Kenya

  1. Kenyan climber bemoans Everest's crowded summit

    James Kagambi
    Image caption: The former primary school teacher says fell in love with mountains as a teenager

    Kenyan mountaineer James Kagambi wanted quiet contemplation when he achieved his dream last week of getting to the summit of Mount Everest, making history as part of the first all-black team to climb the world's highest peak.

    But the 62-year-old retired school teacher admitted to BBC Focus on Africa radio's Veronique Edwards that it a bit of a disappointment:

    Quote Message: When we got on top there were so many people, so you couldn't have your own space. The first thing I wanted to do was like to kneel down and pray. I couldn't find a place for that, but I still prayed as I was standing up.
    Quote Message: Taking even a photograph, just yours, was hard. So you had to take a photograph where other people [were also] showing."

    It is normal to see queues near the summit during the climbing season. It often depends on how suitable the climbing weather is.

    James Kagambi in Nepal January 2022
    Image caption: James Kagambi scaled the world's highest mountain as part of the Full Circle Everest team

    Yet Mr Kagambi, an experienced climber who has also become the first black Kenyan to conquer the mountain, said it was not what he had expected:

    Quote Message: "I was surprised by the number of people that were on top. Looking at all the other mountains I've gone to, I have always had time by myself just to sit and reflect, that was not to be on Mount Everest.
    Quote Message: I was happy for everybody, it just happened that most people got up almost at the same time. I was still very happy that I summitted and the time I got there, 6am, was a good time because the sun had just come up so the photos came out right."

    Speaking from Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, he admitted that scaling the mountain had not been easy, but his rigorous training - that included scaling Mount Kenya six times from January to April - had paid off.

    Quote Message: I was very happy for how I had prepared because there was no one time I felt like I have used my muscles I cannot move anymore. I feel like I had prepared myself adequately and even more than I needed."

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  2. Museveni and Odinga 'walk down memory lane'

    Patricia Oyella

    BBC News, Kampala

    Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni says his talks with Kenyan presidential candidate Raila Odinga at State House in Entebbe touched on issues concerning the two neighbours.

    Mr Odinga, considered one of the front-runners in the 9 August presidential elections, paid the courtesy call on Thursday evening.

    In a tweet about the meeting, Mr Odinga said: ”We walked down memory lane to discuss the shared history of our countries aimed at forging stronger ties moving into the future."

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    Mr Odinga has been touring the region - earlier on Thursday he attended the opening in South Sudan of the Freedom Bridge over the River Nile with President Salva Kiir.

    The structure is expected to improve trade as it will now be easier to transport goods over the river.

    A record 55 presidential candidates have been cleared to contest in Kenya's election.

    Mr Odinga is expected to face a stiff challenge from Deputy President William Ruto.

    The stability of Kenya matters in the region as many imports for landlocked East African nations come via Kenyan ports.

    The violence that erupted after Kenya's 2007 election had economic repercussions for neighbouring countries.

  3. Kenyan MP faked sitting exams, witness tells court

    A student in Kenya writing an exam
    Image caption: The school says the MP did not sit Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams

    A Kenyan MP who is accused of forging his academic papers did not sit his final year exams at the secondary school he claims to have attended, an ex-teacher has told a court.

    The MP, Oscar Sudi, had said that he sat the exams at Highway Secondary School in 2006.

    But the school's former principal said the index number Mr Sudi said was his belonged to another student, adding the MP did not register or sit the examination at the school.

    The MP has been charged with forging a diploma certificate and a secondary school certificate. He denies the charges and is out on bail.

    According to Kenya's Standard newspaper, the alleged forgeries date back to when he was seeking clearance for election in 2013 when the law required parliamentary aspirants to show proof of post-secondary school education.

    The hearing of the case continues.

  4. Drought killed 70 Kenyan elephants in one year

    Joice Etutu

    BBC News, Nairobi

    An elephant
    Image caption: Water pans are to be created using an old dam

    Kenya's Tourism Minister Najib Balala has told the BBC more than 70 elephants have died in the last year as a result of the ongoing drought affecting all of East Africa.

    The animals were in Tsavo National Park, one of the country’s oldest parks. It is also one of the world’s largest wildlife reserves.

