September 2019


Nobody knew where he was going but we were told that he was going to pass through Thika and that everyone should assemble at the flyover (why some places are given some names is still a wonder. Nothing flies over people just walk or drive) 

Anyway if you didn't grow during the Moi era, before multiparty politics in Kenya then you will be forgiven for not understanding what the hullabaloo of the president passing through a town as small as Thika was all about. That week the Chief had come to our School to give the information to the Headmaster and to also request that we prepare a song for the president just incase he gets out of his car, he might be pleased with our song and that would be good for the school, at least he would know about us. 

Now the Chief did not just visit our school alone as he also passed the same message to Thika Primary, St. Patricks and Jamhuri. These schools were our perenial competitors of who will occupy position last in the zonal exams. Thika primary would come fouth last, Muslim Primary third last, then St. Patricks primary would contest with Jamhuri over who would be the last one (at least thats what we were meant to understand by the generations of students who schooled before us)

Then there was the other schools that spoke in English and were always contesting for the top three, St. Davids, Moi primary and memorial primary. Now you have to know that our Zone was called Kenyatta Zone and the other "english" speakers were madaraka Zone. We contested in our various Zones and then we would meet at the district level, that was in music and also sports. 

In our Zone, we all spoke kikuyu I guess since even the alphabets were taught in Kikuyu. And out teacher would make it a song " Aeeee nene, Aeee nini, Biii nene Biii nini" and thats how we understood. So when we reported to our parents that there is something called "monito" (we didnt really know its real name anyway) that one is given when you spoke kikuyu or sheng or any other mother tongue, at school. And that once this "monto" thing is given to you then it means you will be punished for receiving something you didn't even ask for, as expected our ghetto parents didnt understand and had to come to school to find out why. 

They were informed that this was important to make us know English and Kiswahili. There were protest from the parents but the decission had already been made and there was no "public participation". So talking to anyone would mean you either use English or Kiswahili. That was like denying us freedom of expression. So we would find ourselves saying "choose me teacher, i go toiret". 

Anyway we went right into practicing a song that "Mtukufu Rais would be pleased with when he makes a stopover at the fly over heading to a destination that we didn't know about. Now shops had to be closed too and everyone to go receive the President and bid him goodbye as he went. Then we would go about our business. The problem was we didn't know exactly what time he would come at the flyover as he would be having other stopovers before Thika. 

Mrs Kibathi made sure our song was tuned well and she had advised us to take lemon so that we don't face voice challenges. We had been rehearsing hard. So on the day the President was coming we arrived early at school, so that we would walk together to flyover (today it is called Njomoko). We arrived and were quickly arranged by our heights and told to rehears once more to check our voices. Mrs Kibathi was satisfied. The chief was also there and so were many police officers and a band every policeman looked busy even when there was nothing to do. 

Periodically one would come and tell us "musikanyage lami, musimame hapo" (dont step on the tarmac stand right where you are) then another one would come and repeat the same statement. Anyway we had been standing there for more than five hours and the President hadn't arrived. Then we saw a car coming very fast and stopped where a man with a uniform was we were told he was the DC, somethings were whispered to him and then we were told the president was near. 

Mrs Kibathi told us to start singing and the other schools too started singing and it was a collection of different voices, tones, words and tempo. We were still singing one hour later and still He had not arrived. We were told to rest a bit. And thats when Chos and Runo brought their idea. That there was a "kadim dim" not far from where we were in the middle of the coffee plantation that was "ngoingwa" then and there were some "gadania" (macadamia) trees that were there we could go eat, have a swim at the "kadim dim" then be back before the President comes. 

We left Ndun'gu to alert us using our secret signal when the president was near. It was nearing 6pm while eating "gadanias" and swimming when we realised that no one had seen Ndung'u or heard the secret signal. We went back to the flyover and there was no one. 

Our names were called the following morning at the parade we thought that the President had left something for everyone who was there and since he didn't find us he was kind enough to leave our share with the Headmaster. We were given a thorough beating in form of several bamboo sticks canes on our behinds and hands. Apparently our school had no song to present when the time came and it was because half of the singing group couldn't be found. 

We were told that the other students ate Broadway bread and fanta. 

