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Kenya to close Kakuma, Dadaab refugee camps by June 2022

Kakuma 1 Refugee Camp, located along Kenya’s border with Somalia, as pictured on June 10, 2018.

Kenya has rescheduled its planned closure of refugee camps to June next year. This decision was arrived at on Thursday following discussions with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to stagger the shut-down.

As such, Kakuma and Dadaab Refugee camps will be closed down by June next year, to allow refugees to leave gradually rather than in masses.

The decision arose from last-minute lobbying by the UNHCR boss Fillipo Grandi who held discussions with Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Foreign Affairs counterpart Raychelle Omamo.

Under the new arrangement, at least 15,000 refugees will be let go every month; either to return to their homelands or be resettled elsewhere.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said the decision is the last considerate move by Kenya to stay within international law as well as protect its national security interests.

“We have been sheltering refugees for over 30 years, and our capacity to host them longer under minimum standards of humanitarian action has been overstretched,” Dr Kibicho said. “The decision to close Dadaab and Kakuma camps by June 30, 2022 is in our country’s public interest,” he added.

It means Nairobi has, for the fifth time, delayed its plan to close the camps. In 2013, Kenya, Somalia and the UNHCR had reached a tripartite agreement to gradually close Dadaab.

The agreement expired with just a small fraction of refugees accepting to return home voluntarily. Further plans have been challenged in court. On Tuesday, the High Court also suspended Nairobi’s plan. But this came as discussions went on for a staggered closure. The US government also pleaded for delay, arguing Kenya could violate its obligations if it closed the camps abruptly.

The two refugee camps in Turkana and Garissa counties respectively have been in existence since early 1990s when Somalia fell among warlords, and neighbouring countries Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi were in their conflicts.

Dadaab predominantly has Somali refugees and hosts about 220,000 refugees. Kakuma hosts about 16 0,000 mainly from South Sudan. The government has often accused some refugees of harbouring terrorists, claims UNHCR has fought. –

Shahdadpuri Choithram, Philemon Morara charged with Sh100 million fraud

City lawyer Philemon Morara Apiemi charged over Sh100 million fraud at the Milimani Law Courts on April 29, 2021.

A city lawyer and a tycoon have been charged with allegedly defrauding heirs of a deceased couple of their business empire valued over Sh100 million. Appearing before Milimani Law Courts Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi on Thursday, the lawyer Philemon Morara Apiemi denied seven counts. He is jointly charged alongside Shahdadpuri Chanshymam Choithram who failed to appear in court to plead to 13 counts against him.

Mr Choithram’s lawyer told the court that his client had contracted Covid-19 and had been advised to remain in isolation. “I will produce Mr Choithram in court after 14 days to plead to the charges,” the lawyer told the court.

While purporting to be the director and external lawyer for Global Apparels Kenya (EPZ) Limited (GAK (EPZ) Ltd respectively, Mr Choithram and Mr Apiemi are accused of conspiring to defraud heirs of Suresh Lakhian and Narian Choithram Shahdadpuri (both deceased) shares in the company.

The two are said to have transferred 250,000 ordinary shares valued at Sh25 million and 750,000 preferential shares valued at Sh75 million by allegedly falsifying resolutions, a transfer deed and statutory declarations of GAK (EPZ) Ltd. They allegedly executed the fraud between October 16, 2016 and June 13, 2018.

The two are charged with unlawfully making a transfer deed on June 18, 2018. They purported that the documents were the genuine ones signed by Lakhian and Narian.

On December 5 2016, Mr Apiemi allegedly prepared the transfer deed, being the lawyer for GAK (EPZ) Ltd. He was also charged with making a Statutory Declaration dated September 6, 2017 purporting to have been sworn by Narian. He is also accused of making another Statutory Declaration dated October 14 2016 sworn by the late Suresh.

Mr Apiemi denied presenting the forged written resolution, statutory declarations dated October 14 2017 and the transfer deed dated December 5, 2016 to the Registrar of Companies at the Attorney General Chambers.

On July 13 2019 he allegedly presented to the Registrar of Companies the forged statutory declaration dated June 7, 2017 and the transfer deed dated June 13 purporting they were genuine.

