March 2017

Raphael Tuju, Jubilee Party’s Secretary General 
Hundreds of Jubilee Party aspirants have jammed the party headquarters seeking to verify their registration details ahead of the April 21st party primaries.

The process kicked off early Wednesday morning amid fears by some aspirants that some of their details were missing in crucial party files including photos.

Raphael Tuju, the party’s Secretary General Wednesday released a statement stating that Jubilee had already submitted a membership list to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) comprising of 7.5 million members.

He said that only enlisted members will participate in primaries.
Tuju also announced the appointment of Winnie Guchu as the new Executive Director of the Party as well as other directors to head different directorates of JP.

The nominations will be overseen by the National Elections Board through CEBs which the party said will be swapped to other counties to ensure a free and fair selection of flag-bearers for various elective seats. 

Last week, party officials warned JP aspirants planning to disrupt county meetings by booing or violence saying that anyone found behaving in an unbecoming manner will face disciplinary action.

Grief-stricken relatives of  Mwaniki Chira who was stabbed to death after a quarrel over sh. 200 campaign money on Tuesday. The suspect is still at large.
A 29-year-old man was on Tuesday night stabbed to death when a fight broke out over Sh. 200 campaign money.

Bianjo Mwaniki Chira, 29, was allegedly stabbed three times by his neighbour after the two reportedly failed to agree on how to share out Sh. 200 they earned after a day’s campaign work.

Mwaniki, a bodaboda rider from Thiha Village in Mukurwe-ini, Nyeri County and the assailant had spent the day hanging posters of an aspirant for a county assembly (MCA) seat, the two were part of a bodaboda campaign team hired by the aspirant ahead of Jubilee Party primaries to be held in April.

It is alleged that on the night of the attack, the two were having drinks at a local bar, barely 100 metres away from home, when a quarrel ensued between four men who accused the assailant, Samuel Waithaka, of swindling them of Sh. 200.

“They were fighting over campaign money they had received via M-Pesa. He beat four people and then left shouting, “Leo mtajua mimi ni mwanamume,” (Today you will know that I am a man),” said a friend of the deceased who declined to be named.

Waithaka is said to have attacked three other men before turning to the deceased with a punch. He is said to have left the bar at around midnight heading home but was followed by the deceased and a brother back to his house.

According to Jackson Chira the father of the deceased, Mwaniki and his brother wanted to confront Waithaka on why had turned violent against them yet they worked together.

“They were very angry and were demanding to know why he attacked them so they followed him to his house. His brother told us that they found him holding a knife and threatened to stab them if they did not leave,” said the father.

It was during the confrontation that the suspect is said to have stabbed Mwaniki in the abdomen, chest and head before running away.

The deceased’s wife, Ms. Ruth Wanjiru and his father, rushed to the scene after hearing screams. 

Attempts to save the father of two were futile as he bled to death.

Mukurwe-ini Divisional Police Commander Issa Mohammud confirmed the incident, saying that a man who lived with the suspect has been arrested.

“We understand the fight was over campaign money but we are still gathering more information. The suspect fled but we are holding a close acquaintance of his who is helping us with the investigations,” said Mohammud.

The police boss also noted that an alert had been placed on the suspect and a manhunt is still ongoing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s alma mater took to Twitter on Thursday to respond to inquiries on the president’s academic credentials.

Following a very heated debate on social media where some NASA supporters claimed that the president was not a university graduate, US-based Amherst College was tasked to clarify the status of President Uhuru Kenyatta's degree.

The discussion was sparked by the ongoing probe on claims that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho forged a KCSE result slip.

After several twitter users contacted the college in efforts to ascertain the status of the president's degree, Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts replied in a tweet: “Happy to answer questions directed our way. Uhuru Kenyatta graduated in 1985 with a degree in economics & political science.”

Pressed for evidence, they said: “Sorry, we do not provide personal information about our current or former students, faculty or staff.”

The institution trades as a premier liberal arts colleges enrolling some 1,800 talented, energetic young people.

It advised those who were not satisfied to contact their alumni and parent programmes.

“Please direct other questions to alumni and parent programs through”

When some of the users requested photo evidence of Uhuru Kenyatta graduating, the institution declined, terming this personal.

For photos, they said: “We post all our public photos on our Flickr site, but don't tag particular individuals”.

The college went ahead to share a web link that listed President Kenyatta as one of the graduates of 1985.

The following is the correspondence between KOT and the college administration;

We also came across this certificate purported to belong to the president though we cannot authoritatively confirm its origin or authenticity.

A university student was allegedly beaten to death in a bar in Huruma, Nairobi.

Joseph Nyoike Kang’ethe, who was a second year student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), was at Vineyard bar with friends and relatives on Saturday where they say he was beaten to death.

They accused the police of a cover-up, saying the bar was now guarded by four administration police officers.

On Wednesday, Kang’ethe’s cousin Joseph Mbucho said they went to the bar, a few metres from their home, with their two friends, Mungai and Mugumo.

“At around 2am, my cousin left us and went to the counter while holding a glass. A few minutes later, I heard a glass break and then my cousin screamed. I went to the counter to check on him, but he was being pushed out by two security guards,” Mbucho said.

He said the bar owner Samuel Muchungu, who is also their neighbour, was seated near the counter and when Mbucho asked why his cousin was being beaten, Mr. Muchungu told the guards to throw him out as well.

“The two guards returned and beat me up in front of Mr. Muchungu. I was hit twice on the head and once on my left shoulder with a rungu,” he said.

Mbucho said he went home, all the while thinking his cousin had also gone home, only to be woken up in the morning by a relative who told him that Kang’ethe had died and his body was on a veranda near the bar.

Their uncle, Mr. George Kariuki, said the family was distraught and that no arrests had been made.
But Mr. Muchungu said he had seen Kang’ethe in the bar that night but denied that he was beaten by the guards.

“I have been running the business for 18 years and during that period, I have always asked the guards never to use force if there is need to get customers out of the bar,” Mr. Muchungu said.

