Press Review; Top news at a glance

Today is Tuesday, November 22. The World Cup gets into day three and back home, the debate on GMOs is gathering storm.  Here is what is making headlines.

GMO debacle; Parliament to debate imports today

The National Assembly will this afternoon her a petition seeking to stop the planned importation of 10 million bags of genetically modified maize.

MPs will interrupt normal business to debate following the announcement by Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria to import duty-free grains over the next six months.

Pokot South MP David Pkosing has petitioned Speaker Moses Wetang’ula to halt normal business and hold a debate on the controversial announcement.

The move by the Kenya Kwanza administration to import GMO maize has divided the country despite a scathing drought affecting four million Kenyans.

Already, the announcement has pitted President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga on opposing sides of the GMO debate, despite the fact that both have ardently championed their adoption and use as Cabinet members in the Grand Coalition Government.

Odinga has now encouraged Parliament and Kenyans to reject Ruto’s proposal to overturn a 10-year prohibition on GMOs in animal feeds, as well as their cultivation in the country.

Ship with 10,000 tonnes of maize imports docks in Mombasa today

A ship carrying 10,000 tonnes of imported maize will dock in Mombasa today, November 22, just days after the government announced the opening of a duty-free window for the product.

The shipment has arrived in the country even before an official gazette notice for imports has been issued. According to the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), the shipment is onboard an African Merlin vessel. However, it does not specify where the maize comes from, who imports it, or if it is genetically modified or not.

Trade Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, who made the announcement last week, said Wednesday that the gazette notice will be published this week. He stated that dealers will be permitted to import genetically modified maize as well as normal grain.

The previous duty-free import window, which opened in June, expired on November 1. However, because of the current high international pricing, millers and brokers were unable to ship the product.

The government has stated that it will allow the importation of 10 million bags of flour over the next six months in order to address the current shortfall, which has kept the price of flour at an all-time high.

City Hall at standstill as court halts vetting of 10 CEC nominees

Governor Johnson Sakaja told the court on Monday, that operations at the City Hall have been severely paralysed by a court order stopping the vetting of 10 nominees of the County Executive Committee as he disputed the purported exclusion of some minority groups.

Governor Sakaja, through his lawyer Duncan Okatch, told Judge Anne Mwaure that the orders have severely hampered the intended vetting process because the former CECs are unable to do any jobs at the county government, therefore killing the business.

Okatch informed the Employment and Labour Relations Court judge that the activities are hampered since the governor lacks his own executive committee, pleading with the court to release the injunction.

Following a lawsuit brought by the Association of Muslim Lawyers and the Nubian Rights Forum, the interim orders were given on November 8.

The lobby organisations went to court, claiming that they were not represented because no one from the Islam group was chosen, despite the fact that they provide 30% of Nairobi City County’s GDP.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, November 24, the Employment and Labour Relations Court in Nakuru will decide the fate of Governor Susan Kihika’s 21 nominations for County Executive Committee positions.

Justice David Nderitu will decide whether his court has jurisdiction to hear and decide the case challenging their appointment.


World Cup; Netherlands strike late for 2-0 win over Senegal

On Monday, Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaasen scored late goals to earn the Netherlands a 2-0 World Cup victory over Senegal.

Gakpo leaped to head in Frenkie de Jong’s cross in the 84th minute, the Dutch team’s first shot on goal in the Group A game at Al Thumama Stadium. Klaasen got a second at the conclusion of eight minutes of stoppage time, slipping in after Edouard Mendy only barely blocked a Memphis Depay attempt.

That was also down to Netherlands goalkeeper Andries Noppert, who produced three great saves in his maiden appearance for the national team.

Despite their early domination, Senegal were unable to capitalise on their opportunities, as Netherlands debutant goalkeeper Andries Noppert made three good saves.

Senegal is now third in Group B on goal difference and will play Qatar in a must-win fixture on Friday, November 25.

Saka scores a brace as England hit six past Iran

England’s Fifa World Cup campaign began with a resounding victory over Iran in an action-packed contest in Doha.

Gareth Southgate’s side cruised to victory, with Iran’s bleak situation exacerbated by the early loss of goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand to concussion following a collision with teammate Majid Hosseini.

England kicked off their World Cup campaign with a soaring header from Luke Shaw’s cross 10 minutes before halftime, and the game was wrapped up before halftime thanks to Bukayo Saka’s fine strike and Raheem Sterling’s classy volley with the outside of his foot from Harry Kane’s cross.

Saka added a second before Iran fans were treated to a real treat when Mehdi Taremi scored after 65 minutes – but England substitute Marcus Rashford then netted another smooth, composed strike with his first involvement.

To cap off an utterly dominant performance, Jack Grealish tucked home from close range following a terrific run and pull back by Callum Wilson.

Iran did pull one back in injury time when Taremi converted a penalty after a foul by John Stones.

The United States and Wales played to a 1-1 draw in the other Group B match.

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