Where did our broadway bread and fanta go? Who ate our Share? Did the president know that we never ate our share of Broadway bread and fanta?  #ifikie Mtukufu Rais. 

Juma Hemedi

Interview done on   

Who is Onyii?

I am Evans Aila, a resident of Thika since birth and grew up in Kiandutu Slum. I am married and a father of five.
Mimi ni husler wa kawaa who earn my daily bread through hawking second hand merchandise.

Briefly Describe a Day in Onyii's Life.

Every morning I wake up at 4:40am to assist my kids get ready for school since my wife is nursing my two last-born twins. I prepare their breakfast and see my three elder kids off to school at around 6:00am.

I immediately board a matatu from Kiganjo Estate to MetroFil Petrol Station along Thika-Garissa Highway where I collect my tools of trade to kick off my day. 

From about 6:20am to around 8:00am, I assist school kids cross the road safely. I also offer the same to persons living with disability as well as alcoholics from the slum.

After this, I go for my morning workout where I jog for about one hour to keep fit. I then head straight home, take a cold shower before leaving to eke a living. I close shop at around 8 in the evening to assist my kids with their homework and other chores.
After they retire to bed, I take my books and start my private studies until around 12 midnight.

What do you mean that by that? Are you in school?

I am a Standard Seven dropout and I intend to pursue on with my studies. God willing, I plan to enroll for KCPE this year if I am in a position to raise the required amount.

What is all this road safety thing you do?

In the year 2013, a Programme by the name Action For Road Safety was introduced to schools around Thika to create road safety awareness among school kids. The organisers came briefly and distributed bags to these kids and later vanished into thin air. Their one-off project did help much as children kept on getting killed along these roads just as before.

This hurt me into thinking of a way to help the situation. I along some few friends approached several leaders seeking for assistance to come up with a lasting solution to the deaths that were getting out of hand. None of these leaders ever lent us an ear. My friends gave up on the idea but it kept nagging me throughout 2013-14.

This year, I decided to take the first step…. Doing it whether anyone helps me or not. So, I went and made this sign post and that is how RS 10 Project kicked off.

Who Funds this Project?

No one assists me in any way but I am not complaining.  This is my service to God and I believe that He is happy of my efforts.

What Challenges do you encounter in this Project?

First we have some of these drivers who are so arrogant and inconsiderate. They will ignore you and speed off, sometimes almost running over me or these kids in the process. The other major handicap is that of manpower. My area of operation is quite limited since it is very difficult to get people willing to wake up this early to do such volunteer work. This road stretches long and I cannot be everywhere I would have wanted to be in order to save that kid from being knocked by a car while crossing the road to school. We have so many blackspots on this road such as The Bidco junction, Metro, Gatitu and Cravers where so many kids and grown-ups get knocked down by vehicles every day.

We cannot forget that I am a family man who has needs too to cater for. I got bills to pay. Whenever I come here every morning, I spend about Sh.100 in fare to-and-fro Kiganjo Estate. It also takes part of the time that I am supposed to spending in trying to earn a living.

There is also those people who talk down on my efforts saying that I am wasting time or that I lack something more important to do.

Anyway, none of this ever puts me down. This is a sacrifice I have to make.

With all those challenges, what then drives you or rather what inspires you to do what you do?

My inspiration comes from Colossians 3:23 which says; “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. My love and passion for kids can drive me to any length. I do what I do here regardless of who takes note of my efforts. Since my childhood I have witnessed so many school-going children die on this road. It pains me to see young innocent lives getting lost and yet no one takes the pain to seek solutions to these loses, may be because they come from poor background, Kiandutu.

Who can you at least thank for going this far?

Thika Police Traffic Base Commander Mr. William Uhuru has been of great assistance.  First, he has allowed me to be here which a great privilege is. He has also provided me with this reflector jacket and introduced me to other police officers including the OCPD Mr. Erustus Muthamia. These police officers have been of great help especially in following up those drivers who make my work difficult by endangering the children’s lives.

How do you see this project in future?

My dream in the next five years is to see this Road Safety Project roll out in the entire nation. I want to see our roads free of pedestrian deaths.

I know these blackspots may in future have footbridges erected. That will not mean the end of my mission with the ghetto kids. There is so much we can do with these children. As I work with them here, they tell me so much and I learn a lot from them. They need to be assisted in so many ways.

