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Safaricom’s Diversity & Inclusion initiatives recognized at Zero Project Awards

Safaricom was one of four winners from Africa, and the only Kenyan awardee among the 76 initiatives from 35 countries. The others were: World Vision Zambia, Northern Uganda Hip Hop Culture and the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development.

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Safaricom House.PHOTO/Safaricom Foundation.

Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) has been named among the recipients of the 2022 Zero Project Award, which recognizes innovative practices and policies aimed at driving inclusion for people with disabilities.

Feted at the annual event broadcasted from the United Nations’ Office in Vienna, Austria, Safaricom was recognized for its diversity and inclusion programmes including efforts to grow its percentage of employees who are people with disabilities, create accessible offices and retail outlets, and provide accessible products and services.

“As a purpose-led organisation, we strive to be reflective of the communities we serve by availing products and services that are accessible by all and ensuring equal-opportunity employment. We are honored to have our efforts recognized on the global stage, and it is a true testament to our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion,” said Peter Ndegwa, Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom PLC.

The Zero Project was initiated in 2008 by the ESSL Foundation, an Austrian Foundation that supports social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and persons with disabilities.

The project seeks to drive implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and has held annual awards since 2013 to recognize initiatives that promote diversity inclusion.

This year’s award centered on accessibility, and saw initiatives drawn from civil society, public sector, and private sector undergo an extensive peer-review process that evaluated their innovation, impact, and scalability.

Safaricom was one of four winners from Africa, and the only Kenyan awardee among the 76 initiatives from 35 countries. The others were: World Vision Zambia, Northern Uganda Hip Hop Culture and the Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development.

Since 2018, Safaricom has increased its percentage of employees who are people with disability from 1.7% (95) to the current 2.5% (140), with a target of reaching 5% by the year 2025.

In February this year, Safaricom partnered with the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), Sightsavers and Cisco to equip people with disabilities with digital skills through training and internship opportunities.

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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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