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CoG and MCK commit to support media in fostering professional coverage of devolved units

CoG ICT and Knowledge Management Committee Chair Governor Wesley Rotich and MCK CEO David Omwoyo after the MoU signing in Mombasa./COURTESY

>>BY YAYRA MIGYIKRA>>

The Council of Governors (CoG) and the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) have emphasized the vital role that the media plays in promoting devolution.

CoG ICT and Knowledge Management Committee Chair, Governor Wesley Rotich, and the MCK CEO David Omwoyo have vowed to support the media in its efforts to provide reputable coverage of the devolved units.

The two spoke in Mombasa before signing a Memorandum of Understanding that calls for strong collaboration between the media and county governments to distribute information from the counties.

Among other things, the MoU will work to improve the capacity-building of county communications and media employees, relations between county governments and journalists, and the creation of a training curriculum on devolution for the media from model practical perspectives in the County Governments.

“While it is within the rights of the media to highlight shortcomings of government and those in authority, they have an obligation to showcase successes and achievements after 10 years of devolution in Kenya. It is critical that Kenyans get access to timely relevant information from the counties,” said MCK CEO David Omwoyo.

According to him, the MOU aims to encourage information sharing and knowledge management among and within the devolved units.

He urged county governments to give journalists access to information, claiming that doing so would stop the spread of false information and avoidable squabbles that have frequently soured relations between the media and devolved units.

He also urged media to cover stories from the counties in a balanced manner.

Tala, M-Kopa among 12 additional digital lenders licensed by CBK

The Central Bank of Kenya has licensed 12 more digital lenders.

In a press statement, CBK announced the licensing of 12 more Digital Credit Providers (DCPs), bringing the number of licensed digital lenders to 22 following the licensing of 10 others in September 2022.

“This is pursuant to Section 59(2) of the Central Bank of Kenya Act (CBK Act),” said CBK.

The additional DCPS are Inventure Mobile Limited (trading as Tala), M-Kopa Loan Kenya Limited, Pezesha Africa Limited, Jumo Kenya Limited, Letshego Kenya Limited, Zanifu Limited, MFS Technologies Limited, Mycredit Limited, Natal Tech Company Limited, Ngao Credit Limited, Tenakata Enterprises Limited, and Umoja Fanisi Limited.

According to CBK, the bank has received 381 applications since March 2022 and has worked closely with the applicants in reviewing their applications. Additionally, CBK has engaged other regulators and agencies pertinent to the licensing process, including the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner

“The licensing and oversight of DCPs as indicated previously was precipitated by concerns raised by the public about the predatory practices of the unregulated DCPs, and in particular, their high cost, unethical debt collection practices, and the abuse of personal information,” read a statement from CBK.

Other lenders licensed by CBK are Ceres Tech Limited, Getcash Capital Limited, Giando Africa Limited (operating as Flash Credit Africa), Jijenge Credit Limited, Kweli Smart Solutions Limited, Mwanzo Credit Limited, MyWagepay Limited, Rewot Ciro Limited, Sevi Innovation Limited and, Sokohela Limited.

Family of man allegedly killed by police for flouting curfew in Likoni seeks justice

The Family of late Hamisi who was allegedly killed by police officers during COVID-19 curfew photo: Julius Mwashumbe

Six police officers were arraigned before Mombasa High Court to face a murder charge in connection with the murder of Hamisi Juma during enforcement of the dusk-to-dawn COVID-19 Curfew.

The incident took at Ujamaa Likoni Sub County in March 2020 with the police officers accused of beating him severely leading to his death.

According to a family statement, the late Hamisi was returning back home around 6:30 pm in the evening after dropping a pregnant woman at Mwahima Hospital in Likoni who was stranded due to transport issues during the period and he offered her transportation using his motorbike and it is when he was beaten by the security officers.

The son of the deceased, Iman Kambirwa narrates that when his father arrived home week due to bleeding and the family could not take him to the hospital due to curfew rules restricting movements.

Ex-ray documents from Kwale Sub-County hospital show Hamisi had internal bleeding in his abdomen. He was referred to Msambweni Hospital to undergo emergency surgery where he died a day later, on Sunday 29th of March 2020.

Internal Bleeding

A postmortem done after a request by Haki Africa (Human Rights Organization) and Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) found out the deceased had internal bleeding caused by injuries from blunt objects.

The case which was filed by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) and IPOA was ordered by Lady Justice O.A Sewe to be heard next on February 2023 granting the applicants a stay order.

The son of the deceased expressed his frustrations saying “It has been 3 years since they killed him and I’m still fighting for justice. What really stresses me is why they beat him and the curfew was to start at 7 PM”, he said.

The government directives to curb the spread of Covid -19 were covered with cases of police use of excessive force reported in parts of Kenya.

1,000 scholars who sat for their KCPE in 2022 commissioned into Equity’s ‘Wings to Fly’ program

14th cohort of the Wings to Fly program during the commissioning./EQUITY GROUP

1,000 bright children from financially disadvantaged backgrounds who sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations in 2022 have officially been commissioned into the Wings to Fly scholarship program.

