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England lockdown eases: Boris Johnson warns people to ‘behave responsibly’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned people to continue to take steps to “suppress Covid” as the latest stage of lockdown easing comes into effect. Pub gardens, indoor gyms and hairdressers are among the businesses that can reopen in England on Monday.

Northern Ireland’s “stay-at-home” order is ending and some rules are also being relaxed in Scotland and Wales. Mr Johnson welcomed the “major” step towards normality, but urged everyone to “behave responsibly”.

The PM had planned to have a celebratory pint to mark the measures easing, but that has been postponed following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday.The rule changes in England from Monday include:

All shops can reopen

Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
Restaurants and pubs are allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors

Gyms, spas, zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres can all open
Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation

Up to 15 people can attend weddings and 30 can attend funerals

Children can attend any indoor children’s activity

Care home visitors will increase to two per resident

Driving lessons can resume, with tests restarting on 22 April.


In Northern Ireland, the remaining school year groups 8-11 will return to the classroom. The stay-at-home message is being relaxed and up to 10 people from two households can meet in a private garden. In Scotland, all school pupils are returning to full-time education. Not everyone is returning on Monday because differing term times mean some schools are still closed for the Easter holidays. After a drop in Covid cases prompted the Welsh Government to bring forward some dates for reopening, all students will return to face-to-face teaching on Monday.

Non-essential shops can also reopen, close-contact services can resume, driving lessons can restart and travel in and out of Wales from the rest of the UK is allowed. In a statement, the prime minister said the rule relaxations are “a major step forward in our roadmap to freedom”. “I’m sure it will be a huge relief for those business owners who have been closed for so long, and for everyone else it’s a chance to get back to doing some of the things we love and have missed,” he added.

“I urge everyone to continue to behave responsibly and remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ to suppress Covid as we push on with our vaccination programme.” The rule changes in England mark the third in a series of easings since the country’s third national lockdown began on 6 January.


There is a gap of at least five weeks between each step on the government’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, to allow the impact of changes on infection rates and hospital admissions to be assessed. The next significant date is 17 May, when up to six people from different households could be allowed to socialise indoors. More than 32 million people in the UK have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

A record total of 475,230 second doses were administered on Saturday – along with 111,109 first doses. Mr Johnson praised the “record-breaking day” on Twitter, writing: “Thanks to everyone involved in this extraordinary effort which has already saved thousands of lives.”

The number of people dying in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test continues to fall steadily, with seven further deaths reported on Sunday. That is the lowest daily death toll by this measure since 14 September 2020. However, there can be a lag in reporting coronavirus statistics during weekends.

Whiskey smuggler who hosted Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth in Nyeri

When Prince Philip started his Kenyan tour in 1952, his intention was to go to Sagana, together with Princess Elizabeth, to see their wedding gift – a hunting and fishing lodge at the edge of the forest, which the Associated Press had described as a “$5,600 hunting lodge in the darkest Africa”.

When Sagana lodge was mooted, the colonial government announced on November 24, 1949 that there was “no indication at present of any projected visit of her royal highness to Kenya” but described the planned lodge as near some “good fishing in the Sagana River just beyond the front yard, and big game not far away.”

That gift is now known as Sagana State Lodge after the royal family “donated” it to the new Jomo Kenyatta government, shortly after independence.

But the other interesting story of the Kenyan visit was that both Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were hosted by a well-known former liquor smuggler, Eric Sherbrooke Walker, who had laundered his dirty cash in Mt Kenya region.


The story of Eric Walker is also the story of Treetops Hotel and Outspan in Nyeri, the two establishments which are getting favourable international mentions after the Friday death of Prince Philip.

During the 1952 safari, both Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were to be hosted by Mr Walker and spent a night at the Treetops, which was famous as a game viewing lodge before returning to their Sagana lodge. Treetops would later be burnt down by the Mau Mau freedom fighters to showcase their anger with continued colonial rule in Kenya. Mr Walker and his wife Lady Elizabeth Mary ‘Bettie’, who was daughter of the Earl of Denbigh, shared some dramatic life. It is assumed that both Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were attracted to the Mt Kenya region, perhaps because of the stories they had heard about their Kenyan host, Walker, and his character.

Robert Baden Powell

After being shot down during the First World War, Walker, a former private secretary to Scouts Movement founder Robert Baden Powell, escaped from a prison camp by cutting the fence and walked across Germany to Netherlands. He had apparently received some wire cutters from Powell, hidden inside a ham, via a German girl. His desire after the war was to marry Lady ‘Bettie’, then working at the US Embassy in Washington. But since he had no money, after he got married, he decided to run a liquor smuggling business in the US where alcohol was in big demand due to import prohibition.

