Kenya smallholder tea farmers earn Sh63.6 billion from tea exports
Members of CORD alliance are accusing the government of harassment following the question by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of close aide of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The aide Mr Eliud Owalo has been questions for alleged plot to cause a revolution in the country. Machakos senator Johnstone Muthama (in picture) has also been summon by integration commission over hate speech.
While CORD has dismissed the allegations, the government is becoming concerned over persistent criticisms of its institutions by Mr Odinga. The former premier has stood his ground that he won the March 4 election but his ‘victory’ was stolen.
Judiciary emerges winner in lawyer Kethi’s case
The judiciary emerged the winner in the case pitting lawyer Kethi Kilonzo and the IEBC over Makueni Senatorial by-election. Judges Richard Mwango, Weldon Korir and Mumbi Ngugi were pretty aware of the public interest the case had elicited.
Wiper party lawyer James Orengo was caught by surprise by the decision allowing the party to pick Kethi’s replacement forcing Justice Mwongo to ask whether they (the party) was not prepared to such an eventuality yet they had made such an appeal. The ruling is sweet music to wiper supporters.
The challenge is now on the party to nominate a candidate within such a short period but whoever is nominated stands a better chance to clinch the seat on July 26.
Boost for President Uhuru Kenyatta as two witnesses at ICC quits
Bensouda also dropped a third witness saying his/her witness was no longer useful.The criminal case facing President Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court (ICC) continued to weaken after two witnesses quit citing security concerns. Prosecutor Fatou
However, it was bad news for co-accused and Deputy President William Ruto after the court allowed an appeal by Ms Bensouda to have him attend all court sessions. The court had in an earlier ruling given the deputy president leave to attend only mandatory sessions.
The government through the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has threatened to sack over 200,000 striking teachers. TSC has asked unemployed teachers to apply for the jobs while at the same time saying it is ready to negotiate with the striking teachers.
Teachers ignored a directive to report to work Monday prompting the employer to advertise for the jobs as a desperate attempt to get them back to class. Experts argue that it is near impossible for TSC to raise such a number of teachers.
The government is expected Monday to issue a statement over the prolonged teachers’ strike that has paralysed teaching in all public schools. A meeting by KNUT national executive committee Sunday declined the government order and extended the strike that has entered the third week.
Deputy President Willaim Ruto has pledged to address the issue though critics argue that the government has few options other than meeting teachers’ demands.
CORD leader threatens to boycott elections over IEBC
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who is also the leader of the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has threatened to boycott future elections unless the current elections body is fundamentally reformed. Mr Odinga says the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) are corrupt and inefficient.
Last week, IEBC nomination resolution committee bared CORD nominee Ms Kethi Kilonzo from contesting the Makueni Senatorial Seat saying she was not a registered voter. CORD has challenged the decision in court.
Oil prices increase as the shilling depreciate
The weakening shilling coupled with the unfolding crisis in the Middle East after last week’s military coup in Egypt have pushed up the cost of oil both locally and in the international market.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) raised retail prices for oil products. Petrol will sell at Sh109.52 in Nairobi from previous Sh108.18 and Diesel (Sh102.86) . Matatus are likely to hike fares.
Controversial businessman Mr Anthony Chinedu was behind the woes of 12 Kenyans and 3 airline crew who were held hostage in Nigeria for three weeks last month. President Uhuru Kenyatta revealed Friday that the Nigerian had convinced his government that his deportation from Kenya was illegal.
According to the president, the Nigerian government wanted the man brought back to Kenya but he refused. President Kenyatta had hosted senior media managers and journalists to a breakfast at State House, Nairobi.
City lawyer faults cereals board as investigation continue
City lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi has faulted the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) for the woes that have brought its operations to near halt. The lawyer told a parliamentary committee that is investigating a maize tender that has led to a Sh500 million losses that the board of the state owned enterprise was prone to making mistakes.
The lawyer represented a local company-Erad Supplies that threatens to auction NCPB assets to recover the Sh500 million it was awarded by the court after the board breached a maize supply tender eight years ago.
The High Court has postponed the Makunei senatorial by-election from July 22 to July 26 for what observers view as CORD Coalition win on round one of the court battle. The move is meant to give the court enough time to resolve the issue.
Giving the orders Justice Isaak Lenaola also recommended a three judge bench to hear the petition where CORD Coalition is seeking to have its nominee for the seat Ms Kethi Kilonzo reinstated after IEBC nomination dispute resolution committee bared her last week saying she was not a registered voter as required by law.
High cost of living is major concern
Kenyans are concerned about the rising cost of living 100 days after President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto took over power after the March 4 poll. Other concerns include insecurity that has hit several parts of the country.
The duo had pledged to tackle the rising costs but the situation would worsen should the Mps pass the VAT bill pending in the house. The bill intends to reintroduce VAT at 16 per cent on basic commodities including foodstuffs.
Mps form committee to save miraa
Mps have formed a committee to investigate the perceived dangers of chewing miraa (khat). This is a move aimed at saving the crop that has been banned in the United Kingdom and to a greater extent the European Union.
Miraa farming is a major economic activity employing tens of thousands of households in the larger meru region. It is also a major foreign exchange earner though its contribution is not recorded as the government still has misgiving on the crop. The committee is expected to put this record straight.
KUPPET seals deal with the government
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has signed a Sh16 billion pay deal with the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) that will see teachers get higher commuter and responsibility allowances.
However, their counterpart KNUT has stayed away from the negotiating table forcing the TSC to seek fresh court orders to have top KNUT leadership committed to civil jail.
Students and teachers die in road accident
15 students and 3 teachers died Wednesday after their bus rolled in Kisii County raising concerns over the never-ending road carnage. Over 3,000 people die on Kenyan roads annually. It is one of the highest rates in the world.
The government has been blamed for its failure to implement fully the ‘Michuki rules’ that were introduced by former transport minister, the Late John Michuki a decade ago.