Monday, 16 July 2018

ECDE to be returned to TSC

Back to my Duty.
I still believe that County Governments must let it go the issue of employment of Early Childhood Development and Education Teachers to Teachers Service Commission. Reasons, they still seems to be overwhelmed by the devolve functions which in returns little concern is given to ECDE Sector. Even with constitution clearly stated roles of COG on Education, more county funds (in fact 85%) on Education are still being used on Primary, Secondary and University Bursaries which remains the responsibility of National Government through CDF and other agencies.
Unless they do it accordingly with the standard required by our Constitution and labours laws in Kenya including International Labour Organization (ILO) policies which Kenya is a signatory, they have no option but to let it go. Let COG remains with infrastructural development, resource mobilization and supervision.
I appreciate the normative foundation of the devolved system of government under Article 6(2) of the Constitution which provides that the two levels of government are distinct but inter-dependent and shall conduct their mutual relations on the basis of consultation and cooperation. With the objects of devolution under Article 174 of the Constitution, I still request the COG to allow TSC with employment responsibility with regular consultations based on good faith are inevitable.
Therefore, my team will petition both Senate and National Parliament to consider if there is need for legislation action required or referendum to make it possible for this to happen.
Investing in young children is a moral, economic, and social responsibility of the government which needs no negotiation .Early childhood development will not only benefit the children of today, but will have a direct impact on the stability and prosperity of our nations in the future.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Barack Obama is finally home

Uhuru Kenyatta and Barack ObamaPresident Uhuru Kenyatta welcomes former US President Barrack Obama at State House, Nairobi on July 15, 2018. PHOTO | PSCU 
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Former US President Barack Obama arrived in the country on Sunday for a two-day visit whose key highlight is the launch of the Sauti Kuu Foundation in Kogelo on Monday.
Mr Obama landed at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) some few minutes before 1pm in a private chartered Vista jet.
Clad in a Navy blue suit and white open shirt, the 44th US President disembarked from the jet into the arms of his sister, Dr Auma Obama, before he was given an official welcome by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec.

 Barack Obama
Former US President Barack Obama is received by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma. Looking on are his sister Dr Auma Obama and US envoy Robert Godec. PHOTO | PSCU
After the pleasantries, Mr Obama was whisked away to State House under tight security where he held a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta. He later held another meeting with ODM leader Raila Odinga at Kempinski Hotel on Waiyaki Way.
In a press release, Gina Din Communication, which is co-ordinating the visit, said Mr Obama is accompanied by his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and her family and members of staff of the Obama Foundation.
During the meeting, President Kenyatta thanked Mr Obama for keeping the promise he made in 2015 of visiting Kenya when he completes his term as US President.
He also congratulated the former President for establishing the Obama Foundation, which seeks to empower the youth to become the agents of change that the African continent needs.
The two leaders agreed that the youth in Africa could become the continent’s most valuable asset if their energy and creativity are effectively harnessed.
President Kenyatta was joined by Deputy President William Ruto and other senior government officials.
Barack Obama
Opposition leader Raila Odinga (right) welcomes former US President Barack Obama at Kempinsky, Nairobi, on July 15, 2018. PHOTO | PSCU
They assured the former US leader that he can count on the support of all African leaders to scale-up youth programmes under his foundation.
President Kenyatta gifted the former US President — who is a celebrated author — with two books on Kenya’s youth and success stories in the last 50 years, namely Aspirations of a Generation, Youth of Kenya and Kenya at 50.
Mr Obama will on Monday inaugurate the Sauti Kuu Foundation’s project which comprises a Sports Centre and Resource and Vocational Training Centre run by his sister.
After inaugurating the Sauti Kuu Foundation and visiting his ancestral home in Alego Nyang’oma, Obama heads to South Africa where he is expected to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg.
The visit to Kenya is Mr Obama’s first tour of Africa since he stepped down as the 44th President of the US in January last year.
This tour pales in comparison to his last visit in 2015. There was no Air Force One or the Beast, the two things that symbolise the power of an American president, especially while travelling abroad.

