By The Coast Newspaper Team
Over one thousand pupils from Malindi and Kilifi Counties are the latest beneficiaries from a partnership between Safaricom Foundation, Tinga Tinga Tales Foundation and the Coca Cola Company through the Know and Grow initiative.
The 1227 pupils from Tsangatsini Primary School in Kaloleni, Kilifi County and 250 others from Chasimba Primary School in Malindi sub County each received an ECD classroom, a block of latrines and a 10,000 litre water tank for rain water harvesting all valued at over Kshs 1.7 million.
“Safaricom Foundation has since inception dedicated millions of resources to empowering schools in marginalized areas. Our work is driven by the Sustainable Development Goals, a set of goals that aim at reducing poverty in the world. They are objectives that we aim to achieve as we strive to place Kenya in the world map as a nation that has attained the said goals for its people. In line with our Twaweza spirit, we believe in coming together to make great things happen and making a child’s life easier is a great start,” said John Kinoti, Senior Manager, Finance, Safaricom Foundation.
Mr. Kinoti said that through the Know and Grow Initiative, the three organisations’ are working towards meeting Goal 17 of the SDGs that calls for partnerships geared at achieving the set targets.
“We are grateful to Safaricom Foundation, Tinga Tinga Tales Foundation and the Coca Cola Company for coming together and making a huge impact to this school and the community too. The pupils now have a conducive learning environment which will further boost their morale for learning,” said Nelson Toya, headmaster, Tsangatsini Primary School.
“We are glad that our children now have room for learning and will not have to go to the bushes to relieve themselves as we now have good facilities,” said Christopher Karisa, headmaster, Chasimba Primary School.
The Know and Grow initiative is a partnership where Safaricom Foundation, Tinga Tinga Tales Foundation and Coca-Cola bring together funding, technical and project management expertise to transform disadvantaged schools.
This project comes in two phases whereby in the first phase, 37 schools had a number of their amenities renovated or constructed from scratch. With this second phase, selected schools will benefit from the construction of pit latrines and the installation of a 10, 000 litre water tank.
These schools are selected with the help of the National Poverty Index report (2009), where beneficiary Primary Schools in areas with limited education opportunities are identified.
Safaricom Foundation partners with Kenyan communities, organizations and institutions to improve and transform lives.
With a footprint in all of Kenya’s 47 counties, and a strong history of partnerships dating back to our inception in 2003, the Safaricom Foundation has worked with Speed, Simplicity and Trust to implement over 1,000 community projects, impacting over 3 million people, through our thematic areas of Health, Education, Environmental Conservation, Economic Empowerment, Water, Disaster Relief, and Arts & Culture.
By Peter Kombe
Civil society organizations in Mombasa County dubbed Mombasa County Health Advocacy Network (MCHANE) have decried the challenges facing the health sector in the country arguing that the sector is not fully devolved.
Speaking to journalists at the Wesley Methodist Church in Mombasa on Tuesday Tom Nga’r the programs officer at Coast Women In development CWID said initially the health sector was a national function but was partially devolved with ushering in of the new constitution.
The CWID official attributed the nurses’ strike to the deteriorating health sector throughout the country.
“This has led to the ongoing nurses’ strike that has been going on throughout the country.” Ngar insisted
He outlined that counties currently counties do not have a full mandate to execute the health function as they rely on the national government in laying out their health strategies.
On the other hand, Naima Omar, a community health volunteer from Shimanzi area pointed out that most of the people they attend to hail from poverty stricken families where the CHVs are forced to provide for their basic needs.
“Most of the people we deal with come from poor backgrounds and as CHVs we are forced to provide for them. Surely this is pathetic.” Naima lamented.
She urged the county governments, and the national government at large to come to an agreement so that the nurses’ strike can be terminated decrying the high number of Kenyans who have lost their lives throughout the country for lack of medical care.
She called on the western donors, local donors and community health volunteers to go back to the grassroots level where there are many medically related deaths.
