Wednesday, September 27th, 2017
Neymar starred as Paris Saint-Germain sent out a statement of intent with an impressive 3-0 Champions League victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday, while Michy Batshuayi grabbed an injury-time winner as Chelsea won 2-1 at Atletico Madrid.
It took PSG less than two minutes to break the deadlock in the Group B clash against Bayern, as world-record signing Neymar teed up fellow Brazilian Dani Alves to hammer home.
Bayern piled on the pressure but failed to take their chances, before Edinson Cavani finished a sweeping counter-attack with an exquisite strike into the top corner.
Unai Emery’s men finished off their visitors in the 63rd minute when Neymar pounced after Kylian Mbappe had bamboozled the Bayern defence.
“The main thing is the three points, but it’s also important for me that the fans enjoy the match and seeing us win against a top-level side,” said Spanish coach Emery.
PSG now lead the five-time champions by three points in the race to finish top of Group B.
Atletico were handed the opener against English champions Chelsea when David Luiz needlessly gave away a penalty and Antoine Griezmann slotted past keeper Thibaut Courtois.
But the Wanda Metropolitano — as well as the watching Diego Costa, signed this week from Chelsea — was silenced as former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata headed in an excellent Eden Hazard cross.
Antonio Conte’s men deserved all three points and snatched the win in the fourth minute of added time as Belgian subsitute Batshuayi picked out the bottom corner.
Manchester United’s forward from Belgium Romelu Lukaku shoots the ball during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between PFC CSKA Moscow and Manchester United FC in Moscow on September 27, 2017. PHOTO | KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV | AFP
“Michy scores every time he’s on the field! He can score every time. I’m so happy for him,” said winger Hazard.
“We want to play games like these. We play for Chelsea, one of the biggest clubs in the world and we want to win everything.”
Chelsea are now clear of Roma at the top of Group C by two points, after the Italians held on to beat Qarabag 2-1 in the early kick-off in Baku.
Kostas Manolas and Edin Dzeko put the visitors two goals to the good inside quarter of an hour, and although Pedro Henrique pulled one back for Qarabag, the home side couldn’t find a maiden Champions League point.
Three-time winners Manchester United brushed aside CSKA Moscow 4-1 to maintain their unbeaten record in the Russian capital, with Romelu Lukaku continuing his extraordinary start to life at the club with a brace.
The Belgian striker headed Jose Mourinho’s visitors in front, before Anthony Martial made it two from the penalty spot.
Lukaku tapped in his 10th goal of the season before half-time and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the fourth before a late consolation from teenager Konstantin Kuchaev.
“It is a great achievement (Lukaku’s goals), but it’s only possible with a good team,” said Mourinho.
“But for Romelu, these are incredible numbers. He is humble, he wants to learn, he is ambitious.”
The other game in Group A saw Basel make it back-to-back defeats for 10-man Benfica, with a stunning 5-0 thrashing in Switzerland.
Michael Lang slotted into an empty net and Dimitri Oberlin finished off a breakaway to get Basel off to a brilliant start.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel’s penalty ended the game as a contest and Andre Almeida was sent off for a horrendous tackle, with the 19-year-old Oberlin completing a brace.
Basel’s biggest ever win in the Champions League was sealed by teenager Blas Riveros.
Last season’s runners-up Juventus struggled for long periods at home to Olympiakos, but eventually saw off their stubborn visitors 2-0 as Gonzalo Higuain came off the bench to score.
A brave effort from Olympiakos was in vain as Mario Mandzukic bundled in a second.
Barcelona overcame a stuttering display to edge out Sporting 1-0 in the Portuguese capital.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez both wasted excellent chances in the opening 45 minutes, but Ernesto Valverde’s side were fortunate to score a 49th-minute winner through Sebastian Coates’ own goal.
Barca lead Juve and Sporting by three points at the top of Group D.
Celtic cruised past Anderlecht 3-0 in what looks to be a fight for third place behind PSG and Bayern in Group B.
Leigh Griffiths grabbed the first goal shortly before half-time in Brussels and the Glaswegians wrapped it up in the second period as Serigne Kara put through his own net and Scott Sinclair rifled home.
The Speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, on Wednesday suspended a minister and 25 MPs for participating in the Tuesday fracas that forced her to adjourn the House.
Water minister Ronald Kibuule was suspended for allegedly going to Parliament chambers with a gun.
The suspended MPs were mostly from the opposition and had demanded that the minister be disarmed ahead of the debate on the scrapping of Article 102 (b) from the Constitution that bars people above 75 years from contesting for the presidency.
