GOVERNOR PETER MUNYA REPLACES ISAAC RUTTO AS HEAD OF GOVERNORS’ COUNCIL

Peter Munya the new Chairman

Peter Munya the new CoG Chairman

Meru Governor Peter Munya is now chairman of the Council of Governors (CoG) after he was successfully elected by fellow governors yesterday.

Munya takes over from Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto while Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya remains the vice chairman with Marsabit counterpart Ukur Yattani taking over the position of CoG whip from Ken Lusaka, the governor for Bungoma.

Lusaka will now be the liaison for media and communication. The election was through a consensus.

The outspoken Munya, was elected owing to his boldness in defending devolution and is seen as the best placed candidate to fit the role of his predecessor. He will serve as chairman of the CoG for the next one year.

He vowed to stay the course that his predecessor Bomet’s Isaac Ruto charted.

Three other governors namely, Wycliffe Oparanya (kakamega), Salim Mvurya (Kwale) and Ahamed Abdulahhi Mohammed (Wajir) had expressed interests to contend for the position and had to be talked out of the race in order to avoid a divisive poll.

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KMC TO PAY SH 22 MILLION TO FORMER EMPLOYEES

Kenya Meat Commission

Kenya Meat Commission

After three years of waiting, three former employees of the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) got some Justice yesterday after the institution was ordered to pay them Sh 22 million for unfair dismissal.

According to employment and Labour Relation Court Principal Judge, Justice Mathew Nderi Nduma who issued the order, the commission failed to follow the law while terminating the employment of the three employees who had served as senior accountants. The three were irregularly dismissed in 2011.

Former Internal Auditor Peter Mwangangi, Livestock manager Patrick Ekodere and Accountant Benjamin Kituku were awarded Sh9, 897,096, Sh5, 589,381, Sh4, 906,488 respectively. The judge upheld the submission of the claimant’s lawyer Patrick Lutta to the effect that the termination of their employment was substantially and procedurally unfair. Justice Nduma said that the board as demonstrated by Lutta did not try to grant the three an opportunity to be heard and was unrepentant in that regard by saying that internal procedures permitted the deviation.

FAIR HEARING

“The respondent blatantly admitted that it did not have to observe provisions of the employment act and that it did not therefore issue the claimants with a notice to show cause nor give them a hearing,” the judge said in the judgment delivered by judge Hellen Wasilwa. The court said that employment law supersedes internal procedures as the Act provides minimum standards to be observed by every employer.

In the suit, Mwangangi had told the court that he was employed on September 30, 2008 as an accountant for a period of three years and in October 1 the same year; he was promoted to the position of a Chief Accountant due to dedication to work. On July 12, 2011, his employment was however terminated by the board on grounds that he failed to manage, control and account for most of KMC finances. “Audited accounts for financial year 2010 were found clean thereby vindicating my good performance as the chief accountant,” Mwangangi said.

Ekodere on the other hand was dismissed on July 12 on grounds of under performance, ineptitude and incompetence. In his defense, he maintained that the accusations were unfounded as his contract had been renewed based on his good performance and therefore the termination was malicious.

“The alleged grounds were unfounded as I was not given an opportunity to defend myself,” Ekodere said. Kituku on his defense said he was accused by the board of under performance, inability to manage and failure to provide the board with data relating to the operations of KMC yet there was no documented evidence.

Kenya has various Acts Of Parliament, which form the labour legislation framework for the country. These include the Employment Act (Cap. 226); Regulation of Wages and Conditions of Employment Act among others and it’s crucial for employees to acquaint themselves with the law in order to safeguard rights against malpractice in the workplace.

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PENTECOSTAL CHURCH TEACHINGS HELPING GIRLS TO AVOID EARLY PREGNANCIES

Protestants

Teenage pregnancy less in protestants

Parents with girls should consider having them actively engaged in Pentecostal churches, if findings of a new study are anything to go by.

According to the study by the University of Southampton UK, which was published in the Journal Reproductive Health, religious girls from protestant churches are unlikely to get early pregnancies compared to those from the Catholic Church, Muslims and those who are non-religious.

The researchers arrived at their findings by carrying out a detailed analysis of the most recent (2008/2009) demographic and health surveys from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

According to the data, out of all women who had a first pregnancy by the time they were 16 years, 15.4 per cent were Muslims, 10 per cent Catholics and 6.5 were Protestants. Of the girls who got pregnant by the age of 20, 56.9 were Muslims, 55.3 per cent Catholics and Protestants at 44.9 per cent.

“In Kenya girls who stated that they were Muslims or Catholics have higher percentages of adolescent first births than Protestants and those who state they are of no religion have markedly higher percentage of adolescent births.” The report says.

The Nyanza region recorded the highest concentration of young mothers in Kenya; Western Uganda had the highest in the country while in Tanzania, the Tabora region takes the lead.

