August 2020


BY: JUMA HEMEDI 

Last week while revising for my exams I came across an article titled "The Ethics and Rationality of Voting" this article was published in July 2016 by Stanford University. 

The article was attempting to focus on six questions concerning the Rationality and morality of Voting. 

These questions included;

- Is it rational for an individual citizen to vote? 

- Is there a moral Duty to Vote? 

- Is it Justifiable for governments to compel citizens to vote? 

- Who ought to have the right to Vote and should every citizen have an equal Vote? 

The article asserts that, Economics in its simplest form predicts that Rational people will perform an activity only if doing so maximises expected utility. 

The rallying call during civic education every Election year,  has had a message that has consistently been passed down. "your Vote is Your Future". But does our "future" end at the ballot box or is that where it should begin? 

Today everyone in the Country seems to be complaining about this leader or the other. If it isn't the MCA, it is the Governor, MP or the President. 

At times we don't just complain we insult the very people we elected. Calling them names. We question their faith and fidelity in our constitution and at times their Patriotism. We call them all manner of names apart from the names their parents gave them. 

We seem to believe that our work as citizens ended the day we elected our representatives into office and that the remaining work is up to them to figure out what we need, how we need it and when. We are actually fascinated by those candidates who come to tell us "what they will do for us" 

We have a collective sense of aloofness in our Country/county affairs as citizens. After all we have someone to blame for all our collective failures and none participatory attitude. We will come back and claim how much of a failure the President is or the Governor or even the MCA while all along we failed to do what was required of us as a citizen, which is to Participate. 

Kenya is a "work in Progress" and the responsibility to shape it and continue with its work does not rest with the President alone, or the Elected and appointed leaders alone. Every Citizen has a duty and a responsibility to help remake and shape this country and bring it closer to our Ideals. 

We cannot vote, then sit and fold our arms and start complaining for five years about the people we elected, then come back again five years and repeat the cycle once more. We cannot continuously complain about our leaders and  own decisions. 

It does not take a university degree or a PHD to know how to complain, but it takes Courage and patriotism to rise up and play your Citizen role and own up to your misgivings. Your Elected leader or the other tribe is not responsible for your mistakes. 

We must bring ourselves to do what we asked of ourselves when we promulgated the 2010 constitution in Article 1. We must begin to play our role as the overall oversight and social auditors of our affairs. 

Are voters rational or Emotional? According to (Guerrero 2010) the rationality of Voting is perhaps not as a way to change how effective the elected politician will be, but instead as a way of trying to change the kind of mandate the winning candidate enjoys. 

The Causal theories of voting claim that voting is Rational provided the voter sufficiently cares about being a cause or among the joint causes of the outcome. Rational Voters Vote because they wish to bear the responsibilities for the outcomes and continue to participate in their decisions even if their influence is small. 

Political Psychology shows that most Citizens suffer from significant "inter-group bias". We tend to automatically form groups and be irrationally loyal to and forgiving of our own group while irrationally hateful of other groups.

The question remains "Are we Rational or Emotional Voters? 

Juma Hemedi

Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki on Monday toured Karimenu II Dam Water Supply Project in Gatundu North, to inspect the ongoing construction process.

During the visit the CS said, it is one of the key flagship projects for the Government of Kenya in matters water and once completed in 2022 will increase water to Nairobi and Kiambu Counties.

"I am pleased with the project progress since my last visit four months ago." said CS Kariuki.

The river diversion works are at 70% completion with the diversion tunnel 100% complete and cofferdam works are at 5 % complete; construction of the spillway is at 35% and earthworks for the spillway is 90% complete. Works are ongoing on the dam foundation treatment which started on 1st July, 2020 and is now 10% complete.

The project has a reservoir capacity of 26,540,000m3 and it will serve more than one million residents of Juja, Ruiru, Gatundu North and Nairobi.

The project which is being implemented by Athi Water Works Development Agency involves construction of a 59 metre high dam, 70 million litres per day water treatment plant, laying of more than 60km of raw and treated water transmission pipelines and the construction of 23.5 million litres and 3 million litres reinforced concrete water storage tanks in Ruiru and Juja respectively.

The project has suffered a delay of about 2 months largely attributable to the onset of COVID-19 at the beginning of this year. The CS directed the contractor to put in place mechanisms of working 24 hours while adhering to the COVID-19 protocols from MoH in order to recover the lost time.

Police in Thika have seized bhang estimated to be worth about KES. 200,000 and 10 litres of chang'aa from a house in Kisii estate.

