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‘Joyce (Laboso) was wonderful, I find it hard to address her in the past’

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The husband of the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso has recalled the difficult moments the family went through after she was diagnosed with cancer.

During a funeral service for her at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Edwin Abonyo narrated how he met Joyce while he worked as a manager in a Kericho tea plantation, and how she was first diagonised with cancer in 1991.

“Joyce was wonderful, I find it hard to address her in the past…she first had cancer in 1991 when we only had Brian and Ted. We were still young and we were devastated by the news…She was treated in Nairobi Hospital and she healed from her first cancer,” he said.

He recalled how the governor put on a brave face and hid all her pain and suffering and how only her close family and friends knew of the cancer.

“She didn’t like drama, not so many knew about it…she was sick but covered it all. Joyce was committed to her work. She was a busy woman, always on her phone making calls,” he added.

“I want to thank President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. They are great people; they would call me. They were all concerned about Joyce. They gave me immense support,” he said.Her children echoed their mum’s unconditional love and how she fought cancer bravely in her last days.Brian said: “Thank you for being exemplary, teaching us virtues of humility and patience. You fought illness bravely, but now you need to rest, you were an angel on this earth. You left a legacy. We thank God for the years we spent with you.”

READ ALSO:   Gone too soon: Laboso becomes third governor to die in office

“Watching the condition you were in past months it broke my heart, thank you for the unconditional love that you showed us,” Ted said.

They all thanked Joyce, their mother for the values she instilled in them.Laboso’s eldest son, Brian Abonyo, read her eulogy which highlighted her achievements and her great aspiration for the people of Bomet. The governor battled cancer for 28 years.

According to friends, she was a caring person and a leader whose focus was mainly on healthcare, food and security for his people.Laboso’s former teacher at Kenya High School Ida Odinga said: “She was intelligent…Her name is still on the notice board of KHS dining hall… she had a brilliant mind, she stayed focused, determined and was a woman of the people.”

“Cancer should be addressed, it is a deadly disease… Joyce was headed for great things but I think God always takes the best and thank you Edwin for being with Joyce till the last minute, it is a lesson we all have learnt from you,” a friend of Abonyo’s said.

The service was presided over by Bishop Ernest Ng’eno assisted by Canon Sammy Wainaina and attended by Deputy President William Ruto.Leaders present included, governors Mike Sonko, Charity Ngilu and Anne Waiguru.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and several other cabinet secretaries were also in attendance.The cortege left the Lee Funeral Home for the first funeral service at the All Saints Cathedral.Female MPs, Senators and governors in mourning black and purple scarfs termed Joyce’s death as a great loss to Kenya.

READ ALSO:   Joyce Laboso, Bomet’s first female governor dead at 58

Her husband Edwin Abonyo was dressed in a navy blue suit with a purple ribbon.Laboso’s body will later be flown from Wilson Airport to Sotik in Bomet County.

Governor Laboso died of cancer on Monday at Nairobi Hospital.Laboso had been in hospitals in London and India since May 29. She was admitted in the Royal Madden NHS Hospital for over a month and later flown to India for another two weeks for further treatment.

Before she was elected as Bomet Governor, Laboso served as the Sotik MP, having been elected following the death of her sister Lorna Laboso in a plane crash on June 10, 2008.She also served as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly in the 11th Parliament.

By Standard.

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Education

BREAKING: No KCPE, KCSE in 2020- CS Magoha announces

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Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary schools will reopen in January, 2021.

This was announced on Tuesday by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, who also reported there will be no KCPE and KCSE exams in 2020.

Prof Magoha said that based on the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, Education stakeholders have shelved the initial proposal to reopen schools in September for class 8 and form 4 learners.

All learners in grade 1 to 4, Standard 5 to 7 and form 1 to 3 will remain in their current classes in 2020.

The Education CS, speaking at KICD on Tuesday further stated that the learners will sit their examinations later in 2021.

BY Pulse Live

READ ALSO:   Gone too soon: Laboso becomes third governor to die in office
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Health

City ‘curse’: Rural folk wary of returnees

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A section of residents in Western and Nyanza have expressed fear that the region could be exposed to more coronavirus infections with the reopening of the economy.

They have urged the government to hold reopening plans until the curve has been flattened.

