October 2019

A family in Mwea Village, Gatundu North Constituency could not hide their joy when they welcomed back their 76-year old father who vanished from home for 35 years ago.

Mzee Lawrence Njuguna left home in 1986 for Kajiado where he eked a living as a charcoal trader. When things did not work out well, he crossed over to neighbouring Tanzania where he sold sand for construction for over 10 years.

His departure to Tanzania led to a complete breakdown in communication between him and the family, leaving them in limbo for the next 35 years.

Lawrence explained how life turned against him, leading a life of abject poverty to a point that he couldn’t even afford his fare back home.

He also attributes part of the reason why he never communicated with them was the fact that he did not have any of their contacts.

Lawrence returned home empty-handed to find grownup kids and several grandchildren.

His wife Mary Nyathira could not hide her joy despite all what she had gone through for all those years, leaving Samuel Irungu, their first-born son, with the responsibility of the head of the family and looking after his four younger siblings.


After successfully pulling a "gangster" surprise on the ghetto people and taking his bicycle, the parent who was given the bunch of keys by the headmaster had no option other than leave the keys with the secretary who also acted as the official "maziwa ya nyayo" distributor to the school. We also called her "tata wa ìria". The woman had the memory of an elephant and would never forget the faces of rascals like us who would hide their milk behind the class and then come back to say that they had not gotten. She would fish you out of the line and frogmarched you holding you by the ear in a manner to suggest that she was not afraid of detaching it from your head full of porridge instead of brains.

Enock was the inventor of that habit. He lived in Bulleys Tanneries and had his brother and sister who was also in the same school. It was easy to identify him as he always had the "mpararo" face and big eyes that were always red. One day Allan saw Enock hiding his packet of "maziwa ya nyayo" behind the class in order to go and get an extra packet. He took the packet, made a very precise hole, drank it and filled the packet with water. What transpired later is a story for another day which included Enock crying and saying he will know who took his milk and make him diarrhoea. But that was the last time he ever hid his milk behind the class.

So after Mr. Kabuka saw the kind of commotion the "maziwa ya nyayo" had caused, he directed that the number of pupils in each class be taken and the exact packets of milk taken to each class by the class prefects and their class teachers. You might be wondering why the milk was that important? For starters it meant that we would have "chai ya maziwa" (tea with milk) at home.  But of importance was the fact that at U-shop centre there were two very important shops.

One was for Abdalla "Mwarabu" he sold "kashatas", ukwaju (mukwaju) or tarmarine, "shungutu", mabuyu, biscuits and mahamri among other things that we loved to eat and the milk always went well with the "kashatas". The other shop belonged to "Ngishu" and we called it "Kwa Ngishu" he had the best Chips this side of the compass and for two or five shillings you had all the chips you needed and you would wash them down with the packet of 'maziwa ya nyayo'.

Mr. Kabuka in an address to the school during one of the school parade announced that the school parade would only be on Mondays and Fridays. And that he would be visiting the classes of especially class six, seven and eight to ascertain whether the students in those classes are qualified to be in those classes. And whether the teachers were teaching.

He also declared that the corridor that had classes six, seven and eight will be called the "red sea" and crossing the "red sea" to the next class meant that you have qualified for that class in terms of discipline and marks. He also banned talking to teachers and himself with your hands in your pockets or hanging on your sides. You must have them at the back and your shirt properly buttoned and tacked. As usual Enock had a problem with tacked shirt it didn't help either when in the heat of panic he would look at the headmaster with his big red eyes.

To show his seriousness, the headmaster would enter your class and surprise you with a question even if you had a teacher in class.

"What is seven times eight? Woe unto you if you didn't know the answer because that meant you would swim through the "red sea" backwards to the previous class. His methods however made us improve on mathematics and overall performance. Thika Muslim Primary School moved from second or third last position into the top five in zonal and district ranking. We were singing the mathematical tables like the song of "naskia sauti,.. Naskia sauti.... Sauti ya mamaa" (you get the rhythm)

Some students in class eight found themselves in class seven and those in class seven found themselves in class six and so on. Those that couldn't stand the heat transferred to other schools other than Thika primary. Thika primary had a no nonsense headmaster by the name of Mr. Gakumo (I think he was Mr. Kabukas twin brother).

"This barbaric behaviour is going to end in this school" Mr. Kabuka announced one day at the parade.
"Thika Muslim is going to be an academy and must produce boys and girls who can be accepted in the best high schools in Kenya and help make the society a better place. If you think you are not up to the task whether you are a teacher or student, you can come to my office and I will gladly give you a transfer".

I was in class seven when he directed that the marks to enable us cross the "red sea" into class eight was 425 out of 700. Yours truly scored 424 in the third term of class seven exam. Your guess is right. I saw class eight "kwa 'viusasa". I went to his office to try and negotiate a re-mark of my papers we look for that "one mark". He answered that unless I was the one setting the school rules, I had no business in his office and I should be in class seven and not class eight.

My mother did not help either when I suggested that she can transfer me. The "eye" she gave me spoke more than the words she could have uttered. My friends that's how I repeated class seven. But it was the beginning of our very good friendship with Mr Kabuka and I can trace my serious leadership lessons from him.

Juma Hemedi

PART 3 LOADING..... (preparing for KCPE)

BY: Juma Hemedi

Of all the teachers and headmasters to have walked the earth this side of the Sahara and neighboring Chania river in our primary school days, Mr Jamlick Kabuka was the one with the most impact on our Ghetto lives. He was the only one who was never intimidated by our "ghettoness" or the "high gangster index" of the Majengo, Starehe, and Kiandutu parents and residents.

