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Why Uhuru saved Sonko from impeachment plot

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The need to prevent a costly by-election that could have destabilised the city is said to be one of the reasons President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government took over key services and saved Governor Mike Sonko from impeachment, people familiar with government thinking posit.

Last month, a section of MCAs tabled an impeachment motion which appeared to seal the governor’s fate but Uhuru prevailed upon them to shelve the plan.

Opposition chief Raila Odinga, who has been driving the Building Bridges Initiative campaigns alongside the President, told Nairobi County Minority Whip Peter Imwatok, a member of his ODM party, who was spearheading the impeachment, to go slow during a meeting at the party’s offices in Nairobi.

The besieged governor, who is barred from accessing his office over corruption allegations, was on Wednesday forced to sign away key responsibilities to the newly-created Nairobi Metropolitan Services at the President’s instigation, effectively rendering himself a mere figurehead in management of county affairs.

Politicians who spoke to People Daily linked the President’s decision to save Sonko to a desire to prevent a costly and divisive by-election amidst the BBI drive, which could bring him in direct confrontation with his national unity project co-principal Raila as well as provide ammunition for Deputy President William Ruto.

Under the bus

“If the Nairobi governor was to be impeached, we would end up in a very difficult scenario and perhaps it’s what the Executive is avoiding, a by- election, so it needed another solution,” argued Ndaragua MP Jeremiah Kioni.

Dagotetti North MP Simba Arati said that while Sonko had lost virtually all his powers in the takeover, the President decided to keep him for the sake of stability of the city.

“He is also an old ally who the President didn’t want to throw under the bus,” Arati told People Daily.

Michael Mugo, a former Laikipia university lecturer, said there must have been serious “political undercurrents” for the President’s

intervention.

“The President’s move must have been informed by the cost of a by- election that could be the consequence ofthe impeachment and the political instability and divisive campaigns,” said Mugo.

There is also the concern impeaching Sonko might drive him into the hands of Ruto, who could handily field him as his candidate in a possible by-election. Such a move would throw Jubilee Party leadership in an awkward position.

A by-election may also force Raila’s ODM to field a candidate, a situation that could put him on a collision course with the President’s party.

Under the agreement between the two levels of government, the new team is tasked with management of health, water and sanitation, transport, planning and garbage collection. Taxes will be collected by the Kenya Revenue Authority, leaving the county with few roles.

During the official handing over on Wednesday, Uhuru said Nairobi is a unique county which deserves better attention.

“Nairobi is not only the capital city of government of Kenya. It is much more. Many regional and international organisations are based in Nairobi as the diplomatic hub for the region. Indeed, the only United Nations headquarters outside the Western Hemisphere is located in Nairobi,” he said.

Despite being barred from accessing his office and the takeover, Sonko has been flexing his muscle by influencing the recruitment of county staff amidst accusations of sponsoring proxies to file court cases to block the transfer of functions to the national government.

Court case

“Sonko is an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. You see he has been fighting tire takeover by sponsoring proxies to block it in court,” said Arati.

Activist Okoiti Omtatah and lawyer Robbi Murimi have moved to court to block the transfer of functions.

In their case, Omtatah and Murimi are seeking a declaration that the transfer of the functions of the Nairobi County Government is unlawful and unconstitutional.

Omtatah argues that since it is the functions of a county government that are being moved, the transfer can only be done by the county government as defined in Article 176 of the Constitution.

“Sonko’s decision is unlawful, unreasonable, procedurally unfair and taken with an ulterior motive to prejudice the right of the residents of Nairobi as provided for in the Constitution,” argue the petitioners.

County Speaker Beatrice Elachi has also accused Sonko of using proxies to frustrate the transfer.

“The deal is between the state and the county government and is good for Nairobians and Sonko, too. He should not go behind the scenes and try to sabotage it,” said the Speaker.

By BD

 


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Health

Kericho man who woke up in mortuary dies

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The man who was taken to the mortuary at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital in Kericho County after being presumed dead, has breathed his last.

Peter Cheruiyot died while being transferred to Kericho County Referral Hospital in an ambulance on Thursday afternoon for specialised treatment.

He was transferred to the mortuary hours after his family rushed him to hospital after collapsing at his home.

Cheplanget Ward Representative Hezborn Tonui confirmed that the man had passed on.

“It is true. He has breathed his last while being transferred to Kericho for further treatment. I am at the homestead condoling with the family,” Mr Tonui told the Nation on telephone.

