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Judiciary staff to work from home

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The Judiciary has directed its staff to work from home to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) whose cases have risen to 16 in Kenya.

In an internal memo by Chief Registrar Anne Amadi, the Judiciary – having been hit hard by restrictions on social distancing – says judicial officers will be using electronic communication such as emails to serve litigants.

To facilitate the filing of urgent matters, Ms Amadi directed the heads of stations to post contact details of two judicial officers outside courts.

The contacts details, which will include the name of the judicial officers, mobile phone numbers and email addresses, will be displayed outside the court premises.

The same should also be forwarded to the registrar of magistrate courts to facilitate uploading to the Judiciary’s website.

“Ensure that telephone or email enquiries by the litigants and the public are responded to promptly and appropriately,” directed Ms Amadi while giving the temporary measures taken by the Judiciary to control the spread of the disease.

While directing the heads of stations to notify the public of the directives by placing appropriate notices outside the courts, Ms Amadi stated that the Judiciary will continue providing further guidelines as the situation on Covid-19 unfolds in the country.

READ ALSO:   CJ Maraga lectures DCI Kinoti, DPP Haji in front of Uhuru

She also advised the heads of stations to embrace the new Electronic Case Management Practice Directions, 2020 released by Chief Justice David Maraga recently where practicable under the circumstances.

In issuing the fresh directives, Ms Amadi said the Judiciary staff raised issues regarding their safety as they attend to the court users.

She explained that the directives were made after consideration of the concerns raised by the staff, review of Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe’s statement regarding the seriousness of the pandemic and consultation with the chief justice.

“It is our view that the health and safety of the entire Judiciary family must be prioritised,” stated Ms Amadi.

The memo, which was copied to the chief Justice and his deputy, was addressed to the judges of the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, High Court, Land court, Labour court, judicial officers and judicial staff.

Since the confirmation of the first case in Kenya, the Judiciary scaled down its operations and has been providing minimal essential services such as filling of urgent matters and plea-taking for serious offences so as to ensure delivery of justice is not completely disrupted.

By Nation

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Entertainment

It’s season to unveil your hidden talent, thanks to Covid- 19

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The word-savvy have coined a title for it already: ‘Quarantine’s Got Talent’.

It is hidden talent season, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, that has

redefined heroism to mean being able to stay indoors.

Staying at home means everyone has a lot of time on their hands and that means talents that people had placed in the back burner for a while are now being exploited — and new ones are being explored.

Who would have imagined seeing Kieni MP Kanini Kega, often seen when there is a hot political matter, doing something as rustic as knitting? Photos of him knitting in his house have been doing the rounds on social media for the past couple of days.

He told the Sunday Nation that he had accepted a challenge from his children who had goaded him with: “Apart from playing politics, what else can you do?”

And so he decided to revisit the knitting skills he learnt as a Standard Eight boy at a primary school in Kieni. He also accepted a challenge to cook for the family.

“So, I had to cook. So far, I have cooked quite a lot: ugali and all,” said Mr Kega, the chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Trade and Industry.

And he has been enjoying every bit of it. “This is one of the best things. You know, politicians are the most disadvantaged people because they don’t interact so much with their families. This has given us ample time. We are interacting; we are learning a lot also from our kids,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Sonko, Maraga ‘no show’ at Jamhuri Day fete

Speaking of kids, the face of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja in a video he posted on March 28 told the story of a man having a moment of his life with his kin.

Using a rhyming poem, Mr Sakaja and his “ensemble” members — two young sons — delivered an important message on how to steer clear of the deadly coronavirus.

Mr Sakaja’s compatriot in the Senate, George Khaniri of Vihiga, has also been trending for showcasing his dancing skills.

A photo of former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo playing house barber has also been doing the rounds. Celebrity emcee Maurice “Mdomo Baggy” Ochieng has also posted a video playing with his three- year-old son.

“It can be stressful for parents used to tight schedules to have to stare at each other the whole day,” he posted on Facebook.

“One of the positive things you could do as a parent during this quarantine period is discover the talents of your children and nurture them. I spent time with my threeyear-old son. The guy has a left foot like no other,” he added.

In Mr Kega’s opinion, the Covid- 19 pandemic might be God-sent to remind humanity about the basics.

“I think God is telling us that we were running too fast,” he said. “God has told us that the world can stop.

READ ALSO:   Maraga awarded honorary degree by US university – PHOTOS

It is not about making money. It shouldn’t be about making money.

Because for us politicians, it is about seats and means — trying to make a cent here and there. But now we are being told: ‘Those things can stop; go back to family.’”

The cloth he was pictured knitting, he promised, will be complete by the end of this week.

“I will finish next week, and it will be a sweater. You know, I am the chair of the Trade and Industry Committee. We are promoting local industries,” he said, tongue-in-cheek.

