In a bid to address staff shortage and efficiency in the Kiambu county health sector, Governor Fertinard Waititu has hired 40 new doctors who will start work immediately. 
Among those recruited included 20 medical Officers, 10 Anaesethists and 10 Radiographers. 

The new staff who will be deployed in level 4 and 5 hospitals will help ease the workload and consequently improve service delivery in our health facilities, which currently receive over 10,000 patients daily. They will work in theatre, radiology department (MRI, CT scan, mammograms X-ray ultrasound) and other departments.

Waititu said this recruitment drive was part of his government's efforts to manage the shortage of medical staff . He also said now the newly installed machines in Kiambu’s health facilities will continue working without no delays as most of the new doctors specialize on them.
He added that they had recently employed 150 nurses  and will continue until sanity the sector was adequately staffed.
He appealed to the new medics to use their expertise to enhance quality health services adding that his county government will do everything possible to ensure all hospitals were well stocked with the necessary drugs as well ensuring that staff salaries were paid on time.

However, governor Waititu who was accompanied by Kiambu CEC for Health Mary Kamau warned the medics against involving themselves in corruption saying any manner of corruption will never be tolerated.
"Human resource for health is a key pillar in achieving Universal Heath Coverage and Kiambu County is working hard to achieve this.I'd like them to know that I hold the Medical career dearly for the role medics play in saving lives. I hope they will remain steadfast and focused to deliver services to Kiambu people,"said the governor.
Waititu said that his administration had received complaints from the public that some medics have been referring patients to go and buy medicine in their pharmacies while the hospitals had the best machines and enough drugs.
CEC Mary Kamau warned that no chemists will be allowed to operate near their health facilities as they had contributed to corruption with patients being sent to buy medicine at these clinics despite the health facilities having enough medication.

The government plans to start distributing 5 million free avocado and macadamia seedlings in efforts to help farmers tap already secured market in Asia and South Africa.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri says that the government plans to put up hundreds of water pans across the country to avail water for domestic use as well as support farming activities.
According to the CS, the government will supply horticultural farmers across the country with 5 million seedlings of avocado and macadamia adding that Kenya already has a ready market for its horticultural produce in China and South Africa.
Billions of shillings has been spent on irrigation projects in Baringo, Embu, and Murang’a and is expected to cover the entire country progressively.
The Cs added that the ministry of Agriculture is revisiting irrigation and projects around the country that had stalled as a result of insufficient funds and less-than-through-jobs done by contractors. Some of these projects that had stalled include Lower Kithengi in Embu County that is 67 percent complete. 
He added that they will progressively expand the capacity of irrigation schemes to increase food productivity.
Meanwhile, local seed companies will from next year start selling seeds across the COMESA region after member states endorsed a common label.
COMESA regional seed programme coordinator John Mukuka says the labeling is aimed at weeding out counterfeit seeds from the market and increase trade between member states.
Trade in seeds across the globe is valued at 8 trillion shillings with the COMESA region only accounting for 2 percent of the total trade. 
Among issues slowing trade in seeds in the COMESA region has been poor quality produce.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina receiving a peace dove from a group of Kiambu residents.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina have decided to shelve some of their differences and work for the benefit of Thika residents.

While speaking at Thika Sub-County Stadium during the 55th Jamhuri Celebrations, the two leaders pledged to seek consensus on their ideological differences for the ultimate development of the area.

There has been ranging rivalry between the duo especially concerning the acquisition of the over 600 acres of Del Monte Kenya Limited by the County Government of Kiambu, issuance of title deed to Kiandutu slum residents as well as the modalities on construction and distribution of affordable houses to Jamhuri, Ofafa and Starehe (JAMOFASTA) estate residents.

“I am very happy that the governor is working out the issuance of title deeds to the residents of Kiandutu but I would not allow people from elsewhere to come and acquire ownership at their expense. Once they get their titles, I will organise with them so that we can put up descent houses for them as county government works on improving on the necessary infrastructure and basic amenities,” said Wainaina.

On the issue of Del Monte, the MP was of the opinion that the land given to Kiambu be utilised on developing public amenities such as industrial parks, markets, hospitals, jua kali sheds and stalls instead of sub-dividing the land for individual use.

However, the governor assured Thika residents that his administration will ensure that all these processes were conducted with utmost transparency and only bona fide beneficially will benefit from them.

“The 110 acres in Kiandutu will only go to those who own houses and those who have lived there for generations. The few who will not get a plot of land will be the ones we settle on the Del Monte land along with the others from various slums across Thika,” explained Waititu.

Waititu added that he will ensure that his government gave title deeds to all the residents living in Gachagi, Matharao and other slums in Thika. He assured JAMOFASTA tenants that they will get the first priority to own the proposed affordable houses for free as the rest were sold to potential clients.

Others who spoke included Kiambu Deputy Governor Dr. James Nyoro, Kiambu Assembly Speaker Stephen Ndichu, Kiambu County commissioner Mr. Wilson Wanyanga and the Thika District Business Association Chairman Alfred Wanyoike among others.

