The News Brief: 2022 race: Peter Kenneth explains support for Raila

Here is your summary of stories making headlines in the Star.

In Summary

The Star News Brief gives you a summary of the stories making headlines in Kenya today and offers you a glimpse of what to expect in tomorrow's newspaper.

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Peter Kenneth: Raila has what it takes to be president

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth has for the first time publicly extolled Opposition Chief Raila Odinga and declared him fit to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022. In an exclusive interview with the Star, Kenneth described Raila as a man who has been at the centre of every struggle to make Kenya better.

He expressed his willingness to politically team up with him, saying Raila has what he termed “the right energy levels”. Kenneth — a former planning minister and a 2013 presidential candidate — is touted as a possible successor to President Kenyatta in the Mount Kenya region.Kenneth has been among Mt Kenya politicians who have been converging around Raila, since the March 2018 handshake, as a way of controlling Uhuru’ succession especially in the region.

Students forget lessons after seven months out of school

Barely three months after schools were closed to curb the spread of Covid-19, Victoria Kanini discovered that her five-year-old son could not write his name. The young boy, a pre-primary two pupil, had separated letters in his name and left out a letter. The government closed schools in March, after the coronavirus hit the country.

They were partially reopened on October 12, admitting candidates and the pioneer class of CBC students after seven months out. The rest are now on their eighth month home, which will stretch to 10 by the time all classes are recalled in January. Most teachers who have learners in Form 4, Class 8 and Grade 4 have been forced to revisit topics already covered to refresh the memory of the pupils.

Proposed BBIi electoral reforms could cause chaos - IEBC

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has come out guns blazing to express its views on how the electoral democracy in the country could be enhanced. The detailed opinion of IEBC was made public on Wednesday as commissioners stare at possible disbandment of the electoral body should the Building Bridges Initiative report sail through without amendments.

IEBC chair, Wafula Chebukati in an open letter to Kenyans warned that electoral disputes especially for presidential results, would likely to recur in 2022 General Elections if their views will be ignored. Chebukati said the perpetual disbandment of IEBC staff and commissioners after every contested election often lead to loss of institutional memory and instability, high turnover of the decision making body and loss of competent staff and loss of gains in electoral management.

Kenya to phase out current national ID by December 2021

Kenya has kicked off the phasing out of the national identity card with the roll out of the Huduma Namba cards set to start next month. In view of COVID-19 prevention and control protocols, citizens will be notified via SMS on when and where to pick their cards. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru speaking at different events on Wednesday said that the Huduma Namba cards will replace the national ID by December 12, 2021.

The announcement is however set to trigger debate as the government had previously said that the enrolment was voluntary. Matiang’i said that as the “single source of truth”, the cards will among many things, end corruption and deal with the case of "missing files" in public offices.