Coronavirus: Kenyans Kick As Direct China Flight Lands In Nairobi

Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean.
Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean.

 

A flight carrying 239 passengers from China has landed in Kenyan capital Nairobi, the BBC reported on Thursday.

Kenya had suspended direct flights from China two weeks ago, to check the spread of the novel coronavirus that emanated in Wuhan, a city in central China.

The China Southern Airlines flight from Guangzhou to Nairobi is the first to land after the suspension.

All the passengers were screened on board to check for any signs that they were carrying the deadly virus, the BBC reported.

More than 80,000 people in more than 40 countries have been infected with the virus and more than 2,700 people have died.

After the flight landed, several Kenyans took to social media to criticise the move.

On Tuesday, Algeria became only the second African country to confirm a case of coronavirus after Egypt.

No cases have yet been reported in sub-Saharan Africa.

Are You Midwives Of Good Things For Nigeria? Lumumba Asks NASS


 

A Kenyan professor of law, Patrick Lumumba, has called on Nigerian lawmakers to work for the betterment of the people.

Lumumba, former Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, made the call on Wednesday in Abuja during the launch of the House of Representatives’ Green Chamber’s publication.

He reminded the lawmakers that they are the “successors of Nigeria’s great leaders,” asking them to reflect on what they have done for the country.

READ ALSO: Senate Moves To Establish Commission Against Illegal Use Of Guns

 

 

The former Director told the House of Representatives that “you must ask yourself, now that you have been given the honour and privilege of serving Nigeria, are you, honourable members or horrible members?”

According to him, the services they render to the people while they are lawmakers would determine if they are honourable members, adding that “we want to see honourable members, not horrible members.”

This is as he called on members of the lower chamber, now that Nigerians have given them the chance, to reflect on whether they are “the midwives of the good things for Nigeria or are you midwives that kill the children of the creator.”

Also, he said that Nigeria should be at par with several advanced nations.

Why Former Kenyan President Arap Moi Would Be Remembered – Osinbajo

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday joined other world leaders in mourning the late former President of Kenya, Daniel Arap Moi.

Professor Osinbajo who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the state funeral for the late president, described Moi as one of the foremost leaders of decolonization of Africa and a founding father of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), while delivering his tribute.

According to him, “many in Africa will remember him in particular for the pioneering work that he did especially with respect to regional cooperation.”

“He was, as we have heard, very instrumental in the resuscitation of the East African Community along with President Museveni and others. He was also very instrumental in COMESA and even the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD,” Osinbajo said – IGAD is the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an eight-country trade bloc in the Continent, composed of countries on the Horn of Africa and the Nile Valley, including Kenya.

The Vice President further stated: “these are the precursors of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement arrangements we are making today and to which almost every African country has subscribed. And it will define the future of trade and relations in Africa.”

 

 

Thanking God for the life of former President Moi, Prof. Osinbajo added: “we believe that the Almighty God whom he served through his life has already received him even now.”

Host President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, in his remarks regarded the former President Moi as a peacebuilder, an educationist and nationalist.
He said Moi worked with his father, Jomo Kenyatta, to ensure the socio-political and economic development of Kenya.

Other leaders who paid glowing tributes to the late former President, included Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, among others.

Late Daniel Arap Moi was the second and longest-serving President of Kenya, from 1978 to 2002. He died on the 4th of February, 2020 at the age of 95.

Osinbajo Represents Nigeria At Funeral Of Former Kenyan President, Daniel Arap Moi

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), on Tuesday, represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the state funeral of former President Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, in Nairobi.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande.

The Vice President who was accompanied by senior government officials joined other African Heads of State and world leaders at the occasion which took place at the Nyayo National Stadium.

Read Also: Kenyans Queue To See Body Of Moi, The Country’s Longest-Serving Ruler

Moi was the second longest-serving President of Kenya from 1978 to 2002.

He died on Tuesday, February 4, aged 95.

See photos below.