Walker’s description of his first meeting with a known smuggler was epic: “He introduced me to Captain Cook, where the stout sea captain told me that he had been offered command of a ship by a syndicate which was sending out a load of scotch whiskey to sell to the smugglers on the eastern coast of United States… He produced another captain… from whom he was gleaning information about the tricks of the trade. This other fellow was a pale-faced, shifty-eyed individual, whose face bore the stamp of drink and loose living, and he looked as villainous a rascal as one could wish to find in a day’s march.”


In this file photo taken on March 13, 2015 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, leave St Paul’s Cathedral in London on March 13, 2015, after attending a memorial service to mark the end of Britain’s combat operations in Afghanistan.

He had been told that they would anchor the ship outside the three-mile limit and “thirsty Yankees (would come) flocking out in their little boats with pockets bulging with green-backs to buy the whiskey.” The hope was to make 300 per cent profit.

But there were risks too of pirates “murdering the crew, making away with the ship, cargo and cash” and US authorities who would attack the vessel. The other was the risk of bootleggers “who came out and bought large quantities for cash, paying in counterfeit notes” and dishonest captains.


Although he managed to do some good business, selling his cargo of Scotch whisky in the high seas, a shoot-out once occurred and he was forced to flee to Canada, together with Lady Bettie. In Canada, he wrote a memoir The Confessions of a Rum-Runner under the pseudonym of James Barbican. The couple then escaped to Nyeri where Walker built Outspan Hotel, mostly likely financed with the proceeds from the illegal trade. Outspan opened doors on January 1, 1928.

By hosting the royal entourage, Walker knew this was a good marketing strategy for his business. It actually worked for him after it became associated with Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne. More so, Treetops was later featured in the National Geographic magazine and started hosting celebrity guests such as British comedian Charlie Chaplin and the Beatles singer-songwriter singer Paul McCartney.

National monument

As a sign of appreciation to Lord Baden Powell for helping him escape the German war camp, he gave him a permanent cottage at Outspan Hotel which is named Paxtu. The cottage is today gazetted as a national monument and hosts the Baden Powell museum in honour of the Scouts movement founder who stayed there from October 1938 to 1941.

So when Princess Elizabeth and her husband set to make the Kenyan tour of Sagana, the choice of Walker’s Treetops and Outspan as host of their entourage was easier.

Sagana was to offer the 30-year-old Philip a chance to tour some of the British colonies and Kenya was his first destination and after that, they would sail to Ceylon, aboard HMS Gothic, a passenger-cargo liner that was designated a royal yacht from 1952 to 1954.


As the two flew to Kenya, they never anticipated that the ailing King George VI, whose cancerous lung had been removed, would die from a blood clot. He had become king by fate after Edward VIII abdicated the throne rather than give up the love of his American socialite, Ms Wallis Simpson, twice divorced.

Then things changed on the slopes of Mt Kenya. On the morning of February 6, a valet who had gone to draw curtains in the King’s bedroom found his body. He had apparently died that night.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill was at No. 10 Downing Street when the coded message: “Hyde Park Corner” was delivered by Edward Ford, the King’s assistant Private Secretary. “Hyde Park Corner” was the Palace code for “The King has died.”

And there was a crisis. The princess who was to take over as the new Queen of England was in Kenya – and the fear was that she might learn about the death from a radio broadcast.


The clock ticked. A coded message had been sent to Government House (now State House Nairobi) but nobody could decipher the message since the governor had left with the highly secured cipher book for Mombasa, where he was preparing to see off the couple as they sailed on the next day to Ceylon. Then by chance, Martin Charteris, private secretary to the princess, was by chance having a lunch drink at the Outspan Hotel when Granville Roberts, a reporter from the East African Standard who was covering the royal visit, happened to learn about the newsflash from Reuters. It was now 2pm. He saw Charteris and rushed to him. “The King has died!” said Roberts, breaking the news.

Princess Elizabeth

From Outspan, Charteris called Mike Parker, Philip’s equerry and friend, who was in Sagana. Princess Elizabeth was busy writing letters in an adjacent room. “I have a rumour from the press corps that our employer’s father has died,” some published accounts recall how Charteris broke the news to Philip. “I cannot react to a rumour. Please confirm or deny when sure,” said Parker.

But rather than wait, Parker picked a shortwave radio and turned on the BBC. And there it was: John Snagge, one of the definitive voices of BBC, was repeatedly announcing from Sandringham that King George VI had died in his sleep. Still, Princess Elizabeth had not heard the news.

