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VIDEO: Uhuru asks Putin to help retrieve informational material on Kenya’s freedom struggle

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During a face-to-face meeting with Russian President President Vladmir Putin on Thursday, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta requested him to facilitate the collation and retrieval of historic material and information related to Kenya’s freedom struggle which may be in Russia.

“Our forefathers, including my own father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, drew great inspiration from the Soviet Union during the struggle for our independence,” said Kenyatta, adding: “That is why we would like to, at some stage, send some of our officials to work with your historians and archivists to see what we can do to put that history together for posterity.”

At the same time, the Kenyan and Russian delegations resolved to establish a Russia-Kenya business council to oversee the implementation of joint trade and investment programmes.

The delegations led by Presidents Kenyatta and  Putin met on the sidelines of the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. Watch

During the bilateral talks, the two leaders underscored the need for the business council saying it will provide a framework within which Kenya and Russia will pursue partnerships in trade, investment and development.

The Heads of State said entrenching bilateral and multilateral partnerships would help their respective countries in achieving faster progress in trade and security.

“To enhance the shared development and modernization agenda of our two countries, I consider it important to deepen people-to-people contact and our cooperation in security and defence, trade and investment, tourism, energy, culture, science and technology,” President Kenyatta said.

The President said although Kenya is the second largest trading partner of Russia in Africa, the full potential of the economic cooperation remains untapped.

He said there is need to identify ways of improving trade between the two countries, which currently is in favour of Russia, with a trade deficit of 2.3 billion US dollars.

President Kenyatta said Kenya is keen on the establishment of regulatory environment that facilitate trade and investment flows and assured his host of his administration’s agreement to the setting up of the business council.

He said there is need for Kenya and Russia to renegotiate the Bilateral Air Services Agreement so as to establish direct cargo flights between the two countries as a mechanism for boosting commerce between Moscow and Nairobi.

Russia mainly imports cut flowers, coffee, tea, fruits and vegetables from Kenya while cereals, iron and steel, fertilizers and paper, are the top Russian imports into the Kenyan market.

President Kenyatta invited Russians to invest in Kenya’s Big 4 Agenda priority areas of manufacturing, affordable housing, universal health and manufacturing saying direct investments would help “enhance economic cooperation”.

He singled out construction of affordable houses, tourist charter flight services and space technology as some of the opportunities available to Russian investors.

In the sector of energy, the President said Kenya is interested in tapping Russia’s expertise as a leader in the sustainable exploration and development of renewable energy and natural gas resources.

The President asked the Russian government to expand its scholarship programme in engineering, medicine and related sciences to benefit more Kenyans saying the strong historical ties between the two nations will be strengthened further through such exchanges.

“Russia played an unforgettable and highly valued role in Africa’s struggle for liberation and independence.

“Africa’s aspiration for freedom and liberty is enriched by the relationship with Russia. African heroes including Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta–drew from the vision of the Soviet Union,” President Kenyatta said.

President Putin recalled the historic friendly ties that exist between Kenya and Russia saying the two nations share similar values and that Russia was among the first nations to establish diplomatic relations with Kenya.

“First of all, I would like to note that the history of friendly ties between Russia and Kenya goes back to the day when Kenya gained independence, which was proclaimed by your father, former President Jomo Kenyatta.

“And a day later, diplomatic ties were established, on December 12 and December 14, 1963, accordingly,” President Putin recalled.

He expressed hope that parliaments of the two countries will continue playing a key role in the development of bilateral ties as they were the first to initiate two Russian-Kenyan meetings in 2011 and 2012.

“I hope that this cooperation between our parliaments will also continue and will create favourable conditions for the development of our relations,” the Russian President said.

To bridge the trade imbalance that exists between Nairobi and Moscow, President Putin said the two nations need to prioritise cooperation in trade and investment.

“Last year it grew only a little, but it was still 1.2 percent growth. We are glad that several Russian companies have gained a foothold in the Kenyan market,” President Putin said as he encouraged more Russian private sector actors to invest in Kenya.

