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It’s do-or-die for Raila, Ruto in Kibra

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With less than 48 hours to the Kibra parliamentary by-election, focus has now shifted from the campaigns, with leading political parties now focusing on vote protection strategies.

The race, which is seen as a do-or-die between Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto, is hotly contested, based on the spirited campaigns that have been staged by their parties.

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula have also promised a bruising battle in bid to win the seat.

The four parties are leading the pack in the battle for the 118,658 votes.

ODM has fielded the late MP Ken Okoth’s brother Bernard Imran Okoth while Jubilee is fronting football star McDonald Mariga.

ANC has thrown its weight behind ODM leader Raila Odinga’s former aide Eliud Owalo while Ford Kenya backs Khamisi Butichi.

The constituency has five wards including Sarang’ombe, which has the majority of registered voters at 30,754, Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course (28,066), Makina (25,695), Laini Saba (17,455) while Lindi has 16,688.

But while there are 24 candidates, including six independents seeking to grab the seat, the race is shaping up into a do-or-die affair between Mr Odinga and DP Ruto who is also the Jubilee deputy party leader.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Nasa backs Uhuru Kenyatta's 8pc fuel tax with conditions

The two political heavyweights have traversed the constituency chasing votes in what is shaping up to be a rehearsal for the 2022 presidential race.

Political analyst Herman Manyora says the race is a major battle for the two leaders describing it as “too close to call”.

“Anyone can win. I cannot place a bet on this race,” Prof Manyora told Nation.

“The moment Ruto entered this race in Kibra, it became obvious that it was going to attract a lot of attention. It was always believed that the main reason why Ruto was entering the race, if you want to be crude, you could say was to embarrass Raila.”

He argues that the DP wants to show that “Raila is not as powerful as he is believed to be. That is why they keep saying they have raided his political bedroom”.

“So really, for Raila it is a do-or-die because in the event he is defeated, that will send a very bad signal that the Raila we know is not as strong as he has always presented himself. So to Raila, it is very critical that he wins this seat,” added Prof Manyora.

The Nation has learnt that ODM will deploy MPs and MCAs across the constituency to monitor the poll.

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ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said that they are determined to bag the seat “as it belongs to us”.

He said they have laid down strategies to protect their votes and ensure they secure a landslide victory.

According to Prof Manyora, the Orange brigade is not leaving anything to chance “going by the way he (Raila) has summoned all his troops and sought assistance from the likes of Charity Ngilu, Kivuthat Kibwana, Alfred Mutua, Anne Waiguru and a lot of other people.”

For Dr Ruto, Prof Manyora argues, he wants to prove a point in the Kibra contest.

“He wants to prove that he is a politician beyond the Rift Valley. That he can campaign anywhere in this country,” he said.

“The better way to prove this is to go right to Baba’s bedroom as they are saying and to cause havoc. So it is really a matter of life and death to these two gentlemen.”

Mr Mariga and the Jubilee team have also stated that they will leave nothing to chance as they seek to prove Mr Odinga wrong.

Lang’ata MP Nixon Korir has been tasked with the mobilisation of agents who will man Mr Mariga’s votes on Thursday.

“The agents will be paid handsomely and will remain vigilant to ensure Mariga’s rightful votes get into his basket,” a source privy to the Jubilee campaigns told the Nation.

But President Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the Jubilee Party leader, has not been in Kibra to campaign for Mr Mariga.

READ ALSO:   Raila leaves for Duke University in US, set to meet Kenyans in N Carolina

by nation.co.ke

Business

Michael Joseph: KQ could fly into more turbulence

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National carrier Kenya Airways has protested the slow pace with which the government is implementing the nationalisation of the airline. It has warned it could fly into more turbulence within six months if the programme is not completed.

Kenya Airways Board Chairman Michael Joseph  yesterday expressed their frustrations at how the Ministry of Transport was handling the recommended programme.

He complained to a parliamentary committee that since the National Assembly directed the nationalisation, little had been done, throwing their restructuring plans into disarray.

Mr Joseph said since July when parliament voted to nationalise the listed airline, approving the government’s buying out of the minority shareholders, there was no clear roadmap and set timelines for the programme, placing the airline at risk of plunging into more debts.

He told the National Assembly’s Transport Committee that while they had worked out their plans and engaged both financial and legal advisers on the nationalisation programme, there was little that had been done by the government to actualise the plan.

“Our frustrations and impatience is that about six months later, we have no timelines on when the process should end. We are not even sure if it will go to conclusion,” said Joseph.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo's swearing in could be done in Germany - Committee

He added: “We are frustrated that this is really taking long. We have vented as much as we can and I am sure even the PS (Transport Principal Secretary Esther Koimett) is not happy with me stating this publicly, but we can tell you that unless this is done within the next six months, then the airline will no longer be a strategic asset for this country.”

But Koimett defended the ministry, stating that since parliament’s move, they had formed steering and technical committees that are now handling the specific elements of the process.

She revealed that the committees have since prepared a memorandum to be presented to Cabinet and sought advisory opinion of the Attorney General, who addressed the aspects that need to be taken care of in the process.

by Standard

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Entertainment

Ben Githae: I have no apologies for ‘Tano Tena’ song

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Kikuyu gospel artiste Ben Githae says he will not apologise to Kenyans for his song Tano Tena that urged Kenyans to give President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto another term during the 2017 heated election campaigns.

The song that served as the Jubilee campaigns anthem is currently trending on social media offering a ‘painful’ reminder of the ‘bad’ choice that voters made to elect into power, a government that has led the country into an economic slump.