    The Kenyan authorities fear the ecosystem will experience more wildlife deaths if the drought continues.

    A number of giraffes have also died, said Mr Balala.

    "We have an abundance of wildlife but still every animal counts and we care if one goes down," he added.

    The Kenyan government is aiming to use an old dam to create water pans in the area to prevent further wildlife deaths.

    The drought in East Africa has also affected millions of people in several countries leaving many at risk of severe food shortages.

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  5. Video content

    Video caption: Afrocentrism: The school teaching kids to love their African culture

    The Children in Freedom School in Kenya is teaching its students to love their identity as Africans.

  6. Ousted Nairobi governor's run in another city halted

    Nairobi's Governor Mike Sonko sits in a court room during a hearing after he was arrested on corruption-related charges, at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi, on December 9, 2019
    Image caption: Mike Sonko is vying for the governor's seat in Mombasa

    A court has temporarily barred the Kenyan electoral body from clearing a controversial former governor of the capital Nairobi from running for the same seat in the coastal city of Mombasa.

    The high court in Mombasa ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission not to process Mike Sonko’s nomination papers for the 9 August election pending the case.

    Three civil society organisations that have sued Mr Sonko want him disqualified, because he was removed from office as Nairobi governor for violating the constitution.

    They say that since he was found unsuitable to hold office, he should similarly not hold any other public office.

    Mr Sonko was impeached in December 2020 for gross misconduct and abuse of office.

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  7. Record number of undecided voters ahead of Kenya vote - polls

    Macharia Maina

    BBC News

    Kenyans have recorded the highest percentage of undecided voters in the history of the country’s elections, according to various opinion polls.

    With less than 90 days until the August presidential election, the CEO of research company, TIFA, says 20% of registered voters do not know whom to vote for, compared to less than 10% in previous elections.

    “If the candidate who wins [does it] with a small margin, it’s likely to create a very tense situation where people could contest and say this vote was stolen or it’s not appropriate," Maggie Ireri said.

    She also notes that Kenya has seen an increase in polling companies in this election, and is calling for strict regulation of this rapidly growing sector.

    “There are a lot of pollsters out there. But the question is whether they are using the right methodology.”

  8. Africa cities conference opens in Kenya

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Heads of State, football legends and a Hollywood star are among thousands of delegates gathering in Kenya’s lakeside city of Kisumu for the ninth Africities summit.

    The pan African conference is convened every three years to discuss the challenges of urbanisation and climate change in Africa.

    The attendees - who include the football stars Didier Drogba and Samuel Etoo, as well as the actress Lupita Nyong'o - will also discuss the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Lupita's father is the current governor of Kisumu county, which is hosting the conference.

  9. Kenya's Sauti Sol threatens to sue presidential campaign

    Emmanuel Igunza

    BBC News, Nairobi

    Sauti Sol of Kenya seen on the red carpet at the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards on July 18,2015
    Image caption: Sauti Sol is one of Africa's biggest male bands

    Kenyan music band Sauti Sol has threatened to sue former Prime Minister Raila Odinga's presidential campaign for alleged copyright infringement.

    Mr Odinga’s social media accounts are said to have used Sauti Sol's song Extravaganza as a soundtrack during the unveiling of Martha Karua as the running mate for the Azimio la Umoja Coalition.

    In a statement posted on Twitter, Sauti Sol decried the use of their music in ongoing political campaigns.

    They said they were not "aligned to nor associated with the Azimio la Umoja campaign or any other political movement and/or party".

    “We are disappointed by the Azimio la Umoja campaign’s blatant disregard of our right to control the use of our copyright.”

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    The ODM party, which is part of the Azimio coalition and which Mr Odinga belongs to, said they appreciated Sauti Sol's music, and "playing their song...was a show of love for their work".

    But some online users have lashed out at the band, pointing out that Mr Odinga’s coalition had paid the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) more than $4,800 in licence fees to use copyrighted musical works in their campaign.

    The MCSK is a state body that oversees the payment of royalties to artists in the country.

    Many artists however, including Sauti Sol, have faulted the copyright body on the structure it uses to compensate them.

    Sauti Sol is one of Africa's biggest male bands and won the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards.

