Kenya has once again been named the World’s Leading Safari Destination by World Travel Awards , further cementing her position as the global champion.
This announcement was made during the 27th Annual World Travel Awards Grand Final 2020, held to celebrate excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. This is the 7th time in the past 8 years and 6th time in a row that Kenya has won the prestigious award at the annual global awards.
This is after having won the award in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Kenya Tourism Board Chairman, Jimi Kariuki lauded the win as yet another milestone for Kenya’s tourism industry adding that it was testament to the country’s superior offering of the Safari experience.
This victory is an endorsement of the destination known as home of authentic African Safari. Without a doubt this is a well-deserved win, and we can only get better. We shall continue with our commitment towards preserving the unique wildlife heritage bestowed to our country for the sake of generations to come.”
Kariuki added that the recognition meant a lot especially in 2020 when global tourism has been hampered by the global Covid-19 Pandemic. Globally Kenya is acknowledged as one of the best in tourism offering. As we head into the new year, ours will be to build on this to ensure that Kenya’s tourism Industry recovers even better than it was before.
KTB CEO, Betty Radier welcomed the news saying that it came at the right time when the country was seeking to bounce back to life. She said the awards had been integral in cementing the destination’s top position in global tourism.
This is yet another great achievement for the destination this year because it provides a great sense of optimism of the industry. These awards will be important because they will help us in profiling the destination going forward. This is also a motivator for us to keep on improving our offerings in other areas like Beach and experiences.
The award comes barely three weeks after Kenya scooped top continental awards in the inaugural Africa Winners Day, at the World Travel Awards. This included being named Africa’s Leading Tourist Destination with Nairobi being voted as Africa’s Leading Business Travel Destination. KTB prevailed as Africa’s Leading Tourism Board.
Earlier, Kenya also scooped the award for Africa’s Best Golfing Destination during the 7th Annual World Golf Awards held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Kenya prides in having best safari destinations such the World famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, the Tsavo East and West National Parks, Lake Nakuru National Park as well as Nairobi National Park- the only national park in the world within a Capital city.
Deputy President William Ruto yesterday reacted furiously to the government’s decision to investigate the 2007/08 post-election violence, saying the move was targeting him.
In his now all-too-common modus operandi, Ruto, in a tweet, termed the decision to investigate up to 118 cases relating to the post-election chaos a “provocative incitement” aimed at his 2022 presidential ambitions.
“The provocative incitement to ethnic hate/division intended by the resurrection of PEV is an evil attempt to resuscitate the tribe project destroyed by the hustler movements’ realization that poverty and unemployment deliberately bred by poor leadership is our problem, not our tribes,” read the tweet.
The tweet was a direct reaction to Monday’s announcement by the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti that a team of detectives was investigating 118 cases relating to the violence with a view to prosecuting those found culpable.
Yesterday, Kinoti clarified that the ongoing investigations do not target old cases that have already been investigated and closed, but rather, new cases, which had never been investigated before.
“My address yesterday was, therefore, in no way intended to mean that we are going to open completed cases, which were investigated and closed.
It was an acknowledgment of concerns raised by Kenyans, to assure the public of the commitment of the DCI to investigate all reported threats to security and to sensitize the public on the need for peaceful co-existence,” he said in a statement.
In his tweet, Ruto takes a dig at the Jubilee government where he is the second in command over its alleged “poor leadership”, which had bred poverty and unemployment and which his hustlers’ movement sought to address.
To scuttle his hustler movement, those behind the decision to revisit the post-election violence cases intended to resuscitate the “tribe movement,” Ruto alluded.
Ruto had first alluded to a plot to revive the post-election violence cases in order to scuttle his presidential ambitions in a television interview in February.
Then, he maintained that he had engaged the Director of National Intelligence Service (NIS) in a “detailed conversation” and was sure that certain individuals had been sent to the country to explore all ways of reviving the case.
“I had a conversation with NIS director last year and as we speak, some characters have sent people to Kenya to revive ICC cases.
But I want to categorically tell them they will not succeed. In fact, it will be a big surprise to them,” Ruto said.
Speaking on Monday, Kinoti, who addressed some of the victims in Nairobi, warned detectives were determined to ensure there will not be a repeat of the violence.
“I would urge you all not to worry. It happened but I can assure you it will not happen again.
The core mandate of the police is to prevent, deter, and disrupt. We will not just speak but will act before damage is caused,” he said
One of the victims from Chapakundi in Olenguruone Nakuru county reported that his expectant wife died due to shock after learning that their home had been attacked.
He recounted how, while taking his wife to the hospital in Nakuru, he was turned back at Olenguruone and told as violence had erupted at home. “She got worried about the little children we had left back at home.
She just collapsed and died in my arms,” he said. Only identified as DK, he said he had never recorded any statement with the police since then.
“I am glad that finally I have been given an opportunity to narrate what I went through and how I lost my five acres of land. I have not healed but at least I am happy,” he said.
ODM leader Raila Odinga on Monday, November 23, announced that the referendum drive was back on track after meeting a section of leaders in the Mt. Kenya region.
Raila spoke to journalists following a meeting on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) with 21 current and former MPs from Central Kenya.
“We will launch signature collection by end of this week,” he assured as he dismissed reports of major amendments to the BBI report.
The BBI signature collection process was postponed the previous week.
His sentiments were echoed by Dennis Waweru and Junet Mohamed – the Joint Secretaries of the National BBI Secretariat.
“We wish to inform all Kenyans that we shall launch the collection of signatures as it is required by law for the BBI constitutional Amendments Bill 2020 on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. The Bill is ready.
