Press Review: Today’s top stories at a glance

Today is Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

You can read the Daily Nation e-paper here https://epaper.nation.africa/

Here is a quick look at what is making headlines.

Chebukati threatens to sue Raila over bribery claims, dares him to release proof

The former Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, has threatened to take legal action against former Prime Minister Raila Odinga over allegations of bribery.

Chebukati has taken issue with remarks made by Raila at a rally, claiming that the alleged comments have “an unconstitutional purpose and effect of lowering his dignity and injuring his reputation”.

He has demanded that Raila shares CCTV footage of the alleged event within seven days, or face a lawsuit.

During the rally, Raila claimed that Chebukati and two former IEBC commissioners visited his Karen home just prior to the election and challenged them to explain their purpose for the visit.

Raila claimed to have CCTV footage and threatened to release it if the three continued to “play with people’s minds”. Chebukati has denied the allegations, stating that the claims have caused him serious reputational injury.

Abducted Egerton University student rescued in Ruiru

A student from Egerton University was rescued by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) after being kidnapped for five days.

Daisy Chebet Barno, a fourth-year student, was taken by three men while at lunch with a friend, Faith Mwende, at Kabarak in Nakuru County.

It was later revealed that Mwende had conspired with her boyfriend and accomplices to kidnap Chebet and demand ransom from her family.

Chebet was rescued during a raid on an Airbnb apartment in Ruiru, where the suspects were arrested.

The prime suspect, Simon Akuteka, was found to be a fugitive with several pending car theft cases, while other suspects also had similar cases.

The four suspects are in police custody helping with investigations. “The four are in police custody helping police with investigations before being arraigned,” stated the DCI on Twitter.

Magoha almost resigned twice, Kibicho

Former Education Cabinet Secretary, George Magoha, was reportedly close to resigning from his position at least two times during his three-and-a-half-year term in the Uhuru Kenyatta administration, according to former Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.

Kibicho revealed that one of the incidents involved a dispute over the appointment of Stephen Kiama as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nairobi. The Education Cabinet had revoked the appointment through a gazette notice.

“He [Prof Magoha] once wanted to resign. A decision was made but was later reversed and he felt like he had been thrown under the bus. I had to call Prof Kiama to the office and we had a small chat,” recalled former Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Tuesday.

Another incident was in November 2020, when Magoha received a letter from the Chairperson of the Public Service Commission, Stephen Kirogo, warning him of a misdemeanor and stripping him of some roles within the Education ministry.

Magoha was furious, but also considering resigning.

CBK dispels fears of a shortage of banknotes

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has said that the suspension of local operations by British currency printing firm De La Rue will not affect the supply of banknotes in the country. CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge stated that Kenya’s currency needs are “completely fulfilled.” De La Rue has suspended banknote printing operations in Kenya for the next 12 months due to reduced demand.

The firm employs 300 workers in Kenya and holds a joint venture with the Kenyan government. Despite this, De La Rue said it will continue to explore business opportunities in Kenya, with a view to restarting production “if the economic climate permits.”

The decision to suspend operations came after the UK firm was ordered by the High Court to pay KES 1.1 billion from a long-running tax dispute with the Kenya Revenue Authority.

Uhuru tells off Ruto

Former President Uhuru Kenyatta has responded to recent tax evasion allegations against him by Kenya Kwanza leaders by telling the current administration to stop talking and focus on service delivery.

The former President also made a subtle reference to his successor, President William Ruto, saying that leaders who have nothing to deliver will talk a lot and deliver nothing.

Uhuru who was condoling with the family of ex-Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, praised the late professor as a leader worth emulating, who let his deeds do the talking.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka accused the current administration of victimizing the retired President, a claim that Uhuru did not address directly.

He also criticized the current regime for its views on the competency-based curriculum.

11 GSU officers being probed over Mudavadi’s home burglary

Eleven officers from the Kenyan police’s General Service Unit (GSU) have been questioned regarding a burglary that took place at the home of Prime Cabinet Secretary, Musalia Mudavadi.

The elite Presidential Security guards were made to record statements about the Sunday afternoon incident on Tuesday.

The family home, located in Karen, Nairobi, was empty at the time of the break-in and items stolen include a 40-inch television set and a gas cylinder.

The police are investigating the role of the GSU officers in the incident, as the house is guarded by them 24 hours a day.

A senior police officer stated, “We have recorded the workers’ statements and obtained CCTV footage to assist with the investigations.”

The Lang’ata DCI officers have taken over the investigations, but have refused to comment on the matter.

The reason behind the electric fence not being operational on the day of the break-in is yet to be determined.

High Court upholds increase on excise duty

The High Court dismissed several petitions challenging the Finance Act that increased the excise duty on several products including beer, mobile phones, and SIM cards.

The price of new mobile phones went up by 10 percent and the cost of SIM cards by KES 50 after the act came into effect last July.

Digital lenders had also challenged the act, claiming that it threatened their business with 16 percent VAT on the exportation of taxable services.

However, the court found that the petitioners failed to show how the increase of taxes would inhibit access to services and that the claims were speculative with no evidence.

Nairobi lawyer Mwaura Kabata, who filed the case joined by the Law Society of Kenya, said the Finance Act would cause financial suffering to consumers and manufacturers.

Sports

It’s final touches on Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country

The Sirikwa Classic World Cross Country Tour Gold series is set to take place on Saturday in Lobo Village, Uasin Gishu County.

The event was renamed from the Memorial Agnes Tirop World Athletics Cross Country Gold Tour, which was held in honour of 2015 World Athletics Cross Country Championships winner Agnes Tirop who was murdered in 2021.

Ibrahim Hussein, the chairman of the Local Organising Committee and three-time Boston Marathon champion, said that the course has been improved with the introduction of artificial hills, mud, and logs.

Hussein, who is also the director of the Africa Athletics Development Centre in Nairobi, said that the event will feature music for spectators.

Event CEO Barnaba Korir said Kenya has shown its ability to host international races and aims to improve in the future.

EPL Transfer deadline day, record money spent

The 2022-23 English Premier League season saw a record £2.8bn spent in both the summer and winter transfer windows, according to financial services firm Deloitte.

The January window alone saw a new record of £815m spent, with Chelsea’s €‎121m (£107m) deal for midfielder Enzo Fernandez leading the charge.

Tim Bridge, lead partner in Deloitte’s Sports Business Group, said, “The record spending by Premier League clubs this season is beyond anything that we’ve seen before.”

The Premier League’s spending accounted for 79% of the total across Europe’s “big five” leagues, and Chelsea spent more than the combined total of all clubs in the Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.

On deadline day, Chelsea smashed the British transfer record with Fernandez’s move, while Tottenham signed full-back Pedro Porro from Sporting Lisbon, Arsenal acquired midfielder Jorginho from Chelsea and Manchester United signed Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich.

 

 

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