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.
- The Ministry of Health has banned importation, distribution and administration of private COVID-19 vaccines in Kenya. Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s Friday announcement has thrown the recently imported Sputnik V vaccine, whose private roll-out is underway, into a spin. According to CS Kagwe, Kenya does not have the infrastructure to ensure transparency in the roll-out of privately-imported vaccines.
2. Irate boda boda operators attacked Kibugu police station and freed several suspects in custody before setting ablaze a suspected thief in Embu earlier in the week.
3. The UK banned travellers from Kenya by adding the country to its Red List. A statement from the High Commission said the difficult decision was taken by UK Ministers on March 31 following a review of the latest scientific evidence pertaining to the risk of community transmission of Covid- 19 variants.
Travellers from all countries are required to take Covid-19 tests on Days 2 and 8 following their arrival in the UK. About 550 people travel from Kenya to the UK each week, a significant number of these test positive on Day 2. Tumewekwa kwa the Red List na akina Bangladesh, Pakistan na Philippines. Can’t believe Uhuru sent these guys flowers last year… A Kenyan man, alienda akachuna flowers, wrapped them nicely, even threw in mepera na avocado in a fruit basket, and they still do us like this…? So rude. Saa hii tuko same Wozzap group na Bangladesh? The ban took effect as of 4 am on Friday.
4. A heavily pregnant Anerlisa Muigai (Keroche) took to Instagram to insult a slay queen whom she accused of sleeping with her husband –Tanzanian singer- Ben Pol. In a series of posts dissed the lady, then she unfollowed and deleted photos of her and husband.
5. Two Kenyan truck drivers were killed in South Sudan this week by armed militia who ambushed them along Yei-Juba and Juba-Nimule roads. Two others have disappeared. South Sudan believes that pockets of rebel groups, who are opposed to the ongoing implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan, are behind these unnecessary deadly attacks. South Sudan has urged Kenyan traders to stay away from South Sudan roads until their safety can be guaranteed.
6. British-owned agricultural firm Kakuzi Plc, has sued the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) over an article that alleges it has over the years condoned violence, killings, rape and labour injustices. In the petition filed at the High Court in Milimani, the firm says the article published on February 14 after settlement of a case in the United Kingdom where 85 Kenyans were awarded Sh696 million by its parent firm Camelia Plc, could severely affect its business. Kakuzi has described the article published on the KHRC website as untrue and misleading. It wants KHRC compelled to pull it down and publish a correction.
Kakuzi says that besides the atrocities said to have been committed since 2003, KHRC also accused it of bad corporate governance and gross historical and land injustices which have displaced more than 13 neighbouring communities within Murang’a and adjacent counties.
7. In 2020, this week, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe announced that the government had enhanced testing and diagnostic capabilities to undertake an average of 600 Covid-19 tests per day. Yesterday, 2021, the government announced that it had conducted 9,676 tests in the last 24 hours. See… progress. Kenya on Friday recorded 1,851 new Covid-19 cases, which now brings the total number of cases of Covid-19 to 136,893. The cumulative tests conducted so far are now at 1, 504,453. The total number of recoveries to 93,430 is. And official deaths since March last year are 2,186.
8. Comedian Dr Ofweneke announced his return to radio after landing a new job with Radio Africa’s popular station, Classic 105. He will be hosting an evening show.
9. Mama Sarah Obama died on Monday. She was laid to rest the next day. There was a slight altercation between members of the Obama family after a section of Mama Sarah’s kin was barred from entering the home where the burial was taking place.She was eulogized by the former US president Barack Obama, president Uhuru, Raila and other local leaders. Malik Obama didn’t tweet anything stupid.
10. Details emerged this week of a complex plot by Al Shabaab to kill retired President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in 2012.
Details of the plot emerged from one of Kenya’s submissions to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the ongoing maritime. One terrorist frequently visited Nyeri, and was tasked with documenting President Kibaki’s routine. They had surveillance on Raila too, noting that there were times he travelled to Nairobi without his security detail. The plan, according to that report, was to blow up parliament, with both Raila and Kibaki in it.
11. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenya Airforce General, Mohamed Badi (NMS boss) have apparently become so close that the two can sneak out of State House without being noticed. Apparently, they did this sometime back, when Badi wanted to show Uhuru just how terrible the condition in slum hospitals and clinics are.
