News headlines July 13 2017

News headlines July 13 2017

Lecturers remain defiant in push for Sh10bn lump sum cash payout
Public university lecturers and staff today remained defiant in their push for the full implementation of the multibillion shilling agreement they signed with the state.

The dons accused the government of reneging on the payment of the Sh10 billion deal as agreed in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) they signed that brought an end to a two month strike in March.

This comes as members of the University Academic Staff Union (UASU), Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (Kudheiha) and the Kenya University Staff Union (KUSU) began a fresh protest march to the Ministry of Education’s headquarters.

“This is our money we are being denied. What we are demanding is legitimate and rightfully ours as negotiated with the government,” said UASU Chairman Muga K’Olale.

Learning remains paralysed in the country’s 33 public universities with UASU secretary general Constantine Wasonga insisting the union would not engage in any form of renegotiations, with their focus shifting to the 2017-2021 CBA whose talks start in September.

The lecturers were set for huge cash windfalls in accumulated arrears dating from 2013 after getting a 17 percent increase in basic salary and 3.9 percent increase in house allowance across the board except for Maasai Mara University in the CBA.

The government has offered a Sh4.7 billion pay package, promising to pay the rest in future phases, something that the dons are opposed to.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has appealed to the striking universities’ staff to resume work assuring the over 27,700 employees of the government’s commitment to implement the salary increase deal.

He observed that the decision to pay the staff Sh4.8 billion was done since the accord was signed at the tail end of the 2016/2017 financial year but assured that the remaining Sh5.2 billion will be paid this financial year.

In the new deal, the highest paid academic staff, full professors, are set to get in excess of Sh1 million in arrears while the lowest paid staff, tutorial fellows and assistant lecturers, will pocket over Sh800,000.

Earlier this month, learning in public universities was paralyzed after lecturers downed their tools to push for full implementation of their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Uhuru: Jubilee has delivered development in Raila’s heartland
President Uhuru Kenyatta says he has commissioned projects worth billions of shillings in the Nyanza Counties of Homa Bay and Kisumu, adding that Jubilee has delivered development in the opposition heartland.

The projects commissioned were the Ahero-Kisii 84 kilometre road together with feeder roads that will be upgraded to bitumen standards at a cost of Kshs 9.4 billion, the 122 kilometre 10-inch Sinendet-Kisumu oil pipeline, the Kisumu oil jetty and a bridge connecting Mbita town to Rusinga Island constructed at a cost of Sh1 billion.

Speaking at Ahero in Kisumu County where he launched the construction of the Kisii-Ahero road, President Kenyatta affirmed his administration’s commitment to spread development in all parts of the country without discrimination.

“We have implemented development in all parts of the country because our focus as Jubilee is to bring all Kenyans aboard the transformative agenda without discrimination,” President Kenyatta said.

The President, who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto, said rehabilitation of the Ahero-Kisii road will open up the area and stimulate economic activities for the benefit of residents.

“Upgrading of this road will save lives by curbing accidents. It will also boost the economy and the livelihoods of the locals,” President Kenyatta said.

Urging the residents to vote for Jubilee based on its development delivery track record, President Kenyatta asked them to embrace peace at all times.

President Kenyatta also presided over the ground-breaking for a new state-of-the art brewery that East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) is setting up in Kisumu at a cost of Kshs 15 billion.

Speaking at the event, the President said his administration will continue working to attract investors who will create jobs for the locals.

State House: NASA is trying to undermine public confidence in our democratic system
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State House team has today responded to accusatory statements made by the opposition on July 11, 2017, lashing out at the National Super Alliance (NASA) for what the administration terms as inflammatory allegations.

State House was responding to claims from the opposition that Uhuru’s team was undermining the constitution by interfering with the voting process.

“We are surprised and shocked at the baseless and laughable allegations made by one of the President’s challengers on 11th July 2017. The wild assertions are intended to wilfully undermine public confidence in our democratic system required to ensure an incident-free, fair, transparent and credible electoral process where the will of Kenyans is exercised,” State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said in a statement issued earlier today.

Esipisu argued that in his meet-the-people tours and re-election campaign stops across the country, President Kenyatta confirmed that he will accept the will of Kenyan voters on August 8, 2017, whatever that may be.

“While the President has been campaigning across the country for his re-election to retain leadership and continue transforming Kenya, his opponent and his cronies continue to work hard to attempt to derail preparations for the August 8th elections,” the Spokesperson said.

He stated that the opposition has so far filed more than 30 cases in court, which Uhuru’s team believes to be frivolous and without merit, all aimed at influencing, dictating and likely stopping the elections from happening.

State House Spokesman calims that NASA has continued to make demands “without reason or logic”, with the most recent one being that they must be included in the tender committee to procure ballot papers for the forthcoming elections.

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