Monday, Sep 28, 2020
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The coronavirus death toll in Kenya hit a 700 mark after nine more people succumbed to the disease.

The deaths were against 60 patients who recovered from the virus, raising the total recoveries to 24, 681. 34 patients were from home-based care programme while 24 were from various health facilities.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that 1, 107 samples were collected in the past hours and 53 people turned out to be positive.

Monday’s record brings the total number of COVID-10 infections in the country to 38,168.

Nairobi and Meru Coutied tied at 11 cases in Monday’s results.

The rest are as follow; Kiambu 6, Uasin Gishu 6, Nakuru 4, Kajiado 3, Garissa 2, Busia 2, Laikipia 2, Machakos 2, Makueni 1, Embu 1, Kisumu 1 and Kwale 1.

In terms of Sub County Distribution; the 11 cases in Nairobi, are from Embakasi West and Lang’ata (2) cases each, Embakasi South, Kasarani, Kibra, Makadara, Roysambu, Starehe and Westlands (1) case each.

In Meru, the 11 cases are from Igembe North (9), Imenti North and Imenti South (1) case each.

According to CS Kagwe, the country has conducted 541,415 samples since the outbreak on March 13.

With the debate raging over Chief Justice David Maraga’s advisory to dissolve the two Houses of Parliament over failure to enact the two-thirds gender rule, Kenyans have judged their legislators harshly in a recent Infotrak Kenyan Elected leader’s performance index survey, saying their performance was below the bar.

The survey conducted between November and December 2019 and January 2020 sought to understand the general performance of Governors, Senators, Members of Parliament, Women representatives, and Members of County Assemblies (MCA).

It was on a scale of one to ten the legislatures were ranked where one was extremely poor whereas ten was excellent and according to the research firm, at least 114 MPs out of 290 scored below 50 percent.

Among the bottom ten of the 290 MPs include Kangema’s Clement Kigano who scored 36.3 percent at position 289 followed by Molo’s Francis Kimani at 37 per cent and Bura MP Ali Wario who polled 37.6 percent. Other lowly performing MPs were Wajir South Mohamed Sheikh 38.1 percent, Lari’s Jonah Mburu 38.2 percent, Mwingi North’s Paul Nzengu 39.3 percent, Subukia’s Samwel Kinuthia 39.6 percent and Ndhiwa’s Martin Owino at 40 percent.

Gathoni Wamuchomba ranked as the worst performer in the women reps category with 39 percent followed by Trans Nzoia’s Janet Nangabo at 39.6 percent.

On the flip side, Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba has emerged the best performing MP scoring 75.4 percent.

Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ng’eno is the country’s second best performing MP with a score of 71.4 percent followed by Mwala MP Vincent Musyoka, who scored 70.8 percent.

Kisumu Woman Representative Rosa Buyu emerged as the best performing female in the Woman representative category with 61.5 percent.

Overall, male MPs performed better than their female counterparts with an average score of 55.4 percent against 47.7 percent.

Regional Ranking

In the regional ranking category, Kabete MP James Kamu emerged the best in the Central region with 66.5 percent,  Mathira’s Rigathi Gachagua at 61.6 percent followed by Kikuyu’s Kimani Ichungwa with 60 percent.

In the Coastal region, Benjamin Tayari of Kinangop topped with 62.9 while Khatib Mwashetani tied with the late Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori at 61.7 percent.

Speaking during the release of the survey, Infotrak Chief Executive Officer Angela Ambitho said the survey was designed on the premise that public perception and performance approval of political leaders was largely determined by the politician’s engagement.

Further, the rating also reflected a leader’s critical understanding on what resonates with their constituents.

Ambitho said factors considered by the constituents included an MP’s prowess and eloquence in parliamentary debates, handling of public finances such as Constituency Development Funds (CDF), personal touch, interpersonal skills and charisma.

The survey was the kind of synthesis that the respondents in this study used to gauge the performance of their elected leaders that the electorate will use in determining whom to elect in the next general elections.

Sirisia Member of Parliament John Waluke together with his co-accused Grace Wakhungu have been released on Ksh30 million cash bail.

