October 2018


Tempers flared at the Thika Community Hall as members of Public protested some MCAs' intention to gag them into endorsing the Kiambu County 2018-2019 Finance Bill without making their own submissions.
Thika residents have rejected hefty rates and charges proposed by the Kiambu County Government in their 2018-2019 Finance Bill.

The meeting that was held at the Thika Community Hall on Wednesday morning was at one time reduced to a shouting match when the members of public accused members of the County Assembly of forcing them into endorsing the 100% increment in fees, rates, levies and charges as proposed in the Bill.

Tempers flared when a local MCA shouted down one member of public who had questioned the rationale used by the Kiambu Finance CEC to arrive at the new rates. The MCA accused the participants of introducing politics into the matter adding that they were used to ‘his theatrics’ and wouldn’t allow him to ‘spoil’ the meeting.

The MCA’s sentiments elicited very angry reaction in the hall, a situation that threatened to disrupt the whole exercise.

Having read the mood in the hall, the MCAs changed tact and allowed the members of public to freely express their views and reservations against the Bill.

When calm was restored, it was unanimously agreed that they would not endorse the 100% increments but rather all of them be capped to only 10%.

The members also agreed to scrap all new levies and fees that had been introduced in the 2018 Kiambu County Finance Bill.

“Thika Contributes to more than 60% of Kiambu County revenue and we therefore cannot allow the county government to impose such levies on us without consulting us. Any new proposed levies should be scrapped and the rest be capped to only 10% increment,” said Alfred Wanyoike the 
Chairman Thika District Business Association (TDBA).

His sentiments were echoed by John Mwangi Njuguna who is the Personal Assistant to Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina who advised the county government to streamline their revenue collection strategies instead of overburdening their people with outrageous fees and charges.

Mt Kenya Matatu Owners Association chairman, Rufus Kariuki, tagged revenue collection to service delivery.

“We have no problem with even paying the 100% (increments) as proposed but our question is, will we get value for our money? All we are demanding is service delivery from the county government that is reflective of what we pay for their services,” said Kariuki.

In response, the Kiambu assembly Vice Chairman of the Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee Hon. John Ngure Muthondu assured Thika residents that all their views would be taken into account when the Bill will be tabled in the house for deliberations.

He however notified them that their views would not be actualised in isolation as they had to be harmonised with those from all the other eleven sub-counties to come up with a proposal that reflected the views of all Kiambu residents.

“We will have to harmonise the submissions from all the 12 sub-counties to come up with a report that is reflective of the views of all Kiambu residents,” he said.

Thika Township MCA Andrew Ndirangu Kimani said that, as the people’s representatives, they will ensure that the residents’ will prevailed and they would recommend amendments to the bill to rhyme with what the people want.

Among those in attendance included Hospital MCA Danson Mburu, Kamenu MCA Raphael Chege Waithumbi, members of the Kiambu County assembly Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee, a Thika-based counselling psychologist Gladys Chania Mwangi and chairpersons of various business associations and groups.




Residents of Makongeni Estate were Wednesday morning woken up to the news of a middle-aged man found dead inside a packed 14-seater matatu in Phase 4.

According to a security guard in the area, the deceased reported to his work place at 11pm and started complaining of severe headache shortly thereafter. He then requested to have a nap in one of the matatus near the area security offices only to later be found dead with blood oozing out of his nose and mouth.

His colleagues said the man had a history of epilepsy which they highly suspected might have contributed to his death.

Confirming the incident, Thika OCPD Paul Kiriki said further investigations are underway to ascertain the real cause of the man’s death.

The deceased was a cook at a local church in Makongeni Estate.


A suspected kidnapper has been gunned down in Runda Estate Witeithie area of Juja sub-county in a successful mission that saw the police rescue 5-year-old Alvin Kwera who was abducted on 7th October 2018 by unknown people.

Flying squad police officers from Nairobi who had teamed up with their Thika counterparts were able to trace the suspect in his hideout on Wednesday afternoon and upon being accosted, he attacked the officers using a sharp welding machete.

