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UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus

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AFP

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British MP Nadine Dorries, a minister in the health department, has tested positive for coronavirus, she said in a statement on Tuesday, raising concerns about whether senior government figures have been infected.

“I can confirm I have tested positive for coronavirus… and have been self-isolating at home,” said the Conservative MP.

Health officials are now trying to trace where she contracted the virus and who she has been in contact with, she added.

Six people have died in Britain from the virus, with more than 370 confirmed cases.

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Dorries, who helped craft the legislation to fight the bug, is the first British politician to be diagnosed with Covid-19.

The Times reported that she had been in touch with hundreds of people, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

She fell unwell on Friday while signing the document that declared coronavirus a notifiable disease, meaning companies could obtain insurance cover, said the paper, adding she was now believed to be on the road to recovery.

“I would like to thank… the wonderful NHS staff who have provided me with advice and support,” she said, referring to Britain’s National Health Service.

The shocking news is likely to increase calls to suspend parliament, despite the government’s reluctance to do so in the middle of a health crisis.

Her boss Matt Hancock, who is leading Britain’s response, tweeted that he was “sorry to hear Nadine has tested positive for coronavirus.

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“She has done the right thing by self-isolating at home, and both NHS and PHE (Public Health England) staff have been brilliant. We all wish her well as she recovers,” he added.

“We will do all we can to keep people safe, based on the best possible science.”

Finance minister Rishi Sunak will on Wednesday unveil the government’s first post-Brexit budget, with all eyes on emergency government measures to ease the economic pain from the coronavirus outbreak.

He is expected to give the state-run National Health Service whatever it needs to help combat the virus and promise temporary support for businesses hit by cash flow issues.

The Bank of England’s incoming chief Andrew Bailey last week said UK-based companies would need help in the face of disruption to supplies caused by the virus.

Budget airlines Ryanair and EasyJet said they will cancel all Italian flights until early April after the government ordered the entire country locked down because of the virus, leaving thousands of people unable to return home.

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Amend law to give counties more money, Ottichilo urges: The Standard

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Governor Wilber Ottichilo (centre), his deputy Patrick Saisi (left) and county officials dance in honour of the late John Nzenze during the Madaraka Day press briefing in Vihiga. [Nathan Ochunge, Standard]

WesternGovernor proposes increasing funding to counties from the current 15 per cent to at least 40 per cent.

Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo has called for constitutional amendments that will see county governments get an increase in revenue allocation to spur economic growth within the devolved units.

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Dr Ottichilo, who was speaking in Mbale town yesterday, asked the committee working on the harmonisation of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report to include the proposal of increasing funding to counties from the current 15 per cent to at least 40 per cent.
Ottichilo said that the increased funding will ensure counties have enough money to spur economic growth as well their development agenda since they will be managing their own IFMIS system.
“I am hopeful that Kenyans will support the amendment of the constitution for a better Kenya,” the governor said.
SEE ALSO: Kenyans divided on call for law changes
Ghost workers
Ottichilo also revealed that he was undertaking a fresh audit of the county staff in order to get rid of ghost workers who have led to a bloated wage bill.
The county boss further told healthcare workers that they will be getting their pay on time to avert the now commonplace downing of tools.
“Issues of delayed salaries will be a thing of the past. Their promotions are being worked on by the County Public Service Board (CPSB) in the 2020/2021 financial year. I urge them to continue with the good job they are doing since the deadly virus is yet to be contained in the country,” said Ottichilo.
He has also expressed his sincere gratitude to the forefront health workers in the county for their exemplary efforts in helping residents prepare for the novel coronavirus despite the challenges they are facing. 
SEE ALSO: Uhuru: Why I can’t wait to change the law
“We shall forever be indebted for your kindness, hard work and resilience.”

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MCAs blame Atwoli, Oparanya for Wetang’ula woes and Luhya division: The Standard

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Kakamega County Assembly ward reps address the press at a Kakamega hotel, June 2. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

WesternReps says anyone seeking support of the Luhya must go through Mudavadi and Wetang’ula

Political temperatures in Western Kenya have heightened following the staged coup to oust Senator Moses Wetang’ula from Ford Kenya party leadership position.

