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Shame of female and male magistrates sharing toilet at Kiambu law courts



Kiambu Law courts has only one toilet which is shared among six male and female magistrates and the director of human resource management.

The Judicial staff members are forced to queue to use the toilet, something that makes them uncomfortable when other staff and members of the public spot the officers pacing around when the facility is engaged.

Further, the sewage system of the staff toilet is faulty and keeps blocking, thus emitting foul smell into the nearby premises and the situation does not improve even after it is unblocked.

Members of the public who troop to the courts in droves have also not been spared the agony as there is only a single pit latrine, which comprises of one male toilet and a urinal and another for female clients. There is no provision for sanitary facility for people living with disabilities.

Worse still, the toilets are not connected to the sewer line and have no curtain making it embarrassing to use. They are also unhygienic.

A letter written by the station head Patriciah Gichohi and dated February 5, 2018 requested for funds to carry out the construction of ablution blocks and a canopy to cover the ramp and stairs to the new twin courts, registry and waiting bay and benches outside each of the twin courts.

According to a report seen by KNA, Kiambu law courts received a report from NEMA dated May 26, 2017 concerning the state of affairs at the institution, where the director made a raft of recommendations that are yet to be implemented.


NEMA recommended that the pit latrines for the public use be converted into water closets, which should be provided with two water closets for women and one for men gents plus a urinal.

It recommended that flushing cisterns for the public toilet facilities should be of cast iron or any other materials, which can withstand mishandling and that the public urinal should be roofed and an automatic flushing cistern be provided. Additionally, hand washing basins at the public sanitary facilities be provided for use after visiting the toilets.

The report further recommended that the eight water closets used by the suspects, prisoners and prison wardens in the cells should be provided with cast iron flushing cisterns or any other quality hardy enough to withstand mishandling.

Owing to the faulty condition on the closet used by this category of people, a pungent smell has continued to fill Court 1 and 2 which have direct access to people from the cells thus causing discomfort for those attending proceedings.

Staff and the public accessing the Kiambu law courts are still not at ease due to challenges faced when accessing the ramp, waiting bay and staircase in the area which were constructed without a canopy.

The concerns have not been attended to and court goers have continued to suffer especially during the rainy season, when the ramp becomes slippery and anyone accessing the twin courts and High Court registry can easily slip and fall down, thus making it dangerous to use.

The court leadership has appealed to Judiciary to look into the issues so that sanitation conditions and their safety, while traversing the various structures in the law courts are made friendly and easy to use.

By Nairobi News

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Doctors making a killing



The Race: 9:33pm, June 24, 2018: From Nairobi, Dr Felix Wanjala texts on a work WhatsApp group: “Team, let’s ensure we don’t let the team down … let’s meet our target.”

Without context, this might appear like a harmless motivational speech from a boss to his subordinates. But here is the context: Dr Wanjala is the CEO of Nairobi Women’s Hospital (NWH). In the message immediately before that, he had forwarded a text listing the admission numbers across all the hospital’s branches in the country. “We have the numbers as follows at this hour,” the CEO wrote to his employees, and then listed admissions totalling 288 across the hospital group.

The target, and the context of the war cry not to let the rest of the team down, he went on, was to get 22 more admissions.

To do this, the CEO recommended that his team, based at the Nairobi Women’s Hospital Branch in Nakuru (called Nakuru Hyrax) should “start with looking for referrals”, not miss “any opportunity (to admit)”, and be “very vigilant in casualty”.

In multiple texts covering different days in 2018, the WhatsApp group resembles a trading floor, with Dr Wanjala and his Chief Operations Officer Eunice Munyingi pushing employees to work harder and increase admissions. On the first day of July, for example, Ms Munyingi wrote in response to the nurse in charge of the hospital chain: “Let us increase speed; two admissions against 13 discharges at this hour is not good.”

Two minutes later, the CEO added: “It’s our striking time. Let’s intensify our effort … replace all discharges by 6pm.” Five days later, at 7:28pm, the COO told the Nakuru branch staff to “get three admissions by 9pm”.

Interviews with whistle-blowers who shared the screenshots paint the picture of a corporate culture of being pushed to meet admission targets. “Although it was not said explicitly,” one former member of the NWH told this writer, “the implication was that doctors and nurses in particular had to find reasons to admit patients to meet the hourly and daily targets, even if those reasons were an absolute lie.”

