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Merali, who was ranked as the 48th richest man in Africa according to Forbes in 2015, died in Nairobi.
Businessman Naushad Merali is dead.
He was 70 years old.
Merali, who was ranked as the 48th richest man in Africa according to Forbes in 2015, died in Nairobi. His wealth at the time of the ranking was estimated to be about $370 million.
He was the founder of Kencell (now Airtel) and the chairman of the Sameer Group.
A statement by the Shia Ithna Ashri Jamaat secretariat said the burial will be held on Saturday, July 3.
“It is the family’s request that Covid protocols be adhered to firmly hence, only immediate members of the family and those assisting with the burial proceedings to attend. The family thanks you for honouring this request,” it said.
The secretariat said details of a memorial for the wider community and friends will be circulated in due course.
The Sameer Group is a conglomerate in Kenya – with a regional presence in East Africa – with interests in agriculture and agribusiness, trading and commerce, construction and engineering, commercial and leasing, EPZs, energy and real estate.
The two lovers who masterminded the kidnapping of Hafsa from her shop, managed to siphon a total of Sh650,000 from the victim’s bank accounts while she was in captivity.
The Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) detectives have arrested the main suspects behind the kidnapping and torture of Hafsa Mohamed Lukman, the Kamukunji based businesswoman who was kidnapped on June 15, 20121.
According to DCI, undercover teams from the revered Crime Research and Intelligence Bureau, at the crack of dawn Sunday morning, backed up by their Special Service Unit counterparts, picked Jackson Njogu, 24 and Hafsa Abdi, 21, as they slept at Crystal view lodge in the chilly Kinangop area.
” The two lovers who masterminded the kidnapping of Hafsa from her shop, managed to siphon a total of Sh650,000 from the victim’s bank accounts while she was in captivity. They then escaped to Kinangop and purchased a bar, which they were operating.” Said the DCI
Hafsa was found by detectives last Sunday, at a dingy room in Matopeni area in Kayole, where she had been forced to stay inside an empty water tank.
The two kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Sh5 million in order to set Hafsa free.
“However, when the ransom wasn’t delivered, they opted to flee from our detectives who were closing in on them. This morning was not their lucky day though. They were smoked out of room number 8 at Crystal view lodge, where they had imagined that our hawk-eyed detectives would never find them. DCI detectives shall spare no efforts in ensuring that every kidnapper who takes hostage innocent victims leaving their families in anguish, is arrested and made to account for their actions.” Added the DCI
A three-judge bench of the High Court sitting in Nairobi on Thursday upheld the ascension of Anne Kananu to the position of Nairobi Governor saying she was vetted in line with requisite provisions.
Kananu who was vetted, approved and sworn in within a day had be restrained from taking up the position of Governor left vacant following the impeachment of Mike Sonko.
Her approval on January 15 effectively stalled a by-election to replace Sonko which had been slated for February 18.
Justices Said Chitembwe, Weldon Korir and Wilfrida Okwany said Members of the County Assembly followed due process while considering Kananu who had initially been nominated by Sonko as his deputy before a legal dispute slowed the vetting process.
“It is our finding that the nomination, vetting, approval and swearing-in of Anne Kananu as the Deputy Governor was constitutional, and complied with applicable laws,” said Lady Justice Okwany.
“We therefore find no error in the action of the Nairobi County Assembly to conclude the process of vetting Anne Kananu Mwenda after the impeachment of Mike Sonko,” the ruling further read.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s camp has started to suffer political blows after some of his staunch loyalists from his Central backyard joined DP William Ruto’s hustler nation.
The surprise switch of at least eight politicians to Tangatanga could firm up Ruto’s bid to turn the tables on Uhuru in Mt Kenya ahead of the 2022 polls.
The haemorrhage could as well puncture a move by President Uhuru and his handshake partner Raila Odinga to field a joint presidential candidate against Ruto.
Although shoved away from the ruling Jubilee Party as well as the centre of state power despite being the second in command, the DP is proving a hard nut to crack for the duo.
Exposing the President’s dwindling fortunes in his backyard, the DP yesterday bagged Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba.
The DP also on Wednesday received Nakuru Town East David Gikaria.
The unveiling of the duo came days after Ruto welcomed back Githunguri MP Gabriel Kago last Friday.
On Monday, the DP welcomed Subukia MP Samuel Gachobe as the hustler nation turned tables on Uhuru.
Gikaria and Wamuchomba were outright critics of the DP while Kago and Gichobe have been fence-sitters though leaning towards the President.