Ruth Odinga not amused by Auma Obama's handout remarks

Barack Obama,  Auma Obama
US President Barack Obama embraces his sister Auma in Nairobi on July 26, 2015. Nyang’oma Kogelo village in Siaya County has come to life as villagers await the arrival of their son, the former US President who jets into the country on Sunday, July 15, 2018. PHOTO | CARL DE SOUZA | AFP 
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Former Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga has slammed former US President Barack Obama’s half-sister Auma over her “handout” remarks that she made during a live television interview on Thursday.
Ms Odinga, while referring to Dr Auma’s statement which has also elicited sharp reactions on social media hours before Mr Obama jets in, said she was not justified to “insinuate that Kenyans or Luos are known for handouts.”
During an interview on Citizen Television where she explained the purpose for the Sauti Kuu Sports, Resource and Vocational Training Centre which is to be opened on Monday, Ms Auma criticized the practice of receiving “handouts”, urging Kenyans to be part of the change needed in the country.
“People are impatient. This issue of ‘gonya gonya’ (handout) should stop guys! Stop! Come on guys!” Ms Auma said.
She went on: “I want to ask Kenyans, [since] the time that Obama [was] president up until now, what have you done? What have you done to make a difference in your life, in your country and in your community? Because you cannot sit and wait for Obama. Ask yourself what is your legacy?”
“If we do something ….imagine how far we will get. Imagine how far we would have gotten already. We cannot say now that Obama has come today or tomorrow, things will change. If you are not doing anything, it won’t change,” Ms Auma said.
But speaking to the Nation on the phone, Ms Odinga said Ms Auma’s statement borders on “insult to the Luo community.”
“It was wrong for Auma to talk of handouts. Have they offered job opportunities before linking people to handouts? Ms Odinga said.
Ms Odinga went on: “Where were they when election was rigged as our people were fighting for democracy?”
She faulted the events programme and criticized plans to lock out key leaders from the Sauti Kuu launch.
“It is wrong for Obama to come and fail to meet local leaders and members of the public,” she said.

Kenyan scientist George Njoroge feted in New York for drug discoveries

Dr George NjorogeResearcher Dr George Njoroge after being awarded with an honorary doctorate for his work in medicinal drugs development in a past graduation ceremony at Mount Kenya University. PHOTO | COURTESY  
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A US-based Kenyan research scientist has been honoured at a banquet in New York for his discoveries of drugs used to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Dr George Njoroge was presented with a "pioneer award" from Face2Face Africa, a pan-Africa media company, for his sustained impact on science and medicine.
The 64-year-old Kiambu native holds more than 100 patents for his work on cancer and immunology.
Currently a senior research fellow at the global pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, Mr Njoroge plans to move next year to Naivasha, where he is establishing a biotechnology institute.
He said he hopes to attract 100 doctoral degree-holders from around the world to take part in the institute's work on malaria, Aids, diabetes and cancer.
"Africa has to step up the plate and get involved by participating in the global scientific platform," Mr Njoroge said in accepting the Face2Face Africa award on Saturday.
"We cannot afford to be left behind. In Africa, we have great brains and abundance of resources — we just need to embrace the power of biotechnology."
He added in an interview that the latest of his numerous awards is particularly meaningful because it specifically honours persons of African origin.
Dr Njoroge credits his now-deceased mother, Alice Nyaucha, for having inspired his interest in science through her work as a practitioner of herbal medicine.
Dr Njoroge received his undergraduate degree from the University of Nairobi and earned a PhD in organic chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
He is married to Esther Nyambura, who works at Eli Lilly as an accountant. The couple have two adult children, both of whom are studying for medical degrees.

