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Equity has won the Global SME Finance Award in the Platinum Category of SME Bank of the Year – Africa, at the Prestigious IFC Global SME Finance Awards, held in the Netherlands.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, organized the award
and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). The Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.

This year’s award winners were selected from a competitive pool of 144 applicants. A panel of independent judges chose the winners based on their Reach, Uniqueness and Innovation, Effectiveness and Impact, and Dynamism and Scalability.

The independent judges said, “Equity has demonstrated good and sustainable profitability supported by ability to innovate products and adapt to the market, strong digitization in terms of both automation of turnaround time and products offered, resulting in clear benefits to customers thus making Equity a market leader.”

While receiving the Award, Equity Bank Corporate Banking - SME Associate Director Jeremy Kamau, said, “We are humbled to have received this award. Our purpose is to offer integrated financial services that socially and economically empower consumers, businesses, enterprises and communities. Since Equity Bank started as a small business, we understand the hurdles MSMEs and businesses face, including lack of access to capital and markets and lack of business management knowledge and skills. As a Bank, we have championed MSME banking through provision of professional, flexible and integrated banking services.”

Equity Bank’s core business and service offerings are geared toward MSMEs growth, with its current MSME loan book standing at 60% of the total loan book of the bank and SME deposits contributing 21.5% to the total bank deposits.

The bank has trained 45,725 entrepreneurs in partnership with Norfund, International Labour Organisation, MasterCard Foundation and the Lundin Foundation. For micro-entrepreneurs, Equity Group Foundation in partnership with Mastercard Foundation launched the Financial Knowledge for Africa (FiKA) programme in 2010 to deliver quality financial literacy training and advisory services to women and youth throughout Kenya. Since its launch, more than 1.8 million women and youth have been trained in financial literacy and money management skills.

Speaking during the award ceremony, Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said: “We hope the winners of the Global SME Finance Awards will inspire SME financiers all over the world to learn from their good practices. The Awards provide the winners an opportunity to showcase good practices on the global stage and foster learning amongst their peers.”

Equity has since inception been at the fore front in supporting and empowering Small and Medium Enterprises through financing and capacity building such as financial literacy training for women and youth and entrepreneurship training for SME customers. Equity recently became a member of the SME Finance Forum, a global network managed by the IFC, aimed at promoting the financial growth of SMEs.

Commenting on the award, Equity Group CEO and Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi said it is an honour for the bank to be recognized on a global level for its efforts in supporting the growth of SMEs.

“Our customer centric and ecosystem approach to intermediation has given us an opportunity to target our customer’s horizontal and vertical value chains,” he added, “The branch is evolving to an SME center as majority of our customers move to more convenient self-service digital channels.”

The bank has invested heavily in digital channels for MSMEs, offering solutions such as EazzyBiz, a direct to bank platform that allows MSMEs to make all their transactions online; EazzyNet, an e-banking solution; and EazzyBanking App, a fully-fledged mobile banking app. The bank recently digitized its treasury instruments to SME’s through EazzyFX, an electronic platform for settling forex transactions

The SME Finance Forum works to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses.

The Forum operates a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs.

BY: Juma Hemedi

The headmaster announced at the school parade that the school will be sending students to the Agricultural Show that was to be held in Nairobi the following week. A team of select teachers were tasked with the responsibility of registering the students who wanted to go. But they had to go and inform their parents first and there was money to be paid for transport and lunch (Broadway 'boflo'  and soda). So as usual we tried the best we could to explain the need for us to be allowed to go to the show.

The headmaster had said that a big "Jogoo Kimakia" bus will be available to take all those who wanted to go to Nairobi for the show. But only those in class seven and eight would get the opportunity to go and if there is space then a few class six pupils would be added. Thank God I was in Class seven. We tried to be at our best that week as we were being closely being monitored for discipline both at school and at home.

The trip was to be for Tuesday the following week. None of our ghetto parents had given us the clearest indication that they will even consider paying for the trip, since they argued that the trip will not add value because none of them had any farm or kept any animals. "sasa hata mukiona hizo ngombe, zitawasaidia aje? ( how will seeing those cows be value to you?).

We met at the 'Base' after class to figure out how we will convince our parents. We were still discussing when 'Waini and Maish' joined us. Maish lived in 'Ndula' (Kiandutu) and no one knew where Waini lived but he occasionally appeared in school and when he did he would tell us stories about his aunt in Umoja in Nairobi and his escapades in the city with many "lights ' (" kya matawa"). From his stories we concluded that Waini was the only human student we knew in both Kenyatta and Madaraka zone schools who knew how to take himself to Nairobi and back to Thika without getting lost.