Wamuchomba’s defection is significant as she is not only the President’s Woman MP but also a heavyweight within the anti-Ruto brigade in Mt Kenya.
Wamuchomba had been one of the DP’s fiercest critics from Central Kenya and a key pillar of the Building Bridges Initiative to amend the Constitution that was halted by court.
Yesterday, Wamuchomba, who chairs the Kenya Women Parliamentarians Association, said the majority of residents of Kiambu support Ruto.
“I am following what our people are telling us. They have affirmed that they support the Deputy President and who am I not to listen to them? They have also rejected the merger of Jubilee and ODM,” she said.
Speaking hours after Ruto received her at his official residence in Karen, Wamuchomba left no doubt that the ground had shifted against Uhuru in Kiambu.
Wamuchomba had signalled her exit from Uhuru’s side after the Juja by-election in which the Jubilee candidate was whitewashed by Ruto-backed aspirant of the People’s Empowerment Party.
This even as it emerged that the desertion could be linked to Central Kenya’s perceived hostile reception of the proposed Jubilee alliance with ODM.
Last Thursday, Jubilee and ODM officials started talks to formalise the handshake pact into a 2022 political agreement to field a joint presidential candidate.
There have been concerns that some of the President’s men have been apprehensive about the proposed alliance, which they claim would vanquish their careers.
Mt Kenya politicians have since 2007 portrayed Raila as a bogeyman who must be stopped from being President and any aspirant associated with him has always been considered an outcast.
The latest defection, which could puncture the ODM-Jubilee alliance talks, comes just two months after Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok revealed that 23 governors had agreed to back Ruto’s presidential bid.
There are also signals that with the fate of the Building Bridges Initiative process uncertain, politicians have kicked off realignments ahead of next year’s general election.
In a clear indication that the President’s turf is imploding, Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, another fierce Ruto critic, termed Wamuchomba’s defection a major blow to Uhuru.
In Wamuchomba’s absence, Ngunjiri remains the only leading light in the anti-Ruto camp.
In his social media post, the founder of the anti-Ruto’s Kieleweke faction, said more heavyweights were on their way to Ruto camp.
“As things stand, I will not be surprised if we lose another one or two more valuable players. We have some heavy lifting ahead to fix our party and not everyone will want to do it,” he said.
Ngunjiri suggested that Jubilee needs to urgently put its house in order before it is reduced into a shell ahead of next year’s polls.
“For those of us who still believe in Jubilee, this is a lesson and a warning. Let’s focus on what is important as we fix the party. Then we shall stop the loss of more valuable players,” he said.
It also emerged that Ruto could be the man of the moment in the coming weeks, with his allies saying at least four other high-profile MPs will dump Uhuru. The undisclosed MPs hail from Nakuru, Laikipia, Murang’a and Nyeri.
In May last year at the height of the campaigns for the now limping BBI, three MPs from Kirinyaga county decamped from the DP’s side to join Uhuru’s bandwagon.
The MPs were Kabinga Wachira (Mwea), MP Robert Gichimu (Gichugu) and John Wambugu (Kirinyaga Central).
However, months later, Gichumu made a U-turn and followed Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata in supporting Ruto State House bid.
In April, while speaking during an interview with a local station, Ruto had said he was in talks with many politicians whom he said were waiting for the right time to cross to his Tangatanga camp.
He said most of the politicians he was in talks with feared publicly embracing him for fear of being victimised by state agencies.
His remarks came after he held talks with former Council of Governors chairman and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot said the defection was just but the beginning of mass exodus from the Jubilee Party. He said the era of using state agencies to force leaders to support certain causes against their will was over.
“We welcome them back to the hustler nation. We expect a stampede in the coming days. State of intimidation sell by date is fast approaching,” he said.
Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua said the move was a clear message to the anti-Ruto brigade that the DP and the hustler movement are popular and strong in Mt Kenya.
He said it is unfortunate that Uhuru and his power brokers used state power and machinery to force his way in state affairs.
“The Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission have been misused for political end games. Now the countdown to the end of this President Uhuru regime has set in. Kenyans are looking forward to August 2022 to vote in a new government of William Ruto,” he said.
“Some of the ills that Kenyans have been subjected to will indeed be reversed and addressed. Let those in the public offices stop being misused to harass innocent Kenyans.”
The outgoing governor said most of the county bosses have been meeting the DP in secret for fear of reprisal from the Jubilee administration that has alienated Ruto.
Most of the governors and senior government officials had avoided being associated or seen near the DP for fear of state intimidation.
The governors mostly from the larger Mt Kenya, Northeastern and Rift Valley were once bold supporters of Ruto until after the handshake between Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga in March 2018.
