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WEEKEnD EDITIOn, FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017 | WWW.x254.cO







New laws could lock out political bigwigs Governor Isaack Ruto (Bomet)

Governor Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa) Governor Evans Kidero (Nairobi City) Governor Peter Munya (Meru)

Governor Samuel Tunai (Narok)

Governor Alfred Mutua (Machakos)

Governor Amason Kingi (Kilifi)


Governor Mwangi wa Iria (Muranga)



US congressman seeks to stop Sh43bn arms deal with Kenya A US congressman is seeking to stop Kenya’s pending Sh43 billon weapons deal that includes the purchase of warplanes from an American contractor. According to House Representative Ted Budd, the contractor has never produced airplanes of this type and would cost an extra Sh29 billion compared to other companies. Budd indicated that the resolution introduced in the House will give Congress time to look into “these troubling allegations.” “My office has received credible allegations of faulty contracting practices, fraud, and unfair treatment surrounding this sale,” he revealed. He further emphasised the need to ensure that Kenya – which he described as a longtime ally – gets a fair deal. “Given that this proposed contract was decided without competition, to a company that has no experience or track record producing this kind of aircraft, and for a price that is more than double what a contractor in our district has quoted, further investigation is definitely in order,” he stated. He noted that IOMAX, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business located in the 13th District is the only company that has exported

US Congressman Ted Budd at a past House Committee discussion. He wants the weapons deal with Kenya halted for irregularities. PHOTO: COURTESY

weaponised border patrol aircraft from the United States. He stated that in spite of this reality, the Air Force, along with the Defense Security Cooperation Agency awarded a $418 million sole-source contract to L-3, a $13 billion defense

contractor, to fulfill Kenya’s request for 12 weaponised border patrol aircraft. “IOMAX claims that it can fulfill the contract for $180 million, and it has 48 weaponized border patrol aircraft in service, as opposed to zero for

L-3,” he said. The US State Department had also approved the sale on the grounds that it will not alter the military balance in the region or adversely impact the US defense readiness. MORE ON THIS STORY

Uhuru now asked to end doctors stalemate

The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) has petitioned Uhuru Kenyatta to urgently intervene and resolve the labour dispute pitting his government, devolved units and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU). In a statement to newsrooms, the commission said that it is unfortunate that the doctors have been on strike for the last 76 days with all essential health services countrywide remaining grounded. “This is by far the most disruptive industrial action ever in the history of the Kenya Labour sector and which has come at a colossal loss of human life,” said the commission chair Winfred Lichuma. She regretted that the jailing of the union officials has served to aggravate an already bad situation. She noted that as the government and the unions entangle in supremacy battle it is the vulnerable children, women, the elderly and persons with disabilities who cannot access medical services that continue to suffer. Article 43 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 provides every person the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services including reproductive health. The gender commission held that it is the responsibility of government to provide proper healthcare and not to compromise its quality. It reckoned that the government must address the legitimate concerns raised by the medical professionals. “While we remind doctors of their social contract, the Hippocratic Oath and the ethical concerns that the strike raises touching on their professional conduct, we are aware that they too have their right to fair pay and better working conditions,” Lichuma stated. hillary_x254

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University teaching staff are willing to take a 30 percent pay hike to end the ongoing strike, the Universities Academic Staff Union (UASU) has said. In a letter to the Inter Public Universities Consultative Council Forum (IPUCCF), UASU Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said the union was willing to accept a 30 and 20 percent per annum increment in basic salary and house allowance respectively, compounded for the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) cycle. On Monday, UASU rejected a Sh10 billion offer from the IPUCCF saying it was far below the expectations of University staff. Under the counter-proposal, the teaching staff were set to get a 3.2 percent pay increase and a 1.6 percent increment on house allowance. Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i told the press on Thursday that various University Senates were engaging unions and reported that a union he left unnamed had signed a CBA with University managers. “I am aware that University employees are engaged in constant conversations with University councils,” Matiang’i said at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) where the Commission for University Education (CUE) released an audit report on universities in the country. “I am satisfied that a lot of good work has

happened. In fact one of the unions has just signed a CBA this morning (Thursday),” he said. Matiang’i said it was incumbent upon university councils to conduct negotiations adding that interference by the Ministry would be non-procedural; an act contravening the law. “Every lecturer has a letter of appointment from the university council and not the Ministry of Education,” Matiang’i said adding: “Universities are run by councils. I cannot issue a directive to governing councils or Vice Chancellors.” Matiang’i first weighed-in on the lecturers’ strike on January 26 when he asked university staff unions to suspend their

strike for a month, to pave way for a Joint Negotiations Committee (JNC) composed of the IPUCCF and unions to begin talks on January 30. The talks however flopped after UASU rejected a Sh10 billion counter-offer by the IPUCCF under the leadership of Prof Ratemo Michieka. UASU’s refusal of the offer Monday was followed a march by union members to Parliament, the National Treasury and the Ministry of Education, where they presented a petition calling for the resolution of the pay stalemate which enters its fourth week yesterday. MORE ON THIS STORY

University staff officials during a past press conference, Lecturers have today said they are willing to resume duty for 30% pay increase. PHOTO: GITOBU IKUNDA/X NEWS


New law spells doom for aspirants Politicians with pending graft cases could find themselves locked out of the coming general elections after the electoral commission spelt out new integrity requirements. Under the new guidelines tabled by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Parliament this week, all political aspirants seeking any elective seat must be cleared by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC). The new rules have sent panic across the political divide as it spells doom for politicians with questions hanging over their integrity. “A candidate shall obtain and submit clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as prescribed under the Leadership and Integrity Act,” the new regulations state. This is a departure from the clearance used in 2013 when candidates just submitted a selfdeclaration from as prescribed in the First Schedule of the Leadership and Integrity Act. Under the Act, a person intending to be appointed to a State office is required to submit to the anti-graft team a self-declaration form. But the new requirements seeks to ensure candidates have no issues pending on their integrity. A dozen of politicians both incumbents and aspirants for the seat of senate, governors and even members of parliament. Among candidates whose candidature could be imperiled are five governors under investigation and two charged with corruption-related offences, as well as Trans Nzoia MCAs charged on Monday for similar offences. Governors Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Evans Kidero (Nairobi) Isaac Ruto (Bomet) Godana Doyo (Isiolo), Okoth Obado (Migori), Samuel Tunai (Narok) are among county chiefs currently under investigation by the anti-graft body over corruption allegations.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati and the commission’s chief executive Ezra Chiloba at a past press conference. PHOTO: COURTESY

Others include Peter Munya (Meru), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Alfred Mutua, (Machakos), Ukur Yattani (Marsabit) and Kilifi’s Amason Kingi. Senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Johnstone Muthama (Machakos) are similarly facing integrity queries. MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills)alongside nominated MP Sonia Birdi are under investigation for breaching Chapter 6 of the Constitution on integrity by using foul language and intimidating government officials at a weighbridge in Gilgil in 2015. The integrity axe may also fall on former Cabinet Secretary for Lands and Urban Development

Charity Ngilu, her former cabinet colleague Felix Koskei (Agriculture). The two are eying gubernatorial positions. Former Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia may also be locked out as he is facing accusations of using his office to deprive former employees of Kenya Railway Corporation houses meant for them to buy. He is also yet to be cleared in an accusation of an irregular award of a Sh1 billion tender in the Interior Ministry. The polls team regulations seek to enforce Chapter Six of the Constitution which has largely been ignored with aspirants only required to fill arbitrary self-declaration forms as proof of

