Paul Mundandi, Harare Bureau GOVERNMENT yesterday added its voice to the chorus of condemnation for the violence that has rocked Highlanders matches, of late, causing the abandonment of matches. The biggest football match on the domestic scene, pitting Highlanders and Dynamos, was abandoned at Barbourfields in the 42nd minute because of crowd trouble. There was…

Hevoi FM, 98.4FM go live

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Econet FY revenue, profit tumble

Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor ZIMBABWE’s leading telecommunications company Econet Wireless recorded $36.1 million profit for the year ending February 2017 which is a 10 percent drop compared to the $40.2 million recorded the previous year. The company attributed the decline in profits to reduced consumer spending, which also saw revenue for the period under review…

Econet FY revenue, profit tumble

Prosper Ndlovu, Business Editor ZIMBABWE’s leading telecommunications company Econet Wireless recorded $36.1 million profit for the year ending February 2017 which is a 10 percent drop compared to the $40.2 million recorded the previous year. The company attributed the decline in profits to reduced consumer spending, which also saw revenue for the period under review…

Insiza bids farewell to national hero Ndlovu

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Econet revenue falls 3 percent

Business Reporter ECONET Wireless Zimbabwe’s revenue for the year ended February 28 dipped 3 percent to $621,70 million, largely due to declining voice revenues. The country’s largest mobile telecommunications network, however, saw the rate of revenue decline slow down from 14 percent recorded in the same period last year. Profit after tax retreated 10 percent…

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Miss Cultural organiser under fire

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Women’s League fills vacant posts

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Court gives NGO board 21 days to respond to Kalonzo foundation case

Justice Roselyne Aburili. Photo/File

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) Co-ordination Board now has 21 days to respond to a case filed by Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation challenging a decision by the body to freeze its bank accounts.

Justice Roselyne Aburili, directed the board to file the response within 21 days and the matter be mentioned on July 31 to confirm compliance and take hearing date.

NGO coordination board director Fazul Mohammed had frozen the foundation’s account on grounds that it has not accounted for Sh196 million, a decision which was later reversed by the court. Through lawyer Albert Simiyu the foundation claimed that its operations had been adversely been affected by of the order.

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Maiden journey rewrites history

President Uhuru Kenyatta unveils the new SGR passanger terminal in Miritini, Mombasa, yesterday.  Photo/NDENGWA GATHUNGU

Aboard commuter train for the inaugural trip was President, dignitaries and school children from all the 47 counties

“This is a historic day. A day when everyone should feel proud to be Kenyan,” President Uhuru Kenyatta said yesterday as he commissioned the inaugural Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger service at the Mombasa Terminus at Miritini.

Addressing an excited crowd, some carrying his portraits, others waving miniature flags, Uhuru added: “Today we celebrate a cornerstone to transformation. We join hands as 45 million Kenyans to embark on a new journey that seeks to create new jobs, stronger economy and shared prosperity. We celebrate not the Lunatic Express but Madaraka Express and we begin to rewrite our history for the next 100 years despite the challenges.”

The first railway and train constructed by the British colonial government between Mombasa and Kampala 122 years ago was labelled Lunatic Express due to the dangers and challenges encountered in uncharted East African hinterland.

The function yesterday, in which Uhuru was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, senior government officials, dignitaries from China, including the Chinese ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa, was marked with pomp and colour as hundreds of Coast residents and other Kenyans turned up in large numbers at the event. Among invited passengers were 47 school children, one each representing the 47 counties.

Then the Peoples’ Republic of China’ State Councillor delivered his country’s message before Ruto invited the President to deliver his. The launch ended a few minutes to 11am and 10 minutes later, the train carrying the President and his guests in VIP cabins left the station as a police chopper hovered overhead, underscoring the tight security surrounding the event.

The low-humming DF8B engine, bringing in tow about 20 coaches, accelerated through the Maungu and Manyani plans, past the Taru savannah of acacia shrubs, making the first stop at Voi.

The President’s entourage alighted from the train at about 1pm and proceeded to address an enthusiastic crowd led by the Taita Taveta Senator Dan Mwazo and Women’s Representative Joyce Lay who have both landed Jubilee Party tickets for their contest in the forthcoming General Election.

