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Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

 

L’IGAD donne 700.000 $ pour la lutte contre le Covi-19

Publié le 09.04.2020 à 00h18 par APA

Des membres du personnel de l’Autorité intergouvernementale pour le développement (IGAD) ont fait don de 700.000 dollars aux Etats membres pour les aider à lutter contre la propagation du Covid-19.´La région de l’IGAD comprend les pays de Djibouti, l’Erythrée, l’Ethiopie, le Kenya, la Somalie, le Soudan du Sud, le Soudan et l’Ouganda.

La région compte environ 6.960 km de côtes avec l’océan indien, le golfe d’Aden, le golfe de Toudjoura et la mer rouge.

Chaque Etat membre recevra 100.000 dollars du montant total de la contribution financière, a déclaré mardi le bloc sous-régional dans un communiqué.

Parallèlement, le ministère de la Santé a confirmé huit nouveaux cas de coronavirus (Covid-19) sur les 264 échantillons testés au cours des 24 dernières heures.

Cela porte à 52 le nombre total de cas de cas de Covid-19 en Ethiopie.

Sept des cas confirmés sont des ressortissants éthiopiens.

L’autre est une femme érythréenne de 30 ans.

Parmi les cas confirmés figurent un bébé de neuf mois et sa mère, selon un communiqué publié mardi par le ministère.

L’Ethiopie a jusqu’ici signalé deux décès et quatre cas de guérisons du virus.


Covid-19: Le Maroc tire 3 milliards de dollars de Ligne de Précaution et de liquidité du FMI

Publié le 09.04.2020 à 00h18 par APA

Le Maroc a procédé, mardi, à un tirage sur la Ligne de Précaution et de liquidité (LPL) du FMI pour un montant équivalent à près de 3 milliards de dollars, remboursable sur 5 ans avec une période de grâce de 3 ans et ce, dans le cadre de la lutte contre la pandémie du nouveau coronavirus (covid-19), annonce mercredi la banque centrale.« Dans le cadre de la politique de réponse proactive de notre pays à la crise de la pandémie de Covid 19, le Maroc a procédé le 07 avril 2020 à un tirage sur la LPL pour un montant équivalent à près de 3 milliards de dollars, remboursable sur 5 ans, avec une période de grâce de 3 ans », indique l’institution financière dans un communiqué.

« La mobilisation de cette facilité intervient dans le cadre de l’accord au titre de la LPL conclu avec le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) en 2012 et renouvelé pour la 3ème fois en décembre 2018, pour une période de deux ans, avec l’intention de l’utiliser comme assurance contre les chocs extrêmes, comme ceux que nous vivons actuellement », explique la même source.

La pandémie du covid-19, d’une ampleur sans précédent, laisse présager une récession économique mondiale bien plus profonde que celle de 2009, fait remarquer la banque centrale du Maroc, estimant que l’économie nationale sera en conséquence impactée, notamment au niveau des secteurs et des activités orientés vers l’extérieur, à savoir les métiers mondiaux du Maroc, les recettes au titre des voyages, les transferts des marocains résidents à l’étranger et les investissements directs étrangers.

Dans un tel contexte, le tirage sur la LPL contribuera à atténuer l’impact de cette crise sur notre économie et à maintenir nos réserves de change à un niveau adéquat à même de consolider la confiance des investisseurs étrangers et de nos partenaires multilatéraux et bilatéraux dans l’économie marocaine, relève la Banque centrale.

Le tirage sur cette ligne de liquidité sera mis à la disposition de la banque centrale et affecté essentiellement au financement de la balance des paiements et n’impactera pas la dette publique, ce qui constitue une première dans les transactions financières du Royaume avec le FMI.