On peace and security, President Putin commended Kenya for her steadfastness in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in Eastern and the Horn of Africa region.

The Russia leader cited how Kenya swiftly and firmly dealt with the Dusit Hotel terrorist attack saying it was an indication of how effective the country’s security agencies can become in dealing with emerging security threats in the country and the region.

Kenya State House contributed to this story

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SAD: Five killed in road crash in Nyeri

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Five people have been killed after the car they were travelling in collided with a lorry in Naromoru along the Nyeri -Nanyuki highway.

Police reports indicate that the crash occurred Tuesday night, a few minutes to 7pm, about 200 metres from Naromoru Town.

Kieni East Sub-County police commander Wilberforce Sichalanyi confirmed that all five occupants of the saloon car died on the spot.

“All the five people in the saloon car died. But the lorry driver escaped unhurt,” Mr Sichalanyi said.

OVERTAKING

It is still unclear what led to the deadly crash but police say preliminary findings showed that the driver of the car appeared to have been trying to overtake another vehicle.

Both the tipper truck and the car were being driven at high speed when they collided head on.

“It could have been due to a rush to beat the curfew but what we can tell so far is that the saloon car was attempting to overtake another car. They collided head on,” Mr Sichalanyi said.

The mangled wreckages of the two vehicles were towed to Naromoru Police Station.

Investigations are underway to uncover more details about the incident

By Nation Counties

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Woman held after tenant she evicted left human body in her house

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The Directorate of Criminal Investigations is holding the owner of a building where a dismembered body of an identified woman was retrieved before it was dumped at Tumaini primary school in Umoja last week.

Nancy Wanja Njuguna is held at Buruburu police station alongside two men – a casual labourer she hired to remove the body of the woman cut into several pieces and wrapped with wedding decor materials, and a garbage collector who dumped the body.

Inspector John Kanampiu of Buruburu DCI offices on Tuesday told Makadara law courts that the body of the adult woman was retrieved from Ms Njuguna’s rental house rented to a suspect at large – David Migwi Kariuki- before it was dumped with the decor materials.

Ms Njuguna is held alongside Kennedy Otieno Omar whom she hired to remove the bales of the materials that wrapped the body of the deceased, and Nicholas Kimanthi hired to dump the “items”.

Kennedy Otieno Omar.

The body had been left inside Ms Njuguna’s house leased to Kariuki who has since disappeared. Ms Njuguna has no details of her missing tenant such as copies of the national ID and phone number or next of kin.

Kanampiu said Ms Njuguna had earlier last month decided to lock Kariuki’s house after he failed to pay rent for several months.

“After locking the house, the suspect who is on the run came back, broke into the house taking his belongings and leaving behind huge bales of wedding decor materials and a blue water tank,” Kanampiu stated in an affidavit filed in at the Makadara law courts.

Kanampiu obtained orders to hold the three for 14 days as he continues with investigations.

After Kariuki ran away, Ms. Njuguna hired three men including the two in custody to clean the house, and ferry the luggage and dirt from the house to a dumpsite.

The suspects did the work and carried the wedding décor materials from the said house to a dumping site on May 30.

Kanampiu said the third man, only identified as Kamau, who worked with Omar and Kimanthi is also on the run.

In court, Kimanthi said he is a garbage collector and was hired to take the bales of dirt wrapped in the materials to a dumpsite.

Nicholas Kimanthi

“I asked for Sh1,000 but she offered Sh500 and after negotiations settled on Sh700. I did not remove anything from the house as, by the time I was called, Omar and another man had already removed everything to a corridor outside the house,” Kimanthi told senior principal magistrate Heston Nyaga.

“There was a smell but I assumed the materials were smelling because of being water-drenched and I did not bother to check because they were heaps.”

On Sunday, police received information that there was a body of an unknown female at Tumaini primary school grounds in Umonja two.

Kanampiu said the body had been stacked into four different sacks spotted at the school’s field.

The detective had sought to hold the three for 21 days to complete investigations including carrying out the identification of the body, undertaking postmortem, recording statements of witnesses, tracing the Kariuki.