Many of the DP’s allies in Central Kenya have slowed their activities for fear the President might unleash the state machinery on them and ruin their reelection chances.
Only a few of the DP’s key loyalists from the President’s turf have remained defiant and continued to market Ruto.
The fear of victimisation by state agencies, coupled with what was seen as fast-changing dynamics of the BBI process, had set back the hustler nation in Mt Kenya.
The United Democratic Alliance Party (UDA) party, which is associated with Deputy President William Ruto, now says anyone is free to seek the party’s presidential ticket.
Party secretary-general Veronica Maina says the Presidential ticket is not a preserve of DP Ruto as many would imagine.
According to her, the DP will be subjected to a nomination process like any other person who would wish to be the party’s flagbearer.
“Don’t be surprised to find that there are other presidential candidates who have expressed interests to be the party’s presidential ticket. The Deputy President will, therefore, be open to the processes of the party,” the SG told Citizen TV.
The clarifications came barely two days after the Deputy President said he will use the UDA party to seek Presidency come 2022.
In a rally in West Pokot, the DP said UDA is his new home together with his allies who were kicked out of the ruling Jubilee party positions to an extent of being denied access to the party headquarters in Pangani.
Maina also defended DP Ruto’s association with UDA saying it’s legal based on the pre-coalition agreement they signed up with Jubilee in the build-up to 2017 General Elections.
She said Jubilee’s association with ODM is worse than what the DP’s links to the UDA party.
“The UDA party had a coalition with the Jubilee Party. The agreement is still in existence to date. Even now, the Jubilee party associates itself with the ODM party. What is the difference when the DP associates himself with UDA?” Ms Maina posed.
The DP and his allies are poised for a major exodus from the ruling Jubilee in the near future in a move that will see them strengthen the UDA party ahead of the 2022 General Elections.
Political pundits say the exodus will happen at an opportune time when various parties will be preparing for the 2022 polls.
This comes even as the Jubilee and ODM parties are finalizing their coalition agreement, a move that will see them work together in the forthcoming General Elections.
A football stakeholder on Wednesday petitioned the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT) to indefinitely suspend the second and third-tier football leagues in the country on safety grounds.
In a petition seen by Nation Sport, Francis Ngira Okello, a sports journalist who has covered the local leagues for over a decade, says he is acting in interest of the public.
He further argues that these competitions, officially referred to as the National Super League (NSL) and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Division One respectively, will, in their current form, expose footballers, referees, and coaches to Covid-19.
The NSL and Division One are sponsored by betting firms Betika and BetKing respectively.
The videographer has sued FKF, the Attorney-General, plus the Sports and Health Cabinet Secretaries.
His prayers before the SDT, chaired by John Ohaga, are “to declare as illegal the resumption of the lower leagues” in the country considering the government is yet to officially give a go-ahead for the competitions to commence.
He’s also asked the Tribunal to declared the resumption of these competitions to be in violation of the Covid-19 rules.
Okello has also asked the sports court to arrest and charge FKF president Nick Mwendwa and general-secretary Barry Otieno for violating Covid-19 rules.
This court case comes barely a week after Otieno told Nation Sport players in the lower-tier leagues had neither been tested for Covid-19 nor vaccinated in line with the return of sports regulations released by the Ministry of Sports.
“The cost of testing a player is expensive, and we are appealing to the government to chip in and accelerate the vaccination of all players,” said Otieno.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed also warned last week that the government will not hesitate to shut down sporting activities in the country for the third time in 15 months if there is a spike in positive Covid-19 cases.
She said: “We do not need any spike in Covid-19 infections as a result of sports activities because when there is a spike, we will have to be much more stringent than we are. So everyone should stick to the protocols to make sure that we are not overstepping.”
The matter was certified as urgent.
Someone asked what would happen if that Christian Eriksen ordeal was to be witnessed in our local (Kenyan) leagues – where even stakeholders in the top and lower-tier leagues and competitions pretend to care yet they don’t.
The question reminded me of that famous SoNY Sugar Vs AFC Leopards game in Awendo Stadium on April 14 (2019); The game never kicked off after heavens opened that afternoon, rendering the pitch unplayable.
A decision was then reached and communicated to both sides to have the game replayed the next day at the same venue.
Nothing would, however, happen as planned; AFC Leopards refused to take to the pitch after the usual pre-match inspections established that the ambulance availed by their hosts (in Awendo), did not have the most important equipment to warrant the start of any modern game of soccer, a defibrillator, medical device often used to resuscitate such players as Christian Eriksen.