He said there was commotion and a quarrel ensued between Kang’ethe and his friends.

“Usually, we throw out anyone causing a commotion in the bar, but I can assure you we did not use force on this particular day,” he said, adding that he was also shocked at the news of the death.

Mr. Muchungu said he went to Jon Saga police station where he recorded a statement.

“I asked the police to guard my premises because the neighbours had threatened to cause fracas. As a Kenyan, I am entitled to protection whenever I feel threatened,” he said.

Nairobi County police commander Japheth Koome said they had not arrested anyone as no witness had gone to the police to give an account of what happened.

“But investigations are ongoing,” Mr. Koome said.

A post-mortem examination by Dr. Dorothy Njeru at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home states that Kang’ethe had a broken rib and other soft tissue injuries.

(Source: Nairobi News)

Charity Wangui after she was apprehended by Thika police trying to solicit money through false pretense. She will be arraigned in court immediately investigations are over.
Thika police are holding a 45-year-old businesswoman for allegedly making a false report of a crime and trying to swindle through a self-scripted kidnap plan.

Rachel Charity Wangui is reported to have lied that she had been kidnapped with intent to illegally solicit money from close friends and relatives.

The mother of one was reported missing from Thika Town on February 28th, prompting the police to launch a search. However, Ms. Wangui was on Wednesday March 29th, smoked her out of her hideout in  a guest room in Kitui Town, where she been regularly making calls to her relatives in a brittle voice, claiming that her kidnappers had given her an ultimatum for a ransom.

According to her, her ‘kidnappers’ were threatening of dire consequences in case the ransom was not paid.

While addressing reporters from his office, Thika Deputy OCPD Bernard Ayoo confirmed the incidents saying that the suspect was scheming a plot to raise money.

“We received a report on February 28 that Rachel Charity Wangui, 45, went missing from Thika Town. We have been making follow ups to know her whereabouts. Today, our officers swung into action and found her in Superstar Guest House in Kitui Town in a very stable condition. It is from this hideout that she has been calling relatives asking them to send the money.”

The OCPD added that the suspect claims to have a loan of about Ksh. 80,000.

“We will take her to court for giving false information after investigations are concluded. We are going to liaise with mobile telecommunication providers to acquire data related to her money transfers during the period in order to ascertain the total amount of money she had managed to receive through deceit,” said Mr. Ayoo.

Ms. Wangui is a runs a butchery within Thika Town.

The entrance to Thika Level 5 Hospital, its casualty department, the new ICU and HDU Units that are part of the new  infrastructural developments.
Thika Level 5 Hospital is promising to build a powerful and lasting relationship with their clients by providing first class services as well as offering fast and timely responses in the case of customer complaints.

This was revealed by the Medical Superintendent Dr. Andrew Joshua Toro who said that their mission was to make it the hospital of choice for Kiambu County and the entire region. To achieve this, the management had invested heavily in capacity building and remuneration of their workforce to ensure they were self-driven and passionate in whatever they did.

“Our hospital is one of the most unique level 5 and teaching referral hospitals with a very dedicated and passionate human resource. We have also heavily invested in infrastructural development and in the procurement and acquisition of both pharmaceuticals and other necessities,” said Dr. Toro.

The superintendent added that they had also automated all their systems into one central control unit where every department’s activities could be monitored at any given time thus enhancing proper supervision and accountability.

The hospital too operates a ‘Customer Care’ office to address all complaints brought forth by their clients.

“Every morning, I go through the record of all complaints brought forward to that desk and personally make some follow ups because our clients’ opinion mean so much to us and give us an insight as to how we can continue improving our services. We’re committed to providing the best customer service possible,” he said. 

Dr. Toro, who also doubles up as the Kiambu County Director of Curative & Rehabilitative Services, also assured Kiambu residents that the hospital was now operating full capacity after the recent doctors’ strike.

“All our departments are fully operational. Our wards are full and we are now serving about 2,000 out-patients daily.”

A section of the new-look out-patient department waiting bay. (Inset: Medical Superintendent Dr. Andrew Joshua Toro.)
Among other major projects going on within the institution is the 300-bed capacity reproductive health unit which will tentatively be operational by June this year. The Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) unit will be operational starting next month.

They currently boasts of a 6-bed ICU unit, a 3-bed HDU unit, a Renal unit that serves about 10 dialysis sessions daily and a very operational theater for both surgical cases and caecilian section.

However, Dr. Toro acknowledge that the facility is faced with some shortage of manpower in some departments even though they are working out a formula to gradually address these gaps.

He also pointed out that there has been an increase in the number of people coming to them for medical fee waivers after failing to raise the amount demanded by the hospital for medical services. 

He advised Kiambu residents to register for NHIF scheme so as to ease their own burden of soliciting money to clear hospital bills. 

“Majority of the people we serve here at Thika Level 5 Hospital do not have the NHIF cards. For a monthly subscription of Ksh. 500, they will have offloaded their burden of raising money to clear their bills. Please enroll with this scheme,” he concluded.

The Jubilee Party smartcard that has caused ripples to many of those aspiring to clinch the Jubilee ticket for the August 8 polls.
A Thika Town parliamentary aspirant has exuded confidence that he will win the forthcoming and eventually clinch the seat in August.

In an interview with a local media house on Tuesday, Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle) characteristically showed no sign of self-doubt in the face of a tough race pitting him against the incumbent Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a and Morris Mburu, in just about two weeks before the Jubilee primaries.

Wainaina said that those underestimating his support would be in for a very rude shock

“I am gonna win. There is no question about that,” Wainaina said. “Since joining primary school, I have never failed and I will not start now!”

He added that his confidence was derived from his association with Thika residents with whom he had worked for over 12 years.

Jubilee Nominations.

While brimming with confidence about the state of the race and brimming with energy despite his breakneck campaign schedule, Wainaina argued that if at all the Jubilee Party nominations will be free and fair, he was sure of a win. He added that his support was gaining an incredible amount of strength in these closing days, strength that would prove decisive at the ballot box.

