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New York Governor Cuomo resigns amid sexual harassment scandal

“You know me, I’m a New Yorker born and bred, I’m a fighter and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe this is politically motivated.”

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The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has resigned Tuesday following months of  pressure amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul took his place.

Cuomo, 63, maintained his innocence against serious allegations of sexual harassment detailed in a bombshell report released last week by the New York State Attorney General’s Office, describing the scandal as “politically motivated,” according to US media.

But he acknowledged making women uncomfortable with unwanted hugs, kisses and comments, portraying some highlighted encounters as the result of “generational or cultural” differences as he “didn’t realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn.”

Cuomo, who previously appeared hellbent on staying in office, said he decided to step down because—with state lawmakers probing his impeachment and a growing number of high-profile figures calling for his resignation—“this situation by its current trajectory will generate months of political and legal controversy.”

“This is one of the most challenging times for government in a generation,” Cuomo said, explaining he believes “the best thing I can do now to help is step aside and let government get back to governing.”

The resignation will be effective in 14 days, Cuomo said, at which point he will be replaced by second-in-command Kathy Hochul, who will be the first woman to serve in the role and who said in a statement she agrees with Cuomo’s decision to step down.

“You know me, I’m a New Yorker born and bred, I’m a fighter and my instinct is to fight through this controversy because I truly believe this is politically motivated,” Cuomo said. “But when I took my oath as governor, then it changed. I became a fighter, but I became a fighter for you, and it is your best interest I serve.”

Cuomo and his personal attorney Rita Glavin disparaged the investigation overseen by New York Attorney General Letitia James and many of its key claims up until Cuomo’s resignation. Glavin held a press conference right before Cuomo’s announcement at which she attacked allegations from multiple accusers, including an aide, Brittany Commisso, who claims the governor groped her at the executive mansion last year. “This has not been a fair process. In fact, the governor has been given no process,” Glavin said.

The tide turned for Cuomo after New York Attorney General Letitia James released the findings of her five-month investigation into him last Tuesday. The governor had previously been publicly accused of sexual harassment by multiple aides, but this report backed up allegations from 11 different women, including current and former staffers, who claimed Cuomo acted inappropriately toward them through comments, unwanted touching and more.

Cuomo repeatedly and vehemently denied making inappropriate sexual advances toward any of the women, but nonetheless was met with mounting opposition and calls for his resignation, including from President Biden. The New York State Assembly expedited its impeachment investigation into Cuomo and planned to make a decision on whether to introduce articles of impeachment within the next few weeks.

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Politics

Joho wants to be Raila’s running mate

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Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho is demanding to be picked as Mr Raila Odinga’s running mate in this year’s presidential election to return a favour to him and the Coastal people who have been supporting the ODM leader for close to two decades.

Governor Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader and who dropped his bid to contest as the party’s flagbearer in the August 2022 General Election in favour of Mr Odinga, is now asking the party to pick him as a running mate in the coming elections.

“But I am telling Mr Odinga that if they continue bugging him, he can pick me as his running mate. I am capable of becoming a deputy president. For 10 years, I have been a two-term governor but I will soon become a normal citizen. But I cannot thank you enough, my good people,” he said while bidding farewell to Mombasa residents at the Mama Ngina Waterfront on New Year’s eve.

“But I am telling Mr Odinga that if they continue bugging him, he can pick me as his running mate. I am capable of becoming a deputy president. For 10 years, I have been a two-term governor but I will soon become a normal citizen. But I cannot thank you enough, my good people,” he said while bidding farewell to Mombasa residents at the Mama Ngina Waterfront on New Year’s eve.

Mr Odinga is yet to name his preferred running mate.

Mr Joho is eying a national leadership position after ending his final term as governor.

In September last year, Mr Joho dropped his presidential bid in favour of his party leader after he was promised an influential Cabinet position.

He says he is ready to retire from local politics to join the national arena.

