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Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

 

Malawi’s Masters Security Club in fixed CAF travel; to cough extra MK11m

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s flagship in this years CAF Confederations Cup,Masters Security Football Club on Wednesday failed to depart for Angola following Visa issuance disarray.

The entire team was however stopped from boarding their plane as Angolan Immigration did not grant the Super League side Visas for the trip

Masters Security FC therefore need MK11 million for them to make it to Angola for their clash against Athletico Petro in the CAF Confederations Cup

According to Zodiak radio, the Lilongwe based side failed to leave for Luanda despite spending millions due to Visa complications.

The team realized the predicament when they were stopped from boarding their plane.

“Though people think we never did our homework, they are just castigating us. We did everything right. FAM did their part and we did ours.

“As I am speaking now, we are only waiting for Angolan Immigration to grant us Visas because the applications were made last week,” the team’s General Secretary Zachariah Nyirenda said.

The team was scheduled to leave on Wednesday at exactly 12 O’clock for their match on Saturday. With the latest development will force the club to cough up extra K11 million for the trip.

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US$1.05 billion required to reach 6.1 million people in north-east Nigeria

FOREWORD BY THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR

The humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria continues as hostilities between Nigerian security forces and non-state armed groups enter their ninth year. Civilians still bear the brunt of the conflict that has resulted in widespread displacement, lack of protection, destroyed infrastructure and collapsed basic services. The food and nutrition crisis is of massive proportions. An estimated 7.7 million people in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe now depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.

In 2016 and 2017, in close cooperation with the Government of Nigeria, the humanitarian community provided life-saving assistance and helped stabilise living conditions for millions of people. Mortality and morbidity were reduced and a further spillover effect prevented. In 2017, the response was scaled up and, as of October, had reached 5.6 million people. Some major successes were achieved, including a decrease in the number of food insecure people from 5.1 million to 3.9 million1, the rapid containment of the cholera outbreak through the innovative use of an oral cholera vaccine, improved agricultural production through assistance to 1.3 million farmers and access to a higher number of affected people. These results can be attributed to strong coordination, extensive engagement and generous funding. The Government of Nigeria succeeded in opening new areas in mid-2017 that enabled the humanitarian community to provide much-needed life-saving assistance.

Despite these achievements, many challenges remain as the conflict and population movements continue. Prior to the crisis, the region was already mired by chronic development challenges. Humanitarian assistance has prevented people from slipping below emergency thresholds, but it has not addressed underlying vulnerabilities. In the absence of a political solution, the crisis will likely continue into 2018. While a robust humanitarian response will be essential – especially in hardesthit Borno State – the protracted nature of the crisis creates new needs which require longer-term assistance. For the 1.6 million who are displaced from their homes, and the communities that host them, we need to find durable solutions. This requires longer planning horizons, more strategic interventions and flexible, longer-term funding.

The 2018 HRP is, therefore, underpinned by a multi-year strategy representing a paradigm shift as well as a commitment by the international humanitarian community to align with the Government’s Economic and Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), the Buhari Plan and the United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (2018-2022). It is a step towards strengthening the nexus between humanitarian, development and peace interventions, in line with the New Way of Working and commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. Partners will work together towards collective outcomes through joint analysis, planning and programming, and a coordinated platform for the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance.

The provision of life-saving emergency assistance to the most vulnerable remains our immediate priority. We will also scale up protection and resilience-based activities, and ensure better quality of our interventions. Capacitybuilding for local partners and Government counterparts will be prioritised across the response to strengthen national response mechanisms and ensure sustainability. In doing so, humanitarian partners will require $1.05 billion to reach 6.1 million people with humanitarian assistance.

In 2017, donors funded the appeal very generously: as of 31 December, we had received 70.5 per cent of the requested amount, which has enabled us to achieve tangible results. While we are aware that other large-scale crises also require donor support, it is essential to continue this positive momentum and build on the results attained. Should we fail to meet our targets, it could undermine the gains made to date.

I therefore call on your continuous support to the people in north-east Nigeria. Let’s work together to not only save lives today but also towards restoring stability to the region, ending the crisis and saving lives tomorrow.

