January 2018


A middle-aged woman who had been arrested for engaging in cybercrime-related offences has been released by a Thika Court on a sh. 100,000 bond.

Joyce Muchiri pleaded not guilty to the charges of cyber bullying contrary to Computer and Cybercrimes Act.

The court heard that on January 26, 2018, the accused insulted the Gladys Njoroge in Ruiru Sub-County by sending her nasty messages using a social site.

The prosecution led by Peninah Mwangi told the court that the offence was serious and requested the court to punish the accused.

Senior Resident Magistrate Grace Omuodho adjoined the case for mention on May 9 and hearing on June 15 2018 and released her on Sh.100,000 bond or a cash bail of sh. 50,000 with a Surety of a similar amount.


Tuesday’s government crackdown that saw the three main media houses shut off from the vast majority of its audience should be a wake up call to the 4th Estate and the general public to reevaluate ourselves as Kenyans first before any other considerations.

The media as the people’s watchdog plays a very important role in informing and protecting the public against the excesses of the ruling elite and in holding governments accountable. However, it is not supposed to plunge itself into partisan politics and keeping the country in a 365-days’ political circus for economic gains.

Yesterday’s defiance of the media to transmit ‘live’ the purported NASA leader Raila Odinga’s swearing in was one of the most unfortunate decisions in our media history. How does a responsible media hype an illegality despite the fact that one of their core duties is to inform?

It is an open secret that the media were more interested in the sideshows rather than the function itself and the reason that they insisted on the broadcast was to show a possible clash between the police and the opposition supporters. They were interested in the negative and inflammatory sentiments that would come out of the leaders, simply because that is what that would sell and make headlines, regardless of the outcome of such irresponsible utterances.

Media professionalism involves responsibility, which includes reporting with accuracy, fairness, without distortion of information and selection of truly important news for the people. The media is supposed to shape how the society operates by articulating ideas and influencing perceptions and attitudes.

This simply means that it should cultivate the proper balance between self and collective interests which, sustained by the interaction with the community, is important for social order.

The media should always adhere to very high professional standards and uphold neutrality by only taking a stance in public interest, not parochial interests.

The country at the moment is at its most sensitive moment where any silly mistake can ignite a fire that will be very difficult to extinguish.

The purported swearing in Raila and his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka was aimed at setting up the stage for a revolution in this country. That is the bare truth. Though we fought to protect the freedom of expression and free speech, acts that might incite violence are not free speech. 

The modus operandi and design exhibited by the media today is reminiscent of the 2007-8 post-election violence in which more than a thousand people were killed on the basis of careless reporting and false propaganda spread via the media. 

The media is expected to report inflammatory political speech in a manner that is both accurate and least likely to provoke violence. Unfortunately, the Kenyan mainstream media has of late been completely out of hand inciting violence through their irresponsible journalism.

There has been a lot of complains in recent times against the Kenyan media over the way it has handled the Kenyan political arena. The media has been accused of distortion of facts by placing improper emphasis of one aspect of a story, either by reporting the facts out of the context or by suppressing relevant available facts.

It is a sad state of affairs that the media is being used too often to openly incite acts of violence against fellow Kenyans in the guise of ‘freedom of the press’. The mainstream media has been used to glamorise, incite and wink at criminal violence as somehow ‘justified’ and ‘right’ because the media writers and their editors do not agree with a certain political wing’s views.

There has been a broad series of praise for public criminal violence in the media and more cagey publications phrasing as if such violence ‘was ok’ just because they were perpetrated by people ‘friendly’ to the media stations concerned.

They have been in the forefront in glorifying inflammatory sentiments by the political class and those inciting hate and polarising the nation are given prominence on our screens. There has been an increase in strident and extremist tone of ‘reporting’ and acceptance of ‘opinion’ voices which seek to attack and disparage fellow Kenyans.

Political inclinations, obsession with economic returns and tribalism are key issues degrading media practice in Kenya. The country is sharply divided by the two main political outfits, Jubilee Party and NASA, and the media has not been in any way different. Their opinions on various issues especially concerning the three Arms of Government (the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary) and constitutional bodies like the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have been so biased depending on the side of political divide their editorial policies prescribe to.

This has dictated the kind of news items and political analysts they present on their platforms and it does not require rocket science to identify which side of political divide each media house secretly supports.

It is also an open secret that media houses do ‘sell’ headlines and prime airtime to the highest bidder. Thus, the media sees nothing wrong with certain public incitement and praise of criminal violence and will use their might and vast media reach to castigate or silence other sources that expose this vice.

It is in the same vein that the media will hype ‘police brutality’ but turn a blind eye on the criminal elements engaging in the violence and crime that attracted the police action in the first place. The media treats what these ‘criminals’ say as the gospel truth but blacklists anything that comes out of the police as outright lies and defense for abuse of authority.

The media too glorifies lawlessness and violence via social media through proxy blogs which they use to say what they themselves are unable to due to the laid down legal checks and balances manning their profession.

NB: All mainstream media houses in Kenya run separate blogs away from their mainstream sites.

In a nutshell, lack of media professionalism is one of the greatest challenges facing this country. The role of journalists has been challenged by the social media which has become the key source of information for most people even though what is put on social media is mostly rubbish. In the fight to retain their relevance, the mainstream media and most journalists have ended up playing ball.

However, journalists have to continue to be journalists and should conduct their activities according to high standards of ethics, accountability, legality and credibility, while exercising rights such as freedom of expression and information. Ethical values are crucial in the way journalists shape content, hence the need to examine them critically in journalism practice.