It is a temporary relief for MP Waluke who in the ruling, the Milimani Law Court Judge John Onyiengo ordered him to pay Ksh10 million, pending appeal of his jail sentence in a multimillion shilling scandal.

His co-accused Wakhungu on the other hand was released on Ksh20 million pending determination of her appeal.

Their reprieve comes two days after the Court pushed their hearing on bail application to Monday, in what the it said was due to the fumigation exercise that taking place at the premises.

They applied for a bail claiming that they were ill, much of the DPP who argued they had not proven enough to show their sickness.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji had protested for the two not to be freed..

 “These conditions are usually managed as outpatient unless any complications arise. However, as it is now, their health condition can adequately be managed in our medical facilities,” Ogallo replied to Haji’s letter dated July 27.

Waluke was sentenced to 67 years in jail in June, or pay a fine of Ksh707 million after conviction over a Ksh297 million scandal.

It was the same sentence declared for his co-accused Wakhungu. Their company Erad General Suppliers was convicted and sentenced.

Health care workers at the Kenyatta National Hospital Monday downed their tools, leaving medical services at the country’s largest health facility paralysed amid flaring coronavirus cases in the country.

Their rage to stage protest was occasioned by staffers who accused the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) of failing to approve the Ksh.301 million passed by the National Assembly. The amount was also given a nod by the Treasury in 2012.

“What we want is to see SRC give that letter, advising Kenyatta National Hospital to effect payment of that money to all affected employees and thereafter the strike will be called off,” said Seth Panyako, Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General.

In 2012 the state corporation advisory committee evaluated all parastatals in Kenya including referral hospitals such as KNH which they upgraded from level 3B to 7A, thus elevating all the 7000 employees to a different salary scale.

The hospital’s management board in 2019, approached Treasury seeking funds to implement the new salary figures for the health workers.

Treasury set aside Ksh.2.4 billion and handed over Ksh.601 million to KNH early this year.

Salary scales for all job categories were factored in and improved, for instance, those in job group K1 earning slightly over Ksh.191, 000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.318, 566.

Those in job group K3 earning slightly above Ksh.141, 000 would now earn a minimum of Ksh.211, 793 while those in job group K13 earning Ksh.23, 810 were now entitled to a minimum salary of Ksh.27, 509.

The Sarah Serem-led-committee has, however, failed to implement the process saying the re-categorization was only meant to move the hospital to a higher category but did not involve any salary review.

Under the umbrellas of Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) and Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied workers (KUDHEIHA) – initiated a go-slow on September 25 morning outside the facility.

The disruption of health services at KNH has since left Kenyans to seek medical attention elsewhere.

Nakuru County Governor Lee Kinyanjui signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Monday with Mkulima Young Market to enable free online service delivery of agricultural products.

The partnership will see the County residents connect with the platform which is aimed at connecting buyers and sellers of agricultural products.

“I signed an MOU with the organisation & I am glad that this digital platform will enable farmers reach potential buyers directly.” Said Governor Kinyanjui.

According to the Governor, the digital platform is attractive to youthful farmers and will  provide opportunities to enhance market accessibility by farmers.

The County has shifted focus to a digital space, with the ability to harmonise agricultural production in a move seen to target ballooning digital and internet demand in the country.

On August 23, Nakuru County in partnership with Hello Tractor, launched a mobile farmer school that will be used as a training facility to help farmers understand the benefits of mechanization in food production.

It is aimed at helping an increase in efficiency by reducing drudgery as well as saving time and improving the quality of produce.

Hello Tractor is an agricultural technology company that uses mobile technology to help tractor owners manage their equipment and helps small farmers connect with these tractor owners through a digital market place.

Speaking during the launch of the school at KALRO Njoro, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries CECM, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said the school will help farmers decipher the importance of mechanized food production to increase yield in addition to using certified seeds.

Through the partnership, they have been upscaling to ensure farmers get affordable and timely tractor services to boost their productivity and income.

This is aimed at increasing the availability of tractor services to farmers which will increase food production and encourage more investors in agricultural mechanization and agribusiness.

A court in the United States has put an injunction into an order by the US government which sort to block TikTok from being download in the country.

