June 2020

Thika MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina (left) and Thika West DCC Douglas Mutai presenting a cheque to one of the beneficiaries.

45 small business groups drawn from the various wards within Thika Town Constituency on Friday got a major boost when they received cheques amounting to KES. 4.8 million from UWEZO Fund.

The entities who included bodaboda operators, Jua Kali artisans and poultry farmers received the cash following rigorous training on prudent financial management.

While distributing the cheques, area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina described small business enterprises as the growers of any economy since they created value at the lowest cadre of the community cadre.

He urged the youth, women and persons living with disability to take the advantage of such interest free loans to better their livelihoods. He also urged upcoming entrepreneurs to source for financing from other financial institutions in order to supplement whatever money they had as seed capital.

He lauded the government for banning importation of various locally manufactured goods thereby helping Kenyans to buy and build Kenyan products.

Through capacity building, Wainaina stated that Kenyans have continued to display great potential in technological discovery of societal solutions most needed in the country.

Some of the beneficiaries narrated how their businesses had been hit hard by the socio-economic times since the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.

They said that measures set to beat the spread of COVID-19 had resulted to an increase in operating expenses for businesses pushing majority of micro and small businesses, particularly those in the service industry to the blink of collapse.

BY: JUMA HEMEDI 
22/06/2020

I was informed by Wakapogy our "Boy's Club" defacto leader to immediately convene the "boy's club meeting the following day at our assembly point at 'Kingstone Base'. There was an urgent disciplinary matter that needed to be discussed and as the 'chief whip I complied. 

Without being geniuses we knew what the matter was, Ngimwa also known as Mwangi had had an altercation with Wakapogi and from the rumours we had heard, it didn't go well. It was Wakapogi who had invited Ngimwa into the "gedesh'. 

I was with Iddi when wakapogi gave me the instructions, so without wasting time we started with Daddy and informed him of the meeting, the time and the place. Next we went to Wamasha and he was informed. 

We went round Majengo selectively inviting only members of our "gedesh" (squad) and those who believed in our ideals. When we arrived at kina Chaao's place we noticed his mum outside, so we pretended that we were only passing through to the other side. The good thing with Majengo those days was that you could enter and exit anywhere. There were no gates or fences. 

Unfortunately she had noticed us and without naming names she said that she had seen some 'daimonos' around who were out to 'spoil' his son. We did not need a dictionary to understand that those 'daimonos' being mentioned were us. So we took big steps faster (kukanyaga kubwa kubwa haraka upesi). 

Chaao was critical to this meeting and we had to devise a way of getting him out of the house,  so we tried our secret whistle and also our unique laugh. But none worked. So Iddi came up with his ingenious idea of throwing stones on their roof. And he did throw the stone. You see sometimes the devil just waits for you to do an innocent act for him to make you his friend. 

The stone did hit the roof, but it missed Chaao's mum by a whisker. Silence followed then all hell broke loose she appeared carrying a broom and the stone we had thrown and spoke words that we could not hear and understand since they were a mixture of various Kenyan languages to the effect that she had no problem dispatching us to our maker, but most importantly because we were running for our dear lives. 

We assembled at the 'kingstone base' the following day to hear what the issue was about our defacto leader arrived, accompanied with Daddy and we were told that we should not associate with 'Ngimwa' and that he was no longer a member of our 'gedesh'. 

Chaao joined us later and was briefed on the proceedings. Since no one had any hunting, fishing plans or any information about "raaru" (indian hot spicy food that we would eat at the Shree hindu Temple in Thika), we decided to 'relax' at the base after Wakapogi had left. 

Then Ngimwa appeared and asked me and Iddi to go with him that his mum had asked for us. We arrived at his home but his mum was nowhere to be seen, that's when he told us that they had cooked Chapatis and that his mum had said "ni za wageni" and had not counted. So he thought it wise to invite "wageni". We were glad that he had thought of us so highly and made us his 'special guests' out of the long list of people in the 'gedesh'. 

You see just incase you don't know it was written in the "chapati constitution and rules that were published before we were born, that as a mother once you finish cooking Chapatis you had to count how many they were. This was done for accountability purposes and to deal with those rascals like us who had a habit of taking more than others. 

For a majengo mother to have cooked chapatis and failed to count, while she has a "boyshaod" in the house, that was like the greatest crime and blunder of all time. 

We have no idea how many chapatis we had between the three of us, but we were still chewing and talking when we heard slaps and 'slippers za Red' landing on our heads and backs with Ngimwa's mum shouting things to the effect that the Chapatis were for her visitors who were to come for prayers.

Apparently she had reached Bismillahi and remembered that she had forgotten to count the chapatis and had decided to come back quickly. 

We were chased away with slippers following us as we took the nearest corner to disappear. We stopped at "barabara ya chini" to catch our breath, then Iddi pulled half a chapati from his pocket and started eating he had managed to hold on to it.

This kind of deceit of being invited as a 'special unwanted guest' has to stop. I now agree with Wakapogi our leader. Ngimwa has to go. Ngimwa must go!!! 

Juma Hemedi

A woman from landless estate in Thika town has called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to heed to his promise to help her restart life after a family saga that turned her life to a beggar.

Mary Kamuguna is a mother of three who received the attention of the head of state during a December last year visit to Ruiru where he had come to open a Catholic Church with the president assuring her of support.

In a courageous move, the woman arose from her seat in the church and moved towards the President pleading for his help only to be blocked by the President’s security, a scuffle that caught the President’s attention.

