Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer


Uhuru: I will not appoint six rejected judges

From left: Justices George Odunga, Joel Ngugi, Weldon Korir and Aggrey Muchelule.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has no intention to appoint the six judges as ordered by the High Court last week, his court papers indicate.
Mr Kenyatta says the judgment, if implemented, is likely to put his office and that of Chief Justice Martha Koome at a conflict.
As a result, the President wants the Court of Appeal to suspend implementation of the order pending determination of his appeal in which he is arguing that the High Court judgement is unconstitutional.
In the four-page draft memorandum of appeal filed Wednesday, Mr Kenyatta says the orders issued by three-judge bench comprising of Justices George Dulu, James Wakiaga and William Musyoka, are based on foreign precedents.
He says the judgment has the potential effect of creating a conflict between the office of the Chief Justice and the Office of the President.
“The judgment is clearly an attempt to rewrite or otherwise amend the Constitution in a manner not contemplated under Chapter 16 of the Constitution,” says the President through lawyer Waweru Gatonye.
He says the judges made legal blunders by ordering the President to appoint the six nominees within 14 days failure to they will be deemed as duly appointed.
The judges also said that upon lapse of the 14 days, CJ Koome and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) will be at liberty to facilitate the swearing in of the six judicial officers.
But in an attack to the 69-page judgment, Mr Gatonye says the judges erred in law and fact by relying on foreign precedents to arrive at a conclusion that the powers of the President to appoint judges lapsed after 14 days after receiving names from the JSC.
“There is no express provision in the Constitution or the JSC Act for such times except in the case of appointment of the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice,” says Mr Gatonye.
In addition, he argues that the judges made orders that are against wording and provisions of Article 166(1) of the Constitution.
Article 166(1) provides that “The President shall appoint: (a) the Chief Justice and the Deputy Chief Justice, in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, and subject to the approval of the National Assembly; and (b) all other judges, in accordance with the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.”
The judges, Mr Gatonye argues, also failed to appreciate the importance of separation of powers and judicial deference to decisions and powers that lie with the political arms of the government.
He is also against the court’s order to direct the Presidency to foot the costs of the case which was filed last year by Constitutionalism advocacy group Katiba Institute.
The case was a public interest litigation with no private interest accruing to the petitioners, argues Mr Gatonye a senior counsel.
The lawyer further states that the court was wrong in finding that Mr Kenyatta ought to be sued through the Attorney General yet they went ahead to hold that his participation in the case was not fatal.
“The judges erred by making a contradictory finding that whereas there was a misjoinder of the President in the case, his presence did not prejudice him yet there were clearly adverse orders sought against him by the petitioners,” says the lawyer.
The President wants the appellate court to certify as urgent his application for suspension of implementation of the judgment pending the hearing and determination of his intended appeal.
He says he has an arguable appeal with good prospects of success and that unless his application for stay is allowed, his appeal will be rendered nugatory because the six judges will be deemed to have been duly appointed as ordered by the High Court.
“There is an imminent danger of embarrassment and uncertainty in the dispensation of justice for if the six nominees are deemed appointed as judges, and they proceed to preside over legal proceedings notwithstanding the pendency of the intended appeal, and which can reverse the deemed appointments,” argues lawyer Gatonye in the stay application. –

