Maseno University Launches School Of Legal Education

Maseno University officially inaugurated its Bachelor of Law (LLB) studies with IT by unveiling its first cohort of 21 students in a pompous occasion held at its Kisumu City Campus lecture hall on Friday evening.

The varsity had received clearance from the Council of Legal Education (CLE) and accreditation from the Council for University Education to establish a School of Law.

Some of the law programs the institution is set to offer include the 16 core units as per the CLE’s regulations, like Constitutional law, Criminal law, and Law of Evidence which will allow law graduates to practice in the country.

Prof. PLO Lumumba, Chief Guest Public Speaker, delivered the keynote address at the inaugural public lecture, where he advised the pioneer law students that the world today requires lawyers who are intellectually agile and capable of intimately interacting with the new nanotechnology.

‘‘To become one of the very best lawyers, you must be technologically savvy to enable you to compete with the very best in the world by also possessing a good knowledge in Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence,’’ he said.

Further, he advised them to always be thirsty to acquire new and relevant knowledge to adequately enable them to engage in a useful manner.

Prof. Lumumba, the former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) top graft czar, explained to the budding lawyers that they should earnestly carve a niche that will well define who they are and be able to make a better judgement.

While presenting the day’s topic, titled “Practicing Law in a Changing Global Environment,” Prof. Lumumba averred that the new law students will define and pioneer how the world sees Maseno School of Law.

Lumumba, the Director of the Kenya School of Law and an eloquent lawyer, expressed his hopes to see the varsity teach and offer a legal regime in aquaculture as a lot of anthropogenic activities are steadily increasing along the Lake Victoria basin.

The law, he noted, is divine; it is as old as humanity, and society can’t live without it.

“As a lawyer, always strive to be honest, knowledgeable, adaptable, transformative, intellectually agile, and ready to sacrifice at the altar of justice and become an agent of change,” he observed.

Prof. Julius Nyabundi, Vice Chancellor of Maseno University, said that the institution will continue to churn out graduates who are highly rated in the job market. He added that legal study and practice are popular, nationalistic, prestigious, and profitable.

“We aim to become the best school of law in the East and Central African region and beyond,’’ said Prof. Nyabundi, who also doubles up as the chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).

The event was also graced by Tom Mboya University Vice Chancellor Prof. Charles Ocholla and Prof. Nicholas Orago, the Dean of Maseno School of Law, who revealed that the school of law will lay a strong foundation based on research and regional contemplation.

In this way, Prof. Orago stated that they hope that Maseno will be a hub for scholars where students can come to learn and be able to progress in their careers as legal practitioners, legal academicians, and persons to work in legal areas in government and non-governmental organizations in the country.

“In order for you to practice law, be a scholar, or work effectively in an institution, you have to be an effective researcher. So, research will be one of the core classes we will have and encourage among our law students,’’ Prof. Orago emphasized.

The School of Law boasts of having four qualified lecturers who are PhD holders to teach law, and they possess a wealth of experience as they have published and taught in other institutions of higher learning.

The varsity has set up a moot courtroom, a computer laboratory, a well-stocked law library, and several lecture halls for ease of learning.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Stakeholders Working To Save Avocado From Root-Rot Disease

The government has been working on how to develop and introduce new technologies to support the growth of the avocado industry in the country.

Avocado is ranked 3rd after banana and mango in the country, and Kenya is ranked the highest producer of avocado in Africa and 6th globally.

The government five years ago also marked avocado as one of the important crops for food security, proper nutrition, and trade expansion, but other than essential nutrients for good health, the crop is also expected to fetch farmers billions of shillings even as the government scales up an exportation programme

But with all the progress and achievements, all can go down the drain if the biggest challenge and threat to the avocado production of Phytophthora root rot, a serious and important disease of avocado not only in the country but worldwide, is not addressed.

The disease is a limiting factor in avocado production in all varieties, and the pathogen attacks the feeder roots, which can result in the death of the tree.

Speaking to KNA during the closure of the Kenya Avocado Industry Support Project (KAISP) that has been running for the last 10 years, Dr Ruth Amata, Senior Research Officer from the Kenya Agricultural Livestock and Research Organisation (KALRO), said that the disease, which is normally in the soil, kills the roots of avocado trees, and this is dangerous.

“This is the most serious disease of avocado world-wide, kills trees at any age, and can seriously affect new plantings or seedlings with the progressive loss of trees, making orchards uneconomic,” she said.

