Sunday, 24 June 2018

Academic giant who founded 8-4-4 system, Moi University

Prof Douglas OdhiamboTechnical University of Mombasa Chancellor, Prof Douglas Odhiambo, during the institution's first graduation ceremony on October 24, 2013. His academic odyssey through various universities lasted nearly 50 years from the time he joined the Royal Technical College, now the University of Nairobi, in the late 1960s. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  
In 1981, Daniel arap Moi had been president of Kenya for three years, having taken over after the death in office of Jomo Kenyatta.
Kenya had one university — the University of Nairobi. Its education system was still the one the British had left behind at independence, nearly 20 years earlier.
Then Moi had a dream. He wanted to shake up things a little bit, actually a lot. He wanted a second university and a completely new education system.
To take his education dream forward, Moi constituted the Presidential Working Party in 1981 that led to the establishment of the 8-4-4 education system after collecting views from many Kenyans during visits across the country.
Moi, who started his presidency as a nationalist, dreamed of an education system that would foster national unity, strengthen mutual social responsibility, accelerate industrial and technological development as well as enhance lifelong learning and individual growth. He favoured a home grown system as opposed to what the British had left.
Earlier, in 1976, the Gachathi Report had recommended that the country needed a second university in order to produce the required human resource capacity to stimulate industrial take-off and spur the much-needed socio-economic development. This ideal, the Gachathi Committee noted, could not be achieved with only one institution of higher learning in Kenya.
It was to take the recommendation of this report forward that in 1981, Moi brought in Colin Mackay, a Canadian educationist, to help him shape up his plans for the establishment of a second university. Dr Mackay was to chair an 18-man commission.
Prof Douglas Odhiambo was his deputy and effectively the highest ranking Kenyan in the team. Dr Mackay became the titular head of this commission while Prof Odhiambo embodied and personified its Kenyan identity. The commission toured many parts of the country, listened to the views and aspirations of Kenyans on the education system they envisaged.
They eventually submitted a report to the President, not just recommending the establishment of a second university, but also restructuring the entire education system giving us the 8-4-4 model. The changes saw the scrapping of the ‘A’ level classes, Forms Five and Six, and simultaneously adding an extra year to primary and university education.
With the drastic recommendations that the committee presented to the President, Moi could not imagine a more qualified person than Prof Odhiambo to spearhead the establishment of the university whose creation it had recommended. He appointed him the first vice-chancellor of Moi University in 1984.
Prof Odhiambo became head of a virtually non-existent institution as it did not have a single student, staff or structures. Prof Odhiambo took 83 students from the University of Nairobi’s department of Forestry, put them on a bus and drove down to Eldoret and pitched three tents on the lawns of Kaptagat Hotel on the outskirts of the town. This is how he started Moi University. With two tents serving as lecture rooms and one becoming his office, Prof Odhiambo started teaching his cherished students deep in Kaptagat forest. The former Permanent Secretary for Education, Prof James ole Kiyapi, was one of these pioneer students.
From here, the university moved to Kesses to sit on 3,000 acres of land from where it has grown and given birth to institutions such as Maseno University, Masinde Muliro University and the University of Eldoret. Prof Odhiambo’s vision for Moi University was that it be a world class technology-driven institution. He established the faculties of engineering, information sciences, agriculture, forestry and wildlife resources, applied sciences, environmental studies, medicine as well as social sciences. To date, Moi is ranked as one the finest learning institutions in Africa thanks to the solid foundation he laid.
Prof Odhiambo, who died of a stroke this week aged 89 years, remained a true scholar and dedicated all his breath to university service. After his retirement from Moi as VC, he served as chairman of council at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology and a member of council for Rongo University.
Born in Uriri, Migori, Prof Odhiambo went to Maseno School and Alliance High before joining Makerere University where he studied Education between 1948 and 1950. He obtained his Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry from Bristol University in the UK.
A man of many firsts, he was the founding Chancellor of the Technical University of Mombasa. His academic odyssey through various universities lasted nearly 50 years from the time he joined the Royal Technical College, now the University of Nairobi, in the late 1960s.
A giant of a man, Prof Odhiambo flew to the highest peaks of achievement as effortlessly as a bird. Now he has flown to heaven.
Mr Oluoch is the Director Privately Sponsored Students Programme, Rongo University.      
In this new column we welcome readers to share with us information on people who’ve died recently and who they think made a mark in society in whatever sphere of life. Write-ups should not exceed 1,000 words. The Editor reserves the right to choose those that will be published. No payment shall be made for material published. Send your story to