The President told his bodyguards to let the woman reach out to him and was able to narrate her ordeal to the head of state, which touched the President.

He shared a phone number where the woman can reach him for help. However, after a few days, she lost her phone which contained the numbers, cutting communication.

This is after the President settled hospital bills for his son, who has been in hospital suffering from depression.

The woman claims to have been living a good life with his husband, bought land and constructed a house only to be divorced three years later.

After being reduced to nothing, life took a nasty twist as her 23 years old son went to depression and was admitted to various hospitals.

Her property was destroyed by the co-wife and her sisters and was chased out of her home. After which her elder brother accommodated her elsewhere since her brother could not afford to pay her rent.

She later moved to landless where she was sheltered and sympathized by James Njoroge who allowed her to live in an empty house in his plot as she takes care of his garden.

“We were blessed with a boy. We were doing well as we had bought a plot and were in the process of settling down only for him to inform me that he had another wife some years ago and were planning to get back together. He repossessed all what we had,” she said.

Every time the son visits his mother and finds her in the sorry state she lives in, the depression increases and he gets readmitted to seek medication.

She says the President claimed to not only clear the hospital bill but also fund her to restart life.

She has since lost the mobile phone that contains the contacts that the President gave him.

Her hope is the President would remember her and continue to support her to restart life again.

“If it were not for me losing my mobile phone, I would still be in contact and maybe would have received more help. He allowed me to meet him and has already helped settle the hospital bills of my depressed son. I hope he still remembers my ordeal and that he would support me,” she said.

Kamunga, at the moment does gardening of vegetables at a plot whose owner has allowed her to live in a cottage adjacent to the plot. The house she is living in is not habitable since cannot afford a decent living. She takes care of the garden and sells the produce for her boss.

She is now reminding the president to remember her since she is going through so much problems and doesn’t have money to treat the son who needs medication.

Three people have succumbed to the deadly COVID-19 in Thika within the last 48 hours.

On Tuesday, a 71-year old Kiboko estate was rushed to hospital and after a while succumbed. Test results later came out positive of COVID-19.

The second case is that of a 65-year old man from Kiganjo Muthaiga area who succumbed to the disease while undergoing treatment at Thika Level 5 Hospital. He will be buried today at their Matuu home in accordance to the Ministry of Health directives.

His wife has already tested positive and is undergoing treatment at the same hospital.

Last night a 64-year old from Kiandutu also died at the Thika Level 5 Hospital.

Information reaching our news desk indicate that the Thika Public Health Officials are busy making arrangements of how these people will be buried and later embark on a contact tracing exercise in all the affected areas.

There is also going to be fumigation in areas that they might have gotten into contact.

Residents are cautioned to strictly adhere to the guidelines set by the Health Ministry avoid contracting the disease. Anyone who thinks they got into any of these cases should seek for testing or visit any hospital.

However, there should not be any cause of alarm or any form of stigmisation as the disease is treatable and not necessarily a death sentence.

In yesterday press briefing by the Ministry of Health where 173 new COVID-19 cases were reported, Thika had registered 3 of them.



300 students who have been shortlisted for Safaricom Foundation’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programme will begin online classes on 22nd June.
The Foundation has partnered with Zizi Afrique Foundation and ToolKit iSkills, a social enterprise organisation, to roll out a TVET programme with a focus on Plumbing, Welding, Food and Beverage and Electrical Engineering.
Over 70 students who do not have access to smartphones will receive free devices courtesy of Safaricom Foundation to enable them access eLearning materials as they await re-opening of learning institutions.
“We want to empower the students who have been shortlisted for the Safaricom Foundation TVET scholarship programme to commence learning even as we wait for this COVID-19 period to end. The students who have been enrolled for the programme have not been able to attend classes because of the partial lockdown and we want to enable them begin classes via online platforms”, Said Steve Chege, Trustee, Safaricom Foundation.
The programme that was launched in March will see an ICT enabled Skills Center set up in Nairobi’s Waithaka Vocational Training Centre and close to 1,000 students receive TVET scholarships over the next two years across various institutions.
“Through this scholarship programme, we want to reach some of the most vulnerable youth from across the country and give them access to training opportunities in employable areas, and increase transition to employment”, said Renaldah Mjomba from Zizi Afrique.
The first cohort consists of 100 students who will be based at the Waithaka Vocational Training Centre and another 200 who will be spread across 12 other institutions around the country.
An analysis by Higher Education Loans Board shows that employability is at 96% for people with Technical and Vocational Education and Training compared to 40% among those with a university degree. However, TVET participation remains low with enrolment standing at only 60%.

The brains behind the idea  — Donatus Njoroge, a biochemist and a lecturer at Mount Kenya University (MKU)
Three Kenyan researchers have developed a COVID-19 contact tracing system that track down all the persons that a patient has come into contact with in the last 14 days.
Donatus Njoroge who is a biochemist and a lecturer at Mount Kenya University (MKU), Gideon Kamau an IT expert and Jesse Gitaki who is a medical doctor developed the App dubbed ‘KoviTrace’ which has a back end system (a web-controlled portal for use by the administrator and a front end system which is an application that can be installed on Android phones or accessed via a USSD code by those without smart phones.
The App also provides users with an updated access to WHO’s frequently asked questions about the disease and a self-screening test that gauges the user’s vulnerability to the disease based on his or her previous interactions, behaviour and movements.
Not only can this technology be used by the Ministry of Health in tracing all persons that COVID-19 patients came into contact with, Kenyans can also use it to establish if they have been into contact with persons who have tested positive.
“Once an individual has tested positive, a Ministry of Health official will only be required to key in the patient's phone number onto the web portal and command it to trace all his contacts within the last 14 days instead of relying on his word of mouth,” explained Njoroge, the researcher behind the idea.
The system also sends an alert to all the persons that the patient came into contact with.
The alert, received in the form of a text message, also contains information on preventive measures, contacts of the nearest hospital and the emergency toll-free numbers of the respective county COVID-19 coordinator.
Njoroge points out that the system works for those who have installed the app in their phones or registered with the USSD code.
“It uses a geo-sensing technology that tracks the user’s location and time. The data is saved under a unique ID that is encrypted and cannot be accessed by other parties,” says Njoroge.
If Kenya certifies and adopts ‘KoviTrace’, it will rank among global economies that have established similar apps for use in taming the virus before reopening the economies.

