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Senators who voted against gov’t positinon CRA formula wake up to frozen bank accounts, tax demands from KRA 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot has accused the state of intimidation following the stand by a section of senators to support Senator Mithika Linturi amendments in the Revenue sharing formula.

According to Cheruiyot, a section of Senators who were in support of the proposal have woken up to their bank accounts frozen followed by fictitious tax demands from the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

“A number of Senators who voted in support of Sen Linturi’s amendment to the Rev Formulae report wake up to frozen bank accounts & fictitious Tax demands from KRA. Shameful of the so-called system. The resolve is firmer. Kenya must win this war against Impunity,” Cheruiyot wrote on Twitter.

In the wake of the Revenue sharing formula debate, Senate Chief whip Irungu Kang’ata had indicated that the Jubilee party would take action against its senators who voted against government position in the debate.

“There were some senators who are in positions of leadership in the party who decided on their own motion to go against the official position of the government.

“We expect some remedial action to be taken against them. I have no doubt that very soon we shall be cracking the whip of the party against those who went against the official government business that was before the House,” Kang’ata said.

On Friday last week, Deputy President William Ruto threw his support behind the revenue sharing formula proposals by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and his Meru counterpart Franklin Mithika Linturi stating that it will help the country achieve a win-win outcome.

Kipchumba Murkomen, DP Ruto’s close ally also intimated that Linturi and Sakaja had agreed to merge their proposals in a bid to seek broad-based support for a win-win revenue sharing matrix.

Murkomen and senators under the ‘Kenya Moja‘ axis comprising among others Senators Mutula Kilonzo (Makueni) and Ledama ole Kina (Narok) are opposed to state a population-driven revenue sharing formula fronted by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The lawmakers argue that “poor” counties, especially in the North-Eastern region, are losing funds. Some counties like Murkomen’s Elgeyo Marakwet are gaining funds in the formula.

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Lifestyle

Meru police accused of beating teenager to death

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A family in Meru is seeking justice after their 19-year-old teenager was allegedly beaten to death by police officers.

The family said the teenager, Spencer Thuranira, was struck several times in his head by police officers in Maua town two weeks ago after a riot.

A post-mortem, conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor at the Nyambene Sub-county Hospital mortuary, showed that Spencer succumbed to head injuries.

“I found severe injury to the head, which caused swelling of the brain. The cause of death is head injury due to a blunt trauma.

“I have handed the report to the police for investigations,” Dr Oduor said.

Distraught family members and friends are now calling for a thorough investigation into the matter.

The victim’s brother, Mutembei Mwithalii, claimed Spencer was on his way to buy medicine for their mother when he met police officers who had mounted a roadblock at Modern Two area.

“Before he died, he said he was beaten by police,” Mutembei said.

Family members said Spencer, who completed his secondary education last year and scored a B+, had dreams of becoming an engineer and was waiting for Covid-19 pandemic to ease before joining college.

Igembe South police boss Henry Akong’o said the case was handed over to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

 “The matter is under investigation and if he was beaten up by police, the truth will come out,” Mr Akong’o said.

by nation.africa

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Business

Safe rides: Introducing the all-female taxi

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Say you are a woman, it is 11pm and you need a taxi ride urgently. You may have heard horrendous stories of female passengers in a male driven taxi that makes you recoil and opt to cancel the ride, but you need it, and you are alone.

Getting in the taxi, worry knocks and you start having wild ideas of your escape plan, just in case. You check the child lock and confirm that your phone is charged, before sending a screenshot of your taxi details to a friend – if anything happens, they will have a clue of where to start.

Will it be comforting to say that you are not alone?

This comfort factor for women is in a female chauffeured taxi called An Nisa, a taxi company whose vehicles only carry women and children, limited to pre-teen male.

Fellow women

“I wanted a taxi service that would make women feel comfortable throughout their journey. Women are more maternal and women feel more comfortable being driven by fellow women,” says  Khawlah Habib, founder of An Nisa.

An Nisa, which means women in the Arabic language, is a solution to women and mothers who may have had insecurities when they use other taxi services.

Whilst the analogy of prevention being better than cure is mostly used in medicine, Ms Habib says it perfectly fits her idea of having a female passenger being driven by a woman.

“I did a lot of research and talked to a number of women who narrated their unpleasant experiences, which made me see the need of coming up with a female-only taxi,” says Ms Habib.

When it was launched in 2018, there were more than 1,000 downloads and requests to use their service within a week. Unfortunately, at the time this article was written, the app was under maintenance so all bookings are still made on call.

Affirmative nod

“Men also call me to let me know that the ladies in their lives, or children, would wish to use An Nisa as a mode of transport, and that tells you that the worry is felt by both genders,” says Ms Habib.

