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THIKA: 2017 Year in Review (PART III)

Photos of some of the major events that happened in Thika in the first quarter of 2017.
May 2017

Police forced to lob tear gas canisters to avert an ugly political clash.

Makongeni police were on 26th May forced to lob teargas canisters to break up a violent clash between two opposing political outfits at Madaraka Market Makongeni in Thika Town Constituency.

Violence erupted at around 4pm after a team of Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Wa Jungle) started leveling the road separating the market and Makongeni Phase 4. A group of people emerged from the market chanting the name of area MP Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a, confronted the other group and demanded them to “disappear” as that “was not Wainaina’s zone”. 

The Wainaina group is said to have resisted and insisted that the road was a public infrastructure and they were entitled, as residents too, to answer the cries of the people of Makongeni who had suffered for long over the poor state of the road.

It was at this moment the group from market attempted to violently evict the Wainaina team but were outnumbered and repulsed back into the market, forcing the deployment of the police to avert bloodshed.

Drivers Fume as KeNHA Blocks Usage of Chania Footbridge by vehicles.

Motorist getting out of Thika town got a rude shock on 20th May when the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) officials blocked the usage of the Chania footbridge sighting potential danger as a result of vehicles accessing the Thika superhighway via the bridge.

Drivers getting out of town through the now famous “Baba Yao Mama Tena” exit road had to drive all the way to the Thika flyover near Ngoingwa Estate to access the Murang’a-bound lane of the superhighway unlike initially when they just made a U-Turn across River Chania using the bridge.

KeNHA had earlier in the morning deployed its workers and erected concrete road stock barriers to prevent any vehicle from using that part of the bridge.

A C-section gone wrong - Mother falls into a seven months comma.

Sophia Wairimu’s joy of delivering a set of twins ended up in a seven-month comma after what her husband Joseph Ndirangu described as a C-Section gone wrong.

When he came to Thika Town Today on 20th May for a press brief, his twin sons were seven months old but had never seen their mother who immediately fell into a comma after the C-section in one of the local hospitals on the 13th of October 2016.

Ndirangu faced a myriad of challenges taking care of their sons, moving from one hospital to another in search of help.

April 2017.

Thika Decides: Mama Tano Tena.

Jubilee Party’s Constituency Returning Officer Ann Kamiti on April 25th announced the results of the party nominations in Thika Town Constituency.

Incumbent Alice Wambui Ng’ang’a was declared winner with 15,880 votes against her closest rival Eng. Patrick Wainaina Wa Jungle who garnered 14, 731 votes. Morris Mburu came third with 3,127 votes.

The wave of change seemed to have swept across the populous Thika Town Constituency after voters sent home all the sitting MCAs except one during the just concluded party primaries. Among the 5 MCAs who constitute Thika Town Constituency, only Gatuanyaga Ward Representative Cecilia Wamaitha survived the primaries in the race that saw her colleagues given a vote of no confidence.

However, Wainaina later disputed the results and accused powerful officials at the Jubilee Party Headquarters, Thika security personnel and some goons of rigging him out.

He later registered for the August 8 General Elections as an Independent Candidate.

Scores Injured In Freak Accident Near KVM, Thika.

A head-on collision near Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers Limited (KVM) on April 10 left scores injured, several of them with serious injuries after a 2TS matatu was involved in a head-on collision with a Mitsubishi canter belonging to Mini Bakeries, the makers of supa loaf bread.

The accident, which occurred at around 3pm, is said to have occurred when the truck slammed into the matatu that was heading towards Makongeni from Thika Town.    

Renowned Thika Businessman Passes On.

William Gatuhi Murathe, a renowned businessman in Thika for over four decades passed on April 8 at the Aga Khan Hospital where he was undergoing medication.

The late Gatuhi Murathe was the father to former Gatanga MP David Murathe and the proprietor of Murathe Plaza behind the former December Hotel.

He was a renowned Wines & Spirits trader, Coffee farmer and also ventured heavily in transportation and housing construction. He was one of the founding African businessmen in Kenya and amongst first pioneer beneficiaries of the Africanisation programme of the Kenyan government.

