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Top 10 News in Brief: State Moves Quickly to Seal Sonko Loophole For Possible Survival

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, 10th December.

Sonko to Face the Plenary

Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio has abandoned a proposal by the Senate Business Committee to have embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko investigated by an 11-member committee.

According to reports, Poghisio received instructions from powerful government officials, who argued that the flamboyant county boss could easily manipulate 11 people and defeat the State in its quest to overthrow him.

Sonko’s fate will now be decided by the 67 senators, but the governor and his accusers will first meet in the Senate for a two-day grilling session.

No More Proposals, BBI Team Says

The signatures collected in support of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum Bill will be presented to the IEBC today for verification.

BBI co-chairs Dennis Waweru and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said no more proposals would be considered.

Deputy President William Ruto and his allies have proposed a multi-choice referendum while ODM had started to demand more constituencies in their strongholds from the 70 extra seats proposed for creation by the BBI.

Cross-border Infrastructure Projects

Kenya and Ethiopia have reaffirmed their commitment to the continued implementation of cross-border infrastructure projects.

In a joint press address shortly after inspecting the ongoing construction of the new 32-berth Lamu Port, President Kenyatta and visiting Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said Kenya and Ethiopia are fast tracking the development of the Mombasa-Nairobi-Addis Ababa Road Corridor Project to promote trade and regional trade.

The corridor is part of the Trans-Africa Highway network.

Woman in Senator’s Illness Released

High schoolteacher Esther Nthenya, who was arrested after Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka collapsed while she was with him at an apartment in Kilimani, Nairobi, has been released unconditionally.

The DPP dropped attempted murder charges against her after doctors examined the senator and established he had not been poisoned. The lawmaker is recuperating in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Nairobi Hospital.

Kemsa to Release PPEs

Health CAS Mercy Mwangangi has revealed that a formal letter to authorise the release of PPEs being held by the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa) will be ready by Friday.

The PPEs and the N95 face masks will be released to the counties at the current market price, a move that will see the agency register losses because the equipment were purchased at very high prices when they were in demand.

Nurse Collapses and Dies

A Kakamega-based nurse, who had avoided going to hospital due the ongoing strike by healthcare workers, collapsed and died at his home.

Wycliffe Alumasa had been unwell for some days, but his condition worsened after he started experiencing breathing difficulties. His wife, Veronica, is also unwell.

BBI Opposers Suffer Setbacks in Court

Nandi and Kericho county assemblies as well as Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana have been asked by the Supreme Court to seek advice from the Attorney-General before their cases challenging the implementation of the BBI can go on.

The two assemblies had wanted to know if regional houses could amend the referendum Bill,, while Governor Kibwana had sought an advisory opinion on whether it was right for the government to popularise the BBI report using public resources.

Also, another petitioner, James Gitau, who lives in the United States, failed to get an injunction from the High Court to stop the IEBC from receiving the signatures collected in support of the BBI referendum.

Catholic Bishops Push For Consensus on BBI Debate

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has said it is not opposed to the BBI report, but wants consensus so that the contentious issues can be ironed out.

Through its chairperson, Bishop Phillip Anyolo, the religious group said it was worried that the contested recommendations could cause divisions ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Doctors’ Strike

The hope of averting the looming doctors’ strike was dashed once again after the Senate Health Committee, others stakeholders and KMPDU failed to reach a middle ground.

The doctors insisted that the 11 issues they have raised, among them better working conditions, provision of medical insurance cover and establishment of an independent health commission, must be addressed.

KMPDU officials warned that if their demands would not have been met by 21st December, the doctors would have no option but to down tools in what they said will be a “historic industrial action”.

IEBC Ready For By-elections

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said it is ready to conduct five by-elections on Tuesday next week.

Speaking in Kisumu, Commissioner Boru Mulu said the mini polls would be held in strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols. All the voters will be required to wear face masks and sanitise before casting their ballots.

The main focus is in Msambweni constituency, where ODM candidate Omar Boga will square it out with Deputy President William Ruto-fronted independent contestant Feisal Abdallah.

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