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UK announces new Sh1.5b aid package to promote media freedom

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The United Kingdom has announced a new Ksh 1.9 billion (£15 million) aid package is to help promote media freedom in developing countries around the world.

One programme will look at creative ways for independent media outlets in countries such as Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Sierra Leone to develop better business models, by helping them for example to cut production costs and find new funding streams.

Another will encourage community groups and journalists to work together to develop strong, independent media outlets in countries, where historically journalists have enjoyed less freedom.

“2018 is the worst year on record for violence and abuse against journalists during which more than half of the journalists were deliberately targeted. There was also a 15% increase in such killings since 2017, according to Reporters without Borders. Over 1,000 professional journalists have been killed for doing their job around the world in the last 15 years,” the UK government said in a statement.

This, combined with political and commercial pressures, has led to a global crisis in independent media outlets in developing countries.

Speaking at the Global Conference for Media Freedom in London, International Development Minister Harriet Baldwin said on Wednesday: “At a time when journalists are attacked in record numbers, and too many independent media organisations are collapsing or threatened by political interests, today’s aid package could not be more crucial. UK aid will help media experts, charities, the private sector and academics, to pioneer bold new approaches to keeping media outlets free and independent, and give them the power to report the truth.”

“This is in everyone’s interests. If people are able to hold their governments to account using reliable information, they can better understand their rights and demand better services, such as healthcare and education,” she added.

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The Governments of the UK and Canada are co-hosting the two-day conference, which aims to defend media freedom and improve the safety of journalists across the world.

According to UK, the new support will build on DFID’s existing work to protect media freedom in developing countries, which has already helped to give 283.5 million people in 15 fragile, poor and conflict affected countries access to TV, radio, and online outlets, whilst supporting 135 stations to strengthen their content to help citizens understand their rights and hold government and other power holders to account.

It will also support media and research institutions to improve the environment for small and medium sized Nigerian media enterprises to work in and ensure public debates on independent media can take place during free and fair Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government elections in Sierra Leone in 2018.

Read: Outstanding loans and advances hit Sh2.5 trillion

The new programmes come on top of an announcement for Ksh 1.5 billion (£12 million) made in March 2019 for the PROTECT (Protecting Rights Openness and Transparency, enhancing civic transformation) Programme which aims to improve media freedom within developing countries. In total, DFID has committed up to Ksh 3.5 billion (£27 million) to protect media freedom this year.

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Show down looms in Western Kenya over planned BBI meeting

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A show down is looming in Western Kenya following a planned parallel meeting from the second building bridges to unity consultative forum.

A section of Luhya leaders have vowed to boycott the planned Bukhungu stadium meeting presided over by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and hold a separate rally at Bumani grounds in Mumias.

Leaders supporting the second phase of the BBI taskforce are at the Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega for a second regional forum aimed at fine tuning the current report of the taskforce.

Police have warned the leaders against holding the meeting with a permit.

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In as much as the two groups support the BBI process, the bone of contention has been the implementation criteria of the report, with questions abound why public resources would be further be used to seek more views over a matter leaders say has already being canvassed by the previous taskforce.

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Two building bridges initiative meetings are currently on course in the Western Kenya as two factions from the Luhya nation engage in a show of might.

At the Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega the second regional meeting expected to be presided over by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is underway.

At the same time another meeting convened by leaders who want the BBI implemented without further ado is expected to take  place at the Bumani grounds in Mumias, in what has now appears to have divided the Luhya leadership right at the middle.

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‘Bahati is mistreating my son because we are poor’

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Mother to EMB artiste Peter Blessings has exposed the hardships the 20-year-old has been going through in the hands of Bahati.

The artist, who hails from Taita Taveta, was ”adopted” by Bahati who promised to sign him under EMB which he did but not for long.

He also promised to help educate, something he never did.

Speaking to mpasho on phone, Blessings mum said

‘ My son does not owe Bahati 2 million. they are only taking advantage because they feel he is poor and has nowhere else to go.

In-fact they are the ones who have been enriched by Peter through his music.’

Blessings mum said that despite her son performing on New Years Eve, he was never paid

‘On 31st my son performed and he was to be paid 50,000 but he was not paid despite performing.

But some of the other artists who performed were paid some cash (not sure of the amount)

I can only plead with him to please bring back our son the same way he picked him.’

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Asked if she knew the reason why Bahati had her son arrested, she said

‘Apparently, Bahati said he heard that Peter was talking about exiting EMB.

My question is if indeed he heard that, why did he not sit him down and ask him why he wanted to leave?

People will even wonder why Bahati is doing this’

The mistake he did is getting my son arrested he would rather have brought him home.

Adding

‘There is a guy called Weezdom whom Bahati listens to too much 

When Bahati promised to help my son, I handed him to them. but now I do not know what exactly is happening.

They would have called and told me what happened.’

Producer Paulo, who was arrested alongside Peter Blessings, was released but the young artiste is still a guest of the state.

Below is the entire interview

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‘You’re a disgrace to the youth of Kenya!’ Huddah calls out Babu Owino

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Huddah Monroe decided to speak up after video evidence saw Babu Owino shoot DJ Evolve at B-Club, Galana Plaza

The drama was all over social media and the news yesterday after he was arrested at Kilimani Police Station for an alleged murder attempt.

Video footage of Babu Owino shooting DJ Evolve at B-Club

In a series of posts she shared on her Insta stories, Huddah condemned Babu’s action.

SOMEONE’S SON, SOMEBODY’S BROTHER. I AM HIGHLY DISAPPOINTED IN BABU. DESPITE HIM BEING MY FRIEND. YOU’RE A DISGRACE TO THE YOUTH OF KENYA. FIGHT WITH PEOPLE ON YOUR LEVEL,’ SHE WROTE.

Adding,

THAT BOY WAS SHOT LIKE A STRAY DOG! I HAVE FOUR BROTHERS. MAY GOD KEEP THEM SAFE AND PROTECT THEM FROM ALL EVIL. KEEP DJ EVOLVE IN YOUR PRAYERS GUYS.

Huddah Monroe Huddah Monroe Huddah Monroe Huddah Monroe

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Social media users have come out in prayer and support for DJ Evolve using the hashtag #justicefordjevolve. All Kenyans want is for the justice system to work out this time.

So many of DJ Evolves friends, family and colleagues have come out to send encouraging messages and also update his fans and followers on his recovery process. According to Joe Muchiri, the DJ had a successful surgery yesterday and all we can do is hope for the best.

We wish DJ Evolve a quick recovery.

Babu Owino is still being held at Kilimani Police station as the investigations continue.

Kiss 100 will keep you updated.

Read more here.

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