While giving his New Year message, the Mombasa governor said he will contest for the presidency in the 2027 General Election.

“This time around I am not on the ballot but I am drumming up support for Mr Odinga. But 2027 will be my year; I will vie for the top seat. Were it not for my people’s support I wouldn’t have become who I am today. I give you thanks. I love my people so much,” he said.

He added, “I will not be here after the polls, but I don’t take it for granted that for the 10 years I have been at the helm, you have been with me wholeheartedly, supporting and loving me. I love you very much Mombasa people.”

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Somali premier forms committee to investigate ‘attempted coup’

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Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble has appointed a special committee to investigate his attempted suspension by President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, local media report.

On Monday, Farmaajo suspended Roble from his duties as he was under investigation for suspected corruption.

The prime minister’s office called the decision a “failed coup d’etat” and Roble accused the president of trying to sabotage upcoming elections to remain in office and urged the armed forces to report directly to the government.

The committee includes close allies of the prime minister, such as the ministers of defense, security, education and public works.

Earlier this week, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) Moussa Faki Mahamat urged the Somali authorities to engage in dialogue to find ways of ending the political crisis in the country.

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I am not power hungry, says Raila

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ODM leader Raila Odinga has dismissed claims that he is looking for political fame and power to benefit himself.

Raila said his only aim is to uproot the corrupted system of governance and establish a strong foundation for socioeconomic and political growth for country.

“I don’t dream of staying in power forever but I want to live good leadership for the future generation to come,” he said.

Raila said he is energy is projected towards improving the lives of the citizens by eradicating poverty through proper education, a health system and a platform for massive investments.

The ODM leader said it is a pity that many years have passed yet illiteracy, poverty and diseases are still an issue of concern despite having plenty of resources to exterminate them.

He said the time has come for Kenya to devise new ways of tapping investments and creating employment opportunities for the benefit of every citizen and not a few individuals.

Raila said he wants to increase food and nutrition security by setting up improved water and agricultural projects.

He told locals to reject wheelbarrows and choose a government that will ensure enough and respectable jobs are provided.

“Don’t be told that Kazi Ni Kazi, we want you to have good employment, not just a job,” he said.

Raila said he will ensure that each Kenyan has access to cheap and affordable healthcare services.

He spoke on Wednesday spoke at Matuga Girls’ High School in Kwale county during his Azimio La Umoja popularization campaign.

Raila promised the locals that he will improve the fishing systems and set industries for processing and value addition for the fish produced locally.

He said Kwale has vast resources lying dormant that have not yet been fully exploited.

The ODM boss said with the right leadership the unstable economy can be resuscitated and stabilized.

Raila said he will address the prolonged Kwale water shortages and capacitate local farmers to produce enough food.

He said countries like Namibia, Brazil and Egypt are doing great because they have better development plans and Kenya is no exception.

Raila assured locals that his dream is valid and applicable if only given an opportunity.

He warned citizens against being bought on cheap money and remain strong to realize their dreams of making Kenya a better place.

Raila also cautioned locals to shun tribal politics and embrace peaceful coexistence.

He said Kenyans must live together as one and appreciate all gender for the country’s prosperity.

“Let’s not alienate ourselves on tribal, religious or gender,” he said.

Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth said Raila was the leader Kenya is longing to have.

He said Raila is loyal and focused and the solution to the country’s many problems.

“Leadership is not about chest-thumping and Raila is not like that, with him Kenya is in the right place,” he said.

Kenneth urged locals to vet leaders before blindly electing them to power.

Agriculture PS Hamadi Boga said Raila’s agendas reflect the needs of the Kwale residents.

He warned locals against choosing unproductive and visionless leaders whose main agenda are empty talks.

In the morning Raila had a closed-door meeting with ODM grassroots leaders and welcomed new members to the party in Diani.

The ODM team officialy welcomed former Kinango MP Gonzi Rai in the party.

Source: The Frontier and The Star.

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