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Saturday, October 5th, 2019

 

Kipruto takes marathon bronze, Ethiopians dominate

JAMES ONYANGO MWAMBABy JAMES ONYANGO MWAMBA
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Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa won the men’s 2019 World Championships marathon gold medal in Doha early Sunday morning.

Desisa, the 2018 New York City Marathon champion, clocked a season best 2:10:40 in a sprint finish ahead of compatriot Mosinet Geremew – who timed 2:10:44.

Kenya’s Amos Kipruto was third in 2:10:51 ahead of Great Britain’s Callum Hawkins timed 2:10:57.

Kenya’s defending champion Geoffrey Kirui could not keep up with the pace and finished a distant 13th in a season best 2:13:54.

Kenya's Geoffrey Kirui (centre) competes in the Men's Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui (centre) competes in the Men’s Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP

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Desisa win gave Ethiopia its first world marathon title since 2001.

“Ethiopia had a tough team. I’m happy because this is my first championships and I managed to raise the Kenyan flag high with a medal,” Kipruto said after the race.

“If my management and the athletics fraternity allow me to go to Tokyo, I’ll be happy to represent my country,” added Kipruto when asked if he’ll be in Tokyo for the Olympic Games next year.

Athletes compete in the Men's Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | MUSTAFA ABUMUNES | AFP Athletes compete in the Men’s Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | MUSTAFA ABUMUNES | AFP

Paraguay's Derlys Ayala leads the Men's Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP Paraguay’s Derlys Ayala leads the Men’s Marathon at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships in Doha in the night between October 5, 2019 and October 6, 2019. PHOTO | GIUSEPPE CACACE | AFP


FKF hold AGM, pass electoral code

JEFF KINYANJUIBy JEFF KINYANJUI
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Football Kenya Federation (FKF) held its 7th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Nairobi with the major highlights being the adoption of the electoral code and board ahead of the election set to be held in December.

Former President Sam Nyamweya’s appeal to the Sports Disputes Tribunal on Friday to stop the AGM was thrown out. He had presented the appeal in conjunction with former Secretary General Michael Esakwa.

The electoral board will be headed by Professor Edwin Wamukoya as the chairperson with Eunice Lamala serving as the secretary. Abdi Said and Elina Shiveka are the other members of the board while Sam Karanja, Viola Ochoki and Kenneth Kamenju have been drafted as substitute members. The committee will seat at the Goal Project from Monday to kick off plans for the elections which should ideally be in 60 days.

FKF boss Nick Mwendwa will be seeking the second term and in his address to the delegates at the AGM, he listed some of what he calls “major achievements” of the federation in his first term with Kenya’s participation in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations ranking highest.

“We have done a lot of positive things – trained over 2000 coaches, trained referees countrywide, we have a centre of excellence for our U15 team, improved women football but the pinnacle of all these achievements is Harambee Stars’ participation in the AFCON after 15 years absence. This is work that needs to continue in a politically stable environment,” he said.

He also revealed that the federation intends to have a centre of excellence in every region. “We currently have only 30 young players at the centre but the technical team has indicated that we need to have a large pool of players to choose from and therefore it is in our plan to set up such a system in every region in the country.”

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Financial statements for the year ended on 31st December were approved while the proposed Sh1.4567 billion budget for 2020 was also passed unanimously by the 72 delegates who attended the AGM.

FKF aims to raise 45 per cent of the budget from Fifa grants, 48 per cent from local receipts that includes the government, 5 per cent from Safaricom’s grassroots tournament Chapa Dimba while 2 per cent from Fifa grants. A bulk of the money, 57 per cent will be used to run leagues and competitions.

Mwendwa also took to the podium to address the deep financial crisis that Kenyan football finds itself in at the moment.

FKF’s contract with the KPL Limited ends in September next year and the federation boss says they are willing to continue working with KPL under certain conditions.

“We cannot have a chairman of a club chairing the KPL as well. I am proposing we have a professional who is independently elected by delegates to serve for a term of 4 years as the chairman of the Kenyan Premier League. They (KPL) also have to operate from the Goal Project to save on costs and in tandem with our mission. We have to package all our leagues together and work in unity. These are some of the things we need to change going forward in the next AGM,” he said.