The government has set aside Sh 1.7 billion for construction of roads within Thika Town Constituency.

Through Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) the government plans to spend Sh. 700 million for tarmacking and re-carpeting of various roads within the CBD including Commercial Street, Cross Road, General Kago, Haile Selassie, Harry Thuku, Kenyatta Highway, Kwame Nkurumah, Magoko, Bull and Mama Ngina.

Others are Stadium, Temple, Thika Girls, Uhuru Street, Upper Hill and Workshop.

Speaking after leading a team of Engineers from KeNHA and KURA, Engineer Chris Nzioka from department of planning at Kenya National Highway Authority said that there were plans to expand some roads within the town with a view to reducing traffic jams.

He added that they had done the site appreciation and were only awaiting survey and designing.
Speaking during the tour, area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina acknowledged that the major road infrastructure upgrade would enhance movement within the town.

He added that the construction of the 18 Km Gatuanyaga-Munyu-Kang’oki road to bitumen standards would cost about Ksh. 1 billion.


This road will start at Gatuanyaga junction towards Munyu via Githima and exit at Kang’oki area. It will be the first tarmacked road in villages within Thika East region.


Thika West Sub-County hopes to get about 5,000 more slots in second phase of the "Kazi Mtaani" Programme that will be officially launched by President Uhuru Kenyatta next month.

The new recruits will join the 1,505 youth already working under the first phase of the initiative that was introduced by the government to help the youth mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was revealed during a stakeholders' meeting on Wednesday that was co-chaired by the Thika West DCC Douglas Mutai and the area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina.

The recruitment will be done across all the wards with very strict guidelines to ensure transparency and fairness in the selection process.

Speaking during the meeting, MP Wainaina acknowledged the sensitive nature of the exercise, as youth in virtually all the areas were very needy.

“This is a very emotive issue and must be handled with utmost care. Bwana DCC, I appreciate this gesture. Bringing all the stakeholders on board will ensure almost all needy cases benefit from this programme,” he said.

Wainaina promised to facilitate the committees involved in the identification and registration of the bonafide youth with the necessary logistics to ensure that everything went on smoothly. 

The DCC on his part explained that the process of registration would be done in three stages to ensure accountability and transparency in the whole exercise.

“At the grassroots, we will have the Nyumba Kumi Cluster Committee chaired by the cluster chairpersons. This will be the committee that vets all applicants to ensure that they belong to the said settlement,” explained Mutai.

He added that for any youth to be eligible for recruitment, they must produce their ID Cards and indicate the clusters they resided in.

“They should also clearly indicate the nature of skills they have as we are bound to expand the kind of jobs to be done to include skilled labour in the second phase,” he pointed out.

After this stage, the lists will be handed over to the Sub-Location Verification and Validation Committee chaired by the Assistant Chief whose responsibility would be to authenticate the list and verify the identities of those listed. Once that is done, the Assistant Chief will publicise the approved names on the Chief's notice board.

The DCC will then receive these lists and chair a Sub-County Verification and Validation Committee where the final list from all the sub-locations will be prepared. 

The MP and other area leaders are members in this committee but they all have representation in the previous two committees.

Present at the meeting were MCAs Andrew Kimani (Township) and Raphael Chege Waithumbi (Kamenu). Hospital Ward MCA was represented by his Personal Assistant Stephen Mugoro.

Others present included opinion leaders drawn from various interest groups such the Chairman Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Alfred Wanyoike, Madam Gladys Chania, Aboo Norein, Ward Admins representing the three wards, among others.


A Youth from Kiandutu enjoy a light moment with the guests led by PS State Department of Youth at Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Julius Korir during a tour in Thika.
Youth working in the “Kazi Mtaani” Programme have been advised to form groups and take advantage of the numerous government programmes and opportunities to improve on their future.


Speaking on Tuesday while inspecting the work being done by the youth in Thika, Principal Secretary, State Department of Youth at Ministry of ICT, Innovation & Youth Julius Korir said that time was ripe for the youth to start seeking contracts from organisations such as the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA) which had so much work to clear bushes along their roads.


Korir encouraged them to start saving for the future as this programmed would not last for long.


“View this opportunity that you have been given as a stepping stone to greater things. Learn to save what you are earning now and use the money as seed capital to start your own businesses,” he said.


The PS directed the area youth officers to create time to occasionally teach entrepreneurship skills to these youth to prepare them for life after the programme.


“Assist them to form these groups and how to get funding from UWEZO Fund, Youth Fund or AGAAF," Korir told the officers.


The PS was accompanied by the Central Region Youth Coordinator Francis Nderitu, the Chief Executive Officer  National Youth Council Roy Sasaka Telewa, the Secretary Youth Affairs, Raymond Ochieng, Kiambu Director for Youth affairs Jacinta Migwi, Thika West DCC Douglas Mutai among others.