Authority denies move to spy on Kenyans privacy

Six-man team formed to oversee Jubilee Party nomination talks with IEBC The Jubilee Party primaries could be conducted by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) after both parties agreed to set up a six-man team to look into modalities of carrying out the exercise. The electoral agency, which had previously objected to conducting the nominations, has agreed to submit three names from its ranks with an equal number from the ruling party to discuss the nominations. Speaking after a meeting with top Jubilee Party secretariat officials today, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said that overseeing party nominations was part of its legal mandate upon request by a political party. “We have agreed to form a small team for purposes of working out formalities of the Jubilee Party nominations as they had written to us,” Chebukati said. The Jubilee team will be led by the party’s head of secretariat Raphael Tuju and its first meeting will be held on February 28. Chebukati had previously lamented that his newly inaugurated commission was already overstretched and could not afford

to waste anytime as it would compromise preparations for the August 8th General elections. The commission chair also hinted that they would float another ballot paper tender following the quashing of one awarded to Dubai-based Al Ghuraiar Printing and Publishing Company on grounds that the commission was not properly constituted at the time the contract was signed. “We still have time to prepare for the elections and it is possible to issue another tender for printing of the ballot papers,” he added. Tuju lashed out at the National Super Alliance for perpetuating the narrative that the electoral agency was in an unholy alliance with Jubilee to rig the elections. He pointed out that the government and IEBC were two separate entities and that election rigging could only be conducted by the Chebukati-led commission. Tuju further noted that several issues they had with the commission had been highlighted in a memorandum from their meeting including the cleaning of the voters’ register list. “We have addressed the issue of cleaning of the voter register to remove

their integrity in the past. “A candidate shall obtain and submit clearance from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission as prescribed under the Leadership and Integrity Act,” the new regulations state. It is supposed to replace another that states: “A candidate shall submit a self-declaration form as prescribed in the First Schedule to the Leadership and Integrity Act.” Under the Act, a person intending to be appointed to a State office is required to submit to the anti-graft team a self-declaration form. Should MPs approve the regulations already tabled in the National Assembly, they will set out the rules for IEBC’s involvement in party primaries. IEBC seems to have thrown a spanner in the plans of political parties keen to use its services to conduct their nominations. “For the avoidance of doubt, the commission’s role in party primaries shall be limited to the supervision and conduct of party primaries on the days set aside for nomination and shall not participate in the preparation of party lists, save as authorised by law,” state the new regulations. Political parties are expected to choose their candidates in April in readiness for the main campaigns leading to the August 8, polls. However, in the regulations the polls agency gives itself the power to reject party lists submitted by political parties where the lists do not conform to the requirement of the Constitution or if the party fails to submit revised party lists after the lapse of the 45-days deadline before the elections. The electoral agency has also tightened rules for candidates wishing to represent youths and persons with disability, stating that such persons must provide proof of their age and disability among other requirements. @hillary_x254

voters who may have died though we haven’t gotten a response from them,” Tuju said. Chebukati noted that the cleaning of the register involves removing dead voters and names of those with double registration anomalies. The exercise is expected to commence after the mass voter registration closes on February 19 and is scheduled for public scrutiny on May 9. The party head also noted that there was a loophole in the law mandating IEBC to conduct party primaries saying it did not clarify where funding to oversee the process would be sourced from. @harrison_x254

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has refuted claims that it wants to spy on Kenyans through use of a multi-million shilling system said to be seeking to protect consumers. The agency says that the Sh200 million Device Management System (DMS) rolled out is aimed purely at ensuring counterfeit devices are locked out of the country. Speaking during a press conference today, CA Director General Francis Wangusi denied media reports that the system was being used to extract data from third parties. “There is misinformation in today’s newspapers that we are planning to spy on Kenyans which is quite the contrary,” Wangusi said. Reports indicated that the State had asked mobile telephone service providers to allow it to plant gadgets on all networks in the country that have the ability to listen, read and track down the more than 30 million Kenyans who own mobile devices. This elicited outcry from Kenyans on social media questioning the government’s tapping especially ahead of the August 8 General Elections. The communications boss however clarified that CA was an independent agency that does not necessarily follow State directives blindfold. @harrison_x254



Ending malaria for good: How soap, chairs and clothing could stop mosquito bites - diseases


nown to health experts as the most deadly animal on the planet, the minuscule mosquito, with its dreaded whine, is responsible for millions of deaths from multiple diseases each year. In 2015, more than 210 million people had malaria, with an estimated 429,000 dying from the disease. In Kenya, some 23, 789 deaths were attributed to malaria which remains the leading killer disease in the country despite being on a slow but steady decline over the past decade according to the Kenya Economic Survey of 2015. That same year, more than 1.4 million people were thought to have chikungunya - a debilitating disease causing fever and joint pain - and each year, 390 million people are estimated to become infected with dengue, according to the World Health Organization. Yellow fever continues to cause outbreaks in Africa and South America, and 2015 saw an explosion of the Zika virus in 70 countries that had never experienced it before. These diverse, deadly diseases are all united by the way they are transmitted: the mosquito bite. “We need to kill mosquitoes,” businessman and philanthropist Bill Gates told CNN during an exclusive interview. “So people have come along and given us ideas to do that.” These people have come to him through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, with ideas for everyday products that could be tweaked to cut down on the number of people bitten and infected each year. “Science today should give us tools to solve a lot of the big killers,” Gates said. To date, mosquito control methods such as insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor spraying of insecticides in homes have been the driving force behind falling infection rates, specifically in efforts to control malaria. These nets are credited with nearly 70% of malaria cases prevented since 2000. But despite this progress, the disease continues to kill, and experts believe creative ideas are needed to help those who remain unprotected, especially when they’re away from home. “What’s going to happen is that you have roundthe-clock protection,” said Fredros Okumu, director of science at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, where more than 4 million cases of malaria were reported in 2015. “Repellent can be fitted on your wall ... on a floor mat ... their chair ... sandals.” Okumu’s team is making this wide range of goods mosquito-free by fitting them with a bespoke fabric coated with mosquito repellent and targeting objects people can’t live without, making their use inherent. The repellents are volatile in nature, meaning they easily evaporate and can be detected from greater distances than ones that typically sit on your skin. Prototypes of the fabric on a chair have shown protection for up to six months, according to Okumu. But the strategy gets more complex. Rather than simply divert the mosquitoes onto someone else’s skin, Okumu wants to capture them using a mosquito landing box, which mimics human odor to lure the bugs. “We’re able to capture them,” he said. “And this way, we are providing protection to whoever is

A chair fitted with mosquitop repelants and an anti-mosquito soap are some of the trails being made towards eliminating mosquito bites and diseases linked to them. LEFT is a test to determine the efficacy of the new trials. PHOTOS: COURTESY

using this facility ... (and) communal protection to everyone else.” So far, most attention has been given to the chair, on which Velcro is used to attach repellent fabric to the underside, providing protection while avoiding direct contact with a user’s skin - an important point given the strength of the insecticides. But Okumu believes that other furnishings and everyday items, such as footwear, can incorporate this material and enable people to be protected wherever they go - and easily. “People might be very poor ... but one thing that is almost universal is that they always wear some form of footwear,” he said, adding that this can ensure maximum compliance. “This is part of our evolution.” When it comes to disease control, however, human behavior is a major barrier. “The issue is whether people will use it or buy it,” said Flaminia Catteruccia, assistant professor of immunology and infectious disease at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Something for long-term use has to also be thoroughly tested” for side effects. Would you use the chair or wear the sandals? Okumu believes you would. “The fight against malaria is so difficult, we’ll need all tools,” Catteruccia added. “It’s important to explore methods ... at the community or village level, these may be effective.” Among those exploring multiple approaches to mosquito control are students in the graduate program and researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design. During a “Zika hackathon” competition last year, they were challenged to come up with

