Get caught up on the most important news of the week. We pick out the items that are useful to you and distil the information in witty, simple and direct bullet points.
- Mo Sallah, the Egyptian footballer, was in the country. He had a match against Harambee Stars, drew 1-1.
2. President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday declared a cessation of movement in five counties- Nairobi, Kajiado, Machakos, Kiambu and Nakuru counties. Things are not good. Nairobi County accounts for nearly 60% of all Covid-19 cases. This means that out of 5 people in Nairobi, 3 are more likely to positive for Covid-19 disease.
In his address, the president announced a raft of measures, including; no in-person meetings, parliament to go on recess, curfew to begin at 8pm and end at 4am in the five counties, no worship in the 5 counties, no bars, only takeaways from restaurants, schools and universities are closed etc etc. Bad news left and right. Several people stranded outside Nairobi, several journeys out cancelled and several jobs will be lost.
3. Kenya on Friday recorded 2,008 new Covid-19 cases from a sample size of 11,360, the highest numbers within 24 hours since the pandemic struck last year.
4. President Uhuru Kenyatta finally got his Covid-19 jab. Was he wearing a white vest? I don’t know…ask Maggie. He simply rolled the sleeve of his shirt. Don’t know why people have been unleashing their man boobs on us. By the way, the President took Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, which is supplied through the World Health Organisation COVAX Facility programme.
5. There is a man called Isaac Kinyua, 78 years old and a remand prisoner at Meru Main prison. He was the oldest candidate in this year’s KCPE.
6. Nairobi’s oldest bus station, Machakos Bus Park, will soon be converted into an underground parking lot that will be digitally operated. Nairobi Metropolitan Service is working on this as part of its efforts to decongest the city and introduce automation parking. NMS Director-General Mohammed Badi disclosed that the parking will be charged hourly once the storey parking is constructed.
7. Yesterday was Michael Olunga’s birthday. You didn’t know, I know. I didn’t know too. How did I know, you ask? This message on Twitter and Facebook from @LaLiga: Happy Birthday kwa mKenya wakwanza kufunga hat-trick katika LaLiga. Tipped black hat. Kenyan Flag, cake- Michael Olunga – cake, Kenyan flag… those are emoji’s.
8. A mtumba trader who allegedly impersonated his dead father and tried to steal millions of shillings from his account was arrested and charged at Milimani law court.
Francis Waweru, alias James Waweru Ndegwa, was accused of presenting himself as James Waweru Ndegwa, his deceased father, on March 23. According to the police report, the accused went to the bank and presented the staff an application for digital mobile banking using his deceased father’s account. Police said Waweru was told by a friend that he knows a person at National Bank who could help him access his father’s funds. This a case of I know a guy who knows a guy gone bad.
9. Lorna Irungu, a media personality and PR guru died on Monday. She fell to Covid-19.
10. DP William Ruto went to Radio Citizen mid-week, he said he is ready to work with Raila Odinga in 2022 because he cares about the country. Then he met with Jalang’o for an interview a few hours later and said the system is coming after him with all kinds of shady accusations because amewashinda kwa akili.
11. A governor from one of the counties in Western Kenya was involved in run-in with boda boda operators when he stopped his motorcade to pee by the roadside. The operators, who were nearby, rushed to greet the county chief and perhaps get some handouts but they were ignored. Upon realising they would not get kachai, ama hata kangumu, the operators decided to embarrass the governor with chants of “Jenga choo za uma (Construct public toilets).” No, I wasn’t there, I don’t have a boda boda. You can ask the Star newspaper, they wrote about it.
12. Senator Irungu Kang’ata announced that he has contracted Covid-19 for the second time in 8 months.
13. Diarrhoeal diseases are the leading cause of death in Kenya with over 37,600 deaths every year, a new report compiled by The Standard has shown. This shouldn’t be here, should it?
14. Safaricom on Friday launched 5G mobile Internet services network in major urban centres including Nairobi, Kisumu, Kisii and Kakamega, becoming the first operator to offer commercial and superfast 5G services in East Africa. Its chief executive officer Peter Ndegwa says he now sees partnership opportunities in telehealth, telemedicine and agriculture through value addition in other sectors and platforms.