Edward Kallon
United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Nigeria

THE HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE PLAN AT A GLANCE

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 1

Provide life-saving emergency assistance to the most vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas ensuring that assistance is timely and appropriate and meets relevant technical standards.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2

Ensure that all assistance promotes the protection, safety and dignity of affected people, and is provided equitably to women, girls, men and boys.

STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 3

Foster resilience and early recovery, and strengthen the humanitarian development nexus by working towards collective outcomes.

OVERVIEW OF THE CRISIS

Now entering its ninth year, the crisis in north-east Nigeria has created vulnerabilities and humanitarian concerns. An estimated 7.7 million men, women, boys and girls are in acute need of protection and assistance. While the humanitarian community has provided life-saving assistance to over 5.6 million affected people in 2017 and helped stabilise living conditions for millions of people, reducing mortality and morbidity, significant humanitarian needs still remain.

Evolution of the crisis

Clashes between the Nigerian military and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) escalated into conflict in May 2013, with authorities declaring a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. Since then, the region has experienced a massive destruction of infrastructure, a collapse of livelihoods, widespread displacement and brutal attacks on the civilian population.

More than half of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s north-east fled their homes in 2014 and 2015, after NSAGs seized control of a territory of more than 30,000 square kilometres, committing grave human rights abuses against the local populations they encountered. A government-led military campaign, which was also associated with protection concerns, subsequently allowed the Government to regain control of the territory. On one hand, the campaign enabled large numbers of people to move to population centres to receive humanitarian assistance, but on the other hand, it limited the supply of food and goods to civilians remaining in hard-to-reach areas. These people who have stayed in the hard-to-reach areas are cut-off from basic services and international humanitarian assistance.

Threats of attacks by armed groups and military restrictions related to the state of emergency – particularly restrictions on freedom of movement – continue to have negative impact on trade, livelihoods and markets, leaving a substantial proportion of the civilian population dependent on humanitarian assistance. Since the start of the conflict, more than 20,000 people have been killed, more than 4,000 people abducted and, in November 2017, 1.6 million people remained displaced.

Borno State clearly remains the epicentre of the humanitarian crisis, with dozens of conflict incidents reported each month, while Yobe and Adamawa states report far fewer incidents. Direct violence against civilians, including the use of improvised explosive devices (often carried by human beings, including women or children), is observed in Borno almost on a weekly basis. About 9 out of 10 displaced persons come from Borno and the State also hosts the vast majority (78 per cent) of IDPs.

Population movements

Today’s humanitarian needs should be understood within the context of a protracted displacement situation, characterised by a lower level of hostilities than in preceding years but an increase in asymmetric warfare. With the crisis in its ninth year, thousands of people remain on the move each month (both displaced and returnees). More than half of IDPs are entering their third year away from home and, while 77 per cent have expressed a desire to go back if conditions were conducive, 86 per cent of them say that the conditions for their safe and dignified return are not yet in place.

The majority – or 6 out of 10 – displaced families live in host communities, while the remainder are staying in formal or informal camps. Secondary displacement is common, with more than 70 per cent of IDPs reporting that they have moved twice or more since they first left home.

However, a significant number of people have begun to return home. The Government of Nigeria and IOM-led Displacement Tracking Matrix have recorded 1.3 million returnees since 2014, many of whom are returning to locations where infrastructure is still damaged or destroyed and services are not yet restored. The majority (56 per cent) of those returning are women, including single heads of households. Family members of the displaced are often separated during the return, with younger children remaining behind in the displacement location until those who have returned have been able to assess the security situation and ability to access food (in the form of humanitarian assistance or opportunities for farming) in areas of return.

In addition to those who have returned, it should be noted that almost one in four IDPs have indicated that they intend to locally integrate into their current place of displacement, which could potentially pose additional development challenges in urban centres.

The March 2017 signing and subsequent operationalisation of the Tripartite Agreement between the Government of Nigeria, Government of Cameroon and Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have facilitated further advocacy, stalling instances of forced returns of Nigerian refugees. Voluntary repatriations under the Tripartite Agreement are planned to take place in 2018 through a phased approach to areas in which return is considered to be safe.


Malawi’s preliminary tobacco estimates reduced by 12.8%; markets open end March- TCC

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) says the first round of crop [tobacco] assessment has been reduced by 12.8 percent below trade requirement.