Wednesday’s fete was the first of its kind for Thika to host the county celebrations which traditionally have been taking place in Kiambu Town.

An aerial view of the Thika Sub-County Stadium courtesy of Aerial Affairs.
Following widespread complains about their dilapidated state and inspection by members of the Stadia Safety and Security Committee (SSSC), the Kenyan Premier League has banned five stadia complex from hosting any of its league matches.

The sports body’s tough verdict axed Thika Municipal Stadium, Ruaraka, Mumias Sports Complex, Camp Toyoyo and Chemelil Sports Complex until the stadia undergo some facelift to the satisfaction of the SSSC.

They advised all those teams that registered the grounds as their home grounds to seek alternative venues. The ban comes at a difficult time when most clubs are kick starting their campaigns in the KPL after the start of the new season.

However, it will not be a big concern for Thika United who were relegated to the National Super League after a poor campaign in the KPL last season. The team had already selected Ruaraka Grounds for their home matches.

The Camp Toyoyo ban will certainly affect a number of teams with Posta Rangers, Kariobangi Sharks, KCB, Mount Kenya United and Mathare United hosting some of their league matches there last season. Chemelil Sugar will also have to seek an alternative home ground after the ban of the Chemelil Sports Complex. 

Kakamega Homeboyz regularly used the Mumias Sports Complex last season alongside Vihiga United. But the upgrade of Bukhungu Stadium may offer the two Western-based clubs an alternative venue in the current campaign that kicked off last weekend.

In 2014, Thika Stadium was banned with the SSSC report saying that its playing surface was in bad shape and the goal posts were not of the recommended size. The facility also lacked changing and washrooms for players and officials and didn't possess enough washrooms for the general public.

The stadium was later cleared to host league matches by KPL matches in 2016 after the rehabilitation and upgrading funded by the then Kiambu County Government through the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports and Communication.

A signpost erected by Kiambu County Government during the period between 2014 and 2016 when they were undertaking the rehabilitation works on the facility.
The following are the SSSC’s findings-:

  1. THIKA SUB-COUNTY STADIUM – Uneven playing surface and faded markings.
Thika Sub-County Stadium was inspected on Tuesday, December 04, 2018. The team was taken round by Ms. Njeri, the Sub-County Sports Officer.


The facility was found to have recently hosted a musical event that left its surface in a sorry state. It is regretted that despite short-comings cited in previous visits such as the bumpy turf and other areas which promises were given would be attended to, same have so far not been acted upon, even as the league went on throughout the 2018 season.

The following must now be done before any matches are hosted at the ground:

  1. The playing turf that remains extremely bumpy and un-even, to be urgently run over by a 5 to 7 ton roller, the whole length and breadth to try “level” it for the safety of both the players and match officials. (During Thika United FC match against Gor Mahia FC at the ground, it was noted with regret that a Gor Mahia FC player was injured due to the bumpy and un-even surface. An assistant referee was also injured as he run along the touch-line for the same reason.)
  2. The goal-posts to be given a new coat of white paint for visibility.
  3. Several areas of the turf are depressed and can act as a collect a lot of rain water that will not augur well when it rains before or during the match as they will turn into small ponds. Such areas either need to fill up or made level when the ground is run over by a heavy roller as suggested in No.1 above.
For the sake of safety and security of the players and match officials, the Committee hereby suspends Thika Sub-County Stadium from hosting KPL matches with immediate effect until such time the playing turf will have been appropriately attended to, in the best interest of players and match officials. Any Club [s] that had earmarked the Stadium as their home ground and/or alternative ground are directed to look for an alternative venue. Meanwhile, the Club [s] wishing to use the facility are encouraged to liaise with County Government of Kiambu to press for correction of these defects, which once done, a re-inspection will be carried out at the Club [s] own cost.

A hatchery bought by Jungle Foundation to help Hewapa Women Group boost their Kienyeji Poultry farming.
Slum dwellers from the sprawling Kiandutu village in Thika, Kiambu county have now ventured into farming a program that is geared into transforming lives as well as fighting poverty in the crime prone area.

The program initiated by Thika MP Patrick Wainaina has seen many youths abandon their past criminal activities and mothers reaping heavily in Kuku-Kienyeji poultry farming.

Kiandutu smart farmers youth group members are now busy participating in weeding and other chores under the program that is bringing food in every households table. They are growing vegetables such as sukumawiki, spinach and others in a 50 by 100 small farm that sits under the shanty village.

Poultry farming by HEWAPA women group is making a substantial contribution to household food security through out the slum village and other traders who come to buy chicken and eggs.

For Eunice Wanjiru, a mother of three from Kiandutu slums, joblessness, poverty, hopelessness and sheer lack could not allow her desert her dream of kicking out poverty and live a happy life in a serene place.

She joined the cluster group of 12 other women from the slums to form HEWAPA group, the unseen became what is now the hit song of Thika town.

Formed early this year, the group started by making contributions which they saved for a few months before the delved into what turned to be their game changer.

