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Nine things to look out for in KPL Round Five

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By SAMUEL GACHARIRA
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The SportPesa Premier League enters Round Five on Wednesday with nine matches lined up at different venues across the country.

Leaders Mathare United will host struggling KCB at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani while champions Gor Mahia will look to bounce back from the 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks when they welcome Chemelil Sugar at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Mount Kenya United go in search of their first win at the same venue as they lock horns with Sharks in the early kick-off.

Posta Rangers begin life after Sammy “Pamzo” Omollo with a tie against AFC Leopards at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru.

Nation Sport presents the nine things to look out for in Wednesday’s action.

1.Manyika needs to redeem himself

On their return to the topflight following a three-year absence, KCB broke the bank to rope in foreigners in a bid to bolster their ranks. However, four matches into the new season only one foreigner, goalkeeper Peter Manyika, looks to have secured a place in Frank Ouna’s first eleven.

The Tanzanian’s start to life in the SPL has been worrying though, having conceded eight goals so far. He is a pale shadow of the goalkeeper who entertained Singida United fans with great reflexes and good distribution in the Tanzanian top tier.

The Bankers face leaders Mathare United who are firing from all cylinders with Cliff Nyakeya and Kevin Kimani off to a bright start. If Manyika needs a turning point there is no better one than a clean sheet at Kasarani against the rampant Slum Boys.

KCB's Tanzanian goalkeeper Peter Manyika gestures during their friendly against Mathare United at Goan Institute Grounds on November 28, 2018. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

KCB’s Tanzanian goalkeeper Peter Manyika gestures during their friendly against Mathare United at Goan Institute Grounds on November 28, 2018. PHOTO | SAMUEL GACHARIRA | NATION MEDIA GROUPNATION MEDIA GROUP

2.Oktay should work on winning the Green Army

Champions Gor Mahia are already playing catch up after losing two matches in the league. They are seven points off the leaders with a game in hand.

The arrival of Hassan Oktay at the club is yet to generate the verve that comes with a new foreigner at the helm of K’Ogalo.

Understandably so because Gor has blown hot and cold under the Cypriot coach. He first lost to Bandari before overseeing the 4-0 rout of Zoo. Then came the 1-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks last weekend.

Oktay is yet to convince the Green Army that he is best fit for the job especially after the fans became accustomed to winning under Dylan Kerr last season. The 2-0 loss to Lobi Stars in the return leg of the first round of the Caf Champions League erased any hopes of the K’Ogalo faithful believing in him.

Perhaps a proper drubbing of Chemelil Sugar will restore confidence from the fans. Any other result will certainly complicate his case.

3.Shark attack means Mwangi’s job is on the line

Still without a win after the opening four rounds, bottom-placed Mount Kenya United face a tall order against Kariobangi Sharks at Machakos. The transition from Nakumatt to Mt Kenya United seems to have taken off at the management level with the new owners taking over but on the pitch results have not been forthcoming.

Nakumatt had a similar poor start last season that culminated in the relegation/promotion play-off to secure topflight status at the tail end. The arrival of Melis Medo turned around their fortunes and it looks like Anthony Mwangi could soon be sent packing after living in the shadow of Medo in 2018 as an assistant.

Sharks, who are riding high on confidence after stunning champions Gor Mahia last weekend, could seal Mwangi’s fate as a sack looks imminent if he succumbs to a fifth consecutive loss.  

4.Kamau should carry 2015 lessons as he returns to Rangers

John Kamau begins his second stint as Posta Rangers head coach with a tricky tie against AFC Leopards. He takes over a team that is lacking in confidence after registering two losses and only one win against whipping boys Mt Kenya United.

Even worse is that he was barely involved in the transfer window where his predecessor Omollo signed Ken Mutembei, Francis Nambute, William Odero, Brian Juma, Wesley Onguso and Dennis Ongeri.

His first stint in 2015 was cut short after only six months with club chairman John Tonui announcing that he had been redeployed to head the sports docket within the Human Resource Department. It was reported that Kamau had lost his dressing room and as he returns to the helm that should be a top priority.

He already has a trusted lieutenant in Joseph Ruto as his goalkeeper trainer and his long-term assistant Moses Irungu looks likely to join him on the bench alongside Pascal Ochieng’. As he gets down to business, Kamau has to right the wrongs of 2015 if he is to succeed at Rangers.

