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Mali’s Junta postpones transfer of powers meeting

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Mali’s military junta on Saturday postponed the first meeting on the transfer of power after rising tensions with the group that sparked the August 18 coup.

The junta had invited civic groups, political organisations and former rebels to consultations on Saturday, but said in a statement that the meeting was postponed at the last minute to a later date due to “organisational reasons”.

A protest coalition that had campaigned against former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, the June 5 Movement, was not invited to the meeting and accused the new military rulers of trying to hijack the coup.

The group has demanded that the military junta give it a role in the transition to civilian rule, in keeping with its role in spearheading Keita’s ouster.

The military has promised to do so, though without a timetable.

“We state with bitterness that this junta which had sparked hope in the hearts of all Malians… is in the process of drifting away from the people,” said Tahirou Bah, from the Espoir Malikoura association, one of the pillars of the June 5 movement.

The June 5 movement said they had been summoned later Saturday to the Kati military barracks near the capital to meet with the junta leaders.

After an escalating series of mass protests, young army officers mutinied on August 18, seizing Keita and other leaders and declaring they now governed the country.

The coup shocked Mali’s West African neighbours and ally France, heightening worries over instability in a country already struggling with an Islamist insurgency, ethnic violence and economic malaise.

Mali’s influential imam Mahmoud Dicko, a key player in the mass opposition protests that led to Keita’s ouster, said Friday that the new military rulers did not have “carte blanche”.

“We will not give a blank cheque to anyone to run this country, that’s over,” he said.

“We led the fight,” he said. “People have died and the soldiers who have completed (this fight) must keep their word.”

Dicko’s spokesman Issa Kaou Djim later expanded on this, saying the imam “said the people have started to doubt” the junta.

“A revolution cannot be confiscated by a group of soldiers,” he said.

His comments came as a new document published on the Malian government’s Official Journal said the junta’s head had been effectively invested with the powers of head of state.

West African leaders on Friday demanded an immediate civilian transition and elections within 12 months, as they considered sanctions.

The West African regional bloc ECOWAS closed its borders with Mali after the coup, banning trade and financial flows as it demanded the release of Keita and other detained officials.

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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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