Machogu School Reopening Blunders, Linturi Near Tears & Parliament Blackout


Hello and welcome to the Evening Brief Newsletter where we have electricity back up, unlike the government’s third arm. Stick around for our responder text with an FKE official on tomorrow’s national holiday affecting employers.


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Machogu Equations

A day after President William Ruto directed all schools to reopen on Monday, May 13, it turns out not all pupils will enjoy that right.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, who has been in the limelight for more bad headlines than good in the last two weeks, announced that the projected heavy rains may hamper the reopening in several parts of the country.

Counties Affected: Specifically, Machogu named Tana River, Homa Bay and Kisumu counties among the most affected.

The CS believes that learning will still go on with the learners given alternative learning methods.

Assurance: The CS was, however, apprehensive that 95 per cent of schools in the country were ready for students to resume learning for the second term.

Yes, But: The school reopening is a real litmus test for both the government and parents with several schools in a worse state since the floods kicked off in March.

  • Some of the parents that Kenyans.co.ke spoke to indicated that their finances were running low after spending their savings on a rainy day.

More Changes: The CS also revealed that changing the second term calendar was imminent. The August holiday will be shortened to accommodate the period lost when the state postponed school reopening from May 6 to May 13.

By the Numbers: Over 1,900 schools’ infrastructure was hit hard by the floods requiring extensive repairs.

  • Also, over 47,000 households have been affected and forced to move out to makeshift camps making it impossible to prioritise school. Over 200,000 individuals were affected by the floods which claimed 238 lives.

The Upside: President William Ruto set aside Ksh1 billion for repairs of schools in preparation for the reopening.

What Machogu is Saying: “When issues of how much you have spent come to Parliament, I want to assure all the government institutions we are going to approve all expenditures.”


Fighting Back Tears

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi struggled to string out sentences and nearly choked on his words while testifying in a televised Parliamentary sitting over the tribulations of his rain.

One particular aspect, however, seemed to send him to the edge.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi

Photo

While appearing before a National Assembly committee probing his impeachment motion, Linturi laid blame on one individual he claimed was behind his downfall and had harassed him with multiple court cases.

One of the cases that affected him the most was one which required him to take care of children that he had not sired.

Linturi’s Complaint: “All these cases revolve around an individual that unfortunately we were friends and for whatever reason that relationship could not hold and out of her own volition she decided to bring so many cases which I was forced to defend. There is case number 74 where I was being sued to take responsibility for children who are not mine.”

Pain points: Linturi revealed that the committee was bringing back painful experiences he had tried hard to forget and has been on defence for six years since the break up with his fiance.

Catch Up Quick: Linturi is on the impeachment hotspot after he was accused of gross violations of the constitution, including breaches of good governance, accountability, and criminal negligence.

The allegations centre around the distribution of fake fertilizer through the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB), tarnishing Linturi’s reputation and credibility.

Last week, 149 supported the impeachment motion against him while 36 opposed it.


Chat With the Federation of Kenyan Employers

Yesterday, President William Ruto declared Friday, May 10, a national holiday to remember the 238 victims of flooding.

The Head of State explained that the day will be dedicated to planting trees in an effort to reverse the effects of Climate Change.

I reached out to Geoffrey Maumo of the Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) to understand if the sudden declaration affected employers nationwide. It turns out that FKE is in support.

Check our chat below

Derrick Okubasu: President William Ruto declared Friday, May 10, a national holiday. Will that impact employers and the workforce?

Geoffrey Maumo: We acknowledge the government’s decision to gazette Friday 10th as a tree growing holiday. However, we believe it’s crucial to prioritize support for flood victims. Balancing environmental initiatives with immediate humanitarian needs is key for sustainable progress.


The Arm of Darkness

The Legislature, an arm of the Government, found it difficult to proceed with duties on Thursday afternoon due to a building-wide blackout.

Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna announced the blackout explaining that the Senate had been forced to suspend its sittings.

“We have had to suspend sittings of the Senate because there is no power in Parliament,” Sifuna revealed.

Immediately, Members of the opposition started chanting “Ruto Must Go” with members of the ruling party responding with “Raila Must Go.”

Catch Up Quick: Kenyan leadership seems to be perenially unable to guarantee electricity supply after suffering one major national blackout this year and three others last year.

On Thursday, May 2, the country suffered a blackout lasting overnight. The earliest power restoration from the incident was on Friday at 6:00 am in Nairobi, Thika, and Nakuru. (Check our graphic below to see the times the power went out in 2023)

Nationwide power outages were reported 3 times this year.

Graphic/Washington Mito


Here are five other stories to pick your interest today;


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This newsletter was written by Derrick Kubasu and edited by Brian Muuo.

Washington Mito contributed to the content.

Graphics prepared by Adongo Kyalo.



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