Some of the scenes during the Tuesday morning fire in Thika.

Property estimated to be millions of shillings was destroyed after an inferno razed down a macadamia factory in Thika West Sub-County.

The mid-morning incident near the Thika High School main gate that reduced the entire factory is said to have emanated from one of the refuse stores and spread very fast to other parts of the storeroom.

The real cause of the fire still remains a mystery. According to eyewitness reports, there were no operations going on at the store at the time of the fire outbreak.

Fire fighters and rescue officials arrived at the scene in a record seven minutes and managed to put out the fire before it spread to adjacent buildings.

However, no casualties have been reported.


Chances are that the milk you just bought from your favourite vendor or hawker might have been laced with chemicals.

About 60% of milk being sold to the public is adulterated and is unfit for human consumption as some unscrupulous milk hawkers and vendors are adding preservatives such as hydrogen peroxide and formalin to prolong the shelf life of milk.

Formalin is used to preserve bodies in mortuaries while hydrogen peroxide is a preservative meant to kill bacteria and is a serious health risk that may cause cancer.

According to health experts, when hydrogen peroxide is added to milk, it kills the bacteria and stops milk from getting sour. There have been reports too of some hawkers using formalin to make the milk stay 'fresh' longer, against health regulations.

Some milk hawkers are said to be colluding with some mortuary attendants to source the chemicals from hospitals at a low price and mix it with the milk. With this, the milk can even stay for a week without going bad.

Kenya’s dairy production sector is characterised by a huge number of small-scale farmers who make up 70-80% of the total milk production. A recent survey by the dairy board revealed that about 4 billion liters are produced at the farm level in Kenya annually with nearly 80% of it sold raw to consumers in rural and urban areas.

The country has 47 registered milk processors but only 27 are operational. Brookside, New KCC and Githunguri dairies are the dominant players in the market controlling more than 70% of the processed milk.

You remember the heroic story of the 12 year boy Allan Kimani Kuria who risked his life trying to save his baby sister in October 27th 2016 at Ndenderu?

After one year plus of treatment he was finally discharged from St Mulumba Hospital in Thika where he was currently being treated.

Now he is ready to go home and try catch up with his education so that he can achieve his dreams of becoming an engineer.

The family appreciates the much help that the social media has given both financially and emotional. The love was overwhelming that is the number one reason that Allan can still manage a smile despite his affliction.

The parents are now appealing to Kenyans of goodwill again to help raise the current bill that stands at Ksh 1.6m.

To contribute towards Allan's bill kindly use the below numbers.

Paybill number :891300
Account name: Allan

Mpesa 0710610403
Susan Muthoni ( mother).

Shocked residents of Maguguni village discussing in low tones outside the room where the two love birds (INSET) were found dead on Monday morning. 

Maguguni residents in Thika East Sub-County have expressed shock after decomposing bodies of a young couple were found in a rented single-room house.

The body were discovered on Monday morning by a neighbour who said he was alerted by a foul smell emanating from the house.

According to Paul Kogi who was among the first people to arrive at the scene, the neighbour was cleaning the room next door with intent to shift when he was alerted by an unusual foul smell and the presence of flies coming out of the house. He is said to have banged on the door and again called to his neighbour but there was no response even though the door was locked from the inside.

He immediately alerted their landlord who came and supervised the breaking of the window where they were met by the sight of a man’s body hanging from the rafters.

Kogi says that the nature of the furniture indicated that there might have been a struggle since everything was scattered all over the room.

“The girl was sprawled on the bed, covered in clothing and some cloth stuffed into her mouth. It seems that the man first strangled her to death before taking his life by the rope,” narrated Kogi.

Kogi added that it was hard for neighbours to hear any commotion because the room was the only one occupied in that section of the newly build rental houses.

Grace Wanjiru, the deceased girl’s cousin explained that the two were not legally married but had developed some disagreements in the recent times to a point where the young man had threatened to kill her.

“A fortnight ago, he beat her up at night, forcing her to run away and seek refuge into my home. The matter was reported to Ngoliba Police Station where the man was reprimanded not to interfere with the girl’s life,” explained Wanjiru.

“Four days ago, my cousin came and rented this room but I do not know how this man knew of her new house and how he came to gain entry into her room,” she continued.

Sources close to the two allege that the man used to go to the school where the deceased girl was a teacher, and every time shouting that he would kill someone who was working there.

The deceased girl had just won a job at Wapa Academy, which is barely a stone-throw away from the place their bodies were discovered.

“She just finished college last year and was lucky to get a job in this school last October. This man is married and with two kids even though he separated with his wife who is now staying with his mother,” said Wanjiru who is the one that hosted her cousin when she came to Thika to look for a job.

She blamed police laxity saying that her cousin would still be alive today had they taken serious action against the perpetrator. 

Leaders of Mukiriti traders addressing their members at Moi Gardens on Monday where they vowed to forcefully eject 'illegal' hawkers from the CBD.

A last-minute intervention from the County Government of Kiambu has halted street protests organised by Mukiriti and Stadium traders who were expressing their anger against the invasion of hawkers within Thika Town’s CBD.

In a meeting held at Moi Gardens on Monday morning, the traders strongly objected intrusion by Murang’a and Githurai hawkers whom they accused of rendering them out of business despite not paying any fee to the county government.

Led by Moi Market-Mukiriti Traders Association Chairperson Nicholas Muiruri, the traders accused the county government of doing nothing to contain these hawkers who have now invaded all the streets and pavements within the CBD to form a full illegal open air market.