Another added that there was a financial reward paid to clinical officers for each admission; and they had to write down why they were admitting each patient. This meant, several former staff members said, that they had to get creative to meet targets, both personal ones and those of their employer.

The Founder:

Founded two decades ago by Dr Sam Thenya, a young gynaecologist, Nairobi Women’s Hospital began with a unique specialisation. The focus of its first branch, in Hurlingham, was solely obstetrics and gynaecology services, meaning its primary clients were women. It particularly became known for its Gender Violence Recovery Centre, a charitable arm that serves survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

“I was working in a hospital and I had pitched this idea to the CEO of that hospital, but he wasn’t very keen on the idea of taking in abused women for free,” the hospital’s founder told the Business Daily in November 2016. “One time he told me that if I thought the idea would work then I should go ahead and open my own hospital because it wasn’t going to work at that hospital, and right there I thought to myself, ‘Why not?”

So at 31, Dr Sam Thenya followed his boss’s advice.

What drove him to start the hospital when he had no money, he told the interviewer, was a “certain trigger, madness or passion”. That singular focus to his goal, despite challenges almost as soon as he started, built one of the most familiar, respected private hospitals in the capital city.

In 2003, the hospital’s banker, Daima Bank, collapsed. Dr Thenya, still in the early years of his project, heard the devastating news while refuelling his vehicle at a petrol station. “We had just issued suppliers’ cheques,” he said in the interview.

Despite other challenges, Dr Thenya and the hospital he built surged on. In a scenario that exemplifies the fine line between private healthcare as a business and a service, Dr Thenya had to fight with politicians, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, and technocrats who demanded the release of patients over bills.

Once, he told the interviewer, the President called him and told him someone had sent him an email lamenting that the body of his or her mother was being held hostage by NWH over unpaid bills. “Sam, what do we do?” the President asked. “Your Excellency, the bill has to be paid,” Dr Thenya answered.

After the President said he would pay the bill, and asked the body be released while he did it, Dr Thenya replied: “I need some proof of payment. If you want me to release it today, then pay today.”

By the time this was happening, a lot had changed. Dr Thenya had transformed from a practising gynaecologist to an entrepreneur as the hospital grew. He had also sold it, and was on his way out as the founding CEO.

Born in Nyakihai, Murang’a, in 1968, a much younger Sam Thenya had wanted to be a pilot. But he became a doctor instead. As a young doctor in training, he led a strike at Nyeri Provincial General Hospital in the early 1990s. The issue, which was fixed because of the strike, was bad work conditions for medical practitioners.

“I am not one who stands by and watches things deteriorate,” he told an interviewer in 2011.

What finally drove him to ask his boss to start a wing for victims of sexual violence, and doing it himself when he was challenged, was meeting the victim of a brutal gang rape. Battered, violated and in need of urgent medical care, she did not have money to pay for admission.

“I paid for her admission and closely monitored her progress.”

The Past: As a young doctor on a mission in the early 2000s, Dr Thenya was unstoppable in his mission to build Nairobi Women’s Hospital. In October 2000, a facility called Hurlingham Hospital was being auctioned off for unpaid debts. Dr Thenya approached the auctioneers with a promise to buy the hospital. It was an attractive deal for both sides: the auctioneers would get rid of an asset, and the young doctor would not have to start a hospital from scratch. But there was one problem, a big one. He had no money on him.

Nairobi Women’s Hospital Adams branch. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

The most he could raise was half a million shillings, which he did by selling his wife’s car. He needed Sh17 million more, so he got other investors to put in the money and take a share of the repainted hospital’s ownership.

In the world of modern finance, this seemingly brilliant financing strategy has a name. It is called a leveraged buyout (LBO). It works exactly how Dr Thenya did it: You buy a company by taking in debt and giving up equity, which means you do not need a single coin to start whatever enterprise you want to start.

The most famous LBO in the world is the hostile takeover of American company RJR Nabisco. In 1989, the executives of the conglomerate, which sold tobacco and food, started an unstoppable process to acquire the entire company at $75 a share.

The events that followed that ignition are covered in Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, a book by two American journalists that later became a movie. It covers the executives’ plan to buy out other shareholders, and the marathon that began when other groups of people joined in on the sudden race to acquire one of the biggest companies in the world. One of them finally won, by offering a price higher, by $15, than the management team’s offer.

But the best part of this story is that none of them, even the executives who wanted to buy a company for $25 billion, actually had the money, and they didn’t need to.