In an interview with the Nation on Thursday last week, Cheruiyot said it was a miracle he was still alive. He was confident that he would recover and join his family. But that did not come to pass.

 “I am happy to be alive…it is a miracle that I am breathing, talking and I can move my limbs and eat. This is the work of God,” the 32 year old Cheruiyot told the Nation in an interview on Thursday last week.

Cooling chamber

In what generated a lot of reaction in the South Rift region and beyond, the father of four cried out when a mortician attempted to cut an incision on his leg so as to insert preservatives on the body before it could be put in the cooling chamber.

“I felt an excruciating pain on the leg and screamed my lungs out. It is like I was being burned with a hot iron bar,” said Cheruiyot.

As we conducted the interview, relatives, villagers and curious members of the public jammed the male ward at the hospital to have a glimpse of the man who “rose from the dead”.

“I do not know what happened prior to my being dumped in the mortuary. The next thing I knew after screaming, which I was initially not sure if anyone heard me, is that I was being wheeled to the ward,” said the former matatu tout.

After screaming and catching the attention of the mortician, the patient passed out again and was rushed to the emergency ward where doctors resuscitated him before admission.

When he fainted at Keroncho village in Cheplanget on Tuesday last week, the patient was rushed to hospital by relatives.

At the hospital, he was allegedly left unattended by doctors and nurses at the casualty ward.

“How they (medics) arrived at the conclusion that I had died, leading to my transfer to the mortuary is a matter of conjecture,” said Cheruiyot adding that the fresh wound on the right upper part of the leg which was cut in the morgue was very painful.

Interestingly, despite looking frail and at times struggling to speak, he had a razor sharp memory as he could recognise relatives and friends by name.

Family members said that the man had been battling a terminal illness and had been in and out of various hospitals in the region.

Low immunity

Due to his low immunity, he has been admitted to some of the facilities for days for treatment according to medical records seen by the Nation.

“When he fainted at home, we used a Toyota Probox to rush him to hospital where doctors said he had passed on. We were shocked to be told later by the mortuary attendants that he was still alive,” Mr Kevin Kipkirui, the patient’s younger brother, told journalists at the hospital.

Dr Gilbert Cheruiyot, the Medical Superintendent at Kapkatet Sub County Hospital said last week that the patient was taken to the mortuary by his relatives.

“In a breach of protocol, the family members rushed the patient to the mortuary after presuming that he had died,” said Dr Cheruiyot

He said that the matter was under investigations and the gaps that had been detected would be addressed after a report on investigation is tabled.

Members of the Kericho County Assembly on Tuesday absolved medical officers at the hospital of blame after an ad hoc committee on health formed to investigate the matter tabled its report in the House.

The committee was chaired by Hezron Ngetich (Chilchila ward), with Ms Ann Tum (nominated) as the vice chairperson while other members are- Paul Chirchir, Gilbert Ngetich, Wangare Njuguna, Emily Kerich, Erick Bii, Humprhey Kirui, Eric Bett and Philip Rono.

by nation.africa


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Entertainment

Capital FM buries ‘Hits Not Homework’ after two decades

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Capital FM has killed its long-running evening show, Hits Not Homework, and replaced it with an all-new programme titled The Hype 984.

Hits Not Homework had been on the air for more than twenty years and targeted the youth with the latest music urban music and conversations relevant to that particular audience.

Its replacement aired for the first time on Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm and was hosted by Wanjira Longauer Mbuthia.

Wanluv, as she is popular known, resigned from the station in 2018 and used to host the mid-morning show, The Fuse.

The new show will air on weekdays from Monday to Thursday grabbing the traditional Hits Not Homework time-slot.

Hits Not Homework was previously hosted by Miss Mandii and Neville alongside DJ Roudge, DJ Joe Mfalme and Joe Kisila.

The show is widely considered one of the most iconic shows ever to air on Kenyan radio as it had some of the biggest names in the industry as its hosts.

From Eve D’Souza, Solo, Joey Muthengi, Amina Abdi Rabar, Anita Nderu and Anne Mwaura to now Wanluv, although she will now host its reincarnated version.

The show was dogged by controversy in 2018 after a talent search dubbed Capital One which was to find a replacement following Amina’s exit turned into a PR nightmare for the station.

Outraged Kenyans called out the station’s decision to hand Nderu the position of hostng the show despite already being a presenter at the station and also a judge of the competition.