This is against tobacco buyers’ need of 171 million kilogram for 2018 marketing season for the all kinds of tobacco.

The reduction has been necessitated by the prolonged dry spells affecting some districts in the southern and central region.

But the commission is opportunistic that product might increase following resumption of rainfall pouring across the nation.

Addressing Media Network on Tobacco (MNT) on Wednesday in the capital Lilongwe, TCC Chief Executive Officer, Kaisi Sadala disclosed that the green gold production currently was promising for higher production.

Sadala added that it was the wish of the commission for farmers to meet this year’s volume demand from buyers.

The TCC Chief reveals that the commission will undertake the second round estimates in weeks to come which will assist in determining the opening dates for the the market.

He therefore lauded the media tobacco body for working closely with the commission in providing correct information to public about the crop.

“Despite the first round of crop estimates showing low tobacco product, we expect the second estimates will have increase in production as most parts of the country are currently enjoying good rains.

“We are also impressed with farmers abiding to quota system tobacco requirement. This will help to reduce over production that affects the prices,” lauded Sadala.

MNT President Alfred Chauwa assured the commission of the network members total support in advancing tobacco industry agendas.

Chauwa however called upon TCC to promote value addition on tobacco and good regulatory standards by encouraging local processing for job opportunities.

“TCC should promote also the use of live barn locally known as Chigafa Chamoyo to address further deforestation and adopting new technologies of curing tobacco,” urges Chauwa

Figures from TCC show that 42,303 farmers had registered to grow the leaf for 2017/2018 against 45,000 growers in 2016/2017 marketing season with a total registered quota of 169,785,243 million kilogrammes.

The registered quota is still lower than the 2018 buyer demand of 171 million kilogrammes.

Tobacco remains the country’s forex earner towards the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) towards national financial year plan.

However, the country’s final consolidated figures for 2017 tobacco earnings pegged at US$212 million

This is the summing gross collection statistics released by regulatory body, Tobacco Control Commission (TCC) saying the earnings surpass last year’s by 23 percent.

In 2016, a total of 194 million kilograms of tobacco was sold at an average of US$1.42 per kg in which the country realized US275 million.

This was a drop from US$362 million of 168 million kg of tobacco sold in 2015 whilst this year 107 million kilograms went through the auction. This represents a 45 percent increase in terms of volumes sold.

According TCC the average price for this year was US$1.99 which was better as compared to last year’s US$1.41 per kilogram.

The commission said from the US$212 million, flue cured tobacco contributed US$61 million, 19 percent up against last year’s US$45 million.

Burley tobacco fetched US$144 million from 81 million kilograms as compared to last year’s earnings of US$226 million from a total volume of 175 million kilograms

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Of MCP infighting and need for independent crisis management

By Kelvin Sulugwe

The infighting in the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) is a very good sign that the party is democratic, but needs an independent crisis management, damage control team If you asked me.

I would be very slow to tell you why I have decided to write this piece today, but it has to be enlightened and I have taken a very sober minded stand in what is happening in the party right now.

At first, I was very concerned with the ongoing fights that have given birth to factions such as that of Richard Msowoya, Gustav Kaliwo, Sidik Mia and Jessie Kabwira, but now.

I decided to take it from another angle. This is a sign of mature democracy in the party. It means MCP is indeed very democratic and that people are able to take different stands against matters, unlike other parties where blind loyalty is the uniform for patriotism. It should be noted that in a democracy, everyone is able to express his/her views, but at the end, it is the majority view that prevails.

The majority will speak at the coming convention, for now, here is what I wish to put forward. For starters, it was very disturbing when a letter written by the Vice President Hon Richard Msowoya leaked to the media.

One should be of the view that such high profile communication should be safeguarded with the utmost confidentiality the two sides can afford. I will not stand here to accuse a side that leaked the letter, because I have no idea who did.

It might be the side of Hon Msowoya who leaked it to buy public sympathy or it might be the other side that leaked it to make Msowoya less matured. We move on. Then, after the letter, came the decision (not officially communicated) that the party decided to fire Kaliwo, suspended the rest.