“Bamba Sport have indicated they wish to stop airing the National Super League (NSL), betting firms are exiting the game in Kenya and clubs continue to suffer. We therefore need concerted efforts to rescue our game. We have to be very creative in how we package our football in order to make it viable,” he added.

KPL CEO Jack Oguda echoed the sentiments of Mwendwa saying: “I welcome his suggestions. At these tough times what we need is stability and joint efforts to take the game forward. As KPL we are always ready to work with the federation to improve the league and football in Kenya in general.”

Kenya Football Coaches Association, Kenya Football Referees Association and the Kenya Football Players Welfare Association (KEFWA) did not attend the AGM as they were yet to hold elections as stipulated in the Sports Act 2013 while Kenyan Premier League side Western Stima did not send a representative. NSL side Vihiga Bullets did not send a representative as well. The club’s patron Moses Akaranga has openly declared his intention to challenge Nick Mwendwa for the top seat.

According to the new electoral code, any person hoping to vie for the federation’s top seat must have a running mate. The duo must also get clearance from the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) and also get a Certificate of Good Conduct from the Kenya Police.

Over and above that they have to pay Sh400,000 nomination fees. The elections in December will be preceded by branch elections. The number of delegates will increase from 78 to 98 as the counties system that was passed in last year’s AGM comes into effect this year. Each county in Kenya will now have an FKF branch with Nairobi having two. This in effect increases FKF branches from 20 to 48.


'I am not a doper': Sifan Hassan leads round of golden doubles

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Sifan Hassan made light of the doping ban handed to her coach Alberto Salazar to complete an historic 1500/10,000 metres double at the World Athletics Championships on Saturday as a host of stars celebrated golden repeat performances.

Hassan destroyed the 1500 metres championship record – which had stood for 16 years – in what she admitted had been a “tough week” due to Salazar’s four-year ban being announced in midweek.

The 26-year-old Ethiopia-born Dutch athlete ripped off her name plate and took off on a barefoot victory lap, brandishing the Netherlands flag.
“I did not discuss a strategy as I had no one to discuss it with,” said Hassan.

“It was a very tough week and had a lot of things in my head but I have a good manager and he really supported me.

She added: “I show the world I am a clean athlete.”

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OBIRI RETAINS TITLE

Both Hellen Obiri of Kenya and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas retained their women’s 5,000m and triple jump titles respectively.

Rojas said the parlous state of her country had been her motivation.

Venezuela is suffering from a punishing economic crisis and a political standoff between President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government and the National Assembly led by opposition leader Juan Guaido.

“I think what happens in my country is why I want to make it proud and inspire the whole country and the next generation,” said the 23-year-old.

Joe Kovacs of the United States added a second shot put title – having won in 2015 – winning in a thriller with his last throw of 22.91 metres in front of Ashley his wife, who is also his coach.

All three medallists – Olympic champion Ryan Crouser and 2017 champion Tomas Walsh taking silver and bronze respectively – bettered the 32-year-old championship record of Werner Gunther.

“These guys probably thought I could only throw angry but it is the first time I threw with a smile on my face,” said Kovacs, paying tribute to his wife and the change in his mentality since getting married.

By contrast American Justin Gatlin and Jamaican sprint legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce are old hands at the championships and both celebrated 4x100m relay gold.

GATLIN DELIGHT

Astonishingly two-time 100m men’s world champion Gatlin – also 200m world champion in 2005 – has had to wait until he was 37 to secure one.

“Gold means so much to me, probably a lot more than some I have won individually. It has eluded me throughout my career from college onwards,” said Gatlin.

“I take my hat off to my team-mates. They broke that curse tonight of the USA dropping the baton and I really appreciate them giving me the gift today.”

Fraser-Pryce added the relay title – her fourth in the event – to the 100m individual gold and her ninth overall in the history of the championships.

The 32-year-old was full of praise for her trio of less experienced team-mates.

“It is a pleasure to be amongst the younger athletes and seeing them come out and winning speaks volumes for the team,” said Fraser-Pryce.