The MPs include Robert Kyagulanyi, also known as Bobi Wine, representing Kyaddondo East, Allan Ssewanyana (Makindye West), Monica Amoding (Kumi District), Dr Sam Lyomoki (Workers).
REFUSED TO VACATE
However, the MPs refused to vacate the chambers, forcing Ms Kadaga to suspend the sitting. After a standoff, security officers stormed the chambers and dragged out Mr Kyagulanyi and Mr Ssewanyana.
The Tuesday session marked another chaotic day in the Ugandan Parliament over the controversial presidential age limit debate.
Members engaged in a brawl, throwing chairs and tugging and pulling each other over allegations that Mr Kibuule had smuggled a gun into the chamber.
Unlike last week, Ms Kadaga sat through the melee, before yielding to pressure to suspend House business, held under heavy military and police presence around Parliament.
Police and the military had also battled demonstrators in different towns, leading to the arrest of several people, including main opposition politician Kizza Besigye.
Uganda has remained restive over the proposed Constitutional amendment, seen as a significant step towards securing a free run for President Yoweri Museveni to seek re-election in 2021.
President Museveni, 72, is barred by the current constitution from running again for president as he will have surpassed the 75-year mark by the next election.
A caucus of members of the governing National Resistance Movement (NRM) last week voted unanimously in favour of a motion seeking to remove the age limit for a presidential candidate.
Deputy President William Ruto has told Nasa leader Raila Odinga to keep off private companies and stop using Safaricom as a scapegoat to sabotage the repeat election.
Addressing a rally in Isiolo Town, Mr Ruto said Jubilee was prepared for the election and was ready to amend the law to bar the courts from annulling an election without a recount of votes.
He said the draft amendments were already in Parliament and were aimed at ensuring election results are concurrently transmitted manually and electronically.
“The stories about the cloud and forms are useless. There is no need to look for scapegoats. Leave IEBC and Safaricom alone. Do not interfere with private companies because we are your competitors,” the DP said.
He added, “We have heard them arguing that the forms were filled and sent to the cloud and later France. But what we believe in is the ballot cast by the voter. All the votes are in the ballot box. The boxes should have been opened for a recount but we are ready for the repeat election.”
Mr Ruto added that the forms, transmission and any other reasons are not sufficient to annul an election and as such “manual and electronic transmission should be used so that there are no excuses in case one of them fails.”
He said the amendment to the election laws is aimed at saving the country the cost of repeating presidential elections and ensure the voters’ decision is supreme.
The Deputy President noted that no Kenyan would be fired even if the Opposition demonstrates against the IEBC which he said will oversee the election as the court ruled.
Mr Ruto, who was accompanied by Lands CS Jacob Kaimenyi, Sports CS Hassan Wario, Isiolo governor Mohamed Kuti, Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dhullo among other leaders, said Mr Odinga has not power to stop the election.
He said Jubilee will not give in to the Opposition’s plot to stop the election and force a coalition government.
The DP said the election laws were being changed in conformity with the court’s ruling.
At the same time, President Kenyatta told Jubilee leaders to remain united and focused to ensure an even larger victory in fresh presidential elections due on October 26.
“We are ready for the fresh election. I’m sure we will win with even a bigger margin as we all work as a team,” said the President.
The President, who was accompanied by the DP, said Jubilee and its affiliate parties were competing against opponents who were busy trying to create an unconducive political environment laced with tribal animosity.
On Wednesday, Mr Kenyatta also met Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and his predecessor Peter Munya, who agreed to put aside their differences and work as a team to ensure the President wins in the repeat election. The two leaders, who held discussions with the President at State House, Nairobi, said they will go back to Meru with a message of unity.
Additional reporting PSCU
East Africa has been too busy with its own political dramas in recent days to pay sufficient attention to events in Togo.
Protests were once unthinkable in Togo. Now, President Faure Gnassingbé is beleaguered. Since August, hundreds of thousands have protested, demanding constitutional reform.
Gnassingbé has been in power since 2005, when he took over from his father, dictator Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who seized power in a coup in 1967. Between Gnassingbé Senior and Junior, the family has ruled Togo for 50 years.
A controversial amendment in 2005 removed term limits, allowing Museveni, who has been in power for 31 years, to remain in the saddle.
Last week, when an amendment (later postponed) was due to be moved, security forces surrounded Parliament, complete with armoured cars.
Skirmishes have continued between security forces, students and political activists, who have adopted red bandanas as a symbol of their resistance. On Tuesday, fists flew in Parliament.
In Kenya, we have been kept busy by continuing protests by opposition coalition Nasa’s supporters against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with backers of President Uhuru Kenyatta rallying to his support, ahead of the repeat election scheduled for October 26.