The most disturbing occurrence was the fact that even party youths were pictured going to the headquarters, carrying banners that called for the blood of Kaliwo out of the party.

This is where I am afraid and like some people have observed, indeed, MCP lacks political strategists that are able to manage party crisis. What happened, if the firing is true and the news of possible impeachments are simply wrongs that will be added to the first wrong, of Vice Presidents letter being leaked to the media.

In the end, two wrongs do not make a right. We will sink from one level to another and at the end; we will be bruised to the ground. What people like me expected were not meetings to fire the other fractions. I will explain something later on that. Sometimes, political moves should not be very obvious.

When they become very predictable, we the opponents can easily lead the way, while making it look like we are the ones making such decisions. When Sidik Mia first joined the party and the rumours for possible fights started going viral, MCP hosted a political rally that had all these giants together.

That was very brilliant and it pained our major opponent to that fact that he changed direction of trying to disturb the party. MCP is a big threat to Progressive Democratic Party (DPP). I can say this a million times even in my sleep. It is the party that Malawians are looking up to.

Let me tell you something. No matter how the DPP can try to convince Malawians of the atrocities of MCP, we will come to one fact, the people who did such atrocities are no longer in MCP.

Hon Dr Lazarus Chakwera was not there when MYP terrorized Malawians. Hon Msowoya was not there, just like Hon Eisenhower Mkaka, Jessie Kabwira and most of the current MCP members were not there when this happened.

On top of this, not many people who are bound to vote in 2019 were there. I was young and never felt whatever people describe about MCP and I know there are lots of people like me who were not there.

Ofourse I can remind you some of the people who were there in such a time and I can easily bring to memory people such as Hon Nicholus Dausi, Hetherwick Mtaba and Dr Bakili Muluzi. They were there and of late, Hon Nicholus Dausi has received his compensation package for being there.

Today, he stands on a podium and saays he will reveal what MCP did. I can’t wait to hear what he did. Now, it is evident that what we have is a transformed MCP, with completely new ideas.

God has served the party and cleansed it. He has chased the bad omens, most of who run to DPP and are now standing on podiums and promise to reveal what they did in the name of MCP of their time. Someone is very afraid and it is at this point that MCP needs to be very serious in decision making and strategies.

I suggest, since it is already a rumour that the vice president has been fired, it remains such, let MCP fire and suspend no one. Instead, conduct three massive rallies in the north, central and south.

Tell people that we understand of the infighting currently rocking the party, but the party is working on it and very soon, everything will be sorted out. Tell people no one has been fired or suspended make sure that at such rallies, all the people should be present.

Invitations should be extended to Richard Msowoya, Kaliwo, Kabwira and the rest of them. Let there be no impeachment at parliament and pretend like nothing happened. This will indeed be a new song for a democratic party in Malawi.

If someone has eaten money from DPP, they will be put to shame, especially if they refuse to attend such rallies. Such a move will cripple all efforts for public sympathy and will send a strong message to people that MCP is ready to govern. Then we know that at the end of the day, general convention will say it all.

Believe me, Kaliwo is not a threat and I doubt he can even win back his post at general convention, the same way I doubt he can be of use to DPP. What they are enjoying now is fame and platform that party decisions are giving to them.

They don’t deserve such a decision and it is love and tolerance to their noise that will cripple them, if indeed they are making noise.

No matter what, Dr Chakwera should not be afraid, he has the support of many and come convention, he will be elected president once more. Sidik Mia also has more chances of beating Msowoya nice and clean to be the vice president.

Kaliwo can’t beat Mkaka on Secretary General Posts. In the end, these are simply my views, anything can happen. It is my prayer that MCP will now think of having a crisis management and damage control team, far from the NEC, an independent party body that should come in to sort out issues involving the NEC members.

Dr Chakwera is no way in a position to chair a meeting involving him and his vice president Msowoya. Again, party youth, with no political understanding of crisis management and winning strategies should not dictate what happens to people who speak against certain party decisions. We want to win in 2019 and we can only do it by being democratic, like we have always been.

Lastly, let not MCP be pushed to an early convention. We will do it when time comes. Long Live MCP, Long life to Dr Chakwera.

