Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
Jubilee coaltion leaders have critisicised former Prime minister Raila Odinga over claims that the coaltion used the military to rig the March 2013 elections where he lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Deputy President William dismissed the claims and asked Mr Odinga and his partners to stop confusing the people and prepare for the next contest scheduled for 2017.
Mr Raila made the remarks during a political rally in Kisumu Saturday attended by among others Kalonzo Musyoka.
Employers fault increased NSSF deductions
The Federation of Kenya employers (FKE) wants the new deductions announced by the National Social Securities Fund (NSSF) stopped until all the stakeholders are ready for it. This comes barely a week before the deductions that have been increased by more than double become effective. NSSF is currently fighting off claims of corruption over the Sh5 billion Tassia project.
The stakeholders argue that NSSF has not managed the pension funds prudently and wonders why it should be given more money. The fund has over the years lost billions of shillings by engaging in shoddy, corrupt-ridden land and housing deals.
DP William Ruto leaves for Hague
Deputy president William Ruto arrived in The Hague Monday to attend his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) after a month’s break. This comes barely a week after the court allowed him to skip some sessions that will keep him in the country and help President Uhuru Kenyatta run the country.
The case against President Kenyatta remains uncertain after Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda applied (December) to postpone the case that was set to start in February in order to collect more evidence. The court is yet to make a ruling.
Governors meet national government Friday
Governors will meet the national government on Friday in an effort to close the widening gap between the two tiers of government. The governors have come under close scrutiny over spending with the controller of budget claiming they had spent almost the entire money disbursed from the national government on salaries and operations leaving very little for development of facilities such as roads, water and health centres.
Currently, the governors are attending a governor’s conference in Naivasha where Rwanda President Paul Kagame addressed the need to closer cooperation between the two levels of government. They have also come under intense pressure from the business community for hiking trade licences in a bid to raise revenue to meet huge deficits
Long-serving secretary general of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Prof Anyang Nyong’o will step down when the national elections are held later next month.
Prof Nyong’o who is also Kisumu County Senator announced Wednesday that he will not defend his seat that has attracted several contenders including Siaya Senator Mr James Orengo.
Former National Assembly Speaker Mr Kenneth Marende who had earlier expressed interest in the chairman post has also bowed out due to personal reasons.Party leader Raila Odinga has promised free and fair elections.
Government announces measures to cut expenditure
The government has announced a raft of measures to cut spending in order to raise more money to fund numerous projects outlined in the Vision 2030.
National Treasury cabinet secretary Henry Rotich is targeting travel, conferences and advertising expenditures.
However, earlier measures taken to curb runaway recurrent expenditure such as low capacity engine vehicles for senior civil servants failed to yield the intended results and there are fears that the new measures would fail as well.
Engineer Michael Kamau defends railway tender
Transport and Infrastructure cabinet secretary Michael Kamau insists that the tender to build the Sh320 billion standard gauge railway from Mombasa to Nairobi was above board.
Eng Kamau says the project is being funded by China Export/Import bank under a government to government agreement and so the financier had the leeway to identify the contractor without subjecting it to open tender.
However Nandi Hills Mp Alfred Keter who has emerged as the biggest critic of the project told a parliamentary committee investigating the project Wednesday that government to government procurement process was unconstitutional and the project should be subjected to procurment procedures. The project is expected to be completed by 2017.
Relief for DP William Ruto as ICC grant conditional leave
Deputy President William Ruto will now be granted conditional excusal when his case starts again in the International Criminal Court Thursday.
The ICC chamber also granted Ruto leave until Monday next week because President Uhuru Kenyatta is out of the country in Angola attending the Great Lakes Regional conference. The consitutional demands that either him or the president must be in the country at any one given time.
However, Ruto’s co-accused radio journalist Joshua Sang is expected in court on Thursday. President Kenyatta’s case that was scheduled to start next month was postponed after prosecutor asked for more time to collect new evidence.
Kenyans continued to ask hard questions over the Westgate terrorist attack that killed 67 people last week. They want to know how many terrorists were involved and how many were killed. They also want to know whether the government had prior information about the attack.
Cabinet secretary in charge of Interior Mr Joseph Ole Lenku has not helped the situation by giving piecemeal information that lacks details. He says a forensic investigation that is expected to be completed next week will provide more information.
