November 2015

Today is World AIDS Day, a day celebrated every year on 1st December. The theme of World Aids Day 2015 is: GETTING TO ZERO; END AIDS BY 2030. 

It calls for expanding antiretroviral therapy to all people living with HIV, the key to ending the Aids epidemic within a generation. The day is also a way to demonstrate international solidarity for people living with HIV and to commemorate the spirit of those who have died battling the deadly disease.

While HIV infections have fallen by 35% and AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 24% since 2000, it continues to be a major global public health issue, claiming hundreds of thousands of lives a year. An estimated 34 million people have HIV globally. 

~ In Kenya, an estimated 1.6 million people, or roughly 4% of the population, are living with HIV. 
~ Every year an average of 89,000 adults and about 11,000 children are infected by HIV.
~ About 30% of the more than 130 000 sex workers in Kenya living with the virus. This is equivalent to more than 38,000 people. 
~ About 11,000 Aids-related deaths annually, a quarter of these deaths occur among children.
~ At more than 10%, HIV prevalence is highest among women and men aged 25 to 44.
~ AIDS is the leading cause of death and illness among adolescents and young people in Kenya: 9,720 adolescents and young people died of AIDS in Kenya in 2014.
~ About 16% of people living with HIV are teenagers and youth. 
~ Nearly one in three persons newly infected with HIV is a teenager or youth, aged between 15-24 years. 
~ Young women are particularly at risk with those aged 15 – 24 years contributing to 21% of all new infections in Kenya.

Despite major progress, HIV and AIDS remains one of Kenya's most significant public health challenges. These include.....
~ Teenage girls and young women contribute to an increasingly large share of new infections.
~ From the Kenya Aids Indicator Survey 2012, more than half of Kenyans living with HIV did not know their HIV status; 16% had never tested (or received test results if tested) and 37% believed they were negative based on self-reporting.

~ Over 680,000 persons living with HIV, including 60,000 children aged 0-14 received antiretroviral treatment. 
~ More than 70% of HIV-positive pregnant women received antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent transmission to their new born children.

~ Condom use among Kenyans with multiple sexual partners is less than 40%.
~ One in six men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs are HIV positive.
~ About 30% of the more than 130000 sex workers in Kenya are living with HIV. This is equivalent to more than 38,000 people.
~ Due to a fast-track programme targeting sex workers, incidence of sexually transmitted infections dropped from 27% among those screened in 2013 to just 3% in 2015.

~ About 65% of new HIV infections in Kenya occurred in nine counties: Bomet, Homo Bay, Kisii, Kisumu, Migori, Nakuru, Nyamira, Siaya and Turkana.

~ Homa Bay has an HIV prevalence of about 26% it is followed by the counties of Siaya with 24%. In other words, in the two worst hit counties, one in four residents is living with HIV. 

~ The county of Wajir has an HIV prevalence of 0.20, the lowest in the country, followed by Tana River with 1%.

This World AIDS Day, we are being challenged to rethink outdated stereotypes, challenge myths and be positive about HIV. We are also reminded that there are only three ways to get HIV, namely; unprotected sex, sharing needles and mother-to-child transmission. If you are on effective HIV treatment, you are non-infectious.

Panic gripped students, lecturers and administrators at Strathmore University located in Madaraka Estate, Nairobi during a surprise security drill at noon on Monday.
Gunshots were fired during the drill that quickly evoked memories of the terror attack at the Garissa University college  by Al-Shabaab militants earlier this year that killed  147 people.

Scores of students are said to have been injured during the drill as they tried to escape from lecture halls. Some of them rushed to rooftops as the others attempted to cross a nearby river. Reports of gunfire led to panic in Kenya with many people taking to Twitter to describe hearing gunshots and seeing students rush out of the campus.

However, the police later said the gunshots were part of a mock terror drill.

"It was a mock exercise. We wanted to check on alertness of emergency services," police commander Japheth Koome. told the press.

Langata OCPD Elijah Maina has also confirmed that the gunshots at Strathmore University were part of a security drill.

Have you ever wondered whether the political leadership in Kiambu County represent the same mwananchi? Whether they were all voted to office by the same people or each had different sets of voters? 

I ask these questions, though they seem impish, because of the way our elected leaders are currently behaving. You may be forgiven to believe that our governor or our MP have their own set of constituents whom they represent that are quite different from each other's or those of the MCAs, Senator and so on. 

We being the people they all claim to represent, it should have been simple and common basic knowledge that they would all be fighting in the same direction. There would have been some sort of unity of purpose since they would all be aiming at only one goal and target, to better the lives of their electorate. But my friend, if you are still living in that old school of thought, ndugu yangu amka uende ukalime. You are in dreamland you fokojembe.

The fact of the matter is that each one of them vied for office for as diverse reasons as their number. It also doesn't call for a rocket scientist to discover that  about 99% of them did so for their own selfish reasons. These are the candidates who went to any lengths to win their seats. Yes! They are the ones who bought you for the price of mandazi in order to win your heart. The same ones who used clandestine tactics, including hiring goons to inflict fear on their competitors and their supporters for undue advantage. They are the same ones who soiled their competitors' reputation in the name of politics. The same people who had no concrete agenda for the people in their manifesto. 

