Elderly Woman Quit FGM Practice and Handover her Tools in Garissa County

Elderly Woman Quit FGM Practice and Handover her Tools in Garissa County

An elderly woman from Garissa County on Wednesday 2nd September quit Female Genital Mutilation practice by handing over her tools of trade to the Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh during a dialogue meeting held at the Government Guest House in Garissa town.

While handing over the tools, Ms. Galina Gurre from Yumata location vowed to be an Anti FGM champion and committed to work closely with Government agencies in sensitizing other cutters to realize the harmful effects that are caused by the cut.

While receiving the tools, Hon. Shebesh thanked the elderly woman for leading the way and being a good example to others who are still practising. She appealed to women from Garissa County and other Counties that practice FGM to down their tools and adhere to the law.

The Chief Administrative Secretary committed KES. 100,000 from Uwezo Fund as start up capital to assist Ms. Gurre to explore an alternative means of earning a livelihood.

Hon. Shebesh issued a stern warning to Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs who will fail to deliver on the Presidential directive to end FGM by 2022 telling them that their days are numbered and that the law would catch up with them.

“This is a Presidential directive and it must be implemented. If you find it difficult, then let’s find someone who will replace you,” she said.

Ijara Constituency MP Hon. Sofia Abdi called on cultural and religious leaders to work with the Government to ensure that the harmful vice is eradicated.

Garissa County Commissioner, Mr. Mwangi Meru assured the Chief Administrative Secretary that he will do everything within his capacity to ensure that no stone is left unturned in ensuring FGM becomes a thing of the past.

The Chief Administrative Secretary was accompanied by Anti-FGM Board Chairperson, Mrs. Agnes Pareiyo, UNFPA Representative, Mr. Ademola Olajide among other National and County Government Officials.

By Brian Kochwa

NYS Targets to Boost Food Security in the Country

NYS Targets to Boost Food Security in the Country

National Youth Service (NYS) targets to generate Ksh. One billion annually up from the current Ksh. 40 million in agricultural production to boost food security in the Country.

Principal Secretary, Mrs. Mary Kimonye during her familiarization tour at NYS Yatta Complex, Machakos County on Monday 31st August applauded NYS for their effort to boost food security in the Country.

“I want to commend the officers and servicemen for the good job they have done in these field stations. It is quite impressive, their efforts will go a long way in realization of the President’s Big Four Agenda on food security and nutrition,” she reiterated.

Mrs. Kimonye called for mechanization, use of modern farming technology and harvesting of rainwater for irrigation purposes, a move which she said will provide an opportunity for expansion of the field stations.

She noted that the Athi River NYS station if fully equipped with modern farming technology will be able to cultivate 3,396 acres of land for food production up from the current 300.

The Yatta Complex comprised of three NYS farming field stations namely; Mavoloni field unit, Athi River field unit and Yatta field unit which mainly engage in crop and livestock production.

The tour was an opportunity for the Principal Secretary to better understand the programmes currently being implemented at the field stations, the opportunities available and the challenges facing the field units for planning purposes.

At the Mavoloni field unit, which covers an area of 70 Ha, the PS toured the orchards, maize and banana plantations as well as the horticultural unit. She also toured the livestock production unit which comprises of both ranching and zero grazing.

Principal Secretary, Mrs. Mary Kimonye inspecting tomato greenhouse at NYS Athi River field station

In Athi River field station the Principal Secretary toured the pawpaw and avocado farm where grafting of local and imported varieties is being carried out, as well as the horticultural section which also has Green-house farming for vegetables, beans, tomatoes among other plants.

The Yatta station houses the Yatta School of Agriculture and School of Plant Operators and Mechanics which offer technical support to TVET institutions such as Meru Ploytechnic, Nkabane Technical and Kiirua Technical. Also supports the Yatta Academy and Huduma Secondary School.

The Principal Secretary was accompanied by the Principal Administrative Secretary, Mr. Steve Ndele, Secretary Administration, Mr. Muktar Abdi among other officials from the Ministry and NYS.