Code électoral ivoirien: la caution pour la présidentielle relevée à 50 millions Fcfa (ordonnance) 

Publié le 09.04.2020 à 00h18 par APA

Le chef de l’Etat ivoirien, Alassane Ouattara, a pris mercredi une ordonnance portant révision du Code électoral, qui relève désormais la caution pour l’élection présidentielle de 20 à 50 millions Fcfa, à l’issue d’un Conseil des ministres.  Au regard des mesures contraignantes par l’impératif nécessité de la riposte nationale, face au Covid-19, qui rend difficile la tenue des réunions parlementaires, le Conseil a adopté une ordonnance portant révision du Code électoral, a indiqué le porte-parole du gouvernement, Sidi Touré. 

Ce nouveau dispositif, dit-il, met en cohérence le code électoral avec la nouvelle Constitution notamment dans ses dispositions précisant les dates du premier et du second tour de l’élection présidentielle ainsi que celle relative à l’élection des sénateurs. 

Selon le porte-parole du gouvernement ivoirien, ce Code électoral apporte en outre « une innovation majeure », sur la base des délibérations de la concertation entre le gouvernement, la société civile et l’ensemble des partis et groupements politiques du pays.  

Ce code électoral institue « un parrainage citoyen pour l’élection présidentielle, le relèvement du niveau de cautionnement à 50 millions Fcfa pour l’élection présidentielle, l’abaissement à 5% du taux de suffrage requis pour le remboursement du cautionnement ». 

Il consacre en outre la suppression de la référence aux intérêts économiques et sociaux comme condition d’inscription sur la liste électorale et son remplacement par des critères plus objectifs se référant au domicile, à la résidence, au lieu d’inscription au rôle des contributions et au lieu d’immatriculation des Ivoiriens à l’étranger à l’effet de lutter contre la transhumance des électeurs.  

Le peuple de Côte d’Ivoire a adopté, par référendum en 2016 une nouvelle Constitution qui a été modifiée en mars 2020. La nouvelle loi fondamentale impose la réforme du Code électoral. Pour M. Sidi Touré, cette réforme vise à rendre conforme le Code électoral aux dispositions constitutionnelles.

Dans l’ancienne Constitution, fait-il observer, il n’était pas inscrit le Sénat et c’est désormais chose faite dans la nouvelle loi fondamentale. En outre, le code électoral révisé prend en compte le dialogue politique mené par le Premier ministre avec tous les acteurs de la société civile et des partis politiques. 

Le parrainage citoyen est un élément nouveau introduit dans le Code électoral révisé ainsi que le relèvement du cautionnement de 50 millions Fcfa pour l’élection présidentielle. M. Sidi Touré a relevé que les débats faisaient état d’un niveau de cautionnement de « 100, voire 200 millions mais le gouvernement a préféré aller sur une moyenne, jugée plus ou mois équitable qui est de 50 millions de Fcfa ». 


Côte d’Ivoire : un syndicat craint une contamination « à grande échelle» du corps médical au Covid-19

Publié le 09.04.2020 à 00h18 par APA

La plateforme des syndicats de la santé et syndicats associés de Côte d’Ivoire s’est inquiétée, mercredi à Abidjan, d’une contamination « à grande échelle » du corps médical ivoirien au Covid-19 se réservant le droit de recourir à des «actions nécessaires si rien n’est fait». Selon Dr Séka Jean Didier, le Coordinateur général de cette plateforme, la propagation de la maladie à Coronavirus n’épargne pas les agents de santé qui selon lui, sont sans matériels de travail, ni équipements de protection individuelle (EPI).

« Au CHU de Cocody, plus de six  médecins ont été mis en quarantaine après avoir été exposés à des cas confirmés sans équipement de protection individuelle…Au CHU d’Angré un médecin est en quarantaine après avoir été exposé, tandis que des sages-femmes ayant été en contact avec la même patiente ont été laissées-pour-compte sans aucune prise en charge (quarantaine)», a fait savoir Dr Séka.

Il a ajouté qu’à l’hôpital général de Koumassi, « nous avons constaté la non mise en quarantaine de plusieurs équipes du service de pédiatrie ayant été en contact avec un enfant testé positif au covid-19 après plusieurs jours de prise en charge».

