Posts tagged as: north

Legislators Unite in Push to Block Salary Cut

By David Mwere

MPs were on Thursday united in their push to block the salaries commission from reducing their pay.

The lawmakers opposed the Salaries and Remuneration Commission decision to implement its report, which recommends a reduction of their pay and that of other State officials.

The MPs, speaking at the end of their induction in Nairobi, called for a return of their annual Sh5 million car grant, Sh5,000 allowance for every sitting and a comprehensive medical cover, which they want extended to those with more than one wife and children born out of wedlock.

Budalang’i MP Raphael Wanjala, a polygamist, was the first to raise the issue, arguing that the current MPs are poorly remunerated compared to those in the previous Houses.

MEDICAL COVER

He said it would be unfair to exclude other family members from the medical cover and other benefits.

“In the 10th Parliament, this House was covering our many wives and the children of these women and girlfriends. This cover must be brought back,” Mr Wanjala, who served as an MP for 10 years, said to the applause of his colleagues.

The report on the harmonisation of salaries, allowances and benefits of State officers approved by the SRC in its gazette notice of July 7, limits medical allowances of State and public officials to one spouse and four children below 25 years.

The report states that the children must be in local schools.

NEW SALARY SCHEME

In the new salary scheme, the lawmakers’ medical scheme provides Sh10 million inpatient cover per family, Sh300,000 for outpatient cover, Sh150,000 for maternity and Sh75,000 for dental care.

MPs Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini, Ford Kenya), Millie Odhiambo (Suba North, ODM) and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town, ODM) supported Mr Wanjala’s proposal.

Dr Wamalwa urged his colleagues to “guard jealously” matters that touch on their welfare.

“Let the politics of Nasa and Jubilee not separate us. We were very vocal about this issue in the last Parliament and whatever had been gazetted was degazetted. The Executive will not be happy when they see us going to the bank smiling,” he said.

He said the SRC decision to slash their salaries was unconstitutional, as the commission did not carry out public participation.

“This is the time to ensure our Sh5 million car grant is back,” he said.

CAR LOAN

Previously, the salaries of members of the National Assembly and Senate stood at Sh710, 000 with a progression calculated annually.

However, the SRC removed the annual progression rate and instead fixed their salaries at Sh621,250.

The commission also removed the car grant and sitting allowance.

It, however, retained the Sh7 million car loan and committee allowances for members.

The commission also reduced the salaries of Speakers of the Senate and National Assembly from Sh1.3 million to Sh1.2 million, while that of the Deputy Speakers was slashed from Sh1.05 million to Sh924,000.

INFORMAL SITTING

Ms Odhiambo proposed that a kamukunji — an informal sitting of MPs chaired by the Speaker — be called to discuss the MPs’ welfare.

“Tyranny of numbers is good if you have them. Not even Uhuru and Raila will support our salaries to be increased. They are after the national interests. If we don’t have a forum for this issue, we will perish like fools. Remember over 200 MPs were voted out in the last elections,” said Ms Odhiambo.

Mr Kaluma faulted the current medical scheme, saying polygamy is permitted under the law and that it is unfair for one wife to benefit while others do not.

He said all lawful wives and children should be cared for.

South Africa: Bank of Baroda – What Next for the Soon-to-Be Unbanked Guptas?

analysis

On Thursday, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed Oakbay’s application to stop the Bank of Baroda closing the accounts of about 20 Gupta-owned companies. As things stand now, the Bank of Baroda is due to pull the plug on Gupta accounts at the end of September. The judgment may prove a significant nail in the coffin of the Guptas’ South African empire. By REBECCA DAVIS.

The only option for the Guptas now is to sell their companies in South Africa.

That’s the verdict given to the Daily Maverick by a respected local banking expert who spoke on condition of anonymity. He was responding to Thursday’s decision by the North Gauteng High Court to dismiss the application by the Guptas to delay the closure of their bank accounts by the Bank of Baroda.

The result of Thursday’s court ruling is that – bar some miraculous last-minute stay of execution choreographed by the famously resilient Guptas – the Bank of Baroda is due to close the accounts of around 20 Oakbay companies at the end of this month. Oakbay had approached the court to interdict the Bank of Baroda from doing so, but its application was dismissed by Judge Hans Fabricius.

In…

South Africa

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Revealed: The Tough, Rough Life of Kenyans Living in the U.S.

