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Ababu Namwamba vows to launch Talanta Hela despite court order

Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts, Mr Ababu Namwamba, has indicated that preparations for the launch of the Talanta Hela programme are on course, despite a court order suspending the process.

Namwamba spoke on Tuesday after chairing a meeting of the planning committee to assess the readiness for the official launch of the programme by President William Ruto on June 2, 2023.

In a statement after the meeting, Namwamba said the initiative, a flagship project of the Kenya Kwanza government, aims at monetizing talent using existing government institutions, including the Kenya Academy of Sports and Kenya Film School to build.

“We are collaborating with the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of ICT to ensure that we are able to identify talents from schools and the communities from all corners of our republic,” Namwamba said.

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The planning committee assured the Cabinet Secretary that the preparations for the launch of the programme are on course as planned.

On May 22, 2023, High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi suspended the establishment of the Talanta Hela programme created by President Ruto in February 2023.

The programme has two councils, one for creative/entertainers and the other for sports. Mr Namwamba handpicked his council members including prominent celebrities such as TikToker Azziad Nasenya and musician Akothee. Comedian Churchill Ndambuki and blogger Dennis Itumbi also made the list.

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However, these appointments caused a stir because it remained unknown the criteria Namwamba used.

Consequently, a petition was filed by Charles Mugane against the Talanta Hela programme, citing legal and constitutional flaws. The petitioner also said the appointments were based on the popularity of the council members and not merit.

The court order now bars these appointees from participating or assuming any duties in the council.

Judge Mugambu gave Mr Namwamba and Attorney General Justin Muturi 14 days to respond to the matter.

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