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MUGANDA: Will Amina thrive or throw in towel?

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By TED MUGANDA

Going by Kenya’s political climate, the recent cabinet reshuffle had been anticipated by many government insiders and political analysts. What surprised most of us was how minor the reshuffle turned out to be.

Save for the appointment of Prof George Magoha as Education Cabinet Secretary and that of Amina Mohammed to replace the sacked Rashid Echesa at the Sports Ministry, there was no other major change in the reshuffle. But the musical chairs at the Sports ministry is likely to raise eyebrows.

Echesa’s stint as Sports CS was only but a cameo, lasting a mere 13 months. His predecessor Hassan Wario was in charge for a little under five years but has since been charged in court (no pun intended) with abuse of office in relation to improper facilitation of six individuals’ travel expenses to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, causing loss of public funds worth Sh5,846,346.

Enter Amina Mohammed; but the question remains, will she thrive and turn around the Ministry or will she succumb to the ‘dragon’ that has vanquished many before her?

Curiously, two weeks into her appointment, the Ministry’s official website is yet to be updated with this most important development. According to the website, Rashid Echesa is still the Cabinet Secretary and its latest news update is of Echesa presenting a bus to the Kenya Film School at Kasarani Stadium on March 1. Perhaps, the lethargy evident in the lack of updates on the Ministry’s website is a pointer to the unprofessionalism, incompetence and malpractices within the Ministry’s rank which Amina will be facing.

As the custodian of an institution repeatedly dogged with claims of financial impropriety and blatant corruption, Amina’s task is an uphill one.

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The Ministry of Sports and Heritage comprises various departments, chief of which are Sports, Culture, National Archives, National Museum and Film Services, but it’s the Sports department that commands the largest budgetary allocation.

This is where Amina’s focus should be. She must interrogate the departmental heads to establish the reliable and honest lieutenants who she can trust to execute her agenda.

These, she must quickly share her vision with and motivate to diligently execute her mission.

Secondly, she must look for the low hanging fruits which she can quickly pluck. These quick gains will go a long way in boosting confidence in her by her team and the general public.

Thirdly, she should earmark a ‘big project’ like the 2020 IAAF World Under 20 Championships that Kenya will host, and work tirelessly to ensure a successful event.

Finally, Amina should ride on the current anti-corruption campaign to root out corrupt elements in sports administration.



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County demolishes structures on road reserves : The Standard

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The Nyamira County Government has started demolishing buildings constructed on road reserves in Keroka town.
Over the past two weeks, the county has demolished premises housing more than 2,000 people.
The county’s bulldozer caused a scare in a private hospital housed in one of the targeted buildings, prompting an evacuation of patients.
The proprietor of the building, George Nyariki, said the demolition was done without any notice.
Several other investors in the town, whose premises have been flattened within the past 14 days, shared similar sentiments.
“The county just woke up and decided to render us homeless without any legal notice,” said Daniel Osoro, a trader whose hardware business was destroyed.
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The County’s Public Works and Transport Executive John Omanwa, however, said the people affected had been notified earlier and that the demolitions were long overdue to clear up space and decongest the town.
“Owners of affected buildings knew all along that they have been sitting on public land. We were human enough to give them notices which they ignored,” Omanwa said.
While the investors are blaming the county for frustrating them at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Omanwa insists that the demolitions were urgent and necessary to free up space.

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Victims of toxic malaria jab get Sh42.8m payout : The Standard