Restaurant operators are instructed to:
- Have thermo-guns at the entrance of the premises to screen clients for temperature,
- Provide hand-washing stations and soap at the entrance for clients.
- Ensure that every client entering the establishment wears a face mask.
- Ensure that every client entering the establishment wears a face mask.
- All food handlers wear face masks.
- A Provision for social and physical distancing.
- All restaurant workers must be tested.

Equity’s Enterprise Branch Wings to Fly champion Joyce Wachira (left) demonstrates to guardian Richard Onguti (centre) and a beneficiary of Equity’s Wings to Fly scholarship program Khadija Addala (right), how the solar-powered lamp cum transistor radio is recharged using a solar panel.  Equity Group Foundation (EGF) in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation has rolled out an initiative to ensure 14,600 Wings to Fly and Elimu Scholarship scholars continue with their education during the COVID-19 crises.
Equity Group has partnered with Mastercard Foundation Scholars Programme to support over 14,600 students in the Wings to Fly and Elimu scholarship programmes to access education at home during the current COVID-19 lockdown. 

The programmed valued over Ksh. 200 million (USD $1.93 million) will see secondary school scholars being provided with a solar powered device to ensure continued access to their lessons currently being aired on Government-owned radio and TV stations. 

Additionally, each of the 13,800 secondary school students and 800 alumni of the Wings to Fly scholarship program currently in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) will receive a monthly stipend for June through August to enable access to essential food and personal items.

“We wanted the Scholars to have an equal opportunity through continued access to their class lessons during this difficult stay-at-home period. With many of them coming from financially challenged backgrounds, access to a radio for purposes of following the classroom lessons was going to be a big challenge. Additionally, with the majority of the Scholars not having access to electricity, we opted for solar powered gadgets. We believe that the Scholars are now well-equipped to keep up to date with their lessons,” said Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings, and Executive Chairman of EGF.

The device contains a radio, and a mobile charging unit for cell phones as well as a lamp that can allow studying after dusk. 

Because each household contains 5-6 students, it is estimated the programme will reach 70,000 learners with curriculum as well as COVID-19 public health messages and advisories. 

EGF distributed the equipment through the Equity infrastructure of branches and its agency network across the country.

Daniel Hailu, Regional Head, Eastern and Southern Africa at the Mastercard Foundation stated, “Advancing equitable and inclusive access to education remains a top priority for the Foundation. The impact of COVID-19 requires us to be intentional about how we ensure the pandemic doesn't exacerbate existing gaps in education. In fact, this is the opportunity to seek out and promote innovative technology-driven solutions to bridge emerging gaps and even leapfrog the capacity and quality of educational delivery across the continent.”

In addition to gaining the capacity to continue studying at home, student households will receive a stipend of Kshs 3,000 per Scholar per month for three months, that will contribute to household needs for food and other essentials. The stipends will also allow the beneficiaries to have airtime and data for mobile phone usage where possible.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, all academic institutions in Kenya were closed indefinitely in March 2020 and delivery of the curriculum moved to broadcast channels and digital platforms. 

Many families faced the challenge of accessing lessons at home. 

For scholarship recipients in the Wings to Fly, TVET and Elimu programme in partnership with the Government of Kenya, this meant a return to households that could not provide access to learning. 

EGF moved to support learners by designing a program that would equitably help students and their families to continue their studies at home.

There is a great ray of hope as cargo trains start rolling back to Thika after 10 years of waiting.

This is sweet music to most industrialists who are poised to take advantage of the new developments to transport bulky goods.

The ongoing rehabilitation of the 178-kilometer Thika-Nanyuki Meter Gauge Railway is at a very advanced stage and at least six manufacturers have started utilising this mode of transport. Twelve more companies from the vast Mt Kenya region have also expressed interest to take advantage of the railway services.

Among the companies currently enjoying these services, is Del Monte Kenya Limited which has been transporting at least 2,400 tonnes of cargo weekly to the port of Mombasa.

According to the company production director Wayne Cook, the firm started using rail transport after the meter gauge railway was refurbished.

In 12 hours, the company is able to move its goods from the factory in Thika to Mombasa using the rail.

Cook notes that unlike when they were transporting their cargo by road, the rail transition is more efficient and saves a lot of time.

The Officer in-charge of operations at Kenya Railways Corporation James Siele says that with rehabilitation of this railway line was over 80% complete with already six locomotives already procured; 2 for passengers and 6 for cargo.

The corporation has also embarked on revival of all stations in Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Laikipia counties to spur economic development in the entire central region.

Even with the infrastructural upgrade of roads in the region such as the dual-carriage way between Kenol and Nanyuki, Siele insisted that the return of cargo train would be economically viable as it would complement the other modes of transport.

He revealed that re-introduction of the commuter train targeting about 20,000 passengers per day from July 1, 2020 when rehabilitation of the Sh. 3 billion project will be complete.

Hospital Ward MCA in Thika Dunson Mburu is nursing injuries after unknown number of thugs attacked him last evening as he entered his compound in Ngoingwa estate.

Mburu was just gaining access into his home when about 5 thugs emerged from the dark and dashed in with him. They pulled him out of his car and started attacking him.

Some quick response from his wife who, from the house, saw what was happening and sounded the alarm, prompting the thugs to run away.

It is is believed that there were more thugs outside who were forced out because of the alarm.

The MCA sustained some deep cuts in the head and was left with a broken finger.