What would you tell other youth about this mission?

Everything is not about money.  I believe in the saying that goes; Service for humanity is service to God. Serve His people and He will surely Bless the work of your hands. Our God is Faithful.

A KDF woman officer and 3 AP constables have been arrested over the Sh 72 million StanChart ATM heist in Nairobi West.

AP Constable Simon Gichuhi Karuku and his wife AP Constable Caroline Njeri Waithira were first to be arrested in Thogoto, Kiambu County at a lawyer’s office where they had gone to apply for an anticipatory bond in connection with the theft.

The duo led the police to Karuku’s sister, Eunice Wangari Karuku, a KDF officer at the Kahawa Barracks, whom they had handed the money to.

Wangari later directed detectives to her sister, Florence Wanjiru Karuku, who was the AP officer guarding a nearby Equity Bank ATM in Nairobi West at the time the cash was stolen.

She however informed the police that as soon as she got the bag of money, she gave it to her boyfriend, James Macharia, who escaped with the money to an unknown destination.

Detectives impounded a Toyota Mark X car, registration number KBX 779R from Wangari, which they believe, was bought using proceeds from the heist.

Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu might be charged for abuse of office following his involvement in the illegal acquisition and transfer of land worth Sh.100 million in Thika Municipality in January 2018.

On the 5th March this year, the Commission on Administrative Justice, better known as the office of the Ombudsman received a complaint from Cecilia Mbugua who is a widow alleging that officials from the Kiambu County Government irregularly transferred ownership of two plots in Thika municipality registered under the complainant to Esther Nyatu Wamuyu.

Following an investigation and subsequent recommendation by the commission ascertained that prime property – Thika Municipality/Block XI/877 and Thika Municipality/Block XI/878 – belonging to Ms Mbugua was fraudulently transferred to Esther Nyatu through the office of the governor and the governor himself.

CAJ Chairperson Florence Kajuju handed over title deeds to back to Ms Mbugua following an admission by Waititu of his role in taking away the land.

The properties are part of a block of five properties owned by Ms. Mbugua, all having a lease of 99 years starting in the year 2011.

Ms. Mbugua had applied to develop the properties in 2013 and was granted a permit to carry on planned construction works. Later, it was cancelled on allegations that the land belonged to the Juakali Association. Mbugua challenged the decision in court, which ruled in her favour.

The commission’s investigators visited Kiambu and Thika land offices to interview officials and get documents relevant to the matter.

Waititu was also interviewed and he allegedly admitted requesting Ms Mbugua to surrender the two plots before he could facilitate approval of the development plans for the remaining three plots.

In late December 2017, Ms Mbugua said she received a call from the governor’s office in which she was guaranteed the development approvals only for the land to be transferred to Esther Nyatu on the 2nd of January 2018 on purported consideration of sale.

Upon realising the irregularity in the transfer of the plots, the governor agreed to surrender back the two plots to the widow.

Thirteen groups drawn from across Thika Town Constituency yesterday received cheques worth Ksh. 1.6 million from the constituency’s UWEZO FUND kitty to expand their businesses.

The beneficiaries were drawn from those groups that had previously borrowed and successfully repaid their loans and had projects that resonated well with the government’s BIG 4 AGENDA.

While speaking during the disbursement of these cheques, area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina said that the groups received amounts ranging from Ksh. 100,000 and Ksh. 200,000.

He encouraged each of the groups to think around President Uhuru Kenyatta’s BIG 4 AGENDA as this would guarantee them more opportunities for growth and expansion.

Before the disbursement of these loans, the participants underwent a rigorous training in financial management, value addition and on the UWEZO FUND policies and procedures in order to equip them fully on what was ahead of them.

A Treasury retiree and her daughter were on Monday found strangled inside their house in Nairobi's South B.

Judith Mwai (73) and her daughter Catherine Mwai (47)'s bodies were discovered by a kin when she visited the home, each in their respective bedrooms.

Judith’s body was found lying facing down with a sisal rope tied around her neck with blood oozing from her mouth. Her daughter, who is a former employee of Co-operative Bank, was found in her bedroom’s floor with injury marks around her neck which, evidence of possible strangulation.

