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VIDEO: Trump meets Uhuru at White House, announces plans to negotiate Trade Agreement with Kenya

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President Donald Trump met Thursday with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at the White House and announced the United States plans to initiate trade agreement negotiations with the Republic of Kenya.

Kenya continues to be a vital partner to the United States in Africa and beyond. Since President Kenyatta’s August 2018 visit, when the two leaders established the United States-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue, the two countries have expanded partnership across many areas.

“President Trump looks forward to building on this momentum and discussing new opportunities to advance cooperation and trade,” said a statement from the White House.

“Kenya is a recognized leader across the continent, an important strategic partner of the United States, and there is enormous potential for us to deepen our economic and commercial ties,” said U.S.Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa.”

Kenya is strategically important to the U.S., as the U.S. tries to offset the influence of China. China eclipsed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner more than a decade ago.
Kenyatta’s visit to Trump’s White House is rare for an African head of state. Kenyatta met with Trump once before in August 2018, when as the White House said Thursday, “the two leaders established the United States-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue.”


Trump has not shown much interest in African countries since he has been in office. The U.S. has free trade pacts with 20 countries, but none in Africa.

The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday, however, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would visit Africa for the first time from Feb. 15 to 19, with stops scheduled in Angola, Ethiopia and Senegal.

Trade between the U.S. and Kenya stands at about $1 billion a year.  Over 70% ($466 million in 2018) of Kenya’s exports to the U.S. entered under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were on Wednesday the key note speakers at a luncheon organised to mark this year’s US National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC.

The President recounted the distabilising impact post-election conflicts have had on the country’s growth over the last thirty years saying the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is aimed at finding a homegrown solution to the divisive nature of Kenyan politics.

A poster announcing the invite to the White House. PHOTO|FILE

 

He noted that divisive politics and the resultant ethnic tensions negatively affect the country’s development trajectory saying, “once the election comes, everything stops…business stops one year before an election and restarts one year after an election”.

“It is impossible to bring prosperity and longterm economic stability that’s required for a nation to develop and grow without stable peace.

“Everybody used to plan their businesses around the election cycle,” President Kenyatta told the international audience that comprised mostly of senior American officials.

President Kenyatta, who retraced Kenya’s history of electon related ethnic conflicts since the adoption of multiparty democracy in the early 90’s, said his coming together with his main political challenger Raila Odinga was motivated by the realisation that the disruption of the economy by electoral tensions every so often was not sustainable.

He narrated the tense and long process leading to the “handshake” with Mr Odinga saying they went against the hard-line positions held by their supporters.

“We sat in a room and it took almost six hours for us to even begin talking anything…it was, what you call, excruciating silence because nobody wanted to be the first to say anything,” President Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader expressed satisfaction that millions of Kenyans have joined and are participating in the BBI process saying democracy cannot thrive in an environment of political uncertainty.

“We shook hands and embraced and that one single moment changed the whole country. Because nobody would ever have imagined that we would shake hands and embrace,” the President said.

He continued: “Since then, we have walked as brothers, we have brought onboard (Kenyans) and said that this process that we’ve started is not a political process but rather a process that seeks to entrench our democracy.”

The President said through the BBI, Kenya had began the process of reconciliation and national healing adding that his greatest desire is to leave a peaceful and united country.

“The greatest gift that me and my brother (Raila Odinga) can possibly ever leave the people of Kenya is the gift of peace, the gift of love and unity of all our people. And that’s the mission that we are on,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he shares the President’s determination and committment to achieve national cohesion through the BBI process by building trust and unity among Kenyans.

The opposition leader said BBI is a historic journey to a united and stable Kenya adding that the process will also help address several challenges facing the country including youth unemployment, corruption and negative ethnicity.

“We discovered that there were no national ethos. We talked about shared prosperity or disparity in terms of regional development, ethnicity as a factor that divides our people. We talked about issues of corruption as a cancer in our society,” Mr Odinga said.