The gist is to start what is called, in modern finance, a fundless fund. Simply, a corporate body that on the one hand promises to and negotiates to buy something, while asking for money from those who have it to complete the deal. For investors with vast amounts of money, this is an investment for which they expect to see profits.

Dr Thenya gave up 40 per cent of NWH’s ownership to the investors who gave him Sh50 million to buy the assets of Hurlingham Hospital and rebuild it anew as Nairobi Women’s Hospital. As the hospital grew, on the back of its reputation as a niche healthcare provider, Dr Thenya bought out the investors, and by the late 2000s, owned the entire thing.

In 2009, he acquired Masaba Hospital in Adams Arcade, and turned it into the second Nairobi Women’s Hospital branch. By the end of the next decade, there would be a total of nine branches of Nairobi Women’s Hospital: four in the capital city and the metropolis; two in Nakuru; and one each in Naivasha, Meru and Mombasa.

From a single hospital in Hurlingham, Nairobi Women’s Hospital was one of the fastest-growing hospital chains in Kenya by the mid-2010s. But things had changed. In the first decade, Dr Thenya had quit practising to concentrate on the business side of his hospital.

“I realised that I was not giving my patients full attention because I was often caught up in strategy meetings,” he said, “(so) I had to choose between expanding the hospital and practising.”

And in several transactions beginning in 2010, he had progressively sold his ownership stake in the hospital to the successor of leveraged buyouts in modern finance; a similar but differently named structure called a private equity fund.

The Present:

A private equity (PE) firm is a leveraged buyout by any other name. Simply, you get money from wealthy individuals and organisations and invest it in attractive companies. Then you restructure the company by cutting costs and expanding as fast as possible, and then you sell the now bigger company for a profit.

The basis of this model of financing is to buy and sell, as opposed to keeping an investment in perpetuity. So PE firms strip their new companies of any sellable assets, change the management, reduce costs by firing professionals and employing cheaper labour, pay executives bonuses for meeting targets, and once the company is attractive enough on paper, sell it to someone else. That new buyer is often just another PE firm.

Dr Sam Thenya founded Nairobi Women’s Hospital with a unique specialisation. The focus of its first branch, in Hurlingham, was solely obstetrics and gynaecology services, meaning its primary clients were women. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In the complicated structures of global commerce, private equity funds are used to finance rapid expansion, which increases the value of the assets. Investors, who include funds of funds — where one investment fund invests in another investment fund — expect a return on investment. And investment funds get money by promising exactly that.

PE funds make money in two ways: by charging an annual management fee of the money they have been trusted with, calculated as a percentage, and by taking a cut of the profits they make when they sell the companies they buy. So their primary motivation is to get more investor money, and to restructure companies as fast as possible to attract a higher price than they bought it for.


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VIDEOS-Raila:Nobody can stop Reggae



Calls for constitutional amendments gained momentum at the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Mombasa on Saturday when leaders supported the call for a referendum.

Led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and senators James Orengo and Moses Wetang’ula, more than 20 governors, senators and tens of MPs declared the referendum was inevitable.

Deputy President William Ruto ally Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, who led Tangatanga leaders in the meeting at Mama Ngina Drive, threw his weight behind the BBI.

Mr Odinga also supported 16 resolutions by the coastal people among them the need for a referendum. The resolutions were read by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi.

The opposition leader said that the drive for referendum through BBI was “a train that has already left the station.”

 “What we now need to do for us to reach our destination is to be an iron like a lion in Zion. We have heard what the coastal people want. They are not new because this is not the first time that they are being said, but the difference is that this time around those issues will be implemented,” said Mr Odinga.

Top among the issues the coastal leaders want included in the BBI report that will be presented to the task force appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta is the issue of land ownership, expansion of the executive by having a position for a President, a Prime Minister and two deputies, creation of and upper and lower coast region, establishment of regional governments while retaining the counties and all port operations to be undertaken at the port facilities.

Mr Odinga said the formation of three-tier government was pushed by Coast leader Ronald Ngala.

Mr Musyoka said for the issues raised by the coastal leadership to be achieved, there must be the Constitution which can only be done through a referendum.

“For us to have a federal system, we must have a referendum. You cannot touch some laws without going through it,” said Mr Musyoka.

Governor Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, said going by the number of governors at the meeting, the referendum push was already realised.

“We have at least 24 governors here. What we need is 20 counties for us to pass the referendum. Tell me who can stop that. What Raila has said cannot be stopped,” said Mr Joho.