Out of White House, Obama is a busy bee earning top dollar

Barack Obama
Former president Barack Obama speaks at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit on October 31, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. Mr Obama has been making a number of key moves in the 500-odd days he has been out of the White House. PHOTO | SCOTT OLSON | AFP 
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He knows he has grass in his hands, and all former US President Barack Obama has been doing is making as much hay as possible while the sun shines.
For the sun does not shine forever even for someone who was once the most powerful man on earth. Mr Obama has been making a number of key moves in the 500-odd days he has been out of the White House.
A book deal with Penguin Random House, a TV show contract with Netflix and several paid speeches are among the top-dollar engagements the former president has engaged in, and the returns are tidy.
Former American presidents are entitled to a lifelong salary equivalent to what their cabinet secretaries earn — which, according to Timemagazine, is set at $205,700 (Sh20.7 million) a year.
They also get allowances for paying their office staff, a maximum of $150,000 a year for the first 30 months after leaving office and later a maximum of Sh9.6 million a year.
They also get reimbursed for official trips and are entitled to Secret Service protection for life, same as treatment in military hospitals.
With such perks one might rest easy, but not Mr Obama whom observers describe as a thoughtful man who always acts with the future in mind.
Memoirs are a chance at a windfall for any former US president and the New York Times(NYT)reports that leaders of many publishing houses met Mr Obama and his wife on various occasions to discuss how much they would pay for rights to their books — an auction of sorts.
“Some publishing executives who followed the bidding process said the opening offers for Mr Obama’s book alone were in the $18 million to $20 million range,” reported NYT in February.
Eventually, the Obamas struck a deal with Penguin Random House. They granted the publishing firm worldwide publishing rights, meaning it stands to reap huge returns.
NYT says the Obamas’ deal will likely dwarf those signed by past presidents.
It adds that Mr Bill Clinton, who was president between 1993 and 2001, sold his memoir My Life for more than $10 million while his successor George Bush saw his memoir Decision Points become a huge success, bringing in at least $10 million in sales.
Two top media houses place the figure bagged by the Obamas at between $60 and $65 million. So, why all the interest in a Mr Obama book that is still being developed?
Some observers say it is because he left office with high ratings. The Obamas are still young and unusually popular for a post-White House couple,” wrote the Independent in March.
“He may have been the 44th US commander-in-chief, but he will always be the first African- American president,” the Guardian reported last year.
That appeal has also seen him deliver speeches and paid top dollar for it.
September 2017 was among his busiest months, where NYT counted three speeches to business people. “His speaking fees have gone as high as $400,000 per speech,” the publication reported. “That is all in addition to a spate of unpaid speeches, including one to at-risk youths in Chicago.”
Asked about his paid speeches, whose fees had raised eyebrows in some quarters, Mr Kevin Lewis, the former spokesman of Mr Obama, said they were out of his work ethic and that they enabled him to get money to fund charitable activities.
“Since leaving office, President Obama has spent his time doing public and private events, both paid and unpaid, that are true to his values and his record,” he told NYT.
The speech he will be delivering at the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on Tuesday will add to that list. South Africa’s “News 24 says about 4,000 people are expected to attend. Those who have delivered a speech on the same occasion in previous years are Mr Clinton, Mr Thabo Mbeki, Ms Ellen Johnson Sirleaf among others.
Another lucrative engagement for the Obamas is a contract he entered two months ago with TV streaming service provider Netflix.
“President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a multiyear agreement to produce films and series for Netflix, potentially including scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries, and features,” Netflix USA tweeted on May 21.
The Obamas, it then emerged, had created a company called Higher Ground Productions that will be churning out multimedia content.
But he is not the Jack who is all work and no play. He has had time to trade the steely, knuckle-faced image that is the currency of those in power with the body-soothing, refreshing waters and sceneries in Europe and beyond.
In February 2017, a month after he left office, he went to the British Virgin Islands at a private island owned by billionaire Richard Branson.
Among his activities there was kiteboarding, and from photos, one could tell Mr Obama was having the time of his life.
He has also visited Tetiaroa Island, where he first started to pen his memoirs before being joined by his wife Michelle, as reported by NBC News.
Mr Obama’s spirit of adventure also took him to Indonesia in June 2017, taking along his wife and their daughters Malia and Sasha.
A photo shared from the outing showed the whole family in a raft, oars in hand, floating on River Bali.
Amid his holidaying and million-dollar deals, he has also been reading books, a habit he has nurtured for decades.
In a Facebook post in June, he shared a list of the books he was reading and summaries of each.
“I’m often asked what I’m reading, watching, and listening to, so I thought I might share a short list from time to time,” he started. For example, in his short critique of Patrick Deneen’s book Why Liberalism Failed, he shared its pros and cons.
“I don’t agree with most of the author’s conclusions, but the book offers cogent insights into the loss of meaning and community that many in the West feel, issues that liberal democracies ignore at their own peril,” he wrote.
With all the books to read and write, all the songs to savour, one might readily excuse Mr Obama when he keeps off the ramblings of his predecessor Donald Trump.
But being the politician who has won almost every seat he has vied for, Mr Obama has a couple of times raised his voice on issues of the day.
His most recent is a May 8 Facebook post where he argued for the retention of the Iran nuclear deal, which Mr Trump has since ditched.
Eight months earlier, he had taken to the same platform to criticise Mr Trump’s discarding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (Daca), an action that later saw immigrants separated from their young children.
Bonded firmly in his retinue of daily activities is his participation in charity and nurturing of young leaders. In May 2017, Mr Obama and his wife released the blueprints for the Obama Presidential Centre, which will be located in Chicago.
Like any other president’s centre, it will have a library; but there will be more. They said it will contribute to the training of the next generation of leadership.
Along that is the Obama Foundation, through which he aims to nurture the spirit of leadership.