Shock as most Kenyan health workers fail English test for UK jobs

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has decried failure of Kenyan health workers to pass English language tests required for UK jobs.
Jobless Kenyan nurses and other health workers recently got a chance to work in the UK as part of a new scheme requested by Kenya this year.
The unemployed health workers were meant to serve in the UK’s National Health Service before returning to work in Kenya.
The deal is similar to the one made by Kenya and Cuba, which saw the government get 100 Cuban doctors, with the Cuban government getting a cut.
But CS Kagwe revealed Wednesday that only a minority of those who applied qualified for the jobs.
“Out of 300 health workers sent for an English language test only 10 passed. We had negotiated for clinical workers for job exports but this turn of events is unfortunate,” he said.
He then urged health workers to work hard to pass the employment standards set for jobs abroad.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe attends the 23rd Kenya Clinical Officers Association Annual Scientific Conference at Pride Inn Paradise Hotel in Shanzu, Mombasa County on October 27, 2021.
Speaking during the Kenya Clinical Officers Association scientific conference in Mombasa, the CS said that despite this, the government will continue to negotiate for Kenyan health workers to work in Europe and the Middle East.
He also refuted claims that the government has resorted to exporting its labour workforce abroad instead of employing them.
“This is a rumour. Geographical boundaries will not stop us from working. Countries we are exporting health workers to are not doing us a favour. We are helping them when they are in need,” he said.
He added that Kenya will continue to help people get jobs in Europe and the Middle East.
“But to have this, we will need to have a universal standard. Failure in English among our health workers sent to work in England is extremely high. Let’s prepare ourselves, let us set the standards. Issue of quality training is crucial,” he said.
He further called for technology training for health workers too since many destination countries have gone paperless.
The deal between Kenya and the UK was good news for the more than 30,000 jobless Kenyan nurses and healthcare workers, and came barely six months after the UK allowed skilled Kenyans without degrees to apply for work permits in Britain under post-Brexit immigration rules. –

Shilling at 10-month low of 111.21 to the dollar

The Central bank of Kenya, Nairobi.
The shilling on Tuesday hit a 10-month low against the dollar, signalling higher cost of imported goods and inflation.
Commercial banks quoted the local currency at an average of 111.12 units against the greenback Tuesday, weakening further from 109.21 units at the start of the year.
This means importers will spend more on consumer and capital goods such as machinery and fuel, piling up input costs in a country that largely depends on shipped products.
Major imports include cars, medicine, and pharmaceuticals products, plastics, electronics clothing, and shoes.
Economist Tony Watima said the depreciation is a result of an artificial shortage of dollars accompanied by global demand for goods.
The shilling has this year been largely cushioned by inflows from external loans from lenders such as the IMF and the World Bank, a Eurobond issued in June, and higher inflows from diaspora remittances and agriculture exports.
“We had high reserves from IMF facility and Eurobond, but they have dwindled partially due to repayment of loan obligations and the issue of dividends from companies such as Safaricom,” said Mr Watima.
“The high demand for dollars and declining reserves are forcing banks to hold on dollars because they are not sure how CBK will react to it and handle reserves issue.”
He added that the CBK’s dollar sales in the open market had been reduced while banks had been forced to use their deposits, prompting them to set a higher margin.
Foreign exchange reserves have been declining in the last six weeks to stand at Sh1.02 trillion currently.
‘’The usable foreign exchange reserves remained adequate at $9.228 billion 5.64 months of import cover as at October 21. This meets the CBK’s statutory requirement to endeavour to maintain at least four months of import cover, and the EAC region’s convergence criteria of 4.5 months of import cover,” said the central bank in its weekly bulletin last Friday.
The depreciating shilling threatens to pile fresh pressure on fuel prices, which have stoked public anger.
Last month, Kenyans were spared from the rising prices when State House intervened and directed the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (Epra) to reduce the price of super petrol and diesel by Sh5 and that kerosene by Sh7.28 per litre despite an increase in the landed cost of the fuel.
Petrol is retailing at Sh129.72 per litre, diesel at Sh110.6, and kerosene at Sh103.54.
The products would be retailing at Sh136.34, Sh118.01, and 108.54 per litre respectively, were it not for the intervention.
Crude oil prices increased by 1.6 percent to $73.50 per barrel in September from Sh72.34 in August. The weaker shilling translates to an even higher hit on consumer pockets in Kenya.
The continued pressure follows increasing dollar earnings from exports and tourism unmatched by the demand from importers.
Latest data shows the import bill has been increasing since April to Sh172.95 billion in August, a 26 percent jump compared to Sh137.77 billion in the same period last year, dropping marginally compared to Sh177.16 billion in the previous month.
Export earnings rose by 13 percent over the period to Sh61.34 billion compared to Sh54.16 billion.
Tourism is slowly recovering, with international arrivals now making up 20 percent of hotel accommodation. –

WORD FOR TODAY: You’ve been called by God

Jeremiah 1:5: “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” God told Jeremiah, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…sanctified you [set you apart]…I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’ Observe: 1) God knew you. The word knew means ‘to have intimate knowledge of’.