At the same time, Charity Chahasi the Executive Director of Tunaweza Women With Disabilities urged the county governments to construct disability friendly health facilities where the disabled groups will have a quicker access to them.
“I urge the counties to construct environmentally friendly health facilities so that the disabled groups can have an easy access to.” She said
She further urged the county governments to employ more sign language interpreters who will assist the disabled groups.
The event which was organized by Mombasa County Health Advocacy Network aimed at explaining to the public how to access good health facilities, how the Mombasa county health bills and their benefit to the society and the overall management function.
Over thirty civil society organizations attended the two day training session spear-headed by Tom Nga’r, the programs officer at Coast Women In Development.
Prof. Dr. Halimu Shauri
Kenya concluded its August 8th 2017 general elections in disarray at the presidential level, whose results were contested and resolved at the Supreme Court, the highest court of the land. Why the highest you may ask? Because there is no room for appeal once a ruling is made. The Court decision on the presidential petition by NASA was a subject of anxiety and it affected the social, economic and political life of the country. You may be asking how? The whole country was fearful of what would be the outcome of the Supreme Court Judgement. The Jubilee side was confident that their win based on “numbers” will not be annulled. Why? Because Supreme Court annulments of presidential elections, all over the world, historically had only been done three times and Kenya would join the league of democratic nations with respect on the rule of law if it would have done so. Indeed, Kenya became the fourth and first in Africa to annul a presidential election, making history especially after the international observers had declared the elections free and fair based on orderly ques and peaceful voting only. The observers failed to know that observing an election is not equivalent to looking. They must have known the difference between observing and election and looking. I will write another article soon to expound on this idea so that I don’t lose focus here.
During the Supreme Court proceedings, the NASA side was exuding confidence that this time around things MUST be different. They were not ready inside the court and outside to accept a verdict reminiscent of the 2013 Supreme Court ruling in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Indeed, the Supreme Court ruling was a big surprise to all and sundry, Jubilee and NASA alike. The whole country, which was at the verge of bursting in tension, breathed a sigh of relief. The country was like a huge balloon full of hot air ready to burst but alas, the President of the Supreme Court saved the country from the outcome of the contested presidential poll. Justice Maraga and his team immediately entered the books of history in the world, especially Africa, by saving and making Kenya proud. Why you may ask? By making Kenya the first country in Africa to nullify a presidential election and in the world where it joined the league of other three great democratic nations to nullify a presidential election. What followed and is ensuing after the ruling is something that is in the public domain and worrisome to many of us. How? You may be wondering.
Immediately, Justice Maraga received his accolades for setting history in the world, the losers went on the grieving mode. You are aware, as I am that in any contestation there is a winner and a loser. The winner celebrates and the looser cries. When IEBC announced the Jubilee presidential candidate as a winner, the Jubilites went on celebration mood and the NASArists went on a grieving mode. This
celebration was not long lived and the aggrieved went to court, whose aftermath made the losers winners in their petition and the tables of celebration were turned. This was important for Kenya, especially where the tension had reached and it was historic in electioneering space where both competing sides had a chance to celebrate a win in the same election. You may be wondering why am saying this? Kenya was at a crossroad especially with regard to the presidential elections because the same contenders who ended in the Supreme Court in 2013 were head to head in the election again. Additionally, the events happening in between such as the cruel death an election official the late Cris Msando, heightened the tension and suspicion for a free and fair elections.
The events as they unfolded were a test of independence of institutions in Kenya. From the foregoing IEBC seemed to have had challenges managing their independence then. This confirmed the English saying, that he who laughs last laughs longest after the Supreme Court ruling. However, a little correction to the saying that NASA should not think that longest laugh is ideal. They need to get serious and strategize and campaign seriously. In fact, the events and ruling have seen the country being treated to swaggers from all sides. The Supreme Court has been a subject of vilification by Jubilee leaders, which was expected. Why was it expected? Because any mediator or referee, whether guided by culture, tradition, law or a holy book, makes their judgement not pleasing to the loser. However, the country was very lucky for the double celebrations. IEBC, without due regard to the process announced the winner based on “numbers”, while the Supreme Court said the loser (the petitioner) is the winner not based on numbers but on the process. They punched holes on the entire electoral process. You may be wondering are numbers and process equal in weight in making a judicial ruling? You may be wondering!!