Before the official commissioning, scholars from across the whole country had converged at Pangani Girls High School in Nairobi for a 3-day induction and training program.

The 2023 Wings to Fly scholarships have been funded by Equity Group in partnership with the German Development Agency, KfW. The commissioning of the 14th cohort of the Wings to Fly program brings the total number of comprehensive secondary school scholarships awarded through Equity Group Foundation to 48,009.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Director and Project Coordinator Ministry of Education, Jane Mbugua on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Education Ezekiel Machogu said, “The support given by Equity Group and its partners through the Wings to Fly scholarship program has over the years continued to boost Government’s initiative that targets 100% transition to secondary schools.”

“I commend Equity for being a true partner to the government in furthering the socio-economic development agenda of the people of Kenya. We are aware of the tremendous impact of programs such as Wings to Fly. With proper resourcing of education, we can support needy families, uplift society and avoid school dropout,” she added.

Equity Group Foundation Executive Chairman Dr. James Mwangi while addressing the scholars said, “I would like to congratulate all the scholars in the 2023 cohort, they’ve earned these scholarships through their hard work and we remain optimistic that at the end of the four-year period, they will come back as winners. As we give them the ‘Wings to Fly’ our hope is that this program, as it also offers mentorship and coaching will equip them with the right tools to be transformational leaders in society.”

The Wings to Fly Program has demonstrated success with a 97 percent secondary school completion rate and 82 percent of the graduating scholars attaining university direct entry grades to both local and global universities.

The Federal Republic of Germany’s Ambassador to Kenya H. E. Sebastian Groth, while speaking at the commissioning ceremony said, “It is an honor to be part of this life-changing event. On behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany we congratulate the 2023 beneficiaries of the Wings to Fly scholarships who are about to be commissioned today. As the German Development Agency continues to partner with Equity Group to offer these scholarships annually, it is our hope that the scholars here will find inspiration from this facility to motivate them to become great leaders in their communities and society.”

The Wings to Fly applicants were onboarded through a transparent and rigorous community-based verification and monitoring process, where members of the community who serve on the Community Scholarship Selection Boards (CSSBs) across the country invested their time to review and scrutinize applications, carry out face-to-face interviews and home visits before awarding the scholarships to the most deserving scholars.

The CSSBs comprise not less than 13 community-based key personalities who include Directors of Education, religious leaders, local administration leaders, representatives of Primary and Secondary School Heads Associations, and representatives of persons living with disabilities among other local leaders and are chaired by the Sub-County Director of Education and coordinated by Equity Bank Branches.

The CSSB is mandated to select the program beneficiaries, tracking their academic performance and the general welfare of the scholars. It serves as the crucial link in ensuring objectivity in the selection process, making it possible to verify the case put forth by each applicant, and evaluate for needs and potential of the selected candidates.

The Wings to Fly scholarships ensure that the scholars are well-rounded individuals by going beyond paying full tuition fees for four years to include a comprehensive mentorship program, a back-to-school hamper, psychosocial wrap-around support, and medical care while in school. The scholars on completion of their high school and admission to universities will transition into the Equity Leaders Programme (ELP).

Julius Chacha Mwita, a 16-year-old Wings to Fly beneficiary from Isebania in Migori county scored 429 marks in KCPE to emerge the 2nd top candidate in Kenya. He said, “Most successful people have a painful story to tell and every painful story has an ending, I aspire to become a doctor and I believe that with the Wings to Fly scholarship, I will achieve this.”

Julius and his single mother are hosted by a well-wisher. Chacha’s mother is a vendor at the border market town in Isebania. He will be joining Kapsabet High School.

Mitchell Muthoni, a 14-year-old Wings to Fly beneficiary from Matongu village in Murang’a lives with her single mother who makes a living from mining sand.

“The main challenge I had was getting my school fees paid since my mother couldn’t find a job. Most times I had to get out of school and come back home and wait until she gets the school fees then go back to school. The Wings to Fly scholarship will help me succeed in my studies, achieve my dreams, and help my mum out of poverty. It doesn’t mean that when you are from a poor background you cannot achieve your dream,” she said.

Mitchell scored 426 marks emerging as the 3rd best student in Murang’a County and has been admitted to Kabare Girls High School.

Issa Feisal a 14-year-old Wings to Fly beneficiary from Pate Island in Lamu county has faced unimaginable challenges in life after being abandoned by his father at infancy. He has had to navigate life supported by his mother.

“My mother has faced several challenges while ensuring my siblings and I have a meal every day. I am hopeful that the Wings to Fly scholarship will enable me to realize my dream of becoming a doctor,” said Issa.

Since its inception, 17,820 scholars have joined university under the Equity Leaders Programme (ELP) with 7,482 benefiting from Equity Bank Paid Internships while 3,262 have joined Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges. 761 of the ELP scholars have been privileged to secure admission on fully funded scholarships at leading global universities including Ivy League universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Columbia, and Cornell. ELP aims at empowering young academically gifted scholars by supporting their access to education in public universities in Kenya and around the globe, as well as equipping them with leadership skills.

