September 2020

Detectives have arrested 3 suspects who abducted the Director of Hi-tech Enterprise while impersonating EACC and KRA officers before demanding for a Sh. 2 million bribe to stop pursuing an alleged tax evasion case involving the victim.

The trio; Godwins Otieno Agutu, Alex Mutua Mutuku and Ken Gichovi Kimathi alongside 3 others who are still at large, stormed the victim's offices within Nairobi on 26th Sept 2020, after which they took his laptop and left.

They appeared again on 29th Sept 2020 demanding the Sh. 2 million bribe. After failing to raise the amount, they forced him into a Prado Reg. Nos. GKB 070B and drove off to Lutheran House along Nyerere road.

The victim was forced to contact his family members to get the amount, but only managed to raise Sh. 500,000 where the suspects escorted him to his house at Westlands in Nairobi and took the cash.

The three suspects were later nabbed at the said Lutheran House. Detectives further established that the registration number GKB 070B belonged to a Land Rover Discovery attached to the Judiciary.

Upon interrogations, the first suspect alleged to be running an NGO namely Network Action Against Corruption (NAAC) and that he was working jointly with the suspects at large who are allegedly KRA officers namely; Houdouvia Njoroge, Harrison Ochar and Brian Kimemia.

Whereas the arrested suspects were arraigned today with detectives seeking five days custodial orders but were granted one day to complete investigations, those at large are being pursued with charges of Abduction and Demanding with Menaces being preferred.


Thika residents are still grappling with the mysterious disappearance of a prominent trader who went missing a week ago.

Julius Gitau Wanyoike alias Gitau Wa Mali who runs a wholesale shop behind the Thika main bus stage disappeared last Monday morning and has not been seen since.

According to the Thika Main Stage Traders Association Chairman John Tumbo, Gitau drove himself in one of his distribution trucks and abandoned it near the Blue Post flyover. He then called his driver on phone and told him to go for the vehicle.

One of Gitau's employees, David Kaloki, says that when the driver arrived at the scene, he only found the truck with the doors unlocked and the ignition key inside.

Gitau is said to have left a handwritten note inside the vehicle that read;
"Hey family. Hii maisha imenishinda. Sitaki kutafutwa na watu wasijisumbue kunitafuta niko kwa maji. Family nawapenda sana"

A search team comprising family members and police combed Thika River but failed to get him. Gatanga sub county Police Commander Peter Muchemi under whose jurisdiction the matter was reported said police were still treating it as a "missing person report."

Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Chairman Alfred Wanyoike appealed to whoever with any information that might assist in finding the missing colleague to volunteer it to any police station nearest to them.

Consequently, TDBA has summoned the Thika business fraternity a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday Sept. 29th) at 4 pm at Three Shades Hotel Hall - Main stage to deliberate on the way forward.


Kiambu Governor James Nyoro

Kiambu County Government has completed spatial plans to make Thika Municipality the model city within Kiambu town.

This was revealed by Governor James Nyoro in an exclusive interview where he said that they had already engaged a consultant who had developed a 50-year spatial plan for the industrial town.

"The 50-year (spatial) plan for Thika town is already complete.However, this will first involve a 10-year plan. In the next 2 years, we want to make this town a model city within Kiambu with all the major infrastructure in place," explained the governor.

Nyoro said that the plans involved the expansion of the road network within and around the town, installation of street lighting as well as traffic lights and expansion of the water and sewerage network within the estates.

"We have already started resurfacing works for Kenyatta Highway that will go up to the Stadium roundabout, then Huduma Centre and to the KRA roundabout. We will also use the Sh. 157 million from the World Bank to light up the CBD streets," he said.

This project, combined with the Sh. 1.8 billion project being undertaken by the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) on all link roads within the CBD, will see Thika get a very smooth road network.

(Related story: Thika to benefit from KES. 1.7 billion worth of road infrastructure)

"The president (Uhuru Kenyatta) promised us 4km of road into Juja Farm and we as a county government will push this road up to Mastoo area. Eventually, plans are that this road will link up with Thika-Garissa Highway at Muguga in Gatuanyaga through Ndarugu, Athi, Komo and Githima, thus opening up this area and decongesting Thika Road," he added.

Nyoro said that they were also in the process of filling up the missing board members at THIWASCO to enable the company embark on its water and sewerage expansion plans. 

"The company, through assistance from DANIDA and the World Bank, plans to increase its water supply capacity from the current 32m3 to 52m3," explained the governor.