Local leaders led by over 15 ANC Kakamega County Assembly ward reps yesterday pointed an accusing finger at the Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu-K) Secretary General Francis Atwoli and ODM leader Raila Odinga over the Wetang’ula party woes. 
The MCAs led by the Assembly’s Minority leader, David Ndakwa, accused Raila of using Mr Atwoli and Governor Wycliffe Oparanya to destabilise the leadership of Ford Kenya and ANC parties so as to benefit from the Luhya vote in the 2022 elections.
Four days ago, a coup in Ford Kenya saw Wetang’ula replaced by Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi as the acting party leader.
SEE ALSO: Nairobi’s new cycle lanes, walkways prompt ‘Uhuru and Raila’ night visit
The ward reps have vowed that anyone seeking the support of the Luhya community must first go through Musalia Mudavadi and Wetang’ula and not Atwoli or Governor Oparanya.
“Some people have taken our previous kindness for our weakness. We have helped them achieve their political ambitions using our innocent support in times of need at the ballot. They are now having illegal gatherings at Atwoli’s home in Kajiado to fight our own sons,” said Ndakwa.
He added: “Some of our leaders have succumbed to the political machinations and intimidations by our adversaries by accepting to participate in illegal gatherings serving the interests of other people. We therefore say no to these levels of deceit and conmanship.”
Ndakwa said ANC was solidly standing with Wetang’ula at a time when ‘dark forces’ attempted to stage a premature coup against him, adding that an enemy or the problem of Ford Kenya is also an enemy of ANC party.
“Any individual, community, parties or organisations willing to support or work with the Mulembe nation must channel such negotiations through Mudavadi and Wetang’ula our undisputed leaders,” said Ndakwa.
SEE ALSO: Msajili wa vyama asema Wetangula angali kinara wa Ford Kenya
Butsotso South MCA Walter Andati said other groupings led by Atwoli have no mandate of the community and therefore cannot speak on behalf of the community.
“They are telling us that they are strategising to be in the 2022 government but for us we want to form the next government and not to join others. Time for political auction is over. Other tribes have their kingpins and are always respected. We demand respect for Mudavadi and Wetang’ula,” said Mr. Andati.
“We are not cohabiting with the government or forming a coalition with them as we are not part of them. We are only cooperating with the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government over national issues like Covid-19, revival of economy and floods,” said Farouk Machanje, the Isukha South Ward Rep.
Kholera ward MCA Godliver Omondi and Kakamega ANC Youth leader Emmanuel Buchichi asked ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna to stop insulting Mudavadi since they are not equals. The two reminded him to stick to ODM party affairs.
Mr Sifuna on Sunday castigated Mudavadi for linking Raila to the woes facing Wetang’ula, terming Mudavadi as a perennially programmed leader, a professional mourner, fence sitter and one who sees the ghosts of ODM everywhere.
SEE ALSO: Kamar succeeds Kindiki as Senate deputy speaker
At the same time, Bishop George Mechumo has called on Atwoli to stop creating divisions in the Luhya community but instead unite them.
Bishop Mechumo of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Diocese of Bungoma faulted a move by Atwoli to take a section of Luhya leaders to his home in Kajiado where they planned matters affecting the community without the input of other leaders.
Mechumo said Atwoli should involve all and sundry stakeholders in Western Kenya to drive the common agenda of the community in clinching the Presidency which has been elusive from Independence.
“If he did proper consultations with other respected leaders we would have told him that from 1963 we have not lead the country and its high time to lead,” said Mechumo.

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President issues Executive Order on restructuring government

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has issued an executive order that has seen him abolish the Presidency and instead put the office of the deputy President under the office of the president.

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The new order also adds Nairobi Metropolitan Service as a public office adding it to to the Executive Office of the President.

One of the function of the Executive Office of the President is implementation of the Deed of Transfer of Functions executed between the National Government and  Nairobi City County  Government.

The order reads:

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“IN EXERCISE of the powers conferred by Article 132 (3) (b) of the Constitution, as read with all other enabling Laws, I, UHURU KENYATTA, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, order and direct:

“THAT the Government shall be organized as set out in this Order; (ii) THAT this Order contains portfolio responsibilities and changes made in the structure of Government; (iii) THAT this Order assigns functions and institutions among Ministries and State Departments; and (iv) THAT this Order supersedes Executive Order No. 1 of 2018 (Revised) issued in July 2018.”

Click here to see the order–>Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 formatted final Updated

 

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