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Uganda's president on Friday warned people against "insulting" the country's security forces, saying that doing so would be a way of "provoking" them. 

"If you insult me, we fight. But according to other cultures, provoking and insulting is free speech. I should warn you against attacking the army," Yoweri Museveni said, speaking at the official opening of the new legal year 2022 at the High Court headquarters in the capital Kampala.

The president warned that insulting people in the name of free speech should not be tolerated.

His comments come against the backdrop of the detention and torture of award-winning novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija for allegedly abusing the president's son, Lt. Gen. Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who is also the commander of the land forces.

The writer was recently charged with making offensive comments on social media regarding the Ugandan president's son and is still battling a court case on the incident.

A video in which Rukirabashaija shows his bruised ribs and fractured ankle bone -- injuries he said he sustained while in detention -- recently went viral.

"Reprehensible, despicable and repugnant! Only stonehearted people can unleash this kind of barbaric torture on a fellow human being. Well survived comrade," Kampala mayor Erias Likwago tweeted.

Members of the opposition in the Ugandan parliament, including a few from the ruling party, walked out of the session on Thursday, paralyzing the sitting in protest of the alleged injustices that include killings, torture, and illegal arrest across the East African country. - Hamza Kyeyune, Anadolu Agency

Employment and Labour Relations,  court has barred parastatals and other state agencies from encroaching on the mandate of the Public Service Commission (PSC) on human resource matters.

The court also faulted State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) for attempting to usurp the role and mandate of PSC. Justice Monica Mbaru made the finding in a case in which the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) and the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC) were sued for hiring two directors in charge of Frequency Spectrum Management and Competition Management.

A citizen, Antony Manyara Muchui went to court in October last year protesting the recruitment process based on structures and establishment that had not been approved by the PSC, the institution with the constitutional mandate, under Article 234 of the constitution to establish offices in the public service and approve organisation structures and human resource policies and guidelines.

In her judgment, Justice Mbaru said state corporations are part of the public service and undertake public functions using public resources. 

She further reiterated that the PSC is mandated to regulate all human resource of the state corporations. “I find that it is within the mandate of PSC to manage human resource matters in the public service and that includes state corporations,” ruled Mbaru.

The Judge, however, directed PSC to review, audit and make recommendations with regard to the Communications Authority human resource policies and practices of its officers or employees and report to the court within one year. PSC was also ordered to investigate the agency’s administration and personnel practices, and report back to the court.

Harmonised law

Mbaru said the report compiled by PSC should state measures undertaken to harmonise the law to meet the constitutional threshold pursuant to Article 234.

“The third respondent (PSC) is hereby directed to develop Human Resource Policies and guidelines for the 1st respondent (CA) in strict compliance with the Constitution and the law,” the Judge said.

The court directed the Commission and the Attorney General to ensure the enactment of  necessary amendments to legislation to align them with the provisions of Article 234 of the Constitution to prevent a situation where agencies continue to exercise statutory powers that existed prior to the promulgation of the new Constitution. 

Manyara had sued CA for changing the recruitment process by introducing possession of a Master’s degree as a condition for promotion.

Mbaru however allowed CA to restrict the recruitment of the two senior officials at the state agency to master’s degree holders arguing that they are technical positions requiring a higher level of competence.

The recruitment process of filling the two positions which had been advertised was temporarily halted last year after it was challenged in court on grounds that it was discriminatory and meant to lock out deserving Kenyans.

But the CA CEO Ezra Chiloba had opposed the petition arguing that the two positions were technical and will also form a pool from which a successor to the director general position would be sourced.

The judge has now directed CA to re-issue the internal and other public advertisements for filling of vacant positions within 14 days without disadvantage to those who had already applied and those likely to apply in the extended period.“To ensure completeness and taking into account the date the advertisements were closing the same was stopped by the court for good cause and to allow for the hearing of the petition, the first  respondent shall post and publicise a new date for receipt of all applications. This will give interested and eligible applicants a reasonable opportunity to put in their applications,” the Judge said.