Kenya Mourns Ex-President With State Funeral

Military officers escort a gun carriage carrying the coffin of late former Kenya President, Daniel Arap Moi, draped in the Kenya national flag, during a state memorial service in Nairobi, on February 11, 2020. SIMON MAINA / AFP
Military officers escort a gun carriage carrying the coffin of late former Kenya President, Daniel Arap Moi, draped in the Kenya national flag, during a state memorial service in Nairobi, on February 11, 2020. SIMON MAINA / AFP

 

Thousands of Kenyans on Tuesday gathered to mourn the country’s longest serving leader, the hardline Daniel arap Moi, as a week of mourning climaxed with a state funeral.

Moi, whose 24-year rule saw Kenya become a one-party state where critical voices were ruthlessly crushed, died on February 4 aged 95.

Mourners began gathering at the stadium before dawn to pay their respects.

Moi, who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002, lay in state for three days in parliament, with tens of thousands of people filing past.

On Tuesday morning, he was taken on a gun carriage draped in Kenya’s flag through the streets of Nairobi to the crowded Nyayo national stadium flanked by soldiers.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who opened the memorial with the national anthem, has called Moi “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism.”

Shortly after, the cortege entered the stadium flanked by long lines of red-coated soldiers and a brass band playing marching tunes and Christian hymns, their shining boots glinting in the bright sun.

Several foreign leaders from regional nations attended the ceremony, including Djibouti’s Ismail Omar Guelleh, Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and South Sudan’s Salva Kiir.

The body of the late president will be buried on Wednesday in his home area of Kabarak, 220 kilometres (135 miles) northwest of Nairobi.

“The Last Salute”, Citizen TV wrote. “Fare thee well, 1924-2020” national broadcaster KBC headlined.

The usually congested and noisy streets of Nairobi were quiet, with Tuesday declared a national holiday.

While those at the stadium had come to pay their respects to a ruler they revered, others in Kenya remembered a man that they had long feared.

Moi’s 24-year rule saw critical voices crushed, corruption become endemic and tribal divisions stoked and turn bloody.

Moi was however praised for keeping Kenya a relative haven of peace during a chaotic period in east Africa.

 

AFP

Kenyans Queue To See Body Of Moi, The Country’s Longest-Serving Ruler

 

Kenyans formed long queues on Sunday to glimpse the body of the country’s longest-serving leader, Daniel Arap Moi, lying in state ahead of a state funeral.

Moi, whose 24-year rule saw Kenya become a one-party state where critical voices were crushed, died on February 4 aged 95.

His body will lie for public viewing in Nairobi for three days, until a memorial service with full civilian and military honours on Tuesday.

The body of the late president who towered over Kenya between 1978 and 2002 was escorted by military guard through the streets of the capital to the parliament building, drawn on a gun carriage and wrapped in the national flag.

Foreign dignitaries, soldiers and ordinary citizens paused, bowed and saluted as they passed Moi’s body dressed in dark suit atop a velvet green plinth.

Read Also: Former Kenyan President Dies At 95

Many of those queuing Sunday had come to pay their respects to a ruler they revered, while others stood in disbelief that the man they had long feared was gone.

Magdalene Njoki, a vendor, travelled with her two children from Thia, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Nairobi, to thank the president who provided free milk in school under a Moi-era policy.

“He was a good leader,” she said.

But Moi leaves a mixed legacy. During his tenure, corruption became endemic and tribal divisions were stoked and turned bloody, but many also remember a period of relative peace in Kenya as east Africa was roiled by conflict.

Justin Otello, who also queued to see Moi’s body, said “even the mention of his name” could evoke fear.

“I can’t believe that is Moi’s body lying there. That man who terrorised this country is now sleeping there, motionless,” he said.

Nixon Ind eche, a retired public servant, said she was “going to see his body for closure”.

“He detained a lot of people without trial and destroyed our economy, but all that is in the past now because he asked for forgiveness publicly,” he said.

