All posts by Belfast Brian

when not writing,working out or reading an article,am likely sleeping.

Why Professor Magoha is justified to push school re-opening dates even to 2022.

Even as I write this article,it is my hope that a vaccine be found soonest.

However before then, doors to the buildings in all learning institutions should remain locked.

Before you ‘fire salvo’ at the Kenya’s Education cabinet secretary George Magoha over plans to postpone opening dates even further ,think of countries such as HongKong that closed back schools barely a month after opening, after experiencing a third wave of covid-19 infections.

Learners taking examinations in Hongkong.

Excuse me,how does Hongkong and Kenya compare in terms of economy and by extension ,preparedness to mitigate the spread of the virus?

Before you begin enumerating countries that have managed to open schools world over ,ask yourself the measures that they put in place pre-opening then look at them against Kenya’s.

Teachers’ and learners not Guinea pigs.

As a parent, get to know that your child and his/her teacher are not guinea pigs or rats in an experiment to test whether or not it is safe to reopen schools.

Learning institutions were in March closed following confirmation of just one case of covid-19.

The figures currently stands at 24,411 as of yesterday and you want schools opened ,are you mad?

Social distancing.

Hardly can learners interactions be restricted while in schools meaning even with masks on, infections are still bound to occur,again at a higher rate.

A class in progress in China,social distancing enhanced to curb spread of Covid-19.

You might argue that teachers will take care of them and ensure they put on masks at all times and maintain social distance as well. Since when did teachers become health care givers to do all these?

Even the proposed open-air learning should schools re-open is practically impossible. Think of the afternoon rains.Where will lerners have shelter in case of a heavy down pour? Definitely classrooms and you know how risky that can be.

Hospitals overwhelmed

Health facilities might be overwhelmed if infections increase among learners owing to the fact that home based care may not be an option in case of emergencies.

If you want schools opened without sacrificing teachers,learners and relatives who are studying, then it is prudent to have them closed till that time when it will be scientifically safe to do so.

Of concern to me are learners with special needs. Take an example of a paraplegic learner who will have to frequently adjust his/her mask in case it’s not well positioned.

The young ones with autism and language and communication difficulties needs time to be trained to master an instruction.

Before you fully train them on Social distancing and wearing of masks,they shall have contracted the disease.Is that what you want?

I hold the view that health supersedes education but if you have a contrary opinion then You should be reported to Ugandan president Museveni for some militaristic discipline.

By Belfast Brian , a special Needs Education Teacher.

Schools might not open in January as planned-Magoha

Even the opening date currently set in January is subject to change.

This was Magoha’s sentiment as he addressed National Assembly Education Committee in a virtual meeting on Thursday, August 6.

The Education cabinet secretary was however hesitant to reaffirm January opening dates before the committee.

He maintained his earlier sentiments that schools will only open on condition that covid-19 curve flattens for 14 consecutive days.

“Decisions regarding reopening of learning institutions may change as informed by prevailing circumstances and increased knowledge of Covid-19. If we open in January and there is a surge, we will step down and observe the trends. People have tried to open, like South Africa, and have shut again,” Magoha warned.

Further,he ruled out provision of National examinations (KCSE & KCPE) on grounds that allowing learners and tutors back to school in September could be detrimental as Covid-19 infections are set to rise come October .

Members of Parliament were piling pressure on Magoha to have examinations set based on what has been so far covered in the syllabus.

He however differed with the proposal arguing that Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) sets examinations based on syllabus coverage for 8 years and 4 years for primary and secondary schools respectively.

Based on the measures given by ministry of health, the CS however urged schools to prepare for opening in January.

“The authority to reopen for learning and research will be informed by MoH and my ministry based on dynamics of preparedness,” he added.

Education ministry also released funds meant for running schools for second and third terms as well as paying teachers employed on Board of Management terms.

Treasury deposited Ksh 3,725 per student. Magoha also received funds meant for upgrading schools.

The money will be used to build additional classrooms for secondary schools and hire more teachers.

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Sonko asks for Raila’s intervention in ongoing city wrangles.

Nairobi governor has called upon Chiefs Justice David Maraga and ODM chief Raila Odinga to help resolve the leadership wrangles in the county.

For a period now,Sonko and the Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss Mohammed Badi have engaged in territorial wars.

Sonko has accused the “dark forces in the system ” of causing disharmony.

“My humble appeal now goes to the Honourable Chief Justice, the Senate and Hon. Raila Odinga as great defenders of devolution in this country, we need your urgent intervention and rich wisdom in this crisis, before the county cripples down and is taken away by selfish individuals,” he said.

