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ELISHA IKIDI: Targeting corruption as cause of terrorism is irrational

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It is with great intrigue that I read an opinion by one Paras Shah from the legal sphere published in the Daily Nation on January 19, 2019 titled, “To Defeat Terrorism, Eliminate Corruption First”.

Paras writes a great article which makes us think about the state of affairs within Kenya.

The events of last week shook this nation to its core. Several innocent lives were lost, injured and many witnessed sights heinous enough to possibly haunt them till the end of their days.

It is understandable and apparent that people are frustrated and left feeling helpless, but when a supposedly leading legal mind, one which I imagine has had years of analytical training, goes on a public rant pointing fingers at the government, its officials and certain “tenderpreneurs”, it is simply irresponsible.

I couldn’t agree more on the issue of corruption that is highlighted – it is a cancer not just in our society but in all nations in some way, shape or form.

However, it is a gross injustice to the country to blame its leadership, its people and its government.

Blaming corruption scandals from the post – Independence era is an easy scapegoat for anything and everything that goes wrong in our country.

When we have nothing to discuss, we discuss the corruption scandals which the media has been too generous in its exposure of.

Targeting corruption as the reason for why heinous and despicable acts of terrorism occur is, in my view, irrational.

Paras is under the impression that these attacks would not have occurred had we had a more advanced passport and forensic identification system.

Are we to believe that first world countries like France, Spain and the United Kingdom are not equipped with state of the art passport systems and CID forensic equipment systems? Did their so-called “tenderpreneurs” also allegedly fail to do what they were paid to do? Despite having systems far more advanced than that of our country, if you do your research, you will find that Europe faced more than 200 terror attacks in 2017 alone.

Let’s not be naive enough to even consider such ridiculous statements.

Blaming the country for these acts of terrorism only empowers terrorists who want to see us turn against one another.

Blaming the country for these cowardly acts only allows the West to once again point fingers at us on matters related to corruption.

Paras’ piece on terrorism only gives power to those who have committed the crimes. Our society should not be blamed for the way in which a criminal’s mind works. In times of adversity, Kenyans have been known to come together as a united force.

Paras Shah, your opinion piece lacks a spirit of patriotism at a time when we all need to be displaying a united front. If you want to learn about patriotism, I would suggest that you watch the recent Sky News interview of Siddharth Chatterjee, the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Kenya.

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We are all too busy blaming corruption scandals but why don’t we address the “white elephant” in the room? What about the serious security lapses at 14 Riverside and Dusit D2 Hotel? Some colossal security and protocol breaches occurred during that fateful Tuesday afternoon last week.

How was it made possible? Dusit’s security team were grossly negligent if it is in fact true that terrorists had stored their weapons in the hotel days before the attack.

We should not be talking about post – Independence scandals but post – Westgate occurrences. If anything, public establishments and real estate developments should have increased their security spend and not be cutting corners to save money.

Venues such as 14 Riverside should have been especially vigilant knowing that they house foreign companies and guests – therefore being prime targets for terrorism.

The owners of such developments need to be questioned on their investment into security and their grounds for gross negligence need to be determined. Skimping on security in this age of terrorism borders on criminality.

Whilst it is easy to absolve ourselves by blaming corrupt politicians for everything, all Kenyans must introspect on how we all contribute to the menace of corruption.

High profile lawyers who enable corrupt politicians to park their ill-gotten gains through complex property transactions cannot absolve themselves through activism, juvenile name calling and finger pointing.

The businessmen who evade tax by accepting cash or by transferring funds overseas are ensuring that the government has to decide which security items to cut because the tax revenue is insufficient are as much to blame.

The thousands of Kenyans who regularly pay small bribes to policemen absolve themselves as being a part of the corruption problem by saying they had no choice, but fail to realize that they contribute to the culture of corruption.

A country gets the government it deserves and we must realize that our politicians are corrupt because we are corrupt. They are no different to us. They come from us. They are us.

Not unlike yours, Mr Shah, this is merely my humble opinion.

Elisha Ikidi, political commentator

[email protected]

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KENGEN’s Olkaria Geothermal Plant Lower Evacuation Costs Causes Competitor To Lower Electricity Tariff

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Kengen’s Olkaria Geothermal plant which has low evacuation costs hence providing low power tariff to its customers has ignited its competitor to reduce its power tariff to set up factories in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Olkaria, Naivasha.

The Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) said it had approved the tariff deal for the large industries that will set up base in the special zone.

The KenGen Green Energy Industrial Park, which has four zones had set the pace by offering direct connection to cheap electricity in addition to the connection to Mombasa port via the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) line.

KenGen recently moved to diversify its revenue streams by inviting investors to set up export-only textile and apparels plants on the 309-acre industrial zone in Naivasha.

It said the Olkaria property is divided into four plots: Site A (70 acres), Site B (82 acres), Site C (100 acres) and 57 acres reserved for Site D.

“Under the lease, the manufacturing/processing firms (locators) will be supplied with utilities such as geothermal steam and brine (hot water) as well as raw water,” said the electricity producer. Factories around the SEZ will also be served by the just-completed Naivasha-Nairobi-Mombasa Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), easing connectivity.

