Mombasa Info Tue, 09 Aug 2022 17:03:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mombasa Info 32 32 Kenyans mull first female vice president as results awaited Tue, 09 Aug 2022 17:03:00 +0000
  • Former justice minister Karua is aiming for the post of vice president
  • Country often sees violent attacks on female contestants
  • Karua says the priority will be rooting out corruption

MOMBASA, Kenya, August 9 (Reuters) – As Kenyans await the outcome of Tuesday’s election, they are wondering if Martha Karua could be their first female vice president and become the highest-ranking woman in the history of a country where female Candidates are often physically attacked.

Huge billboards adorn the capital, Nairobi, showing the 64-year-old former justice minister accompanied by presidential candidate and veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, a former political prisoner.

The two lead the Azimio La Umoja (One Kenya Alliance) coalition and ran in the August 9 presidential, parliamentary and local elections against Deputy President William Ruto and MP Rigathi Gachagua, both men. Continue reading

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Preliminary results trickle in on Tuesday night, but an official result will take days.

The elections are seen as a key test of stability in East Africa’s largest economy after two of the last three elections were marred by disputes over alleged manipulations of force.

Karua said Azimio’s priority would be to root out corruption, which is estimated to cost the government a third of its budget each year, about 800 billion shillings ($6.8 billion). She said Azimio also wanted more scrutiny of the private wealth of public sector workers and political leaders.

The money raised would fund her coalition’s plan to directly benefit 2 million of Kenya’s poorest people every month.

“Corruption chokes or suffocates the nation,” she said.

Angeline Koome, an elementary school teacher in the southeastern port city of Mombasa, said she decided not to vote but changed her mind when Odinga made Karua his running mate.

“It was a breath of fresh air to have such a woman who is not only smart and forward-thinking, but also very committed to good leadership. Kenya is safe with her as deputy president,” Koome told Reuters.

“It’s very tough and for the first time in a long time I believe that as a country we are winning the war on corruption that has been our greatest disaster.”


Odinga has also appointed Karua to be his Minister of Justice should they win, capitalizing on her reputation for standing up to power. A lawyer in the early 1990s, Karua said she helped lay the groundwork for Kenya’s charter and fought for multi-party democracy.

In 2001, she defiantly walked out of a rally held by former authoritarian President Daniel arap Moi after she was refused the floor.

She also resigned from government in 2009, citing differences with then-President Mwai Kibaki over human rights, anti-corruption and judicial appointments.

But Karua has dismissed her nickname “Iron Lady” as a sexist trope, telling Reuters in a June interview that “strong leadership in women is seen as the exception.”

Women are underrepresented in Kenyan politics and often subject to violence: a parliamentary group said there have been dozens of attacks on female candidates this election cycle. Continue reading

“She will turn the tables. The next generation will be happy to have her at the helm, and yet I’m a man so imagine how other women feel,” said Martin Anyanga, a businessman in Mombasa, of Karua.

Karua has also pledged to curb the national debt, which has more than tripled by 7 trillion shillings ($61.3 billion) since Kenyatta took office in 2013, pushing against the country’s debt ceiling.

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Additional reporting by Katharine Houreld in Nairobi; Edited by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Kenya watches US companies dumping China in Biden deal Tue, 09 Aug 2022 02:07:22 +0000


Kenya watches US companies dumping China in Biden deal

Betty Maina, Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Trade. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Kenya is vying to become the manufacturing hub for American companies looking to shift out of China or diversify in new trade talks Washington opened with Nairobi in July.

Cabinet Secretary for Industrialization and Trade Betty Maina said Nairobi will negotiate an agreement that will lay the groundwork for a manufacturing base for US firms with an emphasis on technology factories.

“In view of all the changes worldwide, US companies are looking for new production facilities for their products. They are diversifying their traditional manufacturing bases in the Far East, particularly in China,” Ms. Maina said Business Daily.

“This gives us the opportunity as a country to attract these new investments. That’s why it is [proposed deal] is called a trade and investment partnership, shaped by the need for US companies to diversify their manufacturing base and for us to find new products [for export].”

US manufacturers operating in China are escalating decades-old plans to relocate production after being rocked by strict Covid-19 lockdowns in April and May that further disrupted supply chains and hurt their profits.

Rising labor costs and trade disputes between Washington and Beijing have led US manufacturers in labor-intensive sectors like textiles and furniture to shift production lines to other countries like Indonesia and Bangladesh over the past decade.

Recent reports suggest that US firms that make electronic products like smartphones and tablets are holding back recent investments in China and are considering moving production lines to other countries.

“When it comes to IoT and IoT products or digital products, this is an opportunity for Kenya to showcase that by attracting investment from the US and manufacturing digital products that go to the US market are aligned, but trade agreements use this to enable better access and better framework conditions,” said Ms. Maina.

“I gave the example of digital commerce and opportunities because Kenya has excelled in this area of ​​e-commerce and digital. It is a regulated partnership with a major party [the US]. It has potential for big growth.”

The two parties are keen on an agreement like the US-Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR) that “facilitates trade and investment and drives regional integration by eliminating tariffs, opening markets, lowering barriers to services and transparency should be promoted”.

Kenya has long sought a full free trade agreement with the US, and serious talks began in August 2018 when President Uhuru Kenyatta paid a visit to the White House.