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Chikwawa man commits suicide after being rebuked to quit beer

A 27-year-old man in Chikwawa district, Samuel Chakuamba on Tuesday killed himself after being reprimanded to stop drinking beer.

Chakuamba hang himself in a tree between the night of 6 and 7 February in Mandere Village in the area of Traditional Authority N’gabu in the district.

According to Chikwawa Police station spokesperson Foster Benjamin, the deceased is said to have arrived home while totally intoxicated and started swearing at his parents.

The police publicist disclosed that the late Chakuamba went on revealing that he was going to kill himself on that particular night.

According to the deceased father, Willy Chakuamba, the deceased had once attempted suicide but was quickly rescued by his parents.

“As the family went to bed, Samuel reportedly sneaked back into his house and picked a nylon rope and hang himself just 500 metres away from the parents’ home. He was discovered dead in the morning of Wednesday.

“Police and medical personnel got to the scene and the latter conducted postmortem which revealed that the deceased had died of strangulation”, Benjamin said.

Meanwhile, police are advising the public to desist from taking their own lives whenever faced with problems, but should rather report to authorities for help.

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President Jacob Zuma ‘agrees to go’

PRETORIA-(MaraviPost)-President Jacob Zuma will resign as soon as a list of preconditions has been finalised, in a deal struck on Tuesday between Zuma and African National Congress (ANC) leader Cyril Ramaphosa and confirmed by sources on Tuesday night.

The deal led to the postponement of an ANC national executive committee (NEC) meeting scheduled for the following day to force Zuma’s removal from office.

That meeting had been due to take place at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town and would have heard a recommendation from the ANC’s national working committee that Zuma be removed as head of state.

The meeting between Zuma and Ramaphosa took place after Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete announced the postponement of the state of the nation address, which Zuma would have delivered on Thursday.

Zuma spent Tuesday morning in Tuynhuys dealing with Cabinet committee meetings. Afterwards, he left for Genadendal, his official residence in Cape Town. Ramaphosa met Zuma there after 4pm alongside ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.

On Tuesday evening, Magashule told TimesLIVE that the meeting between the two presidents had been “constructive and robust”.

“I was there… I left the two presidents to engage and I joined the meeting towards the end,” he said.

Magashule said Zuma and Ramaphosa agreed that the decision to postpone the state of the nation address was correct.

“They also agreed that the urgent NEC [meeting] called should be postponed after their constructive discussion,” he said.

Magashule would not confirm whether Zuma had agreed to resign, although other ANC leaders indicated that the deal that was struck would see Zuma “go in a dignified way”.

He did, however, indicate that the discussion between Ramaphosa and Zuma deferred the pressing need for the NEC to discuss his exit.

The secretary-general would not say who would deliver the state of the nation address once a new date is announced.

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How police executed deportation of Miguna

By FRED MUKINDA
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The deportation of self-declared National Resistance Movement “general” Miguna Miguna was crafted and executed while unsuspecting supporters and lawyers waited for him at the Milimani Law Courts.

It was a guarded secret that even some of the officers who were detaining him were not briefed on until the last minute.

And, when they escorted him to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at about 6pm on Tuesday, some of the officers thought Mr Miguna would be held at the Kenya Airport Police Unit detention cells.

ARREST
All this time, High Court Judge Luka Kimaru and opposition leaders and supporters, including Nasa leader Raila Odinga, kept vigil in the courtroom, expecting to see their comrade.

It was not until a few minutes to 8pm that they gave up and left one by one, hoping to see him in court on Wednesday, as directed by the Judge.

Since he was arrested last Friday, Mr Miguna was held at different police stations in Kiambu, Githunguri, Lari and the Kenya Ports Authority Inland depot off Mombasa Road.

PASSPORT
On Tuesday, he was driven to Kajiado Law Courts where he was held before being presented to the magistrate, who ordered he must be produced before the High Court in Nairobi.

The police team, instead of moving Mr Miguna to Milimani Law Courts where the High Court is situated, drove to the nearby Special Crimes Prevention Unit offices.

It is from there that he was whisked away to JKIA, from where he was held before being ushered into a KLM plane, which flew him to Amsterdam.

While at the airport, Immigration officials cleared him for travel and he boarded the plane at the airside.