The expansion will benefit Ngoingwa, Kisii, Landless and other estates within THIWASCO coverage areas with more water and sewerage connection.

The governor said Gatuanyaga and Ngoliba would also get more water through the sinking of boreholes as well as water drawn from Thika river.

25 percentage back

Nyoro also promised residents living within quarry mining areas that his government will henceforth inject back 25% of the revenue collected from these quarries to assist in development projects. Areas poised to benefit from this arrangement include Ndarugu, Witeithie, Komo, Githima and Bob Harris that host the bulk of these quarries.

He also said that the county government had set aside Sh. 60 million for street lighting programme across the county.

"In our supplementary budget this year, we have set aside Sh. 60 million for our street lighting programme. This will be boosted by another Sh. 60 million from the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), enabling us to install 50 street lights in every ward."

Thika Municipality which includes Juja Sub-County will also benefit from road, water and sewerage connection at Theta, Juja town, Kalimoni and Witeithie.

The county also plans to put up another hospital in Juja very soon.

Mount Kenya University (MKU) has recalled all its final year School of Medicine students and ordered them to report to their campuses beginning this morning.

University's Registrar, Academic Administration Dr Ronald G. Maathai  says this follows the authorisation of face-to-face learning for final year Clinical Medicine Students by the  Clinical Officers Council.

"In view of the foregoing, the reporting dates Bachelor of Science in Clinical Medicine and Diploma in Clinical Medicine and Surgery Final Year Students  will be from the 28th of September, 2020 to the 2nd of October, 2020 for  phase one face-to-face teaching, which will resume on Monday, the 5th October, 2020," he said in s statement.

Also recalled are Bachelor of Pharmacy and Diploma in Pharmaceutical Technology Final Year Students on similar dates after the Pharmacy and Poisons Board authorized classroom learning for final year Pharmacy Students as opposed to online learning.

All universities were been advised to recall all final year students who are unable to sit final examinations online.“These are students pursuing science-based courses and who are about to graduate and may not do practicals,” said Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

Final year medical and dental students have already reported to universities for face-to-face learning ahead of their national examinations.“For the rest of tertiary colleges, we are waiting for the larger stakeholders to concur with us. We want Teachers Training Colleges to open soon,” said Prof Magoha.

For primary and secondary schools, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) directed all teachers to report to school today, with firm instruction to prepare for the opening.“We have deliberated this as a committee and agreed that teachers report to schools by September 28 for the eventual opening of schools,” said Nancy Macharia, TSC chief executive officer.

Dr Loice Ombajo, head of Infectious Disease Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and a member of the education stakeholders, said last week coronavirus cases had hit below five per cent infection rate for the past one week.

“Covid-19 cases have gone down. Positivity rate is going down and community infections have gone down. So it is safe to open other spaces. But we all have a responsibility to protect ourselves and others,” said Dr Ombajo.

On Thursday sept 24, Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said Health and Education ministries are working together to ensure strict protocols are observed before re-opening of schools. During a briefing on Covid-19 status, Kagwe said the first phase of the re-opening will give learners time to acclimatise with the health protocols in schools before learning starts officially.

A Thika Court has sentenced Elizabeth Wambui Kamichar, a former Thika administrator, to three months imprisonment for fraudulently obtaining a land ownership document.

Delivering the judgment, Thika Senior Resident Magistrate Benmark Ekhuli termed as a “brazen act” the backdating and altering of land registry documents by the accused leading to the commission of the offence.

He overruled a probation officer’s report that was in favour of the accused and handed the 61-year old mother of three a custodial sentence.

The accused had denied that on December 6, 2011 at the Thika lands registry, jointly with others not before court obtained certificate of lease number Thika Municipality Block 9/430 by falsely pretending that the said plot was allocated to her by the government.

She also faced a second count which stated that September 30, 2014 at Thika township in Kiambu County, jointly with others not before the court, willfully and unlawfully damaged a gate valued Sh 30,000 belonging to Cecilia Wamaitha Mwangi.

The former District Officer has 14 days to appeal against the sentence.

Central Regional Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga has sent a stern warning to criminal gangs operating within Kiambu that their days were numbered.

While speaking in Nyacaba area within Juja sub-County, the Nyagwanga particularly warned a gang calling itself 'Gaza' that was terrorising area residents that security agents would deal with its members ruthlessly and without mercy. He also directed security apparatus from Juja sub-county to stem out indiscriminate sale and consumption of alcohol and bhang in the area.

