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Lifestyle: Time to worry in Kenya if you’re a public servant

Kenya is set to practically sniff if government officials are living within their means

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Kenya is set to practically sniff if government officials are living within their means.

President Uhuru Kenyatta gave indication to this effect when he announced that all public servants will undergo a compulsory lifestyle audit to account for their sources of wealth.

This latest announcement follows financial scandals that have rocked the country with revelations that millions of dollars were lost in various government agencies through corrupt deals that involved government officials.

Kenyatta offered himself to be the first leader to undergo the audit that seeks to identify corrupt public officials, saying the lifestyle audits would control the misuse of public funds. He said public servants would be required to explain their sources of wealth with an aim of weeding out those found to have plundered government funds.

“You have to tell us, this is the house you have, this is your salary, how were you able to afford it? This car that you bought, (don’t try to put it under your wife’s name or son’s name, we will still know it is yours), where did you get it? You must explain and I will be the first person to undergo the lifestyle audit,” he said.

In the past month, various corruption scandals involving tenders and suppliers in government agencies have been unearthed. The corruption scandals as revealed have exposed the theft of hundreds of millions of shillings by state officials from several government bodies.

So far, more than 40 government officials, including businesspeople, have been arrested over the recent scandals.
Kenyatta has continued to express his frustration about the graft, which seems to have spiraled out of control since he came into office in 2013.

“This issue of people stealing what belongs to Kenyans, I swear to God it has to come to an end in Kenya,” Kenyatta said.

The president said the lifestyle audit will be key among other measures also put in place by the government to curb the vice.

Earlier in the week, Kenyatta issued an executive order requiring all government entities and publicly owned institutions to publish full details of tenders and awards beginning July 1, 2018.

“For example, if this road is being built, we want to know: Who won the tender for the construction? How much was the tender? Who came in second and third? Why was the first person awarded instead of these two? All these reasons, we need to know. Kenyans need to know so that it is out there, that this company was awarded this tender, belongs to a certain person, these are the directors, these are the shareholders. There will be no more hiding,” he said.

On June 1, Kenyatta ordered that all heads of procurement and accounting units be vetted again. He said the vetting would include subjecting the officers to polygraph tests to determine integrity.

Kenya scored 28 points out of 100 on the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. The Corruption Index in Kenya averaged 22.62 points from 1996 until 2017.

Culture

Egyptian actress, Menna Shalaby, arrested for possession of drugs

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Popular Egyptian actress, Menna Shalaby was on Friday, arrested at the Cairo International Airport for allegedly being in possession of drugs.

Local news outlet, Shourouk TV, reports that Shalaby was arrested after security agents found 12 bags of sweets stuffed with marijuana in her possession as she returned to Egypt from New York.

The news outlet added that after her arrest, Shalaby was then referred to the El Nozha Public Prosecution and that an investigation into the incident is currently underway.

Egyptian customs officials say a report has been filed against the actress while she will remain at the airport until investigations are finalised.

Shalaby who is one of Egypt’s biggest actresses, started her acting career in 2001 and has starred in several movies and TV productions.

She was the first Egyptian Actress to be nominated for the Emmy Awards and with over three million followers on Instagram, Shalaby enjoys large popularity among Egypt’s top TV stars.

According Egyptian narcotic laws, cannabis possession is punishable with a minimum of one year in prison plus a fine of at least 1,000 Egyptian pounds or both.

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Culture

Nigerian gospel Singer, Sammie Okposo, slumps, dies at 51

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Frontline Nigerian gospel singer, music producer and actor, Sammy Okposo, on Friday morning, slumped and died at the age of 51 in Lagos, according to the entertainment industry sources.

Okposo who was one of Nigeria’s most celebrated gospel singers with several albums to his credit, was also the CEO of Zamar Entertainment where he groomed several gospel artistes who went on to do great things.

He also collaborated with many gospel artists who used such opportunities to get to the pinnacle of their careers.

Okposo who was popularly known as the “Welu Welu Master” released his first album Addicted in 2004 and went on to bag multiple awards including KORA Best Gospel Artiste in Africa (2006), Crown SABC Best of African Gospel (2014), Afro Hollywood UK Best Gospel Artiste (2005), NEA Best Gospel Artiste of the Year (2007&2013), and NMA Best Contemporary Gospel Artiste among others.

Early in 2022, Okposo was involved in a controversy with his wife, Ozioma, after he admitted he was involved in an extramarital affair.

Taking to his Instagram page on January 24, Okposo had apologised to Ozioma for his infidelity after a lady known as :African Doll” had accused him of impregnating and abandoning her.

The gospel musician also apologized to his fans and promised he would focus on restoration, seek forgiveness and make his marriage work.

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