Manyara filed the case arguing that the move is illegal and is meant to lock out deserving members of staff from being promoted, and also prevent qualified members of the public from applying for the jobs.

He said the advertisements were issued using new human resource policies and guidelines, prepared by the State Corporations Advisory Committee (SCAC), which requires all serving and prospective employees from the position of assistant manager and above to have a minimum academic qualification of a master’s degree. Source: People Daily

Photo Courtesy Tech News

What just happened? The Google One cloud storage service has included a VNP for Android devices ever since it launched in the summer of 2020. This week Google finally announced the rollout of a VPN to iOS users.

In addition to releasing Google One VPN for iOS users, Google adds a few features to it while bringing it to more countries. Google didn't specifically mention the feature coming to iPads, but it's a good bet since iPadOS is a fork of iOS.

Like before, Google One’s VPN service is available to subscribers of the premium plans for 2TB ($10 a month) or more storage through the iOS Google One app. Users can also share the storage and VPN with up to five family members.

Google One VPN was already available in the US, the UK, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and Germany. Google brings new countries into the fold, adding Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, with more on the way.

The new features include Save Disconnect, which makes sure you’re only using the internet with VPN enabled, App Bypass, which lets specific apps connect without using VPN, and a Snooze function for temporarily turning off the VPN.

Google also stresses how the VPN’s encryption has been independently audited by the NCC Group and certified by the Internet of Secure Things Alliance. By Daniel Sims, Tech News

Photo Courtesy CGTN

Nightlife in Uganda came back this week after President Yoweri Museveni reopened the economy, permitting bars and nightclubs to reopen amid the country’s loosening pandemic restrictions. 

Musicians, revelers and street vendors were up late in the Nakulabye suburb of Kampala, enjoying socializing amid the lifted measures after nearly two years of pandemic closures. CGTN

Revellers enjoy the fireworks at Mama Ngina Water Front in Mombasa County as they ushered in the New Year courtesy of Governor Hassan Joho.



Today let us assume Kenya is an individual who is eager to make her 2022 New Year resolutions. What would these be? The genesis of the New Year resolutions culture is associated with Romans, who annually made promises to Janus, their 'god of all beginnings', hence the name January. 

Early Christianity too adopted this tradition during New Year's watchnight services. Today, we largely rely on self-will to enforce our resolutions.

What key challenges did Kenya face in 2021? These included: high-octane politics; the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftershocks; a depressed economy, loss of employment, business and livelihoods; high cost of living; lack of opportunities for young persons; drought, floods, famines occasioned by climate change; runaway debt, impunity and endemic corruption.

In 2021, we witnessed significant infrastructural milestones; people's resilience in the face of coronavirus and climate change; uncompromising judicial independence; notable nation-wide development through the counties; and so on.

I now attempt to suggest some New Year resolutions that would make Kenya, in my view, a better union and Republic.

As a country, in 2022 we must pursue genuine national unity in diversity. This is unity across race, colour, gender, ethnic, clan or social origin, language, class, belief, political party affiliation, economic orientation, age, and so on. A 58-year-old country should neither have marginalised communities nor a dynasty-hustler divide. Kenyans must shun political mobilisation on tribe or other sectarian parameters.

It is imperative we become an awakened citizenry. Kenyans were once referred to as 'a nation of sheep’, and more recently as 'Wanjiga Nyinyi' (You Fools) by King Kaka. Citizens must arise to fearlessly question political or any other authority. We must exercise the sovereign power granted under Article 1 of the 2010 Constitution. 

In 2022, leaders and political parties must clearly articulate their manifestos. These must contain promises that can be fulfilled. It is mind-boggling how leaders churn out development promises, miserably fail to honour them, only to regurgitate the same pledges later and get voter buy-in. Citizens must henceforth vote for those who deliver and discard political misfits.

