Kenya is set to attend the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in October this year, where it will showcase its progress towards achieving a sustainable development goal in line with the 2030 Agenda.
Kenya’s delegation to the high level session led by the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Raychelle Omamo, will focus on the Big 4 Agenda and particularly, on matters that touch on energy, food systems, climate change, global governance and oceans, progress made towards the sustainable development goals and regional peace and security.
On climate change, Amb. Omamo announced that Kenya which is known for its leadership role in addressing climate challenges increased her Nationally Determined Contributions from 30 per cent to 32 per cent and advocating for clean energy with focus on clean cooking and transformative agriculture for sustainable future.
“I am convinced that global support in terms of climate financing is paramount for the country to achieve her targets by the year 2025,” said Omamo.
The CS made the remarks while briefing Diplomatic Corps and the media on various International engagements by Kenya during its Presidency of the United Nations Security Council in the month of October at a Nairobi hotel.
She pointed that Kenya’s membership in the UN Security Council of the African Union Peace and Security Council and Kenya’s Presidency of the Organisation of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States has illustrated the country’s expanding influence on the international stage.
Amb. Omamo disclosed that Kenya will preside over the affairs of the UN Security Council, and will use the opportunity to pursue mutually beneficial outcomes as well as advance good neighbourliness and Pan Africanist ideals on regional peace and security, peace support operations, counter terrorism and violent extremism and climate security.
The CS at the same time announced that the high level dialogue on energy scheduled for September 24 this year organised by the United Nations Secretary General will offer Kenya together with other energy global theme partners from China, the European Union, Japan, Malawi, Netherlands, Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia an opportunity to host a thematic event on clean cooking.
She announced that a high level in- person ministerial briefing on the Great Lakes Region scheduled for October 20 this year at the UN Security Council Chambers in New York will seek to address sustainable solutions to the root causes and drivers of conflict.
“Countries of the Great Lake Region continue to be afflicted by many security challenges, however, in recent years, countries in Great Lakes Region have made commendable progress in addressing the root causes and drivers of conflict,” stressed the CS.
She said the progress can be attested by the peaceful transfers of power in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi, the signing and implementation of peace agreements in the Central Africa Republic and South Sudan and the normalising of bilateral relations between Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi.
The High-Level Ministerial briefing is also expected to provide an opportunity for the Security Council to renew its commitment to the region, and to support the implementation of the priority projects aimed at promoting a shared vision of regional, peace, security and socio-economic development and strengthening cooperation in addressing the drivers of conflict and instability.
The Ministerial open debate will also share insights on investing in women peacekeepers, peace builders, and their networks to accelerate the implementation of the women, peace and security agenda to ensure sustainable peace outcomes during and post peace operation and mission transition settings.
During her remarks, the CS also thanked development partners for supporting Kenya and the entire region over the years, and in particular, this time of Covid-19 pandemic by donating Covid-19 vaccines, personal protective equipment and other medical supplies.
President Uhuru Kenyatta is also expected to convene the second high level event for Heads of State and Government High Level debate on October 28, 2021 on cooperation between the UN and the Regional and Sub Regional Organisations with specific reference to the African Union.
Kenya’s Presidency in the 76th session which will have several events including those of Heads of States will seek beneficial alliances that reaffirm a rule based multilateral system that addresses global challenges in a manner that attracts consensus.
The country will also use the opportunity to reinforce Kenya’s multilateral credentials in the global arena.
Courts Declare Huduma Namba Invalid
The High Court has declared Huduma Namba invalid after ruling that the law wasn’t followed in its roll-out.
Justice Jairus Ngaah ruled on Thursday, October 14, that the Government failed to conduct data impact assessment before rolling out the cards in November last year, contravening the Constitution in the process.
Law scholar Yash Pal Ghai and Katiba Institute had, in November 2020, challenged the roll-out of the cards over lack of guarantee against theft or misuse of Kenyans’ personal information.
The lobby group argued that the Government failed to subject the fresh registration of Kenyans to data protection impact assessment (DPIA), a requirement under the law.
The assessment is aimed at identifying risks that could arise due to a breach of privacy, loss of data and unlawful use of information like names, date of birth, postcode and residences.
