Sunday 19 November 2017
(Bloomberg 10/05/17)
Kenya will deploy security forces to monitor protests planned by the main opposition alliance, the government’s spokesman said, as he criticized the demonstrations for slowing down business. The opposition National Super Alliance plans to hold demonstrations in the capital, Nairobi, and other cities on Friday. The coalition began a campaign of twice-weekly protests on Monday to press its demands for an overhaul of the electoral commission before a rerun on Oct. 26 of the country’s annulled presidential elections. “It seems that Nasa has deliberated to adopt a political approach that creates a lot of uncertainty in the business environment of our country,” government spokesman Eric Kiraithe told reporters Thursday in Nairobi. “To Kenyans, we are telling them to go to...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is currently looking for a co-financing partner to fund the 445 km Kenya-Tanzania highway, officials said. AfDB Chief Regional Program Officer Lawson Zankli told Xinhua in Nairobi in a recent interview that his bank has tentatively set aside 300 million U.S. dollars towards the road project that runs along the East African Coastline from Malindi in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania. "We are looking for partners to bridge the remaining 485 million dollars required to complete the transnational highway," Zankli said. The project will consist of rehabilitation of 215 km of bitumen road on the Kenyan side and upgrading from gravel to bitumen standards of 230 km on the Tanzanian side. Zankli said that AfDB...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/05/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (HLT.N) plans to spend $50 million over the next five years to add 100 hotels to its chain in Africa, it said on Thursday, joining other chains keen to tap growing business and international travel on the continent. One property will open in the Kenyan capital Nairobi by the end of this year and another in the Rwandan capital Kigali in 2018, it said in a statement. There was 11 percent growth in Sub-Saharan African tourism in the past year, according to data from the U.N. World Tourism Organisation. Hilton said the remaining additions to its 39 existing African properties would be operational within the next five years. “The model of converting existing...
(AfricaNews 10/05/17)
Another year of disappointment for the African favourite for the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o who has been tipped to win the prestigious prize since 2010. The 2017 prize was awarded to British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro for his emotionally impactful novels, the Nobel Foundation announced on Thursday. He was selected out of the about 350 nominations made by literary experts and former Nobel laureates from around the world. 79-year-old Ngugi published his first book in English in 1964, which is the first by a writer from East Africa. He later changed his language of writing to his native Gikuyu language. He set up a revolutionary theatre in the 1970s that provoked the authoritarian regime at the...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers and reports on agriculture, rural development, water and environment and recommendations and guidance on issues in the 2063 Africa Development Agenda, including agriculture, environment, climate change, and youth engagement. Among the points chosen for the discussions are the assessment of...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The United Nations on Wednesday warned against political candidates boycotting the October 26 repeat Presidential elections, and has urged President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga to dialogue with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC). The United Nations strongly encouraged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party, and NASA flagbearer Raila Odinga and the electorate to participate in the planned election on 26 October, saying that free, transparent and credible elections are the only democratic ways to enable Kenyans choose their leaders. “The responsibility for successful elections lies not just with the electoral management body...
(Bloomberg 10/04/17)
Kenya’s electoral commission said it’s made progress on meeting the demands of the main opposition coalition on how the rerun of August’s annulled presidential election will be handled. A day of talks between Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission officials and representatives of the opposition National Super Alliance, or Nasa, and the ruling Jubilee Party were “fruitful,” commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati told reporters Tuesday in the capital, Nairobi. A technical team is working with Nasa to produce a statement on what has been agreed, he said. “Most of the issues raised by Nasa have been addressed by the commission,” he said. “We shall publish what we have agreed with the Nasa team so that we can move on with the major...
(APA 10/04/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The Kenyan government plans to spend 6 billion shillings ($5.8 million) to subsidize maize, and make the staple food affordable to Kenyans. This is a response to the negative impact of the ongoing drought that has hit the Horn of Africa region, including Kenya. President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the money will be used to buy all the maize offered for sale by farmers this season, under the government’s strategic food reserve programme to boost food security and maintain an affordable price for maize flour. Maize is the key staple food for the Kenyan population, providing about 65 percent of staple calorie intake. “To boost our food security and sustain affordable price for maize flour, the government...
(AFP 10/03/17)
Campuses at one of Kenya's largest universities were closed on Tuesday after demonstrations broke out ahead of the country's tense presidential election re-run, a university official said. Students at the University of Nairobi were ordered to vacate their dormitories on short notice after overnight protests that went into Tuesday morning, corporate affairs director John Orindi told AFP. "We've closed the university due to the directives of administration," he said. The demonstration started last week after the arrest of Babu Owino, a former student body president who recently won a seat in parliament as a staunch supporter of opposition leader Raila Odinga. Odinga will face off against President Uhuru Kenyatta in polls scheduled for October 26 after the Supreme Court ordered...
(APA 10/03/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - The European observer mission to Kenya on Tuesday warned that late amendments to electoral laws ahead of A repeat of the Presidential polls on October 26 risks been politically polarizing for the East African nation. The EU warned that if passed, the changes would likely be subject to legal challenge, including on constitutional grounds, resulting in further uncertainty in the electoral process. “Changes to the electoral law would also hinder the on-going work of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in preparing elections in an already limited timeframe,” said EU Observer mission head Marietje Schaake. The proposal in the Bill introduced in the National Assembly last week seeks a raft of changes in the current electoral laws,...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The Nairobi car auctioneer hopefully scanned empty rows of rickety plastic chairs in a dusty lot for more bids but saw only too many vehicles and not enough buyers, an increasing problem as Kenya’s economy slows and repossessions pick up. A severe drought earlier this year, a bank lending slowdown and prolonged political uncertainty are creating a growing pool of distressed borrowers whose assets are being seized by newly aggressive lenders in the east African powerhouse. George Muiruri, managing director of Leakey’s auctioneers, says they are holding 10 auctions a month, up from about four a year ago.