By Andrew Ishepai

Renewed Commitment to End FGM by 2022

Renewed Commitment to End FGM by 2022

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia, on Wednesday 26th August committed to continue strengthening the capacity of public service to deliver on H.E. President, Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to end FGM by 2022.

Prof. Kobia made her remarks as she held a meeting with cultural and religious elders who are working with the ministry on the End FGM Programme.

She emphasized on the need to be on high alert and protect girls during the COVID-19 pandemic period because they are at high risk of FGM. “Schools have been a safe haven for children. They are now exposed and are at very high risk of not only being subjected to FGM but are also at high risk of early and forced child marriage, rape and teenage pregnancy,” she said.

Prof. Kobia further called on parents and guardians to be the first duty bearers of their children and take responsibility to protect them against cultural practices that violate their rights.

She commended the Kenya School of Government for the steady increase in the number of public servants who are undertaking training and the development infrastructure geared towards creating a conducive learning environment.

She kick started the Greening Initiative in the Institution which is part of the Government’s on going project to plant 1.8 billion trees and achieve more than 10% forest cover in the country by 2022.

The Cabinet Secretary also unveiled 15 newly built residential cottages at the Kenya School of Government, Baringo Campus. Later on, Prof. Kobia issued Affirmative Funds from Women Enterprise Fund worth Ksh.8 million to various women groups in Baringo County. She also donated dignity kits for girls, masks and shukas.

The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by Mrs. Mary Kimonye, Principal Secretary, State Department for Public Service, Prof. Ludeki Chweya, Director General Kenya School of Government, Mrs. Agnes Pareyio, Anti-FGM Board Chairperson,Mr. Henry Wafula, Baringo County Commissioner, Dr. Ademola Olajide, UNFPA Country Representative, Mr. Titus Lotee, CEO National Government Affirmative Action Fund among other national and county officials.


PS, Prof. Suda Urges Affirmative Funds Beneficiaries to repay the Loans

PS, Prof. Suda Urges Affirmative Funds Beneficiaries to repay the Loans

Principal Secretary, Prof. Collette Suda has called on Affirmative funds beneficiaries to repay the loans on time in order to allow others to benefit.

Prof. Suda made her remarks on on Saturday 22nd while she presided over the issuance of Uwezo Fund cheques worth over Ksh. 1.4 million to various groups of youth, women and Persons with Disabilities in Rongo Constituency, Migori County.

She asked the beneficiaries to explore alternative income generating activities in order to be able to repay the loans which stands at 23% repayment rate in the County.

“Uwezo Fund is a revolving fund that you need to pay back within the given period of time for others who have applied to benefit. The Government Affirmative funds aims at empowering the vulnerable groups to improve their economic status,” said Prof. Suda.

She noted that many businesses have been hard hit during the COVID-19 pandemic which they continue to record losses that will make it hard for beneficiaries to repay back the loans.

The Principal Secretary condemned the increase in teenage pregnancies which interferes with the girls’ education and their future. She asked parents to guide and teach their children.

She further urged men to protect women and girls during COVID-19 pandemic from the rising cases of Gender Based Violence which has continued to be recorded in the Country.

The Principal Secretary was accompanied by Uwezo Fund CEO, Mr. Peter Lengapiani, among other National and County officials.



Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia today presided over the virtual signing of financial year 2020/2021 Performance Contract by the Ministry’s Principal Secretaries and respective Chairpersons of the State Corporations under Public Service and Gender.

While speaking during the virtual meeting, the Cabinet Secretary noted that, the Performance Contracts signed by the state officers will accord them and their management an opportunity to implement the performance targets that are aligned to the development agenda for both the Ministry and National Government.

Adding that the Performance Contract is a tool of management that enhances accountability for results against resources that have been entrusted to the Principal Secretaries and their respective departments and corporations.’’ The tool will not only be instrumental in supporting evidence-based decision-making but also will also be used to hold you to account for your actions.”