A en croire Dr Séka, l’agent de santé est « en voie de devenir un puissant vecteur de transmission» de la maladie à Covid-19.  Face à cette situation, ce syndicat qui dit représenter 33% du personnel médical syndiqué en Côte d’Ivoire a fait plusieurs propositions aux autorités sanitaires du pays.

 Il s’agit notamment de la mise à disposition dans les brefs délais de la logistique de travail dans les établissements hospitaliers sans distinction,  la définition d’un cadre formel d’allocation de prime et d’indemnité à l’ensemble du personnel du ministère de la santé et de l’hygiène publique sans distinction.

Auparavant, Dr Séka a dénoncé « l’inexistence de primes » pour l’ensemble des agents de santé. Fin mars, le ministère ivoirien de la santé et de l’hygiène publique avait  annoncé que des primes de risque et d’encouragement ont été prévus pour le corps médical pendant la période de la crise sanitaire liée à la maladie à Coronavirus.

« Plusieurs mesures ont été prises pour permettre aux agents de la santé de travailler dans cette situation de crise dans de bonnes conditions. Concernant la question du risque des agents, le ministère a prévu des primes de risque et d’encouragement pour cette période de crise», indiquait ce département ministériel dans une note d’information.

 La Côte d’Ivoire enregistre à ce jour  384 cas de maladie à Coronavirus avec trois décès et 48 cas de guérison.


Don’t yield to maize cartels, Mr Munya

ROBERT SHAWBy ROBERT SHAW
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Kenya will soon have a shortfall of its staple food — white maize — which will last until the next crop is harvested from September onwards.

Transatlantic imports of maize will need to start coming sooner rather than later to fill that gap. Cross-border imports from Uganda and Tanzania, if allowed, could ease, but not make up the shortfall.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made transportation longer and more cumbersome and will lengthen the lead time for imported supplies

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya has formally acknowledged that maize imports will be needed, but whether he has got his sums right and accepted the full urgency of the situation is an open question.

To his credit though, he has acknowledged the problem, albeit belatedly, which is an improvement on his predecessors.

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Kenya often has structural deficits in maize production. These are frequently made up with informal imports from Uganda and Tanzania and at times transatlantic imports from surplus producers such as Mexico.

Kenya imports the majority of its wheat and a significant amount of its sugar needs and so is adept at the relevant food import procedures.

What makes it more complicated this time around is that the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in the lead time for food imports being extended due to the 14 day quarantine requirement.

An additional negative factor are the ongoing locust invasions, which have decimated a number of crops around the country and made the food security situation more precarious.

How much these factors will impact negatively on Kenya’s food security situation remain to be seen, but it is essential, indeed critical, to err on the side of caution and plan for some serious shortfalls.

PLAN FOR SHORTFALLS

It is, therefore, important to sift through all the facts and figures carefully and make a judgement call on what quantities of maize we need, when we need them and for how long.

The estimates of how much stock we have vary between one and two months. Given the extended lead time of importing, we would need to start the process as soon as possible.

Mr Munya has said the government will authorise the importation of two million bags each of white and yellow maize.

The latter provision is a sensible one as this will go for animal feed thus releasing stocks of white maize for human consumption.

But Mr Munya’s planned importation is a mere drop in the ocean. Kenyans consume three million bags a month and, assuming we have enough until early next month, Mr Munya’s two million bags will only last us until June at the latest, and that is if it gets here in time.

AFFORDABLE FOOD

Moving forward, we will need to import three million bags of white maize each and every month until the start of the next harvest.

Also we should factor in the importation of yellow maize for animal feed so that some of the more expensive white maize is not diverted to animal feed needs.

In summary, we will need to bring in an extra 15 million bags more before September.

Considering the importation of maize has been dogged by inefficiency and scandal over the years, it will be interesting to see whether this time will be any different.

One thing Mr Munya has got to be firm about is not giving in to the vocal and powerful North Rift maize lobby.

