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Top 10 News in Brief: Chebukati Under Fire as He Sends Home Senior Official

by Robert Mwangi
2 mins read

Wednesday, 22nd September – Good morning! This is your daily edition of our brief, but salient Kenyan news properly selected for you.

Ruto Suspends Travels For Outgoing CSs

President William Ruto yesterday barred outgoing Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries from travelling outside the country unless with his approval.

Ruto, who is yet to announce his Cabinet, also ordered the senior civil servants not to undertake projects that would require huge amounts of money.

Further, Ruto directed the ministers not to make any appointments in state corporations and agencies.

It is widely expected that the Head of State will fire almost the entire Cabinet and bring in his own people. The majority of the ministers de-campaigned him in the lead-up to the August 9 presidential election.

Chebukati Sends Home Official as Azimio Protests 

Azimio la Umoja has come to the defence of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Deputy Commission Secretary (Operations) Ruth Kulundu after she was sent home by election agency boss Wafula Chebukati.

Kulundu was interdicted after convening a plenary meeting without consulting IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein on August 26.

Azimio lawmakers led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who is the National Assembly Majority Leader nominee, gave Chebukati 48 hours to reinstate Kulundu.

Wandayi accused Chebukati of running a one-man show and making arbitrary decisions.

How We Lost The Presidential Election 

A member of the Azimio la Umoja secretariat has detailed how a last-minute order from a close ally of the coalition’s flag bearer, Raila Odinga, led to confusion and disaster.

The source, who spoke to the Nation in confidence, said that the close confident of Raila directed that all the presidential agents hired to be at polling stations be dismissed, claiming that he was not aware of the criteria used to select them.

He furnished the secretariat with a new list, but because it was just close to the General Election, coordination became a nightmare, hence hundreds of polling stations, especially in William Ruto’s strongholds did not have agents for the Azimio presidential candidate.

In his petition in the Supreme Court, Raila alleged that Ruto’s numbers were inflated in the Kenya Kwanza strongholds. But who is to blame even if Raila’s claims were true? The Azimio insider who revealed what happened transpired, asked.

Kenyan Nurse Charged in the US Over Fraud 

A US-based Kenyan nurse, Winnie Waruru, is likely to be sentenced to more than 10 years in jail in the United States after she pleaded guilty to charges of healthcare fraud that involved paying and receiving kickbacks as well as making false statements in a healthcare matter in a Ksh12 billion scandal.

Her co-accused, Faith Newton, also a nurse has denied the charges and will undergo a full trial. If found guilty, she will serve at least 20 years in prison.

Newton’s husband, Francis Nderitu, who is also a Kenyan, was arrested in 2016, for allegedly filing fake claims under US Medicaid Programme, which offers healthcare to the elderly, children from low-income families, and persons living with disabilities. Nderitu reportedly used his Compassionate Homecare Inc to defraud the US Government.

How Covid-19 Billions Stolen in the US Landed in Kenya 

Detectives in the United States are working with their Kenyan counterparts after exposing a racket that siphoned money from American coffers in the name of Covid-19 pandemic mitigation.

The suspects are said to have created dubious firms and fashioned them as organisations to help in the mitigation of Covid-19 shocks. In the process, the fake firms defrauded the US government’s Ksh30 billion.

The suspects bought fast-lane cars and acquired properties in different parts of the world, including Kenya, Turkey, and Dubai.

Raila Convenes Crisis Meeting With Allies 

Opposition leader Raila Odinga will next week hold talks with lawmakers elected on ODM tickets to avert an imminent fallout over leadership positions in the National Assembly and the Senate.

There has been disquiet in the party after Azimio la Umoja unveiled its line-up last week, leaving out some loyalists like Nominated MP John Mbadi and Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina. Mbadi insists that he deserved the position of Majority or Minority Leader in the National Assembly while Ole Kina has threatened to ditch ODM.

Raila will also help the legislators to decide who among them will take the positions of chairperson and vice-chairperson of different committees in both Houses.

Kenyan Students Win Ksh120m in Global Competition

Four students from Kenya’s St Paul’s University have won a cash prize of Ksh120 million in the 2022 Hult Prize in New York.

Dullah Shiltone, Brian Ndung’u, Lennox Omondi, and Keylie Muthoni are the founders of Eco-Bana, a start-up that has been manufacturing biodegradable sanitary pads from banana fibre.

During the competition, the innovators explained that their initiative is geared toward eliminating plastics and ending poverty.

The team said the cash reward would enable them to become the number one producer of biodegradable sanitary towels in Kenya and East Africa. President William Ruto congratulated the quartet and promised to empower them.

Top Gambler Hits the Jackpot Again 

Cosmas Kipngetich Korir, the man who won the coveted Ksh208 mega jackpot from Sportpesa, has now gambled his way into politics.

Korir is the new Bomet County Assembly Speaker following yesterday’s election by MCAs. He garnered 32 votes against his competitor Cheruiyot Kirui’s six votes.

“We have a crop of MCAs capable of enacting policies that will guide the development of this county,” Korir said in his maiden speech as Speaker.

Counties Elect Speakers

The election of Speakers in different county assemblies continued yesterday, with the majority of new MCAs voting as advised by their political parties.

Some of the winners include Elisha Oraro (Kisumu), James Gichuhi (Nyeri), James Namatsi (Kakamega), Julius Gaya (Homa Bay), Ayub Bundi (Meru), Mohammed Roba (Isiolo) and Lantano Nabaala (Laikipia).

Kenya on High Alert Following Ebola Outbreak in Uganda

The Ministry of Health has heightened surveillance at Kenya-Uganda border points after an outbreak of Ebola in the neighbouring county.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said healthcare workers had been deployed at the entry points to screen those coming to Kenya, including truck drivers.

He also asked Kenyans living on border points to be vigilant but affirmed that the government was taking all the precautionary measures.

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