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Dubious expenses haunt Sports ministry





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The Sports ministry is on the spot over questionable expenditures, including Sh2.5 million for two National Assembly members to watch the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, according to Auditor-General Edward Ouko’s latest report.

The report for the year ending June 30, 2018, tabled in the House by leader of majority leader Aden Duale, indicts the ministry over Sh1.6 billion in unsupported expenditures on five stadia and 10 training pitches across the country.

Mr Ouko also questions the Sh329.8 million recorded by the ministry as pending bills, saying its validity could not be ascertained. He also spotlights the unbudgeted disbursement and excess vote to the National Sports Fund.

Mr Rashid Echesa was the Sports Cabinet Secretary at the time. President Uhuru Kenyatta fired him and replaced him with Amina Mohamed, who was in the Education docket.

The facilities in question are Moi Sports Centre Kasarani and Nyayo in Nairobi; Kinoru in Meru, Kipchoge Keino in Eldoret, and Jomo Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The stadia and 10 training pitches were to take four months in readiness for the CHAN 2018 Championships.

According to the AG, the ministry awarded Sh1.6 billion to M/s Auditel Kenya limited, a Spanish company for design, supply and testing, commissioning and supervision of security, access control, communication, as well as audiovisual and pitch lighting systems.

However, the event venue was changed to Morocco due to slow progress in the work.

Mr Ouko notes that Sh300.5 million of the contract sum was advanced to the company in October 2017 as a security guarantee by a bank in Madrid, Spain.

“It was noted that the security guarantee was valid up to February 2018 and had therefore expired by the time of the audit carried out in November 2018. No evidence was presented to confirm its re-validation,” Mr Ouko says, noting that it is not clear when and if the project will be completed.


Mr Ouko did not reveal the names of the MPs who were sponsored by the taxpayer to watch the world cup in July 2018.

He, however, wants the ministry to recover the Sh2.5 million irregularly expended on the legislators despite the requests for payment having been made by the Clerk of the National Assembly.

Mr Ouko notes that because MPs serve under the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), all their expenses should have emanated from the commission.

In addition, the ministry cannot account for the Sh404.4 million transfers from the National Treasury to the National Sports Fund, which is under its watch. 

The theft of 130 parking lights valued at Sh3.6 million, that had been installed at Kasarani stadium during the IAAF World under 18 championship in 2017, has also been reported by Mr Ouko.

Although the security firm at the stadium acknowledged the theft and requested to resolve the issue, no replacement has been made to date, according to the report.

On the pending bills that have accrued over three years, the auditor says the ministry has not clarified why they did not form the first charge in the subsequent year as required by the Public Finance Management Act.

Mr Ouko also questions the supply and delivery of petroleum products worth Sh11.2 million in bulk.

According to the contract signed with Ramji Haribhai Devani Limited, a discount of Sh4.25 on the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) unit prices was to be offered for every liter of diesel or petrol supplied.

But a review of the fuel analysis indicates that the Local Organising Committee did not enjoy this discount.

It was also not clear why the fuel was procured in bulk yet the buses, minibuses, vans, saloon cars and luxury cars had been hired.


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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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