UHURU ASKS GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS LINKED TO CORRUPTION TO STEP DOWN

Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Parliament

Uhuru Kenyatta addressing Parliament

President Uhuru Kenyatta has in a bid to tame the massive corruption that has rocked his government, asked all public officials, who have adversely been linked with graft to step aside and pave way for investigation.

Uhuru, who was addressing the nation during his official parliamentary State of the Nation address, maintained that his administration expects the highest standard of integrity from those that hold high office.

“The time has come to send a strong signal to the country that my administration will accept nothing less than the highest standard of integrity from those that hold high office,” he said.

“Consequently, I hereby direct that all officials of the national and county governments that are adversely mentioned in this report, whether you are a Cabinet secretary, principal secretary, or chief executive of a state institution, to immediately step aside pending conclusion of the investigations of the allegations against them. I expect the other arms of government, namely the Legislature and the Judiciary, to do the same,” he added. “

Uhuru said that he had handed over a report on graft, which contains a “catalogue of allegations of high-level corruption touching on all arms and levels of government to the speaker of National Assembly Justus Muturi.

The report was handed over to the president by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Mr Halakhe Waqo.

The list of shame, as Kenyans are now referring to the report, is said to include all 26 members of the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament, among other MPs, heads of parastatals and various principal secretaries.

Lands cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu, labour CS Kazungu Kambi and Energy CS Davies Chirchir are among leaders who have been linked to corruption scandals and are being probed by the EACC.

Section 132 of the constitution mandates the president to address a special sitting of parliament once every year and also to report, address the nation, on all measures taken and the progress achieved in the realization of the national values and governance.

Kenyans have lauded the move by the president and everyone is waiting anxiously to see the next move.

 

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WHY KENYANS ARE AMONG AFRICA’S HAPPIEST

Why are Kenyans happy?

Why are Kenyans happy?

Kenyans were recently named second, among the happiest people in Africa after Rwanda, by a new study. Worldwide, the country ranks 33 out of 143 countries on the Gullup Happiness Index 2014.

For a country where the popular slogan ‘’Navumilia kuwa mkenya”/am just persevering to be Kenyan is common, owing  to the rather tough cost of living and other issues affecting us, one might just wonder what really makes us happy.

Well, this article seeks to explore the things that provide Kenyans with an oasis of comfort and according to the views of some young Kenyans; the following play a key role in giving them happiness.

KENYA IS A PEACEFUL COUNTRY

Despite the rising cases of insecurity in the country, Kenya is naturally a peaceful country compared to neighboring countries like Sudan, which was even ranked in the same study as theunhappiest country in the world.

Living in a peaceful country, free from war, goes a long way in providing Kenyans with something to be proud about.

CULTURAL DIVERSITY

Kenya has 42 tribes and even though tribalism is widespread, we still celebrate each other’s cultures. The cultural theme nights namely; Kamba, Luo, Luhya and Mugithi nights, which are held in the country to celebrate the cultures of respective tribes, can actually illustrate this. There are dozens of Kikuyu’s and Luhyas for instance, who will flock to a Luo cultural event and vice versa, just to share in the fun.

Again there are some character traits, which are only distinctiveto people from certain tribes and these have provided Kenyans with something to tease each other about. If you are quite observant, you will notice, if you haven’t already, that tribal jokes are the most popular in the comedy industry.

Luhya’s for instance are always being teased about their rather humongous appetite and the comical relief brought about when Luo’s are mocked about their extravagance and pompous lifestyles is overly hilarious.

Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity

GENEROSITY

Kenyans have proven over time that regardless of their strained pockets, giving for a worthy cause indeed gives them satisfaction. This can be witnessed in the popular social causes like the Kenyans For Kenyans Initiative, the Matter Heart Runand the First Lady’s Marathon, where Kenyans come together regardless of their tribal or political affiliations to run for a worthy cause.

TECHNOLOGY

That Kenyans are tech savvy is without a doubt and technology has made life interestingto Kenyans. Social Media sites in particular have provided avenues to air out grievances, share ideas and simply interact and unlike in the past for instance where Kenyans using public transport to commute to work would spend most of the journey dozing off in traffic, nowadays people are always engaged on phones and it’s easy to notice faces beaming with smiles mostly out of an interesting chat they are having or a funny joke they have come across.

SOCIAL EVENTS

Kenyans love to party and a recent poll actually revealed that we have overtaken Uganda in this. Social events, which have become so popular ranging from the popular Blankets and Wine,the KCB Safari Rally, tothe Rugby events notably the Kabeberi Sevens, Masaku Sevens and Prinsloo Sevens, which have somewhat become national events, usually offer Kenyans with avenues to unwind, party and socialize and with the last two being held in different towns away from the city, the idea of having a road trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city is always thrilling.

Lastly, Kenyans tend to have this comical approach to issues and it sort of helps in diminishing stress.