Mr Wetangula said the changes that are being proposed to the BBI should not go beyond 2020.

He said the constitutional change and referendum were inevitable. Mr Orengo said the country will be having the referendum by July.

In reference to Mr Murkomen’s support for the BBI and the referendum Mr Orengo said: “If you want to see a miracle, do not go to church tomorrow [Sunday] because it has happened today. Murkomen has called Raila Baba and talked of the referendum.”

When he took to the stage, Mr Murkomen stunned the crowd after he started his address by acknowledging Mr Odinga before he threw his support for the referendum.

“It is no longer us versus them. We will work together as Kenyans. I support the creation for the position of PM and other positions to be made,” said Mr Murkomen.

Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, who led Mt Kenya leaders in the meeting, said through BBI, there will be a referendum that would allow women have a chance in the next government.

“We will also be able to do away with the issue of having only two tribes leading other Kenyans. We will see the issue of inclusivity addressed once and for all through BBI,” said Ms Waiguru.

Kilifi governor who spoke on behalf of the coastal leaders said they had faith that BBI would address issues affecting the region.

He said the coastal people hope BBI will address the issue of land grabbing, economy will improve and coast leaders will have a chance to represent their people at the national table.

Other issues that formed part of the resolutions Mr Kingi read included provision of funds for growth of key sectors in the region, revival of defunct industries in the region, creation of an independent social and economic impact assessment commission and creation of a blue economy ministry that would be led by a CS from the region.

The others were equitable inclusion and representation of the coastal people, exploitation of natural resources to benefit the locals, equity in education, creation of regional police authorities to address the issues of insecurity, fight against graft and development of special programmes to revive tourism.


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Kenya could lose Sh3bn US funding over graft



Kenya’s persistent corruption blot may hinder its early access to a US multimillion-dollar development programme.

Nairobi is ranked 137 out of 180 countries on the latest Corruption Perceptions Index published by global watchdog Transparency International, indicating that despite the latest push to combat the vice, the war is far from being won.

With prevalent bribery and kickbacks in tendering and a police service clamping down on protesters, the US government suggests that Kenya’s access to funding for poverty alleviation programmes may be delayed.

In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Sean Cairncross, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), said Kenya is eligible for funding this year, but it must demonstrate obvious improvements in governance.

“One of the hurdles on our scorecard is the corruption indicator and so we recognise that in creating a dynamic economy and a market that is going to benefit the citizens of a country and reduce poverty through economic growth, corruption is a major constraint,” Mr Carincross said in Nairobi on Thursday.

 “With respect to Kenya, that is one of the issues that we are engaged on. We are kicking off programme development, so we don’t have yet a programme design and don’t know what that is going to look like.”

The leader of the US agency that says it applies a “new philosophy” to development aid was in Nairobi as part of an assessment to determine areas of need and funding structure, a process he said could take several months to be approved.

Last November, Kenya and Mozambique were prequalified for programmes targeting the poor as well as reforms in key departments. Further assessments based on indicators by the World Bank will determine when the money will be made available and who the recipients will be.

Kenya was qualified for the MCC Threshold, which means that once assessors approve of its progress on good governance indicators, Nairobi could access as much as $30 million (Sh3 billion) to run a three-year programme. According to MCC, the selection of Kenya for the programme is part of the US government’s efforts to reform institutions long clogged up with inefficiency.

If approved, the funding for Kenya from MCC could be the first in nearly a decade. The country routinely failed on certain indicators of “ruling justly”. Kenya received $12.7 million (Sh1.27 billion) from MCC between 2007 and 2010 — during the Mwai Kibaki presidency.

According to a programme profile provided to the Sunday Nation, the money went to changing procedures at the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency, the principal State organisation charged with supplying drugs to public hospitals, to reduce corruption in procurement and stock taking. After the programme ended, however, MCC indicated the government had slackened in the criteria and didn’t approve any further programmes until now.

 “We are going to go through a process of several months of diagnostics and design to determine specifically how it is going to look like. There will undoubtedly be institutional and policy reform focus that is going to target corruption,” he told the Sunday Nation.

Since 2010, however, Kenya has introduced county governments which means that the assessment will now involve both levels of government. Mr Cairncross indicated the lessons learnt in the first programme will drive the new way of working this time round.

“It is an iterative process for us to learn to do things better.

“One of the things that we learn is to bring on board real private sector engagement because without that you are not going to have a sort of real economy that is going to benefit the entire population.”

BY Sunday Nation

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