The governor attributed the crisis and divisions currently witnessed to “dark forces” whose aim is to take control of Nairobi county through backdoor.

“I promise you, very soon the truth shall be known to all.” Said Sonko.

He added that despite him signing the deed of transfer of functions to the national government in good faith, it has since been hijacked by individuals with partisan political interests.

“I appreciate the great works NMS is doing, methodology of its existence notwithstanding. However, NMS, led by General Badi has conducted itself in a partisan political manner against the deed of transfer which was to complement and not compete with my administration,” he said.

Sonko never hesitated to take issues with CS Fred Matian’gi who last week claimed that some Wardreps were armed with guns.

He dared Mr. Matian’gi to produce the names of the MCA’S he claims to have disarmed.

“If your very keen you will notice this is just to divert us from seeking justice for Hon (Patricia) Mutheu. There are clear guidelines on how firearms are handled within the assembly precincts under strict supervision of seargent-at-arms,” he said.

The Mlango Kubwa MCA Hon Mutheu was clobbered by police when the Wardreps attempted to serve Beatrice Elachi ,the speaker with an impeachment notice.

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Joy as Celebrated Citizen TV news anchor Jeff Koinange recovers from Covid-19.

Jeff Koinange on Thursday made public his recovery from the dreadful Corona virus.

Through social media,Mr. Koinange said that he took tests all of which turned negative.

He thanked all his followers who stood with him in prayers as he battled the virus.

“Folks…Day 17 in isolation and I just got my 2nd test results…NEGATIVE…I have BEATEN this MONSTER! And YOU can too! Thank you for ALL your Prayers, Kind Words and Good Wishes! TOGETHER can win this WAR against #COVID19 God Bless! Twende Kazi,” read his tweet.

14 days after testing positive for the virus Jeff said he took another test although he was advised to wait for 72 hours before having a repeat test.

He was talking on Wednesday as he read news from home.

“..some news, after day 14, I tested again… I was negative… people from the clinic have insisted I should test again in 72 hours to get a double negative,” he said.

He made his status public on the 20th of July although he was assymptomatic. He was therefore prompted to have self isolation.

“Folks, just to let you know, I have tested POSITIVE for Covid-19. I’m doing Good..NO symptoms…and my Family is fine. All my close contacts have been informed. Right now I’m in self isolation. Many thanks to Royal Media Services Management for its Support. Stay SAFE & God Bless!” wrote Jeff.

Jeff’s counterpart Stephen Letoo with whom they host a political show at hot 96 fm also tested positive for the virus.

It is said that many other journalist from the media house also tested positive and are yet to make their status public.

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Woman left homeless after husband secretly sells their marital home.

A woman and her children are stranded after her husband secretly sold their matrimonial home.

Jennifer Akinyi sought to repossess the matrimonial home through the Environment and Land Court.

Her case was however dismissed in light of her sleeping on her rights to have the property registered under joint ownership agreement with the husband.

Justice Anne Omollo yesterday ruled that Akinyi’s husband Boniface Osodo cannot be blamed for selling a property he bought using his own money.

She blamed Akinyi of the problem facing her.

“The court could only interfere with the husband’s decision to dispose of the land if it was established that the sale was unlawful or meant to conceal fraudulent activities,” ruled Omollo.

“The court could only interfere with the husband’s decision to dispose of the land if it was established that the sale was unlawful or meant to conceal fraudulent activities,” ruled Omollo.

Akinyi accused her husband of selling their Busia matrimonial home to Alfred Juma and Edith Atieno without her consent as the wife.

She alleged that the land was a gift from her father-in-law after their 1985 wedding.

They occupied the land till she went to work in Britain.

Upon returning in 2015 with plans to develop their matrimonial home,she realised that the land had been sold by the husband.

Further,she claimed that the husband forged documents to effect the transfer to Juma and Atieno failing to have the interests of his family taken care of.

She also accused her husband of colluding with registrar of land in Busia to change the title of the land in favour of the buyers even after she put a notice against buying the land on the premise that it was a matrimonial home.

In response,Osodo said that he bought the land way back in 1981 with his own money before their marriage hence needed no spousal approval before selling it.

He stated that since the title was registered in his name, he used it as security to secure a loan from Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC).

He said it was the financial challenges he experienced while serving the loan that made him sell the matrimonial home.

He added that he used part of the money to pay the loan.