Mr Kenyatta and then US President Donald Trump identified economic development and trade as the pillar of the “strategic relationship” between Kenya and the US.

The visit comes on the back of Mr Trump’s insults about Africa, in which he described certain immigrants as from “shithole” nations of the continent.

Only two years later, in July 2020, did the two countries start formal negotiations for a free trade agreement. But Trump-era talks were slowed by Covid restrictions before being temporarily put on hold when the current Joseph Biden administration took power in January 2021.

The Biden administration has now given the green light to resume bilateral talks – which will set the benchmark for the rest of Africa – following a review of the Trump-era document.

Washington consequently launched the “realigned” strategic trade and investment partnership with Kenya on July 14, after several interactions with trade officials in Nairobi.

The negotiating teams are due to regroup in mid-October under a new government that will succeed Mr Kenyatta after the August 9 elections.

According to a previous communiqué, the October meeting is expected to present a roadmap for engagement across 10 pillars, including agriculture, digital trade, action on climate change, and trade facilitation and customs procedures.

“What we are negotiating is a creature by a different name, but the goals of the US and Kenya in pursuing this deal have not changed,” Ms. Maina said.

“Trade is quite a complex issue, it is also a very sensitive issue in any country, not just Kenya. We will negotiate many of the pillars that we started with the Trump administration.”

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Profiles of 9 top IEBC officials running Tuesday’s elections Mon, 08 Aug 2022 07:53:54 +0000

As Kenyans flock to various polling stations to cast their ballots on Tuesday, August 9, senior officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) will assume oversight and administrative responsibilities.

Aside from the role played by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the other eight play critical roles in the election’s success.

They include Michael Ouma, the new ICT director, who took on the role of assassinated businessman Chris Musando, and Marjan Hussein, who replaced Ezra Chiloba.

Others are Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Justus Nyang’awa, Irene Masit, Abdi Yakub Guliye and Boya Mulu.

Michael grandma

File photo of IEBC ICT Director Michael Ouma


He is the ICT director appointed to replace Chris Msando, who was assassinated ahead of the 2017 general election.

Ouma has over 20 years of experience in the IT industry and an additional 10 years of experience managing and implementing election technology projects.

He is a member of the Kenya Institute of Management and the Computer Society of Kenya.

He completed his Master of Business Administration at the University of Nairobi.

His role will be pivotal in ensuring online transmission of the President’s findings.

Marjan Hussein

Marjan Hussein Marjan was appointed IEBC CEO following the bitter departure of Ezra Chiloba in October 2018.

The new CEO has an MBA in Strategic Management from UoN. He is also an auditor and publicly appointed auditor.

Marjan’s role in the elections includes managing the secretariat. The Secretariat is composed of the following individuals: the CEO, who is the Secretary of the Secretariat, two Commission Assistant Secretaries, nine Directors, 24 Managers, 47 District Returning Officers and 290 Constituency Coordinators.

The Secretariat manages the day-to-day activities of the Commission

Juliana Cherera

IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera during an IEBC briefing in the Bomas of Kenya on Monday 1st August 2022..jpg

IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera during an IEBC briefing in the Bomas of Kenya on Monday 1st August 2022.


Cherera is Vice Chair of the IEBC. She has over 18 years of experience in education and management in the public sector.

Prior to getting the IEBC job, Cherera worked as Chief Officer Executive in the Mombasa County Government’s Strategic Delivery Unit.

She was a member of the Coordinating Committee for Mombasa County Emergency Relief and Nutritional Support Project. She was also the Mombasa County Secretary for Economic Recovery and Legacy Strategy.

The holder of a Master’s degree in Education, Leadership and Educational Management from Kenya Methodist University is the Chair of the Voter Education, Partnerships and Stakeholders Engagement Committee.

Franz Wanderi

Wanderi is an IEBC representative. He has over 32 years of senior management experience in public and private institutions, characterized by integrity and high performance.

He is the former Chairman of EPZ and a Director of Roots Credit Limited.

At IEBC he chairs the Finance and Supply Chain Management Committee.

He holds a Master of Science in Management (MSc. Mgmt.); from Arthur D. Little Management Institute in Boston, USA and a Bachelor of Education from UoN.

Justus Nyang’awa

Nyang’aya has over 32 years of experience in strategic leadership, governance and organizational social responsibility.

Before joining the Elections Authority, Nyang’awa was director of Lead Africa, an organization dedicated to upskilling African managers.

Nyang’awa is also the former Country Director of Amnesty International Kenya. Amnesty Kenya’s work focuses on preventing evictions, protecting housing rights and women’s rights.

The holder of a Master of Arts (MA) Education from the Institute of Education, University of London (IOE) is Chair of the Information and Communications Technology Committee.

Irene Massit

Masit chairs the Election Authority’s Legal Compliance and Political Party Liaison Committee and the Leadership and Integrity Committee.

She has more than 25 years of professional experience and knowledge in governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Masit is the immediate past board member of the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF).

The holder of a Masters in Strategic Human Resources Management from the University of Manchester has knowledge and experience of finance, governance, management and public administration.

Abdi Guliye

Guliye chairs the Election Operations, Research and Boundary Committee.

