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Monday, January 7th, 2019

 

A social media account is not your itinerary book, be careful!

When most people think of their home security, the first things that click on their mind is lockable doors, a good gate, a German Shepherd and even a faithfully tithing neighbour.

In this age just like the world has gone ‘digital’, the criminal enterprise has also gone digital, most crimes are either aided by digital technology or committed via digital technology.

How many are concerned that their digital presence on social media is a potential security threat to their homes and themselves?

How many take their social media content as a security matter?

HOUSE EMPTIED

Just last month, a friend decided to take his family to Coast for a holiday,

On arrival he did what most of us on the digital space usually do. #MombasaManenos, he posted a photo of his family enjoying their holiday.

On travelling back home he got a surprise of his life, not that early Santa had passed by his home bearing some gifts and left them at his pouch but his furniture and electronics were no longer present at his home, his house had been emptied.

Somebody so daring had all the time to break-in dismantle beds and other pieces furniture, pack electronics and transport, our estimate was they must have made several trips transporting the loot.

We tried to zero in what could have transpired and the question on our mind was; who knew he was away? The confidence of the thieves depicted somebody who knew the family was away and not coming back soon.

No neighbour possibly knew the family was away due to homes distances and the only thing we were left with was social media friends who knew him and his home, somebody who had seen he was at the coast with family from his Facebook post.

Are you a fan of posting your location on social media?

POTENTIAL ENEMIES

Can somebody know your home from your social media activities? Can somebody know where you are at a particular time from your social media activity and posts?

We are in an era where you can establish someone’s routine and modus operandi from their social media. One can know even our families and number of family members even without meeting us. One can even draw the architectural design of our houses from the sitting room to the washroom without even visiting. One can identify where you hangout and when just from our social media accounts.

We post where we are and with who, what we are doing and where, when we will do, with who and where, we even tag our google location to be accurate.

Who are you broadcasting your to? Can the information you put on social media be a key to your security harm, that of your home, family or friend?

Many ignore the fact that Social media is a media like no other like a television or a radio. Information broadcasted lands on all types of people; enemies, potential enemies and friends.

Social media is not a family photo album or an itinerary book, people ought to be careful what they put out.

During this festive season how many people know you are at your “ocha” from social media? We must prioritise our personal security over cyber fun, criminals are everywhere including your social media friends list.

Stay safe from now onwards.


Why opposition politics in Kenya and most African countries could be on its death bed

As Kenyans watched while two smiling leaders stood on the doorstep of Harambee house, the seat of government, and shook hands in March last year, the vibrant opposition in the country which had kept the government on its toes stared at extinction. The now famous handshake has deflated the fire from the opposition side as Raila Odinga now acts and sings the tune of a partner to the government while his foot soldier Kalonzo Musyoka has gone a step further and called for a government of national unity. What remains of the opposition in this country might also be counting days to the cooperation.

In Tanzania, the amiable and ever smiling President John Pombe Magufuli has gone a step further and is proposing changes to the political parties act that will almost make it criminal for the opposition parties to perform as pressure groups or to receive funding from donors. If he gets his way with the amendments, the president will also make sure civic education by ant political party will be cleared by the registrar of political parties. This in a country where the opposition leader, Edward Lowassa, who gave Chama Cha Mapinduzi where Magufuli a run for its money in 2015 sought out the President to make peace. This could have been informed by an urge to safeguard his heavy investments in the country.

It is the same song in Uganda where President Museveni and his NRM might have criminalised opposition politics. Dr Kizza Besigye’s lights have already been dimmed and he is now almost forgotten. The youthful Bobi Wine is already showing signs of fatigue and it is only a matter of days before the battering he is enduring cow him to submission.

Burundi’s opposition operates in exile and the no nonsense Pierre Nkurinziza has no formidable opposition. Across in Rwanda, the only opposition party, the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has only two members of parliament which is a big plus in this country of the stoic President Kagame.

