Friday 23 June 2017
(Daily Nation 06/01/17)
Each constituency will get Sh101 million for grassroots development projects in the year starting July as the allocation formula continues to disadvantage marginalised areas. MPs, in a new law that shares money from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) equally among the 290 electoral zones, removed land area and fiscal responsibility from the allocation formula. This means that a poor constituency such as Lunga Lunga in Kwale County will receive the same amount as Nairobi’s Starehe. MPs retain influence over CDF as patrons. In the current financial year, the legislators shared Sh25 billion after the High Court reduced the allocation from Sh35 billion.
(Daily Nation 06/01/17)
Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has revised its profits upwards by Sh5 million following the approval of a tax waiver by the Treasury. Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich in January approved a tax waiver of 32.5 per cent of the outstanding penalties and interest owed on corporate tax, withholding tax, PAYE and VAT for the years 2008 to 2011. The self-listed bourse was required to pay the 62.5 per cent balance amounting to Sh14.5 million. Sh19.5 million had been provided for in the prior year’s financial statements to cover the liability. “The 62.5 per cent payment required of Sh14.5 million was paid in January 2017. A credit of Sh5 million has been written back to these financial statements as this matter...
(Xinhuanet 06/01/17)
At least five people, including four police officers, were killed and seven others still missing on Wednesday in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the Kenya's coastal region of Lamu. Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Joseph Owuoth said two police officers are among the seven people who could not be traced after their vehicle was hit by IED planted by suspected Al-Shabaab militants at Kiunga in Lamu County. Owuoth said the military managed to repulse the militants as they responded to the attack. The police officers are attached at Mangai Rapid Border Patrol Unit (RBPU) in Lamu East. Their armored police car had on board seven RBPU officers who were heading to Mokowe town in Lamu West for refueling...
(AFP (eng) 06/01/17)
One in five children born with a twin sibling in sub-Saharan Africa dies before the age of five -- three times the rate among singletons, said a study Thursday. Almost two-thirds die in the first month of life -- often succumbing to the after-effects of a difficult birth or entering the world too early or underweight, according to research published in The Lancet medical journal. And while rates of under-five deaths in the sub-Saharan African region have declined over two decades, the improvement has been much slower for twins than for single-borns. "Twins account for 10.7 percent of all under-five deaths and 15.1 percent of neonatal (newborn) deaths in the region and these percentages are increasing," the study said. "The...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Four police officers were killed when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb in southeastern Kenya, a week after 14 others died in similar attacks claimed by Shabaab Islamists, a police source said Wednesday. "We have lost four officers in this attack that also killed another person. The vehicle drove on an IED (improvised explosive device)," a senior police officer in the coastal Lamu district near the Somali border, told AFP on condition of anonymity. It was not immediately clear if the fifth person, a civilian, was in or near the vehicle at the time. According to a police report seen by AFP, the vehicle was carrying seven officers when it drove over the device in the southeastern town of Baure...
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday inaugurated a Chinese-built railway, the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence that is aimed at cementing its role as the gateway to East Africa. Dancers and a military band entertained passengers and dignitaries from Kenya and China shortly before they, and Kenyatta, were to take the maiden journey from a gleaming new terminal in the port city of Mombasa to Nairobi. The five-hour journey will take less than half the time to drive between the two cities, a hair-raising trip on a one-lane highway clogged with lumbering trucks and where accidents claim dozens of lives each year.
(AFP (eng) 05/31/17)
Five UN workers at a refugee camp in northwest Kenya were allegedly involved in fraud and other serious misconduct, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. One staff member was arrested after the agency referred three workers at the Kakuma camp to Kenyan police for criminal prosecution, according to the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "Protecting lives is at the core of UNHCR's work, which makes the betrayal of trust we have seen in this case so galling," said deputy head of the UNHCR George Okoth-Obbo. The UNHCR launched an internal investigation after receiving allegations of fraud, corruption, threats and intimidation in the camp, it said. Two of the workers have since resigned and disciplinary actions are being taken against...
