Thursday, 12th May – Good morning! This is your daily edition of our brief, but salient Kenyan news selected for you.
Kenya Kwanza Agreement
It has now emerged that Deputy President William Ruto will share 30 percent of the government with his Kenya Kwanza (KK) partners, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula of Ford-Kenya if they meet certain conditions.
In the agreement presented to the Registrar of Political Parties, Mudavadi and Wetangula will have to deliver 70 percent of the 2.2 million votes in their Western backyard.
If KK forms the government, Mudavadi will be made the Prime Cabinet Secretary while the Bungoma senator could occupy the position of Speaker in the National Assembly.
It is, however, not clear what will happen if the duo fails to give Ruto the number of votes he is asking for in a region that has traditionally voted for ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Raila’s Running Mate
A committee that had been mandated to select a potential running mate for ODM leader Raila Odinga has completed its work.
The panel’s chairman, Dr Noah Wekesa said the report will be handed over to Raila, who is the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya flagbearer.
Though he did not reveal who was shortlisted for the position, sources disclosed that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua, and former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth are the favourites.
They were picked from a pool of nine aspirants, who were eyeing to deputise Raila. The Wekesa-led committee interviewed them between Monday and Tuesday.
Increase Our Salaries, MPs Now Demand
Lawmakers in the National Assembly and the Senate now want their salaries raised from the current Ksh621,250 per member to over Ksh1 million.
Making their demands during a session with the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the MPs also fingered the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) for proposing that their sitting allowances be scrapped.
The SRC wants the lawmakers to earn sitting allowances only when they attend committee sessions. It has been proposed that the committee allowances be increased from the current Ksh5,000 to Ksh7,500 for ordinary members and Ksh10,000 per session for chairpersons.
However, legislators vowed to block any attempts to end the sitting allowances for attending parliamentary sessions. They added that an MP should earn a salary equivalent to that of a Court of Appeal judge who takes home Ksh1,156,108 per month.
Ruto: Pupils Will Get Free Food If I Become President
Deputy President William Ruto has pledged that the government will provide free lunch to all pupils if he wins the presidency in August.
Speaking at Mukarara primary school in Nairobi where he engaged pupils and teachers, the DP said he will ensure no learner drops out of school for lack of food.
Nyayo House is a Health Hazard, Auditor-General Says
The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu has flagged Nyayo House as unsafe to be used by humans.
In her report, she declared the building a health hazard, adding it is one of the places where persons living with disabilities can barely access it.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho agreed with Gathungu, saying that they have been trying to keep the building tidy.
A request has been made to the government to provide Ksh244 for refurbishment.
I Will Not Work With Ruto, Muthama Says
UDA chairman Johnstone Muthama has vowed that he will attend a meeting where Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua is present.
Muthama, who is vying to replace the second-term county boss, said he cannot work with Mutua even after joining Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance. Ruto is the UDA party leader.
If elected governor, the former Machakos senator swore that one of his first jobs will be to make the “Machakos White House” built by Mutua as the official governor’s residence a top-level hospital.
In the 10 years Mutua has been the governor, Muthama has consistently accused his administration of mismanagement of public resources.
Raila Drops Six-Piece Voting in ODM Favour
ODM leader and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Wednesday toured Tana River County and met candidates under the coalition’s banner.
Though he had earlier asked the residents to elect ODM contenders, yesterday he dropped his call and instead asked Azimio aspirants to ensure the alliance gets the most votes in the region.
He also urged Azimio contestants who were not lucky during the nominations to continue supporting his presidential bid.
Raila will traverse the Coast region in the next four days.
Kind Magistrate Conducts Fundraiser For Couple That Stole Wheat Flour
When Saumu Ali and her husband Evans Odhiambo were arraigned yesterday at the Mombasa Law Courts for stealing a bale of wheat flour valued at Ksh1,980 in Mvita, they did not deny the charges.
The couple said it stole the bale because they did not have something to feed their children.
In an interesting turn of events, Principal Magistrate Vincent Adet suspended court proceedings and asked those who were in the court to contribute whatever they had to help the two get money to buy food for their children.
Adet said the honesty of the couple compelled him to help them instead of putting them in jail.
Koome Support Audit in The Judiciary
Chief Justice Martha Koome has committed to helping in the fight against corruption in the Judiciary.
Speaking to various stakeholders in Naivasha during the National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms, Koome said she will support the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to conduct an anti-graft audit on the third arm of the government.
She noted that corruption was deeply rooted in the Judiciary and urgency is needed to address the vice.
Two-Thirds Gender Rule For Parties Not a Requirement
Political parties got a lifeline yesterday after the High Court stopped the electoral commission from implementing the two-thirds gender principle when receiving nomination lists.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had asked over 20 outfits, including ODM and ODM to present new lists or risk being barred from participating in the coming General Election.