Through a special contribution of Sh 1,000 each, the poor women who earlier survived on hawking second hand clothes bought 100 chicks and a sack of chick feeds.

Motivated by calls to form cluster groups to benefit from government funding, the group withstood teething challenges to raise the young birds which brooded and more chicks were hatched to form a poultry empire that has become the talk of town.

From a hundred chicks, the group’s strong resolve to succeed in the venture catapulted their ambitions so far managing to hatch and rear over 500 chickens which they sell to Thika hotels, supplying eggs in public primary schools for ‘egg Monday’ program started by the local MP in January this year and chicken for home slaughtering at a cost of Sh 1,500 each.

The group has specialized in the selling of chicks at the age of one month and this they say is due to the high demand and the quest to maximize profits.

They sell a one month old chick at Sh 300, eating eggs at Sh 20 while hatching ones go for Sh 30. This guarantees them profits that now place them in a position to expand their business.

Their earnings from the business have assisted them to fend for their families and at the same time educate their children.

Traditional methods of hatching the chicks has however been their main challenge as the process is time consuming and could have negative results.

As their business expanded, the venture forced them to scale up their efforts such as ensuring that they provide a more enabled environment for their business to thrive.

Taking advantage of being in a self-help-group, the group has been able to solicit funding from local Member of Parliament Patrick Wainaina who bought them a Sh 600,000 worth poultry hatchery machine able to hatch over 1,500 chicks per set up.

“We hope to scale our business to other levels because we now have the capacity. We have a dream of purchasing plots for every one of us where we can bring up our children. Kiandutu is good but a more serene environment will help us wipe our toil,” said Wanjiru.

Their broad vision is to tap into the wider marker and endear themselves as the biggest suppliers of chicken in Kiambu County to enable them attract more customers.

Thika MP Patrick Wainaina while presenting the hatchery machine accompanied by renowned gospel artist Kevin Bahati lauded the women for embracing the economic empowerment program and making maximum use of their little resources to better their lives.

Wainaina said that the poutry business has ensured a smooth supply of the essential commodity increasing the rate of school attendance in public primary schools.

“The crime rate has also gone down and we hope to continue empowering more groups to achieve their dreams,” he said.

The MP in January started a program dubbed Egg Monday which has seen each pupil enjoy a boiled egg every Monday morning.

11-months down the line, Wainaina said the programme has not only improved the general health of pupils but also class attendance in schools.

Thika Barbers and Salon Association officials during the press conference.
Over 269 members of Thika Barbers and Salon Association have rejected equipment loaned to them by Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba saying the Mamacare project was a sham and need to be probed.
Speaking at Thika during a press conference just a day after president Uhuru Kenyatta launched the project at Kiambu, the barbers and salon association officials accused Wamuchomba of wanting to exploit them by selling the items to them triple the market price adding that the items were substandard.
Kenedy Lumbasi (chair), Affrey Njenga (Sec. general) and Catherine Mbindyo (treasurer) led the other officials in disassociating themselves with Wamuchombas Mamacare program saying the woman rep. was exploiting them at the expense of helping them.
They alleged that a drier costs Ksh 8,000 but Wamuchomba is giving them at a higher purchase loan of Ksh. 15,000 double. A barber's shaving machine which retails at Ksh 2,000 is given to them for Ksh. 3,500  with a salon sink fbeing sold to them for sh. 1000 instead of the retail price of ksh. 300.
The members appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to withhold funds meant for the project as they read a lot of ulterior motives in the whole project. They pleaded with him to protect them from being exploited by greedy politicians advising him to monitor all government moneys as most of it does not benefit them.
Contacted for comment, Wamuchomba said that politics were being played in her program and asked them to write a letter to her saying they don’t want the equipment. 
Wamuchomba further said their actions were politically motivated saying her political enemies were behind the barbers and salonists who denied the allegations saying their association was non-political.

Angela Ambitho is the Founder and CEO of Infotrak Research and consulting.

According to an opinion poll released by Infotrak on Sunday, more than half of Kenyans have are satisfied with the government renewed fight against corruption.

The poll shows that 52% of Kenyans believe that the government is serious on the fight against graft with 42% having a feeling that the government is not doing enough due to what they termed as “no action taken against the corrupt and lack of high profile convictions.”

The respondents cited the arrest and prosecution of high ranking individuals being led by Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji.

They further recommended that stolen assets be recovered, in a bid to fight the long-time national problem.

Kenyans living in the North Eastern region are optimistic with ongoing crackdown at 68% followed by Nyanza at 59% with Central region coming third at 58%.

The Coast region at 52% is not optimistic about the latest efforts to get rid of the menace.

Those of the contrary opinion cited rampant corruption at 52%, others felt that there is no action taken against the corrupt (29%) and lack of high-profile convictions (19%).

To eliminate the vice, sampled Kenyans recommended that the Government “should sanction the corrupt individuals (24%), recovery of all stolen assets (24pc) and arrest of high-profile people accused of corruption (17%).”

Others want the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to be empowered more, regular audit of all institutions while 3 pc believes only prayers can slay the corruption dragon.