In neighbouring Ethiopia, at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, a brief moment of silence was observed Sunday by visiting leaders and dignitaries before an annual two-day conference got underway.

Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi said Africa “had lost one of its illustrious sons”.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, who on Saturday led the tributes for Moi on the first of his three days in state, remembered “a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism”.

In recent years observers had criticised the apparent rehabilitation of Moi as the elderly former president often received visits from Kenyatta, his opposition rival Raila Odinga and other politicians, seeking his blessing ahead of elections.

Kenyatta revived “Moi Day” in honour of the former president in 2017, after it was scrapped in 2010.

Officials said around 23,000 people saw the body on Saturday, though a final figure is not expected for some days. Sunday’s longer viewing hours could draw a bigger crowd.

His body will be buried Wednesday in his home area of Kabarak, 220 kilometres northwest of Nairobi.

Kenyan Athlete Wins 2020 Lagos Marathon

David Barmasai Tumo is a Kenyan long-distance runner.
David Barmasai Tumo is a Kenyan long-distance runner.

 

A Kenyan athlete, David Barmasai Tumo, emerged winner of the Lagos marathon Saturday morning.

Tumo’s 2:10:23 hours time was 4 mins 41 seconds faster than Abraham Kiprotich’s record in 2018.

The race, which is championed by Access Bank, started in front of the National Stadium, Surulere, and ended at the Eko Atlantic City, Victoria Island, a 42-kilometre stretch.

The 2020 edition of the Access Bank-Lagos marathon started in front of the National Stadium in Surulere. Photo Credit: Access Bank
The 2020 edition of the Access Bank-Lagos marathon started in front of the National Stadium in Surulere. Photo Credit: Access Bank

 

The Third Mainland Bridge, Osborne road, Parkview and Lekki/Ikoyi link bridge were among roads that were closed for the annual activity.

Last year, Sintayehu Legese of Ethiopia won the marathon. He finished with a time of 2:17:28.

Kenyan Sharon Jemutai Cherop, was the first woman to finish the race.
Kenyan Sharon Jemutai Cherop, was the first woman to finish the race.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Osaro Eghobamien, ran for ‘justice’. Well-known faces such as former Super-Eagles midfielder, Austin ‘Jay-Jay’ Okocha, also participated in the race.

Tumo will be rewarded with the race’s grand prize of $50,000.

The first woman to cross the finish line was another Kenyan, Sharon Jemutai Cherop.

Cherop’s 2:31:40 hours time is 6 mins 12 secs faster than Rodah Jpekorir’s record last year.

 

 

 

Kenya Leader Warns Against US, China Rivalry In Africa

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta gives a speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC on February 5, 2020. Eric BARADAT / AFP

 

 

Kenya’s president said Wednesday that African nations should be free to cooperate with both the United States and China, warning that foreign powers were exacerbating the continent’s divisions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta was speaking on a visit to Washington, where speculation has built that the United States will seek to negotiate a free-trade agreement with Kenya, in what would be a first with an African nation.

On the eve of his talks with President Donald Trump, Kenyatta said he was “very concerned” about a return to the Cold War era when Africans had to choose between the United States and the Soviet Union.

“Western countries, and their counterparts in Asia and the Middle East, are returned to competition over Africa, in some cases weaponizing divisions, pursuing proxy actions and behaving like Africa is for the taking.

“Well, I want to tell you it is not,” Kenyatta said at the Atlantic Council think tank.

China has been funding billions of dollars worth of infrastructure around the world, including a modern new rail-line between Nairobi and the port of Mombasa, as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

The United States has been increasingly vocal in urging developing nations to be wary, warning that they can be saddled with unpayable debts to Beijing for projects built largely with Chinese labor.

Asked about the criticism of China, Kenyatta said: “We don’t want to be forced to choose. We want to work with everybody, and we believe that there is an opportunity for everybody.

“There are those areas indeed where America stands out and has much, much better strengths in certain fields. On the other hand, you have the Chinese who build hospitals in seven days.”