Ruto’s ICC case resume next week
The case involving Deputy President William Ruto resume Wednesday at the International Criminal Court after one week adjournment. ICC judges gave Mr Ruto one week to come home and help resolve the Westgate terrorist attack.
Efforts by his lawyers to have the adjournment extended to October 14 failed after the prosecution objected the move.
African leaders attack ICC
African leaders attending the UN assembly in New York attacked the International Criminal Court over the Kenyan cases pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
Led by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, the leaders want the court to drop charges against the Kenyan leaders. The African Union members are expected to meet in Addis Ababa later in the month to discuss the issues. Sources say they are threatening g to pull out of the Rome Statute, a situation that would cripple the Hague-based court.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will not attend a UN assembly in New York next week for fear of leaving a power vacuum because his deputy William Ruto is at The Hague facing criminal charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Though this is the first time for Kenya to skip such a crucial meeting since independence in 1963, critics say President Kenyatta is trying to sway opinion on the way ICC is treating the Kenyan cases. He is expected to appear before the court in November.
Kenyan Mps in The Hague clash with Dutch police
A group of Kenyan Mps who accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to the ICC clashed with the local police who accused them of trying to stage a demonstration outside the court. The Mps have openly expressed their displeasure with the judges who have decided to hear the witness in closed doors. Among the Mps is Mithika Linturi.
The judges ruled Wednesday that there were deliberate efforts by the media, bloggers and the social media to expose the witness who was also a victim in the 2007/08 post-election violence. The move by the judges was meant to protect her.
Former human rights chief claims his life in danger
Former chairman of the Kenya National Human Rights Commission Mr Maina Kiai Friday claimed his life and that of his family was in danger after bloggers spread rumours that he was one of the witnesses lined up to testify against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto at the ICC.
In what is likely to put the human rights lawyer and the police on a collision path, Mr Kiai said the president should be personally held responsible should a gang he claimed had visited his Nyeri rural home killed his family.
Parliament set to debate VAT amendment bill
Mps allied to CORD alliance of former Prime minister Raila Odinga have sponsored a bill that seek to amend the VAT Act that was passed by the national assembly two months ago. Mr Odinga has maintained that the Act has sparked price hike on most basic commodities.
However, the government says unscrupulous traders have taken advantage of the situation to raise prices of goods that were not affected. It is not clear whether Mps from Jubilee alliance who are majority in the house will support or shoot the bill down. Mp Ababu Namwamba is leading the CORD troops.
Deputy President William Ruto is expected to face the first prosecution witness Tuesday as his case at the ICC start in earnest. The case was adjourned last week after ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda failed to produce the first witness.
The case continues amidst clamour by the African Union to have the case brought back home. Alternatively, the Union has asked the court to allow Mr Ruto to choose he sessions to attend personally at the court so that he can have time to perform his duties as deputy president.
Parliament reconvenes amidst public outcry over high cost of living
Mps and senators reconvene Tuesday after a month long recess. The legislators are expected to debate and re-look at the new VAT Act that traders have used as an excuse to raise prices of most basic products.
Though the Act imposed VAT on milk and cooking gas, the traders have taken advantage of the situations to increase prices of basic most commodities as maize flour, eggs and cooking oil. Mps and senators from both Jubilee and CORD coalitions have promised to support an amendment of the VAT law.
Businessman Kamlesh Patni surrenders duty free shops
Controversial businessman tur5ned televangelist Kamlesh Pattni has surrendered any claim to the duty free shops in all airports in the country. Sources say he has also given up on Sh4.5 billion compensation claim from the government.
In an agreement witnessed by Transport and Infrastructure cabinet secretary Micheal Kamau, Patni asked the jubilee government to allow him live in peace like any other Kenyan.The businessman has run long and protracted legal battles with the government.
CORD Mps vow to shoot down bill on ICC
Mps aligned to the CORD alliance have vowed to shoot down a bill seeking to withdraw Kenya from the International Criminal Court (ICC). The Mps who meet CORD leader Raila Odinga Monday said the country cannot afford to withdraw from the Rome Statute.
The Mps walked out of the National Assembly a fortnight ago after they sensed defeat during a motion that endorsed the move from the ICC. Majority leader Adan Duale is expected to table a bill in parliament to initiate the move. This will however not stop the ongoing cases facing President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua Sang.