This question reminds me of my high school mathematics teacher, whose name I will not mention here because of the obvious reasons of not marketing my school to you here. More precisely, he used to tell us the answer is nothing in a mathematical computation than the way you arrive at the answer. Indeed, he used to award a lot of marks for the process of reaching at the answer and only one mark for the correct answer. This way some of us learnt that the process is more important than the result. This skill has helped me and many others in my class that everything has a process and the process is not only important but more important than the result. In fact, all things in the world are guided by two things, theory and practice, akin to process and result. From the moment of birth to death we learn processes and practice those processes. We learn how to call members who bring us to the world correctly, aka dad and mom, and many others due to the process of socialization. Indeed, fathers are called fathers because theoretically we are told they are called so and mothers are called so because we are socialized so. Have you wondered that fathers could have been called mothers and mothers’ fathers if we were told they are called so in the process of learning as children? What about the day and night? If day was said to be the night and night as day during the process of our socialization, believe me you, it would be so today and no one would contest. You may ask how is this possible? This is because reality, such as a stone, day, night, mother, father, sister, brother etc is socially constructed. This means that society construct this reality guide by its culture, traditions, norms among other guidelines. Our cultures prescribe that we cannot do this or that and we comply, sometimes without question and says you can do this and nobody questions because it is the expected norm. Let Kenyans know and learn that the process is as weighty as the result, and probably weightier. Why am I giving this long lesson here? You may be asking.
Yes, allow me to answer by saying that Kenya was at a crossroad after the declaration of the winner of the presidential election and animosity was simmering till when the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the petitioner. Immediately, the IEBC winner went into a grieving mode, and as all grieving people do, got involved in many blunders putting the country in post-Supreme Court ruling tension and that of a fresh presidential election, never been witnessed in the history of Kenya. This is because the win was declared null and void by the Supreme Court, meaning there was no winner in the presidential race. Jubilee had the “numbers” as claimed but the IEBC but the Supreme Court ruled that the process was flawed. For once Kenyans, Africa and the world was brought to the reality that the process is as good as the result. That anything acceptable, just and authentic must meet the criteria of integrity and validity of the process. It is then that the product becomes reliable and of good quality. The fresh presidential election has put the country into another situation of tension, anxiety, name calling and threats. You may be wondering how?
Jubilee is saying that they are ready to go for the repeat presidential poll with the same referee, while NASA is saying that the referee, in the language of the Court that I learned during the proceedings, the first respondent (IEBC) should be reformed. In my earlier Article in this newspaper, Scenario Building in Kenya’s presidential election 2017: Is it Uhuru or Raila Or Kenya is going to the ballot again? Available online, I predicted this repeat election hypothetically and provided the possible scenarios that will help the country come out of this quagmire in case it happened. The Almighty actualized my hypothesis; indeed, it is no longer speculation as was insinuated in my 24th August 2017 Article, its real we are going to the presidential polls afresh. Read what possible scenarios I proposed then because I asked the question, who will be the possible referee? I also gave the demerit of each of the possible referees is the hypothesized rematch between Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, which has become a reality. I know some of you don’t like reading much and are wondering why don’t you repeat it here?
I will only fire one salvo here for those who don’t want to get the details I gave in the Article in the Coast Newspaper, available online or on my Facebook page. I intimated that the best way is to reform IEBC to accommodate the worrying parties, NASA and Jubilee. As at now, the later wants status quo in IEBC and are claiming to be ready for the elections because probably status quo served them well. However, the Supreme Court in its ruling punched holes on IEBC as currently constituted that they were not able to make the process credible. They delivered results yes, the results showed Jubilee to be the winners yes, but the process was put in doubt by NASA in a presidential petition and this was beyond reasonable doubt as proved in court to the conviction of the Judges and this led to the nullification of the winner. NASA has now made demands based on the ruling that IEBC must be reformed and those who committed crime by subverting the process be removed and prosecuted. This is the reason why I say Kenya is at a crossroad!! Why? You may say as this is normal.