Ordinary Kenyans are also reconnecting with their rarely-used abilities. Elizabeth Kavete has been staying home since March 26, given that her job is mostly about fieldwork, and she has used the free time to sharpen her video making skills.

Her producer told her she has impeccable acting skills and advised her to try a hand in the YouTube video business. Her first video was a simple tutorial on lighting a jiko.

“I had this idea in mind and been using any time I want to cook using a jiko,” she told the Sunday Nation.

With guidance from the producer, she went ahead to shoot the tutorial and uploaded it on her YouTube account, Kavete LizLizz.

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Prof Mutua rips Itumbi to pieces, says he is barely literate

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Prof Makau Mutua, the SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of KHRC has ripped Dennis Itumbi to pieces. Here is his column;

It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the movies, or in real life. That’s why the recent public sacking — and humiliation in broad daylight — of the one-time Jubilee blue-eyed boy Dennis Itumbi was worth a champagne toast.

Mr Itumbi’s job description in the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU) was Orwellian.

Straight out of 1984, the dystopian novel by English writer George Orwell, Mr Itumbi’s improbable title was Director of Digital Innovation and Diaspora Communications at the PSCU. Let that sink in.

The office of the Gang of Five “digital terrorists” was a taxpayer-funded propaganda machine in the Deep State at the apex of power.

They say you should be kind to people on your way up because you will surely meet them on your way down.

This is especially true if your ascent to the top — like Mr Itumbi’s — isn’t based on any discernible qualifications, or experience, except tweeting.

PROPAGANDA MACHINE

In any society based on meritocracy, Mr Itumbi, then barely literate and in his 20s, would’ve been lucky to get a government job as subordinate factotum in a remote, isolated, and windswept provincial outpost.

READ ALSO:   Kenya’s CJ dismisses letter cautioning judges against swearing-in Raila and Kalonzo.

But no, the precocious fellow started right at the top, next to Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta at State House. There was Mr Itumbi, wet behind the ears, perched at the pinnacle of the state. He quickly got power-drunk.

Let’s be fair to Mr Itumbi and his fellow “keyboard terrorists”. He was baptised with fire.

His remit at first was to delegitimise the International Criminal Court and discredit those who supported the crimes against humanity investigations into Mr Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto.

There were reports that he assembled a well-oiled army dubbed “36 Bloggers”, whose mandate was to personally destroy the ICC’s proponents.

No other sector of society sought justice for the victims of the 2007 near-genocidal post-election violence than Kenya’s civil society.

CIVIL SOCIETY ONSLAUGHT

I know because the Kenya Human Rights Commission, whose board I chair, was the leading voice for the victims.

Mr Itumbi and his acolytes called civil society “evil society”, a dirty moniker. Mr Itumbi, a proto-fascist, pursued a putschist vendetta against civil society.

His cartel used every state lever to destroy us, the “evil society”. The state carried out frivolous audits against NGOs.

There were several attempts to deregister the KHRC, among other NGOs. Fazul Mahamed, the disgraced former CEO of the NGO Co-ordination Board, led the charge against human rights NGOs on non-existent regulatory violations.

READ ALSO:   Sonko, Maraga ‘no show’ at Jamhuri Day fete

Eventually, the courts turned away the vexatious suits. Mr Itumbi and other state operatives attacked us personally at every turn.

He was vicious, determined, and acted without a conscience. Power went into the young man’s head.

He was untouchable and acted with impunity knowing that he sat in the inner sanctum of power.

RUTO’S SUPPORTER

His hubris finally caught up with him. Mr Itumbi apparently never got the memo.

He backed the wrong horse in the kerfuffle between Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta. As the saying goes, even a fool would’ve told him “you dance with the one who brung ya”.

In his case, that would’ve been Kamwana. But instead, Mr Itumbi jumped all in — feet first — into Mr Ruto’s anti-Kenyatta camp.

He left no ambiguity, or nuance, on whose side he was. Often, he would attack Mr Kenyatta on Twitter.

This wasn’t tomfoolery, but pure, unadulterated foolishness. He unequivocally decided his bread was buttered on Mr Ruto’s side.

It proved to be his undoing. No wonder he has been handed his own fanny. Two recent events highlight his ignominious fall from power.

First, he was implicated in the strange Hotel La Mada saga and the purported letter on Mr Ruto’s assassination.

READ ALSO:   Maraga awarded honorary degree by US university – PHOTOS

ITUMBI KICKED OUT

The letter sounded like a page out of the book by the boy who cried wolf. Whoever forged it seemed to have aimed at winning Mr Ruto sympathy tears.

The unforced error in Mr Ruto’s camp backfired spectacularly. Mr Itumbi was held for several days in the cooler.

