March 2020

- Everyone, including our leaders, fears death.
- After everything else is gone, your only hope is God and family. Right now, everyone is holed at home and with their kin.
- We can live without some of the things we adore so much and believe that they are indispensable eg. entertainment, handshakes, hugs, parties, foreign trips etc and still life goes on without a hitch.
- Some of the things we take for granted eg. hand washing and proper hygiene are key to our survival.
- Sometimes for human beings to reason logically, you need to deny them some civil liberties and at times resort to some force.
- When you are in a position of leadership, use it to make the lives of the people you govern the best that it can be for you might need it tomorrow eg. if anyone gets sick today, we all have to contend with the hospitals in Kenya, no flying abroad for "better" treatment.
- Calamities are equalisers eg, COVID-19 has also taught us that rich or poor, the governing and the governed, we all are interdependent and really need each other. For instance, the rich are now very worried that the (mis)behaviour of the poor might expose them to COVID-19 and are more concerned what the poor are doing.
- Calamities humble even the most proud. The leaders are silent now, no more name calling. The rich are holed in their houses, no more shows of might.. It's everyone in their homes praying for the best and not sure of tomorrow.
- Over and above everything, this COVID-19 teaches us to THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. It is no longer business as usual. For you to survive, you have to think beyond the norm and not not getting stuck to those traditional and conventional ways of doing things that we were born with and are used to.

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has launched a sh. 5 million initiative to fight COVID-19 pandemic within Thika and its environs.
Through his Jungle Foundation, the MP has released an ambulance that will be used to respond to emergencies if need be. The ambulance is fully furnished with emergency medication, a medic and staff to respond to any case that may arise.
Other than the ambulance, Wainaina also donated 200 water tanks and liquid soap to be distributed across all bodaboda stands, tuktuk collection points, police stations, bus stops, markets and busy shopping centres across the constituency.
"I have also released an awareness vehicle that will go round the whole of Kiambu County, sensitising people about this deadly disease. We are also looking at ways of how we can reach the most vulnerable in the society especially the street families who if not checked, might prove to be our weakest link to this COVID-19 menace," he explained.
Wainaina noted that he could only contribute a certain percentage of the fight against coronavirus thus called on other leaders to also play their part in eradicating the virus.
"Everyone has a role to play in this fight. It should also be noted that the epidemic has exposed the gaps in some of our leadership especially in terms of how we have invested in our health sector. This is time for a leadership paradigm shift where those in leadership positions started equipping our hospitals to internationally accepted levels," he added.
The legislator appealed to the national government to consider setting aside Ksh. 100 billion to cushion approximately 10 million Kenyans who live on hand-to-mouth for about 3 months just in case the government directed for a total lockdown.
"A total shutdown is inevitable now if we have to control further spread of this disease and that can only be possible is the poor amongst us are provided with some retainer to force them stay at home.
This can be done in form of money sent through their phones via M-PESA," explained Wainaina.
He also pleaded with the government to give a temporarily waiver of all statutory deductions made on all employees so as to cushion them from the effects of the coronavirus scourge.

Bidco Africa group has donated 100 water washing units to Thika Water & Sewerage Company (THIWASCO) which will be spread across Thika and environs in a bid to fight the coronavirus epidemic.

In a ceremony held at the THIWASCO ground on Tuesday, Bidco also donated soap that will be used by the members of public to wash their hands in each of these units.

The hand washing units will be installed in places with heavy human traffic such as markets, bus termini and bus stops, garages and jua kali, hospitals and dispensaries as well as shopping centres across Thika and environs.

The fast food manufacturer will also offer financial tokens to volunteers who will be manning the water points for the next 30 days.

While speaking during the launch, THIWASCO Managing Director Eng. Moses Kinya said that they had already installed 16 water points and were in the process of installing 42 more in the next few days.

He added that through the Ministry of Health, the volunteers had been trained on the basic hygiene practices to enable them extend the same to the members of public.

