September 2017

BIDCO Africa CEO Thiagarajan Ramamurthy (centre) takes visitors on study tour around their new Sh. 2 billion detergent plant in Thika on Friday.
BIDCO Africa Ltd. has commissioned a KES. 2 billion factory at their Thika Headquarters designed to meet the growing demand for detergent across the East & Central Africa region.

The new state-of-the-art facility, that will initially produce about 3,000 tonnes of washing powdered soap, is part of the company’s KES. 200 billion expansion plan that will see it venture into new product categories as it seeks to grow its revenue base to the billion dollar mark.

In the same forum, the company also launched a new brand of washing detergent, “Msafi Washing Powder”, to add on to their popular brands “Powerboy” and “Gental” detergent soaps.

“We are hitting the market in a big way as we continue introducing new products and ensuring we have strong distribution networks and fresh campaigns. Msafi washing powder is a quality and affordable that is available across the country,” said Bidco Africa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Thiagarajan Ramamurthy (TRM).

To take the advantage of the available market, TRM says Bidco Africa has been very specific on what their customers want in each particular region of their market base. He adds that the use of technology to be in touch with their customers in real time is key to their fast growth.

“We are very well connected and can communicate with our customers via instant messaging so that they don’t live in perceptions but in actual experiences. Our supply chain is broad, enabling us to reach all our customers across the country and within the region,” explained TRM.

He reckoned that in the next one year, the company’s revenue base will have doubled with the new plant alone expected to grow by about 50% and having a turnover of over $300 million.

The CEO pointed out that their company was unperturbed by the current political temperatures as their long-term growth strategy had put into consideration all aspects of market trends thus their confidence in the prevailing economic conditions.

“We have a lot of confidence in the economy. The political climate has not affected our business and we will continue expanding our investment and creating more jobs in this country,” said Ramamurthy.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu (left), KeNHA DG Peter Mundinia (centre) and Deputy Governor James Nyoro outside the county headquarters after the signing of a KES. 38 billion infrastructural development pact on Wednesday.
Kiambu County Government (KCG) has signed a mega infrastructure pact worth KES. 38 billion with the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA).

The agreement was signed on Wednesday following a meeting at the Kiambu headquarters in Kiambu town between Governor Ferdinand Waititu and KeNHA Director General Peter Mundinia, marking the first step in fulfilling the governor’s promise to build county highways and roads.

According to the governor, a total of 13 roads will be built by KeNHA which include James Gichuru-Rironi Road, which will cost Sh16 billion, the Western Bypass, which cuts through Wangige, Ndenderu and Ruaka (Sh17 billion) and Sh4 billion to be used for the construction of the Ruiru-Githunguri-Uplands Road.

He added that the contractors have already been identified and work is ongoing on some of these roads.

KeNHA DG Peter Mundinia acknowledge the importance of his authority partnering with county governments and local leadership.

“The support from local leadership has been good, even in other counties, and this has helped us evict all those who have encroached on road reserves and where land earmarked for infrastructural development has been grabbed,” he said.

Mundinia added that, in a bid to ease the menace of traffic jams in Thika Town, they were sourcing for funding to do some raft infrastructural development.

He said they were in the process of acquiring a piece of land to expand the road exit at the Thika superhighway junction near the Blue Post Thika as well as expanding the existing bridge.

KeNHA has also acquired some land near Njomoko on your way to Ngoingwa Estate that will be used to construct an interchange to ease congestion to and from the town. Another interchange will be built at the Gatitu junction that links Kenyatta Highway and the Thika-Garissa Road.

While addressing the house on September 19, 2017 during the ceremonial opening of the first session of the 2nd assembly, Gov. Waititu said that his government would support expanded investment into infrastructure development as the need for infrastructure projects was enormous.

He promised to buy one grader for each constituency to make sure that all impassible roads were upgraded besides tarmacking all access roads across the county. He also promised to tarmac all the major roads connecting economically potential areas within the first one year in office, notwithstanding embarking on a rigorous programme to ensure all the rural access roads are upgraded to murram level.

The expansion of the Chania Bridge and the consequent construction of the Haile Selassie Road exit to the Thika Superhighway is intended to ease traffic congestion that has been a thorn in the flesh for Thika residents for quite some time.

Before the temporary measures undertaken to open up the said exit, it was the norm for motorists to be stuck in traffic jams for hours especially during the rush hours. The most affected roads being Kenyatta Highway, near the Gatitu Junction and the Blue Post exit where the jam extends well into the town center and at times bringing activity to a halt.

Other roads earmarked for construction include Thika-Metro-fill, Karatina-Garissa Road and the 28km Thika By-pass being funded by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA).

According to the designs presented by KURA earlier this year, the bypass will exit the Nairobi-Murang’a Highway at the Del Monte shop near Thika Sports Club, run through the company’s farm, branch towards Makongeni Estate near its factory offices to join Garissa Road at the BAT junction.

KURA Ag. Director General Eng. S.M. Kinoti said that the construction works are scheduled to begin early 2018 and go on for the next two years. It was revealed that this road had earlier been planned to start co-currently with the one at Kivulini but its programme got delayed due to financial and logistical constraints.

The Kivulini-Kang'oki-Kiganjo By-Pass has already kicked off with tenders for the construction works for the Engen-Kiganjo, Metro-Kiandutu and Gatitu-Castle feeder roads have already been awarded to Chinese contractors. 

The By-Pass will divert all motorists from Garissa and Machakos Counties who didn't have any business to do in Thika, to branch from Kivulini in Kisii Estate into the Bypass to join Thika Road near the former Castle Breweries.

As a result, they would have avoided the current Garissa Road at Makongeni area, which has been a pain in the neck for these residents. The vehicles will also have evaded the notorious Garissa Road- Kenyatta Highway Junction near Gatitu, another traffic headache for Thika residents.


Mzee King’e Wa Njonge leads the Kikuyu elders in the traditional rituals to curse Embakasi East MP Babu Owino in Thika on Tuesday.
A section of the Agikuyu elders on Tuesday perform a traditional curse on Embakasi East MP Babu Owino for what they described as disrespect to his elderly and the women of this country.