“They have products similar to ours but sell at a third of the price or less because they do not pay any licences nor rent. They have no overheads and can afford to sell at low prices which we can’t. We no longer sell anything these days. We have had enough and are now demanding quick intervention from county government,” said Muiruri.

They accused some county government officials of allowing the hawkers to operate within the CBD for a weekly bribe of unspecified amount of money.

“It is unacceptable that hawkers now seem to be permanent and grossly interfering with the businesses of rent-paying and licensed retailers who have huge overheads. We will not allow that and if they are not out by tomorrow (Tuesday), we will invade every space in town and start selling our wares,” he warned.

Muiruri said that there was enough space at Moi Market for anyone who wished to trade and there was no apparent excuse to hawk within the town centre.

Thika District Business Association Chairman Alfred Wanyoike accused the hawkers of roughing up other traders who protested the invasion of pavements outside their shops adding that they (hawkers) were always ready to take the law into their own hands to force into the available open spaces.

“They are causing all manner of problems due to the congestion they are bringing into the CBD. Criminals have now taken advantage of the confusion to wreak havoc to unsuspecting passersby. If you fail to get them out, we will evict them ourselves,” he said.

Responding to their grievances, Thika regional sub-county administrator Christopher Wanjau assured the traders that he will send his enforcement team on the ground to ensure that the town was cleared off all hawkers.

He warned that any negligence or impropriety from any member of the enforcement team who continue to solicit for bribes to abet the current lawlessness and disorder would be investigated and severe action taken against any officer found culpable.

Sergi Santos, the Spanish engineer and his $5,000 creation “Samantha doll” which went on sale late last year.

The popularity of adult toys has increased over the past decade. They are currently enjoying a boom in sales and popularity with millions sold worldwide every year. Recent studies have even noted that 1 in 2 women own sex toys, but with that in mind, most of them still feel uncomfortable talking about them.

For the past one week or so, the big talk across social media circles has been about the now famous ‘Samantha’, an artificial intelligence sex doll with the ability to create emotional closeness and progress through different modes from romantic, to family.

People who rely on using this stuff may have their own reasons. However, the use of erotic toys can be a double-edged sword; you can get some good results, but you should also be ready to get a quite a handful of negative ones as well. 

Dependency/addiction.

On the downside of things, it can lead to dependency that makes it so you can't get off without them and it can cause a separation between partners. Being so much reliant on sex toys leads one to lose interest in the opposite gender (spouses, including their lovers). When the sensation one receive becomes too addictive, instead of resolving their issues, they end up creating a new one.

The surging availability of robotic sex dolls and virtual reality pornography means it is now easier than ever for people to rely on technology for all their sexual needs. Experts have warned we will soon see a rise in the number of people whose sexual and emotional appetites are almost entirely satisfied by the virtual world.

For many people, technology will form a key part of their identity, and some will prefer to have loving relationships with sex robots instead of humans.

Sex toys shall never be a replacement for real people and will never provide one with love and care just like what they feel when they are with someone special. This is the main difference between love dolls and real-life lovers. Real people are able to provide one with comfort and other feelings aside from just giving you sex.

Toxic toys.

Sex toys are often fabricated from materials which will contain toxins that aren’t healthy for your body. According to some experts, sex toys are often made from low-grade materials and plastics that can have a negative health effect on people.

In a study around plastic, consumer watchdog, Choice Australia, found that poor quality plastics may be endocrine disruptors which means that they can mimic the body's natural hormones and cause a whole host of health problems.

According to the consumer watchdog, plastics may contain things like Bisphenol A, phtalates, PVC and BPA. These softeners make plastic products more flexible. They reported that many sex toys with jelly-like plastic sheaths are made from phtalates.

There is growing scientific evidence that even at low levels of exposure, phthalates and BPA may cause problems such as infertility, obesity, breast cancer, prostate cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Allergy.

Some people find that they have an allergy to latex or silicon (which are what sex toys are usually made out of).

STD Infections. 

Sharing sex toys will cause the infection of STDs through the exchange of fluid and direct tissue layer contact.

Lower level of satisfaction in men.

A study led by researcher Michael Reece, Ph.D., examined the prevalence of vibrator use among heterosexual men in the United States. Intriguingly, heterosexual men who had used sex toys with their partners reported lower levels of sexual satisfaction than men who had never used a sex toy with their partners.

The researchers couldn’t say for sure why satisfaction was lower in this cohort but those who used vibrators with their partners reported doing so to increase their partner’s pleasure as opposed to their own.

So, as we keep the ‘Samantha” debate alive, that is something to ponder about as Kenyans.

From left: The mandazi nicknamed KDF, Githeri aka ballast aka combat and Chipo mwitu. (PHOTOS | COURTESY)

The playful food menus deeply embedded in the Sheng language first develop among a group of people close to each other before spreading to others.

Thika Town Today takes you through some of these names and how they were derived.

Ugali chocolate’.

Ugali made of finger millet flour is associated with chocolate because of its signature dark brown colour that makes it look like it is the normal ugali mixed with the prized cocoa beans product.

‘Teargas’

Pepper sometimes sends tears rolling down a person’s cheeks, just as industrially produced teargas.

Chapati chafua.

To “chafua” means “make dirty.” Because a chapati in soup appears dirtied, whoever floated the nickname got their imagery right.

Chapati mbao.

This is a crunchy chapati – The ideal chapati is flexible and soft to the touch. When it dries up and gets flaky, then it earns comparison to rigid timber.

Kahawa kifo.

It is not clear why a high concentration of coffee boiled for a long time gets a deathly metaphor. But given that it is served without sugar and its blackness, one can understand why dark forces are invoked.