End of bromance as Uhuru, Ruto clash becomes public

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William RutoPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.Although the two Jubilee principals have not been in direct public confrontation, some words have slipped out that illustrate the underlying tension between leaders who have always made a great show of putting their bromance on public display. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By Macharia Gaitho
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President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have found themselves embroiled in a cold war as internal conflicts rock the governing Jubilee Party.
Barely seven months since re-election, differences in the governing party centre around suspicion and conflicting approaches on matters such as the President’s renewed war on corruption and his truce with opposition leader Raila Odinga.
But ultimately the crucial issue is jitters over the 2022 elections where Mr Ruto expects a free pass for the party presidential nomination.
Although the two Jubilee principals have not been in direct public confrontation, some words have slipped out that illustrate the underlying tension between leaders who have always made a great show of putting their bromance on public display.
An example could be in the President’s casual public description of his Deputy’s early campaign jaunts across the country as “kutangatanga” (loitering). Though he later tried to make light of the matter, the words were noted, and Mr Ruto’s campaign team responded by astutely appropriating a term that could have been taken as a slur, and labelling themselves as Team Kutangatanga.
In the midst of speculation over what exactly the President may have meant, his social media team went to great lengths to project a positive spin, but keen observers may have noted that two competing official Twitter handles adopted differing approaches.
The professional media communications team at State House studiously kept above the fray, unlike the other handle run by a set of controversial bloggers who make up the digital communications team and seem to have gravitated into Mr Ruto’s orbit to the extent of posting unflattering comments on the anti-corruption campaign.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are also no doubt watching with interest the increasingly loud verbal battles being waged by their proxies in Parliament, press conferences and political rallies. The exchanges point to the hostile atmosphere that could come to impact on the carefully-crafted Jubilee succession plan. The Deputy President’s allies have ramped up direct criticism of the President’s pet projects in his new term — the new anti-corruption drive and the ‘building bridges’ initiative with Mr Odinga — which they openly suspect are designed to undermine Mr Ruto.
The President’s men, in turn, are clearly unhappy that his quest to craft a legacy is being undermined by premature 2022 campaigns.
Alarm bells are also sounding in the President’s camp that his central Kenya strongholds are suffering a haemorrhage, as a majority of elected leaders effectively abandon ship and troop to Mr Ruto’s side as they position themselves for the post-Kenyatta era.
Beyond the presidential succession, a related issue is the looming vacuum in central Kenya leadership where there is no clear emerging heir to take the mantle after President Kenyatta’s exit.
A group of power brokers in the region trying to shape the succession are concerned that there is no obvious candidate to either front for president in 2022, or be in good stead to bargain for Deputy President or other influential positions.
President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto were first elected in 2013 on a power sharing and succession agreement where after serving the maximum of two five-year terms, the former would support the latter’s bid for the presidency.
To ensure a smooth transition and eliminate bickering and rivalry amongst their troops, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto entered the 2017 election under the banner of a unified Jubilee Party after merging their respective parties, The National Alliance and United Republican Party, that formed the initial coalition.
This is now the deal that threatens to unravel with President Kenyatta barely settled down into his second and final term, while Deputy President Ruto engages in early preparation for his 2022 campaign. Things appeared to have started souring in March when, out of the blue, President Kenyatta emerged with Mr Odinga out of his Harambee House office for a public handshake signalling a truce that many saw as heralding major political realignments. Mr Ruto had been kept out of the loop on the secret contacts preceding the public unveiling, as had Mr Odinga’s co-principals in the Opposition Nasa Alliance, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Moses Wetang’ula and Mr Musalia Mudavadi.
While anger in Nasa was loud and public as the other three hit out at Mr Odinga for cutting private deals and leaving them out, within Jubilee it was more muted but there was no doubt that Mr Ruto and his allies were not impressed with the handshake.
The Building Bridges initiative was ostensibly designed to create a platform for resolution of the many issues that provoke ethnic and political violence with almost every electoral cycle. However, the DP’s group feared it indicated the beginning of a political alliance between the two families and two communities — the Kenyattas and the Odingas, the Kikuyu and the Luo — in an arrangement that would isolate Mr Ruto and also drive a wedge into the Kikuyu-Kalenjin alliance.
When President Kenyatta subsequently launched a fresh war against corruption, MPs in Mr Ruto’s camp openly voiced suspicion that it was targeting the DP’s allies.
The first big story on the anti-graft effort has been the spate of prosecutions on the NYS scandal driven by new brooms in the law and order machinery, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.
In swift order followed revelations of massive graft at the National Cereals and Produce Board, the Kenya Power and Lighting Company and other lucrative state corporations in the energy sector, and now the latest drama over contraband sugar.