Pro-Gakuyo Demos Paralyse Thika Town.

Business in Thika Town was temporarily paralysed on April 4th after a section of Gakuyo Real Estate/ Ekeza Sacco workers and investors staged a demonstration protesting what they referred to as ‘political attacks’ on the two institutions.

While holding placards and banners, the demonstrators walked around the town streets chanting in support of Rev. Dr. David Kariuki Ngare (Gakuyo) whom they claimed was being targeted by his political rivals for his resolve to vie for Kiambu gubernatorial seat.

They accused KTN and the Standard Media Group of meddling in Kiambu County politics by airing a damaging report against Rev. Gakuyo.

March 2017.

Thika Businesswoman Arrested After ‘Kidnapping’ Herself To Raise Ransom From Relatives.

Thika police arrested a 45-year-old businesswoman for allegedly making a false report of a crime and trying to swindle through a self-scripted kidnap plan.

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

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

Key Schemer To Mrs. Githitu’s Murder Arrested In Maua, Meru.

Detectives from Makuyu Flying Squad arrested another suspect following the murder of Thika businesswoman Joyce Wambui Githitu.

Alex Musee Ngui, 34, was arrested on March 21 in Maua Town where he was reported to have been hiding, bringing to nine, the number of suspects arrested and questioned by the police over the murder.

Musee who was a Standard Three dropout and unemployed. He was believed to have played a pivotal role in the planning and execution of the murder plot.

Drama As Residents Parade Woman For Allegedly ‘Selling’ Minors To Older Men.

There was drama in Thika’s Majengo Estate on March 20th after a woman in her 40s was frog-matched across the streets carrying a placard for allegedly luring young girls into the traps of older men for sexual exploitation.

This woman identified as Mary Wanjiru Karume was cornered in her house, jerked out and parading her along the streets before attempting to force her to confess her evil deeds publicly.

According to the victim who is not yet 18, the woman, who was a personal friends and business neighbour to her mother, lured her to the said man a week earlier where they were bought some soft drinks. Two days later, she and her auntie (still a minor) were invited to a Thika Hotel where they were supposed to have a good time.

Two Middle-Aged Women Arrested For Attempting To Steal From A Women Using 'Dawa'.

Thika police on 17th March arrested two middle-aged women for sedating and attempting to steal from another woman within the CBD. The two were arrested near Family Bank along Uhuru Street where they had been spotted by a security gourd working nearby as they tried to trick the victim into releasing her possessions to them.

Their arrest attracted a huge crowd who were baying for their blood forcing the police to use force to disperse the irate crowd before whisking them to a waiting police van and straight to Thika Police Station.

When word went round that two women had been arrested trying to 'medicinally' con another woman, several previous victims went to identify the culprits. Two among them positively identified the suspects, confirming that they were responsible for the loss of their money and possessions worth over a hundred thousand shillings on separate but similar circumstances.

Primary School Teacher Commits Suicide In Makongeni.

Police in Thika on March 15 retrieved a body of a 48-year old Primary School teacher after he allegedly committed suicide in his house in Makongeni area.

David Mbuthia a teacher at Gitiri Primary School in Thika was found hanging in his bathroom with a rope on his neck.

His neighbours had earlier reported to the area chief after they noticed the deceased hadn’t woken up early as usual to report to his teaching duty. They knocked his door severally in vain.

The circumstances leading to the suicide was still unknown by then.

February 2017.

Businesslady Slain by unknown people at her home.

Joyce Wambui Githitu or Mama Mercy was February 27th murdered by unknown people at her Maki Estate home near Jogoo Kimakia Hotel in Murang’a County between 8pm and 10pm after arriving from work.

Unidentified people barged into her compound before attacking her with a crude weapon that killed her instantly. Her killing was unknown to her neighbours until the following morning when her house help raised alarm.

The murder scene was stained in blood, an indication that the victim may have tried to run away before she succumbed to the blow.

Four Dead, Two Hospitalised After Drowning In Factory's Effluent Pit.