He was our definition of "No Human is Limited".

So you would understand our excitement when Waini said he could take us to Nairobi Show and back without travelling with the school "Jogoo Kimakia' bus. He also threw in an idea that he had other friends that had asked him to organise and take them to the show and that we had limited time to pay for him to go engage a small 'face me' matatu.

There was now the problem of who will act as our 'teacher' on the trip since all of us were students. On this matter Waini said that he will deal with it since he had an "uncle" who left school because of repeating class seven four times until he started shaving beard in school.

The deal was done and we would now meet the following day which was a Friday at the "base' near" Kwa Wanje" shop, Majengo Centre. The meeting was to introduce us to our 'teacher' for the trip to Nairobi Show the following week. Waini's "uncle" came. He looked everything you would doubt in a person, he appeared as though he had recovered from a very severe hangover that would take scientists a great deal of time to discover a cure. But Waini's 'uncle' did say something that made us believe him. He said that the charges the school was charging us were high and that for a lower charge we will go to Nairobi, come back and even have Bread and Soda. Now that was it we hurriedly hustled and paid, but since we didn't trust the "uncle" very much we gave the money to Waini.

We spent that sundae eating "rotis" and some very spicy and hot food given to us by "wahindi" at the Shree Hindu temple in Thika town. Those days they would have ceremonies at the temple and so many of us ghetto children would come and enjoy free food while watching a small monkey that was always at the temple, dance. what happened to those events and the monkey at the temple?

Anyway we agreed to keep our Sunday event secret as well as the secret trip to the show from prying eyes and enemies of development (kamati ya roho chafu) . All was well that Monday at school until in the afternoon when we had the art and craft lesson.

The teachers attention was drawn to the noise of ruffling of books and papers that almost all students had as they tried to fan their noses and faces from the Fart smell that seemed to come nonstop from some area in the class.

No one spoke when the teacher asked the one responsible to come forward. Now the Arts teacher was not the Kind that you would joke with, he had shown time and again that he had the potential of dispatching you to your maker for a crime as small as not drawing a straight line on the drawing book. Now farting in class was a serious crime, a capital crime, one that would deny fellow students right to education not to mention the environmental laws that the "farter" may have broken and the International treaties that Kenya was a party to.

Since no one was coming forward, the teacher decided to launch his own investigations. Everyone in class was a suspect but the people in the back bench were persons of interest. So before the evidence got lost in the air he decided to start with us at the back bench.

Everyone was to go in front and he would smell your behind and then you would be cleared of "spoiling" the air. The teacher smelled everyone of us and halfway through he had gotten the culprit, none other than Waini. Waini made it worse by farting again just when the teacher had finished smelling and collecting evidence maybe due to panic.

The class was asked what it wanted as punishment for Waini, some busy bodied guys whose names I cannot mention since it is not a naming ceremony and because their files are classified said that Waini should be sent home for two weeks.

Before we could say Neeeiiiii, the Aaayyeeees had already carried the day.

Why did Waini eat so many 'rotis' at the temple? why did he have to add avocados and Githeri on top of the already spicy and hot Indian food? Because of that mixture his stomach misbehaved and spoilt the Art and craft air in class. And why did the teacher take the farting issue too seriously. Its never that serious.

We are still hopeful that Waini will emerge from wherever he went and fulfill his word of taking us to the Nairobi Show since he still has our money and having Parte after Party.

Since non of us knew where he lived or where he went, we can only be hopeful.

Yours hopefully

Juma Hemedi

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina joins DP William Ruto, his wife Rachael and other leaders in congratulating Eliud Kipchoge after running the 42-km marathon in under 2 hours, thus breaking the world record. 
Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has described Saturday’s heroic performance by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge as a true reflection of self- belief, being visionary, determined and dedicated.

In an exclusive phone interview with Thika Town Today (3T) form Vienna, Austria, Wainaina congratulated Kipchoge for rewriting history after completing a 42-kilometre marathon in 1:59:40 at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, describing the race as one that was meant to challenge human beings in their day-to-day endeavours.

“In Kipchoge’s own words, ‘Nature cannot allow all human beings to think in one direction.’ His performance should be an inspiration to everybody and a message that no one is limited,” said Wainaina.

