Press Reviews: Today’s top stories
Welcome to the press review, where we bring you the top stories of the day from various sources.
Whether you are interested in news, politics, business or sports, we have something for you. Read on and find out what’s happening.
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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection pannel received over 920 applications from aspiring candidates who sought to fill the vacant posts in the electoral body.
The deadline for the submission of applications was on March 28, and of the total number, 25 candidates applied for the position of IEBC Chairperson while 895 applied for the six commissioner posts.
IEBC selection panel Chairperson Nelson Makanda said the high number of applications indicates public confidence in the reconstitution process of the electoral body.
Despite the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition’s calls to halt the exercise, the selection panel announced that they would proceed with the recruitment process.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has set the reconstitution of the IEBC as one of his demands before calling an end to mass action.
However, Makanda emphasized the need to appoint commissioners despite the current political contestation. “We are faithful to the task,” he added.
The recruitment process follows the expiry of former IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati’s and commissioners Abdi Guliye’s and Boya Molu’s tenure. Commissioner Irene Masit’s appointment was also terminated following a recommendation by a tribunal constituted to probe her conduct during the August polls.
President William Ruto’s 50 Chief Administrative Secretaries (CAS) will remain out of office until a court decision is reached on whether to lift interim orders that blocked them from assuming office.
Justice Hedwig Ong’udi declined requests by the CASs to set aside the temporary orders issued last week, following twin petitions by the Law Society of Kenya and activists challenging Ruto’s appointment of 50 CASs, instead of the 23 recommended by the Public Service Commission.
The legal dispute revolves around the authority of the High Court to hear and determine the lawsuits and whether the court will allow LSK and Katiba Institute to amend their petition.
A lawyer is fighting to keep her job at Kituo cha Sheria, a civil society group, after being fired for allegedly sexually harassing a male employee.
The woman, who has not been named for legal reasons, reportedly referred to the man as “baby boy” and “boy lollipop” without his consent.
She has sued the group for unfair dismissal, and a court will decide whether the use of the nicknames constituted sexual harassment.
The case will also examine whether the woman was lawfully dismissed and whether her rights were violated.
Raila blames Ruto for chaos during anti-government demonstrations
Opposition chief Raila Odinga and other Azimio leaders have blamed President William Ruto for the chaos that erupted during anti-government demonstrations on Monday.
Raila claimed that President Ruto had given clear instructions on how to deal with Azimio leaders and supporters during the demonstrations before jetting out of the country on a four-day tour of Europe.
Raila further condemned the police for their handling of the peaceful protesters, accusing the police of provoking them. He also accused the President and his deputy of starting a class war that would hurt the economy of the country.
He said no law allowed the Executive to order Kenyans to invade other people’s land and businesses in the name of quelling legitimate, peaceful, and constitutional protests.
In scenes that shocked the country, goons armed with crude weapons spent the better part of the day inside the Northlands farm, felling trees, lighting fires, and stealing livestock. Raila accused senior government officials of being behind the invasion and said they should be held accountable. Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua faulted the police boss over the farm invasion.
Ruto’s government defends itself amidst chaos and violence
President William Ruto’s government has faced criticism after violent incidents took place on Monday.
The former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s farm was invaded by intruders, and Raila Odinga’s Spectre firm was pelted with stones.
However, the government defended itself in a press briefing, accusing the opposition party, Azimio La Umoja, of refusing to concede defeat in the elections.
ICT CS Eliud Owalo stated that the protests were not informed by the concern about the cost of living, but rather, were influenced by a section of the political class who were still not convinced that they were out of government.
Owalo urged the opposition party to wait until the next election and not engage in violent protests, adding that the government would protect the lives and properties of Kenyans.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, has directed authorities to investigate allegations of offenses committed during recent demonstrations on 20th and 27th March 2023.
The alleged offenses include loss of lives, acts of violence, destruction of property, arson, stealing, and more. Haji has ordered the relevant authorities to investigate all persons responsible for planning, inciting, instigating, and/or financing the commission of any offense and submit the investigation file within fourteen (14) days.
While some suspects have already been charged in court, those responsible for planning and inciting violence have not been investigated.
Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome has condemned the violence that occurred during the Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya Alliance protests on Monday.
The protests resulted in the destruction of property, injuries to 23 police officers, and the loss of three lives. The police are investigating those responsible for the damage caused during the protests.
Koome also urged the public to adhere to the rule of law when exercising their constitutional rights to picket, petition, or demonstrate.
He reassured the public that the police service remains committed to maintaining law and order, protecting life and property, and fostering good police-community relations.
Former KPA MD Daniel Manduku and co-accused face KES 1.4B graft case
Former KPA Managing Director, Daniel Manduku, and his co-accused, Juma Fadhili Chigulu, are to face a KES 1.4 billion graft case after an adjournment for illness.
The Anti-Corruption Court directed that the case will proceed on April 4 without further delay. Manduku and Chigulu are accused of causing the state to lose KES 1.4 billion through misuse of public office through the violation of procurement processes.
The prosecution claims that the project to manufacture concrete barriers was not within the KPA’s approved budget for the 2018-19 financial year and had not been planned for by the ports authority.
The trial will hear from 41 witnesses and will provide evidence that the defendants disregarded procurement law and regulations.
Former Director-General of the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (KESpra), Pavel Oimeke, has been sentenced to three years in jail or a fine of KES1 million after being found guilty of receiving a KES 200,000 bribe to reopen a shuttered petrol station.
Anti-Corruption Court senior principal magistrate Peter Ooko convicted and sentenced Oimeke over the graft charges, stating that he had betrayed the trust bestowed upon him as a civil servant.
The court heard that Oimeke had requested a KES 500,000 bribe via the Signal message app. Anti-corruption officials arrested him after he received the money at his office in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officer, Mike Mbuvi, produced the money seized as exhibits in court. In mitigation, Oimeke pleaded for mercy, saying he regrets the offense and is remorseful.
The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) has collected KES 5.8 billion from 16 betting firms since mid-November 2022, after integrating its systems with those of the firms in line with a directive issued in October 2022.
The integration, which was done in batches of taxpayers in two phases, aimed to increase transparency and accountability in the betting and gaming industry while ensuring that the government collects its fair share of taxes.
The introduction of real-time or near real-time tax remittance is also expected to improve tax compliance among betting and gaming companies.
Harambee Stars made a comeback to international football with a friendly match against Iran after a two-year absence.
Harambee Stars lost the match 2-1 to Iran, with captain Michael Olunga scoring the first goal for his team.
Despite the loss, Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat remained positive about his team’s performance and praised the cameo performances of new players.
Harambee Stars are out of competitive football for the next eight months and are looking forward to the 2024 Africa Nations Championship as their next tournament.