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2017 post-poll police brutality haunts former spokesman Owino

Kenyan police killed at least 33 people in the capital during a crackdown following elections in August 2017, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.

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Anti-riot police officers corner a protester in Nairobi. Photo/Courtesy

The fierce government crackdown on protestors during the disputed 2017 general elections has come back to haunt former police spokesman Charles Owino.

Owino, who is vying for the Siaya County governorship, says he is often reminded of his then hardline stance whenever he is out in his campaign trails.

“To date, the complaints that were there in 2017 affect my campaigns because I hear some people say you fought us. How come you now want to come and lead us?” he revealed.

Appearing alongside former Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar for Citizen TV’s News Night show, Owino said he was a police officer mandated to enforce laws and regulations.

Kenyan police killed at least 33 people in the capital during a crackdown following elections in August 2017, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said.

In the show opener with host Waihiga Mwaura, Owino said that as a policeman, and as a spokesman, most of the time he had to remain neutral and enforce the law as required.

Luckily, he said, he is transiting from being a police officer to a politician and has always had a way of feeding off the allegations, mostly from his competitors.

“You must understand that they’re just competitors and have nothing to offer. They have nothing to pin you down on and therefore have to get something in competition,” he said.

He said his nature of training has enabled him to handle his competitors, by always having an answer to what he termed as unfounded allegations.

Owino will face it off with former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, Senator James Orengo, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, among others to succeed governor Cornel Rasanga.

Owino has picked Rose Midiwo, the widow of former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, as his running mate in the 2022 Siaya gubernatorial race.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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