The Thika legislator added that lessons learnt on Saturday applied in all spheres of life and it never mattered what other people said about you but what we ourselves believed in.

“His victory reminds me of my own personal journey to where I am today. It’s about hard work, dedication and being focused to one’s goals and never getting deviated by external forces,” he said.

“Our youth should learn to set very high but achievable targets and work extra hard to accomplish those goals no matter the challenges that come in their way,” he said.

Noting that success was ever given on a silver platter, Wainaina appealed to Kenyans to always surround themselves with only those who supported them in their missions, in the same manner that Kipchoge’s pacesetters did to help him achieve his dream of doing the marathon in under 2 hours.

The MP also emphasised the need to nurture talents through promotion of sports, development of talent academies and supporting the Competency based Curriculum (CBC) introduced recently by the government.

“Kipchoge has thrown to us this very enormous challenge – Aspire to Inspire. There are so many lessons that as a country we can pick up and utilise in all aspects of life. We need not take it for granted that the whole world was watching Kenya,” Wainaina concluded.

Wainaina was among a host of other leaders from Kenya who had gone to offer moral support to Kipchoge in Austria.

Others included the Deputy President William Ruto and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro (centre) keenly follows proceeding of "THE THIKA WE WANT" at a Thika Hotel on Thursday. With him is Township MCA Andrew Kimani (extreme left), Kamenu MCA Raphael Chege, TDBA Chairman Alfred Wanyoike and Thika sub-county Admin Nyoroku Ng'ang'a.
The following are some of the highlights of the meeting between the Thika Business Community under the umbrella of Thika District Business Association (TDBA) and Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro..

–  This meeting is one of the many to come and precedes another that will involve Thika manufacturers under the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

–  The county government will revisit the county housing policy that limits residential flats to 5-storey buildings with a view to preparing Thika for population upsurge in the next 15-20 years.

–  They will also revisit the regulations on infrastructure and put mechanisms that will allow for roads and infrastructure that can accommodate bigger human and machine traffic.

–  Stakeholders to sit down and map out a 20-30 years spatial plan for Thika to avoid cases of residential areas being interlocked with industrial developments. 
In this plan, we will have areas set aside purely for residential purposes, others for light industries, medium and heavy industrial area. 
The plan will also show how each will deal with their waste and effluents.

–  They will also develop a master plan for more bypasses around Thika to remove through-traffic to the periphery for those motorists who have no business in Thika for purposes of improving the flow of traffic in and out of the town.  

–  The DG will meet THIWASCO management on Friday (today) to discuss how to fill in the missing positions for directors, something that has stalled some of the major projects earmarked for implementation by the company in its bit to improve on water and sewerage services to its customers.
Some of the major projects that have stalled due to lack of a full board is the Sh. 800 million World Bank funded Karimenu-Maryhill water project that pump into the system, 15,000 m3 (15 million litres) daily.
The company is also in negotiation with DANIDA to provide another Sh. 8 billion water and sewerage project.
There will also be another water project in Ngoliba and several other boreholes and alternative water sources for Gatuanyaga.

–  In the next few days, the county government in collaboration with the residents will make a comprehensive inventory of all public land grabbed in Thika with a view of taking them back for public use.

(Related story –  DG Nyoro, MP and TDBA set stage for spatial plan for “THE THIKA WE WANT”.)

–  Companies in Thika discharging effluents given a 2-weeks’ ultimatum to stop after which anyone found releasing the same to the rivers will have their companies closed.

–  Starting next week, the county government will start sealing all potholes and partly light up a few dark areas where security has been a challenge within Thika’s CBD

–  In the next financial year, the county’s priority is to completely resurface all these roads and lighting all the corners of Thika town.

–  With the help of the national government, the county will start installing CCTV Cameras on some of the key buildings and streets in Thika town with a view of checking on insecurity.

–  The DG said that he would not allow hawkers to display their wares in front of other people’s businesses or in the middle of the streets. He therefore directed the sub-county admin, township MCA, hawkers and shop owners to schedule a meeting to discuss the way forward. The meeting should come up with short-term and long term solutions to the problem after which he will assist in the implementation of these remedies.

–  The county government, in partnership with other stakeholders, is in the process of investing in modern kiosks to accommodate all those doing business in illegal structures within the CBD and around the Thika Level 5 Hospital.

–  The public transport operators need also to sit down and work out a permanent solution to parking spaces for matatus, buses, bodabodas and tuktuks to solve the congestion they cause within the CBD.  The DG has revoked all those “fake” letters allocating spaces to particular Saccos that were “politically correct”.