He has over 27 years of higher education teaching experience, the last seven years of which he has held additional administrative and managerial roles.

Guliye has served on various boards of organizations and chaired committees such as Audit Risk Management and Finance.

He received his PhD in Animal Nutrition from the Rowett Research Institute/University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

Boya Mulu

Boya Mulu is one of the IEBC commissioners. He chairs the Human Resources, Administration and Training Committee.

He has over 15 years of human resource management and administration experience, primarily in the public sector.

Before joining IEBC, Boya worked in various capacities at the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Judiciary.

Boya holds a Masters in Business Administration (HR Management Option) from Periyar University, India.

Wafula Chebukati

He is the chairman of the electoral board. He is tasked with announcing the final results of the presidential elections.

Chebukati has over 36 years of legal practice experience.

In addition to his role at the IEBC, Chebukati is President of the General Assembly of the Association of African Election Authorities.

The nine will play a key role in ensuring a smooth transition from the current regime to the next.

IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati will receive the first batch of printed ballots on July 7, 2022.

IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati will receive the first batch of printed ballots on July 7, 2022.



murder villain

Former opposition leader Raila Odinga maintains his narrow lead on the eve of Kenya’s elections Mon, 08 Aug 2022 01:06:20 +0000

Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga waves to supporters as he arrives for his final campaign rally at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya August 6.Brian Inganga / The Associated Press

After a four-decade political saga that has spanned eight years in prison and four failed presidential attempts, 77-year-old Raila Odinga finally seems ready to achieve the goal of his life: Kenya’s highest elected office.

Mr Odinga goes into Tuesday’s election as the favorite to win the Kenyan presidency, retaining a slim but clear lead in the latest polls. His main opponent, Vice President William Ruto, remains within reach and could still force an unprecedented runoff between the two frontrunners if neither gets 50 percent of the vote.

At his last campaign rally over the weekend, Mr. Odinga sang the words of Bob Marley redemption song, conjured up the image of a biblical “land of milk and honey” and promised a policy of reconciliation with its rivals. He has pledged to fight poverty by providing a monthly stipend of about $50 to two million families in need.

More than 50 million people in the East African region will face acute food insecurity this year, the regional bloc says

Western governments, including Canada, have issued a statement saying the election is “hugely important” because Kenya is “an anchor of stability, security and democracy” for Africa and the world. Despite sporadic electoral violence and allegations of fraud in the past, Kenya’s democracy is considered one of the strongest in the region.

Mr Odinga, the son of Kenya’s first vice president, was praised for his courage in fighting for multiparty democracy during the era of authoritarian ruler Daniel arap Moi. Arrested and tortured in 1982, he spent most of the 1980s in prison.

Although he is known as an opposition leader, Mr Odinga has been a key member of Kenya’s wealthy power elite over the past two decades, including years as cabinet minister and prime minister. His most recent candidacy received a major boost when he was endorsed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in a famous handshake in 2018.

While many Kenyans are concerned about the risk of post-election violence in the hard-fought vote, similar to the clashes that killed about 1,500 people after the 2007 election, Mr Odinga has tried to defuse fears by he remembered his handshakes with opponents in the past.

“I will continue this handshake doctrine, the open fist doctrine for the sake of Kenya,” he said at his last campaign rally.

He has chosen Martha Karua, a former justice minister, as his running mate. If they win, she will become the first female Deputy President in Kenyan history.

A poll conducted by research firm Ipsos last week found Mr Odinga preferred by 47 percent of respondents, compared to 41 percent who preferred Mr Ruto. The pollsters called it a “comfortable” lead. The survey was based on face-to-face interviews with 6,105 Kenyan adults and had an error rate of 1.25 percentage points.

The other two presidential candidates, George Wajackoyah and David Mwaure, were each supported by less than 3 percent of respondents, while about 9 percent were undecided or would not reveal their preference.

While the election campaign was relatively peaceful, Mr Ruto has exchanged verbal smacks with his former ally, Mr Kenyatta, who is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. The bitter sparring could be an ominous sign for the time after the election. “Should the winner narrowly win the presidency, the declared loser can reject the outcome,” the International Crisis Group, an independent think tank, said in an analysis last week.

“Ideally, the aggrieved loser would turn to the courts, but if they instead call supporters onto the streets, they could clash with the police,” it said. “There can also be community violence.”

Kenya is scheduled to hold its general elections on August 9 while East Africa’s economic hub chooses a successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta.MONICAH MWANGI/Reuters

Post-election violence is considered less likely after this election as the main candidates have formed coalitions across ethnic lines. But there is still suspicion of Kenya’s electoral commission, reinforced by a recent mysterious incident in which police arrested three Venezuelans who had flown to Kenya with voting materials in their personal luggage.

In an election where the president strongly supports Mr Odinga’s candidacy, Kenyans doubt whether the electoral commission will be neutral. “People feel that the executive branch is interfering in the affairs of conducting the elections,” David Minja, a professor of public policy at Kenyatta University, told an online panel recently.

Mr Ruto, 55, has positioned himself as a candidate for the young and economically marginalized, stressing his background as a ‘hustler’ who grew up peddling live roadside chickens. He refers to his supporters as the “Hustler Nation” – the poor and unemployed who work odd jobs to survive. However, analysts have noted from unclear sources that he has become a wealthy landowner in recent years.