It so happens that they lie in the departments or dockets seen as part of Mr Ruto’s fiefdoms or areas of interest, and within a short time his acolytes in Jubilee were warning against a witch-hunt allegedly targeting the DP and his allies, or even extending to his community.
In Parliament last Wednesday, for instance, Majority Leader Aden Duale appeared to forget that he speaks for the Jubilee administration, and took the government to task over its handling of the sugar import scandal.
He vowed to stand by his North Eastern Kenya constituents who may have been caught up in the wave of arrests, accusing the government of going after small traders and retailers while leaving free the actual culprits who he suggested enjoyed some form of protection.
While mouthing support for the anti-corruption crusade, Mr Duale pointedly warned the government against selective targeting, seemingly echoing those of Mr Ruto’s Rift Valley supporters who have been alleging that the DP is being targeted.
Some of Mr Ruto’s supporters, like Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, have also insisted that the anti-corruption campaign and the order for a lifestyle audit on public officers be extended to the fabled wealth of the First Family, going back to the fortune amassed by first President Jomo Kenyatta.
This is a clever ruse as it directly hits the President where it hurts, he being a beneficiary of the family fortune. There have also been pointed suggestions that even today, members of President Kenyatta’s family — including siblings, cousins, uncles and others — are doing business with government and benefitting from crooked procurement deals. The story of an uncle involved in the NYS scandal was released with undisguised glee.
These are the kind of links that would place the President in a tricky situation, for he can hardly push a credible anti-corruption war if those close to him are shielded from investigations, arrest and prosecution.
This might be one ghost, however, that the President might want to banish, alongside the image of a gilded princeling who rode to power on the name and fortune of his father.
Numerous sources indicate that after previous false starts, President Kenyatta this time round is determined to drive the anti-corruption war at whatever cost, including sacrificing relatives, friends and allies who may be caught up in the net, and whatever disruptions it may cause to prevailing political alliances. Already, there is the threat posed to Jubilee unity and very public pledge he made to back Mr Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.
The 2013 union of the former Kanu allies who drifted apart and were seen as leaders of rival combatants during 2007-2008 post-election violence — hence their arraignment before the International Criminal Court — was not just about individuals, but about communities.
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto coming back together was supposed to be about healing the deep and bitter divides that sparked violent conflagrations between their respective Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities in the Rift Valley.
Any separation seen as betrayal or breach of promise thus has potential for grave repercussions. Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu is one of the few central Kenya leaders openly rejecting Mr Ruto’s claim to guaranteed Kikuyu support.
He has publicly argued that the Kikuyu cannot be forced to vote for Mr Ruto under threat of renewed violence in the Rift Valley.
He also insists that the Kikuyu are not indebted to Mr Ruto, saying that the fact he is serving a second term as President Kenyatta’s deputy marks consummation of their deal.
Mr Wambugu is virtually a lone voice in central Kenya, where most elected leaders are now firmly backing Mr Ruto.
MPs such as Mr Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), Moses Kuria in President Kenyatta’s own Gatundu South constituency, and Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki, have emerged as vocal supporters of Mr Ruto in the wider central Kenya, which is expanded to cover the Meru and Embu regions as well as the Kikuyu diaspora in the Rift Valley.
At a rally on Friday, Mr Kuria enunciated the argument that the people of central Kenya are indeed indebted to Mr Ruto for rallying his populous Rift Valley troops to ensure President Kenyatta’s electoral victories in 2013 and 2017, and are bound to reciprocate.
Few now doubt that a handsome majority of central Kenya MPs solidly back Mr Ruto, and in the event of a showdown between the President and Deputy they would go with the latter.
This includes initiatives in Parliament on anti-corruption effort, or any legal and constitutional amendments that might be proposed from the Building Bridges initiative, which most of them dismiss as a restricted Uhuru-Raila deal of no importance to Jubilee’s post-Kenyatta agenda.
It would provide for a bizarre situation if President Kenyatta was abandoned by his central Kenya troops, leaving him to depend on the support of Mr Odinga’s opposition forces.
Rather than Mr Kenyatta’s State House, Mr Ruto’s Harambee House Annexe office and Karen official residence and office have become the magnets for central Kenya leaders soliciting support for development projects or fund raising efforts.
Leaders from Coast, Western, North Eastern, Nyanza and opposition strongholds that Mr Ruto has assiduously wooed have also become frequent guests.
There is no doubt that the DP is assembling a formidable political machinery and amassing the financial war chest to match, so he can be confident enough to ignore President Kenyatta’s entreaties for leaders to put politics aside and focus on development.
Aware that he might be outflanked in the formal political arena, President Kenyatta is said to be planning to go directly to the people for support on the anti-corruption war.
On strategy for his legacy projects, he is also looking beyond political classes to a machinery in the public service, particularly in the law and order sector, assembled to deliver for that purpose.
Beyond the Big Four agenda of affordable housing, universal healthcare, expanded industrialisation and food security, lies far more complicated initiatives designed to secure the Uhuru Kenyatta legacy.
The war against corruption and the peace deal with Raila Odinga have already run into political headwinds that will be far more difficult to navigate.