The bhang was seized following some tip off from members of public who noticed some suspicious activities from a particular homestead that was being inhabited by a former convict.

"There has been so much suspicion in the activities going on in this house. We have been seeing young boys come in and get out of here with sack and transporting sacks of unknown items using motorbike. Today, I decided to intercept one of these consignment and was surprised that the boy was transporting bhang in a sack," explained one of the residents.

On realising that his secret was now out of the bag, the suspect sped off with his motorbike, leaving behind the bhang.

The residents then called Makongeni Police officers who after breaking into the house, discovered more bhang stacked in sacks and about 10 litres of chang'aa.

Inside the house, they also found an electronic weighing machine, rizla rollers and other apparatus used to prepare rolls of bhang.

The suspect's ID card bearing the name Leonard Njoroge Kimani and that of his mother Sophia Makara Kirigo were also found inside that house.

Thika West Deputy Sub-County Police Commander Daniel Kitavi said that they were pursuing the suspects and would very soon catch up with them.

He thanked the residents for the information and warned them to be more vigil as criminals were taking advantage of small children to smuggle and transport these drugs.

The police also blamed some parents who concealed information about criminal activities by their sons or daughters only to come out in the open when they felt that their lives were in danger.

According to the residents, Njoroge was released from jail last year after serving 8 years. 

Soon after his mother moved out to live with another man, he started engaging with some suspicious activities in the homestead, bringing so many suspicious characters.

They associated the recent crime in the area to him and his associates and called on the police to apprehend him and bring him to book.

Kiambu County plans to establish breastfeeding spaces in facilities and social settings like worship centers, marketplaces, public gathering places/centres and bus/matatu terminus in a bid to support breastfeeding for a healthier nation.

This was revealed at Makongeni Dispensary on Tuesday by Kiambu Health CEC Health Dr. Joseph Murega who was the chief guest at a function organised by the Kiambu Health Department to mark the World Breastfeeding Month

He said that Kiambu had already established a lactation station at Gatundu Level 5 Hospital.

Health Chief Officer Dr Patrick Nyaga noted that the link between breastfeeding and the environment and anchored breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision. He stressed the need to engage individuals on improving the health of the planet through breastfeeding.

Nutrition International, who facilitated the event, committed themselves to supporting the county on similar initiatives so as to promote breastfeeding over processed milks.

The Health Department used the platform to educate mothers on the importance of initiating breastfeeding within one hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of life, continued breastfeeding up to two years and beyond. They also encourage fathers to accompany the mothers to the clinics.
Present at the occasion included the County Nutritionist Rachael Wanjugu ,Kiambu County Nutrition International Coordinator Hannah Mburu and health workers from Makongeni Dispensary.

Majority of Thika residents have placed infrastructure development as their main concern as residents.

An online survey conducted by Thika Town Today- 3T between 2nd August and 15th August 2020, identified infrastructure as their main concern with 32.7% terming it as their greatest headache.

In the same survey, 19.7% of the respondent felt concerned with their security, with lack of jobs ranking 3rd at 15.4%.

Food and Water (10.2%), Corruption (8.3%), Street Families (5.5%) and Health (4.3%) were among the other concerns raised.

On government services, 59.1% of respondents believe the County Government of Kiambu is to blame for the poor service delivery, while 14.7% placed the blame squarely on the National Government Administration Officers  (NGAOs). 12.3% of respondents indicated that the Members of County Assembly (MCAs) are failing in service delivery, 

Only 4% of the respondents felt that the office of the Member of Parliament had ceded his role in service delivery. Interestingly, 4.8% of respondents blamed the community for not playing their civic duty in facilitating service delivery.

25.7% of the respondents were satisfied on how businesses in the area were progressing, with 22% feeling that the Education sector was on the right track. 17.1% were happy with the infrastructural developments in the area, 11.8% happy with the Health services and 11.4% satisfied with the security situation in the area.

Area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina was considered the best performer amongst all elected leaders in the area with a whopping 84.5% endorsing his efforts.

Kiambu Gov. Dr. James Nyoro came a distant second with 5.7% of the respondents endorsing his efforts. Senator Kimani Wamatangi was third with 4.5% as Hospital Ward MCA Danson Mburu came fourth with 2.4%.

The others were ranked as follows; Andrew Kimani (MCA Township) – 1.2%, Raphael Chege (Kamenu MCA) – 0.8%, Gathoni Wamuchomba (Kiambu Women Rep.) – 0.8%.