“The officers opened fire and fatally injured the suspect after he used the machete to cut a firearm as he lunged to injure one of the officers in the raid,” explained Kiambu County police commander Adiel Nyagi Nyange.

During the raid, 2 IDs bearing different names were found.

Nyange cautioned landlords against letting houses to people before they properly identified themselves to ease the tracing of such criminals who hid inside rentals warning other abductors that they will be accorded similar dosage

Kwera had been abducted alongside 6-year-old Liam Makumi in Starehe Estate Thika after leaving Sunday school lessons in a nearby church.

Since then, abductor has been calling the boy’s parents and demanding for unspecified ransom in return for the boy.

At their Starehe home, it was song and dance as jubilant friends and relatives converged after the news of his rescue.

The boy’s father Emmanuel Kwera, could not hide his joy as he narrated he received the news of his son’s rescue.

He said that the abductors have been threatening to chop off his son’s head and dump it at their gate of their house if he did not send the abductors Sh. 526,000.

“We have been requesting them more time to consolidate money from friends and family members to purchase his release. My son has been suffering in the hands of a middle aged, married man,” he said.

He said that they have been sending the kidnappers upkeep money to feed their children after threats that he would be left to wallow in hunger and die.

The boy’s mother, Grace Wanjiru said that they have been waiting for such a day in anxiety just to have a feel of the reunion adding that it has been painstaking recalling the relationship she had with her only boy.

She thanked security agencies led by Flying Squad officers from Nairobi for teaming up with their Thika counterparts to rescue the innocent baby.



                                                                                                                                                               

Eunice Muringi, a Community Health Worker holds the frail Naomi Nyokabi after the rescue mission at the Kiandutu slums.
A 17-year old girl suffering from cerebral palsy has been rescued by the Thika Children’s office after being abandoned by her mother in a dingy shack within Kiandutu slums for close to two months.

The officers with the help of the police came to the rescue of the visibly malnourished and very week Naomi Nyokabi on Tuesday morning following a tip off by the members of public.

According to the Thika West Sub-County Children’s officer Rebecca Kariuki, the girl has survived without food and water after the mother abandoned her claiming that she was “demonic”.

“We found her shoved into a baby cot at the corner of the poorly lit room. She was very weak and malnourished,” said Kariuki.

Nyokabi’s plight was first brought to the limelight about 5 years ago where her father, a Paul Waweru sought the intervention of the Children’s office to have the mother compelled to take care of her after they separated. 

The mother is said to have left with her other children leaving Nyokabi in the custody of her father and her ailing grandmother.

Leah Muthoni who is Nyokabi's mother wails uncontrollably moments after she was arrested
During this summon, it was unanimously agreed that the mother, Leah Muthoni, should take an active role in the care of the ailing girl more so because she was now in her puberty and needed assistance especially during her menses.

Muthoni, a mother of 8 and works as a subordinate staff at the Thika Level 5 Hospital later visited the Thika Children’s Offices and alleged that she was unable to handle the girl as the paternal side of the girl had spelt a curse on her and she was exuding some demonic behaviour an allegation that she could not
substantiate.

Ms. Kariuki insists that the girl’s condition was a result of hunger and lack of proper care.

Nyokabi has been admitted at the Thika Level 5 hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Her mother has since been arrested and will be arraigned in court to face charges of child negligence


A report by the Controller of Budget Implementation for the 2017-2018 Financial Year has revealed that 12 counties in the Mt. Kenya and North Eastern regions gobbled Ksh. 2.4 billion in domestic and foreign travels amid reports that MCAs were fleecing the public through fictitious claims.

According to the report, Kiambu MCAs at Ksh. 208 million lead the pack followed by Meru and Nyeri whose MCAs spent Ksh. 160 million and Ksh. 143 million respectively.

Kiambu MCAs are said to have exhausted their budget allocation on allowances after spending Ksh. 56 million with their counterparts from Mandera surpassing the Salaries and Remuneration 
Commission’s (SRC) the recommended monthly cap of Ksh. 80,000.