Prof. Kobia acknowledged the unprecedented environment that Covid-19 has placed the economy under, noting that service delivery has been affected by the pandemic.

“The global pandemic has affected service delivery in all sectors of the economy. Some sectors have closed down while others are re-opening amidst strict health containment protocols,” she said.

However, she called upon those in public service to be innovative enough to sustain service delivery so that service delivery is not considerably affected to a level of complete halt.

She urged the Chairpersons of various State Corporations and management to put in place service delivery innovations that are coupled with COVID -19 recovery strategies and plans.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia speaking during the virtual signing of the 17th cycle performance contracts for financial year 2020/2021 by the Ministry’s State Corporations.

Prof. Kobia lauded the Ministry for developing an on-line Government Performance Contract Information System that has been rolled out to various Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The Cabinet Secretary reiterated the President’s emphasis on the need to ensure completion of already existing projects before embarking on new ones. She, therefore, urged the Ministry Departments and Agencies to use the President’s emphasis as a guide to implementation of the projects they have committed to this financial year.

“I will be keen on ensuring that this directive is followed in your respective State Corporations,” she said.

In her remarks the Chief Administrative Secretary, Hon. Rachel Shebesh, commended the job done by the Semi-Autonomous Government Agencies satisfaction under their watch.

“I am proud to report that in many cases; our SAGAs are doing an excellent job in serving our citizens,’’ she said.

The virtual meeting was attended by Principal Secretaries Mrs. Mary Kimonye and Prof. Collete Suda, Chairpersons, Directors, Director Generals and Chief Executive Officers of Ministry’s State Corporations.

Stakeholders in Women Empowerment Sector praised for Mitigating GBV in West Pokot

Stakeholders in Women Empowerment Sector praised for Mitigating GBV in West Pokot

Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh on Thursday 13th August, commended stakeholders working in women empowerment sector in West Pokot County for their role in mitigating Gender Based Violence.

Hon. Shebesh lauded the GBV program by World Vision in West Pokot county when she visited the Child Protection Unit at Kapenguria police station which is being supported by the Non-Governmental Organization.

The unit is acting as a safe house for young girls rescued from early marriages and Female Genital Mutilation in the County. West Pokot is among the 22 hotspot Counties where FGM is practiced.

The Chief Administrative Secretary called on other state and non-state agencies to emulate the effort made by World Vision by coming on board to complement Government effort towards ensuring Gender Based Violence is minimized.

Addressing Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs Hon. Shebesh reminded them that as the leaders on the ground, they carry the onus of implementing the Presidents Directive of ending FGM by 2022.

“It’s your role to ensure that no Female Genital Mutilation takes place within your jurisdiction; the law is clear and we must enforce it to ensure that we protect our girls from the vice.” said Hon. Shebesh.

West Pokot County Governor, H.E Prof. John Lonyangapuo who had earlier hosted Hon. Shebesh to discuss possible areas of collaboration between the Ministry of Public Service and Gender and the County Government said that he fully supports the President’s Directive and pledged his support towards working with Anti-FGM board to ensure that FGM is eradicated in West Pokot by 2022.

The Chief Administrative Secretary Inspected the Children Protection Unit at Kapenguria police station and also presided over Women Enterprise Fund cheques issuance worth over Ksh 6 Million to various groups in West Pokot County.

Hon. Shebesh was accompanied by the County Commissioner, Mr. Apollo Okello, County Women Representative Hon. Lilian Tomitom, and Anti-FGM Board Chairperson Mrs Agnes Pareyio among other National and County officials.

Launch of the Women’s Empowerment Report and the Comprehensive Poverty Report

Launch of the Women’s Empowerment Report and the Comprehensive Poverty Report

The Ministry of Public Service and Gender in partnership with UN Women, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, UNICEF and UNDP, on Monday 10th August, virtually launched the Women’s Empowerment Report and the Comprehensive Poverty Report.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia who attended the virtual launch commended the progress that has been made in achieving gender equality and women empowerment through the development of policies and legislative frameworks. She noted that attaining gender equality is a slow process that includes changing cultural practices and value systems. “It takes a lot more than changes in law or policy to incorporate adjustments at the individual, family, community and even at national levels,” she said.

