World’s oldest pupil, Stephen Kimani Maruge, is dead

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World’s oldest pupil, Stephen Kimani Maruge, is dead.
Maruge, 89, a symbol of hope for the free primary education programme initiated by the Narc Government in 2003, died yesterday at Chesire Home in Kariobangi North, Nairobi.
The man who demonstrated a rare spirit of resilience enrolled as a pupil at Kapkenduiywa Primary School in Eldoret in 2004.
He was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest pupil and was set to achieve his dream of achieving higher education and be able to read the Bible before the 2007 post-election violence rooted him from Eldoret.
Yesterday, his colleagues at Chesire Home were shocked by the news of his death.
Ms Donatila Ekuyi said Maruge was a jovial and co-operative old man. She said he lived well with other members in the home for the old and he would be dearly missed.
“We are shocked to lose Maruge,” said Ekuyi, a matron at the home.
Maruge’s granddaughter, who had lived with him after being displaced from Eldoret last year, said Maruge, had an ear for everyone even though he was battling stomach cancer, which was diagnosed last year.
“He was ready to listen to everyone. I will dearly miss his advice,” she told The Standard on Saturday. Ekuyi said Maruge’s health deteriorated from April when he was operated on at Kenyatta National Hospital.
“He could hardly take solid food. He drank milk, sodas and fruit juices,” she said.
Source-The Standard

 


 

Secrets of Raila and Kibaki deal

By Ben Agina and Abiya Ochola

Saturday, 18th April 2009

 

 

President Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, after a meeting of the Cabinet committee at Harambee House,

We today reveal the secret hand that forced President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga to the talking table on Wednesday, and the drastic steps taken to salvage the Coalition Government.

And we go behind the scenes to, for the first time, tell the inside story of how the President and the Prime Minister ignored the hardliners in their parties, to strike a deal that could see the coalition back on track after the failed Kilaguni talks.

It took at least five calls and visits by US President Barack Obama Administration representatives to bring the squabbling coalition principals to face-to-face talks to resolve their intractable differences. And matters came to a head when State Secretary Hillary Clinton wrote to the two on the need for the coalition to stick together and fast-track key reforms under Agenda Four.

The letter to the President was delivered on Wednesday, hours before the principals held unscheduled talks.

As pressure mounted, the principals moved to convene a meeting of the Permanent Committee on the Management of Grand Coalition Affairs the following day at Harambee House.

Our sources said the Prime Minister was given the message contained in the letter that Wednesday, but received the actual letter yesterday morning, from US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, who also delivered Kibaki’s.

It is during the talks that the principals, showing a more purposeful sense of direction and leadership, brushed aside obstacles placed on the way by their aides and allies.

Cabinet meeting postponed

Our sources revealed until minutes to the Wednesday evening meeting, the PM had maintained that he would not meet the President unless a scheduled Cabinet meeting was postponed, and a meeting of the Kilaguni team reconvened, instead.

When the two finally met at Harambee House after the President agreed to postpone the Cabinet meeting, it was an anti-climax of sorts.

After a chat between the two principals on the plight of IDPs and the need to resolve the problem once and for all, the two leaders got into the sticky issue of the management of the coalition.

The Prime Minister said there was no need holding a Cabinet meeting at which people would only be shouting at each other. He said the parties needed to iron out issues before the Cabinet could meet.

The President wanted to know from Mr Francis Muthaura, the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, who was present, whether the coalition team was ready.

Muthaura cut short

But Muthaura said the meeting was not necessary, adding the groundwork had not been done. Our sources say Muthaura was cut short when the PM said it did not require groundwork, and the President put it tacitly: “Let’s have the meeting.”

“The President chastised his party, saying members were creating a mountain out of a molehill. He was emphatic when they came to issues of the PM’s protocol, saying Raila deserved a higher protocol and even moved on to the issue of the PM’s salary,” the source said.

The President said it was for the Tribunal reviewing MPs’ salaries to recommend to the House how much the PM should earn.

“This is a closed chapter. Raila should enjoy his status as an equal partner in the coalition,” the President said.

Caught off guard, Muthaura, who had kicked off the debate on salaries, said the media misquoted his presentation to the tribunal.

The two quickly agreed that a team be formed to draw an agenda for discussion by coalition partners on Wednesday night.

The President appointed Muthaura to represent him while the PM tasked his administrative secretary Caroli Omondi to hold brief. The two were asked to come up with agenda of the coalition meeting and take it back to their bosses that night.

Fast-tracking reform agenda

On the agenda was the guiding principles and institutional framework for managing the affairs of the Grand Coalition, fast-tracking the National Reform Agenda under the National Accord and Executive appointments.

“While in Muthaura’s office drawing the agenda, the pair was joined by presidential advisors Kivutha Kibwana, Raphael Tuju, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua and Sam Mwale who quickly threw more spanners into the works,” says a source who could not be named, as they are not authorised to speak to the Press.

Tuju, however, excused himself, saying he was there on a separate mission. Mutua insisted that ODM wanted to sack people and renegotiate the accord, saying that is what the party meant by its agenda item on management of coalition.

Mutua and Kibwana wanted to know what ODM meant by political appointments, which the party was insisting should be shared equally.

A meeting that had ended with little fuss between the PM and the President was degenerating into a vicious contest at the Office of the President, now in the absence of Kibaki and Raila.

Omondi said political appointments are jobs given out not through interviews with the PSC, but by Executive order.

“It is a tradition across the world that every new administration makes certain appointments based on understanding that they understand and support the administration’s position on certain issues and would speed up their implementation,” he said.

Standoff over appointments

To end the standoff over political appointments, Mwale proposed that they use Executive instead of political appointments.