creative ways to fight the Zika epidemic, with a focus on the mosquitoes spreading the virus. “For a large part of the planet, mosquito disease remains a huge problem,” said Dr. Soumyadipta Acharya, director of the Johns Hopkins graduate program. “New thinking is needed from various angles.” A key area given attention was catching people during their daily activities - such as washing. In contrast to long-lasting, volatile insecticides that could harm your skin, an opposite group of compounds is shorter-lived and residual, meaning they can comfortably reside on your skin. charya’s team is trying one of these, permethrin, in soap. “There are different insecticides for different uses,” he said. “This one stays behind on the skin, as all soaps do as well.” The teams at Johns Hopkins are not the first to develop anti-mosquito soaps. Last year, another repellent-based product - known as Faso soap - began development in Burkina Faso after the researchers behind it won the Global Social Venture Competition at the University of California, Berkeley and received funding to develop it further. But both versions are still in early development and face multiple challenges before being allowed onto the market. “There are many tests needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy,” Acharya said, adding that teams also need to figure out how long a soap’s effects last: It should be at least 24 hours, before a person would wash again. Catteruccia added that soap will provide very


personal protection and not have “benefits at the community level,” she said. “Mosquitoes are also highly resilient, so they will always be able to get round this.” Insecticide resistance has been a challenge for health teams around the world. According to the World Health Organization, 60 of 96 countries where malaria is endemic have reported resistance since 2010. But Acharya is hopeful that a soap, if proven effective, could be used along with other approaches to help protect people wherever they go. His teams are also working on banners to be hung near homes that emit repellents, as well as traps with real-time sensors to monitor mosquito numbers in a community and alert residents to protect themselves when spikes occur. The traps were piloted in Brazil earlier this year. “It’s going to be a multipronged approach,” Acharya said, highlighting that soaps, sprays, banners, traps and more can work together to keep mosquitoes at arm’s length. “Together, your odds of getting bitten are reduced.” “Wearable technology can protect against mosquito bites during the day,” said James Logan, senior lecturer in medical entomology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Logan is also working on technologies to protect people through the clothes they wear and the accessories and furniture they own. His approach with clothing is two-pronged: impregnating the clothes themselves and also the detergents they’re washed with. By also incorporating insecticides into plastics, he hopes to extend protection to hats, handbags and household items.


Samsung boss arrested in South Korea scandal probe WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017

Pakistani security officer stand guard outside the mosque adjacent to shrine of Hazrat Sakhi Abdul Wahab Shah Jillani during Friday prayers as security has been intensified after a suicide bombing at the shrine of Sufi Muslim Saint Lal Shahbaz Qalander in Sehwan, in Hyderabad, Pakistan, earlier today. At least 80 people were killed and more than 250 injured in the attack. PHOTO: REHAN KHAN/EPA

Dozens killed at Pakistan shrine attack

A suicide attack in a popular shrine in southern Pakistan has killed at least 72 people, police say. The bomber blew himself up among devotees in the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in the town of Sehwan in Sindh province, police said. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has condemned the attack, which has been claimed by socalled Islamic State. It is the deadliest in a string of recent bombings claimed by IS, the Pakistani Taliban and other militants. The shrine, one of the country’s oldest and most revered, was crowded as Thursday is considered a sacred day for Muslims to pray there. Witnesses said the attacker struck as worshippers were performing a sacred dance. Local media said he blew himself up after throwing a grenade. “I saw bodies everywhere. I saw bodies of women and children,” one man told local media. Another described scenes of chaos and devastation, with the shrine’s courtyard “filled with thousands of people who were crying and wailing”. Images from inside the shrine showed the floor covered with blood, with clothing and sandals strewn around. The Edhi Welfare Trust, which runs Pakistan’s largest ambulance service, said 43 of the dead were men, nine women and 20 children. At least 250 others were

wounded, a senior police official told the BBC. The only hospital in the area was said to be overwhelmed. The critically injured were being sent by ambulance to Jamshoro and Hyderabad, some two hours away. The military said navy helicopters capable of flying at night would be sent to airlift the critically injured. Prime Minister Sharif has vowed to fight the militants who have carried out attacks. “The past few days have been hard, and my heart is with the victims,” he said in a statement. “But we can’t let these events divide us, or scare us. We must stand united in this struggle for the Pakistani identity, and universal humanity.” The head of the military, Gen Qamer Javed Bajwa said that “each drop of [the] nation’s blood shall be revenged, and revenged immediately. No more restraint for anyone”. Sufism, a mystical order of Islam, has been practised in Pakistan for centuries. Most of the radical Sunni militant groups despise the Sufis, as well as Shia Muslims, as heretics. Two separate bombings in the country’s north-west killed at least seven people on Wednesday. And on Monday, at least 13 people died in a suicide bombing in the eastern city of Lahore. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-urAhrar, said it had carried out that attack.

Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong has been placed under arrest in South Korea, accused of bribery and other charges. The case is linked to a scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye. Samsung is accused of giving donations to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of Ms Park, in exchange for government favours. Mr Lee and the Samsung Group deny any wrongdoing. The acting Samsung chief was first questioned by prosecutors in January, but they decided then not to arrest him. But he was questioned for a second time earlier this week. On Friday, the court said it “acknowledged that it is necessary to arrest [Lee Jae-Yong] in light of a newly added criminal charge and new evidence.” The prosecution will now investigate further, and has 20 days to file formal charges. The arrest does not reflect a court opinion on guilt or innocence but only means it considers the potential crime very serious or that it assumes a flight risk. Prosecutors accused Mr Lee of giving donations worth 41bn won ($36m;£29m) to organisations linked to Ms Park’s close friend Ms Choi. They alleged this was done to win government support for a big restructuring of Samsung that would help a smooth leadership transition in favour of Mr Lee, who is standing in as chairman for his ill father, Lee Kun-hee. The controversial merger required support from the national pension fund - the allegation is that this support was granted in return for the donations. In a December parliamentary hearing, Samsung admitted giving a total of 20.4bn won to two foundations, but denied seeking favours in return. Mr Lee also confirmed the firm gave a horse and money to help the equestrian career of Ms Choi’s daughter, Chung Yoo-ra, something he said he now regrets. This centres around President Park’s ties to Ms Choi and has brought allegations of cult activities, influence-peddling and leaks of classified information. Ms Choi is a long term family friend whose father had already had close ties with President Park’s father who was president in the 1970s. As well as soliciting donations, Ms Choi is accused of using their friendship to interfere in politics.

Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics Co. gets into his car at the special prosecutor’s office in Seoul, South Korea on 14 February 2017, after concluding questioning over alleged bribery involving impeached South Korean President Park Geun-hye. Mr Lee was today arrested over alleged bribery related to the merger of two of Samsung’s affiliates in 2015. PHOTO: EPA

She is now on trial charged with various offences, including abuse of authority, coercion and attempted fraud, and denies wrongdoing. Parliament voted in December to impeach President Park. Her case is now being heard by the constitutional court. Meanwhile she has been stripped of her presidential powers. Mr Lee is currently vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics. But since his father, Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014, he is considered de facto boss of the entire Samsung Group conglomerate. Regardless of the outcome, a trial is a big

Trump pick for security advisor turns down offer

US President Donald Trump’s choice for national security adviser has turned down the job offer. Retired Vice-Admiral Robert Harward was widely tipped for the post after Mr Trump fired Michael Flynn on Monday. A White House official said Mr Harward cited family and financial commitments, but US media said the sticking point was he wanted to bring in his own team. Mr Flynn had misled US Vice-President Mike Pence over his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the US. The latest setback emerged hours after

Mr Trump robustly denied media reports of White House disarray, insisting in a news conference that his administration was running like a “finetuned machine”. The White House is expected to name its new communications director on Friday, and US media say the job will go to Mike Dubke, the founder of Republican media group Crossroads Media. Mr Harward told the Associated Press the Trump administration was “very accommodating to my needs, both professionally and personally”.