Sh4.7 billion health data technology in limbo

Mikel Macharia
Seven Seas Technologies manager Mike Macharia. The firm is on the spot over delayed implementation of the country’s Healthcare Information Technology system, 10 months after it was awarded the contract at a cost of Sh4.7 billion. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  
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A local IT firm is on the spot over delayed implementation of the country’s Healthcare Information Technology system, 10 months after it was awarded the contract at a cost of Sh4.7billion.
Seven Seas Technologies is unable to explain their inability to complete a multi-billion shilling project that sought to centralise data centre at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to senior officials at the Ministry of Health.
Senior ministry officials have downplayed the matter, although medics at the radiology department decry work inefficiencies occasioned by system installation delays.
This follows reports that patients continue to suffer at the top referral hospital almost a year after a private firm contracted to connect a central data centre, mainly affecting cancer patients, failed to honour its part of the bargain.
Seven Seas Technologies was awarded the Sh4.7 billion tender to connect all medical facilities above Level 4 in September last year and was expected to have finalised in 90 days. The KNH project was a pilot.
Contacted, Seven Seas Technologies manager Mike Macharia referred us to the Health ministry, which he said was his client and not KNH.
“The PS in the Ministry of Health is the owner and contractor of the project. Call him to get the depth of the matter,” he said.
Health Principal Secretary Peter Tum, however, said the contract was a countrywide one, adding that he was not aware of the KNH issue.
The Healthcare Information Technology (HCIT) is part of the Medical Equipment Services flagship projects undertaken by the Jubilee government to ensure delivery of quality healthcare.
Initially, Seven Seas Technologies demanded a down payment to commence the work but this was declined.
Currently, the KNH data centre is yet to be fitted with the ICT systems, 10 months later.
The tender price is also feared to have been inflated, since the project relies on the already installed fiber optic infrastructure from where the looping is done.
Under the MES Programme, Seven Seas was initially sub contracted by General Electric East Africa Services but they were pushed out in less than six months for what was said to be non-performance.
Over 70 employees also pulled out due to non-payment, effectively crippling the ICT firm.
Currently, the HCIT centre at KNH has fading paint and minimal cabling. The synchronised data centre dream is yet to be realised.
The revelations come even as the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission began an out-of-court agreement to recover funds lost in the multi-million shilling mobile clinics scandal.
The commission says that under the deal, a prefabricated medical clinic that could be locally manufactured at a cost of Sh3 million was given to a Chinese Company at a cost Sh8 million per unit.
Documents by the EACC show that Guangzhou Moneybox Steel Structure Engineering Ltd received only Sh525 million, meaning the firm awarded the contract, Estama Investment, pocketed Sh275 million for just being a go-between.
Documents the EACC filed in court show there was no value for money in the deal and that Estama, senior Ministry of Health officials and the Chinese firm procured sub-standard products.