Photo: wikipedia

Kenyan flag.

A documentary released on Saturday has shed light on some untold challenges Kenyans face as immigrants in the United States.

Written and produced by Kaba Mbugua, the film, which was released in Raleigh, North Carolina, features a number of Kenyans who candidly narrate their experiences in the US.

Official estimates put the number of Kenyans in the US at 130,000.

The figure is, however, disputed, with some claiming there are at least 300,000 Kenyan immigrants in the country. Many are in well-paying jobs or run successful enterprises while others are students.

MAKE ENDS MEET

The documentary shows that many Kenyans, just like other immigrants, struggle to make ends meet. Challenges have at times led some – especially the youth – to fall into bad company, ending up in jail, shelters for the homeless, on a forced flight back home or even death.

The film highlights the misconceptions held by Kenyans about life in the “Land of the free” and the subsequent effects.

“I was a criminal , I was arrested for illegal possession of a gun and cocaine,” says Mr James Njoroge who has since been deported.

“I smoked marijuana and was involved in many minor violations.”

Ms Alice Raine, who has returned home tells of how uninformed she was about life in the US before flying out.

She says she was shocked when she landed.

NO FOOD

“We used to eat from trash cans because we had no food and the restaurant where we worked would not let us touch the expired food,” she says, referring to the Food and Drug Administration laws, which are strictly observed by American eateries.

“Our first year was terrible. We had come on a one-way ticket and so we couldn’t go back.”

Another says many well-educated Kenyan professionals settle for demeaning menial jobs just to make ends meet.

“This is because they do not have the requisite papers to enable them compete on equal terms with others,” he says.

Ms Wariara Thuo explains how difficult it was to get a car and a place to stay soon after she arrived in America.

“Authorities wanted to see my documents everywhere I went,” she says.

US-based immigration lawyer Japheth Matemu says some Kenyans do not give up easily and opt for marriage.

OPT FOR MARRIAGE

“However, citizenship through marriage is not as easy as some think. It must be a one-woman-one man union and it has to be entered into in good faith in order to be recognised by federal law,” he says.

He adds that many Kenyans married in Kenya are denied an opportunity to adjust their status because they have no divorce records.

“They forget that there is a record trail from the time they applied for their visas,” he says.

Mr Matemu explains why the “Kenyan mindset” has landed many in American prisons.

“Some things not taken very seriously in Kenya are considered criminal in the US. Many Kenyans have ended up in jail for crimes like driving under the influence,” he adds.

The lawyer says people who overstay their visas have it rough but they hardly talk about it because they would not like their families and friends back home to know of their predicament.

However, life for Kenyans with valid student visas is relatively easy.

GREEN CARD

“You are allowed to work and sustain yourself if you come here on a student visa. Holders of other visas like the DV (popularly known as Green Card), are also good to go,” he says.

Mr Matemu warns immigrants against “marriage for papers”.

Mr Mbijiwe Mwenda, a counsellor with Family Development Institute says some people have made business out of marriage.

They marry for papers and divorce as soon as the marriage “matures,” only to marry another “client” soon afterwards.

“One pockets about $3,000 (Sh320,000) every two to three years for marriages that have nothing to do with the bedroom,” he says.

Mr Joseck Asikoye of Jabali Africa explains why he thinks cases of domestic violence among Kenyan couples in the US are high.

DISCIPLINE YOUR WIFE

“Pent-up anger among Kenyan men is one of the reasons some kill themselves,” he says, adding that they find it difficult “to bring out the Kenyan men in them” due to the repercussions.

“You cannot physically discipline your wife here,” says Mr Asikoye.

Mr Justus Asikoye advises Kenyans who immigrate to the US to obey the law.

“There is no short cut. Many people are rotting in jail,” he says.

Striving for Peace, Decent Life for All, ‘Very Pertinent’ UN Assembly Theme, Says Ugandan President

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, took the podium expressing support for the theme of the United Nations 72nd General Assembly – ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent life for all on a Sustainable Planet’ – questioning why the world’s elites failed to see its pertinence.

“Who would lose if all the people on the globe led a decent life,” he said, namely by having enough food; inoculations for “immunizable” diseases; drinkable water; education; clean electricity; fair-paying jobs; and respectable homes. “Parasitism is the only obstacle to global affluence, prosperity and peace,” he added.

