September 2015


It has been a while since the meteorological department started warning of the impeding El Nino rains expected this October that could last for a month. It is a fact that its impact is likely to be aggravated by the prolonged drought in many parts of the country. 

Flooding and mudslides are likely to occur in parts of the country. The effects of El Niño are not the flood waters but the after-effects. Soon after the floods pass, there will be waterborne diseases, contamination of water sources and other effects.

The extent of the damage caused by these torrential rains are usually gargantuan. These floods are likely to sweep away power lines, crops, livestock and roads. Poorly constructed houses too could come crumbling down during these heavy rains. The result of this could be several deaths being reported, people being displaced by the floods as well as businesses stalled.

This calls for great preparedness in the part of individual citizens, the county governments as well as the national government. The national government has already set aside Sh5 billion for exigencies and also put 70,000 National Youth Service members on standby; to be called upon to offer assistance during emergencies as they may arise. They have also up a crisis centre to coordinate emergency interventions.

County governments on their part have been called upon to chip in and enhance their disaster preparedness. Through their health departments, they are also expected to make arrangements to contain possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases, especially cholera. 

County governments must come up with an effective strategy to prevent deaths and property destruction like those reported in the last El Nino rains in 1997.

As the residents of Thika Town, the county government included, we must join hands and up our game in preparedness of this impending catastrophe. It is apparent that both parties here are taking this so lightly.

A survey of various parts of this sub-county clearly shows some disaster in waiting. It is apparent that majority of the the town's estates still have no drainage due to poor planning and those that have them are already blocked due to years of neglect .

Areas like Majengo, Biafra, Starehe and its neighbours, Pilot, Makongeni and parts of Landless and Ngoigwa Estates have drainage systems that need unblocking. 

Other areas like Kisii Estate, most parts of Kiganjo, Kiandutu, Magogoni and Ngoliba have no drainage systems nor proper sewer lines. Most roads in these areas are usually impassible during rainy seasons. In some of these areas, the residents are usually forced to seek refuge whenever it rains since their houses get submerged in rain water. 

Such would be the scenery, if not worse this El Niño. We expect numerous cases of cholera and typhoid come November due to the filth that will have been infiltrated into our taps; remember this areas deposit their raw sewer in septic tanks.

The CBD is not better either. A lot of work needs to be executed to free the drainage systems. We also have the road construction works that have dragged for quite a while, especially on Kenyatta Highway at Gatitu exit and Munene area, posing an even greater problem of drainage. 

There is also the other danger posed by buildings that had been haphazardly constructed without the county government and NEMA approval. These are just disaster in waiting. It is a high time people living in such buildings vacated them or forced to do so. It would also be very prudent of the County Government of Kiambu pull down such structures in a safer way to arrest any possible disasters.

The county government should also use all possible forums to keep the people updated on their plans, implementation and  alerts to avoid any unwarranted deaths. People living on disaster prone areas should also act accordingly before it is too late. 

They say, a stitch in time saves nine. Over to you Thika.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted Faulu Micro-finance Bank a Sh1 billion loan for onward lending to entrepreneurs. The new funding will enable Them issue long-term loans to small businesses, which make up the lion’s share of its customer base.

This is the second time that Faulu is borrowing from the EIB following a Sh570 million ($5.4 million) loan the micro-lender took in 2011. The Sh1 billion loan is from a new fund by the EIB.

The European Investment Bank’s new lending agreement is the first partnership with Faulu Microfinance Bank under a new Sh5.86 billion initiative to support lending by microfinance institutions across East Africa.

Faulu is looking at lending to small businesses in the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transport and healthcare sectors. The new funding will also supplement the Sh4 billion that the bank had earlier set aside for lending to MSMEs.

Kiambu County Government has started buying the latest life support machines. Technology will help  to provide our citizens with the most timely best possible service in order to save lives.

Quality healthcare in safe environments will ensure high-quality, high-value health care facilities and use of ICT in the delivery of health services.

Thika Level 5 Hospital intends to spend sh.179m for some facelift of the hospital facilities in this financial year.. When complete, the hospital will boast of an ultra-modern laboratory, dental and renal departments and a modern ICU unit.