Those are the people who rode on the UHURU/TNA euphoria to guarantee themselves the seats they are now capitalizing on to make the kill. They are the reason you are lamenting and gashing your teeth.

When we tried to warn you against voting parties in 2013, majority of you who included the elites, dismissed us as a bunch of crybabies who didn't mean well for your then presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta (as though he wasn't ours too). You claimed that we wanted to weaken his presidency, thus you had to 'piga kura kwa suti' liwe liwalo. 

What you did not understand is that in this constitution, we had two distinct governments and it was only in Parliament (Senate & National Assembly) that the president needed real foot soldiers to fight for him. That not withstanding, it was quite obvious that none of those candidates were a factor for Uhuru's election. In fact, all of them were dependent of his candidature (and they still are) for election and wouldn't survive if at all they went against him. This meant that even after the polls, they wouldn't dare stray against the tide lest they were digging their own political graves.  

It was for this reason that we were against 'suit' voting. Mischievous candidates has played all the dirty tricks they could to access the TNA ticket. Majority of the 'right' candidates lost it unfairly at the nominations, thus getting locked out of the 'winning team'. Even when these candidates tried it using other Jubilee Affiliate Parties, these election crooks managed to convince gullible Uhuru supporters that the said candidates were not in the president's party. 

They inflicted fear that by voting them in, a President Uhuru would find himself in the same sorry state his predecessor His Excellency Emilio Mwai Kibaki found himself in during the Government of 'Nusu Mkate'. I too here blame President Uhuru for this because when he made that triumphant landing in Thika Stadium, two days to the polling date, he was kinda arm-twisted by the same political class to declare 'suit voting'. The result was that Thika and Kiambu in general ended up voting in the wrong people (Please note that mine is not entirely some blanket condemnation of all the elected leaders. I know some who mean well for the people). 

That was the genesis of our bad and visionless leadership, the reason the we suffer some prudent leadership deficiency in this town and the county. The Kikuyu Community, which is the dominant tribe in the area, are known to have an upper edge over their other counterparts in terms of the intellectual and enterpreneurship capacities but unfortunately we lack wisdom, a vital ingredient in prudent decision making.

The Madaraka Market fire incident last week was just a tip of the iceberg but should serve as a wake up call to each and every potential voter. It should help us intensively reflect on the kind of leadership we voted into office in 2013. 

We are now less than two years away from the next polls and yet Thika, and in extension Kiambu County has nothing tangible to show for the three devolution years. I believe my accounting has not failed me to conclude that this area has currently handled more money than ever in its history through C.D.F., Devolution Allocations from the National Treasury and the county government rates and levies which are now more than were previously collected. 

With six elected MCAs, an MP,  a Women Rep, a senator and a governor (not forgetting that each ward has both a Ward Admin and a CDF Committee), I believe Thika people can take pride in an over-representation. Other than the governor whose work is executive in nature, the rest are mandated to legislate good laws and oversight both levels of government to ensure better standards of living for their electorates. It therefore beats logic to see the people being in a worse state, both socially and economically, than they were in the previous system. Being better represented than before, one fails to comprehend why their plight worsens each other new dawn.

So many children are dropping out of school due the lack of fees, yet every other day we read eye-catching headlines of millions being disbursed as bursaries for the needy students by both the constituency and county offices. A good number of our senior citizens never receive the 'Pesa Ya Wazee', not forgetting our persons living with severe disability, the orphans and vulnerable children. One cannot also fail to notice the ever increasing numbers of street families. All the allocations meant for these groups of people end up with the "well connected" and undeserving cases since they can maneuver through the systems that actually consists of only the 'politically correct'.

Our health facilities still lack essential drugs though we are paying for every little service we get in these hospitals. Security is wanting regardless of so much being injected into this sector. Majority of public schools lack basic facilities and proper monitoring. We no longer have free basic recreation and social facilities. Our children no longer have public fields to play on. Our infrastructure and road network is in deplorable condition. Some roads within the former municipality are impassible during the rainy season. Madaraka Market, the biggest and busiest market in the Mt. Kenya Region, is usually a paddy during the wet season. 

Those who receive tenders to repair or do construction works are the well connected and for one obvious reason, because the leaders' kick-backs (Kitu Kidogo or commission) are guaranteed. No wonder they will do shoddy work or delay project completion and just get away with it. (Note, the delays are deliberate. The projects will be completed towards the campaign period so as to sway the vote in favour of the incumbent). 

Did I even mention that the public tenders and job vacancies that these leaders advertise on print media are usually a gimmick? They are simply a formality. Their people are usually pre-prepared for these exercises well in advance. They get tips on what the tendering committee would be looking for, what to do and what to avoid in the interviews and tender documents so that they would have an undue advantage over genuine candidates. And as I had earlier  said, this is all meant to safeguard the leaders' 'catch' in the tenders and also reward their loyal sycophants. 

Our youth are still hustling without jobs yet our leaders boast on TVs of their success stories in job creation. Who has ever ever benefited from the UWEZO FUND, the Youth Fund or the much publicized Kiambu Biashara Fund? Are we not being treated to some political circus meant for the Media Cameras? These money ends up with the same people in the system. Majority of the groups we see benefiting from these funds are stage managed for political expediency. They are the leaders' foot-soldiers in the grassroots who will be used to blow their trumpets when campaign time comes. 