Root rot, she explained, is the pathogen, which is the agent that kills the roots and eats into the roots, beginning with the younger roots into the older, bigger roots, and one of the symptoms is that the crop ends up with yellowing leaves, which later fall off, and eventually the entire avocado tree dries up.

Dr Amata added that as a result of this, the farmers end up progressively losing trees by trees, reducing the yield per acre greatly.

KALRO, she noted, has been training farmers by building their capacity on the disease so that they may be aware and be able to pick out the symptoms of this disease before they even start an avocado orchard.

“The farmers should make sure they buy their seedlings from reputable, reliable nurseries that observe high levels of hygiene because this particular disease is soil-borne and comes with the seedling right from the beginning when farmers are starting their orchards. They need to start off with seedlings that are phytophthora-free, and this can only be done if they source their seeds from reliable dealers”, Dr. Amata said.

KALRO, the scientist said, produces disease-free seedlings, and these can be bought from a good number of the KALRO centers including KALRO Thika, Kabete, and Muguga, as well as a good number of the KARLO centers and shops that can avail the seedlings.

Dr Lusike Wasilwa, Director Crop Systems at KALRO acknowledged that phytophthora root rot was initially a minor disease, but now it’s moving towards a major disease, and was quick to add that the government is on alert.

Through the 10-year KAISP project that was getting support from the New Zealand Institute and Food Research Limited (FPR), Dr. Lusike said they are now capacity-building the farmers and have now reached a point where they will bring in the biological system using Trichoderma, the biological controls, to manage things like phytophthora disease.

“Kenya is gravitating towards biological systems where a farmer can actually produce biological controls to be able to manage the diseases”, she noted.

She gave an example of mosquito bugs which cannot be seen, the false codling moth (FCM), which is also another problem where there are both biological systems to control and pesticides, and the fruit fly, which also affects avocados, which can be managed using a trap instead of spraying the trees.

The experts say that the only way to manage all these diseases is through the use of field practices, which harbour a lot on field hygiene since the disease spreads through the soil and anything that can transport soil from one point to another can be able to transport the pathogen to a non-infected area even within the same farm.

“Any tools that the farmer uses can be able to spread the problem, even shoes, boots, and vehicles moving within an infected field, through water, and also heavy rains can be able to move the soil from one point to another with fast speed from an infected area to a non-infected area”, Dr Amata said.

Dr Bob Fullerton from the New Zealand Institute for Planet Food Research and the principal investigator of the project said that if a farm is contaminated with the Phytophthora root rot disease, it would be very hard to get rid of it, and that spraying can take as long as five years before the risk goes down.

“It is hard to get rid of the disease once it’s on either the ornamentals, weeds, or plants. It will never go away, that is why, particularly for the developed countries, it is important to ensure you get seeds that are disease-free and from recommended nurseries”, he said.

Through the project, Dr Fullerton said they introduced testing services to be able to detect the pests and, in partnership with KALRO have been working towards developing and introducing new and improved technologies to support the growth of the avocado industry in Kenya and also ensure a sustainable future for the industry.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Thousands Attend Medical Camp At Meru Primary School

Thousands of Meru County residents as well as those in neighbouring counties benefited from free eye and diabetes screening at a medical camp organised by North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood in conjunction with the Lions Club of Meru and Hindu Samaj.

The camp that was held at Meru Primary School grounds within Meru Municipality attracted the young and the aged, with others coming from as far as Samburu.

Mr Dawood, while briefing the media, said the attendees will benefit from subsidized eyeglasses and that he has also donated Sh100,000 to cater for medicines for those who will receive prescriptions.

“I am giving an assurance that all those who have attended the camp will be checked, and due to the high number of people who have turned up today, we are looking at the possibility of having these camps every two months.”

“We are also looking into the possibility of establishing an eye hospital in Meru in order to take care of the high number of people with eye problems,” said Mr Dawood.

Dr Peter Ndwiga from the Lion Sight first hospital emphasized on the importance of having regular eye checkups saying this will help doctors deal with emerging problems as early as possible.

“I am calling on our people to avoid buying medicine from chemists whenever they experience a problem with their eyes but instead visit eye specialists for medical advice,” said Dr Ndwiga.

He said cataracts are the most common eye disease, especially among the elderly, and called on residents to ensure that they undergo eye testing regularly.

“Blood sugar, old age, and injuries are the main causes of eye diseases. A few people are born with the problem. I advise people to be careful with the kind of diet they take because some foods cause a rise in blood sugar,” said Dr Ndwiga.