His passport was also handed to airline staff with instructions to surrender it to Immigration officials after landing.

STATE REACTS
Two Kenyan government officials accompanied him on the flight with instructions to hand him over to their counterparts in Canada, the final destination.

Interior spokesman Mwenda Njoka explained the deportation in an official statement, saying Mr Miguna also had a Kenyan passport, but which was illegally issued in 2009 by then Immigration minister, the late Otieno Kajwang’.

Mr Njoka said it was issued “without following the requisite legal process”, by orders of Kajwang’.

The statement said: “At the time he was working as an adviser to then Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”

Prior to being illegally issued with a Kenyan passport, Mr Miguna had been travelling using a Canadian passport, which he renewed on June 2017.

CONSTITUTION
The 2010 Constitution allowed dual citizenship.

“When Miguna acquired a Kenyan passport on March 2009, he deliberately failed to disclose the fact that he had acquired the citizenship of another country and, therefore, the Kenyan passport he acquired then was and still remains illegal,” Mr Njoka said.

An application for the disputed passport was at Kisumu Passport Control.

Mr Njoka went on: “The late minister’s orders that Miguna be issued with a Kenyan passport without following the proper legal procedure as prescribed by law was illegal and had no backing in law.”

He said that the deportation is supported by law.

APPLICATION DENIED

The spokesman went on to give a history of Mr Miguna’s run-ins with the government.

“Miguna fled Kenya in 1988 using travel documents provided by a foreign country.

“Thereafter, he acquired Canadian citizenship and has remained a Canadian citizen since then.

“Miguna acquired Kenyan passport in 2009 at a time when it was illegal for a Kenyan to hold dual-citizenship without having denounced the foreign citizenship.

“Prior to this, Miguna had applied for a Kenyan passport in 1987 to enable him travel to Cuba for a students’ conference. His application was rejected in a letter dated September 12, 1987.

“At the time Miguna was a student leader at the University of Nairobi before he was expelled,” the statement said.


AU praised for championing low-cost remittances

By NATION REPORTER
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The African Union has been commended for pushing for the reduction of rates during diaspora remittance.

Mr Abdirashid Duale, the chief executive officer of money transfer company Dahabshiil, said the AU recognised the significance of remittances in alleviating the lives of the poor in Africa.

“Personally, I have always called for reduction of the cost of transferring remittances and fostering competition in the remittances market,” Mr Duale said.

COLLABORATION

Remittances from the diaspora was one of the key topics discussed during the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that started on January 28.

“The total global volume of remittances transfers to developing countries……has important macroeconomic effects, by increasing the total purchasing power of receiving economies..” a statement by the Union said.

It was recommended that to encourage the transfer of remittances, adopting sound macroeconomic policies conducive for investment and growth are necessary.

Also, to strengthen collaboration with stakeholders such as the Africa Institute of Remittances to create incentive strategies and investment opportunities for remitters.

The summit also recognized the importance of making it easier for migrants and their families to access financial services, including by extending financial literacy training to expatriates and receivers, and also boost the use of technology, such as mobile money, for cross-border remittances.

Dahabshiil, which operates in 126 countries, has been vital in ensuring Africans in remote areas access money efficiently.

The company has already adopted the use of mobile technology, eDahab, in its operations.


Miguna's trudge to political arena

By NJOKI CHEGE
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He sat stoic and unbowed in the face of adversity.

On that much-dreaded aisle seat inside the KLM plane en route to Canada via Amsterdam, Mr Miguna Miguna was lost in his thoughts, oblivious to an eager onlooker snapping away at him.

Mr Miguna looked nothing like a man who had spent the past five days in a filthy police cell, a world of a difference from his palatial address, 486 Runda Meadows.

His key distinguishing features remained unscathed, his famous taqiyah – the rounded skullcap – a black power suit and a white shirt that had miraculously stayed crisp in the melee with the police.

The only give-away to this perfect image was that Miguna was wearing a pair of red slippers – an odd sartorial choice for a man of Miguna’s stature.

This was the proof Kenyans were waiting for. Mr Miguna was gone, baby, gone.

There are men who leave an impression, and then there is Mr Miguna.