The elders, drawn from across the Kiambu, converged at Mama Ngina Gardens in Thika Town carrying herbs and a traditional tool kit for performing the rituals. They spent the entire afternoon conducting the ceremony and praying for a change of heart in the young MP before slaughtering a one-coloured lamb and sacrificing it to the gods. 

While speaking to the press after the ritual, the elders said that, in the traditional African setup, it was a bad omen for a young man to abuse the elderly and especially an old woman who qualified to be his grandmother.

The elders prayed for a peaceful nation and warned leaders against plunging the country into chaos.

(Related story: The Die Is Cast For S.K. Macharia As Kikuyu Elders Perform Rituals To Curse Him.)

“We resolved to hold the prayers to secure the country from curse as a result of the young man’s disrespect to his elders and the head of state, who is also like his father. Judging from what we have witnessed here today, we have appeased the gods by slaughtering this goat and we hope our prayers will be answered,” said 91 year-old Mzee King’e Wa Njonge from Ndumberi Kiambu County and the man who led the rituals.

He explained that after the exercise, everything was now in the hands of the gods whom he said were at will to deal with Babu Owino in whatever manner they deemed fit.

Mzee Njonge advised the youth to learn to restrain themselves against acts that could invite curses upon themselves and their families.

He asked them to unite and work as one people regardless of their ethnic backgrounds as the future of this nation was in their hands.

The National Chairman of Kikuyu Elders Welfare Association (KEWA) Mzee Njoroge Karatu warned the youth to avoid any circumstances that would attract a mother’s curse as it was overwhelming, extremely humbling, uncomfortably humiliating and often shameful.

However, he said that a curse was not an end in itself but in a way, an affirmation of blessings, a pointer, inspiring someone to both the restoration and re-establishment of blessings. He therefore wished Babu Owino would reconsider his behaviour and apologised to the mother of the nation.

“The African traditional setup takes pride in values of respecting elders, whether at school or at home. Disrespecting elders only attracts the wrath of the gods. I appeal to our elderly brothers from the Luo Community to advise their son Babu Owino and guide him on respecting his seniors,” said Mzee Karatu.

Thika Business Community welcomed the move by the elders and appealed to leaders across the country to uphold dignity and the unity of the nation.

Speaking on behalf of the residents, their chairman Chege Wa Gathu criticised NASA leader Raila Odinga for his silence over the whole matter saying that, as a leader who aspired to assume the highest position in the land, Raila ought to have censured Babu Owino for his foul language.

“Raila Odinga doesn’t seem interested in mentoring the youth into leaders who the country will depend on in the future. He is rather preoccupied in sacrificing them on the altar of politics,” said Wa Gathu.

He described the NASA leader as an irresponsive leader whose only interest was to ascend to the country’s leadership by hooks and crooks, regardless of the consequences.

He warned him that as business community, they would not sit down and watch as he dragged the country’s economy to the brink.

“We will not accept to lose more business. Our economy cannot suffer because of only one man!” warned Wa Gathu.

In many African communities, the fear of curses and cursing is real. A curse is a disturbing anguish in life and living. Curses have been an occasional tool for Kenyan communities powerless to stop certain ills in the society. Anybody seen to be severing the above social organisation not only incurs a curse, but is taken to be a curse personified.

On the other hand, whoever or whatever positively enhances these bonds within this invaluable family solidarity acquires blessings. Such a person becomes a yearned for blessing.

Of immense importance is the mention of the very anatomy of the mothers which, among the Africans, is a serious taboo issue, ill-willed language of bad omen. The very mention of terms like mother’s private part, breasts, womb, pubic hairs, the very act of sexual intercourse... and by the mothers themselves is despicable among the Africans.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu addressing residents and traders of Madaraka Market Makongeni on Saturday where he promised to work out a programme for compensation for those who lost their property in the 2015 fire.
Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu alias Baba Yao has promised to ensure that Madaraka Market traders who lost their property in the November 2015 inferno will be compensated.

Speaking to the traders during a campaign tour for the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta over the weekend, Waititu said that his government will ensure that all those who were affected got back on their feet again within the shortest time possible.

He also set out plans to rebuild the market into modern standards to ensure that it accommodated every one of them.

“We are going to collect and keep record of all those trading in this market and give you ‘Soko IDs’ for easier identification so that none of you is left out during the allocation of spaces in the new market,” said the governor.

Waititu added that the market will be done in phases to minimise interruptions of the day-to-day running of the market.

Among other improvements, he promised to build enough toilets, work on refuse disposal and cleaning of the market as well as improving on security lighting.

Baba Yao reiterated his earlier promise that salons, kinyozis and mama mbogas will not be required to pay any business licences in order to operate.

While speaking near the Whiteline stage in Thika Town, Waititu promised hawkers that he would sit down with them and come up with a lasting solution to their problems. He also vowed to protect them from harassment by police and county askaris, saying that he should be handled with the respect they deserved.

“I will not allow anyone to harass you, whether they are policemen or county askaris. And if at all anyone has confiscated your wares, I order them to return them to you immediately or I will personally get them for you and force them to pay for the time you have lost without selling your goods,” warned Baba Yao.

He promised to revise downwards all county rates and charges so as to make Kiambu business and investment friendly.

“With your participation, we are going to reduce licences to make them affordable. We will also ask THIWASCO to consider reviewing its water rates as we provide water to all the homesteads in the county,” he said at Ngoliba.

He promised to improve on all the key road networks in the constituency, including working out a programme to tarmac the Kilimambogo- Ndunyu Sabuk Road and some other key roads in Kamenu and Ngoliba wards.

Rev. David Kariuki Ngari leads a battery of bishops and church leaders at Calvary Celebration Centre Thika on Monday where they called for peace and political tolerance as the country heads to the October 26 polls.
A section of Pentecostal clergy is calling on churches to preserve its place as sanctuary for healing and uniting Kenyans as the nation grapples with a very divisive election full of hate.