It will be no wonder then if most African countries led by the East African region reverts back to de facto opposition politics. This will be a big step backward considering the issues that led to the clamour for multi-party politics in the continent and the removal of dictatorial strong men glaringly exist.

David M. Kigo, Nairobi.


CS Amina promises new primary school books by next week

By FAITH NYAMAI
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Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed on Monday announced that the ministry is working hard to have course books and other learning materials published and distributed to all public primary schools by January 15.

The CS said that so far, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) has approved 305 textbooks for the Early Years Education.

She noted that 1.5 million grade one Kiswahili copies, 1.5 million grade one copies and 1.5 million Mathematics grade one copies have already been printed by different publishers.

DISTRIBUTION

For grade two, the ministry through the support of Usaid Tusome programme has bought 1.45 million Kiswahili copies and 1.2 million English copies. The programme has also helped the ministry to buy 1.5 million Kiswahili copies and 1.5 million English grade three copies.

Some 1.45 million Mathematics copies for both grade two and three have been bought solely by the ministry.

She added that books for the other learning areas such as Religious Activities, Hygiene and Nutrition, and Environmental Activities are expected to be ready by February.

“The Ministry of Education gave approval for KICD to invite tenders on December 28, 2018. This was advertised on December 31. The tendering period closes on January 22, 2019. Thereafter evaluation and communication will follow. It is expected that the ministry will procure the books by the end of February,” she said.

She was speaking at the Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) offices when she flagged off the distribution of over three million early childhood and Literacy learning books for the new curriculum. KLB has printed 1.5 million books for Tusome English grade one and 1.5 million books for Tusome Kiswahili grade one.

30,000 GUIDES

Ms Mohamed said a further 30,000 Tusome English teachers’ guide and 30,000 Tusome Kiswahili teachers guide have been printed by KLB. “The books will be distributed to all the 21,627 public primary schools by January 15.”

KLB Managing-Director Victor Lomaria said they have the capacity to publish enough books for all classes.

The CS noted that by last Sunday, the government had distribution 566,000 textbooks to various counties. Some 250,000 books were dispatched to Garissa, Bungoma and Kakamega schools yesterday.

Education PS Belio Kipsang’ said the textbooks are aligned to Competence Based Curriculum that the government has rolled out in grades one to three.

In Pre-Primary 1 and 2, the list of approved books by KICD are Language, Mathematical, Environmental, Psychomotor and Creative, and Religious Education Activities.

In grades one, two, and three, Kiswahili, Literacy, English, Mathematics, Environmental, Hygiene and Nutrition, Christian Religious Education, Hindu Religious Education, Islamic Religious Education and Movement and Creative Activities have been approved.


Bt cotton no aid to textiles sector but a trapdoor for unsafe food

By ANNE MAINA
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The push for the introduction of Bt cotton has intensified in Kenya in the past few months.

The GMO proponents are promoting Bt cotton as a crop for fibre and textiles only. However, as it has been done in other countries, only 40 per cent of the Bt cotton will be for textile production; the larger 60 per cent will be extracted as cottonseed oil, cotton seed cake and straw for animal feeds. From this, we can see a greater percentage of the Bt cotton ending up in the food chain — for human consumption.

The supporters argue that tests done on these crops have ascertained their safety on humans and the environment, a claim that is factually erroneous going by the inconclusive scientific findings of studies on GMO safety.

PROHIBITIVE

Studies in France have shown that, contrary to popular beliefs pushed by the giant multinationals promoting the genetically engineered Bacillus Thuringensis, the Bt does not integrate naturally in the environment but has been found in water and the environment as much as 30 years after use.

Bt cotton is being presented as the panacea for the revival of the textile industry. But was poor quality seeds the reason for the collapse of the cotton sector in the 1980s? The answer is a big No. It was mismanagement of the ginneries, leading to farmers not getting paid for their cotton. It was never about the conventional cotton seeds that were in use then.

