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KPA Fights For Joho’s Family Firm Over Tender Termination Case

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The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) wants termination of a case challenging a decision to award Portside Freight Terminals Ltd, a firm owned by the Joho family. The Mombasa based government institution awarded a deal to develop the second bulk grain handling facility at the port of Mombasa to Joho’s family. However, the process has found resistance over transparency issues.

The KPA is seeking the suspension of the case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah, even though, the case is still pending the filing, hearing and determination of its intended appeal.

Initially, the High Court ruled dismissing its application to have the case struck out.

KPA and Portside Freight Terminals Ltd applied seeking to have the case struck out but Justice John Onyiego had dismissed it.

KPA’s argument

In their argument, the port agency stated that the judge erred in finding that public interest would be well served in relying on illegally obtained evidence despite the rule of law being one of the national values in the Constitution.

It also says that it will be prejudiced during the trial unless the proceedings are suspended. This is so as it will be forced to look at and answer the same evidence that violates its constitutional rights and the law.

“The intended appeal raises substantial questions of law. They deserve input from the Court of Appeal to avoid proceeding on doubtful foundations,” argues KPA during application.

In his ruling, Justice Onyiengo stated that from the particulars of the petition and arguments from both sides, the scales of justice tilt in favour of it (petition) being heard on merit so that each party gets to argue.

“The issues raised in the petition are weighty and of public importance, hence cannot be wished away casually; no party will suffer prejudice by the suit proceeding to full hearing,” said Justice Onyiego.

Illegally obtained documents

KPA had wanted the documents in support of the petition by Mr Omtatah been illegally obtained, hence wanted them struck out. Mr Omtatah never requested any relevant public body to access the papers that he seeks to rely on.

According to KPA, the petition’s evidence strongly relies on documents either marked as confidential or which are internal communication between itself the Treasury Cabinet Secretary.

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KPA listed 12 documents it wanted to be expunged, among them an application by Portside Freight Terminals Ltd dated April 6, 2020, and received by KPA on May 15, 2020.

Mr Omtata says that the board took into account irrelevant considerations in relation to Portside Freight Terminals Ltd’s proposal for the development of the grain handling facility.

He furtehr said that the respondents’ decision violates legitimate expectations of six companies that were competing for the same tender.

The Treasury Cabinet Secretary is the second respondent.

May 30 is the date set for hearing.

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Farmers on the verge of East Cost fever get reprieve

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A chance discovery in Kenya could give relief to millions of farmers. Who have been losing their cattle to East Coast fever.

Researchers at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Kenya and Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh.

In Scotland have identified a genetic marker. That predicts whether an individual cow is likely to survive infection with East Coast fever.

PLOS Genetics

In its findings published last week in PLOS Genetics, the team says the allele (the variant of a given gene).

They identified is not necessarily the specific gene that limits the growth. Of the animal’s cells when they are infected by the parasite. Protecting them from the illness.

“For breeding, it doesn’t actually matter,” says Roslin’s David Wragg. “You just need a way of saying, ‘This animal is a good one to breed from’. Because its offspring are likely to survive the disease.”

Tests showed

“Tests showed the marker does this very well. With only one out of 20 animals with two copies of the allele succumbing to the disease.”

The scientists said further research to pin down the exact gene(s) responsible. And their mechanism of action will enable scientists to edit the DNA. Of cattle to make them disease tolerant.

This new information presents an opportunity. To craft breeding programmes that could develop cattle strains. With resilience against the disease.

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Even though

Even though a vaccine for East Coast fever exists. And usually gives cattle lifelong immunity, making it is a “complex affair”.

That involves making a kind of ‘tick smoothie’. By crushing up hundreds of thousands of infected ticks in an industrial blender.

Which is time-consuming, is expensive costing up to 20 times more than other common livestock vaccines and can cause disease if mishandled.

Manufacturing and distribution issues

“There are a lot of manufacturing and distribution issues. Associated with this vaccine. It is a difficult vaccine to produce.

It is difficult and expensive to store and to deliver. And it must be administered by a skilled person,” Vish Nene, co-leader of the ILRI Animal and Human Health Programme said.

The other option is regularly dipping animals in acaricides. Pesticides that kill ticks. But this is also labor-intensive, polluting.

To control this disease

“We are struggling to control this disease,” says Phil Toye, principal scientist in animal health at ILRI.

“If the cattle are susceptible, without treatment, you can lose 100 percent of your herd in two or three weeks.”

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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President Kenyatta Set To Open New Chancery In Switzerland

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President Uhuru Kenyatta is set to open a new chancery in the Swiss Capital of Bern. To enhance trade tries between Kenya and Switzerland.

Speaking ahead of President Kenyatta’s official visit to Switzerland, Ambassador Andrew Kihurani said.

The opening of the new chancery will invigorate the growing bilateral trade. Which has been on the upward trend with Kenya’s exports standing at Kshs 4.8 billion.

Imports from Switzerland

While imports from Switzerland standing at Kshs 8 billion annually. “Another primary issue we engage in is promotion of trade.

You may be aware that there’s significant bilateral trade between the two countries. Kenya is Switzerland’s 16th biggest trading partner in Africa,” Amb. Kihurani said.

The Kenyan Ambassador pointed out that, despite the balance of trade being tilted in favor of Switzerland, Kenya has continued to increase its export of coffee, tea and horticultural produce.

Bilateral trade in 2021

He added that bilateral trade in 2021 was extensive. With Kenya being Switzerland’s major source of cut flowers.