In 2010, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were among six Kenyans charged with crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court for their alleged role in inciting violence following the 2007 elections. The two men joined forces in the 2013 election and became president and vice president, and charges were eventually dropped after the government refused to provide key documents to the international court and allegedly bribed or intimidated several prosecution witnesses had been.

Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta fell out in 2018 when the President threw his support to Mr Odinga. However, analysts have found few substantive policy differences between the top performers. “The two main presidential candidates appear to have many similarities when it comes to plans for managing the economy,” London-based Capital Economics said in an election analysis.

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Explained: Why the Kenyan presidential election matters Sun, 07 Aug 2022 06:02:15 +0000 Kenyans will elect a successor to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday after a decade in power. The race is tight and could go into a runoff for the first time.

One of the frontrunners is Raila Odinga, an opposition leader in his fifth presidential bid who is backed by his former rival Kenyatta. The other is William Ruto, Kenyatta’s deputy who has fallen out with the President.

Both tend to focus much more on domestic issues, raising questions about how they will follow Kenyatta’s diplomatic efforts to quell tensions in neighboring Ethiopia or disputes between Rwanda and Congo.

What’s at stake?

Kenya is the economic center of East Africa and home to around 56 million people. The country has recently experienced turbulent elections. Even then, it stands out for its relative stability in a region where some elections are highly contested and longtime leaders like Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni have been declared victors by nearly 99% of the vote or widely were accused of physically cracking down on competitors.

Kenya has no transparency on campaign donations or spending. It is estimated that some candidates for Parliament and other posts spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to gain access to power and its benefits, both legal and illegal.

Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack, whose stage name is Diamond Platnumz, wears a hoodie with the face of Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga as he performs at Odinga’s final campaign rally at Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday August 6, 2022. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

What are the main platforms of the candidates?

Ruto, 55, advertises himself to the young and poor as a ‘hustler’ who rose from humble beginnings as a chicken seller in contrast to the elite backgrounds of Kenyatta and Odinga. He strives for higher agricultural productivity and financial inclusion.

Agriculture is a major driver of Kenya’s economy and around 70% of the rural workforce is employed in agriculture. In his final campaign speech on Saturday, he said if elected his government would use 200 billion shillings ($1.6 billion) a year to boost job opportunities.

Odinga, 77, famous for being jailed decades ago fighting for multi-party democracy, has pledged cash donations to Kenya’s poorest and more accessible health facilities. In his final campaign speech on Saturday, he said that if elected, his government would begin paying 6,000 shillings ($50) to families living below the poverty line within the first 100 days.

What do voters care about?

Odinga and Ruto have long been contenders for the presidency, and there is a certain apathy among Kenyans, especially among the younger generation in a country where the average age is around 20. The electoral commission took in less than half of the new voters it was hoping for, just 2.5 million.

Key issues in any election include widespread corruption and the economy. Kenyans have been hurt by soaring food and fuel prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that comes after the financial pain of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than a third of the country’s youth are unemployed.

When will Kenya have a winner?

Official results will be announced within a week of voting. To win outright, a candidate needs more than half of all votes and at least 25% of the votes in more than half of Kenya’s 47 districts. No overall winner means a runoff within 30 days.

The last presidential election in 2017 made history when a top court overturned the results and ordered a new election, a first in Africa. Should the courts again call for a new election, such an election would take place within 60 days of the verdict. Candidates or others have one week after the results are announced to submit a petition to the court, which has two weeks to decide.

“I want you to know that we are at a turning point as a country,” Odinga told the crowd listening to his campaign speech on Saturday. “Either something very good happens or something terrible happens.” He vowed to shake hands with his “rivals” whether he wins or loses.

Ruto said on Saturday he would “respect the decision of the Kenyan people” and not accept violence or engage in anything that undermines the constitution.

Watamu Tree House: An original masterpiece Sat, 06 Aug 2022 21:22:21 +0000
Watamu tree house.

Bursting with stunning aesthetics, Watamu in Kilifi County is known for its spectacular coastline, crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, pristine beaches, exciting water adventures and marine diversity.

When I met Paul Krystall, the owner of Watamu Tree House, he was warm, charming, hospitable – and barefoot.

The adorable art connoisseur and hotelier shared that he learned his artistic skills from his father, the famous late Dr. Eric Krystall, an African anti-apartheid activist and academic known for his pioneering puppets in Kenya.

The father-son duo bought the land 30 years ago, which was the only property in Watamu with the original jungle.

The award winning Watamu Tree House is exceptional. It’s a picturesque escape, a place of healing. guests will be separated and reset; rejuvenate, recharge and reinvent. Intimate and grand moments in this place become lifelong memories for ocean loving souls.

“It was quite an undertaking to turn this getaway into an award winning hidden gem,” said Paul.

His father’s wife, Nina Croze, a well-known artist and environmentalist, advised Paul not to cut down trees. So he worked with the original footprint of native trees.

Nina designed and built the first room and decorated it with her famous stained glass, which comes in royal colors like turquoise, green, purple and blue.

Paul and his team took over and continued to create the Watamu Treehouse masterpiece, room by room. The enchanting retreat now features the tallest yoga room in Watamu with 360 degree views of the sunrise over the Indian Ocean and the sunset over the dense coastal forest.

