Stay at home; Limit your freedom for the greater good of the public

Stay at home; Limit your freedom for the greater good of the public

We have witnessed the hardships, we have witnessed the failures and we have witnessed the success stories of countries that have managed to contain the spread of the coronavirus in countries such as Taiwan and Singapore. Kenya does not want to experience the worst and that is why the government is urging people to stay at home. Stay at home to protect yourself, to protect your family as well as your loved ones, your neighbours and the country at large.

The coronavirus does not respect persons, knows no boundaries, no titles, neither race nor any religious affiliations. No individual is immune to it. Therefore we must take the necessary precautions that have been provided by the government. This is what will save our country from having a massive outbreak as witnessed in Italy.

Apart from social distancing staying at home is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus and that means one should avoid public gatherings, avoid using public transport including taxis and shut doors to visitors no matter how close they may be. If you have an option of staying home, please do so for that could be the difference between life and death.

No one wants to be confined in a hospital. It is better to limit your freedom at home than to allow a disease to confine you into isolation. Those in hospital would wish to be at home with their loved ones, working but the vicious virus has caught up with them because they were exposed to an infected person along the way.

Staying at home is a protective measure that each and every one of us can enact as we only leave those who are health care providers and those in key sectors go to their work stations while taking the necessary precautions. Plan your workday, read books, play with your children, exercise, cook, clean, or even chat with loved ones online. All these are activities that people can undertake.

If you have to leave take the necessary precautions; use a hand sanitizer everywhere you go and wash your hands if you have access to soap and water. Avoid touching surfaces while walking up a flight of stairs or any other place and cough or sneeze on your elbow or use disposable tissue after which you wash your hands with soap and water. The essence is avoiding any spread as there is currently no cure for the COVID-19 disease. This is also the time that being your brother’s keeper is important as we should discourage those who are loitering around but have the option to stay home, to actually stay home.

Countries such as Italy, Iran, Spain and USA are working on flattening the curve to relieve health workers, and facilities of the pressure it has created on them. Despite having the best facilities and the most resourceful the facilities they have now seem  inadequate due to the high number of cases. Key to this is making the infection growth fall. Therefore, Kenyans must stay at home and follow the government directives. If you must go out take the necessary precautions given and avoid touching your face. Maintain the social distance at all times.

BE ALERT: How you can tell the difference between coronavirus and common cold

BE ALERT: How you can tell the difference between coronavirus and common cold

Death from Coronavirus usually occurs by around day 17. But it’s important to note that the death rate is currently just 1-2%.

Coronavirus is known to have several nasty symptoms, ranging from a fever to breathing difficulties.

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However, COVID-19 also shares many characteristics with the common cold, making it tricky to know if you have it.

After studying 138 patients, scientists at the Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University have been able to produce a day-by-day breakdown of the typical symptoms.

They found that approximately 99% of patients develop a high temperature, while more than half experience fatigue and a dry cough. About a third also have muscle pain and difficulty in breathing.

The illness can be split into two main phases – phase one, which typically lasts seven days, and phase two, which lasts a further two weeks.

Thankfully, 85% of patients will only experience phase one with just one in seven reaching phase two.

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Medical workers in protective suits attending to Coronavirus patients in the ICU of a designated hospital in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Feb 6, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

Here’s a day-to-day breakdown of Coronavirus symptoms, including when they appear and what you should do.

Day 1

The first sign for most patients is fever but you may also experience fatigue, muscle pain and a dry cough.

Day 2

By day two, fatigue will likely start to kick in, leaving you feeling very tired.

Day 7

Day 7 marks the end of phase one, meaning that for 85% of patients, your symptoms will start to diminish.

If you live alone and feel better, and your fever has gone, you can return to work.

If you live with others, you may be advised to continue your isolation for another seven days to ensure that they are also clear of the virus.

However, if you’ve developed breathing problems by day seven, you may be one of the few patients to enter phase two.

Day 17

Death from Coronavirus usually occurs by around day 17. But it’s important to note that the death rate is currently just 1-2%.