In the same occasion, Broadways Group donated 10 tanks of 2500 litres each which will be distributed at various strategic locations. Equity bank also donated 5 tanks and a further cheque of Ksh. 100,000 to assist in the campaign against COVID-19.

Others who made their contributions included Mama Millers who volunteered to construct the structures to hold these tanks and water basins, Chanis=a Sacco who gave a Sh. 10,000 cheque and the Visa Oshwal Community who allowed THIWASCO access their borehole in a bid to boost the water supply.

Kiambu County Government promised to provide water bowsers that would be used to supply water at these water points.

Among those in attendance included Thika West Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Douglas Mutai, Thika Sub-County Administrator Ng’ang’a Nyoroku, Thika Branch Equity Branch Manager Sammy Karanu, representatives from Bidco Africa and Broadways Group among others.

Efforts by Thika Police under Sub-County Commander Beatrice Kiraguri have helped reunite a young man who was involved in an accident early last year and admitted to hospital.

Herman Karichu was admitted at Thika Level 5 Hospital on 1st March 2019 after he was knocked by a vehicle.

His  case was complicated in that he lost his memory and efforts to find his family were futile

When time came to discharge him from hospital, the management of Thika Level 5 Hospital sought the help of the police to help them trace his kin.

The police took his fingerprints to the Registrar of Persons in Nairobi for forensic analysis. It was from there that they were able to trace his mother who had searched for him in vain all over even in morgues and had lost hope.

Up on the reunion, the mother couldn't hide her joy, thanking both the hospital management and the police in Thika for the help.

Following the transfer of key county functions to the National Government, the newly created office of Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS) will take charge of the county health services, transport, urban planning and development and public works and utilities to the State.

The NMS) office will be headed by Major General Mohamed Badi of the Kenya Air Force and deputised by Enosh Momanyi.

The team has been tasked with the role of ending corruption in the city by dismantling county cartel network.

Other roles include:
- Implementation of Nairobi railways master plan which seeks to create and redevelop about 425 acres of land around the Nairobi Railways station with an aim of creating a world-class, multi-modal node within the Nairobi Central Business District, to be kick-started within the next 100 days.
- Re-activating county government garbage collections vehicles and implementing a solid waste management plan
- Constructing pedestrian walkways
- Improving water sanitation among others.

NMS has also been tasked with streamlining urban renewal projects, for example, those along Jevanjee and Pangani areas in Nairobi which had been previously awarded before 2018 and have continually been delayed.

The NMS will also review these projects and make determinations on how the projects can take off, realizing that the development of these projects are a part of the recently concluded Eastlands Urban Renewal Masterplan

The NMS team has also been directed to concentrate on streamlining development control and approvals for the County and implement an urgent action plan to clear backlogs for approvals.

They should fully operationalize the e-Construction and e-Permit systems and in this way, reduce the number of delays arising for investors from development control approvals.

Working very closely with the Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (NaMATA), NMS will implement the Nairobi Urban Mobility Plan and effect the non-motorized transport (NMT) goals within the plan, which include providing paved walkways, street furniture, and improved conditions for pedestrians on foot and/or cycling.

The NMS will construct walkways along three major pedestrian streets at Muindi Mbingu Street, Wabera Street, and Kenyatta Avenue so as to enhance non-motorised transport in the city.

NMS has been tasked to operationalize two matatu termini at Desai Road and Park Road in order to stem the use of city streets as parking for matatus.

To further improve traffic management and help in decongesting the CBD, NMS has been asked to rehabilitate and reintroduce the use of traffic signals.

The team has also been asked to introduce automated, hourly car parking facilities at Central Bus Station (along Landhies Road), Sunken Car Park (along Aga Khan Walk), and the Nairobi Law Courts Parking (along City Hallway).

On waste management, the President has directed the Maj-Gen Abdalla led team to focus on operationalizing effective garbage collection and disposal methods that will include a collaboration with the National Youth Service.

