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Harish Daria Patel: Westgate Mall hero arrested

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Harish Daria Patel, also known as Ponytail, a decorated hero from the 2013 Westgate Mall attack has found himself on the wrong side of the law after he was arrested on Saturday, July 18.

A video shows the man of Indian decent alighting from a black Subaru Forester while in handcuffs at Gigiri Police Station under the supervision of an officer holding a police radio.

A source close to the matter noted that Patel was arrested after being accused of extorting money from unsuspecting members of the Asian community living in Kenya.

Reports also indicated that the suspect often bragged about having connections in the police force and that he had “Matiangi (Interior CS Fred Matiang’i) in his back pocket.”

Accusers claimed that he misused his privillege of being a gun owner to threaten and extort money from Asians residing in Kenya.

“There are concerns that Harish who is a drug addict should not be allowed to roam around the city with a firearm as such privileges are posing danger to the society,” read the statement in part.

He was accused of abusing tobacco, alcohol and bhang making him an unsuitable candidate of owning a gun.

Harish is said to roam around the city with two firearms including one which is not licensed and would extort his victims through scaring them of planting the unlicensed firearm in their cars before alerting the police.

Patel, who is a member of the Krishna Squad, dominated headlines in 2013 after he rescued hundreds of people from Westgate Mall even as gunshots rented the air.

He said that he dashed towards the mall at the time after he heard the gunshots after leaving a Hindu crematorium where he had been volunteering because “at that moment it did not matter whether they were Asian, African, White or Kenyan; you are in our country, and we have to look after you.”

During his arrest, Patel was found in possession of a military smoke jacket, a pair of handcuffs, a bulletproof vest and a Ceska pistol.

Other possessions included 27 rounds of ammunition, two empty magazines, walkie talkies and 25 rolls of bhang.

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Havi asks Treasury to stop paying MPs 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

 

Following Chief Justice’s letter to President Uhuru Kenyatta asking him to dissolve parliament, legislatures are yet to get a dose of their medicine.

The Law Society of Kenya President Nelson Havi has requested Treasury to stop disbursing salaries meant for members of parliament.

Maraga had on Monday, September 21 advised President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve parliament because it failed to pass the two-thirds gender rule.

According to LSK’s President, Maraga’s directive stripped members of parliament their legislative powers, hence, rendering all their business unlawful.

“Following the request from the CJ today to the Head of State, all laws passed by the Senate and National Assembly remain null and void. Consequently, Treasury must stop disbursing their salaries as any role they indulge in will have no effect,” stated Nelson Havi.

Additionally, the LSK President faulted some legislatures for claiming the Chief Justice’s advisory didn’t have a time frame compliance that would bind President Kenyatta.

Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kangata, on the other hand, suggested that the Head of State will have complied with the directive if he dissolved parliament in June 2022, sometime before the general elections.

Havi further added that he knew of some legislatures who were ready to resign before President Kenyatta dissolved parliament.

Among those who were ready to quit include Peter Kaluma of Homa Bay, Alice Wahome (Kandara), Uasin Gishu woman representative Gladys Shollei, and Senator Mutula Kilonzo of Makueni.

Speaker Justine Muturi at the same time added that dissolving parliament was unnecessary because it was expensive since it would require a referendum to pass the two-thirds gender rule.

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Kenya Airways resume flights to Tanzania 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced a resumption of flights to Tanzania after lifting a ban that had been imposed on local aviation operators.

KQ has announced that it will operate two daily flights to Dar es Salaam and three weekly flights to Zanzibar.

The first after-lockdown flight was made to Dar es Salaam on Monday while flights to Zanzibar are expected to return from this coming Saturday.

While announcing the resumption of flights, KQ’s Group CEO Allan Kilavuka said the connectivity is crucial to both economies.

“We are pleased to resume our services to Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar following this announcement by the Tanzanian Government. Tanzania is critical to both Kenya and East Africa’s economic growth and we look forward to our continued collaboration,” he said.

The Tanzanian government, on Wednesday last week announced a lifting of the ban initially imposed to local carriers after a decision by Kenya to exempt arrivals from Tanzania from forced quarantine.

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Sakaja reveals how he owned Mercedes Benz in campus

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has revealed how he got to own a new Mercedes Benz while still in campus.

Sakaa revealed that after joining Univeristy of Nairobi he got into student politics which afforded him privileges such as nice rooms and being able to set up businesses around the school.

Luckily, while he was the chairman of SONU, he landed a role in former President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.

“The first time I met Kibaki was in 2006 after the referendum. He asked to hear my dreams about the country and I started working with him.

“We established the Vijana na Kibaki initiative and started mobilising in universities and that is how I bought my first car a green Mercedes Benz,” he explained.

In the run up to the 2007 election, he took a lead role in rallying support for the presidential secretariat and during the 2008 post-election crisis.

Sakaja’s resolve to see a solution found resulted in him addressing President Mwai Kibaki’s Cabinet at the age of 22.

At the age of 24, Sakaja had written a section of the 2010 constitution.

When he came up with the formula for the delimitation of constituencies.

Sakaja had been consulted by Nancy Gitau, who was State House’s political advisor.

She asked him for his views on the said topic and he responded that he would think about it and advice.

When the team that was working on the draft laws retreated to Naivasha, he represented PNU whereas ODM had brought a very senior professor.

Kibaki and the rest of the team were so impressed by the 24-year-old that they chose Sakaja’s proposal over the professor’s.

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