Turning to “the dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula,” he believed that, as “kith and kin,” the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK) would do well to alone discuss their re-unification. He cited a unified Viet Nam, as well as that of Germany in 1990. Noting the strength of a unified Korea, he posed the queries, “Why do some actors fear strong nations in the world? Why should the Koreans themselves (North and South) allow external forces to continue to divide them?”

“We always strive not to allow actors, foreign or local, to divide the African peoples, regardless of the complications involved,” he underscored, saying that Uganda accommodates many African refugees on account of a conscious ideological position – “not to allow any actors to divide us. We only fight traitors.”

On “the small issue” of enforcing sanctions against the DPRK, Mr. Kaguta told the Assembly that Uganda is in compliance. “We do not have to trade with North Korea. We are, however, grateful that, in the past, the North Koreans helped us to build our tank forces,” he concluded.

Uganda

President, UK’s Boris Johnson Discuss Somalia, South Sudan, Burundi

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Sudan: Al-Bashir Inaugurates Project of Grass Field and Lights of El Geneina Stadium

El Geneina — The President of the Republic, Field Marshal, Omer al-Bashir, has inuagrated, Tuesday evening the project of the grass field and lights of El Geneina Stadium which can accommodates 45 thousand spectators.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the governors of West, Centeral and North Darfur states, a number of the ministers and members of West Darfru state, the state’s prominent figures, the chairman of the Sudanese Football Association, Dr. Moutasim Ja’afar, lawyer Majdi Shamsul-Deen, the Association’s secretary, the president of al -Hilal Club, and Hassan Burgo the head of the National Football Teams Committee.

On the sidelines of the opening ceremony a football match played between the stars of the football national team and the El Geneina football team, with the participation of Al Hilal football team stars Mohammed Ahmed Bashir Besha and Maudather Karika.

Sudan

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Sprint and Field Events Camp to Be Set Up in Nyanza

By Ojwang’ Joe

Kisumu — Athletics Kenya (AK) is keen to nurture more athletes with focus on field events and sprints in Nyanza region to help the country renowned for its middle and long distance prowess get more medals in that category.

AK Nyanza North Region chairman Joseph Ochieng on Tuesday said the region was producing good sprinters in the past including the likes of Mark Otieno who represented the country at the Rio Olympic Games.

Ochieng declared that efforts are underway to revive the lost glory of the region in terms of producing sprinters.

“Nyanza is known for sprints and field events this is why we have been lagging behind while other people do other races. We have camps now where we want to train sprinters and field events so we are getting back and if Nyaza gets back on its feet the others will go back,” Ochieng said.

“We (Kenya) beat everybody in long and middle distance and we reach the world and wait when other people are still collecting medals one good example is Egypt they don’t win any race but they win all these things in the field and they beat us,” Ochieng added.

He noted that already some camps have been established in the region to nurture sprint talents.

Speaking in Kisumu during a press conference in preparation for Run for Rabies to mark World Rabies Day 2017, Ochieng said Kenya has failed to grab medals in sprints.

Run for Rabies will be marked in Kisumu in memory of Sharon, the daughter to Nairobi AK boss Barnaba Korir who died as a result of rabies.

Ochieng says participants in the 28th of this month event will be given cash prizes with winners taking home Sh40, 000 courtesy of the family.

Kenya

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Gambia: Work Advances On Trans-Gambia Bridge

Work on the Trans-Gambia’s bridge is in progress as most of the Concrete pillars that are to serve as the foot for the bridge, are near completion.

However, there are still some more pillars to be built as observed by this reporter on Wednesday 13th September 2017.

Readers would recall that in March this year, Foroyaa reported that the Trans-Gambia Highway is one of the most important roads in the country, connecting not only the northern and southern parts of the Gambia, but also linking the whole sub region. The highway is economically important both for the Gambia and Senegal.

Hence, the bridge is meant to facilitate rapid transportation of goods and services if the complaints of commuters and drivers regarding the long delays at the ferry crossing point, is anything to go by.

Samba Diop, a Senegalese commuter said if completed, the bridge will ensure the smooth, easy and rapid movement of people and goods; that the long delay experienced by motorist and passengers that is causing huge economic losses to both countries, will be a thing of the past. Mr. Diop asserted that he crosses every week as a business person, to get and move goods from southern Senegal to the North.