–  There will be no more food hawking in Kiambu due to the health risks involved. The county government might be forced to allocate some space to these food vendors where they shall cook and operate from in a regulated more manner.

–  The county government will ensure all the hospitals have enough drugs especially Level 3 and Hospitals, which are a big challenge since they offer free services. 
They will also construct a central medical store at Kiambu where these hospitals can collect their supply of drugs.

–  On the issue of waste management, the DG directed that no vehicle from other counties should be allowed to bring their garbage to Kang’oki dumpsite.

–  The county government will demand back any land held by Del Monte Kenya in trust so that it can be used as a special economic zone for Thika. It will also renew their lease on condition that they do some social enterprising whereby they come up with programmes that will uplift the standards of living for the people of Kiambu.

–  The DG also said that he will work out a plan for the revival of the Thika-Nairobi railway system and may be connect it to the SGR to ease transport of goods to and from the port of Mombasa.

–  Each of the 5 wards within Thika Town Constituency will work under a Ward Admin who will oversee the implementation of all county government projects and addressing the concerns of the residents in partnership with the area MCAs and other government departments.

–  The county government is formulating a cabinet paper to develop a Kiambu Inspectorate Department help them ensure all county bylaws are followed and people feel secure including traffic marshals.

–  The county government also plans to realign the operations in the department of building approvals where there will be major changes on the duties by different players including the planners and financial accountants.
They will also come up with a moratorium that offers a window to all those who previously put up buildings without the necessary approvals to come forth and be assisted to get the same.

–  Before people break for Christmas, the DG will come back to Thika with a master plan for Thika, with emphasis on short, medium and long-term solutions for THE THIKA WE WANT.
The policy document will include key achievement indicators to help monitor its implementation.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in many areas across the country between Thursday 10th October and Monday 14th October 2019.

In a notice to the public, the weatherman says North Easter, Central and Coast Regions should expect High Rainfall Intensity during this period that is likely to be accompanied by strong winds.

Among the areas of concern include Highlands west of Rift Valley (Kakamega, Vihiga, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Kericho, Bomet, Kisii and Nyamira), the Lake Basin (Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay and Busia), Counties in the Central Rift Valley (Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia and Baringo), Counties in the Highlands East of the Rift Valley (Nyeri, Murang’a, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Nyandarua), Nairobi area, Counties in the Coastal Strip (Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River and Lamu), North Eastern Kenya Counties (Wajir, Garissa and Mandera), Counties in the Southern Eastern Kenya (Machakos, Makueni and Taita Taveta) and the North Western parts of Kenya (Western parts of Turkana, Northern parts of Marsabit, and Samburu.

Residents in these areas have been warned of possible flash floods that might be deeper and heavier than they look even in areas that have not rained heavily.

They have also been cautioned against driving through, walking in moving waters or open fields and not to shelter under trees or grilled windows to avoid exposure lightening strikes.

The department says that these rains may result in storm surges along the coast hence fishermen and all in the marine industry should be on high alert.

Thika traders under Thika District Business Association (TDBA) on Thursday met Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro to set stage for “THE THIKA WE WANT”; a spatial integrated development plan that will define the town’s future social and economic development programme.

In a forum that took more than six hours, the participants identified some of the major challenges affecting businesses in the area and resolved there was need for integrated, multi-sectoral planning approaches to solving most of these problems.

The traders noted that one of the main causes of the mess in Thika town was distorted priorities brought about by leaders who never put into account stakeholders' input in seeking solutions due to vested interests.

Some of the problematic areas identified included the perennial hawker menace, unplanned town transport sector, traffic jams, lack of enough parking space, poor waste management, perennial water shortages and challenges in building plans approvals.

Others included rampant grabbing of land set aside for public amenities, lack of inclusivity in governance due to favouritism in appointments among myriads of other issues.

Speaking on behalf of the traders, TDBA Chairman Alfred Wanyoike said that there was need for a more multi-sectoral approach to solutions with residents taking centre stage in identifying their own priorities and customised solutions to their own challenges.

He added that unplanned urbanisation had led to stagnation of the town’s business development, pollution, congestion, insecurity and other far-reaching consequences that were scaring away potential investors.

On behalf of the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina who is abroad on an official trip, Personal Assistant John Mwangi Njuguna said that their office was ready to work with the county government to spar growth and seek solutions to the challenges facing the town.