Nderu, who was eventually unveiled as the new host alongside Anne Mwaura, Tracy Wanjiru and Jo Kisila, left the show barely a year later, in February 2019, with the station citing expiry of their one-year contracts.

By NN


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Ruto: I helped Uhuru pick the BBI team but its mandate was changed to include changing the constitution without my knowledge

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Deputy President William Ruto has said that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) committee was not meant to change the Constitution.

While acknowledging that he had a hand in nominating the team members led by Senator Yusuf Haji, he said that the mandate of the team soon changed.

“When we were nominating those people, changing the Constitution was not part of their brief. That’s why if you look at the nominations that came from the Jubilee side, we were nominating people whose brief was to bring people together. Generally peace briefings. That’s why we nominated the chairman of the Kisii elders, the Kalenjin Council of Elders, Maison Leshomo (Samburu Woman Rep),” he said in an interview that aired on Citizen TV on Thursday evening.

“Be that as it may, when this exercise was concretised into a Constitution (issue), it was necessary for us to step in and say okay, let’s look at what proposals are being made. Some of the interventions that we have made are not unreasonable,” he added.

“I know there is a lot of push…that the train has left the station. But it is never too late to do the right thing,” DP Ruto said.

He also insisted that there is no legal framework within which the push to amend the Constitution is being made.

The Deputy President also reiterated his preference for a multiple choice referendum, noting that it would give Kenyans the latitude to make decisions on an article by article basis.

“It (multiple choice) is the best way to fashion our referendum. Parliament is already fashioning a referendum Bill that gives the possibility of us going to a referendum with options. It is not something far-fetched,” the DP said.

The DP said that he does not need to get all he has demanded in the constitutional referendum debate, even as he insisted that the issues he was raising were reasonable.

He said the TangaTanga group he leads is not being belligerent in demanding fresh changes to the BBI Bill, whose proponents have already collected over four million signatures in one week.

“We do not have to get everything we want,” the DP said in a live interview with Citizen TV.

The DP’s group has demanded a multiple-choice referendum held alongside the General Election, the provision to vary by 20 per cent the proposed 70 constituencies as well as the amendment of the provision for the proposed Judiciary Ombudsman to be nominated by the President and vetted by the Senate, saying the office holder should instead be named by the Judiciary.

“I have nothing to gain or lose in this referendum. My only stake is that if we are changing the Constitution, we are changing it to go forward, not backwards. Two, is to make sure that we do not divide Kenyans,” the DP said.

Referendum

He added: “If what we are saying is of merit, we can republish this Bill before signatures to IEBC. We can have Parliament to have a Bill to give Kenyans the chance to vote on multiple choices and not pushing them to a corner.”

He insisted that the option of a multiple-choice format referendum was Kenya’s best chance to not have a situation of throwing away the baby with the bathwater in the BBI

“We believe it is possible to have a referendum where Kenyans vote on articles independently. As leaders, we have to change of how we view Kenyans. Their views, concerns, ideas, proposals also matter,” the DP said, defending his call for Kenyans to vote for the different issues separately.

“There is a tendency to underestimate the ability of the common Kenyan to comprehend issues and make a decision. If you have six issues and you are telling them to make a decision, what is the problem?”

He said experts can package the sections of the BBI that go together, suggesting it could be divided on the basis of the changes to the Legislature, the Judiciary, Parliament, Executive, devolution, and the proposed 70 constituencies.

He cited cases he said were happening in Liberia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Peru, and the United States which he cited as those that have done multiple-choice referenda.

“It is not something far-fetched,” he said.

Divisive referendum

“The position I have taken is that a referendum is possible, that we can have a win-win outcome that we do not need have a divisive referendum…As a deputy president, I have a duty to do everything in my power to ensure Kenyans travel together.”

Citing instances of Covid-19 infection and deaths and the economic burdens that come with it, the DP reiterated his position that the referendum be held alongside the 2022 General Election.

“Kenyans are asking themselves are we mad? Why hold a referendum now instead of 2022? We have debts, people are losing jobs, parents do not know where to get [school] fees next year, NHIF is not paying bills….Surely, let us be serious,” he said.

He defended his defence of the Judiciary independence given his comments after the Supreme Court nullified the presidential election in 2017.

“An independent Judiciary is good for me whether I am in government or the opposition,” said Dr Ruto.

He insisted that President Kenyatta shares with him his vision of a united country.

“The President is my boss and my friend. These are things we have shared. I can tell you without fear of contradiction that he shares with me the hope of a united country,” he said.

-Nation


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