Readers will also recall that the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the bridge, was done by the former Vice President under the then Jammeh administration, Aja Dr. Isatou Njie-Saidy, as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence anniversary. The occasion was also graced by Mr. Mohammed Bun Abdallah Dionne, the current Prime Minister of the sister Republic of Senegal.

The official signing of the contract for the construction of the bridge, was done on the 11thof November 2014 and the duration for the construction was expected to last 36 months.

The bridge project as at the time of signing of the contract, was financed by the African Development Fund (ADF). When completed, the bridge aims to reinforce the economic cooperation and integration between the Gambia, Senegal and the ECOWAS community as a whole.

Gambia

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Counties Start Advertising Nurses’ Jobs

County governments have begun advertising the positions of the nurses who are on strike, even as the caregivers vow not to resume duty.

This comes after governors issued a warning last week to take disciplinary action against the nurses who have been boycotting work for the past three months.

On Monday some counties advertised the posts of nursing officers and registered nurses in local dailies.

NEW CONTRACTS

While they have opted to advertise the posts, others have chosen to withdraw the caregivers’ salaries.

There are others that have resolved to sack the nurses.

At least two counties – Kirinyaga and Kiambu – have invited interested candidates to apply for the posts.

In a notice in the dailies, the Kirinyaga County Government says: “Successful candidates will be appointed on contract, renewable subject to proven performance.”

It advertised 469 vacancies – five nursing officers and 464 registered nurses.

SALARIES

Last week, the Kiambu County Public Service Board announced plans to fill the vacancies left by the striking nurses.

On September 7, Kwale County advertised vacancies for six registered nurses for job group H.

It also advertised six community nurse posts for a six-month contract.

The health workers are pushing for improved pay, better working conditions as well as promotions.

ILLEGAL STRIKE

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Josphat Nanok, who insists that the ongoing strike is illegal, last week directed the county bosses to take action against the nurses.

Heeding this directive, some county governments in the North Rift have withdrawn the nurses’ salaries.

In Embu, Kenya National Union of Nurses county secretary Joseph Ngwasi said several of his colleagues had received text messages from a sub county medical officer, asking them to go to their offices to pick up letters on why they should not be disciplined.

“Threatening nurses with sacking is not a solution to the deep-seated nurses’ problems,” Mr Ngwasi said.

RESUME WORK

At the same time, other counties are about to sack the striking nurses, making private hospitals in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kakamega and Bungoma bear the brunt of congestion.

In Nandi County, Governor Stephen Sang said officials are compiling data to establish the number of nurses who were back.

“We will proceed forthwith to engage nurses on contract basis to replace those who deserted duty,” Mr Sang said.

In Murang’a, county director for health Wilfred Kanyi said they are set to advertise vacancies for over 400 nurses who defied the CoG order.

TALKS

Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has been engaging the nurses in dialogue and has opposed the sacking directive.

Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit governments were yet to give any communication on the fate of the striking nurses.

Half of the nurses in Laikipia County have resumed work voluntarily.

Acting county chief officer in charge of health Donald Mogoi said 235 out of the 460 health workers reported to their work stations Monday.

CLINICAL OFFICERS

Last month, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi convened a meeting with the nurses, where they expressed their willingness to go back to work but were not ready to defy a directive from their union bosses who called the strike.

Elsewhere, the Federation of Women lawyers (Fida) asked the national and county governments to find a lasting solution to the nurses’ strike, even as clinical officers downed tools from Monday, demanding better pay.

ISSUE

Fida said the decision by the clinical officers was disheartening, coming amid the nurses’ strike.

“Fida Kenya is disturbed by the inefficient approach with which the government has continued to address the problems in the health sector,” Ms Josephine Mong’are, the chairperson, said.

Reported by Elizabeth Merab, Silas Apollo, Sammy Lutta, Barnabas Bii, Irene Mugo, Charles Wanyoro, Ndung’u Gachane, Winnie Atieno, Alex Njeru, Philip Bwayo, Mwangi Ndirangu and Silas Apollo

Kenya: Counties Start Advertising Nurses’ Jobs

County governments have begun advertising the positions of the nurses who are on strike, even as the caregivers vow not to resume duty.

This comes after governors issued a warning last week to take disciplinary action against the nurses who have been boycotting work for the past three months.

On Monday some counties advertised the posts of nursing officers and registered nurses in local dailies.

