Sunday, November 29, 2015

Matiang’i takes over, assures teachers of September pay

BY  | NOVEMBER 29, 2015

Matiang'i says the release of the funds follows consultative meetings with his treasury counterpart Henry Rotich, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Attorney General/FILE
Matiang’i says the release of the funds follows consultative meetings with his treasury counterpart Henry Rotich, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Attorney General/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Fred Matiang’i takes over the Education docket with a bang by announcing through his Twitter account that teachers will begin receiving their September salaries from Monday.
Matiang’i says the release of the funds follows consultative meetings with his Treasury counterpart Henry Rotich, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Attorney General.
Matiang’i says he will also hold a consultative meeting with the Kenya National Union Teachers (KNUT) and the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) on Monday morning on the subject of union dues among other things.
“Looking forward to working respectfully with all stakeholders,” the former ICT and Lands Cabinet Secretary tweeted.
On November 20 Justice Nelson Abuodha of the Employment and Labour Relations court declined to stay his order directing TSC to pay teachers for the month of September when they were on strike as he’d found it, “protected in law.”
TSC had sought a stay pending the determination of an appeal they’d filed contesting the directive on the grounds that a court cannot order an employer to pay for services not rendered.
On November 11, following a meeting with the TSC, KNUT and KUPPET officials, President Uhuru Kenyatta called on the TSC, “to consider paying all the teachers their September salaries and union dues at the earliest opportunity.”
But they did not immediately follow through and put the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations negotiated by President Kenyatta at the State House meeting, on tenuous footing.
President Kenyatta negotiated a deal that required the parties to terminate all court proceedings and negotiate a CBA within a month of Wednesday’s meeting.
A CBA which would bring an end to the perennial teachers’ strikes such as were witnessed in January and September this year, leading to a fierce court room court room battle that went up to the Court of Appeal and was on its way to the Supreme Court prior to President Kenyatta’s intervention.
KNUT Secretary General Wilson Sossion has many a time blamed Matiang’i’s predecessor Jacob Kaimenyi’s high-handedness, at least in part, for the drawn out pay dispute and many other woes.

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It is with grief and a deep sense of loss that I send you this message of condolence and encouragement following the death of your dad, Mzee Johnson Kidero Agango.
A humble, kind, generous and courageous elder, Mzee Agango was well respected in the community. He was a person of enormous influence and outstanding ability who had a singular sense of duty to his family and the nation at large.
Indeed, the country will always be indebted to Mzee Agango for his patriotism and the role he played in support of the independence struggle. We will particularly remember Agango for the various roles he played both in Church and in the community. His wise counsel will be missed by many.
Mzee Agango’s death leaves a gap that will not be filled, certainly not by these few words of consolation. But as we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate his achievements, and be lifted by the exemplary life he led.
God gave him a full life spanning over 87 years. We are proud of the contribution he made over these years and thank God for the time we shared with him.
In this hour of sorrow and grief, Margaret and I convey our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to you, your close family, relatives and friends.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We pray that the Almighty God will give you the strength and courage to bear the loss.
May the Almighty God rest Mzee Johnson Kidero Agango’s soul in eternal peace.

PHOTOS: Politician awakens silent Nandi village with Sh13 million dowry payment party

By Brian Okoth, Citizen Digital


Saboti 2013 parliamentary seat aspirant, Caleb Hamisi, stirred silent Kurgung’ village in Nandi County when he paraded over 60 top of the range off-road guzzlers at a Koito – better known dowry negotiation.
The suitor, who made headlines in August when Saboti youth got injured after hanging on to his chopper, graced the event which had more than 300 guests.
Hamisi, who was seeking Whitney Chemutai’s hand in marriage, was accompanied by his family and Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter.

The wealthy businessman had his guests booked in five separate hotels in Eldoret town with a robust security detail guarding his colleagues and himself.
“I have known Whitney Chemutai since October 2011. We promised ourselves we’d carry out a colourful engagement party and I am glad it came out well,” Hamisi told Citizen Digital.
“I am appreciating the parents for bringing up a good woman, and also showing my respect for the institution of marriage,” he added.
Hamisi’s family and guests spent an estimated Ksh1.2 million plus a breakfast budget of Ksh450, 000 for the two days they stayed at the Eldoret hotels.
Another estimated Ksh890, 000 was used for hiring and fueling vehicles that ferried relatives and friends from his Kiungani home to Eldoret.