(Bloomberg 05/31/17)
Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga pledged to keep his bid to unseat President Uhuru Kenyatta free of violence, while warning that his supporters may rise up if they suspect rigging. “We do not expect any violence,” Odinga told reporters in Nairobi, the capital, on Tuesday. “It’s not in our hands. If elections are free and fair, I don’t think there would be any. Violence will come if somebody interferes with the electoral process.” “If we lose fairly, we will accept,” said Odinga, who leads a five-party coalition that’s contesting the Aug. 8 vote. Kenyatta would take 47 percent of the vote if elections were held now, pollster Ipsos Kenya said in a survey published Tuesday. That compares to 42 percent...
(Voice of America 05/31/17)
A new report says Kenyan authorities have used threats, beatings and phone tapping to intimidate journalists reporting on sensitive issues. The report, titled "Not Worth the Risk," details abuses in Kenya since 2013 that Human Rights Watch and media advocacy group Article 19 say have made it dangerous for journalists to report on controversial issues like corruption, land rights and alleged human rights violations by security services. Otsieno Namwaya, a Human Rights Watch researcher, detailed some of the issues Kenyan journalists face. "The government has attempted to obstruct critical journalists using legal, administrative and informal measures which include threats, intimidation, harassment online and phone surveillance, which is really a big problem right now. Most journalists are worried they are being...
(The Associated Press 05/31/17)
The U.N. refugee agency said Tuesday it has turned to Kenyan police for possible criminal prosecution of three staffers for allegedly carrying out threats, intimidation and fraud against refugees and other personnel at a camp in northwest Kenya. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman Babar Baloch says the move, which has led to one arrest so far, follows an internal investigation launched after allegations of wrongdoing involving those three and two more staffers at the Kakuma refugee camp emerged between April 2016 and January 2017. Baloch said staff members allegedly sought payments of $500 to $2,500 from refugees for various services that should be free, threatened other workers and intimidated the camp's occupants. Revelations of illegal activities by refugee camp...
(Xinhuanet 05/31/17)
The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) and the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) on Tuesday signed an operations, maintenance and service agreement for the Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railways (SGR). KR Managing Director Atanas Maina told a media briefing in Mombasa that under the deal, CRBC will from Wednesday take over as operator of the 480 km SGR. "CBRC's key functions, will be to run the railway system in accordance with schedule of the agreement with KR and also to undertake maintenance of the equipment and rail tracks to ensure that they are maintained in accordance with the prescribed manuals as well as the best global industry standards," Maina said. Construction of the 3.8-billion-U.S. dollar project, with the bulk of financing...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/31/17)
In a roadside cafe in Kenya's majestic highlands, Elly Sigilai cradled a steaming mug of tea and recalled how 17 relatives died after British colonialists ousted them in 1934 to plant tea on their family land. The 79-year-old is one of hundreds of elderly Kenyans seeking to sue the British government for alleged displacement and torture by its colonial predecessor, in a case that could encourage other former colonies to press similar claims. "Those on this list died from malaria and sleeping sickness," said Sigilai, a neatly folded piece of paper in his hand naming the dead in his family, including two brothers and a sister. "They were sent to a valley infested by tsetse flies to die." Survivors and...
(Xinhuanet 05/31/17)
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched the passenger train service of the 480-km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Kenyatta said the railway marks a new chapter in the history of Kenya. The modern railway will replace the meter-gauge railway that was constructed more than 100 years ago during the British colonial rule, Kenyatta said. "Today we celebrate the laying of one of the key cornerstones to Kenya's journey of transformation to an industrial, prosperous and middle income country," he said ahead of embarking on the inaugural trip from Mombasa to Nairobi. The launch came one day after the Kenyan leader launched the first SGR cargo service between the two cities. Kenyatta said that the SGR was made possible due...