He was later rushed to hospital and admitted. He is however recuperating well and is out of danger. 

THEME:
Stimulating the Economy to safeguard livelihood, stream line jobs and Steer Economic recovery

HIGHLIGHTS
✅ A total of KES. 369.9 Billion has been dispatched to counties to support Devolution.

✅ The government has proposed KES. 10 billion for Youth Kazi Mtaani programme.

✅  KES. 712 million has been proposed for SME's for manufacturing.

✅ The government has rolled out a food sustaining strategy meant to develop road map to the post COVID-19 Phase as well as beyond 2030.

✅ A total of KES. 1.83 Trillion has been proposed to The executive to enhance service delivery and servicing of government projects.

✅ The budget also Proposes a KES. 3 billion figure for a credit guarantee scheme to help in unlocking finances for small and medium enterprises.

✅ An amount of KES. 300 million has been allocated to facilitate to the ICT sector to facilitate training and equipping of ICT interns to oversee online learning during this period.

✅  KES. 3 Billion has been proposed to help in restructuring of the Tourism sector.

✅The Government has directed all MDAs to clear all pending bills or face serious consequences of the government withholding their exchequer.

✅  Government has promised to re-engineer it's procurement opportunities to the youth, Women and Persons with disabilities.

✅ The CS has also proposed an amount of KES. 13.1 billion for pending bills meant for contractors, Suppliers and manufacturers.

✅  KES. 7.4 Billion has been proposed to improve education by facilitating employment of 10000 interns as teachers, KES. 2.1 billion for classrooms, KES. 1.9 billion for 250,000 locally made desks.

✅ KES. 700 million for capitation of infrastructure in Arid and Semi arid Lands.(ASALS)

✅ Proposes introduction of minimum tax to facilitate smooth transition of the economy on the post COVID-19 economic blueprint.

✅ KES. 1.5 Billion for flower and the horticulture industry to help them sustain the industry during The pandemic and also access the international marks on both the current and post COVID-19 Phases.

✅ KES. 4.1 billion to support the free maternity government programme.

✅ KES. 15.1 Billion to the house development program including the affordable housing Agenda by the president.

✅ The government has proposed KES. 111.7 Billion for health sector to enhance healthcare stability.

✅ Kazi Mtaani programme to employ more than 200000 youth.

✅ KES. 18.3 Billion has been set aside for the manufacturing and local industry production.

✅ KES. 843 million for the modernisation of Rivatex to enhance employment opportunities among the youth.

✅ KES. 18.1 Billion has been spared for the SGR phase 2 program, KES. 6.1 Billion for the LAPSET Project and KES. 5.6 Billion for Mombasa Development project.

✅ Government has set aside KES. 167.9 Billion for national security agencies to secure the nation.

✅ KES. 2 Billion has been proposed to hire teachers in addition to the 10,000 interns meant for the Economic stimulation program.

✅ KES. 59.4 Billion for Free day secondary school facilitation has been proposed to factor in Education re-engineering.

✅ KES. 41 Billion has been set aside for the National Government Development fund.

✅ KES. 150 Million has been proposed for the Women Enterprise Fund.

✅ KES. 17.6 Billion set aside for cash transfers to the elderly.

✅ KES. 400 million has been spared for the persons living with disabilities welfare Kitty.

✅  Youth receive KES. 10.2 Billion under the NYS programme, KES. 2.1 Billion for the KYAP and KES. 359 million for the Youth Enterprise development programme.

Today, the Kiambu Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) held a consultative meeting with 5 CECs aimed at ironing out some salient issues raised by the Members of the Committee on the 2020/2021 Budget Estimates. Among the issues discussed was County performance on Local Revenue; Pending bills; Wage bill; Hiring of employees among them Health practitioners and the County’s preparedness against COVID 19 pandemic, the disease impact to the County’s economy and ripple effects of the pandemic in the next year’s budget. Also discussed, was the running of the Municipalities and Ward Development projects. Among the CECs who appeared before the Committee was Mr. Wilson Mburu (Finance and Economic Planning), Dr. Margret Waithira (Public Service and Administration), Mr. James Mitambo (Physical Planning and Urban Development), Dr. Joseph Ng’ang’a Murega (Health Services) and Roads, Transport and Public Works Eng. Samuel Kimani Mugo. The CECs were also accompanied by Senior Officers from their respective departments. The Committee is chaired by Kahawa Sukari Ward MCA Hon. Livingstone Waiganjo whose vice chairperson is Hon. Josephine Nduta Muongi (Nominated MCA).

Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Zachary Kinuthia has advised young people who enroll for the 1-year Building and Construction for courses in vocational centres and polytechnics to ensure they completed to exam level He said that it was unfortunate contractors enticed them with money especially around the 10th month during attachment, leading to majority of them dropping out before sitting for their exams. After the project is gone, these artisans returned to the streets without any certificate to show for their training. "We have an opportunity to be self reliant. We can be patient for a year, and get a certificate as an artisan. Then we can go earn. Later return as a Technician. Then later in the days, for a degree if it's a mandatory feeling to be sorted. Our lives as Youth folk will entirely depend on us. We will be the people who will make things the way we want them to become. Not Politicians. Not Government," said the CAS.
The CAS was speaking Mathare Vocational Centre in Nairobi where he inspected and assessed a number of workshops and their capabilities to produce not just competent artisans, but goods and services to the clients around their vicinity.
This institution trains 8 different courses ranging from Plumbing to Mechanic to Fabrications.