“Eldoret to Nandi is quite a distance, and there were very many vehicles to ferry people between the two places. We needed heavy duty cars. We had Land Cruisers, Prados, Range Rovers and other off-road conveyances.”
It is Hamisi’s personal finances which went into the booking of hotels plus car hiring. Why didn’t he ask for financial assistance from his fellow moneyed friends?
He responded: “I did not want them (friends and family) to incur any cost; I am not the kind of person who asks people to contribute towards his marriage. No one contributed even a shilling.”
“I came with 300 guests; but I’d say the event was graced by more than 1000 people – the ceremony attracted the whole district’s attention. The villagers were very excited when they saw the abnormal activity,” he said amid laughter.
“I could not chase them (villagers) away; otherwise I would have spoiled the whole thing. The event also took place in an open village, so I could not put restrictions.”
Finding Whitney
Before Whitney’s parents agreed to take the token Hamisi had brought them, he was given a challenge – to prove he knew his woman well.
How was it done?
“She was grouped with several ladies her age. They all dressed in similar outfits, with their faces covered. I was told to go choose Chemutai from the group – if I failed to, then I was to be fined. I couldn’t miss her – I know her like the back of my hand! Six years of dating does not come in vain,” said the millionaire.
He added: “We used Ks150, 000 for Whitney’s dress and accessories. I allocated extra Ksh100, 000 for her best friend’s outfit and Ksh250, 000 for other girls’ clothes.”
After the main ceremony, guests were treated to a pre-wedding party held at the well-known Club Signature in Eldoret.
“At the entertainment joint, everybody binged on my bill. I incurred a bill of Ksh450, 000 which I easily paid,” told Hamisi.
“Over Ksh365, 000 was used to pay entertainers that included Webuye International Band and comedians,” Hamisi told.
Photographers and public address facilities were hired at a cost of Ksh490, 000.
The politician also spent an additional Ksh1.95 million on gifts for family members to take to their in-laws.
“The whole ceremony cost well over Ksh13 million. I’m now looking forward to our grand wedding next year March,” said Hamisi.
Asked if he was imitating the flamboyant way Jared K. Otieno paid dowry in Meru early 2015, Hamisi said: “I am Luhya and I think you have seen for yourself! I have actually done more than what my Luo brothers can do,” he retorted.
His life story
“I don’t know my parents. I was raised by my grandmother who took me in after my mum passed on when I was 9-months-old.
Granny saw me through education. I sat for my Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) where I was the second best student in Western Province before later joining prestigious Starehe Boys Centre and School for secondary education.” he divulged.
Hamisi was admitted to University of Nairobi and upon completion of his four year course, he taught at a High School in Vihiga.
Hamisi would later relocate to Nairobi where he worked as a casual labourer in different companies.
Things would change for the better as he saved money to establish his own company – Mudom Investment Company which deals in supplies and Freight management.
“Without education, I would have been a shamba boy,” he concluded.

Whitney Chemutai was all smiles PHOTO/CITIZEN
Whitney Chemutai was all smiles PHOTO/CITIZEN
MP Alfred Keter was happy to receive the cake from Ms Chemutai PHOTO/CITIZEN
MP Alfred Keter was happy to receive the cake from Ms Chemutai PHOTO/CITIZEN
Family and friends were happy for Whitney PHOTO/CITIZEN
Family and friends were happy for Whitney PHOTO/CITIZEN
Of the dignitaries who attended the ceremony PHOTO/CITIZEN
Caleb Hamisi (R) with the dignitaries who attended the ceremony PHOTO/CITIZEN
They feasted and drunk to their fill PHOTO/CITIZEN
They drunk ‘Mursik’ to their fill PHOTO/CITIZEN
The groom-to-be, Mr. Hamisi, was all cheerful on the day he sealed the deal with Chemutai's parents PHOTO/CITIZEN
The groom-to-be, Mr. Hamisi, was all cheerful on the day he sealed the deal with Chemutai’s parents PHOTO/CITIZEN
What a kiss planted on her cheek by the bride-to-be PHOTO/CITIZEN
What a kiss planted on her cheek by the bride-to-be PHOTO/CITIZEN
Congratulations Sir! PHOTO/CITIZEN
Congratulations Sir! PHOTO/CITIZEN
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Pope rides in a KIA Soul as he leaves Entebbe Airport Photo/@MalcolmWebb ‪#‎PopeInUganda