At the end of the day, the government’s primary obligation is to ensure that the population have access to affordable basic food.


Covid-19 and our children’s sweet-and-sour inheritance

CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBOBy CHARLES ONYANGO-OBBO
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“Kagwe Hands Kenyan Youth a Dying Nation”. If that headline had appeared in Daily Nation, it would probably have gone down in the annals of Kenyan political commentary history.

It would be up there with the Gado cartoon on late president Daniel arap Moi, published in Daily Nation on December 31, 2002, a Public Notice announcing that: “The person whose picture appears here above ceased to be president of Kenya on December 30, 2002. He is no longer authorised to transact any business on behalf of the Republic.”

It didn’t. It headlined a very readable opinion piece in the Business Today (Kenya) blog by one Hakeenah N. Njenga.

From the title, there’s little need to elaborate what the point it made was, but indulge us. It was a comment about Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe’s press briefing on the march of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Kenya, and his passionate appeal to the country’s youth to step forward and save the nation at an hour of great need.

It suggested that the political class were scared of the army of unemployed, marginalised youth, who economic fortunes have been imperiled further dramatically by Covid-19 control measures.

STIRRING REFORMS

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Finally, in a clincher, that establishment politicians and elders have looted and trashed the country since independence, and facing one of their biggest crises, are calling on the youth to resuscitate its limp form.

It is a picture that fits into the bigger story being told about the world that will follow after the ravages of Covid-19; that it WILL change, and MUST change.

There is a basis for that projection. History suggests that deadly pandemics indeed do bring changes that many years of political agitation and reform movements had failed to achieve.

The plagues of past centuries were the engine for public health as we know it today. There are many clever men and women who hold that western democracy, and the feminist movement, owe a debt to the Black Death (also known as the Great Bubonic Plague, and the Great Plague), of 1347 to 1351.

It is estimated to have killed 30 to 60 per cent of Europe’s population, and likely reduced the world population from an estimated 475 million to 350—375 million in the 14th century.

LABOUR MARKET

It put paid to serfdom in western Europe. With few workers left, indentured labour was no longer possible.

The competition for labour was so intense that serfs could afford to walk off and find a good pay for the times. It was also no longer possible to keep all women locked up in the house.

They were needed to work outside, and could negotiate a wage — more than 500 years before they would get the right to vote.

These crises don’t always go to waste. Kenya’s deadly post-election violence of early 2008 gave birth to the liberal 2010 constitution, after many failed starts and broken bones of reformists.

There are, therefore, several things that will change. Certainly, a greater state role in running social services, and increased social welfare, have won a big victory in the wake of Covid-19.

We will have new more enlightened regimes on the exploitation of nature, to limit zoonotic diseases (infectious disease caused by a pathogen jumping from animals to humans), given the dominant theory that Covid-19 came from a bat or a pangolin in a Chinese wet market.

DEMOCRACY’S DEATH

However, when it comes to politics, this time the old guard and political class, that some see as standing on wobbly legs, seem to have used the coronavirus to actually consolidate power, roll back democratic gains, and entrench surveillance over citizens.

And because, from wherever we are hiding from coronavirus, we are scared, and (sensibly too) support extreme control measures as necessary.

There are, as a result, many alarmed opinion pieces and commentaries around the world about the death of democracy.

So, did Hakeenah Njenga write the obituary of the old political class too early? It’s complicated. While power might have seized the Covid-19 moment to rearm and take more political ground, the fact that the pandemic will leave African economies (and most elsewhere) in shambles means they have to rebuild.

They have to get production up. They have to get even more taxes paid now, and they have to find a way of incentivising the creation of a surplus that they can cream off for themselves.

It will not be possible to get industries up and galloping without business reforms or concessions.

SOCIAL STRUCTURE

It is going to be hard to maintain the waste of states and leeching off public resources by the bureaucracy, and sacrifice investment in health, and social infrastructure.

