Thursday 27 July 2017
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
Kenya vowed tough security measures after suspected al-Qaeda-linked militants stepped up attacks around the East African nation’s coast and northeast. President Uhuru Kenyatta said security forces had intensified their hunt for al-Shabaab militants in Lamu’s Boni forest, according to an emailed statement from his office. “Fire must be met with fire,” Kenyatta said. “We shall bury them.” The militants have increased raids in Lamu, Garissa and Tana River counties during the past weeks. In the latest incident, the Ministry of Public Works Principal Secretary Maryam El Maawy was wounded in a July 13 attack. “We have to deal with these terror-mongers,” Kenyatta said.
(The Associated Press 07/18/17)
A Kenyan official says the government is "unlikely" to shut down the internet during next month's presidential elections. Communication Authority chief Francis Wangusi said Monday they are not thinking of shutting down the internet but warned that it should not be used to release alternative election results. He says they are tracking down words that are likely to lead to incitement and violence and whenever they find any they "pull the systems down." Observers have warned of possible violence around the elections as in the past. Kenya's government has pushed to set up cybersecurity systems ahead of the vote but has been vague on the systems' capabilities, including for surveillance. A spokesman for the leading opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, says...
(The Star 07/18/17)
The US has piled pressure for Kenya to hold free, credible and transparent elections as the 2007 and 2013 polls were "shambolic". Its Congress said on Monday that the world is concerned by “delayed preparations"; it noted the IEBC has not tested critical voting equipment barely 20 days to the polls. “Kenya has had two consecutive national elections — 2007 and 2013 — each of which was marked by questionable results and violent aftermaths,” said representative Eliot Engel, a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He added delays contribute to an environment in which the credibility of the polls will be questioned. The Congress put forward resolutions for assistance by the state department and USAID where preparations are...
(Business Daily 07/18/17)
Ongoing development of Islamic finance in Kenya is expected to cause one of the biggest financial services sector engineering and innovations in the country’s history. Financial engineering includes the design, development as well as implementation of innovative financial processes, instruments and formulation of creative solutions. The essence of financial engineering is to stimulate the drive towards greater economic efficiency through risk sharing, reduction of information asymmetry, agency and related transaction costs. With financial engineering comes a totally new class of instruments, new forms of securities, processes and solutions designed to lower the cost of funding, prudently managing risk and liquidity challenges and also enhancing return on investments. One area that will see a hive of activity in the local market...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Tourists to Kenya are shrugging off fears of potential violence during elections in August, pouring into the East African country in droves for a chance of seeing the annual wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara. Tour operators and hoteliers are reporting near full capacity, in large part because of safari-lovers hoping to see the hundreds of thousands of wildebeest that run the gauntlet of hungry crocodiles as they cross the Mara river in search of greener pastures on the Kenya-Tanzania border. Elections, often fraught and tense occasions in Kenya, are being held August 8. But the chance of seeing the wildebeest in their splendor has pushed concerns about a repetition of post-election violence in 2008, when 1,200 people were killed,...
(Bloomberg 07/18/17)
In less than a month, Kenya’s Jubilee party will bid for a second term in office after ruling East Africa’s biggest economy since 2013. President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a renewed mandate to see off a challenge from former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Jubilee has promised to boost investment in public infrastructure and technology to transform Kenya into a middle-income nation, and the five-party opposition coalition pledged possible tax cuts to woo foreign capital. Whoever wins the Aug. 8 vote will take charge of an agriculture-dependent country that avoided much of the recent downturn that caused the continent’s two largest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, to contract. They will also face the challenge of ballooning debt, inflation exceeding its target...
(AfricaNews 07/18/17)
Kenya’s main opposition leader Raila Odinga has called on his supporters not to have sex on the eve of the elections on August 8. The National Super Alliance party candidate said on Monday in his local Dholuo dialect at a rally in Homa Bay in western Kenya that his supporters should only have intercourse after the results are announced. This pronouncement follows a similar one in June when he explained that “when you are going for war, sex is a bad omen.” This is a common belief in many parts of Africa. 72-year-old Raila Odinga, who lost the last elections to incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta, called on the youth to be vigilant on the polling day to avoid rigging. He also...