This will include a new renal department with five dialysis machines to cater for kidney patients, an ICU unit, a sh.30m laboratory and dental departments.




Ksh.16m has also been set aside to improve on its general outlook. Part of this money has been allocated for the replacement and disposal of its  old asbestos roofs which are known to cause cancer.

The improvement of these facilities is meant to ease congestion within the various units of the institution as well as improving the working conditions of its staff. This will eventually trickle down to enhancing service delivery and increasing the scope of its services. Recently, the hospital managed to get its first skin specialist.

Thika Level 5 Hospital plays hosts to patients from Thika Sub-County along with the neighbouring counties Murang'a, Gatundu Sub-County, Ukambani and Nairobi due to its proximity.

Majority of Thika Town residents are complaining of water shortage in their houses and now fear saying  contracting water borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery. Many of them are now being forced to use water from unknown sources.

Residents of Ngoingwa, Witeithie, parts of Makongeni , Kisii Estate, Kimathi and Pilot have been for the last one month complained of no water in their taps leaving them with no option but to source water from different sources. The worst affected are those living in self-contained houses since they have to live with the filthy stench coming from their washrooms. Pleas to Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) to come to their aid has fallen on deaf ears.

They are now appealing to the county government to come to their aid and rescue the situation. They fail to comprehend why the water department is swift to disconnect water for late clearance of bills but they could not apply the same speed to provide this vital necessity whenever a problem like this occurred.

Some claim that they are going for days without a bath and whenever they had one they did what is popularly known to bachelors as a 'passport'. They say that provision of water was a county government responsibility and the County Government of Kiambu had no option but to ensure that they get their right to water.

All Thika land owners, real estate developers, business people and entrepreneurs have been invited to a Business Forum tomorrow September the 30th at 5:00 pm at the Coconut Grill Restaurant. 

The event has been facilitated by Thika District Business Association (TDBA) in partnership with Bamburi Cement and Athi River Steel Plant to link land owners with financiers, technical consultants and Bamburi Cement's Countrywide retail network to ease their construction costs.

Entry is free. All are invited.

LSK Legal Awareness Week - 28th September to 2nd October 2015 - Milimani Law Courts

LSK have organised a free legal awareness week to members of public to assist them in matters law.

The  objective of the Legal Awareness is to promote the mandate of the Law Society of Kenya by extending legal literacy and awareness to members of the public. The public will also be advised on various aspects of the Law including Civic Education, Civil, Criminal and Family/probate. The Law Society of Kenya Branches shall also observe this week and coordinate their legal Aid activities at the branch level.

During the Legal Awareness Week, organizations involved in legal work will be given a chance to show-case their services with a view to promoting a better understanding by the public of the role lawyers play in the advancement of legal literacy and advocacy. Members of the Law Society of Kenya offer pro bono services to the public.

Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) deputy water treatment officer James Ikua has said that the company will invest Sh2 million to kick off a toilet upgrading project in Kiandutu Slum where landlords  will be encouraged to replace the pit latrines with flush toilets after which they will be refunded Sh15,000 for each completed flash toilet.

“Thika Water and Sewerage Company will provide more money after the Sh2 million phase is completed. The project will continue until we clear all the pit latrines in the slum before we move to other slums within Thika town for a similar project,” he said.

“These multi-million shilling projects will encourage plot owners in Kiandutu to build modernised toilets which will help end waterborne diseases that are common in the area. We are ready and committed to help our brothers and sisters in the slums to live a better life,” Ikua said.

He said many typhoid cases in Kiandutu were caused by pit latrines waste that overflowed into Kariminu River, a link of Chania River which is the source of domestic water for Kiandutu residents.

Ikua who was speaking Monday from his office on Blue Post Road, Thika said sanitation was key to improved living standards in slums.


Kiambu, Murang’a counties say Del Monte farm not benefiting locals
They said Del Monte’s corporate social responsibility claim is inaccurate.

Pineapple farm Del Monte Kenya Ltd is embroiled in a land lease row with Kiambu and Murang’a counties which claim he company is not beneficial to the local community.

Kiambu and Murang’a counties which are embroiled in a land lease row with Del Monte Kenya Ltd have claimed the company is not beneficial to the local community.

