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State stops use of master’s degree for promotions

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The government has stopped relying on postgraduate qualifications as a ticket for promotion in the civil service.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) says promotions will now be based on work experience and individual competence and not additional degrees in what mirrors private sector practices.

The quest for promotion in the public service has seen hundreds of civil servants seek master’s degree and PhD qualifications.

“In view of the transitional arrangement, the commission has suspended the requirements of the strategic leadership development programme and Master’s degree as parameters for promotion of public officers to senior position,” PSC chairperson Stephen Kirogo said in a March 11 memo.

But Mr Kirogo maintains that public servants in the role of directors will be required to have a minimum qualification of a master.

Top civil servants earn salaries and perks that match those of managers in private sector, with some taking home nearly Sh1 million when multiple allowances are factored in.

The automatic promotions based on acquisition of additional degrees has been partly been blamed for putting pressure on the public wage bill.

Standing at Sh620 billion annually, the public payroll gobbles up half of tax collections and compensates 842, 000 public officials who represent less than two per cent of the population.

The government is betting on faster economic growth and faster growth in taxes to support the increased payroll expenditure. Tax collections continue to trail targets in a sluggish business environment.

Economic growth is, however, expected to remain sluggish in the short term on the effects of poor weather, reduced private sector lending and the uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak in Kenya.

“The commission has noted that some of the requirements for promotion may not be facilitating acquisition of the envisioned skill, competencies and attributes required at the higher level, “Mr Kirogo said.

The rule on Masters’ degrees comes in a period when Kenya has witnessed a sharp growth in postgraduate enrolment.

Data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that 43,988 students were pursuing Master’s degree and PhD courses in the year to June, up from 32,977 in a similar period last year.

SHARP DROP Universities are promoting the courses in a bid to grow their revenues, hit by the sharp drop in the number of students pursuing the parallel [self-sponsored] degree courses, whose fees are based on market rates.

This has seen top institutions like the University of Nairobi freeze hirings and expansion plans as they struggle with huge debts.

Master’s degree and PhD students increased by 317 percent in the five years to June 2017, putting pressure on university facilities like lecture halls and libraries as well as lecturers in a market with a high tutor to student ratio.

By Business Daily


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Business

Enough is Enough: Kenyan man in US relocates to motherland to become a farmer

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In a bold move and which took great courage, a former Kenyan Diaspora man Kunga Kihokia who was born and raised in Miami Florida has moved back to Kenya, bought a 20 acres piece of land and established an organic farm in Murang’a.

Initially, Kunga had planned to be in Kenya for three weeks 5 years ago but after what he says was the realization of the problems affecting Kenyans because of western lifestyle which he himself was struggling with, he felt strongly to start an organic farm to address those problems.

Kunga has built a water tower to use gravity that allows the water to get pumped and distributed  through  irrigation into the field. Everything in the farm is powered by solar energy and he has dug a borehole that supplies enough water for the farm. Watch the video, be inspired  and enjoy.

Source: Diasporamessenger.com


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Carpenter hopes payday in sight in 27-year fight over presidential seats

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For the past 27 years, Solomon Njoroge Kiore has battled with the government over a debt that was initially Sh195 million but has now ballooned to more than Sh500 million in an unpaid bill for presidential furniture he delivered.

Tomorrow (Monday), Mr Kiore will go to the High Court in Milimani hoping that the end is in sight as he is supposed to get a hearing date for a case that has had many twists and turns.

In 1992, Mr Kiore, the proprietor of Furncon, a furniture company, won a government tender to supply presidential furniture but down the line, the deal went sour when the military officials returned the chairs a year after President Daniel arap Moi had used them — allegedly without payment.

The chairs had been acquired through the Ministry of Defence and approved by State House, according to court documents.

The government has denied failing to make the payment and he went to court to seek redress in 2007.

Although Mr Moi used the chairs for a year, Furncon says the military returned them to his workshop.

With the matter dragging through the courts for years, in February 2018, a decision was reached to settle out of court.

But the parties could not agree on the amount to be paid, with the businessman citing lack of goodwill on the side of the state.

Sh527 million

That year, Mr Kiore was seeking Sh527 million, being the price, court costs and storage charges.

He told the court he did not receive any invitation to negotiate a settlement.

Then last year, Symon Yator Cheberek, a military colonel, took over the case after Attorney General Kihara Kariuki appointed him to represent the state in all civil matters in which the Ministry of Defence is a party.

High Court judge Joseph Sergon allowed Col Cheberek to act for the state, but Mr Kiore objected this saying allowing a military officer to take up the matter was tantamount to court-martialling him.

“There can never be a situation where a civilian can be in court one on one with a distinctive disciplined and uniformed force,” he stated in an affidavit on March 25, 2019.

Col Cheberek said he is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Attorney General was in order to appoint him.

Mr Kiore wants Justice Sergon to recuse himself from hearing the matter, alleging bias and citing a 2017 ruling by Justice Philip Mwongo barring the military from taking over the case.