Parker is reported to have walked to Prince Philip’s bedroom. He woke him up from the afternoon nap and broke the news: “He looked as if I had dropped half the world on him. I never felt so sorry for anyone in my life.” Parker later told a biographer.


“We must have been among the last people in the world to hear the news,” Pamela Mountbatten (now Lady Pamela Hicks), the lady-in-waiting to the princess, also wrote in her memoirs, Daughter of Empire.

It was at the lawns of State Lodge in Sagana that Philip broke the news to Princess Elizabeth. With her was Pamela Mountbatten. The group watched as the two walked into the lawns of Sagana and as Prince Philip broke the news. Princess Elizabeth was now Queen of England and head of Commonwealth. According to Pamela’s account, the Queen “remained completely calm and said simply: ‘I am so sorry. This means we all have to go home.’”

The royal BOAC was waiting for them in Nairobi – and off they went to start a new life. But the memories of Sagana, Outspan and Treetops remained etched in the royal family’s history. And thanks to the whiskey smuggler – Eric Sherbrooke Walker. –

WORD FOR TODAY – Protect your home, work it and take care of it

Genesis 2:15: The Bible says God put Adam into the garden ‘to work it and take care of it’ (NIV 2011 Edition). So even when you have a great home environment, you’ve still got to ‘work it and take care of it’. Left unattended, the best garden in the world will eventually turn into a weed patch. Similarly, if you devote all your time and energy to your career and none to your marriage and family, your home life will become a trouble zone. The Hebrew word for keep is the same as our English word meaning ‘to guard’ or ‘protect’. Adam’s job was to guard and protect his home. ‘From what?’ you ask. ‘After all, didn’t he live in a perfect environment?’ Yes, but Satan was about to show up and wreak havoc! It’s been said that ‘the devil is in the details’.
Look closely, and chances are you’ll see him at work in your family in certain areas of dysfunction and stress. As couples, we fuss and fight, convinced that the other person is the problem. And that’s what the devil wants us to think! He knows you’ll never solve the real problem when the person you’re fighting isn’t the real problem. You have a spiritual problem brought on by your selfish nature, which gives Satan an entry point into your home. Marriage was instituted by God. So when you see things from His viewpoint and start operating according to His rules, you’ll have the productive, purposeful, and peaceful relationship He wants you to have.

Chinese contractor fast-tracks building of Kenya’s expressway

Nairobi Expressway is under construction at Bellevue in Nairobi, capital of Kenya.

At Nairobi’s Nyayo roundabout in Kenya, massive pillars holding heavy concrete slabs that are part of the expressway built by a Chinese company, stretch for about a kilometer.

On both sides of the roads, safety walls have been erected to protect motorists. The same scenario is replicated at Bellevue, not far away, where heavy slabs seemingly hanging in the air give one a glimpse of what a suspended road would look like.

It is slightly over a year since China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) started building the road but works are already at an advanced stage. The road has been constructed at a faster rate, which is hardly witnessed before in the east African nation.

The fast construction of the road has not only created buzz among Kenyans but also given thousands of commuters hope that soon traffic jams on the major artery would be a thing of the past.

“When construction started, I had thought of relocating from where I stay off Mombasa Road since I believed it would take up to four years to finish the road, but I was mistaken,” Joseph Nzambia, a banker in Nairobi said recently. He discarded the idea when he saw the first pillars erected at Bellevue.

“Soon I know tarmacking would start and the road would be complete and we would forget about traffic jams,” he said. His sentiments are shared by hundreds of other commuters using the road. The Chinese contractor has not only been lauded for fast work, but also for working to ensure minimal traffic disruption.

“In places where the firm has partially blocked the road, there is good diversion to ensure traffic flows. What causes traffic jams is bad behavior by Kenyan motorists,” noted Nzambia, adding there is good road signage and safety walls to protect motorists and pedestrians.

James Macharia, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, while on a tour of the expressway on March 31 said the Chinese contractor is on track.

“We expect the elevated highway, which is progressing at 60 meters per day from both ends to be completed by early 2022,” Macharia said in a statement issued in Nairobi after touring the project.

The project being done links the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Nairobi-Nakuru highway.

Ernest Manuyo, a lecturer at Pioneer Institute in Nairobi, said faster completion of the highway would boost economic activity as the road is expected to start to be used sooner than planned.

The project has opened massive opportunities for local businesses as well as individuals, according to Kenya National Highways Authority, a state corporation. More than 1,800 local youths have been employed by the contractor. –

Over 4, 000 workers face the axe as Coast hotels close

Empty pool beds at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort on April 9, 2021. Low business occasioned by the cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi and four other counties has hampered travel by domestic tourists.

