November 2017

Kiambu Director of Public Participation and Communication Ken Mwangi addressing participants during a Public Participation forum to discuss the Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2017 at the Community Grounds Thika.
Kiambu County Government has tabled a new Alcoholic Drinks Control Bill that if it is passed into law, will see a great shift from the way consumption of alcoholic drinks has been in the previous regime.

During the Thika sub-county public participation forum at the Community Grounds led by the Director of Liquor Micheal Kang'ethe and Director of Public Participation and Communication Ken Mwangi, the residents heard that the new law proposes very strict guidelines in relation to manufacture, sale, distributions and disposal of alcoholic drinks and products.

It was also revealed that no person under the age of twenty one (21) years shall be allowed to enter or gain access to the area in which the alcoholic drink is manufactured, stored, sold or consumed and anyone who contravened this committed an offence liable upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding two hundred and fifty thousand shillings or an imprisonment term not exceeding one year or to both

Likewise, no one shall be allowed to sell, supply or provide an alcoholic drink to a person under the age of twenty one years.

According to the Kiambu County Alcoholic Drinks Control Act, 2017, people found guilty of contravenes the provisions of act commit an offence and are liable to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.

“This Bill also proposes that no license shall be granted to premises, other than hotel premises, if it is located at least three hundred metres (300m) from any learning institution for persons under the age of twenty one years. In the case of hotels, the facility is restricted not bear any outdoor promotion or advertisement related to alcoholic drinks,” explained Kang’ethe.

Kang’ethe added that the county government shall not also grant a new license for the sale of alcoholic drinks to be consumed in any particular locality if the application is made in a locality that had exceeded the number of such premises in respect of which such licenses have already been granted.

On his part, Mwangi pointed out that supermarkets and retail chain stores that sold alcohol will only be allowed to do so on any day of the week during the hours of 5.00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Mwangi added that the bill gave the Executive Member (CEC) responsible the powers to classify and zone specific areas or streets within the County to be alcohol sale free zones subject to the approval of the County Assembly.

This bill seeks to guarantee that our nation's youth would carry out their responsibility in building our nation; proscribe minors from drinking alcohol, penalize those who abet them to gain access to alcohol and punish establishments that sell alcohol to minors.

During his swearing in ceremony as the new Governor of Kiambu and on the official opening of the County Assembly, Governor Ferdinand Waititu vowed to crash all illegal liquor dens within the county with a view to protect the physical, moral, spiritual, intellectual, and social well-being of the youth.

“We recognise the vital role of the youth in nation building. Towards this end, my government shall undertake efforts to eliminate alcohol abuse and reduce underage drinking by prohibiting minors' access to alcohol,” read part of his speech.

He acknowledged that alcohol abuse was currently rampant due to lenient monitoring and implementation, making it very easily accessible to the youth including underage children.

“Underage drinking is currently widespread and prevalent. A good number of young people get alcohol from home. If not from their home, they get hold of alcohol from friends or they can discreetly buy for themselves as it is relatively easy for an underage teen to obtain alcohol from liquor stalls and supermarkets,” he said.

He attributed drunkenness or alcohol intoxication to the increase the number of cases of domestic violence, sexual and drug abuse and suicide among young people. 

You can get the full details on the bill via 

The three suspects appearing in court covering their faces with hoods to avoid being captured by media cameras that had jammed the courtroom on Thursday.
A Thika Court on Thursday released on bond, the three suspects linked to the theft of more than Sh.50 million from Thika KCB Bank branch.

While making her ruling, Chief Magistrate Theresa Murigi ordered that each of the accused be released on a bond of Sh. 4 million with a surety of similar amount. She also ordered them to deposit their passports with the court.

Justice Murigi stated that there was no evidence tendered before court to show that the release of the three would interfere with the proceedings and that they would be at flight risk once set free.

“There are no compelling reasons to prove that the accused were planning to flee the country. The burden of proof to deny the suspects bond lay squarely on the prosecution and not the accused persons who are entitled to bail terms under the constitution. I therefore do not see any reason to deny them the prayer,” Ms. Murigi said.

The three were granted bond after an application by the Defence Counsel, Zacky Odegi, on Monday, November 27 where he had applied for his clients to be released on a bond or cash bail.

(Related story: Three suspects held over the KCB sh. 50m Heist denied bail by a Thika Court.)

He argued that the police had failed to show course why his clients could not be released.
However, Halford Munene Murakaru, 32, Charles Mwangi Murakaru, 30 and their 32-year-old cousin Julius Ndung’u Wainaina denied all the charges leveled against them. 

The trio have been accused that between November 18th and 20th this year, they broke into the Kenya Commercial Bank Thika branch through an underground tunnel and stole Ksh. 52,650,000.

They faced a second count that on November 25 at Joyland estate of Juja Township, Kiambu County, they were found in possession of Ksh. 17,135,000, 3,660 Euros, 340 pound sterling, 1,311 US dollars 271,000 Tanzanian shillings, 95 Australian dollars, 40 SA Rand and 20,000 Ugandan shillings stolen from the bank.

The case will be heard on March 29th 2018 while the mention will be on December 14, 2017.

Detectives from Thika digging out some evidence at the home of the Late Francis Kariuki, a taxi driver who was murdered in the wee hours of Monday Morning. INSET: A file picture of the the deceased.
A prominent taxi driver was on Wednesday morning killed in cold blood attack by unknown people inside his compound in Section 9 estate, Thika town.