Prof. Kobia acknowledged that despite the innumerable interventions geared towards achieving gender equality and empowerment of women, Kenya still lags behind many countries even within Sub-Sahara Africa. “According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report (GGGR), 2020, Kenya is ranked 109 out of the 153 countries scoring an index of 0.671,” she said.

WEI provides a comprehensive and systematic measure for women and girl’s empowerment that will provide meaningful opportunities for positive change and enable women and girls to access and take control of productive assets. It will facilitate financial inclusion for women and girls and enable them to build sustainable livelihoods. The indices will provide sound gender statistics, representing a turning point in the women’s empowerment agenda in Kenya.

The Ministry will focus on realising the recommendations of the report through the following:

  1. Improved quality, availability and representativeness of data;
  2. Improved advocacy on the use of the Women’s Empowerment Index to inform laws, policies and resources allocation towards gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  3. Enhancing coordination of all relevant stakeholders and partners to increase demand and utilization of gender statistics; and
  4. Strengthening timeliness for gender data production and its integration in reporting on achievements.

The Comprehensive Poverty Report was also launched during the virtual exercise. This report measured multidimensional poverty among children, youths, adult women and men, and the elderly in Kenya; studied the relationship between monetary and multidimensional poverty; and identified factors associated with poverty among children, youths and women. The report also identified the most vulnerable population groups that are both multidimensional and monetary poor, and shed light into geographical inequalities with realisation of rights and fulfillment of basic needs.

The virtual event was attended by Hon. (Amb.) Ukur Yatani, Cabinet Secretary, the National Treasury and Planning; Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and ASALS; H.E. (Hon.) Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya, Chairman Council of Governors; Prof. Colleta A. Suda, Principal Secretary, State Department for Gender; Mr. Saitoti Torome; Principal Secretary, State Department for Planning, Dr. Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator; Ms. Mniza Zaman, UNICEF Representative; and Ms. Anna Mutavati, UN Women Representative.

National Youth Week 2020 launched in Kajiado County

National Youth Week 2020 launched in Kajiado County

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia was today hosted by her cabinet colleague for ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Mr. Joe Mucheru as she presided over the virtual launch of the National Youth Week 2020 in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County.

In her remarks, Prof. Kobia commended Mr. Mucheru and his team for planning various week-long activities despite the prevailing COVID-19 challenges, to recognise the role of young people’s creativity, talent, resilience, innovation and energy in developing the nation.

Prof. Kobia pointed out that this year’s theme for International Youth Day which is “Youth Engagement for Global Action” is a call of action to consider the positive effects on the inclusion of youth in all spheres of life and to maximize their full potential locally and globally.

“The role played by the youth during Covid-19 pandemic in crafting and communicating credible public health information enhances trust in public institutions among their peers and younger Kenyans,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

She challenged the youth to take responsibility of their lives and destiny in today’s very competitive global environment as the government and private sector continue to provide diverse opportunities for their advantage.

Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia addressing the virtual launch of the National Youth Week 2020 in Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County

Prof. Kobia also commended H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta for appointing seven young Chief Administrative Secretaries serving in various ministries noting that the appointments had placed young people at the core of Government’s decision making.

She lauded the youth-led community conversation dubbed ‘KIKAO’ noting that the platform has involved over 4,000 youth in the past one year in establishing instrumental networks for entrepreneurship initiatives and disseminating information on various topics.

The opportunities include: Affirmative Action Funds i.e. WEF, YEDF, UWEZO and NGAAF; AGPO, training opportunities under Ajira Digital and KYEOP among other initiatives.

The week-long activities will include the launch of the Kenya Youth Development Policy 2019, the launch of Generation Unlimited Report (education, training and entrepreneurship) and the launch of Top 35 under 35 initiative.