The report adds that county assemblies spent a total of Ksh. 333 million in allowances Ksh. 1.3 billion in local and international trips.

Wajir Governor Mohammed Abdi and his county executives recorded the highest travel expenses at Ksh. 221 million followed by their Marsabit and Kiambu counterparts who spent Ksh. 154 million and Ksh. 116 million respectively.

On average, each MCA in Mandera County earned Ksh. 120,000 in travel allowances per month with their colleagues in Isiolo getting Ksh. 75,000 within the same period.

MCAs from Nyeri, Laikipia and Tharaka Nithi earned between Ksh. 23,000 and 38,000 per month.


Airtel Kenya Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma 
Airtel Kenya has decided to cushion their subscribers, days after the Finance Act 2018 forced mobile operators to revise upwards their charges for calls, SMS and data services

Airtel users will now start enjoying more data usage which includes free WhatsApp upon depletion of their data bundles.


Managing Director Prasanta Das Sarma says that they arrived with the decision to revamp its data package to increase uptake of Internet services.

He adds that unlike their competitors, the free WhatsApp by Airtel does not consume your data bundles and thus ensures that customers’ data bundles last for longer, ensuring that customers get free WhatsApp throughout the validity of the mother bundle at no extra cost.

Airtel also claims that their version of free WhatsApp data bundles doesn’t reduce the speeds when the main data bundle is depleted.

“Airtel recognises that offering affordable and quality Internet access is key to enabling customers achieve more in their personal and business development,” said Das Sarma.

Airtel launched the high speed 4G data network in Nairobi and Mombasa in 2018 with planned expansion to other major towns currently underway. However, Airtel’s has a limited network reach especially the 3G and 4G data in most parts of the country.

The Airtel offer comes a few days after Safaricom announced its data bundle offers.


Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and his Deputy James Nyoro during the launch of the county's cashless payment system on 2nd of March 2018 a move aimed at  improving its revenue collection.
Kiambu County Assembly has invited members of public and various stakeholders to discuss the 2018-2019 Finance Bill as first read in the House by the Finance CEC on the 23rd of October 2018 pursuant to Article 196 (1) (b) and 201 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and as stipulated in section 91 (c) of the County Government Act, 2012 and Standing Order 244 (7).

The Bill provides for imposition or variation of fees, charges, licences, permits, rents or rates for services during the Financial Year 2018-2019.


Through the Finance, Budget and Appropriation Committee, the Assembly shall conduct Public hearings from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November 2018 in all the sub-counties.

In a circular signed by the Clerk, County Assembly of Kiambu Mr. Joseph Igogo Ndirangu, members of Public are asked to submit their views either orally or in a written memorandum with the latter forwarded to the Clerk, County Assembly of Kiambu, PO BOX 1492, (00900) Kiambu or hand delivered to the Office of the Clerk, Assembly Buildings, Kiambu or emailed to kiambucountyassembly@gmail.com on or before 5:00pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018.

The committee shall also hold public hearing meetings in the following locations:-

DATE & TIME
SUB COUNTY
VENUE OF MEETING

WEDNESDAY OCT. 31st 2018
(9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
LARI
ACK Church Kimende
GATUNDU NORTH
Kamwangi Catholic Hall
THIKA
Thika Community Hall
JUJA
Premier Grounds – Juja

THURSDAY NOV. 1st  2018
(9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
GATUNDU SOUTH
Gatundu Catholic Hall
LIMURU
Sub-County Offices – Limuru
KIKUYU
ACK Emmanuel Church Hall – Kikuyu
KIAMBAA
St. Martin de Pores Karuri Catholic Church

FRIDAY NOV. 2nd 2018
(9:00 am – 5:00 pm)
GITHUNGURI
PCEA Ayub Kinyua
RUIRU
Ruiru Catholic Church
KIAMBU
Kiambu Community Hall
KABETE
ACK Ndunyu Church

                





Thika West Sub-County Director of Education Mr. Ronald Mbogo (right) receiving some eggs from Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina that will be fed to STD candidates during the KCPE period.
Thika West Sub-County Director of Education Mr. Ronald Mbogo has assured parents, teachers and learners that preparations for this year’s KCPE and KCSE exams are complete, adding that security had been stepped up in all examination centres to ensure that there existed no malpractices either before or during the exams period.