The gangsters, who seemed to have been waiting from the inside, waylaid Francis Kariuki Wainaina (Karis) as he was the gate for the wife to drive into the compound.

According to the deceased’s wife, Naomi Wanjiku Chege, the couple were just getting home from a function at around 3am when the deceased got out of the car to open the gate for her only for him to fail to do so, leaving her alone in the car.

“I was the driver at the moment and Karis got out of the car to open the gate. I got concerned after he delayed from the inside and started hooting the car horn but he never came out nor opened the gate,” narrated Wanjiku.

It was at this juncture that she got out and opened the gate only to find him lying on the ground with a pool of blood oozing from the back of his head.
She immediately raised alarm to attract her neighbours who responded and rushed him to the hospital.

Eyewitness accounts indicate that Karis, 37, had a very deep cut at the back of his head, just slightly above his neck. He was pronounced dead on arrival and his body taken to General Kago Funeral Home.

His wife says that she never saw anyone nor hear any commotion and cannot tell how many the attackers were.

“I never saw anyone and I cannot also tell from which section they escaped from the compound.”

Apart from the victim’s compound, all the neighbouring houses are guarded by night guards and it still remains a mystery how all this happened without anyone smelling a rat.

Confirming the incident, Thika OCPD Willy Simba said that the motive of the attack is still unknown but the police have arrested one female suspect who is assisting with their investigations.

We really cannot tell the motive of this murder but we are still investigating the matter and will update you of any progress. Otherwise, we have one female suspect in our custody who is assisting us with our interrogation,” said the OCPD.

Kariuki’s colleague, Nderitu Wahome described the deceased as a very humble and dedicated person who had a great vision especially concerning the development of a company that they had started as taxi drivers and small-scale traders.

“He had a great vision for himself and his family. Let me say that the news of his death has really taken us by shock. He is the brains behind ‘Kwa Mwendwa Investment Ltd Company’, a company we started and he has been of great help to me as their chairman,” said Nderitu.

Nderitu says that though they were very close with Karis, the deceased has never shared any insecurity concerns with him and therefore could not comprehend why anyone would want to kill or even harm him in any way.

According to the residents living around, the area has been prone to frequent muggings especially by bodaboda riders who mugged and snatched women purses and cellphones between 7pm and 9pm especially as they walked from the town centre towards Chania Tourist Longue.

“I personally have lost two phones in that section of the road,” said Karis’ wife.
She also claims that their compound, as well as those of their neighbours, has been victims of night raids where thieves jumped over the fences and made away with car batteries and other accessories.

Area MP, Eng. Patrick Wainaina, through his Personal Assistant John Mwangi Njuguna, promised to liaise with the area security agencies to ensure that issues of insecurity were comprehensively addressed, not only within Section 9 but also with the CBD and other estates where residents have been lamenting of the runaway insecurity.

He also promised to relook on the issue of street lighting and police patrols so as to enhance security within the constituency.

“We are going to sit down with the security agencies and map out a very comprehensive way forward on matters security, even if it means soliciting for more personnel and patrol vehicles from the national government,” said Mwangi. 

The deceased leaves behind a widow and four kids, the eldest being 16 while the youngest is 3.

