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The government yesterday said it will change the structure of the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) scheme towards achieving universal health care.

President William Ruto said though there has been progress in enrolling more members, the challenge with NHIF is that it is more of an occupational scheme for salaried people in the public and private sectors. 

Saying it is not a social insurance scheme as it ought to be, Ruto said the Government will change the contribution structure from an individual contributory scheme to a household model.

“Reforming NHIF is a necessary imperative. Progress has been made in enrolling more members. In the past 10 years, 12 million Kenyans have joined the fund,” said Ruto during the Mashujaa day celebrations.

“The challenge, however, is that the NHIF is an occupational scheme for salaried people on the payroll in the public and private sectors and not the social insurance scheme it ought to be. We shall change the contribution structure from an individual contributory scheme to a household contribution model,” he added. 

Ruto noted that health is front and centre of socio-economic development and that failure of a healthcare system undermines prosperity.

According to the President, Kenyan families spend a total of Sh150 billion out-of-pocket expenditures on health services a year mobilised from various sources, including harambees, Whatsapp MPesa, loans, sale of land and other assets, to pay hospital bills for loved ones.

Similarly, he said that many small businesses fail when owners fall ill and cannot work, or divert money to pay medical expenses.

“It is no wonder, then, that it is commonly said that most families and individuals in Kenya are one illness away from poverty. 1 million Kenyans sink into poverty every year because of medical expenses,” he explained.

“We want to lift this punitive burden from the shoulders of Kenyans and their businesses through our universal health care plan,” Ruto added. 

He said the plan is to revitalise primary healthcare by laying more emphasis on preventive and promotive strategies.

Many critical health illnesses, including cancer, heart complications, kidney failure and hypertension, he said, can be detected and addressed at this level without the need for a hospital. 

By Irene Githinji, People Daily

Liz Truss announced her resignation after a turbulent six weeks in office. (PA)/Photo Courtesy

The UK will have a new prime minister by the end of next week after Liz Truss announced her resignation. Her premiership will be the shortest running in British history, having only stepped into 10 Downing Street on 6 September.

What little was left of her authority crumbled on Wednesday following home secretary Suella Braverman's resignation and reports of "manhandling" and "bullying" of Conservative MPs over a vote on fracking.

Now, key details of the leadership race have been confirmed: candidates will need the backing of 100 MPs to be in the running; the Tory membership could still get a say via electronic voting; and one the favourites to emerge is none other than Boris Johnson.

Here's what we know - and what happens next:

What happens next?

Sir Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers and whose role means he is responsible for overseeing leadership elections and votes of confidence, told reporters he expected a new leader to be in place before Friday, 28 October.

This would be just in time before the upcoming fiscal statement on Halloween, setting out a medium-term fiscal strategy and independent economic forecasts.

Read more: How an almighty migration row led Suella Braverman to turn against Liz Truss

File photo dated 31/08/2022 of Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss during a hustings event at Wembley Arena, London, as part of their campaign to be leader of the Conservative Party and the next prime minister. Liz Truss has announced she will resign as Prime Minister. Issue date: Thursday October 20, 2022.
Rishi Sunak is among the favourites to replace her. (PA)

Brady confirmed that nominations to be the next leader will open on Thursday evening.

He said hopefuls will need the backing of at least 100 MPs by Monday at 2pm to be in the running.

The first ballot of MPs will then be held between 3.30pm and 5.30pm that day.

If there are three candidates, the candidate with the fewest number of votes will be eliminated - with the result announced at 6pm.

If two candidates remain, MPs will hold an indicative vote between 6.30pm and 8.30pm, with the result announced at 9pm.

Tory party members will then have the opportunity to vote on their preferred candidate online, with the ballot closing at 11am on Friday 28 October and the result announced later that day.

However, if only one candidate reaches the 100 MP threshold needed on Monday, they will automatically become the next leader of the Conservative party and the next PM.

The process will be considerably speedier than the previous leadership contest, which ran from 13 July to 5 September – longer than Truss' time in Number 10.

Who is in the running?

With the Conservative Party now bitterly divided, there will be some struggle finding a unity candidate to replace Truss, who succeeded Boris Johnson on 6 September.

Some of the main contenders to replace Truss include Rishi Sunak, who came second to her in the last Conservative Party leadership race.

Penny Mordaunt is also another favourite, but chancellor Jeremy Hunt is understood to have ruled himself out.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a speech on energy security at EDF's Sizewell nuclear power station in Suffolk. Picture date: Thursday September 1, 2022.
Boris Johnson could announce his intention to run, according to the Times. (PA)

Former leadership contender Tom Tugendhat has also said he will not stand, while other figures who have been suggested include Kemi Badenoch, Kemi Badenoch and Ben Wallace.

There is speculation that Boris Johnson could attempt a return to Number 10.

According to The Times, Johnson will announce his intention to run shortly, and considers his decision to be "a matter of national interest".