Speaking during a function where Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina had met all public primary school headteachers, PTA members and some Standard eight candidates to review their exam preparedness, Mbogo said that as a sub-county, they had made all provisions to ensure safe custody of the materials for the entire period of the examinations.

“We want to assure everyone that we are doing all we can not to experience any form of cheating or exam irregularities as a sub-county. There has been no exam leakage as far as we are concerned. We have employed a watertight system and we expect each candidate to get what they deserve,” said Mbogo.

Candidates from Mugumoini Primary School receiving their eggs from Thika MP Patrick WaJungle
He added that they had put in place a multiagency team consisting of officers from Education and Interior Ministries and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to ensure exams went on uninterrupted.

“The exams have not and shall not be leaked. Every candidate will see the examinations on the day that the particular papers are scheduled to be taken.” We are working closely with the ministries of Education, Interior and TSC to provide high level of integrity before, during and after the examinations,” he explained.

The sub-county director added that 3,600 KCPE candidates in 63 centres and 2,400 KCSE candidates in 27 centres were expected to sit for this year’s exams with one candidate registering for KCSE from the Thika Main Prisons as a private candidate.

(Related story: MP launches “Egg Monday” programme to be rolled out in all public primary schools.)

Class 8 candidates are set to sit their examinations from October 30 to November 1 while those in Form 4 are due for rehearsals on November 2 with examinations scheduled to start on November 5.

On his part, their host Eng. Wainaina said that his administration was very willing to do everything possible to improve the standards of Education in the area.

He said that the idea of providing eggs to the candidates was to ensure that every one of them was 
comfortable for the three days of KCPE.

“We are giving out about 12,000 eggs to be fed to the candidates during the three days of the exams. This concept has been derived from the ‘Egg Monday’ Programme which has seen an improvement in school enrolment, attendance and performance in exams since its inception in second term,” said the Thika legislator.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina handing over eggs to Gatumaini Primary School candidates. 
He added that they were looking into other ways to improve on education such as rewarding those teachers and learners who excelled in exams as well as improving on the infrastructure in all the public schools in within the constituency.

The headteachers General Kago Primary School and St. Patrick’s Special School Ms. Jennifer Njuguna and Mr. James Ngugi Macharia respectively acknowledged that the “Egg Monday Programme” had affected education within their schools positively, admitting that the same impact was expected with the egg programme for the STD 8 candidates during the exams.

“Most of these candidates come from very poor backgrounds and the egg programme guarantees them at least something to keep going during the exams. The MP has been so supportive and with his stewardship, we expect very good results this year and the years to come,” said Ms. Njuguna.

Macharia who doubles up as the Kenya Primary Schools Headteachers Association (KEPSHA) Central Region Chairman noted that his teachers had experienced the impact of the “Egg Monday Programme” since their schools were now receiving so many new pupils from both private schools and schools from the neighbouring counties.

Among those who addressed the teachers included the Thika Branch Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Chairman John Kuria and Thika East KEPSHA Chairman Muchemi Maguru.


