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Free school milk program returns to Kenya

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  • County First Ladies Association has formed a partnership with Non-communicable Disease Alliance that will see a program for free milk rolled out to school children.

    The initiation of the program will begin with a pilot phase that will focus on the counties of Garissa, Makueni and West Pokot.

    The program will then spread to cover other deserving areas as time goes by.

    Counties in arid and semi-arid regions are nonetheless the main targets of the program since the children therein are more vulnerable and likely to suffer from non-communicable diseases (NCD).

    The program will also focus on areas that are poverty stricken with children who are exposed to unbalanced diets.

    The move of the program was announced by the First Lady of Makueni County, Nazi Kibwana, who is also the Chairperson of the First Ladies Association.

    Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana’s wife, Nazi Kibwana, with First Lady Margaret Kenyatta

    Ms Kibwana indicated that the primary goal of the initiative was the eradication of non-communicable diseases in addition to the implementation of NCD-prevention strategies.

    She was speaking at Makueni Boys during the launch of “Start a Library” program.

    During the occasion, Makueni County Education and ICT official Damaris Makau indicated that they had already engaged in meetings with various school heads over the subject matter.

    A boy drinking milk. FILE PHOTO

    She stated, “We had stakeholders meeting where we made consultations on the schools to target.”

    Makau communicated that the county was focussing on schools in areas that are considered the driest.

    It was also revealed that they will conduct a health review of the pupils prior to the launch of the free milk program.

    Constant reviews will also be made after every three months to evaluate the progress and its outcomes.

    According to statistics from the World Health Organization, unhealthy diets and physical inactivity form the main risk factors for NCDs, which contribute to the development of a significant percentage of disabilities in Kenya.

    Nazi Kibwana Speaking and Offering Aid at a past public function for school girls

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Fidel Odinga’s widow, Lwam Bekelle reveals heated communication with Ida

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Fidel Odinga’s widow, Lwam Bekelle, has put his mother-in-law on blast.

In court papers, Lwam claims that Ida has been spreading falsehoods about her.

In their affidavits, Ida and Winnie accuse Bekelle of taking off from her matrimonial home in Karen soon after Fidel was laid to rest and cutting all contact with the family.

They also say Bekelle kept off as the Odinga’s pushed to get to the bottom of what could have killed Fidel.

Bekelle accuses her mother-in-law of “unjustifiably and continuously making false, defamatory and/or unkind remarks about her family friends and herself.”

“I believe that the statement she recorded with the DCI following the death of Fidel Castro Odhiambo Odinga informs the 1st objector’s [Ida’s] averments and is the genesis of our differences,” Bekelle said.

However, in their affidavit, Ida and Winnie state that they are worried that Fidel’s son, Allay, may not be adequately provided for.

They claim Bekelle had removed him from school and kept him at home while also hiding him from the Odinga family.

“The objectors are further worried that having been the only child between the petitioner and the deceased, he is the only living memory of her son and will be disadvantaged if the petitioner continues to block them from his life,” Ida through Owiti, Otieno and Ragot advocates claims.

fidel odingaHowever, Bekelle blasts Ida for contradicting herself by claiming Fidel had other kids yet in the same document, she acknowledges that it is only her son that Fidel had sired during his lifetime.

“In paragraph 13 and 14 of the objectors’ answer to the petition for a grant, they averred that my son Allay Raila Odinga was the deceased’s only descendant and he is the only living memory of the deceased. This averment is in itself contradictory to the objectors’ earlier assertion that the deceased sired other children in a different relationship,” she responded.

The widow also claims the Odinga family is not supporting her son and disputes claims he has dropped from school.

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By Mpasho

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Uhuru’s big love for the old

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Kenyans, especially the youth, have expressed displeasure with the appointment of former Othaya MP Mary Wambui to head the National Authority Employment Authority.

Ms Wambui, the woman who thrust herself into the limelight after claiming she was President Mwai Kibaki’s wife, was handed the big job by Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani.

But this is not the first time President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration is appointing retirees and perceived ‘old people’ to take charge of critical state agencies.

On Monday, Mr Kenyatta appointed Jeremiah Matagaro to the public service, raising questions about Jubilee administration’s knack for retired persons at the expense of youths in State appointments.

Mr Matagaro will chair the State Corporations Advisory Committee for a three-year period, an appointment many consider as a slap in the face to the youth.

Cyrus Gituai, who served as Internal Security PS in the first Kibaki administration, also makes a comeback to the public service. Mr Gituai has also served as a district commissioner.

But the return of the old guard in Kenyatta’s administration is hardly surprising as the trend has been there for all to see.

Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua is 68, well over the mandatory retirement age of 60.

The same goes for former Vice President Moody Awori, the man well into his 90s, chairs the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund.