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UPROAR AGAINST ‘RACIST’ CHINESE RESTAURANT IN NAIROBI

a Chinese restaurant in Kilimani in trouble over racism

a Chinese restaurant at Kilimani in trouble over racism

There has been a public uproar from Kenyans following the news that a Chinese restaurant located in Nairobi’s Kilimani area is blatantly discriminating against Africans.

According to an Article by Njoki Chege on the Nation Newspaper, which brought the issue to the limelight after some journalists were barred from entering the restaurant, Chongqing Chinese restaurant does not allow Africans admission after 5pm. The management is reported to have introduced the “no-African after 5pm” policy because Africans pose a security threat to its Chinese patrons.

Kenyans, who were totally appalled by such racism being undertaken against Africans in an African nation, took to social media to condemn the restaurant under the trending hashags ; #RacistRestaurant, #NoBlacksHere, The Chinese and people have been mobilizing to storm the restaurant in protest.

Below are some of the remarks;

ENyandong: No! Someone recently said this country has been sold to the Chinese. Do we need any other evidence? #NoBlacksHere

Wairimu Ndoria-sauter: Shut it down

Arthur De La’Rey: I say this is our motherland and if we allow ourselves to be treated like second class citizens, where else shall we go? Where else shall we say we are free from discrimination? We need to put an end to this. It’s a free country and I as a Kenyan I should be free to go anywhere I please/want!! So out with the Chinese.

Ivy KarugiThis is our fault, in Kenya foreigners tend to have more rights than we do and its time we took our power back!!

11069881_10155390917265204_4023456061134238110_nNO LICENSE

In another twist to the saga, it turns out that the Chinese restaurant was even operating without a license.

The restaurant owner, Zhao Yang, was arrested yesterday and charged with operating a restaurant illegally, contrary to Kenya’s tourism laws. He was released on a police bond of Sh50,000 and is set to appear in court on Thursday.

“Zhao Yang, the proprietor of Chinese Restaurant has been found to operate a restaurant without a license contrary to Section 112 (1) (a) as read with Section 112 (2) of the Tourism Act, 2011,” read a charge sheet prepared by the Tourist Police office in Nairobi.

RESIDENTS ONLY

Chongqing Chinese Restaurant Managing Director, Jinke Xie, has through a press statement said that they have a policy that only allows residents to be accommodated at the hotel after 5pm as a security measure prompted after a recent robbery incident at the facility.

“We are a new establishment and our principal focus of business is to source tourists from China and take them to various attractions in the country.

The facility is their stop before we take them to Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli among others,” said Xie in a statement yesterday. He said the restaurant is open to all clients who use the facility by day, but is open only to residents in the evening, who are nearly always exclusively Chinese,” reads a section of the statement.

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SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN KENYA ON THE RISE FROM UNLIKELY SOURCES

Sexual harassment on the rise in Kenya

Sexual harassment on the rise in Kenya

The rise in the number of rape incidents in the country are disturbing and even more appalling is the new wave of sexual harassment of women by honorable members of parliament.

The latest incident is the saga involving Imenti Central MP Gideon Mwiti, who is accused of raping a married woman at his office in Westlands on Saturday night.

According to the victim, who is currently receiving treatment at Nairobi women’s hospital, she had gone to meet the MP in his office to sign a contract, whereby she will be managing his public relations. Mwiti allegedly forced her to take an HIV test, which was done by a doctor who was in the vicinity, before the MP physically assaulted her and raped her.

Mwiti has however refuted the accusations and maintained that he is ready to take a medical test to prove his innocence.

The crime was reported at the Parklands police station and police are investigating the matter.

Hot on the heels of this incident is another similar occurrence surrounding a member of a parliamentary committee.

Taita Taveta women Representative Joyce Lay has claimed that turbo MP Elisha Busienei became violent and abusive towards her after she refused his sexual advances. The two are members of the defense and foreign affairs committee and were part of a presidential entourage accompanying president Uhuru in a state visit to Japan last week.

According to Joyce,who aired her grievances on the committee’s Whatsapp group, Busienei blocked her way to her room and started insinuating that she gets into his room instead and after resisting him, he called her “useless”.

MP FIRES WOMAN AFTER TURNING DOWN SEXUAL ADVANCES

Taita Taveta women rep Joyce Lay

Taita Taveta women rep Joyce Lay

Early this month, a woman who was working as a secretary for Juja MP Francis Waititu,accused him offiring her after she turned down his sexual advances.

Susan Wambui, who accused the MP of firing her through a text message, went ahead to display text messages allegedly sent by the MP. As is the golden rule when caught in such murky waters; DENY! DENY! Waititu dismissed the accusations and challenged Wambui to produce signed documents showing that she was his employee.

Well, these are just a few incidents of sexual harassments where victims have spoken out and brought them to the public limelight but we can be certain that the occurrences are much more widespread.

