‘Okafor’s Law’: Court to begin hearing Omoni Oboli ‘theft’ case tomorrow

Case between Raconteur Productions and Omoni Oboli over intellectual property theft allegations regarding ‘Okafor’s Law’ will be heard in court on March 29.

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Raila threatens to move Uhuru ouster motion over Joho

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has threatened that the Opposition could move an impeachment motion against President Uhuru Kenyatta over what he termed ‘abuse of his presidential powers’ in dealing with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho. He claimed the ongoing cases against Joho by various government agencies are nothing but the President trying to settle political …

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30,000 children were abused in 10 years, says report

Childline Kenya senior management team leader Martha Sunda (left) with chairman George Okado during the launch of Child Protection Report (2006-2016) in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/AYUB MUIYURO

More than 30,000 cases of child abuse were reported in the country over the past 10 years through a national child help line service 116.

A report released by Childline Kenya yesterday indicates that child neglect, sexual abuse and physical abuse incidences totalling to 13,878, 7,832 and 7,317 of the 33,929 cases reported between the year 2006 and 2016, accounted for the lion’s share of abuses against minors.

The report shows that 75 per cent of child neglect was perpetrated by immediate family members followed by parents and extended family at 17 per cent and eight per cent respectively.

The findings from a Child Protection Report of 2006-2016 show that parents are not taking their children to school; refusing to get them medical attention when they are not well; and denying them food for days as a form of punishment.

Childline Kenya Executive Director George Kidenda said that apart from being a criminal offence in itself, child neglect and abandonment also exposes the child to all other forms of abuse.

“The prevalence of child neglect is a gateway to other cases of abuse such as sexual and physical abuse. From the data, every time child neglect cases went up, other abuse cases such as sexual and physical abuse also increased,” he said of the findings through a collaboration with The Aga Khan Foundation.

The survey was supported by United States Agency for International Development (USaid).Since 2006, Childline Kenya has been running a toll-free 24-hour National Child Helpline 116 that allows Kenyans to report child abuse.

“Unfortunately, the most trusted people in a child’s life are the same people that lead in abusing them sexually. Within this reporting period, fathers took the lead in abusing their daughters sexually followed by the uncles. Age group 6-10 years seems to have been at the highest risk of being abused followed by 11-15 years,” added Kidenda.

The reporting of the child abuse cases has seen a decline in the last four years because of technical issues occasioned by an aging system and Childline Kenya’s diminished ability to create awareness.

Child rights specialists concurred that the numbers given in the report, were merely a shadow of the reality on the ground as many abuse cases go unreported everyday.

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Trump poised to scrap Obama climate policies

US President Donald Trump says the object of his changes is to boost economic growth and stimulate job creation. Photo/AFP

Washington DC, Tuesday

US President Donald Trump will today roll back a slew of environmental protections enacted by Barack Obama, in a bid to untether the fossil fuel industry.

In a maiden trip to the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump will sign an “Energy Independence Executive Order,” a White House official told AFP. The new president will unveil a series of measures to review regulation curbing oil, gas and coal production and limiting carbon emissions.

The centerpiece of Trump’s plan is an effort to slow walk Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which restricts emissions from coal-fired power plants. The measures will “help keep energy and electricity affordable, reliable, and clean in order to boost economic growth and job creation,” the White House said. But the new president could face a cool reception at the agency’s imposing Washington headquarters.

Trump has repeatedly questioned humans’ role in warming the planet, leaving environmentally-focused EPA staff to wonder whether the fox is guarding the hen house.

Trump has done little to assuage those fears, vowing to slash EPA funding by a third, appointing anti-climate litigator Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA and Exxon’s CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

But Trump’s climate skepticism has struck a chord with many Republican voters. Some 68 per cent of Americans believe climate change is caused by humans, but just 40 percent of Republicans say they worry about it according to Gallup.

During the 2016 election campaign Trump donned a hardha t and embraced miners from Kentucky to West Virginia, promising to return jobs to long-ravaged communities. — AFP

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Fresh twist in Swazuri Sh1m bribery saga

National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri (left) with petitioner Mugo Njeru and his lawyer Ndegwa Njiru before National Assembly’s Lands committee yesterday. Photo/SAMUEL KARIUKI

National Land Commission (NLC)chairman Muhammad Swazuri allegedly received a Sh1 million bribe to facilitate compensation for land, a petition before a parliamentary committee claims.

The cash was to help fast-track the payment of Sh82.8 million which was part of land compensation from the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). Appearing before the departmental Committee on Lands, petitioner Mugo Njeru said he has telephone conversations and text messages between him, Swazuri and a Mr Badhili Elijah Yaa alias Charo, who was acting on behalf of the NLC boss confirming that the money was actually received.

Badhili according to Njeru, facilitated the meeting between him and Swazuri at Lotus Hotel in Mombasa where the deal was brokered. The alleged Sh1 million bribe was paid to fast-track the process although Njeru alleged that Swazuri had sought Sh45 million bribe.

“Through coercion and duress, Swazuri demanded that the petitioner must give him Sh1 million in cash, which monies was paid to him vide his conduit Badhili. That on or about December 19, 2015, the petitioner delivered the said, cash to Badhili in Mombasa,” he said.