A critical analysis of the kind of projects they initiate leave a lot to be desired. Majority of them are not a priority. They are usually targeted for a particular group, usually small in number, but very critical in their re-election, such as the bodabodas. They will please these lot with an intention to using them to create enough noise for them during campaigns. Other projects are meant just to silence decenting voices and not for the good of majority of their electorate.

In very simple and plain language. What I am trying to pump into your medulla oblongata is that those who you elected into office in 2013 are now busy recovering the amount of money they used to buy your vote. They too are taking full advantage of the golden opportunity you presented them to consolidate enough funds to buy you off come 2017 and still remain with some for them to enjoy life thereafter. Whether you vote them in or not, their life will never be the same again. They will live happily ever after.

Thika Youth Sports Association has today crowned up a football tournament that was hosted at Thika Muslims Primary School ground. Over 20 teams from all over Kiambu County participated.

The tournament kicked off Monday the 23rd with the Red Cross officers training players and their officials some First Aid skills.
It has been running all through this week though heavy rains forced the organisers to postpone the finals because of flooding on the fields and as a precaution on the health of the kids.

Nescaffe Kenya graced the football tournament by providing milo to the players and the fans in the field.

Red Cross Youth Chairman Mr. Joseph Karanja, who sponsored the tournament, appealed to the government as well as local leaders to support such tournaments so as to keep these kids and the youth them busy and away from drugs.

Finals will now be held on Thursday next week where winners will be presented with trophies and certificates. Thika residents, football lovers, soccer scouts and local leaders have all been invited to grace the finals as well as giving moral support to these young talents.

Juja sub-county Children’s officer Mr. Arnold Mureta has revealed that more 130 registered households in the area are set to receive their funds from the Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) cash transfer programme in the oncoming December month meant for this year.
Speaking from Juja area during a consultative meeting between the CDF office and the various government departments in the area on Saturday, the officer said that the number has doubled from the last year’s where he registered only 63 households.

Mureta added that his office has called for an increase in the funds from Sh125, 000 to Sh230, 000 to cater for the increased beneficiaries.

However, an alarm has been raised in Juja following cases of parents with vulnerable children hiding them in the houses and thus missing out for the funds transfer. Witeithie assistant chief, speaking in the meeting said that his area has had the most cases so far and that he has been cautioning the residents against hiding disabled children thus anyone caught should be prosecuted for preventing a child from acquiring hi rights.

Mureta called upon the chiefs to work closely with his office to apprehend the parents who have been subjecting their children to quarry work.

The move has been supported by the area MP Francis Munyua who was speaking on Saturday in a different event.


Thika investors, leaders and residents have raised over Sh9million in support of the Thika Education Trist Fund during a dinner arranged by Thika MP Alice Ng’ang’a in Coconut Grill hotel on Saturday evening.

MP Ng'ang'a said that the funds will be added to the remaining Sh4 million during the last disbursement where University, College and Secondary school students are aimed to benefit.

Ng'ang'a said the kitty has been managed by respected individuals to ensure accountability and transparency. She said she has only been patronizing the trust fund.

The legislator called upon the committee to vet more applicants in a period of two weeks to prepare for the February disbursement next year where up to now, more than 1,500 applicants have been vetted and approved while other have been disqualified for various reasons.

The CDF Chairman, Mr. Ephraim Njihia, speaking from the same event said that the parents have not been applying in time and thus giving the vetting committees a hard time in reviewing how to help those that delay and added that his office has put cautious measures to ensure that those that come late will be pushed to the next disbursement.

He called on the residents who have not applied for the trust fund to hurry and pick up the forms from his office as they have a week before he closes down the application and commences the vetting process.

Ng’ang’a has however lauded the Asian community in Thika for the full support towards the kitty with the  Bidco CEO Vimal Shah pledging to raise his contribution once his friends supported him to ensure he contributes a bigger amount than he had.

STORY BY: Kelvo G.

Ten people, believed to be members of the same family, died this morning when a matatu they were traveling in was swept away by raging water in Nyakibai, Gatundu North, Kiambu County. Seven others who survived the accident were taken to the local health centre, treated and discharged.

The accident is thought to have occurred at around 1 a.m. when the driver lost control of the matatu as it crossed Nyakibai Stream near Matara Shopping Centre. He is said to have plunging into the river while making a turn in a sharp bend before the matatu was swept away.

All the fatalities hail from Kandara in Murang’a County. They were heading back home after attending a dowry payment ceremony which was held on Saturday in Nyahururu. The bodies were found floating on the river bed of Nyakibai long after the accident had happened. Rescue mission is still underway in search of an infant who is still trapped in the matatu.

The bodies have been taken to the General Kago Funeral Home at Thika Level Five Hospital.

Kiambu Governor Hon. William Kabogo on Friday inspected the construction progress of the Kangoki Semi- Aerobic Landfill . The project, funded by the Swedish Embassy, Kiambu Government, UN Habitat and the Lands Ministry, Housing and Urban Development at a cost of Sh114 million, was launched on March 23rd. The construction works on the 20-acre parcel kicked off sometime in May this year. The county government plans to later expand it later to cover 50 acres.