The duo were last seen on Sunday at 2pm when they dropped by a black Toyota Prado by an unknown person.

According to a report from Makadara Police Station, the two lived alone in this house but had two tenants living in the servant’s quarters who were not home when the police visited the scene.

Nothing seemed to have been stolen from them as their mobile phones were found in their respective bedrooms. There was no murder weapon found at the scene.

The bodies were taken to Chiromo Mortuary.

 Stanley Njuguna Kibue born aka Stano Ezi on his graduation on 20th September 2019. 
25-year old Stanley Njuguna Kibue born aka Stano Ezi’s story is a revelation that with determination and focus, all things are possible.

Stano was born in 1994 in Thika’s Kiandutu slums by alcoholic parents who later abandoned him to live with his grandmother when he was just at the age of 2 weeks.

Living with his grandmother at that tender age was not easy due to her poor financial status.

At the age of 5, he joined Garissa Road (then Kiandutu) Primary School.

Life at school was very hard as his granny could barely afford him food and most times, he reported to school without even having taken any breakfast and could at times find himself without lunch or dinner.

Life as a street boy

When he could not bear it any longer, he quit school in Standard four and went to survive in the streets of Thika as a street boy (chokora). It was in the streets where he learnt to take drugs especially glue and marijuana.

His life began to change for the better two and a half years later when some social workers from ACTION FOR CHILDREN IN CONFLICT, an organisation based in Thika, came to his rescue.

They enrolled him to a Children’s Day care in Majengo estate and also admitted him to a rehab centre.

A year later, Stano agreed to go back to school.

By this time, his grandmother had already passed on and was forced to live with a distant aunt who eked a living through the sale of illicit brews.

Living with her meant that he had to help her brew and also sell the liquor which he did until he completed his secondary school at Broadway High School.  

To forget the embarrassment and humiliation at school, Stano buried his mind into books and games and in most of his free time, he spent playing football. This way, he was able to beat the urge to draw back into drug abuse and crime.

Community service

After Form Four, he kept himself busy playing ghetto football.

He later started teaching life skills and did some motivational speaking in primary schools within the slum with a view to motivate and offer hope to the slum kids.

Eventually, he formed a football team for street boys and other kids in the slum with a view to keeping them off drugs and crime.

It was during those football breaks that he would teach them on the importance of school and the dangers of drug and substance abuse.

His endeavours helped him link up with former Kiandutu alumni who helped him through his mission to rehabilitate and save the ghetto child.

He later secured some job at Macheo Children's Home where he raised some money to join college for part-time Diploma in Community Development and Social Work.

After graduating, he again enrolled for a Diploma in Business Administration and Management, a course he completed and graduated this September.

Meanwhile, in 2014 and in partnership with some friends (Sinja, German teacher ), they founded the Jiamini Community-Based Organisation that currently takes care of 22 orphaned and vulnerable children in Kiandutu slums. It also majors in environmental conservation.

His Aspirations?

Stano hopes to change the lives of people living in the slums and bring hope to the less destitute and marginalised people, especially women, children, and the aged as well.

He advises fellow youth in the ghetto who feel like losing hope in life that “There is always hope in tomorrow and that no one knows what tomorrow holds for them.”

“Your future is in your hands. What you are doing today determines what you will be tomorrow and a little effort leads to greater achievements,” he says.

He concludes by warning them to stay away from drugs and crime.

A 16-year old Kenyan, Natasha Sikinyi, is the Africa Regional Winner of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Concept Competition.

Natasha beat 500 other participants worldwide with her medical drone to transport patients from remote areas to hospitals.

It is equipped with life-saving equipment and will help to reduce fatalities caused lack of timely access to healthcare.

The regional winners are:

Africa: Pogotowia, by Natasha Sikinyi (Kenya)

Asia-Pacific: Zaia by Lee Kern (Singapore)

Europe: GimbalCopter by Steffen Klinder (Germany)

N. America: Hybrid Plane by Julien Santerre (Canada)

S. America: Stingreen by Mariana Guerrero (Venezuela)

Among these, it was Steffen's amazing "GimbalCopter" entry that has earned him the global concept prize!

Natasha’s award was received on her behalf by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia during the ongoing ICAO World Aviation Forum Innovation Fair in Montreal, Canada.

