Top 10 News in Brief: Kang’ata Refuses to Apologise to Uhuru Over Acidic Letter

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, 14th January 2021.

Kang’ata Remains Adamant

Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata has stood his ground, insisting that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) is unpopular in the Mt Kenya region.

A meeting held at a Nairobi hotel to compel the Murang’a senator to issue a public apology to President Uhuru Kenyatta failed to materialise, after he maintained his assertions in the explosive letter he sent to the Head of State reflect the situation on the ground.

President Kenyatta’s allies have threatened to impeach Kang’ata from his Senate job, claiming that he is a Tangatanga sympathiser.

On Wednesday, 13th January, Kang’ata skipped a press conference convened by Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, involving the leadership of the Senate and the National Assembly.

Jubilee Withdraws From By-elections

Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju has disclosed that the ruling party will not field candidates in the upcoming Kabuchai and Matungu parliamentary by-elections.

Tuju said the decision to withdraw from the races was made in the spirit of the ‘Handshake’, as they did not want to enter into a contest with some of the political parties they are working with to augment national unity.

However, the former Rarieda MP said the ruling party would sponsor a candidate in the Nairobi gubernatorial by-election, should the court lift its order suspending the duel.

New Covid-19 Variants in Kenya

Scientists at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) have disclosed that at least 16 new coronavirus variants could be unknowingly spreading in the country.

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The experts say that the new strains add to the four that were identified in March last year when Covid-19 cases were first reported. Currently, there are 20 variants in circulation, although it is not clear whether they will cause dire Covid-19 complications.

The researchers revealed that one of the new variants identified in Taita-Taveta County had not been detected anywhere in the world.

Raila Takes BBI Gospel at Burma Market

ODM leader Raila Odinga took the BBI message to Burma Market in Nairobi, on Wednesday, 13th January, where he rallied city dwellers to back the BBI report.

Raila reiterated the document has addressed many of Kenya’s perennial problems such as inclusivity.

The former Prime Minister also took a swipe at Deputy President William Ruto’s “Hustlers Nation”, adding that the philosophy, which separates the rich and poor, would not be healthy for the country.

IEBC Frustrating BBI, Secretariat Says

The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat has accused the electoral agency of trying to frustrate the process through delays.

The secretariat’s co-chair, Junet Mohamed, said the IEBC had verified less than 600,000 signatures from the 4.4 million they presented to the commission last December.

The Suna East MP asked the Wafula Chebukati-led body to complete the job by the end of January, failing which they would take action.

Health Crisis

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has pleaded with governors to talk to the striking health workers, saying the national government has no powers to end the stalemate, even as the medics maintained they won’t resume duty until all their demands are addressed.

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However, Council of Governors (CoG) Wycliffe Oparanya said counties would have no option, but to fire the healthcare providers, who are on strike.

Oparanya noted that dialogue would only work when the medics are offering their services.

Maraga Rebukes Governors Over Corruption

Retired Chief Justice David Maraga has asked governors to the lead the fight against graft from the front, noting that the vice is deeply entrenched in the counties.

While acknowledging that devolution has succeeded in a number of counties, Maraga, who made first public appearance since his terminal leave, said a lot of money was being lost to corruption.

Twins, 63, Die on Same Day

Twins share many things in life, but not death. Residents of Mangina Village in Kitui County, were, therefore, left in shock after twin brothers aged, 63, died on the same day.

According to family members, Onesmus Susa was taken ill and admitted to the Kitui County Referral Hospital on 6th January. His twin sibling, Gabriel Mutie, visited him on January 7, and spent the entire day with him.

After getting home, Mutie suddenly started experiencing breathing difficulties during the night and died before he could be taken to hospital. Five hours later, Susa breathed his last as he was being ferried to Nairobi for treatment.

Uganda Election

Ugandans go to the poll today, 14th January, to elect a new President or retain the incumbent, 76-year-old Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

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Unlike in past elections, this time around, the Museveni government has denied accreditation to international poll observers. Internet service providers have also been ordered to suspend operations until further notice.

According to political observers, Museveni fears the youthful population, who forms the majority in Uganda, could dislodge him in favour of 38-year-old musician-turned-politician Bobi Wine.

To avoid defeat, the long-serving ruler has repressed the opposition and allegedly compromised independent institutions, including the electoral body.

Muthama to Face Ex-wife in By-election

The Machakos senatorial by-election took a fresh twist after the Wiper Party unveiled the county’s former Senator, Johnson Muthama’s estranged wife Agnes Kavindu as its candidate.

Muthama is currently an insider in Deputy President William Ruto’s camp and the chairman of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). The party is expected to name its candidate soon, with pundits believing Muthama and Kavindu could get to wash each other’s dirty linen in public.

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Robert Mwangi

I am a professional journalist trained at Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, with experience in reporting; Current Affairs, Human Interest and General News. Let's connect and engage on Facebook ( Journalist Robert Mwangi) and Twitter (@robertmwangi254)