When your delicate fingers were just a web, before your heartbeat registered on the monitor or the doctor could predict your gender, God knew all about you. ‘You…scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe’ (Psalm 139:16 TLB). God knew what you were born to be, and provided everything you’d need to fulfil your life’s purpose. 2) God sanctified you [set you apart]. He fixed it so you wouldn’t fit in, and designed you so you couldn’t rest any place He didn’t want you to be.


He intended you to wander and feel lost until you found Him. That’s why you’re uncomfortable in certain places and around certain people. It doesn’t matter how hard you try, you won’t fit in because God has set you apart for Himself. 3) God ordained you. Men may ordain, but only God can foreordain. Stop worrying about who does or doesn’t recognise your gifts. John Mason says, ‘Each person has been custom-made by God the Creator.


Each of us has a unique and personal call on our lives…to be our own selves and not copies of other people.’ God told Jeremiah, ‘Go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you’ (Jeremiah 1:7-8 NLT). So the word for you today is: you’ve been called by God.

Equity set to spend Sh500bn on Kenya, South Africa businesses

Equity Group Chief Executive Officer James Mwangi.
Equity Group has set aside Sh500 billion to finance Kenyan and South African firms seeking to trade or invest in Africa, in a move to expand its business beyond seven countries where it operates.
The bank will offer credit to companies that want to set up manufacturing, construction, health and investment firms, facilitate value addition through processing and packaging and finance export or import business.
The lender will be tapping into about Sh500 billion funds out of which close to Sh100 billion will be from development institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the rest from customers’ deposits.
The bank is eying the South African firms also to establish its presence in the market without setting up physical branches, and raising competition for other commercial banks such as Absa Bank and Standard Bank.
“We have put into disposal of private sector and business community about Sh500 billion to facilitate trade. We will be funding Kenyan importers or South African firms that want to export into the regions we operate in or those that want to do partnership in the region. We are inviting them as new investors in the regions,” Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi said.
The bank is spearheading a four-day business networking meeting to spark interest for investment and joint ventures between firms in the regions.
Local banks including KCB Group , NCBA Group , I&M Group and DTB Bank have been expanding its regional reach by setting up branches or acquisition in countries like Rwanda, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Malawi, Botswana and DRC, moving competition beyond the Kenyan borders. –