Present at the virtual launch were: Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Forestry, Mr. Keriako Tobiko; Governor of Kajiado County, Hon. Joseph Ole Lenku; and Principal Secretary Youth Affairs, Mr. Julius Korir among other distinguished guests and government officials.

Uwezo Fund Oversight Board launches Five Year Strategic Plan (2019-2023)

Uwezo Fund Oversight Board launches Five Year Strategic Plan (2019-2023)

Uwezo Fund, established in 2012 and operationalized through the Public Finance Management (Uwezo Fund), Regulations, 2014 on Wednesday, 5th August virtually launched its five year Strategic Plan 2019-2023.

In her remarks during the launch, Cabinet Secretary Prof Margaret Kobia, who was represented by the Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh, said that the Fund has laid a foundation on which it can now develop and grow further to reach more deserving Kenyans.

”The development of this Strategic Plan will provide a coherent and systematic roadmap to guide the implementation of the Fund’s program and activities in the next five years 2019- 2023. “ said Prof. Kobia.

To date the Fund has so far disbursed Kshs. 6,499,650,005 to 290 Constituencies as loan fund for lending to groups. A total of Kshs. 6,220,408,660 has been loaned to 67,241 groups (42,307 women, 22,993 youth and 1,941 PWDs) country wide.

On her part, Principal Secretary, Prof. Collette Suda said the Fund was purposely established to support the most vulnerable including Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (PWDs).

She urged the Board to leverage on technology during Covid-19 pandemic and beyond in fulfilling its mandate to empower the vulnerable groups and improve the livelihoods in every Constituency.

“The groups who have been able to repay their loans on time should be allowed to access another batch of loans within a shorter period of time,” said the PS.

Present during the virtual launch was Prof. Losenge Turoop Chairperson, Uwezo Fund Oversight Board, Peter Lengapiani, CEO Uwezo Fund Secretariat, Hon. Peter Mwathi – Chair of National Assembly Committee for Labor and Social Protection, Hon. Alice Wahome – Chair for Kenya Parliamentary Women Caucus, Hon. Abdul Rahim – North Imenti Constituency M.P., Hon. Dr. James Murgor – Keiyo North Constituency M.P. Mrs. Mary Kimonye – Principal Secretary, State Department for Public Service among others

CAS Hon. Shebesh Intensify End FGM Campaign in Taita Taveta County

CAS Hon. Shebesh Intensify End FGM Campaign in Taita Taveta County

Chief Administrative Secretary Hon. Rachel Shebesh on Monday 20th held community barazas engaging women and elders of three villages that had been identified as hot spots for Female Genital Mutilation in Taita Taveta County namely; Mata, Kimala and Bura Ndogo.

This meetings were convened as a result of the issues that had emerged of a new trend that targets young girls as young as a week old baby girl being subjected to the harmful practice of FGM.

In her address to the residents, Hon. Rachel Shebesh affirmed that the law is clear and amplifies punitive obligations on violators. She reiterated that, all administrators and stakeholders have an obligation to ensure that the perpetrators of FGM are brought to book.

Taita Taveta County has an FGM prevalence rate of 22% among the 22 Hotspot counties where the vice is being practiced. Worrying has been the trend on the acts aforementioned.

“Female Genital Mutilation and any other form of Gender Based Violence can no longer be tolerated this time round, we must concentrate on empowering our girls by educating them. FGM must stop and the time is now,” said Hon. Shebesh.

The CAS also presented dignity kits donated by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to several girls during the barazas to sustain them during the COVID-19 period.

Adolescent girls in Bura Ndogo, Taita Taveta County received dignity kits donated by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to sustain them during the COVID-19 period.

During her visit, Hon. Shebesh made stop overs to inspect the ongoing Kazi Mtaani programme at Voi Airstrip and Taveta town where she called on the young people under the programme to make good use of the earnings for their economic empowerment.

The CAS was accompanied by Taita Taveta Women Representative Hon. Lydia Haika, former Governor, H.E Samwel Mruttu, Anti-FGM Chairperson Agnes Pareiyo among other National and County officials.

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