And, right from the short term, it will be harder to insist in the old ways of disregarding people’s voice, and doing things like holding elections only so that they can steal them.

In sum, they have to feed the cow, if they expect to get big milk from it. They won’t give the cow milk and play for it classical music, as some do, but at a minimum they will have to give it enough grass.

Mr Onyango-Obbo is curator of the Wall of Great Africans and publisher of explainer site Roguechiefs.com. @cobbo3


Parents have crucial role in homeschooling

MUMINA BONAYABy MUMINA BONAYA
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About 15 million children are at home following the government suspension of learning due to Covid-19.

The Ministry of Education has since set up measures to facilitate learning while learners are at home. Curriculum delivery is now enhanced through digital and broadcast learning.

Lessons are ongoing on four platforms: radio, television, YouTube and the Kenya education cloud. Obviously, the children need guidance on the same.

Kenya Publishers Association has made available approved textbooks — free of charge — on cloud in addition to the supplementary curriculum content provided by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD).

What is going on in homes is “homeschooling” or “home education”: education of children at home. But we should distinguish between the kind of education forced by Covid-19 from homeschooling outside public or private school systems that is common in the country.

Parents have an added responsibility in the education of children at home: they must supervise their attendance to lessons and instructions that the ministry delivers.

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The children need guidance from their parents, who are also marooned in their homes. The call to supervise their children’s education may sound strange to the current generation of parents. But it is not new.

QUALITY TIME

Parents are the first teachers a child experiences. They are also the most influential to their character as everything they say or do has an enormous impression on them.

The Basic Education Curriculum Framework, the blueprint for the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), says children start learning even before they start school.

Indeed, nobody is more important in nurturing and protecting a child than the parent.

The responsibility will also ensure that parents, now also at home, will have quality time with their children. They will know them better through this interaction.

Parents have the opportunity to help their children to improve their literacy skills. The literate ones have found time to catch up with reading.

Leisure reading, especially, sets a good example for children as they are likely to emulate their parents.

Unquestionably, this is the time to identify exciting books or stories parents can read to or with their children.

BROADEN INTELLECT

English, the language of instruction in our school system, has a rich collection of fiction and nonfiction works.

Let parents choose from this to read to or with children when done with digital and broadcast lessons.

Parents of children in the early learning years can play word games with them, teach them to read and count and also read to them.

They can easily read with teenage children, particularly books with slightly more complex texts which challenge and broaden their intellect and mental horizons.

We have fiction and nonfiction works that illustrate the importance with enduring values. We have stories in books or stories parents remember from their childhood or student years that they can profitably share with their children.

They can light up their homes at agreed times with these stories. The formal curriculum being delivered through digital and broadcast platforms is designed to minister to whole child.

The books and stories that parents are invited to read to and with children embody these aims.


Covid-19 pandemic an equaliser, shows nobody is safe from virus

MARION MUTUGIBy MARION MUTUGI
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In the pre-coronavirus era, health social constructs were based on various economic, social, racial, educational paradigms.

At independence, disease was identified as one of the nation’s challenges. The government increased education opportunities, believing that, by dealing with ignorance, poverty and disease would be reduced.

The social construct then, and even now, is that disease is associated with little education and poverty; hence the attitude that disease transmission is from the illiterate to the educated, the poor to the rich.

However, many diseases and their pests were transported by traders and visitors from the ‘Old World’ to Africa and the Americas.

But the social construct was that Africa and other low-income parts of the world were reservoirs of disease. This construct is still operational: Africans are often required to undergo various tests to ensure they do not transport ailments to the West.

Despite discrimination on the basis of health being a violation of a person’s rights, many an immigration attempt has been thwarted by a positive HIV test.

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This social construct has further morphed to include a racial slant that disease transmission is not only from Africa to the West but from black to white.

TRANSMISSION WEB

But recent pandemics have challenged this. HIV started in the United States. After it was first detected in Kenya in 1984, HIV was declared a national disaster in 1990.