Justice Sergon has declined the recusal plea, saying the claims of bias could not be proved.

 Now, Mr Kiore says his business has died, as he can no longer use the premises where he has kept the chair as it is an instrument of power.

“It was used by a President for a year. It is treasured and therefore no one is supposed to touch it. My business has suffered immensely because of this seat,” he says in his court documents.

In a letter dated May 10, 2001, the Attorney General informed Mr Kiore that the Department of Defence had extended a without-prejudice offer purely out of honour and respect for presidential instruments.

“However, having realised that your claims include other items worth millions of shillings reflective of your other financial issues not related to the chair in question, it has not been possible to formally make the offer to you,” states the letter signed by V Onyango, a deputy litigation officer at the State Law Office.

Admission of liability

The offer, the officer states, is not the government’s admission of liability, because “the said chairs were ordered by the Agricultural Society of Kenya”.

The September 1992 deal was not the first. Mr Kiore’s company had sold furniture for VIP use in State functions to the government before.

He says the seat was made under strict supervision of the military and State House staff.

The firm says it was asked to make more furniture for presidential lounges at the Eldoret Moi Airbase and Kahawa Garrison and deliver the chairs to the Agricultural Society of Kenya offices in Nairobi for a three-day presidential function.

But the President ordered that the furniture remain at the ASK offices, according to a letter by the ASK dated August 5, 1999.

Now, Furncon wants a declaration that the ownership of the items was passed on to the government in September 1992, under the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act and as such they are instruments of power.

by nation africa


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Go Green na Optiven

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It is the responsibility of everyone to tender and care for the planet for better and healthier future generations.

 

We call upon you to join any of these categories:

 

1. Those who are more environmentally friendly

 

2. Those who are ecologically responsible in both their decision making and lifestyles

 

3. Those who protect environment

 

4. Those who protect and sustain the natural resources in their area of business

 

5. Those who help to conserve resources like water, air and vegetation

 

6. Those who produce eco-friendly products, thus preventing pollution of our air, water and land

 

7. Those who can prove that they have been using Green Energy/clean energy such as solar power or if using conventional energy; they are using eco-friendly bulbs and that save energy.

 

How can each play a role this is a highlight of just but a few but you can  put your   role that  you are doing  to promote the  green agenda

 

1. Builders/Engineers/Architects/Interiors designers

i. Use of solar energy/ Use of solar panels

ii. Use of Energy saving bulbs, florescent tubes

iii. Use of organic paints, light friendly windows

iv. Use of Eco-friendly toilets

v. Harvesting of rain water from roof tops, use roofs that are Eco-friendly, ensure that water does not go to waste

vi. Proof of reduction of water bills as a result of going green

vii. Water recycling technologies like Bio digester

viii. Those whose provide green buildings, Eco-friendly homes

 

2. Farming, gardening, landscaping experts

i. Use of drip or sprinkler on not flooding water while gardening or farming

ii. Use of organic pesticides

iii. Use of organic manure

iv. Those who increase forests cover

 

3. Health businesses, Schools, Hospitals

i. Those providing natural skin care products & not petroleum or synthetic ingredients on the products

ii. Those offering advice on going green, creating awareness of going green

iii. Those who teach children on being a friend of the earth

iv. Those who buy from ethical farmers who are known to produce organic products

 

4. Transport industry, drivers, delivery companies and logistics firms/organizations

i. Those who reduce carbon emissions directly or indirectly

ii. Any Awareness of climate change

iii. Any knowledge of carbon emissions and how to reduce?

 

5. Property Owners within Optiven Projects

i. Planting of trees in their plots

ii. Adoption of water recycling technology

iii. Establishment of Green Spaces

iv. Proper waste disposal

 

6. SMEs

i. Those who recycle waste

ii. Those manufacturing from the recycled materials

iii. Those who take proper care of electronic wastes

iv. Tech companies that have a green policy on disposal of electric waste

v. SMEs that can prove awareness of global warming

 

7. Families

i. Those who adopt any of the going green initiative say family tree planting, planting a tree during birthday instead of having a birthday cake or doing both

ii. With children who are aware of climate change and also alive to ways of preventing in preventing it

iii. Families that are involved in separation of different form of waste and or engaged in any form of recycling

 

8. Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment joins

i. Provision of organic food to customers

ii. Support of local farmers who do organic farming

iii. Awareness of climate change and its risks to humanity

 

9. Decision makers- checking the green component in your venture

i. Any policy decisions on going green

ii. Awareness on global warming

iii. Any knowledge of implementation of United Nations Development Goals

 

10. Children: If you are a child who is school going or otherwise and you have started being sensitive to the planet by doing conservation activities

 

11. Others: If you  believe that you are a friend of the planet, let us know

 

https://youtu.be/45nfQZYQeKU

 

#SaveTheEarth

#SaveOurPlanet

#GoingGreen=Healthy Families

 

George Wachiuri

Trustee

Optiven Foundation

www.optivenfoundation.org


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