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The life and times of Senator Yusuf Haji

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Mohamed Yusuf Haji was born on 23 December 1940.  He was a senator representing the county of Garissa in the Kenya senate until his death on 15 February 2021. He also served as the Minister of Defence from 2008 to 2013, and briefly served as its acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs in 2012.

Personal life

Haji was born on December 23, 1940 in Garissa to an ethnic Somali family. For his post-secondary education, Haji earned a diploma from the University of Birmingham, where he majored in Management and Finance Control.

Haji is married and have nine children (one deceased). One of Haji’s son, Abdul Yusuf Haji, is a businessman. Another son, Noordin Yusuf Haji is the Director of Public Prosecutions, He also worked as a Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Service and worked in the Attorney General’s office since 1999. Both of Haji’s sons, Abdul and Noordin (who both of them have experience with guns since their childhood), were involved in the Westgate shopping mall attack in 2013 and they were credited with saving multiple lives despite deadly danger. Abdul was photographed helping rescue an American mother and her three daughters, providing cover with other armed rescuers by Goran TomasevicReuters chief photographer for East Africa.

The senator’s death came after a very long time illnesses that saw him flown to Turkey for treatment and came back to the country where he died a week later at the Agha Khan hospital.

Political career

Haji began his professional career in administration and management. He joined the Provincial Administration of Kenya as a District Officer in 1960, and went on to serve as Provincial Commissioner between 1970 and 1997.

In 1998, Haji was nominated as a member of the Kenyan Parliament. in 2002, he was later elected an official Member of Parliament on a Kenya African National Union (KANU) ticket.

From 1998 to 2001, Haji worked as an Assistant Minister in the Office of the President. He subsequently acted as the Office’s Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs in 2002. On a KANU ticket, Haji was elected to represent Ijara Constituency in the National Assembly.

Minister of Defence

On 8 January 2008, Haji was appointed Kenya’s Minister of Defence after the 27 December 2007 general elections.

On 18 October 2011, Haji and a Kenyan delegation met with Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) officials in Mogadishu to discuss security issues cooperation against the Al-Shabaab group as part of the coordinated Operation Linda Nchi. Haji and Somalia’s Minister of Defence Hussein Arab Isse then signed an agreement to collaborate against the insurgent group.

In early June 2012, Haji signed another agreement officially re-hatting Kenya’s deployed military forces in Somalia under the AMISOM general command. Haji’s term as Minister of Defence ended on 26 April 2013.

Minister of Internal Security

On 18 June 2012, Haji was appointed Kenya’s acting Minister of Internal Security and Provincial Affairs after the incumbent minister George Saitoti died in a helicopter crash a few days earlier. Haji had previously worked closely with Saitoti on the Linda Nchi military operation. Haji held the new position concurrently with the Minister of Defence docket until a permanent Internal Minister was appointed on 21 September 2012.

 

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Geopolitics

Why is no one buying modern Chinese fighter jets?

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Not many countries are currently buying Chinese fighter jets because they want a sure thing when they go into combat. China has ambitions to become a major player in the military aviation market. With aircraft like the J-31 stealth fighter, China hopes to provide a lower-cost alternative to the popular US F-35 stealth fighter.

China has made incredible progress but has an uphill battle in challenging the F-35 with the J-31. The US has been designing, testing, manufacturing, and improving stealth fighters for over 40 years and has already built and flown a 6th generation fighter. China is the new kid on the block, and they are quickly overtaking Russia in aviation technology.

China lacks a significant combat and sales record for their aircraft. Although Chinese aircraft are less expensive than western fighters, their combat performance is a question mark and countries with money prefer to buy a fighter that has been mass produced, tested in multiple countries, and is combat tested. China may be the new kid on the block, but they are highly capable and on a fast pace to challenge competitors with advanced technology.