“This railway is going to open up these regions and attract investors. Our agenda as the Jubilee government is to build the infrastructure that will help us in the industrial take-off.

We have built roads in Taita Taveta and other parts of the country, which had remained untamacked for many years and we will continue to do more,” the President said. He castigated the opposition coalition for always opposing and criticising government projects before he boarded the train at around 1.45pm for the next stop.

An hour later, at around 2.40pm, the entourage alighted at the mid-way station, Mtito Andei, where another large crowd was waiting to catch a glimpse of the SGR ride. Leaders from Ukambani region who are in the Jubilee camp, among them Makueni governor seat aspirant Gideon Ndambuki and a host of MPs welcomed the travelling presidential party.

Uhuru told the crowd: “When we took power, we wanted to put in place firm infrastructure that will take us to the next 100 years because we realised we cannot advance without the railway, good roads, electricity and good healthcare for our people.

With this railway, investors are going to set up more industries and this will provide employment opportunities for our young people.” He told opposition leaders who have been criticising the project that had the previous regimes built the SGR, by now Kenya could have taken bigger development strides.

From Mtito Andei to Athi River, a distance of over 200 kilometres, the train picked to top cruising speed of 120km per hour, with crowds who lined up the route all the way waving and cheering.

At exactly 6pm, the entourage disembarked at the Athi River station and was received by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and an ecstatic huge crowd. The President enumerated the achievements by the Jubilee government and appealed to the residents to support his re-election, saying the government would put up a route cargo station at Athi River for freight destined for Uganda and Rwanda as one way of creating employment opportunities for youth in the area.

At about 7pm, the SGR Madaraka Express, emblazoned with the national flag on the engine head and its red, white and orange stripes glittering at twilight, came to a stop at Syokimau station.

The President made his official speech of the event which he capped by pleading with Kenyans to maintain peace during the August elections. “We should conduct peaceful elections, we must never shed blood because of elections, let us conduct ourselves peacefully,” Uhuru said after he read his prepared text.

The train arrived in Syokimau 15 minutes later from Athi River to conclude the 472km journey which started minutes after 11am from Miritini Station in Mombasa, taking about 8 hours in a journey that will be taking around four and half hours for the express train. Before Uhuru spoke, the DP electrified the crowd when he said: “We have given ourselves a brand new railway on the eve of Madaraka Day.

The railway will power the transformation of our country.” He said the launch of SGR is just the beginning of a long journey Kenyans have started to build a new Kenya together. “This is a great day in our country.

The Madaraka Express is connected to expansive road network, airports and the Port of Mombasa. This network is going to make us the cheapest transportation hub in the region,” the President said.

Additional reporting by Kimathi Mutegi Paid tribute to the old railways and thanked the Kenyans who turned in large numbers along the track to celebrate the launch of the new railway. He asked the opposition once again to desist from unnecessary criticism of government projects.

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Security beefed up in Nyeri ahead of fete

Workers put final touches on the presidential dais at Kabiruini grounds in Nyeri county where Madaraka Day celebrations will be held today. Photo/Paul WANJIRU

Irene Githinji and Kinyuru Munuhe @PeopleDailyKe

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto will today lead Kenyans in marking the 54th Madaraka Day celebrations in Nyeri county.

The event is expected to be attended by thousands of dignitaries including the National Super Alliance (NASA) leader, Raila Odinga. The event will be held at Kabiruini grounds after the county’s renowned Ruring’u stadium failed to pass the test to host the national event.

The National Celebrations Organising Committee Nyeri, chaired by Bare Mohammed, last month identified Kabiruini grounds as the best venue to host the celebrations, owing to its adequate space and the fact that it would only require a minimal face lift.

Riring’u stadium, which has historical significance was however, rejected after it failed to meet security standards. Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said yesterday that all security arrangements have been put in place. He said the National Police Service (NPS) is set to oversee the celebrations amid heavy police deployment in Nyeri to beef up security.

“We are set, all the necessary arrangements are in place,” Boinnet told the People Daily. The arrangements are being coordinated by Central Regional Coordinator Ann Ng’etich and a combined security team from Nairobi.

The grounds were yesterday sealed off but are expected to be open from 5.30am this morning. Attendants will subjected to thorough security screening and hawking within the venue has been prohibited.

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