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Kenya Standards Bureau chief in trouble over 5m bags of ‘fake’ Moroccan fertilizer

A Kenyan magistrate’s court on Monday charged the head of the state-run standards body, seven other officials and two businessmen with attempted murder for allowing the importation of substandard fertiliser containing mercury

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A Kenyan magistrate’s court on Monday charged the head of the state-run standards body, seven other officials and two businessmen with attempted murder for allowing the importation of substandard fertiliser containing mercury.

Kenya has been hit by a series of scandals involving bogus tenders and suppliers that the authorities say led to the theft of hundreds of millions of shillings from government bodies by state officials.

On Friday police arrested Charles Ongwae, managing director of the Kenya Bureau of Standards’(KEBS), and the other officials after finding that the fertiliser imported from Morocco was approved for sale despite failing KEBS’s standards.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions said on Twitter they were charged with attempted murder over the importation of 5,846,000 bags of substandard fertiliser.

A charge sheet presented in court by the prosecutor’s office said the fertiliser contained mercury.

KEBS is responsible for checking the standard of goods entering the country.
Eight of the 10 defendants appeared before Kenneth Cheruiyot, senior principal magistrate in Nairobi, and pleaded not guilty. Two others were not present in court.

The prosecutor’s office said they were also charged with procurement of fake standardisation sticker marks worth 882 million shillings ($8.75 million), aiding the commission of felony, breach of trust and abuse of office.
President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to stamp out corruption when he was first elected in 2013 but critics say he has been slow to go after top officials and ministers.

Kenyatta, who was elected for a second term last year, has spoken out recently against graft and urged the judiciary “to ensure fair trials and justice”.

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Metro

Somali forces, local vigilantes, recapture strategic town from Al-Shabaab terrorists

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The Somali National Army (SNA), alongside local vigilantes popularly called Mo’awisley, on Monday, recaptured the strategic city of Adan Yabaal from the al-Shabaab terrorist group, the military said in a bulletin on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the town located near the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions that comprise Hirshabelle State, which is about 220 kilometres north of the capital Mogadishu, is one of the five federal member states of the Federal Government of Somalia, and had been a strategic location held by the al-Qaeda-sponsored extremist group.

The SNA said in the bulletin that it met no resistance from the al-Shabaab fighters who left the town without posing resistance on getting information about the approach of the federal troops.

Al-Shabaab have lost most of the towns and settlements in Hirshabelle State, both Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions, after the SNA and Mo’awisley vigilantes waged offensive wars.

“Mo’awisley vigilantes, who are mainly composed of nomadic herders, took up arms and rebelled against the jihadists’ confiscation of their livestock and illegal tax collection known as zakawaat.

“Over the last couple of weeks, the government forces and the vigilantes have been gradually inching towards the town which they seized on Monday. The town had been under the full control of al-Shabaab for over a decade,” the bulletin said.

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Tanzania President, Samia Hassan, cancels country’s Independence Day celebrations: Here’s why

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Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has cancelled the country’s Independence Day celebrations which was scheduled for Friday, December 9, and has rather directed that the funds that would have been sunk into the celebration should be used to build dormitories for children with special needs.

The organisers of Tanzania’s 61st Independence Day celebrations had presented a budget of $445,000 to the government but the President vehemently opposed the budget and ordered that the money should be used to build dormitories in primary schools around the country.

However, Tanzania’s Minister of State, George Simbachawene, said the money had been disbursed, alluding that the East African country will celebrate Independence Day by having public dialogues on development marked with pomp and state banquets.

This is not the first time Tanzania has cancelled the celebrations.

In 2015, late President John Magufuli cancelled the celebrations and diverted funds towards the building of a road in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.

In 2020, he also cancelled the celebrations and directed that the budget earmarked for it should be used to buy medical facilities.

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