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Top Newspaper Headlines for March 31: Uncertainty as ODM asks gov’t to use referendum money to battle COVID-19

The country’s top newspapers on Wednesday, March 31 reported on the incident where a dron strayed into Deputy President William Ruto’s Karen residence sparking security concerns.

One of the dailies also reported on the BBI politics with the report indicating that ODM has a plan to boycott the Constitution amendment process.

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The Standard

The publication reported on ODM’s plan to abandon the review of the Constitution of Kenya through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

This is after top officials of the Raila Odinga-led party asked the government to use money set aside for referendum to battle COVID-19.

Led by ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparnya, the officials said the referendum which is courtesy of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga should be deferred and the funds used in containing COVID-19.

The party also condemned NASA for trying to sabotage the handshake so that they can benefit from it.

Taifa Leo

The Swahili publication reported on Philip Mpango’s appointment as Tanzania’s Vice President.

Mpango was appointed and approved to deputize President Samia Suluhi Hassan who took over following the death of President John Pombe Magufuli.

Upon his appointment, Mpango’s name was presented before the Tanzanian parliament which voted in his favour with all the 363 members approving his name.

He is set to be sworn in today, Wednesday, March 31.

People Daily

Deputy President William Ruto on Wednesday, March 31 received the COVID-19 vaccine at his Karen residence.

The DP was among the first Kenyans who took Russan-made Sputnik V COVID vaccine.

However, Ruto’s decision to receive the Sputnik V vaccine instead of the AstraZeneca vaccine sparked mixed reactions.

Daily Nation

The newspaper reported on a Briton who arrested after being caught flying drones over DP Ruto’s Karen residence.

According to the daily, the drone was spotted by the DP’s wife Rachel Ruto who them immediately alerted the police.

Officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) arrived at the residence before picking the Briton for questioning.

The detectives seized the drone and after examinations, it was found that it had not borne any suspicious attachments to it apart from the usual components of a drone.

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The Star

At least KSh 7.6 billion was lost under the stewardship of suspended KEMSA CEO Jonah Manjari, the newspaper reported.

A senate report indicated that the KEMSA board under Manjari failed to oversee the operations of the management in the procurement of COVID-19 items.

The report blamed the suspended CEO for having single-handedly run the show at Kemsa leading to the loss of the KSh 7.6 billion.

The report also indicated that Manjari took advantage of the weak oversight by the board leading to the loss of KSh 2 billion.

The report further observed that Manjari took advantage of the board’s disconnect and lack of an effective mechanism to undertake procurement of COVID-19-related items.

Finally, the report stated that the Kemsa CEO distorted procurement laws to land the Authority in the financial mess.

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