15. Kenya Airways (KQ) this week announced that it had posted a net loss of Sh36.2 billion, the worst ever in the history of the airline, and the worst in Kenya’s corporate history. As in no company in Kenya has ever performed that poorly, not even those who invested in quail eggs towards the end of that circus.
KQ chairman Michael Joseph took a proper beating on Twitter as Kenyans demanded that KQ be shut down and sold for scrap metal parts. Michael Joseph blames Covid-19 and KQ pilots.
A sinister article published in Business Daily, after the announcement of the Sh 32 billion loss, claimed that KQ pilots are earning millions of shillings despite working less than a third of the legally set flying hours. The 414 pilots work an average of 30 hours monthly compared to the legally set limit of 105 hours and normally acceptable target of 72 hours following the coronavirus crisis that hit demand for travel.
The article also claims that though the pilots are being paid 70 percent of their salaries due to Covid-induced pay cuts, they are technically on full pay because the airline is expected to settle the balance once it returns to growth. The article further says an average a KQ pilot costs the company Sh1.3 million, which matches the salaries and allowances of top chief executives of State-owned firms such as KenGen, Kenya-Re and Kenya Power.
Look here MiKael, the pilots are NOT the problem. Oh, lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi (Grand Mullah) said he wants to buy one of the KQ planes (the same way some of you talk about a buying a new leather jacket for two months, then you go and find out that a new leather jacket costs Sh 7, 999 and you end up leaving the store with a sweater that costs Sh 747, except he can actually buy a KQ plane in two months.)
16. There was a fire caused by British soldiers based at Lolldaiga military training area in Nanyuki, Laikipia County that killed 5 elephants. One of the British soldiers posted this on his Snapchat: “Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome.”
They claim a stove caused the fire. The British High Commission in Kenya has confirmed the incident and launched a probe into the message posted by the soldier and the death of the 5 elephants.
17. The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) Council resolved to suspend its President Nelson Havi aka Chai Guevara, for a further 60 days pending the convention of the council’s Ordinary General Meeting.
18. Bahati’s daughter Heaven Bahati is unwell. She is in the hospital. Bahati posted photos of the daughter getting nebulized, followed by another photo of Heaven sleeping in her hospital bed. His fans didn’t like it. They told him some things are better handled privately, and that he should look for other ways of creating content.
19. The price of ploughing has gone up by 30 percent in the North Rift as tractor owners pass the cost of a sharp increase in price of diesel to farmers. Farmers will now have to part with Sh3,000 to plough an acre up from Sh2,300 previously after the price of diesel rose sharply with a litre retailing at Sh108.4 in Eldoret and Sh108.8 in Kitale up from Sh101 in corresponding period last year.
Diesel prices have climbed by Sh5.75 a litre in the latest price review by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA). You are not a farmer, we’ ngoja bei ya chakula ipande.
20. New data from Central Bank indicate that Foreign currency deposits held in Kenyan banks rose by Sh15 billion in January to hit a new all-time high of Sh756 billion, continuing a trend that has been caused partly by hedging of risk and the depreciation of the shilling against the dollar. The data from CBK shows that the deposits went up in each of the previous four months until January, with the biggest jump recorded between November and December at Sh27 billion.
Analysts say the rise in hard currency deposits has been caused partly by the need of wealthy Kenyans to hedge against economic risk by holding onto the dollar, which is seen as a safe haven currency.
21. 5 months after marrying Brown Mauzo, Vera Sidika this week said she will have kids with the right man, fanning speculation that she has ditched Brown Mauzo. She was addressing rumours that popped up online, saying she gave birth years ago and hid the child in the village with her mother. She insists that she has no child.
22. The Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC) has asked all teachers who were picked to mark national examinations to get vaccinated for Covid-19 before traveling to Nairobi.
A total of 227,000 teachers have been vetted and certified as suitable staff to oversee the 2,020 KCSE that kicked off on March 26, 2021, across the country. Nationally, there are 752,437 candidates sitting for the month-long examination. On Friday, the candidates sat for their English paper for both braille and the hearing-impaired before English Comprehension, Literary Appreciation & Grammar for various categories of learners.