More than 4, 000 employees in the hospitality industry will be declared redundant as Coast hotels plan to close for at least three months.

The tourism sector is facing a turbulent times due to the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has seen most of the hotels lose business during the April Easter holiday season, with worst expected. Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta tightened measures to cub the spread of the disease after spike that threatened a third wave.


The cessation of movement in and out of Nairobi, and other four neighbouring counties, negatively impacted the tourism business at the Coast. Many holidaymakers at the Coast come from Nairobi, including Kajiado, Nakuru, Kiambu, Machakos, which are under lock down.

Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC) Coast branch executive officer Sam Ikwaye said that the industry is in its death bed.

“We are shutting down hotels. Normally we do temporarily close the facilities during this low season for renovations, where people take paid leave, but this this time round, sadly this wont be teh case,” Mr Ikwaye said.

He noted that the whole of last year, most hotels exhausted all the paid leaves and this time round, they will be forced to send their staff on unpaid leave. Ikwaye said hotels will be shutdown for at least three months.

“Mombasa Diani, Watamu, Malindi will be adversely affected. Mombasa usually remained open but this is not the case this time,” Ikwaye said, adding that conference services, for which most guests have been from Nairobi, cannot sustain the tourism industry. During he Easter festivities last week, soem facilities at the Coast, with 300-bed capacity recorded up to 10 guests, a lownumber that makes no business sense.


Despite the low uptake of Covid-19 vaccine, the tourism players are now asking the the government to prioritize the sector, especially those serving in the hotels. “Once the sector players are vaccinated, it may be a tool to market these tourism destination,” he said.

Kenya Tourism Federation chairperson Mohamed Hersi said the tourism industry, in its current state is as good as dead. “We are taking a break and doing repairs, hoping that after all this is done, we will be ready to start from scratch,” Mr Hersi said.

A staff walks near the pool at Pride Inn Paradise Beach Resort on April 9, 2021. At least 70 per cent of hotels in the Coast region are facing closure due to low business occasioned by the lockdown in Nairobi. Some hotels have closed shop, Hersi said, because they cannot sustain their businesses.

Those that have remained open will eventually close, he said, Nairobi has been Coast’s biggest source of domestic market. But with the Covid-19 lockdown, the movement has ceased.

Mr Hersi, however, said there must be a balance between the economy and health. Despite many facilities feeling the heat, Pride Inn Group Managing Director Hasnain Noorani said they will not shut down any of its branches.


“We are hoping that the President will soon open up counties on lockdown,” he said. Mr Noorani said they have downscaled the staff, given some unpaid leaves, because of low business.

“Our request to the President is he allow people to travel on condition that they take the Covid rapid test, and produce negative tests, just as we are doing for the international flights,” he said “There is no reason for the government to block guests from completing their tourism circuit.” –

Prince Philip dies: Why Prince Harry will travel for the funeral

Prince Harry will almost undoubtedly attend the funeral

Prince Harry is planning to attend his grandad Prince Philip’s funeral – and government guidance suggests it is within lockdown rules for him to fly in from the US.

Some had questioned whether an exception would be made for the Duke of Sussex to attend the proceedings, but there is a loophole allowing international guests to keep within England’s current restrictions.

His wife Meghan will not be attending following medical advice due to her pregnancy, although it is understood she made every effort to join her husband.

According to guidance on the government website, those arriving from another country will have to self-isolate for 10 days. This means they will have to stay at home for the duration.

However, there are limited circumstances allowing people to leave home – including attending the funeral of a household member or close family member.


Travellers are expected to self-isolate for the rest of the time and cannot attend any other commemorative events such as wakes.

Under England’s current restrictions, only 30 people can attend funerals and the Royal Family is expected to stick to these rules.

Originally around 800 people were set to be invited to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, but this list will have to be cut significantly and decided on by the Queen.

The rest of the Queen and Prince Philip’s eight grandchildren – Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn – are expected to attend too.

The Duchess of Cambridge will likely attend as a future queen, although it is unclear whether the other grandchildren’s spouses – Mike Tindall, Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – will attend.


Of course, we will also expect to see the Queen’s four children and their spouses too: the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

It is also likely the Queen will invite her cousins and their spouses. They are Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

The monarch is close to the children of her late sister Princess Margaret – her nephew the Earl of Snowdon and niece Lady Sarah Chatto – so they may also be on the list.


The Queen and Prince Philip’s 10 great-grandchildren, including Prince George and Princess Charlotte, are unlikely to be there as they will probably be considered too young.