The claims by Njeru come even as Swazuri is set to appear before the said committee today after he, together with his lawyer Tom Ojienda sought for more time to study the petition.

Swazuri, who had appeared before the committee yesterday said he was not able to defend himself as he had just arrived from the United States, adding that he was not feeling well.

“I have not even perused this document because I came in today. I spent about 53 hours to get here and therefore I am not in a position to handle this petition,” said Swazuri.

Njeru also told the team that despite paying the alleged “facilitation fee” he and his wife, who are the directors of Daimler Enterprise Limited were not able to receive any payment as the money was paid to Barkresha Grain Millers Limited which claimed ownership to the said land yet they were not the rightful owners.

Njeru told the committee that he had decided to raise the matter with them because it became clear that he would also lose another Sh45 million that was to be paid to him for another half acre piece of land that had been acquired by SGR.

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Dropped calls? Your mobile service provider owes you Sh10

Your mobile service provider owes you Sh10.

Mobile service providers will be liable to credit Sh10 worth of airtime to a consumer who initiates a call that gets disconnected.

A bill tabled before Parliament, however, provides that the network providers will not be liable to compensate a consumer where a call gets disconnected due to third party interference on the mobile phone’s connection lines, inevitable accident or “force majeure.”

The Kenya Information and Communications (Amendment) Bill, 2017, sponsored by Moyale MP Roba Duba, is meant to ensure quality service. Lead mobile provider, Safaricom, is already compensating its subscribers for dropped calls within its network.

Subscribers who suffer dropped calls will get a short message service (SMS) notification and thereafter receive airtime compensation worth one minute. The bill further seeks to improve on the management of the Universal Service Fund by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK).

It is meant to enumerate the formula for distributing the fund and prescribing an offence for a person who fails to utilise the Universal Service Fund in a manner that does not promote its objectives.

The Universal Service Fund to be managed and administered by the CAK will be mandated to support widespread access to, support capacity building and promote innovation in information and communications technology service.

There shall be a universal service levy that shall be charged by the CAK on the mobile service providers for purposes of the Universal Service Fund. Further, the fund shall promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable and affordable rates for all consumers.

It will also be expected to see to it that there is a nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services, advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income and rural areas.

The CAK has slapped a penalty to all three telecom operators equivalent to 0.2 per cent of their gross turnover for offering poor-quality services to consumers in the year 2014-2015.

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Ministry registers 350,000 persons living with disability

Dr David ole Sankok says he once missed a job because he has a disability. Photo/File

Close to 350,000 Kenyans have been registered as Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), in a joint effort by the National Council for Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Health.

According to chief physiotherapist Titus Kilika, the Ministry has facilitated the registration of 349,000 PWDs, enabling them free access to various government services. He said more than 50 per cent of those registered had physical disabilities while 16.9 per cent had mental disabilities.

“Kenya is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and it is within vision 2030 that the government provides Universal Health Coverage to everyone including PWDs.

This means that we are committed to improving the lives of these individuals in the society,” he said. He further said the Ministry has helped 9,889 PWDs get tax exemption and 693 be allowed to purchase duty free vehicles.

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I scored a D- in KCSE exams, admits Joho

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan during a press briefing in Mombasa yesterday where he admitted that he obtained a grade D- (minus) in his KCSE examination in 1993. Photo/NDEGWA GATHUNGU

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has been forced to publicly admit a contentious detail from his academic past that appeared to knock the wind out of sails of his usual political bravado yesterday.

Joho, despite the heights he has scaled in business and political career, scored a D- in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in 1993.

“Yes, I am a holder of a D- (minus) grade in KCSE and I take pride of my results,” said Joho as he publicly responded for the first time to controversy surrounding the credibility of his academic credentials.

Joho admitted scoring lowly in his form Four Exam he sat at Serani Secondary School in Mombasa about 24 years ago, a result he said he was proud of having achieved after “immense struggle having endured harsh economic times as a result of poor family background.” “Performing poorly in Form Four does not necessary translate to end of the road in life, ” he said.

“You can turn that around and that is what I have successfully been able to achieve and that really should be the conversation. Any serious leader would want to use that to inspire young people that never made it in life for one reason or another.”

It was something of trying to fit a square into a circular hole, as the governor tried to wriggle out of a possible criminal situation by poor performance in his secondary examination. The Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had sought to prove that Joho had allegedly forged a KSCE result slip showing he sat the exams in 1992 andscored a C+, which would have been criminal.

But yesterday, Joho disowned the alleged forgery of C+ and admitted the D- score which he claimed was his actual result. However, the governor of county 001 may not be out of the woods yet as he will now have to prove how he got university admission using an inadmissible grade, which could negate his degree certificates.

Addressing the media at his office in Mombasa, Joho denied forging his KCSE result slip and, instead, accused the government of being behind his latest woes.

On Sunday, the saga over Joho’s academic credentials resurfaced after Mombasa Jubilee branch, led by deputy governor aspirant Ananiah Mwaboza, produced documents allegedly obtained from the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) indicating the governor may have forged a Form Four result slip to obtain university admission.

