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How The Mitchells Vs. The Machines honors its queer protagonist

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As a former writer and creative director on
Gravity Falls, Mike Rianda is no stranger to heartwarming content ostensibly made for kids but equally beloved by adults. That’s certainly the case with his new movie,
The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, which was made with the help of Phil Lord and Chris Miller and premiered over the weekend on Netflix. Packed full of amazing actors—we’re talking Maya Rudolph, Danny McBride, Abbi Jacobson, et al—and quirkily hilarious techno-references, the film is an animated classic for the most modern age. It speaks to how we live today—and in particular, how younger people live, work, and connect on the internet.

Murkomen questions Uhuru's motive behind opening Kenya, revising curfew

As Kenyans took to social media to laud the President for his “sensitivity to citizens’ economic needs”, Murkomen held a different opinion.

Parliament to hold special sitting to debate BBI Bill

Parliament reconvenes tomorrow to deliberate on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) referendum Bill after the speakers received the report by the Joint committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Just a day after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi called for a two-day Special Sitting to discuss and dispense with the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, his Senate counterpart Ken Lusaka also called for a sitting.
The JLAC team co-chaired by Senator Okongo Omogeni and Muturi Kigano have submitted the committee report of 171 pages to the two speakers and will be concurrently tabled in the two Houses.
"The Special Sitting will commence from 9.30am and proceed to the afternoon. If there is a spillover, I will Gazette another day to allow members to conclude deliberations," Lusaka told the Standard.

MPs' special sitting to pass BBI Bill without a report

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrives at Parliament Buildings in Nairobi County to deliver his Seventh State of the Nation address. [PSCU]
Parliament is set to reconvene this week for a special sitting to pass the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.
The Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020 could be passed without both Houses considering a report by the joint Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) on public views.
It has emerged that there are divisions within the committee after the membership sought more time to get expert opinion on whether they can propose amendments or the role of Parliament is ceremonial as provided for in Article 257 of the Constitution.

Kigano: BBI Bill was popular initiative, won't be amended

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Kigano Muturi [David Njaaga,Standard]
The National Assembly’s Legal Affairs Committee Chairperson Muturi Kigano has allayed fears that a joint Parliamentary Committee will introduce major amendments to the BBI Bill.
Kigano, who co-chairs the joint committee with Nyamira Senator Okongo Omogeni, which is currently going through the Constitutional Amendment Bill after parliamentary public participation, said this is despite hiring two experts to help them wade through the constitutional amendment framework.
He said MPs cannot amend the Bill since it was a popular initiative emanating from the people. “Amending the BBI Bill would offend Article 257 of the Constitution, which explains the process of referendum proposal by means of popular initiative,” he said yesterday.

BBI referendum dilemma, as IEBC wants two years to create 70 constituencies

Roselyne Obala |
April 4th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the launch of the collection of signatures for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
It is now emerging that time is of the essence in passing the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill.
Of concern is the proposal to create 70 new constituencies’ which has elicited mixed reactions especially on the legal provisions and timelines.
There is also the proposal to overhaul the Independent and Electoral Commission (IEBC), which is presently not properly constituted after four commissioners resigned.
As per the detailed action plan by the proponents of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, popularly known as BBI Bill, Parliament was expected to consider the Bill by April 5.

Raila Odinga says BBI must be subjected to a referendum

Betty Njeru |
March 31st 2021 at 14:49:37 GMT +0300
ODM leader Raila Odinga (center) meets with the party’s top leadership. [Courtesy]
ODM Leader Raila Odinga asserts that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) must go through a referendum.
Raila surfaced in a meeting with the Party's top leadership since he took time off after contracting the coronavirus, more than a fortnight ago.
“We agreed that the BBI must be subjected to a referendum because it entails a fundamental reorganization of the architecture of the Executive and Kenyans need to have a say in the reorganization. The party therefore fully supports a referendum on the document,” Raila said.

More MPs hit by Covid-19 but fail to declare status

Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio and Kimunya yesterday moved motions in their respective Houses to alter the calendar for the Fifth Session.
Kimunya even informed the House that JLAC sittings were suspended last week after some members tested Covid-19 positive and went into isolation.
Health status
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But National Assembly JLAC vice chairman Otiende Amollo disagreed with Kimunya's assertions on the Health status of the BBI team members. The committee was expected to table its report today.
Both Members of the National Assembly and Senate took the leadership to task, questioning why they were taking directives from the Executive despite Parliament being an independent institution.