‘Bof’, ‘brenyo’, ‘boflo’ ‘tothi’.

Bread is one of the most prominent breakfast components and it is understandable when it takes the buttered side of food nicknames.

Ugali Mlima.

For ugali to get compared to a mountain, it must exhibit some sky-piercing qualities. Such a large quantity, caricatured in common mythology that it is so huge a cat can’t jump over it, is preferred by ugali enthusiasts and heavy-duty workers.

A mountainous serving of that stature is known to go down well with tumbukiza, which is beef boiled while fully immersed in water until it is soft.

Chipo mwitu.

In Kiswahili, a thing with “mwitu” appended to its name means it comes from the wild. Chipoo mwitu are basically French fries (chips) purchased from a roadside kiosk — normally measured in very cheap portions — falls in the category of food sourced from the wild.

Ballast.

Because it is a mix of two grains of contrasting colours, githeri has earned a number of names. “Ballast” brings out the element of it resembling the mixture used in construction while “combat” dramatizes its resemblance to military garments.

USA, CNN, CMB.

The initials should stand for United States of America, Cable News Network and Cash Money Brothers respectively. But in other contexts lingo, they stand for “Ugali, Sukuma na Avocado (USA)”, “Chapati Na Ndengu (CNN)” and “Chapati Mbili Na Beans (CMB)”.

Probably, mouths are too busy chewing or salivating to articulate some food names in full.

(Source Nairobi News KE)

A section of the leaders who spearheaded the stakeholders' forum on Friday to lay down their terms of association with the County Government of Kiambu. 

A section of Thika residents and traders have opposed the manner in Kiambu County Government’s handling public policy matters and consequently given the latter a raft of conditions of engagement.

During a stakeholders' forum organised by the Thika District Business Association (TDBA) and Kiambu Regional Business Coalition (KRBC) on Friday evening at a Thika Hotel, the residents complained that the devolved unit was basically overlooking stakeholders’ concerns and going ahead to implement policies that affected them without any public input.

They argued that they voted for Governor Ferdinand Waititu and the County Assembly members in the hope that they would offer an ideal environment to live and do business in Kiambu County.

Though they said that they were willing to work and support the county leadership but only if the latter recognised them too as leaders in their own rights and agreed to involve the residents in all their policy implementation programmes as enshrined in the constitution.

Among the conditions they want met by the county government include:-

1. Restoring order within the CBD.

The traders want the county government to crack the whip on the hawkers that have invaded virtually all the streets and paths within the CBD and are now exposing residents to accidents and crime. They are calling on the county government to offer an alternative for these hawkers latest by the end of this month.

They also want the county government to reorganise the public transport system by reassigning bodabodas, tuktuks and PSV matatus with designated passenger dropping and collection points so as to ease traffic congestion and also fight crime.

The county government is also being requested to complete the existing road projects that were scheduled to open up the town and ease traffic.

2. Service delivery.

The residents are demanding continuous and systematic garbage collection to ensure the town remained clean and safe from disease outbreak.

They want the county government to seal off all potholes within the town’s streets as well as covering dangerous pit holes and open sewer manholes that are posing great danger to the residents especially at night.

3. Alcohol and substance abuse control.

The traders are demanding the county government to regulate the licensing of liquor outlets with a view to fighting alcohol abuse and consequently fight alcohol/drug related crimes.

They are also calling on the county government, through the Social Welfare Department, to seek a permanent solution to beggars, street children and prostitution within the CBD. They should also find a way to get rid of ‘imported beggars’ even if it meant repatriating them back to their countries of origin.

(Related story: Thika residents oppose planned dissolution of THIWASCO.)

Street children should be rehabilitated with some of them being accommodated in the non-operational Youth Rehabilitation Centre at Jamhuri Primary School as they worked to put up more such centres to accommodate those who miss out on the limited spaces.

4. Insecurity.

The traders want the county government to improve on the street lighting programme as this will help in fighting insecurity and also in ensuring that Thika becomes a 24-hour economy. They are also demanding the latter to install CCTV cameras in specific and strategic spots in the town to help fight crime.

The security committee led by the DCC has also been urged to up their game by enhancing police patrols and rooting out rogue police officers working in cahoots with thugs. Consequently, the residents support the idea of registering all bodabodas and Tuktuk operators, calling on them to be properly branded according to their registered Saccos and areas of operation.

5. THIWASCO.

The residents want the Status Quo in relation to the management of the Thika Water & Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) to be maintained until proper consultations and public participation is done

WARNING!

The residents and traders warned that should the county government fail to respect to their memorandum, they will be forced to result to drastic measures which include, and not limited to, boycotting the payments of Levies and Licences to the County Government of Kiambu.



Fifteen youth touting at the Makongeni Posta Stage have each been fined sh. 4,000 or 1 month in jail by a Thika Court after they were arrested in what police say is their quest to eliminate criminals.

According to Thika West OCPD Willy Simba, the 15 are suspected to part of a gang that has been harassing and stealing from commuters at various matatu termini in Thika.

“We conducted the raid today (Friday) morning at Makongeni following complaints from the members of public. We arraigned them in court in the afternoon to face charges in accordance with the law,” he explained.

He warned that his officers will carry out similar operations in several other bus stages to ensure that all criminals and those engaging in illegal activities are netted.

“We have vowed to rid of all petty criminals hovering around matatu termini and stages within Thika. Next we are going raid the Thika main bus terminus and the 2TS stage at Whiteline where we have been receiving so many complaints of pickpockets and petty muggers,” he added.