A number of Conservative MPs have already backed him to take over, leading to widespread criticism from opposition figures.

Will Conservative Party members definitely have a say?

Tory members will only get to vote on a candidate if more than one leadership hopeful reaches the 100 MP threshold needed to qualify for the leadership contest.

Allowing the members to have a final say on the next leader could pave a route back for Johnson, should he reach the 100 MP threshold, with polling in August revealing 53% of Tory members believed he should have remained PM. By James Hockaday and Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, Yahoo News

Billionaire businessman Jimnah Mbaru in a past address. Photo: Jimnah Mbaru. Source: Twitter

The matter was being arbitrated before Milimani Children’s Court Principal Magistrate Jackie Kibosia, with the woman seeking orders to have Mbaru undergo paternity test to ascertain whether or not he is the father of the four-year-old at the centre of the suit. 

The lady moved to court seeking Mbaru to be compelled to take paternity responsibilities after alleged negligence. During the initial proceedings of the matter on Tuesday, October 18, the businessman applied for the media to be gagged from covering the matter.

However, the woman’s lawyer Lempaa Soyinka opposed the application saying the court should take notice that young mothers are disappearing when they sue influential people for child maintenance. He said the security of the child is tied to the security of the mother and that can only be realised when the matter remained in the public.

The court however, considered Mbaru's request and directed journalists who were following the proceedings virtually to log out. KSh 4.4 million The 24-year-old mother is seeking KShs 4.4 million per year for child support.

The young mother alleged that the businessman donated his parental responsibility to one Erick Murimi Kaburu through a power of attorney, thereby, treating the minor as a ‘property of chattel goods.’ “The said Memorandum of Understanding dated September 10, the “putative father” was required to pay KShs 50,000 per month, an amount has not been remitted for the maintenance of the minor,” she claims in court documents.

In the suit papers, among other expenses, she is seeking KShs 320,000 monthly and 600,000 per year for the minor who is enrolled at Kitengela International School located in Kajiado county. In the monthly expenses, she is seeking KShs 50,000 for food, KShs 50,000 for medical expenses, KShs 50,000 for clothes, KShs 100,000 for shopping, miscellaneous expenses KShs 20,000 and house help KShs 50,000. Source: Tuko

 

JUBA – At least twenty-seven people have been killed in separate villages this month in Fashoda and Panyikang Counties of Upper Nile state following attacks by armed men believed to have come from neighboring Jonglei State, Governor Abudhok Anyang told Sudans Post on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, thousands of Gawaar White Army who are said to have joined the political conflict between opposition commanders in the oil-rich state in support of General Simon Gatwech Dual attacked several villages in Fashoda and Panyikang killing dozens of people.

Speaking to Sudans Post on Wednesday evening, Upper Nile State Governor Abudhok Anyang said the attack has resulted in the killing of at least twenty-four (24) people as well as the death of three (3) people who he said drowned in the river Nile while on the run.

“The total number of the people who have lost their lives since this senseless attack is now 27. Among the 27 are 3 people who drowned in the Nile while 24 people were intentionally killed. So, this is the entire statistic that we have for now,” Governor Abudhok said.

The top government official further that the number of the people who died might be higher given the lack of proper communication means in the state and said that authorities were still investigating and will update the number accordingly.

“Up to now as I said, those who died are 27, but the government of Upper Nile State is investigation and is reaching out to remote villagers to understand if there are any deaths as result of this attack which have not been reported,” he said.

“So, once we find out, we will update the public accordingly. It is a very unfortunate situation and it is sad that after signing the peace agreement, our people have continued to die but the government in Juba has not taken any measures to help,” he added. - Sudans Post

Integrity Centre: EACC has raised the red flag against forged academic certificates. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has raised concern over the increased number of alleged falsification and forgery of academic certificates in the country.

The commission has written a circular which is addressed to all University Vice Chancellors, Chairpersons of University Councils, Commission for University Education and the Kenya National Examinations Council. 

“The most prevalent and rampant irregularities that have been noted include, alteration of the grades in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education so as to gain admission into graduate and postgraduate programmes in universities and alteration of names on genuine certificates to enable the person altering to impersonate the ones named therein so as to either apply for admission to learning institutions or seek employment,” the statement read.

The anti-graft body also listed “Cases of missing admission records or documents and other relevant information from a student’s file or profile thereby making it difficult or impossible for law enforcement agencies to verify the bona fides of a person when investigating the foregoing allegations,” as part of the irregularities. 

EACC has said that the increased cases are a threat to Kenya’s education system and if they remain unchecked it will compromise the value of the public service.

“It is therefore important that concerted efforts that bring on board all concerned stakeholders be embarked upon, to seek a lasting solution on how these vices can be curbed,” the commission said.

EACC has urged major education stakeholders to establish and operationalize mechanisms to ensure the authenticity of academic records that are issued to graduates and post-graduates.  By Elaine Kirui, The Standard

 
 

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