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Ferguson community leaders show strength after destruction

Anderson Cooper 360

Pastor Carlton Lee repeatedly called for the arrest of Officer Darren Wilson. Michael Brown’s father worships there. Last night, his church was one of a dozen or so buildings that were set on fire. Pastor Lee tells Anderson that he is experiencing feelings that are similar to losing a child.

Varun Madaksira owns The Original Reds Barbecue in Ferguson. When his business burned during protests last August, he moved his grills outside and fed protesters. Sadly, Reds Barbecue suffered far more extensive  damage last night. Now, Madaksira says he is not sure that he will be able to reopen. He tells Anderson that despite all of this, he is still “a firm believer in the fabric of a strong neighborhood.”

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2014/11/26/ac-ferguson-restaurant-owners-business-burns.cnn.html]

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GIVE DIGITAL BROADCASTING LICENCES TO PRIVATE MEDIA HOUSES.

The much heated debate and a court case regarding digital migration has been the talk of the day in the public domain. For many months now, viewers who subscribe to StarTimes and Gotv digital signal providers have not been able to watch local T.V channels. The Supreme Court issued a statement in its ruling that the media houses, signal distribution companies and the media houses should reach a unanimous decision within ninety days on how they would operate henceforth. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon the government and the Communications Authority of Kenya to issue licenses to these media houses in the shortest time possible for them to be back on air on digital platform. It is suspect to all and sundry on CAK’s reservations on issuance of licenses to private media houses whose main aim will be to censor their content.
Chapter 5 on the bill of rights and Article 34 of the Kenyan constitution is very clear on the Freedom of the press, so too are Articles 33 on Freedom of expression and Article 35 on Access to information not forgetting Freedom of Information Act and code of conduct all within whose confines journalists should operate. The freedom of information encompasses two complementary aspects: First is the right of the public to be informed, this right is usually regarded as fundamental to political democracy. Second is the right of each individual to express him or herself freely. For the government, Communications Authority of Kenya or any other statutory body to go against what is envisaged in the constitution at the expense of not issuing licenses is utter lawlessness and against the spirit of democracy.

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EBOLA SCARE IS STILL IN THE OFFING

In what seems to be a reduction of the number of Ebola cases and perceived extermination of the virus is in disguise and foolhardy. The virus is still looming unabated without the knowledge of many civilians and medical practitioners. Every day if not hour, new victims are reported to have contracted the disease, with some failing to disclose their status thusly increasing the rate of infection. Kenya is no exception and is quite vulnerable through our porous borders and notably our airports. Last week a 10- year old boy who arrived in Kenya exhibiting Ebola –like symptoms had to be quarantined in order to be examined. The big question is why the boy and his mother had to force their way in by sneaking through Uganda after being denied entry at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport yet he had exhibited Ebola- like symptoms? Much as he had latter tested negative of Ebola, the worry is how many people (mostly fellow pupils for that matter) would he have infected for the eight days he has been in Kenya? How authentic are the tests to fast establish his status as negative? What if the virus is still in its initial stages not fully manifesting its existence and symptoms?
I find the Ministry of Health outlandishly unresponsive, preposterous, negligent and not vigilant in devising preventing measures against the much dreaded disease. Sadly, the comforts of modern social life have blinded Kenyans from seeing the possible ways of contracting the virus ranging from clubs, parties, orgies, rugby matches and other social gatherings where all sorts of immoral acts are the order of the day. Doctors, nurses, medical practitioners, teachers and civilians too should be trained on the various methods of identifying the disease, how it is contracted, treated and how to prevent oneself from contracting it. Besides the public being the top most priority, medical practitioners should be provided with protective gear and medical equipment for the support, isolation and transportation of patients. We must win this fight against Ebola that is spreading like a cankerworm lest we all perish because of our own folly.

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CORD SHOULD CONDUCT CIVIC EDUCATION ON REFURENDUM

Whereas issues raised by the cord team in the push for a referendum are quite pertinent and of public interest, it is incumbent upon them to educate the public of what the issues are and how they will not only positively impact on democracy but also how it would better the life of Wanjikus. A myriad of Kenyans hardly know or decipher the issues mentioned, it would be inappropriate for cord to push for the referendum whilst not conducting civic education to put civilians in the right picture.
Kenya is now at a worse crossroad, ranging from a limping economy, insecurity, perennial strikes by public servants and acute corruption that has been witnessed by a plethora of ethicized public office appointments. Cheating Kenyans for fishy gains, political bickering and oscillating where only money exists are the last lot of crass that Kenyans can stand as of now.
An educated public will not only be able to make independent but reasonable decisions and not the usual handouts based that have cost us to date. Having come hardly five years since the promulgation of our new constitution and its full implementation, the push for a referendum is quite premature and may be deemed as counterproductive. It is for this reason that cord principles need to really convince the public what the pertinent issues are and why they cannot wait any longer even at the expense of its full implementation.

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IN VITRO FERTILISATION BILL 2014 IS WELCOME

The recent proposal by the National Assembly to debate a bill which is also sponsored by Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo on ‘test tube’ babies is welcome with great enthusiasm. For a while now these babies have been deprived of rights as children, so too are the surrogate mothers. This will see a surrogate mother ceding parental rights of the child upon birth, unless there is an otherwise agreement upon which both parties i.e biological parents are signatories. Although in vitro fertilization has been going on in Kenya, there has not been laid down logistics on a register of beneficiaries including the law itself to govern the practice, this has posed many risks of intermarriage by relatives. Court cases too have been in the offing where surrogate mothers demand ownership of the child upon birth leaving the biological parents with no option.
Infertile couples and mothers who have pregnancy complications will soon have something to smile about if the bill will be debated upon and passed unanimously. The joy of any good marriage is having children, any factor that impedes efforts for procreation is a pain in the neck if not heartbreaking. This procedure has had its share of lashing by religious leaders for quite a while terming it as immoral, unnatural and ungodly. However, with the passing of the proposed bill that has laid down rules, regulations and authority on issuing licenses, legitimacy of the parties, outlawing cloning that may be in disguise of the same and on the number of times a woman can undergo the procedure, this bill is much welcome and a joy to the many affected.

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MAKE USE OF EL NINO RAINS

Heavy rains have rocked most parts of the country further rendering some weather roads completely impassable. It is not the first time the country is plagued by such amounts of rainfall albeit less destructive this time round. Rain they say is a blessing, I would add that it is a blessing in disguise. The metrological department never disappoints in informing of such rains in the offing but hardly do Kenyans take heed nor prepare to receive the blessing.
If Kenyans could innovate ways of tapping the rain water in large amounts then perennial famine that often plagues our country would be a thing of the past. The stored water can be used to irrigate our dry land during the dry season and cash crops of all varieties can be grown. We can even export our cash crops to various other countries. This has been tried elsewhere and has worked out very well not forgetting here in Kenya in a few irrigation schemes where it is river water that is used.
For a third world country of Kenya’s caliber it is quite shameful for civilians to die of hunger and beg for foreign aid from countries where such innovative measures are in place. Let us borrow the ideas and not always being on the receiving end of foreign aid.

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