Press Review: Today’s top stories at glance

Today is Friday, February 17, 2023.

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

Here is a quick look at what is making headlines.

Drought: Six million people face starvation in 32 counties 

The prolonged drought has severely impacted the country’s food security situation, with an estimated six million people across 32 counties affected.

Arid and Semi-Arid (ASAL) counties have been hit the hardest, with the population facing acute food insecurity rising to 4.4 million from 3.5 million people identified in July 2022, according to the latest report by the Ministry of East African Community, Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASALs) and Regional Development.

“Over 970,000 children aged 6 to 59 months and 142,000 pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are currently malnourished compared to 884,000 reported in July 2022. These women and children are in urgent need of life-saving treatment for malnutrition,” reads the report.

Women in Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Isiolo, Garissa, Baringo, and Samburu are the worst affected, with critical malnutrition levels.

The continued multi-sector response to mitigate the situation remains a priority, as the situation is likely to worsen during the projected period between March and June 2023, with Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa counties likely to slide into Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

The report has identified drought response priority areas for closer surveillance and additional support in various sectors, costing an estimated KES 15.35 billion.

The interventions include enhanced food assistance and cash transfers, health and nutrition interventions, sustained support for water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), livestock feeding and off-take, further extension of veterinary services, school feeding programs, support for peace and security initiatives, and drought recovery support to the agriculture sector.

Nearly half a million schoolchildren yet to report to school for three weeks after school resumed

As the government’s 100 percent transition policy enters its fourth year, there are concerns that nearly half a million children have not reported to school.

Around 300,000 Grade Seven students and 186,000 who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) are yet to be accounted for, according to Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

Machogu raised concerns that some parents and teachers may have colluded to transfer students to sit for the KCPE exam, rather than transitioning to junior secondary schools, as required under the 100 percent transition policy.

However, Machogu and Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang have stated their confidence that these missing students will be accounted for by the National Education Management Information System.

To encourage more enrolment in secondary schools, the government has extended the admission of learners into Form One.

Arrest of MP Pkosing sparks protests 

The arrest of Pokot South MP David Pkosing by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters in Nairobi on Thursday caused protests by constituents in Makutano town in West Pokot County.

According to his aide and Pokot South office manager Geoffrey Achokor, the MP was arrested on Thursday evening, following allegations of making inciting remarks. However, reports suggest that he is being probed for claims of funding banditry in the region.

The residents of Pokot South have demanded Pkosing’s immediate and unconditional release, saying that the arrest of elected leaders would not address insecurity in the conflict-prone region. They urged the government to engage local leaders through meaningful dialogue to find solutions to the causes of insecurity instead of making arrests.

The MP was accompanied by several leaders from the region, including MPs and a senator, to the DCI headquarters for interrogation. The arrest comes days after the government announced a crackdown on bandits terrorizing parts of North rift.

IEBC owed KES 403M in accrued legal fees

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has published a list of individuals who owe the commission KES 403 million in accrued legal fees.

Despite the commission’s efforts, it has been unsuccessful in recovering the funds from those who lost election petitions.

Among those named are former Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti, Dadaab MP Farah Maalim, Kitui Governor Julius Malombe, Migori Governor Ochillo Ayako, former Lamu Governor Issa Timamy, and former Education CAS Hassan Noor.

IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein has asked for a legal opinion from Attorney General Justin Muturi to help overcome challenges that have hindered the recovery process. The bulk of the fees, which date back to the 2017 election petition filed at the High Court, has not been recovered.

“The judgment debtors are afforded an opportunity in court to be heard, hence delaying the process,” Hussein said.

In some cases, the electoral agency has pointed out that law firms have shown laxity in recovering costs, which has delayed the process further.

The commission has, since 2013, managed to retrieve KES 6.7 million from 12 cases they have won.

Raila outlines pushback against Ruto’s administration

Raila Odinga, leader of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition, has announced a plan to resist the administration of President William Ruto.

Raila cited multiple reasons for the coalition’s pushback, including what he called a war against multiparty democracy, the deterioration of living conditions, an education crisis, non-adherence to the rule of law and constitutionalism, a compromised justice system, and the unilateral constitution of the electoral body.

“There is an all-out push by the Kenya Kwanza regime to kill other parties, buy and co-opt members of Parliament into its ranks and intimidate and bully all those that resist the administration’s illegal, unconstitutional, and anti-democratic maneuvers,” Raila said.

He also noted that the assault on democracy is being financed by taxpayers’ money, which he said should be used for life-and-death matters like hunger and education.

Raila criticized the government’s focus on the politics of survival and revenge, which he says is causing continued deterioration of living conditions.

Jubilee’s Jeremiah Kioni thanked the judiciary for its intervention after the coalition obtained court orders against the Registrar of Political Parties Office nod to the hostile takeover of the party by “rebels”.

Kioni accused those attempting to hijack and destroy the party of using subsidy funds to buy political support and destabilise parties, including Jubilee.


Omanyala targets 100M World Title after breaking national record

Ferdinand Omanyala, the Commonwealth Games 100 metres champion, has set his sights on the world title this year after breaking his own national record twice at the World Athletics Indoor in France.

Omanyala won three events and finished second in another, including beating the Olympic 100m and World Indoor 60m champion Marcell Jacobs from Italy.

He said, “The world champion in Budapest will be Kenyan this year.” Omanyala equated his winning times indoors to 9.60 in 100m outdoors.

He has a busy outdoor season before his appearance in Budapest, including six Diamond League races, two World Athletics Continental Tour events, and two Athletics Kenya Track and Field Meetings. Omanyala also hopes to bag the African Games crown in Ghana in August.

Rashford shines as Manchester United draw 2-2 with Barcelona

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford put in a sensational display in Thursday’s Europa League play-off against Barcelona, scoring one and assisting another in a pulsating 2-2 draw at the Nou Camp.

United manager Erik ten Hag hailed Rashford’s impact on the game, while former United midfielder Paul Scholes called him “virtually unplayable at the moment”.

Rashford’s goal took his total for the season to 22, matching his previous best, while he has scored 14 in his last 16 games. Despite Barcelona’s efforts to contain him, Rashford’s pace and directness caused constant problems for the Spanish giants.

Rashford felt United should have had a free-kick or even a red card for Jules Kounde’s challenge on him.


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