(Xinhuanet 05/31/17)
The EU on Tuesday commended President Uhuru Kenyatta for his consistent commitment to a free, fair and peaceful election in August. The EU delegation led by EU Ambassador to Kenya, Ambassador Stephano Dejak noted Kenya's level of preparedness and commitment for the August polls and pledged its full support to the process. "We are greatly encouraged by the commitment you once more confirmed on Monday about peaceful, free, fair and credible election," Dejak said in a statement issued after holding talks with Kenyatta in Nairobi. "As the EU, we will be always close by to give all the support we can, including with the imminent arrival of the Election Observation Mission," he added. Millions of Kenyans will vote on Aug...
(Xinhuanet 05/31/17)
The Chinese-built railway linking Kenya's capital of Nairobi and the port city of Mombasa was officially launched on Wednesday, accelerating the country's steps on the path toward industrialization and modernization. As Kenya's first new railway in a century and the largest infrastructure project since its independence, the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) carries hopes and dreams of the Kenyan people for a more prosperous future. Construction of the railway began in December 2014. With tremendous efforts by both sides, China and Kenya have strived to complete the flagship project in less than three years, which will greatly improve local people's livelihood by boosting regional trade and deepening integration in East Africa. The fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation once again proved to...
(Washington Post 05/31/17)
The old man’s house had become a camp for the displaced. In the back yard, groups of women boiled water for rice. Small children skittered across the dirt, running into the bedroom, where they careened around the long, skinny legs of Elijah Karama. “Because of the conditions, they are mine to take care of,” said Karama, 57, more tired than proud. By conditions, he meant Boko Haram’s destruction of vast areas of northeastern Nigeria, and the hunger crisis that has followed. This city of about 1 million has absorbed an additional 1 million people who fled the Islamist militants who burned their villages and kidnapped hundreds of children. In Maiduguri, the vast majority of the displaced aren’t living in U.N...
(Xinhuanet 05/30/17)
Kenya's electoral body on Monday cleared President Uhuru Kenyatta to run for a second term in office after he presented his nomination papers with his deputy William Ruto as his running mate. Kenyatta, who was accompanied by thousands of his supporters after a day-long tour of the city, said his Jubilee Party will conduct a peaceful campaign free of insults. At the rallies, Kenyatta who defeated the main opposition leader Raila Odinga in 2013 said he was humbly asking Kenyans to vote for him for a second term so that the Jubilee administration can continue with the development programs it has been implementing to transform the country. "We are not people who rely on propaganda and we do not incite...
(Xinhuanet 05/30/17)
Robust involvement in activities that promote social good and ecological sustainability has become the defining feature of Chinese firms that have invested in Kenya, a report said on Monday. The 2016 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, launched by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), revealed great enthusiasm by Chinese firms to advance the welfare of Kenyan communities. Kenyan officials, Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa and senior executives from the CCCC, attended the launch of the CSR reports that gave a positive score on the activities of Chinese firms. Principal Secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Paul Maringa Mwangi, lauded Chinese firms for prioritizing community welfare and ecological protection during implementation of mega infrastructure projects in the country...
(Bloomberg 05/30/17)
Africa’s corn harvest this year is a tale of two extremes as worries about overflowing silos and rotting crops in the south contrast with the east where supermarkets are running short of the staple food. Zambia and South Africa are both predicting record output of the grain, while Zimbabwe may meet its domestic needs for the first time since it began seizing land from white farmers in 2000. Yet in East Africa, 17 million people may be facing hunger, and concerns about food shortages are driving up prices as governments scramble to secure imports. “It all comes down to weather,” said Wessel Lemmer, a senior agricultural economist at Barclays Africa Group Ltd.’s Absa unit in Johannesburg. “There’s usually an inverse...
(AFP (eng) 05/29/17)
More than a century after a colonial railway gave birth to modern Kenya, the country is betting on a new Chinese-built route to cement its position as the gateway to East Africa. The $3.2 billion (2.8 billion euro) railway linking Nairobi with the port city of Mombasa will Wednesday take its first passengers on the 472 kilometre (293 mile) journey, allowing them to skip a hair-raising drive on one of Kenya's most dangerous highways. The railway is the country's biggest infrastructure project since independence, and while it has courted controversy, it is a key selling point for the ruling Jubilee party ahead of August elections. It is also part of a "master plan" by east African leaders to connect their...

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