Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) board has sacked Managing Director David Kimosop, replacing him with Francis Kipkech who will serve in acting capacity.
Kipkech was, until his new appointment, serving as Kimosop’s deputy.
The Jackson Kiptanui led board announced its decision through a brief statement on Thursday.
The board said KVDA projects and programmes will continue uninterrupted despite the change of guard at the institution.
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“The Board wishes to assure the public and other stake holders that the services. Programmes, and projects of the authority will continue uninterrupted. The Board wishes to appreciate Mr. Kimosop for the service rendered to the authority and the stewardship of the entity towards the successful achievement of its programmes and interventions” ” read the statement.
Kimosop was grilled by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations regarding the multi-billion shillings Kimwarer and Arror dams’ project scam.
The 21 billion shillings projects are said to have been marred by procurement irregularities.
Investigations in to the dams’ project in Elgeyo Marakwet County are underway.
The process of declaring thousands of horticulture workers redundant due to the current crisis caused by Covid-19 has started.
The Agricultural Employers Association (AEA) and Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) in a joint exercise, will send an estimated 50,000 workers home without salaries, as the number of those affected by the pandemic globally continues to rise.
Flower farm workers will be the most affected after the total collapse of the sector that employs more than 150,000 workers directly.
The collapse of the Dutch auction, which accounted for 70 per cent of flower exports, and the lockdown in Europe has played a major part in the current crisis.
According to the AEA boss Wesley Siele, they had a meeting with Cotu in which it was agreed that the workers would be sent home due to the current crisis.
He noted that already, seven farms had indefinitely suspended their operations and sent all their workers home.
“We have signed an agreement with Cotu to send an estimated 50,000 workers home without salaries as we continue to monitor the situation,” he said.
Siele noted that since the country recorded the first case leading to flight cancellations, the sector has lost Sh8 billion, with the figures rising by the day.
“Some farmers involved in export of fresh produce are still in operation despite a challenge in high freight charges but those involved in flower growing face a total shutdown,” he said.
He called on the government to support farmers involved in production of fresh produce by zero-rating farm inputs like fertilisers and chemicals.
“We need to address the issue of food security in the coming months by supporting farmers at this planting season as failure to do so will lead to food shortage in the future,” he said.
Siele expressed the association’s concern that two weeks after the president ordered for VAT refunds, the directive had not been effected.
On his part, Kenya Export, Floriculture, Horticulture and Allied Workers Union Secretary General David Omulama called for support to hundreds of the affected workers.
Hundreds of people quarantined for observation for coronavirus are staring at huge bills following the directive extending their stay for another 14 days.
Among them is a family of five that is putting up at Pride Inn, a four-star hotel in Nairobi’s Westlands hub, whose bill has already hit Sh400,000.
Continued forced stay means the bill would double for the three rooms occupied by the family.
Extension of the quarantine period is linked to a supposed failure to observe the strict rules to avoid infection from the confirmed patients who have since been moved to hospital.
At the heart of the concerns is the failure by the observing medics in enforcing social distancing rules while unfairly punishing the diligent ones who followed the guidelines.
It also would raise major concerns whether the State should come in and subsidise the costs considering that these are unplanned expenses.
Shakir Yassin, whose family jetted into the country on March 23 after a visit to Ethiopia, is devastated by the soaring hotel bill. His family had to cut short the trip to make it home within the window allowed by the State for returning citizens.
“It is going to be quite costly for us. I am really hopeful that we would be allowed to go home today,” Yassin told The Standard on phone.
Daily cost for the three rooms is Sh28,000, an amount he said should have been more than sufficient to cater for police officers to ensure they self-quarantined in their home for the last two weeks.
He fears that the conditions at their hotel could actually be helping spread the virus, terming the facility as an “coronavirus incubation centre” rather than hotel.
Yassin’s concerns are echoed by Bonface Ombui who is putting up at a nearby hotel that is also on the list approved by the State as an isolation facility.
Ombui retraces his anguish to the day when he landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after a business trip to Nigeria.
“We were all lumped into the National Youth Service bus, without social distancing and very poor ventilation,” he laments.
At his hotel, where two cases have since tested positive, the guests have been cleaning their own rooms but still paying the full rate of Sh9,200.
“It is unfair that they would be charging us as if we are on holiday here while it is not our wish,” Ombui said.
Mutahi Kagwe, the Health Cabinet Secretary, has since directed that the guests in hotel would stay on for another two weeks, regardless of the results of a test scheduled for today.
Guests in Ombui’s hotel had earlier yesterday written an appeal to the CS complaining about the decision to extend the quarantine.
“What evidence do you have that we have not been complying by the MoH guidelines? From our understanding, the only way to disprove this statement is by testing all of us again,” they wrote to the CS.
Kenya Pipeline Company has joined the fight against the spread of coronavirus.
Managing Director Macharia Irungu said they had produced and dispatched free hand sanitisers to the counties from 185,000 litres of ethanol-blended from the initial 600,000 litres provided by different State agencies.
“We usually do not produce hand sanitisers, but were able to flexibly and quickly adapt our facilities to be able to respond to this urgent need,” said Dr Irungu.
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