Some 1,500 people underwent a telephonic interview within 24 Counties, during the study conducted between November 29 and December 1.

The National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) has warned of arrests on any motorist driving vehicles bearing foreign number plates or those bearing numbers like X-GK, X-KA, X-Diplomat etc.

The authority has raised concern over an influx of unduly registered vehicles in the country and warns that they would launch a massive crackdown to weed out unregistered vehicles.

“We wish to clarify that vehicles bearing number plates like X-GK are not registered and therefore operating illegally. Operating a vehicle which is not duly registered is an offence as it violates the provisions of Section 6 (1A) of The Traffic Act Cap 403 of the Laws of Kenya,” read a statement by NTSA to the public.

They have consequently asked the owners of such vehicles to duly register them before they are used on the road.

Those driving motor vehicles bearing foreign number plates have been requested to ensure that they have all the necessary documentations allowing these vehicles into the country.

These include clearance by the immigration department, KRA and foreign vehicle permit from NTSA and insurance coverage.

“The police will be enforcing the law on all vehicles found to be operating without due registration or vehicles bearing foreign registration found to be in country without necessary documents,” concluded the statement signed by the Director General Francis Meja.

MKU founder and Chairman Dr. Simon Gicharu introducing one of the 4,540 graduants, Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi alias Jaguar to the audience at  the Graduation Pavilion Grounds along the Thika- Garissa Road on Friday.

Mount Kenya University (MKU) founder and Chairman Dr. Simon Gicharu has challenged the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs to establish a bloggers institute that will tap the talents and skills of the youth currently engaging in blogging.

While speaking during the university’s 15th Graduation Ceremony at their Graduation Pavilion Grounds along the Thika- Garissa Road on Friday, Dr. Gicharu said he was saddened by the manner leaders and especially politicians misused and later dumped these young people immediately they were done with their mission.

He noted that it was for this reason that the same youth turned against these leaders and started using the same platforms to hit back.

“I feel very sad when we use young people to do our work especially politicians and business people and once we finish with them we just leave them. When again they start hitting back through their blogs, we demand for their arrest. Gagging them is not really the solution. The government should go beyond and create an institution or an academy of bloggers so that we can be able to tap into the innovation of these young people instead of harassing them,” he said.

The chairman also challenged the youth and especially those graduating from various learning institutions against the culture of wanting to get rich very quickly because it is ruining careers of so many youth in the country and landing some of them in jail.

“Let us not destroy our institutions because of greed. We should build them. We should deviate from this idea of getting rich quickly. You can start small and grow rich,” he said.

Gicharu promised to strengthen the institution’s incubation centres to enable their students to commercialise their inventions. He added that they will connect these students with financial institutions that will support such projects.

In a bid to support the Kenyan government in its quest to provide Universal Health Care, he said that MKU will award 10 scholarships to students at their College of Health Sciences. He challenged other universities to follow suit and support the government in this noble course

The chief guest Professor Chacha Nyaigotti-Chacha challenged universities to promote research and innovation so as to catalyse growth in the local and global markets.

Chacha, who is the Chairman of the Kenyan Commission for University Education (CUE), challenged the graduants to utilise the knowledge and skills learnt to venture in creation of jobs rather that toiling in search of white collar jobs.

Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi alias Jaguar and his Jomvu counterpart Badi Twalib were among the 4,540 students graduated in various faculties.

Jaguar graduated with a degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution while Twalib did Bacheror of Business Management.

Another notable graduant was Chief Francis Kariuki from Lanet Umoja, Nakuru North sub-county, the globally recognised “Tweeting chief” is known for embracing technology.

President Uhuru Kenyatta having a light moment with Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina and Kiambu Women Rep. Gathoni Wamuchomba at the Jungle Investors' stand in Ndumberi Kiambu.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was on Wednesday very impressed by a potato value addition project by some Thika youth who participated in the young start-ups exhibition at Ndumberi Kiambu when he was officially launching the “Huduma Halisi” programme.

When the president stopped at the stand belonging to Jungle Investors Potato Project and got explanations of what they do, he got so amazed and exclaimed, “This is exactly what I need for jobs and food security!”

He spent about 10 minutes asking questions and digging the facts about the youngsters’ project about the project where he acknowledged that it was with similar initiatives that his government could achieve two of his pillars namely manufacturing which leads to job creation as well as food security.

The president promised to support the group with Ksh. 5 million to do a cold-room. To juice it up, the Ministry of Youth has also promised funding at various stages.

The group that comprises of 28 youngsters from Thika is a beneficiary of the Jungle Empowerment Programme under the stewardship of Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina that is geared towards economically empowering the community.

Though in its piloting stage, the group has already employed the 28 youth and bear a very ambitious goal of employing a workforce of about 300 employees once it is fully fledged.

The company sources potatoes from Nyandarua County during peak season when produce is cheapest.

Once the produce reaches their plant located in Makongeni’s Phase 13 area, the potatoes are first cleaned and then peeled. The next stage involves slicing them into a variety of shapes and sizes before they are saline treated, dried and vacuum packed. All these processes are semi-automated.