Murang’a County, through lawyer David Mereka, and Kiambu County, through lawyer Geoffrey Kiugu, on September 28, 2015 told Mr Justice Joseph Onguto that Del Monte’s corporate social responsibility claim is inaccurate because facts on the ground point to a serious negative impact.

Lawyer Mereka said that there are poor working and living conditions of the workers, intimidation of trade unions, no locals are employed in senior positions in addition to large wage and remuneration difference between local and expatriate workers.

“Del Monte is a foreign company registered at the New York Stock Exchange and has no single local shareholder from the county,” explained lawyer Mereka.

He said Murang’a people continue to wallow in poverty over 50 years after independence due to lack of land and benefit sharing of the natural resources in the county which are being exploited by multinational companies whose only purpose is the element of profit and nothing else.

The Kiambu County government also associated itself with these arguments.

DECLINED TO EXTEND LEASE

Del Monte filed an urgent application two weeks ago at the Constitutional Division of the High Court alleging that the two counties have declined its request to have its leases extended thus threatening its multi-billion shillings investment and putting thousands of jobs at risk.

The company has pineapple farming as its principal business and owns a large parcel of land which extends between Murang’a and Kiambu counties.

The firm claims Murang’a County had demanded that it surrenders a large chunk of land as a pre-condition for renewal of the lease.
Kiambu, Murang’a counties say Del Monte farm not benefiting locals.
However, lawyer Mereka said that there has been no violation of Del Monte’s constitutional rights given that the county is merely involved in negotiations with respect to the company’s application for renewal of leases that expire in 2022, for its land in Murang’a.

The lease in relation to the land in Kiambu expires in 2019.

The negotiations and requests by Murang’a County, he said, do not amount to violation of Del Monte’s constitutional rights.

“And in any event, it is blatant intimidation by Del Monte’s advocate to send their demand letter on August 20, and expect the county would reply within seven days on behalf of the people of Murang’a while well knowing that the said leases do not expire until 2022,” lawyer Mereka explained.

EASY TARGET

Del Monte, through lawyer Njoroge Regeru, said that the law provides on how land should be taken for public use adding that there is a deliberate attempt especially by some politicians in the two counties to discriminate against multinationals which they have found to be an easy target.

“The fact that some companies are multinational does not mean that they don’t have right over land. They too have a right to have their land leases renewed,” Mr Regeru said.

He added that they want a three-judge bench appointed to hear and determine their application which he said raises constitutional issues.

Mr Mereka, however, said that the firm has not produced any evidence of discrimination or otherwise with respect to the alleged unequal treatment of other land users.

Murang’a and Kiambu counties also urged the court to refer the matter to the Environment and Lands Court because the issues is dispute relates to land use.

The judge will deliver a ruling on October 1, 2015 on whether the matter will be taken to the environment court.

Source: http://nation.co.ke

Out of boredom due to the ongoing nationwide teachers strike, 15 year old Caroline Wanjiku, Mukuruwe-ini, Nyeri County asked her parents to let her visit her aunty in Kiandutu slum until the strike was resolved. Little did she know that this would be her own trip to heaven. Her visit ended on a tragic note after her life was taken by a stray bullet allegedly fired by a police officer. Wanjiku was shot by police officers who had gone to inspect a nearby scrap metal dealership. 

According to eye witnesses, when the found the scrap metal owner and his wife escaped their net, the police arrested a woman worker who was found in the site.  

Hell broke loose when the officers decided to forcefully bundle the woman into their vehicle. When the woman resisted arrest, the officers reportedly started to beat her up. The female officer even went ahead to undress her as they tried to bundle her into the car.

Irked by the officers' uncouth actions, angry residents tried to prevent them from arresting the woman arguing that she had committed no crime as she was just an employee. The angry residents then started pelting stones at the officers who reacted by firing in the air. 

In the ensuing mayhem, the police overpowered the residents after shooting at them three times, with the third bullet hitting Wanjiku as she was standing in a nearby water point. 

On realising that they had shot dead the girl, they sped off to the police station together with the woman they arrested. 

Wanjiku was rushed to Thika Level Five Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

The family of the deceased accused the police of planning to cover up the killing. They are now calling for speedy investigations so that the killers of their daughter can be found and justice be done. 