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This will enable them to import raw materials which will be delivered directly to their factories and later have manufactured products exported to other countries like Europe and the Americas with ease due to access to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as well as the Port of Mombasa.

Among the targeted companies are the labour intensive export-only textile and apparels plants. Kenya has been expanding and simplifying the tax incentives it offers for investment in special economic zones in a bid to attract investment into those zones.

In July 2019, the government designated 9,000 acres of land in Naivasha, Mombasa, and Machakos as SEZs in efforts to boost manufacturing. The SEZs are designated areas aimed at promoting and facilitating export-oriented investments. Kenya recently improved its global ranking among the world’s largest geothermal powerhouses after it completed the testing of the first unit of the Olkaria V project.

The 82.7 megawatts project pushed Kenya above Iceland to position eight in the global rankings as the country continues its advancement towards green energy. “We are delighted to announce the completion of the first unit of Olkaria V geothermal power plant and subsequently injecting 79 megawatts to the national grid,” said KenGen Managing Director Rebecca Miano last year.

 

 

 

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Moi’s body leaves funeral home

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The body of former president Daniel Moi has left Lee Funeral Home for Parliament Buildings.

Kenyans of all walks of life will have three days from Saturday to Monday to view the body, which will be lying in state at Parliament Buildings.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua said President Uhuru Kenyatta will be the first to view the body at State House on Saturday at 10.15 am.

The body will leave the Lee Funeral Home at 8 am with the casket draped in the national flag.

The funeral procession is snaking through Valley Road to Kenyatta Avenue and on to Parliament Road after which a military parade will be mounted in his honour.

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President Kenyatta’s tribute to former leader Daniel Moi

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UHURU KENYATTA

By UHURU KENYATTA
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It is with a heavy heart and a profound sense of personal loss that I make this tribute, in honour of the life of President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, who rested on the early hours of Tuesday February 4, 2020.

Today, as the solemn procession of the late President Moi proceeds through the streets of our Nation’s capital, to lie-in-state at Parliament buildings; we commence the final journey of a great son of Kenya, a cherished brother, a loving father, a mentor to many, a father of our nation, a champion of Pan-Africanism, and the Second President of the Republic of Kenya.

The question that we all should ask ourselves is: “How does one mourn an iconic leader?” A leader who spent almost his entire life in service to our nation, whose story of heroism, sacrifice and service, began in the pre-independence era.

How is a man who achieved so much more than is expected in a lifetime – be celebrated? 

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What would be a befitting send off or national honour for a man who built Kenya, in large part by the works of his hands?

A man who, together with other iconic leaders, helped Shepherd our Country out of the shackles of Colonial Rule; and into the Freedom and Self Determination of our modern independent State.

How else can a grateful Nation celebrate the life of a man whose calm and steady hand reassured a young Nation and her Allies, during the peaceful transition into the Second Administration?

The sun has set on a truly extraordinary man.

A masterful yet thoughtful leader.

A suave yet firm Diplomat.

One who served the nation with dignity and honour.

One whose wisdom and diplomatic finesse kept Kenya, both relevant and neutral, even as the whole world was in the grips of the Cold War.

“A passing cloud” that served with distinction for 24 years. A decisive and courageous Commander-in Chief of formidable achievements, who chose well and always put the country first. 

A balanced leader who during the clamour for multipartisym, on listening to both sides – chose well, setting the stage for national rebirth through the reintroduction of multiparty politics.

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A tactful leader, who during the quest for a new constitutional order, listened and quietly chose what was best for the country.

A visionary leader who, in 2002, when his party – and, I as their candidate – lost the Presidential election, left office with a gracious last word of advice to those who, thereafter, took up the heavy responsibilities he had borne for a quarter of a century.

Today, we to celebrate the life of a patriot who wherever in Kenya he found himself, he would calm fears and raise the hopes of everyone who heard him. 

No part of Kenya was strange to him, and nor were her citizens. Deep in his D.N.A, he understood and prized our culture and national character.

To his last day in office as President, he remained committed and ready to defend Africa and her people. He believed, deeply, that we had the answers to the questions that troubled our continent.

Our Nation is not alone in mourning the passing of President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi. The whole of Africa is mourning with us. We continue to receive messages of sympathy and admiration for the life and service of Mzee Moi from around the world.

We celebrate the life of a teacher for life and a mentor to many – myself included. One whose ingenuity bequeath our Nation many projects.

President Moi was a mortal man, whose works and legacy are immortal. The Republic of Kenya, the community of East Africa and the great continent of Africa, bears his indelible mark, which, I am convinced, will endure long into the future.

May Mzee Moi’s memory live as long as our Republic endures; and may we, to whom he has left the care of the Republic, prove ourselves worthy of his bequest.

We commit Mzee Moi’s Soul to the Almighty God, thanking the Creator for sending to us His Servant, whom after nearly a century of selfless and steadfast service, now rests in His Glory and his well-deserved reward.

God bless you and our beloved Nation – Kenya.

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