“It’s purely a personal issue,” added the 60-year-old former Navy Seal who is currently based in Abu Dhabi as an executive for US defence contractor Lockheed Martin. Asked about reports that he had asked to bring in his own staff at the National Security Council, Mr Harward said: “I think that’s for the president to address.” Mr Flynn, a retired army lieutenantgeneral, was ousted amid claims that before he was even appointed as national security adviser he had discussed sanctions with a Russian envoy.

blow to the company. His arrest may not affect short term production or the running of the firm but there could be long term implications. Shares in the conglomerate’s firms lost between 0.5% and 2% on Friday. Samsung is one of the biggest electronics companies in the world and for the head of a company that thrives on a premium brand image to be involved in a corruption scandal is a huge embarrassment. It says it will do its best “to ensure that the truth is revealed in future court proceedings”, though denies wrongdoing.

This would have potentially breached a law banning private citizens from engaging in diplomacy. Mr Flynn initially denied having discussed sanctions with Sergei Kislyak, Moscow’s ambassador to Washington. But on Monday, Mr Trump asked for his resignation following revelations that Mr Flynn had misled the vicepresident about his conversations with the diplomat. Leading Republicans have called for an investigation into intelligence leaks that led to Mr Flynn’s resignation.




A young aardvark also called ‘African ant bear’ is presented at the zoo in Wroclaw, Poland, yesterday. The aardvark is medium-sized, burrowing, nocturnal mammal native to Africa. It can be rarely seen in the zoos, and it is even less likely to reproduce there. Only five aardvarks were born in European zoos last year. PHOTO: ALEKSANDER KOZMINSKI/EPA

G20 MINISTERS MEET: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (R) grimaces as he attends the

opening session at the World Conference Center Bonn (WCCB) in Bonn, Germany, yesterday. The German FM hosts counterparts from the G20 grouping for a two-day gathering. G20 foreign ministers meet to prepare the upcoming G20 summit in July in Hamburg. PHOTO: FRIEDEMANN VOGEL/EPA


Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo (right) shakes hands with the outgoing President Hassan Sheik Mohamud during a handover ceremony held in Mogadishu, Somalia, yesterday. Farmajo, the former prime minister of Somalia, was on 08 February 2017 elected President of the country following a parliamentary vote. PHOTO: SAID YUSUF WARSAME/EPA


MILITARY COBRA: US marines run past an Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV) during the amphibious assault joint military exercise component of Cobra Gold 2017 at a military base in Chonburi province, Thailand, earlier today. Cobra Gold is a US-led annual multinational exercise and the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia. Cobra Gold 2017 features the participation of 29 countries which will attend training and observe the direct participation of more than 8,300 personnel from the main countries from Thailand, the United States, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia in the exercise. Cobra Gold 2017 is being held in Thailand from 14 to 24 February. PHOTO: NARONG SANGNAK/EPA

Citizens hold a demonstration to show opposition to politicians involved in the Odebrecht corruption case in Lima, Peru, yesterday. More than 2,000 people took part in the demonstration, held in reaction to the ongoing case in which the Brazilian company Odebrecht allegedly distributed 29 million US dollars in bribes to Peruvian officials in relation to construction projects. PHOTO: ERNESTO ARIAS/EPA




Sh2.9bn Shelter Afrique injection to help set up affordable housing

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will supply real estate developer, Shelter Afrique with a total of Sh2.9 billion in funding in a bid to help set up affordable housing in the continent. AfDB has already disbursed an equity investment of $8.2 million (Sh850 million) in Shelter Afrique. The lender announced on February 14, 2017 that it is also arranging for an immediate loan of $20 million (Sh2.1 billion) to the company to consolidate the position of the housing specialist for 2017 and beyond. “These new resources show that the African Development Bank is fully committed to the growth and development of Shelter Afrique, which plays a vital and unique role in the development of affordable housing across Africa,’’ said Gabriel Negatu, Director General at AfDB’s East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office. The announcement comes at a time when Kenya’s housing deficit is estimated at 200,000 housing units per year, according to an analysis dubbed ‘The Report: Kenya 2016’, an annual publication of the Oxford Business Group. The high cost of housing has seen Kenyans take up only 24,000 housing loans over the past five or so decades. “With the strong measures taken by Shelter Afrique to improve its governance and the support of its shareholders, the company can move to the next stage of its development,” added Negatu. The African Development Bank participated in Shelter Afrique’s Extraordinary General Meeting, which was held on January 31, 2017 in Nairobi. At the EGM, shareholders present unanimously resolved to pay up their share


The Board will also take appropriate disciplinary action to address irregularities and shortcomings identified in the company’s forensic audit report. The Board also agreed to expand the organisation’s shareholder base to include African and non-African impact investors this year and take Shelter Afrique to the next stage of its development. The African Development Bank intends to work with Shelter Afrique’s management and Board to support the company with technical and business development assistance throughout 2017.

Low uptake of sweetener prompts millers to lower sugar prices by Sh600 Sugar prices at the factory have fallen to Sh5,000 per 50kg bag down from Sh5,600 recorded in December 2016, the Sugar Directorate has confirmed. Solomon Odera, Head of the industry regulatory body, attributes the reduced prices to low consumption of the sweetener saying the recent hike in prices has discouraged a majority of Kenyans from buying the product. “The demand for the commodity has greatly reduced over the last one month prompting factories to lower the price of sugar to improve the demand and consumption of the product,” he said. In 2016, the country had a shortage of about 5,000 tonnes of sugar, which pushed the shelf price of sugar by over Sh10 a kilo. The shortage was as a result of poor sugarcane harvest recorded in 2016 due to a drought that hit the country affecting almost all sectors of agricultural products.

However, consumers are still buckling under high sugar costs despite the fact that factories have lowered the price of the commodity. To shield consumers from retailers taking advantage of the price drop, Odera says millers are planning to open up their own distribution networks to other players as well as selling the sweetener directly to consumers. The prices of other commodities have also increased, exacerbated by the drought and made worse by rising inflation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), drought in Kenya has sent prices of staples such as maize and sorghum spiraling. “Sharply increasing prices are severely constraining food access for large numbers of households with alarming consequences in terms of food insecurity,” Mario Zappacosta, FAO Senior Economist, said in a @enock _x254 recent statement.

BUY SELL 103.5500 103.7500 129.1228 129.4167 110.0000 110.2344 8.0077 8.0294 34.4771 34.6403 21.4940 21.6321

Kenya Airways to launch direct flights to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

epa01873370 A man moves a bed into his new house which was purpose built for residents being moved from the Soweto area of Kibera, Africa’s most populous slum, in Nairobi. Kenya’s housing deficit is estimated at 200,000 housing units per year, according to an analysis dubbed ‘The Report: Kenya 2016’, an annual publication of the Oxford Business Group. EPA/STEPHEN MORRISON capital commitments of approximately $116 million (Sh12 billion) as soon as possible or face temporary suspension from membership if not done by the end of 2017. With additional equity support, Shelter Afrique will be in a stronger position to finance an increasing number of projects. Shelter Afrique has announced that it will fundamentally improve its governance structure. Several interim executive managers are being contracted by the realtor’s Board to improve financial management and governance.

MEAN 103.6500 129.2697 110.1172 8.0185 34.5587 21.5630

Improving the quality of life for the people of Africa is one of the High 5 Priorities set by the Bank in 2015. Africa’s economic growth has not been rapid or inclusive enough to create enough jobs and improve quality of life. The Bank is committed to building up the availability of technical skills so that African economies can realise their full potential in high-technology sectors. Acknowledging the urgent need to address climate change, the Bank will nearly triple its annual climate financing to reach $5 @enock _x254 billion a year by 2020.