When the matter featured at the Thursday meeting of the entire committee, the President and the Prime Minister agreed with ease that, there are political appointments in government and there should be away of formalising this between him and the PM.

It was also agreed that a joint secretariat, to be funded by the Exchequer, be formed headed by Miguna Miguna (ODM) and Kibwana (PNU). It was also agreed that the PM be consulted and his concurrence sought in civil service, military and parastatals postings.

Raila set ball rolling

However, modalities for consultation were yet to be worked out.

Our sources say Raila set the ball rolling when he wrote to the President on Tuesday on the need for the coalition partners to discuss and agree on issues under the Agenda Four of the National Accord.

“I am writing for and on behalf of the ODM to express the urgent need for the Grand Coalition partners to discuss thoroughly and agree on the (i) immediate steps to be taken to advance the national reform agenda as embodied in Agenda Number Four of the National Accord and (ii) the modalities and framework for managing the affairs of the Grand Coalition,” Raila stated.

And in his reply the same day, the President concurred with his co-principal that there was need for both parties to commit themselves to reforms.

“I agree with you on the need to fast-track the reforms we have committed ourselves to, especially the Agenda Number 4 of the Grand Coalition,” said Kibaki.

He added: “My side of the coalition and I are determined to work with you and the ODM partners to fast track this agenda,” Kibaki wrote.

Kibaki at the same time invited Raila to his office on Wednesday so that, “We both reflect on this matter to agree on the way forward”.

At centre of their discussion were the thorny issues of the need to hold another meeting for the permanent committee of the management of the Grand Coalition affairs and the scheduled Cabinet meeting.

“The two principals agreed that it would be rational to try and bond the two partners through the permanent committee meeting than facing a hostile Cabinet,” said a source that declined to be named because of the nature of his job.

Source-The Standard

 


RAILA THREATENS KTN

 

Raila sacks aide over maize scandal
Tuesday, January 27 2009

 

 

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has suspended one of his aides over the maize scandal and promised to sack any ODM minister implicated in corruption.
Mr Odinga also disclosed that several trucks of maize were smuggled to Southern Sudan despite an export ban on the commodity.
The Government, he added, was investigating two individuals involved in the smuggling of maize to Sudan with a view of prosecuting them. They are said to have colluded with some government officials.
The PM told the Nation that he had asked that his aide be investigated after he received word that he could have been involved. “There is one officer whom I asked he be suspended and investigated,” he said.
And Mr Odinga put all members allied to his party on notice – anyone involved in any scandal will face the law. “Any minister or assistant minister found to be involved in this digression will definitely lose his position in the government and the law will take its course.”
The PM said although action had been taken on officers in government over scandals, investigations were going on and anyone involved would be dealt with. “The political leadership will also take responsibility if they are implicated in the ongoing investigations,” he added.
The PM spoke a day after top managers of the National Cereals and Produce Board were sacked over the maize scandal.
Mr Odinga dismissed claims that he had wavered on his pledge to fight corruption, saying he had initiated sackings and suspensions in several parastatals.
Monitoring unit
He said he could not “shout” against the vice now that he was in the government when he can take action.
Through the Efficiency Monitoring Unit and the Inspectorate of State Corporations, Mr Odinga said audits had been carried out in eight parastatals among them Nzoia Sugar Company, Kenya Tourist Board, National Social Security Fund, Kenya Airports Authority and Water Services Regulatory Board.
Others are Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Meat Commission, National Cereals and Produce Board and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Odinga said his office had instructed the KAA board to take disciplinary action against its managing director.
Source-The Nation

 

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Dear Kenyans and friends of Kenyans,
Why is Hon. Raila Odinga throwing tantrums at the media?
Is it because the media revelead to Kenyans that his son was involved in shipping maize to Southern Sudan while Kenyans are succumbing to starvation? Did Raila threaten to do a Michuki on KTN? Is it that really Raila Amolo Odinga is now standing up? What happened to the People’s President?
Our country has derailed in every sense of the word and is in desperate need for leadership. The way the two principals are handling the crises affecting our people, it appears they do not to know what they are doing! They just come across as leaders who are clueless on how to get Kenya back on the rail.
I must admit that I have been a quiet supporter of Hon. Raila Odinga but since he became Mr. Prime Minister of Kenya, I find him to be metamorphing rapidly into a public figure not any different from Hon. Mwai Kibaki and the likes.
Consider this:
Is it an act of God that Elkana Odembo who was appointed as Kenya’s envoy to France is married to Aoko Midiwo, a sister of Hon. Jakoyo Midiwo; bearing in mind that the mother of Aoko and Jakoyo Midiwo and Raila Odinga are sisters?
What about appointment of Eng. Rege as Permanent Secretary and Paul Gondi as Chairman of Geothermal Power who are both from his clan?
What does the Prime Minister think the grapevine is making of this?
I am made to believe that this fellow Kenyans have the pre-requisite qualifications for these positions. However, looked at from Raila’s much talked about principle of redistribution, isn’t this too much from one place?
Civic vigilance in Kibera
The Prime Minister did not have it easy with the crowds that turned up to meet him during his yesterday 25th January 2009 tour of Kibera slums. Forget what the television showed you at prime time news, for those of us who were there, we can’t believe the rate at which Kibera residents are abandoning sycophancy to demand accountable leadership.
Last word Mr. Prime Minister, stay away from our media! The country is in grave condition, everything is not working and Kenyans are losing hope; we need a leader who can capture our dreams and aspirations and inspire us to believe again. Do you have what it takes to be that leader?
George Nyongesa
Bunge la Mwananchi
www.bulamwa.co.ke
+254 720 451 235

 

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