President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday held discussions with High Highness the Aga Khan, which touched on many issues, including his investments that include the Nation Media Group (NMG). All eyes were on the meeting following reports the Aga Khan wants to dispose off his shareholding in the media house to the President but which NMG acting CEO Stephen Gitagama dispelled at a staff meeting early this week.
However, this has not stopped the speculation with reports indicating NMG may shed off its broadcasting which consisting on NTV, NTV Uganda and Spark TV, also in Uganda as well as KFM radio in Uganda.
The fact that they discussed the media is being seen as a strong indication of the President’s interest in having a stake in NMG. He has been offloading most of his shares in Mediamax Network in the hope of getting a piece of the region’s largest media house.
But it could also have dwelt on relations between the government and the media, which has turned frosty in recent times. NTV was among four stations shut on January 10 for defying an order not to air live the mock installation of NASA leader Raila Odinga as the People’s President. Several journalists have also been offloaded based on their independence.
A communique released by State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu generally stated that the two leaders touched on various sectors of engagement and investment by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Kenya including media, economic, tourism, cultural, health and e*******n sectors.
The visit by the Aga Khan, who is in the country from his Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, also comes at a time there are reports Diamond Trust Bank, which is owned by AKDN, is leading the race to acquired Imperial Bank (In Receivership). However, Central Bank of Kenya Governor Patrick Njoroge on Thursday told MPs they had received promising bids from two lenders but had gone back to them for better deals.
Here is Esipisu’s communique in full:
COMMUNIQUE ON THE OFFICIAL VISIT TO KENYA BY HIS HIGHNESS THE AGA KHAN – HEREDITARY IMAM OF THE SHIA IMAMI ISMAILI MUSLIMS DURING HIS DIAMOND JUBILEE
13TH APRIL, 2018
1. Today, H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta, President and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya, held talks with His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary and current Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims, in State House, Nairobi.
2. His Highness the Agha Khan is in Kenya from 12th to 14th April 2018 to commemorate his Diamond Jubilee. President Kenyatta congratulated His Highness the Agha Khan on this diamond Jubilee celebration, wishing him and the Ismailia community the very best wishes.
3. The Ismaili community has, and continues to be, a part of the Kenyan history with investments and development to Kenya spanning over 100 years. Under the leadership of His Highness the Agha Khan, a number of institutions have been established that have made significant contribution to Kenyan development, and achievement of Kenya abroad.
4. In this regard, today’s discussion touched on various sectors of engagement and investment by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Kenya including Media, Economic, Tourism, Cultural, Health, E*******n sectors.
5. The President commended the commitment of His Highness the Aga Khan to strengthening Kenya’s higher e*******n system, including through the major investment in the expansion the Aga Khan University campus in Nairobi.
6. The discussion also focused on the Governments’ Big Four priorities and shared objectives in this regard. They agreed that the AKDN will continue to contribute towards addressing current national development priorities.
7. They also discussed enhancing the quality of life of Nairobi residents by increasing the green spaces in the city through a project to restore Nairobi City Park to its original glory as the “Green Jewel of Nairobi” as quickly as the enabling conditions and instruments to conclude this partnership can be achieved.
8. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the achievements of the visit by His Highness the Aga Khan to Kenya to commemorate the diamond Jubilee (60) years and agreed to work on the modalities for concluding outstanding issues.
SECRETARY COMMUNICATION AND STATE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON
MANOAH ESIPISU (MBS)
NAIROBI, ON 13TH APRIL 2018.