Lawyers ask court to dismiss cases against BBI process

Julius Chepkwony |
March 19th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga at the launch of the BBI report at the Bomas of Kenya. [Picture, Standard]
Parliament and the electoral body yesterday urged the High Court to dismiss petitions challenging the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment process.
A day after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) told Parliament that some proposals in the BBI were unconstitutional, its lawyers yesterday told the High Court to dismiss the case.
IEBC, through its chair Wafula Chebukati was critical of the proposal to allocate the 70 new constituencies envisaged in the amendments, but yesterday it called for the dismissal of the petitions.

Wafula Chebukati says only IEBC decides placement of 70 new constituencies

Jael Mboga |
March 17th 2021 at 13:28:00 GMT +0300
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati when he appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committees on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. March 17, 2021. [Elvis Ogina, Standard] 
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman, Wafula Chebukati, on Wednesday said promoters of the Building Bridges Initiative only discussed how to eradicate post-poll violence.
He said the task of allocating where the additional constituencies will be is the work of the IEBC, not politicians.
Chebukati was speaking when he appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committees on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Constitutional change hangs in the balance as Raila battles Covid-19

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Constitutional change hangs in the balance as Raila battles Covid-19
Monday March 15 2021
ODM leader Raila Odinga (right) with Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho in Likoni on March 4. Mr Odinga has been hospitalised with Covid-19. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG
Before being taken ill on Monday, he had been expected to meet President Kenyatta to discuss complaints from his party of an attempted hijack of the referendum.
Kenya’s former prime minister Raila Odinga’s sickness with Covid-19 could prolong tensions within a coalition put together by President Uhuru Kenyatta to campaign for the planned constitutional referendum.
Mr Odinga made his positive test for the coronavirus public on Thursday evening, ending days of speculation about his health and admission to a top private hospital in Nairobi.

BBI team to roll out campaigns using radio, social media

Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Co-Chair Dennis Waweru updates journalists on the current state of BBI in the country. He said three counties have passed the bill and he is optimistic 35 counties will have passed the bill by end of February 2021 [Elvis Ogina, Standard]
Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) secretariat has announced plans to use radio and social media to run a popularisation drive for the proposed constitutional changes.
BBI secretariat co-chair Dennis Waweru said the new strategy has been necessitated by the ban on political gatherings by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We have to continue the campaigns with strict adherence to the protocols by the ministry of health. We just need to change the strategy,” said Waweru.

Uhuru, Raila men in new strategy for BBI campaigns

Moses Nyamori |
March 16th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300
ODM Leader Raila Odinga addressing Likoni residents at Caltex Grounds in Mombasa County on Thursday 4th March 2021.  [Kelvin Karani, Standard]
Proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) have crafted a new strategy to popularise the Bill that will see top leaders and experts dispatched to radio talk shows.
BBI Secretariat co-chair Junet Mohammed said they may seek a review of some of the Covid-19 protocols after President Uhuru Kenyatta capped the number of attendees of social events at 100, essentially blocking town hall meetings.
The President banned political rallies for 30 days, a move that dealt a blow to the BBI campaigns.

Ruto enters secret pact with governors for 2022 polls

Deputy president William Ruto with Kwale County governor Salim Mvurya during the official opening of the Arid and Semi arid Lands conference in Malindi, Kilifi County on Wednesday. [Mkamburi Mwawasi, Standard]
Deputy President William Ruto has entered into a pact with 14 second-term governors and a number of first-term county bosses as part of enhancing his political power base in his presidential bid.
Ruto, apparently having relinquished a possible endorsement by President Uhuru Kenyatta and the ruling Jubilee Party, has laid down an elaborate plan of having control of most of the regions through the county bosses.
After the fallout between President Kenyatta and Ruto, the Deputy President has trained his guns on next year’s General Election.

Think tanks are key for our democracy

Many Kenyans are familiar with the face, maybe not the brilliance, of David Ndii.  Dr Ndii, an economist, columnist and author, is described by The Telegraph as "one of Africa’s best known economists and an outspoken anti-corruption crusader". An alumni of the University of Nairobi, he was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. For several years, he was chief strategist of NASA.
Today, he is a leading critic of BBI and a leading light at Linda Katiba. One of his most explosive treatises on the Kenyan body politic was his view, a few years ago, that the Kenyan experiment had so fundamentally failed and it would be of great economic value if sections of the country seceded. The jury is still out on that.

Kenyatta's headache on BBI and 2022 succession

President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects the progress of ongoing construction works of Naibor (Posta)-Kisima-Maralal Road in Samburu County on March 5. [Maxwell Agwanda, Standard]
The emergence of cracks in the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga may force the former to rethink his political strategy, 16 months to the end of his tenure.
The Handshake between the two leaders, birthed on March 9, 2018, has in recent days been the subject of debate over its survival as allies of Raila accused persons within the Office of the President of sabotaging the pact.
Raila’s allies have been uncomfortable with what they see as inclusion of the ‘sacred alliance’ into an agreement that was initially between the two leaders, and have threatened to pull out of the arrangement.