Now if you don't know who Mr Kabuka was or is let me take you through the journey of my primary school. The school is sandwiched between U-shop and borders what used to be "Maendeleo" bar (whoever named this bar should be arrested for misuse of a good name). The other side is the Thika mosque. It borders Thika Primary and St. Patricks. The three schools were surrounded by chang'aa dens, bars, and estates that were unforgiving.

Our journey with Mr. Kabuka began when I was in class five, in a school that had no 'serious official uniform' any thing was okay as long as you didn't come naked to school. Shoes were optional as our parents would always argue whether we will eat or wear shoes. So we would wear "ngoome" (shoes made from worn out tyres) these shoes were made by none other than "Nyoka" (a cobbler whose real name I have never known to date, and who still repairs shoes to date opposite my former primary school)

Nyoka was the guy who would draw your foot on a piece of paper or carton to get your foot size and would get into the designing of the "ngoome" shoe like an architect would. Nyoka was the surveyor, mapping guy, designer, engineer and interior decorator. At times he would just look at your foot and decide which size would fit you. The shoes didn't have numbers on them. You just had to try all. If it didn't fit, Nyoka would pull out some shoe hammer and some pliers and screw driver. With these tools you would mistake Nyoka for a mechanic but this guy was the best "ngoome" maker in Jamhuri market.

Nyokas' shop was located near tobacco sellers (mbake") and something some old men used to smoke called "njiiri" (this was the rejected tobacco leaves that would be left after making all types of cigarettes including 'Roster') . So waiting for Nyoka to finish making your shoe or take your size was an exercise that tested your resilience in withstanding sneezing or how many times you would sneeze because of the tobacco ("mbaki").

But Nyoka continued with his work oblivious of the smell it was almost like he was immune to it. He would occasionally let out a luo religious hymm and one could not help but look at his white "Israeli cap" on his head with a long red cross. Nyoka would measure the raw materials of making the shoe the way a bomb maker would ensure all ingredients balance or else he ends up blowing himself into the next world. So he didn't want to be disturbed. Then he would get into his work as if he was about to discover the cure for Mumps "muungai".

Anyway Mr. Kabuka was transferred from Mugumoini Primary School to Thika Muslim Primary School, a school that had entrances and exits everywhere. You could come from your house on the other side of Majengo estate and cut across the playing field into the corridors of class six, staffroom and into the jamhuri market to buy "ngarango" and avocados in Jamhuri Market then use the same route back home.

So Mr Kabuka decided to close some of the many exits of the school and only maintained two, one for the students and the other one for the teachers near the staffroom. When the trespassers couldn't access their route, it was like they were denied their fundamental human right of movement. They came complaining that their access route has been blocked but the Headmaster was not moved.

So when the following day he banned the students from shouting "luuuuuunnch" when the bell for lunch rang, we decided not to comply and said "atajua hajui". We didn't know that day he would stand at our classroom door a few minutes before the bell rang. As usual we shouted "Luuunch!". Before the first person could get out he was in our class carrying all manner of torture paraphernalia. I can't remember which part of the body was not hurting that day from our behind, to the hands to the thighs, to the feet. As we received a beating of come and see. He decided to make us an example to the whole school.

But it was his decision to say that all of us had to wear "proper school uniform" plus proper school leather shoes and socks, that made our ghettos parents protest. They gathered outside his office their children in tow. And when the headmaster came riding his bicycle they waited until he had packed it and then like some uncoordinated choir started to talk. The headmaster pretended that he didn't even notice them as he opened his office and settled in his chair. We knew that today was the day for him to "lijua jiji".

A crowd of parents had now pushed their way into the office and were still speaking in an uncoordinated manner and saying that shoes are not a priority to deny their children access to classroom, we were silently celebrating as for the first time our parents were on our side and not the ones beating us. They were still talking when the headmaster stood up and made his way out through the angry parents. He looked at the one who made the most noise and handed him his bunch of keys. And told him if he wanted to run the school without discipline he can go ahead and become the headmaster. He took his bicycle and cycled out.

There was a deafening silence from the gang of parents who a few minutes earlier had made a lot of commotion. The shock on the one who was given the keys was more that his silence. As he didn't know what to do with the keys.

One by one the parents took their children to the nearby shops to get their children "proper school uniforms" including shoes and socks. It was the first day so many of us were getting to wear closed leather shoes and socks.

Mr. Kabuka had pulled a "Gangster" surprise to the Ghetto people.

Juma Hemedi

PART 2 Loading.........

File photo of a herd of cattle
Livestock farmers around Thika and environs has a reason to worry after thugs have started sedating herders to enable them to steal domestic animals that are out in the fields grazing,

A recent case in point is a farmer in Athena-Kiganjo area who last Thursday lost 11 cows and 16 goats after his herder was sedated by these crooks.

According to him, some people approached the elderly herder in the fields as he was grazing the animals and offered him some mandazis.

Immediately after consuming the snacks, the Mzee lost his memory and blacked out. The thieves took this opportunity and vanished with the entire herd, never to be seen again.

The owner knew something was amiss after the herder failed to return home and went out to look for him and the animals.

“We found him at around 8pm but he looked so confused and empty and could not recall what had happened to him. It was not until the following day that he was able to recollect the events that preceded the loss of the animals,” explained the owner.

The matter was reported at Kiganjo Police Post but up to now, they have not managed to recover the stolen animals.

Further inquest on the same revealed that this was not an isolated case as similar incidents have been reported within the vicinity and across Muthara area in Juja Constituency.