He was freed on a cash bail of Sh500,000 until May 12, 2021 when he will return to court for further directions. –

People’s Bank of China: Bitcoin is an investment option, not a currency

Bitcoin is more of an investment alternative than a currency, one of the top leaders at the People’s Bank of China has claimed. Li Bo, the deputy PBoC governor, further revealed that the apex bank is satisfied with the current digital currency regulations in China, but would seek to enforce even stricter rules for stablecoins.

Bo was speaking during the Boao Forum for Asia, a panel hosted by CNBC. The newly-appointed deputy governor revealed that the banking regulator doesn’t view BTC as a currency.

“We believe that Bitcoin and stablecoins are encrypted assets,” said Bo. “Encrypted assets are an investment option, not currency itself. It is an alternative investment, not currency itself. Therefore, we believe that crypto assets should play a major role in the future, either as an investment tool or as an alternative investment.”

Bo’s misleading remarks mirror a narrative peddled by the BTC cartel that Bitcoin is an investment asset, not a digital currency. The Bitcoin whitepaper, which Satoshi Nakamoto wrote over a decade ago, clearly refutes this narrative. In it, Satoshi describes Bitcoin as “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash,” that allows online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.

Bo also talked about digital currency regulations in the Asian economic giant. He stated, “Many countries, including China, are still looking into it and thinking about what kind of regulatory requirements. Maybe minimal, but we need to have some kind of regulatory requirement to prevent the speculation of such assets to create any serious financial stability risks.”


The deputy governor added that the PBoC has no intention of changing the current digital currency regulatory framework.

China was once the global digital currency hub, housing the biggest and most active digital currency exchanges and communities. However, the Chinese government cracked down on the industry, starting with ICOs and later on, digital currency exchanges. In recent months, it has been cracking down on the rampant use of digital currencies for online gambling, which is illegal in the country.

The narrative that Bitcoin is an asset class and not a currency has been fueled by recent institutional moves to acquire and hold onto BTC “as a reserve asset.” These institutions have sought to ride on the current market hype to generate profits from their BTC holdings before eventually dumping them once the digital currency market dips. Tesla’s Elon Musk and Microstrategy’s Michael Saylor have been the two biggest pushers of this narrative.

The eventful life of Philip Ochieng’

Veteran journalist Philip Ochieng dies aged 82

Veteran editor and long-serving Nation columnist Philip Ochieng has died at the age of 82. He died on Tuesday 27th April 2021 at Ombo Mission Hospital in Migori on Tuesday evening. Ochieng’s daughter Lucie Adhiambo said her father succumbed to pneumonia and other complications associated with old age.

The eventful life of Philip Ochieng’:

1. One of the beneficiaries of Mboya’s airlift program to the USA gaining admission at Roosevelt University.
2. Of the 1,000 students who went to study in USA between 1959 and the early 60s, only two people, Philip Ochieng’ and another came back with nothing. No degree, no certificate, nothing.
3. Philip Ochieng’s biographer says, “Ochieng’ and his friends painted the city red and drank all beers in Chicago.”
4. Later went to study in France. Again came back empty handed.
4. He has left Alliance High School. He is one of the few people Carey Francis literally went to fetch from home in his volkswagen beetle. Good brains never rot home.
5. Like Barack Obama Snr, he also impregnated a mzungu girl in the USA, Nova Diane, a temporary union that resulted in one issue, Juliette Akinyi. Ochieng’ left both of them there never to return.
6. Nation Newspapers was his home. He left and came back several times like it belonged to his family. It is his skills that made him go and come back to people he had previously annoyed.
7. One day he was forced to resign at Nation when he burnt a lady colleague’s nose with cigarette. When asked why he did so, he said, “she was asking too many questions.”
8. After burning nose with cigarette, he went to work for a newspaper in Tanzania. In Tanzania he ran two columns, “the way l see it” and “Ochieng’ on Sunday.” The Tanzanians, foreigners to the language of English, chased him away after only a few years for “abusing us with too much English.”
9. Went to work in Uganda, where his tongue and pen again could not let him stay in peace and he rubbed the Obote government the wrong way and came back to his “Nation.”
10. Never believed in the existence of a Supreme being called God famously saying, “I thank God am an atheist.,” and had no time for Luo customs and traditions.
11. Like most people taught by the legendary Carey Francis, he didn’t any other education. He taught journalism at the University of Nairobi without having any degree in journalism.
12. He had a library in his bedroom that is larger than the library of most schools. Taught me that a library should be in the bedroom.
13. Never learnt how to drive and never wore a watch.
14. A greater believer in whisky, colleagues say it could explain why he liked shouting to colleagues everytime because for him any good story or the celebration of the newspapers as they rolled in the printing works was celebrated with Whiskey.