An Nisa today, has more than 50 female drivers that work mainly in Nairobi and Mombasa.

It is even a feel-good option for female taxi drivers. Beatrice Wambui, a 30-year-oldwho has been a taxi driver for ten years now, has an affirmative nod for the An Nisa experience.

Ms Wambui juggles between all the online taxi service providers available in Nairobi. But says: “Having an An Nisa client feels safe, because I already know it is a fellow woman coming on board.”

Although she may not be affected much when she uses the other online taxi services, the discrimination starts from the passenger.

“One time I got a client request for my ride, when I accepted the request and they found out that it was a woman behind the wheel, they cancelled, and I felt so bad,” Ms Wambui says.

Late night ride

With An Nisa, she says, the expectation and reality are usually in synchrony. So, once a client calls in, they know that it is a woman who will drive them, so they do not have any reservations because that is what they sign up for.

Ms Habib does not just employ any woman to be her driver.

“I prefer drivers who have driven for a while, say 10 years or more, not less and should comply with all NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) requirements.”

And for clients who may want a late night ride, or a very early ride; say to the airport, they make advanced booking so that safety precautions including the driver’s, are considered.

Curfew

“I had to apply for a curfew pass that allows me to pick and drop off clients who travel in the wee hours of the night. With the pandemic, I insist that the client wears a face mask and sits on the back seat,” adds Ms Wambui.

For safety, An Nisa has partnered with Lady Askari, a company that offers protection services to women. The services, just like An Nisa, are provided by female trained security guards.

by nation.africa

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Lifestyle

If only I could find my son, alive or dead…

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It is six years since Mercy Wairimu was told her son had drowned in River Theta in Juja. Even after a search, he was never found and she is yet to get closure

Whenever Mercy Wairimu remembers her firstborn son, Kennedy Maina, her tears flow. On her living room wall, a large portrait sits as a reminder that her son might still be alive somewhere. But she shudders at the thought that he could be dead since she has never seen him for six years.

She recalls a call she received on that fateful day, at exactly 6pm, Sunday, December 5, 2014. Her sister called to say that Kennedy had been admitted to hospital. Eager to know what was ailing her son, she probed for more information, but her sister told her that she had taken care of everything and she should plan to go to Juja the following morning.

Kennedy Maina and his younger brother, Norman Kienja and sister Mumbi Wairimu.

Not knowing her son’s health status, Wairimu left her home in Saika early morning and drove to Juja to check on how her son was fairing.

However, along the way she wondered how her son could have gotten that sick to an extent of being admitted to hospital. “I had visited my sister the previous day and Kennedy was the one who had directed me to her place, which is just a few metres from where he lived. He was a healthy 25-year-old. Nothing made sense to me,” she recalls.

Heartbreaking news

Wairimu had a rental house in Juja and Kennedy had been staying there for two years. He was staying in a servant’s quarter, managing his mother’s property.

On her way, she picked her younger sister at Githurai and continued with their journey. Upon arrival, her other sister, who had called her the previous evening, told her they had to go to where Kennedy lived to get all the information.

But on arrival to his place, everyone was weeping. She assumed the worst had happened. “At that time I began to imagine that my son was no more. I was in so much pain,” she says.

Her imaginations were then cut short by someone who said, “Kennedy drowned in river Theta after getting involved in a fight yesterday.”

“I was told that my son had visited his friends and got into a small argument. They then started fighting and by that time, they were near river Theta. Since it had been raining, he slid and fell in the river My sister initially lied to me that Kennedy was admitted in hospital because she did not want to break the heartbreaking news to me on phone. I suffer from blood pressure and my sister knew I wouldn’t be able to driver from Nairobi to Juja if she told me the truth,” she says.

Agonising search

Wairimu and her family reported the matter to Juja Police Station. The police organised divers to retrieve the body from the river. Three divers were assigned to search for the body. They demanded Sh6,000 per day.

At this time, Wairimu was determined to spend everything she had to get closure.

But nothing was forthcoming. Nothing was found — not even a hat, which was his signature look was found. For three days, Wairimu spent at the shores of river Theta, watching, waiting, hoping against hope. Her sleepless nights had already began.

“I returned to the station to get a way forward, but still nothing was forthcoming. The boy who Kennedy was involved in a fight with was arrested, but was later released because the police said there was no case,” she says as she wipes a tear.

To date, Wairimu, a single mother of three is still searching for her son, hoping that one day he would come home to unite with them. And if at all he is dead, she just hopes to find his body and give the first fruit of her womb a decent burial.

“Many of those grew up with Kennedy ask where he went, but I don’t know how to explain to them because just like them, I am seeking for answers,” she says.

By PD.co.ke

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