The Kenyan newspapers on Friday, December 11, reported on the handing over of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) signatures to the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
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At the same time, the dailies also focused on the succession wars that have rocked the Judiciary as Chief Justice David Maraga proceeds on terminal leave ahead of his retirement in January 2021.
1. The Star
Chief Justice David Maraga is set to proceed on terminal leave starting Friday, December 11, and lobbying for his position has begun in earnest.
The CJ will officially retire in January 2021 and whereas his deputy Philomena Mwilu is expected to act before a substantial appointment is made, human rights activist Okiya Omtatah has rushed to court arguing she is not fit to serve in the office of chief justice.
Omatatah cited the corruption accusations against Mwilu as one that would hinder her from the top plum job unless she receives clearance from the Judicial Service Commission.
Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi said the so called deep state was determined to block the DCJ from succeeding Maraga.
Some of the front runners in the race believed to be insiders are Court of Appeal president William Ouko as well as Court of Appeal judges Martha Koome and Wanjiru Karanja.
State House director of political affairs Machel Waikenda has endorsed Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u while her colleague Smokin Wanjala is also in the race.
2. Daily Nation
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has said the Msambweni by-election will be used as a litmus test for BBI in the coast region.
The former prime minister said his outfit which has Omar Boga as the candidate must win the seat that was left behind by the late Suleiman Dori who was an ODM member.
“The by-election is a test for the BBI report and as a party that supports the Constitutional changes in the country, we have to win this seat by a margin of 80 to 90%,” said Raila.
On Thursday, December 10, President Uhuru Kenyatta hosted Boga at State House Mombasa accompanied by ODM deputy party leader Hassan Joho in what was viewed as some sort of endorsement following his handshake with Raila.
3. The Standard
The Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission has said it has no funds to verify BBI signatures.
The commission chairman Wafula Chebukati requested for cash from Treasury so as to facilitate the process.
“We have put in place all the measures, including a committee to oversee the process. Once the National Treasury allocates us cash, we will begin the signature verification,” said Chebukati.
The Commission on Thursday, December 10, received the draft Constitutional amendment Bill through a popular initiative and supporting 4.4 million signatures from the BBI secretariat.
4. People Daily
A Nairobi court has ordered MPs to refund KSh 1.2 billion they received in illegal allowances.
The law makers reportedly bypassed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and awarded themselves a house allowance of KSh 250,000 each despite the salaries factoring it in.
A three judge bench termed the move by the Parliamentarians to award themselves the hefty perks as illegal and further ordered the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) to deduct the money from their salaries within 12 months.
The trio, Justices Weldon Korir, Pauline Nyamweya and John Mativo made the ruling in the case in which the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) and activist Okiya Omattah had challenged the move.
5. Taifa Leo
Kenyans are divided on whether Raila is Kenya’s ‘Joshua’ who will lead them to ‘Canaan’ or he is ‘Judas Iscariot’ who betrayed Jesus Christ, the son of God.
While some believe the ODM leader will bring the much needed reforms through BBI which he is championing, others said he has betrayed the democracy course in Kenya by supporting the Jubilee government.
Before his famous March 2018 handshake with Uhuru, the former PM was viewed by most of his supporters as the leader who would deliver them to the Promised Land.
His decision, however, to cease hostilities with the president irked many in the process who have termed him as a turncoat.
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