“We exist to share the best we know of what a lifestyle is in harmony with the natural environment,” said Paul, who shared the Watamu Tree House philosophy.

With joy in his eyes and conviction in his voice, he said, “I was intentional from the start. I enjoy water sports and yoga. I like to eat healthy. I wanted to share these experiences with other people. I recorded this dream on a vision board on concrete.”

Watamu Tree House has received three awards from the Kenya Tourism Board. Epic kayaking expeditions, sunset yoga experiences and floating adventures on Mida Creek were recognized as three of Kenya’s 29 experiences.

“Did you know that walking barefoot has benefits?” asked Aja Krystall, Paul’s daughter, who manages the gem. Like her father, she walks around without shoes.

“The philosophy behind walking barefoot should not be a barrier between humans and nature. You refuel with the natural polarity with the earth. It’s good for your feet and ankles,” she said.

The food, an integral part of the house, is based on the principles of Ayurveda: gratitude and nature. They do not serve any fried or artificial food. They don’t serve meat or alcohol, but guests can bring their own liquor.

For more information, see Part 1 of Art of Living on KTN Home

Kenyan police are under pressure to break the post-election cycle of chaos Sat, 06 Aug 2022 15:13:24 +0000



Human rights watchdogs and the international community are monitoring the behavior of Kenya‘s police force and arguing that their actions during this election season are critical to causing or averting violence.

This year’s elections have been described as critical, and international actors are watching to see if Kenya has broken the pattern of post-election violence since 1992.

In 2017, protests in Kisumu were blamed for several deaths, including that of a six-month-old baby who was killed by police while chasing after protesters in their homes. Police have been heavily involved in areas considered potential hotspots including Nairobi, Kericho, Nakuru, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has mapped the six counties most likely to see violence during the election. These have experienced violence in the past, triggered by hate speech, fake news and the non-acceptance of election results.

The US joins calls for peace and has urged Kenyans to seize the opportunity to showcase their democracy to the world if they make their voices heard in their elections.

“We are urging a peaceful and transparent democratic process, which is critical to providing all Kenyans with a more prosperous and secure future,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Wednesday.


The statement came hours after the US Embassy in Nairobi issued an alert imposing movement restrictions on its citizens and staff in Kisumu County over possible violence, for which it received plenty of flak.

It later clarified that it had no specific information about violence, but merely warned staff not to tour any of its outposts in the country at this time.

“Kisumu is home to a significant number of US Embassy employees and is a frequent travel destination for American citizens. The U.S. Department of State has had no greater responsibility than the safety of U.S. citizens abroad and routinely issues security alerts on elections, health conditions and extreme weather conditions to ensure U.S. citizens have information to help plan travel plans it in a statement from the embassy.

But human rights organizations say the police could influence events after the elections. Kenya’s National Commission for Human Rights (KNHCR) says past hard-fought elections are likely to see violence in front-runner strongholds as tensions rise over the results.

Despite government assurances that the elections will be peaceful, Kenya’s neighbors remain nervous, as they have at every election since 2007, when Ugandan and Rwandan traders lost $50 million worth of goods to vandalism and transport disruptions on the North Corridor.

Read: Northern Corridor gears up for a ‘tough’ week of voting fever

The months leading up to and following the elections have been violent in Kenya due to the rise of inflammatory political rhetoric and ethnicized narratives, creating divisions and public hatred. According to KNCHR, supporters of strong candidates who lose in the polls are likely to turn violent, especially if the leader doesn’t accept the results.

“The Commission therefore calls on all actors, including the Inspector General of Police, to take sufficient emergency measures to deploy additional security measures in these areas and, in line with human rights principles and standards, to quickly contain such incidents before they escalate.” ‘ said KNHCR Chair Roseline Odede.

In its latest surveillance report, published on Wednesday, the commission cites five deaths linked to political violence between February and August this year. Two of the deaths were due to traffic accidents involving vehicles associated with aspirants, while three died from injuries inflicted by members of opposing factions.

In Nairobi, Kericho, Kisumu, West Pokot, Isiolo, Mombasa, Bungoma and Kisii counties, 28 cases of assault and 44 cases of threats, harassment and intimidation were reported by both police officers and the public.

Long-standing conflicts between communities in the Kerio Valley are likely to affect voting behavior in the region, with the commission warning that this is likely to lead to voter suppression, as some affected localities have seen residents driven out and out of their polling stations relocated while others were left behind are concerned for their safety should they stay and vote.

These areas include Mandera County, where political opponents allegedly disguised as terrorists attack motorcades of opponents with weapons and/or improvised explosives; Nakuru County, where an operation to eliminate members of a local gang has been cited as a cause of tension; and grazing conflicts in Elgeyo Marakwet County. Seventy-three cases of incitement and undue influence were also reported by the Commission in Nairobi, Bungoma, Isiolo, Kakamega, Kiambu, Kilifi, Kirinyaga, Kisumu, Kwale, Meru, Migori, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nandi, Nyamira, Nyeri, Samburu, Siaya, Uasin Gishu, Wajir and West Pokot counties.

Data from the Inspector General of Police shows that the number of incidents of electoral violence has fallen to about a quarter of the 2017 figure.