This treatment enhances the potato’s shelf-life and can remain fresh for about twelve months.

According to the members, the returns are attractive.

Among other projects, Jungle Foundation has a pretty successful “Mayai Monday” with a value chain starting from Hatcheries with Clusters selling chicks to the fellow clusters, production of kienyeji hens, and finally eggs for primary schools within Thika Town Constituency.

Seedlings project supports clusters to realise the country's 1 million macadamia seedlings a year dream.

Central Regional Commissioner Geoffrey Njega addressing residents of Gatundu on Wednesday.
The dreaded Mungiki gang is regrouping and recruiting boys especially those undergoing rite of passage in central Kenya. 
Central Regional Commissioner Wilson Njega revealed this while speaking at Gatundu where he led the residents in an exercise to destroy illegal betting machines and equipment used to prepare illicit brews.
Njega cautioned that the government  would do everything possible to root out Mungiki members whom he said have infiltrated bobaboda and matatu businesses and imposing illegal taxes to poor Kenyans.
The commissioner however blamed parents for abdicating their parental responsibilities and leaving their children at the hands of strangers. He added that the sect members have been traversing counties around the Central Kenya region into homes where these boys had undergone circumcision and instructing their to keep off the initiation to adulthood as it was a taboo for parents to get near their newly circumcised boys.
Njega blamed parents for abdicating their parental role and leaving their children with bad elements in the society. He called on the parents to use this long festive holiday to talk to their children and help them in counseling in order to become good citizens.
He further said the dreaded squad had taken over both bodaboda and matatu businesses and were actually the ones manning bus termini and imposing illegal taxes on the operators.
He warned them that their days were numbered adding that there was an ongoing crackdown aimed at flashing them out of the transport industry.

A file photo of students being admitted to Form One previously.

Education CS Amina Mohamed has warned principals found charging illegal levies to students joining Form One next year that they will be dealt with decisively.

The CS advised parents to only pay the amount in the fees structure and report incidents of any students turned away for not paying higher fees to their respective regional education coordinators, county directors of education for action.

She reassured parents and guardians who have reported such cases that the ministry is taking the relevant action against the affected schools saying victimisation of learners, parents and guardians who engage the ministry as a result of illegal levies by schools will not be tolerated.

Amina said charging illegal levies will be treated as a crime of corruption and measures taken against the culprits.

She said cases of lethargy with this vice on the part of education officials will also be dealt with decisively.

And as far as Free Day Secondary Education is concerned, Amina said all learners in public day schools receive Sh. 22,244 yearly.

She also said all Form One entrants next year will also be supplied with new core text books akin to the 2018 class.

Students reporting to public secondary schools in January 2019 will be the second group to benefit from the National Hospital Insurance Fund cover that commenced in May this year.

The Ministry of Education has already released the list of candidates who were shortlisted to join Form One in national schools in 2019.

Candidates who scored more than 400 marks all got admission as more were selected compared to last year.

The ministry has set up a way candidates can check what schools they have been admitted to by sending an SMS to 22384.

The format for the message should be formatted as follows: LNK#Indexnumber. For example, LNK#0471247885.

The service is available for all mobile phone carriers an also attracts a charge of Kshs 25.

Admission to Extra County and County schools will be released on December 5 and will also be available through the same method.

For those with an internet connection, the selection can be accessed on the ministry’s website education.go.ke.

Data from the ministry shows that the available spaces in the 103 national schools stood at 29,712.

In 2018, 12,273 candidates scored 401 marks and above and, therefore, guaranteed slots at some of the prestigious schools.

Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo is sponsoring a bill in Parliament that seeks to curb ‘professional’ sperm donors and the thriving surrogate mothers business.

If approved, the bill will make surrogacy for women below 25 illegal and any man who donates sperm will not claim child ownership.

While briefing the National Assembly Health Committee about the Bill on Tuesday, the legislator said the intention of the proposed law is to deal with cheats who emerge after death to claim that they were children of so and so.

The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill proposes the formation of Assisted Reproductive Technology Authority that will develop standards, regulations and guidelines on assisted reproductive technology, establish and maintain a confidential national database on persons receiving the services or providing sperms and embryos for use, among other functions.

The bill will also oversee donation of sperms and ova storage.

The bill specifies who qualifies for the service and instil discipline among the practitioners who carry out artificial insemination.

This is the second attempt by the third-time legislator to push for the bill that intends to regulate issues surrounding In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Director of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji has appointed Queen's Counsel Khawar Qureshi to lead to prosecute high-profile state corruption cases in an apparent bid by the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to make its effort to fight graft more credible.

Qureshi has taught commercial law at Cambridge University and public international law at King's College London.

He was appointed a visiting professor in commercial law at the University of London in 2006 and a deputy High Court judge in 2013.

In a notice on Tuesday, Haji said he picked the London-based professor through single-sourcing after failing to find a suitable candidate through advertisement.

The DPP noted that the appointment was in line with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, Article 157 (9) of the Constitution and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Act.