When Burkina Faso introduced Bt cotton in 2008, the cost of seeds was beyond the reach of a small-scale farmer. In practical terms, while the conventional variety is sold for Sh121, the Bt cotton seed equivalent would go for Sh4,500 for the same quantity. In other words, the new cost was a whopping 37 times more expensive!

When you lift the veil on the cost breakdown, you discover that the multinationals controlling the Bt cotton seed get 63 percent of its cost. In a country like ours, where more than 70 per cent of farmers’ are small-scale, it goes without saying that the cost of the seed will be prohibitively high for them.

The Burkinabe also recently abandoned the GM varieties, which have, over the years, resulted in shorter fibres of low quality compared to the conventional cotton. Farmers reportedly got nearly Sh306 million ($3 million) in compensation due to the quality problems in two seasons.

In South Africa, the challenges that Bt cotton farmers of the Makhatini Flats have faced are well-documented despite the PR exercise that tries to paint a different picture. Further, it has been proven that pesticide use actually increases in a bid to curb the emergence of secondary pests.

I am reliably informed that, in the areas where the National Performance Trials are taking place, a lot of measures are being put in place to ensure the Bt cotton is a success, to the extent of water being drawn from rivers to irrigate the cotton field. If huge amounts of water are needed, will the Bt cotton do well in the dry areas?

MULTINATIONALS

Are we looking at a case like Galana-Kulalu, where millions of shillings were poured into a sinkhole? Has the government considered all these issues and, if so, how does it plan to deal with them?

Once Bt cotton is accepted, the next step will be the introduction of other food crops, such as Bt maize and GM Soya, into the food system. Whichever way you look at it, the main beneficiaries will be the multinationals, who will effectively take over the seed and food industry in Africa. If this happens, will we continue depending on subsidies.

Clearly, there are more questions to this issue than answers and we should, therefore, not rush to blindly adopt a technology that we have not fully understood, are not prepared for and one that has clearly failed and been rejected elsewhere. There are better, safer and sustainable solutions to food insecurity and revival of the textile industry.

Ms Maina is the national coordinator, Kenya Biodiversity Coalition (KBioC). [email protected]


Let public interest litigation work for weak

By ERIC MUKOYA
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Would it matter who moves to court on an issue that affects the interests, rights or positions of the marginalised? Should that be so, then a framework defining such persons needs to be in place to promote and protect justice.

Such a scheme, however, will bind us to legal slavery, yet we resisted when the Constitution was promulgated in 2010.

We contested the practice where taking matters to court was reserved for a few (locus standi), especially those aggrieved by unilateral decisions of leadership. We rebelled against supporters of the Wangari Maathai vs Kenya Times Media Trust Limited holding, that only privileged the Attorney-General. So, what should be public interest litigation?

BUSYBODIES

Various commentators and judges in diverse jurisdictions have provided interesting definitions. The Supreme Court of India defined it as “the name recently given to efforts to provide legal representation to previously unrepresented groups and interests”.

Legal commentator Manas Ranjan argues that it is a non-conventional approach to improve access to justice for the disadvantaged members of the society.

The two concepts speak to two very important aspects of access to justice. First, is the channel, agency or institution through which public interest litigation is manifested; second is the constituency that the public interest litigation carries with it whenever applied.

The first speaks to public interest litigation as a protest against legal marketplaces that seem inadequate and unconcerned with oppressive tendencies of institutions and leaders.

The second looks at it as an advocacy that utilises legal, technical and procedural constraints to procure justice, especially social justice to the many inhibited and unable to bring a claim to court on account of personal deficiency, poverty or state oppression.

Even as the Law Society of Kenya — as shown in the story, LSK seeks firm grip on public interest cases (DN, Dec. 25, 2018) — decries the apparent misuse of public interest litigation by “busybodies”, the situation of under-representation and exclusion does not dissolve.

EXPLOITATION

Public interest litigation, as a practice to make law, policy and systems work for all, should unite the voice of the civil society, to which LSK belongs.