Obama to attend his sister's event in Kenya before heading to South Africa

Updated 0950 GMT (1750 HKT) July 15, 2018
(CNN)Former President Barack Obama is visiting his father's homeland of Kenya before heading to South Africa, where he'll take part in events honoring Nelson Mandela's birthday.
Obama meets Kenya's president, Uhuru Kenyatta, and opposition leader Raila Odinga on Sunday before attending the inauguration of a sports and vocational center founded by his sister, Auma Obama, on Monday.
The center in Siaya County will provide educational and economic opportunities to help young people serve their communities and shares a similar mission to the former president's Obama Foundation.
"Given that his own mission under the Obama Foundation is to inspire and empower people to change the world, his attendance at this event at our ancestral home, where our father was laid to rest, is of great significance to me," Auma Obama said last month.
Artists painted murals of Obama on the streets of his father's hometown of Kogelo, while some bars advertised a drink called the "Obama brew." On Twitter, Kenyans are using hashtags like #Obamareturns and #Obamakaributena, which means " Obama welcome again" in Swahili.
The former president and his sister share a father but have different mothers. The siblings have a close relationship. Auma Obama attended his 2009 inauguration and was a big part of her brother's 2015 visit to Kenya.
During that visit, his sister rode in the presidential limousine after he landed at the airport. She introduced him to a crowd of nearly 5,000 Kenyans waiting to see Obama.

South Africa

From Kenya, Obama will head to South Africa later in the week to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa and to speak at an event in honor of the late Nelson Mandela's birthday in Johannesburg.
He'll also take part in a town hall with 200 new leaders of the Obama Foundation in Africa.
"President Obama looks forward to meeting these emerging leaders for the first time, hearing about the extraordinary work they are doing across Africa, and discussing how the Obama Foundation can support their civic leadership development," said Katie Hill, a spokeswoman for the former president.

Nominated as Ambassadors & High Commissioners are:

1. Sarah Serem
2. Lt. Gen Samuel Thuita
3. Francis Muhoro
4. Manoah Esipisu
5. George Ochillo Ayacko
6. Amb Peter Nicholas Oginga Ogego
7. Johnson Mogo Ondieki
8. Chris Karumba Mburu
8. Benjamin Langat.