TWO KILLED AFTER SOMALI BANDITS ATTACK MWINGI VILLAGE

 

women learn how to use bows and arrows to defend themselves against Somali bandits

women learn how to use bows and arrows to defend themselves against Somali bandits
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Two people were killed and several left injured in Ukasi area, Mwingi in Kitui County yesterday night by suspected Somali bandits.

The heavily armed bandits are reported to have opened fire on residents at the Kathungu market. The attack occurred just hours after top police commanders led by regional commander Gideon Amalla visited the area and held a meeting with locals, assuring them that security had been beefed up.

The attack comes a day after a similar one left two other people dead.

During the Monday attack, the attackers torched several houses and beheaded two men. the first victim was a 75-year-old man who was sprayed with bullets in Ngooni Village as he attempted to run for safety, he was later beheaded with an axe.

Residents say that the attacks have become rampant and 28 people have been killed so far since 2016.

Six primary schools in Ukasi have remained closed since January after hundreds of families fled their homes and started living in makeshift camps at the Kathungu market.

Area MP Joe Mutambu has accused the government of negligence and asked for a quick intervention in the crisis.

Baringo Attacks

Bandit attacks have also intensified in Baringo county leaving about 2,000 people displaced.

On Sunday, pokot bandits killed a Marakwet man identified as James Cheserek and chopped off his head on Sunday in Kaptora, Marakwet East.

A Kenya Police Reservist was shot and injured by suspected Pokot bandits during an attack at Arabal in Baringo South on Tuesday morning.

“I don’t understand if Baringo is still in Kenya; the way the way our people are killed like this and yet the government seems to drag its feet in putting up measures in place to apprehend the bandits,” said Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi.

 

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LECTURERS DENY LINK BETWEEN STRIKE AND GOVERNMENT PLAN TO QUASH PARALLEL DEGREE PROGRAMMES

 

lecturers strike

lecturers strike

University dons have refuted the government’s allegations that the ongoing strike has something to do with the ministry of education plan to do away with the parallel degree programmes in public universities.

In a statement sent to media houses, UASU National Secretary General Constantine Wasonga said that there’s “no linkage whatsoever between the strike and the plan to scrap off the parallel degree Programme”.

“UASU clarifies that the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) should have been implemented in 2013; and that our initial strike notice was issued before the release of 2016 KCSE results,” Wasonga said.

The lecture’s, who were responding to a statement made by state house spokesman, Manoah Esipisu on Sunday during his weekly briefing, further stated   that they have never been beneficiaries of the funds raised from the parallel programs and urged auditor general Edward Ouko to inform the government how the cash is being used in public varsities countrywide.

Wasonga said that no amount of intimidation or “paramilitary tactics” would compel lecturers to resume work until they sign a return to work formula with the government.

“Our members will not go back to work until they sign return to work formula and the 2013 collective bargaining agreement is implemented. We have just been on strike for a month and we are not in a hurry to end the strike,” said Wasonga

The university lecturers downed their tools on 18th January after giving a one week notice given to the government to address their grievances failed to bear fruits.

 

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UHURU AHEAD OF RAILA IN NEW POLL

ChartPresident Uhuru Kenyatta still enjoys high approval ratings ahead of opposition leader Raila Odinga, a new opinion poll has revealed.

According to the poll by Ipsos, if elections were held today, 47 per cent of Kenyans would vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta while 30 per cent would vote for Cord leader Raila Odinga.

Only 6 per cent of Kenyans would vote for Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka while three per cent would vote for Musalia Mudavadi and less than one per cent for Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula

The survey, which was conducted between January 9 and 26 and which interviewed 2,057 respondents across 42 counties, also revealed that Jubilee was the most popular party with 45 per cent of those interviewed saying they supported Jubilee Party while 34 per cent said they were affiliated to Cord and the National Super Alliance (NASA).

At least eight per cent are undecided on which political party they are  allied to and 11 per cent are not attached to any party. This notwithstanding, they would still vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta. 28 per cent of those not affiliated to any political outfit will vote for Uhuru as well as 24 per cent of the undecided.

 

 

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GOVERNMENT TO ABOLISH PARALLEL DEGREE PROGRAMS

government plans to abolish parallel degree program

government plans to abolish parallel degree program

The government is considering doing away with parallel degree programs in public universities due to lack of accountability of funds collected.

According to state house spokesman, Manoah Esipisu, the option of revoking the parallel degree programs is part of the exam reforms currently being undertaken by the Ministry of Education.

You know with this reform of the exam system, one of the results of that is the potential complete removal of the Parallel structure,” Esipisu said.

“You know very well that there have been issues about accountability in terms of the resources coming out of that parallel structure.” he said

Unlike the regular programme where students are sponsored by the government, which pays 70 per cent of the cost of education through loans from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB),  Parallel degree program students are undertaken self-sponsored .

Parallel degrees were started by the University of Nairobi in 1998 and ten years later, the programme was extended to all the seven public universities. The number of students joining the programme has presently outnumbered those in the regular programme.

Esipisu also linked the program to the looming lecturer’s strike, which has paralysed learning in public universities.

“The absence of funding from that parallel structure obviously is something that needs to be looked at in terms of the underlying reasons for the current problems,” he said.

Most universities generate billions of shillings through the parallel programme with some using the monies to pay staff and run certain programmes.

However, Last year public universities suffered a major blow following a dismal performance in the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), which saw only 88,929 candidates attain the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above, dealing a natural death to the parallel programmes since this meant that all those who qualified would be admitted under the government-funded programme, leaving no single candidate to be enrolled under the parallel programme.

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GOVERNMENT TO START TAPPING YOUR PHONE CALLS

 

government to start tapping phonecalls

government to start tapping phonecalls

The government, through the Communications Authority (CA) is seeking to install devices on all mobile networks in the country that will enable the state to listen, read and track any communication made by wananchi.

In a letter written to all the major telecommunications namely, Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom Kenya, The authority is seeking have the service providers allow its agents to install the devices “black boxes” in their data centers or mobile switching rooms thus enabling them to gain access to all information transacted on your phone.

A private company by the name broadband communications has been contracted by CA to oversee the installation, and the process is expected to kick off from Tuesday next week.

Through the device, the government will able to monitor among other things your location, duration of the call, the identity of the recipient and your Mpesa details.

The Communication Authority has however denied the allegations that the system, the Device Management System (DMS), is aimed at snooping on citizen’s personal data saying that it will only be used to switch off counterfeit phones on the networks.

The system aims at preventing access to mobile services by illegal communication devices and not to access subscriber personal information details,” said Rachel Alwala, CA spokesperson.

Mobile operators have already expressed their reservations over the DMS solution in fear of legal suits that might trickle over the loss of customer privacy data especially since the third party company contracted to install the devices does not bear any responsibility to protect customer confidentiality.

“As in the past, we maintain our commitment to protect our customers & their right to privacy,” read a tweet on Safaricom’s handle.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) has criticized the move by the government saying it’s unconstitutional adding that the communications authority will open up private data to the staff of other government agencies like the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Kenya Bureau Of Standards (KEBS) and the Kenya anti-counterfeit agency among others.

“This system will compromise consumer privacy and monitor calls and texts while exposing consumers to higher billing and occasion poor quality services,” said.Cofek Secretary General Stephen Mutoro.

 

 

 

 

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