The thugs are said to be targeting herders, especially the elderly and the not so sharp thinkers and offering them some snacks or uji. Within minutes, the drug sedates the victims, eliminates free will, and even wipes the memory of its victims. It is at this time, the crooks drive the away.

These agents of the ‘Devil’s Breath’ (Scopolamine) are not only isolated in the fields as so many unsuspecting people have been victims on the streets of Thika and in clubs and entertainment joints.

In clubs, people refer to them as “watu was mchele”. Tasteless and odourless, the drug is often slipped into the drinks of unsuspecting bar patrons. Revelers go out to party, are drugged then wake up hours or a day without their belongings or their money.

Along the streets, they will disguise as "village" women pretending to be lost or at times "prophets" or even businesspersons who offer you their business cards.

Once one engages them, they blow this powder into their face and within minutes, you are under the influence and will do whatever you are commanded, including emptying your bank account, giving out your PIN Numbers etc.

It is quite difficult to apprehend the culprits as this drug completely wipes out memory; victims have no recollection of what happened.

Others will target shops, M-PESA agents, public transport operators or petrol stations posing as clients or persons seeking some loose change. Immediately the victim touches the sedated money, they lose their memory and empty their cash boxes.

This “zombie-like” state leaves the victim with no ability to control their actions, leaving them at mercy of the criminals. So many victims have told horror stories of how they were coerced into emptying their bank accounts, homes robbed and some even ending up being raped.

Scopolamine comes from the seeds of a family of plants that includes angel’s trumpets and corkwood.

The Devil's Breath is made from the seeds of the borrachero tree.
The drug has a few legitimate medical uses, such as treatment for motion sickness and for the tremors of Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, it’s best known for its darker properties.

So, anytime you are approached by a stranger, DO NOT GIVE THEM TOO MUCH ATTENTION.

Kenya Power is conducting a survey to determine the availability of mature raw eucalyptus trees for use in ongoing and upcoming power transmission and distribution projects.

In this regard, they are reaching out to tree farmers and plantation owners who have mature eucalyptus trees covering more than one hectare to declare the number of trees earmarked for processing into power transmission and distribution poles and the acreage covered by the trees.

The targeted species of trees are Eucalyptus Paniculata, E. Citriodora/maculata, E. microcorys, E. blobulus, E. regnans, E. saligna and/or E. grandis.

A mature eucalyptus tree shall be over 10 years old, with a diameter above 255mm (or 10 Inches) at breast height, very straight, and free from any physical defects.

Additional information required includes L.R number and the general location of the farm/plantation.
The information shall be filled on a sample form available here https://bit.ly/2WnMPM3 or at the nearest Kenya Power county offices.

This information should be submitted to the nearest Kenya Power county offices on or before 31st October, 2019 or scanned and emailed to pclangat@kplc.co.ke copy to mkirui@kplc.co.ke and smucheke@Kplc.co.ke

Curious wananchi watch as police collect the body of the suspect killed on suspicion of being part of a gang terrorising residents at night.
Angry residents of Kiganjo estate have lynched a suspect they allege is part of a gang that has been terrorising and stabbing people in the area.
This follows a spate of murders and people being stabbed between Corner 2 and Kimuchu Primary School.
The residents blame police laxity for the runaway insecurity despite the area being only a few metres away from the police post. Furthermore, this street is very well lit with enough streetlights.
One person was last night stabbed in the neck barely 24-hours after a 2TS driver was buried after he succumbed to stab wounds following a thug attack in the same area.
Of late, Kiganjo estate and its environs has experienced so many incidents of mugging and violent robberies. This has left residents fearing for their lives, especially those who walk home late from work or wake up early to report to work.
Police have collected the body of the suspect.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY my friend & boss Uhuru Kenyatta. You are a great inspiration to me,the Jubilee leadership and millions of Kenyans as the youngest of the presidents we've had. As we age, am looking forward to what we agreed to do when we retire!! Remember? UBARIKIWE MPAKA USHANGAE

Kiambu County Government plans to table a bill in the assembly to regulate production and sale of animal feeds within the county.

While speaking after visiting Uplands Bacon Factory in Lari Sub-county in the company of the Cabinet Secretary for Trade, Industry and Cooperative Peter Munya, Deputy Governor James Nyoro said that the move aims at protecting livestock farmers from exploitation by unscrupulous traders as well as assist farmers to optimise production.

Nyoro promised to engage stakeholders and the National government to ensure the land on which the company stands, was reverted back to the county government so as to ease the process and revival of the factory.

“Some of the key areas we are going to focus on are; enhancing production, integration of youths and other farmers into pig farming with the support of SME funds and ultimate value addition due to huge impacts in increased incomes and jobs creation,” said the DG.

The DG and the CS later visited Tilisi Mixed-Use Development in Limuru Sub-county, which sits on 400 acres.

He said that his government encouraged such investments aimed at transforming the county into mini-cities.

“We will hasten approvals for buildings and development plans to ensure timely implementation of all projects falling within the Big 4 Agenda especially in Housing and Manufacturing.

Ruiru Deputy County Commissioner Geofrey Ithai
The government has ordered all land buying firms in Ruiru and Juja sub-counties to surrender their members registers, mother titles, maps and other related documents within a week so that the ministry can fast track issuance of title deeds.

The ongoing Ruiru Land Clinic has established that most of these companies have withheld members’ title deeds for more than a decade.

Ruiru Deputy County Commissioner Geofrey Ithai noted that the management of these firms took advantage of the stalemate to siphon cash from unsuspecting landowners.