He appealed to all stakeholders to join hands and support this initiative adding that with everyone on board, ‘these things were doable’.

Responding to the business community’s concerns, DG James Nyoro said that the solution to returning Thika to its lost glory lay squarely on restoration of order in the way policies were implemented as well as adherence to the rule of law.

“Devolution is about making it easy for government to offer services to its people and depoliticising issues. This is a new beginning. We need to map out where we are and where we want to go. From that point, we will be marking what we achieve on a daily basis until we get to where we want to be,” he said.

Nyoro said that before the end of the year, he would come back and present for debate, concrete suggestions on the Thika’s master plan for the next 20-30 years.

Among the problems the DG noted that needed to be addressed immediately included the issue of hawkers and illegal structures within the CBD, traffic jams, the uncoordinated public transport system within the town, waste management and the problem of building approvals.

“We will invest on model kiosks and identify areas where we shall put them. Before that, we need to come up with other solutions that will be favourable to both the hawkers and those in formal businesses. We will also set aside an area where those selling foodstuff shall be operating from as we shall no longer allow food hawking due to the health risks involved,” explained Nyoro.

The DG warned that the county government would repossess all grabbed public lands to create space for the hawkers and car parks.

“We need to take an inventory of all grabbed land in Thika so that we can clean all this mess. Starting next week, we will begin sealing potholes within the town as we budget for resurfacing of all the roads within the CBD,” he added.

He added that they would soon start lighting up the town and partner with other government agencies to improve on infrastructure as well as installing CCTV cameras on strategic locations for proper monitoring of the security situation in the town.

Others who made their contributions included MCAs Andrew Kimani (Township) and Raphael Chege Waithumbi (Kamenu).

In attendance were representatives from TDBA, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), hoteliers, real estate agents, leaders from the public transport sector and hawkers among others.

A teacher in one of the leading secondary schools in Thika has early this morning succumbed to gunshot injuries after unknown people shot him at his home in ACK Apartments opposite Nampak Kenya Limited, Thika.

According to neighbours, either two or three people with AK-47 rifles raided the premises at around 1am and ordered the night guards to lie down.

It is alleged that the thugs fired at the teacher immediately he opened the door to his house to check what was happening and in the process, shot him in the stomach.

They are said to indiscriminately shoot at anyone who dared open their doors or peep through the window, probably to scare them away.

Some sources say that the teacher might have arrived home some moments before the incident but none could ascertain whether he was the target or just victim of a normal robbery incident.

Another of their neighbours who was being dropped by a car at the time might have interrupted the thugs’ mission. Immediately the cab stopped to drop him, the thugs pounced on the four occupants, robbed them of their phones and money before fleeing the scene on a motorbike.

The neighbours later rushed the victim to Thika Level 5 Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

By the time the police arrived, the thugs had already gone.

The body of the deceased is lying at General Kago Road Funeral Home.

Peter Ngugi, a police informer, yesterday revealed how the murder of of lawyer Willy Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri was planned and mercilessly executed by four police officers from Mlolongo Administration Police post.

Here is Ngugi’s full confession as narrated in court on Monday:

“Sergeant Leonard Maina Mwangi stopped the wanted man’s car and they stopped immediately. Mwangi told them that we are officers and that the three are under arrest. They were told to get out of the car and enter Sergeant Leliman’s car. They did not argue. They complied with the orders.

I took possession of the car and drove it off. Sergeant Leliman then overtook me and went straight to the AP post. As agreed earlier, my assignment was to dispose off their vehicle. The original plan was to drive to Meru and leave the car there.

However, I was told on phone he had interviewed the driver who told him that his taxi was operating around Zimmerman therefore driving to that route would be risky and the car did not have enough fuel and that would be risky too.

So I decided to drive to Limuru because I knew the route. At around 3pm, I abandoned the vehicle at Kwambira. Another thing that was disturbing my mind was that the three had left their phones in the car.

I switched off four of the five phones, but I was unable to switch off one of them. After parking the car at Kwambira, I threw away the phones. While still there, I called Leliman and told him I was on my way to Syokimau.

He told me that they were still at Mlolongo and that I should find them there. I arrived in Mlolongo at 5pm and found sergeant Mwangi and Leliman and other officers at Connection bar. They told me that the victims are safe at Syokimau AP Post.

Leliman was called and told that one of the victim’s had managed to call the wife telling her that he had been locked in at Syokimau and has no idea where the car was. They were all shocked to hear that.
We went to the AP post where Mwangi handcuffed them from behind. They were all put in the boot of a car before we drove along Nairobi–Mombasa Road to a bush.