His story is long.

One lesson we learn from Philip is how passion can make one overcome “paper” qualifications to make a mark in the planet.
Don’t we all know that the highest paid journalist in the world has never stepped inside a journalism class?
As Caroline Mutoko very well said, “build your skills not your CV. Sometimes you have to move horizontally so as to move vertically.

Because the career ladder is dead.”

Tesla is now sitting on $2.5 billion of bitcoin

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stands on the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020.

Tesla is sitting on roughly $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin, according to a securities filing, giving the automaker a significant gain on paper just a few months after investing. The automaker said its investment in the volatile cryptocurrency was worth $2.48 billion at the end of March. The company announced earlier this year that it had purchased $1.5 billion worth of bitcoin and planned to accept it as payment for vehicles.

Tesla said Monday it registered a net gain of $101 million from sales of bitcoin during the quarter, helping to boost its net profits to a record high in the first quarter. That figure included a $27 million impairment and $128 million in realized gains, according to Wednesday’s filing. Tesla does not account for bitcoin as a mark-to-market asset, meaning it only recognizes an earnings benefit if it sells to lock in the gains.

Bitcoin was trading near $59,000 on the final day of March, slightly above its price Wednesday morning. The crypto asset has swung widely in the intervening weeks, trading well above $60,000 before falling sharply to below $50,000.

Shares of Tesla were down 1.6% in premarket trading Wednesday. The stock, which has been one of the best performers in recent years, has dropped more than 15% in the past three months.

Kenya suspends passenger flights to India

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe who on March 30, 2021 announced that Kenya had recorded 1,530 new Covid cases over a 24-hour period.

The government has suspended passenger flights between Kenya and India following a surge in positive Covid-19 cases in the country. Announcing the National Response Committee resolution during a press briefing at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta on Wednesday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the suspension will take effect from Saturday midnight.

The suspension of the passenger flights between the two countries will remain for the next 14 days, pending review by the government. “This will allow those travelling tomorrow from India and those patients who are coming from treatment to arrive in the country,” he said.

CS Kagwe said the all passengers arriving from India before Saturday midnight will be subjected to a rapid antigen testing upon arrival and at the port of entry.

“They shall be required to strictly observe a 14 day quarantine period that will be closely monitored by our health officials. Those who test positive will be put into mandatory quarantine in specified areas at their own cost,” he said.

He however said cargo flights from India will remain in operation subject to the laid down guidelines under the laid down transport protocols.

The CS has however advised Kenyans who are planning to seek treatment in India to work for alternatives following the health crisis in India. Thousands of Kenyans, especially cancer patients, travel to India to seek specialised treatment.


Mr Kagwe said the government is continuing to improve health services in its health facilities to reduce the number of Kenyans who travel outside the country for specialised treatment.

He said the government has enhanced its cancer treatment in hospitals across the country for interventions. “There will be inconveniences due to the situation there. India’s capacity is totally overwhelmed. People cannot even get to hospital for treatment. It is baffling for a Kenyan to get into a flight to head to India for treatment,” he said.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta has also directed the Ministry of Health to work with the government of India, to explore ways of offering assistance, to help in the surging cases being witnessed in the country.

“The National Response Committee held a crisis meeting two days ago to deliberate on a raft of issues following which a number of resolutions were made. The Committee noted the dire events in India and it empathises with the situation,” he said.

Mr Kagwe said due to the situation in India, the government is seeking for other vaccine alternatives to ensure that more Kenyans are inoculated against the virus.

Kenyan imported over 1 million AstraZeneca vaccines from the global Covax initiative from India. He said the Indian government is battling a major surge in cases and deaths and is unable to meet the demand of other countries forcing Kenyan government to look for alternative supply chains of the vaccine.

The CS said the government will import Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson vaccines in the next two months to cover the deficit. So far 853,000 people have been vaccinated. Over 494, 000 are the elderly, 155,000 healthcare workers, 131,000 teachers and 71,000 security officers have so far been vaccinated.