Led by Bishop Rev. David Kariuki Ngari alias Gakuyo of Calvary Celebration Centre Thika, the men of the cloth said that it was quite unfortunate that the church had been split between supporting either Jubilee or NASA. 

The religious leaders urged political leaders to desist from using threatening and abusive language, instead appealing for calm and dialogue among stakeholders in order to solve the current misunderstanding over the presidential rerun scheduled for October 26. 

“We are very concerned that our nation is so deeply divided due to the current rise in political temperatures and therefore would like to remind Kenyans that there is more that connects us than divides us. Sadly, some people want to create political unrest, an issue as the church, we will not accept,” said Rev. Gakuyo. 

He denounced today’s planned demonstrations by NASA leaders against the IEBC arguing that they will just aggravate the economic recession in the country.

“Let us pray for our political leaders so that they are not tempted to cause chaos. The language being used by politicians in the public gallery is unchristian and can burn this country. We want peace. We urge politicians to understand that this is our country and desist from spitting hate and disintegration,” said the bishop.

Rev. Gakuyo called on IEBC and other constitutional bodies to execute their mandate as prescribed in the constitution noting that the future of this country depended on them, especially now that there was great tension in the country.

Otherwise, he called on the security agencies to ensure there was peace and tranquility across the country and that no one should be allowed to breach peace.

A member of the Covenant of the Clergy Archbishop Joseph Ng’ang’a Ndua warned the church against taking sides in this political duel as this would disintegrate the country even further. He called on the clergy to instead take it upon themselves to reconcile the nation.

“I want to call on all church leaders to restrain from taking sides in this whole political debate. It is quite unfortunate that some of us are being induced into following certain political factions due to either financial gains or tribal affiliations,” said Archbishop Ndua.

He categorically stated that such misguidance by the men of God will not go unpunished. He further cursed anyone who might be using the ‘power of darkness’ to spill blood or sacrifice innocent people for political gains, warning them that the wrath of God awaits them.

He called for political tolerance and peaceful coexistence among all Kenyans during and after the October 26 election.

Peugeot 3008 that was named 2017 Car of the Year in Geneva Switzerland in March 2017.
French carmaker Peugeot SA has kicked off local assembly of its car brands in Thika, becoming the latest multinational to produce vehicles in Kenya.

This new development signals multinationals’ increased confidence in Kenya and the demand for its range of vehicles in both the local and regional market.

Thika-based Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers (KVM) started assembling Peugeot cars last week in a deal that has seen Peugeot partner with Urysia in the assembly of the 508 and the 3008 passenger car models.

The Peugeot 508 is a large family car launched in 2011 to replace the Peugeot 407 as well as the larger Peugeot 607 for which no more direct replacement is scheduled. 

The 3008 is a small SUV that was named 2017 Car of the Year in Geneva Switzerland in March.

Both models are expected to sell at a price above sh. 4million.

The history of Peugeot in Kenya goes very far back to its independence when every person who had a car aimed to get a Peugeot.
Peugeot 508 

Peugeot's re-entry comes barely a year after German carmaker Volkswagen opened a new assembly in Thika.

The company ceased its completely knocked down (CKD) assembly in 2004 and thereafter severed links with its franchise holder, Marshalls East Africa, three years later.

Mombasa-based Associated Vehicle Assemblers (AVA) and KVM are the only facilities in the country that offer contract production, with General Motors East Africa running a facility exclusively for its Isuzu brands.

KVM, in which DT Dobie holds a 32.5% stake, has been contracted to assemble the Polo Vivo vehicle. The car will be priced at below Sh2 million.

The resumption of vehicle assembling in the country by Peugeot would create jobs for young people, teach them new skills and hasten the growth of associated industries which will encourage even more investment in other sectors. Sources say that the PSA Peugeot Group has pumped in Sh1.2 billion and are looking to employ 200 people and want to start with at least 1,000 units at a go.

Urysia recently won significant government leasing contracts, delivering 300 station wagons, ambulances and other vehicle classes to the government this year alone. The dealer, which started operations in 2012, became Peugeot’s local franchise holder replacing Marshalls East Africa which lost the contract in 2007. 

Judy Wamaitha Thuo, widow of the late Juja MP George Thuo, in the dock on September 23, 2014.
The widow to former Juja MP George Thuo yesterday filed yet another application in court seeking to stop a case in which she is accused of irregularly receiving Sh28.5 million from the Kenya Pipeline Company.

Judy Wamaitha Thuo and her co-director at Redline Company Limited Ngatia Ndung’u have filed the petition claiming that the charges against her and the others are fatally defective and unsustainable.

The duo were on November 30, 2015 charged with accepting payment for work not done and were supposed to have installed transformers. They are charged alongside four former KPC managers who denied counts of abuse of office, false documentation and irregular payments contravening procurement laws.

They argued that at the time they were under investigation, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) did not have commissioners and the Court of Appeal in the case of former Transport Cabinet secretary Michael Kamau ruled that the EACC lacked the capacity to perform the core function of investigations.

They want the court to issue an order discontinuing their prosecution.

 Broad Borders Chairman Jeremy Karemeri Mwangi pose for a group photograph with a section of the 1,000 members who received their title deeds at the cooperative's 41st project in Sagana.

Broad Borders Housing Cooperative Society has reviewed downwards its terms of credit to cater for members who have been negatively affected by the current economic recession due the political temperatures in the country.
While issuing about 1, 000 title deeds to members, Chairman Jeremy Karemeri Mwangi reckoned that a substantial number of its members had accrued some debt backlogs and it was only prudent they were assisted in payment.

Karemeri said that, as a society, they had been forced go back to the drawing board to avoid running into massive losses resulting to debt defaults.

“We have opted to extend the mandatory loan repayment period. Our members can now enjoy a grace period of two more months before completing to paying instalments for the purchase of land from the normal three months to five months,” explained Karemeri.

The company will next month break ground for the construction of hostels at a 2 acres’ piece of land that is purchased near Murang’a University. This project is geared towards addressing the housing problem within Murang’a Town.