Mwaboza asked the offices of the DCI, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and Inspector General of Police to launch fresh investigations into Joho’s academic qualifications, citing anomalies in his certificates.

The group claimed it had presented the alleged forged documents to the DCI as well as the Gretsa University council, from where Joho graduated, yet no action had been taken against the governor.

Another Knec Form Four result slip produced by Mwaboza indicated that Joho sat his KCSE exam using index no. 16032063 at Serani Secondary School and scored (D-) in 1993 and not the (C+ Plus) indicated in the result slip obtained in 1992.

Yesterday, Joho who has since been summoned to appear before the Coast Assistant Inspector General of Police Samuel Nyabengi at the Mombasa regional directorate of criminal investigations today, distanced himself from the alleged forged KCSE certificates and said he had seen the trouble coming. He linked the claims of forgery of his certificates to an incident which occurred in 2013 where a man was arrested by members of the public “attempting to forge the documents of Hassan Joho in a hotel in Nairobi.”

“I remember the first forgery that was done, and the file of admission that was tampered with was a document purported to have been signed by Kaimenyi (Jacob, former Education CS).

And the University of Nairobi later issued a statement on how they were unable to understand how a file of admission of their institution had been tampered with,” he said.

Apparently, Joho had been admitted to the University of Nairobi to take a parallel degree, using the alleged C+ result slip, but never pursued the course even after paying Sh700,000.

But Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Aden Duale told Joho to stick to the issue of his “suspect papers and stop dragging” the name of the Jubilee government into his woes.

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Four Kenyans among six aid workers killed in S. Sudan

Unrest in south Sudan. Photo/File

Four Kenyans were killed in an ambush by unknown gunmen in South Sudan over the weekend. They were among six other aid workers employed by Gredo, a local NGO funded by Unicef to build youth centres in the Eastern part of the country. According to a dispatch from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they were traveling from Juba to Pibor town.

“Efforts are currently underway by South Sudan security agents in conjunction with officials from Gredo and Unicef to recover the bodies of the victims,” said a statement signed by Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed.

She said the ministry is actively engaged with all the stakeholders to ascertain the exact circumstances leading to the tragedy. “The Government of the Republic of Kenya conveys its deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the affected families and reassures them of continued support during this difficult and sad period of loss,” said the CS.

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Ukambani leaders say it’s Kalonzo for Nasa

Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses  supporters at Emali town yesterday. Photo/DENNIS KAVISU

Mutuku Mwangangi and Luke Awich @PeopleDailyKe

The writing is finally on the wall that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka could be on his way out of the National Super Alliance after his allies in Ukambani declared him the alliance flag bearer.

The leaders meeting yesterday under the Ukambani Social-Political Economic bloc vowed to mobilise the two million-plus registered voters in the region to back Kalonzo’s bid to State House and warned that they must be treated as equal partners in the alliance.

Although they dismissed reports that they were on their way out of the alliance as propaganda, the leaders declared they would be going for nothing short of Kalonzo being declared the presidential candidate.

In what was described as the Emali Declaration, the leaders vowed to henceforth speak in one undivided voice on social, political economic and development issues affecting the region.

Led by Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Charity Ngilu (Narc), Wavinya Ndeti (Chama Cha Uzalendo) and Mutua Katuku of Peoples Trust Party, the politicians installed Kalonzo as the National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate, thus sending clear signals to Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula who have remained firm in their push for the opposition’s presidential ticket.

“We, the leaders from south eastern region have endorsed Kalonzo as the Nasa flag bearer and we therefore urge other principles and Kenyans to do the same,” said part of the Emali declaration read by Kibwana.

The declaration comes four months to the General Election and is seen as a way of locking up the region for Kalonzo. “In 2017 elections we will put the region’s 2.5 million in Nasa basket because we strongly believe it will propel the count’s development agenda,” said the document.

The Kamba and Wiper leaders made the pronouncements as Kalonzo once again skipped a crucial Nasa meeting at Raila’s Capitol Hill Square office, thus fuelling more speculation on his commitment to the coalition. He snubbed the meeting, attended by Raila, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula.

He has insisted on the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which has brought friction in the two-month old opposition coalition. Sources said Kalonzo, who on Monday chaired a meeting of all Wiper aspirants, was in Emali, where he was meeting Ukambani elders before addressing supporters.

The meeting, his first formal engagement amongst the principals since they signed the coalition agreement, was to look into Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) Kenya Integrated Elections Management Systems (Kiems).

Kalonzo’s snub comes barely a week after a similar meeting was last week cancelled after the former Vice President travelled to Dubai on a personal trip. The Ukambani leaders further revealed they will engage professionals to prepare an economic blue print for the region’s development, which will be used as a bargaining chip.

Ngilu campaigned for the ruling Jubilee in Ukambani in the last election, thus denying Cord at least 100,000 votes. She fell out with Jubilee after she was mentioned in corruption allegations before stepping out of the powerful Lands docket. “I am the one who has been away. Who ever thought that I will be dividing the community should forget,” she said.

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