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I’m embarrassed, says Kenyatta as he refuses to read his speech



President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday declined to read his speech when he officially closed a two-day small and medium enterprises (SMEs) forum saying his government had failed the sector.

Mr Kenyatta said most government officials tasked with ensuring better conditions for SMEs have never visited the traders in their working areas to see the difficulties they face.

He said both the national and county governments have failed to deliver on past pledges made to the traders, citing promises made in 2014 to build roads the populous Gikomba market but are yet to be implemented.

“I will not read my speech because it is shameful for the government. “I’m embarrassed to stand here in front of you people to be reminded of what we should have done many years ago,” Mr Kenyatta said.

The President also hit at Nairobi governor, Mike Sonko for City Hall’s failure to construct proper drainage systems for the traders at the popular Gikomba market.

The market is home at least 14,000 traders but it is a nightmare whenever it rains due to the poor drainage and flooded thin roads making it hard for buyers to access.

Mr Kenyatta was responding to numerous concerns raised by SMEs at the two-day event, with most hitting out at the government for lack of proper infrastructure, high power tariffs and lack of protection from international players.

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He instead directed a similar meeting be held in a month’s time where the relevant state agencies will update the small scale manufacturers on the measures put in place to provide an enabling environment.
SMEs are the country’s biggest employer with the government banking on them to create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate amongst the youth which stood at 22 per cent according to a United Nations Human Development report released last year.

Data by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics indicates that there are more than 17 million SMEs registered in Kenya with 98 per cent of them contributing about 25 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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Coronavirus: Two arrested in Kitengela preaching in an empty church



Two preachers have been arrested within the Changombe area, Kitengela, at the Tabernacle church while conducting a church service.

Police officers who were acting on a tip-off from members of the public raided the church early Sunday morning and found Paul Nzungula and Peter Kimani preaching to an empty church.

The loud sermon had attracted a crowd that had formed outside the church, curious on whether church services were still ongoing.

Officers handling the matter confiscated a speaker, a piano, a mixer and one microphone which will be taken to the court as exhibit.

Kajiado West sub-county police commander Kinyua Mugambi confirmed the incident saying the two had been arrested and later released on police bond.

They will be arraigned in court at later date to answer to charges of defying a government’s directive that ordered all public gatherings to be halted.

Prior to the arrests, Apostle Paul Nzungula had through the ministry’s Facebook page announced that the church service would be broadcasted on Facebook live.

The Kenyan government previously banned all public gatherings including church services in measures meant to avert the new coronavirus.

On Saturday, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced 7 new positive cases of coronavirus in the country, bringing the total number of infections to 38.

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Speaking at Afya House during a press address on Saturday, CS Kagwe said the new COVID-19 infections were part of 81 suspected cases tested at various laboratories in the country within the past 24 hours.

The 7 new cases, all of which he said were recorded in Nairobi County, include three females and 4 males. They are composed of 4 Kenyans, 2 Congolese nationals and 1 Chinese national.

CS Kagwe also said 4 of them had a history of travel from countries with active transmissions of the disease while one had been to Mombasa and the other two are contacts of previous cases.

The CS however also came bearing some positive news saying two patients have since tested negative and are set to undergo another test for confirmation.

By Citizen Digital

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Simple coding using phone won varsity don top award



Dr Chao Mbogo might have had many things to remember about February, but one enduring memory will be her travel to Seattle, United States, to receive an award that celebrates women scientists from the developing world.

The computer scientist was one of the five women who won this year’s OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards, and the only one from Africa.

Dr Chao, the dean of Kenya Methodist University’s School of Science and Technology, came back with a trophy, a $5,000 (Sh522,700) cheque

and one more item on the list of awards she has won in her illustrious career in research and technology. They are now nine in her resumé, and they include Google Anita Award (2014), Quartz Africa Innovator (2017), and Zuri Award (2018).

The award Dr Chao received in February is given by the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), headquartered in Italy, in collaboration with the Elsevier Foundation that is based in The Netherlands.

The award has been running since 2013.

Between February 12 and 16, she was in the US interacting with the other winners — who came from Bangladesh, Guatemala, Sri Lanka, and Yemen.

She was also attending talks by the award organisers and listening to a number of speakers who included software billionaire Bill Gates.

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An idea she conceptualised a decade ago earned her the recognition. She was then working as a lecturer at Kenya Methodist University (Kemu), the university from where she got her first degree (mathematics and computer science) in 2003. She returned there as a lecturer after completing her master’s in computer science from Oxford University, from where she graduated in 2007.

As a Kemu lecturer, she realised that most computer science students had great potential but were drawn back by lack of resources, among them computers. It then hit her that if there was a way to write computer code using mobile phones, many more people would have the much-required headstart in joining the field of software creation.