 

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Politics

Kenya presidential candidate promises to hang men who abuse wives

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Roots Party of Kenya presidential candidate George Wajackoyah says his government has ideal plans in place to end gender-based violence.

Should he win the presidency, Wajackoyah said he will introduce the death penalty for men who will be found guilty of abusing their wives.

While campaigning in Kirinyaga, the presidential hopeful said his government will hang men who slap their other halves. Apart from abusive men, the learned politician had initially said he would reintroduce capital punishment for corruption offenders through constitutional review.

During the Sunday, June 12 rally, Wajackoyah, whose campaign slogan is Tingiza Miti literally means to shake the trees, said he will also improve the lives of men in uniform. He noted that he was a policeman before and so he understands their predicament. Should he win the presidency, he promised to buy each policeman a car and house so that they do not solicit bribes from people. He also pledged to improve their salaries. The 61-year-old academician said his main aim will be to ensure people have money in their pockets and are happy.

 

 

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Politics

A weed-loving professor is seeking Kenya’s presidency

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Presidential aspirant George Luchiri Wajackoyah, 61, has kicked off his Campaigns on a ‘high’ note promising corrupt judicial officers that he will hang them.

Besides relocating the capital city from Nairobi to North Eastern region, the Roots Party aspirant said he will also suspend the constitution for six months so as to launch a conversation with Kenyans on how to entrench the death penalty in the laws of the land as well as legalise industrial marijuana.

“Judiciary is one of the biggest stumbling block in realising aspirations of a prosperous nation. I will adopt a style whereby if you suspect yourself to be corrupt, we encourage you to kill yourself or if we try you and you are convicted, you be killed,” he said.

He said the ideality of moving the capital to say, Isiolo will open up the northern frontiers as administrative capital, freeing Nairobi to be an industrial hub.

Saying “I am not all that stupid,” Wajackoyah dismissed the motion that he is a joker and a nuisance contestant, saying that “those discriminatory traits are so irking.”

He took issue with the Infotrak pollster results released on Wednesday showing his competitors– Raila Odinga and Dr William Ruto– as the only serious candidates, ignoring him and Mwaure Waihiga by according them no rating.

Wajackoyah, who was accompanied on Citizen TV by his 35 year old running mate–Justina Wangui Wamae said on July 2, they will be releasing their 12-point manifesto to drive their state house bid.

She said she does not smoke bhang “despite our ticket being widely accused of exhibiting signs of its users.”

Mr Wajackoyah says introducing industrial hemp will help pay off the debt.

In an interview on Wednesday night on Citizen TV, Mr Wajackoyah argued that if Kenyans are allowed to grow bhang for export, that would likely increase money circulation in the economy, claiming that a sack can be sold for $3.2 million.

“The solution is growing marijuana, which will enable this country to [pay its] outstanding debts. Have enough money, have enough money for all Kenyans. And if one sack of marijuana is $3.2 million, if you convert that into Kenyan currencies, it is a lot,” he said.

He said there should be no worries about finding a market for the marijuana.

“We are going to export it, not import it. We’re going to grow it and export it. I’m just back from the United States and Canada during my research and trust me, there are so many companies … telling me please we have the market ready here in Canada,” he said.

He said marijuana, which he claimed he has never smoked, remains the country’s gold that needs to be exploited to catalyse the nation’s economic growth.

Mr Wajackoyah also said farming snakes will help supply venom for the manufacture of medicines and for export.

“A lot of people are bitten by snakes in this country and we have to wait for snake doses from outside the country through pharmaceutical corporations,” he said, adding that one way of paying off the national debt “more so those of Chinese is by extracting snake venoms for them”.

e Kenyans free medical services. We are also going to create more employment opportunities,” she said.

Citing countries without written constitutions, Mr Wajackoyah took a jab at the Judiciary, saying that it is the biggest impediment in Kenya’s democratic growth.

“We have countries like Israel, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom which don’t have written constitutions. They welcome conventions,” he said.

 

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