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KTN journalists arrested as protests rock NASA strongholds

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Hours after the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the 2017 election, incidents of riots, destruction of property and death have been reported across Nyanza and parts of Nairobi.

KTN journalists Duncan Khaemba and Otieno Willis have been taken into police custody, reportedly over the possession of bullet proof gear. The two who were covering Kibra protests Saturday morning have been taken for questioning at Kilimani police station.

A charge sheet is yet to be issued but reports reaching the Standard Digital indicate that the two have been accused of being in possession of unlicensed bullet proof gear. The Standard Group has however confirmed that the gear in question is dully licensed.

Before they were taken into custody, Khaemba and Willis were filing live reports from Kibra where riots broke out after the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta winner of the August 8 General Election.

Hours after the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announced president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta as winner of the 2017 election, incidents of riots, destruction of property and death have been reported across Nyanza and parts of Nairobi. Police have been battling protestors in Kisumu, Mathare and Kibera. It is feared that six people may have died from gunshots wounds on Friday night.

Police in Kisumu, Siaya, Bondo, Homa Bay and Migori are engaging crowds in running battles. Roads have been blocked and businesses burnt down. KTN News reporters on Saturday morning went to Kibera and the reporter could hear gunshots in the air. All major roads in most parts of Nyanza remained impassable with people remaining indoors.

In Kisumu, a doctor said he had seen four bodies with bullet wounds at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital but the County Police Commandant, Titus Yoma denied the report, saying he could only confirm one death- which occurred at Dago, in Maseno.

Shot dead

“We only know of one death,” Mr Yoma told the Standard on Saturday morning. Another death was reported by the Kisumu West Member of the County Assembly, Mr Paul Okiri. Vincent Ochieng’ was shot dead as police tried to contain rowdy youth at Dago market in Kisumu. Family members however said that the 19-year old was returning to their Ulalo home after watching an English Premier League football match when he was shot.

Okiri said there were protests following the presidential declaration and youths had engaged police in running battles throughout the night.

In Siaya, a body of a boda boda rider was discovered this morning near the offices of the Siaya County Women representative, Dr Christine Ombaka and residents say he may have been a victim of battles between the police and the local residents.

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Economy & Politics

Kenyan named World Bank chief for Zimbabwe

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Ms Rosemary Mukami Kariuki (Centre), the new World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe.

The World Bank has appointed a Kenyan as  the new World Bank Country Manager for Zimbabwe. In her new position, Ms Rosemary Mukami Kariuki’s top priorities will be to provide strategic leadership for formulating programs that support the World Bank’s twin goals and maintaining portfolio quality by working with internal and external partners for better results.

“With the support of the Multi-donor funded Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund managed by the Bank, the Government of Zimbabwe is carrying out key reforms that aim to improve the fiscal, monetary and investment environment.  These reforms are intended to help the country achieve the broader goals of poverty reduction and shared prosperity and establish a sound foundation for re-engagement,” said Ms Kariuki.

“Our cooperation also supports the Government’s objective of restoring high levels of productivity through more inclusive, efficient and climate and environment-friendly approaches.”

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The World Bank is currently administering the Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (ZIMREF) that was established in 2014 to strengthen the country’s systems for reconstruction and development. ZIMREF has eight projects that support the business environment, water and sanitation, health, education, public financial management, public procurement, climate change, state owned enterprises and poverty monitoring.

To date, ZIMREF has received financial commitments of US$40.4 million and will run until 2019. The Zimbabwe portfolio also includes the Health Sector Development Project, Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project and the Hwange Sanyati Biological Corridor Project.

Ms. Kariuki joined the World Bank in 1988 as a Research Analyst and has worked in various countries across the globe, including field postings in the Africa Region and East Asia.  Her recent assignments in the Urban Development and Water and Sanitation sectors include Sector Manager, Practice Manager, Global Lead Specialist and Lead Specialist.

She also worked as Sector Leader for Sustainable Development sectors including urban development, energy, mining, agriculture, water and sanitation, transport, environment and social development. (Source: worldbank.org)

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Economy & Politics

IEBC set to file electoral forms with Supreme Court

On its official Twitter handle, the electoral agency said they will file 109 volumes and 54,400 folios of election results declaration forms at 2.30pm Tuesday

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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will submit all election forms to the Supreme Court ahead of the hearing of National Super Alliance (Nasa)’s petition.