It is a temporary reprieve that will see the app continue operating in the US amid growing trade war with China.

Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store were going to pull down the app from their merchandise by midnight Sunday and existing US-based users would not have been able to have continued using it.

According to the BBC report, US citizens would not have been in a position to download the app again once deleted nor receive software updates.

“We’re pleased that the court agreed with our legal arguments and issued an injunction preventing the implementation of the TikTok app ban,” it said in a statement, as reported by the BBC.

TikTok had argued that forcing it off the iOS and Android app stores would have violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the US constitution.

US President Donald Trump refused to extend his September 15, 2020 deadline for Bytedance – Mother Company of TikTok.

The App is caught in a clash between the U.S. and China, as Trump ramps up his pressure campaign on China ahead of what promises to be a hotly contested presidential election on November 3rd.

At stake is TikTok’s growing U.S. operation, currently valued at up to KSh. 3.25 trillion ($30 billion), according to Nikkei Asian Review. 

U.S. officials have criticized TikTok’s security and privacy practices, suggesting that user data collected through the app might be shared with the Chinese government.

The bail ruling application filed by Sirisia Member of Parliament John Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu has been pushed to September 28.

The Milimani Law Courts Justice John Onyiego pushed the hearing to next week due to the fumigation exercise that was taking place at the Court premises.

They applied for a bail claiming that they were ill, much of the DPP who argued they had not proven enough to show their sickness.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji argued the two should not be released on bail.

Correspondences between the DPP and Commissioner General of Prisons Wycliffe Ogallo revealed that Waluke has hypertension, arthritis and diabetes while Wakhungu has arthritis and hypertension.

“These conditions are usually managed as outpatient unless any complications arise. However, as it is now, their health condition can adequately be managed in our medical facilities,” Ogallo replied to Haji’s letter dated July 27.

Waluke was sentenced to 67 years in jail in June, or pay a fine of Ksh707 million after conviction over a Ksh297 million scandal.

It was the same sentence declared for his co-accused Wakhungu. Their company Erad General Suppliers was convicted and sentenced.

The sentence followed a conviction after the prosecution proved the two irregularly received Ksh300 million from the National Cereals and Produce Board in 2004.

By PSCU | President Uhuru Kenyatta has commended the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) for its role in the renewal of key infrastructure projects across the country.

The President thanked KDF for the successful rehabilitation of the Nairobi to Nanyuki and the ongoing works on the Nakuru to Kisumu railway lines as well as the renewal of the Kisumu Port.

“We also recognize the contribution that our Defense Forces continue to make to our country as a whole, especially in utilizing their skills and assets to spearhead selected strategic development projects.

“The rehabilitation works on the Nairobi to Nanyuki meter gauge railway line, the work done by Navy Engineers in the rehabilitation of the Kisumu Port, and the ongoing work on Nakuru to Kisumu line; are a few of such projects the Defence Forces have executed with excellence. For this reason, we are, indeed, proud of your contribution to the realization of the Vision 2030 journey,” the President said.

The Head of State spoke Thursday at the KDF’s Recruits Training School in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County during a pass out parade.

At the same time, President Kenyatta challenged Kenyans especially Government institutions to emulate the efficiency exhibited by the military in implementation of public projects.

“I urge all Kenyans and, indeed, all Government Agencies, to emulate this commitment of excellence from the Kenya Defence Forces,” he said.

The Head of State applauded the military for its contribution to national and regional security saying KDF had achieved good progress in the fight against terrorism.

Beyond regional security and stability, the President said KDF continues to make the country proud by excelling at regional, continental and global levels.

“The continuous participation of our military in these missions reflects the confidence that the international community, through the United Nations and the Security Council, in particular, has in our Nation’s Defence Forces. This, indeed, is a true testimony of the high standards of our military training and professionalism,” he noted.

To the new soldiers, the Head of State advised them to put professionalism and patriotism ahead of any other consideration as they discharge their mandate of guarding the country.

“We are charging you with the duty of protecting this nation from assailants and intruders…The training you have undergone is to empower you with the skills necessary to solve this problem…I urge you to apply yourselves in the most patriotic and professional manner at all times,” the President told the new service men and women.