Day 21

By day 21, even severe Coronavirus cases should be under control, and you should be able to return to work.

Nothing is cast in stone; Kenya shall sail through the Coronavirus pandemic

Nothing is cast in stone; Kenya shall sail through the Coronavirus pandemic

From closing of schools to cancellation of flights, massive lock-downs and banning of any form of social gatherings, the country has watched as the world battles and grapples with the Coronavirus.
With three confirmed cases, there is nothing that the Kenyan government is taking to chance in protecting its citizens. The government is fully committed in ensuring Kenyans are protected from the spread of the virus.
Working with the different stakeholders, the government has taken a unified approach in dealing with the spread through collaboration and cooperation. This has in effect created awareness and education to the public keeping in mind that knowledge is power. The Ministry of Health has engaged in in vigorous sensitization campaigns which have brought an understanding of the gravity of the situation, issuing directives that one should follow in order to stay safe from getting infected.
By this, President Uhuru Kenyatta had issued a raft of measures the government was taking as well as the initial directives that had been issued by the Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe. Individual practices included simple hand hygiene by washing hands thoroughly with soap and water, keeping a social distance of 1 metre away from the nearest individual, avoiding crowds and crowded places as well as use of sanitizers where individuals do not have immediate access to soap and running water. 
On a larger scale, the President was clear and concise in showing what the government is doing to keep our country safe. These include the suspension of entry of foreigners from countries affected by the Covid-19 disease for 30 days and the self-quarantine of individuals who have entered Kenya in the last 14 days.
With the care and concern for children and the larger student fraternity, the President has ordered the closure of all learning institutions in the country. The President further encouraged Kenyans to practice cashless transactions to prevent the risk of transmission through physical handling of money and recommending that offices and businesses allow employees to work from home.
Furthermore, the government has urged Kenyans to report on any cases of price hikes by retailers and manufacturers who would want to take advantage of the situation as establishments have been urged to provide soap, water and hand sanitizers.
The Multi-sectoral approach has not only seen the involvement of various ministries including Health, Interior, Transport and Foreign Affairs but also an involvement of the Judiciary, non-governmental institutions, including AMREF, the World Health Organization and other  officials from the Health sector.
Basically no stone is going to be left unturned with the Ministry of Health and all stakeholders doing their level best to contain the spread of the virus.

The stringent measures and series of directives issued are meant to protect Kenyans. By following the guidelines Kenyans will be practicing responsible citizenry at a time when cooperation and unity is critical for us to overcome this pandemic.

It is about unity and more stakeholders should chip in to ensure Kenya remains a safe zone. We have seen a reduction of rates by the telecommunications company Safaricom which has started collaborating with the government in reduction of tariffs to promote cashless transactions.

The Judiciary has stepped in and suspended all open court sessions.

Our Health officers who are on the front line have offered their commitment in taking care of those affected and providing further input.

As Kenyans, we must avoid romours and myths which deter our focus as a nation and as we work together with the government in averting any spread of the deadly virus.
Everyone has a role to play and we must work in unity and cooperation with the government as it works on recovery of the few cases confirmed.
Beat the anxiety, beat the fear and let us preach positivity as each one plays their part.
THE EQUIPMENT: Is Deputy President Ruto planning to execute a coup d’état in 2022

THE EQUIPMENT: Is Deputy President Ruto planning to execute a coup d’état in 2022

As Kenyans train their focus on the shocking details of ’23 minutes con game’ at the Harambee Annex Office, which hosts the office of the Deputy President, they may have missed the main point.

Apparently, Ruto is no ordinary DP;  Ruto is ‘obsessed’ with taking over power from President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022, and he is preparing to violently subdue his critics if elected Kenya’s fifth President.

Former CS Rashid Echesa was not procuring the equipment for the Government, but for DP Ruto in preparation of the 2022 succession matrix.

echesa

Ruto’s trip to South Sudan recently has been unmasked too; he is assembling and preparing an opposition army that will unleash terror on those who will oppose him.

The equipment in question has been rated as highly sophisticated and dangerous by security analysts.