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The Busia County government has released Sh42.8 million as compensation for 28 children who developed complications after receiving a malaria injection at a public clinic in 2015.
The payout follows a 2017 ruling by Resident Magistrate Josephine Maragia, who said the children were victims of professional negligence.
The court noted the victims were not given proper diagnosis and treatment by a competent medical practitioner.
SEE ALSO: Busia police seize bhang sneaked from UgandaThe children developed various complications, including paralysis, after receiving the injection at Akichelesit dispensary in Teso North Constituency.
Some of them suffered permanent disabilities.
The payment has came as a major relief to parents who have had to dig deeper into their pockets to support their children, including specialised treatment.
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Some of the victims’ parents said the money, released last week, will help them take care of their children.
Emmanuel Omonya’s 10-year-old daughter Cate Atenge’s left leg was paralysed. One of her knees is stiff. Atenge has to use crutches.
SEE ALSO: Man found with county cheques worth Sh1.8 million chargedOmonya said his daughter’s life has never been the same after the incident. He said his mother has to massage her leg with milking jelly every morning to ease the pain.
He said he will use to money to seek specialised treatment for the girl.
“The money may not return my daughter’s life to how it was before the incident but I am happy the county government has compensated her. We have been waiting for the county government to act for a long time,” he said.
He added: “My daughter has suffered a lot. She struggles to walk. I may have to buy her a wheelchair to make it easier for her to move around and go to school.”
Atenge is a pupil at St Mary’s Primary School, which is 700 metres away from their home.
SEE ALSO: Fishermen help 214 needy students get Sh1.4m feesOmonya said his wife miscarried and died in 2018 due to stress after learning their daughter was paralysed.
“This girl needs physiotherapy but I could not afford it. I hope she will now get the treatment she needs,” he said.
Abel Okiror was present to witness the cheque being handed over to their lawyer. His daughter Vivian Asere, 11, is paralysed in the right side.
The Class Four pupil has been struggling to walk.
Okiror appealed to parents of those affected to use the money to get their children proper treatment.
SEE ALSO: Police officers seize 77kg ivory“Let us use the money to improve the lives of the children who have suffered so much so they will not have to ask us one day what happened to the money that was paid to them,” he said.
Evalyne Barasa’s children, Gideon Wekesa, 12, and Shielda Nekesa, 10, were victims of the botched injection. It affected their backs and left legs.
Evalyne, a widow, said she has to massage her children every now and then to ease their pain.
She said while she is sad that her children cannot play with their colleagues as they did before, she is happy that they have been compensated.
Doctors continue
Deputy Governor Moses Mulomi, who gave out the cheque, said they will ensure doctors continue attending to the affected children.
Mr Mulomi said another Sh19 million, part of the compensation, will be released in the next financial year.
“We are pleading with the parents of the affected children to ensure the victims benefit from this money,” Mulomi said.
He continued: “We are going to keep a close eye on the children, especially those who suffered serious injuries, with a view to ensure they get required medication.”
Mathew Edejai, who is also a parent of one of the affected children, called on the county government to keep its promise to release the remaining amount in the next fiscal year.
“It has been a painful experience for us. We do not expect the county to take us in circles again,” said Edejai.
The victim’s lawyer, Mr Bernard Ombui, told The Standard yesterday that a chunk of the money will go towards treatment of the children.

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Institute in Naivasha turned to isolation centre : The Standard

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An unidentified Nairobi county worker undergoes temperature check at Uhuru Park, Nairobi on Monday, April 6, 2020. [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

The Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute (KWSTI) in Naivasha has been identified as a quarantine centre.

The move follows the recent directive by the State that health officials should identify institutions which can be used as quarantine centres in case the number of those affected by Covid-19 rises.
At the same time, screening of all travellers along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway has been heightened.
Naivasha, being home to many high-end hotels, normally receives a lot of visitors.
According to Naivasha Sub-county Public Health Officer George Ndichu, the training institute met all health requirements laid down by the Ministry of Health.
Mr Ndichu was, however, quick to note that no coronavirus case has been reported in Naivasha.
“We have identified KWSTI as the new quarantine centre in Naivasha. This is part of our preparedness in containing the spread of this virus,” said Ndichu.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.   Read Now »
He asked residents to observe social-distance and wash their hands in order to stop the spread of the virus.
“We have trained our security officers on this disease and we shall continue to give more information to the public,” Ndichu said.
Elsewhere, there was a moment of panic in Karagita estate in Naivasha after a flower farm worker collapsed and died in unclear circumstances.
Some residents fled from the scene following information that the man had breathing complications before he passed on.
Simon Mwangi, a witness, said the worker had been complaining of chest pains and breathing problems before he collapsed.
“It happened very fast. He was confirmed dead on arrival in the hospital,” Mr Mwangi said. A senior police officer said the body has been taken to Naivasha Sub-county Hospital mortuary.
“Only an autopsy can confirm the cause of death,” the officer who sought anonymity said.

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Are you suspecting that you have coronavirus? Before you rush to the hospital, do this quick easy self-assessment test. #StayHome #WashYourHands HERE.

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