Lions Club International Foundation Coordinator Dr Virod Ramji urged the locals to take advantage of the rare screening exercise and be tested, promising that the exercise will be held on a regular basis.

Ntima West MCA Patrick Ntururu said it was sad that many people who are sick are suffering at home because they cannot afford money for treatment.

He said many are scared of going to hospitals because of the expenses involved and lauded the organisers for holding such an event in the area.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County To Nurture, Develop Talents

Kakamega Governor Fernandes Barasa has said his administration is committed to nurturing and developing talents by availing platforms to showcase and invest in sports infrastructure.

He said developing a sports structure will enhance his agenda in identifying and nurturing talents in the region.

“My government has rolled out a programme that will support the youth and residents in the zone,” he said.

The governor said Butere Girls high school’s basketball victory at the just concluded Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) term one National games held in Eldoret shows how the county is endowed with talents.

He said their victory sets the stage for a more significant challenge at the East Africa school games in Rwanda where the team will fly the flag of the Kakamega County and Kenya in August.

The governor also said his administration is fast-tracking the construction and upgrading of sports stadia in all the sub-counties.

While speaking in Matungu Constituency yesterday during the burial of late Bishop Beneah Okumu of ACK Mumias diocese, he added that 3000 youth would be employed in the County and they will recruit 50 youth in every ward.

“In an effort to tap into the immense potential of our youth and in line with the ‘maendeleo na usawa’ mantra, my government will employ in the next financial year 50 of them in every ward bringing to a total of 3000 youth in the whole county,” he promised.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Tea Sector Leaders Seek Government Support In Value Addition

Tea sector leaders in Embu have called for government support as they seek to undertake value addition to boost farmers’ income.

Led by KTDA Zone Six (Embu) Board Member Enos Njeru, the leaders said the journey to diversification into value-added teas such as orthodox and flavoured teas for local and international markets was an expensive undertaking for factories to handle alone.

Speaking during the launch of tea bags and spiced teas by Rukuriri and Mungania Factories, respectively, on Friday during the ongoing Pre-Madaraka Day Trade Fair at Embu University grounds, Njeru called on the government to give financial aid to help reduce the large capital outlays required to actualize their desire.

The event was graced by President William Ruto, who was commissioning several projects, including a multi-storey market and affordable housing within Embu Town.

Njeru, for instance, said that, for lack of a tea bag packaging machine, Rukuriri was being forced to incur an extra cost in ferrying their tea to Ketepa in Kericho for that purpose.

“We are calling on the government to help us put up a tea bag production line that costs around Sh100 million that will also serve other factories in Mt. Kenya Region,” he said.

He noted that the County Government had allocated them a centralized space to assist them in their venture into value addition, but what was lacking was funds for implementation in their resolve to ensure farmers get fair pay for their labor.

He noted that the future of the tea industry was not in conventional black CTC tea but in orthodox and other value-added teas that were in high demand and fetching better prices in local and global markets.

Njeru said they had also started looking into ways of installing orthodox tea lines and was optimistic that early next year, the lines will be up and running in the three factories of Rukuriri, Mungania, and Kathangariri in Embu.

Mungania Factory Chairman, Mwenje Njeru, said they had ventured into flavored tea to move with the times as the market for the teas was growing as health-conscious consumers preferred them due to their high levels of antioxidants.

He said currently they are producing ginger and masala, and plans are underway to add more flavors.

President Ruto, in his remarks at the Expo, noted that the government, in the proposed finance bill, had removed taxes on tea, including packaging materials, with the aim of boosting earnings for farmers.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Ministry Rolls Out Indigenous Knowledge Documentation, Digitization Project

The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Heritage has rolled out an Indigenous Knowledge Documentation and Digitisation (IK DoDi) project that aims at collecting and protecting traditional knowledge and cultural assets for the Kamba community.

Cabinet Secretary (CS) Penina Malonza said that the project is part of the government’s effort to protect the traditional knowledge and cultural expressions of all communities in Kenya.

Malonza was speaking in Makueni on Friday when she officially launched the project that will establish an indigenous knowledge innovation bank which will allow lawful access to the communities’ traditional knowledge and all assets through creativity and innovation to generate income and improve livelihoods.

“The DoDi project is being implemented by my Ministry in partnership with different stakeholders, including state agencies, county governments, and Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs),” said Malonza when she spoke outside Makueni Governor’s office.

“By providing legal certainty and clarity, the innovation bank platform will also prevent biopiracy of our assets,” said Malonza.

Further, she disclosed that the project is being implemented in line with international commitments and conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and the Nagoya Protocol, to mention a few.