However, he appealed to the JP Headquarters to streamline their register before they embarked on the primaries. He pointed out that the issue of the smartcards was proving to be quite a challenge due to their unavailability and complications emanating from their registration process.

“I doubt if Jubilee (Party) will use these smartcards for the primaries. If I had my way, I would suggest that we use both their register and that of the IEBC to authenticate the voters list during the party nominations. Otherwise, the party also needs to release the dates for these nominations so as to assist candidates in their preparations,” said Wainaina.

“But just in case JP insists on using the smartcards, I request those who not yet registered to do so via SMS by sending their name and ID card numbers to 30553. Keep the text reply showing your membership number for use during the nominations.” 

He also appealed to the party to guarantee security throughout the exercise as there were reports of those sensing defeat planning to disrupt the nominations through chaos.


Wainaina cautioned the electorate to be wary of people out to mudsling their opponents through negative propaganda terming this trend as defeatist and a sign that they had nothing constructive to offer to the residents of Thika Town Constituency.  

“Wainaina Wa Jungle is offering ‘Siasa Biashara’ and will not drag himself into cheap politics of mudslinging and name calling. My mission is to empower the people and not take advantage of their plight to misuse them into causing chaos for my political expedience. Those spreading falsehoods in places like Kiandutu and Makongeni should first tell what they have done to uplift the standards of living for these residents. I can proudly point out my projects in those areas that have transformed the lives of several youth and women,” he concluded.

Thika Town Parliamentary aspirant Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle) who has promised to revolutionise the Thika economy once elected MP come August 8 2017. 
As the country approaches the next General Elections, Thika Town Parliamentary aspirant Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle) has promised to revolutionise the town’s economy through initiating legislations that would rethink Kenya’s trade deals with other countries using ‘negotiators’ whose goal will be to win for Kenyans.

Wainaina, who is a renowned businessman in the area said that, if elected MP, his first mission would be move a motion in Parliament that would ban importation of domestic and farm produce that were available locally in order to protect small-scale entrepreneurship and agro-business in the country.

“How do you explain Kenya importing oranges and eggs from South Africa while our farmers are languishing in poverty for lack of market for the same? When you import such products, you create about 20,000 jobs in South Africa. The same applies when we import toothpicks and wheelbarrows from China. We simply kill our Jua Kali sector while creating jobs for the Chinese,” said Wainaina during a live interview in a local TV Station.

The aspirant reckoned that all the town (and the country) needed were leaders to guide the people into self-empowerment. He added that this country would only develop if leaders evolved from politics of empty rhetoric to the politics of wealth creation.

“Our biggest challenge as a country is that majority of those who vie for elective positions do so without any clue of what such positions entail or basically to enrich themselves. This trend results in poor representation where mwananchi keeps languishing in poverty without anyone assisting them to come up with solutions to their challenges,” said Wa Jungle.

He said that his administration would partner with local companies to come up with a comprehensive and collaborative model of value chain addition with long-term objectives to address the economic challenges facing the people in the region. 

Value chain economy.

In this kind of arrangement, Wainaina plans to involve manufacturing companies in value creation chains where they would be acquiring the raw materials they need directly from the local farmers. That way, farmers would avail the raw materials, thus create jobs for various cadres such as those working in the farms, warehouses, distributors and transporters who will ferry these products to the factories.

“I will encourage local manufacturers to adopt the model we use at Jungle Group of Companies where we partner with farmers who produce the raw materials for the companies. For instance, if a company like Del Monte involves local farmers to grow mangoes or oranges for their juices, this sector can create about 10,000 direct jobs for our people,” he said.

Do you underpay your workers?

When challenged to respond to how much his workers earned, Wainaina said that his company strictly adhered to the government labour policy concerning minimum wages for workers. He added that none of his 3,000+ employees fell below the government recommended wage of Ksh. 12,500 per month.

Otherwise, he asked those criticising manufacturers of poor remuneration of their employees to first understand the bureaucracy and the logistics of trade and balancing acts these entrepreneurs had to undergo to sustain those ventures.

“It is very easy for an outsider to criticise the amount of money an entrepreneur pays their workers but I wish they would be in a position to understand the headaches these entrepreneurs go through to satisfy their employees and suppliers and still sustain the company. Otherwise, our main problem as residents is never the wages but those who are out there without jobs. If we can create enough jobs for everyone, we can be lest assured that even the level of insecurity will decline,” he explained.

Constituency Development Fund (CDF).

Wainaina reckoned that he had the expertise to ultimately utilise CDF funds to the benefit of the people of Thika. He also added that he would complement this through his Jungle Foundation programme which had transformed the face of Thika since 2006.

Wainaina said that he would also pool resources to improve the constituency infrastructure with a view to create a 24-hour economy in Thika.

“What we have done with Jungle Foundation is so evident for everyone to see. With added resources from other stakeholders and the CDF, we will improve infrastructure in schools, trading centres and residential areas to create a 24-hour economy,” explained Wainaina.

He also said that his administration would digitise bursary allocation to all the needy students by creating a database that will automate their allocation to reduce cases of mischief and interruptions of learning in schools.

“We will create a block chain that will guarantee every needy student in our network automatically receive their bursary in time to avoid creating any inconveniences to the students, parents and the respective school heads.”

Thika KNUT  Secretary Joe Mungai Ngige shows part of a dilapidated roof at General Kago Primary School that is made of asbestos, a product condemned by WHO as cancerous and dangerous to human beings.   
Thika Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Executive Secretary Joe Mungai Ngige has reckoned that there has emerged conflicts in the education sector in relation to the implementation of the country’s 2010 constitution. This clash, he noted, has affected the standard of education especially in the public primary schools.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of Thika West public primary schools hand washing campaign at General Kago Primary School, Mungai said the country’s constitution provided citizens with two basic levels: national and devolved governments under which various functions of governance fell.