Several such cases can attest to that: The matter taken to court by Apollo Mboya to have Kenya Power and the Energy Regulation Commission stopped from implementing pricing tariff; the matter by Okiya Omtatah opposing the new fuel tax; and Adrian Kamotho’s case on bar exams by Kenya School of Law. All matters address themselves to the rights of the poor and underprivileged.

Methinks we should focus on building consensus over a framework that streamlines public interest litigation. But there should be unity of purpose and conviction to correct wrongs.

Kenyans are protected by Articles 27 and 28 of the Constitution. Similarly, the courts have the discretion to decide what is frivolous, petty or time- and resource-wasting for its own relevance. We must not allow supremacy wars to leave the marginalised less protected and exposed to exploitation.


It’s a high calling but we're hopeful we will see Kibati's epiphany

By GEORGE NYABUGA
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In the next week, the new broom at Telkom Kenya, CEO Mugo Kibati, will be 60 days in office. Telkom announced Kibati’s appointment on November 9 in what was hoped to be a game changer in the two-decade-old struggle by the telco to break to the surface and get a hold of competitive edge in the local market dominated by Safaricom.

The Kenyan telco space is fascinating for business leaders, academicians and commentators with interest in the fields of business, economics, marketing and innovation not least because of how it has evolved in the past two decades.

PUNISHING SUCCESS

To recap it, Safaricom began as a department at Telkom (then Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation, KP&TC). Analysts then rooted for KenCell, the precursor to Airtel, mainly because an incoming private firm was expected to apply the type of agility associated with young companies as opposed to the government bureaucracy prevalent with Safaricom’s parent company.

It’s now water under the bridge that Safaricom pulled up an unexpected sterling success story to be above its rivals, a feat it has repeated with relish every year.

Fast-forward to 2015 and the grumbling about dominance by Safaricom began to emerge in earnest, prompting Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to retain a consultant to study the market and establish whether corrective measures were necessary. The regulator received the report and formally published its contents this year but has not moved to state clearly the next course of action.

Airtel and Telkom have supported a range of those recommendations which would effectively force Safaricom, in some form or shape, to share the pie, on the basis that the market is too skewed for them to compete effectively in voice, SMS, data or mobile money and associated services. The consultants went as far as proposing the splitting of Safaricom, which the government has objected.

Safaricom struck right back, arguing that it would be wrong to punish success by adopting such recommendations; that it would send the wrong signal to investors (given that Safaricom is as big as the next 10 companies listed on the Nairobi bourse); that it would kill innovation as it removes the incentive to create products and services; and that it just doesn’t make economic sense.

UNIQUE MODEL

Some Kenya-centric analysts have gone further and proposed that Safaricom sits in comfort zone. They argue that, viewed against Airtel global, it’s nothing but a dwarf that should be fighting hard to spread its world-famous innovations across Africa. I believe this should be the case for Kenyan companies, where we must see beyond Nairobi and spread out innovation and entrepreneurial energy far and wide. The globe is the canvas.

Which brings me back to Mr Kibati. I, quite honestly, expected that Mr Kibati’s arrival at Telkom Kenya would be a breath of fresh air. I hoped, and still do, that Mr Kibati will reorganise the telco into a formidable company with the capabilities to offer innovative and competitive products and services in a highly dynamic industry.

I expect him to be forward-looking: To offer this market some ground-breaking model and not merely a new edition of the book “How to Break Up Safaricom and Other Stories”. The innovation we hope to see is that which will make a much-needed mark in the job creation space, which this economy badly needs.

It was reported last week, in this newspaper, that Mr Kibati would like to see commercial interoperability between different mobile money agents. He gave the example of how banks do it. But I beg to state that he misses the point if he were to use banks as an example. He knows pretty well that every bank in this market works as a distinct brand with a unique business model to boot.

HIGH CALLING

That a Barclays (now rebranded ABSA Kenya) customer can withdraw cash from a KCB ATM does not mean the two banks share anything — save the innovation that drives convenience to their respective customers. They offer differentiated, competing services and products under different roofs.