“The stakes in such cases are very high and therefore, it is necessary that the proceedings are insulated from public perceptions of political interferences,” the ODPP said in a statement.

Haji further explained that there are several cases of great public importance, as they involve State and public officers, so a private prosecutor will inject confidence.

He noted that the person assisting Kenya in dealing with graft must look, and be seen to be looking, at the law independently - without any external interference whatsoever.

Such a person, he said, must deftly manage relations within the three arms of government and the different justice agencies.

The DPP has brought criminal charges against dozens of senior civil servants and business people this year.

President Uhuru promised to stop the rot when he came to power in 2013, but critics say he has been slow to go after top officials and there have been no high-profile prosecutions.

A group of Thika residents have come together to renovate the aging and dilapidating public primary schools in the spirit of private-public partnerships and as a way to give back to the society.

Under the coordination of ‘AJIBIKA AFRICA SOCIETY’, the residents say that they feel ashamed that the institution they acquired their education from have been neglected for decades and they had decided to take the onus of reviving the institutions’ infrastructure to facilitate a congenial atmosphere for the learners in a programme dubbed “Back To Our Roots”.

(Related story: Thika MP, businessmen introduce ‘Adopt–A–School Programme’ to improve quality of education.)

“It’s quite shameful that our public schools are in such a deplorable condition. Our parents and generations before us took the initiative of building them from the scratch since they knew the value of education but majority of them were let to crumble as everyone looked at the government to build and maintain their infrastructure,” explained Juma Hemedi, the group’s Coordinator during the launch of the programme at Kenyatta primary school, Makongeni Thika.

Juma said that they had heeded to the clarion call by area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina to well-wishers to adopt schools so that they could improve the institutions’ infrastructure for the benefit of the learners.

“The government cannot do this alone because as we all know, there is scarcity of finances. But if everyone took the responsibility to make these institutions more habitable and learner-friendly, the ultimate result will be of benefit to all of us as a community,” he noted.

Their first project as AJIBIKA AFRICA SOCIETY will be to renovate two classrooms at the school as a model project to encourage others to chip in and assist the area MP in making all the public primary schools regain their lost glory of the heydays and be in a position to compete with the private academies both in terms of infrastructure and in quality education.

Speaking separately, MP Wainaina said that his office would support the organisation in its endeavour to make public learning institutions learner-friendly, and called on local companies, businesses and individuals to follow suit.

“We are going to renovate two more classrooms at Kenyatta Primary School adjacent to those done by AJIBIKA using the standards set by the group. We are requesting more people to join on board so that all our learning institutions can accord a congenial atmosphere to the learners,” said Wainaina.
Ajibika is a Swahili word that means “responsible or accountable”.

(See also: MP challenges companies in Thika to emulate ‘Wings to Fly’ Model.)

The group was registered in February 2015 with the aim of creating an independent forum for citizen participation and the need to encourage communities to be pro-active rather than reactive to the challenges facing the country, both at the national and county level.

It takes pride in its vast network of members and volunteers who have been instrumental in helping realise its programmes and objectives.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during the press briefing on Tuesday morning where he suspended the matatu CBD ban with immediate effect.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has with immediate effect, suspended the matatu CBD ban to allow for talks with all affected parties and to alleviate the suffering of wananchi as witnessed on the first day of the implementation of the ban.

In a press briefing in Nairobi on Tuesday morning, Sonko however said that the retreat was just temporary and will be re-introduced within the next three to four months.

“I have noted with deep concern the plight of Nairobi residents as a result of the ban, and hereby announce that the full implementation of this directive has been suspended with immediate effect. This is to facilitate further consultation with all affected parties, in order to find a lasting solution to the problem of vehicular congestion,” said the governor.

While speaking in Kiswahili dialect, Sonko said that between now and the next phase of implementation of the PSV ban, his government will lay down a comprehensive strategy to ensure that this time round, it will not negatively affect the common mwananchi.

Among the activities that his administration is intending to undertake include expanding the existing bus terminus to ensure they can absorb all PSVs getting into Nairobi, procure several high-capacity buses to be used to ferry commuters from the designated bus termini into the CBD and to complete the six Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) corridors.

The Sh9.6 billion Nairobi BRT project got a major boost in October after the European Union (EU) committed a Sh5 billion grant towards its implementation.

This money will be used to develop and install BRT supporting infrastructure in three years. About Sh7 billion of the amount will be used to develop five BRT lines and installing the necessary infrastructure while Sh2.6 billion will be used to procure 50 high-capacity buses.

Governor Sonko launched scathing attack on those criticising his efforts to decongest the city saying that their ‘noises’ will not intimidate him neither deter him from implementing his agenda as promised to the people of Nairobi.

He particularly chided the chair of Matatu Owners Association (MOA) Simon Kimutai whom he described as a cartel who has manipulated the matatu business ever since he (Sonko) was in high school. The governor asked to step aside and let ‘new blood’ take over the leadership of the PSV body.

“You (Kimutai) should stop intimidating me or my county askaris. You are the biggest cartel in the matatu industry. You have been in this leadership ever since I was in high school. Just leave and let in new blood who can work with the county government,” said Sonko.