“For instance, primary school education fall under the national government while within the same institutions, the heads of schools are expected to handle issues of pre-primary education which is under the devolved governance. In the same vein, health, which can never be detached from education, falls under the devolved system of government, creating total confusion to the principals whenever they were faced by situations involving these conflicting departments,” said Mungai.

He cited a case in General Kago Primary School where the roofs were made of asbestos which had been declared cancerous by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Health being a devolved function and education falling under the national government, who will the Headteacher go to for assistance to protect these kids from being exposed to the danger of getting infected with cancer? The MP or the governor?’” he asked.

“Furthermore, the land this school is sitting on is under the County Government of Kiambu. The development of the institution’s infrastructure on the other hand is a function of the area MP. The teacher themselves are answerable to the TSC and in essence the national government. How then do you marry the two if an urgent matter like this one of the roofs emerges?” he added.

He reckoned that though it was the responsibility of the county government to guarantee the health of the kids was not compromised in schools, their hands were tied when it came to the replacement of such hazardous asbestos roofs. Likewise, if the MP was to improve on the sanitation standards of the schools, he or she needs the county government’s input in the development of the sewerage system.

“As Kenyan teachers, we feel that there is a need to rethink and consider amending sections of this constitution to suit the reality on the ground. Otherwise, I do not see it serving its purpose to the mwananchi,” said the KNUT Secretary.

A file picture of the missing 19 year-old Margaret Muthoni.
A distraught family in Thika is desperately appealing to the members of public to help to find their 19-year-old girl who has gone missing.

Margaret Muthoni, from Kiganjo Estate and a student at Thika Garrison Secondary School went missing on Thursday 23rd March 2017, leaving behind a heartbreaking suicide note.

The girl’s mother, Ruth Gathoni, found two suicide notes in Muthoni’s bag on Friday 24th March 2017, as she (Ruth) was preparing to go to work.

In the first note, Muthoni, said: “From the time my father died, I have never had peace in my heart. We have gone through a lot of things – both bad and good. (I know it will be painful), but let me go meet my father. My siblings, I leave you behind in peace. May you live in peace, and one day, one time, help our mother. Ian and Winnie, live in peace. Do not weep on my burial day because you will make my soul not to rest in peace. I am waiting for you in heaven. Give out all my clothes to my sister. Good bye.”

In second letter, addressed to her siblings, Muthoni said: “God is there for you, my sister and brother. I would like you to achieve your goals when you grow up. Nobody has pushed me to do this (commit suicide). It is my decision (to end my life). I had good dreams, but now, henceforth, I won’t be there. Stay in love, peace, unity and harmony. Have the heart of caring and helping. I love everyone in our family.”

Ms. Gathoni claims that her daughter, who was supposed to join Form Four this year, had since October last year refused to report back to school after she was suspended due to disciplinary issues.
Thika Garrison Secondary School Principal, Elizabeth Nyambura, acknowledged that the missing student last attended school on October 27, 2016 – the day she was summoned to her office for wearing a ‘hair extension’, which was against the school’s rules.

She said that she suspended her and was expected back after two weeks, accompanied by her parents after Muthoni stormed out of the Principal’s office. Neither Muthoni nor her mother reported to the school after the suspension.

The Principal added that after the intervention of the Thika West District Education Office, she contacted Muthoni’s mother and expected the girl to report to school on January 18, accompanied by her mother.

“On January 18, we convened a meeting and waited for the two from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm but they never turned up. I asked an officer from the District Education Office to call Margaret’s mother and enquire if she was still coming but her phone was answered by a certain Elizabeth who claimed to be a sister to Margaret’s mother. She told us that Margaret and the mother had gone to a salon. That was the last time we ever heard from the family,” said the principal.

Thika West Director of Education Ronald Mbogo, said efforts to trace the girl’s whereabouts have been launched, but noted she had a truancy history.

According to Muthoni’s sister, Ann Gathoni, Muthoni never informed their mother the reason for her suspension, but only claimed that she was unwilling to return to school.

“Mum always woke her up every morning, asking her which school she wished to enrol in but she would say she doesn’t want to join any school. On Thursday, she woke and stood by the main door. When my mother asked her where she was going to, she declined to respond but instead left the house claiming to be going to register in a new school. That was the last time we ever saw her,” said Ann.

The family is now appealing to member of public who may have information about Muthoni’s whereabouts, to report to any nearby police station.

Authorities in Thika have launched a manhunt for a middle-aged woman after she allegedly stabbed her husband to death due to what is believed to be a domestic quarrel.

According to preliminary reports, the two have been living together for a while now until recently when they were heard having some domestic quarrels.

The victim, Fredrick Mwangi Gitau, who is a caretaker in the same building they were living in Ngoigwa Estate near Kisiwa Primary School, was stabbed to death inside the apartment.

Confirming the incident, Thika Deputy OCPD Bernard Ayoo told reporters on Friday that they received report the previous night that a man in his 30s had been stabbed to death by his wife. Upon arrival, they found three blood-stained kitchen knives next to the deceased’s body.

“We found him lying along the corridor with several knife wounds on his chest. By the look of things, it seems there had been a struggle before this young man succumbed to his injuries,” said Ayoo.

The OCPD said that they were searching for this woman who fled immediately after the murder.

“We cannot establish what exactly happened or was the real cause of the quarrel as at now, but we are still investigating. The lady fled immediately after and we have launched a manhunt,” he said.

He appealed to anyone who might have a clue of what really transpired to bring forth that information to the police so as to assist them in their investigations. He also asked the members of public to contact the nearest police station in case they came across the suspect or knew of her whereabouts.

According to sources close to the couple, it is alleged that the lady, only known as Wangari, previously worked as a bar waitress before she came to live with the man as his wife. She came along with a three year-old daughter and did not have any child with the deceased.

She is said to have fled with her daughter immediately after the murder.      