It has recently been reported that Telkom has sold its towers to an American firm so that it can lease them back. That makes great business sense, in my view, because the move should free up cash that the telco can use to pursue its business interests.

We shall be waiting to see what Mr Kibati can work with banks to offer; what he can do with the very young, fixed wireless network and the other opportunities that undoubtedly exist. It’s a high calling but the book we are waiting to read is “Kibati’s Business Epiphany”.

Dr Nyabuga is a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


Though designed to ruin Ruto, Murathe antics bad for Uhuru

By Macharia Gaitho
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Mr David Murathe knew his declaration that Deputy President William Ruto will not be eligible to stand for president in 2022 on account of having served out the two-term limit alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta was arrant nonsense.

Chances are nearly nil that he will make good on his threat to seek a Supreme Court determination on Dr Ruto’s eligibility. Not on such a legally dubious ground.

Of course, no one can ignore the potential for mischief with a Judiciary that is re-acquiring the bad old habits — as seen in the return of those ridiculous court orders giving suspects of white-collar crime virtual immunity from investigation and prosecution.

The point, however, is that Mr Murathe was engaging in naked political posturing rather than giving considered legal opinion.

That he was subsequently forced out as the Jubilee Party vice-chairman does not change the fact that fault lines exposed in the governing outfit cannot be papered over.

If not speaking for his patron, President Kenyatta, Mr Murathe speaks for a wealthy clique from the central Kenya backyard trying to influence the presidential succession of 2022.

The manoeuvres will not cease with Mr Murathe’s exit from Jubilee headquarters, however, as he is now free to stoke the flames from the outside.

The former MP for Gatanga might be a political nobody in his own right but he has never been shy to play up the fact that he owed his position and direct loyalty to President Kenyatta. Even as a ‘free agent’ (in sports lingo), he will most likely continue to play up the link with his long-time political comrade and partner in many a social misadventure.

Dr Ruto’s allies, who have been demanding Mr Murathe’s head, might be purring with satisfaction but they would be foolish to let down their guard for the hostile brigade he fronts is still very much alive.

But if the DP ought to be a worried man, so should his boss. Both ought to be looking at the risk of Jubilee imploding, losing its hold on power, and the more serious threat of revival of tensions in the Rift Valley which their ‘UhuRuto’ partnership was supposed to have healed.

Dr Ruto’s supporters in one of those myriad groupings of Kalenjin elders recently issued dark warnings of a resurgence of ethnic violence should Mr Kenyatta’s Kikuyu bloc renege on an alleged presidential succession pact.

Also of concern to Mr Kenyatta is that, on his final term, he is losing the base that propelled him to power. New fissures in Jubilee indicate not merely the Kikuyu-Kalenjin rift but the President losing his populous constituency.

Reactions to Mr Murathe’s comments were fiercest from central Kenya politicians, many of whom made it clear that they reject the sentiments of the then-party official even if he spoke for the President.

The general position was that it was up the President to call off his attack dog — put colourfully by Bahati MP Onesmus Ngunjiri with unflattering comparisons between President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto, describing the latter as ‘sober’ and leaving unsaid how he judges temperament of the former.

An earlier indicator of growing disregard for the President was provided by Gatundu South Moses Kuria when decrying alleged under-development of central Kenya under his leadership. Mr Kuria — incumbent on the ‘family seat’ previously held by President Kenyatta, his cousin Ngengi Muigai and First President Jomo Kenyatta — apologised under pressure, but his statement cannot be erased. That he received substantial support from fellow central Kenya politicians and ordinary citizens is telling.

HARSH REALITY

The President losing Jubilee and his central Kenya constituency would be fatal for his belated attempts at seeking a legacy through a renewed anti-corruption war and the ‘handshake’ with opposition leader Raila Odinga, both initiatives that make Dr Ruto’s supporters in government and Parliament see red. Attempt at crafting a unity Cabinet under Building Bridges could be shot down by Jubilee MPs.

The harsh reality is that central Kenya politicians are more interested in securing their own post-Uhuru futures than in his legacy projects.