Badi, during a speech this week, said he asked the president to wear a kabuti (overall) so that he (Badi) could sneak him (Uhuru) inside the facility.
“One night we sneaked in and no one recognised us. One woman was being chased away to go to Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and she was in labour pain. The car that escorted her to KNH was provided by the President who also cleared all bills for the patients,” Badi said.
He added that Uhuru revealed himself and confronted the medics while assuring the public that he would address the health sector. He also ordered NMS to construct 24 hospitals which were completed by March 2021 and are being launched consecutively.
12. Lovy Longomba, the surviving twin of the Longomba brothers, is in the country. He came back after he buried his brother in the US, ‘to honour’ where they started their music careers. Lovy, who these days is a prophet of God, lives in the posh area of Calabasas-US, which is one of the richest regions in the US. He claims he’s neighbours with Kanye, Akon and Chris Brown. He told Ghafla! that his church is worth Sh 800 million and that he has invested in real estate too.
Being a prophet, Lovy also revealed that God talked to him and told him that He would take his brother. So, the death of Christian didn’t come as a surprise to him. In the last few days, he had a meeting with Rev Lucy Natasha, who he hailed as the most powerful prophet in the world. I guess he has not heard of Dr. Prophet David Owuor.
13. What do you know about snails? One kilo of snails cost Sh 1,500. Slime (the sticky stuff produced by snails) sells for Sh 1, 200 a litre. If you have 3,000 snails, you can produce upto 10 litres each week. Look at you, thinking this is good business… of course it is. But you have to export it, not many Kenyans eat snails. In case you are wondering why they are eaten in first place; snails contain essential amino acids and are rich in fatty acids, calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium and vitamins E, A, K and B12. By the way, the word is heliciculture; the act of raising edible land snails. (This is information is probably useful to 11 people in Kenya.)
14. A mother in Murang’a this week reunited with her daughter who ran away from home 17 years ago.
15. Milkah Muthoni ran away from home in 2004 when she was 18 years old – just after completing her KCPE exams. She returned to Kagaa village in Kiharu constituency this week ‘after her children persistently inquired about their grandparent’s whereabouts’. The lady couldn’t remember the directions to her home and had to ask for directions from a couple of villagers. When she arrived home, one of her sister ran away when Milkah introduced herself. She couldn’t believe it.
17 years… what was she upto all this time? She ran from home.Went to Nairobi. She got married to a man. They had two children. They later relocated to Narok. Were forced to leave due to the post-election violence of 2007. They returned to Nairobi. Divorced due to irreconcilable differences. She left her two children behind. Went to Nyeri. Found a new husband. Got married again. Had two more children with her second husband. Her new husband was arrested. New husband was jailed in Mombasa. She got evicted from her matrimonial property. Had to start from scratch to fend for her children.
In the 17 years, her brother and father died. There was a celebration to honour her return.
16. Nation Media Group employees were paid their full salaries this month. The company on Tuesday reinstated full salaries to their employees effective March 2021 after they’d slashed them due to severe business disruption caused by Covid-19 in 2020.
17. Huddah Munroe, the socialite, said this week that her relationships used to fail because she never saw any future in them… Her exes… chest pains.
18. Kenyans are not taking their Huduma Namba cards. Out of the 2 million already released, only 10% have been picked. (That’s 200, 000… hesabu isikusumbue bure).
19. A man in Bura, Tana River County demolished his house and left town to an unknown destination after learning that his wife of five years had fallen in love with a richer man.
20. Parents who apply for adoption of children will now get one month leave with full pay. On Tuesday, the President also signed into law the Business Laws (Amendment) Bill of 2021 which amends several statutes to facilitate the ease of doing business in Kenya. Parents who apply for adoption of children will now get one month pre-adoptive leave with full pay.
21. The Ministry of Health this week opened talks with Treasury on a proposal to offer tax relief to medical gas manufacturers. This came after it (MoH), on Monday, ordered all private entities with oxygen cylinders to surrender them to the government. There is a massive shortage of oxygen cylinders in the hospitals in the country as Covid-19 bites.
