April 2019

A report tabled in Senate by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission (EACC) shows Mandera as the most corrupt county in Kenya followed by Kisumu.

Busia comes third followed by Nyamira.

Others featuring in the top ten list of shame are Wajir, Nairobi, Marsabit, Turkana, Uasin Gishu and Murang’a in that order.

EACC says that in order to get services in these counties, Kenyans have to give kick backs.

The report also singles out departments of health and public works in all the 47 counties as the most corrupt followed by lands and physical planning departments, whose contribution in revving up graft amounted to 29.1% and 14.3% respectively in 2015.

In the same year, County Public Service Board and office of the Governor expenditure is said to have funded graft at 11.3 per cent and 7.5 per cent alone.

In 2016, the dockets of Health and Road, Transport and Public Works scaled up their ranking in corruption at 37.4% and 22.5% while Education, Water Finance and Planning ranked 15.4, 8.6 and 7.8% respectively.

In the report covering the periods between 2015 and 2017, it would cost you Sh35,440 to access services in Mandera in 2017, compared to Sh6,972 and Sh80,000 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

However, it is worth noting that the period covered was during the reign of some of inaugural governors in the devolved counties.

In Kisumu, one needed to part with more than Sh25, 000 to access the same service compared to an average of Sh18,000 demanded by Busia county while in Murang’a county, an average of Sh9,000 was the key to services.

For Marsabit and Turkana, the figure was Sh7,859 and Sh6,791 to access needed services.

In the category of counties that demanded a kickback to offer services Turkana county was ranked the most notorious while Nyeri was rated least in the bribe demand. Mandera, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Meru, Tana River, Uasin Gishu, Kwale, Samburu, Kiambu, Kitui, Nyandarua, Marsabit, Embu, Tharaka Nithi, Mombasa, Kilifi, Wajir, West Pokot, Homabay, Machakos, Nakuru, Laikipia and Garissa.

Others include Migori, Nyamira, Kajiado, Nairobi, TransNzoia, Kisii, Makueni, Kisumu, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, Siaya, Vihiga, Taita Taveta, Isiolo, Bomet, Kericho, Bungoma, Busia, Nandi, Kakamega, Baringo, Lamu and Nyeri.

But in the average times a citizen would bribe, Turkana maintained the lead and closely followed by Mandera, Uashi Gishu, Laikipia, Garissa, Kiambu, Tana river , Kwale, Nyandarua, Wajir, Homabay and Kericho. They were followed by Coastal counties of Kilifi and Mombasa. Others are Nakuru, Trans Nzoia, Taita Taveta, Kajiado, Meru, Migori, Elgeyo Marakwet, Vihiga and Nairobi city.

Gatundu South MP has drafted a bill in Parliament demanding both the national and county govenments to pay suppliers within 90 days of delivery.

Below is is notice of motion.....

Dear Honorable Members,
As you are aware, I have drafted amendments to the Public Procurement & Disposal ACT through the Statute Law (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill Number 2 of 2018 currently at the committee of the whole House.
In his wisdom, the Speaker of the National Assembly The Hon JB Muturi has referred the Bill to the Budget & Appropriations Committee tomorrow, Thursday 25th April, 2019 in line with Article 114 of the Constitution that guides Money Bills. Once the Budget Committee hopefully dispenses with the proposed Amendments, they will come back for your consideration and decision next week.
Honorable Members, you are aware that the National And County Governments owe suppliers and contractors, your constituents up to Ksh 300 Billion. This 3% of the GDP is an interest free Loan from poor Kenyans to rich governments. It attracts no interest. It is not reported as part of the National debt. It is therefore an economic distortion
Honourable Members, you are aware that your constituents are committing suicides. They are being auctioned. They are on constant medication. They are victims of a government that has refused to live within its means
Honourable Members, it is true that this Amendment will have implications. If the government does not put its house in order it could end up paying up to Ksh 40 Billion in interest to your constituents. And since the financial instruments will be part of the national debt, it will affect the Budget Deficit. This is not good news. But honourable Members consider these minor inconveniences against the backdrop of what these Amendments will do to your constituents and our economy
Firstly, any of your constituents who supply National and County Governments will be paid within 90 days and 30 days for women, youth and persons living with disability
Secondly, in case the national or County Government defaults to pay within those timelines, the procuring entity will be obligated to issue a 4 year promissory note that can be presented to any bank, that will accrue interest payable by the procuring entity and hopefully that will be traded on the secondary market thus invigorating our sleepy capital markets.
Thirdly, that the promissory notes will be accounted for, for the first time in history as part of the National Debt thus presenting a true and fair account of the assets and liabilities of the government of Kenya
Fourthly and most important, these amendments will lead to a significant release of liquidity into the market. This will lead to private sector growth not seen in the recent past. As we look to also remedy the credit squeeze effects of the interest rates capping, the cash flows and credit scores of our constituents will generally improve
Finally members, these amendments are not about us nor about government. They are about our people and our economy
I beg you to stand with Kenya and pass the proposed amendments
At the same time, I beseech the members of the Senate, notwithstanding their right to call the bill to the Senate given it has a secondary impact on county governments, to waive this right and allow the bill once passed by the National Assembly to be enacted to avoid more suicides, more auctions and more ailments among our constituents
God bless this House
God bless Kenya
Hon Moses Kuria, HSC, MP
Member for Gatundu South
Presidential Candidate 2022

Commuters along Thika road and several other service roads have expressed the re-emergence of matatu thugs who are stealing phones and personal valuables from unsuspecting commuters who board these matatus.

According to some of the victims, this crime is committed mostly on people who board matatus along the highway popularly known as “matatu za murengo”.

“The practice is so common early in the mornings and late at night when there is little human traffic on the road. Majority of these matatus are old and unroadworthy that seem never to operate during the day when traffic police are on the road,” explains one of the victims who lost his phone on Monday night.

He says that the trick lies in faulty doors and safety belts where the victim is asked to lock the door and as they are struggling to do so, the person next to them empties their pockets.

“These doors will never lock properly so you end up holding onto it so as not to fall over as the vehicle is moving. Once they steal from you, the conductor ‘alerts you that you have dropped an item’ and instructs the driver to stop the van. Immediately you alight to check what you have dropped, the driver speeds off and leaves you stranded in the dark,” he adds.

He says that after this is when the victims realise that they had lost some of their valuables.

Those who spoke of the ordeal claim that the vehicles usually have few “customers” on
boards, most of whom are accomplices.

“Gari hukam ikiwa na vacant ya kiti ya mbele. Mlango haifungiki so when u try to close it, simu inaporwa na uyu msee amekaa na driver. Then someone touches u from behind and tells u kuna kitu umeangusha nje... Unatoka kusaka fon. Gari inaenda, unabaki ukitafta simu...,” explained another victim.

Another trick is usually someone pretending to open the window from the furthest end of the sea and as the brush against you, they pickpocket you and later alight from the next bus stop.

Others will drops some coins and request their victims to help them to pick and before they know it, the phone is gone.

Matatus heading to Ruiru ndani were said to be the worst culprits with others implicating some plying the Thika-Makongeni and Thika-Kiganjo routes at night.

Police in Juja are investigating an incident where the bodies of two unidentified middle-aged men bodies were retrieved from a dam in Juja.

According to Juja OCPD Dorothy Migarusha, the police were notified by members of the public about the two dead bodies found floating along the edges of Titanic dam.

The discovery was made by one person who had gone to the dam to do some laundry.

Migarusha suspected that the two might have gone there to swim as their clothes were found near the dam with no visible signs of struggle.

The bodies of the deceased were taken to City Mortuary.

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) is investigating 20 governors and 227 MCAs over corruption related incidences the cases involving looting of county funds, abuse of office and conflict of interest.

Speaking on Tuesday during the fourth Legislative Summit in Kisumu, EACC Director of Preventive Services Vincent Okong’o said the culprits would be charged soon after investigations are complete.

Okong’o said the list is dominated by serving governors and MCAs. A few former county chiefs and ward legislators are also being probed.

“Of the 227 cases involving the MCAs – some who have left office – we unearthed unethical behaviour like conflict of interest, abuse of office and falsification of documents. Some are doing business with the county governments,” Okong’o said.

The governors under probe include Samburu’s Moses Lenolkulal, Okoth Obado (Migori) and Busia’s Sospeter Ojaamong. Lenolkulal is facing prosecution over a Sh2 billion suspected fraud.

Some of the sitting and former governors who have already recorded statements with the Eliud Wabukala-led commission include Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Martin Wambora (Embu), Okoth Obado (Migori), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Samuel Ragwa (Tharaka-Nithi), Godana Doyo (Isiolo) and Nathif Jama (Garissa).

Effective this month, the government will deduct 1.5% housing levy from all employees.
In a newspaper advertisement on Tuesday, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, has instructed employers to remit housing levy fund by May 9 2019.
These deductions are aimed at funding the Jubilee administration’s affordable housing project under the Big 4 Agenda.
Employers are also required to send a figure matching the employees’ deductions to the Housing fund.
“The employers are required to deduct and remit the levy together with other statutory levies from both the employer and the employee by the 9th of each succeeding month together with other payroll statutory deductions. The first contribution shall be due by May 9, 2019,” stated the ministry in the advertisement.
The deduction became law by the enactment of the Finance Act 2018 that followed the budget statement presented to Parliament by Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich.
The government promises employees whose salaries will be deducted that their levies will put them at a position to “finance the purchase of a home under the affordable housing scheme” as stated in the Act.
For those who will be ineligible to purchase a home, the legislation says their deductions will — after 15 years from the date of first deduction — be transferred into pension money or be transferable to a beneficiary.

98 programmes offered by at least 40 universities have been snubbed by 2018 KCSE candidates with at least nine degree programmes failing to attract any applicant at all in what could spell doom to these courses.

Data from the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) shows that the 69 public and private institutions admitted 89,486 students against available space for 145,338.

This means that 55,852 slots have been left unfilled after candidates who sat the national entrance exams last year were selected for degree courses.

Kisii University leads with 12 unpopular courses followed by the University of Embu with programmes, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Karatina University have five unwanted courses each.

Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies, Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Science (Aquatic Resource Conservation and development with IT) and Bachelor of Science (Natural Products) at Kisii University failed to attract any student.

Laikipia University, Maasai Mara and the University of Eldoret have three courses each that did have any placements.

Meru University's Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science and Resource Management) was snubbed and so was Bachelor of Theology at the Presbyterian University of East Africa.

At African Nazarene University Bachelor of Theology did not attract even one applicant while Cooperative University had its Bachelor of Social Work and Community Development snubbed.

It was the same trend in Kirinyaga University where students never applied for the Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Ventilation and Air Conditioning.

The situation prompted Education CS Prof George Magoha to call for a review of the courses universities offer.

He warned university vice chancellors against introducing new programmes which are irrelevant to the economy.

The official data shows that the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) leads in the number of students selected at 5,901, representing 93.2 per cent of its 6,326 capacity for freshmen.

It is followed by Kenyatta University, with 5,432 freshmen against a declared capacity of 6,227.

The University of Nairobi took 192 of the 314 or 61 per cent of ‘A’ students that sat last year's KCSE exam. Medicine, dental science, law, quantity surveying, civil engineering and architecture were the most popular courses due to the relative attractiveness of their graduates in the job market.

A curious crowd gather near Thika Telcom Shop at the spot where a group of conmen were flushed out by angry wananchi who could not stand them swindling innocent wananchi off their hard earned money.
Roadside conmen pretending to be mobile phone and SIM card dealers were on Monday morning forced to run for their dear lives after angry Thika residents attacked them following numerous complaints of people losing colossal amount of money to these fraudsters.

As usual, it was booming business for the unsuspecting conmen who numbered about 20 as the strategically stood at various positions along Commercial Street near the Thika Telcom Shop.

One by one, they waylaid innocent wananchi as they walked to their different destination and lured them to a particular vehicle that was parked at the parking lot.

Upon arriving at the scene, the victims would be convinced that these were genuine company agents who were selling mobile phones and tablets on promotion and those who were interested would be entered into a raffle draw that they are to win very great prices.

Once the victims were convinced, they are presented with fake raffle tickets and asked to open for them to see their prize item.

“They tell that you will not pay anything if you do not win any prize but all these tickets have a prize inscribed inside and therefore no matter what, they will demand money from you in exchange to your prize item,” explained one woman in her 40s who complained to have lost sh. 7,000 in exchange for a tablet worth sh. 15,000.

It was in this state of business that a group of youth blowing whistles raided the place and flashed the conmen out.

Pandemonium broke as everyone scampered for safety fearing the worst.

Upon checking on the merchandise being sold to the people, none of them had any phone inside and those that had, contained faulty phones.

Was it not for the intervention of some neighbouring traders, the vehicle in question would have be set on fire by irate public who complained of suffering for a very long time in the hands of these fraudsters.

According to the people conversant to the affairs of these conmen, these fraudsters have set camp in the area for the last one month. They claim that they operate under police protection who occasionally went there to collect “protection fee”.

“In fact today there has been three sets of police officers who have come here and collected money from these people. They are also protected by the county government (of Kiambu) officials who have given them licences to con people,” explained on trader who operates in that vicinity.

He added that a woman yesterday lost sh. 15,000 to this group as she received an empty box as a token prize of a tablet.

The residents have vowed that the next time these conmen set camp in Thika, they would lynch them and set their vehicle on fire.

The fraudsters along with some of their victims scamper for safety as the youth raided their vehicle along Commercial street Thika.
“Since the police and the county government have failed to protect us from daylight thugs like these once, we will not spare them next time. Thika will never be a safe haven for criminals who swindle our elderly parents their hard earned money,” vowed another young man who claim that his own mother has been a victim.

For a long time, these fraudsters have infiltrated Thika town, mostly targeting visitors from upcountry who come to town either for shopping, to pay school fees or withdraw money from the bank.

They set camp on busy streets frequented by upcountry people, especially near banks and financial institutions as well as supermarkets.

They are usually very smartly dressed and at times in uniform and have branded receipt books and books “to register their clients who buy SIM Cards’.

About 4,000 small businesspersons and squatters of Ziman Settlement Scheme in Githurai 45 area woke up Monday morning to a rude shock as their businesses and shanties were pull down under heavy police guard.
This prompted angry youth to demonstrate and block Thika Superhighway for about an hour before police dispersed them. This scuffle caused heavy traffic along the busy highway that stretched over several kilometers before normalcy was later restored.
According to one of the scheme’s leaders Michael Karanja, they had no prior notice of demolition.
He accused Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua of contempt of court for spearheading the demolition despite the society having a court order stopping any such action.

A section of the participants at  Edgewood Country Club in Thika during Inooro’s Tv Kiririmbi live show on Sunday evening.
A section of Kiambu residents have told off leaders going round the country preaching the politics of 2022 terming the endless politicking in the country as detrimental to development and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda.

Speaking during a live show on Inooro’s Tv Kiririmbi at Edgewood Country Club in Thika, the residents, drawn from various parts of Kiambu Country said that the country was worse of now due to poor leadership by their local leaders.

“We are tired of this ‘Kieleweke’ and ‘Tangatanga’ thing. What wananchi want from our leaders is service delivery and not this unending political tussles,” said one of the residents.

The residents put to task the leaders present to explain what they were doing about various matters of concern especially on corruption, insecurity, education, unemployment and the poor state of the economy.

Responding to their concerns, Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina distanced himself from any of the warring factions within Jubilee Party saying he was only focused on the development agenda he promised the people of Thika.

“Kenya is a very unique country where politics go on forever. If you look at the matters as they are now, majority of our leaders are very busy politicking about 2022 (General Elections) instead of initiating development programmes that are of benefit to the people who elected them,” he said.

He challenged Kiambu County leaders to emulate Kitui and Makueni counties whose unity of purpose had attracted the national government attention to the benefit of the residents of the two devolved units.

“Kiambu is very rich in resources. If only we as Kiambu leaders exhibited the kind of synergy demonstrated by Kitui and Makueni Counties, this region can make great strides in development. Otherwise, this politics of ego and bossing around will never take us anywhere,” said Wainaina.

He urged people to register in large numbers for the National Integrated Identity Management system (NIIMS) or HUDUMA NAMBA as well as in the national census scheduled for August this year as this was the only way to guarantee themselves a proper government allocation of resources. 

His sentiments were echoed by his Gatundu South counterpart Moses Kuria who said that the politics of 2022 was draining the country at the expense of development.

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wa Matangi called of Kiambu leaders to unite and ensure they took advantage of the existing resources to revive the collapsed industries in both manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

He appealed to the leaders to work in synergy and put up a class in every national secondary school in the area to cater for local students who were disadvantaged when selections of Form One students was done.

Kiambu Women Representative Gathoni Wamuchomba  promised to follow up the matter of college students who got murdered by either their boyfriends or thugs noting that within a span of few years, the county had lost 9 students and yet none of these cases had come to a logical conclusion.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has reviewed the maximum retail pump prices of petroleum products for the period 15th April to 14th May 2019.
In this review, Super Petrol, Diesel and Kerosene have been increased by KShs. 5.25, KShs. 5.52 and KShs. 2.76 per litre respectively.
The maximum prices pump prices in Nairobi now stands at sh. 106.60 (Super petrol), sh 102.13 (Diesel) and sh. 102.22 (Kerosene).
In Thika, petrol stations will retail these products as follows;- sh. 106.73 (Super Petrol), sh. 102.26 (Diesel) and sh. 102.35 Kerosene).
"The changes in this month’s prices have been as a consequence of the average landed cost of imported Super Petrol increasing by 9.14%from US$ 568.55 per ton in February 2019 to US$ 620.54 per ton in March 2019; Diesel increasing by 11.19% from US$ 561.64 per ton to US$ 624.51 per ton and Kerosene increasing by 1.88% from US$ 650.29 per ton to US$ 662.55 per ton," ERC says in their press release.
Mombasa motorists will purchase fuel the cheapest as it will retail at sh. 103.98 (Super petrol), sh 99.51 (Diesel) and sh. 99.60 (Kerosene).
The following are maximum retail fuel prices across the country as set by the ERC on Sunday April 14 2019;-

Commercial vehicle assemblers have initiated talks with Trade Ministry in an effort to increase commercial vehicle production in the country.

The assemblers want the government to adopt policies that will ensure a drop in production cost so as to effectively compete with the second hand imports.

Speaking during the unveiling of a start of the art show room by Chinese stated owned FAW and Transafrica motors limited in Nairobi, Automotive Manufacturers chairman Ashit Shah welcomed the move by the government to drop the age limit for imported second-hand cars from eight to five years starting July but proposed a total ban of second hand commercial vehicles into the country.

Shah argued that local assemblers had the capacity to produce commercial vehicles to meet the local demand and had already agreed to increase their production.

They now want the government to come up with policies that will guide and streamline the automotive industry.

Commercial vehicles sales rose 17.46 % between 2016 and 2017 to stand at 9,632 units.
He urged local assemblers to form partnerships with international brands to produce quality vehicles for both local market and regional markets.

The art room is part of the Transafrica motors expansion plan as it seeks to produce 2000 units of heavy commercial tracks every year.

The Environment and Land Court in Thika has ordered the Kiambu County Government to process building approvals submitted by Tatu City within the next 30 days.

The directive came after the developer sought the court’s intervention under certificate of agency in which they accused Governor Ferdinand Waititu of blackmail after they declined to surrender a portion of land in order to facilitate approval of architectural designs in 22 land parcels within the county.

In court papers filed on March 12, the applicant sought an expedited ex-parte hearing after the county reportedly disregarded a court order issued on April 18, 2018, which directed the Land, Housing, and Physical Planning department to consider architectural plans within the 90-day period provided for under the Physical Planning Rules of 1998, pending determination of the case.

The applicant had also moved to commit the Chief Executive Committee member and Chief Officer in charge of Land, Housing, and Physical Planning to civil jail over contempt of court.

Tatu City told the court that intimidation by county officials was prejudicial to its business operations.

“The developers will no longer be able to preserve, promote, and enhance land value through sustainable development within Tatu City by guaranteeing development control which minimizes negative impacts of developments through enforcement of design guideline compliance,” lawyers representing Tatu City told the court.

The matter will be heard on May 8 to confirm compliance with the order. Waititu and developer have been locked in a row after the investor declined to surrender 10 per cent of its 5,000-acre land to the county.

The court will give further directions on the matter upon confirming compliance on May 21.

Meanwhile, Tatu City has installed its first solar power plant to generate at least 1.4 million kilowatt-hours per year, the same amount of energy consumed by 8,500 people.

The panels by Equator Energy are part of the mixed-use development ambitious 30MW solar power generation. The installation comprises of 2,880 solar modules that have been mounted on 5,700 square meters of roof space at Dormans Coffee’s global headquarters at Tatu Industrial Park.

Tatu City’s strategy is to install solar panels on all rooftops at the industrial park, producing up to 30 MW, said Nick Langford, Head of Utilities for Rendeavour, Tatu City’s owner and developer.

“The power will be distributed for use by homes and businesses within the city,” said Langford.

“Solar power allows us to contribute to clean energy, which is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” Langford said.

“The power produced from the solar panels will be distributed for use by homes and businesses within the city. We are proud of this milestone and pleased to know that residents will enjoy sustained power supply at very minimal costs.”

Equator Energy CEO Sebastian Noethlich said, “This is our latest, and one of Kenya’s largest solar power plants. We are excited to see it in operation and delivering cheaper and cleaner power to an entire city. We look forward to rolling out more solar power as Tatu City grows.”

Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Youth Tournament heads to Thika Stadium this weekend for the Central region finals set to kick off at 8:00am on Saturday. 
Eight teams will battle it out for the region’s supremacy and a chance to represent the region in the national finals set for June 2019 in Meru. 
Defending champions Euronuts from Kiambu will take on Irigiro boys from Maragua while Laikipia’s Lufa Graduates will face Tetu Boys from Nyeri in the boy’s semis. Barcelona from Laikipia will play Dynamos from Kirinyaga as JYSA from Thika take on defending champions Limuru Starlets from Kiambu in the girl’s category.
“We are ready for the weekend and we expect very entertaining matches with the reigning team Euronuts fighting to defend their title. The giants from Mt. Kenya region are ready to display their football prowess for a chance to advance their football careers. I urge the fans to come out in large numbers and support their teams,” said Naman Amboka, Chapa Dimba Na Safaricom Central Region Coordinator.      
Winners in both the boys and girls category will receive a cash price of KES 200,000 each and an opportunity to represent the Central Region in the national finals. The runners-up will also receive KES 100,000 each among other individualized prizes.

Already, Mombasa’s Shimanzi youth and Changamwe ladies, Kajiado’s Al Ahly and Kitale Queens from Rift Valley, Bishop Njenga Girls and Lugari Blue Saints from Western, Manyatta Boys and Ndhiwa Queens from Nyanza as well as Super Solico and St Mary’s Ndovea from Eastern have booked their tickets for the national finals where KES 1,000,000 is at stake.

This year, an all star team will be selected to attend a training camp in Spain during which they will play against local youth sides.

The competition aims at scouting for youth talent, developing grassroots football, and ultimately propel gifted players to the national team.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) has picked Dr. Eva Njenga to replace Prof. George Magoha as chairperson following his appointment as Education minister.
Dr Njenga has a long CV and brings to the board a wealth of more than 18 years of medical practice.
She holds a MMed from the University of Nairobi and becomes KMPDB’s first female chair.
She also has certificates in Social Medicine and Medical Anthropology from Harvard University and Advanced Course for Post Graduate Doctors in Endocrinology from the University of New Castle Upon Tyne-UK.
She has formerly worked at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nakuru Provincial Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Centre in USA.
Currently, she practises privately as an endocrinologist, a speciality that deals with diagnosing and treating hormone imbalances in the body.
The common diseases and disorders that endocrinologists deal with include diabetes mellitus and thyroid disorders.
Dr Eva also serves as a World Health Organisation expert in essential medicine committee since 2013.
She is a founder member and director of Kenya Diabetes Management and Information Centre, Kenya Diabetes Study Group and is lead doctor at the Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre.

A photo of a dry Chania River falls near Blue Post Hotel Thika taken in early February this year.
The meteorological department has warned Kenyans to brace themselves for an extended dry weather period as the effects of delayed March-April-May rains continue to bite.

The weatherman says that most parts of the country will experience dry and sunny conditions save a few areas which are expected to receive rains, but with reduced intensity.

“Rainfall is expected over a few parts of the country during the first half of the forecast period. The second half is expected to be mainly sunny and dry,” the report by the Meteorological Department says.
In the next one week, Central highlands, including Nairobi area are likely to experience mainly sunny intervals in the morning.

Afternoon and night showers are expected over few places between Tuesday and Friday.
The rest of the afternoons are expected to be sunny and the nights partly cloudy.

Western region is expected to also experience sunny intervals and night rains which could be characterised by thunderstorms.

Northern and eastern regions will experience sunny days and light rain during morning hours.

“The western, central and several parts of northeastern Kenya are likely to experience near-average rainfall. The distribution, both in time and space, is however likely to be poor,” the weatherman said in an overview report for the rainy season.

Temperatures have also been rising over the last one week in most parts where the highest temperature was recorded in Mandera capturing a maximum 39.8 degrees Celsius on April 2.

Marsabit, Kitale and Kabarak areas particularly experienced a rise in temperatures.

Nyahururu recorded the lowest daily minimum temperature of 6.5 degrees Celsius on April 6.

Residents of Kiriko village in Gatundu North sub-county have blocked the Karimenu II Dam contractor from accessing their farms, demanding compensation first before construction works can commence.

The residents claim that even after the National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri assured them of their compensation in February this year, only about 40 out of the 246 homesteads affected by the first phase of the project have been paid.

The residents fear that once they allow the contractor to access their farms to dig tunnels for supplying water, it will be very hard for them to get their money.

“We will not allow him into our shambas before we get our money. Otherwise, we will end up running up and down seeking for compensation that might never be,” said one of the protesting farmers.

Tension was very high in the area as riot police were deployed to contain any possible violence in the standoff than has now lasted for the fourth day in a row.

In February, Swazuri said that KES. 1.2 billion had been set aside to compensate 246 households affected by the project, signaling some ray of hope in the construction of the KES. 24 billion Kariminu II dam that has been dogged in  a 12-year standoff over compensation.

Murang’a level five hospital Psychiatric ward number nine is usually referred by residents as that belonging to those who have gone mad, and any patient is admitted there  is avoided like plaque and abandoned by the family members.

Dr. James Mbugua Mburu, a psychiatrist at the facility says that the psychiatric department receives between 20 to 30 patients in a day, majority of who are treated and discharged.

However, the number must be higher than this due to what he terms as other centers that deal with in outreach services and supported by the hospital.

Dr. Mburu cites an increasing number of mental assessment requests from courts that seeks to charge those accused of murder charges.

He points notes that  in a span of eight months, they have received over 60 mental assessment requests out of murder charges within Murang’a County.

The doctor adds that suicide cases and attempts to commit suicide account to about four to five cases in a day, which is a very alarming number for a single County.

Dr. Mburu says that mental illnesses cut across all age groups and can even be caused by other general medical conditions such like in pregnant mothers.

Pregnancy and delivery has its own mental related issues such like the hormonal changes, trauma and burden of delivery. This leads to mother’s failure to breastfeed the newborn.

Some of the murder cases involve mothers killing their own new born babies known as infanticide a pregnancy related complication and its very common around the time of delivery and very few months after delivery. Starts at very soft signs

Children can also be born on developmental mental issues, commonest on issues related to difficulties in delivery and when the signs of trauma present themselves during early schooling days, the children are presented to psychiatrists either by the teachers or parents. Others suffer from Attention deficit hyperacidity disorder (ADHD).

Adolescents and teenagers are also presented to psychiatrists because of their unique challenges of development in growth and exposures to life. Dr. Mburu cites that this age group comes in very huge cohort because of maladaptive behavior and drugs and substance abuse.

The middle age group is also not an exceptional when it comes to mental illnesses. For men, they are mostly affected due to alcohol related disorders while women are bothered by trauma emanated from social pressures mostly because of their husband’s drinking habits and domestic violence issues. Of late, majority of students who are presented in the psychiatric department are a result of chewing Muguka, Says Dr. Mburu

The psychiatric department also handles patients who suffer trauma through road traffic accidents, carjacking, rape and defilement among other traumatic happenings.

The elderly are mostly affected by memory related disorders commonly referred to as dementia or geriatric psychiatric.

As a way of mitigating the alarming number of mental illnesses, Dr. Mburu calls on community and government to invest time and energies in mental, not forgetting on the health policy makers who puts more emphasis on maternal health.

He advises that priority in metal health in terms of human capital, drugs etc is critical since it impacts on all other cohorts of life.

He also calls on careful assessment of individuals by close family members on behavioral change where early mental health interventions should be sort.

He attributes the rising number of mental cases to changing dynamics in society and increased population. Mitigation measures should start at the level of prevention, rolling out programs both at community levels to create more awareness and interventions in seeking treatment at the opportune time.

In adult population, forensic cases include murder cases related to drugs and substance abuse leading to reasoning levels affected in the state of intoxication. Others like murder between spouses due to negative interaction with the spouse.

Forensic research indicates that these murder cases are caused by poor health seeking behavior, poor public approach towards mental health, late interventions, drug substance use to crime. All these are a big burden interms of forensic psychiatric both in Murang’a and nationally.

According to Kenyan statistics is that out of four people, one has a mental illness issue

Susan Njagi, is a medical social worker whose main work is to mental patients with their family members for psycho social support and counselling. She cites difficulties in families most of whom do not accept back mental patients.

Susan narrates that she finds it rough in convincing the families that mental illness is just a disease like any other and it can only be completely cured through acceptance and help from close family members.

Marcus Irungu is a mental patient from Sagana village of Kirinyaga County and has been treated and discharged at the Murang’a level five hospital.

He displays marks on both hands and legs as he narrated how he was tightly tied with a rope as he was taken to the hospital where he was treated for two weeks.

Irungu explains how he used to chew Muguka and Miraa citing the drugs as a major cause for his mental sickness. He vows not to go back to the chewing of the Muguka now that he is cured.

Jackson Kang’ethe is another mental patient who is recuperating at home as he schools at Nginda Youth Polytechnic in Maragua constituency.

Kang’ethe says that he is training to be a tailor and lauds the support that he got from his family when he fell ill



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