Over 1.09 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine has already been distributed across the country with only 21,000 doses remaining at the central vaccine center in Kitengela. –


20 Years Long Residence Application

If you have been in the UK for 20 continuous years then you can apply for settlement visa (known as ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain) under 20 years Private Life and Long Residence route. Contact expert UK immigration lawyers or Blackstone Law Associates for case assessment, eligibility requirements and supporting documents.

The 20-year rule on long residence is contained at paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules. Under the 20-year rule, a person does not have to have lived in the UK lawfully, but simply “continuously”.

As a result of the changes in the Immigration Rules effected from 9 July 2012. The requirements to qualify for further leave have been extended from 14 years to 20 years. But what you may not be familiar with is the other changes, affecting qualifying for settlement. The new changes mean that applicants will have to wait a very long time after the 20 years to be able to achieve settled status.

A person who has lived 20 years continuously in the UK can apply for limited leave to remain under paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.

Continuous residence is defined in paragraph 276A of the Immigration Rules. Continuous residence means residence in the UK without any gap in the VISA.

What prevents a person from qualifying for the 20-year rule?

The only requirements to meet under the 20 years rule are:

not falling for refusal under Section S-LTR.1.2-2.3 and S-LTR.3.1 of Appendix FM, known as “the suitability grounds”;
making a valid application for leave; and
having lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years
Therefore, where an applicant has had 20 years continuous residence in the UK, their application may only be refused on suitability grounds (generally on grounds of public good) or if their application is not valid (for example, they did not pay the correct fee).

Status under 20 years rule

Unlike under the 10-year rule of lawful residence, applicants under the 20-year rule do not obtain indefinite leave to remain immediately. Under the relevant immigration rule, successful applicants receive discretionary leave for 10 years.

If the application is successful, an individual will be granted limited leave to remain for a period of 30 months. It will usually have a condition of “No Recourse to Public Funds” attached to it.

A person will then be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain once they have accumulated a period of 120 months (i.e. 10 years) lawful residence. So, under the 20-year rule, it will be 30 years from entry to the UK before the person is eligible to apply for settlement.

Initial Application

A person who has lived in the UK continuously for 20 years in the UK whether lawfully or unlawfully can apply for permission to stay in the UK for 30 months under paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.

Paragraph 276ADE of the Rules indicates that leave to remain may be granted to a long residence applicant if he or she has lived continuously in the UK:

for at least 20 years; or

for at least 7 years (and the applicant is under 18 years of age); or
for at least half of his life (and the applicant is aged between 18 and 25 years); or
for less than 20 years (and the applicant has no ties to the country to which he or she would have to go if required to leave the UK).
In calculating the period of continuous residence, any period in prison is to be discounted. A successful application under paragraph 276ADE will lead to a grant of leave to remain for no more than 30 months.

A person granted leave to remain under this paragraph may apply for further leave if he or she continues to meet the requirements of this paragraph. Such a person may apply for indefinite leave to remain after 10 years.


A person who has is already in the UK on leave to remain which was previously granted for 30 months on the basis of 20 years long residence can apply for renewal of his leave to remain 28 days prior to the expiry of his leave to remain. An application for renewal of such leave to remain is made using application form FLR (FP).

Indefinite Leave to remain

A person who has spent 10 years in the UK continuously with leave to remain under 20 years long residence application can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK on such basis. The 20 years long residence category is 10 years route to settlement and therefore an application for ILR can only be made once a person has spent 10 years in the UK continuously with leave to remain on the basis of 20 years long residence.

Continuous Residence

The Definition of “continuous residence” is almost the same as for the 10-year lawful residence route. However, time spent in prison will not break continuous residence. Instead time in prison will simply not be counted towards the period of residence. Time before and after imprisonment can be aggregated to make up the full amount of time.

Events that break continuous residence

Continuous residence is considered to be broken if the applicant has:

been absent from the UK for a period of more than six months at any one time, or is absent from the UK for a shorter period but does not have valid leave to enter the UK on their return, or valid leave to remain on their departure from the UK
been removed or deported from the UK, or has left the UK following refusal of leave to enter or remain
left the UK and by doing so, showed a clear intention not to return
left the UK under circumstances in which they could have no real chance of returning to the UK lawfully
been convicted of an offence and been given a custodial sentence, or ordered to be detained in an institution other than a prison, such as a hospital or young offenders institute, not including suspended sentences
spent a total of 18 months outside the UK throughout the whole 20-year period.