Not only would they be able to conduct a vast network of digital and physical espionage, but they would also be able to filter, collect, and analyze staggering volumes of data flowing across the internet, and includes an advanced algorithmic surveillance system with facial and voice recognition.

In the wrong hands, such a system could be used to remotely alter government records, manipulate electioneering, exploit electronic banking, adjust tax records or conduct sabotage of untold proportions.

Such deals are usually done at high-level government to government contracting and not with civilians merely providing in-country logistical support.

Unknown to Echesa and his co-accused, they have been on the radar of Kenyan and US authorities for several months.

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The American Federal Bureau of Investigation agents based in Nairobi were reportedly keenly following the case which has led to suspicion that the equipment, highly advanced integrated communication and security surveillance arsenal, which includes unmanned aerial vehicles, was intended to eavesdrop on the regional intelligence community.

Other sources intimated that Echesa, who is widely believed to be the front of DP Ruto, was using Kenya as a conduit for brokering illicit arms to aid themselves and facilitate groups that are planning to execute a coup d’état in 2022 should Ruto fail to win the presidency.

The case drew specific interest following confirmed reports of Kenyan officials engaging in cross border contraband trading and illicit arms transfer especially between lawless Somalia and Southern Sudan.

Echesa’s case is reminiscent of another similar one in September 2008 when a band of Somali pirates made a shocking discovery inside a Ukrainian ship they had just hijacked in the Gulf of Aden. The MV Faina was found packed with sophisticated weapons, including 32 Soviet-era battle tanks.

According to several secret US State Department cables made public by WikiLeaks, the tanks were not only headed to Southern Sudan, then under UN sanctions, but they were also the latest instalment of several underground arms shipments made by unscrupulous Kenyan businessmen.

By the time the freighter was seized by the pirates, up to 67 T-72 tanks and an unknown number of rocket launchers had already been delivered to Juba to bolster Southern Sudan’s armed forces against the government in Khartoum, then an international pariah for its human rights abuses in Darfur.

A source at Ulinzi House (KDF Headquarters) reported that the documentation seized by sleuths in Echesa’s car were not issued by the KDF, a development which has raised serious questions touching on national and regional security.

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Surveillance equipment and hi-tech gear used by private investigators

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Echesa with executives of Eco Advanced Technologies LLC in Warsaw, Poland Photo/Courtesy

In a statement on Monday, the State Department for Defense explicitly denied the existence of such a deal and said none of its officers had met nor negotiated with Echesa or officials of Eco Advanced Technologies.

On his part, a spokesman for DP Ruto was at pains to disassociate the Office of the Deputy President from Echesa. All evidence suggests that Ruto knew about the deal.

Officers from the Kenyan National Intelligence Service were understandably gathering more information on Echesa, including examining evidence that Echesa was used by persons not before the court to procure equipment for building a parallel intelligence system in order to circumvent State surveillance.

Investigators believe Echesa is a puppet in a major arms-dealing, extortion and money laundering transnational organised crime cartel which could be operating in several countries in the region.

Echesa has in past been implicated in a human trafficking case.

Al Shabaab operatives or Al Shabaab sympathizers? The Star Newspaper has lost its grit

Al Shabaab operatives or Al Shabaab sympathizers? The Star Newspaper has lost its grit

Is the Star Newspaper an Al Shabaab operative? Where do they get their intel? That is the question Kenyans are asking. As a Kenyan, it is appalling to see the Star Newspaper promote such derogatory remarks that clearly project a pro Al Shabaab media house meant to glorify the Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups while demeaning the country’s military fight against such coward extremist groups. It might not have been written in bold but this has evoked great anger among Kenyans towards the creators of such unworthy headlines.

Any form of media cannot and should not be overlooked as they have a direct effect on audiences and they build perception through the news and information disseminated. Hence, in this day and age, almost every, if not all military installations throughout the world, has a media strategy that enables them to psychologically tame their enemies. Countries have done this and, in some instances, have averted impending war. From the Cold War to the September 11 Terrorist attack, the media has proved to be a useful tool in wars and the fight against terrorism among other forms of conflict.

