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You’re the ugly face of impunity, Ruto hits back at Raila over dams scandal

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DP William Ruto has hit back at Opposition leader Raila Odinga over the dams’ scandal insisting he knows how much has been spent on them because they fall under the Jubilee manifesto.

Ruto accused the former Prime Minister of politicising the war on corruption saying he is in fact the “ugly face of impunity, [and] a known political fraud whose word means nothing.”

He said Raila is a notorious propagandist and incorrigible liar who can’t even remember the last lie he told.

The DP said the war on corruption will only be won if it’s fought using the correct tools.

He said Raila has neither the legitimacy nor integrity to lecture anyone on matters corruption or integrity.

“Yes, I have an interest in the construction of the dams, a major interest because with [President] Uhuru Kenyatta we put 57 dams to be constructed over the next five years,” Ruto said.

He went on, “As the deputy president of the Republic of Kenya, I would be reckless and would have failed in my job if I didn’t follow the numbers.

The DCI is investigating the alleged loss of Sh21 billion in the construction of the Arror and Kimwarer dams in Elgeyo Marakwet county.

Ruto is on record as saying no funds were lost other than Sh7 billion paid in advance to the contractor.

Read: Flat lie? DP Ruto denies loss of Sh21 billion in dams scandal

“So, the question that I’m being asked is like a hyena asking a herdsman ‘what is your interest in your herd and why do you know the number of the livestock that you are keeping?” Ruto said.

He spoke on Thursday when closing the 6th Devolution Conference in Kirinyaga county.

While speaking at the same summit on Wednesday, Raila questioned how the DP knew that only Sh7 billion was reportedly lost in the project and not Sh21 billion as reported.

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Read also: There’s no small money in corruption – Raila tells Ruto

He said the DP had no reason to be defensive if he knew he had nothing to do with the alleged disappearance of the funds.

Raila said those rushing to defend corruption were scuttling the ongoing war on corruption.

Ruto said it’s his job as an accounting officer of the Jubilee administration to account for every penny spent on projects.

He said the biggest enemy in the fight against the vice is selective prosecution targeting predetermined individuals and projects.

While clarifying that he has absolutely no problem with the former PM, Ruto said the biggest threat to the war on corruption is rumour mongering, propagandists and peddlers of half-truths.

See more: Sh7b isn’t pocket change to buy Maandazis, Raila bashes Ruto over dam scandal

“In the last election, you said your competitor stole the Eurobond. Now you are accusing the person you perceive as your future competitor of stealing money from dams, but when you are asked for evidence you say it was the Pope who called you and told you about the theft,” Ruto said.

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AfDB wars: Targeting an African man or an African bank?

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By AGGREY MUTAMBO

Dr Akinwumi Adesina was probably more known for working with rural agricultural communities than scandal. Now, as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), he may be punch ball of a global political agenda pitting the US against African leaders, and maybe China.

Since last month, Dr Adesina has been fighting allegations of inappropriate acts that could ruin his career and roil a near-certain unopposed re-election this August. But his stay, or going, could punctuate relations between Africa and the US.

On Tuesday, some observers told the Nation the impasse over the credibility of the Bank’s President could ruin more than his career.

“The leadership crisis at the AfDB is too important to ignore, especially at this time when the lender is raising funds to shore up its capital base for onward lending to African countries, many of which are battling debt crisis and the corona pandemic,” Dr Peter Mwencha, a specialist in international political economy and CEO of the International Relations Society of Kenya said, referring to the Bank’s bid to raise more than $100 billion from shareholders.

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“From a geopolitical perspective, this issue has brought up concerns about allowing foreigners an outsized stake in African affairs. Africans are questioning why foreigners should have such a huge influence in such an important African institution,” he added, but challenged African leaders to consider raising their shareholding of the Bank.

Here is how: As Nigeria’s Agriculture minister, Dr Adesina was named Forbes Person of the Year in 2013, for ‘revolutionising’ agricultural policies in his country.

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There had been no scandal against him since he took over as President AfDB in 2015. In fact, he has led the institution, formed in 1964, on a campaign to steer clear of fossil fuel projects, dumping all dirty coal-related funding and instead focusing on powering rural homes using renewable energy.

That was until January this year when anonymous employees of the bank wrote to some directors alleging Dr Adesina had overreached his hand, awarding contracts to his cronies and relatives as well as using the position to enhance his personal stature.

When more allegations, anonymously, emerged in April about how he had paid employees who resigned mysteriously, the AfDB board endorsed an internal audit. That committee returned a report suggesting there had been no evidence linking Dr Adesina to the allegations.

But the US government wasn’t satisfied so Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin wrote a letter rejecting the results of the internal audit. He argued the dismissal of all allegations against Dr Adesina will “tarnish the reputation of the institution,” according to a May 28 letter to the AfDB board.