Safaricom has unveiled a new campaign dubbed 'Nawe Kila Wakati' as it marked its 18th anniversary on Thursday and reinforce the firm's commitment to customers  by .
The company's Director of Special Projects Sylvia Mulinge said customers will enjoy 18 minutes of talk time every day for only Sh. 18. 
The promotion runs to Jamhuri Day on December 12. 
In the promotion known as "18For18", customers will also make calls across local networks for Sh1.
The offer will be redeemable once a day for each customer and will be valid for 24 hours from the time of purchase.
Through the 'Nawe Kila Wakati' campaign, customers will be rewarded with a free 1GB data bundle and a special Sh1 per minute for voice calls on their birthday.
The birthday reward will be available beyond the period of the promotion.
 "We understand the impact of the current economic climate on Kenyans. 'Nawe Kila Wakati' is a promise to our customers that we will continue to enable them to communicate, socialise and do business using our network, by making voice, data and SMS more affordable," Mulinge said.
 The telco giant also launched a promotion that will see customers enjoy more affordable calls, SMS and data.
 Post Pay subscribers will be rewarded a 10 per cent discount on their October bills, while Enterprise Post Pay customers will get discounts customised to their needs.
Safaricom Home Fibre customers will enjoy 18 per cent discounts when buying, renewing or upgrading their subscriptions between November 1 to 18.
 Mulinge said the firm will make it possible for customers to reactivate expired data bundles by simply purchasing a new data bundle within seven days after the bundle expiry date.
 “Safaricom is a truly Kenyan brand that inspires hope and celebrates the inherent goodness and resilience of Kenyans," former Safaricom CEO and board member Michael Joseph said. 
 "The success can be attributed not just to those who work here, but to those we have served over the years, which is why we are celebrating our customers." 
To kick off the Nawe Kila Wakati and the 18For18 promotion, the Safaricom treated Kenyans to free bus rides and staff visited children in wards in selected hospitals. Vendors in markets had their day’s stock bought and donated to children’s homes.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and other dignitaries touring the MPESA Foundation Academy in Thika on Wednesday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has said that winning the war on Corruption and leaving a united country are at the core of his priorities as regards his legacy.

While responding to a question by a student at the MPESA Foundation Academy when he presided over the official opening of the Sh3 billion ultra-modern facility in Thika, the president said that these two targets will ensure growth in the country and unity across the nation. 

“I would want to see Kenya being a more united and cohesive society. I also hope we shall have won the war against corruption by the time my term in office comes to an end in 2022,” he said.

He urged students to work hard and embrace integrity in whatever they do so as to succeed in life, saying they should not overlook their individual talents.

“It does not make a difference what grade you get. There are those who will not go to university but that does not necessarily mean you are a failure, you are not. You have the opportunity to become the best farmer or the best musician. Just do your best and the rest will sort itself out,” President Kenyatta advised.

The Head of State emphasized that his Government was keen to incorporate the ideas and innovation of young people in achieving the Big 4 Agenda.

“We will engage you and others, and see how we can use your innovation and ideas to achieve the Big 4 Agenda,” said President Kenyatta, who had earlier toured an exhibition at the academy where the students displayed their innovations.

Emphasising that the four pillars of the Big 4 Agenda will rely on skilled and motivated Kenyans who share a common vision for Kenya, President Kenyatta said his Government has allocated more than Ksh. 430 billion in this financial year to the education sector

“These funds will go towards supporting our schools and teachers as they nurture the minds of our young learners,” President Kenyatta said.

“We also intend to build more education facilities, to improve the existing ones, and to make education affordable and accessible to all," he added.

The Head of State pointed out that his Government appreciates the fact that no real and progressive education can be realised today without technology being at the core of its curriculum.

“It is for this reason that my Government pushed through the Primary School Digital Learning Programme, and continues to provide devices in schools to enhance learning,” the President said.

President Kenyatta also applauded the Public Private Partnerships approach to development, saying the MPESA Academy is a good example that both the public and private sectors are playing an important role in accelerating development and providing opportunities for the less privileged members of the society.

Speaking during the same event, Education Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed announced that national exams have kicked off smoothly across the country without any hitches.

M-Pesa Foundation Chairman Michael Joseph said that about 800 students from poor families are set to benefit from full secondary school scholarships at the academy which opened its doors to the first group of students in 2016.

CEO Les Baillie on his part said that it is run with funds generated from the 23 million MPESA subscribers.

The academy is a mixed boarding high school and besides preparing students for KCSE, it has redesigned subjects taught so that they are delivered in diverse and excitable ways.

