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Mawathe hands over military command to Kibochi

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The outgoing CDF Gen Samson Mwathethe and CDF Designate Gen Robert Kibochi at the Defence Headquarters where the CDF handed over KDF flag to CDF Designate Gen Kibochi as well as signing the change of command certificate/KDF

General Samson Mwathethe received a 17-gun salute as he officially handed over the command of the military to his successor Robert Kibochi on Friday.

The outgoing the new Chief of Defence Forces arrived at the Department of Defence Headquarters where he handed over functions to Gen Kibochi. Earlier on, Gen Mwathethe bid farewell the Kenya Army personal.

He was also accorded guards of honour at Kenya Navy and Kenya Airforce headquarters where he visited military personnel earlier in the week.

Gen Mwathethe is leaving the force after 42 years of service.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, her Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo who previously held the docket are among top ranking government officers present at the ceremony

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Safaricom Foundation Aids Slum Kids with Tablets for e-learning

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Safaricom, Senior Manager- Regional Operations, Rose Njue (left), presents smartphones to, Dignitas Executive Director, Deborah Kimathi and Program Officer, Francis Njoroge. Safaricom Foundation donated 73 smartphones towards the facilitation of online studying for schools In Kawangware and Dandora slums.
Students drawn from over one thousand households in the informal settlements of Kawangware and Dandora are set to benefit from free access to e-learning tools.
 This is following a partnership between Safaricom Foundation and Dignitas, a non-governmental organisation that works to provide access to education in urban slums.
 The project involves provision of tablets to student leaders and teachers from the two informal settlements who will use the devices to relay education content to other students both via SMS and through online platforms.
 “The current COVID-19 crisis has disrupted day-to-day learning which has unfortunately left some students behind; especially those who cannot afford smart phones or tablets for online learning. We are trying to bridge this divide not only through philanthropy like we are doing here today but also through products such as Shupavu 291 which is in partnership with Eneza and allows for access to learning and revision content via text messages and USSD,” said Joseph Ogutu, chairman, Safaricom Foundation.
Dignitas Executive Director,Deborah Kimanthi said:“Dignitas is excited to be partnering with Safaricom Foundation during this crisis. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to thrive and succeed. However, many children rely on school for protection and well-being as well as learning. Our support to children in this season will protect their well-being and promote learning at home so that all children can reach their potential.”
 Last month Safaricom partnered with Eneza Education, Longhorn Publishers and Viusasa Elimu to provide free access to educational content for primary and secondary school students studying from home.
 The partnership with Eneza Education allows students from grade 4 to form 4 access learning and revision content on the SMS-based Shupavu291 free of charge following a 60-day waiver of the daily KES 3 subscription fee. The platform can be accessed via USSD *291# or the short code 20851.
 Learners with internet access can also access education content on Shupavu Web, Viusasa Elimu and the Longhorn E-learning portals through a free education bundle available on *544#

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Lake Victoria levels breaks 50-year record

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The waters of Lake Victoria have risen to 13.43m, an all-time record.

The highest mark previously recorded was 13.41m, in May 1964.

The freshwater lake is shared by Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, where the rising waters have caused destruction and displacement, leaving thousands of people homeless in recent weeks.

Sam Cheptoris, Uganda’s minister for water and environment, says the state electricity generation firm is now releasing 2,400 cubic meters of water per second at the River Nile in Jinja, to save the hydro-power dams from being washed away.

Uganda relies almost entirely on dams along the River Nile for its electricity needs.

Last month, the swelling waters led a floating island, estimated to have been about two acres, to break off the river bank, blocking the intake gates of one of the dams and causing a brief nationwide power cut.

The Nile flows into Lake Kyoga, north of the capital Kampala, where the water being spilled downstream has also caused the lake to swell, displacing families and damaging farms.

East Africa is currently experiencing heavier than usual rains, which are predicted to continue throughout May

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Govt Demolitions Leave Korogocho Slum DwellersHomeless

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More than 5,000 people have been rendered homeless after the government demolished their houses to reclaim land in Nairobi’s Kariobangi sewage slum estate.

Police supervised the demolitions mandated by the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company in the 6am exercise to evict the families from where they had called home for over 10 years with bulldozers in Kariobangi North.

The evictions were carried in spite of a court order barring the exercise, compounding the problems face by the residents most of whom have been struggling to survive especially in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

However, a number of the affected residents said they were not given any written notice, claiming that the area administrator and police boss only gave them a verbal notice on Sunday to move out by the end of the day.

The government claims the land was grabbed from Dandora Estate Waste Sewerage Treatment Plant in Ruai, but according to the residents they have been paying rent to live on the land for the past 12 years.

One of the residents David Wanyoike said that most tenants have allotment letters for the land and were awaiting the processing of title deeds.

The demolition, he said, begun without any eviction notice being issued to the residents by Nairobi water company. He claimed that they have been rightfully living on the contested parcel of land for close to 12 years now.

“We have the letters and we have been paying rent for the past 12 years, so how can the government claim that we are here illegally?” he posed.

The exercise, however, elicited angry reactions from members of public who accused the government of being inhumane for leaving the residents homeless at a time of a crisis characterised by joblessness and with a curfew and a partial lock down that leaves the families confined with Nairobi.

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