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Top 10 News in Brief: ‘Handshake’ Test as Uhuru, Raila Coalition Talks Suspended

by Robert Mwangi
2 mins read

As you start your day, you need to power your mind with some relevant and useful information.

We have picked for you the Top 10 stories making the headlines on this day, 21st July 2021.

Jubilee-ODM Coalition Talks Suspended

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has indefinitely suspended its talks with the Raila Odinga-led Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).

According to Jubilee deputy secretary-general Joshua Kutuny, the party has established that the proposed pre-election coalition could hurt it further and reduce its influence, especially in the Mt Kenya region, if all factors are not properly considered.

The new development leaves the ‘Handshake’ in limbo, as the President and the former Prime Minister wanted to formalise it through an alliance.

Some Jubilee leaders argue that the party lost the recent Kiambaa parliamentary by-election due to links with ODM.

OKA Leaders Discuss Raila’s Input in Their Coalition

Co-principals of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) have discussed the possibility of working with ODM leader Raila Odinga, but they insist he must be ready to get into their coalition and not his own terms.

In their meeting yesterday, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kanu’s Gideon Moi, and Ford-Kenya party leader Moses Wetang’ula also weighed the various options of picking a presidential candidate from among them without creating divisions.

While Mudavadi has rooted for a scientific approach, while Kalonzo argued that the process could be achieved by looking at track records as well as political influence over the years.

Ruto, Raila Scramble For Coast Vote Intensifies

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga have increased the momentum in their quest to control the coastal region, which has predominantly been an ODM zone in the last three General Elections.

At the weekend, both leaders crisscrossed Mombasa, Kilifi, and Kwale counties to seek support, with the DP promising that he would address historical injustices if elected as the President next year.

The former Prime Minister maintained the coast is an ODM zone, assuring residents that young people would be empowered with up-to-date skills should he ascend to power.

Join DP Ruto, Muturi Urged

Some leaders from the Mt Kenya East region have asked National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi to consider dropping his presidential bid, saying he is still an “amateur” in national politics.

Led by Tigania East MP John Mutunga, the leaders implored the former Siakago lawmaker to work with Deputy President William Ruto, arguing that the second in command had carved a niche for himself in the region.

Mutunga said the Mt Kenya region would rally behind the DP to the last man if he picks Muturi as his running mate.

MPs Faulted For Interfering With Investigations

The Executive and the Judiciary arms of the government have accused Parliament of being the obstacle in the fight against graft.

Various agencies that investigate corruption cases have also questioned why parliamentary committees summon suspects who they have already grilled and investigations were ongoing.

Lawmakers have been asked to stop overstepping their mandate through parallel investigations.

Medics Accuse Politicians of Fuelling Covid-19 Pandemic

A meeting between the World Health Organisation (WHO) and experts from the Ministry of Health concluded that politicians are to blame for the surge in Covid-19 infections.

Despite a countrywide ban on all forms of political gatherings, it emerged that politicians were still holding mega rallies in total disregard of Covid-19 protocols.

Calling for a review of the containment measures, the experts noted that Kenya could be overwhelmed by the coronavirus just like India if the status quo remains.

School Heads Urged to Register Candidates

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has directed principals and headteachers to make sure all the KCPE and KCSE exam candidates are registered in the next two weeks.

In a statement, the Knec said schools should capture accurate data of the examinees to avoid confusion during the release of results.

The 2021 KCPE and KCSE exam candidates will sit for their exams in March next year.

Thousands of Poor Students Could Fail to Join Form One

Concern has been raised after it emerged that 104,060 candidates who sat for the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination and excelled risk not being enrolled for secondary education.

The learners, who come from poor families, were among the 114,765 students who applied for education financing under Equity Bank’s Wings to Fly and the government’s Elimu Scholarship programmes.

The Wings to Fly initiative selected 1,705 pupils while the government will sponsor 9,000 students.

Form One students are required to report to school in the next two weeks, leaving many poor parents at a crossroads.

Treasury Waives Loans For Parastatals

The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned the Treasury’s wisdom in writing off loans worth Ksh84.38 billions that State corporations owe the government without involving Parliament.

The Treasury cancelled the loans after establishing that the 17 parastatals did not have the capacity to repay.

Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has also demanded answers on how the Exchequer kept on pumping money into the corporations knowing too well that they did not have healthy balance sheets.

Best Day of My Life, Jeff Bezos Says After Launching Into Space

The world’s richest person, Jeff Bezos, together with the Blue Origin rocket crew, yesterday blasted off into space and returned to the earth hours later.

Asked about the experience, the Amazon founder said the trip marked the best day of his life, adding that he was not nervous at all.

The trip is part of Bezos’s larger plan to launch space tourism.

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