Wanjiku's father Joseph Warua regretted allowing his daughter to visit her aunt in the slums.

"I wish I declined her request, at least she would alive be today. All we want is for justice to prevail," said Mr Warua.

Wanjiku's aunt Penina Wambui said she suspected the police were out to cover up the crime, by bringing in new theories on the cause of death.

Thika Deputy OCPD Julius Kyumbule exonerated his officers from blame, claiming they were provoked to shoot in self-defence after they were shot at by irate residents.

 "We cannot arrest any officer until we are certain he or she committed the crime. Investigations including a forensic audit are in top gear to ascertain if the bullets used in the murder came from the rifles that our officers had," said Mr Kyumbule.

The residents claim the five police officers, four men and one woman, who were in a private car and in plain clothes had come to collect some money from the scrap metal dealer as they usually did every Friday.

Meanwhile, the woman who was arrested by the police officers during the incident was later released after angry residents stormed Thika Police Station.

Thika residents can now benefit from more financial assistance after yet another new financial entrant, Jiinue Savings and Credit Cooperative Society opened its doors in the town on Saturday. This simply means that they can now invest more and take advantage of the services brought closer to them.

Speaking during its official launch at Mama Ngina gardens in Thika town, its director, Dorris Wanjiku assured Thika residents that the sacco was well managed, regulated and licensed by the government. Wanjiku said that the institution would help in laying ground for cooperative ideals.

“Cooperatives are facing challenges of poor governance, marketing of produce, low production and inadequate members but honestly, Jiinue is committed to capacity building of its members and selling the produce to primary markets. Thika residents have the capacity of growing in business and saccos an avenue to making such dreams come true,” she said.

“Now that we are near you, I assure you that we will educate the residents on credit so that they are aware of the process and payment terms and to also give fair employment opportunities for all communities in this region,’ she said.

The sacco was founded in 2003 and has three other branches in Kerugoya, Murang’a and Limuru with over 10,000 members. It offers credit and other financial services.

Thika police on Saturday retrieved the body of unknown man that had been dumped in construction site near Pilot Estate. Workers on the site woke up to discover the shocking sight in one of the incomplete rooms. They immediately informed the police.

The body had deep cuts on the arms and might have been murdered elsewhere and dumped there at night.

"This has come as a shocker since the Estate has for long lived without any criminal incidents after the residents actualised the Nyumba Kumi initiative.

The police are probing this incident and are hopeful that they would apprehend the culprits.

The body of the victim is yet to be identified and the police are calling on anyone who has lost a relative to report to them so as to assist in investigations.

The body of the deceased is lying in Bishop Okoye Funeral Home.

Thika Town Today is pleased to announce to all our fans, mentors, well wishers and Thika Residents that our blog and its business model has made it in the Ebru TV's auditions of its own version of 'Shark Tank' known us the Boiler Room. The judges panel unanimously voted YES to our model and proposal.

We are therefore taking this opportunity to thank you all for the roles each one has taken to make it go this far. We are where we are because of your encouragement, your contributions towards our posts, those who always call us to inform us of newsworthy incidents happening in Thika, our WhatsApp group that is quite vibrant and keeps us updated with the up-to-the-minute news and not forgetting those who have actually funded us in one way or another, has been part of this success. 

We couldn't have reached this far without you. Without mentioning names, Thika Town Today crew thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. May the grace of The Lord be upon you all the days of your life. 

We also thank The Almighty GOD for his grace. It is not by our might but by His Grace.

For those who don't understand what 'The Broiler Room' is all about, We will break it down for you. After Kenya played host to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit some weeks ago which included America’s President Obama as the chief guest, a number of millionaires capitalised on the numerous untapped Entrepreneurship opportunities the country had to offer.

 Someone managed to convince a number of millionaires to join hands in funding great and viable business ideas. As a result, beginning this September, Ebru TV started playing host to Kenya’s own Shark Tank. 

Shark Tank is an American reality television series that premiered August 9, 2009, on ABC.  Based on the worldwide television series format Dragons' Den that originally aired in Japan, Shark Tank has aspiring entrepreneur-contestants make business presentations to a panel of "shark" investors.