Jubilee union in trouble as allies now spar publicly

Jubilee Party
President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and his Deputy William Ruto address the Jubilee Party manifesto launch event at Safaricom Kasarani Stadium on June 26, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
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A church harambee planned to be held in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County, has laid bare the increasingly growing distance between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his hitherto trusted Deputy, William Ruto.
The harambee is to be presided over by 2013 presidential candidate Peter Kenneth.
But, in an intriguing development, the harambee has sharply split the Jubilee coalition, with a section of MPs who had been invited saying they had received calls from a powerful but shadowy government official known for opposing the DP asking them to boycott the event.
“On Sunday, Peter Kenneth has invited me for a rally he is doing with Oscar Sudi in Eldoret. There is a camp fighting Ruto. So it is telling us we should not set foot in Eldoret on Sunday,” a text message from a senator from Mt Kenya read.
None other than Mr Ruto himself alluded to the campaign to undermine his 2022 bid during a harambee in Githunguri, Kiambu County, on Friday.
Mr Ruto, who has previously downplayed reports that a section of politicians in the Jubilee coalition are opposed to his presidential bid, revealed that he was being targeted through propaganda by some politicians.
“There is an attempt to try and undermine the track record of Jubilee. Therefore, to those peddling propaganda, let them continue; but we will meet with them on the judgement day (2022 elections) and the electorate will decide who is a performer and who is a propagandist,” Mr Ruto said.
Utterances by the top leadership of the Kikuyu Council of Elders, comprising President Kenyatta’s uncle George Muhoho, has not helped diffuse the notion that the Kenyatta-Ruto marriage is on the rocks.
KCE Secretary-General, the Rev Peter Munga, said in a recent interview that an initiative launched last May in Eldoret for Kalenjin and Kikuyu elders to promote Mr Ruto’s 2022 bid stood suspended, and that the council was now focused on building bridges under the aegis of the March 9 handshake between President Kenyatta and his erstwhile arch-rival Raila Odinga.
“It is no longer tenable to go round the country talking about one presidential candidate while others are still (waiting) in the wings,” Rev Munga said.
The latest developments are in stark contrast to the camaraderie displayed by the President and his Deputy throughout the first term.
United by their shared indictments at the International Criminal Court, which had propelled their unlikely alliance that secured victory in the March 2013 vote, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto consistently addressed each other cordially in public and photos of them engaging in hearty handshakes and laughing at each other’s jokes were common.
Mr Ruto seemed to have made a calculation to play second fiddle to Mr Kenyatta from the start and not to challenge him directly, betting that this would put him in a pole position to succeed him in 2022.
In return, Mr Kenyatta acceded to most of Mr Ruto’s demands, including appointing many DP nominees to key positions in the Cabinet and major parastatals.
The matching white shirts and red ties the pair donned when the first Cabinet was announced seemed to signal their intention to build a lasting alliance.
Those days, however, seem to be decidedly in the past.
The body language between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto has been frosty over the past few months, with commentators noting the change of language particularly in the way in which Mr Kenyatta addresses his deputy.
In the first term, the President often called him ndugu yangu William (my brother William) and made a big show of insisting they were singing from the same hymn sheet, including in October 2014 when Mr Kenyatta took the unprecedented step of appointing Mr Ruto acting President when he travelled to The Hague for the hearing of his case.
The new posture between the two men is one of thinly disguised hostility.
During the funeral service for pro-democracy icon Kenneth Matiba, President Kenyatta launched what was viewed by many as an attack on his deputy and his allies, who he said were resisting his efforts to work together with opposition leader Raila Odinga.
In subsequent statements, Mr Kenyatta referred to Mr Ruto as huyu kijana (this young man) and mentioned his habit of kutanga tanga kila mahali (loitering all over the place), a reference to perceptions that Mr Ruto has launched early campaigns for the 2022 election.
When Mr Kenyatta announced that all public officials would be subjected to a lifestyle audit, he merely pointed at Mr Ruto and described him as huyu (this one).
While all these shifts may be viewed as petty chatter, there is a more serious subtext to the emerging cracks within the ruling party.
Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat, whose party leader Gideon Moi is embroiled in a bitter supremacy tussle with Mr Ruto in the Rift Valley, thinks the DP is responsible for the apparent fissures in Jubilee.
“It is rule of the thumb that you do not attempt to outmanoeuvre your boss. You do not try to make him irrelevant too soon even if in the end you must,” he said.
And added: “The President assured him (Mr Ruto) of his support in 2022 but he immediately embarked on a campaign. It was bound to boomerang on him since the President is keen on leaving a good legacy.”
Deputy Senate Speaker Kithure Kindiki, one of those positioning themselves to be named the DP’s running mate in the 2022 polls, disagrees.
“The DP has been very conscious about his position in Jubilee and government. Never at any time has he competed or tried to upstage the President,” he states.
He downplays the divisions, saying what is happening is characteristic of succession politics.
But he blames opposition leader Raila Odinga for stoking conflict in the ruling party.
“We have the handshake people salivating for Jubilee’s largesse. They are out to upset the political equilibrium,” the senator said.
The clash could already be proving beneficial to the public.
In the last few weeks, the allies of the president and deputy president have engaged in a tit-for-tat campaign of leaking damaging stories about the rival camps, developments which may improve accountability by revealing stories of alleged graft between the two camps.
Mr Kenyatta’s allies appear to be focusing on key parastatals in which Mr Ruto has placed pointmen and where State House figures allege Mr Ruto is drawing financial largesse for his planned presidential campaign.
Mr Ruto’s allies are fighting back. On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Aden Duale tabled a list of companies that were given licences to import sugar.
Several are said to have business relationships with the First Family.
The involvement of families could deepen hostility between the two camps.
After Mr Kenyatta ordered a lifestyle audit of public officials, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, a Ruto ally, demanded that the audits should stretch back to the tenure of first President Jomo Kenyatta.
“… the President recently said that there’s a need for lifestyle audit. Everybody should undergo the same including the president, his father Jomo,” he said.
Meanwhile, a 1975 article in the New York Times claiming that the tenure of Kenyatta senior was marred by widespread corruption was widely circulated on social media.
Prof Peter Kagwanja, a governance expert, observes that a relentless war on graft by the President resulting in casualties is bound to see heads roll, with a political price to be paid.
The biggest worry will be the potential for the emerging divisions to test the unity of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin, the two main communities that came together to form the Jubilee Party.
Youths from the two groups were at the heart of the shocking violence which followed the 2007 election, and the unity between their leaders has created an uneasy peace in the Rift Valley.
If the alliance breaks, the potential for trouble in the 2022 election will rise significantly.
An unexpected beneficiary of this battle within the Jubilee Party is Raila Odinga, who has increasingly become a key player in the Kenyatta succession.