The sad bit is that in such cases of sexual harassment involving politicians, the victims are usually intimidated and even threatened in the most extreme circumstances and  hence speaking out is never an option, the only alternative is to suffer in silence.

Last year, Bumula Ward MCA, Henry Nyongesa was accused of impregnating a schoolgirl and later helping her procure abortion. Following pressure from Human Rights groups The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered for Nyongesa’simmediate arrest.

Nyongesahad allegedly  been frustrating and preventing the law from taking its course by bribing the police and had  even paid the family of the minor a huge amount of money to drop the case and deny that such a thing ever happened.

It’s disgraceful, barbaric and immoral when a man feels like he can violate a woman sexually at will, just because he can. It’s so perturbing to imagine that the above incidents have occurred to maturewomen who command authority in the society and this leaves one at a loss to comprehend on what  just happens to the under privileged  girls and women who either lack the courage or the resources and even muscles to confront their oppressors.

Victims of rape or sexual harassment in Kenya hardlyget justice mainly due to lack of enough evidence to have the perpetrators convicted and shoddy investigations which end up leaving victims more frustrated and maybe it’s about time this shameful legislators, get convicted for their  crimes, in order to serve as an example to their fellow crooks.

 

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COLLAPSE OF KNH’S RADIOTHERAPY MACHINES SHOULD BE A WAKE UP CALL TO THE GOVERNMENT

Kenya struggle to treat cancer surge (PHOTO REUTERS)

Kenya struggle to treat cancer surge (PHOTO REUTERS)

Article by Winnie Kabintie

The cancer crisis in the country has been an issue of concern for a long time and I think it’s about time the government steps up and urgently for that matter to control the situation before it gets completely out of hand.

Early this year, in an article titled, THE DIRE CANCER CRISIS IN KENYA, the Kenya Forum highlighted the plight of cancer patients in Kenya, who are forced to contend with inaccessible medical attention due to inadequate facilities in the public health sector.

In the same month, The Daily Nation Newspaper in an article by Pauline Kairu, also brought to the fore the cancer catastrophe in the country, revealing that dozens of desperate cancer patients from across the nation flock the waiting room of the cancer unit in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), hoping for a chance to get medical attention, yet majority will never get a chance to go through radiotherapy as patients can wait up to one year for their turn, simply because the strained facilities at the hospital.

KNH is the only public health facility offering radiotherapy in the country and dozens of patients from all the 47 counties flock the hospital seeking treatment. In January, medics at the hospital said that the facility, which only has two oncology machines, was totally strained and even revealed that even they could only handle 30 per cent of all the patients needing treatment at the moment with the rest (more than 1,000) being forced to wait until 2016.

It’s a known fact that if detected early 30% of cancer is curable, while 30% of cancers are treatable with prolonged survival. Sadly for most cancer patients who can only afford treatment in KNH, their hope is grim because  with one being forced to wait in line for a whole year, by the time they are scheduled for radiotherapy, the disease will be at an advanced stage.

KNH SUSPENDS RADIOTHERAPY

As if that was not bad enough, KNH suspended radiotherapy treatment at the facility on Monday after the two RT machines broke down due to overworking. One machine is designated to handle between 8 to 10 patients a day but was handling up to 150 patients due to the overwhelming number of patients in need of treatment.

With the other three out of the four radiation centers in the country being in private hospitals, which charge between Sh5, 000 and Sh10, 000 per session, they remain out of reach to majority of patients.

Health secretary James Macharia announced that the government was in talks with Aga Khan and MP Shah Hospitals to treat cancer patients at subsidized rates following the breakdown of radiotherapy machines at KNH.

Nairobi Hospital has reportedly agreed to offer radiotherapy treatment to 50 patients each week for free.

Cancer is now the number three cause of death in Kenya; after infectious and cardiovascular diseases but doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) say that the disease is the number one killer at the facility.

NEW CASES OF CANCER ON THE RISE

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO), the number of new cases will approximately rise by about 70 per cent over the next two decades and that can only mean that going by the current situation, the cancer crisis in Kenya will only get worse.

Government statistics indicate an increase in deaths from cancer recently, climbing from 11,995 in 2010 to 12,574 in 2012 and 13,720 in 2013.

Plans have been “underway” for the longest time to establish a Cancer Centre in KNH that will accommodate more radiotherapy machines but four years down the line, Kenyans are still waiting.

In addition, Sh 500 per session for RT is also not affordable for majority of Kenyans seeking treatment in public hospitals considering that even the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), mainly the medical cover that most citizens can at least afford, does not cover for this as radiotherapy is categorized under outpatient services. The cost should therefore be subsidized in the near future so that it can be more affordable to the ordinary citizens whose unemployment rate stands at above 40 per cent.

The Health sector has suffered a myriad of challenges and especially with devolution and it’s about time the government puts its priorities in order.

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