The Kenyan version on Ebru TV is currently being hosted by none other than Grace Mutango, a former anchor at GBS TV. A number of millionaires are currently supporting the show’s offshoots and also vet business ideas from upcoming entrepreneurs.

To be also part of this new Ebru TV show, you too can send your Contacts and brief description of your business mind to Boilerroom@ebruafrica.tv.

As for our case, we are now through to the next level, the toughest part of this journey and that is to convince these 'sharks' to actually invest in our ideas. This is where we call for your support and prayers. 

All in all, whatever the final result, we can only thank GOD for this far. HE has made it possible for us to fly the Thika flag this far and for this, we can only say ALLELUYA!


Generally a warm Sunday.
Dress appropriately as you go to your places of worship.

VERSE OF THE DAY:
James 1:17 
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows......

Good morning.

The Ministry of Education has announced new term dates for third term after the Employment and Labour Relations Court suspended the teachers’ strike for 90 days. In addition, it has directed that no schools should levy any extra fees on parents in the pretext of covering costs occasioned by the pay dispute.

Consequently, 3rd term has been extended by a week and there will be no half-term break. This means that schools will resume Monday, September 28th and close on November 20th.

The Court further warned the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) from victimizing any teacher and pay them their salaries for the month of September which they have been on strike.

In the ruling, Justice Nelson Abuodha ordered TSC and the Labour Cabinet Secretary to appoint an independent conciliator in 30 days to resolve the teachers’ salary increment dispute.

The Judge said that after 90 days, any party would be free to raise issues. In his ruling, Justice Abuodha said the ongoing teachers’ strike is legal and declined to issue orders prohibiting it.

SATURDAY:

Tottenham v Manchester City    - 2.45pm

Manchester United v Sunderland -5pm

Liverpool v Aston Villa-5pm

Leicester City v  Arsenal -5pm

West Ham United v Norwich City -5pm

Stoke City v Bournemouth -5pm              

Southampton v Swansea City -5pm

Newcastle United v Chelsea – 7.30pm

SUN:

Watford v Crystal Palace – 6pm

MON:

West Bromwich Albion  v Everton – 10pm


Kiandutu Slum was this afternoon turned to a battle ground when angry youth engaged the police with guerrilla fights. The bone of contention was that the police had accidentally shot dead a young girl whose was hit by a stray bullet as she was fetching water from a water point.

It all started when Thika Police had gone to arrest a scrap metal dealer in one sections of the vast slum. It is alleged that the dealer escaped forcing the police to arrest a his wife and her son. As they were struggling to eject them from the premises, some of the people who were witnessing the incident started pelting the police with stones. Eventually, the police realized that they had been cornered and started firing in the air to scare them away but in vain.

In the confusion, a stray bullet hit the young girl, who is said to have died on the way to Thika Level 5 Hospital. The police managed to get out but this time without their suspects.

Soon, some youths gathered and matched to the area police post. They started pelting stones and shouting obscenities to the police who by then didn't know what had transpired. 

Later on they decided to direct their anger to unsuspecting motorists along Garissa Road. They blocked the road near Broadway High School and the General Kago-Garissa Roads junction near Bidco Oil Refineries. They lit borne fires on the road and started harassing innocent pedestrians who didn't know what was wrong.


This prompted Thika Police to seek reinforcement to counter the youth. Two GSU full of anti-riot officers came in to counter these youth. Within a fraction of a second, hell broke loose. The police fired tear gas canisters at the rioting youth, dispersing anyone on sight.

The youth engaged them in running battles which went on late into the evening. By around 6:00 pm, there was a great police and GSU presence along Garissa Road and keeping vigil around Kiandutu Slums. 

The skirmishes caused a major traffic snarl up along Garissa and Kenyatta Roads as motorists to and fro Ukambani and Garissa County had to pass through Thika Town.

Some thugs took advantage of the situation to rob both pedestrians and  passagers leaving Athena by 2TS matatus. I personally witnessed a group of youth rob a man and a woman he was with money and valuables. The man had to leave the place with a black eye after one of the young men punched him on the face.