Instead of awarding them (AFC Leopards) the points to avert the same in the future, AFC Leopards were forced by the then league organizers (KPL) to replay the game on a later date, this was despite the oversight being their hosts’. The local fans on the other hand made fun of Leopards for months over the incident, the seriousness of the matter notwithstanding.
One of the arguments the then Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Independent Disciplinary and Complaints Committee (IDCC) relied on to compel Leopards to regroup for that replay was the fact that SoNY argued; that while there was no defibrillator in the designated match-day ambulance, there was a well-equipped health facility run by the sugar millers close by.
The above left many of us wondering if reliance on such opinions would have saved the likes of Fabrice Muamba, and if at all the word “First Aid” and its practice had changed its meaning or lost its importance in the medical field and sports in general.
Anyway, I just thought of peeling our mask, just to show how much we have “toyed” with health issues over the years, and the fact that even the current COVID-19 crisis’ below-par handling shouldn’t surprise you, especially should it have many ‘supporters’.
We have a rich history of courting disasters!
As Kenya continues to grapple with the surge in COVID-19 cases countrywide, it is normal for one to expect the government through its agencies to step up the demand for the observance of its set health protocols by residents as well as sectors viewed as potential super-spreaders of the virus.
Similarly, it is considered good practice for any organization, as well as its partners operating in these times not to consciously and selfishly countenance illegalities with glaring health risks at such a time in the world.
Is it safe yet to crown what is happening in Kenyan football today as a heartless demand by FKF sponsors for visibility at all costs?
In early May, the Ministry of Sports Culture and Heritage in joint consultation with their counterparts from the Health Ministry allowed the resumption of contact sports. The local football league was among the sports given the green light, but it was on condition that they observed strict containment measures.
I celebrated the news, perhaps more than the competing sides, because as a local fan I had been at the forefront of demanding the resumption of the Kenyan Premier League before the announcement. I was keen on the need to save jobs, safeguarding the right to play, and accord our national team selectors the opportunity to continue monitoring players’ progress ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Most importantly though, I welcomed the news because it came bearing what I had stood for since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, operating under high standards of precautionary measures to ensure we continue keeping a lid on the virus.
G.O.K STRICT GUIDELINES
The Drafters of the resumption of sports guidelines issued on May 12, by the government of Kenya, were specific to a fault, I guess it was meant to avoid any form of confusion later – They only allowed the resumption of Tier One Leagues and national teams preparing for major competitions – According to the FKF Rules and Regulations Governing Football, the “Top Tier League” is defined as the FKF – Premier League or any of its top-most league as defined in the FKF constitution.
The above being the official communique from the central government, through the Ministries of Sports and that of Health, backed up by the legal definition of what was vetoed to resume (the Tier One League) as per the FKF Regulations, prepares the podium from which thorny questions like the one I’m about to ask emanate; Who sanctioned the competitions currently being staged all over the country by the FKF in collaboration with her commercial and broadcast partners; Betking, Odibets, Betika, Startimes, and Betways?
Could this be a case of profits at all costs? Simply put; is the FKF under pressure from her partners above to service contracts regardless of the health risk its competitions pose on players and the Kenyan public in general?
Other than the Betking Premier League (Kenya’s men’s tier-one league), several rounds of the Betika National Super League, The Betking National Div 1, the Odibet grassroots football competitions and the Betway Cup have so far been played – not only have they been staged illegally but also without strict adherence to set national COVID-19 mitigation protocols.
I have issues with the above happenings, considering all attempts at mitigating against the virus, such as testing and securing of venues to manage crowds have been directed towards clubs competing in the FKF – Premier League alone but the grassroots – The above exercise (testing and inoculation of players and staff), counts for nothing for as long as it is not conducted as regularly as prescribed FIFA and experts, as well as if Tusker can still play against Equity, Gor against Mara FC, and AFC Leopards against Bungoma Superstars, all non-FKF-Premier League clubs.
FKF – PL COVID TESTING
It, therefore, suffices to say that there are no efforts by the football organizers in Kenya to help complement the government and its medical expert’s efforts to detect, contact-trace and treat cases of the corona disease amongst its competing teams – Is because since the resumption of the top tier league in Mid May, FKF Premier League players and the various support staff have only been tested for COVID-19 once – while match officials have never been part of the past two exercises since the league started- All these are despite the world soccer governing body (FIFA) clearly stating in its guidelines on resumption of football; that human physical and mental health is of great importance.