Amid the excitement of the relaxed measures, some county governments have expressed concerns about the attitude of locals, which may pose a serious threat of new community infections in the coming months.

In Siaya, where all the cases so far reported were imported from Mombasa, Nairobi and Kwale, residents have not been taking chances with ‘suspicious guests’, often alerting authorities whenever spotted.

PROTECT PEOPLE

Until Monday’s announcement, those who have sneaked out of the lockdown areas of Nairobi and Mombasa would immediately be identified and reported to authorities.  Many have ended up in quarantine facilities. This move had scared cunning city dwellers from setting foot in their rural homes.

Celestine Owiti, 55, the Masinde primary school headteacher in Gem Sub-county, said lifting restrictions will negate all the gains the country has so far made.

“We have been smoking out those who sneak in to protect our people from being exposed to the virus because all the cases we have so far reported in Siaya are from outside the county,” she said.

READ ALSO:   Gone too soon: Laboso becomes third governor to die in office

“We have many people living in slums in the cities. These are some of the areas that have been reporting high cases. Without jobs, they will likely troop back to the villages. We will see an explosion of cases,” she cautioned.

HIGH CASES

Her sentiments are shared by many residents, who feel that the vulnerable, like the elderly in the villages, will be exposed to the virus. Siaya Police commander, Francis Kooli, told the Nation in a recent interview that the county’s rapid response team had activated surveillance systems, with specific target being those who reside in the sub-counties reporting high Covid-19 cases.

In Migori, County Heath Executive, Dr Iscah Oluoch, said while the department has put in place containment measures, the attitude of residents was worrying, adding  that individual responsibility was key in containing further spread of the virus, which has already affected 116 people in the county.

HEALTH RESTRICTIONS

“Our major challenge is handling county residents who take the precautionary measures lightly,” Dr Oluoch told the Nation in an interview. In Kakamega town, Mr Suleiman Sundukwe regretted that many Kenyans have ignored safeguard measures.

“Where there are no police officers, people behave normally without considering the health guidelines. Should the President open up the country, many people will die and many will be arrested for flouting the health restrictions,” observed Mr Sundukwe.

READ ALSO:   Do not contribute towards Laboso pay bill, it is fake

“Because the number is still going up, the President should have maintained the lockdown and enforce guidelines until everyone accepts and observes the restrictions before he opens up the economy,” he added.

RUNNING BATTLES

Mr Fadhil Eshikwekwe, a barber in Mumias town was, however, upbeat about the reopening, saying businesses have suffered.

In Kisumu, Ms Pamela Ogal, a resident of Buoye village, said: “We have to protect our lives since cases of Covid-19 are high in Nairobi and Mombasa. Nobody wants to be infected with Covid-19.”

In Homa Bay, many traders continue to disobey the health directives, often engaging in running battles with police.

By Daily Nation 

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News

Senate says sacking of top KEMRI official was hurried and unprocedural

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A Senate committee has revealed that the sacking of Joel Lutomiah as the director of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Centre for Virus Research was hurried and unprocedural, a Senate committee has revealed.

A report by the Senate ad hoc committee on Covid-19 situation further concludes that the grounds for Dr Lutomiah’s removal over alleged failure to release Covid-19 test results to the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, was unlawful.

“The preliminary observation of the Committee is that the demotion of Dr Lutomiah was carried out in a rushed and unprocedural manner and did not comply with provisions of the Constitution,” the committee chaired by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja said in its seventh progress report.

Lutomiah was demoted on April 17 by Kemri director general Yeri Kombe, reportedly on Health CS Mutahi Kagwe’s instructions, for delaying to release Covid 19 results.

In May, while appearing before the committee, an emotional Lutomiah blamed his woes on the ministry of Health acting Director General, Dr Patrick Amoth, and Dr Daniel Langat, the head of the ministry’s Department of Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Response Unit. He noted that he was condemned unheard.

However, Kagwe has distanced himself from the saga, explaining that the action was a “normal administrative issue” at Kemri.

READ ALSO:   Governor Laboso returns after two-month medical care abroad

“My understanding was that the individual was never sacked, but was just transferred from one department to another,” Mutahi told the National Assembly Health committee in April.

In the report, the committee said Lutomiah’s removal from the position violated the Fair Administrative Action Act (No. 5 of 2015), as well as various Guidelines, Protocols and Manuals governing disciplinary action.

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