7th JAN Newspapers Summary – The Star, Daily Nation, The Standard


Newspapers Summary – The Star, Daily Nation, The Standard.

Jubilee blasts Raila over rigging allegations
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s communications team yesterday launched
a scathing and personal attack on Cord leader Raila Odinga. In the
first ever statement of its kind from State House, the Presidential
Strategic Communications Unit directors told Raila that the
government would not be distracted by his rhetoric. “The Jubilee
administration’s agenda on national security, economic governance, war
on graft, infrastructure development and the delivery of its electoral
promises are firmly on course, gaining momentum along an upward
path,” the PSCU said. The statement went on: “Without a doubt,
Kenya faces many challenges, but there is greater confidence that we
have what it takes to overcome them in time.”
State fronts Marende and Nyachae for Chief
Jubilee is weighing the options between former Speaker Kenneth
Marende and former CIC chairman Charles Nyachae to succeed Chief
Justice Willy Mutunga when he retires in June. There have been
heightened interest and intense lobbying for the position of CJ in the
lead-up to his exit. The Supreme Court plays a key role in the event
of a challenge to the outcome of the presidential election. Marende,
who currently chairs the Kenya Power Board of Directors, told the Star
he has what it takes to offer leadership that can make a difference and
meet Kenyans’ expectations and aspirations. He said having been hailed
as a Solomonic leader during the 10th Parliament, overseeing the
passage of the new constitution, his track record to perform and
accomplish speaks for itself. “If they give me an opportunity to serve
in that office, I think I have the ability to serve. My ability to preside
speaks for itself.
Uhuru has snubbed me in Mombasa, says Joho
A furious Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho yesterday told of his
frustrations during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Coast tour, saying he
had been sidelined and was just seeing “Uhuru walking around”. Joho
and Senator Hassan Omar have not been seen with the President in
public since he arrived in Mombasa a few days before Christmas.
Yesterday Joho said he has been targeted unfairly for frustration by
the national government because he is a staunch member of the
opposition. Speaking to the Star in a phone interview, he confirmed he
had not been invited to or informed of any of the functions or events
that Uhuru has held in Mombasa.
Raila is doyen of graft, State House hits back
State House on Wednesday lampooned Cord leader Raila Odinga as
the “oligarch of official graft and the doyen of economic sabotage” in a
no-holds-barred rejoinder to his criticism of Jubilee as a failing
government. In an unprecedented outbreak of political exchanges, State
House appears to have compiled a dossier on the record of Cord
leaders who served in the last administration and claims: “The entire
Cord leadership is hobbled by corruption of the past and kleptomaniac
fantasies. They are projecting their venal proclivities and penchant for
abuse of office on the Jubilee leadership. All we can learn from their
recent tirades is that the Opposition brigade expects public office to be
an opportunity to loot.”
Schools collects billions in extra fees
Secondary schools are raking in billions of shillings as extra charges
levied on Kenyans eager to see their children join form one. With a
student population of about of 2.34 million, secondary school heads are
charging thousands of shillings for unnecessary items or for others
already catered for by the government. Kenya National Parents
Association says if heads charge 1.5 million students an average of
Sh15, 000 yearly as extra charges, heads could be making about
Sh22.5 billion shillings. If the same fee is levied on 2.34 million
learners, the total being taken home by principals every year is Sh35
billion. The association’s Chairman Musau Ndunda on Wednesday
urged the government to audit the extra charges.
Agency wants funds for oversight
The Kenya Law Reforms Commission has asked for more funds to
enhance its independence ahead of its taking over of the role of the
overseeing the Constitutional Implementation process. KLCR chief
executive Joash Dache is also pushing for an independent vote such as
was enjoyed by Constitutional Implementation Commission whose five-
year term was not renewed and whose oversight role has been
transferred to the KLCR. “The former CIC had a budget of Sh500
million as compared to KLRC’s Sh223 million and yet the salaries of
its commissioners were drawn from the consolidated funds, “he said.
Mr Dache said more funds would enable KLCR to hire more researchers
and enhance its capacity.

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Uhuru, Raila parties scramble for voters
Political parties have revealed plans for massive voter registration in
preparation for the 2017 General Election, which is less than 19
months away. The two main political parties, Jubilee and Coalition for
Reforms and Democracy (Cord) have outlined a raft of activities
meant to strengthen their presence in the 47 counties. Jubilee will
begin with county meeting on January 16 to sell the party to the
grassroots ahead of their merger. Orange Democratic Movement, an
affiliate of CORD, is set to roll out voter registration next week. This
comes after the party concluded its grassroots polls and is part of its
new strategy to hand its leader Raila Odinga a win in 2017 General
Lawyers challenge JSC amendments in court
Lawyers yesterday moved to court in their battle against legislative
amendments giving the President powers to appoint top judges. The
Law Society of Kenya (LSK) had moved to court to challenge the Act
to compel the Judicial Service Commission to forward three names to
the President instead of one as provided for previously. High Court
Judge George Odunga certified the matter as urgent and ordered the
case to be heard on Wednesday, next week. The High Court, however,
declined to suspend the law as sought by LSK, arguing the State ought
to be given an opportunity to tell its side of the story. “These are
serious questions to be tested by this court as the issue touches on the
sovereignty of the people. The application should be served within
seven days.
IEBC to launch 2017 polls road map
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will this
month launch a road map for the 2017 General Election. IEBC plans
to unveil the elections schedule dabbed the Election Operations Plan
(EOP) between January 14 and 18. The plan will outline key
milestones in the lead up to the 2017 polls, including by which date
State officers and public officers seeking elective posts will be required
to resign from office. IEBC has also sent a number of proposals to the
National Assembly to review the elections laws, which include
expanding electoral timelines and raising minimum academic
qualifications for those seeking elective posts. “We have proposed to
expand time for completion of voter registration and inspection of the
register and give political parties ample time to do their party
primaries,” said IEBC Web and Digital Media Manager Andrew Limo.

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