A couple of weeks ago, the deceased is alleged to have called his boss seeking assistance to solve some domestic problems with his wife.  This never materialised as he met his death before the landlord managed to honour this invitation.

A section of the 'Dettol' hand cleaning campaign team teach pupils of General Kago Primary School how to properly wash their hands in a bid to fight preventable diseases spread through unclean hands.
Sometimes early this year, Thika Town and its environs was attacked by what was suspected to be a norovirus epidemic. Virtually all the local primary schools and several other government and private institutions recorded cases of some stomach virus.

Everyone was worried, especially due to the fact that the outbreak happened during the doctors’ strike and nothing much was coming out from the authorities to assure the residents of their safety.
The issue of parents jamming social media platforms lamenting helplessly about their kids’ safety triggered a group of residents to action through exploring civic activism and community action. 

Using the local media platform, Thika Town Today, the organisers mobilised residents and various organisations into action. 

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“We planned this hand washing campaign as part of community action following the outbreak of the stomach bug in Thika sometimes early this year. Today we have launched it here with General Kago Primary School pupils. We plan to roll it out to all the 37 public primary schools in Thika West Sub-County for the next two weeks before the schools close,” said Wairimu Muriuki, the brain behind this great initiative.

The convener Wairimu Muriuki Taking pupils aand participants through the whole essence of the hand washing campaign.
Reckitt Benckiser Group of Companies, the makers of Dettol, Mount Kenya University, Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Thika Branch, the Departments of Health and Education in the County Government of Kiambu and the Office of the Thika West Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) joined hands to make this exercise a success.

This initiative, Wairimu said, was part of their efforts to instil behavioural change among the kids and residents aimed at arresting most of the preventable diseases that culminated from people’s irresponsible actions.

“Each one of us has a civic duty to ensure that the kids are molded into global citizens. The habits and practices we instil to them will be part of Kenya’s future,” she added.
The host Headteacher Mrs. Jennifer Njeri Njuguna was very ecstatic with this initiative, noting that her school was greatly affected by the outbreak with over 50 pupils forced to miss classes during that period.

“This kind of an initiative will go a long way in ensuring children are healthy and are maintained in classes, thus reflect positively in their general performance. When these children learn how to take care of their own health, they will pass on that information to their parents at home and as a result we will have a healthy society free of preventable diseases,” said Mrs. Njuguna.

Wairimu concluded by challenging the citizens to act as the change they really yearned for.
General Kago Primary School Headteacher addressing the gathering during the hand washing campaign.

“The future of Kenya is in the hands of ordinary citizens. Change must happen and we must be part of the change that we want. We must not wait for leaders to always tell us what to do. We must be the driving force that brings the change we really want,” said Wairimu.

In developed countries, the idea of citizen initiatives take centre-stage in determining the destiny of a community. They assist communities to communicate across class, ethnic, and racial lines, and to set up systems and policies to take advantage of their resources and address their problems.

In such a stratagem, citizens get involved in not just identifying and reporting civic problems but in conceptualising, designing and developing and implementing solutions as well. The people actually have a say in important decisions affecting their society.

In his inauguration as the 35th President of the United States in 1961, John F. Kennedy told the Americans, “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” 

(Related Story: )

Present at the event included Thika Town Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Alex Mukindia, Thika Branch KNUT Executive Secretary Joe Mungai Ngige,  Teresiah Wanjiru Njuguna from the Kiambu Health department and Ann Maina from the Department of Education in Kiambu County.

Others included officials from MKU led by Dr. Susan Mambo of the Department of Environment and Public Health plus employees of Reckitt Benckiser who facilitated the who hand washing campaign.  

Bidco Africa has dismissed claims that it had refrained its employees from joining trade unions.

Before the National Assembly Labour and Social Welfare Committee, Bidco’s Corporate Affairs Team led by director Judy Momanyi, and Aarti Issar and Zipporah Mburu from HR-the Bidco denied these allegations terming them malicious, false and defamatory. 

To support their arguement, Bidco tabled a recognition agreement with the Kenya Chemical and Allied workers Union signed in 2013 and a duly registered Collective Bargaining Agreement with the same.  

Momanyi pointed out that out of its 900 workers, 216 had voluntarily joined the Chemical and Allied Workers Union where their deductions had been fully remitted as per the outstanding agreement. The company, they said, upheld the right of every worker to join and to participate in the lawful activities of the union.

She added that Bidco Africa management had insured all workers adequately. The team also presented compliance certificates from both NHIF and NSSF plus a trophy from NSSF awarding the company for being a top and prompt contributor in 2016. 

On their petition, the workers also alleged that the company employed and favoured expatriates who they claimed were not as qualified as their Kenyan counterparts.

The management termed the allegations that the firm had casual workers as false and ill motivated saying that all their workers had an employment contract under permanent and pensionable terms. 

With regards to compensating injured workers MPs were presented with a insurance certificate from Kenindia Insurance Company for a workman's compensation policy.  The MPs also heard that Bidco operated at world class standards and is ISO certified for quality, health and food management. 

Previously, the company was being investigated by Parliament over claims that it mistreated workers.

The petitioners alleged that the Thika-based company’s workers are subjected to poor labour conditions at its manufacturing plants located throughout Kenya. Bidco was also reported to have deliberately classified the bulk of its 2,500 employees as casual workers. It was further accused of limiting shifts at its factories to avoid paying workers’ contributions to the statutory National Social Security Fund and the National Hospital Insurance Fund.

There were also claims that the company harassed and unfairly fires employees who complained about poor working conditions as well as those injured at work who claim compensation. 

Bidco was also accused of refusing its employees the right to join the Thika-based Kenya Union of Commercial Food and Allied Workers.

However, Bidco management absolved themselves of any wrongdoing. Dipak Shah, board member in the firm, emphasized that their labour practices were beyond reproach and at no given time had the company deliberately mishandled any worker.