The biggest problem facing Kenya now is its education system and policies governing the sector. All these policy errors, corruption and misgovernance are as results of a failed education system that was not well thought of at its inception.

Kenyans have had access to education as far back as 1728 with the earliest school dating 1846.

In 1967, Kenya adopted the 7–4–2–3 system of education, which consisted of 7 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education, 2 years of high school and 3–5 years of university education.

In 1985, Kenya adopted the 8–4–4 system of education, which adopted 8 years of primary education, 4 years of secondary education and 4 years of university education.

With the introduction of the 8–4–4 system CPE became KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) while KCE became the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

8-4-4 best system but poor planning and implementation

8-4-4 was a good system that was geared towards providing a holistic learning system to learners but the policy makers never thought it out well and it ended up with so many shortcomings.

It incorporated Agriculture, Art & Craft, Home science, Music, Business Education, Physical Education (PE) and other skill-based learning.  

Most of the pioneers of this system never went to waste. Today, they are the people who earn a living as carpenters, hoteliers in village food places and are our tailors in estates.

Those who missed admission to secondary schools joined vocational colleges to perfect the skills as they already had a base.

Unfortunately, all these were killed in the mid and late 90s when those in power started commercialising the education system and turned education purely theoretical. People now started equating success with academic grades attained in national exams (STD 8 and Form 4) where theoretical A students were regarded to as heroes while all others were seen as failures and rejects.

Birth of Private Academies and doctored results

It was at this time when everyone idolised academic results, resulting to very unfair competition with schools employing all manner of mischief to achieve high means scores in both KCPE and KCSE.

Everyone started talking about KCPE/KCSE results which bore so much pressure on everyone:- the pupils, teachers and even parents.

The situation was worsened with the re-introduction of Free Primary Education by Ex-President Mwai Kibaki’s Government, which suffocated public schools, forcing many parents to opt for private schools.

This gave birth to too many private academies set up even in residential plots majority of which did all manner of mischief to attain Grade As which would eventually translate into more pupils’ admissions and consequently more money to these investors.

Academies started “poaching” bright students from public schools and giving them free scholarships. Others “deported” weak pupils from their schools to register for exams in different examination centres or open two or more centres in the school and registering them as a different school all in the name of maintaining their “good name” and good financial returns.

The skill-based subjects were substituted with the "main subjects" and eventually died a natural death. You could find for instance children doing Maths during PE or Business Education lessons.

Bribing for good results

In all this unfair competition, corruption crept in and people started bribing unscrupulous officials of the Kenya National Examinations (KNEC) for favourable results. Parents and teachers too joined in the fray and cases of imposters sitting for exams on behalf of candidates became rampant in some areas.

Schools also drilled and spoon-fed children into reading exams. Teachers started despising skills and talents in their learners and started worshiping “theoretical giants" who could not even explain why they did some arithmetic but could recite such formulae to get an answer.

These are the children that eventually got admitted to the national and other coveted schools.
Inside these schools, the spoon-feeding continued with an eye for national results. They are the children who eventually took up all the university slots.

Incompetent "Bookies" now policy makers

The bottom line here is the country ended up having "bookies" in the universities who obviously were the ones who took up the lion share of government's appointments in jobs by virtue of their attractive academic (paper) credentials.

The seed of graft was inculcated into the children's minds so early when their parents played monkey business in manipulating good marks in schools and for individual children.

This vice then extended to the acquisition of jobs, especially in government. The parents bribed to have their children join their "dream" careers, which was not necessarily, what the children even wanted but actually those that paid well.

With this, parents nurtured a culture of idolising money thus inculcating graft into their children's DNA. No wonder money comes before anything else these days. Someone will let another person to die while demanding for money first before rendering an essential service.

These are the people currently holding almost 80% of government positions and thus are the policy makers.

With these "paper giants", Kenyans have ended up being entangled in crazy governance policies that make even the illiterate wonder what the drafters were thinking when coming up with certain laws and policies. An recent example was the milk and manure bills that had been drafted (and later withdrawn), leaving players in the agricultural sectors in utter shock.

It's not a wonder too the government keeps recycling old professionals who have proven to be more capable and able to deliver tangible results as compared to these young Turks who are "paper" giants without the requisite skills.

There is still hope

Luckily, the introduction of Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i into the Ministry of Education brought back sanity into the Ministry and KNEC. His leadership skills and no-nonsense approach to these problems whipped back some sense into the players and students can now boast of hard-earned results.

Then with the introduction of the Competency Based Curriculum and the revival of technical institutions, there is a ray of hope into the future.

We hope and support the current CS Professor George Magoha whose zeal and passion to see things done the right way will help up put back this country on track to becoming a middle-level developed country.

 Dr. Susan Gitau leads a troop of scouts drawn from various Thika Schools during a peace walk to commemorate the International Day of Peace on Saturday.

Thika town marked International Day of Peace with the launch of a “Peace Corner” at Mama Ngina Gardens where people will be receiving free counseling sessions every first Friday of the month.

Speaking during the launch, Dr. Susan Gitau of Susan Gitau Counseling Foundation (SGCF) and a director at International Professional Counselors Centre (IPCC) noted that events happening across the country and in families were an indicator that majority of the people suffered from mental depression, which cut across all spheres of life.

“Mental health is a big very problem in this country that affects both the rich and the poor and if we do not act fast, it will consume a vast majority of our people. These murders, suicides and violence witnessed in our families today are clear indicators that we need serious psychological assessment of our people. It is for this reason as SGCF and IPCC, we have volunteered to offer free counseling sessions to residents of Thika, every first Friday of the month at this grounds (Mama Ngina),” explained Dr. Susan.

She suggested that the “Peace Corner” be set aside as an official pardon area for people run to when they had issues with the authorities and to confess their transgression for repentance and plea for mercy and a resolve to reform.

The Thika CDF Chairman Huruko Njau who represented the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina echoed her clarion call for peace by calling on people to embrace peaceful coexistence at home, at work and in all places.

Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Chairman Alfred Wanyoike noted that peace was paramount for businesses to thrive.

During the occasion, Thika residents received free counseling sessions courtesy of IPCC and free eye check-up by VISION SHOP Thika.

The event was preceded by a peace walk around the town and culminated in the planting of peace trees at Mama Ngina gardens.

By Juma Hemedi


I disagree with the high court ruling against Del Monte Company in its quest for renewal of it's lease. I have not yet looked at the detailed ruling but there are individuals already celebrating the ruling in their celebrations they point out that the land should be given back to the people if Murang'a because the products grown are out of reach of common Kenyans in terms of prices and some people have resulted to stealing the products from the Del Monte farms and that Del Monte has not done much towards Corporate social Investment. 

I wish to disagree with the sentiments and the high court ruling because of the following;

1. I hold the view that Del Monte as a company is not in the business of creating thieves and that its mandate is articulated in its instruments of registration. The arguments that are socially being circulated that its because of their prices of their products that some people cant afford that's the reason for stealing does not hold water.

Del Monte has set up shops where one can buy it's products at affordable prices from their shops one located near Blue Post on your way to former Imani International school. 

2. The economies of areas such as Kabati, Kenol, Thika grew from the labour force that had been employed by Del Monte so did the economy of Kakuzi and Ithanga. In Thika estates such as Makongeni phase 10, 11,7,8,5,6,4, grew and developed as a result of Del Monte work force. Kisii estate and by and large landless are also due to labour force of what was known as 'Kenya Canners'.Those who bought land from Umoja estates, muguga were Del Monte employees and some bought and constructed houses in Makongeni phase 13. 

Families in low income estates of Starehe, Ofafa, Majengo, Biafra, have populations of people working in Del Monte and growing Thika economy in terms of rental income, consumer products, transport, affiliate services. Indirectly so many Kenyans from as far as Mombasa benefit from this company in terms of warehousing, clearing and forwarding etc. 

Financial institutions such as banks and SACCO have disbursed loans to Del Monte employees for business, school fees, construction and development. Middle income estates of Makongeni phase 10 and 13 and Kamenu have tenants from Del Monte. Kiganjo too houses a lot of Del Monte employees. This have resulted in the infrastructure development of housing, water and electricity this brings taxes to the economy of our country as well as income for real estate developers. Its net effect is reduction of unemployment. 

Companies such as Nampak kenya sells a big percentage of its packaging Tins to Del Monte creating  more employment through outsourcing services, Kel chemicals sells its water treatment chemicals to Del Monte. A bus company is contracted to ferry employees to and from work. All these companies have employed Kenyans and by far Thika people. 

3. The primary market for Del Monte products is not local it is the European and american markets. And that brings foreign exchange to the country stabilising the Kenyan economy. Kakuzi too has its products for foreign markets. Macadamia companies based in Thika and Murang'a sells their products to foreign markets enabling the farmers and producers to gain good prices for their products. This brings social transformation in families and quality of life. 

4. Del Monte land in Murang'a and Thika is in areas that receive below normal rainfall without the heavy irrigation investment Del Monte has put up in water and environmental conservation it is difficult to grow much in that area. 

5.The Big 4 agenda has manufacturing as its key component to grow the Kenyan economy. Manufacturing without exporting does not make Kenyan goods competitive and enable continuous improvement of goods and services through innovation. 

Del Monte has continued to play its role as corporate citizen through Corporate Social Investment in Education, and environmental conservation, Obviously there is more Del Monte can do and should do. But celebrating a ruling that has a likelihood of making more than 20,000 families directly and twice as much indirectly to loose their source of livelihood is to say the least mockery.

The renewal of leases held by multinationals and other foreign investors that have a concern for community and have created employment and grown the economy in this country should be left to the national Government.

The High Court has declined to hear a petition by Del Monte in which the company wants the court to compel the Murang'a County Government to renew leases for its pineapple plantations.

While giving their ruling, Justices George Kimondo, Wilfrida Okwany and Chacha Mwita said the constitutional court lacked the jurisdiction to determine the matter, saying it ought to have been filed and heard before the Environment and Lands Court.

According to the judges, the matter was intrinsically connected the use and title to land, a matter that is within the mandate of the Environment and Land Court.

The judges held that the alleged violations of various constitutional rights are intertwined with the dominant issue being the right to renewal of leases over the suit land.

“This dispute falls squarely within the purview of the Environment and Land Court (ELC). We also find that although Del Monte claims a violation of various constitutional rights, those claims are intertwined with the dominant issue and that the ELC has jurisdiction to deal with the alleged violations,” said the Judges.

The significance of jurisdiction cannot be gainsaid. Any court acting without jurisdiction would be employing its energy, time and resources in futility,” the judges ruled as they declined to hear the case, which was filed in 2015.

The company occupies approximately 9,143.455 hectares of land and through Njoroge Regeru, argued that it has put up massive investments on the parcels which includes factories, office complex, several dams and extensive irrigation infrastructure.

The lawyer said Del Monte has also put up 2,700 housing units for its members of staff, six fully staffed and equipped clinics, eight nursery schools, three primary schools and two secondary schools and social halls among other developments.

Mr Stergios Gkaliamoutsas, the managing director of the company said in an affidavit that the company has directly employed over 7,000 people who stand to lose if the actions of the residents are not stopped.

Locals and the county government said it was impossible to step into the property because of the heavy security presence. The residents claim that the land is public land and the fruit company has no proprietary rights despite occupying it illegally.

The county government is opposed to the extension of the land leases citing poor working and living conditions for the workers. It argued in court that the company uses hazardous pesticides in the growing of pineapples and permanent damage to the natural resources of the people of Murang’a.

The county challenged the jurisdiction of the court to handle the matter arguing that all matters relating to the environment, use, occupation and title to land are supposed to be heard at the Environmental and Land court.

As the case was pending, Kandara residents filed the claim before National Land Commission (NLC) alleging historical injustices.

The company, first challenged the jurisdiction of NLC to hear the dispute but a middle ground was struck and the parties agreed to mediation.

Deputy President William Ruto has said that the government is pleased with the progress of construction of the Sh. 2 billion Eastern Transmission Pipeline.
While speaking during a tour of infrastructural projects in the area, Ruto said that this project will enhance the supply of clean, safe drinking water, improve sanitation, reduce pollution and the burden of disease in Nairobi County.
Once complete, the project is expected to pump 100,000 cubic metres (100 million litres) of water daily to residents of Eastlands with off takes at Dandora, Kayole and Embakasi and targeting 200,000 homes.
Later, the DP Inspected infrastructure projects at Tom Mboya Primary School.
He noted that infrastructural development, especially in learning institutions was key to harnessing the potential of the youth, including growing their skills for individual mobility and enhancing our progress; creating jobs; advancing equity and promoting inclusive growth.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has told a Parliament that the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project along Thika Road requires Sh. 9 billion, sh. 5.8 billion of which will go to infrastructure development.

Macharia told the National Assembly Committee on Transport on Thursday that the design would comprise a station, four-foot bridges as well as a park and ride facility.

“The design infrastructure, which will comprise a station, four-foot bridges as well as a park and ride facility, is going on under KeNHA (Kenya National Highways Authority) which has estimated the cost to be Sh. 5.8 billion,” Macharia said.

The CS said that the first batch of 64 buses was being manufactured in both Kenya and South Africa. 
However, he said that the project would not be launched since the Kenya Highways Authority (KeNHA) was yet to work on the infrastructure.

“Out of the 64 buses, 32 are being constructed by a local body fabricator in Nairobi while the rest are being manufactured in South Africa,” said the CS.

The buses will cost the country Sh. 500 million. They will be expected to serve in the first and second phase of the project before the third one is rolled out in two years’ time.

Each bus is expected to have a capacity of about 160 passengers who will use electronic cards for payment.

The four footbridges under construction on Thika Road are designed as modules for ease of modifications to accommodate BRT services.

Aside from these, development of park and ride facility has been proposed at Kasarani stadium to be integrated with the commuter rail services.

Detectives from the Flying Squad have recovered 12 motor vehicles suspected to be stolen or illegally registered in an operation that was triggered by a tip-off from the public.

The vehicles were recovered from a yard at Ndaptabwa Kipsimo, Eldoret- where they were being hidden.

One suspect; Gideon Kipkoech Kichwen was arrested and in lawful custody. Further investigations into the matter ongoing as motor vehicles are kept as exhibits.

NEMA officials have arrested 2 suspects nabbed manufacturing plastic bags in Kimbo area, Murera Location of Juja Constituency.
Over 8 tonnes of banned plastic bags and granules used for manufacturing the banned product were seized during the raid.
According to the officials, the facility has a capacity to manufacture about a million bags daily.
Speaking after receiving the seized consignment, Ag. NEMA DG Mamo B. Mamo warned those using or manufacturing the bags that NEMA will catch up with them

Governors have kicked off clamour for constitutional changes via the "Ugatuzi Initiative" where among others, they want -
● Council of County Governors be entrenched in the Constitution
● Counties to receive not less than 45% of previous year’s national revenue and 30% of proceeds from natural resources
● Compel the national government to ensure each county has either a Cabinet Minister, Deputy Minister or Principal Secretary.
● Appointment of a Prime Minister who will be head of government, two deputy premiers. The President will be Head of State.
● A Cabinet appointed from among MPs with at least one-third picked from outside Parliament and to reintroduce Assistant Ministers in a cabinet that must meet the two-thirds gender rule and representation of the special interest groups.
● Cabinet to consist of not more than 18 Ministers and 22 Deputies
● Establishment of a County Assembly Fund and grants to MCAs similar to what the MPs enjoy such as car grants and low-cost mortgages
● Establishment of the office of the Deputy Speaker of the County Assembly included in the Constitution
● Equalisation Fund to be distributed to the counties by the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA) and be implemented at the ward level.
● All Bills shall originate from the National Assembly or Senate where the Senate shall consider all bills including money bills.
● The Constitution to provide provision for filling of a vacancy in the Office of Deputy Governor by the Governor with the approval of the County Assembly.
● The Constitution to provide grounds and procedure for removal of a Deputy Governor.
● Leader of the Party/coalition of Parties with the second largest number of seats in National Assembly to be the official leader of the opposition. He/She shall have a deputy and shall appoint a shadow cabinet.
● The President shall not assent to any Bill unless passed by the Senate
● Senate shall approve appointments to all constitutional offices and be involved in approval of International Treaties.
● Office of the Attorney General to be independent and have security of tenure.
● Counties to have their own County Attorney and Law Office and that each County to have its own County Gazette.

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