Your Excellencies, Visiting Heads of State and Government;
Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners;
Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Fellow Kenyans,
Today is yet another historic day for our great motherland. First and foremost, our gratitude is to our Almighty God.
The Prophet Isaiah proclaimed: When you pass through the waters, I shall be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, the flames will not consume you.
Our God is faithful. He heard our voices when we cried out to Him.  He listened, and answered our prayers. He has brought us thus far, and He will take us even further.
This is the testimony of our country today; and for this we thank Him.
Fellow Kenyans,
Let us at this point welcome all our friends and partners, from our region and beyond, who have spared their invaluable time to come and celebrate with us. We say to them, Asanteni sana, na Karibuni Kenya!
You, the Kenyan voter, have been the most important player in the election. Everyone who voted played a role in strengthening our democracy: indeed, today’s celebration is yours. I say: Asanteni sana.
You will all agree with me: the task of managing multiple elections is not a simple business. For this reason, I wish to thank the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for managing that process under immense pressure.
Our Judiciary – particularly the Supreme Court – adjudicated our electoral petitions with independence.
Let me also thank my friend and Brother, Deputy President William Ruto. Your energy, humour and optimism lifted our campaign every day.
I also wish to thank Mrs. Rachel Ruto. You have been the spiritual and prayerful bedrock of our two families; and the Kenyan nation. Thank you, Rachel.
To my dear wife Margaret: you have been my pillar of strength; your passion to uplift the well-being of every Kenyan inspires me, as it inspires millions of Kenyans. I thank you, Margaret.
Fellow Kenyans,
You took the time to listen to the different points of view, and to the leaders who asked for your vote. We may have chosen different candidates, and different visions, but each of us voted for a better life.
I too listened carefully to my competitors, and, in the spirit of inclusivity, I will endeavour to incorporate some of their ideas.
This is because the election was not a contest between a good dream and a bad dream; it was a contest between two competing visions. I believe that those who voted for me chose the better vision. This, however, does not invalidate the aspirations of those who did not vote for me.
I undertake to be the custodian of the dreams of all, and to be the keeper of the aspirations of those who voted for me and those who did not. I will be the President of all. And I will devote my time and energy to build bridges to unite and bring prosperity to all Kenyans.
To all our elected leaders, accept my congratulations. You won the confidence of Kenya’s voters – some of the most discerning anywhere in the world.
Today, I ask every leader to join me in serving Kenyans without regard to political affiliation or choice – every Kenyan deserves our full attention.
The election we have just concluded is probably one of the longest ever held in our continent’s history. Today is the 123rd day since we began, on August 8th.  Today’s inauguration, therefore, marks the end of our electoral process. The elections are now firmly behind us.
My Fellow Kenyans,
It has been a trying time, but once again Kenyans have shown their resilience in calming the passions that accompany political competition.
Strength comes from being tested, and Kenyans have been tested as a people since before our independence. The struggle for freedom was long and hard. But we overcame.
After independence, our nationhood was once again tested by Shifta separatism. But we overcame.
In 1982, Kenya was once again tested by an attempt to overthrow a constitutionally elected government. But we overcame.
In 2007, we faced what is probably the greatest political crisis in our country’s history. But we overcame.
Not only did we overcome, but, as a people, we gifted ourselves, seven years ago, one of the most progressive constitutions in the world.
This is our character: a people who come together in the toughest of times to forge ahead, confident that tomorrow will be better. And that is why Kenya stands tall in the community of nations. This is something we should all be proud of.
Fellow Kenyans,
The path to a better future is unity. I believe that we can build a nation in which we live in peace with our brothers and sisters — whatever part of the country they come from, whichever way we worship God, whatever language we speak.  Instead of division, I know that we can build a Kenya which prospers by rewarding hard work, and leaving no one behind.
Brothers and sisters: as I see it, you and I together can build a Kenya, which all of us are proud to call home. But, as every Kenyan knows, few good things come for free. There are two significant things that I believe we must address ourselves to, if we are going to build a united, stable, and prosperous Kenya for all.
The first one is to muster the courage to embrace the future by freeing ourselves from the baggage of past grievances. The second is to keep to the rule of law.
Fellow Kenyans,
However serious our grievances, the law must reign supreme. The law should be the refuge for every Kenyan.  None of us should break outside the law, or constitutional order, whatever our grievances or protestations.
For those in doubt let me remind you. When a foreign court, the ICC demanded compliance of us, despite our serious misgivings about the process, we complied.
When the Supreme Court ruled to invalidate our election, despite our having won, and being told that processes mattered more than your votes, we complied.
This Administration has demonstrated by its actions, its readiness to live and lead by the rule of law. By extension, we expect nothing less from each and every citizen.
In the constitution, we acknowledge the supremacy of the Almighty God of all creation; we swear to respect our ethnic, cultural and religious diversity; and we have resolved to live in peace and unity as one indivisible sovereign nation.
That is the Constitution and the laws of Kenya that today we have sworn to protect and defend.
Our Constitution has created three independent, but interdependent, arms of Government. In its spirit and letter, the Constitution has spelled out the functions of each of these arms.  And there are no overlaps, and no ambiguities, in the execution of these roles.  There are no grey areas.
What is true of each arm of government is true also of the two levels of government.
As President, I will play my role as constitutionally defined. I expect other arms of government to do the same.  Ni lazima kila mtu afanye kazi yake kulingana na katiba.  This way, together, we will deliver our promise to the people of Kenya.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Human desires know no natural limit. Left unmoderated by faith or law, they can destroy a nation. To live together in peace and prosperity, a people must agree on a common set of rules.
Kenya is a community of more than 40 million people, all with their own views and beliefs. We have lived together in peace since independence, proof that even when we disagree, we know how to live under a single set of rules. The greatest challenges to our peace and security have come when we have deviated from these rules.
In the last four months we have tested the rules and institutions we established for ourselves. It has not been easy.