He also warned Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to keep off Nairobi politics, adding that if he (Kuria) had interests in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat, he should wait for his time and to run his government in his own way.

“Leave Nairobi alone. You cannot intimidate us with cheap politics of NHIF. If you want to be governor of Nairobi, wait for your time and come plan your government then,” he said to Kuria.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina presenting a trophy to one of the outstanding players in the tournament.

In an effort to fight against crime and substance abuse within the Mt. Kenya region, a section of Thika youth have together and organised various social activities which include soccer tournaments that have brought together their peers within Kiambu County.

Over the past one week, Mtaa Youth Group have organised a 22-team tournament from across Kiambu County dubbed “SAY NO TO CRIME, CRIME SI POA WACHA FUTAA ICHEZWE” that was hosted at St. Patrick Primary School Grounds.

The group, which is now a year old, came up with this initiative due to the high rate of their peers who were getting hooked up in drug addiction and crime, majority of whom ending up in jail or ‘kupewa mchuma’ (shot dead by the police).

“Most of our youth are getting hooked to ‘kete’ (cocaine) and are engaging in daring muggings and eventually ending up in jail, being lynched by irate mob or shot dead by the police. This trend is worrying and we had to do something to arrest the situation,” said the group’s Treasurer John Kariuki Wanjiru alias ‘Rio’.

Though Rio admits that it has been an uphill task due to unavailability of funds and youth resistance to change, he reckons that the group had made great strides in reforming their peers, consequently reducing the rate of crime significantly around Majengo, Ofafa and Starehe areas where the core of their members hail from.

“Our next move will be to take our mission to schools as we attempt to prevent teens from engaging in crime and substance abuse through football,” he said.

His sentiments were supported by his colleague Evans Okello aka ‘Coach Wemba’ who appealed to area leaders to support the initiative as a way of bringing together the youth and fighting crime through economic empowerment.

“I am appealing to our leaders to support us nature these talents and build a team that can compete in regional and premier leagues. We need sponsors to pay football subscriptions and acquire playing kits,” said Coach Wemba.

Area MP Patrick Wainaina who was the chief guest hailed the group’s initiative and promised to assist them achieve their dreams.

He requested them to form clusters for economic empowerment and job creation in order to attract more youth out of poverty, crime and substance abuse.

“Go form clusters of about 25 members and my office will assist you with the registration and acquisition of government funding and other necessary financial assistance from well-wishers. After that, we are going to train you in financial management and help you take up tenders from my CDF tenders worth about Ksh. 500,000 each,” said the MP.

He promised to support and nurture sports and talents in amongst the local youth through various activities initiated by the youth themselves.

The inaugural tournament culminated on Sunday afternoon with finals between Starehe FC and Islamic FC, both from Thika West Sub-County, where the former won 5-4 on post-match penalties to lift the trophy and a cash award of Ksh. 30,000, all donated by the office of the MP.

The runners-up went home with medals and a cash token of Ks. 15,000 with the second runners-up pocketing sh. 5,000.

Various players who excelled in their departments were also given trophies and cash awards.

Each of the top three teams got uniforms donated by the area CDF office.

Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato has enormous health benefits including its ability to help gain weight, boost immunity, ease digestion and treating bronchitis. It also helps in treating arthritis and stomach ulcers.
In this post, we give elaborations on the various health benefits of Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP).

1. Helps prevent Vitamin A deficiency
Of the many varieties of sweet potatoes, Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato is highly rich in beta-carotene, which is an excellent source of Vitamin A. In developing countries where vitamin A deficiency, especially in children, is a big challenge, consumption of orange-fleshed sweet potato is a good solution. Vitamin A helps improve resistance to infectious disease, increases morbidity and prevents dry eyes. It also reduces mortality in pregnant women and lactating mothers and their children.

2. Helps improve digestion
Like other sweet potatoes, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is high in fibre and has a good taste. There is also the presence of magnesium in the OFSP. These properties combined improves digestion a great deal. They are easy to digest since they are mainly starch.

3. Helps to gain weight
Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is made up of adequate amounts of complex starch, vitamins and some amount of proteins. So, for people like those who have recently suffered from illness, the abnormally thin, OFSP provides lots of energy for them to gain their weight.

4. Treatment of inflammation
Like common potatoes and sweet potatoes, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato has anti-inflammatory properties. This is basically due to the presence of beta-carotene, vitamin C and magnesium. They are very effective in curing internal and external inflammations.

5. Boosts immune system
As mentioned before, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is rich in beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a major antioxidant and together with phosphorus, iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin B complex and iron are a very good immune booster, preventing your body from a variety of ill conditions.

6. Helps treat bronchitis
Sweet potatoes generally are capable of warming up the body. This property may be due to their sweetness and other nutrients that impact body temperature. It is also beneficial for people suffering from bronchitis, along with its powerful effect on congestion. The concentration of vitamin C, iron, and other nutrients help to cure bronchitis.