A meeting of the national and county governments convened yesterday by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi agreed on a raft of COVID-19 response measures to be put in place ahead of the gradual re-opening of the country's economy.

The measures which are aimed at safeguarding Kenyans against the adverse health and socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 include;-

- The attainment of a national 30,500 isolation bed capacity within one month. They a target of 300 isolation beds for each county so as to deal with the rising cases of infections, currently in 35 of the country's 47 counties.
- To address the growing public pressure to re-open places of worship including churches and mosques, the summit agreed to involve the Council Governors in the ongoing consultations being undertaken by an inter-faith council.
- So as to ensure the smooth reopening of schools and other institutions of learning, the summit agreed to involve the Council of Governors in the ongoing education sector stakeholder consultations.
- To keep track of yesterday's resolutions, the summit resolved to reconvene on Wednesday next week to among other matters, review: guidelines for the gradual re-opening of the economy; containment measures currently in place; and protocols for the progressive re-opening of places of worship.

 Kiambu County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga explains a point to the Youth and Gender CAS Rachel Shebesh as the toured some of the areas where the Kazi Mtaani Programme is being undertaken.
About 200,000 youth across the country will benefit from the second phase of "Kazi Mtaani" Programme that is expected to kick-off by next month.

This number will be supplement the 26,000 youth from informal settlements who are already benefiting from Phase I that covers 8 counties.

Speaking in Thika on Wednesday while on an impact assessment tour of the programme, Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) in the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Hon. Rachel Shebesh said that the first phase was a pilot scheme to set stage for the roll out of the major programme that will also include skilled labour over and above the menial jobs the youth were undertaking now.

She assured youth from areas that previously missed out on Phase I recruitment that the government will expand the programme to cover more youth.

Currently, only 2,300 youth from 5 informal settlements within Kiambu County are benefiting from the programme. Thika with 1,505 youth from Kiandutu and Kiang'ombe has taken the lion's share.

"In the second phase 23,881 youth from 58 informal settlement within Kiambu County will be assimilated. There will also be 1,592 supervisors. The recruitment will be done through the Nyumba Kumi representatives," explained Kiambu County Commissioner (CC) Wilson Wanyanga.

National Youth Service (NYS) Council Chairman Lt. Gen (Rtd) Njuki Mwaniki said that the the role of NYS was to instill discipline and empower skills among the beneficiaries with a view of transforming them into a County Youth Service in future.

Kiambu Roads, Transport and Public Works CEC Mugo Kimani promised to work with the National Government for sustainability of this programme and the actualisation of the County Youth Service.

The Kazi Mtaani NHP has been conceptualised to provide social relief by providing jobs and facilitating hygiene interventions to help contain the Covid-19 pandemic in informal urban settlements. It is a labour-intensive public works programme set out to provide immediate job opportunities for the youth.

The beneficiaries earn daily wages of KES. 600 payable through mobile money transfers usually done weekly.

Kiambu was one of the eight counties in which the programme was piloted during the first phase. Others were Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Mandera. 

Upon completion, the programme will enter into phase 2 which will be sponsored by the government of Kenya.

Barely 4 months after her first release “NAKUPENDA” MC Dinda has done it again….

This time with a BANG!!

Her new release “SHUSHU”  that was released on Tuesday 9th June 2020 is a ‘Feel Good’ tune that every age group can relate to…

The dance moves? ….Simple and very appealing.

You can get the song via You Tube on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP930W9cfTI&feature=youtu.be

The question I ask this girl is why it has taken her too long to do her own music... She smiles and says, “God's timing is the best”..

Charismatic, energetic, kind, hardworking and down-to-earth, are just but a few words I can use to describe this Artist and MC who goes by the name of MC Dinda..

She released her first song on 10th Feb 2020 “Nakupenda” which was loved by many.. Her second song promises to get even higher.

Nothing is stopping this gal from achieving her goals..

You can get more about the artist on her Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/dindakenyaofficial/  or on Facebook
MC Dinda

Farmers at Muguga village in Gatuanyaga ward of Thika East Sub-County are county huge losses after their crops were destroyed by monkeys.
The primates are eating everything, including maize shoots, sweet potatoes, bananas, arrow roots, cassava, avocados, macadamia nuts and pawpaw, leaving them staring at hunger, despite the looming COVID-19 crisis.
The monkeys are said to be coming from Murang’a County.
The monkeys have now started invading homes and stealing food.
"They are moving in groups of about 50s, and we fear they might harm us or our children. They are even attacking our dogs," explained one of the victims.
They have now called on the authorities to help control these monkeys before disaster strikes.

Safaricom has temporarily closed its shops in Thika, Lavington (Nairobi) Nyali and Rex in Mombasa for cleaning and fumigation.
In a statement by the CEO Peter Ndegwa, this is just a precautionary measure to safeguard the well-being of its staff and customers in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The affected shops will reopen on Thursday 11th June 2020.
Customers can continue accessing services via self-service channels such as Zuri Chatbot, MySafaricom App, and the Interactive Voice Biometric System or other nearby shops.
They can also use the Safaricom Customer Care lines 100 and 200.

BY: JUMA HEMEDI
8/06/2020

I came home from school one day to find a small meeting at our plot. The women of the plot, my mother included had all come out each one with their own stool to listen to a woman well known to them. It was not just women at that meeting but the men of the plot were there too, David and Kimiti were there and so was 'Wa Mother'.

Kamau was there his blue smelly coat in tow and so was Giteru and Mwema. I listened as the speaker told the gathering that elections were coming and insisted that they should not forget to vote for Ali Kabati as the Councillor for Majengo (that voting meant people standing behind their candidate or his photograph, the longest line won). And that his symbol was "Ndovu" (Elephant). "If you forget the name, please remember the "Ndovu" symbol" she reminded the gathering.

