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Kidero reveals wealth, fights EACC charges

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The multi-billion empire of former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero has for the first time been revealed in an intriguing court battle with the anti-graft agency.

Describing himself as a “man of decent means”, Kidero has refuted claims by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that his net worth is disproportionate to his income.

In the suit challenging EACC’s orders to search his properties, Kidero lifts the lid on his confidential investments and gives a blow-by-blow account of how he accumulated his wealth gradually since 1983 when he was employed as a production pharmacist.

Without including any earnings during his five-year tenure as governor, Kidero says between 1985 and 2012, he had earned a cool Sh1.3 billion.

See: [VIDEO] Kidero, ex-City Hall chiefs nabbed in anti-graft purge

This was from salaries, allowances, pensions, executive allowances, bonuses, rent and stocks.

“He is a classic example of a worker bee,” his lawyer Tom Ojienda describes him in court papers.

Despite being at the helm of many blue chip companies, most of Kidero’s money did not come from employment according to his own account.

He says he earned Sh700 million from investment, Sh270 million from rent, Sh200 million from stocks overseas and Sh300 million from stocks option.

“My prudence did not end at work. As early as1994 I had learnt the art of saving and investing. I started to make several individuals oversees investments in equity which have continued to grow todate,” Kidero states.

He adds: “As early as1995 I had already started making investments of long-term share options and Executive Share Options with SmithKline Beecham in a bid to grow my wealth.”

In the suit, Kidero is seeking among others a declaration that the EACC search warrant on his properties is illegal and that the agency has no jurisdiction to investigate him over the affairs of Mumias Sugar Company since it is a private firm.

The private status of Mumias Sugar Company has been confirmed by the Attorney General, Kidero argues.

“I was shocked, scared, terrified, humiliated and severely traumatized when on 20 September 2018, at about 4am, my Muthaiga home was raided and literally turned upside down by about 40 mean, vicious gun-wielding officials of the (EACC),” he told the High Court.

Kidero protests that EACC detectives confiscated properties of his wife, Susan Mboya, his late wife Abigael, son Paul and some limited companies the agency had no orders to search.

In a clear demonstration his financial war chest, Kidero says he owns shares in at least eight firms.

These are Gem Apartments Limited, Lakeview Apartments Limited, Gem Villas Limited, Gem invest Limited, Gemsuites Limited and Vista Investment Limited.

He has also bought shares in Family Bank Limited and Radio Africa.

Kidero claims his wealth started trickling in soon after he left the University of Nairobi’s School of Pharmacy in 1983.

He gives examples of some ten prime properties that he acquired mostly in the 1990s.

In 1987, for instance, he acquired Nairobi/Block 106/220 measuring 0.0139 HA jointly with with his late wife, Abigael.

The two again jointly acquired Nairobi/Block 91/156 measuring 0. 28HA in 1991.

Abigael passed on in 2010.

EMPLOYMENT

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Kideor says he earned in excess of Sh15.5 million from employment between 1985-1991.

He was first employed as a production pharmacist by PAC Laboratories in December 1984 before moving on to Warner Lambert (East Africa) Ltd in February 1985. In January 1989 he moved to SmithKline & French Laboratories as Field Sales Manager. By June 1990, Kidero says he had become Marketing Director of Glaxo East Africa Limited.

It’s in these stations that the former county chief says he first made his millions.

“On 7October 1991, I was employed by SmithKline Beecham as its Managing Director of East and Central Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique in respect of SmithKline Beecham’s Pharmaceutical products distributed and sold throughout the territory and got promoted severally,” he states.

Between 1992 and 2000, Kidero says he earned in excess of Sh65 million as salary, allowances and bonuses from SmithKline Beecham.

He says that in January 1999, he was given additional responsibilities by the same firm to oversee West Africa in Lagos, Nigeria.

But in August 2001, he quit the pharmaceutical sector after he was appointed Managing Director of Nation Media Group until 2003.

During his three-year tenure, Kidero says he earned in excess of Sh72 million.

He quit Nation in October 2003 to become Managing Director of Mumias Sugar Company.

During his 9-year stint at the helm of the sugar miller, Kidero  says he made Sh300 million from from salary, allowances, pensions, executive allowances and bonuses.

He says during his time as MD, Mumias consistently made huge profits and was run down after his departure.

Over the 27 years’ period between 1985 and 2012, Kidero says gratuity from all his income was in excess of Sh125 million. Which means that from his employment alone, Kidero had made Sh578 million.

But this does not include the wealth of his wife, Susan.

Read: Kidero denies fraud charges, lawyers fight for bail

WIFE

Susan is the immediate former President of the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and the group director of the Eurasia Africa Group (EAG) for women’s economic empowerment at Coca-Cola.

Kidero says his income assessments are the subject of arbitration with the Kenya Revenue Authority and the EACC’s move amounts to double jeopardy as he is being subjected to two different punitive proceedings.

Last month, Kidero and eight other former county officials were dramatically arrested and charged with the loss of Sh213,327,300 by the Nairobi county government when he was governor.

EACC accused Kidero and co of conspiring to commit corruption by authorising payment to various companies for services not rendered.

Kidero says last week’s search was malicious as he was made a prisoner in his own home from 4am to noon.

“I was held hostage and falsely imprisoned at my home to about 12pm. Similar raids were made in my home in Kisumu and in my office at Westlands,” he says.

He protested that since he left politics after losing to Mike Sonko in the August 2017 polls, he has been threatened, harassed and intimidated by EACC in a clear abuse of power.

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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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