She disclosed that the Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognizes culture as the foundation of a nation and obligates anyone accessing and utilizing its cultural heritage and intellectual assets to fairly and equitably share the resultant benefits, including technologies.

“Access should be through a consultative and transparent process between the owners and users of the resources or knowledge under a legally binding contract and mutually agreed terms,” she added.

The CS also revealed that some of the areas to be documented include Mulata Legendary Rock together with the Nzaui hills and the story of Akamba origin, Ngokomi as the last site of battle with the Maasai and Chyulu hills, and its scenic beauty, including the Kisyula caves.

“Heritage sites will provide a unique opportunity to develop a tourism circuitry with clear potential to extend to neighbouring counties,” she said.

Makueni is among the 13 counties earmarked to roll out the project in phase I, where Makueni is the fourth county after Murang’a, Narok, and Kisii that have already initiated the programme in their respective jurisdictions.

Other counties in phase I are Tharaka Nithi Nithi, Kilifi, Kakamega, Vihiga, Siaya, Garissa, Marsabit, and Turkana.

Malonza observed that indigenous knowledge and intellectual assets are low-hanging fruits awaiting minimal harnessing to gain entry into the market.

Consequently, she appealed to the community leadership through the Council of Elders to spread the information to all the people in the Lower Eastern Region, which comprises Kitui, Machakos, and Makueni.

“As you are aware, culture is largely devolved, and the counties are expected to continue with documentation and digitization of their Indigenous knowledge and intellectual assets for posterity,” Malonza said.

During the event, the IPLCs, through their council of elders, signed a MoU with the county government of Makueni before again signing with the National Museum of Kenya. The CS also signed an MOU with the county government.

The National Museums made a donation of cameras, tablets, and a desk-top repository computer that will store all the data that will be collected in the county.

The National Museum of Kenya has trained 250 youths on how to use the ICT equipment, and they are expected to collect the data required as from Monday, May 29, 2023.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Kisumu Banks On Reggae Star’s Show To Boost Tourism

Kisumu County banks on Jamaican reggae star Richie Spice’s performance in the lakeside city to boost tourism.

Richie Spice landed in Kisumu on Sunday morning and is set to headline a reggae concert at Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium in Mamboleo.

The reggae star was received by Roots Party Leader Wajackoya Luchiri, Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr Mathew Owili, and a host of Members of the County Assembly (MCAs).

He headed to the governor’s office for a courtesy call before planting a tree at the stadium, where he also tested the sound system ahead of his performance later this evening.

Hundreds of residents turned up along the busy Kisumu-Kakamega Highway to catch a glimpse of the star.

Richie Spice was then taken on a tour of Lake Victoria and the Impala Sanctuary to sample some of Kisumu’s key attractions.

Dr Owili said the visit was key for Kisumu as the county government banked on the artiste’s performance to attract tourists.

“Richie Spice is not just an ordinary artiste. We know that his presence here has caught the attention of the world. We expect the world to see Kisumu in the eyes of Richie Spice,” he said.

Prof. Wajackoya said the visit was critical for Kisumu and Kenya as a whole, urging area residents to turn up in large numbers for the show.

Reggae music, he said, was rich in meaning and culture, adding that the country stands to benefit from the music’s teachings.

The Roots Party leader reiterated his call to legalize marijuana, saying the country stands to reap economic benefits from the crop.

Kisumu County Executive Committee Member (CECM) in Charge of Tourism Farida Salim said the concert was timely as the county moves to market Kisumu as a tourist destination.

She said the lake excursion given to the artiste was part of an elaborate plan to market Lake Victoria as a key tourist attraction site to woo domestic and international tourists.

Meanwhile, preparations for the concert have been finalised as revelers from Kisumu and other parts of the county trickle in for the show, which kicks off at 4 p.m.

Security officers have been deployed at the stadium to ensure that the show runs uninterrupted.

Regular tickets for the concert are going for Sh500, while VIP tickets are being sold at the gate at Sh2000 each.

Source: Kenya News Agency

County Chapter Launched To Rehabilitate Streets Families

The government, through the Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund (SFRTF), has disbursed over Sh80, 000,000 this year alone to support various rehabilitation programmes for street families.

Speaking Friday during the official opening of training and the launch of county chapters for the street families’ rehabilitation trust fund in Kiambu County, State Department for Social Protection and Senior Citizen Affairs Principal Secretary, Joseph Motari, said that over the years, the Trust Fund which was formed in 2003, has been supporting institutions undertaking rehabilitation programmes for street families.