Coincidentally, the findings of the link between religion and early sex among teenagers by the UK study resonates with those of another study by Kyalo wa Ngula of Nazarene university and the University of Central Florida; PREDICTORS OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR AMONG CHURCH-GOING YOUTHS IN NAIROBI, KENYA: A CROSS-DENOMINATIONAL STUDY,   which also concluded that Pentecostal/evangelical youth were much more restrained from sexual activities.

“We surveyed church-going youths in Nairobi, Kenya, to investigate denominational differences in their sexual behaviour and to identify factors related to those differences. In comparison with youths attending mainline churches, the youths surveyed at Pentecostal/evangelical churches were less likely to have ever had sex,” says the report which was published in the African Journal of AIDS Research.

THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH’S POSITION ON HUMAN SEXUALITY

In a report published in the Africa Regional Sexuality Resource Centre; Religion And Sexuality: Individuality, Choice And Sexual Rights In Nigerian Christianity, PROFESSOR MATTHEWS A. OJO Department of Religious Studies Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Nigeria argues that “the control of sexual behaviour by Christian groups is an institutional way and the most ubiquitous modalities through which religious groups demonstrate power and exercise social control over their members,”

He maintains that although personal choices are not totally ruled out, this freedom to choose is often moderated by the Scriptural prescription on sexuality.

“The central concept in capturing the Christian perspective about sexuality is chastity. It is around this concept that abstinence from pre-marital sex is taught, around which healthy relationships between boys and girls is promoted, around which the value of virginity until marriage is endorsed, around which fidelity to one’s spouse in sexual activity is affirmed, around which marriage and the home are regulated, and generally around which sexual rights can be expressed, “he says. See the report.

Well, let’s get more girls going to church.

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MUTUTHO BLAMES CHOLERA OUTBREAK TO POOR SANITATION AND MISMANAGEMENT

Nacada chairman John Mututho

Nacada chairman John Mututho

NACADA Chairman John Mututho has voiced his concerns over the cholera outbreak being witnessed in various counties and has attributed it to poor sanitation.

Mututho, who was speaking from Naivasha over the weekend as he pass condolences to relatives who had lost their kin to cholera, lashed out at the county government for the poor sanitation and called upon the governor to scale up efforts to contain the situation before it gets worse.

“It is shameful that in this day and age, we are losing our residents to cholera. If the governor has failed, he and his team should resign,” he said.

Mututho, who is the former Naivasha MP also said that it’s a shame that Nakuru has lost its glory as the cleanest town in the country. Nakuru County has recorded 15 deaths so far.

“Years back, Nakuru was dubbed as the cleanest town in the country but due to mismanagement, people are dying from cholera which is associated with poor sanitation,” he said.

On 3 Feb 2015, the Director of Medical Services in Kenya issued a cholera outbreak alert following an increase in cases of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) in several counties in the country.

Cholera outbreaks were confirmed in Homa Bay, Migori and Nairobi counties. As of 16 Feb, a total of 805 cases had been reported with 12 deaths. In Homa Bay, 122 cases and three deaths were reported; in Migori, 637 cases and seven deaths; and in Nairobi, 46 cases (the cases being reported were stabilized) and two deaths.

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TREASURY PAVES WAY FOR COMPREHENSIVE MEDICAL COVER FOR TEACHERS

Kenyan public school teachers to get an improved medical cover

Kenyan public school teachers to get an improved medical cover

All the 288,000 teachers in the public sector will now have access to better medical care after the National Treasury approved implementation of the Sh 5.9 billion annual medical cover yesterday.

The medical scheme, which is being touted to be a better package compared to what teachers in the private sector are enjoying, will provide an inpatient cover of between Sh 300, 000 for the lowest paid teacher and Sh 1 million for the highest paid.

The new comprehensive medical scheme covers the principal contributor, their spouse and four children and covers among other things, maternity, dental, optical and a last expense cover pegged at Sh 100,000.

The lowest paid teacher in job groups G and H will have an inpatient cover of Sh 300, 000.

Teachers will also enjoy free out-patient treatment with members only required to pay sh 50 as co-pay down from the initial Sh 100. Patients will only pay the amount once for repeat visits for the same condition.

The annual medical cover will be rolled out country wide starting July 1 and according to the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), teachers are expected to forfeit their monthly medical allowance as from this month, which will be pooled together to fund the scheme.  The monthly allowance ranges between Sh 900 _ Sh 4,000 from the lowest to the highest paid teachers.

“So teachers will not get their medical allowance on their pay slips starting this month,” said TSC secretary Gabriel Lengoiboni.

Mr Lengoiboni also maintained that the cover will be rolled out in good time.

The comprehensive medical cover for teachers was brokered in 2013 when KNUT and KUPPET signed a return-to-work formula with the government following the 24 day teachers strike but the implementation has dragged on due to tender wars and boardroom battles.

TSC awarded the tender to AON Kenya Insurance Brokers Ltd, a decision upheld by the Public Procurement Oversight Authority.

 

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Injera celebrates 200th try by signing camera!

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