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Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

 

Malawi’ First deputy speaker Mcheka Chilenje joins DPP

Malawi’ First deputy speaker Mcheka Chilenje joins DPP

By Maravi Post

NSANJE-(MaraviPost)-First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Esther Mcheka Chilenje Tuesday officially joined Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), saying she feels her constituency would be in safer hands under the armpits of the ruling party.

A two-time First Deputy Speaker and only lady lawmaker in Nsanje, Mcheka- Chilenje said in an interview at her Nsanje North Constituency base in Group Village Head Namaya, Tradictional Authority Mlolo that her decision was made after thorough consultations with her constituents.

“After thorough we have noted the good prospects of better development under the ruling party, as we are confident, that come 2019, DPP will win the elections and continue being the ruling party,” Mcheka-Chilenje said.

“I have also taken this decision considering that despite being independent, the State President has been supportive in my development endeavours,” she said.

Mcheka Chilenje’s political journey started in 2004, when she was groomed to be the constituency’s parliamentarian by veteran Shire Valley politician, the late Gwanda Chakuamba. She won as member of parliament (MP) during the 2004 under the Republican Party (RP).

However, after divorced itself from the DPP-led administration, Mcheka- Chilenje completed the term as independent MP since RP was dissolved.

Her election saw her being voted First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, seeing her presiding over tough sessions such as the Section 65 debate and others. She also acted as Speaker for a short time after the death of the then Speaker, Rodwell Munyenyembe.

But in 2009 elections, she lost her parliamentary seat but was later appointed as Deputy Permanent Representative of Malawi to the United Nations, based in New York.

However, she resigned to re-contest her seat which she won in the 2014 parliamentary elections, eventually also being voted back as First Deputy Speaker in Parliament,

“Now, after serving two terms as First Deputy Speaker, being an independent parliamentarian, I have made a decision to join a party and the party that has convinced me and my constituents is DPP,” said Mcheka-Chilenje, who now awaits being officially welcomed in the party.

DPP district Governor for Nsanje-Chiromo, Linda Makala, said Mcheka -Chilenje’s joining the party signifies the confidence prominent Malawians have in the Mutharika-led government.

But University of Malawi political analyst Ernest Thindwa said he doubted if the Mcheka Chilenje’s joining of DPP will have any impact above the constituency level.

“I wouldn’t really think she is in the league of crowd-pullers that the DPP may pride in; at constituency level, yes, the party has roped in an ‘ Extra-A Class candidate, but not of the likes of the late Gwanda Chakuamba, who would command the Lower Shire belt,” he said.

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Exclusive; Facebook scandal ‘hit 87 million users’

Facebook believes the data of up to 87 million people was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica – many more than previously disclosed.

The BBC has been told that about 1.1 million of them are UK-based.

The overall figure had been previously quoted as being 50 million by the whistleblower Christopher Wylie.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said “clearly we should have done more, and we will going forward”.

During a press conference he said that he had previously assumed that if Facebook gave people tools, it was largely their responsibility to decide how to use them.

But he added that it was “wrong in retrospect” to have had such a limited view.
“Today, given what we know… I think we understand that we need to take a broader view of our responsibility,” he said.

“That we’re not just building tools, but that we need to take full responsibility for the outcomes of how people use those tools as well.”

Mr Zuckerberg also announced an internal audit had uncovered a fresh problem. Malicious actors had been abusing a feature that let users search for one another by typing in email addresses or phone numbers into Facebook’s search box.

As a result, many people’s public profile information had been “scraped” and matched to the contact details, which had been obtained from elsewhere.

Facebook has blocked now blocked the facility.

“It is reasonable to expect that if you had that [default] setting turned on, that in the last several years someone has probably accessed your public information in this way,” Mr Zuckerberg said.
New numbers.

The estimates of how many people’s data had been exposed were revealed in a blog by the tech firm’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer.

The BBC has also learned that Facebook now estimates that about 305,000 people had installed the This Is Your Digital Life quiz that had made the data-harvesting possible. The previously suggested figure had been 270,000.