Karemeri said that the cooperative was taking advantage of the increase in student population especially after Murang’a University’s recent admissions of over 1, 000 students.

Students have been having a hard time accessing quality and affordable accommodation forcing them to live in less habitable and risky conditions.

The firm, he added, will start with 107 units of Sh.650, 000 each that can accommodate six students.
Members expect to earn Sh.20 000 per month after the project is complete.

Karemeri pointed out that Broad Borders are also pursuing other frontiers and will soon invest in other counties and put up similar projects. They also plan to diversify their investment programmes by including both commercial and agribusiness in their menu.

Jubilee leaders under the umbrella of “Mbele Iko Sawa” UhuRuto campaign team have vowed to amend the electoral laws to raise the bar of invalidating an election and introduce a “complementary mechanism” to electronic transmission of results.

Led by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria and former Bundalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, the leaders said that there was need to clip the powers of the Judiciary and also make it almost impossible to overturn a disputed presidential election.

They said that they would this week propose amendments in the electoral laws to ensure a petitioner was made to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that violations of the Constitution or any electoral law significantly alter the presidential outcome.

“We are telling Raila Odinga that we will go to Parliament next (this) week and make amendments to whichever law that needs to be changed. We will amend the law to adopt the manual voting system which is simple as votes will be counted easily,” said Kuria while addressing a mammoth crowd at the Starehe Grounds (Butuu) in Thika Town.

Kuria said that they would request for a recount of the presidential votes cast on the 8th of August to expose the deceit in the opposition as well as the insincerity of the Supreme Court September 1 judgement.

The leaders accused Raila of trying to force a coalition government through planned confusion and violence which they vowed never to allow. They intimated that the opposition was not interested in an election because they knew that they lacked the numbers.

“When Odinga says that there will be no election, how will he stop people from voting if not through violent means? I want to remind him that he has no capacity to stop Kenyans from participating in their democratic right of electing leaders of their choice. We will not allow them to mar the election,” said Ababu.

The former legislator warned Raila against inciting a section of Kenyans into violence to stop the elections adding that the government had already invited ICC investigators to look into possible plans by NASA to cause chaos in the county.

“This man knows that he has been deserted by all his trusted lieutenants and should know that Kenya will move on without his political participation,” said Ababu.

The leaders urged voters to turn out in large numbers on the 26th of October and vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

They reminded their counterparts in the opposition that the president was in control of the country and at no time will there be a vacuum in leadership.

“What crisis are they talking about? The constitution says that the president will remain the head of state until another one is sworn in to take his place. With or without an election, Uhuru Kenyatta remains the president of Kenya,” said Thika MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle).

Among those in the convoy included Kiambu and Nairobi County Assembly speakers Stephen Ndichu and Beatrice Elachi, MPs Mwangi Gichuhi (Tetu), Njogu Barua (Gichugu)Gladys Shollei (Uasin Gishu), Rachael Nyamai (Kitui South), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Koech Sonko (Belgut) Anthony Kibagendi (Kitutu Chache South), Zainab Chidzuga (Kwale), and former Kajiado West MP Moses ole Sakuda among others. 

George Maina, a victim of the robbery nursing an injured leg after the robbery in Witeithie Estate on Saturday night.. 
Armed robbers yesterday evening shot and critically injured two people in a robbery at Witeithie Estate of Juja Sub-County.

The thugs were forced to open fire after they were accosted by irate members of public who were responding to distress calls from the victims.

It is alleged that the robbers, who were armed with an AK 47 rifle assault rifle and two pistols raided two M-PESA shops at around 8pm on Saturday, making way with unspecified amount of money. 

When the victims raised alarm, members of the public confronted the criminals and started throwing stones at them, prompting them to open fire. The deafening and thunderous sounds of gunshots led to the mob run helter-skelter scampering for dear life upon, giving room to the gang to majestically leave the scene. 

In the ensuing confrontation, two people were shot and injured, one getting injured on the shoulder while the other was shot on the leg.

George Maina, 23 was caught by the bullet as he was heading home, unawares of what was happening. He was rushed to Thika Level 5 Hospital by a Good Samaritan. The bullet penetrated from one side of his leg and exited from the other, missing his bone by a whisker.

Officers from Witeithie AP Camp led by Sgt. Tirus Murimi arrived after some time but their attempts to pursue the criminals were fruitless.

Concerned residents have decried the sorry state of insecurity in the area, calling for a major crackdown by security agencies to flush out criminals in their midst.

Cases of armed robberies, especially those targeting M-PESA operators, have been the norm in Witeithie Estate in the recent past. The area has turned out to be a safe haven for both hardened criminals and petty thieves.

Area MP Francis Waititu Munyua alias Wakapee expressed concern over the skyrocketing insecurity in Juja Sub-County and especially Witeithie, Theta, Juja and Murera areas. 

He urged members of the public to report suspicious criminals in their midst.

Area Chief Mucui Muiruri appealed to residents to promote community policing. He said tenants should know the people they were living with. 

Host Thika MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina, franked by Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, MPs Francis Waititu (Juja) and Simon King'ara (Ruiru), addressing the residents of Kamenu Ward at Kiganjo Estate during the launch of UhuRuto 'Birthday Edition' Campaigns in Thika on Saturday.
Several leaders from Kiambu County hit the campaign trail in Thika for the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta in the October 26 presidential rerun on Saturday.

The leaders who included Governor Ferdinand Waititu (Baba Yao), MPs Eng. Patrick Wainaina Wa Jungle (Thika Town), Francis Munyua Waititu Wakapee (Juja) and Simon Ng’ang’a King'ara (Ruiru), traversed all the constituency’s administrative units drumming up support for the president and urging the people to get out in very large numbers to vote for President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The leaders recited the need for 100% voter turn-out, saying that a resounding defeat for the Opposition brigade would put to rest the tension and uncertainty in the country over the presidential rerun that was ordered by the Supreme Court which ‘robbed’ Uhuru Kenyatta of his deserved victory.