“As a company, we have nothing to hide as we always follow all the labour laws and the Constitution of Kenya. We will not deny that we may have one or two issues with a worker but that is normal in an organisation as big as this. Otherwise, we have always gone out of our way to ensure we get an amicable solution to any labour issues amongst our employees,” said Dipak.

The Labour committee is expected to visit the company’s premises before writing the final report even as the firm urged for dismissal of the petitions.

Poop, in simplest terms, is the body’s natural way of expelling waste and toxins that it doesn’t need once it’s absorbed all of the usable nutrients from food.

These bodily emissions are an important health topic that deserves serious attention. Majority of the people never look at their stool. But did you know that you could be flushing your health down the drain? That’s why it’s important that we all take an occasional peek in the bowl and assess the situation.

The characteristics of your stool will tell you a good deal about how happy and healthy your digestive tract is – the colour, odour, shape, size, and even the sound it makes when it hits the water and whether it's a "sinker" or a "floater" are all relevant information.

It is therefore a good idea to take an occasional peek in the toilet, just to make sure all the plumbing is working right!

So, What is a Normal Poop?

Your stool is about 75% water. The rest is a fetid combination of fiber, live and dead bacteria, miscellaneous cells and mucus.

Healthy stool is medium to light brown in colour, is smooth and soft, formed into one long shape and not a bunch of pieces. It is usually S-shaped, which comes from the shape of your lower intestine and about one to two inches in diameter and up to 18 inches long. It usually has a uniform texture and has a natural smell, not repulsive (I'm not saying it will smell good).

It should quietly and gently dive into the should fall into the bowl with the slightest little "whoosh" sound – not a loud, wet cannonball splash that leaves your toosh in need of a shower.

What’s NOT Normal?

1. It Hurts — like, really hurts.

Pooping should never hurt, but sometimes, it happens. Usually, a painful poop can just be chalked up to gas pain or constipation. Painful pooping is most commonly a sign of an anal fissure, or a small tear in the anus. In more rare cases, the pain can be a symptom of severe and life-threatening conditions such as diverticulitis and even colon cancer.

Therefore, if it really hurts on a regular basis, you need to pay close attention or see a doctor.

2. How often should you move your bowels?

Normal bowel habits vary but three bowel movements per day to three per week is considered the normal range. What's more important than frequency is the ease with which you move your bowels. 

If you need to push or strain, something is off – moving your bowels should take no more effort than urinating or passing gas.

3. You can’t stop going.

The average body takes between 18 and 72 hours to convert food into poop and pass it on out. When this time is significantly shortened, the result is diarrhea because your intestine doesn't have time to absorb all of the water.

Healthy bowel movements do not send you running for the bathroom at the drop of a hat unfortunately diarrhea does. If you feel an urgent need to ‘go’ all the time, and you’re producing soft, liquid stools, your poop is unhealthy.

Most cases of diarrhea are linked to something minor, like a stomach bug. However, diarrhea that is persistent and doesn’t clear up in a day or two can leave you dangerously dehydrated and often indicates a more serious problem, like ulcerative colitis.

4. Your Stool is too hard.

When transit time is lengthened, you may end up constipated because too much water has been absorbed, resulting in hard, dry stools. Passing hard, dry stools that you have to strain to move is defined as constipation and it's typically accompanied by decreased frequency of defecation.

Straining is not normal, nor are experiencing feelings of incomplete elimination, bloating, crampiness, or sluggishness after going number two.

Chronic, untreated constipation can lead to fecal impaction which can be a serious medical condition. 
Laxatives should be avoided at all cost and used only as a last resort. If you absolutely must use a laxative, make sure it is used for only a very short period of time.

If you're over the age of 65, your risk of becoming constipated increases significantly.

5. There’s blood.

Blood in your poop is always is a bad sign that should never be ignored.

If it’s just a spot or two of blood, you might be dealing with a hemorrhoid. However, if there are streaks of blood in the toilet or on the paper or if the stool itself is red, purple, or black, this could be a sign of a rectal bleed.

If you have a large amount of blood, go to the doctor straightaway.

6. Your poop is yellowish and extremely smelly.

All poop is smelly, but if it smells extremely foul, that’s a sign that your poop is unhealthy.

A combination of a yellowish khaki tint coloured poop and a very foul smell usually indicates that your body isn’t absorbing nutrients from your food effectively.

Sometimes, this symptom is associate with a chronic illness like Celiac disease. Other times, it indicates inflammation in your pancreas.

If you have eaten untreated water or food, it could also be caused by a microbe called giardia.

7. It’s very pale.

Any bowel movement that appears whitish, tan, or clay-like is unhealthy poop. These unusually pale bowl movements happen when your body’s bile isn’t draining properly. 

The liver makes bile which gives poop its brown colour and the gallbladder releases the bile into the digestive system.

If the poop is pale, it might indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly or that your gallbladder’s bile duct is blocked.

8. Your poops are very narrow.

Pencil-like poops can indicate that a tumor or another blockage is stuck in your bowel and is causing the unhealthy poop symptoms. Your intestines are a tube, and when something blocks part of the tube, the result is a very narrow stool that managed to squeeze past.

If you notice a stringy poop, your first step should be to up your fiber intake and see whether constipation was a factor. If that doesn’t work and the problem persists, call your doctor.

9. You have ‘floaters’.

A healthy poop usually sinks to the bottom of the toilet bowl. So, if your poop floats, it is a sign that there is a lot of fat and grease packed into it. This could be a simple indicator that you have too much fat in your diet. Fats are lighter than water, so they buoy the stool up to the surface.

It could also be a sign that your body isn’t absorbing and processing fat correctly, which can be an early symptom of pancreatic disease.

How to Get Your Poop Back to Normal.

(i) Increase Your Fiber Intake.

Adults should make sure they consume fiber from whole food sources as often as possible. It’s best to aim to get between 25-40 grams of fiber per day.

Getting this much fiber shouldn’t be too difficult if your diet is made up of real, whole foods- including plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Vegetables, fruits, and beans are some of the best sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber which will increase your ability to properly poop.