The IEBC, the courts, our security agencies – all our institutions have been stretched, some almost to breaking point, by the cut and thrust of politics. But they have held.
When our institutions work properly, all our expectations are delivered, some in our favour, and some against. But that is democracy and the rule of law.
We have learnt that our institutions are far more resilient than we might have thought. They needed to be tested for us to discover their strengths and weaknesses.  Today, we are a people who can tell the world that we live under a robust constitutional order; and that our constitution is no piece of paper, but rather the living expression of our desire to live under the rule of law.
In our pursuit of perfection in our institutions, there is always room for improvement. But we should not destroy our institutions every time they do not deliver the individual outcomes we want. Even if the rule of law does not immediately solve all our problems, its progressive application remains our guaranteed protection.
Fellow Kenyans,
When I reflect on the last four years, there are a number of things I am proud of. And four of these stand out.
Firstly, I am proud that we have entrenched devolution. We have built a Kenya where every county is the centre of the nation; where every county is a centre of economic development. Through devolution, we have delivered government to the people.
Secondly, we have built a firm foundation for economic takeoff. Our aggressive reforms to our business environment have made us the fastest-improving business environment anywhere in the world.
In three years, we have risen 56 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, from 136th to 80th. And we have the new businesses to show for it.
We have also embarked on building an entirely new world-class railway system; and thousands of kilometres of access roads to connect producers to markets. We have ensured our children can now study at night, because we have connected thousands of schools and millions of homes to electricity.
What does this mean? It means that since June of this year, more than 500,000 Kenyans have travelled the Mombasa-Nairobi route cheaper, faster, and safer than ever before. It means that the children of Kathigiri Primary School – a public primary school in Meru – had a mean score of 404 this year, to claim sixth position nationwide. They have made the most of this opportunity, and will send many of their seventy-one exam candidates to national schools.
Thirdly, we have made investments and reforms that have begun to transform healthcare delivery in Kenya. Through the free maternity programme, our mothers no longer see the delivery of our children as a life-threatening experience. Similarly, the expansion of public hospital infrastructure and the transformation of NHIF have improved access to quality healthcare for millions of Kenyans.
Fourthly, we have reformed our education system. We have restored the credibility of our exams. We have made education the great equalizer by removing exam fees; by providing digital learning devices; and by reviving our technical and vocational training.
Fellow Kenyans,
Let me now define the road ahead. For the last 5 months, I have held over 700 campaign meetings across the entire length and breadth of our country. I have spoken and interacted directly with millions of Kenyans.
As we engaged wananchi in small market centres from Kimende to Kimilili, from Bura to Bumala, from El Wak to Elburgon, from Witu to Wundanyi, we took on board their views, hopes and aspirations. Most resonated well with our agenda while some had proposals on issues they felt we should include in our agenda, in order to further positively impact their lives.
When the dust settled after the August 8th election, it was abundantly clear that Kenyans had given the Jubilee Party and its affiliates an overwhelming mandate to execute its agenda.
You gave us 62 percent of all governors; 61 percent of all Members of the National Assembly, including women representatives; 58 percent of the Senators; and 55 percent of the membership of the county assemblies, from every region of the country. I am greatly humbled by this.
These numbers tell us that Kenyans know what they want. And we are determined to fulfill the Jubilee development agenda that they chose. And with such an overwhelming mandate, my Party and I can have no excuses.
Fellow Kenyans,
This is my second and final term as President. I have taken on board the aspirations of the people of Kenya to move forward, and as I have before, I will dedicate all my energies and that of my Administration towards achieving two principal objectives over the next 5 years.
The first is to strengthen the ties that bind us as Kenyans at every level of our society.
It is time for us to learn that it is fine for us to agree to disagree, while still strengthening our bonds of unity and nationhood.
On my part, I have begun reaching out to all leaders, across the political divide, restating my commitment and expressing my willingness to work with them, to achieve this objective of nationhood.
My second priority is borne out of all the interactions I have had during my first term and more so refreshed during the campaigns.
Over the next 5 years, my Administration will target 100% Universal Healthcare coverage for all households. And let me explain what this means: you will recall Jackson Wamai, a 28 year old teacher from Murang’a, diagnosed with kidney failure, who once had to travel two hours to and from Nairobi for dialysis; threatening his livelihood, today, it takes him twenty minutes to get to a dialysis session in Murang’a, and his job is secure.
What’s more: he doesn’t have to pay for it; the NHIF covers it.
But Jackson is only one of 6.8 million beneficiaries of NHIF medical cover. Within five years, my Administration will ensure that 13 million Kenyans and their dependents are beneficiaries of this scheme.
This vision will be driven by a complete reconfiguration of the National Hospital Insurance Fund and reform of the laws governing private insurance companies.
Furthermore, it is our intention to facilitate affordable housing; and a home ownership programme that will ensure every working family can afford a decent home. That is why, over the next 5 years, my Administration will create 500,000 new home owners.
My Administration will focus on attracting from both public and private sources, the injection of patient, low-cost capital into the housing sector.
Policy and administrative reforms which are targeted at lowering the cost of construction, and improving accessibility of affordable mortgages will be given first priority.
Creating jobs and opportunities for our young population is also a top priority. In this regard, we will target manufacturing.
As you know our manufacturing sector is the primary vehicle for the creation of decent jobs. We will build on ongoing efforts, such as the VW and Peugeot motor-vehicle assembly plants; the fertilizer blending factories; and Wrigleys in the confectionery industry. Similarly, we will target the creation of 1,000 small and medium scale enterprises in agro-processing.
Over my term, we will grow and sustain this manufacturing sector, and raise its share of the national cake from 9 to 15 percent.
To achieve this leap, I have directed that with effect from 1st December 2017, the power tariffs charged to manufacturers will be reduced by 50 per cent between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am. This in line with our policy of a 24-hour economy.
Further, my Administration will focus on developing the following sub-sectors: agro-processing, textiles and apparel, leather processing, construction materials, innovation and IT, mining and extractives.