The project, the first of its kind in Africa, is modeled on the Japanese Fukuoka University’s technology application on solid and liquid waste management is being supported by UN-Habitat, through a joint collaboration with the County Government of Kiambu, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), Embassy of Sweden and Japan’s Fukuoka University.

The Fukuoka method involves consolidating waste through a series of pipes assembled at the bottom of the landfill that due to their perforated structure, guarantee optimum aeration and decrease the release of toxic gases. The pipes also allow leachate to easily discharge from the landfill into a secure retention pond before being transferred to a nearby sewage facility for treatment and release. It has a comparative advantage over other waste management formulae because 70-100 tons of waste will be managed daily in addition to a leachate treatment system.

The leachate collection pipe, comprising the perforated main and branch pipes and gravel, is laid at the bottom of the landfill to discharge the waste as quickly as possible. Leachate is water that has percolated through a solid and leached out some of the constituents.
The plant is a landmark in environmental conservation. Once complete, it will offer waste management solutions and assist in the production of free fertiliser for the Kiambu farmer.

Its introduction will therefore help maximise land use and ensure proper solid waste management. For ages now, African cities have been unable to manage their waste, hindering growth. This method has worked perfectly in Asian countries. It will be a convenient way of ending the chronic problem of waste management in urban areas across Africa, a factor that will contribute to growth of urban areas.

Meanwhile, the county assembly plans to make laws on waste management that will regulate dumping of polythene and plastics, especially bio-degradable waste.

Thika Town residents yesterday  afternoon welcomed the birth of a new baby, the Huduma Centre Kiambu County which opened its doors to the public Wednesday afternoon.

Jubilant wananchi who attended the grand opening were taken through the procedure of acquiring services in order to familiarlise them with the systems. Those we talked to were overwhelmed with joy and were optimistic that their long wait for accessible government services was now a part of their history. They thanked the Jubilee Government  and Madam Ann Waiguru for digitizing essential services saying that this would go a long way in easing their lives.

"This is great! When I see what great deeds Former CS Waiguru did, I weep and I am very emotional that we keep whipping the same donkey carrying us and our load. Anyway, Karibu Thika Huduma Kenya and feel at home," said one resident who sells mitumba just across the road.

The Centre is located at the Deputy County Commissioner's (formerly known as the District Commissioner) office on Stadium Road, opposite  Thika Sub-County Stadium.

Kiambu people can now enjoy government services such as acquisition of IDs, birth certificates, Passports, drivers Licenses, KRA PINs, Business Registration, NHIF & NSSF services etc all of which enable everyone, regardless of their physical stature, to access efficient government services in a conducive environment that is devoid of long queues, inconveniences and delays. In fact, Huduma Kenya has facilitated digital service delivery to Kenyans. 

Karibu 237, #HudumaKenya. 
Thika people are proud to host the Kiambu County Huduma Centre.

For quite some while now, the mainstream media has given Thika news a wide berth. Barely does any of the town's news ever make it to their screens or on the print media. I don't understand whether it is by design or just some coincidence. 

So much has been happening in this town, some of which qualifying as major TV and Newspaper Headlines by virtue of their intensity. However, none of them ever meets the editors' eye and for those that do, they are just presented as screen shots or news briefs in the case of print media. Funny enough, in all these instances, quite a good number of journalists from all media stations (as evident from the labels on their equipment) are seen shoving and pushing to get the best shot at the news items.

It is quite apparent that only news from certain sources ever make it to the print and whatever is printed is at times either exaggerated or distorted to suit a particular motive. Thika people never get value for the money they pay for in buying these dailies.

Just a thought!
May be, with the putting up of the Witeithie Power Plant, the tapes recorded during these shots get affected by electric magnetism before reaching Nairobi thus rendering their contents un-newsworthy. 

God, just tell me it is not true! Just tell me that I am just making a mountain out of an ant-hill. Convince me Lord that these are just my imaginations because if at all my senses are right, my nostrils can smell human blood from a far. 


If our leaders and the authorities continue taking the Madaraka Market issues so casually as they are doing now, I can foresee bloodshed. There are looming deaths and it is real. Believe you me, it does not call for a rocket scientist to sense the volatile nature of the issue at hand. 

To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.......

Barely 48 hours after some hired goons set Madaraka Market on fire, another gang (still suspected to be the same group) stormed the facility at around 10 am Tuesday morning and attacked the traders as they were busy selling their stuff. Normalcy seemed to have returned to the market with a good number of them picking up the pieces and displaying the little they had for sale.

Suddenly, a group of about 50 youth or so, all armed with pangas, bows and arrows stormed the market bailing for the traders' blood. Hell broke loose with everyone running for their dear lives. Luckily for the traders, all the market walls had been felled the previous morning, making it possible for everyone to have an easy exit.

Within no time, the traders re-grouped and confronted their attackers. They started pelting them with stones from all directions. The fight that ensued took over 40 minutes before the youth were overwhelmed by the traders who by now were getting assistance from the members of public. The police eventually came, forcing the goons to retreat into the thin air.