While underscoring the fact that quite a good number of people in the constituency did not cast their vote in August, the leaders urged voters to turn up in large numbers, saying if all the votes in the region are harvested, the president’s  was assured of an overwhelming victory.

“This is our last chance to silence this man (Raila Odinga) for good. This guy has some dirty cards hidden within his sleeves that he intends to unleash and get us of guard if we aint very careful. We need to go out and mobilise all the potential voters to get out and cast their votes for President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Gov. Waititu.

He warned the opposition that the Jubilee Party will not allow the NASA brigade to force any form of transitional government that forced a NUSU MKATE government, arguing that this kind of arrangement was unconstitutional.

Eng. Wainaina warned NASA that, as leaders who supported President Uhuru, they will not accept any further monkey business from them or any other institution that was being used to play dirty political games that were geared towards any form of shared government through the back door.

He promised to work with other likeminded MPs to institute a bill in the National Assembly that would review sections of the constitution that were currently being abused by the opposition and some arms to government to subvert the will of the people of Kenya.

“We must relook at some of these sections of our constitution so that we protect the sovereign rights of mwananchi from being abused by those in positions of power. Even though we accepted the Supreme Court ruling, I can categorically say here that the decision of the majority was skewed to favour the opposition. We cannot allow such forms of abuse of office to prevail unquestioned. It is against any form of democracy,” he said.

He pleaded to the people of Thika to give President Uhuru Kenyatta a perfect ‘Birthday gift’ by voting in him in on the 26th of October with over 10 million votes.

“God works in very mysterious ways. It is by design that the repeat election will be held on the president’s birthday. Let’s join the party by handing Raila Odinga a resounding defeat this time round,” said Wainaina.

Juja MP Francis Wakapee acknowledged the fact that Thika Town, Juja and Ruiru Town were generally cosmopolitan constituencies with almost all the 45 Kenyan tribes harmoniously living there. He persuaded the ‘diaspora’ voters to t vote for Uhuru Kenyatta so as to empower them (the three MPs) to be able to serve them better.

“We as your MPs never turn you away when you (diaspora voters) come to our offices for bursaries or any other assistance. We serve you just as we do to the rest of your neighbours who hail from this region. Why then do you have to vote elsewhere considering that a vote for Uhuru Kenyatta will help us serve you better? Let’s put our votes in one basket and forge ahead as brothers and sisters,” said Wakapee. 

He lamented that the current stalemate in the country had stalled some essential services and called for an end to all this on the 26th (of October) by voting in for the Jubilee candidate.

“At a time like this, we would have done away with bursaries for needy students but now, as parliamentarians we cannot access these funds due to the current stalemate,” he said.
Wakapee was alarmed by the high number of ‘spoilt votes’ in the August elections thus warned the electorate to be extra careful in the October polls.

The Ruiru MP thanked all those who voted in Jubilee Party leaders but reminded them that they still had one duty left to complete their mission.

“Our mission is not yet complete until we installed our captain into deck. We need those over 40,000 votes that never cast their votes for Uhuru Kenyatta last time to do so this time round and end this once and for all,” said King’ara.

He asked everyone to play a role in ensuring all those with challenges we helped to reach the polling stations and exercise their right to choose the leaders of their choice.

Others in Saturday’s UhuRuto campaign caravan included Kamenu ward MCA Raphael Chege Waithumbi, his counterparts Joseph Kahira Wambui (Gatuanyaga) and Joachim Mwangi Njama (Ngoliba) among other party leaders.

On 1st of this month, the Supreme Court declared Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the presidential election invalid and ordered a new vote to be held within 60 days.

Scenes of the very unfortunate fire incident outside the Kiambu Huduma Centre in Thika where Kiambu County Government's disaster management preparedness were put into question.
Friday, September 22, 2017, will forever be etched in the memories of Michael Karanja, an employee of Mt. Kenya University as hi Toyota 96 station wagon was reduced to a shell as he watched.

A section of Thika residents blamed the Thika Sub-County fire brigade for their inactivity as the car burst into flames as they helplessly watched.

While speaking to the press, Charles Musila acknowledged that even though the firemen responded to the incident in good time, but it was very unfortunate that the fire engine failed to launch water to put off the fire, forcing them to use buckets and other containers gotten from the neighbourhood.

“What was the use of them coming here if they knew that their engine could not launch water? In fact, were it not for them restraining us from putting off the fire with soil, we would at least have saved part of this car,” said Musila.

He added that it was very sad and unimaginable to see fire fighters resulting to buckets to put off a fire of that magnitude whereas Thika was in record having four fire engines from the county government.

Otherwise, a source close to the department of fire notified us that two of the fire engines had been grounded while the remaining two were malfunctioned and could stall too anytime.

“There is either negligence or some kind of sabotage by someone or some people in the county government because other than the fire engines, most of the county government vehicles are lying idle in the yard for various mechanical problems. Some of the other worst hit departments are in the garbage collection where so many of their tracks are grounded,” explained our source.

A speechless Karanja could not hide his shock and disbelieve over the sad turn of events.
He said that, prior to the incident, his car had no history of malfunction and it took him by surprise when he noticed some funny smell as he approached the Thika Sub-County Stadium roundabout.

“I have just arrived from Engineer (Nakuru County) to attend a burial and I was about to drop my friend just a few metres from here. It is then we noticed some funny smell from the bonnet and decided to pull over to check,” said Karanja.

No sooner had they pulled over had the engine burst into flames.

With the help of some members of public, he pushed the vehicle away from the stadium stalls to the parking yard of the Kiambu Huduma Centre. Some members of public helped him to put off the fire using soil as they awaited for the fire brigade to arrive.

On arrival, the fire fighters are alleged to have ordered the people to get aside to give them room to put off the fire but their engine failed, forcing them to use buckets to put of the fire.

By the time the second engine arrived, the vehicle had already been reduced to a shell by the fire.

A middle-aged woman has been arrested police in Thika for selling her one-day old baby boy for KES. 50,000.

Marceline Olwade Mulate, who is a mother of five (including the sold baby), was arrested by Makongeni police in Thika West Sub-County after reports of the mysterious loss of her new-born baby sometime in July this year.

