February 2016



Madam Gladys Chania Mwangi has called for attitudinal change amongst the members of the society towards Person Living With Disabilities (PWDs).


Speaking exclusively to Thika Town Today on Monday, Chania said that stigma, prejudice and discrimination had resulted to over 30% of the PWDs reporting an unmet need for some kind of service or assistance due to this attitudinal discrimination.


“Young people with disabilities in Kenya and Africa at large continue to face enormous challenges. The society expects nothing much from PWDs due to lack of awareness of the conditions that these people undergo each day, the most difficult being the barrier to overcome other people’s attitude towards them. They regard them as a burden rather than focusing on their individual abilities,” she said.


She added that all what these people needed was acceptance and not trying to limit them. They needed encouragement to break down barriers by allowing them to participate in social and family life so as to assist them in developing and exploiting their potential.


She called on the policy makers and leaders to create more platforms at the grassroots to create awareness that promoted the already established opportunities for the PWDs and to promote the use of rules in the development of national policies related to disability and rehabilitation.


“Every person, regardless of their personal circumstances, has a right of access to and participation in the governance system according to their potential and ability. The biggest challenge that face PWDs is implementation. We have very good laws on disability and have strong affirmative action laws around disability, but making this the reality on the ground is difficult due to our attitudes towards them. We need open their way into community life by removing the barriers to their participation,” said Chania.


On the ongoing ID/voter registration exercises, Chania said there was a great need to address voter apathy amongst our people from a psychological aspect. She called on community leaders to encourage people to register and continue advocating for the fulfillment of promises that they gave to them. She also called for entrepreneurship empowerment among the youth and women so as to motivate them into positivity in all aspects of governance.



Internships are an incredible learning experience where as an intern, one learns so many new skills, builds up their resume with amazing experience and have a great opportunity to network with people working in their field. Most importantly, it is a time to get their feet in the door at a company they are really interested in and increasing their chances of landing a full-time job after they finish college.


The intern therefore needs to really impress. They should go the extra mile over the few weeks they are in that company to impress the boss because they never know what doors it may open in the future. You have to leave your mark.


First and foremost you as an intern MUST Be a Go-Getter. Start working before you start working. If there is any reading, prep work, or research that you should do, go ahead and do it. This ensures that you are on the same page with the rest of the workers and that you can hit the ground running.


You need also to spend some time before you start the internship setting goals that you want to accomplish. Whatever your goals, you will feel a greater sense of accomplishment once you achieve them.


Once you are in, learn to create an immediate and lasting strong impression. Appropriate professional attire, impeccable punctuality, excellent attendance, respect for general work place decorum, and meeting deadlines and carrying out responsibilities in timely ways are expectations in any professional workplace.


Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions because this internship is a learning experience for you. You should also prove that you are smart by always asking good questions. Asking good questions shows that you are both pushing yourself to learn more and are capable of thinking about the company, your team, and its goals and challenges at a higher level.


Consider yourself an integral part of the team, and with everything you contribute, remember that your involvement is playing a critical role in helping the team as a whole achieve their objectives.


Tackle all tasks assigned to you with enthusiasm and a positive attitude. The quickest way to kill a good internship is being negative. So, avoid complaining, being rude, disrespecting co-workers, being closed‐minded, appearing arrogant, acting unprofessionally, appearing inflexible, and taking part in office politics. You also might consider working extra hours (beyond the required number for the internship) to show your work ethic to your supervisor(s).


Capitalize on the opportunity to meet as many new people as you can -- classmates at school, co-workers at internships -- particularly in other majors or departments. You will be surprised how many of these people you will someday work with, start a company with -- or who will otherwise support you. In this day and age, your net worth is impacted significantly by your network.  It’s not just the size, but also the quality of that network. Build professional relationships with your supervisor(s) and other managers in the organization. These people are also a good source for getting other job-hunting advice and tips from their years of experience.


If people asked me to quickly rattle off a few qualities of a great intern the first things that would come to mind are enthusiastic, eager, and proactive. Being proactive is not just doing what is asked of you – it is also about going many steps beyond that. Finish up an assignment and ask for a new one. Meet someone in the office outside of your team and ask to learn more about what they do. Just observing, and sitting in on a meeting or conference call will teach you a ton about what day-to-day looks like in your industry. 