First African trade pact?

The White House said Trump would speak to Kenyatta about “new opportunities to advance cooperation and trade.”

Scott Eisner of the US Chamber of Commerce said the private sector was increasingly paying attention to rumors that the US and Kenya would start free-trade negotiations.

“There are some big numbers you could hit over the next six to 10 years should a big deal come together,” Eisner, head of the Chamber’s US-Africa Business Center, told reporters on a conference call.

He pointed to Kenya’s medical device industry, tech sector, and textiles as areas for trade and said the country had proven to be a “good market entry point” to East Africa.

The United States has free-trade agreements with 20 countries but none are in Africa.

Bob Lighthizer, the US trade representative, said in 2018 that the Trump administration would choose one African country for a “model” free-trade agreement.

Driving the momentum for a trade deal, a US law that sets import preferences for African goods is set to expire in 2025.

Passed by Congress in 2000, the African Growth and Opportunity Act lets sub-Saharan nations export an array of products to the United States tariff-free if they meet conditions such as maintaining a market-based economy, protecting labor rights and combating corruption.

Trump is not known for his interest in Africa. But the State Department announced Wednesday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would pay his first visit to Africa from February 15 to 19, stopping in Senegal, Angola, and Ethiopia.

Former Kenyan President Dies At 95

 

 File picture of Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi addressing a rally in Malindi, North of Mombasa, 26 August 1997. ALEXANDER JOE / AFP
File picture of Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi addressing a rally in Malindi, North of Mombasa, 26 August 1997. ALEXANDER JOE / AFP

 

Former Kenyan president Daniel arap Moi, who ruled the country with an iron fist between 1978 and 2002, has died aged 95, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced Tuesday.

Moi’s 24-year rule saw his country become a one-party state where critical voices were crushed, corruption became endemic and tribal divisions were stoked and turned bloody.

“It is with profound sadness that I announce the death of a great man of an African state,” Kenyatta said in a statement.

He ordered a period of national mourning until a state funeral is held, on a date not yet announced.

The former president died “in the early morning of February 4 at Nairobi hospital in the presence of his family,” Kenyatta said.

‘Chequered career’

Moi fought off rivals in a bitter contest to take the top job in 1978, succeeding Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, when he died.

The speaker of Kenya’s national assembly, Justin Muturi said that Moi was an “astute politician”, who “employed pragmatic nationalism to keep the country together for the 24 years that he led our nation.”

“He will be remembered for his great efforts towards consolidating peace and tranquility within the Horn of Africa and largely the East African Region, at a very difficult time for the region and the African continent,” Muturi added.

His son Gideon Moi, a senator, confirmed Moi died at 5:20 am (02:20 GMT). “He passed away peacefully,” he said. “I was by his side and, as a family, we have accepted (his death).”

One of the defining scandals of Moi’s presidency was the loss of $1 billion from the central bank through false gold and diamond exports.

A report by Britain-based risk consultant group Kroll in 2007 claimed Moi’s family and clique laundered money on a global scale, buying properties and companies in London, New York and South Africa and even a 10,000-hectare (25,000-acre) ranch in Australia.

‘Discipline’

Vice-President William Ruto, who comes from the same Kalenjin people as Moi, mourned his “legendary personal discipline” and said that his “life and work touched every one of us in lasting, impactful ways.”

Those targeted by his regime included human rights and environmental activists, including the writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o and the future Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.

Moi was however praised for keeping Kenya a relative haven of peace during a chaotic period in east Africa which saw the genocide in Rwanda and civil wars in Burundi and Somalia.

His later return — under significant pressure — to multiparty elections in 1992, and peaceful handover of power to opposition leader Mwai Kibaki in 2002 also won him some praise.

Former opponent Raila Odinga, who spent several years in jail under Moi, referred to the late leader’s “chequered career”, but also spoke of his decision to finally restore multiparty politics.

“Moi and I reconciled after the political differences of the 1980s and early 90s, and we were able to work together to bring more reforms to the country,” Odinga said.