Four people died on after drowning in an effluent pit they were unclogging at Leather Industries Limited in Thika on February 22nd. Two others were transferred to a Nairobi hospital in critical condition.

Five of the victims had been assigned to unclog some refuse that had blocked waste water from flowing away when one of them accidentally fell into this deep manhole at around 12:30pm. It was as his colleagues attempted to rescue him that they too got chocked by gases emitted by the solution and followed suit.

One of the dead was a security guard who rushed to the scene, fifteen minutes later, when word went round that some workers had perished into the septic hole.

Sources who sought for anonymity for fear of reprisal said that the victims might have been overwhelmed by the strong gases emitted by the waste water causing them to get dizzy and fall off. 
They added that some of the chemicals used to preserve the hides as well as those used to break the waste for disposal could have contributed to the accident.

Thika schools attacked by the Stomach Bug Norovirus.

Virtually all the local primary schools and several other government and private institutions recorded cases of some stomach virus. The Thika branch of the Gertrude's Children’s Hospital plus several other private health institutions confirmed receiving several cases within the week, expressing fears of the outbreak.

Several officers especially in government offices went on sick leave after the attack. The situation was a replica in many offices more so those that are frequented by members of public.

Some sources from the Ministry of Health pointed out that the situation could be as a result the drought situation that had brought about water scarcity.

January 2017.

President Uhuru Cancels Makongeni, Ngoliba Visit due to political hooliganism.

The residents of Makongeni Estate, Gatuanyaga and Ngoliba Wards in Thika Town Constituency on January 27th went home a dejected lot after the much anticipated visit by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta was prematurely cut short and diverted elsewhere.

This was after ugly incidents that were perpetuated by local politicians. The president was infuriated by the manner in which some Thika leaders organised some youth to shout down each other in a battle of supremacy with the aim of catching the president’s eye especially at the Gatitu Junction. 

Several attempts by the president to cool off this temper yielded no fruits but instead worsened as supporters of other candidates confronted this group.

Intelligence reports at the time indicated that the situation in Makongeni was very volatile as different politicians had organised a political match ups for a similar reason, probably prompting the president to cut short his Thika visit without notice.

Seven Suspects In Police Custody Over Boy Kelson’s Kidnap

Seven kidnapping suspects on January 6th were arrested following the kidnapping of 4-year old Kelson Kimani in their home at Section 9 estate.

The suspects, five women and two men, were arrested in Kasarani area, Nairobi as they were attempting to transfer the victim to another destination.

Kelson, who was found alive and unharmed, had been held in Ruaka, Kiambaa Constituency but on suspicion that the kidnappers were being trailed, they suspects attempted to transfer him to Mwiki Kasarani Constituency where they were intercepted before they could board a vehicle.

Thika Businessman Dies In A Hotel After An Affair With A Young Lady.

A prominent Thika businessman died in a hotel room after an escapade with a young lady in her mid-twenties.

The deceased (names withheld), who was in his late 60s, died on arrival at a nearby private hospital after allegedly committing adultery with his clande of four years. According our sources, the man checked into the hotel at about 4:00pm on 3rd January 2017 and booked a room. He was joined by the young lady a while later.

The woman is said to have raised an alarm a couple of hours later after the man complained of severe headache and was foaming at the mouth. The hoteliers and sympathisers, who were attracted, made frantic effort to resuscitate the man and rushed him to the hospital where he was confirmed dead by doctors.

Kiandutu Girl Beats All Odds To Top County With Straight As.

Juliet Akinyi from the sprawling Kiandutu Slums in Thika Sub-County managed to get perfect scores in this year’s KCSE exams, igniting jubilation from both Kiambu and Murang’a Counties.

Akinyi emerged KCSE 2016 leading candidate in Murang’a County after scoring straight As of 81 points.  Her scores were as follows; English B, Kiswahili A, Mathematics A, Biology A-, Physics A, Chemistry A Geography A and CRE A.

Despite constantly being sent home for school fees throughout her high school life, the 18 year old student at Mugoiri Girls high school remained focused to excel. Her resolve was driven by the urge to succeed in life and eventually be in a position to support her family of six siblings.

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