The ‘deep state’ conspiracy theory tainting Kenya’s elections news Sat, 06 Aug 2022 10:06:22 +0000

Nairobi, Kenya – It’s election season in Kenya and even beyond the 22.1 million registered voters who went to the polls on August 9, the campaign’s biggest buzzword was ‘deep state’.

In recent years the phrase has emerged to convey the notion of a powerful shadowy cabal that is not formally elected to government but nonetheless distorts the wishes of the people during elections and afterwards in the country’s governance.

Supporters of leading presidential candidate Raila Odinga have always claimed there is a conspiracy at the highest levels of government to deny the role to the former prime minister, who lost presidential elections in 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2017.

But in December 2019, former Deputy President Kalonzo Musyoka made what may be the earliest local mention of the phrase in an interview with local private broadcaster Citizen TV. “Kenyans need to know that there is a ‘deep state’ government,” he said. “A country is never run by these politicians who shout [the] the loudest.”

A year later, Musyoka, an influential member of the Azimio La Umoja coalition supporting Odinga, said: “I don’t know if there is a depth [state]what I do know is that interest groups exist and some of them have [an] enabling capacity.”

In September 2021, another member of the ruling party coalition reiterated the now widespread belief in a “deep state”.

In an interview, Francis Kimemia, former head of civil service and current governor of Nyandarua district in central Kenya, said: “The state exists. I can assure you it’s deeper than deep. If you have two candidates at 50-50 odds and the “deep state” backs one, you can be sure which one will win. The international community plays a big role in who gets elected.”

But ahead of Tuesday’s hard-fought polls, the sentence could take on dangerous proportions.

A coalition for power

The term was popularized by the Kenyan Kwanza (meaning Kenya first in Swahili, – via the elite) – a nationalist coalition movement led by Deputy President and the other main presidential candidate, William Ruto.

The so-called cabal is said to have the right of first refusal to influence electoral positions and lucrative contracts in government and business.

Members are believed to be in the presidency, security agencies, the electoral commission and other parts of the public service purportedly working together as the “all-seeing eye.”

For Patrick Gathara, cartoonist and political analyst, the term “deep state” remains a deeply ambiguous term but could be a reference to a parallel political system inherited from British colonial administrators years ago.

“It’s a kind of administrative system that we’ve basically maintained since colonial times and that should reform the constitution or actually eradicate it,” he told Al Jazeera. “You know, there’s a paper that was written by a former Attorney General, Githu Muigai, that really expresses the fact that the colonial system that we inherited…essentially weren’t able and to some extent weren’t were wanted when you talk about removing the powerful.”

It’s a concept not unlike former US President Donald Trump’s constant talk of a “deep state” in this country, a conspiracy theory spearheaded by the discredited QAnon movement.

It also evokes “the cabal,” a term that entered Nigeria’s national consciousness around 2009, when then-President Umaru Yar’adua was struggling with a terminal illness that left him unable to govern Africa’s most populous country.

“Hustlers” vs. “Dynasties”

Now Ruto, a veteran orator, has applied the same logic while describing the election as one of “Hustlers” versus “Dynasties.”

This refers to the Azimio la Umoja coalition that had President Uhuru – scion of the Kenyattas (starting with inaugural President Jomo Kenyatta in 1964) – along with the other leading presidential candidate Odinga (whose father Jaramogi Odinga was Kenya’s first vice president) in its ranks has President 1964) and their supporter Gideon Moi (son of former President Daniel arap Moi).

Former First Lady “Mama Ngina” or Ngina Kenyatta, wife of Jomo, mother of Uhuru and one of the country’s most influential people since independence, also supports Odinga.

“We managed to push ethnicity to the background,” Ruto, who often referred to himself as a “hustler-in-chief” and spoke about impoverishment, said at an Aug. 6 news conference. “No matter where we come from, we stand together as a people today and have overcome the so-called system, the so-called Deep State.”

state versus people

It is little wonder, then, that the phrases “Deep State” and “Hustlers versus Dynasties” have become symbols of the involvement of the state machinery in the elections, even when the incumbent cannot stand for re-election after serving the constitutional limit of two terms

President Kenyatta campaigned to persuade citizens, particularly his Kikuyu relatives, the country’s largest electoral bloc, to support his longtime enemy and ally, Odinga. As a result, he has been accused by the opposition, civil society and ordinary citizens of using the state apparatus to support his preferred candidate.

As Ruto repeatedly alludes to higher powers at play wanting to rig the elections against him, this reinforces his narrative that he was pushed out of relevance during his reign but was an outsider working for the people.

He has even claimed that those in power in Kenya were trying to involve Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni in the disqualification of Nairobi County Senator Sakaja Johnson, who was vying for the governorship with Kenya’s Kwanza coalition.

This week Ruto held back-to-back press conferences claiming there had been threats against his family and several communities stemming from “meetings being organized in dark places to orchestrate disharmony,” including one where the President allegedly attended.

“It’s the people who hire and fire the government,” Ruto said on Saturday. “It’s not the system, it’s not those in power, it’s not the deep state and it’s not everything else we’ve been told all these years, it’s the people and in this election it’s the people of Kenya will confirm that.” , as ordinary as they may be.”