No matter how small the task you have, write it down, ask for details, smile… even if you’re running an errand, take it seriously. Even the little things that seem trivial can have a big impact on a business. Being on time and staying on later than expected will show your boss how committed you are to doing a really good job. It is these employees’ that are willing to sacrifice their own time by working overtime that get noticed.


If you really want to be taken seriously by your boss, then you need to treat your internship like it is a real job. Even though you are an intern, your work will still have some form of an impact on the company, so make sure it is good.


Don’t be afraid to push yourself and take on some responsibilities that go beyond your job description. This is your time to shine and learn as much as you possibly can, so rather than limiting yourself to the tasks set out in the job description, use it as a starting point.


One of the key things to being really successful at your internship will be finding a mentor who will support you, show you the ropes and, most importantly, that you will be able to learn from and ask for advice. Having a good mentor will make your transition from student to employee much easier and a lot less stressful.


Always pay great attention to the details. A few mistakes here and there are par for the course, but consistently having errors is not great. As tempted as you may be to turn something in quickly, don’t rush through your work. Quadruple-check everything. 


Take Initiative. Employers love employees who dive into tackling tough problems and who think ‘outside the box’ in finding solutions but make sure you work with your supervisor(s) so you don’t overstep your authority.


Save social media (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram etc) for your lunch break. Unless your job involves working with social media, stay off it and focus on why you are there. Remember, social media isn’t going anywhere and it will be there when you are on your own time, not your company’s.


In the end of it all, just take feedback and adjust. It is good to note that none of us is ever perfect. As you hand in a project ask yourself this question; “What are the things I did well and what could I have done differently.”  If you actually go through a whole internship doing a certain quality of work but only hear the feedback at the end, you will have lost your chance to wow your team and the company. Catch something early on? You can quickly adjust and get better every week.


Leave with Tangible Accomplishments. One of your goals with any internship is leaving it with some tangible results – both for your resume and your career portfolio (if you use one). Maybe you developed a brochure, computerized an inventory system, organized a sales conference, met with clients, tracked industry trends, etc.


Get as Much Exposure as Possible. Some of the best internships rotate you among departments and supervisors, but if yours doesn’t, don’t let that stop you from tackling new tasks, meeting people outside your department, and attending company social events. The more you are exposed to new ideas and new people, the more you’ll learn.


Enjoy Yourself. Most internships are great experiences, so make sure you have some fun while you’re working and learning. Don’t be so uptight that you are perceived as something you are not.


There you have it. Those tips will set you on track to being the best intern you can possibly be. Keep these things in mind and be a consistent support and asset to your team and you will go from simply being an intern to someone the team cannot live without and wants to hire one day.



The Munenes confronting the church officials to gain entry through the disputed road

A former classmate and personal friend to President Uhuru Kenyatta has been embroiled in a bitter boundary dispute - over a 6-metre wide access road to the complainant’s residence.

The family of Mr. Tony Njoroge Munene, a long time Thika businessman and the son of the Late Dr. J.F.C. Munene, is accusing A.C.K. Thika Memorial Church, who they share a common boundary, of illegally blocking their right of way into their residence by erecting a gate and fencing off his only entrance. This, he claims, has caused himself and his family uncalled for suffering since he has to beg for the right of entrance from their neighbour.

“This new church gate was concreted in and a barrier of barbed fencing put across the road, completely blocking off access to any vehicles and my family. The watchmen have been instructed not to let us use this entrance, forcing us to beg for entrance through our neighbour’s compound. The church’s argument is that they wanted the gates for security because they claim that they want to protect their area from a spate of thefts,” he said.

Tony says that the road in question is a public driveway, set aside to link both his residence and that of the church. He feels that the church has put the fence in the wrong place because it is relying on inaccurate land registry maps, which are not to be used for precise measurements on the ground.  To support his argument, he produced documents to the effect.

The official map from Survey of Kenya on which boundary lines are drawn and dated way back to 1922 and another one dated 1952 clearly shows a shared driveway from the Thika-Gatanga Road, which should specify the rights and obligations of both owners. According to the map, there is an access road from the main road that is shared between Land parcel No.2955/23/13/R which is an open public land that the church has now erected their main building, Parcel No. 2955/49 which is the actual plot allocated to the church, and Parcel No. 4988/19 which belongs to Tony’s family.