Osodo further said that he was in the process of divorcing his wife with whom they have been married for 35 years hence needed did not have to seek her consent in selling the land.

In the Ruling,Justice Omollo said that there was no evidence that the land was a gift to the family.

“The wife has not produced any evidence to show the land was a gift from her father-in-law,” ruled the judge.

“I agree with the husband’s submission and evidence he provided to prove he purchased the property before their marriage.”

According to the judge, there was evidence that Osodo used part of the proceeds to settle the AFC loan.

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Ugandan President Museveni 75 does 40 push-ups to keep fit.

Ugandan president has proved that age should not be a hindrance to keeping fit especially during this pandemic.

In a bid to encourage his citizens to stay fit, Museveni has released a video of him working out at home.

Despite his oldage (75) the video shows the head of state jogging barefoot in a spacious living room then goes down for 40 push ups.

He said he did that to challenge the youth (bhazukulu). Although some people finds this condescending.

Take a look at the video;

In April after banning outdoor workouts to redce the spread of corona virus,a a ban that was later lifted in June,he released a similar video.

The video shows the president,barefoot warming up through jogging.

He then does 21 press- ups as his team counts along then adds other 9 reps bringing the total to 30.

On Wednesday,the president came accross photos and videos on social media of people working out in grouos public.

This prompted him to ban outdoor workouts in a bid to reduce the curb the spread of the virus.

This is just one of the several times the president is bringing his health to focus.

In a conversation with one of the dailies,Museveni divulged losing 30 kg due to his focus on his health and fitness.

In January Mr Museveni walked 200 km (125 miles) through the Luweero triangle, where he had his bases as he fought the war that brought him to power.

With the country expecting general elections in January 2021, the electoral commision has banned all political campaigns.

Politicians have been urged to seek alternative through the media.

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Raila is right on the revenue Sharing Formula-Murkomen

Former leader of majority in the senate kipchumba murkomen has welcomed Raila odinga’s latest stand on revenue sharing formula.

On Wednesday,Raila said that he is no longer in support of the third basis revenue sharing formula.

He however said that no County should lose funds.

According to The Star ,during an interview with NTV, the ODM leader said that it should be a win-win situation.

Raila on Wednesday said he did not have all the details on the CRA third basis formula.

“When I first wrote the statement, I had just come back from (treatment in) Dubai,” he said during an interview with NTV.

He said he was not aware that parliamentary budget committee had changed report by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA).

Kipchumba murkomen through his Twitter page hailed Raila for the decision.

“I welcome Right Hon. @RailaOdinga ‘s decision to support a Win -Win formula for county allocation revenue. This together with the earlier support and firm stand by HE @WilliamsRuto helps the country find solution,” he said.

“Thank God my adjournment motion is beginning to bear good fruit. To all my colleagues… who have stood firm for a United Kenya May the Lord bless you. Keep walking.”

On Sunday Raila convened a meeting with a section of Jubilee leaders with the aim of discussing the third basis of revenue sharing formula.

Deputy president Dr. William Ruto last month termed the revenue sharing formula as unnecessarily divisive.

“The legislature must as per its mandate structure a win-win formula that is sensitive to proposals made without hurting any county. Inawezakana,” the DP tweeted.

On Tuesday,the legislators for the seventh time voted to adjourn the debate on Sakaja-proposed revenue sharing formula.

According to the formula,no county gets less funds than the one it got in the  last fiscal year.

Despite weeks of debates ,the senators have not reached a consensus on the formula.

The impasse has stalled the passage of County Allocation Revenue Bill.

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Twitter, Facebook pulls Donald Trump’s misinforming posts on Covid-19.

If you still doubt the seriousness with which twitter and Facebook treats violation of any of their set rules, Probably you should have a date with President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Facebook pulled down a post by Trump that it claimed contravened its rules on sharing misinformation about the virus.

As The Standard reports, In the post was a video of Trump claiming that Children are almost immune to Corona Virus.

“This video includes false claims that a group of people is immune from COVID-19, which is a violation of our policies around harmful COVID misinformation,” a Facebook spokesman said.

A tweet containing the same video,shared by Trump’s Campaign team was also hidden by twitter for going against its covid-19 misinformation rules.

A twitter spokesman said that the president’s account @TeamTrump will only be allowed to tweet again after removing the tweet.

However ,in a rejoinder,Trump’s team through its spokeswoman Courtney Parella accused the social media platforms of bias against the president.

“Social media companies are not the arbiters of truth,” She said.