Uhuru-Raila meeting that didn't happen

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the launch of the collection of signatures for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) at KICC in Nairobi on November 25, 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
A meeting to mark three years of the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga failed to materialise yesterday.
There were reports that Raila was scheduled for a meeting with the president at State House, Nairobi, instead of the earlier announced joint consultative meeting of the ‘Super Seven’ alongside other leaders.
Sources told The Standard that Raila was holed up for the better part of the day at his Capitol Hill office and retreated to his Karen residence at around 5pm.

What if things were to fall apart and Raila walks out of handshake?

President Uhuru Kenyatta and National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga publicly reconciled and agreed to work together in the interest of Kenyans. They announced the burying of the hatchet after talks at Harambee House, Nairobi, on 9/3/2018. [Willis Awandu, Standard]
That it is no longer at ease in the Handshake house of President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM’s Raila Odinga is not a secret. 
In the aftermath of last weekend’s outburst by close allies of the two partners, the Handshake stakeholders have been quick to dismiss fears raised as a “mere storm in a tea cup”. 
But what if, to borrow Chinua Achebe’s words, the centre cannot hold and Raila bolts out of his pact with Uhuru? 

Uasin Gishu ward reps abstain from voting on BBI Bill

Uasin Gishu county assembly chambers during the debate of the BBI debate on March 9, 2021. [Christopher Kipsang,Standard]
Uasin Gishu has become the first county assembly to abstain from voting on the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.
The county assembly, which was the last to debate the BBI Bill, did not take a vote after a long and heated debate during proceedings chaired by Speaker David Kiplagat.
It is a unique stand taken by the county legislative body that was the first in 2019 to back ‘Punguza Mizigo’ initiative fronted by Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot.
All 46 Members of the County Assembly were present during the debate that saw the first round of adopting a report by the committee on delegated legislation fail in acclamation.

Fears of crisis rise as Uhuru, Raila keep mum

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the launch of the collection of signatures for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) at KICC in Nairobi on November 25, 2020. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]
A meeting to mark three years of the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga failed to materialise yesterday.
There were reports that Raila was scheduled for a meeting with the president at State House, Nairobi, instead of the earlier announced joint consultative meeting of the ‘Super Seven’ alongside other leaders.
Sources told The Standard that Raila was holed up for the better part of the day at his Capitol Hill office and retreated to his Karen residence at around 5pm.

#LindaKatiba will oppose the BBI project to the end

Martha Karua |
March 10th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300
Members of the Nakuru county assembly during the debate and passage of Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Amendment Bill on February 23, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph,Standard]
Linda Katiba is a voluntary citizen’s initiative that is determined to resist the government-led move to unconstitutionally cannibalise and overthrow the will of the people encapsulated in the 2010 Constitution. It is a collective movement of Kenyans who believe that our constitution holds great promise for the people and when fully implemented, will bring about the transformative changes envisioned by its framers and the 67 per cent of Kenyans who voted for it. Linda Katiba is therefore an effort to help citizens sift through the falsehoods being peddled by the proponents of BBI and make informed decisions.

We can get leaders without casting votes

A voter casts his vote at Milimani Primary School in Nakuru during the London ward By-election on March 4, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]
Must we vote? Come to think of it, what difference does it actually make if we recruited legislators just like we do with other public servants?
The violence witnessed during the just concluded by-elections in parts of the country left me wondering whether we actually can justify why we vote in the first place.
Theoretically, we are aware that a core component of civic duty and responsibility is to vote. We know that in a democracy, people choose their leaders through the ballot. We also know elected leaders carry the wish list of their constituencies to the assemblies.

Moi outlines BBI benefits to voters

Emmanuel Too |
March 8th 2021 at 01:39:28 GMT +0300
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi with newly ordained AIPCA Bishop Paul Njenga in Githunguri yesterday. [David Njaaga,Standard]
Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi has urged residents of Githunguri, Kiambu County, to support the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) during the referendum.
While enumerating the benefits of the Bill to the common mwananchi when he drummed up support for the process, the Baringo senator also called for sobriety during the campaign period.
The Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament next week.
“The County Assemblies did their part and we are happy with the results. I want to request you to be ready to vote for the document once it is brought to you,” said Gideon.

Kibicho: Is he Deep state or politicians' punching bag?

Allan Mungai |
March 8th 2021 at 06:00:00 GMT +0300
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