The underlying theme will be one of value addition, as well as value- and job-creation. Whether it is our vegetables, tea, coffee, oil or gemstones, our policies and actions as a government over the next 5 years will be to ensure that as much value, and as many jobs, as possible are created and retained in Kenya.
We shall reach out to our key trading partners to work with us to achieve a win-win outcome that enables Kenyans to get the most out of their products.
This will involve negotiations to open new international markets for our products, and to attract even more new investment.
The recent prolonged drought has taught us some painful and expensive lessons. We must completely re-engineer our agricultural sector in order to be food secure. Never again should we allow the vagaries of weather to hold us hostage.
Over the next 5 years we shall invest heavily in securing our water towers and river ecosystems to harvest and sustainably exploit the potential of our water resources.
We shall take steps to address idle arable land ownership and utilization. We shall take steps to encourage and facilitate large scale commercial agriculture to help diversify our staples.  We shall redesign subsidies to the sector to ensure they target improvements in food yields and production quality.
We shall provide, together with other actors, key enablers within the farming process that will address distribution, wastage, storage and value-addition of agricultural commodities.
Fellow Kenyans,
These initiatives are achievable. However, I, more than anyone, know that they will not be attained without addressing the institutional failings of governance.
I want to put the public service on notice; it is not going to be “business as usual”. I will not allow faceless bureaucrats and functionaries to deny the public the quality of service they deserve from their government.
Secondly, we will engage with the Judiciary to address the protracted delays in our justice system, and the use of the courts to sabotage the delivery of government programmes. This has been at great expense to the Kenyan taxpayer.
Thirdly, through Parliament we shall enact legislation to strengthen fiscal discipline and accountability at both the national and county levels. Every shilling of Kenyans’ tax payer money must be fully accounted for.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
No one eats politics. For the last fifty years, we have watched as the Asian economies have risen to wealth, while much of Africa has stagnated. The difference is that they used politics to create vibrant economies for their people.
In our case, we have pursued politics as an end in itself, rather than as a means to economic prosperity. This must end.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I want to thank Kenya’s friends in the international community for standing with us. Kenya is a proud member of the community of nations, and we will always work hard to remain a force for good. We will continue to strengthen our economic ties and bilateral and multilateral relations.
We have learned that in the fight against international terrorism, free and democratic nations are allies against a common enemy. We will continue to fight together, to share our knowledge, and to support our allies. As we have for half a century, we will work for peace in our region, for that is what a good neighbour does.
For my fellow Africans, the free movement of people on our continent has always been a cornerstone of Pan-African brotherhood and fraternity.
Today, I am directing that any African wishing to visit Kenya will be eligible to receive a visa at the port of entry. To underscore Kenya’s commitment, this shall not be done on the basis of reciprocity.
The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity, we will become. The political balkanization that risks our mutual security, the negative politics of identity, will recede as our brotherhood expands to embrace more Africans.
Finally, to our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community, you are our closest friends; our fate and yours are joined at the hip; our troubles and triumphs are yours, and yours are ours. I will work with you, my brothers, the leaders of the East African Community, to bring a renewed energy and optimism to our union. Together, we can deliver the peace and prosperity for which our citizens are crying out; divided, we will struggle to realise the full potential of our people.
As a mark of our continued commitment to you, our Brothers and Sisters in the East African Community; from today, you will be treated like Kenyans. Like your Kenyan brothers and sisters, you will need only your identity card. You can now work, do business; own property, farm and if you wish, and find a willing partner, you can marry and settle in Kenya. And this commitment we make with no conditions for reciprocity but driven by our desire for deeper regional intergration.  As l welcome you l remind you that equally you shall be subject to the same rules and laws as your Kenyan brothers and sisters.
Fellow citizens, I want to remind every Kenyan that God commands us to love and protect our neighbour, and that the safety and prosperity of our nation also depends on how you treat your neighbour. Your neighbour can be from any community, can worship differently from you, but it is they who will take you to hospital on a late night when an emergency strikes. They will run to your door in response to your cries of alarm. Your children will play with theirs, regardless of the differences adults can be so conscious of. I urge you all to be your brother’s keeper.
Every day, I will work to bring you closer to your dreams, and to unite our beloved country. This sacred task goes beyond the work of a President or any group of government officials. I call on all peace loving Kenyans to join me in this endeavour.
My Fellow Kenyans,
As l conclude let me celebrate our children. The greatest joy of my presidency has been my interaction with them. They have and remain my greatest strength and inspiration.  They are a clean slate, on which we can write the future.
In them, I see the promise of a nation on the rise; in them, I see the promise of a united nation, whose identity is not defined by ethnic markings. We shall overcome our ethnic barriers. And we shall do so by learning from our children.
I see this promise in Goldalyn Kakuya, who is here today. She overcame her special needs to emerge top of the nation in her KCPE exams. And all of us together celebrated and loved her for her achievement.  If Goldalyn overcame, so too will Kenya.
Today I direct that, in line with our promise of free day secondary education, all candidates who sat their KCPE this year will know their Form One placement by Christmas this year.
Fellow Kenyans,
I ask you to make a pledge today. I ask you to reject pessimism and cynicism in your thought and talk about Kenya; instead, embrace the empowerment that comes from optimism and hope even when times are tough.
Pledge that no matter what language you speak, that no matter what part of Kenya you come from you; that no matter your religion, and no matter your social status, you will be your brother’s keeper.
Pledge, to work as hard as you can to improve your productivity, and to ensure that your children grow up honest and productive Kenyans, and to grow your country to the best of your ability.
Finally, brothers and sisters, I ask you to pledge to reject the politics of division, hate and violence, and instead take the higher, more sacred road, of working to build your community and our beloved country Kenya.
God bless you, God bless Kenya, God bless Africa.