In Togo, Uganda and Kenya, however, if you want to understand the forces driving these political tugs-of-war, you will find the answers in visceral anger, prejudices and fears fuelling them on social media.
The raw insults, the ugly portrayals of opponents and the humour can be both scary and extremely intriguing. Not surprisingly, as in all countries where we have seen such political fights, there are many who say social media is “burning down” or “destroying” the national fabric and should be controlled or shut down altogether.
Maybe not. There is no political intelligence service that can provide the insights that social media is doing freely. Among the things it does that was not possible before is offer good people on the peripheries and the many lunatics out there a say.
Uganda’s security forces patrol on a street as students of Makerere University protest against plans to scrap a presidential age limit from the constitution in Kampala on September 21, 2017. PHOTO | ISAAC KASAMANI | AFP
What they tell us is that the rosy view of our countries that the elite espouse from the lounges of five-star hotels in the big cities is limited.
One of the first things we learn is that, nearly everybody actually wants to have a say in how their country or community is governed. If we ignore the nastiness of the miscreants on social media, some important things are being said there.
Like elsewhere, African social media is the result of several positive developments in recent years. It differs, though, from the anger of white working classes in Europe and the United States who are lashing out because they feel left out of the prosperity of globalisation and fear that their countries are being overrun by too many black, brown and yellow people from strange lands.
In Africa, the rage is a result of progress. First, today, more Africans are educated than ever before. Not only that, but, because of improved health (vaccinations, etc.) more of us are making it into middle age and beyond.
Also, despite rising inequality, more Africans are relatively better off than at any other point in history — and things can only get better.
The continent is also enjoying its most extended period of peace. To repeat a statement made in this column in the past, today, an African is several times more likely to die in a car accident than from a bullet fired in a civil war or military coup.
Africa has delivered a massive cohort of educated, healthy young people to the political and economic marketplace and they are asking the hard questions and groping for a future.
Some people have despaired that this new generation is as tribal, if not more so, than their parents and grandparents. But their tribal roars could have another meaning. They are asking, “Where is our place in the bigger national picture?”
That’s a legitimate question.
The leaders who comprehend that will enjoy a long, happy rule. The ones that don’t will perish.
Mr Onyango-Obbo is publisher of Africapedia.com and explainer and Roguechiefs.com. Twitter: @cobbo3
The political class has singularly failed to read the mood of the country. Citizens are fatigued by incessant political bickering. The quest to retain, or ascend to, power has completely blinded the politicians. They have divided the country into zones — Jubilee Party and National Super Alliance strongholds — and inculcated in the mind imaginary divisions.
There is suspicion and mistrust all round. National issues are viewed through an exclusively binary lens — in terms of what Jubilee or Nasa leadership thinks. Objectivity has been thrown out through the window.
When they speak, they blow hot and cold. Every so often, they talk of their desire to unite the citizens and create one strong cohesive society.
But in the same vein they castigate and demonise their opponents, depicting them as scoundrels who should be banished to Outer Space.
Yet the Constitution, the National Anthem, the National Flag and other national symbols enjoin all of us to pull together as a people and a nation.
When politicians take to the platform, they are obsessed with one objective: Demolishing their opponents. They reel insults, false accusations and wild claims and the net sum is that they create fear, anxiety and tension.
This is not healthy for the country. In effect, the politicians have put a knife and created a wedge between us. The average citizen lives in mortal fear of violence because of their vitriolic and petrifying statements.
The forthcoming election scheduled for October 26 is an event that will come and go. We have had elections since Independence, which produced leaders who did their stint and exited the stage. Nothing is so spectacular about this one. It should not be treated as if it will mark the end of the world. One candidate will win and another lose. So, the contest should not form the basis for eternal fighting.
We will not tire from challenging the candidates — Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga — to conduct their campaigns with decorum.
Together with their supporters, they must desist from abusing and insulting others. War mongering, invectives and hate speech are unacceptable.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has threatened to call for economic boycott of products from corporations he claimed sabotaged the August 8 presidential election.
The statement by Mr Odinga comes just a day after he accused leading mobile phone service provider Safaricom of working with a French digital security firm to tilt the August 8 presidential elections outcome in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Odinga claimed Safaricom routed results from polling stations to OT-Morpho servers in France without ensuring that the outcome ended up in the servers of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The Nasa leader claimed the mobile phone firm deliberately sabotaged the process of results transmission by routing figures from the polling stations to OT-Morpho servers, creating a window for the manipulation of the numbers.