One employee of the Bank, who wished to remain anonymous told the Nation AfDB has witnessed high profile resignations in the past five years, with the officials being paid handsome severance packages suspected to buy their silence. Dr Adesina denies any wrong doings.

But the US stance, to have Dr Adesina re-investigated, has seen African leaders, including Nigeria where he comes from rally behind their man.

Nigerian ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo rallied more than a dozen other former leaders to endorse an open letter to Washington, warning the stance would divert the Bank’s attention to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“At this critical time that Africa is battling with Covid-19, the Bank and its President should not be distracted,” Mr Obasanjo argued in a letter that was also signed by Mr Jakaya Kikwete, Mr Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Joachim Chissano, Ms Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf, Ms Joyce Banda, Mr Tandja Mamadou and several other leaders.

While the leaders called for respect for protocol, they raised a pan-African issue, indicating the Bank was the most important institution on the continent and that it was “the pride of Africa.

All African countries are members of the Bank, but it also has 27 members from countries outside the continent. It, however, lends exclusively to Africa.

Nigeria and the US are the biggest AfDB shareholders. The two command a 15 per cent share combined, but Nigeria has 9.1 per cent in the institution formed 55 years ago.

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Kenya’s single-use plastic ban in protected areas takes effect

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The single-use plastics ban in Kenya will take effect this Friday and according to the Trend Report, it is a logical next step in reducing the amount of unsustainably disposed plastics. 

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

The ban will be in effect in all Kenya’s protected areas including its beaches, national parks, conservation areas and forests.

According to a newly launched trend report by Sustainable Inclusive Business (SIB-Kenya), the ban is a logical next step in reducing the amount of unsustainably disposed plastics; after the 2017 ban on throw away carrier bags.

Results indicate an 80%success rate and reduced polythene bags along Kenya’s coastline, parks and drainages.

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Speaking about the launch of the report, the Sustainable Inclusive Business Director Karin Boomsma noted that “This comes at a time when we see an increase in single-use plastic products, and the ban will go a long way in encouraging the adoption of the refuse, rethink, remanufacture, recycle, and recover model of production”.

Plastic production is expected to double over the next 20 years, most of which will be single use packaging material.

The report provides more insights into the implications of the Kenyan single-use plastic ban on the economy, planet and people, and how businesses both small and established can prepare for alternatives.

The ban on single use plastics places Kenya among the first movers in a trend towards a cleaner and healthier environment globally.

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Other African countries in the frontline of eliminating the use of single-use plastics with combined total bans and levy on retailers include Rwanda and South Africa.

With Kenya being one of the fastest-growing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, the landfill menace is expected to expand faster, posing both environmental and health risks to the country and its people.

If well implemented, the ban on single-use plastics will profit public health, tourism and agriculture, among others. This is by ensuring a cleaner environment with less plastic pollution, a factor beneficial not only to human health, but also to biodiversity and will make Kenya’s tourism destinations more appealing for both domestic and foreign travelers.

The report highlights three megatrends preceding the single use plastic ban. These include the need to shift towards the circular economy, the need for businesses to adopt a more holistic approach in their relationship with nature and the need to deal with externalities such as plastic waste pollution, emissions or the depletion of resources.

“Innovation will help us replace plastic with more sustainable materials, which requires new production and sourcing systems as well as new business models. Therefore, public-private partnerships will go a long way to ensuring businesses have access to sustainable alternatives to the banned items, which will also provide huge opportunities for the private sector to create new jobs,” added Boomsma.

Besides the trend report, SIB-Kenya has set up an online crash course available to the public, aimed at helping readers understand the plastic ban concept, policy overview, best practices from frontrunners as well as ways to deal with the ban in Kenya.

A recent expression of interest for suppliers of alternatives to the single-use plastics sent out by the organization, further aims to create a linkage with players in the hospitality, travel, tourism, and MICE industries.

The ban includes cutlery, straws, balloons, PET-bottles, cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, and other products containing polymers that are harmful to the environment when not properly disposed.

 

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Meet George Floyd baby mama, daughter – Nairobi News

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As the world struggles to recover from the cruel death of George Floyd in the hands of the Minneapolis Police, the deceased’s baby mama has made an emotional plea for justice, sobbing as she insisted he was a good man “no matter what anybody thinks”.

With her six-year-old daughter Gianna clinging to her, Roxie Washington said she wanted all four officers involved in Floyd’s death to pay for the death, which has sparked fierce protests across the US and the world.

“At the end of the day, they get to go home and be with their families. Gianna doesn’t have a father. He will never see her group up, graduate. He will never walk her down the aisle.”

She made these remarks during a news conference at Minneapolis City Hall.

“He loved her, he loved her so much,” she said.

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“I’m here for my baby. I’m here for George because I want justice for him because he was good. No matter what anybody thinks, he was good.”

Floyd, 46, died last week in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck for at least eight minutes while arresting him for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 note at a shop.

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