22. The owner of the popular Kilimanjaro chain of Hotels, Yasin Jama died on Friday in Nairobi. Mzee Jama was also the vice-chair of the Eastleigh business community. There is an old man who spoke during the Dusit2 terror attack in 2019…
“Islam does not condone terrorism. I am a Kenyan Somali and we have lost our beloved ones just like other Kenyans. A terrorist does not have a religion, colour and tribe. Terrorists do not kill selectively, they hate all of us,” that was him… his son was actually trapped inside Dusit. He survived.
24. Piotr Lukasz Litwiniuk, a Polish tourist, flew a drone over DP William Ruto’s compound in Karen. Mama Rachel wasn’t amused. She called the police on him… literally, she shouted at the officers from her skuma garden where she was plucking a few leaves for lunch, told them to do something about ‘that flying thing’. The man was arrested and charged with operating an unmanned aircraft without a permit. Other Tanga Tanda leaders like Senator Kipchomba Murkomen have claimed that they too have had drones fly over their homes.
25. If you have shares in Equity, some bad news: Equity Group shareholders will go for the second consecutive year without dividends after the board on Monday froze the payout as net profits fell 11.6 per cent to Sh20 billion. Equity’s last dividend payout was on the 2018 performance, with shareholders taking home Sh7.54 billion.
26. Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange died at Nairobi Hospital. He died of Covid-19 related complications on Wednesday morning.
27. ODM leader Raila Odinga was taken back to Nairobi Hospital for a routine check-up… then a statement from his office said that he had turned Covid-19 negative. Two days later it was reported that President Uhuru paid him a visit at night, at his home. And then on Thursday, the two brothers took their kitambis to General Badi’s new bus park –the former Railways – to inspect it. They also launched a bunch of roads.
28.This week has seen a lot of confusing communication from ODM: ODM sent out a notice saying Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, party boss Raila Odinga and Wycliffe Oparanya were the three contenders for the 2022 party flag bearer post. They also said something about Raila definitely being on the ballot. A day after they said this, party Sec Gen Edwin Sifuna said it was all a joke. April Fools. He also claimed BBI funds should be used for Covid-19 intervention programmes, fanning talks of BBI collapsing. And then on Thursday Raila met ODM top leadership to say BBI was still on. (It has been said that ODM top leadership meeting looks like a Luo Council of Elders meeting.) Very mixed-up communication.
29. Kenya Power defaulted on payment for electricity worth Sh23.9 billion supplied by KenGen in the year ended June 2020, exposing the electricity producer to the risk of major losses. The Office of the Auditor-General says in its report on the power generator’s financial statements that the debt had increased from Sh19.3 billion a year earlier. Kenya Power, the distributor, had a pre-tax loss of Sh7.04 billion for its financial year to the end of last June on costly wholesale electricity purchase from the electricity producer and higher financing costs that offset modest sales.
30. Final designs of the first dual carriage road in Meru are ready and the government is currently sourcing funding for the Sh12 billion project, the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) has said.
The authority’s Upper Eastern Regional manager Sheikh Takoy said property owners along the 13.8 kilometre corridor who will be affected by the project had already been identified and notified. Construction of the dual carriage will see demolition of several high value buildings along the route; they would be compensated in accordance with the law.
31. Anyone travelling into Mombasa must now provide a negative coronavirus Rapid Antigen test, which will be authenticated by a multi-agency team stationed at the exit and entry of the tourism hub.
32. Kenya has joined calls for an enhanced International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout for poor countries that would see the multilateral lender increase special drawing rights (SDRs) limits that would ease the balance of payments for Covid-19 hit economies.
Rich countries have been printing trillions of dollars to support businesses and give residents under lockdown stimulus cheques, but poorer countries have been wary of similar moves on fears that their currencies will depreciate.
“We propose the enhancement of the limits of access to IMF facilities through reallocation of existing SDRs and allocating new SDRs, including strengthening the quick disbursement of the IMF through Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and (Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) and short-term liquidity lines,” said Treasury Cabinet secretary Ukur Yatani during a conference of African finance, planning and development ministers on Monday. Of course he said that.
33. Radio Africa group is countersuing Shaffie Weru for negligence, gross misconduct, loss of business and for hurting their brand. They want Sh 150 million in damages from him.