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

Welcome to the press review, where we bring you the day’s top news from a variety of sources.

We have something for everyone, whether you are interested in news, politics, commerce, or sports. Continue reading to find out what’s going on.

Catch up with more at https://epaper.nation.africa/ke

KNEC accused of instigating cheating in 2022 KCSE, MPs reveal

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has been accused of selling its own exams, according to the National Assembly Committee on Education.

The committee’s preliminary findings revealed that KNEC was responsible for the majority of the cheating in the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

Despite Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu’s claims that there was no cheating in January, the committee found otherwise.

The Kenya Union of Post Primary School Teachers (KUPPET) Machakos branch also submitted a report claiming that both the Ministry of Education and KNEC failed to deliver a credible examination.

The committee is probing the extent of cheating in the national exams, with an aim of finding solutions to end the porous nature of testing. The report by the committee is expected to be tabled in parliament in two months.

Garissa University attack convicts to get ruling on their appeal today

Three convicts involved in the 2015 terror attack on Garissa University, which claimed 148 lives, will know the fate of their appeal today.

Hassan Edin Hassan and Mohammed Abdi Abikar were each sentenced to 41 years in prison, while Rashid Mberesero, a Tanzanian national, received a life sentence before taking his own life in 2020.

The three had appealed for their sentences to be reduced or quashed altogether.

However, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions argued that their conviction and sentence were justified in light of their role in the attack.

Ruto’s administration takes eight loans in four months

Kenya Kwanza administration has contracted eight new loans totaling KES 43.4 billion between September and December last year. According to the Treasury, the loans will be repaid between 2030 and 2047.

The government aims to use concessional loans to retire short-term expensive loans, which have worsened Kenya’s cost of servicing debt.

The loans will fund projects such as water supply, food and nutrition security, maternal health, informal sector improvements, and small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The Public Finance Management Act requires the Treasury to update Parliament on all loans contracted by the national government every quarter.

HELB receives sufficient funds, says Ruto

President William Ruto has addressed concerns over a shortage of funds at the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), stating that the board has received adequate funding to lend to students nationwide.

The statement follows recent reports that HELB had run out of funds to sponsor 140,000 students in public universities and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges.

HELB has allocated KES 14.8 billion this financial year to finance students based on their economic backgrounds. Despite the financing deficit and hiring freeze, HELB collects around KES 400 million monthly from former loan beneficiaries.

Ruto also pledged to hire 2,000 teachers for TVET colleges during his three-day tour of Kisii, Nyamira, and Migori counties.

Legal battle looms as lawmakers say BRT not value for money

MPs have voiced concerns over the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project in Nairobi, which has not offered value for money.

The two Chinese firms contracted to build the 27.4-kilometre Ruiru-Nairobi Central Business District-Kenyatta National Hospital BRT have been criticized for delays and cost overruns.

Namata, the organization overseeing the construction, has already paid out over KES 951.8 million in advance payment, with the government expected to pay a further KES 1.97 billion for work completed so far.

The project, which was supposed to be completed in 18 months, is currently 55% complete and is set to cost the government KES 5.58 billion in total.

MPs have threatened to withhold further funding for the project unless Namata can convince them of its value.

Italian Space program brings sleaze to the coast

The coastal town of Malindi has become the base for Italian scientists working on their space program.

They named three oil rig platforms San Marco, Santa Rita, and Santa Rita I, and hoped to launch Italy’s first satellite from Malindi, which was strategically located on the equator.

However, in the process, the town became a hub for sleaze, drugs, and sex, with the Mafia and drug dealers infiltrating Malindi’s casinos and club scenes.

Ordinary and wealthy Italians alike made Malindi their second home, buying plots, properties, and establishing networks. Silvio Berlusconi, one of the most controversial Italian Prime Ministers, even has a home in the town.

Although the space program ultimately failed, the town’s Italian investors, playboys, and tourists continued to flock to the African Riviera.

Ruto brings in fresh blood to revamp government operations

Former Solicitor General Kennedy Ogeto has been appointed as President William Ruto’s Legal Affairs Advisor, alongside Agnes Odhiambo as Head of Government Delivery Services and Kanza Nzai Munyika as Political Affairs Advisor.

The appointments were made as part of Ruto’s efforts to strengthen governance and delivery functions within his office. Ogeto previously served as Solicitor General under President Uhuru Kenyatta, while Odhiambo was the former Controller of Budget.

The appointments were made hours after 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CASs) took an oath of office, with the aim of promoting accountability, transparency, productivity, and openness in the management of public affairs.

Raila accuse DP Gachagua of planning to disrupt next week’s protests

Raila Odinga, the leader of Azimio, has accused Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua of planning to disrupt their upcoming protests with violent attacks.

Raila alleged that Gachagua had hosted a meeting with MPs Kimani Ichung’wah and Ndindi Nyoro at his Karen residence to plan how to disrupt the demonstrations.

Raila claims that the objective of the plan is to cause bloodshed and build evidence against him at the International Criminal Court.

The former prime minister has condemned the alleged plot, terming it a nefarious criminal act, and has reiterated that their planned protests will be peaceful and without bloodshed.

Gachagua, Ichung’wah, and Nyoro have yet to respond to the allegations. Raila maintained that his aim is to seek electoral justice through the street demonstrations.

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