairobi 

“We would like to book Uhuru Park grounds for the meeting on August 17 to popularize the Council of Governors referendum issues. We anticipate to host one million Kenyans who will come from all wards in the country,” Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Wycliffe Oparanya stated in a letter notifying Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko of reservation of the grounds.Interestingly, Mr Oparanya said he was opposed to the Punguza Mizigo Bill and instead prefers that the country first finishes with the BBI initiative.

The Kakamega Governor said the Aukot initiative could distract the BBI that has the voices of Kenyans from being the one to midwife the changes.The county chiefs have cried foul over the dwindling allocation to counties pegged at at least 15 per cent of the revenue raised and based on 2013/2014 financial report.

In the Bill, the Governor will nominate from among the duly vetted and appointed County Executive Officers, to be his/her Principal Assistant for purposes of administration.

In the unlikely event of the position of Governor falling vacant, the seat will be filled through a by-election.Aukot argues that, the current supremacy battle between Senate and National Assembly will be cured by the Bill, as it seeks make the former the Upper House.

Yesterday, former IEBC Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said the only way for the government to manage the process is to have Parliament initiate its own process through a Bill to change the Constitution.


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Meet young Kenyan lady playing key role in Joe Biden’s presidential campaign



Esther Ongeri, a young Kenyan living in the US is the talk of the town after Kenyans learnt that she plays a key role in the Joe Biden presidential campaign.

According to Biden’s campaign website, Ms Ongeri is the Director of Special Projects in the Biden 2020 campaign and has served in the position since July.

Previously, she worked as the Executive Assistant to the Campaign Manager and Special Projects Coordinator in the same campaign team from June 2019.

Ms Ongeri held the posts of operations coordinator from September 2017 to February 2018 and special projects assistant to the CFO from February 2018.

She is an alumnus of Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and government in 2017.

According to her LinkedIn profile, the brilliant Kenyan was a staff assistant to New Jersey senator Robert Menendez between May 2016 and July 2017.

Ms Ongeri started off as an intern in the office of Senator Menendez between August 2015 to May 2016.

READ ALSO:   Referendum a waste of time and resources, Kenya's Deputy President declares

She attained her high school diploma at Saint Dominic Academy in 2013 after joining the school in 2009.

In the November 3 US elections, former Vice President Joe Biden is seeking to unseat incumbent president Donald Trump and both are busy on the campaign trail.

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Woman brings 23 relatives on date with lover to test his generosity



A Chinese woman has made headlines after bringing 23 members of her family on a blind date to test her lover’s generosity.

Woman brings 23 relatives on date with lover to test his generosity

Chinese people enjoying a meal in a restaurant. Photo: Quora.
Source: UGC

According to the Daily Mail Online, the unknown woman tagged along with her large clan to the romantic occasion without informing her date in advance.

After enjoying the meal, the man decided to teach the woman a lesson and fled away after receiving the bill which amounted to KSh 382,000 ( £2,300).

According to a Chinese newspaper, Taizhou Evening News, the anonymous woman went on a blind date with a 29-year-old man identified as Liu in eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang.

Reports indicate that the date was organised by Liu’s mom who was worried about her son who had been single for long.

The man had offered to pay for the meal with the thought that it would be a romantic dinner for two but shock on him.

Speaking to the media, the woman said she wanted to test her potential boyfriend’s generosity in catering for the large crowd of 25.

According to reports, the lady and her family enjoyed expensive dishes and alcohol.

Interestingly, Liu failed the test and his potential date ended up paying for the meal herself.

READ ALSO:   Referendum a waste of time and resources, Kenya's Deputy President declares

It was later agreed that the man pays for a small part of the meal and the remainder of the bill be shared among the woman’s 23 family members.

In other news, reported of one bride who has since gone viral after she took to social media to convince her friends and family to fund her special day.

According to the post on Reddit, the bride wants a huge amount of moneythat will enable her and her fiance’ to tour Europe for a one month honeymoon.

According to the post, the couple will be tying the knot in December and the bride hopes the guests will not change their mind due to coronavirus.

“Hope you all are doing great and getting all of you all wedding gifts (haha) prepare your cold hard cash and your large housewarming gifts…We really cannot wait to see you all (and receive your gifts LOL) this December,” read the post.

The bride advised her friends against pulling out due to COVID-19 saying they have a monetary goal of KSh 2.2 million ($20,000) minimum.

She indicated that the guests are expected to donate over KSh 3.2 million ($30,000).


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PHOTOS:Maureen Waititu throws son lavish party to mark 5th birthday



Alot has been said about Maureen Waititu and ex, Frankie Just Gym It who doubles up as her baby daddy and ex fiance. The former couple has been giving fans and bloggers a good reason to continue snooping into their personal life as they like to parade it on social media.

However, what we can say is that they both had been drowning in a toxic relationship for a while; and this can be seen in the blame game that they continue to play in front of their followers. On Tuesday, 2o October Frankie Just Gymit shared a special message dedicated to his son as he celebrated his 5th birthday; but what caught our attention is the part he revealed that his ex has denied hi access to his boys. He wrote;

Since I have no access to you, I’ll pass these words on and hope they find you. Be true to yourself always. Live your own dreams. Don’t take life so seriously. And, last but certainly not least, Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I’ve got your back. You are my son and always will be. Happy Birthday Lexi.

Maureen shares birthday photos

Maureen on the other hand has however chosen to maintain her silence; but this does not mean she will not be posting anything. As seen on her latest post, the mother of two has gone ahead to share a few photos showing how lit her baby’s birthday was.

READ ALSO:   IEBC spent Sh202m on legal fees in 2017

Lexi turns 5

Judging from the set up, we can agree that indeed the single mum went all out for her baby boy; but as much as she has issues with her ex lover, she should have let the baby daddy celebrate with her son. No?

Maureen Waititu celebrates son’s birthday in style


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