The Star, Kenya
Pope rides in a KIA Soul as he leaves Entebbe Airport Photo/@MalcolmWebb ‪#‎PopeInUganda



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Pope calls slum conditions in Nairobi an injustice

Pope calls slum conditions in Nairobi an injustice

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Visiting one of Nairobi's many shantytowns on Friday, Pope Francis denounced conditions slum-dwellers are forced to live in, saying access to safe water is a basic human right and that everyone should have dignified, adequate housing.
Residents of the Kangemi slum lined the mud streets to welcome Francis, standing alongside goats and hens outside the corrugated tin-roofed shacks where many of the shantytown's small businesses operate: beauty parlors, cellphone "top-up" shops and storefront evangelical churches.
Those lucky enough to score a spot at St. Joseph's parish erupted in cheers and hymns when Francis arrived, ululating and waving paper flags printed with his photo and the "Kariba Kenya" welcome that has been ubiquitous on the pope's first-ever visit to Africa.
In remarks to the crowd, Francis insisted that everyone should have access to water, a basic sewage system, garbage collection, electricity as well as schools, hospitals and sport facilities.
"To deny a family water, under any bureaucratic pretext whatsoever, is a great injustice, especially when one profits from this need," he said.
Francis, known as the "slum pope" for his ministry in Buenos Aires' shantytowns, has frequently insisted on the need for the three "Ls" — land, labor and lodging — and on Friday he focused on lodging as a critical issue facing the world amid rapid urbanization that is helping to upset Earth's delicate ecological balance.
Kangemi is one of 11 slums dotting Nairobi, East Africa's largest city, and is home to about 50,000 people. The U.N. Habitat program says some 60 percent of Nairobi's population lives on just 6 percent of the city's residential land in these unofficial settlements lacking basic sanitation or regular running water.
Francis denounced the practice of private corporations grabbing land illegally, depriving schools of their playgrounds and forcing the poor into ever more tightly packed slums, where violence and addiction are rampant.
In January, police tear-gassed schoolchildren demonstrating against the removal of their school's playground, which has been allegedly grabbed by powerful people. After an outcry, the Kenyan government declared the playground the property of the school.
"These are wounds inflicted by minorities who cling to power and wealth, who selfishly squander while a growing majority is forced to flee to abandoned, filthy and run-down peripheries," Francis said.
Francis told the residents that people forced to live in slums actually share values that wealthier neighborhoods can learn from: solidarity and looking out for one another. But he said it was unjust that entire families are forced to live in unfit housing, often at exorbitant prices.
He called for a "respectful urban integration" with concrete initiatives to provide good quality housing for all.
His message was welcomed by residents of Kangemi, who said the city only pipes in water three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday, but it's not safe to drink. Garbage collection goes to only those who can pay for it.
"Some people don't have toilets in their homes," said Emily Night, a mother of two who works at the St. Joseph's HIV counseling program. "Those that do, maybe 50 people are using it!"
Things aren't much better in nearby Kibera.
"It's difficult. There is no water. We drink well water," said Rebecca Nanzala, who attended the pope's visit with the youngest of her three children, 2-year-old Mary. "Some treat it, some don't."
Francis raised the issue of environmental deterioration in cities in his landmark encyclical "Praise Be," saying many megacities today have simply become health threats, "not only because of pollution caused by toxic emissions but also as a result of urban chaos, poor transportation, and visual pollution and noise."
After the visit to Kangemi, Francis received a rock-star welcome at Kasarani stadium, where he zoomed around the track in his open-sided popemobile to the delight of the crowd. The stadium was so packed with the faithful that many more stood outside, unable to enter.
As he tends to do when surrounded by young people, Francis ditched his prepared speech and spoke off-the-cuff at length about problems Kenyan young people are facing, including the temptation to go the way of Kenya's many corrupt officials and institutions or to go off and join an extremist group.
Francis told the crowd that the way to prevent the young from being radicalized is to give them an education and a job.
"If a young person has no work, what kind of a future does he or she have? That's where the idea of being recruited comes from," he said.
Kenyans make up the largest contingent of foreign fighters in the Somali based al-Qaida-linked extremist group al-Shabab, which has staged attacks in Kenya.
Francis also urged the kids to resist the temptation of corruption, saying it's like sugar: You develop a taste for it but it's ultimately terrible for you.
After meeting with Kenya's bishops, Francis headed to Uganda for the second leg of his trip.
On Sunday, he is due to arrive in the Central African Republic.
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