(ii) Drink plenty of water.

Aim to consume water every 2 hours at a minimum; drinking 8 oz. every couple of hours will keep you hydrated throughout the day and set you up for a healthier poop the following morning.

Whenever you are eating a lot of fiber, you want to also make sure to drink plenty of water. 
Remember that fiber swells and expands in the digestive tract, so if it doesn’t have enough water to absorb and to move it through the gut lining, you can experience uncomfortable bloating, gas, pains, and constipation.

(iii) Probiotics.

Probiotics help to create a healthy environment in your gut “micoflora”. Essentially this means that the amount of “good bacteria” in your gut is able to balance the amount of “bad bacteria,” helping you to stay free of digestive problems including constipation or diarrhea.

Probiotic-rich foods include things like high-quality yoghurts.  Make sure that when buying dairy products, you always choose organic products as they are easier on digestion, such as goat milk products, raw dairy products or dairy that doesn’t contain A1 casein which can cause inflammation. 

You can also try supplementing with a good-quality probiotic as well.

(iv) Supplement with Magnesium.

If you frequently deal with constipation, magnesium has the natural ability to safely soften poop. It works to draw water from your gut into the poop and helps it to easily move through your system. 

Magnesium is also a natural muscle relaxer which can help to stop cramping in the gut and abdomen.
Since magnesium is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in adults, there are really no downsides to tying magnesium, as long as you stick within the recommended daily dosage carefully; if you start experiencing stools that are too loose and watery, you can adjust your intake until its comfortable and back to normal.

(v) Support your Liver! 

Did you know that your liver is responsible for producing the bile that digests fat? Without enough bile, your fats become something like soap in your gut!  This backs up and can lead to constipation and difficulty detoxing the body of toxins. One of the best ways to support your liver is with diet and exercise!

You can also do a liver cleanse to clean everything out and get your body back to feeling its best.

(vi) Get your body moving.

Exercises stimulate the bowels and lymphatic system which helps to push waste down to your colon, making it easier for you to go. Furthermore, exercises relax one’s mind and reduce stress which is one of the biggest reasons for digestive troubles.

Now that you know, enjoy some healthy toileting…

A file photo of the Late Joyce Wambui Githitu who was slain on 27th February 2017 at her home in Maki estate Thika.
Detectives from Makuyu Flying Squad have trailed and arrested another suspect following the murder of Thika businesswoman Joyce Wambui Githitu.

Alex Musee Ngui, 34, was arrested on Tuesday in Maua Town where he was reported to have been hiding, bringing to nine, the number of suspects arrested and questioned by the police over the murder.

Musee who is a Standard Three dropout and unemployed, is currently being locked him up for interrogation.

He is believed to have played a pivotal role in the planning and execution of the murder plot.
Central Regional Police Commander Larry Kiyeng said that they were still trailing more suspects linked to the incident that occurred on 27th February 2017. 

On Tuesday last week, Morris Mutwiri, 37, was arrested in his hideout in Embu town and taken to Gatanga for questioning. The detectives also recovered a blood-stained hoe and metal bar, found hidden in a cupboard at Wambui's house. They are believed to have been the ones used to kill the Mrs. Githitu.

Mutwiri, who is the husband of Purity Wanjiru - a house help at Wambui's house, is believed to be the mastermind of the murder.

Members of 'United 4 Kiambu' Alliance;  Rev. David Kariuki Ngari (Gakuyo), James Nyoro and Ferdinand Waititu during Sunday's rally at Kimende Trading Centre in Lari Constituency where they endorsed Waititu's candidature for the Kiambu gubernatorial race. INSET: Incumbent William Kabogo Gitau.
This week has seen two major sets of information concerning the Kiambu gubernatorial race that calls for the residents’ attention.

‘United for Kiambu’ Alliance.

First, after several months of speculations, five gubernatorial hopefuls on Sunday settled on Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu as their compromise candidate to fight it out with incumbent Governor William Kabogo for the Jubilee Party (JP) ticket in the next two weeks.

In an announcement made at Kimende Trading Centre in Lari Constituency, James Karanja Nyoro will be Waititu’s running. Rev. David Kariuki Ngari (Gakuyo) will assume a newly created position of chief minister where he will be in-charge of all the County Executive Committee members (CECs) and also head the lands department.

John Mugwe, an engineer by profession, will be CEC in-charge of roads as Aquiline Njoki will be the county executive in-charge of trade and legal affairs.

Opinion Polls.

A survey released on Tuesday by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) and conducted between August last year and February this year, indicated that Kabogo led other aspirants for the county top seat by 46% followed by Waititu with 33% of residents’ support. Dr. Nyoro and Eng. Gakuru Kanyanja got 8% and 1% respectively. The survey further indicated 16% of Kiambu residents are yet to decide who will lead them after the August 8 general election.

What does this imply?

These polls indicated that the race for the Kiambu governor is too tight and can sway any way. It is also good to note that the polls were held before the five candidates had united and at a time when Waititu was facing the wrath of President Uhuru Kenyatta during his visit to the county for some utterances he (Waititu) had made concerning the recently concluded mass voter registration exercise.  
First, the (almost) 20% undecided voters could turn tables either way. If the voted for Kabogo, this will mean that he would emerge victorious by over 60% of the votes. Furthermore, Kabogo only needs 5% of these voters to emerge the winner.

On the other hand, if the 20% voted for ‘Team Waititu’, this group would end up with about 60% of the votes. Further still, a joint campaign may convince more voters into voting for Waititu to surpass the 50% mark.

Kabogo’s Candidature.

In our daily interaction with Kiambu residents as we maneuver through the gauntlet of opinions, it is quite clear that the Kabogo candidature is not one to ignore or underrate. Quite a good number of Kiambu residents still remain in deep-rooted support for the governor.