Halford Munene, Charles Mwangi and Julius Ndung’u before a Thika Court on Monday where they were arraigned on suspicion of the Sh50 million theft from the Thika KCB Bank branch last week . They were remanded until November 30.
Three men, among them two brothers, were yesterday arraigned in a Thika court over the theft of Sh. 52.6 million from the Kenya Commercial Bank, Thika branch last week.

Halford Munene Murakaru (32), his brother Charles Mwangi Murakaru (30) and Julius Ndung’u Wainaina (30), appeared before Thika Chief Magistrate Teresiah W. Murigi and denied two counts of breaking into the bank, stealing and handling stolen cash.

According to the charges, the trio, on different dates between November 18th and 20th, broke into the KCB Thika branch through an underground tunnel and stole Ksh. 52,650,000 and 3,660 Euros.

In the second count, the accused are said to have on November 25th, illegally handled Ksh. 17,135,000, 3,660 Euros, 340 pound sterling, 1,311 US dollars 271,000 Tanzanian shillings, 95 Australian dollars, 40 SA Rand and 20,000 Ugandan shillings at Joyland Estate of Juja Town.

The three are said to have been arrested on Saturday at Marurui in Kasarani, Nairobi, following a tip off to the police.

They denied the charges and were remanded them until November 30 when a determination on whether they will be released on bond will be made.

This was after the prosecution, led by State Counsel Stella Oyagi, successfully applied to have them detained on grounds that they were likely to interfere with the case if released and that they were likely to flee.

Ms. Oyagi said reliable reports indicated that before their arrest, they were planning to leave the country.

“The accused persons are likely to flee the country and they are also likely to interfere with investigations or destroy evidence if granted bond at this time,” the prosecutor said, adding that the investigating officer had sworn an affidavit stating he had information to the effect that the three were likely to abscond.

The accused were being represented by Advocate Zacky Odegi who sent a plea to have them released on bond, having spent the whole weekend in custody.

Court proceedings were briefly adjourned immediately the suspects brought before court at 12.52 pm after one of them pleaded to be allowed some time to get a lawyer. His plea was accepted and the session resumed at 2.25 pm. 

While applying for bond Odegi said his clients were arrested by police from their Thika residence on Saturday and.


Munene is said to be a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology while Ndung’u graduated with a degree in electrical and electronics engineering from the University of Nairobi.

Mwangi declined to disclose to the police the university he went to, although he is a holder of a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering, and, together with his brother, they are reported to have studied at Nyeri High School where they scored As.

Police said the three were behind the leasing of a stall in a commercial premises next to the bank, ostensibly to run a bookshop, although there is a mastermind and the officers said they are following leads that will lead to his arrest.

On Monday last week, Thika KCB management discovered that thugs had dug a 30-meter tunnel into the vault and made away with over Sh. 50 million in what appeared like a movie script.

The thieves had dug the tunnel from an adjacent commercial building which is right across the Thika police station but no one had noticed any suspicious activity.

(Related story: How crafty thieves stole Sh. 50m from KCB Thika Branch)

However, on last Saturday, police raided a rented house at Joyland area in Juja and recovered the money said to have been stashed in bags and a plastic drum. Detectives privy to the investigations said that a lady let one of the units and later brought some of the items which may have included the money into the house.

The arrest of the three brings to five the number of suspects arrested in connection with the heist.

The caretaker and the custodian of the keys to the commercial premises where the suspects had leased a stall were arrested and arraigned in court last week and the police were allowed to continue detaining them to facilitate investigations.

Dr. Susan Gitau emphasizing a point during the Teen Moms Initiative as one of the teen mum's looks on.

The first ever Teen Moms Initiative forum was held on Saturday 25th  November at the Africana College of Professional Counselling, the event organised by Susan Gitau Conselling Foundation (SGCF) brought together close 100 teenage mums aged between 15-20 years from informal settlements such as Matharau, Goshen, Kiandutu, Gacagi. Most of the participants sighted pregnancy as the main reason why they left school at an early age, and despite there being a policy that allows young mothers to return to school, Matharau, Goshen, Kiandutu, Gacagi  areas still have a high female school dropout rate.  

One of the teen mums who attended the Teen Moms initiative forum feeding takes time to feed her baby.
“I dropped out of school in form one after being chased away due to lack of school fees, our family was going through a rough patch, my father had just passed on and my mum and younger brother had just been admitted to hospital and we couldn’t raise school fees, two months down the line I discovered that I was pregnant, even though my mother encouraged me to keep it the boy who impregnated me couldn’t hear none of that, I would like to go back to school and complete my studies,”  said Florence Wanjiru a 16 year old teen mother from Goshen Village.

As young girls become mothers in their teen this affects their attainment of education. According to Dr. Susan Gitau, school re-entry by parenting girls is viewed as more acceptable than school continuation by pregnant learners, therefore she urges that the relevant stakeholders in the education sector need to be vigilant in monitoring school re-entry of teen mothers, and also a lot of advocacy needs to be carried out in making sure that teenage mothers, their parents and communities are aware of the rights of teen mothers to return to school.

“It pains me as a counsellor and a mother to see a lot of these teens being subjected to ridicule and shame, because they got pregnant in their teens, it is my hope and prayer that those charged in looking into their welfare will take up the challenge and see to it that they have at least gotten back to school, and perhaps its high time both the county and national governments set up vocational training centres around the affected areas, this will go a long way in instilling confidence and hope to this young and bright teens,” she further added.

According to the 2009 Population census, Kenya’s population is largely comprised of young people, persons aged 19years and below account for more than half of the population, while those aged 15 years and below form 45% of the population. Teenage pregnancy is a major health and social concern due to its association with maternal and child morbidity and mortality it is a major obstacle to young girls in gaining education across Kenya. Early pregnancies not only lead to girls dropping out of schools they also have a heavy impact on their health, social and economic outcomes.

Teenage pregnancy in Thika Town is more rampant in informal settlement areas where young girls are subjected to poverty, gender inequality, lack of sexual and reproductive health information and services and lack of comprehensive sexuality education.

The event also brought together various stakeholders from health, education and psychology industries.

Cycad Soccer Academy kids pose for a group photo with their coach at Gatumaini Primary School grounds

Great footballers don’t just appear from anywhere and that is why Cycad football training academy has rolled a December Holiday football boot camp, with the aim of training kids from ages of 6-14yrs at a fee of Ksh 1,000/= per child.

Created in 2016 in order to discover young football talents in Thika, the idea behind the birth of the academy was the fact that Thika town was full of talented children who just need orientation and professional training to further develop their career and be able to play at national and international levels.