In recent years observers have criticised the “rehabilitation” of Moi as the elderly former president often received visits from President Kenyatta, his opposition rival Raila Odinga and any politician seeking his blessing ahead of elections.

Kenyatta revived “Moi Day” in honour of the former president in 2017, after it was scrapped in 2010.

 

AFP

13 Children Killed In Kenya School Stampede

 

Thirteen children died and more than 40 others were injured in a stampede that occurred as they left school in western Kenya on Monday, local police said.

“We have lost 13 children in this stampede and we have others in the hospital with injuries,” David Kabena, the police chief in the town of Kakamega, told reporters.

The crush took place at around 5:00 pm (1400 GMT) when panic broke out as the students went home for the day from Kakamega Primary school.

The reason for the panic is still unclear.

“We have launched an investigation to establish what exactly happened,” Kabena said.

Kenya Red Cross said on Twitter that emergency services were responding to a “fatal stampede” at the school.

Five Arrested For Suspected Terrorism In Kenya

 

Kenyan authorities have arrested five people suspected of preparing a terror attack in Nairobi, according to a police report seen by AFP on Sunday.

The group comprises three men — a US citizen, a Somali and their Kenyan driver — and two Somali women who were believed to be on a reconnaissance mission for an attack in the north of the capital, the report dated Saturday said.

Police received information on Friday saying that “suspected terrorists” were carrying out a surveillance operation at a pub on Kiambu Road, a spot popular for its many bars and nightclubs.

READ ALSO: Iran Plane Crash: Ukraine Receives Bodies Of Victims 

Kenyan security forces have been on high alert since the Somali Al-Shabaab group, close to Al-Qaeda, stepped up attacks in the east of the country this month, threatening to target more Kenyan and US interests.

On January 5, the Somali Al-Shabaab group attacked Camp Simba, killing three Americans and destroying several aircraft and warning Kenya to withdraw its forces from Somalia while they still “have the chance”.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting against Al-Shabaab, and has seen several brutal retaliation attacks both on its troops in Somalia and civilians in Kenya.

AFP

Jihadists Kill Three Teachers In Kenya School Attack

Since the start of the year, the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab have stepped up their attacks in eastern Kenya, along the Somali border.

 

Suspected Al-Shabaab Islamists killed three teachers and kidnapped another at a primary school in eastern Kenya on Monday, police said, the latest in a spate of attacks in the region.

The assailants also torched a police post and damaged a telecoms mast in the attack in Kamuthe, 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of the town of Garissa.

At around 2am (2300 GMT Sunday) “suspected armed AS Militia attacked Kamuthe primary school, Kamuthe Police Post, a telecommunications mast and murdered 3 teachers”, a police statement said.

“The telecommunications mast is partially damaged but operational.”

A separate police report on the incidents seen by AFP said the three teachers killed were not from the region, and that a local teacher was abducted. The assailants spared a nurse as she was a woman.

“They also set fire” to the police post in Kamuthe, a senior police officer who asked not to be identified told AFP.

Since the start of the year, the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab have stepped up their attacks in eastern Kenya, along the Somali border, and Kenyan police have been on high alert.

On January 5, the Islamists stormed onto a US military base in the coastal Lamu region, destroying several aircraft and killing three Americans.

Two days later they killed four civilians, including a child, during an attack on a telecommunications mast near Garissa.

Al-Shabaab issued a statement last Wednesday warning that Kenya “will never be safe”, threatening tourists and US interests in the country.

The group said Kenya should withdraw its forces from Somalia while they still “have the chance”.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia in 2011 as part of an African Union peacekeeping mission fighting against Al-Shabaab, and has seen several brutal retaliation attacks both on its troops in Somalia and civilians in Kenya.

This week Kenya marks a year since the January 15 siege of the upscale Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi left 21 dead. Previous attacks have killed 67 at the Westgate shopping centre in 2013 and 148 at Garissa University in 2015.

 

AFP