Four State House staffers test positive to Covid-19

Davies

The spread of coronavirus pandemic in Kenya has got to the presidency’s doorstep, with four State House employees testing positive.

State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena made this announcement on Monday.

FIRST FAMILY SAFE

Dena also confirmed that President Uhuru Kenyatta and the First Family are safe and not among those affected.

“As part of proactive measures being implemented to contain the spread of Covid-19, State House staff are regularly tested for the disease. The tests are conducted on all staff including His Excellency the President and members of his family,” explained Dena.

“During last week’s mass Covid-19 testing held on Thursday, 11th June 2020, four (4) persons were found to have contracted the disease. To strengthen Covid-19 containment measures, extra access protocols for State House staff residing outside the compound and visitors have been rolled out,” she said.

AFFECTED EMPLOYEES

However, Dena did not reveal the identities of the affected employees.

“State House would like to inform Kenyans that His Excellency the President and the First Family are safe and free from Covid-19,” she further said.

The development comes a day after Health Cabinet Secretary informed Kenyans that anybody in the country was at risk of getting infected.

“Start treating the person next to you as if he positive, especially when he is not wearing a mask,” said Kagwe.

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City Hall to unveil five new markets to accommodate more than 7000 traders

Nairobi County government is set to open five new markets with a capacity to accommodate more than 7,000 traders, with the county promising fair allocation of the new market spaces.

The traders will be able to access the five new markets, located in different sub-counties in Nairobi and have been under construction for the past two years, by the end of the year.

OPEN-AIR MARKETS

Nairobi currently has 20 open-air and 23 large markets which cannot accommodate the huge population of merchants in the capital city.

The markets include Westlands Market, Karandini Market, New Wakulima Market along Kangundo Road, Qware Road Market and Mwariro Market.

According to Nairobi County Director of Markets and Trading Services Fredrick Ndunyu, the markets are 99 percent complete with the markets boasting modern features including both retail and wholesale requirements.

“For instance, the new look Mwariro market will have a generator, underground water tank, a borehole, fire extinguishers, eateries, modern stalls, CCTV cameras for security, parking spaces and toilets for use by the traders,” said Mr Ndunyu.

The Karandini and Mwariro Markets, which are partnership projects between the World Bank and City Hall with the former pumping Sh650 million, can accommodate close to 3,500 traders.

Karandini Market, located next to the Meteorological Department in Dagoretti Corner, has over 400 spaces and most of the work has already been done.

CONSTRUCTION

On the other hand, Mwariro Market is set to house more than 3,000 traders after 500 new trading spaces were added to the market located in Kariokor, Starehe sub-County.

Mr Ndunyu said that families and traders who were affected during the construction of the market will be given priority during allocation of stalls once the project is unveiled.

“A total of 17 families were affected while 24 traders were moved to pave way for the construction of the new market. All the affected were compensated with the traders were promised priority in allocation of stalls,” he said.

The director said that Westlands Market, which has been undergoing renovation by the national government and the county government, will accommodate over 3,000 traders who previously occupied the market but were displaced during construction.

Another big market is the New Wakulima Market in Embakasi West sub-County which the director said is 99 percent complete with the only challenge to its total completion being an illegal building around it but consultations with the owner are ongoing.

The opening of the Sh800 million fresh produce market, a project between the county and the African Development Bank, can house more than 3,000 traders. The market also comes with 370 new lockable stalls.

CHALLENGES

The market has already faced numerous challenges with city residents claiming of being conned by impostors selling spaces at the market.

In October 2018, the County Assembly Trade had raised concerns that the public are being blackmailed into giving money to have market spaces reserved for them.

However, City Hall made it clear that no one had been sent to collect money from residents on its behalf.

On the new look Qware Road Market in Gikomba, which has been undergoing renovation, Mr Ndunyu said the market will accommodate more than 600 traders with priority given to 81 traders who were displaced when the market burnt down.

“After considering the 81 as a priority in allocation of spaces, the rest will be subjected to vetting in a fair process,” he said.

Mr Ndunyu added that two other markets expected to be completed soon are City Park Market in Parklands and Karen Market while plans for a modern market in Dandora Phase 1 is underway.

 *Sports*

Gor Mahia coach says he’s now surviving on personal savings

As effects of coronavirus pandemic continues to impact negatively on sportsmen and women, Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack has revealed that he is currently surviving on his savings.

Polack said he is paying his family bills back in England from the money he has been saving in his entire coaching career.

PERSONAL SAVINGS

“What I’m feeding on and using to meet my family needs is money I started saving when I was at 35. Things are tough and you know we have not been receiving salaries because of lack of sponsorship,” Polack told Nairobi News.

The 59-year-old tactician acknowledged that not everyone can adopt the culture of saving money but urged players to try always to save something to keep them going.

“Not everyone can save because sometimes what they receive goes into all their needs but let’s try to spare something little. I’m really struggling but things would have been worse if my savings were depleted,” he added.

The Briton is however hopeful that things will change in the near future. He also thanked the government for cushioning the players during these tough times.

TOUGH TIMES

Kenyan Premier League players have been going through tough economic times as some clubs have not been paying salaries due to lack of sponsorship.

Nairobi City Stars defender Wesley Onguso is one of the players who have ventured into boda boda business so as to make ends meet.

Polack’s team is one of the clubs which have been really affected as they have not paid players salaries for the past five months.

Club chairman Ambrose Rachier recently said that the situation has forced him to talk to landlords to rescue his players from being evicted due to rent arrears.

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