At its peak, deaths hit 1,000 a day, stretching the healthcare system to the limit and threatening to bring the economy to its knees.

And now, Covid-19. The coronavirus started in China. All the primary cases in Kenya are people who travelled from more economically endowed countries.

These travellers — who are of a higher social economic class, more educated and financially endowed — transmit it to ordinary citizens.

Take the hypothetical case of a person who was infected at a meeting abroad and interacted with people in domestic, social and work settings and places of worship in various places.

At the airport, Mr Traveller’s temperature was normal and he was allowed in. As he took a taxi home, he transmitted the virus to the driver, who then passed it to his other clients, family, friends and parent in County A.

On arrival home, Mr Traveller transmitted the virus to his wife, who passed it to her domestic worker, hairdresser and mama mboga, who live in the slum next to her leafy suburb, her chama mates and her sister, who was visiting from County B.

NO SYMPTOMS

The following morning, Mr Traveller went to work and passed the virus to his workmates, who could then take it to their families, relatives, friends and neighbours at social gatherings in different counties.

On his way home, he passed through the supermarket and transmitted it through the Sh1,000 note he gave the cashier, who later passed on the virus to customers as she gave out change.

Our traveller then went to church two days later and passed the virus to his seatmate, the pastor, the offertory collector and a friend that he greeted.

On his way home, he passed it to the petrol station attendant, his barber and the mechanic as he paid for their services. These could then pass on the virus to their families, relatives, neighbours and friends.

Two days later, Mr World Traveller took the bus to the village for a relative’s funeral, passing the virus to his parent and pastor in County C and mourners from Counties D, E, F and G.

So in less than a week, our educated world traveller living in a leafy suburb of Nairobi has infected many people. And all this before he experienced symptoms, tested positive and was admitted for isolation.

Bill Gates, the third-richest man, said that “the corona/Covid-19 virus is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to.”

Three weeks ago, quarantine of all travellers arriving in the country would have contained the virus.

Two weeks ago, a lockdown of Nairobi would have contained the virus. A week ago, containment would have been in a few counties.

But now, extreme measures will have to be extended to everyone in the entire country indiscriminately.


Shun litigation, embrace arbitration

LAWRENCE NGUGIBy LAWRENCE NGUGI
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Disputes exist wherever opposing rights or interests in human interaction elude management.

At the onset, the persons in dispute have a significant degree of control on the process for resolving their differences and possible solutions.

But as it persists and a stalemate created, it becomes imperative that assistance be drawn from others. The degree of control is then transferred from the belligerents as third parties acquire power in its resolution.

Whether by default or design of the system, in Kenya, we place emphasis on court litigation, where the judicial authority assumes an overwhelming control of the process and outcome.

More time is invested and costs incurred with the outcome a potential point of future dispute and the relationship severed.

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR), however, is a method of dispute resolution that reserves greater control over the process and outcomes to the actual belligerents.

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But since no dispute is the same as the other, different methods are available to the parties.

STRUCTURED DISCUSSIONS

Viewed as a continuum, the options range from the least formal and non-adjudicative to formal-adjudicative methods — including negotiation, conciliation, mediation, adjudication and arbitration. I briefly describe three of the more commonly used ones.

Negotiation is a process by which two parties communicate with each other in order to reach an outcome on which they mutually agree.

Successful negotiations are usually achieved when conducted face to face by empowered, suitably experienced and knowledgeable practitioners.

Depending on scale and complexity, it is generally recognised that successful negotiations may be conducted by a team rather than on a one-to-one basis. Participants are encouraged to adopt a common philosophy of principled negotiation.

Separate relationship issues from substance and deal with the latter by focusing on interests, not positions; invent options for mutual gain; and use independent standards of fairness to avoid a bitter contest of will.

Mediation involves structured settlement discussions with flexible procedural rules facilitated by a neutral third party with no decision-making power.

Helping parties to identify the genuine issues that divide them, and their underlying interests, is a key part of the mediator’s role.