The Government started issuing the cards in early December 2020, after stating that the current National Identification Cards would cease being valid in December this year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Huduma Namba mass registration on April 2, 2019.
Meanwhile, an application by Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe, the widow of the late Tanzanian media mogul, Reginald Mengi, that her late husband had no mental ability to make a valid Will, will be heard and determined.
This is after the Court of Appeal rejected legal challenges against the former Miss Tanzania’s application seeking revision of a decision of the High Court that quashed a Will that was allegedly written by Mengi, reports The Citizen.
The IPP trailblazer and philanthropist died in Dubai, UAE, in 2019. He was 75.
The Will, purportedly made in 2017, cited Ntuyabaliwe and their twin children as the beneficiary of the billionaire businessman’s wealth, estimated in 2014 by Forbes to be worth over $560 million.
Parents Grapple With High Costs Of Books As Schools Reopen
Parents are feeling the pressure of having to pay school fees for the fourth time in a year.
As schools reopened today, parents said, apart from paying the required fees, some schools were demanding extra money to cater for tuition classes. Others decried the high costs of books and school uniforms.
Some said other schools had imposed extra levies on parents, citing the need to expand infrastructure to accommodate the increased number of students as a result of the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary level.
The extra charges are channelled in special development school accounts or sent to the parent representatives, who then send the amount to the class teacher.
At Mugoiri Girls High School in Murang’a County, each parent is required to pay Sh5,200 for a new school bus project, Sh3,000 per term for extra tuition, and Sh1,500 for installation of smart screens in all classes.
In Nyeri town, Purity Karuga, who was shopping with her Form Three son, said their school had demanded an extra Sh10,000 for an infrastructure upgrade.
“It is a hard year, and that happens even as we are earning peanuts from our tea farms this year,” Ms Karuga said.
Peter Kamaru, another parent from Murang’a County, said parents have now resorted to borrowing money from shy locks who demand repayment in a month.
“I have obtained Sh40,000 at a 25 per cent interest rate to pay fees for my three children. This is punitive to the parents who have lost hope of accessing bursary from the CDF,” he said.
Jane Wanjiru said the schools have reopened, but most parents had no school fees. “We shall plead with principals to allow our children for some time.”
The Murang’a County government said it had released Sh20 million to finance 3,000 students under the Nyota Zetu Education Programme.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria said the programme is designed to help the needy access quality education.
“This is one of the programmes designed to increase the number of professionals in the county,” said Iria.
In Meru County, Margaret Nkatha, a parent from Tigania East, said they were looking forward to the reopening of the schools but they lacked financial resources.
She said the drought had hit the area affecting their main income-generating stream, khat or miraa sales.
Kairi Ituuru, the headteacher of Antuanduru Mixed Secondary School in Tigania East, said principals were grateful following the government announcement that capitation had been sent to schools.
“With most parents decrying inability to raise fees, the government resources will come in handy,” said Ituuru, who also chairs the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) in the area.
In Eldoret town, it was business as usual at books and school uniform stores as parents lined up to buy school items in preparation for the new term.
Nelly Kichwen, a parent from Ziwa in Uasin Gishu, spent the better part of the day in Eldoret town shopping for her five school-going children.
“Book prices have increased. I am buying a book that was sold at Sh500 last month at over Sh600 right now, which means I will use more money than I had budgeted for,” Kichwen said.
As for Stanley Chepkulei, a parent from Simat, the increase in fuel prices had affected the price of every commodity in the market, and parents will have to dig deeper into their pockets.
“I came to buy school uniforms and other items for my child, a student from St Teresa Tartar in West Pokot County, I paid more than I expected. We urge the government to reduce the cost of fuel,” he said.
Chepkulei said parents should ensure that they give their children enough money if they are travelling by themselves to school because there could be an increase in bus fares due to the high cost of fuel.
The parents have also asked the government to step in and provide some learning materials for pupils, especially those under the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Eunice Cherop, a parent to a Grade Five pupil, said CBC is a competitive curriculum that requires joint efforts from the parent and government.
Cherop, an Education Officer, said most parents are disadvantaged by the new curriculum.