Speaking to Thika Town Today at the Gatumaini Primary School training grounds Cycad Training Academy Coach Isaiah Owidi said that  “The academy aims at providing a suitable environment for the kids to develop skills using a well-developed learning curriculum, here we teach the students soccer skills, discipline, team spirit and leadership.”
Soccer practise session on going at Gatumaini Primary School.

He further goes on to urge parents to bring their children to the training so that they can be trained into professional footballers and so that they can avoid bad vices such as drug abuse. He advises parents to also support in nurturing their child’s talents and calls upon them to invest in nurturing their kids talents as well as urging them to also strive at academic excellence.

He calls upon various stakeholders in the sporting field to support each other, noting that there is a lot that needs to be done in improving the football, from infrastructural, technical, to monetary support. 

“Sports is a lucrative industry world over, there is a great need for various stakeholders to synergise their efforts in seeing that standards have improve, it would be so nice for Kiambu County Government for instance to chip in and partner with Cycad Football Academy and perhaps come up with a tournament of some sorts,” says Owidi.

Thika MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina (second left) with Kenya Urban Roads Authority. Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Senior Surveyor Victor Biko (extreme left) trying to read a map showing the road corridors earmarked for construction in Thika.
The government will spend Sh1.5 billion in opening the about 25-kilometre link roads within Thika Town Constituency in a bid to decongest the town and stimulate the region’s economy.

This revelation was unveiled by Kenya Urban Roads Authority. Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) Central Kenya Regional Manager Jacinta Mwangi at a stakeholders meeting at a Thika hotel.

Mwangi said that the project that has been divided into two phases will take about 24 months to complete.

Other than opening up new road bypasses around the traffic-clogged industrial and business hub, the project will see the construction of a 40 metre wide bridge at the Haile Selassie Road near Blue Post Hotel.

Phase I will cover 10Km from the Del Monte shop along the Nairobi-Nyeri Highway through Imani School, Del Monte factory, link up with Oloitiptip Road and join Thika Garissa Highway at the BAT junction.

Phase II will see the upgrading of the BAT-Kiganjo to Kiganjo Corner 1, another link road starting from Kivulini (Kisii Estate) to cut across Kang’oki and then end at Kiganjo Corner 1 with another road starting at Engen Petrol Station via Kiang’ombe and to join the bypass from Corner 1.

This road stretch through Athena, behind Kiandutu and join Thika Superhighway near the former Castle Industry. There will be a link road to the same emanating from Broadway High School and through Kiandutu that will link up with the bypass near Athena Estate.

Area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Jungle) admitted that the proposed construction routes will help ease traffic on the existing Thika roads, which he said were already operating beyond capacity.

Speaking after touring the link roads, the legislator said that traffic jams have become the order of the day in the town, especially during rush hours, costing the area’s economy billions of shilling annually in wasted man-hours.

Wainaina pointed out that his priority was to complete Phase II roads first as this will significantly relieve traffic congestion in the town and provide important upgrades to ensure other existing roads were fit and assisted to build an economy that worked for everyone.

“These project will substantially and dramatically improve our road network system and traffic in the region because roads play a significant part in everyday life linking people with jobs and businesses with customers. We therefore thank the government for this initiative,” said the MP.
The MP and the team from KURA surveying the on-going construction of the Engen-Kiang'ombe-Kiganjo bypass.

He added that his office was making elaborate plans to open up Kenyatta Highway from the UTI junction to ensure it links up the Thika-Garissa Highway at Leather Industries. He noted that the opening of Kenyatta Highway will free Garissa Road to a great extent as those getting from the town to areas like Umoja, Kisii and Landless estates will not be required to use the highway as they will only link up with it near Leather Industries Limited.

“Kenyatta Highway is the main road that links virtually all the estates and industries in the town. If we open it up from UTI all the way to Kivulini, we will have eased the gridlocks that have been the order of the day in Makongeni area,” explained Wainaina.

The MP added that once this project is complete, he will then lobby for more funds to link Kiganjo to Juja and Witeithie as well as to link up Thika to the Eastern By-Pass via Komo and Juja Farm. This, he said, will create a shortcut for all those heading to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) from Thika East and Ukambani region.

Wainaina also said that he would also lobby to have Garissa Highway to be upgraded to a dual-carriage road all the way to Matuu in order to open up the economic activities in the region and boost trade with Machakos, Kitui and Garissa Counties. 

The Government of Kenya has announced a plan to construct four new footbridges along the Thika Superhighway in an upgrade that will see the removal of speed bumps and rumble strips.

This was revealed by the Deputy Director of Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA), Engineer Cleophas Makau who clarified that the bridges would be built at Garden city Mall junction, Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Witeithie and the Mang’u road junction (Njomoko).

Makau said that the work will start in January adding that the tenders valued at Sh822 million have already been awarded to Fourways Construction Limited and Interways Works Limited.

The deputy director pointed out that priority had been given to those areas where accidents occurred frequently.

This first phase of the construction of the four bridges has been funded by the Government of Kenya.
KeNHA also plans to have at least eight more bridges on the superhighway by next year which will be made possible subject to availability of funds. KeNHA is currently seeking financial aid from Belgium.

“We plan to have at least eight bridges by the end of next year. I am now seeking funds from Belgium as this first phase has already been funded by the government,” he explained.