On its official Twitter handle, the electoral agency said they will file 109 volumes and 54,400 folios of election results declaration forms at 2.30pm Tuesday.

“We will submit all statutory forms used to declare results this afternoon to the Supreme Court – the forms 34As, 34Bs and 34C,” IEBC said.

The opposition coalition went to the Supreme Court last week to challenge the results of a presidential election which it says was rigged.

Election authorities said President Uhuru Kenyatta won the August 8 election by 1.4 million votes but presidential candidate Raila Odinga said the results are false.

A statement by Nasa gave details of the petition, saying votes for the opposition had been removed from the some of the totals. The statement also accused election officials of faking documentation.

The paper forms, which should have been signed by an agent for each part supervising the polling station, were designed to be an additional check against the possibility of rigging.

The electoral commission had been slow to publish scanned copies of papers detailing results from each of the country’s 40,883 polling stations.

On August 15, the National Super Alliance claimed IEBC planned to falsify presidential results on forms 34B, while Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot has reported anomalies in the results.

Aukot applied on Monday to be enjoined to the case.

NASA’s Musalia Mudavadi claims in a statement that the electoral agency has “failed or refused” to share the forms from returning officers in 290 constituencies to eight presidential candidates and their agents.

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Economy & Politics

In plastic bags ban, Kenyans lose a faithful servant

Juala is a necessary evil in many households, and Kenyans will learn how to live without an item that has made life easier for them for years

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After shopping, most people reuse the plastic bags to store household stuff and many other activities that make life easier.

Time has come for it to die, because of its stubbornness to the environment. Though perceived to be hazardous, it has become the darling of many hence it might not vanish easily. Statistics show that supermarkets and retail outlets produce at least 100 million plastic bags annually. It has become part and parcel of lives of all Kenyans over the years and no one can imagine a life without it.

The polythene carrier bags are set to exit the stage by next month to reduce environmental pollution following a ban by Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu in February this year. However, how  effective the order will be is still uncertain since a similar directive by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) to ban the manufacture and importation of the plastic bags in 2011 fell on deaf ears.

Commonly known as paper bags, the polythene bags are found almost everywhere, be it in cars, offices, at home, in the market, in people’s pockets or even dumpsites. This shows how much it is treasured across all divides of life, from the poor to the rich.

What would life look like without a plastic bag to carry sukuma wiki from that mama mboga? It is one of the many uses plastic bags are known for as Kenyans brace for their exit in a week’s time. Most people who use them for shopping will have to look for alternative ways to carry their goods from the market place and shops.

They will be required to buy reusable bags, a move that will save supermarkets the expenses they have been incurring in providing polythene papers free of charge for shoppers.

The century old product has also been used as a storage bag for most people. After doing shopping, most people reuse the plastic bags to store household stuff. This might still continue, provided they are not used publicly since government officers might not be forced to comb your house for plastic bags, hence you remain safe.

Related: NEMA lifts ban on select paper bags

Plastic bags, being trash in most cases have also been used to collect all kind of trash bearing in mind they are less reactive to chemicals and corrosion, hence can contain any kind of reactive substances. With the eradication of the bags, reusable plastic containers will take their place. They will, however, be missed for their simplicity and mobility to dumpsites.

Also, they have been used as carrier bags. The small scale retailers rarely offer these bags for free; hence you have to buy a new one every time you go shopping in the grassroots.

Children will also not be left out. Who has grown in the rural areas and never made a ball out of plastic bags? In fact, the future generation might be amazed to hear that plastic bags were once used to make balls.

READ: Car owners to be charged for using highways

Lastly is employment. There are over 176 plastic manufacturing companies in the country, which is 3.4% of all the manufacturers combined with an estimated cost value of the sector at Ksh 88 billion. However, they might not become purely extinct, the reduced market will see many lose their daily source of income, both directly and indirectly.

Nema’s decision to exempt certain types of polythene bags under strict guidelines, however, means a continued existence for some.

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