How British soldiers flout the rules of engagement in Kenya

The British Ministry of Defence underscores a golden rule for all soldiers on active service: They must remember the law in every action.
History, however, shows that forces have been violating human rights and flouting military pacts signed with different nations.
The revelation that a young lady was murdered and her body thrown in a septic tank by a British soldier in 2012 adds to the long list of atrocities allegedly committed by soldiers, especially those attached to the British Army Training Unit Kenya (Batuk) in Samburu and Nanyuki.
The soldiers have in the past been accused of carelessly leaving unexploded ordinances in the unfenced fields of Samburu, killing and maiming herders and their livestock. They have also been accused of rape, murder, assault and environmental crimes.
Rights groups working around the areas where Batuk units train have for years raised concerns about human rights violations.
“The cruel death of Agnes Wanjiru is a strong indicator of the impunity with which the British soldiers operate in Kenya. In 2006, they covered up the allegations of rape against them by several women in Laikipia and Samburu. The British government must address all crimes committed by its soldier,” the indigenous movement for peace advancement and conflict transformation (Impact) director Johnson ole Kaunga said yesterday.
The British government has twice been compelled to pay millions of shillings to residents. In total, 1,300 people who had been seriously injured or killed by the bombs qualified. The payment was done in 2003 and 2004 after a British law firm, Leigh Day, negotiated the settlement.
When lawyer Martyn Leigh filed the suit, the British MoD denied responsibility for the accidents that killed at least 560 people, mostly children, over 50 years.
Later, defence officials in London agreed to settle the claims without admission of liability on the basis that it did leave unexploded weapons in the training areas, but for the mere fact that it used the unfenced grounds.
In 2003, 230 people were paid Sh450 million for either losing relatives, or sustaining injuries that resulted in disability.
In 2013, Amnesty International (AI) and Impact said at least 650 women had been raped by British soldiers over 35 years (1965 to 2001) in Dol Dol and Archer’s Post and that there was a conspiracy of silence by UK and Kenyan authorities.
“Despite the many complaints, Kenya and the UK failed to take effective measures: to investigate such claims, bring the alleged perpetrators to justice, ensure adequate reparation for the victims and prevent further attacks,” AI said.
Samburu women who claimed to have been raped and even impregnated by the soldiers have, however, never received compensation. They risk never receiving any, following the passing of UK’s Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act 2021, which took effect in April.
The Act, which was effected in April, introduces a statute of limitation – five years – beyond which no prosecution is possible.
On July 27, Defence Secretary Monica Juma and her UK counterpart, Ben Wallace, signed the new Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in London.
It contains details on the jurisdiction, environmental and civilian protection, importation of ordnance, conducts of the visiting nations’ forces pertaining to sexual exploitation of women and settlement of disputes among others. But still, soldiers go unpunished for crimes they have committed. Some cases are pending at Nanyuki law courts.
Soldiers were blamed for starting a fire that destroyed about 12,000 acres of land at the Lolidiaga Conservancy. “Two months in Kenya later and we’ve only got eight days left. Been good, caused a fire, killed an elephant and feel terrible about it but hey-ho, when in Rome,” a British soldier wrote in a Snapchat post, angering conservationists.
Under the DCA, the UK invests Sh1.165 billion annually and trains about 1,100 soldiers from the Kenya Defence Forces preparing for deployment to Somalia.
The DCA states that the visiting forces shall avoid acts that impact on human health and safety, bans sexual exploitation of children, details on the disposal of arms wastes and the procedures to be taken prior to military training involving live firing in designated training areas.
The rules of engagement have been similar to those the previous DCAs, yet the rate of prosecution of UK soldiers in Kenya remains very low. On the case of Wanjiku, British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said the UK would cooperate with investigators.
“In 2012, the UK’s Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to Kenyan police. No further requests were received at that time. Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we understand that the Kenyan authorities are looking into the murder. We will support that Kenyan police investigation,” her statement read in part.
Mr Day yesterday said his firm was looking into the case. “The firm has only recently been contacted about this matter. It is not clear to us at this point how far investigations have progressed in Kenya but we are looking into what options may be open to the family in the UK going forward,” he told the Nation. –