Sunday’s climax to the championship will be missing several world and Olympic champions after they failed to come through qualifying.

Brianna McNeal did not even make it over the first hurdle as the 2016 Olympic 100 metres hurdler was called for a false start and left the track in tears.

Germany’s javelin Olympic champion Thomas Rohler also departed the Khalifa Stadium in tears having fallen short of the top 12 who qualified for the final.

American long jump great Brittney Reese is too seasoned a performer to lapse into tears but the 2012 Olympic champion and defending title holder came up short in her event.

“I just need to go punch something, I’ll be okay,” said the 33-year-old quadruple outdoor world champion.


Shame of tragedy-driven nation that loves politics

We live in a country defined by tragedy but our love affair with politics has turned chronic, it continues unabated.

Death, induced by malfeasance, has become a national pastime. If it’s not about the heart-wrenching ordeals of innocent primary school pupils and hopeful university students dying due to collapsed classrooms and

terrorism respectively, it’s the marginalised masses having a date with their maker because of debilitating starvation.

Bitter jobless youths are sorrowfully plodding about the Nairobi traffic cursing the day they were born. Some have thrown in the towel and committed suicide while others have joined in wreaking havoc on the nation

through crime unfazed by the cries and agonies of their victims.

One can be forgiven to believe that anything and anyone in Kenya has the potential of being a death-trap. In our buck-passing nature, we have blamed all manner of people for our misfortunes except the tribal and

ravenous political elite because we don’t want them, and our communities, to appear bad and dim their stab at the presidency. We started by heaping blame on “half-baked” university graduates, then humanities and

social sciences, then a lack of entrepreneurial spirit among the youth, then examinations cheating, then the high number of universities and the 8-4-4 system. Today we are even blaming millennials, socialites and slay queens.

It’s only in Kenya where a politician has the gut to tell a gathering that incessant politicking is taking us back without looking at the mirror. How, for instance, are millennials responsible for the hellish experience

Likoni ferry victims went through?

We all know that every government institution since independence including the Transport ministry, under which the Kenya Ferry Service (KFS) is, has been under the command of the Generation X and Baby

Boomers, who land those positions due to political patronage and tribalism. You don’t blame the lack of entrepreneurial culture on preventable deaths like that of Ms Mariam Kaghendu and her little angel, Amanda

Mutheu. Had the billions allocated to the KFS been in invested in rapid response and skilled divers, such a horrifying incident would not have occurred. Ours is a country where billions would rather be looted and

stashed abroad than be spent on meaningful national initiatives. We have cultivated the belief that anyone who does not loot is the proverbial Luo wife of Ong’ong’o.

How regressive can a country be? It is crystal clear that as long as Kenyans elevate tribal chieftains and their henchmen above God, we will continue to pay the price of inept leadership.

Joab Apollo, Nairobi


Justin Gatlin at last wins elusive world relay gold

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Justin Gatlin finally achieved one of his goals at the age of 37 as the United States coasted to 4×100 metres relay gold in the second fastest time in history of 37.10 seconds in Doha on Saturday.

The all-star American quartet – including 100m world champion Christian Coleman and 200m gold medallist Noah Lyles – never looked in trouble in winning the title for the eighth time.

“We are a brotherhood,” said 2017 100m world champion Justin Gatlin.

“We had a talk this morning and we said we are going to go out there and do this.

“I wanted it especially hard as I have never won a relay title.”

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Veteran Michael Rodgers said they had been motivated by one thing.

“We wanted to do this for Justin.”

Defending champions Britain took silver as Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake ran a superb anchor leg to overhaul Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown.

Both the British and the Japanese set new European and Asian records with times of 37.36sec and 37.43sec respectively.


Catholic Church takes drastic steps to curb graft

FRANCIS MUREITHIBy FRANCIS MUREITHI
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The Catholic Church on Saturday took drastic measures in the war on corruption, launching a six-month campaign that includes banning political remarks inside church and encouraging cashless donations

A statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops added that anti-corruption desks where people can report crimes will be set up in all churches.