A permanent fixture on local television stations, famous for his brilliantly argued thoughts and sometimes ludicrous overstatements on politics and political rivals, Miguna was the ultimate political commentator.

Confident, self assured, with an embellished view of himself, Mr Miguna’s list of brash assertions could well be complied into a book.

Mr Miguna’s promise to Nairobi residents, if elected as governor, was to wipe out the cartels in the city.

Habitually mocking people who were not as educated as him he often went for the jugular when attacking fellow panellists.

His book, Peeling Back the Mask: A quest for Justice in Kenya, published in 2012, which promised to put to bed Nasa leader Raila Odinga’s political career, was laden with rather dramatic proclamations such as “I shall never, ever work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga again here on earth, in heaven or in hell. I would rather die than work with or for Raila Amolo Odinga.”

Fate would have it that what is now perhaps the most significant event in Mr Miguna’s political and activist career had everything to do with his participation in Mr Odinga’s mock swearing-in ceremony.

Speaking moments after his deportation to Canada, where he is also a citizen, Mr Miguna promised his supporters that it was not over yet.

“I have instructed a battery of competent advocates to ensure that the ongoing rogue purveyors of impunity are brought to book. They are not above the law, even though they behave as if they are,” he said.

As he cools his heels in Canada, it is perhaps a good time to ask, who is this man Miguna?

Born in Magina, Nyando Sub-County, his father died before Mr Miguna was born, leaving him to be raised by a poor, single mother who instilled in him the value of hard work.

He attended Njiris High School in Murang’a before going to the University of Nairobi where he was a student leader between 1986 and 1987.

He later got detained by the Moi regime and expelled from the university.

Mr Miguna has previously fled to countries such as Tanzania and Swaziland before attaining political asylum in Canada in 1988.

In asylum, he pursed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from University of Toronto on June 1990.

He also earned a Juris Doctor from the Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in 1993, as well as a Master of Laws degree from the same university.

Between 2009 and 2011, Miguna served as a senior advisor on legal affairs to the then Prime Minister Raila Odinga before falling out with him.

Mr Miguna’s first dalliance with national politics was in 2007 when he contested the ODM nomination for Nyando constituency but lost.

His second shot at politics was during the 2017 elections when he unsuccessfully sought the Nairobi gubernatorial seat, losing to Mr Mike Sonko.

He later carved out a public persona as a political commentator and later reconciled with Mr Odinga and christened himself as the “General” of the now outlawed NRM.


Police seize vehicles belonging to Nasa MPs

By SAMWEL OWINO
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The crack down on the opposition intensified on Wednesday with the seizure of cars belonging to Nasa leaders in Parliament.

National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi and Minority Whip Junet Mohamed had their vehicles impounded in the evening just outside Parliament.

Police officers had apparently been stationed outside Parliament the whole day.

“They act in the most crude manner. They stop you on the road and tell you and your driver to alight then take your belongings before speeding away with the car,” Mr Mohamed said.

“The vehicles belong to Parliament, which is independent. I don’t understand why one arm of the government should cede its powers to another.”

UNLAWFUL
Mr Mbadi said his driver was stopped at Parliament gate and ordered to surrender the car.

“It is unfortunate that vehicles belonging to the Parliamentary Service Commission can be taken by police,” he said.

“I am reliably informed that vehicles of all Nasa leaders in Parliament will be taken.”  

National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui called the decision to seize the vehicles illogical.

“The Leader of Minority and Minority Whip offices are constitutional. They come with privileges as contained in the PSC Act,” the Kathiani MP said.

“You do not expect opposition leaders to praise the government. They are doing their work.”
MATIANG’I INSULT
Embakasi East MP Babu Owino said he would spend the night at Parliament Buildings, claiming officers in six police vehicles were outside waiting to arrest him.

“I know the vehicles very well. They have been used before to arrest some leaders and I have been reliably informed that they are waiting for me.

“I am tired of being arrested. I want to work for the people of Embakasi East,” Mr Owino said.

“I ask Kenyans of goodwill to bring me a mattress and food.”

He said police wanted to arrest him because he referred to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as marehemu (deceased).

“I was not referring to him. A friend of mine called Matiang’i died. But is it a crime to refer to the CS that way?” he asked.