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COVID-19: President Kenyatta says counties’ readiness to determine economy re-opening

The President was speaking at a virtual meeting of the national and county governments COVID-19 Pandmeic coordinating summit.

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president Uhuru Kenyatta with Governors at a past event. Photo/Courtesy

The decision to re-open the country’s economy following the COVID-19 Pandemic now lies in the hands of individual Governors.

President Uhuru Kenyatta says the decision will largely be determined by the level of preparedness by the devolved units to respond to new infections.

“I say this because the nation is the sum total of all the 47 counties. If the counties have met the necessary thresholds, then the nation will be ready to re-open,” he said.

The President was speaking at a virtual meeting of the national and county governments COVID-19 Pandmeic coordinating summit.

Also in attendance were Deputy President Dr William Ruto and representatives of religious and business sectors.

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said Covid-19 infections in the country were on the rise and advised against re-opening of the economy before the response preparedness threshold agreed upon is fully met.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said Counties had attained a total of 6,898 isolation beds against the national target of 30,500 units.

He said, 12 counties had met the 300 per county isolation beds threshold while 34 devolved units were on course to meet the target within the month.

“36 counties have a cumulative sum of 343 ICU beds while 28 counties have a total of 337 ventilators,” he added.

On human resources, Governor Oparanya reported that a total of 16,914 health personnel had been trained on Covid-19 management among them 59,449 community health volunteers.

“We propose that a multi-agency approach is applied to disease containment through the improvement of testing capacity; contact tracing and enforcing the social distancing mechanisms,” he stated.

He proposed that the reopening of the economy to have a County specific context. This, he argued, will consider the County specific sector priorities and the health system able to cope.

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Atheists fault petition seeking to deregister society

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

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President of the Atheists in Kenya Society, Harrison Mumia

Atheists in Kenya have protested a petition that they say seeks to create a notion that Kenya is a nation by and for believers in God only.

Former Juja MP, Dr Stephen Ndichu has moved to court seeking to have the Atheists in Kenya Society suspended on grounds that its continued existence is unconstitutional.

In a statement, the society’s president, Harrison Mumia says the petition is an assault on religious freedom and an insult to the diversity of the Kenyan people.

“We find the petition repugnant to a good conscience,” he stated adding that Dr Ndichu is a Christian fundamentalist who seems to harbour paranoid fantasies about the dangers of atheists existing in Kenya.

He further accused Dr Ndichu of seeing enemies where there is none and that the society was surprised, but not shocked as religion has historically inhibited progress.

He vowed that the society would do everything within its power to defend its right to remain a registered society and urged Kenyans to support fighting the petition.

On Sunday, the society said it will be writing to President William Ruto seeking an invitation to State House, just like the evangelical denominations.

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Uhuru Gardens ready for Madaraka Day fete, says PS Kibicho

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Madaraka Day

This year’s national Madaraka Day celebrations at Uhuru Gardens in Nairobi County will be open to 30,000 people, up from 10,000 in 2021.

Permanent Secretary in the State Department for Interior, Dr Karanja Kibicho, said this follows the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures.

“Children will also be allowed in on the celebrations this year, and we expect county celebrations to happen too,” the PS said while on an inspection tour of the venue.

The PS said the government decided to move the celebrations from the County rotational back to Nairobi because it will be the last event for the current administration before it exits office.

“Because of the significance of this particular Madaraka day, being the last for this regime, we decided to celebrate it at Uhuru Gardens to break the tradition of celebrating it in counties,”

He revealed that preparations were currently at 90 percent complete and expressed confidence that all will be set for the event as the country marks 59 years of self rule.

The principal secretary said they would be visiting the gardens every Thursday until June 1 to ensure all loose ends are tied up properly, promising that the celebrations will be very colourful.

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Queen Elizabeth mourns Kibaki as a great Statesman with commendable legacy

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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Queen Elizabeth II has mourned former President the late Mwai Kibaki eulogizing him as “a great statesman”.

“I was sorry to receive the news of the death of Mwai Kibaki. He had a lifelong record of service to the Kenyan people. It will be of deep sadness to your country to have lost a great statesman, but Kenya can take pride in the legacy of his leadership. I send you and the people of Kenya my condolences at this loss,” the message read.

The British High Commission further affirmed its close ties to Kenya and renewed its assurances to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“The British High Commission avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya the assurances of its highest consideration,” the High Commission said.

The late Kibaki passed away on 21 April 2022, aged 90.

President Uhuru, who issued a proclamation that he would be granted a state funeral with full civilian and military honours, announced his death.

Kibaki will be buried at his home in Othaya, Nyeri County on Saturday.

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