President Kenyatta was introduced to the distinguished audience by Senator Christopher Coons who is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Delaware Senator spoke glowingly of President Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga saying the determination by the two Kenyan leaders to unite their country by reaching out to each other and closing ranks makes them global role models.

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Kabuga will pay for my son’s death, woman says

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“Kabuga will pay for the death of my son. He must pay.”

These are the words of a mother who has been grieving for 17 years.

For Ms Lydia Wangui and the family of William Mwaura Munuhe, there is now a ray of hope following the arrest of Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga.

Mr Munuhe, a freelance journalist and close associate of Kabuga, was one of the closest links the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) had in its quest to capture one of the world’s most wanted fugitives back in 2003.

COLD BLOODED MURDER

But days before he could help FBI agents lure Kabuga into a trap, Mr Munuhe was murdered in cold blood in his house in Nairobi.

That would mark the beginning of a 17-year pursuit for truth and justice.

With the arrest of the man believed to be behind their kin’s death, the family now can afford a sigh of relief. But justice is far from being found.

The Nation tracked down the family at their home in Muruguru, Nyeri County.

Ms Wangui is just coming to terms with news of Kabuga’s arrest in France two days ago. For her, it is a mixture of both joy and a painful reminder of her son’s death.

PAIN STILL FRESH

“I could not believe it when I heard that he has been arrested. But the pain is still fresh in my heart. I suffered for a very long time and I continue to feel the pain of having to bury my child. Now it is his turn to suffer,” she said.

For 17 years, this family has pursued justice over their son’s brutal murder, knocking on every door that had power to help and when all offices locally became unresponsive, they sought help overseas.

The family has already sought help from the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague but even that has not helped serve them justice.

It has been a long journey filled with anguish, lies and betrayal.

DANGEROUS

So dangerous was the pursuit for the truth and justice that even Mr Munuhe’s father, a former police officer who died in 2013, could not dare ask questions to his colleagues and superiors regarding his son’s death.

On February 16, 2003, detectives from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) visited their home in Nyeri with the news of their son’s death. They said that the journalist had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. This was the first lie that was given to the family.

“When we went to his house in Karen, they did not even want us to get in. But I demanded to see for myself where he had died. They had already taken the body away,” Ms Wangui said.

She recounted seeing bloody footprints across the living room of the house and her son’s belongings scattered on the floor. Initially, police told her that his body was found on a mattress soaked with sweat.

BLOODY SCENE

Scenes from Mr Munuhe’s guest room told a different story and it turned out that the said sweat was actually blood.

“There was a lot of blood on the floor and the bed was broken. All I could think of is how my son suffered a painful death,” she said.

Mr Munuhe’s brother, Josephat Mureithi, was among those who positively identified the body at the City Mortuary. He said that his face had been badly disfigured, possibly from acid burns.

Mr Mureithi has been at the forefront in the fight for justice for his slain brother and feels that Kabuga’s arrest, though significant, is still far from giving the family complete closure.

He still lives in fear of Kabuga’s accomplices. Even with the outlaw in custody, he feels someone is still watching.

“Even journalists who tried asking us about our brother’s death received threats. There is a letter that we found while moving his belongings threatening that we would be killed one after the other. We have always lived in fear and still live in fear because his (Kabuga’a) accomplices are still at large,” Mr Mureithi said.

WRITTEN TO ICC

Mr Mureithi has written to the ICC and now wants his brother’s murder investigated by The Hague-based court and for Kabuga to stand trial.

“I wrote to the ICC and they said that his case would be placed in the archives until new evidence is found. Now is the time to look into the matter,” he said.

While Kabuga might not stand trial for the murder of Munuhe, his family believes the ICC will help deliver justice that has long evaded them.

Given the opportunity, Ms Wangui says she would want to point Kabuga to her son’s grave and remind him of the pain he caused her.

“He has caused so much pain to me and I want him to know that he will pay for it. And I know the many other people he caused pain have their own story to tell,” she said.