“Some of these people have even stolen from their members and illegally sold their land. There are numerous cases of multiple allocations of land with others demanding a hefty transaction fees for transfers and clearance for title issuance,” said Ithai.

He noted another issue that hampered title issuance was protracted leadership rows and court cases in these companies.

Samuel Chege aka MC Sam presenting some exams stationary to STD 8 candidates from Kamenu Ward in Thika Town Constituency.
A non-profit making charitable organisation based in Thika has donated exams stationary to all 1,109 Class 8 candidates within Kamenu Ward.

Mc Sam Chege Foundation, under the stewardship of Community-based leader and politician Samuel Chege, gave these items to all learners in the six primary schools to enable them sit for next week’s KCPE exams with ease.

Among the items donated include pencils, rulers, erasers and sharpeners. The pupils also received a Success card wishing them the best in their exams.

“Education is a key objective of our foundation. So far, we have sponsored over 200 youth from Kamenu ward for computer packages training among other support programmes,” he explained.

Chege added that other than education programmes, the foundations was involved in various other social programmes aimed at propelling the youth and the society in the right, proper and straight direction.

“Youth empowerment is the axis on which empowerment of the nation revolves. We strive to help these children and young people to take charge of their lives by addressing their situation and taking action in order to improve their access to resources and transform their consciousness,” he said.

The organisation has promised to replicate this exercise every year.

Lawyer Karuga Wandai has launched a book on the “True Kenyan Heroes” whom he notes, contributed to the liberation of this country, both during the colonial and post-independence era.

In his 400-pages book, “The Lives and Times of 25 Great Kenyans”, Karuga noted that majority of those who fought for Kenya’s independence live a life of abject poverty as those who assumed power failed to recognise them and instead oppressed them further.

“The current generation has no idea of our freedom fighters. This book is an attempt to help them get to know about the real independence struggle for people to value the liberation that they enjoy today due to the sacrifice made by these heroes,” explained Karuga.

Karuga added that it was quite sad that even after 50 years of independence, these people still live like paupers as “home guards” enjoy the fruits of their struggle.

“Mashujaa day was set aside for these people. Unfortunately, what we have today is a country that celebrates the wrong. It is sad to note that none of those people who were recently awarded compensation by the British Government over atrocities of the independence struggle was freedom fighters. Those are just imposters and cons who were able to manipulate the systems to for financial gains. The true freedom fighters are out there languishing in poverty with some already dead,” he said.

Karuga hoped that with the creation of the Heroes Commission, the country would in a position to clearly define who the heroes of the nation were.

He suggested that the state constructs a national monument showing all the names of freedom fighters to serve a reference point for all to identify and recognise all those who played part in the struggle for the freedoms and liberties enjoyed today.

“We should also have a movies showing how the country gained its independence with emphasis on the struggle and tribulations of these freedom fighters. This way, generations would watch and reflect on the value of sacrifice for the nation,” he said.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina who was the chief guest noted that a nation that failed to recognise its heroes was like a body without a soul and was actually doomed.

“We need to honour our heroes, both past and present as this will be the only way to encourage people into true patriotism. Ignoring those who make sacrifices for others is one of the reasons why people are no longer value patriotism thus the rot into our moral fabric as a country. Kenyans no longer see the need to sacrifice for others as such heroes end up paying dearly for the time they lost trying to better the lives of others,” said the MP.

Among the heroes mentioned in Karuga’s book include the First President of Kenya The Late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, his first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Field Marshals Dedan Kimathi and Muthoni, General Mathenge,  General Kago, General China, Waiyaki Hinga,Bildad Kaggia, P.O. Gama Pinto, Ochieng’ Oneko, Malkiat Singh, Koitalel Arap Samoei, Mekatili Menz and Ronald Ngala.

Others include Tom Mboya, Kenneth Matiba, Martin Shikuku, Charles Rubia, Raila Odinga, Wangari Maathai, among others. 

Equity has won the Global SME Finance Award in the Platinum Category of SME Bank of the Year – Africa, at the Prestigious IFC Global SME Finance Awards, held in the Netherlands.

International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, organized the award
and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI). The Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.

This year’s award winners were selected from a competitive pool of 144 applicants. A panel of independent judges chose the winners based on their Reach, Uniqueness and Innovation, Effectiveness and Impact, and Dynamism and Scalability.

The independent judges said, “Equity has demonstrated good and sustainable profitability supported by ability to innovate products and adapt to the market, strong digitization in terms of both automation of turnaround time and products offered, resulting in clear benefits to customers thus making Equity a market leader.”

While receiving the Award, Equity Bank Corporate Banking - SME Associate Director Jeremy Kamau, said, “We are humbled to have received this award. Our purpose is to offer integrated financial services that socially and economically empower consumers, businesses, enterprises and communities. Since Equity Bank started as a small business, we understand the hurdles MSMEs and businesses face, including lack of access to capital and markets and lack of business management knowledge and skills. As a Bank, we have championed MSME banking through provision of professional, flexible and integrated banking services.”

Equity Bank’s core business and service offerings are geared toward MSMEs growth, with its current MSME loan book standing at 60% of the total loan book of the bank and SME deposits contributing 21.5% to the total bank deposits.

The bank has trained 45,725 entrepreneurs in partnership with Norfund, International Labour Organisation, MasterCard Foundation and the Lundin Foundation. For micro-entrepreneurs, Equity Group Foundation in partnership with Mastercard Foundation launched the Financial Knowledge for Africa (FiKA) programme in 2010 to deliver quality financial literacy training and advisory services to women and youth throughout Kenya. Since its launch, more than 1.8 million women and youth have been trained in financial literacy and money management skills.

