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Kamanda: We won’t be forced to back Ruto- VIDEO



Nominated MP Maina Kamanda has said that Mt Kenya region will not be forced to back any political leader in 2022. The legislator said that the region did not owe anybody and debt.

In a thinly veiled attack on Deputy President William Ruto, Mr Kamanda criticised politicians using ‘force’ to sway voters, saying “no one will use threats to get votes”.

“We will not be forced to give you votes even at gun point, our leader President Uhuru Kenyatta, will give us direction when the time comes,” Mr Kamanda said at St Paul’s African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa in Nanyuki, Laikipia County on Sunday.

The former Starehe legislator criticised leaders who think that they are owed political debt saying that no voter in Mt Kenya region will be manipulated or arm twisted to vote for anyone.

“We don’t have anyone’s debt, the only debt that mankind had had been paid by Jesus Christ. Let you not feel threatened by anyone, we don’t owe anyone anything,” he said.

The lawmaker hit out at Jubilee politicians allied to Tanga Tanga group. He accused them of undermining President Kenyatta by engaging in early campaigns.

Mr Kamanda said that Kenya has a single elected president who should be given time to focus on service delivery, especially on the Big Four Agenda.

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“Let President Kenyatta be given time to serve his second term as he focuses on development and service delivery,” he said.

Mr Kamanda called for political tolerance. He urged fellow politicians, especially those in the Tanga Tanga political wing of Jubilee, to desist from politics of violence.

On September 8, a church fundraiser at Gitui Catholic Church turned chaotic in Murang’a County after Kiharu MP Ndindi  Nyoro stormed in and vowed to preside over the ceremony which was attended by Jubilee Party leaders affiliated to the Kieleweke group.

Mr Nyoro belongs to the Tanga Tanga faction which supports Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.

“Some politicians go to church not to pray but to cause chaos, we do not want to witness such incidents in church again,” he said.

“The church must be respected and if anyone wants to play politics, let us go to a stadium,” he added.

On the ongoing debate on calls for referendum, Mr Kamanda said that Kieleweke will support Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), an initiative birthed by the March 9, 2018 handshake between President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

He tore into Thirdway Alliance’s Punguza Migizo constitutional amendment Bill.

“The initiative has so far been rejected in many counties such as Nyandarua and Kirinyaga and I know it will be rejected across Central Kenya. We are waiting for BBI report and when it comes out, we will go through it and sensitise our people and then agree if its contents will help Kenyans,” said the lawmaker.

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Mr Kamanda’s assertions were echoed by the 2017 Laikipia Woman Representative aspirant Mary Miano who supported BBI.

“We should listen to elders like Maina Kamanda, I am sure he cannot lead us astray. I have gone through Punguza Migizo bill and there is nothing good about it. Let us support BBI,” said Ms Miano.


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151 cases, but Kibra isn’t on lockdown



The government appears hesitant to put Nairobi’s Kibra estate on lockdown despite increased number of Covid-19 cases that now stand at 151.

This figure is more than the cases recorded in Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Old Town which are on lockdown until June 6, 2020. The two areas were put under lockdown by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe on May 6 after recording 58 and 67 cases, respectively. So far, Eastleigh has 121 and while Old Town has 91 cases.

Issuing yesterday’s Covid-19 update where he announced 143 new cases, Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said informal settlements in the country were on the government’s radar. “We have seen increasing concern around Kibra partly because of extended testing,” said Dr Aman.

Aman announced that surveillance teams were focusing on Kenya’s largest informal.“If these numbers continue to increase, necessary interventions have to be taken,” he said. The number of Covid-19 cases in Kibra have been increasing steadily.

Between May 21 and May 28, the area had 99 cases. The adjacent Lang’ata area had 31 cases, most of which the ministry said were from Kibra.

From yesterday’s figures, where 143 people tested positive across the country, Kibra came second after Makadara estate in Nairobi. Out of the 86 cases in Nairobi, 45 were from Makadara while 21 were from Kibra.

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Embakasi South come third with six cases. Langata had one case. There was no reported case from Eastleigh. Health Director General Patrick Amoth said densely populated informal settlements have become hotspots for the disease.

“It is practically difficult to ensure social distancing. The only measure left (in informal settlements) now is hygiene and use of masks,” said Dr Amoth.