National carrier, Kenya Airways will begin offering direct flights between Nairobi and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on May 18, 2017. This will be Kenya Airways’ 52nd destination and its second city in Zimbabwe after Harare where it operates 21 weekly flights. The new route between Nairobi and Victoria Falls will operate three times a week on Monday, Thursday and Saturday. The Victoria Falls operation will be linked to Cape Town, South Africa. This will see the airline increase its operations to Cape Town from the current four, which are served via Livingstone, Zambia, to six. “This new route highlights our strategy to continue ‘Winning in Africa’ which is driven by opening up the region and ensuring our value proposition meets the demands for our customers,” said Kenya Airways’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze. The flight will depart in Nairobi at 7.20am, arriving in Victoria Falls at 9.30am, departing Victoria Falls 10.20am to arrive in Cape Town at 1.25pm. The return flight will take off from Cape Town International Airport at 2.15pm, arrive Victoria Falls at 5.10pm and depart Victoria Falls at 6pm and touchdown Nairobi 10pm. “We have seen increased demand for Cape Town, and had to increase our frequency in December. The route via Victoria Falls offers our guests two leisure holiday options,” the CEO added. Kenya Airways will be the only carrier offering direct services between Victoria Falls and Cape Town. This offering will see guests enjoying Victoria Falls from the Zambia side via Livingstone and Zimbabwe side via Victoria Falls. The route will be operated by the flyer’s Embraer E190 plane with a configuration of 12 business class seats and 84 economy class seats. @kevin _x254

Regulator approves NSE listing for country’s first-ever Exchange Traded Fund to track gold prices The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has allowed the listing of the country’s first-ever Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), which will track the price of gold, the regulator said in a statement earlier this morning. The market regulator said in a statement the ETF will be issued by NewGold Issuer (RF) Ltd, which is incorporated in South Africa. Gold ETFs provide investors with exposure to gold by tracking the price changes of gold. This allows investors to profit from gold price changes without having to own the physical asset. The Nairobi Securities Exchange has been investing in new infrastructure to include trading of new products like ETFs, to diversify from equities and bonds, its chief executive Geoffrey Odundo, said last November. The NewGold ETF will was first listed on the

Johannesburg bourse in 2004 but it has since had secondary listings in other African exchanges, the CMA said. An ETF is a marketable security that tracks an index, commodity, bonds, or a basket of assets like an index fund. Unlike mutual funds, an ETF trades like a common stock on a stock exchange. ETFs experience price changes throughout the day as they are bought and sold. ETF shareholders are entitled to a proportion of the profits, such as earned interest or dividends paid, and they may get a residual value in case the fund is liquidated. The ownership of the fund can easily be bought, sold or transferred in much the same was as shares of stock, since ETF shares are traded on public stock exchanges. @Dennis _x254


Jubilee may secure 2nd term amid volatile business environment


The Jubilee Party is likely to secure another term in office after the August 2017 general elections, which are expected to shake up the country’s business environment. This is according to a new report by leading consultancy, Control Risks. However, due to opposition pressure, it is likely the months ahead of the polls will be marked by instability and localised violence in particularly contentious constituencies, adds the report, dubbed ‘RISKMAP 2017 East Africa: Political flux threatens stability of business environment’. The analysis notes that internal political uncertainty across a number of key nations will pose a much greater risk to businesses on the continent than the effect of international politics. Foreign companies operating in Kenya have raised concerns over the likelihood of adverse changes in the event of a change of guard after the August General Election, according to a study by immigration consultancy firm Fragomen Kenya. The group said In a statement issured roughly two weeks ago that foreign firms are familiar with business policies outlined by the current government. The consultancy’s Practice Lead George Mucee, however, noted that a regime change would not be necessarily bad, but investors could hold on longer before committing decisions in the transition period. “A lot of our clients are already asking directly who we think will win the elections. Many seem to be comfortable with the current government as it has created a stable business environment. It is not that a different one would be necessarily bad, but there are concerns what that change may mean,” Mucee said. The firm also anticipates condensed foreign exchange inflows into the country following a notable reduction

Presidnet Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto (L) look on during a rally held in Nairobi, Kenya, January 12, 2013. EPA/DAI KUROKAWA of the number of new businesses branching into Kenya. Mucee noted previous experiences with elections, especially the 2007 one, have had a negative impact on businesses, thus the reluctance of venturing during

this season. Meanwhile, Kenya’s manufacturing sector is poised for sluggish growth this year, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has affirmed. The industry regulator says Foreign Direct

Investments and business ventures are expected to shrink this year, as investors adopt a “wait-and-see” approach due to uncertainty ahead of the August 8 elections. @Dennis _x254

Dubai firm seeks Kenyan investors for high profile UAE residential projects Deyaar Development, a Dubai-based firm is seeking Kenyan investors for its high profile residential projects in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Deyaar is visiting Kenya as part of a roadshow that is taking the company to key overseas investor markets, including China and India. The firm is seeking wealthy Kenyans looking for long-term investment opportunities citing Dubai’s safe asset classification and a strong return on investment. “Many wealthy Kenyans have properties abroad, and Dubai is second only to London as their top global real estate location. The UAE’s tax-free status, as well as the stable political environment and well-diversified economy, makes it a leading overseas investment destination,” the firm said in a statement. Kenya has 8,500 dollar millionaires the fourth highest number in Africa, with that number expected to rise sharply over the next decade. Among the projects the firm is showcasing in Nairobi this week include the Atriais, a 32-storey residential tower and a luxury serviced apartment tower in Business Bay – a social and commercial hub with views of the Dubai Water Canal as well as Midtown, a new integrated urban community in Dubai Production City where Deyaar has already launched two phases of the development, with two more planned. Deyaar has built more than 4,700 residential and commercial units in the UAE, with over 4,200 more under construction. In January, Deyaar signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai South to build a new multi-purpose development in a master-planned city around the new Al Maktoum International airport, south-west of Dubai.

Tourism protection task force moves to boost traveler numbers Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Najib Balala has received the final report on establishment of Tourism Protection Service from Tourism Protection Service Task Force. This is in response to the perception of Kenya not being a secure tourist destination. “The implementation the report will deal with safety, assure tourists that Kenya is a safe and an ideal tourist destination,” the CS said in a statement early this week. Receiving the report in Nairobi, CS Balala was accompanied by Ministry of Tourism Principal Secretary Fatuma Hirsi and other senior Ministry officials. The Task Force will be chaired by

International Union for Conservation of Nature council member, Ali Kaka and members of the team include Chris Manning, CBE A. D. Ogle, Abdul Bashir, Ferhm Chaudhri, Richard Kubai and Kitili Mbathi Balala said the report entails best practices of tourism protection service, code of regulations, recruitment criteria and curriculum training. He explained that the report will be analysed before implementation, which is set to take place in the next financial year. A decline in major terror incidences has re-installed business confidence across Kenya, especially in the tourism sector, Martine Zeuthen, an

international violent extremism expert has said. He noted last year that Kenya’s government has been making inroads in diluting extremism in the east African country through collaborative efforts with the civil society. “Government and communities are collaborating better in counter terrorism strategies, and a lot of investment has been made in capacity building both for the civil society and law enforcement agencies,” Zeuthen explained. “The problem of radicalisation is still on and threats for more attacks exist, what we are trying to address is enhancing the collaboration between law enforcement agencies

and civil society so as to improve communication and build community resilience.” Kenya’s efforts to restore the sector have made some strides in recent months despite discouraging tourist numbers recorded in 2016. Kenya received 1.18 million tourists in 2015, which is 12.6 per cent lower than the figures in 2014, according to a report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS). This translated into lower revenues as Kenya collected Sh84.6 billion in 2015 compared to Sh87.1 billion the previous year. Tourist numbers have remained low since 2013 due to insecurity concerns,

which led to the issuance of travel advisories by western countries, including the US and the UK. In 2014, at least 30 hotels closed down at the Coast alone with international arrivals dipping to 861,758 from 1.09 million in 2013 and 1.23 million arrivals in 2012. The sector has however begun to pick after several interventions, including improves security by the government and marketing campaigns. Total international arrivals for January to December 2016 closed at 877,602 compared to 752,073 in 2015, a 16.7 per cent increase. @Dennis _x254