"The government through Kazi Mtaani has recruited around 22,000 young Kenyans to cushion them from unemployment. I don't understand why the so called Gaza don't go for such opportunities and instead engage in criminal activities. We shall deal with them ruthlessly in accordance with the law," said Nyagwanga.

He added that the establishment of Witeithie Division and the placement of the Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) would bring all Government services closer to the people and propel development projects in the area. 

Nyagwanga was speaking when introducing George Maina as the pioneer ACC for the new Witeithie Division.

Kiambu County Commissioner (CC) Wilson Wanyange directed NEMA to conduct a serious audit on quarry operators in the area and root out all those who disregarded the laid down protocols to operate thus endangering people's lives and polluting the environment. He cited recent incidents where several people have lost lives out of negligence by the operators.

Central Region Police Commander Patrick Lumumba said that a divisional police headquarters would be established in the area with a full fledged police station to boost security. 
Area MCA Julius Macharia Taki described these quarries as death traps. 

Among those present included area criminal investigation Chief Jeremiah Ikao and Juja Sub-County DCC Charles Murithii among others.

Renown Kiambu politician and Counseling Psychologist Gladys Chania has called for a ceasefire amongst Kiambu leaders over the endless political infighting.

Speaking exclusively to Thika Town Today - 3T on Tuesday, Chania said that the county had lost so much time and resources due to political intolerance and unnecessary impeachment debates.

"We wouldn't want to start those impeachment sessions again. Kiambu County went through a very difficult period during the (former Governor) Waititu-Nyoro tag of war. Then came COVID-19 that hit so many of our people economically and straining our resources. I therefore appeal for ceasefire and beg all the warring camps to resort to dialogue. Let all sides listen to each other, at least for now. If there is a better leadership awaiting the county, we can afford to wait until 2022 to make the changes we want," she said.

Chania noted that the 36 MCAs who have already appended their signatures in preparation to table an impeachment motion against Governor James Nyoro were yet to hit half the assembly membership which has 92 MCAs and should instead focus their energies towards alleviating the suffering Kiambu residents were going through.

"It's also my hope and prayer that the electorate have learnt their lessons by now. They should never again gamble with their vote. They should always choose a good executive officer because to correct another person's work is very difficult. All these gaps are generated from election ballot box," she concluded.

Kiambu County Peace Forum Chairman Samuel Njenga speaking to the press in Thika. He is flanked by his deputy Aboo Norein.

A section of Kiambu residents have lamented about the never-ending political squabbles in Kiambu County noting that over the years, the county has never had peace due to toxic politics.

While speaking in Thika during the International Day for Peace celebrations, the residents blamed politicians and a section of the clergy for the mess that has dogged this devolved unit ever since the inception of devolution.

"It is harvest season for the clergy who have started organising harambees and inviting politicians to bribe their way into the 2022 leadership through the church. The church is in the forefront in sanitising wayward politicians for elections and selling out their followers. What they are doing is to set pace for another 5 years of crying and gnashing of teeth. They are selling their people to the highest bidders," explained Samuel Njenga, the chairman of Kiambu County Peace Forum.

Njenga lamented  that ever since Kiambu became a county, the county has experienced unending political noises that has seen it have three governors in a span of  7 years, yet with no solution on sight.

"It is quite unfortunate that Kiambu County has never experienced any peace since 2013. The first governor was voted out after a very noisy four years. His successor barely completed two years before he was impeached. The current governor is barely a year into office yet the squabbles and infighting are unbearable. These are indicators of poor leadership," he said.

He blamed visionless leadership for the mess in the county, blaming the leaders for nurturing an environment of anarchy and disorder in order to remain in power or seize it.

"These leaders don't want an empowered society because it will be very difficult for them to manipulate them. They want us to ever remain poor and dependent so that every time we run to them for help and handouts," said Njenga.

"With all its rich resources, how comes Kiambu youth are still suffering in poverty? What have these leaders done to empower their people? How many jobs have they created?" he asked.

He challenged the people demand from their leaders, policies and agenda for development and shun those who thrived in disunity and propaganda.

His sentiments were echoed by Dr. Samuel Karanja Kamau, the director of Family Matters Foundation who demanded transparency and sincerity among the leaders and the people to open up to issues that mattered to them.

"If we don't handle the root issues, we will keep on dealing with the fruit issues. Peace begins with the individual. Peace is not the absence of conflict but the ability to bring stability in the situation we are going through," explained Dr. Karanja.

He challenged leaders to inspire people in issues of truth and embrace diversity in ideas.