FIFA says, and I quote; “…Football should only occur at a time when all health, social and economic benefits exceed the risks of COVID-19 while maximizing the safety of athletes, staff, supporters and the wider society.”
It is of paramount importance to learn that FIFA considers footballing activities as secondary to the health of every individual globally and that that is what should underpin any decisions made concerning resuming the game of soccer anywhere in the world – But back in Kenya, the air of recklessness and permissiveness hangs precariously. The league organizers allow far too many unauthorized persons in and around the match venues. A good example is the Gor Mahia Vs Wazito FKF-PL match played at the Utalii Grounds before the mini-break that ushered in the illegal Betway Cup competitions.
In the above match, Kariobangi Sharks players (The President’s team) were in attendance throughout the 90-minutes, a move none of the other league competitors can pull, for they’d be turned away citing set “health protocols” as a reason for barring them from ‘studying’ their future opponents.
As though that was not enough, the FKF president, the Secretary-General, and their entourage at the Gor Mahia Vs Wazito match proved, through their actions, that they care less about inspiring the COVID-19 mitigation efforts, despite their stature in the local game’s management. He (Nick Mwendwa) was spotted throughout the match neither wearing a mask nor observing social distancing to help prevent possible chances of person-to-person contact and transmission, they sat freely and in close proximity of each other, contrary to the issued health protocols.
It is unfair of the Government and the national football federation to demand of its citizens and fans observance of rule of law, which they are violating with great abandon.
Now that this has been running for a while, since the resumption of contact sports, but nobody from the government has intervened to see it stopped, on whose “Financial Drip” are the concerned Ministry of Sports officials?
Dear BetKing, Betika, Betway, and Odibets, must you be visible despite the health concerns?
Barely two days after a section of former MCAs who served in the first county Assembly of Machakos announced their support for Mutua Katuku, dozens others followed suit Tuesday morning and declared the Maendeleo Chap Chap candidate was the best bet for the Senate seat.
The former county legislators led by Felix Ngui of Katangi Ward were received at Maendeleo Chap Chap party offices in Machakos town by Katuku.
They vowed to lead a vigorous campaign in his favor across the county, prioritising civic education among voters to ensure residents make informed choices in the March 18 mini polls.
“As the pioneers of devolution in Machakos, we have keenly evaluated all the candidates vying for the Senate seat and our honest conclusion is that Katuku is best placed to execute the roles of senator,” said Ngui.
The MCAs said Katuku’s social, academic and political standing placed him at a superior position compared to their candidates.
“Katuku has better experience, education background and even skills to carryout senatorial roles than any other candidate,” he said.
The former MCAs said as the pioneers of devolution in Machakos, they will take the frontline in conducting civic education to the voters to ensure residents make informed choices at the ballot. The first Speaker of the Machakos county Assembly, Bernard Mung’ata who presided over the Assembly termed the MCAs true champions of devolution.
“These are great men and women who understand matters of devolution and we will be commissioning them to take the frontline in educating members of the public about what they deserve,” he said.
He urged voters to ignore propaganda that the role of Senator should be to always contradict the sitting governor.
Katuku vowed to work with the former county legislators and pledged to work for all residents if elected, irrespective of their political affiliations.
Maendeleo Chap Chap candidate in the Machakos senate by election, Mutua Katuku has said his well-established networks locally and internationally will enable him to swiftly lobby for development resources to spur progress in the county.
Katuku, who addressed the faithful at Mwala Catholic Church where he attended a Sunday Mass, said as a former assistant minister for Finance, he gathered wealth of experience in financial lobbying from global development partners which he can now activate to help Machakos.
“When elected to the Senate, I will easily activate my networks which include the World Bank, the African Development Bank (ADB) and other Government agencies to secure more resources for the county’s development,” said Katuku.
He said said the short duration of period remaining before next year’s general election required an experienced leader in the Senate, and one who was capable of working closely with the sitting Governor, Alfred Mutua to accelerate development programs in the county.
He pledged to prioritize some of the infrastructural projects including lobbying for the tarmacking of Mwala-Kangundo road, Kamuthambya- Kikesa-Matuu Road as well as Kivandini-Mbiuni-Katheka road.
“When you compare myself to the rest of my opponents, you will realize that I am the best suited candidate to serve the people of Machakos in the position of Senator,” he said.
He was accompanied by Yatta MP, Charles Kilonzo, former Machakos County MP Susan Musyoka and Makutano MCA, Brian Kisila.
He later addressed a series of political rallies at Mwala town, Kivandini, Mbiuni and Kituneni markets.
His campaign caravan also cruised through Miseleni and Kathama.