KAM, Kenya Power move to drive down cost of electricity WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017

The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has partnered with utility firm, Kenya Power with a view to improve customer interaction and engagement. The two organisations are looking to improve service delivery within the power sector. Kenya Association of Manufactures Chairperson, Flora Mutahi Mutahi says power interruptions have been a major issue in the country. Speaking on Thursday during an engagement meeting with Kenya Power officials, she noted that KAM would increase its efforts to support the industry. The manufacturing sector accounts for 60 per cent of the utility’s revenue. On his part, Acting Kenya Power CEO Dr. Ken Tarus, said the company has invested appropriately in improving the quality and reliability of electricity supply to industries. “Some of the platforms the two organisations are using to foster relations include a Whatsapp group. We have set up a unit to serve and listen to concerns. You are at the center of our business,” he explained. New Ag. MD & CEO Dr. Ken Tarus sharing his vision with the Manufacturing industry “We will do real time monitoring of your consumption for accurate billing,” said Kenya Power General Manager for Business Strategy Eng Peter Mungai. Eng Mungai noted that there have been issues regarding power quality in the recent past. “We want to improve. We started with Boresha Stima Viwandani Project,” he added, referring to an operation through which the company intends to improve the quality of power supply to its large power and domestic customers within the Industrial Area, Nairobi. Speaking during the official launch of the drive in 2014, Kenya Power’s Regional Manager, Nairobi South, Eng. Joshua Mwangi, said that the operation will greatly complement

Kenya Power General Manager for Business Strategy Eng Peter Mungai speaks during the event. the efforts that the power firm has put towards reducing power interruptions for its large power and essential service customers. Eng. Mwangi said that the operation will involve the refurbishment of ten substations namely NSSF, Nairobi South, Nairobi West, Mombasa Road, New Airport, Syokimau, and New Industrial,Athi River,Jogoo Road,and Dara. “We want to focus on improving infrastrature, enhance network to ensure quality supply,” End Tarus said.

“We are trying to contribute 15 per cent of the GDP. We cannot do that without reliable power supply,” Mutahi argued. On her part, KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga said Kenya is making a shift to renewable energy. “It is a positive move to preserve the environment,” she explained. “We promise to work together to ensure price is coming down,” Eng Mungai said. Tarus also says Kenya Power has introduced Automatic Metering

Reading Systems (AMR) and Smart Meters for commercial customers which ensures there is real-time monitoring of consumption resulting in accurate billing. The Company adopted new procurement guidelines that will see it source for 80 per cent of its supplies from the local market including transformers and meters. “Power is a huge catalyst in creation of jobs,” Mutahi said. @enock_x254

External, domestic borrowing to help government lower budget deficit in 2017/18 financial year

The National Treasury is targeting a fiscal deficit of 7 per cent of GDP in its financial year starting in July, down from 9.6 per cent this fiscal year, the government body said in a draft budget. The draft projects the deficit at Sh582.5 billion, down from an estimated Sh716.9 billion this fiscal year. The Treasury said the deficit would be covered by Sh206 billion net external borrowing while the rest will come from domestic borrowing. The government was committed to lowering the fiscal deficit to 5.2 per cent of GDP in the 2018/19 fiscal year and 4 per cent in the medium term,

the Finance Ministry said. “This reduction will strengthen our debt sustainability position,” the Ministry said. The state body added that economic growth was expected at 5.9 per cent this year from an estimated 6 per cent last year. Opposition leaders and market analysts have criticized the government for its exuberant borrowing, asking for an overhaul of current financial policies. “The Government cannot continue with its bullish way of infrastructural development when it cannot raise money internally,” Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed said

in a recent address. “You cannot borrow to pay a debt. You can only repay debts by raising money internally. They must stop digging deeper in the hole of debt they are already in. But I can tell Kenyans that solution to this economic abyss will only be fixed by the next government to be formed by the Opposition. We are facing a total foreign debt of Sh4 trillion as a country and we have a budget deficit of Sh900 billion, which is not sustainable. You cannot have an economy that has a revenue of Sh1.2 trillion with such huge debt portfolio,” Mohammed added. In December last year, Treasury

Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said that the country planned to raise $1.5 billion (over Sh155 billion) by the end of this financial year in June from the commercial market. The money is expected to ease budgetary pressures exerted by the general election in August, ongoing infrastructure projects as well as food imports and other drought mitigation efforts, in the face of underperformance in tax collections. A budget deficit is an indicator of financial health in which expenditures exceed revenue.

Kenyans living abroad send home Sh14.8bn Remittances sent home by Kenyans living and working abroad increased to $142.6 million last October, up 3.9 per cent year on year, the Central Bank of Kenya has confirmed. Making the announcement earlier this morning, the regulator noting that remittances made up 2.5 per cent of Kenya’s GDP in the year to October. The funds are a key source of hard currency and are tracked by traders. A remittance is money sent by a person in a foreign land to his or her home country. Due to the huge sums involved, remittances are now being recognised as an important contributor to the country’s growth and development. The Central Bank of Kenya conducts a survey on remittance inflows every month through formal channels that include commercial banks and other authorised international remittances service providers in Kenya. Remittances boost economic development at a national level, helping reduce poverty, promote national development, empower communities and promote access to productive resources. A 2015 World Bank report and an analysis from the Ecofin Agency published in the same year showed that one in seven Africans (about 120 million) receive remittances from relatives, friends and families abroad. Remittance income enables recipients to engage in subsistence agriculture and other investment opportunities that directly alleviate poverty while improving the livelihoods of people. In Kenya, investments such as land and property purchases, and farm improvements account for more than half of the spending. In Senegal more than half of remittance money received is spent on food, education, and healthcare. These developments come just as it has emerged that US President Donald Trump’s protectionist economic policies will pose the biggest risk to Kenya’s economy in the coming year. This is according to Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Patrick Njoroge. Trump’s immigration policy exposed millions of undocumented immigrants, including over 30,000 Kenyans, to the risk of deportation is seen to pose a major threat to the flow of diaspora remittances, Remitances were the biggest source of foreign inflows into Kenya last year, ahead of tea and tourism. They accounted for more than Sh176 billion in foreign inflows last year alone. @Dennis_x254




125 is a name that we will all soon be hearing endlessly and the trio deserves all the hype. Ray Nyatome aka Mr Classic, Sydney Nyatome aka Sydney 125 and Duncan Masika aka DanDan all collectively make the bubbling under powerhouse that 125 is set out to be. XACCESS caught up with Ray and Sydney and this is what you need to know about them.


ow did you get your start? RAY: Well at first we were a duo, me and Duncan then after a few years Sydney came along. That’s when 125 started taking its current form. Did you all know each other before forming the band? SYDNEY: Yeah, we’ve known each other for a long time. We live in the same area so we used to play football together when we were younger. Why did you decide to get into music? RAY: Music is in our blood. It’s a family thing for both of us. The parents were musicians and my big brother, Didge is also an artiste. So that’s how it went. We had the love for it and decided ‘Why not?’ Do you have one word that can describe your music? SYDNEY: I wouldn’t want to do that because once you decide that ‘this is the kind of music that we do’ we would be putting ourselves in a box. We can’t say we are hip hop artistes because we do more than hip hop music, we do RnB, we do jazz, kapuka. If you listen to our upcoming album that we are about to release you will get a variety of music not just one set sound.