He appealed to the management of all the matatu and bodaboda stages to liaise with security agents to help wipe out all forms of crime at their areas of jurisdiction.


With the unpredictable weather conditions and a decline in arable land, it is clear that people need to become more innovative so as to produce enough food to sustain an increasing population. That notwithstanding, food prices are increasing, persuading households to grow their own cereals, fruits and vegetables.

One way of meeting future food needs could be hydroponics.

Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture where crops are grown without soil – using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. The water is enriched with well-balanced nutrients which are essential for plant growth and better yields.

In this farming, plants absorb the nutrients from the water and using sunlight, they produce the output. Terrestrial plants may be grown with only their roots exposed to the mineral solution, or the roots may be supported by an inert medium, such as perlite or gravel.

Hydroponics can play a vital role in changing the way we think about plant growth and may well be the future of gardening and farming. Hydroponically grown crops use up to 90% less water and 50% less land than traditional farming for the same crops with a yield of four times the amount of crop. 

The crop growth is two times faster than soil based plants as they are fed with the right amount of nutrients, water and oxygen.

Benefits.

The system offers an easy way of growing fruits and vegetables that are healthier and have more nutritive value. With hydroponic gardening you can expect big, better results in short span of time, as nutrients are dissolved in water and directly fed to roots. Gardeners don’t have to worry about – weeding, soil borne diseases, when to fertilise, spraying pesticides, labour for cultivation, tilling, soil texture, etc.

Until 1936, hydroponics was practiced primarily in labs to research plant growth and how the root develops.

There are numerous benefits of hydroponic gardening. Its practice can yield excellent results in short span of time with proper knowledge and techniques. Various environmental concerns, reduction in arable land, and scarcity of water can be easily conquered with the use of hydroponics. It is extremely beneficial for commercial farmers and home gardeners alike.

Hydroponic gardens are simple to maintain both indoors and outdoors. You can relish fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables that will bring you happiness and peace of mind while saving some money.

Its high water efficiency makes hydroponic farming possible in arid environments. Hydroponic growing trays can be stacked on top of one another, and plants can be placed closer side by side than they can in soil, making it vastly more space-efficient than traditional farming.

Key Considerations

While you can grow almost anything hydroponically, some vegetables thrive more in hydroponic systems than others. Choose plants that don’t mind moisture and that don’t get too big for their set up, such as cucumber, tomato, capsicum, strawberry, lettuce and leafy greens.

Also, when setting up a hydroponic garden, depending on the size, sturdiness and root development of the plants to be grown and the structure of the system, one needs to decide whether to use only a solution culture or some sort of a growth medium.

Increasing the use of hydroponics could solve future food problems.


President Uhuru Kenyatta has named a partial cabinet, retaining majority of his former Cabinet Secretaries and creating a new position of Chief Administrative Secretary.

The president says that Chief Administrative Secretaries will better the coordination of activities in their respective ministries.

Eight former Cs have now being redeployed to various foreign missions as ambassadors. However, Uhuru retains cabinet secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Devolution), Racheal Omamo (Defence) Najib Balala (Tourism) and Amina Mohammed (Education) in his new line-up.

Here is the list announced by the President:
  1. Treasury – Henry Rotich
  2. Ministry of Education – Amina Mohamed
  3. Ministry of Interior – Fred Matiang’i
  4. Ministry of Devolution – Eugene Wamalwa
  5. Ministry of Defense – Rachel Omamo
  6. Ministry of Energy – Charles Keter
  7. Ministry of Agriculture – Mwangi Kiunjuri
  8. Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Monicah Juma
  9. Ministry of Youth and Gender – Margaret Kobia
  10. Ministry of Petroleum and Mining – John Munyes
  11. Ministry of Environment and Forestry – Keriako Tobiko
  12. Ministry of Information and Communication – Joe Mucheru
  13. Ministry of Health – Cecil Kariuki
  14. Ministry of East African Community and North Corridor– Peter Munya
  15. Ministry of Labour – Ukur Yattany
  16. Transport and Infrastructure – James Macharia
  17. Ministry of Tourism – Najib Balala
  18. Ministry of Water and Sanitization – Simon Cherugui
  19. Ministry of Lands – Farida Karoney
  20. Ministry of Industrialization – Aden Muhamed
  21. Ministry of Sports and Heritage - Rashid Mohammed
  22. Raphel Tuju – CS (without portfolio)

Principal Secretaries.

Coastal Regional Commissioner Nelson Marwa now joins cabinet as the PS Devolution and so is Former Bundalangi MP Ababu Namwamba (Chief Admin Foreign Affairs) and Former Nairobi Women Rep. Rachael Shebesh (Chief Admin. Youth)

Nelson Marwa, PS Devolution
Michael Powon, PS ASAL
Peter Kaberia, PS Sports
Josetta Makobe, PS Heritage
Belio Kisang, PS Learning & basic Education
Lilian Omollo, PS Gender Safina
Tomrome Saitoti, PS Defense
Rachael Shebesh, CAS Public service and youth

Cabinet Ministers turned Ambassadors:

Dan Kazungu - Tanzania
Jacob Kaimenyi - UNESCO in Paris
Phylis Kandie - Belgium and Luxembourg
Kiema Kilonzo - Uganda
Judy Wakhungu - France
Hassan Wario - Austria
Cleopha Mailu - Permanent Rep to UN in Geneva
Willy Bett - India


Following the signing of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and teachers’ unions in October 2016, all teachers in public schools will benefit from the newly introduced salary scales in Job Groups ‘H’, ‘J’, ‘K’, ‘L’, ‘M’ and ‘N’.