Speaking during the award ceremony, Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said: “We hope the winners of the Global SME Finance Awards will inspire SME financiers all over the world to learn from their good practices. The Awards provide the winners an opportunity to showcase good practices on the global stage and foster learning amongst their peers.”

Equity has since inception been at the fore front in supporting and empowering Small and Medium Enterprises through financing and capacity building such as financial literacy training for women and youth and entrepreneurship training for SME customers. Equity recently became a member of the SME Finance Forum, a global network managed by the IFC, aimed at promoting the financial growth of SMEs.

Commenting on the award, Equity Group CEO and Managing Director Dr. James Mwangi said it is an honour for the bank to be recognized on a global level for its efforts in supporting the growth of SMEs.

“Our customer centric and ecosystem approach to intermediation has given us an opportunity to target our customer’s horizontal and vertical value chains,” he added, “The branch is evolving to an SME center as majority of our customers move to more convenient self-service digital channels.”

The bank has invested heavily in digital channels for MSMEs, offering solutions such as EazzyBiz, a direct to bank platform that allows MSMEs to make all their transactions online; EazzyNet, an e-banking solution; and EazzyBanking App, a fully-fledged mobile banking app. The bank recently digitized its treasury instruments to SME’s through EazzyFX, an electronic platform for settling forex transactions

The SME Finance Forum works to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses.

The Forum operates a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs.

BY: Juma Hemedi

The headmaster announced at the school parade that the school will be sending students to the Agricultural Show that was to be held in Nairobi the following week. A team of select teachers were tasked with the responsibility of registering the students who wanted to go. But they had to go and inform their parents first and there was money to be paid for transport and lunch (Broadway 'boflo'  and soda). So as usual we tried the best we could to explain the need for us to be allowed to go to the show.

The headmaster had said that a big "Jogoo Kimakia" bus will be available to take all those who wanted to go to Nairobi for the show. But only those in class seven and eight would get the opportunity to go and if there is space then a few class six pupils would be added. Thank God I was in Class seven. We tried to be at our best that week as we were being closely being monitored for discipline both at school and at home.

The trip was to be for Tuesday the following week. None of our ghetto parents had given us the clearest indication that they will even consider paying for the trip, since they argued that the trip will not add value because none of them had any farm or kept any animals. "sasa hata mukiona hizo ngombe, zitawasaidia aje? ( how will seeing those cows be value to you?).

We met at the 'Base' after class to figure out how we will convince our parents. We were still discussing when 'Waini and Maish' joined us. Maish lived in 'Ndula' (Kiandutu) and no one knew where Waini lived but he occasionally appeared in school and when he did he would tell us stories about his aunt in Umoja in Nairobi and his escapades in the city with many "lights ' (" kya matawa"). From his stories we concluded that Waini was the only human student we knew in both Kenyatta and Madaraka zone schools who knew how to take himself to Nairobi and back to Thika without getting lost.

He was our definition of "No Human is Limited".

So you would understand our excitement when Waini said he could take us to Nairobi Show and back without travelling with the school "Jogoo Kimakia' bus. He also threw in an idea that he had other friends that had asked him to organise and take them to the show and that we had limited time to pay for him to go engage a small 'face me' matatu.

There was now the problem of who will act as our 'teacher' on the trip since all of us were students. On this matter Waini said that he will deal with it since he had an "uncle" who left school because of repeating class seven four times until he started shaving beard in school.

The deal was done and we would now meet the following day which was a Friday at the "base' near" Kwa Wanje" shop, Majengo Centre. The meeting was to introduce us to our 'teacher' for the trip to Nairobi Show the following week. Waini's "uncle" came. He looked everything you would doubt in a person, he appeared as though he had recovered from a very severe hangover that would take scientists a great deal of time to discover a cure. But Waini's 'uncle' did say something that made us believe him. He said that the charges the school was charging us were high and that for a lower charge we will go to Nairobi, come back and even have Bread and Soda. Now that was it we hurriedly hustled and paid, but since we didn't trust the "uncle" very much we gave the money to Waini.

We spent that sundae eating "rotis" and some very spicy and hot food given to us by "wahindi" at the Shree Hindu temple in Thika town. Those days they would have ceremonies at the temple and so many of us ghetto children would come and enjoy free food while watching a small monkey that was always at the temple, dance. what happened to those events and the monkey at the temple?

Anyway we agreed to keep our Sunday event secret as well as the secret trip to the show from prying eyes and enemies of development (kamati ya roho chafu) . All was well that Monday at school until in the afternoon when we had the art and craft lesson.

The teachers attention was drawn to the noise of ruffling of books and papers that almost all students had as they tried to fan their noses and faces from the Fart smell that seemed to come nonstop from some area in the class.

No one spoke when the teacher asked the one responsible to come forward. Now the Arts teacher was not the Kind that you would joke with, he had shown time and again that he had the potential of dispatching you to your maker for a crime as small as not drawing a straight line on the drawing book. Now farting in class was a serious crime, a capital crime, one that would deny fellow students right to education not to mention the environmental laws that the "farter" may have broken and the International treaties that Kenya was a party to.

Since no one was coming forward, the teacher decided to launch his own investigations. Everyone in class was a suspect but the people in the back bench were persons of interest. So before the evidence got lost in the air he decided to start with us at the back bench.