The tenant of the house had reportedly moved to Ruai after vacating Ms Njuguna’s house.

The detective intends to take samples of the body to the government chemist for analysis, and take the suspects’ fingerprints and record their statements.

Ms Njuguna had opposed the application through lawyer Margaret Muthii. She claimed that she resides four kilometres from the building where the body was retrieved at her tenant’s house.

She said keeping her in cells is putting her in danger of contracting Covid-19.

But Nyaga said he had considered that and the fact that the seriousness of the matter under investigation.

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How Ruto saved Duale from axe

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At the end of it all, it took the internal politics of Garissa County, deep family connections and a last-ditch effort by Deputy President William Ruto to save Mr Aden Duale from the ignominy of being kicked out as the majority leader on the day the purge in the ruling Jubilee Party finally reached the National Assembly.

Sources say the power matrix in Garissa is what saved the voluble politician, cemented by his conduct in the recent past, and an early morning meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr Duale, Dr Ruto and Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju.

Even as the Garissa Township MP appears to have registered significant victory, sources say it could be temporary.Another meeting is expected in three weeks, where Mr Duale’s fate will be decided.

“I was in the meeting and didn’t hear the mention of his name, because he had been removed,” Tiaty MP William Kamket said, his position opposing the dispatch issued by State House.

SHOWN THE DOOR

While Mr Duale sighed, his two colleagues were not lucky.Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and his deputy Cecily Mbarire were shown the door during the parliamentary group meeting at State House, which was attended by Dr Ruto and 212 MPs, according to a dispatch from the President’s press team.Mr Washiali was replaced by Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe while Igembe North MP Maoka Maore took over from Ms Mbarire.

The presence of Dr Ruto and his allies was surprising as they have borne the brunt of the purgeBut more surprising was Mr Kenyatta decision to create the position of secretary of the Jubilee coalition joint parliamentary secretary, which will be occupied by Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya.

The dispatch did not provide the job description of the holder of the position and its relevance in the party’s parliamentary leadership hierarchy.Some lawmakers, who did not want to be named, said the position is meant to check and infuse some energy into the office of the majority leader.

Another source said the President held a meeting with Mr Duale, the DP and Mr Tuju where Dr Ruto pleaded for the majority leader’s case.

POWER BROKERS

But it is the role of Garissa County politics that was more intriguing.

The Nation learnt that power brokers in the Abduwak and Abdullah clans lobbied for the retention of Mr Duale as majority leader.

“The two clans have controlled Garissa politics for four decades and would not want to lose power,” a source said.Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji comes from the Abdulla clan and is known to be close to the President.

Power brokers from the two clans are said to have approached Mr Haji and asked for his intervention.

The two clans, known locally as the Telemuge, control Garissa politics and its economy.The influence of the clans is such that the who’s who in the county hails from one or the other.Former Chief of General Staff Muhamud Mohammed, who is Mr Duale’s father-in-law, and Mr Hussein Maalim, a former long-time minister in the Office of the President, come from the two clans.Since becoming National Assembly majority leader, Mr Duale has styled himself as a defender of the rights of the Somali people and Muslims.If the clan lobbying was a success, it must have come with a compromise.

TANGATANGA TEAM

There is a possibility that Mr Duale will adopt a neutral tone or gravitate towards the President or even start denouncing the DP and his Tangatanga team, some lawmakers said.

Late yesterday, Mr Duale held a press briefing, discounting reports that he had survived the purge in the ruling party.“I did not survive. My work stood out. I have served the country diligently and with dedication as the first holder of this office,” he said at Parliament.“These positions come and go.

The office of majority leader was not carved out for me. I should be judged when my term ends.”State House Deputy Chief of Staff Njee Muturi was seen with another group of 40 MPs in Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata’s office yesterday.

Mr Kang’ata said some lawmakers, whom he did not name, went to consult him on what to do “but I declined because I did not want to meddle in the affairs of the National Assembly”.“I told them I cannot assist unless with express permission from the President,” he said.

The early afternoon meeting brought together MPs who were not satisfied with Mr Duale’s remaining the majority leader.

By Nation

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