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Ruto tells off Uhuru ally over 2022 race

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Deputy President William Ruto yesterday declared war on those plotting to stop his State House march in 2022.

Speaking in his Sugoi home but without naming names, the DP vowed to fight off all attempts to stop him from succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said in Jubilee opponents will find serious political contenders and it would not be a walk in the park for those who are not well prepared.

Kenyatta’s term will end in three years and eight months. His ally and Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe has told Ruto to retire with his boss since he too would have served 10 years under the same ticket. He has also said Jubilee has no presidential candidate and that Rift Valley should forward another candidate instead of Ruto.

Yesterday Ruto did not make any direct reference to Murathe but his remarks seemed to suggest he was responding to him.

“There are people trying to fight me or push me out of Jubilee. I can tell them that I am ready for them,” he said.

The DP said any politician eyeing the top seat in 2022 would have to fight for it. He warned that no amount of endorsement would elevate the prospects of any candidates with no development track record.

“There are those hanging around, waiting for endorsements. How do you expect to be endorsed if you have no agenda or programme for the country?” posed Ruto.

He said candidates should seek leadership through political parties with a national outlook.

“I am ready to battle with anybody. Let my competitors put on the table what they have done for this country,” he said.

Ruto spoke during a meeting of delegations from Bungoma and Busia counties at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu.

Leaders in attendance were the Speaker of the Senate Ken Lusaka, Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong, Bungoma woman representative Catherine Wambilianga, MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West).

Other MPs were James Lusweti (Kabuchai), John Waluke (Sirisia), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Mwambu Mabonga (Bumula), Geoffrey Omuse (Teso South), Oku Kaunya (Teso North) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret).

Read: DP Ruto should retire in 2022 – Murathe

The Deputy President invited anyone who wanted to vie against him, saying he was not scared of competition.

He said he would not support the proposed change of the Constitution if it would burden taxpayers.

“Anything that seeks to impede the fruits of devolution would also be opposed. We would want to see reforms that would make counties thrive,” he said.

Ojaamong said despite the challenges facing devolution, the coming of counties has had a huge impact on the distribution of resources across the country.

He pledged to work with Ruto to realise more development.

“We are past party politics. We would want to see working relationships forged among leaders,” the Busia governor said.

Ruto has set his eyes on winning over the populous Luhya vote in the hope that they and the Kalenjin can help propel him to State House.

Apart from hosting delegations from the region, in December alone the DP made more than five visits to Western. The latest was on Monday when he attended a bull fighting function in Ikolomani.

Western is made up of five counties and has 1.8 million registered voters, according to the IEBC records: Vihiga ( 267,481 ), Kakamega ( 746,870 ), Busia ( 347,911 ) and Bungoma ( 559,897 ).

In the last election, Jubilee won four parliamentary seats (Mumias East, Navakholo, Malava and Ikolomani) while in Bungoma, the ruling party captured Kimilili, Webuye West, Mt Elgon and Sirisia, denting ODM’s hold of the region.

Ruto is now hoping to build on Jubilee’s as he prepares for 2022.

In the second half of last year, not a month passed without him conducting a harambee in Western, launching a development project or in some cases repeating the launch of a road already launched by Kenyatta.

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On Monday at Malinya stadium in Kakamega Ruto met Knut representatives from Kakamega South. He later met 500 pastors at Lurambi MP Titus Khamala’s home. He wound up his visit watching a football match in Matungu.

The DP is using politicians, clergymen and teachers to push his way into Western Kenya.

After the handshake between Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga in March last year, Ruto has stepped up his efforts to win over Western Kenya leaders.

Read: Ruto not right man to lead after Uhuru, says Murathe

His key allies and point men in the region now include Lusaka, former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, his Sirisia counterpart John Waluke and Sports CS Rashid Echesa. Others are Mumias East MP Ben Washiali, Navakholo’s Emmanuel Wangwe, Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Moses Malulu (Malava) and Dan Wanyama (Webuye West).

Bungoma woman representative Catherine Wambilianga , MPs Moses Mabonga (Bumula) and Omboko Milemba of Emuhaya are in his camp.

Wambilianga told the Star the region is keen on backing leaders who focus on development.

“We are no longer interested in party based politics. We will support the Deputy President who has shown the energy to change our country,” she said yesterday.

Washiali said Western region was shifting from the politics of handouts and empty promises to one that is focused on the betterment of the lives of people.

“This development that we aspire to have will come from the partnerships and working engagements from leaders with people’s interest at heart,” he said.

Read: Our support for DP Ruto in 2022 unshakeable, over 20 MPs say

Mabonga said they were united in supporting Ruto as President Kenyatta’s successor in 2022, noting that the region’s development plan had been stained by its historical ties with Opposition politics.

“We do not want to remain behind in terms of development again. We are going to have friends who will change the lives of the people,” he added.

Milemba said he would continue working closely with the government for the benefit of his people.

“My people have given me a go-ahead to work with Ruto in addressing the challenges facing them. My short time with the Deputy President has yielded fruits in terms of development projects for my people,” Milemba said.

The inroads being made by the DP however are running into headwinds with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula are ganging up against him.

Political commentator Isaac Wanjekeche said Ruto’s point men in the region lack capacity to entrench him.

“The sooner he changes the approach the better for him because the electorate see those he is using as brokers out to benefit themselves. He should use the structured leadership which has been proposed to him not once or twice,” he said.

“For as long as he continues to sidestep Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Wamalwa, he will continue getting it wrong by use of kangaroo methods,” he said.

Political analyst Martin Oloo said the DP’s approach will not achieve desired results because he is working his way from top to bottom.

“He is walking around with MPs and MCAs and not the people. The style of giving people money to proclaim support for you is outdated,” he said.

Oloo said the DP’s camp is suffering because of the characters it is attracting. Most of the followers do not seem to understand what the people in the region want and are trying to lord the DP over them.

However Lusaka, Barasa and Waluke differed with Oloo saying Ruto is the man of the moment in the region and will get votes in 2022.

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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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