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We Won’t Hesitate to Lock Down Counties If Covid-19 Infections Persist – Governors

The Council of Governors has expressed concern over the soaring number of COVID-19 infections since President Uhuru Kenyatta lifted the cessation of movement order.

In the 10 days since then, 3,588 new infections have been recorded which has been attributed to the movement into and out of the Nairobi metropolitan area which is now a notable epicenter with more than 55 percent of the total 11,252 cases nationwide.

COG Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya noted that the statistics are worrying and warned that county bosses will not hesitate to lockdown their devolved units if the situation deteriorates.

“In the event that the situation gets dire, individual County Governments will have no choice but to in consultation with President Uhuru Kenyatta seek to lock down the affected County to contain the rapid spread and protect lives,” said the Kakamega governor.

Oparanya further condemned the ignorance and reckless behavior portrayed by some Kenyans especially those partying in bars.

At the same time, Oparanya said counties are fully prepared with a total of 271 isolation centers and 12,034 beds that have been set up. There are also 447 ICU beds as well as 437 ventilators.

Counties have cumulatively trained a total of 23,280 healthcare workers as well as 64,283 community health volunteers.

Politics

I’m Not The Failure Badi Is Portraying Me To Be – Sonko

Since President Uhuru Kenyatta created the office of the Nairobi Metropolitan Services(NMS) a little over 100 days ago, there is a growing consensus that NMS Director-General Maj. General Mohammed Badi has done more for Nairobi than Governors Sonko and Kidero combined.

Just this week, the mere presence of the no-nonsense army man at a construction site on grabbed public land in Parklands sent workers scampering as DG Badi reclaimed the Ksh2 billion property that Sonko had failed to wrestle from land cartels.

Badi’s efficacy is perhaps why Governor Mike Sonko is crying foul that the NMS Director-General is hell-bent on portraying him as a failure.

During a sitting of the County Public Accounts and Investment Committee on Wednesday, Sonko told Senators that the Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) is undermining his leadership and role as an elected leader.

Sonko alleged that Mohammed Badi has been blackmailing him with impeachment threats and even blocking him from attending any NMS functions.

“We are operating under a lot of blackmail because of NMS which has been declared as an illegal entity by the court,” he said.

The governor said even though he supports the President’s agenda of transforming Nairobi County, he will not go out without a fight and allow Badi to tarnish his name.

“I am not a failure as Badi and team want to portray me. I have done a lot for this county and I don’t want to be portrayed as a failure… I know Nairobi might not be a County after constitutional changes, I might want to vie in Machakos, Mombasa Kilifi or even Kwale, what will I tell the people if they think that I couldn’t perform in Nairobi?” Sonko posed, adding: “I will not allow people to tell me that I failed Nairobi.”

Sonko, who had been summoned to respond to audit queries for 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 Financial Years, appeared without any documents or evidence required to back the agenda’s session. He said he has no access to the county office after he was barred by the courts.

“I was charged in court and barred from accessing office or interacting with staff. This ruling has really affected my work.”

“NMS has been seconding staff illegally, interrupting my operations and therefore I have been unable to get the documents to table before this committee,” he said.

The meeting was adjourned until when Sonko will be able to access financial records from City Hall.

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Politics

President Uhuru Boosts Two Local Artisans With Ksh30m Purchase Order For Hospital Beds

Two local artisans are laughing all the way to the bank after their locally manufactured hospital beds caught the eye of the State.

Mungai Gathogo, 26 and Joseph Muhinja, 35 from Githunguri, Kiambu county, have received a Ksh32 million boost for their business after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered 500 of their beds to increase capacity in public hospitals.

President Kenyatta on Wednesday dispatched the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) to Githunguri to assess the beds and confirm the viability of the order.

“I have been sent by His Excellency the President to congratulate the young innovators and to confirm the government’s commitment to support local innovations and products by providing a market for our own under the Buy-Kenya-Build-Kenya policy,” said PDU Secretary Andrew Wakahiu.

The beds will be subjected to the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) protocols on their suitability for hospital use.

Mr Wakahiu said the government will also enlist the Numeric Machining Complex to help the budding innovators with equipment and to hasten the production.

The artisans have a month and a half to deliver the beds that go for Ksh65,000, which is Ksh20K less than the cheapest available import.

The innovators said government assistance and Uhuru’s purchase order will boost their production capacity and promised to hire more youth to fulfill the order and meet the growing demand.

They said since their innovation went viral on social media they have sold one bed to a home-care client and employed seven people.

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Politics

I Earn Less Than Ksh10K – Murkomen Opens Up

Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen while speaking with Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura on Tuesday, April 14, stated that he won’t uphold President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pay cut appeal, arguing that he was financially constrained.

In a Press Conference hosted at State House on Wednesday, March 25, the President made the unprecedented announcement regarding salaries of government officials. He and his deputy William Ruto took an 80 per cent pay cut as he urged other leaders to follow suit.

However, Murkomen, revealing his meagre earnings, stated that not only him, but most of his colleagues would be tremendously affected by with a pay cut.

“I had a discussion with the Parliamentary Service Commission and I want to disclose this publicly. My salary is less than Ksh 10,000 so I told myself that it would not be beneficial for me to contribute Ksh 5,000 or so.

“Many members of Parliament, when they join parliament, commit all their salaries to mortgages and loans and so whatever they take home at the moment is less than Ksh.10,000 for most of them; some don’t even get anything. Many of you never understand,” Murkomen defended.

The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator, and a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, however, had a solution at hand, explaining that it would be better to raise donations from other ventures, as Kenyans needed every support whatsoever.

“I am willing to collect my personal donation like from farming or other ventures, greater than my salary and donate it to the Emergency Response Fund.

“I would want to call on my colleagues in Parliament and the Senate to be prepared as history will judge us for standing on the side of the people when facing a pandemic. To do so, we must go beyond the proposals made by the President, which go beyond taxes and salaries of those in informal jobs to salvaging the life of hustlers who need our support,” Murkomen stated.

Aden Duale, National Assembly Majority leader also weighed in on the contentious issue as Mwaura cornered him to affirm whether on not he would stand in solidarity with Kenyans. Duale played cagey with the matter, pinning his blame on companies that have been posting huge profits in Kenya over the past years.

“A pay cut of Ksh 30,000 or Ksh 50,000 or Ksh 200,000 is not the issue. The issue today is how the blue-chip companies are posting billions in terms of profit, by today, they should be giving back to the Kenyan people. They should donate Ksh 2 billion or so.

“Let’s not talk about Ksh 10,000 pay cut. The people of Garissa Township sent me to the National Assembly not to do a pay cut but to make sure that resources and laws are available for Kenyans to be safe in their homes,” Duale vividly responded.

Video: Citizen TV

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