Area MP Hon. Alice Ng'ang'a, Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi, Kiambu County Commissioner Mr. Alex Ole Nkoyo along with his security team calmed the angry traders before the police promised to accord them with security. It was agreed that a contingent of police officers would keep vigil in two vans moving around the market area. The police warned that whoever defied the call for peace would not be spared by the bullet.

The reality is that Madaraka Market's situation is currently very tense and if it is not checked, the possibility of bloodshed and eventual deaths is imminent. 

It is alleged that the attackers, majority of whom are known to the traders, were loudly swearing to the traders that at no time would they allow business to resume in the market. They are said to be boasting that they were on some payroll, with direct instructions to disable the operations of the market to a complete halt. They promised the traders that they would not tire to attack them adding that their financier(s) were ready to go to great lengths to ensure that everyone left the market premises.

On the other hand, the traders have vowed to soldier on, even if it meant dying in order to save their only source of livelihood. They swore to even spill blood in the defense of their property. If the worse goes to the worst, I can foresee the aggrieved party ganging up to smoke their attackers out of their homes, a situation that can result to massacre. 

How else do you explain the dare devil attack and torching of Kamenu MCA's home on Sunday afternoon? Don't you read a people in anger? People who are ready to go to any lengths to be heard? If the Sunday incident didn't send a clear message, even to the other leaders, then I fail to understand what will.

Revolutions and massacres start as simple acts of violence and if they ain't contained in good time, they escalate into something even the authorities won't able to control. Our leaders should therefore watch what they say not unless they want their words are taken out of context by the people leading to deadly confrontations that may result in bloodshed. 

As for the financiers of these heinous acts, be warned not to start a menace that will later consume you. Whoever you may be or for whatever reason this may be, there are a 1001 other ways to work out the solution to this impasse. You just got to be civilized in your reasoning. If at all you happen to be one of our leaders, Thika people are begging you to just make mature and informed decisions as a leader because if we all die in order for you to rule, what will you gain in return. Stop being primitive and mediocre. Think big! Think like a leader!

One person died on the spot when a saloon car lost control after hitting a Kenya Mpya bus near the Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Ltd (KVM)'s gate along Thika-Garissa Highway and flew over him as he was cycling on the edge of the road on Tuesday evening. Apparently, in the ensuing collision, both the bus and the car lost control and overturned severally.

According to eyewitness' account, the Toyota G-Touring van which had five people on board, was heading towards Makongeni at lightening speed. It is said to have dangerously overtaken an Administration Police LandCruiser which was on police patrol, from the wrong side of the road. 

Within a fraction of a second, it swayed towards the right so as to get back on the road, losing control in the process. This distracted an oncoming Kenya Mpya bus that was also speeding towards Thika Town from Makongeni. In the ensuing confusion, the car hit the bus on the side, resulting to both vehicles losing control and overturning several times. 

The car hit a cyclist who was said to be riding towards Kiandutu area, killing him instantly. The impact threw the cyclist for about 20 metres with his bicycle flying across the opposite side of the road. The car rolled over for more than 30 metres before landing on its roof. 

On its part, the bus swayed and landed on its side, blocking part of the road. The police officers who were in the Land Cruiser could only thank their gods for cheating death by a whisker. The bus almost landed on top of their van in the process. Luckily too, the bus had just the driver and his crew on board after all its passengers alighting at Makongeni Stage.

Speaking to the press at the scene of the accident, Thika OCPD Mr. Francis Muthamia, said that there was only one reported casualty. Three of the occupants in the saloon car were seriously injured with two of their colleagues surviving with minor injuries. None of the passengers in the bus nor those in the AP van was injured. 

The injured were rushed to Thika Level 5 Hospital. By the time our team left the scene at around 7:00pm, the body of the deceased was still lying on the spot, attracting a curious crowd of shocked wananchi.

The accident caused some traffic snarl up along the highway though the police managed to control it to manageable levels. 