“We call upon all Kenyans of goodwill, those who want to see an end to corruption. Ethnic antagonism, marginalization of sections of society, the empowerment of youth, women and the disabled to board the BBI train,” they stated.
They further stated that the process will take one week across the country, with the assurance that the Covid-19 health protocols will be followed.
The signature collection phase was postponed over the late completion and publication of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2020.
“The secretariat is working on a new date with a comprehensive program of rollout activities which will be communicated in due course,â€ the leadership noted at the time.
Odinga had previously advocated for the exercise to take the shortest time possible having engaged members of county assemblies to mobilise for the process.
“We want the collection of signatures to be done as quickly as possible,” he stated.
Deputy President William Ruto and his allies have no other option but to support the BBI report as it is currently constituted, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s spokesperson Dennis Onyango has said.
According to Onyango, supporting the current report is the only way that can guarantee an uncontested referendum.
“The idea that there can be a non contested referendum exists only in the minds of cowardly and sly conmen and women in Tanga Tanga who want to have their cake and eat it. There will be a contested referendum unless Tanga Tanga surrenders and supports BBI as is,” Onyango said in a tweet that has elicited sharp reactions.
Ruto and his allies have called for consensus on some of the contentious BBI proposals. The DP has said that this is the only way that can guarantee unity in the country.
In a meeting with Wajir MCAs last week, the DP insisted that a divisive referendum cannot be used to achieve a united country.
“If we are trying to sort out the problem of divisive elections leading to a divided country via BBI, why then are we after a divisive referendum that would end up tearing apart the country?” the DP posted on Monday.
However, the Raila group has insisted that there will be no changes to the current report and Ruto should oppose it on the ballot. Let the people decide.
ODM insists that Ruto is not interested in amending the Constitution and has opposed the BBI report from the onset of the handshake in March 2018. Moreover, he had two years to give his recommendations on the report, which he didn’t.
There is a belief in the Ruto camp that the BBI will alienate him ahead of the 2022 elections.
Wednesday’s meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto has elicited mixed reactions.
The two Jubilee leaders unexpectedly held a three-hour meeting at State House. The agenda of the meeting was only known to the two as no other person was allowed in the meeting.
However, there are reports on social media that it is the Deputy President who reached out to his boss for a meeting.
Ruto allegedly sent religious leaders to State House on Tuesday with instructions to plead with the President for a meeting.
A popular local newspaper reported that it was the religious leaders who asked the President to meet Ruto.
However, the paper did not mention that the men of cloth had been sent by Ruto.
“The religious leaders told the President to work closely with his deputy to ensure that the country is not plunged into a political crisis over the BBI and the possible approaching referendum,” the Star quoted a source closer to the two leaders.
The religious leaders also warned the President that his bid to unite the country will remain just talk if the DP continues to remain isolated.
The DP has called for dialogue around some of the BBI proposals to ensure a non-contested referendum.
In several meetings this week, Ruto warned that a YES/NO Referendum will leave the country more divided than it is at the moment and there is a need to reach a consensus on some of the proposals.
However, ODM leader Raila Odinga and his allies have insisted that there is no way the country can have an uncontested referendum.
The former Prime Minister dared Ruto to challenge the BBI proposals and let the people decide on the ballot.
Ruto’s camp has welcomed Wednesday’s meeting and the move to postpone the launch of the signature collection bid.
They insist there is still room for dialogue on the matter.
The Nairobi County Government will lose four key functions to the national government if the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is adopted, in what could mean that Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is here to stay.
The report proposes that the functions of health services, county transport, county planning and development, county public works and firefighting services and disaster management, be taken over by the State.
This will be made possible by amending the Fourth Schedule of the constitution to provide that the functions and powers therein be transferred to the national government. The functions are currently run by the NMS headed by Major-General Mohammed Badi after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko transferred the same to the national government in February this year.
Under the Deed of Transfer, four county functions of health, transport, planning and management, and public works and ancillary services, were transferred to the national government. This gave birth to NMS, which was established in March, to run the transferred functions with an annual budget of Sh27 billion for two years.
In essence, this means that NMS will continue to be a department under the national government to execute the functions on behalf of the county government, taking away considerable powers from future governors of the city county.
In June, President Uhuru Kenyatta, in a revised Executive Order, added NMS as one of the offices falling under the Executive Office of the President, entrenching the new office as a public office. This now means that NMS will be funded directly by the national government and have recruitment of its workers done directly by the Public Service Commission.
The report further proposes an amendment of Article 200 of the Constitution to require that Parliament, within a year, make legislation to provide mechanisms for the carrying out of the said functions.
Clause 66 of the Bill proposes to amend the Fourth Schedule to provide that functions and powers on county health services, county transport, county planning and development, county public works and firefighting services and disaster management relating to the Nairobi capital city shall be distributed as functions of the national government.
There had been reports that the initiative would propose collapsing of Nairobi County to be run by the national government in its entirety, a move would have seen Nairobi County cease to have a governor as its head. Nonetheless, Nairobi County will still have a governor, a senator, MPs and ward representatives as the positions have not been touched by any proposals in the report.
However, the draft bill only pointed out that a majority of the stakeholders recognised that although Nairobi is the capital city and a major diplomatic hub, including being a global United Nations headquarters, its management had been neglected and hence should be accorded a special status and its growth and development must be given due attention.
Nairobi is the headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). However, several other UN, international organisations and diplomatic offices are domiciled in the city.
These include the UN Children’s Fund Somalia (Unicef-Somalia), International Monetary Fund (IMF), UN Children’s Fund-East and South Africa Regional Office (Unicef-Esaro), among others.
This now puts paid to calls by different organisations and individuals to have Nairobi County put under the national government with its head appointed, and not elected, so she or he can be fired if things do not go well.