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Ochieng Rapuro appointed editor-in-chief of Standard Group

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Former The East African managing editor Ochieng Rapuro has been appointed editor-in-chief of Standard Group.

Mr Rapuro’s appointment will take effect on July 1, this year, the company’s chief executive officer Orlando Lyomu told employees in a memo on Friday.

Mr Rapuro, who once served as Business Daily managing editor, takes over from Joseph Odindo who retired a few months ago.

Mr Odindo served as the Standard Group’s editorial director, deputised by Kipkoech Tanui.

In the new line up, Mr Tanui moves to a newly created role of group executive editor and head of news, as the “chief coordinator of joint news gathering and processing under newsroom convergence”.

Also affected in the changes is Duncan Kizito, hitherto the head of the company’s billboard marketing business, Think Outdoor, who now assumes the role of newsroom convergence manager.

Njoroge Kinuthia becomes the opinion, quality and content (Oped) editor, replacing Andrew Kipkemboi, who moves to a new position of partnerships and projects editor.

The rest of the senior newsroom managers remain unchanged, the memo said.

Source:nairobinews

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Plenty of jobs in morgues, but few takers

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Kenya is in dire need of morticians and morgue attendants, the sector stakeholders say.

Funeral Service Association of Kenya (FSAK) chairman Mr Ezra Olaky said that most of the labourers are unqualified casuals.

Mr Olaky stated that while the sector has grown, it suffers from a shortage of skilled workers.

“We have about 250 members in our association but there is still a shortage. We need close to 1,000 members to work in this sector. It is a huge one that requires more manpower,” he said.

He also noted that Kenya also lacks training facilities for morticians save from Chiromo, which has a three-month course for mortuary attendants.

“They (funeral homes) just want somebody who has worked in a mortuary, they have not pegged any minimum requirement or qualification. But we want to start with certificate and diploma holders. There is a gap that exists and we need to close it,” said Mr Olaky.

“We have a course outline and the institutions that are ready can adopt it and work with us. We know what we need and what to be trained on,” he said, adding that Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret also offers training.

He, however, called for partnership with FSAK.

The chairman noted that while morticians face many occupational hazards such as exposure to infected blood and body fluids of verminous bodies, they operate in poor working environments and lack proper equipment.

He said morgues need to be well maintained with good ventilations and sufficient lighting.

“We came together to ensure that we professionalise this industry. This is the 7th annual conference and we are happy with the support and the kind of knowledge we acquire from other parts of the world. We want to change the narrative that you can just work as a mortician without any qualification. When employed, they are never told their job description. Most of them learn on the job,” Mr Olaky added.

He said that morticians can become funeral directors, embalmers or be specialists in restorative art.

“We are engaging the government and various institutions like Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (Tvet) so that we can have a syllabus for morticians because we have a training of mortuary science. This industry needs dedication, passion and discipline,” he said.

Established in 1995, the Funeral Services Association of Kenya seeks to assist in improvement of standards of service as well as ethics.

Mr Olaky said that most of the mortuary attendants lack of basic training and are usually unrecognised for their work.

“We are aware that they are playing a key role and should be respected. Working as morticians should not be seen as a punishment as it is being perceived. We need to be recognised as a professional body just like other cadres in hospitals,” he added.

He said that the association is helping morticians advance their career by offering educational opportunities.

He pointed out that the funeral industry has plenty of employment opportunities including software developers for funeral information technology, accountants, among others.

The conference, held in Mombasa at the weekend, attracted morticians, pathologists and funeral service practitioners from across Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, US and Uganda.

by nation.co.ke

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Business

Student sues Equity Bank over song

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A university student who claims to have composed a popular song used by Equity Bank to promote its business has gone to court over a Sh10 million pledge, among other constitutional and fundamental reliefs.

Eric Obiero Nyadida, who was prosecuted at the instigation of the lender for forgery alongside his brother Geoffrey Nyadida Odongo then acquitted in October 2017 for lack of evidence, has urged the High Court to prohibit the bank from using the song to advertise its Wings to Fly education sponsorship project for bright but needy children.