In a circular dated 18th December 2017 and addressed to all County Directors and heads of institutions, the TSC has effectively elongated T-Scale 13 in D3; T-Scale 12 in Grade D2 and T-Scale 9 in D4 backdated from July 2017. The elongated scales fall under Job Groups ‘H’ and ‘N’.

Principals and their deputies in sub-county boarding schools, day schools and extra-county schools will now earn between sh. 59,286 and sh. 83,717. Previously, the highest paid principal earned sh. 77,840.

Deputy Principals III and Senior Master I will earn between sh. 59,286 and sh. 80,242 with Senior Master IV, Deputy Principals II and Senior Lecturer IV pocketing between sh. 26.610 and sh. 46,912.

Under this new dispensation, P1 teacher, the lowest grade in the teaching service at Job Group ‘G’ has been phased out and will now be referred to as Primary Teacher II to serve in Grade B5 which is equivalent to Job Group ‘H’.

They will now earn between sh. 24,250 and 27,195 up from the previous sh. 23,304.

Teachers who were previously serving in Job Group ‘H’ (Primary Teacher I and Secondary Teacher II) have been elevated to Job Group ‘J’ to a new Grade known as C1 to earn between sh. 31,956 and sh. 33,994.

The matrix on Hardship, Commuter and Annual Leave Allowances have also revised been upwards to run between 1st July 2017 and 30th June 2021. All other allowances remain unchanged.

A section of the bodaboda and tuktuk operators leaving the Thika High School Chapel Hall after a meeting to discuss the security situation in Thika.
Bodaboda operators have blamed the police for failure to the rising cases of insecurity, alleging that some unscrupulous officers of colluding with criminals who have been terrorising Thika residents in the recent times.

At a security forum organised by the area DCC Tom Anjere, the operators absolved themselves from blame instead accused the police of not doing enough to stem insecurity. They claimed the gangs were made up of known criminals working in cohorts with some of the officers who received some money gotten from the loot. 

They said that they were ready to support the local administration and the police in fighting crime in the region in a bid to redeem their image which had been tarnished by motorbike handbag snatchers.

“We have been accused of propelling these crimes by harbouring the criminals who have been antagonising area residents. But what can we do if some of your officers are abetting crime by soliciting bribes from these same criminals?” asked one bodaboda operator.

He said that his colleagues feared reporting such criminals to the police as the officers involved leaked their identities to the criminals, thus endangering their lives.

To solve this problem, they suggested that the authorities to maintain a record of all bodaboda and tuktuk Saccos in order to ease security agencies with identification of genuine operators.

“Every registered Sacco should be assigned a specific place to operate from and its members given unique identities to distinguish them from criminals. The police should also wipe out all drug and illegal liquor dens as they have been perfect hideouts for criminals,” said James Mburu, the chairman of Kamenu Bodaboda operators.

He also suggested that the police constitute an elite undercover police squad to fight illegal motorbike thugs and muggers in the area.

Bodaboda-Tuktuk wars.

The forum also discussed the recent bodaboda-tuktuk wars over scramble for customers that recently led to tuktuk operators to block Kenyatta Highway in protest over attacks by bodaboda operators.

Bodaboda operators accused their counterparts of invading the town and denying them an opportunity to serve customers.

“They have taken over the town and we can no longer access customers. We need to agree on the routes and also have them (tuktuks) operate from designated areas to avoid conflicts with bodabodas,” suggested one bodaboda operator.

However, the tuktuk operators differed with them arguing that they were so many and there was no way they could fit in the existing parking lots.

“We have over 300 tuktuks and considering the size of the CBD, there can never be enough space for all them to park. It is for that reason that we requested the county government to allow us to operate without a stage,” explained Allan Ndegwa, the chairperson of Thika Tuktuk Welfare Association.


Responding to their grievances, the DCC promised, through the chiefs and their assistants, to organise for the registration and identification of all genuine bodaboda and tuktuk operators.

He recommended periodical meeting with these operators in order to keep review the progress and address any matters that arose.

“No unregistered bodabodas will be allowed to operate from now henceforth. For those licenced to operate, they will be demanded to possess proper identification documents as well as branded reflectors indicating the Sacco they belonged to,” warned Anjere.

He warned that any officer found abetting crime will face disciplinary action.

Anjere urged the operators to adhere to all the traffic rules and regulations otherwise his officers will not hesitate to arrest and prosecute them in events they flouted the law.


Hawkers selling their wares near the Uhuru and Commercial Streets roundabout. This area has been a pain in the neck especially in the evening when thieves take advantage of human congestion to steal from unsuspecting residents.
There has been public outcry across Thika Town and its environs over escalating cases of violent robberies, muggings, drugging thefts and conning and robberies which they say are happening in broad daylight.

The worst case scenario involves motorbike thugs who target lone women walking with handbags. These thugs most ride in pairs and once they spot a victim, they ride towards them snatch the handbags and speed off, leaving the victim confused and unaware what to do.

This happens mostly between 6 and 7 am in the morning as well as between 6 and 9pm in the evenings.

The CBD, around Section 9 and 2 Estates, Ngoingwa, around the main bus station, Mukiriti area, General Kago Road and near the Gatitu junction are the worst hit areas. Others include the Kiganjo bypass near Engen Petrol Station, near Delta Petrol station Polysack and BAT areas of Makongeni.

Hawkers.

The influx of hawkers in the evenings has also given muggers and pickpockets a field day. Criminals are now taking advantage of the human traffic congestion to pick from people’s pockets and ladies’ handbags.

(Related Story: Armed Robberies, Petty Crimes on The Prowl In Thika.)