Another spot could also be filled by a trusted member of the Queen or Prince Philip’s household, or a member of the armed forces. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will not go and instead will give up his seat to allow another family member to attend.

Boris won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral to spare seat for family

Only 30 people can attend funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday to spare a seat for a family member. The UK prime minister is normally present at royal funerals, but Mr Johnson offered to step down as there are limited numbers of mourners at funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic. A No 10 spokesperson said today: ‘As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. ‘The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday.’

The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, 17 April at 3pm, Buckingham Palace announced today. It’s understood a ‘firm of eight’ senior royals will be chosen to represent the family, and look certain to be there on the day. They are William and Kate, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, The Queen herself and Princess Anne, according to The Daily Mail. Prince Harry will fly from the US to attend the service, returning for the first time since he stepped down as a senior royal. His wife Meghan Markle will miss the funeral after being advised by her doctor not to travel while pregnant.

A national minute’s silence will take place as the service gets underway. The ceremony will be socially distanced, with attendees expected to wear face masks. The funeral plans – which will take place after eight days of mourning – have been revised many times over the years, in consultation with the Queen and Philip himself. MORE: BORIS JOHNSON Boris Johnson pays tribute to ‘extraordinary life and work’ of Prince Philip Football, Cricket and Tennis chiefs apply pressure on government over return of fans The Circle: Natalya’s appearance ‘predicted’ during meeting with Boris Johnson in 2019 The duke’s coffin is currently lying in the private chapel of Windsor Castle. On Saturday morning, it will be moved in a small ceremonial procession from the state entrance of the castle to St George’s Chapel. It will then be draped with Philip’s personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers and his Naval cap and sword.

Data of Kenyan citizens residing in the United Kingdom

The Constitution of Kenya 2010 obligates the Government of Kenya to facilitate her citizens residing outside the country to be registered as voters. Specifically, Article 82(e) mandates the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to progressively register citizens residing outside the country as voters to enable the realization of their rights to vote in elections and referenda.

Through its Missions abroad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Kenya has continued to play its role in enabling the IEBC carry out this mandate as was demonstrated in the run up to the 2012 and 2017 General elections.

The Commission is in the process of concluding the review and operationalization of its Strategic Plan 2020-2025. In this regard, the Commission has requested, through MFA, for baseline data of Kenya citizens residing outside Kenya and registered with Kenya Missions abroad.

In view of the above, Kenya High Commission in London is urgently requesting all Kenyans in the United Kingdom to register with the Mission, while noting that the data of Kenyans eligible to vote (over 18 Years) will be shared with IEBC to enable them conclude this exercise well in advance of the forthcoming General Elections.

In your email, kindly include your; Full Name, ID Number/Passport Number, and a Telephone Number/Email through which one can be contacted.
You are all encouraged to register as soon as possible, and in any event not later than 20 April 2021 using the following email address:

High Commissioner

Kenya High Commission


Citizenship plan for rich investors takes shape

Kenya has started drafting amendments to immigration laws in changes that will make it easier for wealthy foreign investors to acquire citizenship. Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) says it is writing draft legal changes that will see big-ticket investors eligible to get second citizenship in Kenya without meeting the current stringent requirements to qualify.


The agency sees giving second citizenship to deep-pocketed foreign investors — whose enterprises have a high impact on creating new jobs and exports earnings — as a magnet for growing lowly foreign direct investment (FDI) flows. “Listening to key policymakers, there’s really no opposition to it. What is required now is that there has to be a proper paper that will go to the Ministry of Interior so that it can now sponsor it, together with the Treasury, to go to the Cabinet,” said KenInvest managing director Moses Ikiara.


Foreign investors


Immigration laws presently require a foreigner to continuously live in the country for at least seven years to qualify for citizenship by registration. The Constitution, however, allows Parliament to “enact legislation establishing conditions on which citizenship may be granted to individuals who are citizens of other countries”. KenIvest says it was working with the Kenya Law Reform Commission in drafting the amendments, which will serve as non-monetary incentives to foreign investors.

Dr Ikiara named the Nairobi International Financial Centre Authority — an entity created under the Treasury to lead efforts to establish Nairobi as a regional financial hub — among agencies that support the plan.


“At our level, because we feel we can’t wait for other agencies to push, we are now pushing ahead (with draft legal changes) because we are agreeing with some of the key agencies,” the KenInvest chief said.

FDIs are seen as relatively stable foreign exchange source in the long-term than diaspora remittances, tourist receipts and portfolio investments (flows largely into equities and bonds). –