I would not personally look at this as normal. Apparently, I call for serious thought in law and action by the director of public prosecution with regard to the alleged crimes by IEBC officials. Why you may ask? Because subversion of an election is not just a simple crime like stealing groundnuts from a peasant farmer!!! It’s a serious crime that can lead criminal proceedings in the International Criminal Court (ICC). It is actually a crime that borders and can trigger genocide or crimes against humanity as happened in the aftermath of the 2007 elections. Have we thought seriously as Kenyans what IEBC would have put the country into? Suppose President Uhuru Kenyatta behaved badly and refused the
Supreme Court judgement!! What would have happened? Your guess is better than mine. Where would Kenya be now according to your intelligent guess? I don’t want to tell you because the lessons of Post-Election Violence are still fresh in your mind. If it did happen this time, it would not have been President Uhuru Kenyatta nor the Right Prime Minister or even the Supreme Court to blame but IEBC. I leave you to internalize this and ask a final question of my article. Which is the way forward then?
Both Jubilee and NASA should first tow down on their competitive remarks by conducting their campaigns maturely and soberly. Uhuru and Raila and their teams should show maturity and decorum in the conduct of their repeat campaigns. It is one thing to make history by having our Supreme Court becoming the fourth in the world to nullify a presidential election and it is another thing when such an eventuality will break the country into pieces due to irresponsible political rhetoric. It is only logical and objective that IEBC is reformed to the satisfaction of the contenders. From an objective point of view IEBC should reform because this is what the Supreme Court of Kenya demanded. If the Supreme Court, an Independent Institution said the election was flawed and due process should be followed, it should be followed. Let our leaders’ respect the process and IEBC has no choice but to comply. The law is clear if you make a mistake you must answer your charges in a court of law and if in your work place you are subjected to a disciplinary process. IEBC without, fear or favour, should do the honourable and expected thing in any organization by following the law and its policies. One is left wondering if IEBC has a disciplinary mechanism for its employees! Employees make mistakes and they are told to continue, imagine! I would suggest sobriety and objectivity of the top leadership of IEBC, Jubilee and NASA on who conducts the repeat poll and what are the minimum reforms that will make the two parties, Jubilee and NASA, satisfied and comfortable.
The present scenario of Jubilee to go on as it were and NASA to boycott the election is not healthy for the country. These two hard stands are setting the country into an irreparable path of damage. There will be no Kenya to be proud of if the two contenders don’t sober up. Why would two people hold the country at ransom? Let them be statesmen and agree to minimum reforms, akin to those held in the yesteryears under the Inter Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG) arrangement. Why don’t we borrow, not from outside the country, but from our own IPPG history? Why don’t our leaders agree to disagree on the constitution of the New IEBC that will make all of them satisfied on the credibility of the repeat presidential polls? They need to cede ground each and meet at the middle. Why? This is because any competition requires the rules that guide it to be known, free, fair and acceptable to all the competitors. Let Jubilee, NASA and IEBC dialogue on an IPPG arrangement. Let Kenya be above all of our personal interests. Kenya was there; it is there and let it be there after the fresh presidential elections. Let the advisers of the two top leader show them that Kenya is larger than the two of them and that they must desist going down in history for tearing the country apart and killing democracy in pursuant of their political interests. Let them cease from making Kenya a Demon-crazy and not a democracy. Those who dialogue and agree on contentious issues attain peace in their hearts because they are doing the right thing. Such wisdom is Solominic and closer to the Lord. Let IEBC, Jubilee and NASA sober and style up; long live Kenya.