Regulators reveal KQ as Africa’s costliest airline

A KQ Dreamliner aircraft.
Kenya Airways has the most expensive tickets among airlines operating in Africa, charging more on average than carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways and Air France.
A new study by competition authorities representing a total of 24 African countries found that KQ, as the airline is known by its international code, charges the highest average fares on domestic and international flights.
The finding shows the national carrier risks losing market share to cheaper rivals like Ethiopian Airlines and new entrants, including Uganda Airlines.
KQ had higher fares on most routes where it has competition, though there are a few instances where its rivals charge more.
“Kenya Airways has the highest average passenger price per kilometre (APPK) for all its domestic, regional and international routes,” the report by the African Competition Forum (ACF) says.
“In addition, the routes for the Tanzania markets from Nairobi have higher APPK than international routes, which are longer distances.”
Kenya Airways’ average price per kilometre on the Nairobi-Johannesburg route, for instance, was Sh23.8 compared to Sh22 charged by South African Airways (SAA).
“Prices charged by two operators on this route are visibly different for both economy and business class categories. Kenya Airways prices are 21 percent higher than SAA prices for economy class tickets,” the report says.
“For business tickets, SAA prices are significantly higher than Kenya Airways prices. Kenya Airways on average charges R14,089 (Sh106,000) for a business class ticket, while SAA charges R22,954.93 (Sh172,796) for the same class. SAA’s upper-end tickets sell at around 39 percent more than Kenya Airways prices.”
The Kenyan carrier charged an average of Sh9.4 per kilometre on the Nairobi-Paris route compared to Air France’s Sh8.3.
“The Nairobi-Paris route is served by Air France and Kenya Airways, their prices have a difference of Sh5,000, Kenya Airways price being more,” the report says. KQ charged Sh15.6 per kilometre on the Nairobi-Addis Ababa route, higher than Ethiopian Airlines’ Sh13.2.
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) is among the regulators that participated in the cross-country study of airlines.
The ticket pricing data was gathered in October 2019 from airline websites for 12 dates between November 2019 and March 2020.
To ensure consistency of the data, the prices for each route was collected from the websites on the same day for all the airlines operating on the selected routes.
The study noted that some airlines have since exited a number of the routes due to Covid-19 pandemic or other reasons. The regulators say the study was done to collect data on the status of the aviation sector and address competition concerns.
KQ’s expensive fares have not helped its bottom-line, with the airline making losses since 2013.
It reported a net loss of Sh11.4 billion in the half year ended June, narrowing it from Sh14.3 billion a year earlier on lower costs. Revenues over the same period declined to Sh27.3 billion from Sh30.2 billion.
The pandemic has further hurt KQ, which had been suffering from the missteps of previous management as captured by a May 2015 Senate committee probe. These included poor investment decisions of buying and leasing aircraft.
Others are fuel hedging under arrangements that are not profitable to the company, thereby leading to high indebtedness.
The pricey tickets were also highlighted by the committee but the airline has been unable to lower its charges even as customers defect to rivals.
The probe established that KQ’s expensive ticketing was not competitive in the market, leading to loss of passengers as well as revenue.
The study found that the national carrier has a market share of 48.7 percent of international flights originating from Kenya. Its share of domestic flights, including its subsidiary Jambojet, stands at 36 percent.
The study brought together competition agencies of South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Angola, Mauritius, Gambia and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
It covered fares on domestic as well as international flights to destinations like Johannesburg, Doha, Mumbai, Paris, Dar es Salaam and Lilongwe.
The report found that many factors influence the setting of ticket prices, including competition, government support and bilateral agreements.
KQ is among the airlines that have continued to benefit from government support in the form of bailouts and tax exemptions.
The Treasury is the biggest shareholder in the national carrier with a 48.9 percent stake.
Parliament voted in July 2019 to nationalise the airline but the process has been delayed, with the company saying it needs more billions of shillings worth of bailout money to keep going.
The Treasury recently said more funds will be provided to KQ in the next fiscal year starting July 2022.
Ethiopian Airlines, one of KQ’s major rivals, is also supported by its government and sole shareholder which has exempted the airline from paying value added tax. –

Supreme Court stops Ann Kananu swearing in as Nairobi governor

Nairobi Deputy Governor Anne Kananu addresses journalists at City Hall in Nairobi on January 18, 2021.
The Supreme Court has put on hold plans to swear in acting Nairobi Governor Ann Kananu as the city county boss.
This was after former governor Mike Sonko rushed to the apex court saying he was about to be deprived of his seat unconstitutionally.
Justice Mohammed Ibrahim, sitting a single judge, suspended the plans for two weeks, to allow Mr Sonko argue his case before the top court.
The former governor, who was impeached last year, rushed to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal rejected his application to stop Ms Kananu from assuming the office.

Impugned judgment

Last Friday, the Court of Appeal cleared the way for Ms Kananu to be sworn in as the substantive county boss after the judges ruled that Mr Sonko’s application, to suspend the process, did not meet the threshold to be granted the order.
The judges also noted that the issue of the swearing in of Ms Kananu was not among the grounds raised by Mr Sonko in his appeal.
“We find that the issue of the swearing in of the 11th respondent was not raised in the High Court and the impugned judgment did not address or determine that issue,” Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Jamila Mohammed and Jessie Lesiit said.
The court noted as submitted by the Attorney General that Mr Sonko has been out of office for more than 10 months and is effectively no longer the governor of Nairobi.

