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ACTSCENE: Grace returns to TV

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By HILLARY KIMUYU
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Former television host Grace Msalame will this month be gracing our television screens again and is set to host a lifestyle show on NTV.

The former Kiss TV host is overjoyed after landing a deal with Nation Media Group to launch a new programme on life matters. She took to her social media pages to announce the plan to host a new show — “Unscripted With Grace.”

In September, 2018, she had also announced that she had landed a new show at The Kenya Red Cross-owned station which mainly targets the youth (18-35 years) with the aim of empowering them with positive entertainment, but she was never seen on air.

Her new job at Nation Centre will see her host a lifestyle show that lets viewers share their stories and life experiences openly and honestly, for the purpose of shifting the culture of silence.

According to head of TV Justus Tharao, “It’s a guide to living a life inspired by dreams and passion, that expands the boundaries of your horizons as it paves the way for those dreams to happen and passions fulfilled … because life is unscripted!”

Despite being away from the screens, the mother of twins has never dismissed the idea of making a comeback on mainstream media.

“I want to try new things, challenge myself and most of all operate from my optimum, which can only happen if I’m living in my purpose. I’m also realising how powerful the digital space is so I want to focus more on that, and create content for clients and interested followers. I may make a return to the screens at some point but the jury is still out on that for now,” Grace had told Parents Magazine in 2017.

On Monday, she announced her comeback on social media by posting, “Thank you all so much for the overwhelming support, good people. All Glory back to God. It’s been a long journey getting here. So grateful for this becoming, it’s an ongoing process in refining it. Journey just began Tuonane Hewani. Because Life is Unscripted. Coming soon to NTV Kenya.”

Msalame has previously worked with KTN and Capital FM. Before leaving Radio Africa Group, she was the Content and Acquisitions Manager, Bamba TV.

Msalame started her TV career as a teenager by hosting “Straight Up” show at KTN between 2005 and 2007. She left to pursue her degree and returned to KTN to host “Art Scene”, before moving to Capital FM where she worked as a radio presenter. She would then join Radio Africa Group, where she worked for seven years, serving in different capacities.

‘Family Guy’: 20 years and counting

It has been 20 long years that this animated sitcom “Family Guy” has made jokes about just about every race, religion, ideology, and geographic location, to say nothing of domestic violence and sex crimes.

One of the show’s most remarkable traits is its unflinching willingness to push the boundaries of taste, for better or for worse. Sometimes, the show’s myriad of genre-defining, cutaway gags produce comedy gold, but sometimes it just comes across as lazy and needlessly crude.

With, this Seth MacFarlane series — with the rape jokes, gay jokes, religion jokes, disabled jokes, transgender jokes or AIDS jokes — to some might come across as so repulsive that watching can be painful.

Fans who defend “Family Guy” argue that offensive bits are the whole point of the show, so if viewers don’t want to be offended they should simply not watch.

In mid-January, “Family Guy” aired an episode in which Donald Trump sexually assaults Peter’s daughter Meg, and people got so mad that the series’ producers had to publicly defend the joke.

Animated sitcom 'Family guy' still running, 20 years later.

Animated sitcom ‘Family guy’ still running, 20 years later. PHOTO| FILE

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The producer told Entertainment Weekly the only point in using Meg was to show that men like Trump can attempt to prey on vulnerable people. “It’s clearly offensive and gross and not appropriate. But not only didn’t we not want to show it, we don’t want to be too explicit about exactly what happened.”

Executive producer Rich Appel explained that he and the rest of the team wanted to show how Peter and Lois first struggle to believe “that the president could be accused of an unwanted touching” before recanting and realising they need to listen to their daughter.

Despite all this “Family Guy” has become one of the television’s most beloved animated comedies, arguably second only to “The Simpsons.”

Understanding the impact of the show comes down to when Fox cancelled it in 2002, only to bring it back four years later. The catalyst for this unlikely rebirth was the sales of “Family Guy” DVDs which rocketed.

In one month alone in the US, a boxed set of the first and second seasons shifted 400,000 copies. Fox realised that it had killed the golden goose but that it had the opportunity to bring it back, which it did in 2005.

It has recently been renewed for at least another season.

Ms President” — woman reality TV competition

A new reality local production titled “Ms President” — entertaining, educative and thought-provoking- premiered on Wednesday on television.

The series is a platform that is being used to portray to the national audience the capacity and ability of women to lead effectively. Through a series of tasks and challenges, the contestants (all female) display their leadership capacity and ability.

It showcases intelligent and articulate women who are “Presidential” with the aim of increasing the chances of women (both young and old) in Kenya taking up leadership positions. Following a 2-step shortlisting process, 70 suitably qualified women were chosen and went into the show.

During the premiere, all the aspiring presidential candidates gathered for an exciting high-level launch event, graced by top government officials and diplomats at Kenya National Theatre.

Former presidential candidate Martha Karua congratulated all the women who got nominated and wished them well. “To all the contestants of Ms President, congratulations! To those who do not get nominated, take this as the start of your journey to greater things. To those going forward give it your best shot!”

Participants of Ms President reality show

A new local reality show, “Ms President,” has been launched. PHOTO| FILE

Also present was former Nairobi Women Representative Racheal Shebesh who told all the contestant to show the way women can work.

“Ms President” is a production of Media Focus on Africa (MFA) in partnership with MUHURI, and will be a 26-episode reality television series. The production and airing is supported by The European Union, Canadian government through Global Affairs Canada, and HIVOS East Africa.

Lisa Stadelbauer, Canada’s High Commissioner to Kenya said, “The show is not about old boy politics, it’s demonstrating how women are capable leaders. Under-representation of women is not unique to Kenya; we have only had one female Prime Minister (PM) in Canada’s history. However, we have a self-declared feminist PM.”

The show, hosted by Jimmy Gathu, will see successful applicants being provided with leadership training and mentorship during their stay in the “academy”.



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General

Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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