Testifying before Justice Wilfrida Okwany, Mr Obiero said his rights were violated when he was locked up in a police cell with adults when he was 16.

He says he was denied his legal rights and access to his parents while in detention at Kileleshwa Police Station.

Mr Obiero, who is pursuing a Journalism course at a private university, told Justice Okwany over the last six years he has suffered mental anguish and violation of his property rights.

He said he was dragged through a criminal trial because he asked the bank to pay him Sh10 million as promised by senior officials of Equity Bank (Kenya) Limited and Equity Group Foundation (EGF) for using his song.

The petitioner says the lender has continued to use his work with no direct benefit going to him.

He is now asking the High Court to issue a conservatory order restraining EBL and EG) from using his piece of music in any of its advertisements on the internet, television, radio or any other media to popularise its EGF Wings to Fly project pending determination of the suit.

Mr Obiero is also seeking costs of the case. Hearing continues.

by nation.co.ke

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Business

Why ignorance of finer details hurts lazy home buyers

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Who does not want to own a home one day? It is the endeavour of nearly every family. It is a pride, an achievement if I may. Yet we make careless mistakes at the tail of the tedious sweat to the realisation of this dream. Let me first put things into perspective; our construction ecosystem remains stubbornly fractured and dysfunctional. It is highly fragmented and very conservative.

Ingrained practices make it incredibly punitive and unforgiving. Before deciding to buy a house, you must wake up to this realisation.Most home buyers are lazy, careless and easily gullible.

They are, by large, only fixated with house prices and retreat to their ‘paradise’ cocoon once the house price makes sense to them. This attitude has been the icing to spurious developers. Listen, buying a house, especially off-plan, requires vigilance.

a`There are several boxes that must be closely monitored and ticked. Unfortunately, one of the critical boxes that always evades most buyers is the defects liability period. Many have and still painfully paid for this ignorance.

Requirements

Defects liability period, mostly six months, is a period of time following the practical completion during which a contractor remains liable under the building contract for dealing with any defects that become apparent. This period is fixed in a building contract between a developer and client. It can never be altered to suit a buyer.

Once the period has lapsed, the contractor’s liability to rectify defects on your house lapses. Unknown to most buyers, the defects liability period always begins with the architect’s practical completion certificate to the contractor. It starts even before the occupation certificate is obtained. In fact, the architect’s practical completion certificate is one of the requirements for obtaining a county’s occupational certificate. Yet buyers normally take their sweet time to access their houses, after construction completion, unaware that the contractor defects liability period awaits no one.

Not even the developer.In some instances where final house payments are pegged on occupation certificate, the practical completion certificate, which instigates the defect liability period, can be irregularly and prematurely issued before actual completion of works so that a ‘broke ‘developer start to receives money from buyers.

How? Our long outstanding ethics deficit history as a country. Several times I have come across home buyers who ignorantly insist that the defects liability period be counted from the date they take possession of their house.Ignorance has driven many to complicate even the irreducibly simple. It is impossible to tailor defects liability period to each buyer.

Imagine the chaos of doing so to 100 buyer. The defects period will always rise and set on all at the same time – make peace with that. It is imperative to always note this as a buyer and insist then on seeing the architect’s certificate of practical completion to know when the defect period begins and lapses. Engrave those dates somewhere if you can’t memorise. Even on projects with sectional occupation certificate, ask for the practical completion certificate that was used to obtain the sectional occupation certificate.

Once you have immaculately noted the defects liability period, please carry out and document all the house snags issues and ensure they are rectified within the period. In situations where access to your house is pegged to clearance of final payment, request the developer access to allow you snag the house for any noticeable defects to be rectified.

Avoid running into cat and mouse games with the developer once this period has lapsed. There will be only one loser. You. For the umpteen time, the defects liability period will not be tailored to your wish as a buyer, it’s a contractual period that is fixed.

There will not be even an extra day added to it. I appreciate that the greatest struggle in mankind is that against ignorance, but this can no longer be classified as ignorance, especially in 2019. We cannot keep making the same mistakes over and over. Be wise or perish! – The writer is chairman of Association of Construction Managers of Kenya. nashon.okowa@gmail.com

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