Two other suspects, her 33 year-old husband Wycliffe Achudwa and the alleged ‘buyer’ Loise Wamaitha Muya are also in custody for attempted illegal sale of the toddler pending being arraigned in court.

It is alleged that Marceline traded her new-born child on release from a private hospital in the area, just a day after delivery.

“Marceline successfully delivered a healthy Babyboy on the 26th of July (2017) at a private hospital in Thika. The following morning her ‘friend’ (Loise) made arrangements to have both the mother and the newborn baby discharged from hospital after clearing her bills,” explained Mrs. Lina Mwangi the Thika West Children Officer. 

Sources close to the family say that Marceline was seen handing over the infant to Loise on that material day in exchange for some money before leaving for their Makongeni Estate home without a baby.

It is claimed that she broke the ‘sad news of the death of their 5th born child to his husband who got disturbed about the strange developments, considering the fact that his wife had no known history of birth complication.

It is after some time that he decided to probe further to unearth the truth and decided to investigate further.

His fears were compounded after rumours milled around that the loss of his last-born child was choreographed by his wife.

A fortnight later, Wycliffe visited the hospital and demanded for a comprehensive report that yielded to the ‘death’ of his son but to his surprise, he was notified that the child left the hospital alive.

Upon returning home, his wife missing. It later endowed to him that she had taken off to her rural home in Western Kenya.

He is said to have reported the matter to Makongeni Police Station who managed to trace the suspected child trafficker in Ruaraka where they rescued the two months old baby boy who had already had his name changed.

The suspects will be arraigned in court once investigations are complete.

Some of the popular car models in Kenya.
Every day, Kenyans wake up to the news of a stolen car, either from a parking bay, a hotel or the driver being physically robbed by carjackers.

If we can base our analysis of these reports, we can authoritatively say that these car thieves do not just steal any car but there is a trend that shows that certain brands of vehicles are a target due to their high demand in the Kenyan market.

For instance, your vehicle is most likely to be stolen if it is white, a Toyota or a station wagon. Vehicles whose value is below Sh. 1 million are also likely to fall prey to theft more frequently than those priced above Sh. 1 million.

A survey by the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) revealed that out of the 406 cars reported stolen to the insurers, 71% were a make of the Toyota brand, while 51% were white in colour. Silver, black, blue and grey vehicles, in that order, also made it to the list of cars frequently stolen. 
Green, red, gold, pearl, purple, orange and maroon vehicles are the least targeted.

White cars fall an easy prey since they make the majority in Kenya, making them hard to trace in case of reported loss. White cars are preferred by many due to their relatively lower prices, ease of repainting and their slow interior heating under hot weather conditions.

The Toyota model is also exposed due to the easy sale of its spare parts and given that many models share the parts.

Car hire.

Most of the vehicles targeted are ‘self-drive’ car hire vehicles which are reported missing only three or four days after they have been taken. By then, the vehicle may either have been smuggled into a neighbouring country or cannibalised.

Car thieves are now using fake national identification cards to hire the vehicles. As a precaution, most car hire firms install GPS tracking devices to monitor the movement of their vehicles wherever they are. Some are now asking their clients to leave their fingerprints when they want to hire a self-driven vehicle.

Taxi drivers are another soft targets for these car thieves. They pose as clients and later hold drivers of hired vehicles hostage, drug them or tie them up before driving off with the vehicles.

Early this month, a taxi driver in Ruiru town was hired by two middle-aged women to ferry them to Gatong’ora area to ‘inspect the progress of their house that was still under construction’.

Upon reaching the site, the four other men emerged from the incomplete building and carjacked the victim. As they were driving him away in his Toyota Fielder registration KCA….., the women attempted to strangle him from behind but after a while he was able to free himself and jump out of the speeding car.

Fortunately for him, two of the car tires burst due to the rough road and attempts for the thieves to escape with the car were thwarted.

However, the men managed to escape and the women accosted by the members of public. They were arrested and taken to court and are currently out on a sh. 2million bond awaiting hearing on 30th October 2017.

There was this other vehicle, a Toyota Corolla AE110 taxi that was hired by two men who wanted to be driven to Nairobi’s posh Runda estate at about 9pm. The two men turned out to be carjackers and injected the driver with a knock-out drug before driving to Limuru forest, where he was tied to a tree and abandoned.

When he regained consciousness at about 3am, he informed Track It, who traced the vehicle to the Cheptiret area in Eldoret, where the vehicle was found parked.

Another taxi driver was also tied up in Runda by two car thieves who hired him the same night from the National Social Security Fund offices in Upper Hill area. The vehicle was recovered on Nairobi’s Juja Road.

Other than taxis, car thieves are targeting personal car owners at popular car parks, malls and hotels. They will track their victim, understand their schedule then they will wait for a day when the victim parks the car for a long time, steal it and drive as fast as possible to the neighbouring counties.

Sophisticated thieves.

Most victims of stolen motor vehicles will spend two hours running around looking for who can help them. By the time they inform the police, record the statement and other bureaucracies to send a general request to intercept the stolen car, the criminals have already driven away to their hideouts.

Car thieves have become technically sophisticated and usually work as a team to pull off the heist. It is also believed that some members of this car syndicate are based in Mombasa from where they trail the cars as they are being driven to upcountry then communicate its details to their accomplishes based elsewhere across the country.

Armed with the registration number and number of passengers on board, the thieves then wait for the car and may cause an ‘accident’ just to make the driver stop and come out of the vehicle to assess the damage. And with that, you are trapped.

Others will pretend to be potential buyers or brokers, ask you to keep the car for them and promising to come and collect it, say after one or two days. Having gotten all the details of the vehicle and probably about you, they strike when you least expect it and POOF! Your car is gone.

Re-branding and formalising.

When a car is stolen, it is taken to the garage, repainted with a different colour and the engine and chassis number altered before giving it a different number plate. It is usually very difficult to detect a stolen car because by the time they put it on the road, they have formalised everything. The car will appear to be in the rightful names of the owner

Given the fact that car thieves study their victims for a very long time, when the thieves get to know that their victims have put in all their efforts and resources to recover their vehicles, they will never put the car back on the road. 

