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Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria tests positive for COVID-19

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria on Tuesday announced that he had been admitted at the Mater Hospital, Nairobi.

The Chairperson of the Interfaith Council revealed that he had contracted the novel Covid-19 infection.

Muheria thanked everyone for their continued prayers in a message to the fathers and catholic faithfuls in the diocese

“Thank you very much for your continued prayers [while] I am admitted with Covid-19. God has shown me his love and your love and prayers sent and promised, for me and many other patients in various hospitals and homes.

“I have improved slightly and can now eat and sleep well. However, I am still on oxygen [support] as they continue treating me,” the archbishop stated.

“I plead with you to continue praying for all theses our brothers and sisters who may be going through a difficult time in this time of covid-19 and need. Thank you once more.”

“Finally Please become ambassadors of compliance in our homes, meetings and funerals. Please let us lead the way of responsibility.”

The ministry of health termed November as the darkest month since the pandemic was reported in the country.

With the country recording 14,927 positive cases and lost 274 people, of the dead 10 health workers lost their lives in less than a week.

So far, 30 healthcare workers have succumbed to the virus. Of the number, 10 are specialist doctors.

Pressure is mounting on the government for further actions as the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union threatened to down tools should the government fail to look into their welfare, a move that would plunge the country into further into disarray.

The health ministry is now engaging the health worker’s union in a series of meetings as the health CS has already indicated, while asking the doctors to be considerate in their demands.


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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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KQ loses second pilot to Covid-19 in London

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The national carrier Kenya Airways has lost another pilot to Covid-19.

Captain Salah Salim Jeizan, 57, died at a London hospital on Wednesday, the airline’s chief human resources officer Evelyne Munyoki said in a condolence message.

Captain Jeizan flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on November 7 from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but developed difficulties in breathing while in a London hotel.

Jeizan was rushed to the hospital from his hotel room and put on oxygen.

According to Ibrahim Johnny, a close colleague, the deceased will be buried on Thursday in London under the Islamic law.

Captain Jeizan joined the national carrier in 2001 as a junior pilot and rose through the ranks to his last position as a senior captain on the Boeing 787 fleet.

He flew to different international destinations in Europe, US and the Middle East.

“On behalf of the board of directors, the management and staff of Kenya Airways, we join the family of the late captain Jeizan in mourning their beloved one and pray that the almighty God will strengthen them during this time of sorrow,” KQ said in a statement.

In April Kenya lost its first captain, Daudi Kibati, days after commandeering a flight that evacuated Kenyans stranded in the US after the outbreak of Covid-19.

The captain was taken ill on March 29 after returning from New York and he died on April 1.

By NN


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DP Ruto: Unbeknown to many, I have been advising Uhuru on BBI issues

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In a wide ranging interview with Citizen TV’s Joe Ageyo at the former’s residence in Karen on Thursday night, Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto disclosed that he, infact, advises President Uhuru Kenyatta on Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) matters.

DP Ruto said: “As his principal assistant, yes I advise him. This is a constitution-making process. The constitution is about every Kenyan, myself included. If it is being amended, I do not have the luxury to stand aside and do nothing about it…I do not want history to judge me for not stepping out to speak out.”

He added: “Consensus for us is on content, process and timing. We have almost concluded consensus on content. We agree with the 70 additional constituencies but have IEBC delimit the areas…We are not saying our proposals must pass, we are saying that our proposals are reasonable.” Watch:


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