Loading... RAY: It’s a blend of many things we pick up along the way. So it’s hip hop, jazz, RnB, zouk. It’s a fusion. You’ve talked about your album, is that what you are working on currently? RAY: The album is pretty much done. We are just tightening up some loose ends but we’ve been dropping singles for a while now and we are going to release more stuff so watch this space. What would you say is the message of your music? SYDNEY: Positivity. We just try and release music that passes that message on as much as possible. There are many people some of them even artistes who believe that music

HOT TOPICS pulls surprise win at Mdundo awards

Kaka empire artiste Timothy Owuor popularly known as Timmy Tdat is the 2017 Mdundo awards rap artiste’s king. The controversial artiste and performer pulled the surprise win at the third Mdundo music awards held last evening at the Ongea summit, Sarit centre, Westlands. Considered more of a singer as opposed t o a rapper, Timmy Tdat rose to fame after a 6-year struggle in the Kenyan music industry, making a breakthrough with his single dubbed ‘WeleWele’. Timmy Tdat who is currently riding high with his latest release ‘Trikideh’ beat other rap bigwigs such as Khaligraph Jones, King Kaka, Octopizzo, Frasha as well as ‘Bank Otuch’ hitmaker Vicmass LuoDollar who was and still is a favourite. Mdundo, an online music publisher selects winners based on the number of downloads on the Kenyabased platform.

does not pay or that it’s not a real career. Parents also have this stigma that if their child wants to do music they are wasting time. So we try and make music that radiates positivity despite all the negative stuff that’s happening around. Do you do music fulltime? SYDNEY: Personally, this is all I do fulltime. I’m also enrolled at the Berklee College of music but I’m doing it online. Who inspires your music? RAY: They are so many artistes. If I started right now unaezajaza kitabu. Well my brother first, Bien from Sauti Sol especially when you look at where they are right now. Are there other artistes you would love to work with from the country?

@kevin_x254 ‘I have not been arrested for possession of drugs’, Ugandan comedian Anne Kansiime has said. This is in response to social media allegations that the funny woman had been arrested at Heathrow Airport in London. The social media rumours alleged that Kansiime had been found with about 2kgs of cocaine and had been arrested and detained. ‘Tonight, our @ funfactory show was amazing! Thanks for showing up in big numbers my ninjas. It was valentines all over again on stage. And about the online story going around that this your ninja girl is currently detained in some prison cell in London for being in possession of 2kgs of Cocaine at Heathrow airport..... heheheheheheh this world is not my home indeed!? Thank you my ninjas for being the first to doubt such stories and Let’s spread more love to each other my ninjas. Trust me, they are #sharedblessings,’ she wrote on Facebook sharing a video of the show she held on Wednesday night in Kampala.

SYDNEY: Nyashinski. He’s different, he’s a little like us in that way. He sings and raps and he’s dope at doing both of those things. RAY: Dela too, actually one of the first songs we made as a band, we did with Dela. Also Wangeci, Sauti Sol. What are the major challenges you’ve face trying to break into the industry? SYDNEY: Money. We are very good at grinding but if all of us had money we would be at an international level. RAY: We’ve also encountered some dodgy promoters who just run off with our cash. Like we’d go do a gig then the promoters disappear afterwards. It’s not like we don’t get paid, we do, but it’s still a challenge.

Kansiime denies Heathrow airport arrest allegations

Social media kills


ocial media pranks, fake accounts and blogs that are seeking high traffic are the in thing. In the last 24 hours, a social media rumour emerged that comedian Owago Onyiro had passed on. However, when XACCESS spoke to the comedian, he was alive and well. ‘I am shocked too, I am alive and well, I am not even sick,’ he said.








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reat news for all you curvy ladies out there, Hayet Rida is out to cater to all your style needs. The US-based Ghanaian blogger and life-goal coach is not only ridiculously stylish she’s incredibly relatable. “After a long journey battling with weight-loss and weight-gain and then one more round of weight-loss I realized that life wasn’t just about dieting. I woke up one day and realized that a few years ago I was praying to have the job I have now, the life I have now and most importantly I was praying to have the body I have now. So I am taking a pause. A pause to celebrate the woman that I am now, and live every inch of it,” she writes. Here is a healthy dose of great style and a great attitude.

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Top Premier League official quits WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017

Mark Clattenburg is quitting his job as a Premier League official to become Saudi Arabia’s new head of referees. The 41-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best referees in football and took charge of the Euro 2016 final, the Champions League final and the FA Cup final last season. Howard Webb, another former top-flight official, resigned as Saudi Arabia’s head of refereeing 11 days ago. Clattenburg is expected to leave before the next Premier League fixtures on February 25. His new post will involve working with Saudi referees to improve performance and professionalise the set-up, while he will also take charge of some league games. He has signed a one-year rolling contract. Speaking on a live broadcast on the Saudi Football Federation’s Twitter page, Clattenburg said: “This is an important move forward. We have professional referees in the country that I am leaving, which has been a big positive. “One thing I’d like to do is work with the refereeing team and the president to make this happen so that it will be successful for many, many years to come.” The Premier League’s referee body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) said he had been “a great asset” and “an inspiration to those who want to get into refereeing”. Its statement added: “We understand this is an exciting opportunity for Mark, and it further underlines the high esteem for English match officials throughout the world game.”

Clattenburg took charge of his first Football League game as a 25-year-old in 2000. Four years later, he was promoted to the Premier League’s Select Group. Unusually for a match official,

British Referee Mark Clattenburg in action during the English Premier League match between Arsenal and Hull City at Emirates Stadium in London, last weekend. That was his last English game as the 41-year-old leaves to take up a new position at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation. PHOTO: FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA/EPA

public attention has often been drawn to his life off the pitch. In 2008, Clattenburg was suspended following an investigation into allegations he owed £60,000 as a result of a failed business venture, and he later had his elite referee status revoked. However, at an appeal in February 2009, his punishment was reduced to an eight-month suspension, backdated to August 2008. In October 2014, he was dropped from officiating for two breaches of protocol speaking on the phone with then-Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock, before leaving a ground alone to drive to an Ed Sheeran concert. PGMOL says officials must travel to and from the ground together for integrity and security. And last summer he got two tattoos to commemorate refereeing the Euro 2016 and Champions League finals, and the Guardian reported he had a car with the registration plate: ‘C19TTS’. In an interview with Associated Press in December, he said he did not understand why “people see the tattoos as a negative thing”, adding: “I’m proud of what I’ve done.” The Saudi Professional League is one of west Asia’s strongest domestic leagues, although the national team has not qualified for a World Cup since 2006. Saudi clubs have reached three Asian Champions League finals since 2009, with Al Hilal losing to Australia’s Western Sydney Wanderers most recently in 2014.

Obiri chase indoor tour millions in Birmingham race

Olympic 5000m silver medalist Helen Obiri, Silas Kiplagat and Bethwel Birgen will be seeking to clinch this season’s World Indoor Tour titles as well as wild card entries to the IAAF World Indoor Championships when the final tour goes down tomorrow in Birmingham. Obiri leads the 3000m field while Birgen and Kiplagat head the 1500m field going into the final leg and apart from the World Indoor Championship wild card, they are also in the race for the Sh2.1 million cash award that comes with winning the series. Kiplagat and Birgen both have amassed 20 points after the first four rounds and whoever finishes first in Birmingham will walk away with the title. However, the two runaway leaders could be usurped if anyone between Elijah Manang’oi (17 points) and Vincent Kibet (15 points) wins the race and both Birgen and Kiplagat finish outside the top two. Manang’oi had started the series well, winning the first race in Dusseldorf, Germany in 3:37.62 ahead of Birgen who finished second in 3:37.81 while Silas Kiplagat finished third in 3:40.74. Heading over to the next stop in Karlsruhe, Birgen lost the pace he had gathered up in the first race, dropping to fourth in a tight race which saw the top four separated by 22 micro seconds. Kiplagat crossed the finish line first in 3:38.51 with Manang’oi following two micro-seconds after him. Third and fourth were also separated by two micro seconds, Kibet finishing in 3:38.71 while Birgen MORE ON THIS STORY was fourth in 3:38.73.