Bishop Philip Anyolo, the chairman, said they will not allow the church to be used as a political platform. “Political statements will not be allowed during the liturgical celebrations,” he said during the national prayers day at Subukia shrine.

Further, Bishop Anyolo said contributions for church projects will only be done via mobile money or cashier’s cheque. He said the move will provide details of the donors, thus improving transparency and accountability.

“We wish to move towards cashless donation. And for the purpose of accountability, we shall declare publicly the list and accounts of our projects and fundraising initiatives for public scrutiny,” the statement said.

VOW RENEWAL

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The public has not been left out. In ushering the new era, the church in the next six months will subject the faithful to renewal of baptismal vows.

And any gifts given to church leaders exceeding Ksh50,000 will be recorded; the gifts must be accompanied by a cover letter from the donor.

Bishops vowed to stump out the “tremendous corruption that has imprisoned our hearts, families and the entire society”.

They are adhering to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s appeal that the church and private sector should promote the government’s efforts in battling the vice that threatens the country’s wellbeing.

“We have launched the campaign by removing our shoes. This is in solidarity with those who have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of corruption, especially those living in squalid conditions. We are now calling on all Kenyans irrespective of their station in life to reject any form or act of corruption,” they appealed.


Fraser-Pryce wins ninth world title in relay

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Jamaican sprint legend Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce secured her ninth world title on Saturday in Doha as Jamaica won the 4×100 metres relay.

The 32-year-old, who won her fourth world 100m title last Sunday, ran a storming second leg to put Jamaica firmly in the driving seat.

Shericka Jackson had a big enough lead to breach the line in 41.44 seconds with Britain’s 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith anchoring her team to the silver (41.85sec).

For Asher-Smith, it completed a superb championships as she also took silver in the 100m.

Defending champions the United States rounded off an underwhelming championships for their 100/200m women sprinters, taking bronze in 42.10sec.

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Step up road safety drive

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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Preliminary observations from the bus and lorry collision on the Kisumu-Kericho highway on Thursday night, in which more than 10 people perished and nearly 40 were injured, point to a major cause of the rising fatal road accidents. It is driver error that manifests itself in speeding, recklessness, dangerous overtaking, incompetence, fatigue and other avoidable factors.

As National Transport and Safety Authority director-general Francis Meja has said, if only drivers could exercise a little more care, the slaughter on our roads would be curbed. According to Police Spokesman Charles Owino, the bus driver appears to have been blinded by the lights of an oncoming truck, and speeding cannot be ruled out as one of the possible causes of the smash.

At the core of the road safety campaign that must be stepped up, the NTSA boss is quite right that the main focus must be on changing the behaviour and attitude of drivers. After all, it is them to blame for the poor judgement, speeding and recklessness that have caused so much pain, with several thousand people killed on the roads every year. Nearly 2,500 people have died on the roads since the beginning of the year. And considering the notoriety of public service vehicle drivers during the Christmas season, which is just two months away, the death toll could surpass the annual average of 3,000 fatalities.

Of course, traffic police and NTSA officials will, as they do every day, be mobilising the resources at their disposal to help curb the carnage. However, these two agencies combined do not have the capacity to monitor every stretch of road right across the country to ensure that motorists obey traffic rules and regulations. Clearly, there is a need to promote a road safety culture, and motorists have a vital role to play here. But safety cannot be enhanced without involving other road users, including passengers and pedestrians.

Matatu and bus passengers, for instance, must not allow drivers to rush them to their early graves, and it pays dividends if they speak out loudly or ask to get off PSVs whose drivers are speeding. They should also report errant drivers to traffic police. It will take the collective efforts of all to make the roads safer.


Key issues to tackle as Teachers’ Day marked

EDITORIALBy EDITORIAL
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Kenya yesterday joined the world in marking the International Teachers’ Day whose objective is to mobilise public attention to address issues affecting the profession and, importantly, foreground quality education. For Kenya, the day is momentous because it comes at a time of major transformation in the education sector.

The country is experimenting with a new education system known as competency based curriculum (CBC), a departure from the 8-4-4 that has been in existence for more than three decades. At the centre of curriculum change are teachers; who are the implementers and assessors of its outcomes. A critical question has been teacher preparedness.