NMS is expected to reactivate county garbage collection vehicles, trucks and other equipment that have been grounded and only require minimum repair to be able to increase the level of service from the County.

They should ensure that there is a crackdown on illegal dumpsites and enforcement on affluent discharge from industry and restaurants.

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) took over revenue collection in Nairobi

The Ministry of Transport also took over public transport functions in Nairobi from the county government.

Following this transfer, Governor Mike Sonko signed away the city’s devolved functions to the national government, effectively losing his grip on his chaotic reign at City Hall.

This essentially leaves the governor with a shell.


Over the next few years since Oyundi and the brothers tried to stop reggae at community Hall, with 'mafuta ya samaki' life continued well. The only problem was the smell of fish that continued to smell in the hall as we went to watch TV at the hall after paying "sumni" (50 cents). The TV was a red 14inch screen, that all of us would crowd around.

For our parents they would come to watch news and know what President Moi had been doing the whole day as well as know how the weather would be for the following day, courtesy of Wandimi Mucemi or Nguata Francis. Sometimes these weather guys would place "manyunyu na rasharasha" on top of "jua kali" that would be somewhere in Garissa. I guess it was as a result of the glue that they would use to try and 'stick it' that sometimes failed them.

As for us ghetto kids we would be huddled around the TV waiting for the wrestling show of "big daddy" to start. Never mind we sometimes would sleep before the show even began due to exhaustion. They once left me there sleeping (but that is classified information, I’m not supposed to talk about it until I turn 65 years).

Anyway, all other reggae shows that ever came to Community hall had some incidents that involved Oyundi, Jumbi, Marcos later on PU, Hezi or some other guys. Starehe, Majengo and Biafra has never lacked its fair share of the people who have tried to stop reggae even as they were madly in love with the "roots and culture music"

After gaining years of experience in attending these sessions together with my neighbour and friend "Govish" (whose nickname we had corrupted from the safari rally icon by the name Joginder Sing) and then later teaming up with "Junior Delgado" who today continues to be an excellent reggae MC, we decided to be entrepreneurs and started promoting reggae and bringing different sounds in Thika for shows.

It was when we were seated with my brothers from another mother by the name of Dani and Timo at the Red Cross as young volunteers when I floated the idea of how big reggae business was and that we can look for a small capital to organise one at Chos and Choice.

We approached Davy Mbugua for funding and he agreed after we had assured him that all will be well. I contacted Dread Brothers promotions AKA "Shashamane" to come and "Papa Davies" agreed.

All systems were ready and on the Friday we were all waiting to begin charging the entrance fee. The hall was quarter empty by around 9pm, then all hell broke loose outside the entrance, some guys had snatched some wallet from a passerby outside the stadium and police with their mahindra and "mariamu" were nearby.

Within minutes everyone was running everywhere as others would be loaded into the "mariamu" (by the way where did the name mariamu come from?) and others disappearing into the darkness of "Government Quarters" (gava). Nduati managed to squeeze himself in without paying.

We were wondering what would happen as no one now was going to come for the show since the police and their "mariamu" was now stationed outside the Thika Stadium gate arresting everyone and loading them into the "mariamu" , when we heard a commotion at the DJs deck. We went to look and found Nduati threatening to disconnect the machines while reggae was playing and the DJ "King Monday" was daring him to.

Nduati tried to reach for the turn table, but King Monday threw a right punch that landed squarely on the left or right eye of Nduati and he fell on the ground,  he tried to rise up but went down with the effects of the punch. "King Monday" was a very slim guy compared to Nduati that’s when I realised "usidharau wembamba wa reli"........

It took several weeks maybe months for Nduati’s swollen eye to finally reduce. And we had failed dismally at our entertainment attempt. But with or without people and with the police outside we continued with reggae "chanting down Babylon, tila mornin time'

We can’t fail to make money and fail to enjoy reggae. 'I was born and brought in the ghetto'...... Continued the reggae song.

