Friday, 11th November – Good morning! This is your daily edition of our brief, but salient Kenyan news properly selected for you.
Don’t Abandon Kenyans, The Church Urges Opposition
The Catholic Church has come strongly to support the opposition, saying that if the government is not checked properly, it can forget its core mandate.
The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) said Raila Odinga-led opposition should not sit and watch the government walk back on its promises.
KCCB Chair Archbishop Martin Kivuva the opposition must in steadfast in ensuring that Kenyans get quality services and any attempt by the government to violate the constitution is thwarted.
In addition, Kivuva called out government officials whose recent pronouncements sound like they are still in campaign mode.
Brace For Tough Times
The government has spelled out a raft of measures geared towards cutting the 2022/2023 budget by Ksh300 billion to manage debt and reduce the burden on taxpayers.
The expenditure cuts, though targeting civil servants, will have far-reaching consequences on the whole economy. For example, ordering food and drinks from hotels and restaurants has been halted, meaning the eateries that had a ready market in government offices will be hit hard.
The painful economic policies will also see State agencies reduce budgets for advertising, printing, imprest, meetings, and office equipment.
Additionally, local and foreign travels have been put on hold unless in very demanding circumstances.
As Crimes Spike, Police Slapped With Stringent Measures
The National Police Service (NPS) is among government agencies that will be hugely affected by President William Ruto’s resolution to cut back on spending, even as crime rates worry Kenyans.
Police officers have been asked to minimize trips using official vehicles to cut on fuel. Commanders have also been asked to give allowances as strictly provided.
Other measures taken include slashing airtime allowance by 25 percent, suspending refurbishment of police buildings, and stopping buying office furniture.
The move could see cops scale down operations, including fighting crimes, at a time when insecurity is destabilizing the lives of many Kenyans, chiefly in urban areas.
What Does Cutting on Budget Mean?
National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Njuguna Ndung’u has started implementing budget-cutting measures that will have far-reaching effects on the economy in a step that President William Ruto argues is necessary for the country to sustain itself.
But firms who have made a fortune by supplying goods and services to the government will have it rough, a move that may result in layoffs.
Also hiring new workers will become a challenge for companies that work with the government not forgetting that some ongoing projects that employ thousands of citizens will be halted.
Gachagua Has No Case to Answer
The Anti-Corruption has finally accepted the application by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji to drop the economic crimes charges against Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua after the investigator said he was coerced to frame the Mathira MP.
The second in command had been charged with fraud in a Ksh7.3 billion corruption case.
However, Senior Principal Magistrate Victor Wakumile said Gachagua can be re-arrested if investigators find evidence to implicate him.
MPS Unite to Demand CDF
Lawmakers from across the political divide have threatened to boycott sessions in the National Assembly if the Treasury fails to approve the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), the kitty that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wa and Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi said they could frustrate the Executive if it does not support the fund, which the MPs are drafting laws for so that it can be firmly anchored in the constitution.
The MPs reiterated that the fund has changed many lives over the years and it also allows all legislators, including those in the opposition to give their constituents a taste of development.
Jubilee Accuses ODM of Conmanship
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has threatened to walk out of the Azimio la Umoja coalition for what they termed as disrespect from the ODM party of Raila Odinga.
The bone of contention is stemming from the way committee positions were distributed in the National Assembly and the Senate.
Jubilee decried that ODM shortchanged it and declared that they hold a Parliamentary Group meeting to discuss their future in the coalition.
However, ODM was bullish that the sharing of the positions was based on the party strength in both Houses.
EALA Hopefuls Start Lobbying
The 27 individuals who have been nominated by different parties for the nine positions at the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) have begun lobbying ahead of their election by Members of Parliament next week.
Yesterday, some of the nominees, including ODM leader Raila Odinga’s daughter Winnie Odinga, were spotted within the premises of Parliament wooing lawmakers from different parties to vote for them.
However, ODM is walking a tightrope after because its MPs are supporting different hopefuls despite the party insisting it prefers Winnie and Mombasa tycoon Mohamed Shahbal. Some MPs, especially those from Western Kenya are pushing for Justus Kizito and are in talks with their colleagues from UDA to gang up against the ODM position.
Koome Takes The Oath of Office
Japhet Koome has taken the oath of office this morning to become the Inspector General of Police, replacing Hilary Mutyambai who resigned in September. His nomination was approved by Parliament yesterday.
In his inaugural speech as the police boss, Koome said he was equal to the task. He promised to tackle insecurity and address the welfare of police officers.
SSU Officers to Remain in Custody
The court has allowed the remanding of eight officers previously attached to the defunct Special Service Unit (SSU), an elite squad that was under the DCI, for the abduction and alleged murder of two Indians and their taxi driver.
Chief Magistrate Diana Mochache ruled that the suspects are should be detained for 21 more days, pending the conclusion of the investigation. She said the probe is a serious and sensitive matter, hence the officers could interfere with the work of the investigators.
However, one officer was released on bond after his lawyer proved beyond doubt he was not at the scene when the victims were seized.