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President Kenyatta also picked Stephen Karogo to chair the Public Service Commission, even though at the point of his nomination, he was slightly over 60 years.

MPs vetting him for the position questioned his ability to adequately serve given that he has hit the mandatory retirement age of 60 years for the Civil Service.

“Do not focus on my age, rather at the wealth of experience I bring on the table in this new role,” he told the National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security.

Retired General of the Kenya Defence Forces Julius Karangi chairs the NSSF Board after his retirement from the military, while 72-year-old Francis Muthaura is in charge at Kenya Revenue Authority.

Just last week, the National Assembly approved Esther Murugi to sit in the National Lands Commission, even though she is 66.

Back to Mr Matagaro, he is not exactly young. He was the police spokesman during the troubled times of agitation for political pluralism in 1990 to 1993.

He would later rise to become North Eastern provincial police commander in the mid 1990s.

When President Mwai Kibaki took over, he appointed him PS in the Ministry of Justice under Kiraitu Murungi before he was controversially appointed to the Electoral Commission of Kenya in total defiance of the 1997 Inter Political Parties agreements.

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Mr Matagaro was among ECK commissioners who were sent packing after a probe by an international commission established that they had bungled the presidential election.

In a bid to stop recycling and re-appointment of senior citizens to the public service, Starehe MP Charles Njagua has filed a motion in the National Assembly.

The youthful city MP is seeking to reduce the retirement age to 50 from the current 60.

He says his motion will help address the high unemployment rate among the youth.

“Noting the mandatory retirement age for public servants is set at 60 years, this House urges the government to review mandatory retirement age in public service from current 60 to 50 years,” reads the motion.

Documents presented to parliament by the Public Service Commission (PSC) detailing the breakdown of civil servants by age cluster revealed that at least 11,879 civil servants were aged between 51 and 60 years.

A further 12,057 civil servants were aged between 56 and 60 years, while there were about 399 civil servants who had attained the age of 60 years or above.

by nation.co.ke

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Outrage over hiring of Mary Wambui

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Hours after the government announced several appointments to various positions in State agencies late on Monday, Kenyans have taken to social media to express their displeasure with some of those picked for the posts.

In a special Gazette Notice dated October 14, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced he had appointed eight people to the State Corporations Advisory Committee, while the Labour Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani announced his pick for the chairperson for the National Employment Authority (NEA).

It is CS Yatani’s choice that has outraged Kenyans, who wondered whether the appointment of former Othaya member of Parliament Mary Wambui was done on merit.

Kenyans including political leaders, on social media, claimed Ms Wambui is out of touch with the realities of young unemployed graduates in the country.

They have also questioned the former lawmaker’s capacity to deliver on her new mandate.

Dismissing the appointment, ruling Jubilee party’s nominated Senator Millicent Omanga described it as a sad day and a spat on the face of Kenyan youth.

Senator Omanga expressed doubts that Ms Wambui possesses the ability “to craft strategies and policy formulations” to eradicate youth unemployment in the country.

“Does Wambui have the remotest idea what it feels like to hold a degree certificate yet you can’t find a job with it?” Ms Omanga posed, arguing that by hiring her, the government had demonstrated its lack of seriousness in addressing the challenge of unemployment.

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Others argued that the government was worsening the youth unemployment crisis by appointing a person who is “rich, powerful and well-connected”.

Hapa ni kubaya. Watu wanatolewa retirement kupewa job; sisi wengine tulipe ushuru wapate mishahara (The situation is bad. Retirees are being recalled and offered jobs while the rest of us have to pay taxes for their salaries),” Mutichilo Mike noted.

Former presidential candidate Mohamed Abduba Dida termed the appointment as shocking, saying it showed the government’s “consistency and dedication towards failure.”

“When you think you have seen it all, the government pulls another one,” he added.

Others said such appointments dented President Kenyatta’s legacy.

When he took over power in 2013, the President vowed to fight youth unemployment and to create 500,000 new jobs every year. That has not been the case.

“In a nation where unemployment is a real crisis for the youth, such crucial positions need visionary leaders,” David Musyoka argued, adding that it should not be “reward schemes for political loyalty”.

“We are now lacking direction,” Sammy Mohammed lamented, wondering, “how can we grow our economy by recycling these old MPs?”

Mr Mohammed went on to suggest that the President should “try one of us” to assess the youth’s competency and suitability.

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Mary Wambui, a businesswoman and politician, was the MP for Othaya Constituency, Nyeri County from 2013 and 2017.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, nine out of every 10 unemployed Kenyans are below 35 years.

The bureau puts the overall unemployment rate in the country at between 7 and 12 percent, a figure that is disputed.

By nation.co.ke

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