Thursday, 30th May – Good morning! This is your daily edition of our brief, but salient Kenyan news properly selected for you.
Uhuru Has Mortgaged Kenyan Ports, Kenya Kwanza Claims
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government has auctioned all Kenyan ports, so a statement from Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance alleges.
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday claimed that the Head of State has mortgaged the Mombasa, Kisumu and Naivasha ports to a United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm by the name Dubai Port World FZE.
In his statement released on behalf of Kenya Kwanza, Mudavadi said the company has been tasked to develop, manage and operate the ports. He said the idea of auctioning the ports was mooted during the birthday party of Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga.
However, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani dismissed the claims as baseless propaganda. While he admitted that the government has signed an agreement with the firm, he insisted it was for the purpose of tapping into international investment opportunities.
Ruto to Launch His Manifesto Today
Deputy President William Ruto will unveil his manifesto this evening at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi where he is expected to outline his agenda if he becomes President in August.
Ruto’s director of communication, Hussein Mohamed said in a statement that the manifesto is people-centred.
Hussein added that the blueprint captures the views and ideas picked from economic forums the Kenya Kwanza Alliance has been conducting across the country.
IEBC Beats Retreat on Physical Register
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday said it will reinstate the manual register after various stakeholders, including Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga complained.
Speaking yesterday during a session with the four presidential candidates – Raila, William Ruto of UDA, Agano Party’s David Mwaure Waihiga and Roots Party presidential candidate George Wajackoyah – IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that the physical register will be used to complement the biometric identification of voters.
At the same time, the national polls agency promised to facilitate agents of the presidential candidates to a trip in Greece where printing of ballot papers, voters’ register and election declaration forms will take place.
NHIF Inks Deal With Private Hospitals
National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) members will from tomorrow start enjoying medical services at private hospitals.
The national insurer and the health facilities will today sign a new agreement after ironing out the issues that made the latter stop offering treatment to NHIF card-holders save for civil servants.
Why Maize Imports Have Decreased
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya personally visited the Kenya-Tanzania border in Namanga where he witnessed first-hand how truck drivers importing maize for the neighboring country were being harassed by Tanzanian authorities.
The Tanzanian government has imposed stringent rules on the sale of maize, with importers required to apply for special licences.
Kenyan also imports maize from Uganda, but the neighbour is also experiencing a shortage of the commodity.
To address the challenge, Munya said all maize imports will be duty-free from tomorrow to increase supply, thus raising consumers’ purchasing power of unga, a staple food in most households.
School Closes For 2022 First Term
Schools have completed the first term – and the shortest in the country’s education history – of the 2022 academic year.
Learners will break for one week before the schools reopen. The condensed school calendar was developed to recover time lost in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic when schools closed for more than eight months. Regular school calendar will resume in 2023.
However, stakeholders are concerned whether the 2022 school calendar will be interrupted by the August 9 General Election. The electoral commission uses schools as polling centres and traditionally demands the learning institutions to be free two weeks to the polls.
Running Mate Must Appear on The Ballot Papers, Court Rules
Images of presidential and gubernatorial running mates must appear alongside those of the flag bearers, the High Court has ruled.
Justice Anthony Mrima agreed with lawyer Mugambi Imanyara, the petitioner, that every voter should see the persons he/she is electing.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) objected, but Mrima said it was possible to insert images of running mates since the printing of ballot papers has not started.
KU Establishes Herbal Research Centre
Kenyatta University (KU) has commissioned a multi-billion shillings herbal research facility for teaching and treatment.
KU Vice-chancellor Prof Wainaina said the National Phytotherapeutical Research Centre will be a game changer in treating diseases using non-conventional medicine.
The laboratory has been equipped with modern machines to detect components in herbal plants.
Karua Campaigns in Nyanza
Azimio la Umoja presidential running mate Martha Karua on Wednesday pitched tent in Homa Bay County where he urged the locals to remain steadfast in their support for Raila Odinga, the Nyanza region kingpin.
Karua implored the locals to turn up in large on the election day to vote the Azimio presidential ticket.
Karua reiterated that the Azimio government will revolutionise the economy to create jobs.
Fake Policewoman Arrested
Police officers based at the Kilimani police station yesterday morning busted an imposter cop during a live TV show.
Monica Wamaitha Gitau had appeared on Inooro TV as guest where she was explaining her agenda as an aspirant for the Nairobi Woman Rep post.
She claimed that she was a former policewoman and had been allowed to wear full police uniform during the programme. It turned out she was lying when officers rushed to the TV station and arrested her.