Comprising of a great majority of the people, the Kenyan youth have been greatly factorwd in the changes anticipated through the Building Bridges Initiative. Factoring in that the youth make 20 per cent of all Kenyans, the country’s youth population is made up of over 9.5 million people.
Through the initiative, youth matters revolving around businesses, are set to benefit financially as the BBI has put into consideration Youth starting micro and medium-sized enterprises as they will be granted a tax holiday alongside other incentives to expand business opportunities and innovation. This will go a long way in reducing youth unemployment, crime and even improve the general social fabric of the society
Having read and understood the report many youth have taken it upon themselves to educate their counterparts on the Initiative and it’s benefits. With assured peace, stability and premised on unity, the youth have taken it upon themselves to educate their peers and even the elderly on the benefits of the BBI. This is so because inclusivity is also among the key pillars of the report.
Futuristic and set to benefit generations,young people starting small businesses will be allowed to operate for seven years without paying taxes. This is meant to empower the youth through self employment and job creation, and will mainly cover micro and medium-sized enterprises with the tax holiday coming alongside other incentives to expand business opportunities and innovation.
The BBI report is an opportunity for growth of the youth that will have a ripple effect to the society and generations to come.
A section of Members of Parliaments allied to Deputy President William Ruto has called for mitigation measures for residents of the five counties currently under lockdown, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Led by Kikuyu Member of Parliament Kimani Ichungwah, a former Chairperson of the National Assembly Budget Committee, the legislators urged the government to use the recently approved Sh257 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to support the worst hit groups especially small-scale businesses.
Also present during the press conference was Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika and Dagoretti South MP John Kiarie.
“The situation on the ground is different. Things on the ground are difficult for our people. Immediate and urgent measures need to be instituted and all efforts and energy be re-directed to this devastating situation facing our people,” Kihika said.
“Failure to respond to the situation will be tantamount to fueling the brewing anger and desperation among the people. A situation that can only be catastrophic for our lovely nation.”
Kihika urged the government to institute urgent measures that will cushion Kenyans against an economic meltdown caused by the pandemic and worsened by some of the containment measures.
The situation is even precarious for the zoned counties of Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos, Nakuru and Nairobi, where the President directed bars to be closed while eateries are only providing takeaway services.
“In order to meet the stringent IMF conditions attached to these loans approvals, it is imperative that the country embarks on an aggressive programme towards fiscal consolidation driven by growth in revenue in order to sustainably manage both the debt levels and debts serviceability,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
“It is our strong believe that this will be achievable only through the expansion of our taxes and not by overtaxing the existing base of taxpayers.”
The National Treasury said the newly acquired facility, which is under the IMF’s Extended Credit Facility and Extended Fund Facility, includes an initial disbursement of Sh79 billion, due for release by June 30th, 2021.
Treasury further revealed a total of Sh33.7 billion will be released immediately and will be used for budget support.
Commenting on the approval of the facility, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair Antoinette Sayeh said the facility will also be used to safeguard resources to protect vulnerable groups
Sayeh said the COVID-19 shock has exacerbated the country’s pre-existing fiscal vulnerabilities, but said its debt remains sustainable.
She however warned that Kenya is at high risk of debt distress.
“To address debt-related risks, the authorities have taken action to hold the fiscal deficit and debt ratios to 8.7 and 70.4 per cent of GDP, respectively, this fiscal year. Fiscal and balance-of-payments financing needs remain sizable over the medium term,” she said.
Education is one of the key pillars of development in any country. The main motive of education is to
impart knowledge to all learners in a well-defined curriculum.
However, with the emergence of Covid-19, education and learning seems to have been highly differentiated and it is important to understand the meaning of the two and look at the future of both. Jeff Cobb, a renowned author of the book Philosophically Speaking defines learning as “the lifelong
process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, behaviors, and attitudes”.
According to him, education is just a small component of learning. In this sense, education and learning are related. However, learning is much broader and does not necessarily dwell on acquisition of knowledge and skills, but emphasises on lifelong transformation. This clearly denotes that learning starts way before we enter education institutions.
In the pre-Covid period, learning and education seemed to have been equal because learning was synonymous with being physically in school. Online learning was a rare item, especially for secondary and primary school children. In fact, it was almost inconceivable to imagine that learning would happen at home.
Following the spread of the pandemic, schools adopted online learning through Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. Many online learning systems started to emerge with some stand-alone
learning platforms while others came in as complete Learning Management Systems (LMS), incorporating distance-learning modules.
Of all the systems sampled in the market, LMS offer a very comprehensive approach; similar to web-based platforms for the same category of users. Covid-19 has formalised homeschooling for basic education. A keen look at the curriculum that was proposed for Community Based Learning, shows that the crisis has ushered in a complete transformation in the education sector.
Some of the areas of emphasis are entrepreneurship, financial management, innovations, design thinking, coding and programming, whose intention was to create self-reliant individuals from our learning undertakings. Through the LMS, pupils have also expanded their learning skills. The big question remains, “what is the future of learning in Kenya post Covid-19?.
Teachers should be more innovative in delivering content to supplement physical learning. Additionally, the government ought to play a bigger role in policy-making and quality control and leave the management of schools to private entrepreneurs to enhance growth and quality. Examination bodies will also need to find new ways of assessment. Exams will change in terms of both the nature, content and management.
