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Raila all set for a grand return aboard luxury flight

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By Allan Olingo

By JUSTUS OCHIENG’

The Orange Democratic Movement party is preparing for a possible Sunday return of its leader, Raila Odinga, who underwent surgery at a Dubai hospital.

Party deputy leader Hassan Joho and director of elections Junet Mohamed left the country yesterday for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) aboard a luxury Constellation Aviation Airline Private Jet Airbus A318-112 (CJ) Elite A6-CAS, MS4211. Also accompanying the duo was Mombasa County Assembly Speaker Aharub Ebrahim Khatri.

Mr Khatri on Thursday confirmed that together with Governor Joho, they will meet Mr Odinga after his successful surgery at the Saudi German Hospital Dubai.

“Off to Dubai with Governor Hassan Joho to see Baba,” Mr Mohamed tweeted yesterday.

The 10-year-old UAE-registered aircraft, which seats 19 passengers, landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Thursday at 11.23am, according to flight tracking site FlightRadar24, from Lusaka in Zambia. It then took off for Dubai at 12.45pm. It had previously flown to South Africa, Tanzania, Angola and Ghana in the past one week.

MAHOGANY INTERIOR

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Oozing opulence, the Airbus A318 private jet boasts a mahogany interior, an entourage lounge, VIP dining and lounge area, a private office and a VIP bedroom “designed to make our clients feel right at home during long flights”, the operator said of the aircraft on its website.

The smallest airliner in the Airbus A320 family, the A318, carries up to 132 passengers for most commercial airlines that use it, but this one has been customised for less than 20 passengers.

Constellation Aviation Airline, the aircraft’s operator, which offers “premium VIP private jet charter service” is based in the United Arab Emirates and operates a modern, a state-of-the-art medium and long-range fleet of privately owned aircraft.

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On Thursday, a source within the party told the Nation that as at last Sunday, Mr Odinga had been given a clean bill of health by the medics in Dubai and was ready “for a grand return”.

“He was advised by the family to take another week before travelling back to the country. He is likely to return this weekend or early next week,” the source revealed.

After being discharged, the ODM leader promised a quick return to the political scene.

Speaking in a video clip posted on Twitter by his daughter Winnie on July 1, he said he felt “very strong and rejuvenated”.

OUT OF HOSPITAL

“I feel really great to be out of hospital and I’ll be doing my usual jigs very soon,” he added.

Mr Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta are expected to receive the final report of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and embark on its implementation.

The ODM leader had asked Kenyans to brace themselves for a referendum as the way to ensure full implementation of the recommendations of the report.

Mr Odinga’s hospitalisation was first confirmed by his elder brother, Dr Oburu Oginga, ending days of speculation on his whereabouts last month.

“Jakom (Raila) is out of the country for a minor surgical operation on his back. It is not a serious health issue, but just a minor one. So, he’s okay,” Dr Oginga said.

The East African Legislative Assembly member revealed that Mr Odinga, 75, had been admitted to a German hospital in Dubai.

Without disclosing the name of the facility, Dr Oginga said: “The Germans have a good hospital facility in the Arabian country where he’s being monitored.”

PROGRESSING WELL

Later, Mr Joho also revealed that he had spoken to Mr Odinga and that he was progressing well after the procedure.

“…So far as a people, and more importantly the fraternity of the Orange Democratic Movement, we continue to pray for him as our leader. I have no doubt that within the shortest time possible Baba will be back in Kenya,” the Mombasa governor said.

The International Patient Relations Supervisor at the Saudi German Hospital Dubai, Ms Semira Dikbas did not, however, reveal when the surgery was conducted on Mr Odinga or when he was discharged from hospital.

“Due to high confidentiality, we cannot give any reply to this,” Ms Dikbas told the Nation.

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Sewage Menace in Pipeline, Residents Cry For Help

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By Milo George

Residents of Pipeline Transami area are decrying poor drainage system that has caused sewage water to overflow in their area of residence.

The residents claim that the overflowing sewage is not only putting their lives at risk but also causing air pollution.