We now had a problem of how to explain to Davy Mbugua that we did not even make back his capital, because "kimariamu' became our enemy of development.

...." And who the cap fit, let them wear it".....

Peace, love and harmony maaan.

Ras  Juma Hemedi

Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Livingstone Waiganjo

Kiambu County Assembly has approved a supplementary budget of over Ksh 17.9 Billion for the financial year 2019/2020 to cater for county projects and services with the biggest beneficiary’s being the Roads and Public Works, Water and Environment, Agriculture and Education departments as key priority areas.

The move was necessitated by an increase of Equitable Share of Revenue from the National Government by Ksh 193,700,000 making it move from Ksh 9,238, 000,000 to Ksh 9,431,700,000. Also by an increase of conditional grant by Ksh 25,764,540 from the previous Ksh 2,381,409,369 to Ksh 2,407,173,909 and an unspent balance brought forward of Ksh 1,194,751,803 from the Financial year 2018/2019.

It is a project based supplementary budget that will ensure that each Ward gets the Four (4) kilometre road and Fuel Levy roads which the Governor will launch coming Friday.

The increment of Ksh 320 million to Roads Department (Ksh 140 million on major roads and Ksh 60 million on access roads) will guarantee improved roads to beat the rainy season.

The MCAs have also allocated funds to departments which had been given zero or minimum budgets like the Youth and Sports Department, Agriculture and Water and will have 40,000 new water connections which will be a 70% realisation.

They also set aside Sh 73 million to purchase of graders and slashed Ksh 300 million meant for only one Githurai market to now benefit various wards with bodaboda sheds and markets.

The MCAs also allocated some substantial amount of money to cater for the repairs and maintenance of vehicles which have been grounded before to enable them to be put in good condition for easy service delivery at the grassroots by the officers.

The motion to approve the supplementary budget to meet the expenditure of this year was moved by the Chairperson of the Budget and Appropriations Committee Hon. Livingstone Waiganjo and seconded by Hon. Josephine Nduta Muongi.


Nothing shaped our lives while growing up in the hoods and ghettos of Majengo, Starehe and Biafra in Thika like Reggae. And no crew made you feel like you are a prince and that your father was King of some Zion kingdom like Reggae crew.

Listening to reggae was almost like a religious practice. So, when George and another guy whose name I can't remember moved into the vacant house in the 'plot' we lived in, Bob Marley and Joseph Hill music became the order of the day. For those who are lost, Joseph Hill led a reggae band called 'Mighty Culture'.

George used to make hats and caps using leather, the kind of hats Rastafarians would wear big enough to cover their dreads. George was a close friend of my distant cousin called Hassan and that tiny house was both their hats production industry and their sleeping place.

George used an old singer sewing machine and was very fast with his feet in rolling it, as a primary school kid I was always amazed watching him. George owned the only second sewing machine in Majengo because the first one belonged to Munyao.

No one knew where Munyao came from but every weekend Munyao would be travelling to go "nyumbani" and he would be back on Sunday evening so if you had any work for him, it had to wait. Munyao was the guy we would take our school uniforms to, to have them repaired and put "kirakas". 

He had the most weird sense of fashion and design. He was the only guy who would put a black "kiraka" on a baige short or a pink shirt. But that didn't matter to us since the most important thing was making sure our behinds were not seen as a result of our torn shorts and clothes.

So it was a common sight to see one truly walking to school with a combination of both primary and secondary colours, all over what would otherwise be referred to as "school uniform".

I was in class seven or six while helping George cut some leather, when I overheard that a reggae sound would be coming that Saturday at community hall (commune). Community hall in Starehe was the place where my brother and other wanna be boxers used to practice boxing under a coach called "vicko' and another police man who had made it his business to reclaim ghetto youths from  violence back to the path of righteousness through boxing.

King lions came that Saturday and I remember going to community hall to see them ‘connect’ their machines and running some sound tests. The sound that came from the speakers was the loudest I ever heard, well apart from the 'watoto kaa chini' movies and the "group Africa” marketing team.

They were playing the Alpha Blondy song 'wild world' when we realised it was almost dark and they wanted everyone out for them to start charging entrance fee. Since kids were not allowed in, we decided to enjoy the sounds out in the field. The hall was now almost half-full.

There was a scuffle at the entrance and we ran to see what was happening. Only for us to find Oyundi insisting that he wanted to go in without paying and the bouncers who seemed like they ate stones for breakfast and lunch would hear none of it.

If you dont know who Oyundi is, then you don’t know who Oyundi is. The family owned a fish place at Starehe. Oooh those fish were delicious. He had several brothers and sisters whose names I can’t recall, the worst mistake anyone would do was to interfere with their fights as a family, (they would have family fights, imagine that) they would stop fighting to first beat you up and then continue fighting.

Oyundi told the bouncers that he would be back. And indeed he came back, his two brothers in tow with the deep frying pan they used for frying fish. They poured what appeared to be "mafuta ya samaki" into the hall through the window. The whole place started smelling fish. They threatened to go bring "mafuta ya samaki moto".

The bouncers held a brief consultative meeting and agreed that it was safer and peaceful to allow those two in for free than to have them cause trouble the whole night. Even with fish smelling the entire time in the hall, Reggae had to continue. Indeed the late Lucky Dube was right. Jaaaahhh,

Yours truly
RAS Juma Hemedi

We are living in the information age, thanks to the internet, we now have all the information we need at our fingertips. 

However, not all the information you get can be true. Telling a lie in order to get online attention, views or money isn't anything new nowadays. As you are aware, it's profitable to create clickbait and entice people to one's online sites.

One very clear fact why fake/false news go viral is that they are usually just too good not to share. 

Secondly, people don't usually have time to dig out the truth. Confirming facts takes effort and " we don't have all that time"... So we end up consuming the lies and spreading them to our circles.

People spreading fake news/clips are usually very smart and move with the times. They always hit a the trending topic of the day and come up with wild facts that will move people's emotions and more so the instincts of fear, hate, love or that "feel good" feeling. They will always send that narrative that one wants to hear or to believe in...

Research has shown that people over 50 years old and those who have ultraconservative views are significantly more likely than others to share false information as they have no time for indepth fact finding or are comfortable in their own perspective of life.

It is therefore very essential to confirm facts before sharing/forwarding posts. Don’t simply accept claims at face value, especially when they happen to agree with your views. It’s not hard to verify facts. 

When you see an interesting post, ask yourself about the claims being made. On what are they based? Are there citations or links to external evidence? If so, check them out. If not, think about why.

There tonnes of reliable news and information available today, and the markers of quality are usually easy to spot: supporting documents, links to primary sources and prompt corrections when warranted.

It has never been easy to confirm the facts for ourselves but we need to demand for evidence. If there is none, it didn’t happen.


Here is the list of roads scheduled for tarmacking by Kiambu County Government within Thika Constituency this year...

1) Kizito Main Avenue - Mwitirithia Access Road (3km)
2) Inter Mwihoko 2 Access Road
3) Kizito Road, Wanjuguna Road, Imani House Road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Mama Gakuru - Migingo Road
2) CJ Pub - St Augustine Backstreet - Chief Road (3km)
3) St Augustine And Surrounding Access Roads
4) St Augustine Access Roads (Gravel - 4km)

1) Prisons Access Road (3km)
2) OJ AP Post - Bypass Access Road
3) Kwa Nyoike Wa Jude Road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Kalonji Junction - Shopping Centre -Gikomari Primary School Road (3km)
2) Astern Bypass -Full Gospel - Engen Petrol Station Access Road
3) Dan Jose Road - White House Road - Kamakis Road, Green Valley Kiratina Road, St Joseph - PEFA Church Road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Felma Shopping Centre Access Roads (3km)
2) Maruti Stage
3) Garrissa Road 3rd Avenue, Marsabit Road 4th Avenue, Kiuu River 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th ave, Wundanyi Road 1st Avenue, Nyahururu Road 1st-3rd Avenue, Taveta Road 1st-4th Avenue (Gravel - 4km)