It is for this reason that Tony argues that in 1955, the church amalgamated the free public land to their church plot to the current Parcel No. 8928 without putting into consideration the road reserve. He argues that the land register and the deed plans clearly state that his family has a right of access over this access road.  He wondered why the church went ahead with what they wanted to do without considering their neighbour’s views or discussing the impact of the substantial interference with the neighbour’s rights of way.

Tony argued that common law recognises that the driveway should be used reasonably and, if there is excessive use - for instance, preventing a neighbour’s access to their property, the affected neighbour has a right to seek damages and an injunction. And that is exactly what he did.

He said that is why he went to court on 24th February to seek redress under Civil Case No. 178 of 2016, where an order by Hon. A. Lorot restrained the church, their servants or agents from blocking or in any way interfering with the access of L.R. No. 4988/19 pending inter-parties hearing on 11th march 2016. He says that the church was duly served with the order by Legal Court Server Lawyer Mbiu Kamau.

The Munenes say that their father, the Late Dr. J.F.C. Munene, bought the land in 1964 and have been living in harmony with the church ever since. Tony contends that his late father actually assisted the church with some parking lot all that time a factor Tony believes might have been the source of what triggered all this conflict.

“This has been our home since I was two years old. I have lived here all my life and have been accessing our home via this access road for over 51 years now. I started kindergarten in this church’s own compound before joining St Mary’s School in Standard Three where we learnt in the same class with the president all the way to university in the USA. The action that this church took against us was unjustified. How do you justify one blocking a road that you have used for all those years.. waking up one day to encounter the gate, slung shut with a chain and padlocks and a fence erected to block the way to your house?”
It reignites Tony’s irritation: “I’m just trying to access public lands,” he says. 

On her part, Libey Njoki Munene (78), the widow to the Late Munene, her problems with the church started five years after the demise of her husband on the 23rd December 2007 when she decided to curve off her part of land to let her son live independently from her. This meant fencing off the front of her gate, the portion she claims, was at times used by the church members as a parking lot.

She added that things got worse when the church claimed that the driveway to her son’s house crossed ‘their land’ illegally and ordered them to halt its usage. The situation simmered for a while and then flared up again last September. After months of back and forth, the church recently fenced off the entrance to Tony’s home and erected a gate at the main entrance.

The incident caused the relationship between the two parties to be frosty with Mrs. Munene claiming that ever since then, the church has been subjecting her and her son’s family to a vicious four-year harassment.

The Munenes reacting happily to the church's permission to Tony's compound
“Since 2012, I been locked in a turf war with this church over the small strip of land in front of my home. The boundary is marked out on the deeds and it is a mystery to me how it got to this stage. I’m just a widow who would be happy to be left alone and move on with my life. Just tell the church to let me live and mind my own business,” she said.

Reacting to these allegations on behalf of the church, its chairman Mr. Huruko Njau produced a document to the effect that the church and the Munene’s had previously engaged their surveyors in a bid to resolve this matter once and for all by defining the actual boundaries.

The document dated 10th September 2014 shows that the Munene family represented by their surveyor, Moses Ndung’u engaged with the church through Eric Ndung’u (surveyor) to ascertain the actual positions of all the beacons in the disputed plots. After that was done, the document says that the two parties agreed that the Munenes had actually encroached on the church’s compound by erecting a wall 0.2m into the church’s boundaries.

Mr. Huruko’s argued that theirs (church) was a one-and-a-half piece of land that had been bought in 1926. He claims that they used the re-aligned and revised map to ascertain the boundaries arguing that the Munenes were the ones refusing to honour their part of the bargain.

He said that the church will also seek a court order to pull down the part of Munene’s wall that had been erected on their land.

He also admitted to receiving Tony’s court order adding that they would obey it and wait for the jury to decide on the matter. However, he says that according to the map, the access road to the Munene’s compound had been hived from the compound.

Concerning that revelation, Tony denied ever being in any form of agreement with the church concerning the said dispute. He said that the agreement was between the church and his mother in relation to Plots No.4707 (church) and 8928 (his mother’s). He said that his was a dispute on the access road to his compound (4988) between him and the church.

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