"People are free to speak what they think but those listening to them should be able to gauge what is valuable to them. Our people need civic education to be able to differentiate between the truth and deception," he said.

Winnie Njeri, the Secretary to Kiambu County Peace Forum noted that women and children suffered most in all these conflicts thus needed to think twice before they voted in anyone to lead them.

Huduma Centre Thika Branch Manager Sharon Nzau has blamed NTSA system downtimes for the long queues at the centre.
Explaining our earlier concern, Nzau pointed out that they could not allow customers to the Centre when when they couldn't serve them. 
"We keep on informing them on the progress though, but some insist on waiting," she said. 
"Currently, the NTSA system for enrollment (photo and fingerprints) is down and customers have already being informed," she added.
The centre has of late been experiencing an influx of clients and long queues outside its gates with numerous complaints of people being turned away without being served. 

Police in Thika had to be deployed at Thika Level 5 Hospital on Wednesday afternoon to quell possible ugly confrontations after some Kiandutu residents stormed the facility demanding answers to a case of a newborn child whom they claimed missed mysteriously immediately after birth.

The residents were protesting about the manner in which the hospital administration handled a case where on of their lost a newborn baby after the mother gave birth through cesarean section only to be told that she was dead.

According to the father, Joel Maina, everything was okay and there seemed to be no signs of a stillbirth on that material day.

The baby seemed okay and played well in its mother's womb on Friday. But when I came back the following day, I only found the mother without the child. She was still unconscious and we could not talk, he explained.

He expressed his disappointment with the hospital administration who he accused of taking him in circles whenever he demanded for answers.

Maina now wants to view the body of his child and DNA tests done to ascertain the hospital's explanation in relation to its death.

“When my wife was admitted, the infant was playing in the mother’s womb. She was taken to theatre for CS operation, and I hear the child was born well. When I visited on Saturday, the hospital blocked me at the gate despite identifying myself, he lamented.
Despite the mysterious death of his kid, Maina also has to bear the pain of seeing his wife Angelina Wanjue fight for life at the intensive care unit after developing complications when undergoing caesarian section.

He alleged that no one in the hospital bothered to inform him that the wife had to undergo CS during delivery, despite leaving his contacts at the hospital.

“On Sunday, they still blocked me only to force my way to the hospital on Monday to find my unconscious wife in need of another operation. They told me to sign documents which I obliged to save her as her condition was worsening,” he added.

Responding to these allegations, Medical Superintendent Dr. Jesse Ngugi said that this was a stillbirth and the body was at General Kago Road Funeral Home.

He sighted COVID-19 regulations as some of the reason why Maina could not access the facility as much as he would have wanted.

He added that they were doing everything possible to make sure the woman recovers.
“The child was a still birth and the woman developed high sugar levels after the CS operation that is why he was taken to theatre again,” said the Med Sup.

Godfrey Gitu Njoroge, a rabbit farmer for the last 10 years in Kiganjo estate Thika

Rabbit farmers have blamed logistical challenges and the lack of enough public awareness on rabbit rearing to the low intake and production.

While speaking to the press on Wednesday, Rabbit Breeders Association of Kenya (RABAK) Chairperson Peter Waiganjo noted that even though the demand for rabbit meat was so high, both in the local market and internationally, commercial rabbit farming in Kenya for meat production was yet to be taken seriously with only a few farmers currently engaging in this venture.

He said that there was need for increased awareness if at all this business was to make a positive impact on the lives of the majority of subsistence rural and peri-urban population. Waiganjo lamented that even though there existed a very big demand for rabbit meat, the supply was still not adequate due to so many logistical challenges. 

"Currently, the Thika abattoir is the only public rabbit slaughterhouse in the country. This has given us some big challenge for most of the rabbit farmers are scattered across the country and it becomes so uneconomical for a farmer in Eldoret or Nyeri for instance to travel all the way to Thika to slaughter 20 or so rabbits. This forces them to sell them through the traditional way and thus lose out on the high-end market," he explained.

He suggested that the all government departments involved in agriculture to come up with small abattoirs across the country or refrigerated vehicles to help farmers take advantage of this very lucrative venture.

Godfrey Gitu Njoroge who has been rearing rabbits for the last 10 years at his quarter of an acre piece of land in Kiganjo estate Thika encouraged jobless youth to venture into this business which he said was very viable and demanded very little input.

"I do not need to stay at the farm for the whole day. Rabbits rearing has allowed me to do other work as rabbits do not need too much attention. All you need is hay, some pellets and enough water," explained Gitu.