Apex court

But Mr Sonko rushed to the apex court arguing that he stands to unfairly and unlawfully being deprived of his lawfully contested and won Nairobi gubernatorial elective position, unless the court intervenes.
The former governor has maintained that his impeachment was illegal and the court should determine whether it was done as required by the law.
He has further argued that Ms Kananu unconstitutionally assumed the position of the deputy governor, and there were plans to have her become the substantive governor against the law.
“If the intervention sought herein is not granted the jeopardy suffered by the Appellant herein is double – both the Court of Appeal in the 2 Appeals alluded to above and this Honourable Supreme Court will be left with Appeals and a Petition of Appeal respectively that are merely academic as the Nairobi City County Governor position which has been preserved so far will have been unlawfully taken by the 11th respondent (Ms Kananu) herein,” he said in an affidavit. –


It was pomp and colour as Username Investments awarded a fully paid holiday trip for 2 to the USA to an employee who recorded outstanding performances in the past 2 financial years. The reward was presented during the company’s 3rd annual Thamini Awards dinner held at The Trademark Hotel, Village Market. This was among 10 awards won by members of staff from various categories across departments. The awards ranged from holiday trips to USA, Paris, Bangkok, Smart TVs, Fridges, Vouchers and other goodies.
Thamini Awards is an Annual Internal Human Resource Program that seeks to recognize and reward outstanding performance of Username Investment staff. Apart from this, the company recognizes staff monthly through the “Employee of the Month” program and the staff with excellent monthly performance receive a shopping voucher.
“It is an honour to converge again as a Team and appreciate each one of us for the various roles we play to make Username Investments a success. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, our Team has been resilient, innovative and dependable. This has made us provide Kenyans with a place to call home amidst a global crisis”, Reuben Kimani, CEO, Username Investment Ltd. said while addressing the staff members during the award session.
“As our country celebrates our national heroes this month, Username Investments is celebrating our Team members with outstanding performance in the past 2 financial years, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021. Last year, we did not manage to have this session due to the ravaging pandemic and various restrictions. But with the health measures put in place, we decided to combine the performances of the Team and appreciate excellence. As a company, we have numerous rewards and incentives that we use to recognize our staff members and departments. Thamini Awards is an annual ceremony after the closure of a financial year. The word “Thamini” is a Swahili word meaning to value and at Username, we value each staff member and their contribution to the growth of Username Investments”, Reuben Kimani continued.
The winners were described as amiable, innovative, self-driven, industrious, dependable, reliable team players who go out of their way to provide solutions and serve clients better in line with Username Investment’s mission of providing the current and upcoming generation with a place to call home.
The grand prize winner of the 7 days fully paid holiday trip for 2 to the USA was described by the Chief Executive Officer as an ‘an outstanding leader and a problem solver who has posted consistent results over the years. She also goes out of her way to serve clients and motivate the Sales Team”.
Dorina has won the overall Thamini Award Prize thrice in a row; in 2019, she won a brand new car and in 2018, a fully paid holiday trip to Dubai. She has consistently recorded outstanding results over the years since she joined the company.
“I appreciate Username Investments Management for recognizing my efforts. Your support to the staff members in terms of products, tools of work, training and an excellent working environment gives us an opportunity to bring out the best in us. It is no mean feat to be recognized yet again, am humbled by this win, thank you Username Management for this recognition. I encourage my colleagues to better their best because excellence is rewarded”, Dorina Mirembo, Sales Team Leader said while receiving the Outstanding Champion Award as Username Staff members cheered her for the well-deserved win.
There were 10 awards to be won which included: A fully paid holiday for 2 to USA, Paris, Bangkok, Mombasa, Nanyuki, Fridges, Smart TVs, Smartphones and Shopping Vouchers.