According to the Director General, lack of access to clean water has played a role in the disease’s rapid spread in informal settlements.

Apart from Kibra, Eastleigh and now Makadara, Mathare is the other informal settlement which has registered more cases, the highest being 33.

So far, the disease has spread to 33 counties, the latest being Kericho which reported one case in Ainamoi area. Uasin Gishu reported 11 cases, all truck drivers.

August peak

The peak of the disease in Kenya is expected to be around August and September when the Health ministry predicts a daily tally of 200. “By then, we will be at 4,000 or 5,000 cases and by our fatality ratio, we will be at 160 or 180 deaths then,” said Amoth.

Up to 63 people have died so far from the disease, majority being those with underlying health conditions like asthma, hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. Majority of the dead were more than 55 years old, prompting the Health ministry to issue caution on unique symptoms of the disease among the elderly. The common symptoms synonymous with Covid-19 are cough, fever, difficulty in breathing and cold.

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“The elderly may have different symptoms that include lethargy, diarrhea, confusion, anxiety, unexplained strokes, loss of taste or brain inflammation,” said Amoth.


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VIDEO: We are about to reopen our economy, says President Kenyatta



This  exclusive interview with Nation Media Group’s Editorial Director Mutuma Mathiu aired on NTV Kenya at 7.30pm on Sunday.

“The economic and financial shocks associated with Covid-19 such as disruptions to industrial production and supply chains, falling commodity prices, financial market volatility and rising insecurity have derailed the already tepid economic growth and development,” the President said.

To address the socioeconomic challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, President Kenyatta said the global community needs to focus on the implementation of the United Nations Vision 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Watch the Head of State as he articulates his agenda for the country.

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Kenyan scientist Muthoni Masinde created an app that predicts droughts



An app is combining weather station data with the traditional knowledge of African farmers to predict droughts.

To help prepare farmers for the effects of climate change, Kenyan computer scientist Muthoni Masinde has created mobile platform ITIKI.

The name stands for Information Technology and Indigenous Knowledge, and the platform sends farmers drought forecasts via an app or SMS message.

Although it uses meteorological data, Masinde says most African farmers can better relate to the traditional knowledge that is also used to formulate the platform’s predictions.

“I grew up in a [Kenyan] village and I noticed that most farmers do not have any form of science to tell [them] when to plant,” Masinde told CNN Business.

“They watch insects, they watch the behavior of animals and then they make a decision, ‘I think it’ll rain in two weeks’ time.’”

ITIKI employs young people in farming communities to gather photos and updates about animal behavior and local vegetation, such as which trees are flowering.

They capture their findings on the ITIKI app, and ITIKI collates this information with data from local weather stations to model weather patterns months in advance.

Farmers can subscribe to the service for just a few cents, and receive regular updates in their local language, helping them make early decisions about which crops they should grow and whether to sell or save their produce.

READ ALSO:   Jubilee leaders say Uhuru backs Imran Okoth

Economic impact of drought

Many African countries are especially vulnerable to climate change and small-scale farmers in particular, who rely on rainfall for their harvests, could face poverty and food insecurity, according to UN climate experts.

That could have major economic repercussions. Agriculture contributes about 15% to Africa’s total GDP, according to a 2017 UN report, and accounts for around half of the continent’s employment, according to the African Development Bank.

Now a professor at the Central University of Technology Free State, in South Africa, Masinde launched the app in 2016 in Kenya, where agriculture makes up around a third of GDP.

“Investments in climate adaptation solutions, especially targeting small scale farmers, would lead to GDP growth [in Africa],” said Masinde.

She added that African governments tend to react to drought and extreme weather, rather than proactively planning for these events.

“We do not prepare for [drought],” she said. “It’s like we just wake up and discover that people in rural Kenya are starving, that people on one side of the country have no rain.”

Masinde says ITIKI is now used by more than 15,000 farmers in Kenya, Mozambique and South Africa. Since farmers started using the app their crop yields have increased by an average of 11%, according to Masinde.

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ITIKI has received $750,000 in funding from the US and South African governments, which will be used to scale up operations. By the end of this year, Masinde hopes to have signed up over 100,000 farmers to the platform.

BY Citizen

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September 2019


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