I asked my mum later that evening what Ali Kabati would do for residents when elected, and she told me that he would bring "maendeleo" (development) to the people.

It was Years later in life when I came across the local government act and the elections guidelines that I came to understand the role of Councillors.

Kenyan politics is such that every election year various candidates for different positions appear in meetings and outline their agenda for the people on "development" so we have grown up with this notion that the leaders know everything and for us to vote for them "they have to come and share with us, what they will do for us".

And when the election is over they waste valuable time getting back at each other. Those that were not elected will never see anything good being done by those that were elected. And those that were elected will keep blaming their failures and misjudgments on those that they defeated accusing them of "politicking".

Only in Kenya where a leader will be accused of impropriety and they will blame their "political enemy". No one accepts responsibility or move to correct the situation.

Immediately leaders are elected they begin fighting each other. An MCA fights with the Governor. The Governor fights with the senator. The MCAs and the Governor fights the MP and for a whole five years everyone has fought everyone, nothing has been done for the people who put them in office and No one is accepting responsibility.

The 2010 constitution enhanced the separation of powers between different institutions. Everyone has their job to do.

Why should it be difficult for a governor to extend an invitation to all the MPs, Senator, women Rep, and create a County caucus. In this caucus they can look at their various strengths in terms of resources and limitations and agree how they will approach different issues affecting their people?

How difficult is it for an area MP to extend an invitation to the MCAs in his area and agree to form a Constituency Caucus to lobby for monetary and other resources for implementing various projects and programs in their constituency?

Why is it important for someone to rush to claim credit on something they surely know they do not deserve credit for, while discrediting the ones who deserve the credit?

Why can't we appreciate each other's effort and steps towards improving the lives of the very people we claim to want to help?

The spirit of Harambee and of our forefathers called on us to "pull together". That UNITY is strength. Why is it that we seem to be pulling apart?

Why is it that we disrespect, hate, discredit, insult, Name call and create negative energy when other leaders elected/appointed to serve are trying to do that which they were elected/appointed to do?

Scriptures remind us that, everything has its time... Season... And Purpose.

Time has a way of teaching those types of leaders valuable lessons.

The leaders the electorates will need to look out for, should not be those that can shout the most or know how to criticise. No one needs to have gone to school to know how to criticise or to insult someone.

But the leaders we should look for need to be those that can swallow their pride and reach out. Those that are able to consult and not tell. Those that will break barriers and not create barriers of inclusivity. Those that have a track record of spirit of service. And those that remain humble as they build consensus.


Juma Hemedi

Fellow Kenyans, 
On the 27th March, 2020 we announced a nationwide dusk-todawn curfew. Then on the 5th of April, 2020 we augmented it by announcing the Cessation of Movement into and out of a number of areas. Later on, more measures were announced to contain the havoc visited upon us by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Given this trajectory, and the fact that this crisis requires a long term strategy, I took time to reflect on “…What must be Done”. 

If we lift the cessation of movement ban, how will this help us fight the Pandemic? And if we do NOT, how will the ban affect our economy, especially, the micro business enterprises and those who derive their livelihoods from them?

To answer these questions, I turned to our Brain Trust, made up of the finest doctors, research scientists, and public practitioners for counsel. And I must admit that opinion was divided on how we are to advance against this VIRUS. 

Some, including myself, wanted to open up NOW. That was, and is still my desire. I want to OPEN UP at the earliest opportunity and get the economy going. More so, as Kenya was ranked the third largest economy in Sub-Sahara Africa this week. 

Others held a contrary opinion. They borrowed from history, scientific models and current experiences the world-over to argue against opening up. 

With these two viewpoints on the table, I was not dealing with a RIGHT and a WRONG: I was caught in-between two RIGHTS. Those who want to open up are RIGHT, and those opposed to opening up are also RIGHT. And this clash of two RIGHTS placed me on the ‘Horns of a DILEMMA’.  

In the absence of a scientific consensus amongst experts in the medical, research and public sectors, I asked for scenarios. I wanted to know the worst case scenario and the best options available for us to contain the spread of the disease without affecting the economy irreversibly. And I wanted these scenarios built around raw facts 3 because we have decided to combat this pandemic in an open and transparent manner. 

Fellow Kenyans, Truth be told, if we had not taken the STRINGENT measures we did in March 2020, the rate of infections would have peaked to 800,000 people by July 30th 2020. And if one infected person has potential to infect two people, this number would have hit 2.4 million people in 21 days. By the end of August, 75,000 Kenyans would have died from this virus. But because of the early interventions we took, we have recorded only 2,600 infections and 83 deaths. 

If this is the worst case scenario, I wanted to know what the other scenarios looked like. If we put in place all the necessary interventions and relaxed them by only 20%, what would this look like? 

According to the experts standing behind me, relaxing the interventions by 20% would lead to 200,000 infections and 30,000 deaths by December 2020. 

Further, if we relax the interventions by 40%, the infections will peak in November 2020 with 300,000 infected and 40,000 deaths. And if we relax them by 60%, the pandemic will peak in October with 450,000 infections and 45,000 deaths. 

Although these projections are generated by a model, there is hard evidence suggesting that countries which opened up without proper protocols also experienced serious waves of infections. Spikes of infections were for instance experienced after re-opening religious gatherings in South Korea, Pakistan and Malaysia. 