“We will not allow Kenya to be the playground for forces that want to stifle our progress as a nation. In fact, we are considering beginning a period of economic boycott of products and corporations that are working against the interests of the people of Kenya,” Mr Odinga told a press conference Wednesday at Okoa Kenya offices in Lavington, Nairobi.
But responding to the claims in a paid-up advert in Wednesday’s newspapers, Safaricom has dismissed the accusations, terming them reckless, callous and unnecessary, and warned that the allegations could endanger the lives of its staff and their families.
Chief executive Bob Collymore, in a statement on Tuesday night, said the firm was ready to be investigated by any agency on the role it played in the elections.
“Safaricom is ready to face any investigations and/or private prosecutions, brought by any party, on this matter,” he said.
Mr Collymore said Safaricom played its role of routing the results from Kiems kits to the IEBC servers in areas that it had been allocated and that the figures were captured on the IEBC portal.
“Contrary to what is alleged in the Nasa statement, results from Kiems kits from Safaricom zones were transmitted and are on the IEBC web portal,” he said.
The responsibility of transmitting the results from the IEBC servers to the constituency and national tallying centres was the preserve of the commission, and the political players, among them Nasa, were aware, said Mr Collymore.
But in his statement, Mr Odinga said big corporations are part and parcel of the killing of democracy in Kenya.
“The people are the main market for the products of these corporations, we can retaliate by telling our people not to buy their products.
“South Africans did it in their struggle against apartheid. We may be forced to do it in our struggle for democracy and progress. That time is coming,” said Mr Odinga.
A former employee of Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) Wednesday took to the stand to defend herself against accusations that she stole money from the union.
Ms Millicent Ogila told the court that she joined Cotu in October 2002, long after the cited bank account was opened.
The employee, who worked as a programmes coordinator, said the resolution to open the account was passed by the board in July 2002.
She is accused of forging secretary-general Francis Atwoli’s signature and minutes of meetings to open an account at Barclays Bank, Queensway Branch, Nairobi.
It is alleged that she used the account to siphon the union’s money, together with former treasurer Cornel Nyagun.
But Ms Ogila told Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko that the decision to open the account was passed long before she joined the organisation.
Among the donors who funded the programmes was the National Aids Control Council.
She said the account was opened after the donor requested a different account that would be used for programmes such as sensitisation on HIV and Aids.
She said she spent the money on trainings, sensitisation at work places and sensitising women on mother-to-child transmission.
Ms Ogila said she spent four months at Del Monte firm in Thika, where it was reported that every week at least two people succumbed to Aids-related diseases.
She said the firm was under the Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union, an affiliate of Cotu.
She added that NACC dispatched Sh6 million to the account in three tranches. Ms Ogila said she was accompanied to Del Monte by former Kabete MP and unionist George Muchai (deceased).
Ms Ogila and Mr Nyangun were charged in August 2013 with seven counts of forgery and stealing of over Sh115 million from Cotu accounts.
They are alleged to have opened a fake account under Cotu’s name, which they operated between November 21, 2002, and March 27, 2013.
A food crisis is looming in the country with this season’s maize harvest expected to be 20 per cent less than the projected 40 million bags due to erratic rainfall coupled with Fall Armyworm invasion in the grain baskets.
The drought experienced in parts of North Rift mid this year resulted in more than 40,000 acres of maize crop in Uasin Gishu County alone withering.
This translates to a total loss of about 800,000 bags of maize. Normally, an acre produces at least 20 bags.
Uasin Gishu County executive in charge of agriculture, Dr Cyril Cheruiyot, said most of the affected crops were those in tasselling stages of growth. “The last time a drought of that magnitude was experienced in this region was in 1984. At least we have started receiving rain, meaning the entire crop is not affected,” he said.
He said many farmers in the region had opted for maize farming this season because the returns were higher than those of wheat. “We are advising our farmers to embrace crop insurance to mitigate against effects of climate change in future,” he said.
According to Dr Cheruiyot, the county got 4.2 million bags of maize last year from 90,000 acres but there are fears of a decline this season.
With 40,000 acres already withering due to drought and another 25,000 being destroyed by worms, the county stands to lose 65,000 acres, translating to a shortfall of about 1.3 million bags.
The ministry has said 19 counties in the country were currently food insecure with many households grappling with an acute food shortage and livestock perishing due to lack of water and pasture.
However, in Trans Nzoia authorities have allayed fears of a drop in yields in the county despite the worm invasion in the region.
The county’s agriculture chief officer Mary Nzomo said the region is expected to harvest 4.8 million bags of maize this year from a projected harvest of 5.3 million bags.