MORE FORMAL

It is particularly effective where there is an ongoing commercial relationship between the parties but can assist parties in virtually all disputes — except where one of the parties requires an outcome or remedy that only a court or an arbitral tribunal can provide.

Even where mediation does not result in a settlement, it can enable parties to identify and focus on the key issues between them and also their respective underlying interests.

Parties may negotiate or mediate more than once in the life of a dispute before reaching an acceptable resolution.

Arbitration is a doorstep away from the court, hence more formal and adjudicative than the other methods.

A private adjudicative dispute resolution process is based on a contractual agreement to submit the relevant dispute to arbitration. It usually results in a binding award by the arbitrator or arbitral panel.

The arbitrator acts as an independent, impartial and neutral third party, and the process is governed by the arbitration agreement signed by the parties and the rules of the arbitral institution (if any) agreed by them.

COSTLY SITUATION

Arbitral awards can rarely be appealed, unless permitted by the agreement. Whichever the dispute, a resolution with finality is important to the parties.

But sometimes, though not always, one or the other party may have a less-than-genuine interest in a resolution. This could be influenced by factors such as loss of reputation, perceived power relationships and risk of financial loss.

Despite these bottlenecks, the opportunity to achieve a speedy, more acceptable outcome and preserve a relationship outweighs the risks.

There is a public good in resolution of disputes that would otherwise withhold resources from the economy.

Every time a dispute remains unresolved, it costs money, man-hours, delayed execution of transactions and potential fallout in relationships.

Abraham Lincoln said: “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbours to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often the loser — in fees, and expenses, and waste of time.”

The next time you are involved in a dispute, elect with appropriate advice one or a combination of these less conflictual methods.

Mr Ngugi is the registrar/CEO, Nairobi Centre for International Arbitration. [email protected]


Restricted movement among best ways to curb virus

By JAVIER OWINO

The surge in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases, which threatens to increase exponentially, has prompted the government to introduce mobility restrictions in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area and coastal counties of Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale.

The decision was taken since residents in these areas have high interaction levels with people from other counties, owing to their monumental importance in the provision of socioeconomic services and opportunities for Kenyans.

Experience in other jurisdictions, such as China, has shown that mobility restriction in metropolitan areas, if executed in the right way, is one of the best preventive measures against the spread of disease.

However, a few unfortunate people were either willingly or unwillingly caught on the wrong end of this presidential decree, which was given at short notice.

SELF-DRIVE

There were travellers from different parts of the country who, unavoidably, had to pass through the capital city to reach their destinations and they ended up stranded.

A number of sick people who need perpetual specialised treatment in these counties are now in a dilemma.

The keener ones had seen the writing on the wall: the government would, definitely, put in place stringent measures to tackle the pandemic.

But tough times call for sacrifice and cooperation. Discipline and self-drive is key in the fight against Covid-19.

Too much focus on the impact of these restrictions only serves as a deviation from the glaring fact that it is necessary to control the spread of the virus.

DISREGARD OF ORDER

Adapting to such limiting and confining situations is not always smooth because of the diversities in the country.

The reality on the ground is that major decisions must be made, though they sometimes result in casualties in the form of those who disregard them for whatever reason.

As a matter of fact, the manner in which the containment is being implemented compromises its purpose.

Some passengers from public service vehicles that had been stopped from accessing the confined areas alighted and walked into the neighbouring areas, contrary to the directive.

Everybody must find a way to strike a balance and avoid extremes, just as Aristotle suggested in the Golden Mean Theory, with respect to the stringent measures by the government to fight the disease.

Javier Owino, Kisumu

The 21-day containment in the Nairobi Metropolitan Area — which includes parts of Kiambu, Kajiado and Machakos counties — will help to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi counties are also isolated.

However, the government should block inter-county travel to curb the spread of the virus in other counties where few or no cases have been reported.

It should handle the situation urgently before it gets worse.

BRIAN OGOTTI, Busia