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Khalwale cries foul play after DP Ruto’s allies teargassed in Vihiga

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By DERRICK LUVEGA

Police Saturday lobbed teargas canisters to disperse Tangatanga politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto who had attended a public event at Hamisi MP Charles Gimose’s home.

They arrived as early as 7am and sealed off all routes leading to Dr Gimose’s Simbi home located off Kisumu-Kakamega highway.

They also took down all the tents that had been set up for the gathering.

The scenes were dramatic, with Mumias East Ben Washiali and former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale sneaking into the MP’s home through a fence after running away from police.

Matungu MP Justus Murunga was turned away when he arrived while Dr Gimose was detained in the house.

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Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale confronts police after they stopped a meeting at Hamisi MP Charles Gimose’s home in Vihiga County on July 18, 2020. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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CHAOS

The drama started after Dr Khalwale started addressing the few MCAs and members of the public who managed to enter the home.

Hamisi divisional police commander (OCPD) Johana Chebii then took charge while police started firing teargas forcing the people to scamper.

Mr Washiali was covered in a cloud of smoke from a teargas canister while Dr Khalwale fled after pouring water on the OCPD.

Outside the home, Dr Khalwale and a host of MCAs proceeded to Gambogi-Jebrok road where their supporters joined them and started hurling stones at police officers.

The officers retreated and left the home but the people dispersed fearing they had gone to seek reinforcement.

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Politicians leave Hamisi MP Charles Gimose’s home in Vihiga County on July 18, 2020 after police lobbed teargas canisters in order to disperse them. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

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OUTCRY

Dr Khalwale complained that the government was hell bent on using force to stop Dr Ruto’s allies from holding public meetings.

He noted that as their meeting in Vihiga was being stopped, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya – an ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga – was meeting more than 2,000 teachers in Kakamega without interruptions.

Dr Khalwale further said Mr Oparanya was Friday allowed to hold a public meeting in Vihiga following other public events by the pro-BBI team.

The former senator said they went to Dr Gimose’s home for consultations and that they observed rules to curb Covid-19.

“There are about 60 of us here yet our meeting is being stopped. Oparanya is currently meeting over 2,000 people in Kakamega and has been given police protection by Uhuru and Raila,” he claimed.

He said this was a clear indication that the government was bent on frustrating any meetings by politicians allied to the DP.

“This will not deter us. The only way they can restore order is to stop their meetings. If they do, we will also comply by stopping ours,” he said.

Mr Chebii said he asked Dr Gimose to reschedule the meeting.

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Smoke from teargas canisters is pictured at Hamisi MP Charles Gimose’s home in Vihiga County on July 18, 2020 after police dispersed a meeting of politicians. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

PAST INCIDENT

A similar incident took place on Friday when police in the county attempted to block a similar forum in Emuhaya that Mr Oparanya., who is Council of Governors chair, attended.

Mr Oparanya carried on with the meeting under close monitoring by police, with County Commander Leonard Omolo saying they would no longer allow processions or political gatherings there.

He warned that any politician who would disobey the ban would be arrested and charged in court.

“Vihiga has a problem; we currently have nine cases of Covid-19. We don’t want any political gathering,” he said.

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Europe beckons for South African rugby after Kiwi snub

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Jul 20World Cup-winning Springbok Schalk Brits believes the future of South African rugby lies in Europe after New Zealand said there was no room for sides from the republic in Super Rugby.

“All of this jet lag and flying across different time zones just does not work,” said the hooker who retired after the triumphant 2019 World Cup campaign.

“We have got so many South Africans playing in Europe and it would be awesome to see them in action here for European clubs.”

With New Zealand favouring a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux will address the media Tuesday about the way forward.

There has been no rugby in South Africa since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which claimed 5,033 lives by late Sunday, the most in an African country.

Here, AFP Sport looks at the possibilities for the world champions Springboks and Super Rugby teams the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

Rugby Championship

There has been speculation that the six-round annual tournament will be cut to four matches with New Zealand and Australia playing in South Africa only every second year.

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That would be a huge blow for SA Rugby coffers as the century-old rivalry with the All Blacks makes them a huge drawcard.

South Africa might consider abandoning the Championship and pursuing a suggestion by former All Blacks Justin Marshall and Jeff Wilson for three-Test tours between the great rivals.

“British and Irish Lions tours are so successful because we look forward to them,” noted another ex-All Black, John Kirwan. The same could be said of an All Blacks-Springboks series.

‘Seven Nations’

Should South African franchises move north, would the Springboks follow suit and apply to join England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in a ‘Seven Nations’ championship?

Having the world champions on board would surely excite the organisers and costs would be greatly reduced if the Springboks played their three away matches on consecutive weekends.

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England, Ireland, France and Wales, in particular, would bring freshness for rugby followers, who have not rushed to the turnstiles for Championship visits by Australia and Argentina.

Ask the SA Rugby treasurer for his ‘dream’ line-up and he would surely say a multi-Test tour by the All Blacks and participation in the ‘Seven Nations’.

Super Rugby

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Although not official yet, the reality is that New Zealand want to play some Australian sides and the Pacific Islands in a new competition while excluding South Africa and Argentina.

The original version, a Super 10 between 1993 and 1995, was a superb competition, but constant tinkering and expansion has led to waning interest in a difficult-to-follow event.

Even those supporting the Golden Lions of South Africa could not have derived too much satisfaction from a 94-7 thrashing of Japanese visitors the Sunwolves three years ago.

South Africa sides often battled with time differences in Australasia — New Zealand is 11 hours ahead of the republic — and were weary after four-match tours.

‘Pro16’

Pro14 chief executive Martin Anayi says he would welcome Super Rugby ‘rejects’ the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers into an expanded edition.

“The tournament works well but could be even better if we added some South African teams,” he said, referring to a competition that also includes Irish, Italian, Scottish and Welsh teams.

But there may be no room for the two current South African Pro14 participants, the Cheetahs and Kings, who have experienced very different fortunes.

While the Cheetahs have been competitive, the Kings won just four of 55 matches in three seasons with some of the losing margins embarrassing.

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Currie Cup

The domestic competition has survived constant format changes to remain the vital ‘nursery’ from which Springboks emerge.

First staged in 1892, it was the bedrock of South African rugby until the dawn of professionalism after the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

As Test and Super Rugby fixtures took up an increasing amount of the season, the Currie Cup often battled for calendar space.

But it survived and this year could feature the four Super Rugby sides plus the Cheetahs, Kings, Griquas and Pumas, if play is possible amid the coronavirus.

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya records highest number of deaths from Covid-19

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Kenya’s coronavirus cases rise to 13,771 after 418 more infections

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By NATION REPORTER

Kenya on Monday reported 418 more Covid-19 infections, raising the country’s tally to 13,771 since the virus was first confirmed on March 13.

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Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Rashid Aman also reported four more deaths, raising the toll to 238. He rectified an earlier report about 19 deaths in a single day, which would have been the highest number ever recorded in Kenya.

The 418 new patients were found following the testing of 2,474 samples in the last 24 hours.

Four hundred and eight of them were Kenyans and 10 foreigners while male patients numbered 263 and female patients 155.

Dr Aman also announced that 494 patients had been discharged, raising the country’s total number of recoveries to 5,616.

Of the recovered patients, 465 were under home care and the rest in hospitals.

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