He was left holding the bag because Mr Ruto was helpless to protect his hireling. I suspect, as Mr Kenyatta often says, “simu yangu imezimwa” (my phone is off) — which means old buddies like Mr Itumbi can’t reach him to beg for relief.

The last episode was caught on live TV at the unveiling of the BBI at Bomas. There, Mr Itumbi was captured being frog-marched off the VIP dais just feet away from Mr Kenyatta.

I don’t think his feet even touched the floor as he was thrown out. Mr Ruto, Mr Itumbi’s godfather, sat forlornly alone on stage as Mr Kenyatta and ODM’s Raila Odinga savoured the proceedings amid mirthful banter and uproarious laughter.

I don’t take pleasure in the misfortunes of others, but Mr Itumbi’s ignominious end is poetic justice.

Editor’s note: Mr Itumbi, arraigned in July last year over the fake Ruto assassination letter, denies the charges.

-Nation.co.ke

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Deaf teacher excels in online video making

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When you meet 31-yearold Samwel Buuri Muriithi the first thing you notice is a warm, polished demeanour and ease of manner.

Then an infectious smile and dead silence. He does not respond verbally.

The best he can do is respond in sign language.

This is the life he has lived since he was 10 years old. He was in Class Three then, in a regular school.

Despite being deaf Muriithi is now a music video producer with a stream of hits under his belt.

He uploads them under the YouTube name Deaf Media K.

“I now edit videos on my phone, I get reviews on my phone too. It has made my work easier,” says Muriithi.

But it has not always been like this.

When he woke up one morning, he says, he could not hear properly from his right ear.

What he describes as the fluttering of butterflies obstructed his hearing.

He thought those close to him were whispering. Sadly though, his sense of hearing was failing.

Muriithi later realised that he was developing a hearing problem.

Soon his left ear developed similar complications. Then he lost the sense the hearing.

He comes from a humble background and did not notice his talent early.

READ ALSO:   Kenya’s CJ dismisses letter cautioning judges against swearing-in Raila and Kalonzo.

Solace in music

“My love for art developed later, after joining a school for the deaf and interacting with various social groups,” he says.

When his mother died in 2007, he found solace in music and art. “They calmed my emotions wherever I was overwhelmed,” he says.

His love for drama, poetry, music and art blossomed at Machakos Teachers Training College.

“Drama was my new love,” he says. In 2018 a friend asked him to help infuse sign language in a Kiswahili song.

“Since sign language is taught in English, we had to translate the song from Kiswahili to English.

It was difficult,” he recalls.

When the new version of the song was released, he says, feedback was overwhelming.

“The audience was impressed.” Uploading videos on YouTube was rife then.

But, uploading substandard quality videos on the platform was frowned upon.

This necessitated learning how to edit high quality videos.

It was a tedious process and he almost gave up. But when he uploaded the debut Kiswahili video on YouTube the feedback was gratifying. This motivated him to continue the pursuit.

Together with a friend he simulated jokes, translated songs and produced short plays.

He was entrusted with editing videos and posting them on YouTube.

To interpret musicians’ messages he either reads lips or relies on people who can hear.

READ ALSO:   Maraga confesses about his ‘dark past’

“Another friend who was conversant with video editing joined the team. His appetite for success kept us on track,” he says.

He practised the art studiously until his editing skills improved. Sometimes he browsed the internet to watch tutorials on video editing. “Before I upload a video I give it to a random friend to review.
He critics and flags where I need to make adjustments.
“The reviewer checks the quality of sound, relevance of subtitles and

actions. Such reviews help me to fine-tune the final output,” he says. Supporters applaud his work.

Then there are critics, mostly from the deaf community, who tell him areas to improve in subsequent uploads.

Last year he was the lead actor in the movie The City Girl.

The “opportunity taught me how persons living with disability can use art to change society,” he says.

During production an interpreter was hired to help people with disability understand the director’s commands.

“When shooting we must have the hearing community. We cannot do it alone,” he says.

As a director, how do you know that a video is good for the audience? I ask.

“My intention is to educate the hearing community on sign language and give them a reason to watch by incorporating humour,” he says.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Outrage as Chief Justice Maraga attends Uhuruto rally

Muriithi is a teacher by profession.

“Teaching does not tickle my fancy. I teach to survive while I act to find fulfilment,” he says.

“Interests of the deaf are not fully represented in the mainstream media. This is the gap I envision to fill.”

Love for arts
BLOSSOMED AT COLLEGE LEVEL

When Samwel Buuri Muriithi woke up one morning he could not hear properly from his right ear.

Soon his left ear developed similar complications. Then he lost the sense of hearing altogether.

When his mother died in 2007, he found solace in music and art.

His love for drama, poetry, music and art blossomed at Machakos Teachers Training College.

By Sunday Nation

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