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Uhuru introduces Mazingira Awards for environment champions

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the youth to be at the forefront in vocalizing and taking up climate matters for posterity.

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President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta has announced a new bi-annual award at the just concluded fifth United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA) and United Nations Environmental Program Jubilee (UNEP@50) celebrations at UN Gigiri in Nairobi.

The award, dubbed “Mazingira Global,” seeks to recognize people and institutions championing environmental sustainability and peace with an additional monetary award of 20,000 USD.

The assembly concluded with the adoption of 14 resolutions to strengthen actions for nature to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One of the resolutions is to forge an international, legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution.

According to UN-Habitat, Kenya has long struggled with strewing the Indian Ocean coast, with about 3.7 KGS of plastic per capita leaching into bodies of water each year.

Kenya is an emerging leader at the end of plastic resolution adoption and is among the first countries in East Africa to limit single-use plastics since 2017.

According to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the global campaign to beat plastic pollution by 2024 is a milestone towards getting recognition.

“We suffer from porous borders because it is seemingly difficult for individual countries to implement these bans if their neighbouring countries aren’t. It is only by working together globally will we be able to succeed in the war against plastics.” the head of state noted.

UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms Inger Andersen, commended Kenya for the tremendous steps in banning the single-use of plastic seven years ago.

She said, “as UNEP we have phased out mercury in household items, phased out ozone-depleting substances, and shall continue even as we globally combine our efforts to implement these resolutions. We can and shall find a solution in any way we can when nations unite.”

President Uhuru Kenyatta urged the youth to be at the forefront in vocalizing and taking up climate matters for posterity.

“With access to all these different technologies, we can be as inspirational as those who were there before us and acknowledge that we are not doing it for ourselves but our future generations. The youth, therefore, need to be at the forefront in using all available technology and articulate them to the current issues to safeguard our planet for future generations,” President Uhuru concluded.

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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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