Meet the man who digs Odinga's graves for free

The political Odinga family has faced quite a number of misfortunes, ranging from the death of its founder and former Vice President, to his grandson Fidel Odinga’s demise and its longtime inability to clinch the presidency.

Fidel and other departed members of the family are buried at the family cemetery in Oginga’s Kang’o Ka Jaramogi home in Bondo, Siaya county.
However,  the family has since surrendered the destination to the Kenya National Museum for historical preservation.
The job of preparing their graves is not conducted by just anyone, but has for long been entrusted with Julius Ochieng’, who has an over 20 year experience in the undertaking job.

Ochieng’ dropped out of school at form three and ventured into casual jobs like digging trenches, sewer and underground water lines to fend for himself, before a friend introduced him into the profession in the 1990s. Apart from Fidel who is the latest known member of the family to depart, Ochieng’ led the squad that dug the grave of opposition leader Raila Odinga’s sister Margaret Akinyi Oginga in 1996.Three years later he dug Shadrack Osewe Oginga’s grave, Osewe was Jaramogi’s last born son.
In a Standard publication dated 8 January 2015, he says that of all the graves, Fidel’s was the most tricky, as it had to be given a state of the art touch judging by the youngster’s prominence in the society.

He, however, doesn’t ask for payment for his services, and it’s up to the family to decide on what to give him in gratitude. 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Pope Francis appoints Bishop Wambua King’oo as Bishop of Machakos

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Pope Francis appoints Bishop Wambua King’oo as Bishop of Machakos 
By The Catholic Mirror Team

The Holy Father has transferred Bishop Norman King’oo Wambua of the Catholic Diocese of Bungoma to the Catholic Diocese of Machakos. 
In a letter from the Apostolic Nunciature to Kenya dated 22nd June, 2018, the news of the appointment was made public in Rome, Today Saturday, 23rd June, 2018 at noon (1.00p.m in Kenya).
Rt. Rev. King’oo who is the Chairman of the National Family Life at the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has served in Bungoma for 20 years.
Bishop King'oo Wambua was appointed Bishop of Bungoma on 27th, June, 1998 and consecrated on 16th, August, 1998 by the Prefect of Congregation of Evangelization to Peoples Cardinal Joseph Tumko.