After a few minutes Kamenjo (a police officer) joined us while still in the bush. We started to disagree on how to kill the victims. Myself and Mwangi were of the view that we had been exposed and the best thing was to release the three. However, Leliman and Kamenjo insisted that the three must be killed.
We discussed for more than three hours at around 9pm, a police officer came and told us that members of the public were wondering why and what we were doing there. Kamenjo told them that we are police officers and we are on duty.

The first victim who was the main target was killed using a polythene bag and a rope. His body was stashed in a sack and put in a boot.

At around 11pm, the second victim was taken to a different corner and killed in the same style. After he died he was put in two sacks because he was tall and couldn’t fit in one sack. His body was then taken to the boot.
The third one was strangled to death using a rope and polythene bag.

While at the execution scene, my role was to hand the victims over to sergeant Mwangi who would take them to Leliman who would then kill them.

After all the three victims were killed we took off using the Nairobi–Mombasa Road and Kamenjo who claimed to have worked at Ol Donyo Sabuk was to lead us to where we would dispose off the body.
When we reached the scene, we threw the bodies into the river.

We drove back using the same route and at 4am we reached Mlolongo and ate our supper. I was left in the bar where I slept on the seat. I had a lot of beer that forced me into a black out.”

Most people enter into marriage with high hopes but very little preparation, thus end up struggling through the pain of an unhealthy, dysfunctional, even catastrophic marriage situation.

This can be explained by the high divorce rate and domestic violence being experienced in modern day marriages. Apparently, too many people are making serious mistakes in deciding who to spend the rest of their life with.

Marriage is not an easy journey. When the rubber meets the road, those who go into it ignoring the warning signs will always reap the harsh reality of the seeds they have sown. It is good to note that marriages never go wrong, they simply start on a wrong footing.

It is therefore paramount for people wanting to get into the marriage reunion to make wise marital choices by carefully considering those marital red flags that tell you that you might be marrying the wrong person.

How do you tell if someone is right for you?

You always run out of things to do together. For instance, if you like to be social and hang out with friends but your partners is the “stay-at-home” who doesn’t entertain any social activities, your relationship will tend to be dominated by conflicts.

If your character differences outweigh the similarities and when they are directly opposite of yours, that is a real indicator for conflicts in your stay together.

They don’t pass the ‘bar test’

When you are at a bar, a restaurant or any social place with your new partner and all they do is to worry about other people or what they are thinking about you two, then that’s trouble.

Another trait to keep a keen eye are those who keep comparing you with others and use it to discredit you as a partner. Then there are this type who keep admiring other couples or opposite gender in your presence.

The other ‘bar test’ to keep a close watch is how they treat other people especially the waiters and the cleaners. If they are rude to them or they despise them publicly, that’s an indicator of the “real them”.

You are always caught up in unhealthy conflicts

If you find yourself in a relationship where communication doesn’t come easy, and where things tend to escalate into unhealthy patterns of unresolved arguments and unhealthy conflict, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if this is really something you want to commit to for the rest of your life.

There are continued signs of major character flaws

If you’re in a relationship in which you see patterns of unhealthy behaviours such as dishonesty, rage, infidelity, and addictions emerging, there are very high chances they are going to stick around for the long haul.

These things need to be dealt with and overcome before you should ever enter into marriage.

Discussion has become impossible.

Arguments are healthy! Disagreeing and resolving that disagreement is an important process in any relationship, especially when two people are getting to know each other better and better as they move toward a lifelong commitment.

But if the two of you can never agree on anything and all do is argue and blame each other, then that’s an indicator for trouble. If the arguments are punctuated with name-calling, dishes are flying across the kitchen, or fists are slamming down on the counter or the wall (or worse), then this could be a red flag.

Total breakdown in communication, civility, always being on the defensive and every discussion becomes either a shouting match is a sign that the two of you are not compatible.

If both of you are quick to find a fault on each other and to pounce on it, then you are deep in negative territory, especially if almost every sentence out of your mouth or your partner’s begins with the words, “You always” or “You never."

Subtle and not-so-subtle verbal abuse has become habitual.

Verbal abuse goes hand-in-hand with feeling contempt or disgust for your partner, along with criticism, or his feeling contempt for you.

Once you make scorn your partner, civility and boundaries go out the window.