(Related Story: Rabbit farming, an unexploited ‘Goldmine’ that is greatly overlooked.)

He added that female rabbits normally bore about 2-10 babies, but could have as many as 16 with each litter. Considering that one rabbit could litter 5 times in a year, Gitu said that this was a sure way to increase one's earnings in a very short time.

Nutritionists say that rabbit meat offers the best source of protein and is healthier than most alternatives like beef, pork, turkey and even chicken. It also provides calcium, vitamins, energy and is characterized by a less amount of cholesterol, sodium, and fat unlike other types of meat.

A 25-year old man on Monday lost his life after he was beheaded by a stone cutting machine at a quarry in Ndarugo area Juja Sub-County.

This happened barely three weeks after 3 people died after another collapsed in Flat area Juja.

Confirming the incident, Juja Sub-County Police Commander Dorothy Migarusha, the deceased, John Kiarii, was making some repairs on the machine when the incident happened.

Migarusha said this was the fifth death in the quarries in a span of one this year, two of them involving deaths caused by the cutting machines.

She promised to involve other relevant government departments to ascertain the real courses for the frequent deaths in these quarries.

Kiambu County Government is in the process of putting up a pineapple processing plant in Gatundu North to add value to the fruit which is grown in large quantities in the area and also create wealth and more jobs in the area.

This was revealed by Governor James Nyoro on Friday when he toured the area to inspect agricultural projects as part of the county's efforts towards food security.

While addressing Kanyoni residents in Mang'u Location, Nyoro said that, in the next 2 to 3 months, his administration will begin visibility studies and sourcing for money to construct the industry.

The governor added that Mang'u Progressive Co-operative Society had received money from the World Bank to start a milk processing plant that will benefit about 15,000 farmers in the area. He challenged other farmers and small traders such as the Jua Kali Artisans, Bodaboda operators, car wash operators to form saccos that will benefit from interest-free loans from banks in partnership with Kiambu County Government.

Nyoro promised the residents that the proposed Sh. 90 million Kamwamba Irrigation Scheme will go on as planned after all the teething issues had been resolved.

"When I assumed office, I found that most of these projects had so many irregularities and price inflation only meant to benefit a few people. After talking to the relevant departments, we agreed to cancel most of these tenders and redo them afresh, this time, following the laid down procedures. That is why I am calling for patience from Kiambu residents," he said.

He added that all these anomalies have now been corrected and the Sh. 1.8 billion World Bank projects under the Kenya Urban Support Programme were now on course across the six municipalities.

"I also want to tell the people of Kamwangi Location that we have agreed with the National Government that they must benefit from the water drawn from the new Karimenu Dam project," said Nyoro.

The projects, funded by NARIGP (National Agricultural Rural Inclusive Growth), National Government and County Government of Kiambu cover 5 sub-counties namely; Gatundu North, Gatundu South, Lari, Kikuyu and Limuru. They were guided by the respective zone's main farming activity, all geared towards food security and community empowerment.
Farmers in these area have been receiving training to ensure they adopted new farming ways that are sustainable. In addition to that, Sh. 50 million worth of fertilizer has been dispatched to farmers across the county.
Under the programme, the agricultural value chains in Gatundu North are mainly banana farming, dairy and Irish potato farming.
The locals are organised in CIGs (Common Interest Groups) to ensure the vulnerable and marginalised are also included.

Other projects include: fish ponds, dairy goat farming, farmers training on soil and water conservation and harvesting.

His Excellency the President this morning chaired a Cabinet Meeting at State House, Nairobi. The Meeting is the first since the end of the two-week Cabinet Working Recess that ended on 28th August, 2020. At today’s sitting, Cabinet considered a raft of policy interventions geared towards economic stimulus during and after the subsistence of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Cabinet also discussed seminal programmes and projects within the Administration’s Transformative Agenda for the nation espoused as the Big Four.

Cabinet applauded Kenya’s Healthcare Workers for their commitment to duty during the pendency of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Other frontline staff including National Security Officers were also recognized by Cabinet for their sterling role in leading the Nation’s response to COVID-19. As a measure of our Nation’s recognition of and pride in our frontline workers, Cabinet also approved the Comprehensive Insurance Cover for all frontline workers.

Cabinet noted that many Kenyan Health Workers had joined various programmes to support other nations in their fight against various Pandemics; such as the fifty Kenyans currently serving the Republic of Seychelles and the team of over one-hundred medical personnel who heeded the call to stand with the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it contended with Ebola.