President Kenyatta is history for those angling to catch Dr Ruto’s eye, with the ultimate carrot being running mate position. Rather than wait for presidential candidate Ruto to make his pick, the oligarchy thought to be behind Mr Murathe might be angling to impose their own choice, under threat of fielding a presidential own candidate if ignored.

If unable to dislodge Dr Ruto, they might already have their own outfit waiting to exploit the central Kenya vacuum expected once President Kenyatta exits.

Chances are, Dr Ruto has also retained the insurance of a ‘Plan B’ party.


High numbers admitted on first day of Form One intake

By NATION TEAM
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Form One students started reporting to schools across the country yesterday as administrators intensified checks to ensure 100 per cent transition.

Meanwhile, Education CS Amina Mohamed ruled out the possibility of admission letters being issued outside the National Education Management Information System (Nemis), saying such letters are invalid.

She said all letters must be downloaded from the online system and asked principals to use the proper channel to transfer students.

“No student should be admitted outside the ministry’s online process,” she said at State House Girls School in Nairobi after inspecting admissions at the school.

CHALLENGES

She said the ministry requires principals to admit and capture students’ details on Nemis.

Ms Mohamed said after Friday, when all students are expected to have reported to school, the captured details will enable the ministry know who has not reported.

“So far, we have not received any reports of anomalies. The process is going on smoothly, and any challenges reported will be addressed by the ministry,” she said.

In a bid to ensure 100 per cent transition in Meru, chiefs and their assistants have been asked to give admission status reports in two weeks.

County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga said they have involved administrators, children’s offices and primary school heads in tracking the more than 34,000 children who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in the county last year to ensure that they transition to high school.

In Kirinyaga and Embu counties, many students, who appeared exhausted after travelling long distances, started streaming into schools as early as 7am, accompanied by their parents.

“I’m happy because I have been admitted to the school that was my first choice,” a Form One student at Kerugoya Boys High School said.

And many parents were excited that their children had been admitted.

“Our responsibility now is to pay school fees despite the economic hardships prevailing in the country,” a parent at Kieni Girls Secondary School said.

In Nyeri County, teachers assured parents that the new students will be helped to fit in with their colleagues.

CRITICISED

However, stakeholders faulted the Ministry of Education for barring principals from admitting students directly. The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Nyeri Branch Secretary-General Zack Mathenge said they don’t support the Nemis system for student admission.

“We expect the government to allow some leeway on admissions to allow principals to admit students,” he said.

In Tana River County, Form One turnout was generally low. For instance, Hola Boys, a national school, admitted only four students although it expects 170. Principal Stanley Moto said they expect more students in the course of the week, as has been the trend.

He attributed the low turnout to high poverty levels in the county, which makes it difficult for many parents to get the necessary cash before the reporting deadlines.

At Matungulu Girls High School in Machakos County, 200 students were admitted to Form One. Principal Lucy Kariuki said admissions started at 6am, and involved inspection of personal items and issuing of school uniforms, among other things.

Meanwhile, leaders in Kajiado County have backed a school-based admission system and faulted the centralised computer-based placement.

Led by Governor Joseph ole Lenku, the leaders said they were shocked by the “admission” of students from the area to day schools in Northeastern Kenya.

Mr Lenku said his government has invested heavily in infrastructural development in public secondary schools, but found that local students were not being admitted to the county schools.

In Kisii, most schools conducted the admissions. But there confusion at Nduru Girls when parents who had brought their children were sent away until today (Tuesday).

“I thought the exercise would be conducted today in all schools countrywide,” said Mary Moraa, a parent. At Nyabururu Girls High school, the exercise began smoothly, with the more than 400 students expected turning up. Principal Joyce Orioki said they had not encountered any challenges. “We are keen to verify the documents brought to us but all those we have received are genuine,” she added.

In Kakamega County, Kakamega High School was expecting 200 students. Principal Gerald Orina said the online system had made admissions much easier, adding that he expected to admit 280 students before the Friday deadline.”