If this is our new reality, and we face the dilemma of easing restrictions or continuing with them, what must we do as a country? What is the irreducible minimum for re-opening the country? What is the threshold below which we cannot go? 

According to the professionals standing behind me, the irreducible minimum for lifting the restrictions has three thresholds. One, to open up, the infections must have been contained and headed downwards. 

Two, our health care system must be prepared sufficiently to take on a surge in infections. It must not be overwhelmed at any one point during the pandemic. Access to testing, isolation and quarantine must be a bare minimum. Three, capacity for surveillance and contact tracing must be in place. 

The question we must ponder is whether we have met this threshold in order to lift the restrictions. Have the cases of infections taken a down turn, for instance? And the answer is NO. Nairobi and Mombasa are taking the lead with new infections. 

Have we met the second minimum of a prepared health system with isolation facilities? I will answer that question by giving you two examples. Siaya County has a ten (10) bed isolation facility and they have already admitted nine (9) Covid-19 patients from only one incident. 

Similarly, Busia County has a thirty-four (34) bed isolation facility. And by two days ago, it was full. 

If there is a surge in infections in these two counties, the health care system will be overwhelmed. The hard question to pose here, therefore, is whether Kenyans are prepared to nurse COVID-19 patients in their homes if our health care system cannot handle the numbers. 

Are they prepared to expose their children and the elderly to COVID-19 patients in the close proximity of home? 

And yes, we have disbursed Ksh 5 billion to the counties to increase their health care capacity in view of this pandemic. But to build the necessary health infrastructure for such undertakings requires time. We must get ahead of this pandemic by creating lead time. 

Therefore, while I consider the possibility of de-escalating the containment measures in place and conscious that Health is a shared function - between the National and County Governments, I, have convened an Extra-Ordinary session of the National and County Government Co-ordinating Summit on Wednesday the 10th day of June, 2020, to consider the following salient matters: 
(i) First, to review the effectiveness of the containment measures we have so far rolled out to break the chain of transmission of the Coronavirus Disease; 
(ii) Second, to secure the undertaking of every County Government to deliver isolation facilities with at least 300 bed-capacity. 
(iii) And thirdly, within 14 days, to develop time bound protocols for progressive re-opening of the economy. 

Fellow Kenyans, I have applied my mind to the different scenarios presented by our experts. And I have reconciled myself to the fact that to ‘open’ or not to ‘open’ up is not a dilemma between a right and a wrong. It is a dilemma between two rights.

Because of this, and fully cognizant of the irreducible minimum given by our experts, and in keeping with the advice of the National Security Council; I hereby DIRECT and ORDER as follows: 

I. That the cessation of movement into and out of the Eastleigh Area of Nairobi and the specific limitations in force with respect to the Mombasa Old Town Area that is currently in force, shall lapse at 4:00 a.m. on 7th of June, 2020. 

II. That in view of the successful containment of the disease in the Counties of Kilifi and Kwale, the cessation of movement into and out of the two Counties that is currently in force, shall lapse at 4:00 a.m. on 7th of June, 2020. 

III. That following stakeholder’s consultations in the education sector - the Ministry of Education jointly with the Ministry of Health issues and publicizes guidelines on a gradual and progressive return to normalcy in the education sector by the Third Term, from 1 st September, 2020. Further, that the ministry announces the new school calendar by mid - August. 

IV. That following consultations with interfaith and religious organizations, the Ministries of Interior and Health within seven days, constitutes an Inter-Faith Council, to work out modalities and protocols of re-opening of the places of worship. 

V. That in the meantime, the ban on all forms of gatherings, including but not limited to political gatherings, social gatherings, including bars be and is hereby extended for a further 30 days. 

VI. That due to the evolving nature of the disease globally, international travel restrictions are hereby extended. In the meantime, the Ministry of Transport is directed within seven days from the date hereof, to engage all Key Stakeholders and develop protocols to guide resumption of local air travel. 

VII. That due to the increase in patterns of infections, the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa and Mandera be further extended by 30 days. 

VIII. To accord all Kenyans the opportunity to enjoy a full-day’s work, the nationwide dusk-to-dawn curfew currently in force until today the 6 th June, 2020, be and is extended for a further 30 days. However, the commencement time for the same is varied from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; with the end time for the same being varied from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. 

Therefore, effective 7th June, 2020 the national wide dusk-to-dawn Curfew will run from 9:00 O’clock in the evening to 4:00 O’clock in the morning. 

Fellow Kenyans, Recognizing that the negative impact of COVID-19 is not limited to health care, my Administration has made targeted interventions to protect our economy. 

At the outset of this pandemic, my administration injected KSh. 216 Billion back into the Economy through tax refunds, rebates and waivers. In the second phase we have further rolled-out Ksh. 53.7 Billion under the 8-point stimulus package to reinvigorate our Economy. 

And on Madaraka day, I announced that a total of Ksh 2 billion would be injected into the hotel industry to cushion them from the effects of this pandemic. Modalities of how these resources will be shared are to be released next week. 

Finally, I wish to assure each and every Kenyan that I shall do all that is necessary to limit the negative effects of COVID-19 on our People, Economy and Way of Life. Rest assured, my Administration will restore our lost livelihoods, our lost opportunities and our lost wealth. 

I call on all Kenyans, particularly landlords and employers, to put people before profits during these testing times. 

Permit me to close by saying that this Disease is beatable if we work together; listen to and apply the regulations, guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health; and keep our eyes on slaying the enemy. 

Thank You and God Bless You; and God Bless Kenya.

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