Ozil is being made scapegoat, says agent WEEKEND EDITION, FEBRUARY 17-19, 2017

Attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil believes he is being made the scapegoat for Arsenal’s problems, his agent says. Ozil, 28, was criticised again after Arsenal suffered a 5-1 defeat at Bayern Munich in Wednesday night’s Champions League last-16 first leg. “Criticism is normal if a player plays badly,” Dr Erkut Sogut told BBC Sport. “But Mesut feels people are not focusing on his performance; they are using him as a scapegoat for the team after bad results.” Ozil joined Arsenal from Real Madrid in 2013 for a club-record £42.4m, and came with a reputation as one of the game’s leading playmakers. But his displays have often been questioned and the Germany international has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks. Against Bayern, the 20 passes that Ozil completed was the same amount as home goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. “Bayern had 74% possession,” said Sogut, who is Ozil’s lawyer and representative. “How can someone in the No.10 position create chances if you don’t have the ball? “In these games people usually target a player who cost a lot of money and earns a lot of money - that is Mesut. But he can’t be always be the scapegoat. That’s not fair. “Football is a team sport and Arsenal are not performing well as a team. Eleven players were on the pitch but Mesut was singled out for criticism. Was he the reason that Arsenal conceded five

goals? “It started before the match, throughout the week leading up to the game. People started discussing: ‘Should he play? Should he be dropped?’. “It was as if everyone knew Arsenal would not make it through and we needed a scapegoat. This is not right. You win as a team and you lose as a team.” Ozil has scored 29 goals in 146 Arsenal appearances and last season created more chances in a single campaign (137) than any other player in Premier League history. In January, the German was named as his country’s player of year for a fifth time in six years, having helped them to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and World Cup glory two years earlier. But many have accused him of underperforming when it matters most. “I don’t agree that Mesut has not had an impact on big matches,” Sogut said. “What about the win at home to Chelsea this season and Manchester United the year before? What about the games for Germany against Italy and France at Euro 2016? “People are always saying Mesut is not fighting or tackling, that he has poor body language, but that is how he is. “Believe me, he is desperate to succeed. If it doesn’t work, he shows his anger and expressions. Was his body language an issue when Arsenal were playing well? Recent defeats by Watford and Chelsea saw

Arsenal lose ground in the Premier League title race and they currently sit in fourth place, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea. They face a trip to non-league Sutton United in the FA Cup on Monday. Ozil is out of contract in 2018 and there has been no breakthrough on talks over a new deal, but Sogut insisted his player is fully focused. “I don’t think the criticism has affected his performance or his mental state,” the agent added. “Mesut is committed to the club. There is no doubt that he will perform at 100%, with total professionalism and commitment as long as he plays for Arsenal. Nothing will change that. “He is sorry to the fans, and he’s sorry that he and his team-mates couldn’t give the fans a better result in Munich.”


Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil react during a past Premier League game. His agent says the German international is being made a scapegoat for his club’s recent woes. PHOTO: EPA




Tottenham in Surprise 1-0 loss at Gent

Tottenham’s Europa League hopes have been dealt a blow after Jeremy Perbet’s goal gave Gent a surprise victory in their last-32 first-leg meeting. French striker Perbet controlled and slotted into the corner from Danijel Milicevic’s pull-back on the hour. A strong Spurs line-up were poor for most of the evening, although Harry Kane clipped the post after halftime. Gent, eighth in the Belgian league, almost added a second as Milicevic’s shot was tipped on to the post. Gent’s 20,000-capacity stadium, the Ghelamco Arena, is host to a Michelinstarred restaurant, but there was little to feast on for Tottenham, who turned in a strangely listless performance. Mauricio Pochettino had spoken before the match about how keen his players were to put behind them a poor display in losing 2-0 at Liverpool in the Premier League on Saturday. With that in mind, Pochettino selected a very strong side - with only two changes to the team beaten at Anfield. Dele Alli skimmed an early shot wide from just outside the penalty area after good build-up involving Harry Winks and Ben Davies, but that was as good as it got in the opening half.

Hat-trick King

While several teammates may have outperformed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Swede again stole the show with his hat trick leading Manchester United to a convincing 3-0 Europa League win over French side Saint-Etienne.




14 Clattenburg quits Premier League

latan Ibrahimovic scored a hat-trick as Manchester United opened up a commanding Europa League last-32 lead against Saint-Etienne. Ibrahimovic’s deflected free-kick wrongfooted goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier and dribbled over the line for the opener, and he tapped home from close range after good work from Marcus Rashford, as well as adding a late penalty. Saint-Etienne caused United problems on the break in the first 45 minutes, particularly with Romain Hamouma’s pace, while Henri Saivet and Nolan Roux both clipped efforts narrowly off target. Ruffier’s double save denied Juan Mata and Anthony Martial forced the visiting goalkeeper into sharp saves, while Paul Pogba headed against the crossbar from close range. The two sides meet for the second leg on Wednesday, 22 February (kick-off 17:00 GMT). There were question marks over the signing of veteran striker Ibrahimovic on a free transfer from Paris St-Germain in the summer, but the Swede has responded by taking his tally to 23 for the season.

The 35-year-old former Juventus, Barcelona and AC Milan man has now netted 17 career hat-tricks. It was his first since joining United, his second in European competition and his third against SaintEtienne. “Every time I have played against SaintEtienne, with hard work there has been a couple of goals,” Ibrahimovic said after the game. “I have scored a couple of goals tonight and hopefully I can do the same next week.” The Ligue 1 side will be pleased to see the back of Ibrahimovic when he retires having scored 17 times against them during his career. Ibrahimovic has 11 titles and three domestic cups to his name, but a major European trophy remains missing from his illustrious CV. Like Ibrahimovic, United have never won the Europa League, but the result keeps alive their hopes of a cup treble this season. They face Blackburn in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday and Southampton in the EFL Cup final the following week. In his first season at Old Trafford, Jose Mourinho’s side are just two points off a

Champions League spot in the league, but triumph in the Europa League would give them an automatic passage through to Europe’s elite club competition. “We are winning but in a short time everything can change. It’s important to keep getting the wins we need. Everything can change but we’re happy. This is the decisive moment for the season. We are still in all four competitions. The fifth (the Community Shield) we already won.” Against Saint-Etienne, the Red Devils tested Ruffier on numerous occasions but he was left floundering for the first goal, while his parry into the danger area allowed the second. “We created good chances. It was important to get a good win at home and we bring it with us in the second leg. It was a good game but I think we can do better,” said Ibrahimovic. On the other hand, the Ligue 1 side carved United’s backline open with ease at times, with defender Eric Bailly looking particularly suspect, but they failed to work goalkeeper Sergio Romero into a single save with their 14 shots.

Published By Xtra Publishing Limited, Chancery Building, Valley Road, Nairobi | Printed at The Standard Group Centre, Mombasa Road, Nairobi. Paul Marshall-CEO, Fred Bunei-Finance Manager, Josiah Musee-Advertising Manager, Peter Obuya-Editor

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