It currently has 487 students.

Those who attended included former Vice-President Moody Awori, Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina among others.

WASREB CEO Eng. Robert Gakubia addressing participants at the public consultation meeting to get consumer concerns on services of  THIWASCO at Blue Post Hotel on Tuesday.

Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB) Chief Executive Officer Eng. Robert Gakubia has maintained that Kiambu County Government was yet to legally take over or merge the businesses of the existing licensed water service providers in the County.

This means that Thika water and Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) was still licensed as an independent water company mandated to supply water to Thika residents.

While speaking at Blue Post Hotel on Tuesday during a public consultation meeting to get consumer concerns on services of the company, Eng. Gakubia said that under the Water Act 2016, the said new entity (Kiambu Water Company) had not yet complied with the regulatory requirements in terms of viability and sustainability of the new entity thus according to him, the eight licensed water companies within the County continued existing as individual entities. 

“Just as we had indicated in our advertisement April 2018 in the dailies, we only know of 8 registered water companies in Kiambu County. The provision of water is not administrative and its services are supposed to be managed locally,” explained WASREB CEO.

While admitting to the fact that water provision cuts across the two levels of government, Eng. Gakubia said that their core business was to ensure sustainable development of water.

“There was no vacuum (in water provision) when devolution came. All we needed was to just to build on the existing structures. Even though clustering (of water companies) is good as it will improve water services, but this cannot be done overnight,” he said.

He added that according to the law, all monies collected by the THIWASCO from the residents should be used exclusively in Thika to improve water services.

In the meeting, stakeholders unanimously endorsed THIWASCO’s request to have its licence renewed after its previous one expired on 10th July 2018.

THIWASCO Chairman Board of Directors Eng. Joseph Mukora Kimani took the opportunity to highlight the company’s achievements since its inception in 2009 from a loss making company to being ranked 2nd best water company overall on the WASREB impact report.

“It is also ISO 9001 Certified meaning that its operations are of international standards,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the company’s Managing Director Eng. Moses Kinya who said that to date, they served 239,793 households in an area of approximately 254 km².

“Due to the influx of population, we have been experiencing several challenges among them a demand for over 46,000m3 water daily against a supply of 37,000m3 and high operational costs,” said Eng. Kinya.

The MD however said that they had laid out a very elaborate strategic plan that would ensure Thika residents received sufficient water supply until 2048.

Among the projects in store in the near future is the Ksh. 1 Billion Kariminu Water Project near Maryhill School that is expected to inject into the system, about 15, 000m3 of water/day. It is funded by the World Bank under performance based project through the Water Services Regulatory Board (WASREB).

DANIDA is also funding a Ksh. 11 billion programme aimed at increasing water supply and construction of sewerage services along the Northern part of Thika town. This project will include the rehabilitation and upgrading of the existing systems.

Among those present were representatives from the office of Thika Town MP Eng.  Patrick Wainaina, members of the Kiambu County water Committees, area MCAs, representatives from community water projects, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), Thika District Business Association (TDBA), SUPKEM, among others. 

Broadborders Cooperative Housing Society Chairman Jeremy Karemeri presenting a title deed to Mutirima Developers  Self-Help Group.
About 80% of the youth are reluctant to invest in real estate for fear of being swindled or with the excuse of never having enough money to buy land at all.

Speaking during title deeds issuance say at Sagana, Broadborders Cooperative Housing Society Chairman Jeremy Karemeri acknowledge that much need to be done to help the youth venture into this lucrative investment, saying that being the majority and the future of this country, it was just prudent not to leave this industry to the elderly.

"As an organisation, we have embarked on a campaign to sensitise the youth on the need invest in land. We have already rolled out a campaign in all the eight Counties of Central Kenya Region and some parts of Meru and Embu to ensure that we sensitise as many of them as possible," said Karemeri.

Some of the youth we spoke to intimated that the real estate industry was for the rich and the elderly hence the youth cannot afford to buy land.