Some of these car thieves genuinely buy wreckages of vehicles that that have been involved in accidents and acquired number plates and documentation of the wreckage. They then change ownership of the car officially and even pay taxes. 

After that, they will track a vehicle of the same make with that of the wreckage and steal it. The stolen car is taken to the garage where they erase the original chassis and engine numbers, which they then replace with those of the wreckage they bought. They also spray it with a new colour and give it a number plate of the wreckage. It will look so different from the one the owner knows. 

After officialising the documents, they sell it to another person who will never know that it was stolen. The owner will also never identify it on the road. Police will also fail to detect it unless a major check is done

Biggest market.

Otherwise, the biggest market for stolen cars is in the spare parts shops in local garages and in neighbouring countries. Once stolen, the vehicle will be dismantled and parts sold to spare parts shops. 

Most of these parts will be sent to places where it is unlikely that the owner of the vehicle will never travel or operate. For instance, if the vehicle is stolen in Thika, the spare parts will be sold in Kakamega or in remote garages in Nairobi. Some of the dismantled vehicles are taken to neighbouring countries in form of spare parts.

Most vehicles that targeted for spare parts are old models because their spare parts on the market are rare which makes them high on demand and expensive thus profitable for the thieves.

Once a stolen vehicle cross the border, there is little chance for recovery unless it is intercepted within 24 hours. This is because the vehicles are stripped and checked for any tracking device before they are sold to prospective buyers

The car thieves hire trained ‘experts’ who, according to research, are paid one-third of the value of the vehicle to find and disable the tracking device before it is disposed of. If the ‘experts’ find a tracking device on a vehicle, the dismantling charges are passed on to the buyer.

So, it’s good you are alert if you have that kind of vehicle that is a hot commodity for thieves out there. As much as possible, make sure that your car is less enticing to steal, install an alarm, use a lock device on the steering wheel, park in well-lit or busy areas and always lock your car.

Supreme Court judges Njoki Ndung’u and Jackton Ojwang on Wednesday faulted the nullification of the presidential election before all ballots were scrutinised to verify claims of rigging.

In their submission, the duo dissented with the majority decision to invalidate President Uhuru Kenyatta’s election, arguing that the will of the voter was supreme and that in the absence of evidence, a court must not overturn the people’s choice. They found that the majority decision was based more on conjecture rather than incontrovertible proof of – as Odinga alleged – a deliberate manipulation of systems to see President Uhuru Kenyatta emerge winner.

Both Ndung’u and Ojwang found that the President of the Court David Maraga, his deputy Philomena Mwilu and Justices Smokin Wanjala and Isaac Lenaola were misguided in their application of the law as concerns elections.

Justice Ndung’u argued that the Supreme Court, as the final verifying agent, had the authority to order a scrutiny of ballot papers, recount, re-tallying, and inspection of ballots.

She expressed her satisfaction that the August 8 poll was conducted in accordance with the Constitution and election laws, discounting key parts of the evidence that informed the decision of the majority opinion.

The judge, who said she analysed the entire evidence adduced by Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) against the NASA petition, stated that the disputed Form 34As used to declare the election were proper in form and content. She stressed that the court should have first made sure that the evidence presented was real and not imaginary grounds for concluding that the presidential results were not fair.

“The court must be satisfied that the violations claimed are solid, not imagined. There was a verifiable paper trail which the court could use to verify the various allegations and which was not used. The effect of the judgement was to deny Kenyans their right to franchise,” Ndung’u said.

Justice Ndung’u said that she conducted a comprehensive analysis of all the 291 Forms 34B (290 constituencies and Diaspora) and the disputed Forms 34A and noted they were proper. She argued that her analysis of 291 forms 34B (constituency tally) and the disputed forms 34A (polling stations results) did not establish widespread discrepancies, and that even where there were omissions, these could not affect the results of the election.

She faulted her colleagues for not using the certified Forms filed in court by the IEBC to verify the allegations made by the petitioner, NASA flag-bearer Raila Odinga.

“The role of the Judiciary is to give a comprehensible interpretation of the law rather than determine a dispute mechanically and dispose it off without proper evidence,” Ndung’u said. 

In her decision, the judge mostly focused on the rights of voters, arguing that elections are “rights- centric” and not “form-centric” and further emphasised that where the court is in doubt, inspection of the ballot materials was essential. According to her, there was no basis to reverse the will of voters and in the absence of evidence, adding that a court must not interfere with the people’s choice.

She also argued that the majority’s heavy reliance on anomalies in the electronic transmission of results in their justification of the annulment was misguided as the Kenya’s election system is primarily manual with complementary electronic aspects.

“Based on the disputed outcome of the 2007 elections, IEBC adopted technology in 2013. It introduced the biometric voter register (BVR) and electronic voter identification device. This year, Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) was deployed. This is what the law says. Raila should not complain about technology,” she said.

“KIEMS is only a complementary mechanism as envisaged in section 44 A of the electoral Act. Technology is not a mandatory component of elections in Kenya. It can only be used to add or improve electronic mechanism in Section 44 of the Act,” she added.

She said in annulling Uhuru’s election, the judges did not look at section 44 A in its entirety.

“Honourable justices in their majority ruling only partially looked at Section 44 A. They neglected the entire provision,” Njoki said.

On his part, Justice Ojwang dismissed the ruling by his four colleagues, saying it failed to consider the Bill of Rights terming their analysis as political and not based on law.

“This was a political decision. It is not a product of any juristic process. It was devoid of any legal analysis. In my considered opinion, judges should focus their attention on the intellectual and jurisprudence rather than emotions by the citizens and political agencies,” said Justice Ojwang.

Among other reasons that led to his dissenting verdict, Judge Ojwang said that the petitioner failed to provide evidential proof that the results announced at the constituencies had irregularities. He added that the first respondent (IEBC) had declared all transmission systems functional at all points and the petitioner was unable to prove the electoral body violated the law.