Teresa Wambui is one such victim after someone after she lost her personal belongings through pickpockets during the evening rush hour.

“Last week, I lost my personal effects as I was walking through the crowd along Commercial Street, somewhere between Kassmatt Supermarket and Thika Arcade. Someone unzipped my handbag and stole my pulse and phone,” explains Wambui.

Pickpockets around that area target those buying from the hawkers or people carrying luggage that distract their vision or concentration and are in a rush to board matatus home.

Just yesterday (Wednesday), a local politician lost her cellphone and other personal effects from her car as two people distracted her as she was preparing to drive off from Vineyard Hospital in near the 
Thika Stadium Roundabout.

“I had just finished purchasing some drugs from their chemist. As I was about to start the engine, someone knocked the driver’s window ‘probably to tell me something very urgent,” she narrated.

As she stopped to listen to this young man, another one swung open the passenger’s door and made away with everything that was placed on the seat, losing her phone and her son's medication all valued at Sh. 23,100.

On the same day, an electronics shop attendant at Simkan Agencies lost 10 hard disks valued at Sh. 140,000 near the Thika Lands Offices to a man who had introduced himself as a county government official working in the physical planning department.

“My boss called me from Kilifi instructing me to supply the items to a client who had ordered them via the phone. This client disappeared with the goods immediately after I delivered them to him. This happened as I was busy recording their serial numbers,” recalled Alexander Kimani.

“We met on the third floor of the lands office where he sampled one of the hard disks and agreed to pay for them in cash after bargaining. However, as I turned to pick the receipt book from the envelope that I had placed aside, the man picked the hard disks and disappeared,” added Kimani.

(See also: Thika police nab two bag-snatching moped muggers.)

How the thief escaped is still a mystery to him but he suspects that he might have drugged him with some concoctions.

Kimani later reported the incident at Thika Police Station.


While acknowledging these incidents, Thika West Police Commander Willy Simba discouraged victims from rushing to the social media whenever they fell prey to these criminals as this made it almost impossible to apprehend them.

The Government has launched new motor vehicle registration number plates set to revolutionise motor vehicle identification in the country through use of modern chip technology.

The new plates, developed by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), are geared towards taming the rising cases of car theft and traffic offences.

NTSA Director of Communications Dido Guyatu said the plates bear an inbuilt chip to store firsthand information about the vehicle and ownership. This will enhance quick identification and tracking of both private and public service vehicles in the country.

Guyatu disclosed that the government would start issuing the new plates in March this year, adding that by July, all vehicles in the country would have the new identification.

Recently, NTSA was on the receiving end following delay in supply of number plates for motor dealers who were forced to wait for long periods before their vehicles were registered.

The transport body was established by the National Transport and Safety Authority Act 2012 to bring about sanity on the roads.


It brings under one roof all the functions of motor vehicle registration, transport licensing, motor vehicle inspection, driver testing, road safety and traffic law enforcement.

Chania Travellers Sacco Chairperson John Kiarie Gicharu addressing members of press on Tuesday after he was elected to be in the Thika Sub-County Transport Committee. With him is MOA Mt. Kenya Region Chairman Rufus Kariuki (left).
Thikarians may very soon be forced to spend more on matatu fares should PSV operators along Thika Superhighway actualise their plans to increase fares by between 30 and 60 percent.

Matatu owners have attributed that review to high operational costs that has with time driven majority of them out of business.

Speaking after a meeting to elect officials to the Thika Sub-County Transport Committee, Mt. Kenya Region Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Chairperson Rufus Ngugi Kariuki said that the proposed fare increments were necessitated by some unfair competition among the operators which had forced some of their members to close shop due to losses and accumulation of debts.

“There has been an unfair competition along Thika Road that has seen some of us charging Sh. 30 to go to Nairobi (from Thika). This has turned out to be very punitive especially to new investors who have been forced to bow out of business due to inability to service their vehicles as well as repay their loans. This will have to change,” said the chairman.

Kariuki added that as their elected representative, he will ensured that he will ‘protect the rights’ of his members through regulations that were geared towards leveling the playing field.

“We intend to increase the fares for buses to around Sh. 80 and Sh. 120 for the 14-seater matatus. 
This way, our members will be in a position to enjoy the fruits of their investments,” he said.

(See also: County Transport meeting aborts after matatu operators disrupt proceedings.)

Over the last few months, the fare charged to commute to and from Nairobi had gone down to as low as sh. 30 for the buses, with majority of them charging between sh. 40 and sh. 70 depending on the peak hours. Majority of the 14-seater matatus have for quite a while charged sh. 100.

On matters security, Kariuki absolved his members from accusations that some of their crew were collaborating with thugs to rob commuters. He alleged that most of the carjacking cases reported involved thugs who boarded matatus along the way, specifically around Githurai and Ruiru areas. He cautioned commuters to be extra vigilant and keen to observe the behaviours of those they were travelling with.

During the meeting, Rufus Kariuki and John Kiarie Gicharu (Chania Travellers Sacco Chairperson) were elected to sit in the Thika Sub-County Transport Committee and represent the interests of the industry.


Kiarie promised to instil order and discipline in the matatu industry within the CBD.

TDBA Chairman Mr. Alfred Wanyoike reads a statement on behalf of Thika residents and businessmen opposing Kiambu County Government's proposed merger of all the 9 water companies.
Twelve organisations representing various sectors of Thika residents and business community have threatened to take an unspecified stern action against the County Government of Kiambu if it goes ahead with its scheduled plans to dissolve Thika Water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO).