While studies have shown that majority of Kenyans are surviving on a single meal per day, citizens have taken to social media to vent about having to cut down their expenses by walking to work and reducing their leisure activities to be able to survive.

They have accused the government of doing little to change the situation. Jubilee administration has also gone on a borrowing spree with the total public debt now standing at Sh5.902 trillion.

Some Kenyans have called on the artiste to produce another song that apologises to Kenyans for “misleading” them.

MISLEADING US

“Mpendwa, aka Baba Daisy should release a seven minutes apology hit song so that we can forgive him for misleading us .I personally apologized for voting three times in favor of the poor (in terms of leadership) duo,” wrote Moses Ngigi.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kalonzo's swearing in could be done in Germany - Committee

The artiste, however, feels those who voted for Jubilee government based on the contents of the song only have themselves to blame.

He said his influence could not have driven such a huge mass towards making a decision such as who to elect in office and called on those claiming that it influenced their voting patterns to instead clap for him for supporting a winning candidate.

“I saw an opportunity and seized it. I have no apologies to make,” said Mr Githae.

He said the song that was part of his Roho wa Ngai urotoma roho wa wuirualbum (May the spirit of God win over that of jealousy) hit more because of the timing of its release.

Despite the flak received for the song, Mr Githae says he made a tidy sum from the opportunities it brought forth. Also, contrary to people’s beliefs, he says he was not contracted by the Jubilee party to do the song.

The artiste said he made a decision to include a political song in the album as an expression of his support for the president.

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

“I said to myself that I do not have money to support the presidential campaigns but I have a gift I can use. So why not do a song, record a simple video for it and share it amongst the people to test its reception?” he said.

READ ALSO:   Raila leaves for Duke University in US, set to meet Kenyans in N Carolina

The song went viral and became a darling amongst Jubilee party supporters. The trending clip was shot at Ndumberi in Kiambu, his home county.

“The president was voted for by over 8 million Kenyans, the ones claiming my song guided their choice of candidates are lying. How can such a huge mass be influenced by a person of my stature,” said Mr Githae.

He called on the president to work to improve the lives of Kenyans. “Those that may be failing him should be pointed out and ejected from his administration,” said the artist.

Mr Githae said he is not sure if he shall releasing another political song in 2022. “I did Tano Tena in support of Uhuru and he shall not be seeking another term. That decision shall be guided by the dynamics of the time,” he said.

BY NN

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News

How Shabaab is recruiting in Kenya

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Three Kenyans and two Somalis linked to the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Garissa County carried out the January attack claimed by Al-Shabaab on the DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi, according to United Nations experts.

A fourth Kenyan citizen based in Mandera County served as “a key financing link between al-Shabaab in Somalia and the attacking cell in Kenya,” adds a report by the UN experts released on November 12.

The findings lend some substance to Shabaab’s claim in June that it has recruited “an army of fighters from the Kenyan population itself.”

The Dusit attack also highlights what the UN experts describe as “a newly observed dimension of al-Shabaab’s recruitment strategy.”

“The possession of criminal skills, including knowledge of evading law enforcement, are privileged over ideology or affiliation with certain mosques or religious networks,” report says.

Ali Salim Gichunge, born in Isiolo in 1995, is named as the organiser and coordinator of the Dusit attack which left 26 people dead, including a suicide bomber and four gunmen.

“Unusually for a Kenyan operative within al-Shabaab,” the report notes, “Gichunge was given wide discretion and autonomy over the particulars of the plot — including the selection of the target — rather than being directly overseen from within Somalia.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Nasa backs Uhuru Kenyatta's 8pc fuel tax with conditions

Gichunge and his wife, Violet Wanjiru, established a safe house in the Guango Estate, Muchatha, on the outskirts of Nairobi about nine months prior to the attack, the report finds.

Another Kenyan national, Osman Ibrahim Gedi, served as Gichunge’s lieutenant, the experts say.

The assault on the Dusit complex began at 3.28pm East African time on January 15 when a third Kenyan, Mombasa-born Mahir Khalid Riziki, detonated a suicide bomb, the report recounts.

Siyat Omar Abdi, a Somali born in the Dadaab refugee complex in 1992, was among the gunmen who stormed the hotel.

The UN experts say they obtained a Dadaab identification and ration card number attributed to Abdi through his fingerprint. But officials with the UN refugee programme in Dadaab say there is no record of Abdi in their databases, the report notes.

A fifth member of Shabaab’s Dusit attack unit has not been identified but is presumed to be of Somali origin, the report adds. This individual activated a new Kenyan mobile phone in Dadaab’s Dagahaley camp on December 15, 2018, according to the UN panel of experts.

Also implicated in the Dusit attack is Abdi Ali Mohamed, a Kenyan national based in Mandera. He used three phone numbers to transmit almost Sh70,000 to Shabaab cell leader Gichunge via M-Pesa, the report states.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: 37 year old woman photographed with Raila explains her side of the story as internet goes wild

“A conservative estimate of the total cost of the DusitD2 operation was between $45,000 and $50,000 (Sh4 million and Sh5 million),” the experts suggest.

Riziki, the suicide bomber, was recruited in 2014 by Ramadhan Hamisi Kufungwa, described in the report as “a well-known Kenyan Al-Shabaab recruiter now located in Somalia.”

The recruitment was centred on the Musa Mosque in Mombasa, which the experts say “has long been associated with radicalisation, recruitment for al-Shabaab, and religious violence.”

by nation.co.ke

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