26-year old John Macharia narrated how his father convinced him to join the housing cooperative and invest on land, which he said he has been paying bit by bit.

He lauded Broadborders Coopertaive for allowing him to pay in small and affordable installments which had made it possible to achieve his goals.

Macharia intends to build a house on his plot once he finishes paying for it and urges fellow youths not to be discouraged and invest on land.

Christine Wanjiru is another youth who agreed to invest on land after much convincing by staff of broadborders.

She says she was scared of joining the housing cooperative out of stories that she used to hear of people being swiddled off their money.

However, she urges the youth to copy their parents in land investment.

In a bid to support the governemnt’s Big Four Agenda, Karemeri has said that Broad Borders Housing Cooperative has embarked on construction of housing in a bid to ease housing problem in the Country.

“We are now working on our Phase two project next to Murang’a University College”. He said.

The Project will comprise of over 200 units that will help ease housing problem in Murang’a.

During the event, over 1,200 members received their title deeds. 

The chairman urged those who have not cleared their payments to pay out and collect their title deeds, admitting that indeed there has been a slack in members’ payment of their dues.


Witeithie Ward MCA Julius Macharia Taki has promised to provide free lunch and bottled drinking water to all the candidates sitting for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in his ward during the entire examination period.

While speaking exclusively to Thika Town Today, Macharia said that his office would make prior arrangements to have the food prepared and delivered to all the public schools.

A civic leader said the move was aimed at helping children from humble background who cannot afford to pay the required lunch fee.

Macharia said that his gesture was occasioned by a request by a section of parents and teachers during a prayers day at Nyacaba Primary School.

“This will motivate all those unable to pay for the school lunch and assist them to concentrate with their studies and eventually perform well in their examinations,” he said.

He added that the food donation was a relief to their parents who would now be able to attend to other domestic matters without worrying about their sons and daughters.

Kenya's High Commissioner to the UK HE Manoah Esipisu sharing a light moment with the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Chairman Dr. Ezekiel Mutua during the 5th International and Interdisciplinary Research Conference at Mount Kenya University

Universities have been challenged prepare their students to be positive disruptors in the entrepreneurship field by using technology.

Speaking during his presentation at the 5th International and Interdisciplinary Research Conference at Mount Kenya University, Kenya's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom HE Manoah Esipisu said that technological advancements in the country have created a facilitative environment for multinationals to do business in Kenya, consequently creating thousands of jobs for Kenyans.

“Universities should commercialise their research and move from merely having ideas into making money from those ideas. Universities that have flexible charters have partnered with other public and private entities to increase utilisation of existing technological facilities for improved output,” said Esipisu.

He challenged senior scholars to allow younger scholars to explore their ideas of innovation without putting them down to ensure they remain creative.

The envoy added that the government will continue to support universities within the existing framework to realize their technological dreams in the digital environment.

On his part, the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) Chairman Dr. Ezekiel Mutua asked universities to research so as to determine ways in which ICT can be used innovatively and responsibly.

He acknowledged the fact that the internet has redefined the ways of accessing information given there were 4,208,571,287 internet users in June 2018 (Minimartals Marketing Group).

“The phenomenal growth in ICT in Kenya has increased the opportunities available for innovation and creativity in the communication industry,” said Mutua.

However, he said, the media, and more so in the arena of social media, was a double edged sword in that the influence and pressure to attract traffic to social media has blurred the line between authentic and fake news.

“The media is the watchdog for the society. In the era of social media, we must however ask ourselves who is watching the watchdog. The advent of technology and reliable internet, access to information and misinformation is now prevalent. Consumers of information are exposed to unverified content, misleading information and are at the mercies of cyber bullies and pseudo journalists,” he said.

Other speakers who spoke at the forum included the Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence Taskforce Chairman Prof. Bitange Ndemo, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi,

The objective of this conference was to provide opportunities to share research findings, collaborative and joint research, opportunities to exhibit academic innovations and products, fora to engage with scholars and networks between scholars and other professionals.


                                                             

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