Fellow Kenyans, the promulgation of the Constitution on 27th August 2010 and the subsequent general elections held under that Constitution ushered in a new dispensation for our country and a new way of doing business.  The Constitution of Kenya forms the new foundation upon which we are to build a more inclusive and cohesive Republic. A Republic in which people of all ethnicities, races and religions have an equal seat at the table and an equal voice on matters of the nation.
I am privileged to be the first President to oversee the full implementation of this Constitution.  This, of course ,means that my Administration is also the first to be faced with the unique challenges posed by the new constitutional order, particularly as we set out to deliver on the promises that we made to the people of this Nation. The last two and a half years of this journey have been extremely fruitful but at the same time we have had our fair share of challenges.
Having savoured our successes and having taken stock of our challenges and the time has now come to give my government’s development agenda fresh impetus and to give the Kenyan public a demonstrable example of my unwavering commitment to delivering on the promises of my Administration.
It is on this basis that I am announcing today the first of several far reaching structural and personnel changes that will go to the heart of the government. The changes are purposed to achieve four principle objectives.
The first objective is to enhance the efficiency of the public service. This will be done through fast tracking the adoption of technology, improving processes to reduce red tape, providing for better oversight and leadership at each level of government Administration.
The second objective is to ensure the accountability of public officials in the discharge of their mandate, this will be done by implementing the new Public Procurement legislation, better delineation of roles and responsibilities as relates to public expenditure and giving the necessary power and responsibility to accounting officers to make better decisions on budget management.
The third objective is to guarantee the accessibility of public officers to those whom they serve, this will be done by reducing the size of the dockets of state departments in to more manageable units and allowing those in charge to have better visibility of service delivery in their respective portfolios and more importantly to have time to engage with their key stakeholders as they execute the delivery of the government agenda.
The fourth and last objective is to review the effectiveness of government programmes and projects for the public good. This will be done by undertaking an audit of our short and medium term development deliverables to ensure that only those projects that have a direct impact on the socio-economic well being of the public make it through to the Cabinet for approval.
Fellow Kenyans, I will now turn to the specifics:-
Firstly, I have reviewed the scope of the existing ministries and I have increased the size of the Cabinet from the current 19 Ministries to 20 Ministries. I expect that this change will allow Cabinet Secretaries to focus better on their deliverables by eliminating some of the overlap that existed before and also through giving increased focus to important areas that will drive our economic growth. Each Ministry will be headed by a Cabinet Secretary.
Secondly, the role of state departments in each ministry has been identified as the key point of inflection for driving real change in the way we run government.  It is clear from our past experience that some departments were far too large and difficult to administer, in some cases they were not aligned to key government objectives. Therefore after extensive consultations with the Public Service Commission I have increased the number of state departments from the current 26 to 41 in order to address these deficiencies. It is my expectation that a large number of our anti-corruption initiatives will be implemented through these state departments, in particular the overhaul of all procurement departments within the ministries and the state corporations under them. Each state department will be headed by a Principal Secretary.
Lastly, I will on a separate date be announcing a reorganisation of the Executive Office of The President in order to create the necessary structures for the effective coordination of my Government and to improve my own ability to serve the Kenyan people more effectively. In this regard I will be signing a new executive order to reflect the changes to the coordination of national government entities. This will be circulated to all public servants within the next two weeks for their adherence.
I am now requesting the National Assembly to fast track the vetting and approval of those persons who are newly nominated as Cabinet and Principal Secretaries so that my team and I can get down to work as soon as possible.
Fellow Kenyans under the newly re-organised set up of Government, the following are the details of the Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries:-

  Ministry Name
1 Mining Dan Kazungu
2 Environment Prof Judy W Wakhungu
3 Devolution & Planning Mwangi Kiunjuri
4 Water & Irrigation Eugene Wamalwa
5 Finance – National Treasury Henry K Rotich
6 Sports Arts & Culture Dr Hassan Wario Arero
7 Education Dr Fred Okengo Matiangi
8 Transport & Infrastructure James Macharia
9 Agriculture Willy Bett
10 Interior Gen (Rtd)Joseph K Nkaissery
11 Foreign Affairs Amb Amina Mohamed
12 Public Service Youth & Gender Affairs Sicily Kanini Kariuki
13 Tourism Najib Balala
14 Energy & Petroleum Charles Keter
15 Health Dr Cleopa Kilonzo Mailu
16 Labour & EAC Affairs Phylis J K Kandie
16 Defence Amb Dr Raychelle Awuor Omamo
18 Lands Prof Jacob T Kaimenyi
19 Industrialization Adan Mohamed
20 ICT Joe Mucheru
21 Attorney General Prof Dr Githu Muigai
  Ministry Name
1 Agriculture Richard Lesiyampe
2 Arts, Culture Joe Okudo
3 Basic Education Dr Belio Kipsang
4 Broadcasting & Telecommunications Sammy Itemere
5 Cooperatives Ali Noor Ismail
 6 Correctional Services Micah Powon
7 Defence Amb Peter K Kaberia
8 Devolution Mwanamaka Mabruki
9 EAC Integration Betty Chemutai Maina
10 Energy Eng. Joseph Njoroge
11 Environment Charles Sunkuli
12 Fisheries Prof Ntiba Micheni
13 Interior Eng. Karanja Kibicho
14 Youth and Public Service Lilian Omollo
15 Health Nicholas Muraguri
16 Housing & Urban Development Aidah Munano
17 ICT & Innovation Victor Kyalo
18 Industry & Enterprise Development Julius Korir
19 Infrastructure John Musonik
20 Foreign Dr Amb Monica Juma
21 International Trade Dr Chris Kiptoo
22 Irrigation Patrick Nduati Mwangi
23 Labour Khadija Kassachoom
24 Lands Mariam El Maawy
25 Livestock Dr Andrew K Tuimur
26 Maritime Commerce Nancy Karigithu
27 Mining Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Mahmud
28 National Treasury Kamau Thugge
29 National Water Services Fred Sigor
30 Natural Resources Dr Margaret Mwakima
31 Petroleum Andrew Kamau Nganga
32 Planning & Statistics Saitoti Torome
33 Public Works Dr Paul Maringa Mwangi
34 Social Security & Services Susan Mochache
35 Special Programmes Josepheta Mukobe
36 Sports Development Richard Ekai
37 Tourism Fatuma Hersi
38 Transport Wilson Nyakera Irungu
39 University (Higher) Education Prof Colleta Suda
40 Vocational & Technical Training Dr Dinah Jerotich Mwinzi
41 Gender Affairs Zeinab W Hussein

For the traders of Makongeni's Madaraka Market, Job 14:7 must have come in handy for them. (For those who don't know, it says;- At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.) Madaraka Market Tuesday morning started springing back to life after the cowardly and impish act by hired goons who reduced their foodstuff to ashes.