However, coming back home, our own local newspaper, The Star seems to be reading from a different script. With their Friday 24th 2020 headline reading ‘KDF BLEW UP EL ADDE CAMP, KILLING 147 OWN SOLDIERS’, a lot comes into question over their objective or end-game in what they are propagating as a media house. This headline out-rightly glorifies the mission of the Al Shabaab and empowers the terrorist group as an overbearing victorious group which is not the case. Questions must be asked on the ‘status’ of the Star Newspaper team from the writers and reporters, up to the sub-editors and editors.

Are there Al Shabaab sympathisers within the Star fraternity or are there operatives of the terrorist group? Is someone being paid to drive the group’s agenda? Do they want to plunge the country into a state of fear that would ensure businesses and other operations slow down or come to a halt as a result of instigated fear?

This is what terrorism thrives on and the Star newspaper has been continually fueling terrorist operations affecting Kenya through the dissemination of sensationalized media coverage of Al Shabaab attacks that are stabbing the country’s achievements towards the fight against terrorism.

To bring this into perspective, the Dusit Attack is a perfect example of how some media houses portrayed the country as triumphant, which in effect worked against the agenda of the Al Shabaab who were ultimately defeated. ‘Kenya unbowed’ by People Daily and ‘Terror in the city’ for the Star Newspaper are two extremely different headlines evoking a feeling of victory for the former and fear for the latter. However, both were explaining the same situation; the Dusit Attack.

This has been the nature of the Star Newspaper covertly furthering the agenda of the Al-Shabaab. Some of their insensitive headlines portraying the Kenya Defence Forces include ‘One more body, arms recovered after attack on KDF-US base in Lamu; KDF accused of torturing man over alleged Al-Shabaab link; Cowardly Acts? US army criticizes KDF action during Manda Bay attack, El-Adde; How 147 soldiers met their death in Somalia; Near death experience for KDF soldiers; Killing, parading of KDF soldiers in Kismayo was lowest moment – Brigadier. This is how the Star Newspaper is promoting and propagating the Al-Shabaab agenda.

This issue must be investigated and firmly dealt with to avert such scenarios. The country has no room for any terrorist activities neither does it have room for Al Shabaab sympathizers.

 

Securing Kenya: Counterfeit business financing terrorism in Kenya

Securing Kenya: Counterfeit business financing terrorism in Kenya

The ongoing sustained war against counterfeits, contraband and illicit trade in the country by President Uhuru Kenyatta is not about to end.

One thing is clear, contraband goods getting through the border are the main cause of terrorism in Northern Kenya.

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Contraband goods that include milk, cooking oil, rice, sugar and other products that are still getting into the country despite the fact that the Kenya-Somali border remains closed is not only killing our local industries but funding terrorism in the North Eastern region.

Hundreds of lorries cross the border every night with contraband goods, which end up in our homes after being repackaged in Nyamakima. The trend to ferry such huge consignments conspicuously through Somalia without terror incidents and make it across the border implies that they are financing terrorism.

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The contraband supply chain is also used as the conduit for smuggling small arms and light weapons into the country, which are feeding into urban crimes and cattle rustling menace.

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Some powerful politicians behind these economic sabotages are legislating and networking in parliament and influencing policies in government, thereby rendering counter-terrorism efforts impotent and holding our national security hostage.

The President said during a recent destruction of illegal goods that he will neither be scared, threatened or side-tracked in his current determination to rid the country of corruption and economic crimes.

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He also warned that no corrupt individual will be spared irrespective of their real or perceived seniority in society.

“All corrupt individuals will go to jail without compromise. But due process of the law will be followed so that those who think they have been wrongly accused can demonstrate their innocence and be vindicated,” said the Head of State.

It is the worst form of economic sabotage driven by the Al-Shabaab and their local sympathizers. It is responsible for killing local economies and rendering our young people jobless and denying the country much needed revenue.

Our farmers are broke and our industries are struggling to stay afloat. It is also frustrating the attainment of vision 2030 and the achievement of the Big 4 agenda.