It is a concept she took into her PhD project at the University of Cape Town. Her PhD thesis was titled Scaffolding Java Programming on a Mobile Phone for Novice Learners.

In 2013, in a conference paper building on that thesis, she outlined the tricks that can be used to make a mobile phone application that can assist greenhorns in the world of creating computer programmes to navigate their way around the often-complicated art.

“(It makes work easy by) providing instructions, steps, default code to be edited, hints, and error prompts where appropriate,”

She added that it also enables the construction of one part at a time, which makes it possible to work with the small screens of mobile devices.

Dr Chao’s efforts are likely to see a generation of Kenyans who have an easy introduction into the world of coding — which basically is the creation of software that enables machines to interact with humans and with other machines.

“Coding is impactful and useful when it is both enjoyed and used to solve some of our most pressing socio-economic challenges. Some of the applications we utilise heavily today are coded,” she said, giving examples of banking apps, taxi hailing apps, social networking apps, among others.

“We live in a society where we have very many interesting problems that can be solved using technology,” she noted.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation on Friday, we asked Dr Mbogo what she plans to do with the prize money she won.

“Part of the funds will be used to support further research of my work and I have also put part of it to KamiLimu, the mentorship program that I run,” she said.

A mathematics enthusiast, she got a calling letter to study nutrition and diet in university after sitting her KCSE. She firmly turned down the invitation and instead enrolled for mathematics and computer science at Kemu. That would be the start of the journey into a demanding field.

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“To be a computer scientist, you simply need two traits: Be curious and remain teachable,” she told the Sunday Nation.

“With curiosity, comes the willingness to discover. With the willingness to discover comes the ability to innovate.

To innovate well, you must continuously learn and thus, you have to remain teachable,” added Dr Chao.

Her mobile-adaptable system is currently being refined and may soon be available to the public, she said.

“I am currently working on a new prototype of the technology,” she said.

Afterwards, she will take it to her programming students to test it in all aspects.

“After that iteration, the application will be available to use for anyone who is learning Java computer programming and can be downloaded online,” she noted.

By Daily Nation


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How I escaped after being kidnapped by my ex – King Kaka’s wife, Nana Owiti



King Kaka’s wife, Nana Owiti has revealed that she was once kidnapped by an ex-boyfriend.

The Chatspot talk-show host and her colleagues were discussing their worst break up experiences when she opened up about the shocking occurrence.

Revealing details of the ordeal, the rapper’s wife recounted how she had been out having drinks with her girlfriends right before the incident.

According to Nana, her ex-boyfriend approached her and pleaded with her to step outside with him “just to talk”.

“By the time nimetoka kuongea kuna wase wa nduthi hapo nje, there’s a car over there open nilibebwa kifudifudi nikaingizwa kwa gari, so I’m thinking what’s happening so I’m biting him he’s like unajua hauendi, nilipelekwa kwa hao nimefunganishwa kamba, like for real for real and then I’m like okay its 3 am, I’ve downed a whole bottle of wine, what do I do now?” narrated Nana, disclosing how the man forcefully tied her up and restrained her in his car.

Despite her fighting back, even biting him, she was unable to fight off the athletic attacker.

The mother of two said that the frightening incident did not end there, as the disturbed culprit drove her to his home, where she managed to temporarily escape after hitting him.

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The man bizarrely chased her into the darkness after her escape, throwing stones and deceiving the watchmen that she was a thief.

In the harrowing situation, Nana said that she was nearly shot by a security- guard who, on the fateful night was carrying a bow and arrow. Luckily, she discovered that she and the guard shared a Kamba ethnicity, and craftily used their native language to talk him out of capturing her.

The lass survived the scary kidnap after borrowing the said guard’s phone, which she reportedly used to call her friends to pick her up.

The Switch TV presenter has in the past opened up about having a difficult childhood, growing up in poverty and her family struggling to make ends meet.

In a photo uploaded to Instagram, the now stylish and flashy belle was pictured with her grandfather. In the humble snap, the little girl appeared downtrodden, overwhelmed and struggling.

“When I look at this picture, I am overwhelmed with emotion. It reminds me of a time in my life when I was a miserable little human, a dishevelled young girl with little hopes of making it in life,” wrote the popular influencer.

“My green sweater had patches on the elbows, of different colours and patterns. It looked like a tie and dye gone wrong. My skin (especially my legs)were cracked and had visible scales. I had no shoes. I remember now, how desperately I wanted shoes, because of how the terrain had badly ravaged the soles of my feet,” wrote the now successful media personality, detailing the struggles of lacking essentials such as shoes to navigate the harsh landscape.

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The mom of two prides herself in her humble background, saying that it shaped who she is and taught her many things.

“Dance because God’s got you. Usiwahi tense. Rest knowing that He loves you so much and He will lead you beside still waters,” wrote an elated Nana after securing her current gig as a Chatspot host.

By Standard 

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