We must prepare our children and youth for the future. On the new competence-based curriculum (CBC), we should continue to work on the instructors' re-training and capacity to deliver CBC; appropriate classroom equipment; and critically empowering most parents to engage their children within the CBC system.

Illicit drinks

Additionally, let us continue to protect children – especially the girl child– from abuse within the family, educational institutions and all other environments.

The youth must be socialised to eventually seize leadership. Currently, the majority of youth are abandoned to illicit drinks, drugs and their own devices. They must be supported to recover their dignity, discipline and promise. Youth deserve a sound education, skills enhancement, employment, business and capital opportunities.

After the advent of the cell-phone, boda boda taxis and Mpesa, the next grand opportunity for mass youth engagement will be provision of affordable credit for the youth and other disadvantaged populations. This would rescue them from excessive 'fuliza' and 'shylocks'.

Further, we need to protect our women, persons living with disability, senior citizens and all vulnerable groups. In any country where women are not an integral part of the leadership, workforce or business, overall growth is sabotaged. To exclude persons with disability from the mainstream of the Kenyan society is to negate the contribution of 15 per cent of the population. 

We also need a volunteer system for tapping the wisdom and experience of retirees through mentorship, coaching and advisory services especially to the youth.

Many sectors in our country are run by cartels. Undoubtedly, corruption and bad leadership rank as our number one public enemy. And it is not just tenderprenuers and other grand thieves, but also corrupt citizens in our cooperatives, community groups and so on. For citizens to accuse political leaders, they must be ‘clean’. In the forthcoming elections, citizens must reject hand-outs. A handout is 'tiny' corruption that opens up the mega corruption highway. We must, as a people, make a firm stand against sleaze.

Kenyans are unable to easily hold public conversations. We have not embraced Kiswahili sufficiently to guarantee its widespread use as Tanzania did. Most of Kenya's official communication is in the English language. This means that public officials cannot effectively communicate with the majority. Let us promote Kiswahili and our local languages as the primary means of communication.

Invest in innovation

We must invest in innovation. The Ministry of Industrialisation and other allied institutions have not promoted the development of products that our inventors and innovators have created so that they can enter the global market. Young people are endeavouring to innovate in the ICT field. A large number of Kenyans have latent talents that lack a mechanism for prompt discovery and promotion. A country's transformation is anchored on innovation. 

Public projects are accomplished without much attention to maintenance and sustainability. As such, there is no people-centred project ownership. Let us create a robust public participation, maintenance, and sustainability framework and culture.

We must raise durable public and private institutions and servant leaders. Citizens must be ready to recall rogue leaders.

Let us commit ourselves to a clean environment in this era of climate change crisis. A majority of us callously throw garbage outside vehicle windows or even from our compounds. We must avoid deforestation and other acts that lead to environmental degradation.

The country must immediately stop incurring more public debt. Kenya’s national debt stands at Sh7.91 trillion or 63.9 per cent of the GDP. Lenders are beginning to deny us debt repayment holidays. And yet we are seeking more debt ostensibly to finance the 2022 polls. Good practice should bar an outgoing government from initiating fresh public debt in its sunset season.

Let us steadfastly nurture devolution. Despite its teething problems, it continues to be the fulcrum of our national development.

The 2010 Constitution acknowledges the supremacy of God in our country. We must in the New Year continue to invite God to divinely steer our country. We cannot go far on our own.

The final New Year resolution should be about guaranteeing that the August 2022 General Election is free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful.

Elections are not about the competitors, but about the peoples' future. They must not be allowed to foment chaos and stagnate or reverse the country's economy and development. 

Hence the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission must be absolutely independent. The state must refrain from capturing the election and succession process.

May we now hold ourselves accountable to implementing these and other national New Year resolutions. I wish you a prosperous New Year in which you accomplish your personal resolutions. By Kivutha Kibwana, Sunday Nation

The writer is the Governor of Makueni County

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