By Daily Nation

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Suspect in police officer kidnap case escapes

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A Ugandan accused of kidnapping and possibly killing a Kenyan police officer in January escaped from custody in mysterious circumstances.

Martin Wasike, 27, was discovered missing from Kamukunji police cells in Nairobi on Thursday morning, two days after a Nairobi court directed that he be detained at the station alongside his co-accused for three weeks.

Kamukunji OCS said the suspect disappeared between Wednesday 3.30pm and Thursday 3.30am.

“No grilles were cut and no one was injured. He may have tricked someone and left,” an officer told the Saturday Nation.

Central police commander Mark Wanjala said a search for the suspect in Mathare slums, where a female friend used to host him, was conducted but did not yielded fruit.

“The search is ongoing. We are also investigating the circumstances under which he escaped custody. His co-accused did not escape; they are in custody,” he said.

Mr Wasike, another Ugandan by the name Shariff Wanabwa and Phoebe Anido Andayi, from Busia County, are accused of kidnapping police constable Abel Misati on January 19 and being in possession of some of his stolen items, among them his mobile phone.

The phone was found on one of the trio in Eastleigh on April 17 by DCI detectives.

The investigating officer told the court on Wednesday there is a likelihood they will prefer more charges against the suspects.

The trio’s plea for bail was opposed by State prosecutor Winnie Moraa and the lawyer representing the officer’s family, Mr Alfred Nyandieka.

Ms Moraa argued they might jump bail since they have no permanent residence and identification documents.

“The severe sentences pronounced in the charges they face are an incentive for the three to escape the wrath of the law,” Ms Moraa told the court.

Mr Nyandieka said the disappearance of the officer had caused his family a lot of stress and trauma, and urged the court not to release the three so that they can assist police in locating the officer.

“The three are a threat to the security of the public if they can kidnap a well-trained police officer whose whereabouts are yet to be established,” Mr Alfred Nyandieka, the officer’s family lawyer, told the court.

Another Ugandan believed to have been the mastermind of the abduction is being tracked down by police with the help of Interpol. The suspect is believed to have fled to Uganda.

In his ruling, Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi ordered that the three be detained until June 2, when the investigating officer will inform the court whether there will be changes to the circumstances of the case.

by Saturday Nation

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Woman dies at Catholic priest’s house after lying to hubby she had gone for funeral

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A married woman in Zambia is said to have died inside a Catholic priest’s house after she lied to her husband she was attending a funeral elsewhere.

TUKO.co.ke reports has learnt the woman is a member of the Catholic Women’s league from St Maurice Catholic Church in Lusaka.

The two are said to be lovers. Photo: Lusaka TimesA collage of the priest and the married woman. Photo source: Lusaka Times
Source: UGC

According to 9ja Live Times, Father Abel Mwelwa invited the woman who also happens to be his lover to the parish house on the night of Holy Thursday, May 7.

Lusaka Times reported that Archbishop Alick Banda suspended the clergyman as the judicial vicar of the Archdiocese of Lusaka moments after the occurrence became public.

An official memo from the church also stated Father Mwelwa had ceased being the parish priest of Kaunda Square parish.

“I hereby wish to inform you that I have with immediate effect suspended the Very Rev. Ringford Abel Mwelwa from the priesthood indefinitely. With this suspension he ceases to be Parish Priest for Kaunda Square Parish as well as Judicial Vicar of the Archbishop of Lusaka,” a part of the memo read.

Married woman found dead in Catholic priest’s home who is reportedly her loverThe priest is said to have injected something in the woman in a bid to terminate her pregnancy. Photo: UGC
Source: UGC

A source close to the media said that the clergyman was mandated to pay for the funeral expenses by the deceased’s family.

As at the time of writing this report, the autopsy result for her death was not yet ready as the woman’s family urged the police to investigate the real cause of her death.

An unconfirmed source, however, said that the priest reportedly injected some substance into the deceased in an attempt to abort her pregnancy.

By Tuko.co.ke

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