(Standard Digital 07/18/17)
Construction of Likoni Road and Enterprise Road which dissect Nairobi’s Industrial Area has stalled. The contractor, after digging up the round-about where the two roads intersect, evacuated their construction equipment leaving behind an obnoxious trail of traffic gridlock at the heart of the country’s manufacturing. It is worth noting that almost every enterprise in the sprawling Industrial Area uses Enterprise Road. A good number of the industries are then linked to Mombasa Road via Likoni Road. It is from Mombasa Road that cargo is either imported or exported through the Port of Mombasa. Interfering with the flow of traffic on the two roads is tantamount to ‘economic sabotage’ - interfering with the turn-around time for enterprises around this location. But...
(Reuters (Eng) 07/18/17)
Three years after he risked his life crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Italy on a small boat crammed with migrants, 22-year-old Sow Muhammed can hardly believe his luck. The former street hawker from Guinea now works as a caterer in Venice, rents his own apartment, and sends money back home regularly to his mother and siblings in the West African nation. "I am happy I came to Europe, and my family is also happy," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation as he packed up leftovers at a training event for people who work with refugees, where he had served a menu which included traditional African dishes. "I talk to my family frequently, ask them their needs, and help...
(AFP (eng) 07/17/17)
A strikingly toxic campaign ad was unleashed online in Kenya just weeks before national elections -- a potentially explosive move in a country where politics and ethnicity are closely aligned. The 90-second video, shot in moody monochrome, presented a dystopia in which Raila Odinga, the leading opposition candidate, wins the August vote and plunges the nation into a violent and inept dictatorship. Under this scenario, tribes would be set against one another while terrorists run riot. "Stop Raila, Save Kenya. The Future of Kenya is in Your Hands," the video said. East Africa's largest economy holds its general election on August 8, a decade after disputed poll results fuelled violence that left more than 1,100 dead and hundreds of thousands...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Kenya has developed a national security plan to ensure that the August presidential polls are peaceful, a senior government official said on Monday. Acting Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government Fred Matiang'i told journalists in Nairobi that the development of the plan began 12 months ago. "The national security plan maps the entire country to include a risk assessment of the potential areas where violence could occur," Matiang'i said during a meeting to brief the private sector on government preparations to conduct peaceful elections. Matiang'i said that all security agencies are working together to ensure that general elections occur without incidents. The security plan will be cascaded to all the 47 counties to facilitate...
(The East African 07/17/17)
Kenya is feeling the strain of funding possibly the second most expensive election in the world in the face of falling revenues, public sector wage pressures and emergency spending following a prolonged drought. So demanding are the competing needs that the Treasury says it will be forced to cut spending in critical sectors and divert resources from others, with infrastructure projects that the government is touting in its re-election bid the most likely to be sacrificed. STRIKES Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge said higher salary demands by striking nurses and lecturers, security interventions in Somalia and preparations for the General Election posed a risk to public sector operations in the current financial year. “[The] General Election could create uncertainty that...
(Standard Digital 07/17/17)
Kenya Tea Research Institute released the first purple tea seedlings to farmers for commercial production in 2011. Just like the black tea, the variety, which was released after 25 years of research, matures in three years and if proper crop husbandry is applied, one bush can produce between 1.5 to 3kg per year. Currently there are over 700,000 small-scale farmers engaged in purple tea production across the country. Mr Earnest Githinji from Gatugura village in Kabare Ward in Kirinyaga County has 21,000 mature tea bushes. Githinji was among the first farmers in the county to plant the wonder variety whose seeds, according to researchers, could be a source of better oil than traditionally expensive olive oil. The farmer says although...