“The County Chapters being launched today will create synergies and enhance coordination of Street Families Rehabilitation programmes at the county level and also cascade to a lower level in addressing the street families’ issues,” he added.

The structures, the PS noted, will also ensure good governance and avoid duplication of efforts and resources in the management of street families, as envisioned in the draft policy for rehabilitation of street families, which will be validated very soon.

“The rehabilitation of street families is not a short-term solution but rather a long-term commitment that requires sustained effort and resources,” Motari said, adding that through partnerships with the County Governments and private stakeholders, all can make a real difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable in our society.

“By working together, we can provide the necessary support and resources to help street families rebuild their lives and become productive members,” he said.

The SFRT conducted a National Census of Street Families in 2018 and found that the number of street families was 46,639. The number keeps increasing by the day.

“The government, having noted the increase in the number of street families, has been at the forefront to offer support in the efforts and activities being undertaken to rehabilitate street families and will continue supporting the fund to find lasting solutions to the problem of street families,” the PS said.

Motari reiterated that for the purposes of better planning and programming, plans are underway to conduct another National Census of street families in all urban centres in the country, but this will require expertise from the trust fund as the coordinators and implementers of the programmes.

The Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, Mary Wambui, termed the launch as one of the biggest milestones the trust fund has achieved since its creation 20 years ago.

She said that in the next ten years, through the collaboration of county governments, street families will be a thing of the past.

“I agree that there has been a rise in the number of street families, but through the County chapters I believe we will be able to eradicate this problem. They will enable us to reach more societies and find out what is making these families leave their homes and come to live in the streets,” Wambui said.

Besides the establishment of county chapters, the Trust Fund has made other huge milestones and has acquired a 20-acre piece of land where it intends to build a rehabilitation centre with a school and a hospital that will serve to help take care of the street families and re-integrate them into the community.

Chief Executive Officer of the Trust Fund, Caroline Towett, said that the County chapters will come up with various committees that will address the issues that affect street families in their various counties.

“This Trust fund will be launching other county chapters in 12 other counties in the next financial year 2023-2024 and looks forward to upscaling to all 47 counties.

The county chapters will be expected to form committees in their respective counties to deal with the street families affecting their counties and have started with 12 counties, which have the highest number, and will upscale to 12 more counties in the next financial year,” she said.

Ms. Towett said that some of the mandates of the county chapters include coordinating rehabilitation programmes for street families within the county, facilitating and following up on the re-integration of reformed persons within the communities, developing and implementing programmes specific to the needs of the street families within the county, as well as advocacy.

The Street Families Rehabilitation Trust Fund was formed in 2003 to address the concerns of all homeless, destitute, and vulnerable people in urban areas, whose numbers have continuously and alarmingly been on the rise.

The Trust Fund is tasked with the responsibility of coordinating all activities related to the rehabilitation and empowerment of people living on the streets and those at risk of resorting to the streets. It envisions a country free of Street Families; this is indeed an ambitious vision that requires concerted and dedicated efforts in order to be realized.

Source: Kenya News Agency

Residents of Gedeo, Wolayita, and South Omo Zones Undertake Public Rallies Expressing Support for Nat’l Defense Force

Residents of Gedeo, Wolayita, and South Omo zones in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) of Ethiopia have undertaken public demonstrations expressing their solidarity with the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) today.

Accordingly. demonstrators in Dilla town of the Gedeo Zone are chanting various slogans that support the national defense force and against extremists. Demonstrators during the public rally said: “Stop tarnishing the name of the army that saved us sacrificing its life.

It’s impossible to satisfy the desire for power by sowing suspicion and hatred among the people.

Extremists are political merchants; they don’t represent any ethnic group,” the demonstrators chanted.

Youth, women, government leadership and various sections of the society have participated in the rally.

“We will strengthen national brotherhood by fighting against extremism,” they chanted.

At the same time, a peaceful public demonstration opposing extremism and supporting the national defense forces was held in the Wolayita zone.

The participants are chanting different slogans in the peaceful demonstration condemning extremism and supporting the national defense force.

“Extremists are political merchants and not representatives of any nation,” the demonstrators said.

“Our army will build our unity, extremists will be ashamed. It (ENDF) died to save our lives.”

A large number of residents and various sections of society from 23 rural district and city government structures in the zone are marching to the multi-purpose stadium of Sodo City.

Ethiopians reside in various parts of the country have held similar demonstrations in support of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces today.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency