May 2018

A truck driver will on Monday be arraigned at a Thika Court to be charged with causing the death of two persons by careless driving.

Samson Oyodi Morrias was arrested for causing the deaths of two people on Thursday afternoon near Gretsa University along the Thika-Garissa Highway.

According to Thika West OCPD Willy Simba, Oyodi was driving a trailer towards Makongeni direction when he hit, from behind, a motorcycle that was infront of his vehicle, killing the rider on the spot.

The female pillion passenger aged approximately 30 years was rushed at Thika Level Five Hospital where she succumbed to injuries and passed on.

The bodies of the victims have been preserved at General Kago Road Funeral Home awaiting identification and contacts from relatives.

The truck and the wreckage from the motorcycle have been detained at Thika Police Station.

The suspected is being held at the same station.

The artistic view of the proposed ICT Park at Konza.
Vision 2030 is a sort of catch phrase in Kenya, thanks to a government development blueprint aimed at transforming the country into a middle-level economy in less than 20 years.
By 2030, Kenya hopes to be where eastern economic tigers like Singapore are today — economically, socially, and politically.

Over the years, urban planners have grappled with the problem of decongesting the city of Nairobi whose population is now close to four million. In March 2013, the then Lands minister James Orengo signed a document entitled, “Spatial Planning Concept for Nairobi Metropolitan Region”, in which six thematic cities are included as part of an ambitious Government plan to reorganise economic activities around the city.

According to the plan, world-class living standards — good infrastructure, affordable housing for all, effective transportation, effective governance, secure neighbourhoods and a booming economy — await residents under the jurisdiction of the City Council of Nairobi and 14 other former local authorities that make up the 32,000 square kilometre Nairobi Metropolitan Region.

The new region covers Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Murang’a counties with a total population of 6.7 million, according to the 2009 national population census.

There are 4 regions that compromise the Nairobi Metro Region area. The city area of Nairobi measures 684 sq kilometres alone, with the larger metro area covering 3,000sq. km. The land of Nairobi’s region falls from the edge of the Rift Valley in the west at an elevation of 2,300 metres, to 1,500 metres to the east of the city, with the centre of the city standing at 1,700 metres. Nairobi was a staging post for agrarian and pastoral tribes. In the early 1900’s the trading boundaries were stretched from Uganda through Nairobi to Mombasa on the coast. The UAE has invested in broadband for all. Digital trade has started.

The envisaged metropolis will apply five levels of settlement:

Level 1 Regional Centre (Nairobi).

It will have the highest order of economic and social infrastructure, with specialised world -class services and facilities. It will, for example, have specialised medical facilities and will also host a number of universities. It will also have the highest administrative functions.

Level 2 Sub-Regional Centres. 

They will have administrative functions/county headquarters, major commercial centre, degree level and technical training centres, intermediate hospitals, and a sports centre. The proposed settlements are Thika, Kikuyu, Kiambu, Machakos, Tala/Kangundo, and Kajiado.

Level 3 Priority Towns. 

These are new towns to be developed with the main aim of decongesting Nairobi. They will provide support for the Level 1 and 2 centres. They will have industrial services, police stations, and social/recreational centres.

Level 4 Growth Centre. 

They will be intermediary towns for promoting rural development and will be useful in achieving a balanced distribution of urban population. They will also provide linkages between smaller towns and the sub-regional centres. They will include Limuru, Karuri, Juja, Mavoko, Kitengela, and Loitokitok.

Level 5 Basic Village. 

These will be all other remaining rural settlements within the Nairobi Metropolitan Region.

Here are the new cities.

1. Aerotropolis.

This proposed new aerotropolis town will be within Thika Constituency, North of Garissa Road between 
the proposed regional orbital and the Great Eastern Bypass extension to Thika.

The central core of the aerotropolis will be located towards Thika and will comprise a new international airport, a CBD and other commercial and administrative units.

The town will sit on 2,000 hectares, excluding the area for the proposed airport. It will accommodate a population of 100,000 with a population density of 50 people per square hectare. 55% of the working population will be engaged in the service sector at the proposed airport and another 15% in the airport related industrial area.

It is envisaged that all air transport related activities, currently scattered all over the current city and beyond, will be centralised in the aerotropolis. The structure of the new city will take advantage of two major roads in the vicinity: Garissa Road and the Great Eastern by-pass.

2. Knowledge/Health city.

This will be located in Kiambu County North of Limuru Road near Ruaka Town in the midst of coffee and tea plantations. It will be made up of agricultural research centres, a technological university, management institutes, agro-based health centres and hospitals, among other institutions.

3. Cyber city.

A new techno city was also proposed to spur economic growth with information technology as the key driver.

The Cyber City will be located in Machakos County at the junction of the Greater Eastern by-pass and Kangundo Road, approximately 30 kilometres from Nairobi.

It will host service-oriented industries in the field of information technology and information technology enabled services (IT/ITeS) Interestingly, Konza City, the much touted Kenyan ‘Silicon Valley’, is located within the same neighbourhood.

It remains to be seen how the Government will amalgamate the development of the two interrelated cities.

4. Sports city.

With Kenya’s global reputation as a sporting nation, a new town meant to spur further growth in the sector was also proposed.

To be located on relatively flat land at the junction of Mombasa Road and the regional orbital in Machakos County, the Sports City will incorporate world-class sporting venues and sports academies, including a 60,000-seater multi-purpose outdoor stadium, a 25,000-seater cricket ground, a 10,000-seater indoor arena and a 5,000-seater field hockey stadium.

There will be related amenities such as hotels, entertainment outlets, schools, medical facilities and retail opportunities where 70 per cent of the working population is expected to serve.

5. Transport city.

A major proposal in the concept is the establishment of a new transport and logistics hub to facilitate freight transport within the region.

The new town that will be located near the transport hub between Kajiado and Konza, will service the proposed transport and logistics hub, comprising a rail and truck terminal as well as an inland container depot.

6. Amboseli new town.

An interesting inclusion in the metropolitan concept is a new tourist town adjacent to Amboseli National Park, deep in Kajiado County.

The proposed town will include hotels, resorts, entertainment outlets, gaming arcades, outdoor activities with lush green landscaped gardens.

Well, the year 2030 is just 12 years from now. But the big question that lingers in the Kenyan mind is, will the journey to create a world-class metropolis that is expected to improve the quality of life for residents and create more business opportunities for investors be a reality or just another pipe dream, considering the country’s previous grandiose plans that never were.

By Francis Kinyua

What do you do with you plastic, metallic or glass bottle after you have your beverage.
Joyce Wanjiku, a 45 years old and a mother of 8 from Kiandutu slums, Thika has a unique way of utilizing the waste bottles. 
Her day starts as early as 5:00 am in the morning and ends as late as 11:00 pm. 
Every morning she has to wake up early before the people who sell bottles makes it to the dust bins. She does the collection up to 8:00 am and she still does the same at late night.
After collecting the bottles she settles down at her site and business starts as usual, constructing a house using the used old bottles. 
Her inability to make ends meet or afford to raise sh. 200 house rent drove her to innovate her own way to survive. Joyce says that the skill is her own creativity, a means to conserve environment and earn a living too.
Joyce found her way to Thika after she was chased away from the streets of Nairobi. With no roof over her head, she opted to devise her own way to ensure that her kids get shelter.
She is so determined that her one-roomed house will soon be complete and become her dwelling place and a tourist attraction. 
Currently, she is camping at the outskirts of Kiandutu slums and sometimes she would go even for two days without food. 0ne thing she is happy about is that she is building her house at no cost though on a public land. 
“I only need mud, water and the bottles which are readily available” she quotes
Though a similar project has been done by Eco-Tech an American construction company, hers looks unique because she uses even glass bottles. 
A similar project was done by a certain Sammy from the Coastal Region of  Kenya.
Sammy did his using plastic bottles after he took an initiative of utilizing the bottles that had choked the Indian Ocean.

“Everything in this house will be made of bottles including beds and chairs” Joyce says.
She is appealing to NEMA to support he initiative as she looks forward to conserving the environment and assisting in making the plastic ban more effective by absorbing the waste.
Joyce has amazed many for her unique style of recycling waste material and with the columns similar to those used in the construction of a storey building. 
Truly she has changes waste to taste.
(The writer is a freelance journalist)

At a small garage tucked in the heart of Langas Estate in the outskirts of Eldoret Town, Samuel Karumbo is putting together the final touches to what he terms as a trail blazing invention. He says that while growing up, he badly needed a car but a cost effective one.
And out of this necessity, this innovation was born.

“I admired owning a car and since I did not have enough money to buy one, I just sat down and remembered that I am an innovator. That is when I thought of coming up with a unique car, a solar-powered car that does not require any fuel,” said Karumbo.

For four months, he converted his small compound into a temporary workshop. This was his foundry where he transformed concept into reality. His work, he says, has now paid off.

“The solar car is taking advantage of the panels that collect the rays from the sun then convert them into electronic energy then the electronic energy will be stored in the batteries then you can use the energy from the battery to drive the wheel,” explained Karumbo who holds a diploma in Electrical Installation from Kitale Technical Polytechnic.

He said the vehicle depends heavily on gravity when on descend. The motor acts as a generator for producing energy for later use. The car can cover about 50 km in a day, the only challenge being the low speed motor which doesn’t allow it to use energy faster. This hybrid car, or green energy car as he often refers to it, can also be used to charge phones or provide home lighting.

Karumbo said he wants to use the car to create awareness and reach out to people to adopt clean energy to protect the environment. “One of the mitigating interventions that the country should put in place is to promote investments that work towards attaining the goal of using 100% renewable energy from sources such as solar, geothermal, tidal waves, the wind and even municipal waste as opposed to using fossil fuel generated power,” explained Karumbo.

He now wants the government to support him manufacture more solar cars.

“My dream is that one day the government will support me put up a big workshop so that I can be able to manufacture more solar cars and sell them to Kenyans so that we can get rid of fuel emissions on our roads that has great effect to our environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, his innovation has sent a wave of excitement among the residents of Langas.

“People take our Langas estate as a place that holds criminals but what we have seen is miraculously (sic) that we have a youth who can actually come up with such an innovation and have other youth emulate him,” said Stanley Maingi, a resident.

Paul Ogeto, another resident said: “We are asking the government to support this young man to get wherever he wishes to reach because he can really do great things in this country.”

Karumbo said he has so far spent about KSh 125, 000 to assemble the vehicle and although he has received interest from some buyers he says, that is still further down the road.

(Story, photos courtesy of

National Youth Service (NYS) suspects arraigned in court. PHOTO| COURTESY
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti on Tuesday ruled that all the 33 National Youth Service (NYS) scam suspects, who include Public Service and Youth Affairs PS Lillian Wanja Muthoni Mbogo Omollo and NYSDirector General Richard Ethani Ndubai, to be remanded in prison until Tuesday 5th June 2018 when court will rule on their bail application.

Omollo and Ndubai pleaded not guilty to charges leveled against them over the Ksh.9 billion scandal at NYS.

The two were charged with abuse of office, willful failure to comply with applicable procedures on guidelines relating to the management of public funds among other charges.

Thirty-one others were charged alongside Ms. Omollo and Mr. Ndubai at the anti-corruption court where they pleaded not guilty to several corruption charges including conspiracy to commit an economic crime and to defraud over Ksh.28 million.
The prosecution opposed the release of the suspects on bail and at the same time urged the court to issue warrant of arrests against the suspects who did not appear in court.
It was the prosecution’s argument that if the accused are released on bail, they are likely to interfere with witnesses.Similarly, they argue that the evidence gathered so far is strong and sufficient to secure conviction against all the accused persons and hence there is likelihood of them absconding if released on bail.

“There are compelling reasons to warrant the detention of the accused persons pending hearing and determination of their case,” reads the affidavit.
The Magistrate, however, directed that the court first deal with the taking of plea and would later address the issues of suspects absent in court and lastly on bail.
The prosecution says it has 10 files on different matters and different transactions on the money involved in the scandal and wants each file treated separately in terms of bail application.The Investigating officer filed an affidavit  arguing the accused persons should not be released on bail citing among other things interference with witnesses and National Security.
In response to the Affidavit by the Investigating Officer the defense argued, only Parliament can deny the accused persons bail by amending the law to say they do not qualify for bail.
The Magistrate declined a plea by the prosecution to have the case adjourned to Tuesday over security concerns and on grounds that it was getting late in the day.
“If adjourned the accused will stay in custody for the third day with no fault of their own. We will proceed to the conclusion of the motions. I’m aware that security has been beefed up in this premises we are operating from and that security should not be an issue. Any part seeking for a health break including the court shall communicate accordingly. So we shall proceed,” ruled the judge.

Yesterday's high court decision means all these suspects will not be held in Police Stations but technically in the section of  jail called remand.

On Monday, the Prosecution will hand over all evidence and an inventory to the defense.

All those on the run were also asked to report at CID for processing and plea taking by Thursday at 2pm or face arrest.

On Wednesday 6th June, the accused persons will then appear in two or three different courts for pre-trial to check compliance and then set up hearing dates and a proper pre-trial conference.

H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta chaired a Special Cabinet Meeting today at State House, Nairobi, during which Cabinet considered and approved the following Cabinet Papers:
1. The National Disaster Risk Management Policy
Cabinet approved the National Disaster Risk Management Policy. The Policy is benchmarked on the best practices in disaster risk management. It lays down the strategies for ensuring the Government commits itself to enhancement of research in disasters and formulation of risk reduction strategies.
2. The Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2018

Cabinet approved the Public Finance Management (National Drought Emergency Fund) Regulations, 2018. The Regulations are meant to guide the operations of the National Drought Emergency Fund which is to be established for the purpose of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of drought risk management systems in the country as well as to provide a common basket of emergency funds for drought risk management.
3. The Proposed Public Finance Management (Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund) Regulations, 2018

Cabinet also approved the Proposed Public Finance Management (Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund) Regulations 2018. The Regulations are meant to guide the operations of the Sports, Arts and Social Development Fund. The principal objective of the Fund is to provide a sustainable financing to sports persons, artists and cultural practitioners.
4. The Proposed Write-off and Restructuring of Principal and Waiver of Accrued Interest Relating to Non-performing Loans

Cabinet approved the Proposed Write-off and Restructuring of Principal and Waiver of Accrued Interest Relating to Non-Performing Loans. The National Treasury having analysed loans previously given to various public entities has recommended a write-off of principal loans totalling to Kshs 2.9 billion; restructuring/rescheduling of principal loans amounting to Kshs 764.3 million and conversion to grants of principal loans totalling to Kshs 268.2 million.
5. The Joint National Mapping and Resource Mapping Using Multi Agency Approach (JNAM)

Cabinet approved the Joint National Mapping and Resource Mapping using Multi-Agency Approach to enable the provision of secure up-to-date geospatial data at minimum cost that would be shared across a wide range of functions within government for planning and development purposes.
6. Policy Approval to Restructure the Aviation Sector

Cabinet approved the proposal for the National Treasury and the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing & Urban Development to commence the process of coming up with strategies on how best to restructure the aviation sector with a view to achieving the desired quantum leap necessary to achieve a truly competitive regional aviation hub. The aim is to restore Kenya’s aviation competitiveness, and to reclaim the country’s position as an anchor economy in Africa, with Nairobi as the African civil aviation hub.

Central Bank Governor Patrick Njoroge on Tuesday announced the release of new 50-shilling notes following a public outcry over their shortage. 

“We expect that they will circulate to the citizens,” the CBK boss said in a tweet.

He further revealed that the banks' regulator is pushing a clean-note policy “with the aim to withdraw from circulation, notes beyond a certain level of usage.”

Early this year, Kenyans protested the low circulation of Sh50 notes and raised concern over the state of dilapidation of the existing ones.

(Source The Star)

Some of the scenes at Umoja Estate near Ananas mall where the road has been rendered impassible due to flood water. this has resulted to daily traffic jams along Garissa road especially between Engen Petrol Station and Landless Estate.

Residents of Umoja and Nanasi Estates in Thika West Sub-County spent the better part of Monday repairing a section of the road that was rendered impassable following heavy rains.

The residents claimed that they resorted to doing the repairs themselves after their outcry to the leaders to do the dilapidated 30 metres section proved futile, forcing them to use a very long route to get to Makongeni Estate, which is just a stone throw away.

According to them, the county government has remained deaf to their repeated calls as the remained cut off from the other parts of the town, besides being a major setback for business people in the area and children who risk drowning in the pools of stagnant water that only need a simple trench to drain the water away.

They say that they have written to several leaders asking them to intervene but action is yet to be taken.

Beatrice Wanjiku, a resident of Nanasi estate and a member of the area community policing, said that after so many attempts to get the road done, they gave up on the leaders and she has resorted to approaching the nearby companies who have shown interest in assisting them get a temporary solution to their problem.

“The Nanasi-BAT route, is quite long and security along that stretch of the road is still wanting. After suffering for quite a long time, I took the initiative to approach the companies around to seek for their assistance. I am happy that they have all responded positively,” said Ms. Wanjiku.

Ms. Wanjiku reckons that this part of the road has been pivotal in reducing traffic snarl-ups along the Thika-Garissa Highway as most vehicles heading to the eastern part of Thika, Ukambani and Garissa usually use it to avoid Makongeni area.

“As you can see, since this part was rendered impassible, there has been serious traffic jams on Garissa road, sometimes stretching all the way from Landless to Makongeni,” she said.

She added that the poor state of the road has also inconvenienced pupils and teachers of Umoja Primary School and affected learning as they most of them report to school late or not at all.

Vinepack Limited offered to help renovate this part of the road, albeit temporarily in order to make it possible for the residents to be able to use the road.

They donated 12 trucks of handicles to help raise the road above the mass of flood water. They also contracted a few residents to dig a trench to drain the water.

Elsewhere, Joseph Thuku, a truck driver at BAT said that motorists and commuters were suffering a lot as there were so many wasted man-hours during the pick hours as vehicles at times spent more than an hour to cover a stretch of one kilometre.

He appealed to the government to expand Garissa road and seek other exit routes so as to ease the traffic along the highway.

MKU founder and chairman Dr. Simon Gicharu. 

Dr. Simon Gicharu, the founder and chairman, Mount Kenya University (MKU) has urged the government to revamp Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) courses so as to make them attractive to the youth again.

In an article in one of the local dailies, Gicharu notes that it was disingenuous to abandon a sector that was an equally important cog in the wheel of our development aspirations with all attention and resources increasingly being shifted to university education

“We started to run TVET colleges down with all attention and resources increasingly being shifted to university education instead of strengthening them to meet emerging technological trends. With the thirst for degrees taking hold, the colleges were left to their own devices. In fact, they were on the verge of being abandoned,” he says.

Dr. Gicharu notes, as a result, most of these colleges were turned into satellite campuses of universities, leaving technical training in limbo and engendering an imbalance in the country’s manpower requirements, leaving thousands of youth curtailed from acquiring life skills.

“The society’s obsession with white-collar jobs led to a sustained neglect of TVET institutions. Vocational training certificates were perceived to be of little worth as they could not confer a well-paying job and the resulting high status. These misplaced perceptions drove a bias against these skills.”

The MKU chairman notes that the consequence of this neglect has left the gap in expertise being experienced in some sectors of the economy.

“Technical skills are an indispensable ingredient to economic development. But the skills are obtained from middle-level colleges, which have been neglected for a while. We do not have enough artisans, masons, carpenters, technologists and middle-level electricians and engineers, among others. Yet this cadre of manpower underpins vibrant economic growth,” he adds.

With reference to countries such as Germany and the Netherlands which he says owe their prosperity to technical colleges, Dr. Gicharu stressed that technical graduates were the pillars of development and had the country maintained technical training as a priority, it could have been far much advanced.

He challenges those tasked with the role to turn around TVET institutions to ensure that the quality of education in these colleges is top notch by re-equipping them. He added that these institutions and the curriculum must keep abreast of these global trends.

Moreover, he adds, courses should be creatively designed to allow trade and craft graduates to easily proceed to university upon excellent performance.

“There is an urgent need to revamp the curriculum. Massive technological advancements have taken place. Modern machines are critical; a college cannot claim to offer technical courses if it lacks the right equipment. We also need to upgrade the expertise of the trainers. Quality training presupposes the existence of top-notch tutors who apply innovative approaches to teaching,” he says.

He concludes: “Technical graduates are inclined to immediately start their own businesses because they possess practical skills. This is precisely what this country direly needs, as it will give young people jobs. Lastly, technical graduates need to be accorded due respect at the workplace and remunerated appropriately.”

Police on Monday arrested several suspects named in the ongoing National Youth Service (NYS) probe after the DPP ordered their immediate prosecution.

Among those arrested is the NYS Director-General Richard Ndubai and a couple who run a very popular Hair Salon & Kinyozi in Thika.

Thirteen of the suspects were arrested in Nairobi while four were nabbed in Naivasha.

The suspects have been taken to DCI headquarters on Kiambu Road, Nairobi.

Here is the list some of those arrested:

  • Ms Lillian Mbogo Omollo, Public Service PS (surrendered to police).
  • Mr Richard Dubai, NYS Director-General
  • Mr Sam Muchuki
  • Mr Peter Muchui
  • Mr Matano Odoyo, NYS
  • Mr James Thuita Nderitu, businessman
  • Ms Yvonne Wanjiku Ngugi, businesswoman
  • Mr Sammy Mbugua
  • Mr Timothy Kiplangat Rotich
  • Mr Wellanalo Mulupi, NYS
  • Mr David Kirui
  • Mr Ferdinard Matavo
  • Ms Keziah Mwangi, NYS
  • Mr Duba Galgalo
  • Mr Isaiah Adalo Chopia
  • Ms Ann Wambere Wanjiku Ngirita, NYS supplier
  • Ms Lucy Wambui Ngirita, Wambere's mother
  • Ms Phyllis Ngirita, Wambere's sister
  • Mr Gicini Ngirita, Wambere's brother

Rift Valley Academy Band Members performing one of their pieces during the Charity Tour at Joy Town Primary School- Thika.
Kijabe based Rift Valley Academy treated pupils from Joy Town Primary School to a surprise musical gift on Saturday. The pupils enjoyed two hours music performance by the band which performed old time classics as well as contemporary gospel music.

Led by their Band Director Jason Lendes the band was there for their Charity tour whose aim is celebrating the talented band members as well as sharing their music  and evangelizing with pupils from schools such as Joy Town Primary and neighboring communities.

Speaking exclusively to Thika Town Today, the band director Jason Lendes expressed his gratitude to the Joy Town Community for giving them a chance to put a smile on the pupils faces.

"I am so excited that I came here today, with the Rift Valley Academy Band we have been able to put a smile on the faces of these kids who are more often than  not forget by society, its my humble appeal to the larger Thika Community to be paying a visit once in a while and spend time with them," he said.
 Joy Town Primary School- Thika paying undivided attention to Rift Valley Academy Band Members performing one of their pieces during the Charity Tour in their school.

Also present during the two hour long performance was Murang'a based Can Do Kids-Director Karanja Mburu who called upon various stakeholders within Non Governmental Organisations to work towards giving back to the society through such initiatives such as the visit by Rift Valley Academy band.

"Even though I hail from neighbouring Murang'a County it is through such partnerships and networking that my organisation managed to bring this band to Joy Town Primary School Thika, it is my hope that both state and non state actors can synergise and work towards uplifting the marginalised in society," he further emphasized. 

Mount Kenya University is ready to launch its Part one of the “Unstoppable Resolve” film from the Kenya National Drama and Film Festival, 2018.

The Film won the following fourteen (14) awards, three of which were won by MKU staff and one by a student of MKU, in April, 2018, festival;
  1. Winning Film Overall
  2. Best Set Design
  3. Best Costume Design
  4. Best Cinematography
  5. 5)Best non student actress – Madam Purity Thuo (Deputy Dean of Students)
  6. Best actress in leading role – Ann Wambui Macharia (BMMC/2017/81266)
  7. Best Producer
  8. Best actress in supporting role – Madam Ruth Mutahi (Director, FCPA)
  9. Best Picture
  10. Best original play
  11. Best Visual effects
  12. Best entertaining Film
  13. Runners up, best sound effects
  14. Runners up best non student actor – Rev. George Mburu (Protestant Chaplain)
It is among the few winning films that have been picked for the National Red Carpet screening and awards ceremony to be hosted by the University of Nairobi and the Kenya National Theatre in June this year.

The Kenya National Drama Festivals’ Film Coordinator, Dr. S.P. Otieno, in his remarks during an interview with the Daily Nation on 28th April, 2018, opined that the films that featured in the Film festival could stamp their presence in communities if they were well marketed.

Mount Kenya University is well positioned for this kind of outreach, not only through film, but also creations of art, crafted to address the social economic challenges communities face and impact positively on the society.

Students from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) will now enjoy free rides from the college gate to Nairobi CBD on select days.

This is after Neo Kenya Mpya, a bus company plying the Nairobi- Thika route, launched a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative on this week.

Speaking to, one of the company’s directors, Douglas Kuria, disclosed that the move is part of the company’s strategy to change the matatu industry landscape which is often painted in negative light.

“We intend to make travelling not only a business but an experience where we get to understand our customers,” he stated.

Kuria further indicated that the free rides will be occasionally availed to JKUAT students from 3-4 pm mostly on Thursdays and other off-peak days as may be determined by the management.

“JKUAT students are our main clients, that is why we settled on them as the first beneficiaries of the program,” he stated.

He further indicated that the only requirement for the students to enjoy the free rides is to produce their student ID.

According to the bus company director, the bus ferried an estimated 100 students on the first day of the free rides which roughly translates to three buses.

“The reception by the students was positive and we look forward to the continued corporation with all our customers.”

Kuria further indicated that the matatu industry should be more responsive to the technological advancement including being more interactive through social media platforms which offer timely feedback.

The government will enforce very tough rules for bodabodas including weight limits.

Kenya Urban Road Authority (KURA) has reckoned that many operators carry more than the legal limit of 30kg making it almost impossible to easily control the motorcycles.

A KURA Assistant Director for road safety Wilson Kitwa said such a load should be carried by a car or a Tuktuk.

He warned that said riders caught carrying two or more bags of cement weighing 50kg each will be arrested.

“They don’t wear reflector jackets and helmets, they carry very heavy loads and thus cause a lot of chaos on the road,” Kitwa said.

While speaking during a traffic rules information road show at Kiritiri Town in Mbeere South Sub-county, Kitwa noted that there was road accident menace by bodaboda operators who did not know traffic rules with those who knew not adhere to them.

Kitwa said the violation of traffic rules by the bodaboda riders in eastern Kenya has contributed to the loss of more than 1,000 lives.

He called on bodabodas to strictly follow the traffic rules to reduce the number of accidents they cause asking these operators to always overtake other vehicles from the right side.

“The rider and their passengers should wear helmets and reflectors, and each rider should take insurance covering themselves and the passenger,” he said.

The authority will carry out road shows in eastern Kenya including Kitui, Meru, Embu, Machakos and Tharaka Nithi about the need to observe traffic rules.

The roadshows will target motorcycle riders.

A section of Ngoingwa Estate that has been submerged in flashfloods. Over 30 homesteads are inhabitable with their owners seeking refuge elsewhere. 

Residents of Chania Estate 6th Avenue of the larger Ngoingwa Estate are a worried lot after over 30 households have been submerged in flashfloods for over a month now, forcing most of them to abandon their houses to seek refuge elsewhere.

As if that is not enough, criminals have taken advantage of their absence to break into their homes and stealing from them.

The thieves are said to be wading into the flood water to gain access to the deserted homes before breaking into them and stealing electronics, furniture and other valuables. Some are also said to be stealing house fitting, pipes, indoor fixtures and appliances from vacant houses. They are said to be taking these material to scrap dealers for quick cash.

Wairimu Kihonge who is one of the victims say that even after being promised by the leaders from the  County Government of Kiambu that they would drain the water, none of them has ever come one month down the line to salvage their situation.

They wondered how they would continue paying rates to the county government yet they received no services in return. They also failed to understand the relevance of the National Government Emergency Fund if at all it wasn’t benefitting those who were in such calamities.

She however thanked Thika Red Cross officials who frequent the area for assistance but reckoned that they lack proper equipment needed to drain off the water.

The residents are now contemplating raising money towards hiring some machinery to aid them drain this water.

“We have contacted an engineer who has given us a budget of about Sh. 7 million to do the work. This is a lot of money and proving to be a tall order,” explained Patrick Mwaura who resides at 7th avenue.

The residents add that they fear an outbreak of waterborne diseases in the area as the water is getting mixed up with raw sewer since the area depend on septic tanks to dispose their sewer.

On Saturday, their attempts to drain the water using hoes and jembes hit a snag as these tools could not manage the required depth of the intended trench.

When contacted, Eng. John Muchiri, the officer in-charge of water and infrastructure in the office of the Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina said that even though the problem of drainage was a county government function, the area MP would intervene in case nothing was done.

Noting that the lives and health of these people was paramount, Muchiri said that they would use the little resources at their disposal to ensure that the lives of the affected families was soon brought back to normalcy.

“Our office does not have a kitty to deal with calamities of this magnitude unlike the county government whose mandate this one falls. Otherwise, we cannot sit back and watch our people suffer. If the county government fails to act, the MP has volunteered to use his own personal resources to salvage the situation,” he said.

Police officers from Special Crime Prevention Unit on Friday night shot dead three suspected criminals, among them a woman, near sewerage area in Juja along the Thika superhighway.

The officers, who were on patrol got a tip-off that the criminals had shot and injured a person at Kenol Town in Murang’a County and immediately started to pursue the suspected gangsters who were driving towards Nairobi.

The suspects, who were traveling in a Toyota Belta believed to have been stolen, diverted back towards Thika on reaching Juja.

However, before they reached Highpoint, the police ordered them to stop but they defied and instead opened fire at the police. A shootout ensued and the three gangsters were shot dead.

The police officers recovered a Ceska pistol, a homemade pistol, few rounds of ammunition and several sachets of medicine.

According to Juja OCDP Patrick Munyasia, none of the officers was injured in the shootout.
However, one person who was shot by one of the gangsters succumbed to his injuries undergoing treatment at Thika Level 5 Hospital.

This gangster managed to escape and the police are looking for him.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed the Ministries of Education and National Treasury to work with stakeholders to develop a marshal plan that would establish an optimal number of institutions across the country to effectively cater for persons with disabilities.

As part of the marshal plan, President Kenyatta said, the Government would establish and equip 10 model education, assessment and resource centers of excellence to facilitate early identification, assessment and placement or referrals of children with disabilities.

President Kenyatta spoke Friday when he launched the Education Sector Policy for Learners and Trainees with Disabilities that provides a clear framework for inclusive education and training.

The President noted that inadequate qualified personnel; insufficient equipment, assistive devices and technologies have in the past hampered early identification, assessment and placement of children with disabilities.

“My Administration will provide further support on infrastructural accessibility, availability of affordable assistive devices and technologies, sufficient specialized personnel and adequate financial support, guided by the needs of various disability categories,” said President Kenyatta.

The President said for inclusive education to work in the country, the best interests and needs of learners and trainees must be taken into consideration during decision-making and resource allocation.

“In this regard, I direct the Cabinet Secretary for Education to establish and equip the Educational Assessment Resource Centers countrywide and provide competent personnel and specialized equipment and technologies to operationalize this policy so that no child with disability is left behind,” said the President.

The Head of State emphasised that the policy, he launched, must be implemented quickly and effectively to provide education to children and young people with disabilities to enable them participate in building the nation.

The President said education is the greatest equalizer as it helps to level the playing field and open opportunities for all, irrespective of their social or economic background.

“In this regard, it is important to ensure that this segment of our population living with disabilities participate fully and benefit from our education and training programmes,” said the President.

Adding, “ This is the only way they can acquire the knowledge and skills that will enable them to effectively participate in building our nation.”

The country has approximately 4 million people with disabilities out of which 2.8 million are children and youth aged 1 to 24 years, mainly living in the rural areas.

The President lauded the new policy for recognizing the challenges faced by people with disabilities and providing approaches that caters for diversity of needs of the group.

President Kenyatta said his administration cares for the welfare of all its citizens and is obligated to avail to the disabled people quality education, just as it does to the rest of Kenyans.

“This is why my Administration has put in place the special programmes department to level the playing field so that vulnerable groups can participate in various economic activities and, indeed, in building the prosperous Kenya we desire to have,” said the Head of State.

He singled out the current financial year where he said the Government disbursed Kshs 52 billion under the Free Day Secondary Education capitation; Kshs 13.4 billion under Free Primary Education capitation grants; Kshs 3 billion for national examinations, and Kshs 1.8 billion for infrastructural improvement in schools.

The President said in the same period his Government disbursed Kshs 1.4 billion to support Special Needs Education.

“The resources we have been extending to support special needs education over the years has led to increased access to education by learners and trainees with disabilities from about 40,000 in the year 2008 to the current enrollment of 250,883 learners,” said President Kenyatta.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the sector policy for learners and trainees with disabilities, developed through extensive stakeholders consultation, will go a long way in boosting provision of services to learners and trainees with special needs and disabilities.

(Source KBC Channel 1)

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