As recently as March, Ruto had said: “I am the deputy president. Do you think there’s some deep state I don’t know about? Do you think there’s a system I don’t know about? When you look at me, do I look like someone whose votes can be stolen? You should find someone else.”

Still, industry insiders and rival politicians, including Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe, say Ruto, one of the country’s wealthiest and most influential politicians, would himself be embedded in a “deep state” if there were one.

That may be the case on the streets of the capital, a stronghold of Odinga. “Ruto is the baddest man in Kenya,” said Charles Wairimu, a security guard.

Kenya inaugurates new shipyard and new ferry for Lake Victoria Fri, 05 Aug 2022 22:46:31 +0000

Courtesy of the PSCU

Published August 5, 2022 18:46 by

The Maritime Executive

Kenya‘s ambitions to become a regional shipbuilding and repair center have received a major boost after the flotation of the first ship to be assembled locally in almost 70 years.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has overseen the revitalization of Kenya’s maritime transport and logistics sector to position the East African nation as a shipping hub, witnesses the flotation of the new 1,800-ton MV Uhuru II Wagon ferry at Kisumu Pier after officially inaugurating Kenya Shipyards Limited (KSL) Kisumu shipyard.

The $20M MV Uhuru II is the first ship to be built locally by KSL, working with Dutch partner Damen Shipyards. The ferry, which is nearing completion, is scheduled to be put into operation before the end of this year.

Damen, the Netherlands-based international shipyard group, supports KSL with shipbuilding consultancy services and provides the technical know-how needed to build the ferry.

“The ferry is a flagship project aimed at positioning Kenya as a regional shipbuilding hub and unleashing Kenya’s immense blue economy potential,” said President Kenyatta.

He added that the key sub-sectors of the blue economy, which include maritime transport and logistics, fisheries and shipbuilding and ship-repair, represent low-hanging fruit that need to be exploited.

The successful assembly of the ferry at Kisumu Shipyard saved the Kenyan taxpayer $10.8 million in imports through its use and increased the Port of Kisumu’s transport capacity to over 3,060 tons. It will complement the 1,260-ton MV built in 1966 Uhuru 1which is currently transferring goods – mainly petroleum products – to neighboring Uganda.

MV Uhuru II is used to move petroleum and petroleum products and other goods to neighboring countries in Lake Victoria, and is part of Kenya’s broader plan to build a multimodal transport system to serve the East Africa region. The plan also envisages the revitalization of Kisumu Port on Lake Victoria, creating a multimodal system of road, rail and water.

The ferry floated just a day after President Kenyatta, who is set to step down after general elections scheduled for Aug. 9, opened Kisumu’s railway station and expressed optimism that rail service would improve the city’s status on August 9 Lake will strengthen as an economic center that not only connects Tanzania and Uganda, but also other countries such as Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Due to this rail, the cost of travel from Mombasa to Kisumu will decrease. The cost of transporting goods from Mombasa to Kisumu will also decrease,” he said.

Courtesy of the PSCU

The inauguration of the Kisumu Shipyard, a facility that will repair, overhaul and rehabilitate vessels for use in Lake Victoria, means Kenya now has two shipyards, providing the country with the facilities needed to take on the lucrative shipbuilding and repair business to compete in the region.

Kenya believes that the country, along with the Mombasa Shipyard (which opened last December), can also make significant foreign exchange savings that will be used to service its ships in foreign shipyards. The shipyards are managed by KSL, a military-run agency that has already received six orders to build ships from Tanzania and Uganda, and a further 11 orders from local firms.

With the two shipyards, Kenya joins the leagues of South Africa and Egypt, which have managed to build a dynamic local shipbuilding industry.

]]> Reinventing tourism amidst dwindling revenues Fri, 05 Aug 2022 14:12:36 +0000

If Nigeria intends to regain the lost terrain caused by the fallout from the global drop in oil prices, this is the time to pay attention to tourism. ELEOJO IDACHABA collects the opinions of industry experts.

Nigeria, like other countries in the world whose economies are largely fueled by petroleum, could find it difficult to run government in the years to come unless they look beyond oil to other thriving sectors such as tourism.

This follows Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed’s recent announcement that government revenues are steadily declining.

This is because Nigeria, among other countries, is often affected by the unstable global oil price regime; and therefore a reassessment of the nation’s revenue stream apart from taxes is required. It is no longer news that Nigeria has a highly marketable but undeveloped tourism sector. Available statistics show that the sector has tremendous benefits when looking at the experiences of African countries such as Rwanda, Kenya, Gambia, Egypt and South Africa.

For example, over the past six decades, one report indicates that destination countries and locations have experienced progressive growth from 25 million viewers to well over 1.4 billion. Similarly, revenues from the sector have grown from $2 billion in 1950 to $1,260 trillion in 2015, which is approximately 10% of global GDP and one in 10 jobs.

Tourism has therefore become one of the fastest growing sectors driving the economy of the entire globe. It is therefore undeniable that it is in the best interest of tourism destination countries like Nigeria to develop the sector in a sustainable way so that they can gradually improve their capacities to get the maximum benefit from this profitable sector.

Paradoxically, in Nigeria, particularly under the current government, the sector is not on its scorecards, raising concern.

To ponder

Recently tourism companies, under the aegis of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), protested against the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture’s plan to host the first United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) conference on cultural tourism and creative industries.