Imports from Switzerland to Kenya include herbicides, fungicides, chemicals, paints, machinery and pharmaceuticals.

“So our mandate is to be able to see how to enhance that trade. Between the two countries. Not only in terms of the volume but also in terms of the breadth.

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Other different items

To see what other different items we can be able to trade between the two countries,” he added.

Ambassador Kihurani further said that the two nations have had significant cooperation in the tourism sector.

Noting that Kenya used to receive over 9,000 tourists annually from Switzerland prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ongoing Covid19 vaccination process

He expressed hope that the ongoing Covid-19 vaccination process will revive the tourism sector with Kenya receiving an increasing number of tourists from Switzerland.

“Switzerland has done about 70% of vaccination of its population. And of course in Kenya we are continuing to increase the level of vaccinations.

We expect the level of tourism will start growing once again. And it is the responsibility of this embassy to enhance growth of that tourism exchange,” said Amb. Kihurani.

Kenya envoy to Switzerland

The Kenyan envoy to Switzerland also noted that President Kenyatta will visit Geneva. He is scheduled to address the World Health Assembly on May 22.

He said the address by the President at the World Health Assembly, will outline how Kenya has been at the forefront in championing health issues globally.

“The meeting in Geneva is the World Health Assembly which takes place every year. His Excellency the President shall address the meeting on this particular occasion.

First time to address the assembly

“This will be his first time to address the Assembly. This is important in terms of showing the support that Kenya has.

For issues which will be discussed with Assembly on the issue of health,” he said. The 75th World Health Assembly will kick off. With a high-level segment on May 22.

With speeches from the elected Health Assembly President, Heads of State, special guests and an address by the WHO Director-General.

As well as presentation of the Director-General’s Health Awards. The theme of this year’s World Health Assembly is “Health for Peace, Peace for Health”.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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President Kenyatta Calls For Tangible Solutions To Africa’s Urbanization

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for tangible, practical and sustainable solutions. To the challenges facing Africa’s urban areas.

Speaking on 17th May 2022 in the lakeside city of Kisumu. When he officially opened the 9th Edition of Africities summit.

President Kenyatta noted that the summit provides an effective forum for the continent to take stock. Reflect and plan on the best ways of addressing the challenges of urbanization.

This years Africities Summit

This year’s Africities summit held under the theme “The role of intermediary cities of Africa. In the implementation of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. And the African Union Agenda 2063” is the first to be hosted in an intermediary city.

“This Year’s theme is most apt, as the summit comes at a critical time when. Africa’s rapid urbanization and the challenges of future cities. Are increasingly coming into sharp focus; more so after the shocks of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the President said.

At the same time, President Kenyatta emphasized the need to scale up the role of intermediary cities. As the next frontiers of African urbanization and development.

In Africa

“I say so because in Africa, an unprecedented rate of urbanization has propelled intermediary cities to stand at approximately 1,086.

These intermediary cities are home to approximately 174 million people. Representing about 36 percent of the continent’s total urban population. And contributing about 40 percent of the continent’s GDP,” President Kenyatta said.

Accordingly, President Kenyatta said the Africities summit has the task of providing the continent. With a comprehensive and achievable roadmap.

Intermediary Cities

On how intermediary cities can contribute more towards the implementation of the Agenda 2030 of the United Nations. And the African Union Agenda 2063.

The President informed the summit that in Kenya. The National Government has over the last five years been implementing projects.

And programmes geared towards the improvement of the lives of Kenyans. Through the achievement of SDGs.

National Economic Blueprint

“This has been achieved under the auspices of our national Economic blueprint. The Kenya Vision 2030 and its Medium Term Plan – the Big Four Agenda.

The agenda espouses provision of a decent roof over many more heads. At affordable costs, affordable healthcare for all.

Value addition and increase in manufacturing and jobs. And ensuring food security for all Kenyans,” he said.

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The Government

He said the Government has also embarked on a slum upgrading programme. Spread across the country, notably in the capital city of Nairobi. And the intermediary cities of Mombasa, Kisumu and Nakuru.

“These concerted actions have been taken through. The Kenya Devolution Support Programme and the Urban Support Programme.

The Kenya Slum Upgrading Programme and the Kenya Informal Settlements Improvement Programme,” the President said.

Cities and Local Authorities

Noting that cities and local authorities around the world played a key role in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President said they proved to be an indispensable “ring” in the governance chain and prevention of the pandemic.

Speaking at the panel discussion session of the Africities summit. Former Primer Minister Raila Odinga who is also the African Union (AU) High Representative for Infrastructure Development.

Importance of Infrastructure

Underscored the importance of infrastructure in addressing the challenges of urban areas in Africa.

The former Prime Minister said, as the AU High Representative for Infrastructure Development.

He acts as the catalyst to ensure infrastructure projects identified by the AU are implemented. On a timely basis to accelerate the continent’s progress.

Defence Cabinet Secretary

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa. Who is also the acting CS for Devolution, Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o and his Kisii counterpart James Ongwae.

Who is also the deputy chairman of the Council of Governors. Spoke at the ongoing summit that has attracted delegates from over 110 countries.

Other speakers included United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) President Christine Mba Ndutume. UCLGA Secretary-General Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi.

African Union Commission

African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat, U.S Special Presidential Envoy on Climate John Kerry and UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohamed.

Who delivered their speeches virtually.

Read more at https://thebigissue.co.ke

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