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The News Brief: Hardliners a threat to UhuRuto ‘handshake’

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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Hardliners threaten to derail Uhuru, Ruto handshake

As the bishops burn the midnight oil trying to reconcile President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, they are having to surmount vested interests threatening to scuttle their bid. On one hand, is the pro-handshake team that has been a beneficiary of the March 2018 deal, and are the catalyst in Uhuru and Ruto fights.

The forces behind the handshake are positioning Raila to succeed Uhuru and a deal with Ruto would complicate succession matrix. The other team is of think tanks that are fanning the fights and pushing for a referendum to amend the 2010 Constitution to be triggered by recommendations in the anticipated Building Bridges Initiative report.

Road to Nyeri: Mt Kenya gears to host Raila for 2022 blessings

Kikuyu elders are burning the midnight oil preparing to give ODM leader Raila Odinga a treat of his lifetime in Nyeri at the end of the month. The elders want to make the event historic; and much bigger than the ceremony that was held in Raila's Bondo home last weekend when their Luo counterparts hosted them.

Though the elders are insisting that the event is a purely a cultural event, observers believe the ceremony would have political implications ahead of 2022 elections. There is a deliberate effort by a section of the Mount Kenya elite to position Raila as the man who can take care of the region's interests.

IEBC Sh4.3bn pending bills risky for future budgets - Audit

Polls agency IEBC has been fingered for failing to settle Sh4.3 billion pending bills owed to suppliers and contractors. Auditor General Nancy Gathungu in a review of IEBC books for the financial year ending June 2019 said the situation portends trouble for the commission’s spending in subsequent years. She said the unsettled bills would distort the electoral commission’s budgetary provisions.

President Uhuru Kenyatta gave orders to ministries, departments, and state agencies to make pending bills the first charge in any new financial year. Should the IEBC take up that wholly, it is likely to be left without money for operations, considering it last year’s allocation of Sh2.6 billion.

Mystery of terror suspects being abducted after freedom

During the sentencing of the three terror last Wednesday, chief magistrate Francis Andayi said that Omar, a brother of one of the Westgate attackers, be freed for lack of evidence. Following the ruling, Omar was cleared at Kamiti maximum prison and proceeded for another clearance at the ATPU offices, as is the norm. All clearances went without a hitch.

However, minutes after leaving the ATPU offices with two family friends, a sister and an aunt, the taxi they had boarded was stopped by occupants of a black Subaru car. The men took Omar and fled. It has been a week since then. The Star on Thursday examines this mysterious disappearance of terror suspects.

Coptic priest claims his life in danger after dp ruto visit

Head of Holy Ghost Coptic Church Father John Pesa has claimed that his life in danger after visiting Deputy President William Ruto’s home in Sugoi. Pesa on Wednesday said he has been threatened on phone. He said a group of people also went to his church located at Kanyakwar area on the Kisumu-Kakamega road on Tuesday demanding that he gives them money he got from Ruto or they kill him.

The cleric said he has reported the matter to Kondele police station in Kisumu. Pesa denied receiving money from the DP. He was part of a delegation who joined Ruto at his Sugoi home for an interdenominational Church Service presided over by Church Leaders drawn from Nyanza on Monday.