Speaking during a press briefing on Monday, the residents described the county government’s action to disregard their input as unconstitutional and in contempt of the civil rights of the people of Thika.

Though admitting that in the recent times, THIWASCO may have experienced slight challenges in service delivery due to influx of population, they acknowledged the fact that it was among the best water companies in the country and the only one that had maintained a steady supply of clean and safe water over the years.

They argued that the county leadership ought to have engaged the residents and explained the pros and cons of their decision instead of arm-twisting the directors into some rushed and forced dissolution agreement.

Led by the Chairman Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Mr. Alfred Wanyoike, the residents reckoned that the proposed merger of all the 9 water companies within the county would disrupt their operations, thus affect productivity especially in companies that heavily depended on constant flow of water.

“As we all know, THIWASCO has very heavily invested in water provision and dissolving it will jeopardise the gains it has made over the years. That notwithstanding, why is the county government evading the people’s input if they mean well to the residents of Thika? Might there be that some ulterior motives behind the rushed merger??” posed Wanyoike.

Wanyoike feared that the acquisition of THIWASCO might be the county government’s key target, being the only water company to have operated in profit and able to serve its customers diligently.

“THIWASCO is being targeted with a view to supplement the failing companies which have failed to sustain their operations. Last year it registered a Sh. 700 million profit, money that will be spent to jumpstart the collapsing companies at the expense of Thika people who have been key to this success,” said Wanyoike.

(Related Story: Kinuthia Mwangi differs with Kiambu on clustering of water companies.)

Isaac Gikoi who represented the Kenya Association of manufacturers (KAM) feared that the merger would result to diversion of resources leading to poor services to the people of Thika.

Gikoi foresaw some job loses if at all the merger would interrupt water supply within the town as majority of the companies depended on a constant flow of fresh water to operate.

“The timing is very wrong and the manner in which it is being carried out is a bit clandestine. As manufacturers, the county government would have sought our views considering the fact that a hitch in water supply may drive most companies out of business,” said Gikoi.

Mt. Kenya Council of Imams & Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Regional Coordinator Al Haji Shaban Gakere Bakari underscored the importance water to the Muslim community due to their religious obligation. He said that any hitch in the supply of water will affect over 70,000 Muslim faithful who depended solely on this precious liquid at least 5 times daily in 32 mosques across the sub-county.

Thika KNUT Executive Secretary Joe Mungai reckoned that as one of the greatest consumers of water in the region, teachers through their institutions needed to be heard when such crucial decisions were being made.

“Any disruption of water flow will severely affect learning in schools and thus we cannot take lightly any matter that will jeopardise our education and the health of our students. We need to be involved in this and if it is a matter of dissolving the water companies, all stakeholders must be accommodated in the composition of the new board(s),” said Mungai.

On behalf of the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina, his Personal Assistant Mr. John Mwangi wondered why Governor Ferdinand Waititu failed to involve the legislator in the plans to dissolve the water company, despite Wainaina being the elected representative of the affected residents.

“As the representative of the people, the governor ought to have at least informed the MP of his plans rather than doing things behind his back. This move is suspect and we will not allow the county government to take us for a ride. If this continues, we will express our discontent the best way we know how,” warned the PA.

Mwangi said governance was never about flexing muscles but service the people who elected them.

“It doesn’t mean that the office of the Thika MP is opposed to the move but we are simply telling the governor, ‘come let’s reason together’. Period!”


Among those present were chairpersons of the bodaboda, hawkers and church leaders.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina (in a cap)explains a point to one of the participants of the forum to work out a way to guarantee a 100% primary to secondary transition rate. Looking on is Thika West DCC Tom Anjere (left) and Thika KNUT Secretary Joe Mungai (in glasses). 
All 2017 KCPE candidates from Thika Sub-County who have not yet been admitted to Form 1 have been instructed to report to the nearest secondary school or their previous primary schools for admission. Consequently, all principals of secondary schools have been instructed to open extra streams to accommodate these students into their Form 1 classes.

Chaired by Thika West DCC Tom Anjere, an education leaders meeting held at Thika High School resolved that the exercise will involve all those who sat for KCPE last year regardless of their scores.
It was revealed that about 350 pupils who sat for KCPE last year are yet to join any secondary school.

“It is the government’s policy for a 100% transition rate from primary to secondary education. I am tasking all the chiefs, their assistants and heads of primary schools to mop out all those who did KCPE last year for admission to the various secondary schools in the sub-county,” said Anjere.

“The minimum requirement is simply a KCPE certificate and the relevant school uniforms,” he added.

It was agreed that there the DCC will convene a similar meeting that will incorporate more stakeholders with a view of evaluating the progress of this exercise, its challenges and also chart out the way forward.

He warned that stern measures would be taken against any principal found sabotaging this exercise.

“I have also heard rumours that some principals are selling admission letters to prospective candidates. This is unacceptable and anyone caught engaging in this vice will also be dealt with according to the laid down procedures,” warned the DCC.

Area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina said that his office will support this programme by funding schools to construct extra classes.

However, Wainaina warned principals who were being accused of sending students home for ‘lunch money’ that he would not tolerate such behaviour as it denied the students their right to education.

“No one should send students home for lunch money. If any principal has challenges in collecting this money from students, they should liaise with my office for assistance but not to send the learners home,” said Wainaina.


Those present included Thika West Deputy County Director of Education Ronald Mbogo, Thika KNUT executive Secretary Joe Mungai, Thika Branch Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (KEPSHA) Chairman James Ngugi Macharia and the Director M-PESA Academy Dr. Stephen Walker among others.

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