Everyone was to go in front and he would smell your behind and then you would be cleared of "spoiling" the air. The teacher smelled everyone of us and halfway through he had gotten the culprit, none other than Waini. Waini made it worse by farting again just when the teacher had finished smelling and collecting evidence maybe due to panic.

The class was asked what it wanted as punishment for Waini, some busy bodied guys whose names I cannot mention since it is not a naming ceremony and because their files are classified said that Waini should be sent home for two weeks.

Before we could say Neeeiiiii, the Aaayyeeees had already carried the day.

Why did Waini eat so many 'rotis' at the temple? why did he have to add avocados and Githeri on top of the already spicy and hot Indian food? Because of that mixture his stomach misbehaved and spoilt the Art and craft air in class. And why did the teacher take the farting issue too seriously. Its never that serious.

We are still hopeful that Waini will emerge from wherever he went and fulfill his word of taking us to the Nairobi Show since he still has our money and having Parte after Party.

Since non of us knew where he lived or where he went, we can only be hopeful.

Yours hopefully

Juma Hemedi

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina joins DP William Ruto, his wife Rachael and other leaders in congratulating Eliud Kipchoge after running the 42-km marathon in under 2 hours, thus breaking the world record. 
Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has described Saturday’s heroic performance by Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge as a true reflection of self- belief, being visionary, determined and dedicated.

In an exclusive phone interview with Thika Town Today (3T) form Vienna, Austria, Wainaina congratulated Kipchoge for rewriting history after completing a 42-kilometre marathon in 1:59:40 at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, describing the race as one that was meant to challenge human beings in their day-to-day endeavours.

“In Kipchoge’s own words, ‘Nature cannot allow all human beings to think in one direction.’ His performance should be an inspiration to everybody and a message that no one is limited,” said Wainaina.

The Thika legislator added that lessons learnt on Saturday applied in all spheres of life and it never mattered what other people said about you but what we ourselves believed in.

“His victory reminds me of my own personal journey to where I am today. It’s about hard work, dedication and being focused to one’s goals and never getting deviated by external forces,” he said.

“Our youth should learn to set very high but achievable targets and work extra hard to accomplish those goals no matter the challenges that come in their way,” he said.

Noting that success was ever given on a silver platter, Wainaina appealed to Kenyans to always surround themselves with only those who supported them in their missions, in the same manner that Kipchoge’s pacesetters did to help him achieve his dream of doing the marathon in under 2 hours.

The MP also emphasised the need to nurture talents through promotion of sports, development of talent academies and supporting the Competency based Curriculum (CBC) introduced recently by the government.

“Kipchoge has thrown to us this very enormous challenge – Aspire to Inspire. There are so many lessons that as a country we can pick up and utilise in all aspects of life. We need not take it for granted that the whole world was watching Kenya,” Wainaina concluded.

Wainaina was among a host of other leaders from Kenya who had gone to offer moral support to Kipchoge in Austria.

Others included the Deputy President William Ruto and Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago.

Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro (centre) keenly follows proceeding of "THE THIKA WE WANT" at a Thika Hotel on Thursday. With him is Township MCA Andrew Kimani (extreme left), Kamenu MCA Raphael Chege, TDBA Chairman Alfred Wanyoike and Thika sub-county Admin Nyoroku Ng'ang'a.
The following are some of the highlights of the meeting between the Thika Business Community under the umbrella of Thika District Business Association (TDBA) and Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro..

–  This meeting is one of the many to come and precedes another that will involve Thika manufacturers under the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

–  The county government will revisit the county housing policy that limits residential flats to 5-storey buildings with a view to preparing Thika for population upsurge in the next 15-20 years.

–  They will also revisit the regulations on infrastructure and put mechanisms that will allow for roads and infrastructure that can accommodate bigger human and machine traffic.

–  Stakeholders to sit down and map out a 20-30 years spatial plan for Thika to avoid cases of residential areas being interlocked with industrial developments. 
In this plan, we will have areas set aside purely for residential purposes, others for light industries, medium and heavy industrial area. 
The plan will also show how each will deal with their waste and effluents.

–  They will also develop a master plan for more bypasses around Thika to remove through-traffic to the periphery for those motorists who have no business in Thika for purposes of improving the flow of traffic in and out of the town.  

–  The DG will meet THIWASCO management on Friday (today) to discuss how to fill in the missing positions for directors, something that has stalled some of the major projects earmarked for implementation by the company in its bit to improve on water and sewerage services to its customers.
Some of the major projects that have stalled due to lack of a full board is the Sh. 800 million World Bank funded Karimenu-Maryhill water project that pump into the system, 15,000 m3 (15 million litres) daily.
The company is also in negotiation with DANIDA to provide another Sh. 8 billion water and sewerage project.
There will also be another water project in Ngoliba and several other boreholes and alternative water sources for Gatuanyaga.

–  In the next few days, the county government in collaboration with the residents will make a comprehensive inventory of all public land grabbed in Thika with a view of taking them back for public use.

(Related story –  DG Nyoro, MP and TDBA set stage for spatial plan for “THE THIKA WE WANT”.)

–  Companies in Thika discharging effluents given a 2-weeks’ ultimatum to stop after which anyone found releasing the same to the rivers will have their companies closed.

–  Starting next week, the county government will start sealing all potholes and partly light up a few dark areas where security has been a challenge within Thika’s CBD

–  In the next financial year, the county’s priority is to completely resurface all these roads and lighting all the corners of Thika town.

–  With the help of the national government, the county will start installing CCTV Cameras on some of the key buildings and streets in Thika town with a view of checking on insecurity.