CBC is practice and experiential based learning. Teachers are facilitators and not the sole dispensers of knowledge. Students are required to participate effectively in the learning process, practising what they learn in class and also bringing in their daily experiences into the classroom. Conventionally, however, teachers have been socialised to deliver content and reduce learners to receivers of knowledge.

In addition, the curriculum puts emphasis on the role of parents in their children’s learning, where they are expected to work with the children and guide them through the context-based assignments they are given.

Changed curriculum orientation therefore necessitates purposeful shifting of teachers conceptual understanding of their roles, hence the imperative for impactful training.

On paper, the Teachers Service Commission and the Ministry of Education have conducted several training sessions for teachers to catalyse mental shift. However, when recently the government conducted a pilot assessment of the implementation of the curriculum by testing Grade Three pupils, it merged there was deep variance between policy and practice. Teachers and schools largely organised the assessments like it is done with the national examination. The sobering lesson was that teachers have not understood and internalised the new curriculum, which should compel the ministry and TSC to rethink the approach of teachers’ skills upgrade and induction for CBC.

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Ultimately, the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) is expected to compile and share the outcomes of the Grade Three tests, which should then inform learning content.

Away from CBC, the other major critical issue facing the teaching profession is compensation. Teachers through their unions have been clashing with the employer, TSC, over poor pay. Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) have been aggressively pushing for new and improved pay package for their members and which on many occasions have snowballed into strikes. The onus is on the government to enhance teachers’ compensation to boost performance. Related to this is tackling biting staff shortage in schools.

In essence, the government should improve terms and conditions of service for teachers to guarantee quality learning.


Karua relentless in bid to discredit Anne Waiguru poll win

WALTER MENYABy WALTER MENYA
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Narc-Kenya Party leader Martha Karua has escalated her war with the Judiciary to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ), accusing it of violating her right to access justice.

Ms Karua’s suit emanates from her failed bid to overturn the election of Ms Anne Waiguru as Kirinyaga governor over allegations of electoral misconduct.

She alleges that despite presenting her case, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and especially the Supreme Court, “failed to uphold the rule of law in knowingly dispensing injustice to the applicant while acknowledging that she was not at fault”.

“This monumental failure by the judicial arm of the respondent State (Kenya) breached the EAC Treaty, and in particular Articles 6(d) and 7(2), which obligate partner states to uphold good governance, democracy, the rule of law, human and people’s rights,” she says in the suit papers filed by her lawyer Gitobu Imanyara.

Ms Karua also asks the regional court to rule that the government infringed on her rights and award her damages, among other reliefs sought.

PETITION DISMISSED

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After the August 2017 General Election, Ms Karua had petitioned the election of Ms Waiguru at Kirinyaga High Court on September 5, 2017, alleging impropriety by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officers and Ms Waiguru’s agents, which impacted the outcome.

But Justice Lucy Gitari dismissed the petition as “hopeless, defective and incurable”.

Ms Karua then sought redress at the Court of Appeal after accusing the judge of bias. The Appeals court ruled in her favour and ordered a fresh hearing at the High Court.

But during the hearing, she alleges that video evidence she had filed went missing while in the court’s custody but the judge failed to order an inquiry into its loss. Instead, she ruled against her.

COMPLIANCE

She again returned to the Appeals court, which declined to entertain her appeal on grounds that the statutory six month-period for filing the petition, as provided for in the Elections Act, had elapsed.

Relentlessly, Ms Karua went to the Supreme Court. The court, headed by Chief Justice David Maraga, on August 6, 2019 threw out her appeal because it lacked jurisdiction since hearing of the petition commenced after the six-month period.

But she vowed to press on. “I did not get justice in court but ALUTA CONTINUA. The journey to success is long and winding (sic). Many thanks to those who stood by me in my judicial marathon. All is not lost; there is much more to do!” she tweeted.

The Attorney General is the respondent on behalf of the Government of Kenya. One of the major criticisms against EACJ is that since it lacks mechanisms to ensure compliance with its judgments, the outcome lies entirely on the political will of the partner states.