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention CDC, adults are the most affected by Corona virus.

There are chances of transmitting the virus by some children and infants who have suffered from the disease.

An analysis by the World Health Organization of 6 million infections between Feb. 24 and July 12 found that the share of children aged 5-14 years was about 4.6%.

The White House did not immediately heed to a request for comment. 

Trump reiterated his claim that the effect of the disease is not so dire on children,during a statehouse briefing.

“Children handle it very well,” he told reporters. “If you look at the numbers, in terms of mortality, fatalities … for children under a certain age … their immune systems are very very strong and very powerful. They seem to be able to handle it very well and that’s according to every statistical claim.”

This marked the first time Facebook pulled down Trump’s misinforming post on Covid-19.

Moreover,it also marked the first time it pulled down Trump’s post on account of breeching its misinformation rules.

Twitter has taken down a post retweeted by Trump pointing to a misleading viral video about the coronavirus, but left up clips of the president suggesting scientists should investigate using light or disinfectant on patients.

Twitter said those remarks expressed a wish for treatment, rather than a literal call for action.

Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk’s March post that claimed kids are immune ,was spared.

Facebook sounded a warning to lawmakers and its employees against permitting inflammatory posts by Trump as has been in the recent months.

The company has previously removed ads from Trump’s election campaign for breaking misinformation rules, in that case around a national census.

It also took down both Trump posts and campaign ads that showed a red inverted triangle, a symbol the Nazis used to identify political prisoners, for violating its policy against organized hate.

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Kenyan Victims of Beirut blast explains how it occured.

Fred Kamau has for 7 years years worked as a security officer at a school in Beirut.

The bigger challenge he has had to deal with in the past is occasional cases of indiscipline from the students.

On Tuesday however ,came the mother of all the challenges he’s been facing.

Just few kilometres from where he sat on the fateful day,he says he saw a huge explosion ,what he describes as heart stopping and hard to forget.

He compares what he saw to what he always watched on action movies;an explosion comparable to a bomb followed by collapse of buildings with glasses flying in the air.

Much Screaming.

“Pieces of glasses in the air — was raining shards of glass. There was a huge blast. So much running…so much screaming…and I was sandwiched between two walls that were shaking…I said, God, do not let me die in a foreign land far from home,” he says.

Thinking that his end had finally come, he fell on the ground attempting to call his wife back in Nairobi.

Kamau sustained minor injuries but says he has not been able to sleep since the incident took place.

Videos of the incident that have been doing rounds on social media shows barefooted parents running ,holding their kids.

Others held each other as walls caved in.

Some children were caught up in the dust,women wailing as men broken down as they they came to teems with the deatruction that has left claimed about 100 lives and 4,000 injured.

Kenyans among those injured in Beirut.

Kenya’s envoy to Kuwait , Halima Mohamud said that 3 Kenyans were hospitalised but are recuperatin’g well.

“All the Kenyans are fine. I talked to them,” she said, adding that they were taken to hospital, got medication and are getting well. She urged Kenyans with relatives in Beirut to be calm, saying they have not recorded any serious case.

Kenya’s Honorary Consul in Lebanon said they have a case of an undocumented Kenyan who was at the scene and sustained injuries.

” She is admitted to hospital and they could only identify her as “Lulu”. “She is illegally working outside without insurance cover. We are following up her case,” said the consul.

Cause of the Explosion

It is said that the explosion might have arisen from 2700 tonnes of confiscated Ammonium Nitrate that had been in a warehouse at the porg for close to six years.

Mary Muriithi says anybody who looks at the aftermath of the explosion would definitely wish to go back to his/her home country.

The blood, the tears, and the gloom that has engulfed the country as Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun declared Wednesday a national day of mourning has made them plan to push a petition for repatriation.

“There are people who lost jobs. People are desperate. Some are homeless,” she says.

Kenya through President Kenyatta expressed sympathy to the government of Lebanon as they come to terms with the incident that has left rubbles.

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Politicians want nicknames included on ballot paper.

If a bill that allows politicians to use their nicknames on the ballot is approved by the Senate,then politicians will be free to identify themselves with the same.

You will therefore not be surprised to find Raila represented as ‘Agwambo/Tinga’ Joho as ‘Sultan’ or Senator orengo as ‘Nyatieng’ on the ballot paper.

The bill was sponsored by Nyeri Senator Ephraim Maina,The Star reports.

The Senate’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has already approved the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2019.

Committee chairman Okong’o Mongare will move the amendments in the Bill which he will introduce in the House for third reading.