About 97% of the installations occurred within the US. However, just over 16 million of the total number of users affected are thought to be from other countries.

A spokeswoman for the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office told the BBC that it was continuing to assess and consider the evidence before deciding what steps to take.

What is the controversy about?
Facebook has faced intense criticism after it emerged that it had known for years that Cambridge Analytica had collected data from millions of its users, but had relied on the London-based firm to self-certify that it had deleted the information.

Cambridge Analytica said it had bought the information from the creator of the This Is Your Digital Life app without knowing that it had been obtained improperly.

The firm says it deleted all the data as soon as it was made aware of the circumstances.

But Channel 4 News has since reported that at least some of the data in question is still in circulation despite Cambridge Analytica insisting it had destroyed the material.

During Mr Zuckerberg’s press conference, Cambridge Analytica tweeted it had only obtained data for 30 million individuals – not 87 million – from the app’s creator, and again insisted it had deleted all records.

The latest revelations came several hours after the US House Commerce Committee announced that Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, would testify before it on 11 April.

Facebook’s share price has dropped sharply in the weeks since the allegations emerged.

Wide-ranging changes
In his Wednesday blog post, Mr Schroepfer detailed new steps being taken by Facebook in the wake of the scandal.
They include: a decision to stop third-party apps seeing who is on the guest lists of Events pages and the contents of messages posted on them a commitment to only hold call and text history logs collected by the Android versions of Messenger and Facebook Lite for a year.

In addition, Facebook said the logs would no longer include the time of the calls a link will appear at the top of users’ News Feeds next week, prompting them to review the third-party apps they use on Facebook and what information is shared as a consequence.

Facebook has also published proposed new versions of its terms of service and data use policy .
The documents are longer than the existing editions in order to make the language clearer and more descriptive.

Tinder users affected
Another change the company announced involved limiting the type of information that can be accessed by third-party applications.

Immediately after the changes were announced, however, users of the widely popular dating app Tinder were hit by login errors, leaving them unable to use the service.

Tinder relies on Facebook to manage its logins. Users reported that they had been signed out of the app and were unable to log in again.

Instead, the app repeatedly asks for more permissions to access a user’s Facebook profile information. Many were quick to link the outage to the changes announced by Facebook.

Fake news
The Cambridge Analytica scandal follows earlier controversies about “fake news” and evidence that Russia tried to influence US voters via Facebook.

Mr Zuckerberg has declined to answer questions from British MPs.

When asked about this by the BBC, he said he had decided that his chief technology officer and chief product officer should answer questions from countries other than the US.

He added, however, that he had made a mistake in 2016 by dismissing the notion that fake news had influenced the US Presidential election.

“People will analyse the actual impact of this for a long time to come,” he added.

“But what I think is clear at this point is that it was too flippant and I should never have referred to it as crazy.”

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Malawi optimistic of IMF Extended Credit Facility approval

LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated that discussion of a possible new Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme with Malawi will be top on the agenda during the fund’s executive board meeting to be held in Washington DC towards the end of this month.

IMF Resident Representative, Jack Ree, confirmed to The Daily Times on Monday.

This follows a visit by the IMF mission team in February, which was meant to review the impact of the last programme and also to engage authorities on priorities for the next programme.

“The IMF’s executive board of directors is expected to approve or shoot down the agreement,” Ree said.

IMF has since advised the government to enhance transparency in the budget process, strengthen the medium—term budgetary framework and cash management.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, recently expressed optimism that the IMF executive board will approve the programme.

He cited positives such as lowering of inflation as indicators of government’s commitment to develop the economy.

Both IMF and Malawi authorities say the pillar for the next ECF programme is expected to be microeconomic stability so as to enhance growth of the country’s economy.

The programme, if approved, will seek to build on economic gains such as improvements in the exchange rate, inflation and interest rates.

Close to the end of 2017, IMF and Capital Hill said Malawians should expect a new programme in the second quarter of 2018.