In view of the foregoing, Cabinet ratified the Memorandum of Understanding for the Provision of Health Personnel between the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Kenya. Under the Memorandum of Understanding, the Republic of Seychelles continues to facilitate the Kenyan Health Personnel serving in that nation.

Cabinet also considered and approved an Inter-Agency Programme to prevent and respond to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the context of COVID-19. Cabinet noted that during the COVID-19 Pandemic there had been a marked uptick in undesirable social challenges, amongst them domestic violence, GBV and violations of the Rights of Children.

Cabinet underscored that Kenya's heritage and social values situate the family as the most valued asset in Society, and situates children as the guarantor of our future. In that regard, Cabinet approved the establishment of toll-free hotlines and various online and mobile applications that would enable anonymous reporting of all incidents of Gender-Based Violence and all instances of abuse of Children’s Rights.

As part of the Administration’s interventions aimed at enhancing access to credit by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) during the pendency of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cabinet approved the establishment of a Credit Guarantee Scheme with an initial seed capital of Ksh. Ten Billion to be capitalized in two tranches of Ksh. 5 Billion in FY 2020/21 and FY 2021/22. The State’s contributions are expected to be followed by contributions from Development Finance Institutions and participating commercial financial institutions; which are expected to boost the finding for the scheme to at least Ksh. One Hundred Billion. The Credit Guarantee Scheme is expected to be operationalized by mid-October, 2020.

Towards realization of the agenda on Affordable Housing, Cabinet approved the implementation of the Mukuru Social Housing Project, the first social housing programme in Kenya’s history. The Project, with an estimated investment value of Ksh. Fifteen Billion, will consist of over 13,000 housing units in a partnership between the Government and private investors. The development of the ancillary infrastructure to the project has since commenced.

Cabinet approved the Kenya Micro and Small Enterprises Policy; which aims to provide an integrated business environment for the growth and development of stable and vibrant MSEs in Kenya. The Policy recognizes the vital role played by MSEs in the economy, particularly with regard to wealth and employment creation.

In securing the market of our produce abroad, Cabinet considered and approved the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Agriculture and the Associazione Caffé Trieste-Italy noting that it sought to enhance market access for Kenyan Coffee in Italy through a robust partnership for promoting our produce in the Italian market. Cabinet also noted that the move would provide a platform for similar engagements within the other European Union (EU) countries.

In order to foster the commercialization of Bamboo plants, and as part of the Administration’s Greening Campaign, which seeks to achieve a minimum ten-percent (10%) tree cover by the end of the year 2020 in addition to creating employment through agroforestry; Cabinet sanctioned the classification and designation of Bamboo as a scheduled crop under the Crop Act (No. 16 of 2013).

In fidelity with the Presidential Directive on the development of a welfare package to cushion frontline healthcare workers during the pendency of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Cabinet approved the enhancement of the Group Personal Accident and Work Injury Benefit Act Cover and the inclusion of Comprehensive Group Life Cover for all Civil Servants, including the NYS.

The meeting also considered and approved the other memoranda, policies and bills as follows: Hosting of the 9th Edition of Africities Conference in 2021; Industrial Research Development Institute Bill, 2020, Proposed Health Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2020; Development of the Commuter Rail Line from the Nairobi Central Station to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and The Kenya Global Partnerships for Education (GPE) Covid-19.

Cabinet concluded the day’s deliberations by noting that our national endeavor to flatten the COVID-19 disease curve was dependent on our individual and communal behaviour. In that regard, Cabinet urged all Kenyans to continue observing the guidelines and protocols issued by the Ministry of Health, that include: wearing of facemasks, rigorous and frequent handwashing, physical and social distancing.

Commuter transport along Thika-Nairobi Highway was on Tuesday temporarily paralysed after a standoff between bodaboda operators and Kenya Mpya bus company.

This followed an accident on Monday night involving a Kenya Mpya bus that claimed the life of a bodaboda rider at the Thika flyover near Ngoingwa estate.

The bodaboda operators blocked all Kenya Mpya buses, denying them access into or out of Thika town. They took hostage of the Kenya Mpya stages at the Thika main bus terminus, Makongeni terminus and also chased them away at Gatitu and Witeithie areas. In the process, several buses had their windscreens and windows smashed.

It took the intervention of the Thika Police to restore normalcy, in some instances, drawing some cat and mouse chase.

An afternoon of intense negotiations between the police and the bodaboda operators eventually resolved that the driver of the bus that crushed the deceased rider be arraigned to answer for his offence.