He further faulted the majority for rushing to make conclusion before thoroughly assessing the numerical basis of the entire voting, casting and counting of the results.

The judge said the petition focused on a limited number of contentions which included the argument that the said presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and that it was also compromised by certain illegalities and irregularities. The judges said they also overturned Uhuru’s victory because the election lacked integrity, therefore it ought to be invalidated.

“Such claims invoke the question; how is the court to be guided?” Justice Ojwang said.

Justice Ojwang said Raila failed to prove his case. He said the petitioner made ‘wide claims’ hinged only on one pillar of the electoral process — transmission of results. The judge noted that while the weight of the petitioner’s case lay on credibility, transparency and credibility of the results relaying process, NASA largely made broad claims on alleged wrongdoing on the part of the electoral commission.

“Even though there were procedural challenges resulting from human errors, it was not enough to warrant nullification of the elections. I am of the opinion the majority decision failed to resonate with the Constitution. The case was not valid and was based on weak grounds,” Ojwang said.

“The Constitution safeguards certain rights and values. It safeguards the rule of law, democracy and participation of the people. The law provides the court shall adopt the interpretation that most favours the fundamental rights,” argued Ojwang.

He noted that however profound a legal argument might be before the court, it must be anchored on the facts of the case. The evidence need to be credible, not objective unless it is from an expert witness, he added.

On whether the election was compromised by intimidation and the compromise of voters as argued by NASA, Justice Ojwang’ opined that the petitioner failed to accompany satisfying evidence, and in essence, undermined the discharge of burden of proof. 

The respondent, the judge said, did not contravene any provision of the Constitution or any other statutes of law. He said the IEBC conducted the elections in a free, fair and transparent manner, including consultation of parties, secret voting, as well as the counting of results in the presence of all agents as required by law.

The judge noted that it was, therefore, prudent for the majority judges who ruled against the respondents to have asked for a recount of the votes before annulment.

The voter, he argued, had no problem marking the ballot, which was secure, transparent and accountable.             

“The majority judges appear to have taken leave from their juristic obligation to interpret the constitutional provisions cited by the petitioner,” said Justice Ojwang’.

“The Supreme Court, which is taking such an interpretation just like any other court, is under obligation to promote values that underline an open democratic society based on human dignity, quality, equity and freedom. The court, in its decisions, should always promote constitutional values, rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms as spelt out in the Bill of Rights and good governance, he added.

Thika United forward Shami Kibwana (left) battles for the ball with AFC Leopards midfielder Duncan Otieno during their SportPesa Premier League match at Thika Sub-County Stadium yesterday.
Thika United lost 2-0 to AFC Leopards on Wednesday at the Thika Sub-County Stadium in a thrilling midweek SportPesa Premier League match.

Alexis Kitenge’s first half goal and a Christopher Oruchum second half own goal eased Ingwe’s relegation fears but on the other hand compounding those of the milkmen  who were also in need of three points to get off similar situation.

It was a pedestrian start to the match, none of the two sides injecting much of pace, evidently their energies sapped from playing their fourth match in a week.

On either side, Said Tsuma for Thika and AFC’s Kitenge tried their luck with shots from distance but both were handled well by the keepers.

In the seventh minute, youngster Vincent Oburu showed some sublime skill to skip away from two of his markers, but his eventual shot was deflected for a corner. In the 18th minute, AFC had another effort on target, this time from a Duncan Otieno free-kick which however, deflected off the wall taking much sting off it.

However, it was the Robert Matano coached side, who started well and after missing several chances, they took a deserved lead in the 37th minute courtesy of Alexis Kitenge.

Duncan Otieno had played in a good corner which fell to defender Robinson Kamura, and the latter floated in the ball which was well received by Kitenge, who did well to put the ball into the net.
Ian Otieno made a couple of saves to ensure his team kept the lead, with Vincent Oburu and Whyvonne Isuza also missing great opportunities to double the advantage. 

Thika’s tact for response was to use their strength on the flanks with Eugene Mukangula the most sought after. However, the forward had little support whenever he had the ball on the left and the danger was quickly neutralized whenever help arrived.

AFC should have ended the half 2-0 up but Whyvonne Isuza’s connecting side foot shot from a well weighted Sammy Ndung’u cut back from the left went inches wide with Allan Owiny, the Thika United keeper caught flat footed.

In the second half, Muyoti started off by making midfield changes, bringing in Saad Musa for Michael Mwanje.

But it was AFC who began better with Oburu forcing Owiny to a good save with a shot from the edge of the box. But, Musa’s introduction for Mathare proved the masterstroke as they won more possession, spread the ball better and created more danger.

However, they couldn’t do much with the increased possession as once again, they lacked the numbers upfront as AFC stuck to a flat four. Fullbacks Dennis Sikhayi and Mike Kibwage never made many forays upfront, Matano looking to keep the slim advantage.

The visitors had their fair share of chances, but Shami Mwinyi, Eugine Mukangula and Said Tsuma failed to capitalize on them. After sustained pressure, AFC gave themselves the comfort of a two goal buffer when Oruchum unfortunately blasted the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear away an effort from Otieno with 15 minutes to go. 

Thika United XI: Allan Owiny, Anekeya Wilson, Zak Matasi, Ngotho Suleiman (C), Oruchum Christopher, Mwanje Samuel, Tsuma Said, Mutinda Michael, Shami Kibwana, Eugene Mukangula and Iregi Benson.

Subs: Eliud Emase, Stephen Odhiambo, Denis Lewa, Francis Muturi, Peter Okoth, James Kinyanjui and Asaad Musa.

AFC Leopards XI: Ian Otieno, Michael Kibwage, Dennis Shikhayi, Abdallah Salim, Robinson Kamura, Duncan Otieno, Musa Mudde, Marsellus Ingotsi, Alexis Kitenge, Vincent Oburu and Whyvonne Isuza.

Subs: Edwin Mukolwe, Yakubu Ramadhan, Keziron Kizito, Lewis Wanami, Harun Nyakha,Victor Majid and Samwel Ndungu.

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