None of the respondents endorsed Gatuanyaga MCA Joseph Kahira or Ngoliba MCA Joachim Mwangi.

When asked how best they would want their challenges solved, majority of those who responded demanded for accountability and transparency in the manner those in office executed their mandate. They felt that public offices were run in too much secrecy, denying them opportunities to participate in their own governance.

Though the respondents acknowledged some level of public participation in some of the offices, there were concerns that majority of the office bearers concealed vital information that would assist the public in making sound judgments on how they would want to be governed. They also demanded to be more involved in decisions that affected their lives.

A section of the residents felt the need for an elaborate masterplan to overhaul policies on town planning to factor in population surge, technology and urban farming among other emerging factors in the growth of the town.

Some of the areas the residents felt needed more emphasis included how to tackle the never-ending traffic jams into the town, the problem of parking, hawkers and public transport players within the CBD.

Both levels of government were tasked to come up with a lasting solution to the issue of street vendors as well street children who have now become a menace and a security threat to wananchi within the CBD.

The county government was also challenged to reign on rogue officers who terrorized businesspersons and property developers, seeking for bribes. This, they said, was killing businesses and encouraging impunity among some unscrupulous traders who bribed their way in order to do all what they wanted at the expense of the law abiding traders.

There were also concerns over the lack of security lights, improper drainage, impassible roads in some of the residential areas, inadequate water supply, low sewerage connection.

Some residents were against the politicizing of every project being embarked by leaders with some calling for a shift from the political overtones at the expense of development. They asked all leaders to unite and serve their electorate first without letting their political differences to jeopardise service to mwananchi.

The youth complained of being sidelined from job opportunities as well as awarding of tenders with such opportunities going to the well-connected and those able to bribe their way in. They called on the leaders to come up with programmes that created more opportunities especially for the youth to nurture talents and innovations.

Both the national and county governments were also asked to collaborate more with the business community in order to come up with home-based solutions to some of the challenges that faced Thika residents. There was a feeling more involvement of the numerous multi-billion industries within Thika, a lot could be achieved in terms of infrastructural development, job creation and environmental conservation.

Uncontrolled development, illegal liquor joints, drug abuse and some corrupt police officers were some of the reasons attributed to the level of insecurity in some estates. The residents also felt that the county government planning department contributed to insecurity by allowing commercial developments within residential areas. They also called for more street lighting within estates to curb cases of crime.

The residents also called for more police patrols that served their purpose rather than technical patrols that were only used by police officers to harass innocent wananchi, leaving thugs to prey on law-abiding citizens. Some police officers were accused of working with criminals and lawbreakers thus exposing other residents to thuggery and muggings. They were accused of using patrols as a means to collect bribes from criminals and those operating illegal liquor joints as well as those selling drugs.

MCAs and the Senator were also called to task over their oversight role in the management of county government finances and programmes. The residents heaped most of the mess in the county government performance on these leaders whom they said were “missing in action”. They accused them of playing populist politics that helped no one other than themselves and their close associates.

They also called on them to advocate for more resources to Thika considering the town’s contribution to Kiambu County Revenue and the high population.

The public was also blamed for not electing development-minded leaders. This they said was one of the main contributors for poor leadership and management of public affairs.

 

The greatest mistake in life is to believe that employment is the only source of income. On the contrary, there are a million and one ways to make money outside formal employment.

Any concept (idea) can result in profits if it is turned into a tangible product or service is a business opportunity. For such a concept to earn you any money, it must solve an unmet need within the locality you are living in.

The most powerful world-changing ideas come from the experiences and challenges one has faced in their own life. Take a moment to consider the problems you are currently dealing with. These problems could be affecting your current business endeavours, your personal life or your home.

Chances are that you are not the only person facing these issues. Rather than wait for someone else to solve your problem for you, take steps to change the world by developing a business idea that directly addresses the issues you are facing. More importantly, understand that when you are addressing your own problems, you will be more likely to be passionate about creating and making available the best solution possible.

(Related story: REALISTIC WAYS OF FUNDING YOUR BUSINESS STARTUP)

The solutions don't have to be complicated or demanding you to look for extraordinary means to do it, it just needs to a solution to the challenges that you face on a day-to-day basis. Majority of the most successful world-changing ideas don’t just offer new products or services. They seek to change the way people approach their day-to-day living.

Changing someone’s mental outlook will have a far greater reach and impact in the end. For instance, the Mama Mboga next to you realised your challenge to go all the way to the market for vegetables and decided to bring them right to where you are. That way, she solved your puzzle by coming up with a solution to your problem. That is why you readily pay for her services without a second thought.