The driver was arrested and detained, with the bus getting impounded.

Eventually, calm was restored and the buses allowed back on the road.

The bodaboda operators accused the crew of this bus company of being so arrogant and careless on the road, a behaviour they said had caused numerous accidents, deaths and others getting impaired.

"These drivers are so careless and operate with a lot of impunity. We wonder if these people are above the law. They disregard all other road users," said one of the riders.

According to the riders, the deceased, who operates with 2TKY Sacco on Kwame Nkrumah road at the Gathimaini stage, met his death at around 8pm on Monday night when the bus overlapped to his lane and smashed him, throwing him about 30 metres off the road. 

The driver is then said to have sped off and left the scene of the accident.

"The deceased was crashed so badly. It was so sad. He had just been called to pick a client at Ngoingwa but this bus was driven to his lane, ending his life on the spot," explained another rider.

They called on the authorities to tame all rogue drivers and ensure the safety of all other road users. 

There was a sigh of relief as the third body of the three men who 
on Monday afternoon succumbed inside a 40-feet deep pit at a residential flat in Ngoingwa estate Thika was retrieved on Tuesday afternoon.

In a retrieval mission by the Kiambu Fire and Rescue team that took more than two hours, family and friends broke down in tears as the body of the deceased was taken into the police land cruiser.

Those who spoke the press described the deceased as a very hardworking man who was humble and diligently served his clients. 

They said that on the fateful day, he was on his usual errands fetching water to supply to construction sites when the other deceased persons offered to drain the water drawn from the pit into his water containers.

It was at that moment that one of the deceased shouted for help after his colleague collapsed inside the pit for lack of enough air.

(Related Story: 2 bodies retrieved from the Ngoingwa pit accident)

As they attempted to pull him up, the rope they were using tore, pulling down with them the other two.

He is said to have survived with a widow and three children who have now been left without the breadwinner.

Anthony Wanjohi, a resident at the estate, challenged the county government department of physical planning and housing to be more vigilant when inspecting construction works especially underground tanks, boreholes and septic pits.

They however praised the Kiambu Fire and Rescue team for their efforts which they described as timely and very professional.

Before the retrieval, the residents had threatened to forcefully excavate the area and drain the water if the exercise failed to succeed on this second day. They said that they could not withstand the recommended 72 hours for a body in water to float.

Two bodies have been retrieved from the Monday afternoon incident where three people are said to have fell into an underground pit at a residential flat in Ngoingwa estate Thika near Kisiwa Primary School.

According to residents, the trio were draining water from the 40 feet deep pit using a mechanical pump when the incident happened at around 3pm.

It is alleged that the first victim suffocated while inside the pit when his friend climbed down to assist him climb up. A third person then came in to help them out with a rope but unfortunately he is said to have slipped and plunged into the pit, dragging along the two deep into the water.

It was at this time when neighbours who heard the distress call, communicated with the police and the Thika Fire & Rescue Team who responded very quickly.

In an exercise that took about 2 hours, the rescue team managed to retrieve two of the bodies but said that they found no sign of the third one.

"I have managed to retrieve two bodies from the pit but my search around the pit bore no signs of a third person. According to eyewitness reports, three people are believed to have fallen into the pit. I understand that there might be underground hole about 20 metres deep so we don't know if he is stuck inside the mud. In case there is someone inside, he will definitely float after 72 hours," said John Warutumo, a Kiambu County rescue staff who was at the centre of the recovery mission.

Confirming the incident, Thika West Deputy Sub-County Police Commander Daniel Kitavi said that the police would do all things possible to ensure that the missing person was found. He cautioned residents against engaging in such risky endeavours without proper safety precautions.

He added that they had launched investigations to ascertain what exactly transpired in the event when this accident occurred.

Kandara Residents Association has called for the sacking of Lands CS Faridah Karoney, her PS Nicholas Muraguri, the National Land Commission Chairman Gershom Otachi and the entire NLC board for denying them their right to own part of the disputed land currently held by Del Monte Limited.

Association chairman Philip Kamau accused the officials of disregarding President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to involve them while renewing the company's lease.

Kamau further claims the commission has through deliberate omissions, refused to implement the law as stipulated in the Constitution by allowing the ministry to resurvey land held by the Del Monte Limited. It has also been claimed that the ministry and NLC have continued to hold conversations with Del Monte and Kiambu and Murang’a county governments over the lease but denied the lobby the right.