Ulinzi Stars coach Dunstan Nyaudo reacts after his team conceded the third goal during their SportPesa Shield semi-final against Kariobangi Sharks at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on September 23, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Ulinzi Stars coach Dunstan Nyaudo reacts after his team conceded the third goal during their SportPesa Shield semi-final against Kariobangi Sharks at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on September 23, 2018. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |NATION MEDIA GROUP

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5.Nyaudo’s Ulinzi lacks a leader

Ulinzi Stars will be without Geoffrey Kokoyo at least for the first leg of the season due to military engagements. In his absence, James Saruni, Mohammed Hassan, Omar Mbongi, Daniel Waweru and Brian Birgen stand out as the most experienced players.

Saruni has worn the armband in the last four matches and the soldiers have looked like a side lacking in leadership. By their own high standards, a return of five points from four matches is appalling. This Ulinzi side lacks the command of Francis Onyiso, the coordination and calming influence of Francis Ocholla and the motivation of Kokoyo.

Dunstan Nyaudo’s charges let a one goal lead slip to settle for a 2-2 draw with ten-man Sofapaka last weekend. The Ulinzi of the old would have closed shop and secured maximum points. Against Vihiga United in the season opener, they were out of sorts and inevitably lost 2-0 at Bukhungu.

Their trip to Sudi could end up in another shocking loss if the experienced lot do not rise to the occasion and provide leadership on the pitch.

6.Vihiga perfect test for resurgent Tusker

After a slow start to the season, Tusker have chalked two consecutive wins against struggling KCB and Mount Kenya United.

The Brewers did not look convincing in the first two matches where they lost to Western Stima and drew with Sony Sugar. However Robert Matano’s charges have scored six goals in the last two games to recover from their sorry start.

Their resurgence will however be checked by a stubborn Vihiga United side who have the second best defensive record in the league so far after Mathare United. Mike Mururi’s charges have only conceded twice in four games and Tusker need to be at their best to break them down.

At the heart of Vihiga’s defensive performance has been skipper Bernard Ochieng’. Mururi will hope his imposing captain will lead from the front as he eyes a third clean sheet. The two goals they have conceded have come after the 80th minute mark and concentration has to improve to deny Tusker.

Western Stima players celebrate their opening goal during their SportPesa Premier League match against Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club on December 29, 2018. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |

Western Stima players celebrate their opening goal during their SportPesa Premier League match against Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club on December 29, 2018. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT |NATION MEDIA GROUP

7.Stima could make another statement

Western Stima have looked more than decent following their return to the top tier. Unbeaten in four matches, the powermen have claimed the scalps of big teams notably Tusker at home.

They made a big statement on the road last time out picking a point against Bandari at the fortress that is Mbaraki.  Paul Ogai’s 100 per cent record at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu will come under threat as a regular top four side, Sofapaka, visits.

He will draw encouragement from the fact that Batoto ba Mungu have conceded seven goals in four matches. Only KCB and Mt Kenya United have conceded more. Sofapaka’s porous defence makes them ripe fodder for a shock loss at the hands of Stima who have proved tough customers at home.

If Stima score first in Kisumu, Sofapaka might find it difficult to even claim a point.

Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala instructing his players during a past training session. PHOTO | ABDULRAHMAN SHERIFF |

Bandari FC head coach Bernard Mwalala instructing his players during a past training session. PHOTO | ABDULRAHMAN SHERIFF |NATION MEDIA GROUP

8.Away points central to Bandari’s title ambitions

After picking four points in his first two games on the road, Bernard Mwalala must have realized that winning the title will be hinged on their away record.

Still unbeaten, Bandari have dropped two points at home after being held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima last time out. With the SPL returnees showing that teams can pick points at Mbaraki, the Dockers have to compensate for that by winning away.

The away trip to Kericho to face 16th placed Zoo, who have lost thrice in four games, could yield at least a point if the Dockers turn up like they did against Sofapaka and KCB at Machakos.

9.Omondi needs a clean sheet at Awendo

Sony Sugar’s resurgence last season was fuelled by Enock Agwanda’s return to form as well as a string of good saves from Kevin Omondi. It was no surprise Omondi was voted the third best goalkeeper in the league.

However he has had a poor start to the season having kept only one clean sheet, conceding four goals in as many matches. In fact, he has conceded twice at Awendo Green Stadium, a place the Millers have turned into a poor hunting ground for visiting teams over the years.

Kakamega Homeboyz’s forwards Maxwell Ravel and Peter Thiong’o will want to continue with their good start to the season and Omondi has his work cut out as he looks to register his first clean sheet at home.



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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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