(AFP (eng) 10/03/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Administrators closed Kenya’s oldest university on Tuesday, citing fears for students’ safety in a planned protest over police beatings at a campus demonstration last week. Kenyan police frequently face accusations of brutality and extrajudicial killings from civilians and rights groups, but officers are rarely charged and almost never convicted. Despite this, Kenya, an economic and transport hub in East Africa and a key Western ally in a volatile region, receives substantial financial support for its security services from international donors, including the United States and Britain. Rights groups say at least 28 people were killed, mostly by police, in unrest following the Aug. 8 election, whose results were later nullified by the Supreme Court due to irregularities...
(AFP (eng) 10/02/17)
Police tear-gassed opposition supporters in two of Kenya's biggest cities on Monday as they protested at the country's election watchdog, which is due to referee a re-run presidential poll this month. Hundreds of opposition protesters in the capital Nairobi, the western city of Kisumu and the port of Mombasa demonstrated against the current Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Opposition leaders say the panel, in its present form, should be barred from managing the October 26 vote after the Supreme Court annulled the original August election, citing widespread "illegalities and irregularities". The judges ruled the IEBC had produced a presidential election that was "neither transparent nor verifiable." Raila Odinga, head of the opposition National Super Alliance (NASA), has threatened to...
(Xinhuanet 10/02/17)
Joshua Mokua, a milk-seller in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, slid his index finger on the screen of his new smartphone as his face beamed with a smile. Suddenly, he burst into laughter attracting the attention of his two friends, whom he was taking tea with at a hotel in the east of Nairobi on Sunday. "This clip is funny," he told them. "This man hid his food under his seat when he heard a neighbor knock on his door and the dog ended up eating the meal. He is now beating the poor animal mercilessly," he added as he laughed. His friends asked him to send the short video via WhatsApp messaging service and soon they too watched and enjoyed it...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Police on Monday fired teargas at opposition supporters in the Kenyan capital Nairobi who were calling for the sacking of officials they blame for last month’s botched presidential election, Reuters witnesses said. A re-run is due to be held Oct. 26 after the Supreme Court voided the Aug. 8 vote due to irregularities. The court criticized election the board on procedural grounds but did not find any individual at the board responsible. In the capital, police fired rounds of teargas over the course of several hours at small groups of protesters in at least three locations in the business district downtown. Police also fired teargas to disperse protesters in the western city of Kisumu, according to another...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - The U.N. World Food Programme is cutting food rations by 30 percent for more than 400,000 refugees living in camps in Kenya due to insufficient funding, it said on Monday. Dadaab and Kakuma camps in Kenya are primarily home to refugees from neighboring Somalia and South Sudan, both ravaged by wars that have forced millions of people to flee. The World Food Programme said it needed $28.5 million to cover the food assistance needs of the 420,000 refugees living in the camps for the next six months. “An abrupt halt to food assistance would be devastating for the refugees, most of whom rely fully on WFP for their daily meals,” said Annalisa Conte, the top WFP official...
(APA 10/02/17)
APA-Nairobi (Kenya) - President Uhuru Kenyatta Monday said no one will be allowed to stifle Kenyans’ right to express their will through the ballot box, saying ongoing protests by the opposition will not stop the October 26 fresh polls. Already, one person has reportedly died in Kisumu, an opposition stronghold, after protesters clashed with police on Monday. The opposition has vowed to hold protests across the country on Mondays and Fridays to demand the resignation of senior Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials for bungling the August 8 polls. The opposition is also protesting against a bill introduced by MPs allied to the ruling coalition to amend some of the electoral laws, with just with 23 days to the polls...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan authorities should take a closer look at the impact of a cap on lending rates imposed a year ago, to determine if its intended purposes are being met, the chief executive of Standard Chartered Kenya said. The government capped commercial lending rates at four percentage points above the central bank’s benchmark rate, which stands at 10 percent, and put a minimum deposit interest rate of 70 percent of the benchmark. It argued that lenders had failed to lower costs of credit to consumers, despite enjoying some of the highest rates of return on equity on the continent. Lamin Manjang, the head of the Kenyan unit of Standard Chartered, said some borrowers, such as small and medium...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/02/17)
NAIROBI (Reuters) - A Kenyan government watchdog said on Friday it was investigating whether police had assaulted students during protests this week at the University of Nairobi over the detention of an opposition lawmaker. Police fired tear gas on Thursday at the protesting students. Video footage posted on social media later in the day showed uniformed officers outside dormitories and inside classrooms using batons to hit people who did not appear to be involved in the campus protests. It was the latest crackdown by police on protests since an Aug. 8 presidential election that was later annulled by the Supreme Court. A re-run of the vote has been set for Oct. 26. The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) “this morning...
(Bloomberg 09/29/17)
Kenya’s main opposition coalition walked out of negotiations on how a rerun of last month’s annulled presidential election will be managed and threatened street protests, setting back preparations for the Oct. 26 ballot. The officials quit the talks because of plans by the ruling Jubilee Party to remove powers from the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission, James Orengo, a senator for the opposition National Super Alliance, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Nairobi. Proposed changes to the law include enabling commissioners to appoint a new chairman and reducing the number of people required to make a quorum, according to a copy of the bill provided by government spokesman Eric Kiraithe’s office.

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