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Malawian woman dies of drug addiction

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-A 38 year old Malawi lady on Tuesday died of drug addiction at Larchevoir Lodge in Blantyre.

Blantyre Police Station spokesperson Augustus Nkhwazi identified the deceased as Esther Gondwe of Malungu Village Traditional Authority Kyungu in Karonga district.

Nkhwazi told The Maravi Post that James Mwenefumbo 37 of Lupembe village T.A Kyungu in Karonga who is manager at the said lodge, the deceased was with her boyfriend Lusungu Mwaungulu 39 of Katolola Village T.A Kyungu in Karonga who works with the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Lilongwe at the time of her death in Blantyre.

The police publicist said that the two had allegedly met on Monday and had been drinking beers together in various entertainment joints within the city.

On the fateful Tuesday morning, the two booked in at the said lodge where they slept after a busy night out.

He added that it is alleged that Esther woke up while her boyfriend was fast asleep to visit the toilet within the room.

She fell in the toilet and was discovered by her boyfriend dead at around 1445 hours. Assorted medical drugs and syringes were found nearby the dead body.

“Matter was reported to Manase Police Unit. Police took the body to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for Postmortem. The Postmortem conducted on Wednesday April 4 revealed that the deceased died due to DRUG ADDICTION.

“Over 381 used tubes of “Pethadine Hydrochloride Injections” and 5 syringes were discovered in Esther’s bedroom at her home in Sunny Side. Police would like to remind the public that drug and alcohol abuse is dangerous to human beings. It is therefore, everyone’s responsibility to avoid drug and alcohol abuse,” said Nkhwazi

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Time to uplift sports image

By EDITORIAL
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The 21st Commonwealth Games get under way today in Gold Coast, Australia, with Kenyans taking part in boxing, bowling and squash.  

Kenya is represented in the 15 disciplines by 220 sportsmen and women, including 137 athletes and a technical team of 57 coaches and managers.

The country hopes to improve on its medal tally, especially from the 2010 Delhi and 2014 Glasgow games, where Team Kenya put on its best shows since their ‘Club Games’ debut in 1954 Vancouver.

Team Kenya won 33 medals — 12 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze in Delhi and 25 in Glasgow (10, 10, 5).

CORRUPTION

Gold Coast will also present a good opportunity for the Sports ministry and the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (Nock) to redeem their image following the 2016 Rio Olympic Games scandal that saw athletes mistreated and millions of shillings in public funds squandered.

Nock officials were dragged to court with the Director of Public Prosecutions recommending the investigation and persecution of top officers at the ministry.

The onus is now on Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and Nock president Paul Tergat, who are relatively new in office, to help restore the country’s sports image.

Being retired sportsmen, they must change the way sports is governed.

Echesa must overhaul the ministry to improve efficiency and rid it of corruption.


AG has good chance to ensure rule of law

By EDITORIAL
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Justice Paul Kihara Kariuki, who assumed the office of the Attorney-General this week, has a herculean task ahead and must hit the ground running.

He comes to office at a critical moment when the country is grappling with tough social, political, legal and economic challenges.

The first task is to thaw the frosty relationship between the Executive and Judiciary, which is getting poisoned by the day as the latter becomes assertive to rein in errant government officers.

Part of the problem is the failure by the Executive to appreciate the transformation at the Judiciary through the Constitution.

No longer does the Judiciary operate as an appendage or apologist for the Executive as was the case under the old Constitution, particularly during the single-party era.

RULE OF LAW

Therefore, as the chief legal adviser to the government, Justice Kariuki must emphasise respect for institutions and fidelity to the rule of law.

He should not be blinded by politics — but only law — in advising the government.

Legal advice must be unalloyed and distinguished from political expedience.

Second, legal reforms that began in earnest after the ratification of the Constitution in 2010 have not been concluded.

Statutory changes that ought to have been accomplished within specified timelines are still pending.

The AG must do an audit to isolate the laws that require review or fresh formulation and act on them.