–  The DG said that he would not allow hawkers to display their wares in front of other people’s businesses or in the middle of the streets. He therefore directed the sub-county admin, township MCA, hawkers and shop owners to schedule a meeting to discuss the way forward. The meeting should come up with short-term and long term solutions to the problem after which he will assist in the implementation of these remedies.

–  The county government, in partnership with other stakeholders, is in the process of investing in modern kiosks to accommodate all those doing business in illegal structures within the CBD and around the Thika Level 5 Hospital.

–  The public transport operators need also to sit down and work out a permanent solution to parking spaces for matatus, buses, bodabodas and tuktuks to solve the congestion they cause within the CBD.  The DG has revoked all those “fake” letters allocating spaces to particular Saccos that were “politically correct”.

–  There will be no more food hawking in Kiambu due to the health risks involved. The county government might be forced to allocate some space to these food vendors where they shall cook and operate from in a regulated more manner.

–  The county government will ensure all the hospitals have enough drugs especially Level 3 and Hospitals, which are a big challenge since they offer free services. 
They will also construct a central medical store at Kiambu where these hospitals can collect their supply of drugs.

–  On the issue of waste management, the DG directed that no vehicle from other counties should be allowed to bring their garbage to Kang’oki dumpsite.

–  The county government will demand back any land held by Del Monte Kenya in trust so that it can be used as a special economic zone for Thika. It will also renew their lease on condition that they do some social enterprising whereby they come up with programmes that will uplift the standards of living for the people of Kiambu.

–  The DG also said that he will work out a plan for the revival of the Thika-Nairobi railway system and may be connect it to the SGR to ease transport of goods to and from the port of Mombasa.

–  Each of the 5 wards within Thika Town Constituency will work under a Ward Admin who will oversee the implementation of all county government projects and addressing the concerns of the residents in partnership with the area MCAs and other government departments.

–  The county government is formulating a cabinet paper to develop a Kiambu Inspectorate Department help them ensure all county bylaws are followed and people feel secure including traffic marshals.

–  The county government also plans to realign the operations in the department of building approvals where there will be major changes on the duties by different players including the planners and financial accountants.
They will also come up with a moratorium that offers a window to all those who previously put up buildings without the necessary approvals to come forth and be assisted to get the same.

–  Before people break for Christmas, the DG will come back to Thika with a master plan for Thika, with emphasis on short, medium and long-term solutions for THE THIKA WE WANT.
The policy document will include key achievement indicators to help monitor its implementation.

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of heavy rains in many areas across the country between Thursday 10th October and Monday 14th October 2019.

In a notice to the public, the weatherman says North Easter, Central and Coast Regions should expect High Rainfall Intensity during this period that is likely to be accompanied by strong winds.

Among the areas of concern include Highlands west of Rift Valley (Kakamega, Vihiga, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma, Uasin Gishu, Kericho, Bomet, Kisii and Nyamira), the Lake Basin (Kisumu, Siaya, Migori, Homa Bay and Busia), Counties in the Central Rift Valley (Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia and Baringo), Counties in the Highlands East of the Rift Valley (Nyeri, Murang’a, Embu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Kirinyaga, Kiambu and Nyandarua), Nairobi area, Counties in the Coastal Strip (Mombasa, Kilifi, Kwale, Tana River and Lamu), North Eastern Kenya Counties (Wajir, Garissa and Mandera), Counties in the Southern Eastern Kenya (Machakos, Makueni and Taita Taveta) and the North Western parts of Kenya (Western parts of Turkana, Northern parts of Marsabit, and Samburu.

Residents in these areas have been warned of possible flash floods that might be deeper and heavier than they look even in areas that have not rained heavily.

They have also been cautioned against driving through, walking in moving waters or open fields and not to shelter under trees or grilled windows to avoid exposure lightening strikes.

The department says that these rains may result in storm surges along the coast hence fishermen and all in the marine industry should be on high alert.

Thika traders under Thika District Business Association (TDBA) on Thursday met Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro to set stage for “THE THIKA WE WANT”; a spatial integrated development plan that will define the town’s future social and economic development programme.

In a forum that took more than six hours, the participants identified some of the major challenges affecting businesses in the area and resolved there was need for integrated, multi-sectoral planning approaches to solving most of these problems.

The traders noted that one of the main causes of the mess in Thika town was distorted priorities brought about by leaders who never put into account stakeholders' input in seeking solutions due to vested interests.

Some of the problematic areas identified included the perennial hawker menace, unplanned town transport sector, traffic jams, lack of enough parking space, poor waste management, perennial water shortages and challenges in building plans approvals.

Others included rampant grabbing of land set aside for public amenities, lack of inclusivity in governance due to favouritism in appointments among myriads of other issues.

Speaking on behalf of the traders, TDBA Chairman Alfred Wanyoike said that there was need for a more multi-sectoral approach to solutions with residents taking centre stage in identifying their own priorities and customised solutions to their own challenges.

He added that unplanned urbanisation had led to stagnation of the town’s business development, pollution, congestion, insecurity and other far-reaching consequences that were scaring away potential investors.

On behalf of the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina who is abroad on an official trip, Personal Assistant John Mwangi Njuguna said that their office was ready to work with the county government to spar growth and seek solutions to the challenges facing the town.

He appealed to all stakeholders to join hands and support this initiative adding that with everyone on board, ‘these things were doable’.

Responding to the business community’s concerns, DG James Nyoro said that the solution to returning Thika to its lost glory lay squarely on restoration of order in the way policies were implemented as well as adherence to the rule of law.