As we moved within the streets of the slum, we came across some very young boys selling some of the phones they had snatched from innocent wananchi for as little as sh200.

Striking teachers have been ordered by the labour court to resume work immediately.
Teachers unions and the government have also been ordered to resolve the pay dispute within 90 days.
The Teachers Service Commission has also been ordered to pay teachers their September salaries.

Industrial Court Judge Nelson Abuodha  has refused to declare teachers' strike illegal saying the 50 and 60% raise was proposed by TSC itself. 

Industrial Court Judge Nelson Abuodha has however suspended the teachers strike and ordered the teachers back to class immediately. He has also ordered the government to find money to pay teachers in full and further said that no teacher should be victimised.

The Industrial Court has suspended the teachers strike for 90 days and instructed that both parties to form committees within 30 days to find modalities of paying.

More to follow


The construction of Kiganjo feeder roads in Kamenu Ward by the Kiambu County government has now commenced.

Speaking while inspecting the roads that connects Kiganjo and Kiang'ombe on Tuesday, Kamenu Ward MCA Mary Hussein noted that the long wait by area residents was beginning to bear fruits.

She said that other social amenities are set to be improved in order to ease accessibility to the interior parts of the estate.

"It has been many years of endless promises but now I can say our patience is finally paying off. There is no doubt that the many feeder roads in this area set to be upgraded in the coming weeks. This will indeed change the face of Kiganjo,” said Hussein.

"We expect the overall hygiene of Kiganjo to greatly improve as garbage collection tracks will be able to maneuver around the estate to collect waste. Security and emergency response will also be enhanced,” she said.

She further noted that area youths would benefit from employment during the roads' upgrade period.

Farmers in Gatuanyaga, Munyu and Githima Locations of Thika East District  have been urged to avoid burning as a method of land clearing.

Thika East Agricultural officer Stephen Muia noted that many farmers in the area were currently burning the dry vegetation on their farms in preparation for the October rains.
Speaking to journalists from his office yesterday, Muia warned that it was risky for farmers to engage in the practice considering the current dry weather in the area.

"We would like to warn the farmers against the practice as this place is usually windy and fires can easily spread to other farms and cause great damage,” said Muia.

He advised farmers to instead use other safer methods like slashing or just letting the already dry vegetation die off and rot in the farms, saying that this would increase the soil organic matter. The added that burning had other disadvantages such as killing essential soil micro-organisms and degrading the soil physical conditions.

Makongeni police today rescued a man from being lynched by irate mob who pounced on him for allegedly trying to steal a motorcycle. The suspect is said to have been ferried from the BAT junction in Makongeni to Kiganjo. 

On arrival at Corner one, he gave the rider, Jackson Musyoka, sh500 to deduct his fee. Since Musyoka did not have enough money to give as change, he went to look for it at a nearby shop, leaving the passenger behind. 

Upon being left with the bike, the suspect attempted to ride away with the bike whose engine coincidentally was still on. Musyoka's colleagues saw what had transpired and made efforts to block his escape path.

"Were it not that he fell into a ditch some few metres from where we had stopped to look for the balance, he could have fled," said Musyoka. 

Kiganjo Boda Boda Association Chairman Patrick Muiruri explained to our team that such cases were common in the area especially during the night.

"We have been urging our members to be extra careful because you do not know who your passenger is," he said. 

The man has his gods to thank for prompt reaction by Makongeni Police officers who were on patrol rescued him from lynching. 

He is expected to be arraigned in court tomorrow morning.

Herders grazing their livestock near people's farms have been warned of dire consequences if caught. Makongeni Chief Mr Daniel Waiguru on Wednesday, while speaking from his office said that he had received numerous complaints of some herders letting their cattle loose to graze on people's farms, thus destroying their crops.

"These are very serious allegations. My office is not taking this lightly. We will deal with the perpetrators without mercy. Trespassing ones property is illegal and it is worse if it includes damages to the same," said Waiguru.

He appealed to the herders to restrict their animals to areas with no crops to avoid getting into conflict with area residents. Though he admitted that the dry weather in the area had made it difficult for the herders due to the scarcity of pasture, they had no right to graze their animals on people's farms.

"When a herder has more than 100 cattle to look after, they are likely to overpower him and get into farms especially if hungry and do a lot of damage," he added.