COURT CASES
Concomitant to that, Justice Kariuki must take a lead role in helping courts to clear the backlog of cases, which undermines justice.

Quite often, cases involving the government pend for a long time due to the ineffective representation by the AG, contributing to the backlog.

The AG must lobby Parliament to provide resources to effect administrative reforms such as recruiting more State counsel, training and retaining them.

With his distinguished career in the Judiciary and private practice, Justice Kariuki comes to his new office with deep insights, networks and goodwill that he should leverage to entrench independence and collaboration with other arms of government.

He should seize this monumental chance to restore the dignity of the office.


Liverpool thrash Man City in quarter-final first leg

By AFP
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Mohamed Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane scored as Liverpool stunned Manchester City 3-0 at Anfield in Wednesday’s first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Salah fired Liverpool ahead on 12 minutes with Oxlade-Chamberlain hammering in a terrific long-range strike before Mane headed in a third as Jurgen Klopp beat City counterpart Pep Guardiola for the sixth time in 10 meetings.

The return fixture takes place in Manchester on April 10.   


Barcelona thrash Roma to close on Champions League semis

By AFP
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Luis Suarez’s late strike sealed a 4-1 win for Barcelona against Roma in their Champions League quarter-final, first leg on Wednesday to leave the Catalans on the brink of a place in the last four.

Lionel Messi was not among the goals on his return to the Barca starting line-up but a pair of own goals from Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas had the hosts in control at the Camp Nou.

Gerard Pique made it three, with Edin Dzeko pulling one back before Suarez completed the scoring late on.

Roma have a mountain to climb in next Tuesday’s return.


Kiambu County registers highest number of learners

By OUMA WANZALA
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Kiambu County has registered the highest number of leaners in public schools under the newly introduced computer data system known as National Education Management Information System (Nemis).

With 447,664, the country is followed by Nairobi which has registered 447,370 in the system that will see each student given Unique Personal Identification number.

Kisii County comes third with 432,444, Nakuru (410,686), Meru (424,372), Machakos (319,500), Kakamega (308398), Kisumu (290302), Muranga (275796) and Makueni has registered 266,548 students.

Counties with least registered students are; Wajir (6,754), Samburu has 13,138, Mandera (34,810), Lamu (35498), Marsabit (35,062), Garissa (27072), West Pokot (27496), Tana River (19,004), Turkana (18,684) and Isiolo with 13,808 learners.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Data from the Ministry of Education indicate that 7,691,448 learners have been registered in public schools, while private schools have registered 1,824116, giving a total of 9,515,564. The government is targeting to register about 12million learners.

“The Ministry wishes to inform schools that going forward, cash disbursements for the Free Primary Education Programme, Free Day Secondary Education Programme and the KCPE and KCSE Examinations Registration Fee payments for candidates will be based on the Nemis platform,”  said Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

She added: “We therefore encourage schools to continuously accurately update their student and staff data to the Nemis environment.

So far, she said, the ministry was impressed by the progress made in uploading data of learners and teaching and non-teaching staff in schools.

The government provides Sh14billion for free primary education and Sh32 billion for free secondary education.

TRANSITION

However, with 100 per cent transition to secondary schools, the government has since increased capitation to secondary schools.

For primary schools, the government pays Sh1, 420 per child per year, while in secondary schools, it pays Sh22, 244 per child.

The system was launched on January 27 this year to register all learners in primary and secondary schools.

But the process was extended in February after it became imperative that on a small number of learners had been registered due to the slow process of issuing birth certificates, especially at the primary school level.

“It has been noted that the process has been slowed down since most learners were yet to acquire birth certificates that were required for the registration,” Ms Amina said.

FRUITFUL DISCUSSIONS

“To this end, the Ministry of Education has had fruitful discussions with the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination of Government on ways to fast-track the process of issuing birth certificates.”

Ms Mohamed urged all schools to ensure that they enrol their learners into the Nemis system.