NEW CONTRACTS

While they have opted to advertise the posts, others have chosen to withdraw the caregivers’ salaries.

There are others that have resolved to sack the nurses.

At least two counties – Kirinyaga and Kiambu – have invited interested candidates to apply for the posts.

In a notice in the dailies, the Kirinyaga County Government says: “Successful candidates will be appointed on contract, renewable subject to proven performance.”

It advertised 469 vacancies – five nursing officers and 464 registered nurses.

SALARIES

Last week, the Kiambu County Public Service Board announced plans to fill the vacancies left by the striking nurses.

On September 7, Kwale County advertised vacancies for six registered nurses for job group H.

It also advertised six community nurse posts for a six-month contract.

The health workers are pushing for improved pay, better working conditions as well as promotions.

ILLEGAL STRIKE

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Josphat Nanok, who insists that the ongoing strike is illegal, last week directed the county bosses to take action against the nurses.

Heeding this directive, some county governments in the North Rift have withdrawn the nurses’ salaries.

In Embu, Kenya National Union of Nurses county secretary Joseph Ngwasi said several of his colleagues had received text messages from a sub county medical officer, asking them to go to their offices to pick up letters on why they should not be disciplined.

“Threatening nurses with sacking is not a solution to the deep-seated nurses’ problems,” Mr Ngwasi said.

RESUME WORK

At the same time, other counties are about to sack the striking nurses, making private hospitals in Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Kakamega and Bungoma bear the brunt of congestion.

In Nandi County, Governor Stephen Sang said officials are compiling data to establish the number of nurses who were back.

“We will proceed forthwith to engage nurses on contract basis to replace those who deserted duty,” Mr Sang said.

In Murang’a, county director for health Wilfred Kanyi said they are set to advertise vacancies for over 400 nurses who defied the CoG order.

TALKS

Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki has been engaging the nurses in dialogue and has opposed the sacking directive.

Meru, Isiolo and Marsabit governments were yet to give any communication on the fate of the striking nurses.

Half of the nurses in Laikipia County have resumed work voluntarily.

Acting county chief officer in charge of health Donald Mogoi said 235 out of the 460 health workers reported to their work stations Monday.

CLINICAL OFFICERS

Last month, Governor Ndiritu Muriithi convened a meeting with the nurses, where they expressed their willingness to go back to work but were not ready to defy a directive from their union bosses who called the strike.

Elsewhere, the Federation of Women lawyers (Fida) asked the national and county governments to find a lasting solution to the nurses’ strike, even as clinical officers downed tools from Monday, demanding better pay.

ISSUE

Fida said the decision by the clinical officers was disheartening, coming amid the nurses’ strike.

“Fida Kenya is disturbed by the inefficient approach with which the government has continued to address the problems in the health sector,” Ms Josephine Mong’are, the chairperson, said.

Reported by Elizabeth Merab, Silas Apollo, Sammy Lutta, Barnabas Bii, Irene Mugo, Charles Wanyoro, Ndung’u Gachane, Winnie Atieno, Alex Njeru, Philip Bwayo, Mwangi Ndirangu and Silas Apollo

Congo-Kinshasa: CAR Refugee Influx Triggers HIV, Humanitarian Crises

By Jean Kassongo

Kinshasa — MORE than 140 000 civilians have fled Central African Republic to the equally-troubled Democratic Republic of Congo, triggering a severe humanitarian and health emergency. The refugees have fled deadly clashes between the pro-Muslim Seleka rebels and pro Christian anti-Balaka to settle in the North Ubangi and Bas-Uélé Provinces in the neighbouring country that is suffering its militancy problems of its own. There is a great deal of concern about the massive displacement of populations and the pressure of the host communities, including access to food, shelter and primary health care. Refugees sleep in churches, public and private schools and other abandoned buildings. People living with HIV-AIDS, who were on anti-retroviral therapy in the CAR, have therefore stopped their treatment. There are also no post-exposure prevention kits available at the health facilities in place at the reception sites. Humanitarian organisations said the management of malnutrition was neither integrated nor functional. In addition, the hostilities by militants in the DRC limit access to the refugees.

“There is therefore an urgent health and nutritional need,” said a spokesperson for humanitarian group, Caritas. The organisation has been engaging authorities on the communication strategy to be put in place in the face of this massive influx of refugees.

Congo-Kinshasa

Dozens of Burundian Refugees Killed

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