Kiambu County residents have been warned to be extra cautious when transacting business following reports that fake local currency was circulating in the county.
Kiambu OCPD Stephen Ng'etich said that the police had been receiving several reports of people getting paid using fake money in various areas in the county.

Mr Ng'etich said that they were still investigating the source of the fake currency and therefore called on residents to report any individual they suspected of being involved in this crime. He warned that police were closing in on them. His office had notified police officers in neighbouring counties to be on the lookout.

He was speaking in Kiambu Town as he reacted to an incident where three people were arrested while depositing fake currencies worth Sh200,000 at a local bank in the town on. The three, Stephen Mwangi, Sultan Maina and Alex Mburu were in the process of depositing the money into Stephen Mwangi's bank account at around at 2.30pm yesterday. The bank teller reported the incident to the police when she detected that the money was fake.

Two days earlier, another man was arrested in the town with fake currency amounting to Sh700,000. Mr Ng'etich asked residents of the county to be vigilant especially on market days. This, according to him, was the prime time when they took advantage to con unsuspecting people.

Magogoni residents of Thika East Sub-County are calling on NEMA as well as Kiambu County Government to immediately order the closure of a quarry in the area.

Area MCA Grishon Ngigi says mining activities at the quarry had continued despite a court suspending them. He claimed that houses in the area had developed cracks as a result of the explosives used by the excavators, posing a danger to their occupants. Furthermore, the noise emernating from the quarry had seen some of their children to develop hearing complications.

“My people are suffering because their houses have cracks and their children have developed hearing complications,” he said.

Serah Wambui, a resident, said the cracks started developing immediately the quarry began operation and have been widening every day.

“Doctors have even ascertained that the noise from the quarry is the cause of the hearing complications that some of our children have developed,” said Wambui.

Ngigi ciriticised the county government for failing to ensure the court order barring mining activities at the quarry were adhered to.

“Somebody is bending the law because the court ordered that no operation should be carried out here. It is disturbing that Kiambu County government has not acted on the matter,” he explained.

He now wants the relevant department to resolve the matter once and for all.

Persons living with disabilities in Thika have formed an association to champion for their rights. Thika West Sub-County Disability Development Forum secretary Nancy Nyamenya said the group will unify them and accord them the much needed opportunity to attract resources from county and national governments.
Nyamenya urged all disabled people not to shy away from asking for their share of services from both governments.

“Persons living with disabilities should be firm in seeking county funds by applying for tenders and jobs in Kiambu government,” she said.

Dennis Mukiri was elected the group’s chairperson during the Tuesday polls held at Thika Probations Hall in a fete that was attended by 218 persons living with disabilities.

The chairperson appealed to the new office bearers to champion for the group’s interest to help uplift their livelihoods.

“We have now been mandated to front for your rights without fearing or relenting. We now have a responsibility of directing you as well as forwarding your resolutions to relevant authorities. We are ready to do all that,” said Mukiri.

Dorcas Karimi, Patrick Kiringu, Ann Wambui and Titus Mugo were elected as vice person, vice secretary, coordinator and treasurer respectfully.


A number of families in Mukunike B village, Thika East Sub-County are living in fear of eviction after a quarry firm threatened to destroy their premises for stone mining. They say that they have lived in the area for over 20 years before this trader came and displaced about 50 families.

They claim that the private developer have been using the police to accomplish his dirty mission. Efforts to get help from the deputy commissioner were fruitless since he is said to be in the view that the land in dispute belonged to the investor. This has made them believe that the local adminstration had been compromised.

"We have camped here for two weeks now because we fear we might be attacked and killed by his gang. We believe he (the DCC) has been bribed because he said he has no time to listen to us," said David Njiru, a resident.

They are now appealing to the government to intervene and solve this impasse.

Police in Thika are holding three women and a man who had conned a Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) student Ksh 19,000 school fees alleging that they had powers to make her prosper through prayer. The student said that the conmen, who were in a vehicle, approached her at Juja where they asked for directions to a certain hospital.

