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Calls for constitutional amendments gained momentum at the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Mombasa on Saturday when leaders supported the call for a referendum.

Led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and senators James Orengo and Moses Wetang’ula, more than 20 governors, senators and tens of MPs declared the referendum was inevitable.

Deputy President William Ruto ally Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who led Tangatanga leaders in the meeting at Mama Ngina Drive, threw his weight behind the BBI.

Mr Odinga also supported 16 resolutions by the coastal people among them the need for a referendum. The resolutions were read by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi.

The opposition leader said that the drive for referendum through BBI was “a train that has already left the station.”

 “What we now need to do for us to reach our destination is to be an iron like a lion in Zion. We have heard what the coastal people want. They are not new because this is not the first time that they are being said, but the difference is that this time around those issues will be implemented,” said Mr Odinga.

Top among the issues the coastal leaders want included in the BBI report that will be presented to the task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta is the issue of land ownership, expansion of the executive by having a position for a President, a Prime Minister and two deputies, creation of and upper and lower coast region, establishment of regional governments while retaining the counties and all port operations to be undertaken at the port facilities.

Mr Odinga said the formation of three-tier government was pushed by Coast leader Ronald Ngala.

Mr Musyoka said for the issues raised by the coastal leadership to be achieved, there must be the Constitution which can only be done through a referendum.

“For us to have a federal system, we must have a referendum. You cannot touch some laws without going through it,” said Mr Musyoka.

Governor Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, said going by the number of governors at the meeting, the referendum push was already realised.

“We have at least 24 governors here. What we need is 20 counties for us to pass the referendum. Tell me who can stop that. What Raila has said cannot be stopped,” said Mr Joho.

Mr Wetangula said the changes that are being proposed to the BBI should not go beyond 2020.

He said the constitutional change and referendum were inevitable. Mr Orengo said the country will be having the referendum by July.

In reference to Mr Murkomen’s support for the BBI and the referendum Mr Orengo said: “If you want to see a miracle, do not go to church tomorrow [Sunday] because it has happened today. Murkomen has called Raila Baba and talked of the referendum.”

When he took to the stage, Mr Murkomen stunned the crowd after he started his address by acknowledging Mr Odinga before he threw his support for the referendum.

“It is no longer us versus them. We will work together as Kenyans. I support the creation for the position of PM and other positions to be made,” said Mr Murkomen.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who led Mt Kenya leaders in the meeting, said through BBI, there will be a referendum that would allow women have a chance in the next government.

“We will also be able to do away with the issue of having only two tribes leading other Kenyans. We will see the issue of inclusivity addressed once and for all through BBI,” said Ms Waiguru.

Kilifi governor who spoke on behalf of the coastal leaders said they had faith that BBI would address issues affecting the region.

He said the coastal people hope BBI will address the issue of land grabbing, economy will improve and coast leaders will have a chance to represent their people at the national table.

Other issues that formed part of the resolutions Mr Kingi read included provision of funds for growth of key sectors in the region, revival of defunct industries in the region, creation of an independent social and economic impact assessment commission and creation of a blue economy ministry that would be led by a CS from the region.

The others were equitable inclusion and representation of the coastal people, exploitation of natural resources to benefit the locals, equity in education, creation of regional police authorities to address the issues of insecurity, fight against graft and development of special programmes to revive tourism.

BY nation.co.ke


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The life lessons I learnt from a brief stay with my grandfather

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With the schools closed, my parents got tired of me and my three siblings quarrelling and sent us to the village to stay with my grandparents.

More than any book or class, this visit taught me so much about appreciating what I have in my life and being open to the differences that I was blind to.

I protested going to the village at first, but now I am happy I did.

I had never liked being around my grandfather for so long because he is such a strict disciplinarian.

However, staying around him taught me why he is the way he is. He taught me about the value of hard work and integrity.

My grandfather is not one to stand lazy and idle people. So he taught me that I needed to structure my day to the tasks I needed to accomplish and spend time in the evening enjoying leisure.

So in this plan, we wake up in the morning to sweep the compound clean. My sisters then join my grandmother in the kitchen to make breakfast, as my brother and I help grandfather feed the cows before milking them.

Tending the animals

After breakfast, we would all go to the farm to weed. The afternoons were more of reading and playing. My brother soon gravitated towards tending the animals while I enjoyed working on the farm with my grandmother.

I also loved fetching water from the stream. We then spent the evening watching television to catch up with the news.

The discipline also made us more mindful about how our lives affected others, even when no one was watching.

We carried enough sanitisers and face masks to last us the duration of our imposed stay. We were careful because our grandparents were at that age of being vulnerable to the virus.

I noticed that many villagers were sceptical of the existence of Covid-19. They argued and dismissed the global pandemic as a hoax.

Some said they were yet to see anyone who had succumbed to the virus. Some were really tickled to see us donning face masks all the time, but we stayed true to the act knowing my grandparents’ lives depended on it.

This is how my grandfather raised my father and his eight siblings, and I am happy I got to learn this.

by nation.co.ke


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Foul smell leads to recovery of couple

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Crime Scene Tape
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Decomposing bodies of a couple that has been missing for more than a week were found in their house in Laini centre off the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, yesterday.

A foul smell emanating from the house of the 72-year-old-man and his wife, 62, led to their recovery. Police have launched investigations into the incident.

There were conflicting reports about the deaths with some claiming that the two were murdered while others suspected that they could have died of carbon monoxide emitted from a jiko.

Police declined to give names of the deceased until the next of kin are informed. Emotions ran high as locals viewed the bodies.

A village elder, Moses Mwathi, revealed that the couple was working in a quarry before they went missing.

Mwathi said neighbours thought that they had travelled to their rural home but got concerned after a foul smell started emanating from their house.

“On checking they noticed that the house was locked from inside and the bodies could be seen lying on their bed,” he said.

Police gained access into the house after breaking the door. The bodies were taken to the mortuary

Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said initial investigations pointed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a jiko.

“We can’t, however, rule out murder at this moment and only a post-mortem examination will establish the real cause of the death,” said the police boss.

And in the nearby Kinungi village, a 35-year-old farmworker committed suicide by hanging himself in a house.

The body was found by his employer before police were called in. Jim Kimani, a friend to the deceased, said he was in low spirits over debts.

“He claimed that some people he owed money were harassing him but we never thought that he would commit suicide,” Kimani said.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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LET’S HOLD HANDS WITH OPTIVEN FOUNDATION

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