That's exploiting the opportunities around her. Business ideas are about addressing an unmet need in the marketplace. They can involve one selecting an existing product or service from one market and offering it in another where it may not be available.

It can also bank on a tried and tested formula that has worked elsewhere.

How do you find the opportunity that’s right for you?

Any time you see an inefficiency in the market and you have an idea of how to correct that inefficiency, and you have the resources and capability — or at least the ability to bring together the resources and capability needed to correct that inefficiency — that could be a very interesting business idea.

(Read Also: 10 Street Smart Disciplines that will help you survive in Kenya)

In addition, if you see a product or service that is being consumed in one market, that product is not available in your market, you could perhaps import that product or service, and start that business in your local area. You should also ask yourself if the market real.

To identify a viable market for your idea, you need to ask yourself the following questions and if they are to the affirmative, then you have a market for your goods or services.

☛ Who is my customer?

☛ What does the customer want to buy?

☛ When does the customer want to buy?

☛  What price is the customer willing to pay?

There is no substitute for understanding the unmet needs of customers. This will allow you to discover whether you are able to supply those needs, at the price customers want to pay, and if you can still make a profit.

(Read Also: What next after losing your job?)

Another very important thing you need to do is to identify similar businesses so that you can know the gravity of competition to expect. Check whether they are supplying a similar product or service to what you have in mind. By doing so, you can understand better what need is not met at the moment.

That will also give you the opportunity to zero in on the price points and feature points of where you can differentiate yourself from existing players in the market.

Think Big, Start Small, Act Small

Lastly, it's every entrepreneur's dream to own a very big business. Nevertheless, one technique one needs to learn is the ability to think big, yet take small steps.

You may have big ambitious goals but you start to achieve those goals by taking small steps, one at a time. No matter how ambitious the plan, you have to roll up your sleeves and start somewhere.

(Related Story: 15 Reasons why you will remain poor and die a hustler)

Never compare yourself to someone who already has a big business or someone with a different financial or educational or career background. We all start from different places but we with persistence and hard work we can all get there and grow. So, believe in yourself allow yourself to think big!

Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina Wajungle called on both the national and county governments to come up with customised solutions to eliminate obstacles that exposed persons living with disabilities to COVID-19.

While speaking at Mitero Social Hall in Mang'u Ward, Gatundu North Sub-County where he distributed 20 wheelchairs to physically challenged persons, Wainaina said that their dependence on other people for daily living exposed them more to the virus.

“Most of these people require high support for all of their daily activities but the COVID-19 pandemic has left some of them at home and with no assistance. They are at increased risk due to the need for close contact with caregivers, as well as an increased risk of infection and complications due to underlying health conditions,” he said.

 He appealed to the Ministry of Health to address the specific needs of persons living with disabilities to maintain their health, safety, dignity and independence in the community throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is very important for the Ministry of Health to include persons with disabilities in COVID-19 response. They need to engage organisations of persons with disabilities and networks in decision-making,” he insisted.

Jungle Afya Team donated the wheelchairs in partnership with Bethany Kids.

They also distributed foodstuffs and facemasks to the over 200 needy families giving hope to carry on during this hard times.

Jungle Afya is a department of Jungle Foundation that deals with issues to do with health among the most vulnerable in the society.

“Today’s activity (giving out wheelchairs) is just one of the chore activities of Jungle Afya. Our activities run across the country and as you can recall, we recently donated a wheel chair to the family of Teresiah Wakinyua (benjú ígírí) and James Mwangi (benjú na raba) of the viral 'Mukamo' video who hail from Kwa Nganga village in Nyandarua County,” he said.

The elders led by "Muthamaki" Njoroge Wa Karatu perform traditional ritual in April appealing for God's intervention over COVID-19 pandemic
Kikuyu council of elders from Thika Sub-County have thanked "Mwene Nyaga" for answering their prayers over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking to Thika Town Today on Friday, the elders led by "Muthamaki" Njoroge Wa Karatu said that this among the reasons Kenya was recording about 90% asymptomatic cases to the amazement of scientists. As you can see, Kenya is recording so many asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, something even the scientists are unable to explain. These are the works of our God and He has answered the prayers we prayed in April this year," said Karatu On 13th April this year, the elders converged at Chania River for traditional rituals and prayers seeking God’s intervention to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. At the brief ceremony, a sheep of one colour was slaughtered, its meat burnt to ashes and thrown into the river to signify that COVID-19 has been swept away with the water.