Machakos Diocese
Machakos Diocese fell vacant on 9th, December, 2014 when Bishop Martin Kivuva was elevated to Archbishop of Mombasa Archdiocese. Since then the Diocese has been shepherded by Nyeri Archbishop Anthony Muheria who is has been the Apostolic Administrator. 
With the transfer of Bishop King’oo Wambua, four dioceses and the Military Ordinariate remain without resident Bishops. These includes; Catholic Diocese of Kitui following the transfer of Bishop Anthony Muheria- now Archbishop of Nyeri in 2017, Millitary Ordinariate following the retirement of Bishop Alfred Rotich in 2016, having attained the Mandatory retirement age for the Military, Catholic Diocese of Eldoret following the death of Bishop Cornelius Korir in October, 2017, Catholic Diocese of Malindi following the death of Bishop Emanuel Barbara in January 2018 and now the Catholic Diocese of Bungoma.

Bishop Norman King’oo Wambua
Born: 1952 in Makueni County
Ordained Priest: 1988
Appointed Bishop: June 27, 1998
Consecrated Bishop: August 16, 1998


Is mixed race the new normal? This family portrait is going viral for all the right reasons

The McClures' beautiful family portrait has gone viral for its representation of diversity.Family's multicultural photo shoot
© @jkmcclure/Instagram The McClures' beautiful family portrait has gone viral for its representation of diversity.Family's multicultural photo shoot

The McClures' beautiful family portrait has gone viral for its representation of diversity.Family's multicultural photo shoot 
The McClure's family photo sends a beautiful message. "There's a certain education you get from books, and there's another education you get from experiencing the world, experiencing cultures," Justin McClure told TODAY Style.
The McClure's family photo sends a beautiful message. "There's a certain education you get from books, and there's another education you get from experiencing the world, experiencing cultures," Justin McClure told TODAY Style.

This family photo is beautiful in every way!
The McClure family of West Orange, New Jersey, recently shared a gorgeous family portrait that is stealing people's hearts.
In the photo, parents Aminat and Justin McClure dressed their entire family in gorgeous, custom-made outfits inspired by Aminat's background.

Aminat, 36, was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States as a young child.
Aminat wore a striking, mermaid-cut gown while her husband sported a tunic and loose trousers inspired by traditional West African designs.
Their 4-year-old twins, Ava and Alexis, wore flowing, princess-style dresses, and the littlest McClure, 7-month-old Jersey, wore an adorable suit in the same turquoise fabric with a purple-and-gold pattern.
The outfits were created for the family by Cameroonian designer Claude Kameni. She approached the McClures and asked if she coulddesign something for them, and they jumped at the opportunity.
"We just let her do whatever she wanted as far as what she thought would fit best for our family," Justin, 43, told TODAY Style.
He said he loved this opportunity to celebrate his wife's heritage.
"As a Caucasian man, I embrace my family, I embrace my wife's Nigerian culture," he said.
He also hopes that the photo shoot will help his daughters understand the beauty of their blended background.
"We wanted them to take away how elegant they can be in anything, it doesn't matter what culture they represent," he told TODAY. "There's a certain education you get from books, and there's another education you get from experiencing the world, experiencing cultures."
The sweet family portrait quickly went viral, racking up more than 330,000 likes on the Instagram page created for the twins.
Many people sent messages of love and support, and some shared stories about their own interracial families.
"I love this!!" one person commented on Justin's Instagram page. "We definitely celebrate each other's cultures in our household. I'm black and from the Deep South and my husband is from Puerto Rico."
"Happy to see this," another woman wrote. "I am Cherokee and my husband is African American we celebrate both with our kiddos."
The photo was also liked and shared thousands of times on Facebook, where Ava and Alexis star in a web series called Discovery Twins, filmed and produced by their dad.
The show follows the kids as they "discover something new about life every week," and that often includes learning about their Nigerian background.
In one recent episode, they learned how to cook traditional Nigerian dishes such as jollof rice and puff puff, a doughnut-like dessert.
For the McClure parents, teaching their kids about traditional Nigerian food, customs and dress is a priority — both for their own cultural upbringing and for their appreciation of diversity in general.
"We try to allow them to embrace whatever culture they're in, because with culture comes wisdom and sophistication," Justin said.