 If your pick for a partner focused more on chemistry (or wealth) than on character

Chemistry ignites the fire, but good character keeps it burning. Attraction is there, but have you carefully checked out this person's character?

Before you enter into a lifetime relationship with this person, ask yourself: “Do I want to be more like this person? Do I want to have a child with this person? Would I like my child to turn out like him or her?”

You can’t remember the last time you had a good laugh together

Laughter is the best medicine. In addition, the more we laugh at ourselves, rather than the other, the better it is.

Laughter reduces stress, brings people closer, and helps to diffuse tension. However, the lack of any humour could be a sign, and especially if you can’t remember the last time you were able to relax and laugh with your future Mr. or Mrs.

You never talk about the “Big Topics” – money, babies, the future

Forever is, you know, forever. There is a myriad of considerations as you plan your lives together.
• Are you going to have children?
• How many?
• What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? Fancy? Simple?
• How will you save for the future?
• What is your idea of retirement?

There’s sex, but no intimacy or affection

Being affectionate can be an indicator of trust and vulnerability in a close relationship.

Affection lets the person you are giving it to know that you care about them and you are aware and attentive to what they need. Sex, of course, is part of this very intimate affection that couples share.

But you can have it without the emotional intimacy, the closeness, and bonding that happen in an intimate exchange like this. The question here is, are both parties operating at the same level of intimacy? Are they connected on the same level?

If you are more emotionally invested than your other half, then the relationship could be in trouble.

You turn to your friends when you have a crisis rather than your mate

We cannot only depend on one person to be the “go-to” for any conflict (or celebration). We all need community and a network of loved ones to support us in certain ways.

However, when it comes to lifelong partners, a deeper level of emotional intimacy and trust should be present.

When things happen, be it getting fired at work, getting into a car accident or even getting your feelings hurt by your boss, really the first person you should be able to turn to when you need help should be your spouse or soon-to-be spouse.

You do not share a common life goals and priorities

We connect three basic ways with another person:
1. Chemistry and compatibility
2. Share common interests
3. Share common life goal

Make sure you share the deeper level of connection that sharing life goals provide. After marriage, the two of you will either grow together or grow apart. To avoid growing apart, you must figure out what you are "living for," while you are single -- and then find someone who has come to the same conclusion as you. This is the true definition of a "soul mate."

A soul mate is a goal mate -- two people who ultimately share the same understanding of life's purpose and therefore share the same priorities, values and goals.

You used the relationship to escape from personal problems and unhappiness

If you are unhappy and single, you will probably be unhappy and married, too.

Marriage does not fix personal, psychological and emotional problems. If anything, marriage will exacerbate them.

If you are not happy with yourself and your life, take responsibility to fix it now while you are single. You will feel better and your future spouse will thank you.

Avoid people still involved in a triangle

To be "triangulated" means a person is emotionally dependent on someone or something else while trying to develop another relationship.

A person who has not separated from his or her parents is the classic example of triangulation.

People can also be triangulated with things as well, such as work, drugs, Internet, hobbies, sports or money.

Be careful that you and your partner are free of triangles. The person caught in the triangle cannot be fully emotionally available to you. You will not be their number one priority. Moreover, that is no basis for a marriage.

The following is a police statement warning the public against buying electronics from unauthorised persons...

The Public is hereby WARNED never to buy any Electronic Gadget including Laptops, Mobile Phones, TV Sets etc from an Individual or a Dealer who has no fixed Physical Address; Identifiable trading Building/ Premises with requisite authorization documents that are conspicuously displayed including Licenses, Permits & other Local and/or National Approvals.
Always when buying insist on issuance of a Receipt clearly itemizing the particulars of the bought gadget. Always keep the receipt or secure it Electronically by Photographing it & archiving in a reliable system e.g. a desktop. It is RISKY & DANGEROUS to by any electronic device from suspicious outlets. Most are those who buy Stolen items from Armed Gangsters who have Violently robbed innocent Citizens & in the process Kill or Maim them.

DON'T buy a device of a fellow Murdered or Maimed Kenyan. When Police Forensically Investigate & find you in possession of such said devices, by the time it is established that you were not involved in the crime, you may have suffered immensely. Being found with suspected stolen property, you suffer immediate consequences of the Actual Criminal, which may escalate to Death Sentences.
We further urge Electronic Dealers to seize the IT/ICT technology & ensure they mark at the counter every electronic gadget bought by a customer as a value added incentive with indelible initials as may please the customer for safety & security purposes.
This makes it hard for criminals to hawk it & easier for investigative agencies to track & identify.
Equally, owners can mark in the same manner thro' various private experts in the market. In case of any doubt that you may be harbouring any gadget of suspicious source, Please and in Confidence report at any Police Station or DCI Office.- Directorate of Criminal Investigations - DCI

Urithi Premier Sacco on Friday rebranded and changed its name to Anchor Premier Sacco in a Special General Meeting held in Thika.