They said if the government hosted the fiesta, the tourism governing body would boycott the conference because, according to the association through its president Nkwereuwem Onung, “it is not beneficial to either the Nigerian tourism industry or operators”.

It is recalled that the Minister of Information and National Guidance, Lai Mohammed, recently set up a central planning committee to organize the UNWTO conference to be held between November 14 and 17 as part of the events planned for the reopening of the National Art Theater are planned.

However, Onung said private operators in the sector have decided to boycott the conference because of the neglect they have suffered at the minister’s hands over the past seven years.

According to him, despite writing over six letters to him, all efforts to arrange a meeting with the minister had always failed. He said that instead of meeting with them or attending one of the local tourism events, the minister prefers the UNWTO conference, where he only presents himself as the country’s tourism minister but neglects domestic tourism.

“Hosting the UNWTO conference in November is not what the country needs to help the country recover from its current economic woes, as it is just a way to enrich the few and waste taxpayers’ money in a mere bonanza squandering that, contrary to what the minister has, is of no use led the presidency and the nation to believe.”

security concerns

While everyone is putting their heads together to create a safe haven for tourism businesses, a tourism consultant, Dr. Paul Adalikwu that one of the areas the government needs to investigate if practitioners can achieve anything is the insecurity, which he says has turned many tourist spots into battle zones.

“At the moment I am not aware of any tourism location that is currently at 100 percent capacity due to the uncertain environment in the country. We don’t even need to talk about the north of the country, which is ruled by bandits and terrorists. Right now all the forests in the south are overrun by kidnappers. How can tourism develop in such an atmosphere? Neglect aside, uncertainty is the industry’s biggest killer and the government needs to deal with it seriously,” he said.

Imoke’s wise advice

Probably considering complaints from private operators, who informed former Cross River State Governor Senator Liyel Imoke to mandate governments at all levels to make incentives a key factor that can boost the sector, which he believes is the only one The way is to let the sector grow so that it contributes to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

He recently spoke at the 25th FTAN Annual General Meeting and Tourism Conference in Abuja.

Imoke said, “Tourism needs to be driven by the private sector, with the government being the enabler, but sometimes the government becomes the mover; The government must create incentives as one of the mandatory roles, otherwise we would not let the industry grow.

“I see the greatest challenge in the insecurity and access to tourism, which the state has to provide, and if the state fails, then the investors and operators fail too.

“These are critical issues that we need to address. Why is the tourism budget shrinking when we have a sector we want to expand? How and when do we create capital for industry? Is tourism a luxury or a necessity? All of these are part of the challenges we have to face.”

Lessons from Arab Nations

A tourism expert, Mr Mosun Debo, also lamented the state of the sector. He said: “Nigeria has what it takes to weather the vicissitudes of an uncertain oil climate. He said the country is endowed with stunning and vast geography, cultural heterogeneity and a wealth of historical sites that would be a tourist delight any day.

“The Nigerian landscape is undoubtedly promising for a sector that can compete with black gold in terms of foreign exchange earnings.

“However, due to the easy and quick money flowing out of the oil sector, tourism has suffered terrible neglect, as have the other sectors of our economy such as agriculture and solid minerals.

“Everyone knows that the Arab nations are oil-endowed, but of all these countries, only the United Arab Emirates saw the need to diversify its economy, using the oil windfall to develop a robust tourism sector, which today draws worldwide attention. Today everyone wants to see the wonders of Dubai and the surrounding cities because of the tourist attractions there.”

Any conscious attention to the sector?

dr For his part, Obinna Ugochukwu Onyeocha, associate professor in the Department of Hotel Management and Applied Sciences at Dorben Polytechnic Abuja, said tourism in Nigeria “was not considered as part of the country’s economic development plan as it was relegated to the background.”

It is also managed by non-experts and those who have ventured into tourism and activities through investments.

“When looking at the challenges of tourism in Nigeria, not only is it the government’s duty to keep an eye on tourism development, but professionals in the field have expressed great reservations about tourism management in Nigeria.

“The merger of tourism with another ministry comes as no surprise to anyone who has followed trends in the industry over the past 15 years. Tourism has been relegated to the third or fourth tier of the nation’s economic generation.

“The government’s tourism policies in Nigeria have not been reflected in this nation’s prospects and the reasons for this are very obvious, albeit discreet. The people who manage the tourism affairs in Nigeria have nothing to do with tourism and in many cases are just investors or walk-ins through politics. Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has those who read geography, sociology and anthropology, public administration or other arts courses. If politics is sick, why not the national tourism decision as well?”

More expert advice

According to Tours experts, Ogechi and Kennedy Ezenwafor, while writing The Hospitality Business in Nigeria, Issues and Challenges, the operating environment of the hospitality industry in Nigeria affects the skill supply and financial performance of restaurants and similar hospitality businesses.

“To improve overall industry performance, private-public partnerships between government agencies, hospitality schools and hospitality companies, strategic partnerships between experienced hospitality institutions and business schools, collaboration between hospitality entrepreneurs, and improving management practices could be strategic moves for an industry operating under severe institutional barriers , which typify Nigeria, while working on conscious measures to end insecurity. You cannot quantify the number of jobs that the sector can create if it is well developed.”