They have called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services and Nairobi City Water and Sewage Company to come on board and expand the sewer lines before more areas are flooded with raw human wastes coming from the blocked pipes.
“We want Major Badi and our leaders to resolve this menace immediately. It’s terrible many have been forced to shift their businesses because of the foul smell,” they said.
Pastor Joe Ndivoh of Word Evangelistic Explosion Ministries says that they have been forced to call off the Sunday School Service to protect the children from the smelly sewage.
‘‘We now fear that if prompt action is not taken then we will have a bigger health problem than this because we fear there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease anytime,’’ Pastor Ndivoh added.


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Solberg Jnr replaces Pierre-Louis for WRC Safari – KBC

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Hyundai Motorsport World Rally Team has made a change to it’s WRC2 team for Safari replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet with 19 year old Oliver Solberg.

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The change of crew hands young Solberg an opportunity to resume his family dream on the fabled Safari which was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Solberg Senior finished the WRC Safari 5th on the 1999 and 2000 editions driving a Ford Focus and navigated by his eventual Championship- winning navigator Phil Mills. In 200 and 2002, Petter retired on Safari after he lost a wheel and suffering engine gremlins on both occasions.

Oliver was forced to withdraw from last week’s Rally Italia Sardegna after his father, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Oliver was gearing up for his second top flight World Rally Championship outing with Hyundai at last weekend’s s Italian event.

However having been in contact with his father, Oliver was compelled to remain in quarantine in a hotel in Porto for 14 days as per the FIA Appendix S regulations.

The FIA’s Appendix S COVID-19 protocol and national government regulations offer clear quarantine instructions for those in close contact.

“You can imagine, I am more than disappointed by this news. I am a little bit devastated,” The 19-year-old Solberg told www.motorsport.com last week.

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WRC Safari Rally Event Secretary Helen Shiri confirmed Oliver’s Safari participation saying: “Hyundai WRC 2 team car number 7 has changed the crew from Driver Pierre-Lous and co-driver Florian Haut-labourdette both from France to Oliver Solberg (Swedish) and  Co-driver Aaron Johnston (Ireland). The car, a Hyundai i20 Coupé, remains intact.”

Meanwhile, it’s been a meteoric rise for the son of world champion Petter.

Less than two years after his maiden rally in a four-wheel drive car, the teenage sensation was competing at the WRC’s top level.

Aged just 17, Oliver became the youngest winner of a European Championship rally in 2019.

With a father and a mother from a well-known Swedish motorsport family and a former Production WRC competitor in her own right, there was a sense of inevitability that a career at the wheel was inevitable for Oliver Solberg. 

Solberg’s early years were spent racing in crosskarts.

In 2012 he won the Norwegian Championship before a step up to a higher class brought consecutive title wins in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

In 2019 Solberg stepped into R5 machinery, driving a Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 in the Latvian/Estonian/Baltic Rally Championship. He took to the increased power immediately and racked up five class wins on his way to the championship title.

He also followed in his father’s footsteps to join Subaru Motorsports USA. He drove a latest-spec Impreza STI, winning three of the six rounds

After making his WRC debut at the 2019 Rally GB, Solberg stepped into a full WRC campaign in 2020, driving his own Polo R5 alongside a partial campaign with Skoda Motorsport.

The WRC returns to Africa for the first time since 2002. The Safari of old has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife.

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Three more suspected robbers arrested along Southern by-pass – KBC

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Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the recent spate of robberies targeting motorists along the Southern by-pass.

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The three were arrested in Kibra by detectives based in Langata.

Their arrest follows a detailed analysis and investigations of the robberies, with detectives employing cyber and forensic analysis techniques to identify the beneficiaries of the crimes.

Boniface Winjira Unganyi, the proprietor of Basement Crew mobile shop within Lindi in Kibra, was arrested as the key suspect after a total of 102 mobile phones suspected to have been stolen from victims were recovered from his shop.

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Also arrested were 35-year-old Alex Mboya, who was found in possession of a victim’s phone, and a 16-year-old minor, studying at a secondary school in Langata.

Five other suspects have been arraigned in recent weeks in connection with the violent robberies.

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