While addressing members, Chairman Pius Thuku Ndung’u said part of the rebranding was to help people to differentiate between the Sacco and Urithi Housing Cooperative, which were two distinct entities.

Ndung’u said that the change of name was also dictated by massive withdrawals following challenges emanating from the conflict of issues resulting from their relationship with Urithi Housing Cooperative Society and also lack of available investment options.

“So many people fail to understand that the two are different companies with very distinct functions and management. Ours is a Sacco whose functions are limited to just savings and giving out loans to its members. It is not an investment company,” he explained.

The members gave the management the go ahead to start an investment arm under the Sacco to help them boost their income.

“To be a shareholder in this new company, one must buy at least 10 shares at a cost of Sh. 1,000 per share,” said Ndung’u.

The company’s board will be constituted of four Sacco Board members and 3 others drawn from ordinary members, renewable every three years.

“To qualify to sit in the board of this company, we are proposing that one must have a minimum of 1000 shares so that only those with a stake in the company will qualify to manage its affairs,” he said.

He assured members that the Sacco was very stable financially and efforts were being made to improve service delivery.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina on Thursday stormed the Thika Lands Registry following numerous complaints by residents over poor service delivery.

Accompanied by the Thika West DCC Douglas Mutai, Wainaina sought answers to various complaints lodged by people among them delayed land search results and double allocation of land documents as experienced in some areas.

“Land is a very important factor of production and we cannot let people drag our economy through unwarranted action or inaction. I understand that some land searches here run back to three months ago. How do you expect such a person to move on when someone has denied them the opportunity to transact business with their land? It is very demoralising to say the least,” Wainaina said in a press interview after a tour of the facility.

Despite acknowledging the fact that there might have been an issue of understaffing in the registry, the MP said that the issue of service delivery boiled down with proper time management and use of the available resources which included human resource.

“We need to work with targets here. We got to optimise service delivery with the resources we have by looking for ways to clear the backlog. Otherwise, as the area MP, I promise to chip in where you feel that my office might offer some assistance to enable you do your work properly,” he told the staff.

In this regard, Wainaina asked the Thika Lands Registrar Bernard Leitich to sit down with his staff and list down all the challenges they faced as a registry so that he could address them with the relevant ministries.

“My office has given out the CDF Land Rover once a week to assist the departments of valuation and survey with mobility. I will also visit the CS Ministry of Lands seeking solutions to the issue of understaffing in this registry,” he said.

The MP warned land-buying companies that were yet to issue their clients with title deeds that their days were numbered. He noted that such practice was among the factors that had led to too much land frauds and contributed to land grabbing which was rampant in the area.

“Some of these companies have been in existence for more than 20 years and have yet to issue their clients with title deeds. Once a company sub-divides and issues land to their members, they should give them their title deeds, wind up and then look for another piece of land for their next new project,” he said.

He promised to organise a land clinic in the near future to offer residents discuss all matters in the region and unearth the rot in the sector.

Responding to these allegations, Mr. Leitich admitted that the registry has had its own challenges, which he promised to look into.

“Other than working with a slim workforce, we have been having a transition after the recent staff redeployment to other stations. The new staff are still learning the logistics but coping well now. 
Otherwise, I promise you that in the next one week, we will clear the backlog and henceforth deliver land searches within two days at most,” said Leitich.

He also blamed their clients for conducting too many searches for the same parcels of land, thus congesting the registry with unwarranted search requests.

Leitich also warned brokers against hanging around the registry’s entrance and offices as they were a hindrance to service delivery.

Thika lands office has been very notorious in land fraud with many unsuspecting land buyers losing millions of their hard-earned cash to conmen who take advantage of the confusion at the Lands office to make the kill. So many people have lost money to unscrupulous brokers who have been camping our offices and liaising with corrupt officials in the registry to defraud unsuspecting Kenyans.

Brokers camp around the registry to take advantage of the confusion and frustrations to overcharge people coming to conduct searches or ascertain other land related issues with some crooks using the opportunity to con unsuspecting clients or swindle people off their land.



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