  10. Kenya wishes new Somali president success

    Somalia's neighbour Kenya has joined in the congratulations for the country's new President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta wished his new counterpart "good health and success as he takes over the reins of leadership, and assured him of Kenya's continued cooperation and comradeship", state house said.

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    Kenya shares a long border with Somalia and has been the victim of attacks by the Somalia-based al-Shabab militant group.

    The country also contributes troops to the African Union force backing Somalia's federal government in its fight against al-Shabab.

    The success of the Mogadishu government in dealing with the militants has a direct impact on Kenya.

    The chairperson of the African Union commission, Moussi Faki Mahamat, has also sent his congratulations:

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  11. Kenyans mock traffic jam on newly built express road

    Workers put final touches in preparation for the opening an expressway in the Kenyan capitaln
    Image caption: The expressway was opened to the public over the weekend

    Kenyans online have been complaining about traffic jams on a newly opened expressway in the capital Nairobi.

    Some of the pictures shared online show long queues of vehicles on lanes leading up to toll booths on the mostly elevated highway that cuts across the city centre.

    Some Kenyans have mocked the situation, while others have been outraged by the apparent gridlock the road was meant to address.

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    The 27km (16 mile) long highway built by a Chinese company was opened to the public for a “trial phase” on Saturday pending its official launch in a month’s time.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta said two weeks ago that this phase would test its usage and "allow us to put final touches on some unfinished sections”.

    He also said the road would “help us end the rampant traffic jam that is experienced in Nairobi”.

    Built at a cost of $600m (£490m), the highway - which runs from the west side of the capital to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – is the only toll road in the country.

    It is expected to reduce the time to move between the central business district and the airport to just 15 minutes from more than two hours, according to the authorities.

    A toll of about $3 per trip for private motorists is being charged.

    Kenya did not borrow any cash to build the road, but the contractor is expected to collect toll fees for 27 years and then hand over the project back to the government.

  12. Video content

    Video caption: Sabrina Dhowre Elba: 'We need to be more of an international community'

    Sabrina Dhowre Elba visits Somalia and Kenya on behalf of the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

  13. UN warns of impact of drought in East Africa

    Joice Etutu

    BBC News, Nairobi

    The United Nation's humanitarian affairs agency (Ocha) says the world is not paying enough attention to crises beyond the war in Ukraine including a devastating drought in East Africa.

    The head of the organisation, Martin Griffiths, made the appeal after visiting Turkana in north-west Kenya where food is extremely scarce after a lengthy period without rainfall.

    People there are suffering from malnutrition with some left too weak to stand or walk. The UN World Food Program says 20 million people across East Africa are at risk of severe hunger.

    Dead cattle in north Kenya
  14. Kenyan among first black team to summit Mt Everest

    JAMES KAGAMBI

    Kenyan mountaineer James Kagambi was among a group of climbers who made history on Thursday as the first all-black team to climb Mount Everest.

    At 62, Mr Kagambi - a retired teacher - also became Kenya's first native African to conquer the mountain.

    The group made their final assault on the summit after spending about 40 days on the mountain. Six of the team's nine members reached the summit along with their guides.

    “I made it. I was on top of the world just a few hours ago. I did it, we did it," Mr Kagambi is quoted as saying by his sponsor, Kenyan sports betting firm Betika.

    "I didn’t know that I would make it this far with my old age and my weak knees, but I pushed myself to the next level. Africans should know that this space exists for them too," he added.

    The Full Circle Everest team hopes to encourage diversity in the sport of mountaineering.

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  15. Kenyan fighting FGM crowned world's best nurse

    Rhoda Odhiambo

    BBC health reporter, Nairobi

    A Kenyan nurse has won the first ever global nursing award that has a prize of $250,000 (£205,000).

    Anna Qabale Duba, who practices at Marsabit County Referral Hospital in northern Kenya, was honoured for her dedication towards eradicating harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation in her community.

    Ms Duba has also set up a foundation - Qabale Duba Foundation - aimed at empowering young girls.

    "Through my organisation, I have built a unique school in my village that teaches both children and their parents, because for me education is key to a better future," Ms Duba said in her speech.

    More than 24,000 nurses from 184 countries submitted their applications.

    She was feted in Dubai at a ceremony held in commemoration of International Nurses Day.

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