1) Kahawa Wendani West Access Roads (3km)
2) ACK Church St. Martin Access Road
3) Solomon Plaza, Bonaza Area (Gravel - 4km)

1) Gitambaya - Matopeni Access Roads (3km)
2) Gitambaya - Matopeni - Kihunguro Access Roads
3) Gitambaya and Bondeni (Gravel - 4km)
4) Access Roads (Gravel - 4km)

1) Githurai Kimbo Police Post - Moonlight Centre - Manyatta Road (3km)
2) Ainland Muringam Road to Moonlight via Rwadhi House Access Road
3) Mainland Muringam Road, Moonlight Independent Church Road, Maua Rwadhi House via Manyatta (Gravel - 4km)

Here is the list of roads scheduled for tarmacking by Kiambu County Government within Thika Constituency this year...

1) Hawamiria -Muthara Access Road (3km)
2) Witeithie-Maraba Access road (3km)
3) Witeithie access road and access to Maraba Chief post (Gravel - 4km)

1) Gachororo Assistantant County Commissioners Office -Gachororo Health Centre - Tumaini School - Quarry Access Road (3km)
2) Uchumi - Muchatha access road (3km)
3) Mung'etho centre and Mashinani centre access roads (Gravel - 4km)

1) Juja Farm Cattle Dip - Mung'etho Access Road (3km)
2) Bigma Access Roads (3km)
3) Gachoya road to Mumba (Gravel - 4km)

1) Munga area Access Roads (3km)
2) Redsoil Access Roads (3km)
3) Neema road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Biashara Area Access Road (3km)
2) Toll - Monapark access Road (3km)
3) Canaan - Zone T access road (Gravel - 4km)

A section of the 2km Mugo Kibiro road in Thika town that is currently being tarmacked. This road serves Section 9 and View Land estates.
Here is the list of roads scheduled for tarmacking by Kiambu County Government within Thika Constituency this year...
1) Karibaribi Dispensary - White Sisters Road (0.6km)
2) Kwa Eli Road (0.7km)
3) Irigiro Road (1.0km)
4) Thumbi's Road (0.6km)
5) Rehabilitation of factory road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Nanasi Estate Roads (3km)
2) Rehabilitation of Frame Tree estate roads (Gravel - 4km)

1) Salama Boda Boda Shed - Jungle Road - ACK Church Road (3km)
2) Construction & Rehabilitation Of Blue Nile - Kiang'ombe Road
3) Rehabilitation Of Phase 5 Road
4) Rehabilitation of Kwa Njomo – Munyu border road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Garissa Road - Kwaheri Junction through Magana to St. Magdalina Catholic Church (6km)
2) Construction Of Tushauriane Off Road
3) Construction & Rehabilitation Of Sabugo Road
4) Rehabilitation of Thika river road (Gravel - 4km)

1) Kwa Wakameli - Gitoboto Road (3km)
2) Rehabilitation Of Maguguni Sec - ACK Church Kwa Manugu Village Road
3) Rehabilitation of Zen petrol station – Matathia Primary road (Gravel - 4km)

Other infrastructural projects that are of economic and social importance to the public in wards

1) Improvement of storm water drainage at Bullies
2) Rehabilitation of Castle to Witeithei bypass road (Gravel)

1) Improvement of storm water drainage system at Kiganjo, Landless and Lang’ata.(Gravel)

1)  Opening up roads in Ngoliba ward.
2) Construction of box culverts at Kwa Manugu, Ngoliba Secondary – Hatchery, PCEA Pendekezo (Gravel)

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