After a while, one of the women persuaded her to be prayed for by the powerful prophets for prosperity. They then proceeded to ask the girl to enter into the vehicle to direct them to the hospital as they talked. While in the vehicle, they told her that the devil was against her and her family’s prosperity thus a need for special prayers.

They asked her whether she had some money that they could pray over, the girl who did not have money at the time, opted to withdraw money from her ATM. They took her to an ATM at JKUAT where she unsuccessfully tried to withdraw cash. They left  for Thika to try their luck at a Barclays bank branch where she withdrew the Ksh 19,000. They exchanged the money with envelopes and tied them in tissue paper and handed the bundle back to her.

Just as they were leaving, the girl noticed what had transpired and let out a loud scream that attracted county council officers who were passing by. The con prophets did not willfully cooperate with the police but were finally arrested and taken to Thika police station.

The gang is alleged to have been operating from Ruiru and Thika area. The conmen have mastered this art and keep reinventing ways of conning those who fall prey.

Area residents claim they are well known by the police but they always buy their freedom.

Private schools in Thika Town have defied the Ministry of Education's directive to close their institutions as a result of the teachers' strike. It was business as usual in virtually all the academies we visited in the last couple of days. 

The teachers and management teams we spoke to expressed their objection saying that whatever transpired in the public institutions should never be enjoined with them. They said theirs was a private entity that had nothing to do with the public service.

“The fight is between TSC teachers and the government. Why involve us in their fights? Private schools should be left alone to conclude their schedules since parents had paid fees. The closure will financially affect us since some parents may refuse to pay for the third term,” said one director of a Thika based academy who spoke to us in camera in fear of victimization.

They said that their schools would remain open pending tomorrow's court determination concerning their case. 

Meanwhile, all public schools in the area closed their doors and sent their students home awaiting the government's recall. On Monday, Thika streets were jammed in secondary school students who were heading home after their schools' Board of Governors released them following the government's move to close schools. Primary schools remained ghost institutions since kids remained at home. Only a handful of STD 8 pupils and the nursery school children could be seen in the schools. 

The parents we spoke to expressed their disappointment in the whole issue and called upon both the government and the teachers to find a permanent solution to the teachers' salary saga. Their opinion was divided with some expressing their support for teachers. 

Otherwise, most of those we spoke to were against the teachers' demands saying that the teachers had been too much and very inconsiderate. They claimed that the children of these tutors were in school in the academies while the poor people's children stayed at home.

"Watoto wa hawa walimu bado wanasoma kwa sababu wako academy. Sisi maskini hatuna wa kitutetea," said Mary Wangeci, a food vendor in Thika Main Bus Station.

The youth have been urged to avoid messing up their lives in their young age since history is very harsh. She advised them that messing today would result to them regretting later in life whenever their actions are brought to the table when they least expected them. When such revelations would mean them losing out on an opportunity of a lifetime.

Speaking at the Eton Hotel where she was addressing Thika youth and peace advocates on Monday when marking Peace One Day Celebrations, Vijana Against HIV/AIDS & Drug Abuse (VAADA) board member and Bungoma Magistrate Hon Washika warned them that ignorance was never a defense. She added that 'image is everything' and that the youth should project themselves with authority.

On security, she reminded them that it started with themselves. She asked them to be the ambassadors of peace wherever they were and avoid bad company which would negatively influence their behaviour. 

"Peace and security starts with you. You got to work to bring peace one day at a time. If security fails in our homes, it will fail in the society too. In that way, we all lose because we cannot invest or work in a conducive environment when we are not in peace with ourselves, our families and the society," she said.


"Associate yourself with people  of good reputation. Network early with positive leaders. Remember, if at all you will find yourself having your finger prints taken on any crime, including even those crimes thought to be small like being prosecuted for being drunk, your life will be ruined forever. Remember, the judges you see in your law courts don't enjoy sending people to jail but if the situation demands, they do their work. I know this ruins families, children suffer and even lose their future as a result," she added.

She concluded by advising the youth that patience was key to leadership. She asked them to be contended with what they have and walk one day at a time. They were asked to mentor their fellow youth to self empower, network widely and make peace. 


Above all, she pleaded to them to avoid alcohol and drug abuse since the two were key to the lack of peace at home. Alcoholism denied peace to the family because of very many reasons.

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