“Devolution is about making it easy for government to offer services to its people and depoliticising issues. This is a new beginning. We need to map out where we are and where we want to go. From that point, we will be marking what we achieve on a daily basis until we get to where we want to be,” he said.

Nyoro said that before the end of the year, he would come back and present for debate, concrete suggestions on the Thika’s master plan for the next 20-30 years.

Among the problems the DG noted that needed to be addressed immediately included the issue of hawkers and illegal structures within the CBD, traffic jams, the uncoordinated public transport system within the town, waste management and the problem of building approvals.

“We will invest on model kiosks and identify areas where we shall put them. Before that, we need to come up with other solutions that will be favourable to both the hawkers and those in formal businesses. We will also set aside an area where those selling foodstuff shall be operating from as we shall no longer allow food hawking due to the health risks involved,” explained Nyoro.

The DG warned that the county government would repossess all grabbed public lands to create space for the hawkers and car parks.

“We need to take an inventory of all grabbed land in Thika so that we can clean all this mess. Starting next week, we will begin sealing potholes within the town as we budget for resurfacing of all the roads within the CBD,” he added.

He added that they would soon start lighting up the town and partner with other government agencies to improve on infrastructure as well as installing CCTV cameras on strategic locations for proper monitoring of the security situation in the town.

Others who made their contributions included MCAs Andrew Kimani (Township) and Raphael Chege Waithumbi (Kamenu).

In attendance were representatives from TDBA, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), hoteliers, real estate agents, leaders from the public transport sector and hawkers among others.

A teacher in one of the leading secondary schools in Thika has early this morning succumbed to gunshot injuries after unknown people shot him at his home in ACK Apartments opposite Nampak Kenya Limited, Thika.

According to neighbours, either two or three people with AK-47 rifles raided the premises at around 1am and ordered the night guards to lie down.

It is alleged that the thugs fired at the teacher immediately he opened the door to his house to check what was happening and in the process, shot him in the stomach.

They are said to indiscriminately shoot at anyone who dared open their doors or peep through the window, probably to scare them away.

Some sources say that the teacher might have arrived home some moments before the incident but none could ascertain whether he was the target or just victim of a normal robbery incident.

Another of their neighbours who was being dropped by a car at the time might have interrupted the thugs’ mission. Immediately the cab stopped to drop him, the thugs pounced on the four occupants, robbed them of their phones and money before fleeing the scene on a motorbike.

The neighbours later rushed the victim to Thika Level 5 Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

By the time the police arrived, the thugs had already gone.

The body of the deceased is lying at General Kago Road Funeral Home.

Peter Ngugi, a police informer, yesterday revealed how the murder of of lawyer Willy Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda and taxi driver Joseph Muiruri was planned and mercilessly executed by four police officers from Mlolongo Administration Police post.

Here is Ngugi’s full confession as narrated in court on Monday:

“Sergeant Leonard Maina Mwangi stopped the wanted man’s car and they stopped immediately. Mwangi told them that we are officers and that the three are under arrest. They were told to get out of the car and enter Sergeant Leliman’s car. They did not argue. They complied with the orders.

I took possession of the car and drove it off. Sergeant Leliman then overtook me and went straight to the AP post. As agreed earlier, my assignment was to dispose off their vehicle. The original plan was to drive to Meru and leave the car there.

However, I was told on phone he had interviewed the driver who told him that his taxi was operating around Zimmerman therefore driving to that route would be risky and the car did not have enough fuel and that would be risky too.

So I decided to drive to Limuru because I knew the route. At around 3pm, I abandoned the vehicle at Kwambira. Another thing that was disturbing my mind was that the three had left their phones in the car.

I switched off four of the five phones, but I was unable to switch off one of them. After parking the car at Kwambira, I threw away the phones. While still there, I called Leliman and told him I was on my way to Syokimau.

He told me that they were still at Mlolongo and that I should find them there. I arrived in Mlolongo at 5pm and found sergeant Mwangi and Leliman and other officers at Connection bar. They told me that the victims are safe at Syokimau AP Post.

Leliman was called and told that one of the victim’s had managed to call the wife telling her that he had been locked in at Syokimau and has no idea where the car was. They were all shocked to hear that.
We went to the AP post where Mwangi handcuffed them from behind. They were all put in the boot of a car before we drove along Nairobi–Mombasa Road to a bush.

After a few minutes Kamenjo (a police officer) joined us while still in the bush. We started to disagree on how to kill the victims. Myself and Mwangi were of the view that we had been exposed and the best thing was to release the three. However, Leliman and Kamenjo insisted that the three must be killed.
We discussed for more than three hours at around 9pm, a police officer came and told us that members of the public were wondering why and what we were doing there. Kamenjo told them that we are police officers and we are on duty.

The first victim who was the main target was killed using a polythene bag and a rope. His body was stashed in a sack and put in a boot.

At around 11pm, the second victim was taken to a different corner and killed in the same style. After he died he was put in two sacks because he was tall and couldn’t fit in one sack. His body was then taken to the boot.
The third one was strangled to death using a rope and polythene bag.

While at the execution scene, my role was to hand the victims over to sergeant Mwangi who would take them to Leliman who would then kill them.

After all the three victims were killed we took off using the Nairobi–Mombasa Road and Kamenjo who claimed to have worked at Ol Donyo Sabuk was to lead us to where we would dispose off the body.
When we reached the scene, we threw the bodies into the river.

We drove back using the same route and at 4am we reached Mlolongo and ate our supper. I was left in the bar where I slept on the seat. I had a lot of beer that forced me into a black out.”

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