The News Brief: Ruto cornered into reducing BBI demands

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

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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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Cornered, Ruto now reduces BBI demands

Deputy President William Ruto has dropped some tough BBI demands, opting for two conditions he wants fulfilled including multi choice referendum questions and election of women reps. As chances for consensus on the Building Bridges Initiative referendum diminish, Ruto has abandoned a raft of the radical conditions.

Ruto had demanded that the referendum be postponed and be held alongside the 2022 general election, the procedure for the appointment of the Judiciary Ombudsman be reviewed and the BBI bill amended to give IEBC authority to vary the proposed 70 new constituencies.

Inside Sonko’s plan to scuttle ouster as Senate convene to decide fate

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is deploying a multi-pronged strategy to scuttle his ouster as senators convene on Wednesday to decide on the method of prosecuting his impeachment. Sonko has assembled a team of top lawyers led by Cecil Miller and George Kithi who are currently compiling evidence to dismantle a case by the county assembly whose members voted to impeach the county boss last Thursday.

Sonko is building his case around the number of MCAs that were declared to have voted in favour of his removal and the legality of the virtual voting system during the sitting

Jubilee borrowed an average of Sh2.62 billion daily for 4 months

The government borrowed an average of Sh2.62 billion every day within four months this year to finance capital projects and fight Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has shown. In what underscores the government’s appetite for loans amid the struggling economy, the National Treasury took Sh322.17 billion loans between May 1 and August 31, 2020.

The Treasury report tabled in National Assembly by Majority leader Amos Kimunya showed that the government procured 15 loans from bilateral and multilateral creditors within the period.

Sh1.9bn Likoni floating bridge to be dismantled in 2025 — Macharia

The 824-metreLikoni floating bridge is only a temporary measure and will be brought down once the Mombasa Gate Bridge is completed in 2025, Transport CS James Macharia has said. Macharia said the Sh1.9 billion bridge will be dismantled and set up in another area, like Lamu, where it will serve other Kenyans.

The CS said the Sh210 billion Mombasa Gate Bridge will be the permanent solution to the Likoni ferry crossing channel challenges. 

Laptop loans for freshers' online learning

The Higher Education Loans Board wants to provide at least 60,000 laptops to new government-sponsored students. They will cost about Sh2.5 billion. Since the Covid-19 pandemic forced closure of schools and universities in March, online, long-distance learning has been emphasised.

Many students, however, cannot afford computers. If approved by the Treasury, about 60,000 students next year will be able to apply a portion of their Helb loan to buy a laptop.