His political acumen is proven. He is a great negotiator and not a political puppet. He is a dealmaker who thrives in the hot seat of a boardroom. Above all, he has traveled to all parts of the county, has definitely been everywhere and isn't stopping. The media follow his path as opponents emulate his narrative.

Kabogo, a man of means, has dug his roots deep by recruiting political lieutenants and getting into the county employment former political activists. These are mainly people whose only source of income has been the handouts they extort from parliamentary and other political aspirants in campaign years and thereafter remained virtual beggars until another election was announced. Kabogo has not only given them hope, but a future they could only dream of, the consequence of which is the creation of a sound and loyal support base in practically all wards of the county.

He has also initiated several projects initiated under his administration such a health care services enhancement in all the 60 wards, the use of technology borrowed from Egypt and Israel to refurbish some of the county roads that have been in pathetic state for a long time as well as endearing himself to a section of the youth, women and persons living with disability who have benefitted from the Biashara Funds that the county initiated in 2014.

Another group that is fiercely loyal to the governor and will intensely campaign and vote for Kabogo are those who have benefitted in form of contracts for the delivery of goods and services to the county.

Kabogo is also known to have such confidence that he is the kind of player who doesn't bluff in a poker game. He cannot be intimidated and doesn't blink. His candour builds respect. The strongest resonating dimensions to his grit and tenacity do not dissuade or cower him to a point where even his faults are steadily accepted and adopted.

Waititu’s Prospects.

Waititu’s campaign strategy so far seems to have undertaken an ambitious effort to find likely supporters, identifying and modeling the voting behaviour of every voter in the county and early indications are that his efforts are paying off.

Literally, in the midst of the highest peak in voter dissatisfaction of the incumbent’s performance in his first term in office as a governor, Waititu has somehow reaped the benefits. The first wave of data shows preliminary signs that Waititu may slowly build a slight edge over the incumbent though along a tenuous path.

According to an analysis to gauge the mood of voters in most of the populous parts of Kiambu County, namely Thika, Gatundu, Githurai, Kabete, Kikuyu, Kiambu, Githunguri, Kiambaa and Limuru sub-counties, all indicators suggests that Kabogo’s weakness in urban and sub-urban areas may be hurting him badly. Very many residents here take Waititu as the proverbial ‘Hercules’ and Kiambu's problems are the labours to pursue and slay. He is riding a wave of popularity so profound even the sharks are curbing their taste.

However, even though Kabogo’s side cannot claim to see any clear and heartening trends in their favour by virtue of incumbency, it will be naïve to underestimate Kabogo’s influence and network across the county.

While there is too little data to point to any conclusive voting trends, the Waititu candidacy seems to see some encouraging signs with the incumbent and he actually hopes for a surge of Kabogo’s loyal support base of Ruiru, some parts of Juja sub-counties as well as the entire staff of the county government.

That notwithstanding, Waititu’s past may have some negative bearing to his quest for governorship. There are those who view him as a hooligan, something that may work to his disadvantage especially with investors and the elite.

The Nyoro, Gakuyo factor in the race.

James Nyoro was the runner-up to Kabogo in the last gubernatorial race and mainly lost because he was not within Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee wave. Nyoro garnered (NARC) 241,658. 022 votes against TNA’s Kabogo 487,631 votes.

Many, especially those who appreciated that the governor’s position needed a person with sound managerial skills, wanted Nyoro to become the first supreme manager of Kiambu County. Nonetheless, the last minute plea by President Kenyatta that the region vote in people from his vehicle in order for him to have a say in parliament and in the counties, knocked him out.

Some Kiambu residents claim to have learnt their lesson for not voting him in though it will not be a walkover for this agricultural economist who will find himself answering unpleasant questions from people who accuse of keeping his distance from them since his defeat in 2013 to convince them to vote for Waititu and him as deputy governor.

In an event that Nyoro agrees to back Waititu for the governorship, with Nyoro coming in as the deputy governor, their support base will remain intact and may even attract lukewarm supporters of Kabogo and the undecided who would opt not to vote to a losing side.

It will be in the same vein that Rev. David Ngari (Gakuyo) might influence the outcome of the JP primaries in favour of Waititu. To many people, Gakuyo sets out himself as the alternative voice in the face of the deep-rooted political bickering and hooliganism within the county’s politics. His entry into politics from the pulpit might project him as the voice of reason and position himself as a safe pair of hands for the disgruntled Kiambu electorate, a sure way to sweep away the undecided voters and the not so ‘die-hard’ supporters of Kabogo towards the Waititu candidature.

Gakuyo is a respected personality in the clergy and business circles who does not need any introduction. He is a man known for his vigour and aggressiveness in selling his ideas to the people as evident in his marketing strategies for Gakuyo Real Estates and Ekeza Sacco. He knows how to take advantage of the media and other forms of advertising platforms which, if well utilised, this new team’s quest can go a long way in causing an upset.

Being a man of the cloth, many people perceive Gakuyo as the voice of reason, one who will right the wrongs that have been made by the incumbent and his rivals. If he can be able to gauge the anger swelling among sections of Kiambu residents, jump on it with aggression and manage to portray his team as the ‘better option’, Waititu is likely to cause an upset.

In his capacity as a church minister, Rev. Ngari interacts with the ‘low-class’ and the disillusioned who have no interest in the political leanings of some of the most wealthy people and politicians who live lives so far from their own. If he can successfully act to distance himself from the elite and portray himself as their ‘messiah’ so to say, the dispossessed will walk into the voting booth and vote for his man who will overturn the very system that has ruined their lives.

Otherwise, Gakuyo needs to put up with those who think that politics is not for the men of the cloth. 

The Waititu team too needs to devise their own counter-attack mechanisms to wade off the kind of dirty politics and mud smearing campaigns characterised with Kiambu politics without they themselves getting dirty. They need also to work out a formula to assure those who have invested in Ekeza Sacco and Gakuyo real estate that their investments are safe and have nothing to do with Gakuyo’s entry into politics.

That said, the Kiambu gubernatorial race still remains too close to call. 

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