The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) politics and the ongoing health workers’ strike lead in newspapers on Monday, December 14.
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Close attention has also been given to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic and approval of Pfizer vaccine by countries like US, Canada and UK.
1. People Daily
The BBI secretariat and the IEBC have clashed over how much money is needed to finance verification of signatures.
According to the poll agency, at least KSh 241 million is required for the exercise to be successful but BBI proponents think the cost has been exaggerated.
Acting CEO of the IEBC Marjan Hussein Marjan said he had written to Treasury requesting for the funds which will be used for among other thing training staff but the exchequer had not responded.
ThirdWay Alliance secretary Fredrick Okango questioned the procedure IEBC was going to use to verify the signatures stating that the body could only verify details of registered voters.
2. Daily Nation
Led by Kieni MP Kanini Kega, the leaders expressed fear that delay in disbursement will deal a blow to the process which needs to culminate into a referendum not later than July 2021.
“What the IEBC needs is not really a lot of money. They already have the staff and the infrastructure and the little extra they need is just to hire a few individual staff. So it should not be a problem,” said Kega.
This comes amid claims by pro-BBI leaders that the Wafula Chebukati agency has exaggerated demands in its budget for verification of signatures.
When the IEBC verified signatures for the Punguza Mizigo bill, about KSh 45 million was used in the exercise.
Recently, the poll body said it will need KSh 14 billion for a BBI referendum. This was after ODM leader Raila claimed that KSh 2 billion was enough.
3. Taifa Leo
The Swahili daily reports that the woes that befell giant sports betting firms SportPesa and Betin begun after President Uhuru Kenyatta attended a church service at a Nairobi CITAM church.
The then-presiding bishop at CITAM David Oginde (now retired) asked Uhuru why the country was condoning the gambling culture.
After the service, the head of state summoned Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who was tasked with investigating SportPesa, Betpawa and Betin.
The CS also gave Uhuru a report on the effects of gambling in the country. Among outcomes the president was given include increased cases of suicide among punters and poor class attendance for student gamblers.
After the president received the report, the purge of the betting companies began. Apart from their licences being withdrawn, bosses of Betin and Betpawa were deported.
4. The Standard
The Standard examines why the country’s political heavyweights seem to be in love with the BBI which has proposed the formation of an expanded executive.
For Deputy President William Ruto, he is likely to become the Official Leader of Opposition if he loses in 2022 presidential polls.
Leaders like ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka, who have for several years been in the political cold, now have a chance of landing slots in the expanded executive.
KANU party leader Gideon Moi who also doubles up as Baringo senator has an option of pursuing presidency or prime minister under the BBI.
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya, just like other second-term governors, can go for senatorial positions or vie for MP with an aim of joining the Cabinet.
5. The Star
Uhuru said this in an apparent backlash to his critics who claim the president has abandoned the development agenda and is now concentrating on the BBI.
The Big Four agenda was launched during Jamhuri Day celebrations in 2017. It was premised on developing affordable housing, manufacturing, universal health care and 100% food security.
“Each generation of leaders in this process understood that Kenya was a work-in-progress. They built and improved on platforms left by the previous leader. They had to make better what others had done. And this is the logic behind the Big Four,” said Uhuru.
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