23. A young lady called Clare Muthoni faked being kidnapped so that she could get Sh30,000 from her mother. She was arrested on Thursday night, at Website Bar in Kangundo, where she had booked a room with her ‘friend’ Diana Wanjiku. The two previously lived in Nyeri before relocating to Nairobi.
Muthoni used her phone number to communicate with her mother on Wednesday, demanding ransom money or else, her throat would be slit. She also sent a photo of herself, tied at the wrist and ankles, and a kitchen knife next to her. You people watch too many movies.
24. KCSE candidate from Kiminini in Trans Nzoia County died on Thursday, March 25 shortly after falling ill. Nicholas Barasa, a student of Michael Wamalwa High School in Birunda, Kitale, developed stomach problems in the evening, and died while being taken to hospital. He died hours to the exams.
25. KNUT Sec-Gen Wilson Sossion and several teachers blew the lid on a KCPE scandal involving private schools. Candidates in several private schools in February, one month before KCPE, sat for English and Social Studies exams that later turned up in KCPE , accounting for at least half of the questions in these two papers in the main exams. Sossion says this was deliberate leakage since the books used are not approved by KICD.
26. It emerged this week that hundreds of well-connected, wealthy Kenyans, among them politicians, some celebrities and businessmen have already dubiously received Covid-19 vaccines despite not being eligible for the phase one priority list. They buy the vaccine at Sh 100, 000, with the help of rogue doctors in private hospitals.
27. Kisumu City council askaris on Wednesday dragged a woman from a moving pickup truck. The lady, a hawker, was pulled behind the pickup for several meters as boda boda riders chars the truck while yelling for them to stop. The nine Kisumu County askaris who were involved were suspended, then arrested and have been charged in a Kisumu court. I have a list of their names, thought about putting it here, realized they are not worth it, a waste of your reading time.
28. Shaffie Weru, DJ Joe Mfalme and some other dude called Neville Somebody (no, his name is not somebody, I just don’t remember his second name) were on Friday suspended from Homeboyz Radio after victim shaming a lady (Eunice Wangari) who was thrown off the 12th floor of Ambank House in Nairobi for refusing the sexual advances of her Facebook date. The three, while on air during their Lift Off show, said the lady was too cheap.
29. Gideon Moi, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula announced that they have formed One Kenya Alliance to save the country from ruin in 2022. However, soon after One Kenya Alliance was formed, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party on Thursday said it was also working on creating a new alliance that will “shake the country” post BBI.
30. Flat roof house style is back with a bang. Maybe not that dramatically, but they are back. They were a symbol of modernity in the mid-19th century, common among communities living in deserts. They mostly found way into Coastal houses, an influence of Arab architecture following the slave trade period. Right now, they have moved from the Coast, to Ugunja, Keroka and Ruaka. They are everywhere, even in Lokichar in … if you don’t know where Lokichar is, that’s your problem.
Why are they back? Climate change. Flat roofs use special materials that lower overall heating and cooling demand. They are also incredible outdoor lounge spaces to barbecue or simply relax.
31. There is a KCPE candidate who was hit with a stone and killed by a form one student at Luciuti Primary School following a brief confrontation at Antubetoe Kiongo in Igembe North. Elius Munene is said to have lost his life after sitting for his Monday papers when a fight between him and another boy turned tragic. The two argued about exam performance; insults were hurled, then stones were hurled, and then death followed. The form one student has disappeared.
32. Sidian Bank announced this week that it has posted a profit before tax of Sh72 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. This represents a drop of 28 per cent drop from the previous year’s profitability of Sh99 million. Sidian Bank sasa ndio gani? It is like finding out that there is some bank called M Oriental along Koinange Street, red corporate colours and all, yet all this time you have been thinking that is a dry cleaning business or someplace where they repair watches.
33. Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa might be getting ready to ditch Deputy President William Ruto’s camp. The Jubilee Party ticket MP announced that he is taking a four months “sabbatical leave” from Ruto’s faction to concentrate on uniting warring political groups with the Luhya community.
(Side Note: I have been doing some stuff during weekend mornings, hence the months long break from doing this. But, that task is done, and, we can continue. Plus, some South Sudanese guy called Majur Thuch earlier this week inboxed me saying he missed it… hehehe, so I told him to check by 8:00 am. I am glad we can do this again.)