After clearing the debris yesterday afternoon, the traders woke up today to pick from where they had left before the fire incident. Even though business was below par, those we spoke to were very optimistic that they would rise up again and triumph. None was ready to bow down into giving up hope to walk again.

Majority of the traders were busy preparing their work areas in preparation for their next consignment. Others were busy trying to put up some temporary make-shift structures that would shield their perishable foods from direct sunlight.

All we saw were a determined lot that was not ready to surrender.

As the Thika Town Today team, we could only conclude one thing, 'Níkúrí na mwìhoko thutha mútì gútemwo tondú gìthukì nì gìthundúku' ( There is hope after the cutting of the tree for the stump has started sprouting).

Ngewa Ward Hon. Karungo Wa Thang'wa has appealed to Kiambu leaders to organise a major Harambee to aid the Madaraka Market traders who lost all their stocks in an infernal ignited by hired goons on Sunday night. He said that most of these traders had nothing left to start all over again and being the breadwinners, it was only human that the leaders helped them stand on their feet again.

He said that the funds drive would also be used to restructure the market again adding that upon completion, the Kiambu County Government should be declared out of bounds.

"If we raise money to restructure this market, the county government should keep off. We will not allow their cess collectors to ask for market charges from us. Tutajijengea soko yetu na tujipangie mambo yetu wenyewe," Karungo said.

He castigated the procurement of the 72 vehicles by Kiambu County Government this fiscal year saying that the engines were now being abused by the authorities to harass wananchi. These vehicles, he added, were the same ones used to transport the goons who torched Madaraka Market on Sunday Night. This he said was quite unfortunate considering that the victims were the rightful owners of these machines.

He praised Hons. Alice and Waititu for cutting short their ASP's Hague trip where they had gone to show solidarity with Deputy President William Ruto and Radio Presenter Arap Sang. That was a sign of good leadership, he concluded.

Kiambu County Commissioner Mr. Alex Ole Nkoyo has distanced his office from any involvement in the Madaraka Market fire attack on Sunday Morning.

Speaking in Makongeni on Monday afternoon, Nkoyo said that the right procedure necessary in such operations was never followed. His office never permitted such an exercise since they had not even been presented with a notice of intent to hit Madaraka Market by anyone.

He said that, to begin with, setting the market on fire was in itself wrong and it was equally wrong to destroy other people's property. 

He assured the traders that investigations were underway, adding that his office would not relent until all those involved were apprehended and taken to court. The police have already arrested one suspect who the commissioners said was helping them in their investigations. 

He also assured the traders of police security during the market clean up campaign and re-construction of their structures.

Kiambu senator Hon. Kimani WaMatangi has given the Kiambu Police County Commander a 48-hour ultimatum to seize, arrest and bring to book all those culprits that were involved in the burning and destruction of property in Madaraka Market on Sunday night.

Speaking at the market grounds in Makongeni during a debris-clearing exercise and re-building of structures, the senator said that majority of those involved in this heinous act were known to the victims. He wondered how an operation of such magnitude could take place for more than three hours without the police being aware.

"Bwana County Commander, you cannot tell us here that the police were not involved. How can people come in your area of operation, destroy and burn property for three hours and claim that you don't know? What is your work here then? Your police were involved and you have to give an explanation about their involvement," Wamatangi challenged the county commander who was present.

"We demand a list of all those government vehicles that were used and the officers involved in that operation. This is a very serious matter and we cannot take it lying down. This morning I talked to Boinett (Kenya Police Service Commandant) and assured me that he would follow up this case. We in Kiambu will not work with police who guard goons to destroy public property," he said.

 He warned that if their grievances were not acted on, he would forward them to the Security Cabinet Secretary Hon. Joseph Nkaissery the first thing on Wednesday Morning. He also warned of them organising county-wide demonstrations to demand their right to be heard.

He assured Madaraka traders that Kiambu elected leaders would not allow selfish leaders to evict them from the market in order to pave way for their preferred 'private developers'. He called on the traders to stay calm as they handled the matter with the relevant authorities.

Later Monday afternoon, the senator along with his colleagues, Hons. Ferdinand Waititu, Alice Ng'ang'a and Ngewa Ward MCA Karungo Wa Thang'wa, led a clean up campaign to clear all debris in the market. Wamatangi promised to donate 200 iron sheets to aid the traders in re-building their structures. 

With only a day left for Pope Francis to jet into Nairobi youth from St. Patrick's Catholic Church-Thika have come up with a project selling branded t-shirts outside their church after mass last Sunday. A polo tshirt was retailing at Kes 800
The group is expected to join young people at Kasarani on Friday where the Pope is expected to address them on various issues.
The theme of the 3day Papal Visit is "Do not be Afraid."

