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Articulate Kagwe excites Kenyans

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Newly-appointed Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe had barely settled at Afya House when the coronavirus outbreak arrived in the country, throwing the minister into the deep end.

Before then, Kagwe was confronted with another crisis: Shortage of blood in public hospitals countrywide which he blamed on cartels that were said to be selling it to neighbouring Somalia. He asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate the matter.

Kagwe was sworn in on February to replace Sicily Kariuki, who now occupies the Water docket.

Since then, the former Nyeri Senator has been thrust into the thick of things, becoming the national face in the fight against the virus that has claimed more than 9,000 lives globally. Kenya has confirmed seven cases.

Kenyans have now become accustomed to his daily briefs on the country’s status on the Covid-19, during which he has spelt out a raft of measures to prevent the spread of the respiratory disease first reported

in China late last year.

“This is not a holiday season it is time to fight a deadly condition. To congregate in entertainment joints, bars and restaurants will be the very purpose of which they were asked to stay at home,” he said in his briefing yesterday.

READ ALSO:   Tell us who has the virus, MP tells State

General consensus

Although he had been out of the public limelight for a while prior to his appointment recently, the general consensus is that the former Cabinet minister has acquainted himself well. He took office on February 28 after vetting and approval by the National Assembly.

He has demonstrated sobriety, confidence, mastery of the subject matter and admirable clarity in expression.

“For once I want to say meritocracy is at work. It has fully worked with the appointment of former Senator Mutahi Kagwe because when he speaks about what his ministry is doing as a Kenyan you feel confident,” said Narok senator Ledama ole Kina.

He served as Information Minister during the regime of retired President Mwai Kibaki and has a background in the media industry where he operates a public relations firm.

Kagwe once worked at the Standard Group, where he rose to be the commercial operations director.

Notably, Kagwe served as the Information, Communication Technology Committee at the Senate during his term from 2013 to 2017.

He wears many hats—a technocrat, a politician and a businessman.

“I thank CS Mutahi Kagwe for not letting busybodies take over his work and start prefecturing and acting all over. The CS has shown impressive sobriety and great competence. So far, good man for the job,” remarked Kirinyaga Woman Representative Purity Ngirici.

READ ALSO:   Death of Kenyan nurse raises questions

There was a sigh of relief among Kenyans yesterday when Kagwe announced that the country had not recorded more coronavirus cases.

In 2002, he took a plunge into politics, successfully vying for Mukurwe-ini parliamentary seat on Narc ticket.

During his stint as ICT minister, Kenya ditched satellite technology and embraced Fibre Optic Cables that would see a drastic drop in call tariffs and increase in internet speeds. Kagwe, along with his then Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo, spearheaded construction of the Transformational East African Marine System, the first Fibre Optic Project for Eastern Africa.

It was also during his tenure that Safaricom’s M-Pesa was launched, the first-ever mobile money transfer system in the world. He, however, lost his parliamentary seat in 2007 to Kabando wa Kabando. In 2013, he was elected Nyeri senator.

However, in 2017, he unsuccessfully make a stab for the Nyeri governor seat after losing in the Jubilee party primaries.

Signs that Kagwe would be given a lifeline became apparent when he was accorded the honour of emceeing President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Sagana State Lodge meeting with Mt Kenya leaders late last year.

For a Kenya that yearns for leadership in times of crises, the country is glad he came back at such a time as this—to lead the war against coronavirus.

READ ALSO:   Shock as 32 escape quarantine

By PD


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Courts

Four children fight claims they were disowned by late MP

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Four children of former Keiyo North MP William Murgor yesterday fought allegations that they had been disowned by their father before his death.

While testifying before the High Court in Eldoret, Ambrose Kiplagat Murgor, one of the four children said to have been born out of wedlock, told the court their father never disowned him or any of his three siblings.

While being cross-examined before Justice Hellen Omondi, Mr Kiplagat said he was a biological child of the late MP, adding that the contrary claims were only made to lock him and his siblings out of the MP’s vast estate.

“My late father never disowned me or my siblings,” Kiplagat told the court.

He said he was born in 1970 at Murgor’s Kaptagat farm before they moved in 1976 to Chesigot farm in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The four – Kiplagat, Oscar Murgor, Sharon Murgor and Faith Murgor – who are children of the former MP’s fourth wife Anna Kimoi, have told the court they were brought up with the other children.

“We were raised together with the other siblings from the different houses. I was in school with my two brothers, Collins and Kenneth, in the same primary school, all along living as brothers,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Corona is no joke, says Kagwe as cases hit 110

He told the court that he did not know the reasons as to why he and his brother Oscar did not get a share of their father’s farms like rest of his siblings.

Kiplagat added that his elder sister Enid Cheptanui filed the case against her step-brother Francis Murgor, Chemutai Murgor and Keiyo North MP Dr James Murgor for excluding them in the distribution of the Sh1.4 billion family estate.

While testifying in the succession dispute, James denied knowing Kiplagat and his three siblings Oscar, Sheila and Faith Murgor.

While James claimed to have only been familiar with them for a few years, Kiplagat on the other hand told the court the MP was well known to him and that he had even campaigned for him.

“I campaigned for him in three elections, and he always introduced me as his brother. When my mother was sick, I was in contact with the MP, who even helped in paying the hospital bill,”

by Stanardmedia.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Mukhisa Kituyi: Why I think I can be a good President

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He is considered one of Kenya’s finest brains and has held several high positions both locally and internationally.

Currently serving as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi’s decorated CV is impeccable.

In an interview with a local TV station on Wednesday, Kituyi spoke of his desire to occupy Kenya’s top seat, saying rising from adversity during his childhood days is a huge motivation.

“As I have gone to 119 countries around the world, I am constantly asking myself what they are doing better than us that makes them shine.

“I feel my body still has the energy…my head still has the intellectual capacity to make that contribution in a practical way…” he said.

Adding: “I have a sense of shared empathy with the vulnerable, not only a desire to give hope to the hopeless but a burning ambition that through enterprise Kenya, I can be part of the solutions to build Kenya for the next generation.”

Kituyi said once he leaves his position at the UN he will share his ideas with Kenyans and he strongly believes he will be the right person for the job.

READ ALSO:   Embu inmate tests positive for Covid-19

“In the increasingly likely case that I will be offering candidature for President of this country after I leave my position with the UN, I think I will give the Kenyan population reason why I think I will be the right person for that job.

“I cannot do it while I am still winding down my international obligations but I think I am the face of a set of Kenyans who believe in purposeful Kenya,” he said.

Responding to those who claim he is not in touch with the realities on the ground due to extensive travel, Kituyi said he believes in constant learning and does not have all the answers but wants to be part of a team that will engage in structured positive conversations.

Mukhisa has also had stints in the political arena having been elected to the Kenyan Parliament for the first time in 1992 on a Ford-Kenya ticket and was re-elected in 1997 and 2002 as Kimilili MP.

He was also Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. During this period, Kituyi chaired the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Trade Ministers’ Council for two years.

He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and was the lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the European Union-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

READ ALSO:   Virus fears fuel mad rush back to the villages

He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations carried out at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong, China in 2005.

From 2008 to 2012, Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the East African Community on how to establish more effective regional economic links.

From 2011 to 2012, he was a consultant for the African Union Commission, where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area.

Immediately before becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance based in Nairobi.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   Death of Kenyan nurse raises questions

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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