Ms Nzomo said the worm invasion will account for about nine per cent loss, which is an equivalent of 500,000 bags of maize.
According to her, this will not affect the county’s food stability.
“The county’s requirement per harvest season is one million bags of maize from 106,000 acres of land that is normally put under maize,” said the official.
The county still has a surplus of maize from last year’s harvest of 4.7 million bags which will be offloaded to food deficit areas mostly targeting farmers who lost their entire crop.
Some farmers in parts of South Rift have started harvesting with the produce expected to reach the local market by October.
Maize growers have called on the government to end the import duty waiver on maize as local suppliers are importing.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said that when the window of importation comes to an end, the government will start rationing the amount of maize supply to millers to prevent hoarding.
As the world celebrates World Heart Day this Friday, a majority of Kenyans are not aware of various cardiac complications and only generalise all of them as heart attack.
Statistics, for instance, from the Kenya Cardiac Society indicate that of the 30 per cent non-communicable diseases which kill Kenyans, 12 per cent of them are heart related.
Wednesday, Phillips, a health technology company, in collaboration with Kenya Red Cross, started an awareness campaign training people how to recognise the symptoms of a cardiac complication, provided first aid training and also gave out small automated equipment that can be used to resuscitate one who is under an attack.
“We have realised that lifestyle diseases are on the rise in the country and that’s why we are passionate about this, said Mr Jasper Westerink, the CEO of the company, who also added that, with this technology, lives can be saved.
The portable device called an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) has the ability to restart a heart once it fails.
“It is instant and easy to use and we know from statistics that if one is attended to within five minutes of cardiac arrest, they have a higher chance of recovery,” said Mr Westerink.
The campaign is being conducted on the premise that any Kenyan can cycle for 10 minutes on a stationary bike dubbed a “macrider”.
This then measures the number of kilometres that one can ride. For every 152 kilometres raced, Phillips will donate an AED. They intend to donate 10 machines.
Fourteen bikes were Wednesday placed outside Kenya National Archives attracting a continuous flow of Nairobians who participated.
At the venue, they were entertained by the music band Elani who released a new song where they used actual heartbeats from cardiologists to come up with the beats for the song.
The chief executive added that while the cost of treating heart conditions is very high, it can be lessened if victims are reached quickly for emergency services.
Dr Jeilan Mohammed, a cardiologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital, explained that cardiac conditions are not just only sudden heart attacks but also involve a range of conditions.
Kenya Red Cross CEO Abbas Gullet stressed the need for a change of lifestyle and especially engaging in more exercises.
Jubilee Party Wednesday signalled its determination to change the election law before the repeat presidential poll.
The party took advantage of its superiority in numbers to marshal an 83-37 vote against the Opposition, for the National Assembly to hold an extra sitting this morning to consider changes to the Elections Act.
That sitting is expected to start with the formal submission through the First Reading of the proposed law.
MPs will debate and then vote on the creation of a select committee to scrutinise the Bill and another to analyse the Supplementary Budget which contains the funding for the repeat poll.
Majority Leader Aden Duale criticised the Opposition for its reluctance to participate in House activities yet it has named some of its leaders and its members are participating in debate.
He named Jubilee Party members of the select committee to scrutinise the mini-Budget.
He, however, said that when he asked Minority Leader John Mbadi about the Opposition’s membership, he was told Nasa leader Raila Odinga would have to decide. “This House will not wait for people who want to do consultations from quarters that are not recognised by the Standing Orders,” said Mr Duale.
The proposal has been criticised by Opposition MPs.
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa termed the move by Jubilee suspect, given that the party criticised the Supreme Court and threatened to remove the judges.
“It is my humble request that we wait. We want to move together as a House. We want to move together as one Kenya,” he said.
ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said the sitting would reverse the gains made in the management of the elections.
The Anglican Church of Kenya has also criticised the proposals, saying they will water down the Constitution.
“This is an unacceptable path since it will lead to mutilation of the Constitution and weakening of institutions,” said Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit, the head of the church in Kenya.
The Bill is yet to be published but it is understood the changes will make the manual tallying and transmission of results superior to the electronic system.
It is also understood the Bill will contain a provision for the vice-chairman to act as the chairman of the electoral agency in the absence of the chairman.
The proposal will also enable live-streaming of results declared at polling stations and make it mandatory for the poll commission’s chairman to have all forms 34A and 34B before announcing the presidential election results.
The changes are also to enhance the punishment of presiding and returning officers who fail to sign or complete the forms or who knowingly submit an incomplete document.
Also among the changes is a provision for the electoral commission to require a fresh nomination in case a presidential election is nullified.