A suspected motorbike thief was early this morning lynched at Witeithie estate in Juja Sub-County.

It is alleged that the deceased and his accomplice who managed to escape on the bike, had violently robbed off a rider in Meru last night and were being pursued by bodaboda operators from Meru.

He was cornered as he attempted to flee on foot after jumping from the moving bike near Witeithie.

The irate bodaboda riders pounced on him and beat him with crude weapons before eventually setting him ablaze. 

Incidents of insecurity are on the rise in the area despite efforts by the authorities to contain them. Bikes stolen locally are said to be sold in other counties while those stolen from elsewhere find their market in Kiambu and environs.

By the time of going to press, the body of the deceased body was yet to be collected by the police.


Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha has  congratulated Mount Kenya University (MKU) for the level of preparedness in receiving back their students in January 2021.

While speaking during an inspection tour to assess the level of preparedness among institutions, Prof. Magoha expressed satisfaction in the institution's adherence to the Ministry of Health protocols in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

He noted that, among the institutions that he has visited, it was only MKU and Strathmore University that seemed to be prepared for re-opening in January.

Magoha praised them for their initiative to offer online classes as well as their plans to conduct a virtue graduation ceremony, saying this was key to curbing the spread of the deadly virus.

"I am impressed by the level of preparedness I have witnessed here including these automatic sanitizer dispensers, provision of tanks for washing of hands and good classrooms spacing. This is very encouraging," he said.

The CS however failed short of committing himself on the actual opening dates, insisting that this was subject to the advise by the MoH.

The situation at the Thika Technical Institute (TTI) was however 50-50. Even though the CS was impressed with their efforts, he had reservations on some of their walls which he said were dirty as well as the quality of some of their sanitizers.

He directed that the institution do some improvements on their kitchen floor as well as observing some code of dressing for the kitchen staff.

Magoha also demanded some explanation as to why the building and civil engineering block had stalled.

Visually impaired persons from Thika on Wednesday to the streets protesting what they termed as discrimination in government aid especially during this tough COVID-19 period. They walked to the Ministry of Labour, Culture, Gender and Social Services offices, demanding to for answers as why they never benefited from the national safety net programme populary known as Inua Jamii.

They claimed that only the rich but well connected persons benefited from the kitty. Speaking to the press, Ann Mwema claimed that the money set aside by the government to benefit the disabled was diverted to less deserving people if not ending up in pockets individuals within the government. Jecintah Syombua said that despite of her advanced age, she had never accessed "Pesa Kwa Wazee" a fate she said was replicated in most of her colleagues. They pleaded with the relevant government departments to intervene and save them from the discrimination they are are facing.

4 MPs drawn from Kiambu and Murang'a counties are calling on the Director of Survey to expedite the re-surveying of Del Monte Land whose 99-year lease expires in 2022.

Eng. Patrick Wainaina (Thika), Joseph Nduati (Gatanga), Simon King’ara (Ruiru) and Jude Njomo (Kiambu town) say that the delay in renewing the lease has affected the multi-million company’s investment decisions and development.

They added that the delay could lead to loss of at least 34,000 direct and indirect jobs especially if the company’s land lease is not renewed.

They regretted that the delay in renewing the lease even after Del Monte applied for the same 12 years ago could see the country lose Ksh 10 billion in foreign exchange including Ksh 7.5 billion on supplier’s backward linkage.

The company that enjoys a turnover of over Ksh 10 billion annually owns 22,000 acres of land.

Should the company be found to be having land it does not use, Wainaina said the parcels would be converted into public use where an industrial park, schools, cottage industries, low-cost housing and hospitals could be built to benefit the public.

The multinational company has been embroiled in a tussle with lobbyists under the patronage of the Kandara Residents Association, Kiambu and Murang’a Counties.

Blue Nile Rolling Mills Limited, is set to get a Sh. 862 million loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to restructure its operations and fund the construction of a galvanised wire plant.

The company, which manufactures the Kifaru brand of steel products, plans to raise Sh. 1.5 billion aimed at setting up Kenya’s first galvanisation wire manufacturing plant in Nairobi, capable of producing 26,580 tonnes per annum.

The Thika-based plant currently produces its steel and wire products. It has a capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of steel products and 15,700 metric tonnes of wire products.

The construction of the galvanised wire plant has since been completed and the factory has started production. Blue Nile launched operations in 2006 by acquiring a steel wire product manufacturing facility in Kikuyu.

In 2016, the company began exporting its products to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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