In the meantime, she said the ministry would continue to work with all stakeholders to ensure that all concerns arising from the process are adequately addressed to facilitate a smooth implementation of Nemis.

The CS cited one of the challenges of the system as the difficulty in accessing birth certificates for most learners especially for in rural areas.

She said, since the registration started, the ministry has been addressing arising issues reported by schools.

BIRTH CERTIFICATES

“The challenge of getting birth certificates for learners is being addressed to ensure there is 100 per cent registration,” said Ms Mohamed.

Ms Mohamed said the system would remain open to ensure that there is continuous registration of students reporting in schools.

The CS however, says there has been a low registration for learners in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers.

She said so far, only 1,787 pupils have been registered.

“We continue to encourage parents to get the necessary documents to enable schools to register all learners,” said Ms Mohamed.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association Chairman Kahi Indimuli said they would use the added time to register all students.

“We are doing our best to register students since this number is critical for school funds disbursement,” said Mr Indimuli.

Kenya Private Schools Association Chief Executive Peter Ndoro said they would ensure that all children are registered.

County Name Total Learners

1.Kiambu 447,664

2.Nairobi 447,370

3. Kisii        432,444

4.Nakuru 410,686

5.Meru     424,372

6.Machakos 319,500

7.Kakamega 308,398

8. Kisumu 290,302

9 .Muranga  275,796

10.Makueni 266,548

11. Siaya      263,412

12.Bungoma  248,710

13.Kitui       219,910

14.Nyandarua 209,404

15. Nyeri     198418

16.Nyamira  181108

17.Vihiga    168896

18.Migori   162800

19.Homa Bay 154660

20. Tharaka-Nithi  152500

21.Kericho 151628

22. Kilifi        148910

23. Kirinyaga 147804

24. Baringo 139716

25.Mombasa  138502

26. Nandi    131,866

27.Laikipia  133,050

28.Embu    132,284

29.Bomet  131,674

30.Uasin Gishu   126,498

31. Kajiado  122,676

32.Kwale    120,412

33.Trans Nzoia  118,084

34.Busia   117,536

35. Taita Taveta 106,386

36.Narok    69,562

37.Elgeyo Marakwet  40,636

38. Mandera 34,810

39. Lamu   35,498

40. Marsabit 35,062

41. Garissa              27,072

42.West Pokot         27,496

43.Tana River         19,004

44.Turkana   18684

45. Isiolo 13808

46.Samburu  13138

47.Wajir 6,754

Total Public Schools  7,691,448

Total Private schools       1,824116

UPI Generated 9,515,564


National unity takes centre stage at fete

By ANTHONY NJAGI
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A traditional dance by Bungoma High School with a message on national cohesion on Wednesday received a standing ovation at the 59th edition of the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival being held at Lenana School in Nairobi.

“Siwuyisio”, a Bukusu Kamabeka creative dance, brought out the plight of a head teacher affected by the recent mass transfer of secondary school principals across the country.

The new principal faces hostility from the local community, which viewed and treated him as a foreigner.

PERFORMANCE

However, he won over the students and, later their parents, when he turned around the school with improved results in national examinations.

The dance was scripted by Meshack Wafula, a student, and choreographed by Toili Khisa and Violet Moga. It was produced by Samuel Kaunda.

Wafula, who hails from Bungoma County, happens to be a student from a needy background, but stole the show with his refined talented as he deftly handled instruments such as the litungu, ishiriri and drums besides composing the songs.

Still on the same theme, St Mary’s School, Yala, from Nyanza also thrilled the audience with their narrative “Time Out” that addressed the fragile concept of national cohesion.

SCHOOL FEEDING
Kabare Girls High School’s oral narrative was also well-received, with Fraisy Nkatha keeping the audience spell-bound with her presentation.

In the primary schools category, Mbitini earned accolades with a singing game on the importance of school feeding programme.

They left the audience in stitches as they expounded on the health benefits of Narisha fortified porridge, a product of Equatorial Nut Processor.

Star of the Sea from Coast region also presented a singing game with the same theme.