ELP Scholars who pursued medicine and gained the required experience have been supported by EGF to set up the Equity Afia Medical centers to expand access to affordable and quality healthcare. Equity Afia has so far rolled out 77 facilities countrywide. The Wings to Fly program is a partnership between Equity Group Foundation and Equity Bank with additional support from other partners, notably the German Government through KfW, Mastercard Foundation, USAID, UKAid, private institutions, and individuals.

Kilifi County to inspect boats following Watamu deaths

Watamu boat accident scene photo: courtesy

Kilifi County Government has ordered inspection of all boats operating along the county’s coastline.

This follows the death of three people on Saturday when a boat capsized with 28 passengers at Watamu beach. The vessel had taken tourists (13 Kenyans and 13 non-residents) on a snorkeling tour.

In an official statement to newsrooms, the County government alsdo ordered all boats to adhere to safety standards.

” No boat will leave the shores without all its occupants wearing a safety jacket”, reads the statement.

It further said it will increase patrons at the beach to ensure there is compliance on safety and timely response to emergencies and incidents.

See statement:

KQ Celebrates 46th Anniversary with a 30% Fare Discount

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Kenya Airways (KQ) has announced a special fare discount of 30% on all tickets as it celebrates its 46th anniversary.

The airline which first took to the skies on 22nd January 1977 announced the discount as an appreciation to its customers for their support and loyalty.

KQ’s Chief Commercial and Customer Officer, Julius Thairu, said; “It gives us great pride and joy to celebrate 46 years as an airline. For us, this means 46 years of connecting Africa to the world and the world to Africa as well as 46 years of providing our customers with convenience, choice, and connectivity when they need it.  We want to assure our customers that we are committed to increasing our connectivity through new routes, increased frequencies, and network expansions, interline agreements and codeshares agreements with our partners.”

Kenya Airways flies people and cargo to 42 destinations across the globe and is a strategic national asset that enables and supports the travel, tourism, trade, agriculture, and investment ecosystem across the continent and beyond.

“Our commitment to our customers as we celebrate this milestone is that we will continue innovating and providing them the highest levels of service and satisfaction every time they choose to fly with us. We are extending this discount of 30% as a way of appreciating our customers for their patronage, “he added.

The discounted fare offer is open for booking between 19th and 24th January 2023 via www.kenya-airways.com, travel agents or at any KQ sales shop. The offer will also be open for booking via www.kenya-airways.com exclusively, on 25th January 2023.

Ex-Tottenham defender dies in accident

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Former Tottenham youth and Portsmouth defender Anton Walkes has died aged 25 in an accident, his club Charlotte FC said.

The Englishman was involved in a boat crash near Miami on Wednesday.

Walkes came through the Tottenham youth teams and played once for the club, in a League Cup tie in 2016.

He also played 66 times for Portsmouth before moving to Atlanta United in the United States in 2020.

Spurs say they will wear black armbands in memory of Walkes during Thursday’s Premier League game with Manchester City.

In a statement, the Premier League club said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of our former player, Anton Walkes.

“As a mark of respect, our first team will wear black armbands at this evening’s Premier League match against Manchester City, with all our Academy sides to wear black armbands this weekend.”

Over 100k KCSE 2022 students qualify for University

Secondary students doing exams. file

173,345 students who sat 2022 KCSE exam have scored the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above.

Speaking while releasing Education CS Ezekiel Machogu says students registered an improved performance compared to 2021.

A total of 1,146 candidates got grade A compared.522,588 scored grade D+ and above.

However, 30,822 students scored grade E in the 2022 KCSE exam.

He encouraged students who scored from grade C and below saying they are eligible to join, KMTC, TVET institutions, Teacher Training Colleges and other tertiary learning institutions.

Wafula Chebukati finally exits IEBC

IEBC immediate ex-Chairperson Wafula Chebukati. PHOTO: file

Mr. Wafula Chebukati has officially exited as the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Chebukati has been at the IEBC helm for a full term of six years.

In a letter, Chebukati thanked Kenyans for according him an opportunity to serve.

” It was undoubtedly a challenging assignment, but i served my country to the best of my ability and with accordance with the oath of office i took”, he stated.

Mass treatment for bilharzia kicks-off in Coast

Pupils in Tanzania receiving treatment for Bilharzia photo: courtesy

Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu Counties will this week kick-off a treatment campaign for Bilharzia and intestinal worms.

The campaign will start on 19th, 2023 to 23rd January 2023, across all sub-counties in Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu Counties.

According to a communique from the county health department, health workers will be visiting village to village to administer the treatment. In Mombasa, the health workers will target markets, supermarkets, and Go downs to administer the treatment to locals.

“Treatment is safe and has been approved by the ministry of health”, reads the statement.

However, pregnant women and the very sick will be exempted from the campaign.

Schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, is a disease caused by parasitic worms.  In terms of impact this disease is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease

You can reach health department via 0795743049.