Kiambu County Secretary Fredrick Kitema has cautioned those leaders accusing the county government of demolishing and burning the Madaraka market that the county would sue them. Addressing the press in Thika sub-county offices on Monday, Kitema said that the leaders were using the misfortune to settle political scores. he warned them that should investigate well before blaming it on the county government.

He said that the County Government of Kiambu was not aware of any of the incidences and neither involved in the malpractice and that they regretted for the loss, considering that the market has been its largest source of income. He appealed to the leaders to desist from inciting the members of public to avoid chaos as this would not benef anyone. He called upon the public to ignore any leader inciting them to fight other leaders.

“Let’s not incite on the people of Thika as it has been earlier. The chaos that result from the incitement are not beneficial because the people only destroy public property. Remain calm as we investigate who did this and who were involved,” Kitema said.

On Sunday, irate youth stormed the Kamenu MCA’s homestead and torched both her car and house alleging that she was aware of what had transpired the night before at Madaraka Market. They also accused her of supporting the county government in evicting them from the market to allow a private developer to take over.

Tension had this morning engulfed the area as Kiambu legislators were set to address the traders. It was feared that the leaders would lead them into the streets to protest the destruction of their property allegedly by the Kiambu County authorities.

Kikuyu MP Ferdinand Waititu has reminded Kiambu Governor William Kabogo that he has less than one and a half years left in office before he went back to seek votes to the same people he was now punishing. He reminded him that his county government was flouting all the rules in the book in the manner he operationalised his administration.

"The constitution calls for public participation in all matters involving governance. Our governor here should have called you for a round table discussion before he came to such lengths in destroying people's property. In fact it is a curse to burn foodstuffs while some people are dying of hunger. He promised him that come the year 2017, he (Waititu), the Hustler's governor, will claim the throne from him (Kabogo)," said Waititu.

He assured Madaraka traders that President Uhuru's  was never out to fight or punish the common mwananchi. He said that those who burnt the market did not do so on behalf of the president.

"Wanabiashara wa Makongeni, rais ako nyuma yenu na amekasirika na haya maneno sana. Kaeni ngangari na msitetemeke hata kidogo. Hapa hamtatolewa na mtu yeyote," Waititu said in Kiswahili.

He warned all those police officers who were involved in the burning of Madaraka Market on Sunday night that, he along his colleagues, they would fight to make sure that they were transferred from the county. He also promised to follow up the case to see to it that they culprits were brought to book. The Madaraka Market circus, he claimed, was a wider scheme to grab the land for a private developer.

He pledged to donate 100 iron sheets to the traders in order to assist them in re-building their structures.  

Madaraka Market traders have unanimously resolved to stay put and reclaim back their market from their adversaries. Franked by Thika Town MP Hon. Alice Wambui Ng'ang'a, the traders decided to revert back to their areas of operation and that no amount of intimidation would cow them into submission.

While addressing the traders within the market grounds on Monday afternoon. Hon. Alice lamented that it was so unfortunate for the County Government of Kiambu to use hired goons to set ablaze property and foodstuffs worth millions of shillings.

"The governor should not deny that they were not involved. They started with Kimbo and Ruiru, then Madaraka Market. They were planning to hit Mukiriti and Jamuhuri Markets next," Alice said.

"The police too cannot fake innocence either. They knew what was happening and that is why the A.P.s kept guard to allow these thugs to burn the market. We need to see action taken against all these perpetrators. We need action against all the officers who were involved. This is abuse of public office," she added.

She called on the area OCPD to move swiftly and arrest all those who were involved in this crime since majority of them were known to the traders. He sighted a certain 'Njuguna Wa Mananasi' who she alleged to be the man who was used to gather the youths. She claimed that Njuguna gathered some youths from Kiandutu Slum, took them to Thika Sub-County Stadium in the guise that they were going to destroy illicit brews. Upon arrival at the stadium, it is said that the story changed and the boys were diverted to board county government trucks to Madaraka Market.

Each one of them was then armed and promised sh.2,000 after successful completion of the mission. On arrival at Makongeni, the team purchased petrol from National Oil Filling Station, guarded by several Administration Police Officers. It was after that when the boys swung into action.

The legislature promised to fight for the rights of Makongeni Traders and all her constituents in general adding that herself and colleagues, had the blessings of the president in this whole exercise. She promised to donate 100 iron sheets towards the rebuilding of the structures that had been torched. 

The irate traders kept interrupting the speeches with occasional outbursts castigating both the county governor and the police actions. At times they had to be begged to keep calm so that their leaders could convey the messages they had for them.

After all the leaders had addressed the crowd, Hon. Alice led a team of legislatures in a clean up campaign to clear off all the debris in the market. They ordered an excavator and some tipper trucks that were used to clean the market, ready for business the following day.

Present in this gathering included Hon. Kimani Wa Matangi the Kiambu Senator, Hon. Ferdinand Waititu the member for Kikuyu Constituency, Ngewa MCA Hon. Karungo Wa Thang'wa, Kiambu County Commissioner Mr. Alex Ole Nkoyo, Thika West Deputy County Commissioner Mr Gacheru Wa Mwai, Kiambu County Police Commander and Thika OCPD.

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