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CABINET: Jobs for the boys? Why does Uhuru need 22 Chief administrative Secretaries as well as Principal Secretaries???

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President Uhuru Kenyatta’s expanded cabinet will cost taxpayers almost half a billion each year in salaries alone. The 22 Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) including a part-time one and the new 21 Chief Administrative Secretaries will cost Sh486.4 million each year if they earn the same pay.

The State functionaries are also expected part with Sh285.78 million in gratuities, pensions and insurance which is 60 per cent of their gross pay – bringing the total cost to over Sh772 million a year. The CSs earn fixed salaries of Sh924,000 down from Sh1.056 million while Principal Secretaries (PSs) earn Sh765,000 from Sh874,500 as per the new pay structure the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) announced on July 10. President Kenyatta has appointed 38 PSs, who will be paid an estimated Sh348.8 million a year with Sh209.3 million in gratuities.

This brings the total cost of running the Executive to Sh1.33 billion. It comes at a time when Treasury is trying to cut down spending after warning that recurrent expenditure demands could affect the economy. “Recurrent expenditure is a risk and we are having pressures on the wage bill from unions and if you allow me Chairman Budget from parliament,” Treasury PS Dr Kamau Thugge said during the presentation of the 2018 draft budget. He made the remarks after MPs overturned SRC cap on mileage which would pave way for the 416 MPs to pocket Sh668,000 extra in allowances and salary at the end of this month.

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According to the 2018 Budget Policy Statement by the Treasury, the public sector wage bill has increased by nearly Sh100 billion over the last three years despite the Government’s efforts to tame recurrent expenditure. Treasury predicts the wage bill, which stood at Sh307 billion in 2015 and has since risen to Sh401 billion, will hit Sh444 billion next year. Treasury data shows Kenya will pay Sh304 billion as interest on loans and Sh76 billion as pensions next year leaving less for development.
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Ledama Ole Kina insists on legalization of marijuana in Kenya

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Naroka Senator Ledama Ole Kina sparked mixed reactions online after sharing a video of himself in a marijuana plantation.

However, the Senator’s intention was to call for its legalization in Kenya.

In the video, Ledama mentioned that he was in a country called Lithuania where its legal to plant marijuana.

He wondered why Kenya has not yet legalized marijuana yet it can help reduce pain for cancer patients.

“Why is it that we in Kenya are still stuck with the old ways of saying this is an illegal drug, this is crazy. My host is telling me that this is hemp that is used for construction, making ropes but really, it actually smells like weed… but that’s not the issue, if this is good either to reduce the pain of cancer patients why not legalize it? What is so bad about it.

He further said that if it is not good for Kenyans then no country in the world should plant it.

“We only live once. I think from our brief moments from our mothers’ wombs to our tombs, we need to come and settle this out. If this weed is good for us, lets legalize it. If its not good then let’s not allow other people in world to plant it.

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“Today we are talking about the LGBT and some are saying there’s no more difference we are all equal let’s be strong about it…. I’m actually getting high,” said Ledama Olekina.

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Lifestyle

Uhuru’s adopted son Daniel Owira says he nearly left school after becoming rich

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Daniel Owira aka Otonglo time, saw his life change in the blink of an eye back when he was in high school.

After delivering a grand performance during drama festivals, he was quickly branded as the president’s son by none other than Uhuru Kenyatta.

Several years later, the young actor told NTV he nearly dropped out of school after becoming rich.

A year after Uhuru had offered to pay for his school fees, Owira joined university and as days went by, his pockets and bank account became heavier.

He was earning cash he had never touched before and did not know what to do with all the wealth he was accumulating.

“I will not lie to you, at first year no one really knows what to do with a lot of money. I was getting sponsorships and gigs and did not know what to do with all the cash,” he said.

Even after boosting his mother’s business, providing her with pocket money and furnishing her house, Owira still had escess money he did not know how to put to use.

For a moment, the entertainer considered giving up on education and focussing on his successful career.

Luckily, Uhuru’s “son” chose to finish his academic journey and put to bed any irrational thoughts that crossed his mind.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Is NASA calling for increase of Cabinet slots to 40 to be accommodated?
Uhuru's adopted son Daniel Owira says he nearly left school after becoming rich

Daniel Owira back when he was in campus. Photo: Daniel Owira
Source: Instagram

As previously reported, Uhuru had promised to take care of Owira’s education up to university level.

While committing to take care of his school fees, Uhuru Kenyatta referred to Owira as one of his sons, of course figuratively.

Daniel Owira had plans to pursue a broadcast journalism in future, apparently to utilise his amazing oratory skills as evidenced by his Otonglo narrative.

By Tuko.co.ke

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Lifestyle

I was violently mugged at a well-lit street in Nairobi

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On Friday night, I lost my precious wristwatch and my utterly worthless cellphone to muggers at a well-lit street in the Nairobi city centre.

I was heading home from work at about 8.30 pm when a gang of five hoodlums pounced on me along Aru Lane, which is a stone’s throw away from Mfangano Street where I usually board my matatu.

They swiftly cut me off my route, boxed me into a tight corner and relieved me of whatever valuables I had on me.

The guy who initially accosted me – he must have been the ringleader – had threatened to draw a gun and shoot me if I tried anything stupid.

He had both hands in his pockets, so I couldn’t tell whether he had a gun or not, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

As this guy, who was in a greyish hoodie, and his accomplice flanked me on both sides, I took a quick backwards glance and noticed two heavyset fellows closing in. By the time I shifted my gaze forward, yet another menacing figure had sprung from nowhere.

I quickly realised I was cornered and outnumbered.

In that moment, I knew it was no use trying to fight these guys off. Not even the hard-tackling tight-head prop from my rugby-playing days would save me.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Is NASA calling for increase of Cabinet slots to 40 to be accommodated?

I wasn’t ready to become part of the city’s grim crime statistics of those who have been maimed, or had worse things done to them by muggers.

I meekly surrendered to their demands.

The whole incident barely lasted a minute, but in the brief moment I was held hostage in that corner, my mind raced to my wife and two young kids waiting for me at home.

Mercifully, I got through the ordeal unscathed and later got home to a warm hug from my three-year-old son.

I recounted my harrowing experience to my shell-shocked household. It wasn’t until hours later that we partook our evening meal.

Dangerous streets

I’ve since fully recovered from that experience, having had some good rest over the weekend.

When I shared my story with a close relative, he also recounted a similar mugging incident that happened on a Sunday evening at the junction of Mama Ngina Street and Kimathi Street.

Unlike me, this brother attempted to be a hero and nearly paid for it with his life.

In the middle of an ill-advised scuffle with his assailants, one of the muggers drew a knife and swung it at his abdomen. He quickly ducked, and the knife only grazed his thigh.

On seeing that their would-be victim wasn’t going down without a fight, the three thugs quickly vanished into an adjacent alley.

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In retrospect, he says, he would not have tried to fight back.

That is what the streets of Nairobi have become; crowded places, bustling with human and car traffic by day but which become extremely dangerous at nightfall.

ATM machines that dot the exterior parts of many banking halls in the CDB are particularly risky places to visit in the evenings, especially when streets are deserted.

So too are alleys and backstreets, including Ngamia Lane and Tausi Lane, on either side of Nation Centre.

My priceless wristwatch is gone, but I thank God I lived to tell the tale – and write a story – of my encounter with Nairobi’s ruthless muggers.

The writer is an online Sub-editor at Nation Media Group 

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