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Police accused of abducting 2 bloggers over KURA exposé

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Police on Wednesday, August 19, arrested Jack Okinyi and Milton Were after publishing an article about an MP who is alleged to have fraudulently won a tender to construct roads.

The two bloggers were grilled by police officers over the article on stalled road construction projects in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area.

Okinyi who works for Business Illustrated and Were of Kenya Today claimed that the MP’s wife alongside another man was responsible for misappropriating funds set aside for the road construction.

Lolyne Ongeri, a communications executive for the Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) confirmed the arrests but noted that investigations were still going on.

“We are still following up on that. We do not have much information on the arrests. Yes we have heard of it, but we are still conducting our investigations on the incident.

“We will release a statement once we have gathered enough information about the arrests,” she stated.

According to reports, the two were arrested after being lured to a hotel in Upper Hill, Nairobi with Okinyi being driven to Mlolongo where he was roughed up.

Were was later arrested and the two were taken to Capitol Hill Police Station where they were further grilled on the published article.

The two bloggers maintain that the story is factual and had sources from contractors at Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA).

Okinyi and Were claimed that the company that was awarded the contract did not meet the required standards as outlined by KURA.

They also claimed the company was responsible for shoddy jobs leaving some of the projects incomplete and enjoys backing from high profile government officials.

This comes at a time when the arrest of journalists and bloggers has been on the rise with the most high-profile case being the incarceration of former NTV journalist Yassin Juma in Ethiopia.

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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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