All bumps and rumble strips will be removed from the road in an attempt to comply with the move. They have been blamed for traffic jams on the highway which was expanded to eight lanes to ease gridlocks because motorists have been forced to slow down to allow pedestrians to cross at several sections along the highway which still have bumps and rumble strips.

The number of footbridges on the 50 kilometer road will increase to 22 in an effort to tame the escalating pedestrian fatalities.

The project comes barely four months after Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko vowed to remove bumps from the road.

Frequent users of the highway have been requesting more footbridges at spots like Gwa Kairu near Kenyatta University (Ruiru campus), the Toll Station near Ruiru Club, Juja High, near Ndarugo area at the Bob Harries/Nyacaba Road crossing and at Witeithie main stage. 

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i hands over the KCPE 2017 results to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.
For many children, the final examination results of primary and secondary school are a big deal.

Many of our children are asking themselves the following questions.

· If I fail these exams, what will I do?

· What happens if I do not get into my favorite school?

· What will my parents say if I do not get the marks that they are expecting?

· If I had studied harder, would I have gotten better results?

Although these questions are valid, they are also a sign of desperation. The cause? Our grading system!

Grading is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem however is that our children have been led to believe that they will not succeed in life they do not attain a particular exam grade.

Below are some the disadvantages of our current grading system.

1. It gives those who are not up to scratch low self-esteem. A child who is constantly at the bottom of the class will feel discouraged and worthless.

2. The system puts more focus on academic prowess rather than character building. Think about this – there are very few schools that give prizes for kindness, cleanliness, leadership, etc. Character 
building should be an important part of the educational process.

3. There is no room for the development of an individual's gifts and talents. Many children struggle to attain the required grades while in reality if they had the chance to explore their talents, they would excel in those areas.

4. Parents have also been led to believe that grades are everything. Have you heard how your friends boast when their kids attain good marks and go silent when the grades are bad? What message are they communicating to their children through these reactions?

Way forward.

Not much can be done about the grading in schools. There are however several things that parents can do to counter any adverse effects of this classification system.

Here are a few tips on how to handle a child who is not making the grade.

a) Find out what your child's gifts are. 

Is there a particular thing your child loves to do? Have you taken the time to observe your child and see where his or her interests lie? You never know that hobby or pastime could lead them to a successful career path.

b) Encourage your child. 

Some kids just need a little push from Mum and Dad to help them improve their grades. Sit down with your child and help with the difficult subjects. Study together for exams. Go out for a walk together as you both take a break and chat. Parents must, however, maintain a healthy balance between pushing and encouraging. Clear expectations should accompany every dose of loving encouragement.

c) Explore other options.

 If your child is not an academic, find a school that has a wide range of extra-curricular activities. Avoid the schools that do lots of drilling, or where the children spend long hours in class. Not all children can cope with such a strict regimen. You could also opt to have your children explore their creative side on the weekends through sport, art or music classes.

d) Love your child. 

This child is God's gift to you. It is, therefore, your responsibility to point this child in the right direction. If you are very harsh and demanding, you will find that your child confides less in you, and this will affect schoolwork. Accept your child and give guidance. Help your child find his role in society. Making the grade will not guarantee your child success in life. If you desire the best for your kids, begin to instill values that will help them cope with the world out there. Teach them the values that you learnt as a child. Equip them for the challenges they will face in future. Love and encourage them.

Most importantly, pray for them. That way, even if your child does not make the grade, he or she will be a confident and well-rounded individual.

Our Guest Author is a part-time teacher working in Ruiru and Nairobi, though she lives in Thika.

You can get in touch with Alison via Email address

Following the KES. 50 million Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) theft in Thika, Kiambu County Government (KCG) plans to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in streets and businesses along banks and other financial institutions with the stated goal of reducing crime and increasing public safety.

Economic and Political Advisor to the Governor Rev. David Kariuki Ngari (Gakuyo) said that this investment will enable the law enforcement and security agencies to fight crime and discourage criminals from committing crime. 

“Had there been CCTV cameras in this area, they would have shown us the images of those who were involved in this crime and may be the vehicle(s) they used to escape, the time the crime happened and direction the culprits went. This way they could have been apprehended very quickly,” said Gakuyo while addressing the press at the crime scene.

He added that it was very rare for anyone to commit crime when they knew that their actions were being monitored and recorded on camera. Gakuyo noted that the surveillance footage was always a crucial piece of evidence during a police investigation.

“Criminals are less likely to commit crimes if they know they are being filmed the whole time. Through surveillance cameras, the police can both prevent crimes from happening and can quickly solve criminal cases with material evidence,” he said.

Gakuyo admitted that residents had to be more vigil now that crime has become more sophisticated and involving the use of technology. This, he said, called for an urgent and collective action to keep the people safe and to avoid these types of crimes in the future.

He called on all stakeholders to assess the KCB crime, ask what lessons they can learn, share what they learn with law enforcement agencies, the county government and other customers so as to apply the lessons learnt to strengthen their capabilities to fight similar crimes in future.

“We are now living in a digital world and are facing a rapidly changing risk as well as some of the most high profile crimes. Our youth have been so much exposed to technology and are ending up applying the information they are acquiring online and via movies to commit crime,” he noted.

He therefore called on residents to think outside of the box, and to think about other ways they can keep pace with the ever advancing crimes.

“We can no longer live in the luxury of self. This is where the ‘Nyumba Kumi’ comes into play. You got to be observant and get more inquisitive whenever you get suspicious of someone’s activities. We can no longer afford to continue living in your comfort zones. Otherwise, you will always be caught napping whenever such crimes occur,” he said.

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