7. Reduces arthritis pain
Sweet potatoes generally are high in beta-carotene, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B and so are important in managing arthritis. Use the water after boiling sweet potatoes externally on joints to ease the pain of arthritis.

8. Treats stomach ulcers
Sweet potatoes generally have a soothing effect on the stomach and the intestines. They contain vitamin B-complex, vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and calcium. These are good in curing stomach ulcers. Moreover, the roughage in the sweet potato helps prevent constipation which may lead to acid formation. When constipation is prevented, there is no acid formation to cause an ulcer. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of sweet potatoes also reduce the pain and inflammation of the ulcers.

9. Helps prevent dehydration
Like sweet potatoes, Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato is high in fibre which helps the body to retain water. This helps the maintain water balance in your body, keeping the cells functioning efficiently.

10. Helps control diabetes
They say sweet potatoes, generally are not good for people with diabetes. However, they help proper secretion and function of insulin. The insulin helps in effective regulation of blood sugar levels. Notwithstanding, we advise that diabetics should eat them very cautiously. It is suggested that it is a healthier option to take sweet potatoes instead of rice or other carbohydrates.

In conclusion
Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato has enormous health benefits recommended for domestic consumption. This variety of sweet potatoes is versatile and can really contribute to food security and improvement in health.

(Source: http://agrihomegh.com)

Two men were on Friday arraigned before a Thika court for defiling minors aged between 4 and 6 years on two separate occasions.

In the first case, Evans Matheka Kariuki, who is a student in one of the local universities, was accused that on the 26th day of this month at Ofafa estate in Thika West Sub-County, he lured a 6-year old girl into his rented house and later forcefully defiled her, rapturing her private parts in the process.

He is said to have later threatened to kill her if at all she disclosed the matter to anyone.

Through his lawyer Kanyi Kirichu, Matheka denied the charges.

Senior Resident Magistrate Grace Omodho released him on a bond of sh. 500,000.

In the same court, Samuel Mwita Ayenda was charged of defiling a 4-year old girl in Landless Estate Thika West Sub-County.

The court heard that on the 24th day of November 2018, he defiled the minor and injured her in her private parts, a charge he denied.

He was also released on a sh. 500,000 bond.

Both cases will be mentioned on December 11 2018 and a hearing date set on that day.

Your Excellency, Hon. Kivutha Kibwana – Governor of Makueni County The Cabinet Secretary for Education, Amb (Dr.) Amina Mohamed, All protocols observed

I take this opportunity to welcome the new Chancellor JKUAT and Professor Victoria Ngumi the new Vice Chancellor JKUAT. The county government appreciates the role JKUAT plays towards the livelihoods of the great people of Kenya and more so to the residents of Kiambu County given its location.

The county Government will give you unwavering support in areas within its mandate. Education is a driver for the big four agenda. The County Government in recognizing the need to support skills development, has greatly improved vocational training centres and has worked hard to increase the same from 33 centres to the current 40 centres. These centres are training personnel in various disciplines that feed into technical learning institutions and ultimately to University raising the enrollment. Therefore, I am calling on JKUAT to partner with the County government to develop courses that will equip these graduates with skills that are relevant to the global market needs.

JKUAT’s contribution to the improvement of infrastructure in Juja and its environs has inspired the County Government to come up with a modern market facility to boost food security and hygiene to avoid communicable diseases. The road between Juja and Gatundu is also under construction to ensure accessibility to Gatundu level 4 hospital by the members of the community and JKUAT students from the College of Health Sciences and other sectors of the university.

My Government is also working towards piping water from Karemenu dam for the university use and for the homes around. This will ease the perennial water shortage as the University may no longer rely on Ndarugo River which at times can be seasonal. Construction of the sewer system is almost complete and the university will shortly be connected. This will redeem the University plot near the highway which can be used for other purposes like research and academic development.

JKUAT is a Hub in ICT thus the County Government is calling upon the University to find ways to collaborate with it in the development of ICT solutions especially in the improvement of service delivery. My government is currently rehabilitating a big number of alcohol and drug abuse victims who are responding well and are currently undergoing training courses in our vocational centers in order to equip them with life skills and technical courses that will improve their livelihood and create positive attitude towards life in general. We call upon our students to restrain from this cancerous vice that has degraded lives of many gifted individuals leaving them hopeless and in severe cases costing their lives.

Finally, to our graduands, I am honored to be addressing you today, as I salute you as the group of scholars who have greatly sacrificed to reach this milestone. I believe besides learning the main course you have created networks and realized the importance of team work in order to change the world. As you graduate today, take note that your certificate is just a blunt instrument which you must all be committed to sharpen to befit global expectations. You must plan to work smart to enrich its worth. To do this, live a life of integrity. Do not conform to peer pressure and societal norms but be true to yourself and do not give in to life’s frustrations. Remember we all create our own environment, go out there charged to live a successful, peaceful and focused life. As we unfold the new chapter in our lives let's all dream big, start small and start now. I leave you with this simple question,

What impact do you want to have in your world? May God bless the graduands, Bless JKUAT and Bless Kiambu County and our great nation. Asanteni sana



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