This will eventually digitise the learner’s portfolio and keep a long-term stage-by-stage performance record of the learners. There should also be a consideration of digital libraries. As part of making learning truly transformative, some old learning areas will start to fade. Key areas to watch will be financial management for youth, entrepreneurship, innovation and design thinking, coding, photography and videography.
Enhanced parent-teacher school engagements should replace a diary that only communicates after the
pupils reach their homes. In conclusion, learning will change drastically. This is not just in learning institutions but the same dynamics that apply across various sectors, business lines and even the social or nonprofit-based institutions.
Lawyer John Khaminwa has walked out of court during the hearing of former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s corruption case.
Khaminwa cited bias in the form of not being furnished with the proper documents as the reason for walking out of the proceedings, while also questioning the decision by the court to exclude media from coverage.
“I have left the courtroom. I do not think it will be fair for me to be a party to proceedings where I don’t have even have instructions from the governor, and as such, I will not be of use to the former governor,” he said outside Milimani Law court on Tuesday.
Lawyer Khaminwa added he didn’t any reason for the media to be absent from the hearing, given it was a public hearing.
“Under Article 50 of the Constitution, the media represents the public and there is no way you can shut it out,” Khaminwa said.
Further, he added that one of the accused persons in the case had tested positive for the coronavirus and that an application to Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti to adjourn the hearing given the circumstances was rejected.
The former Governor is appearing at the Milimani Law court for the hearing of an Sh10 million corruption case.
The hearing is being held outside the chambers as per the Covid-19 protocols.
Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti had earlier dismissed an application for adjournment by Sonko’s defense lawyers, saying an independent medical report shows that he is fit to stand trial.
Magistrate Ogoti ruled that a psychiatric report shows the former governor is mentally sound.
On March 4, Ogoti also dismissed an application by the ex-governor to recuse himself from handling his (Sonko’s) case.
The magistrate ruled that Sonko’s defense team had failed to provide sufficient evidence to prove his alleged bias and attempts to subvert justice.
Sonko’s case has been on since September 2020.
Of late, Sonko has been in and out of court from Nairobi Hospital where he had been admitted until last week.
Sonko has been appearing in court in the company of a medical worker and is facing an Sh10 million graft case before Trial Magistrate Douglas Ogoti and another Sh14 million corruption case before Anti-Corruption Court Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ooko.
It is true indeed that President Uhuru Kenyatta is in a catch-22 situation as Kenyans wait anxiously for his address that will see a review of the Covid -19 measures that had been initially been put in place.
For the past one year, since the first case was announced, the country has had its ups and downs, but the government has gone all out in protecting Kenyans in all ways through education and awareness, institution of strict measures to follow regarding observing social distance and washing hands vis-à-vis use of sanitizers. The government went all out and engaged in partnerships to facilitate provision of protective gear, and flooding the markets with free sanitizers to make it affordable to everyone while providing others for free. Being a war that required unity in effort, we were all urged to take up responsibility from an individual level in order to protect ourselves and the country at large. This has gone far and wide in limiting infections but we are still in the fight and we must fight on.
Indeed, we all want an open and free economy, we would all want the restrictions to be eased or removed but the reality of the matter is that we have just entered the Third wave of Covid-19 that has now been worsened with a different more lethal strain that is sweeping people in masses.
It is no surprise that the numbers have gone up despite the commencement of vaccination for our frontline workers. But as this takes we are fighting a war within a war. The vaccine is limited and must be administered in two doses therefore we cannot say we are safe. We are grateful that our education institutions are up and running but we must not lax and go back to normalcy because the country is still in a frying pan. Recently we have seen former Prime Minister attest to the fact that Covid-19 is real and it is if you have never been infected.
He is quoted saying
“I wish to use this opportunity to emphasize to our people that COVID-19 is real, it is in our midst and we need to observe all the measures being put out by the government, scientists and health personnel.
If we are to choose between life and death we would definitely chose life which in the current situation requires us to take more precaution in protecting ourselves and our loved one against the virus. For it is indeed for our own good. With the current happenings, we must embrace the next measures instituted because we are still under threat from this invisible enemy called COVID-19.
Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has claimed all is not well between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga amid the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Bill debate.
In a video, the vocal Tanga Tanga lawmaker said the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader had been restricted from accessing President Uhuru Kenyatta in recent days.
“I have heard that the man who likes riddles (Raila) has been locked out despite having a handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Some of us were also kicked out and we do not know who is next.
Even in the Coastal region, Raila was not received well,” Murkomen said.
“We were told this handshake is a good thing but we did not expect it to divide us because as you have seen some people have been sidelined. The politics of deceit must come to an end. To include a few is to exclude the rest of Kenyans from the decision-making table,” he added.
Raila has been enjoying a cordial relationship with Uhuru’s administration since March 9, 2018, when they ceased hostilities in a historic event at Harambee House, Nairobi. The former Prime Minister, however, has distanced himself from the failures of the Jubilee government and asked its leadership to take responsibility for the mess.
In November 2020, Murkomen claimed Raila had confused Uhuru and held him, hostage, through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
“I want to ask Uhuru, return the river to its course. Let Kenya come back to its senses. Let’s reason with one another. I am saying this to Uhuru because Raila is not even a sub-Chief but he has confused the government.
I cannot address someone who is not even a sub-Chief. Stop associating with Raila,” he said during the burial of Naivasha lawmaker Jane Kihara’s mother’s burial in Nyeri.