(APA 07/17/17)
The Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Saturday adopted a regional biodiversity protocol and related strategies at the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Executive Secretary of IGAD Mahboub Maalim said the protocol would help to mobilize resources and create much more cooperation on the issue of ecosystem development in the region. IGAD ministers of environment approved the protocol on biodiversity management, which the Maalim described as a milestone achievement. According to Maalim, regional economic integration in the Horn of Africa could be realized through prudent management of natural resources and trans-boundary ecosystems. Recently, Ethiopia and Kenya launched a cross-border program which is the first of its kind. “We are building on that high-level political support to...
(APA 07/17/17)
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday lauded the Kenyan IAAF team for bagging four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals at the IAAF World U18 Championships that concluded on Sunday evening in Nairobi. Kenyatta said the team exemplified true patriotism by flying the country’s flag with great pride and representing the nation with real distinction. "They shone a light on us as a preferred destination, pulling in investment and earning international confidence in our country's security," he said. He said the tournament reminded Kenyans they are one irrespective of differences, affiliations and preferences. The Kenyan team finished fourth at the championships. "Let the unity of purpose that brought us together continue binding us during this electioneering period and beyond." "Thank...
(Daily Nation 07/17/17)
Police have vowed to firmly deal with perpetrators of violence in the run-up, during and after the August 8 General Election. Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet on Monday said police would have to use “slightly more force than that used by violence perpetrators” if chaos breaks out. 2007 CHAOS “If violence occurs, then we have to stop it and it means we will use slightly more force than that used by those causing violence," he told a meeting on election preparedness at a Nairobi hotel. His warning is a stark reminder of the excessive force police employed in response to the 2007-08 post-election violence, leading to extrajudicial killings. It is estimated that out of the 1,133 killed during the chaos, over 400...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Ethiopia may not have had an edge over Kenya in the overall medal tally, but the visitors won the battle of long distance races as the World U18 Championships ended in Nairobi on Sunday. However, Kenya has promised to return to the drawing board, immerse itself in training hoping to emerge with a perfect plan to beat their rivals at the senior athletes World Championships in London in August. With Kenya hosting the championships, Ethiopia had to device a better method to stay afloat of competition and it returned dividends. In long and middle distance races, Kenya is always expectant, so when their arch rivals from Ethiopia wade into their home stadium and defeat them at the disciplines they love...
(Xinhuanet 07/17/17)
Kenya's health ministry said Monday it has formed a multi-sectoral taskforce to respond to the cholera outbreak which has killed three people and resulted in 336 cases since May. The ministry said the constitution of the taskforce is multisectoral and its main task is to respond to the ongoing cholera transmission, so as to kick cholera out of the country. Director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said the taskforce is expanded to include experts, ministry of water and irrigation, three UN agencies, Red Cross and AMREF Health Africa among others. "In order to contain the situation and declare a cholera free country, the ministry of health has with immediate effect constituted a taskforce to oversee that the situation is put...
(Business Daily 07/17/17)
The Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) will challenge a court decision that could hinder the planned unveiling of two new ferries at the Likoni channel later this month. KFS company secretary, Elijah Kitur, says the State firm has instructed its lawyers to move to court with a view to quash orders blocking the re-advertising or re-tendering of inspection consultancy services for the ferries worth Sh2 billion. On Wednesday, Justice Eric Ogola stopped the KFS management from any inspection, supervision and marine survey activities on the new ferries pending hearing and determination of an application by a local company. 'Safety, quality issues' Bonriz Insurance Marine Surveyors filed the case under a certificate of urgency while raising serious allegations regarding quality and safety...
(APA 07/17/17)
Opposition Chief Raila Odinga battles to seal rigging loopholes, Magufuli effect and security forces preparedness to deal with mass protests, grabbed the attention of major Kenya dailies on Monday. “Raila battles to seal ‘rigging’ loopholes,” reported the Star newspaper which pointed out that OPPOSITION chief Raila Odinga is going all out to seal all possible rigging loopholes he believes could deny him “a third victory” in a do-or-die rematch with President Uhuru Kenyatta. “In what is probably his last stab at the top job, Raila has engaged in an unrelenting, aggressive and complex in-and-out of court battle to eliminate all possible electoral theft, 21 days to the epic August 8 polls,” reported the daily. “The Magufuli effect: Shifting regional politics,”...

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