Press Review: The day’s top stories at a glance

Today is Friday, February 3, 2023.

You can read the Daily Nation e-paper here

Here is a quick look at what is making headlines.

Uhuru, Matiang’i security trimmed

The security of former President Uhuru Kenyatta has been downgraded, following a “rationalisation of personnel”, according to government sources.

Uhuru’s security team has been reduced from 96 officers to 25, while his wife has only five security personnel. The senior police officer leading the team has also been replaced with a lower-ranking officer.

Former Interior minister Fred Matiang’i and former Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho have also seen a reduction in their security personnel.

The move has sparked tension between the current President William Ruto and his predecessor.

The Presidential Retirement Benefits Act states that a retired president is entitled to adequate security at their homes.

Nakuru quintuplets die less than 48 hours after their birth

Nakuru couple’s joy turned to heartbreak as their quintuplets passed away just days after birth.

Margaret Wairimu, 25, was taken into critical care at the Nakuru Level five hospital on January 27, and gave birth to the pre-term quintuplets on January 31.

Two newborns died on Thursday morning, followed by the remaining three in the afternoon.

The couple, who already have a four-year-old daughter, are receiving counseling from health professionals.

The medical superintendent at the hospital had previously explained the delicate nature of the births and the high risk associated with multiple pregnancies.

The family’s uncle has called for support as they make arrangements for the burials.

Everybody must pay taxes, DP Gachagua

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has responded to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s remarks about the government’s plans to evaluate if he and others have been paying taxes.

Speaking at a senators’ seminar in Mombasa County, Gachagua said the government has stopped borrowing and will pursue all those who have not been paying taxes.

“Nobody will be exempt from paying tax in this country,” he said, adding that the country is collecting only KES 2.2 trillion in revenue which is all going to salaries and offsetting loans.

Gachagua said those who owe the country taxes must pay at whatever cost, as the KES 2.2 trillion is only enough for servicing public debt and paying salaries.

Earlier this week the former president responded to the mounting criticism saying, “Don’t worry about these people who are making noise.”

11-year-old surgical blade removed from a woman’s womb

A 36-year-old woman Felistah Nafula has had an 11-year-old surgical blade removed from her womb.

The blade, which was found lodged between the uterus and the small intestines, was discovered after Nafula had lived with abdominal pains that she thought were ulcers for over a decade.

The blade was causing her to be unable to conceive, putting her marriage at risk.

Dr. Kairo Kimende, the medical superintendent of Maragua Level Four hospital in Murang’a County, led the surgical team and said, “The blade was lying in such a way that it made Nafula lose the ability to conceive for the time she hosted it in her abdomen.”

Nafula’s husband, Samuel Mungai, is calling for an investigation into the medics who handled his wife’s Caesarean birth 11 years ago and is seeking compensation for the troubles, anguish, and losses suffered.

He added, “Conceiving is not a priority, but if it happens I will praise God.”

Nairobi leads in cancer cases among counties

Nairobi has the highest number of residents diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the latest data from the National Cancer Registry.

The Status of Cancer Report shows 140 notified cases in the county, followed by Nakuru with 96 cases, Nyeri with 83, Machakos with 69 and Kiambu with 63.

The first-ever national cancer summit is taking place this week, aimed at reviewing the progress of cancer response in line with the Cancer Prevention and Control ACT 2012 and the attainment of Universal Health Coverage.

The report highlights the disparity in cancer burden distribution, with some counties, such as Wajir, Lamu, Tana River, and Elgeyo Marakwet, reporting no cases of cancer, while others such as Nairobi, Nakuru and Nyeri reported a high number of cases.

The report highlights the need for equal access to healthcare and early detection in order to reduce the burden of cancer in the country.

How Nigerian techies wired KES 276bn without CBK nod

The Central Bank of Kenya has cut ties with Flutterwave, a Nigerian fintech company, over fears of money laundering. The company was co-founded by Olugbenga Agboola, who was recently named Africa’s newest tech billionaire.

Authorities froze the firm’s spread of KES 6.2bn across 62 bank accounts due to money laundering fears and other allegations of card fraud.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) investigated Flutterwave along with two other Nigerian fintech firms, Kandon Technologies and RemX, and believed there was a connection between Flutterwave and RemX.

The case is ongoing, but the High Court lifted orders to unfreeze the accounts of Kandon and RemX. The CBK warned Flutterwave against engaging in remittances and other financial services until it obtained the appropriate licenses.

Ruto fails to cut spending in first supplementary budget

President William Ruto’s first mini-budget has fallen short of cutting annual government spending due to multi-billion shilling expenditures incurred in his predecessor’s last days, ongoing subsidies, and the launch of the Hustler Fund.

The Treasury informed the IMF that it was left with little room to cut spending after inheriting un-disbursed expenditures of KES 89 billion and KES 61 billion spending that occurred outside the budget during the last days of former President Uhuru Kenya.

This, combined with extra spending on Ruto’s campaign promises, has led to an additional expenditure of KES 290 billion.

Despite cutting KES 48.6 billion from recurrent spending and lowering development expenditure by KES 181.6 billion, total government spending is projected to increase by KES 33.4 billion in the current financial year.

The draft budget policy statement shows the recurrent expenditure will be KES 81.7 billion more than the previous administration budgeted. Ruto, who won a closely contested election, faces a narrow fiscal space to implement his policies.


NOCK to sign MoU with France ahead of Paris 2024 Olympics

National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK) will send a delegation, led by NOCK President Paul Tergat, to Miramas City in France to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Kenya’s preparations for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The MoU, which includes coaches’ training, technical support, and infrastructure development, will be signed with organizations including the South of France and the Miramas Athletics Club.

The goal of the partnership is to help individual athletes and teams prepare for the 2024 Olympics, with the hope that local clubs in the South of France will make their facilities and professionals available to Team Kenya.

The agreement will take place on the sidelines of the World Athletics Indoor Meeting in Stadium Miramas Métropole.

The first batch of athletes is expected to arrive in the coming month if the MoU goes through.

Eyes on London Marathon

The 2023 London Marathon will feature an unprecedented women’s field, according to event director Hugh Brasher. Olympic champion Peris Jepchirchir, world marathon record holder Brigid Kosgei, and reigning Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m champion Sifan Hassan are among the runners set to compete.

Reigning champion Yalemzerf Yehualaw of Ethiopia will be looking to retain her title, while the world 1,500m record holder Genzebe Dibaba, the 2016 Olympic 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana, and the reigning Berlin Marathon champion Tigist Assefa will also be present.

British runner Eilish Mcolgan, the reigning 10,000m Commonwealth Games champion, will be making her debut, along with national record holders from the USA, Australia, and Canada.


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