The President noted with satisfaction the growing number of women joining KDF saying his commitment as the Head of State was to ensure equal opportunities for all Kenyans.

“It is important for these young women, working alongside men, to find meaning and purpose in their work. When these young men and women joined the Kenya Defense Forces, from all parts of this great nation, they became one cohesive family,” he said.

As part of the eleborate ceremony attended by the entire top military command led by the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Robert Kariuki Kibochi, the President awarded outstanding performers during the 8-month training.

Gabriel Kipanga and Lawrence Mutua from Kenya Army were awarded trophies for the best and second best recruits respectively while Miriam Cherono of Kenya Navy bagged the best female award. Brian Njeru of Kenya Navy won the award for the best combat marksman.

The pass out parade was attended by Defence Cabinet Secretary Dr Monica Juma, Governor Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu) and Governor Alex Tolgos (Elgeyo Marakwet).

Also present were Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya among other senior Government officials.

Kenya, the second country in Africa has now been given a green light to take part in human trials for the coronavirus vaccine.

The trials will be championed the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) which will be working closely with the Oxford University of the United Kingdom.

The trials will be for the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine on 40 Kenyans who have volunteered to take part in the trials.

Kenya’s Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PSB), Ministry of Health, the National Commission for Science Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) have issued trial approvals.

“Those who will be involved in the trials…their health and well-being will not be affected,” said KEMRI Director General Prof. Kombe Yeri.

Researchers had to carefully extract a component of genetic material from a COVID-19 virus and insert it into the genetic material of the adenovirus, the specific component being said to stimulate the human body’s immune response.

So far 8, 000 volunteers have received the vaccine in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa.

On September 9, the Ministry of Health said 4,000 Kenyans will be recruited to take part in phased clinical trials for a COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

“We are on track with the trials which are at phase 3 which is advanced. We shall recruit some 30,000 people to undertake the trails,” said Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman.

The vaccine to combat the pandemic, which AstraZeneca is developing with the University of Oxford, has been described by the World Health Organization (WHO) as probably the world’s leading candidate and the furthest developed.

The High on Thursday overturned an advisory by the Chief Justice David Maraga to dissolve the Houses of Parliament for failing to enact the two-thirds gender rule.

It is a major reprieve for Members of Parliament after the High Court Justice Weldon Korir temporarily suspended the advisory, pending hearing and determination of a petition filed by two Kenyan citizens Leina Konchellah and Mohsen Abdul Munasar.

“I, therefore, find that the petitioners’ Notice of Motion and I allow it so that a conservatory order is issued for the preservation of the status quo on the advice by the Chief Justice to the President pending the inter-parties hearing of the petitioners’ application,” ordered Justice Korir.

In his ruling, Justice Korir warned that some of the actions the President could take, should he answer the CJ’s call, could be encompassed by irreversible events.

“The President is not bound by timelines and he can even act on the advice of the Chief Justice today. Once the President acts, irreversible events may follow.

The High Court made the ruling moments after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) through its President Nelson Havi issued a presser asking 416 MPs to vacate parliament building on or before October 12, for failing to enact the two-thirds gender law.

According to Havi, failure by the MPs to vacate the building will be in contravention of the constitution and would call for an action by lawyers to storm both Houses to block lawmakers from discharging their duties.

“Any legislative authority exercised by Parliament after the expiry date will be without the authority of Kenyans,” said Havi.

In a letter to Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, LSK said no parliamentarian should conduct government duties and asked the IG to withdraw their security detail.

“No financial burden shall lie on the Kenyan taxpayer should Parliament persist in exercising authority in violation of the Constitution after the 12th of October 2020. They shall not get a salary. Man shall not eat where he has not laboured,” he added.

Setting aside the advisory, Justice Korir ruled that the CJ will have to appoint the panel to hear the matter even though he is the first respondent in the matter.

According to justice Korir, it was important to note that it’s in the public’s interest not to subject the country to parliamentary elections before exhausting interrogations of the CJ’s actions.

He said the CJ’s advisory purported to address the women’s positions in the legislative leadership as a matter of implementation of the constitution through legislation.