 Mr John Kuira Warutere, the principal of Chavakhali Boys High School in Vihiga County, said the school has 502 Form One slots but the government had selected only 480 students.

In Nairobi, Kenya High School Chief Principal Florah Mulatya said the process was smooth.

At Moi Girls High School in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, there were long queues as students waited to be admitted.

Reporting by Faith Nyamai, Shaban Makokha, Caroline Mundu, Benson Ayienda, David Muchui, George Munene, Irene Mugo, Stephen Oduor, Agewa Magut, Onyango k’Onyango and Edith Chepngeno


Prepare well for golf event

By EDITORIAL
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In March, Kenya will host East Africa’s biggest golfing event, the Kenya Open Golf championship, at Nairobi’s Karen Country Club.

Being held for the first time as part of the European Tour series with an improved prize fund, the tournament will attract highly ranked players from around the globe, making for a very tough competition. This is why local players must prepare adequately for the premier tournament.

Sadly, not much has been done to raise the level of the local game since last year’s tournament, where the best-placed Kenyan player — Riz Charania — finished 69th.

Following that poor performance at Muthaiga Club, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed Kenya Open Golf Limited to upgrade the tournament and come up with a clear programme to ensure that Kenyan players are adequately prepared to compete effectively.

President Kenyatta’s intervention saw the birth of the ongoing Safari Tour tournament. But more still needs to be done.

There are inadequate facilities to encourage individuals to take up the sport, and this is not helped by the belief that golf is an elitist sport. The government offered a piece of land for the construction of a public golf course at Kasarani, Nairobi, but, other than the putting up of a temporary driving range, nothing much has been done.

Sadly, time is running out for the golfers. The golfing bodies — such as Kenya Golf Union, Kenya Ladies Golf Union and Kenya Golf Federation — must work harmoniously for the benefit of the local players. They must comply with the Sports Act to unlock funding from Sports Fund for the benefit of the players and the national teams. That may not produce immediate benefit for players this year, but it is good in the long run.


Stop this myopic and dishonest posturing

By EDITORIAL
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The main reason for the skewed national development is historical. Since independence, development projects have largely been influenced by politics. Wielders of political power have always determined resource allocation and tended to favour regions they come from or those that support them. Historical injustice is precisely about this. Some regions are better developed than others and this has been the source of ethnic tensions.

It explains why the contest for the presidency and other top positions is always fierce and bruising. Communities seek to have one of their own ascend to power so that they can benefit. Nothing is more myopic and divisive. Kenyans sought to correct this anomaly through the Constitution, whose centrepiece is devolution. The creation of the county system and express provisions for financial allocations — at least 15 per cent of the audited annual revenues — was intended to cure the inequalities.

Moreover, the Constitution has created institutions such as the Office of the Controller Budget, Commission on Revenue Allocation and Auditor-General, whose mandates revolve around resource allocation and supervision of spending. The National Assembly and the Senate play a pivotal role in sharing out national resources based on advice from the ministries and government departments. And it is the MPs who vote for the allocations.

In the past few days, some politicians have accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of neglecting his native Mt Kenya region. That he has been busy doling out developing projects elsewhere. Such leaders are dishonest and insincere.

Indeed, this has sufficiently angered the President, who yesterday tore into those leaders, using choice words to describe their simplistic and perverted views. It is naive to think that the President should concentrate on developing his home region. This is a national office with overarching responsibilities. The Constitution obliges the presidency to serve the country equitably.

Unlike before, the Constitution insulates the President and the Deputy from the encumbrances of regionalism; they are no longer MPs. Rather, they are national leaders with broader mandates.

MPs who think that they can monopolise the presidency, and arm-twist the occupant to serve their parochial interests are misguided. The President’s business is to ensure the country is developed equally. Institutions such as Parliament and constitutional offices exist to determine resource allocation and utilisation. We deplore those MPs who think that the President owes them special favours just because he comes from their region.