Maina proposes that a politician be identified by his/her popular name during nominations or general elections.

“A candidate shall apply to the Commission, in the prescribed form, for the inclusion of the candidate’s popular name in terms of subsection,” the Bill reads in part.

According to the bill,any politician who wishes to use his nickname during elections will have to apply to the IEBC 21 days ahead of submission of official names.

An independent candidate will make the application while submitting his/her symbol.

The IEBC’s approval, according to the sponsor, shall ensure that this flexibility does not prejudice a free and fair election in any way.

At the moment, candidates are only expected to identify with their official names as they appear on his/her identification documents or register of voters.

Maina argues that candidates,under the current law,finds it hard changing their names in accordance with Registration of Persons Act, Cap 107, Registration of Documents Act, Cap. 285 and rules and regulations made under the two Acts.

“The ultimate goal of an election is to ensure that the electorate choose their preferred leaders in a free and fair environment.

“Name recognition thus becomes an important aspect of a free and fair election and should be enabled to the fullest extent. It ensures that a voter easily identifies his or her preferred candidate on a ballot and, therefore, votes in the way he or she intended,” the senator says.

If politicians were to use their nicknames on the ballot in the past,they had to swear affidavits to include their popular names in the official identification documents.

In that regard, the incumbent Nairobi governor and the former Kiambu governor had to include the names in their ID’s.

To help their supporters identify them easily ,Mike Mbuvi added the popular “Sonko” while Waititu “Babayao”

Former Senator Muthama differs with Kalonzo on the revenue sharing formula.

Former Machakos Senator Johnston Muthama has differed with his once party leader Kalonzo Musyoka over the controversial revenue sharing formula.

Muthama is against adoption of the formula which he says threatens the unity of the country while Kalonzo has endorsed it.

The shrewd former Senator bade wiper party goodbye last month.

He said the country will either be made or brocken by the casual manner in which the government handles important national issues.

The former Senator was speaking from his Gigiri office on Monday where he asked the head of state to come to the rescue of this nation by intervening in the stalemate.

He blamed the current impasse on the senators who he said have not come to a consensus on how the revenue can be shared between the 47 counties.

Muthama warned against allocating meagre funds to marginalised counties while giving huge sums to already developed counties.

This he said will be tantamount to rewarding population.

“I appeal to the President of the republic of Kenya not to touch the normal allocations meant for marginalised counties. Since Independence, it is now that some counties are seeing tarmac road for the first time and such counties are going to lose Sh1.9 billion in the proposed formula,” Muthama said.

“For the sake of a united country where each and every citizen feels part of the country, the sharing of funds should be that which was being given to those counties is not touched.”

He termed the move provocative and whose end results might be further marginalisation.

“They should forget taking that direction because the country will be divided if the government tries to take away money from the marginalised,” he said.

“The Senate seems unable to unlock the stalemate. Kenyans are just watching name calling while others are being branded as Kieleweke and Tangatanga. The name calling will not solve Kenya’s problems. ”

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Update:Blogger Edgar Obare Charged with Publication of Private data.

Video blogger Edgar Obare has been charged for unlawfully publishing private information on Youtuber Natalie Tewa’s passport.

Obare runs a popular Instagram page which focuses on exposes of local celebrities.

He however pleaded not guilty at the Kiambu law courts today.

His charge sheet read,

“On diverse dates between July 9 and July 13, 2020 at an unknown place, within the Republic of Kenya, using your social media accounts , domain name and verified Instagram account @edgarobare, unlawfully disclosed to your online followers personal data to wit visa belonging to one Natalie Wanjiru Githinji without her consent,” 

Edga Obare’s Charge Sheet.

Mr Obare, who is being represented by lawyer Titus Munene Kinyua, will know if he will be released on bail in the afternoon.

According to the law,anyone who commits an offence under Section 72 of the Data Protection Act risks being fined not exceeding Sh3 million or to an imprisonment term not exceeding 10 years ,or both.

The blogger was arrested on Thursday in Kisumu and taken to DCI headquarters,Nairobi for questioning.

Obare few weeks back claimed that Natalie Tewa was part of the ODM members who paid Raila Odinga a visit while recuperatin’g in Dubai.

Aboard the plane to Dubai was Mp Junet Mohamed and governor Joho.

He used a photo shred by the Suna East Legislator to claim that the YouTuber was part of the entourage.

Obare based his claims on a handbag seen on Junet’s photo which he said belonged to Natalie.

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