“Renewal of the lease without the participation of the residents as directed by the President and the Lands Committee of the National Assembly is a violation of the law,” argued Kamau.

Governors have been challenged to first account for all the monies they have received from the exchequer before threatening to close down counties for lack of funding.

This clarion call was made by a group of youth professionals from Kiambu County during a food donation exercise by Nduati Njuguna Foundation at Makutano Trading Centre in Thika East Sub-County.

As much as we are advocating for more money to the counties, we need also to put to task governors to account for the billions they have been receiving from both the national government as well as the money they collect as levies from their people. Where does all this money go to since it is barely felt at the grassroots? questioned Antony Nduati Njuguna, the founder and C.E.O. Nduati Njuguna Foundation.

On September 3, governors, through the Council of Governors, threatened to shut down counties in the next two weeks and send staff on leave if Senate failed to reach a consensus on revenue formula.

Nduati, who is popularly known as 'Tony Mujumbe', noted that it was quite unfortunate in this age and era, that Thika people continued to depend on handouts and food donations from the government and well-wishers despite all the billions allocated every financial year for development. He described this as a reflection of failed leadership since money meant for development barely trickled down to the grassroots.

Our people have been turned into beggars despite the fact that they are very hardworking. They have been frustrated by their own leaders who deliberately deny them the resources they need to be productive. This money instead ends up being used on irrelevant public relation exercises that have no value to the living conditions of our people, he said.

He called on Senate to urgently resolve the revenue allocation impasse and also ensure that the allocation was reflective of the number of people in a particular region.

I stand for One Man-One Vote-One Shilling. There are no two ways about that since resources are meant to benefit people not trees or land. It is the people who need this money to enable them generate more revenue to the country. Majority of the problems our people face can be directly attributed to under-funding especially in densely populated areas, he said.

Nduati advocated for the same formula to be replicated in counties as they shared resources to the grassroots.

For instance, Thika contributes the lion share in Kiambu County's revenue collection. However, the constituency has over the years received a wide berth in resource allocation. We insist that the One Man-One Shilling formula be cascaded down even at county level, said Nduati.

He advised the residents of Thika and Kiambu county to also push for more constituencies and the county being divided into two to attract more resources at the grassroots.

We need to take advantage of the process of delimitation of boundaries by the IEBC and the clamor for constitutional changes to demand that Kiambu be divided into two; Kiambu East and Kiambu West Counties. Large constituencies such as Thika, Juja, Ruiru and Gatundu should also be sub-divided to increase representation and resource allocation. Let's be fair to everyone and discourage a situation where some citizens have to suffer due to their numbers, he said.

His sentiments were echoed by the Foundation's Patron Kariuki Kanyingi who called on the government investigative agencies to dig in on counties that had misappropriated public funds and ensure their leaders were made to account for every coin they had received. He also challenged wananchi to evoke the constitutional recall clause that gave them powers to fire leaders who failed in their mandate as well as those who couldn't account for their money.

During the exercise, 500 vulnerable families received food hampers, sanitisers and face masks from the foundation.

The recipients could not hide their joy as they said that they were barely remembered during times of hardships.

Coffee and tea farmers in Kiambu county have opted to diversify their farming and plunge into the lucrative macadamia farming which has proven to be a good earner.

This is after years of frustration in the annual returns of tea and coffee with macadamia promising them monthly incomes after entering into a pact with Thika-based company, Jungle Nuts Ltd.

Led by Paul Kahiga Ngaruiya, the farmers saw this new development as light at the end of the tunnel for the numerous youth in the area who were jobless.

James Waweru, a coffee farmer from Githobokoni village in Gatundu North said that  commercialisation of farming was their only hope to eradicate poverty. He recalled years of toiling and living in debts and abject poverty as a result of poor returns in coffee farming.

Speaking at Kanyoni village in Gatundu North during a farmers' education day that also saw various groups receive more than 1,000 macadamia seedlings, organic fertilizer among other items from Jungle Kilimo Foundation, the growers welcomed the initiative saying the partnership was a shot in the arm for many of them who had to wait for a year to get paid for their produce.

Founder and C.E.O of Jungle Holdings who doubles up as the Thika MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina said that the company planned to increase plantation of macadamia seedlings from 200,000 to one million.

By 2022, the company hopes to have planted 10 million seedlings through empowerment of farmers to improve macadamia production.

Wainaina said that macadamia was the only crop with a ready market and whose produce earns instantly. He urged farmers to stop buying from middlemen for more earnings as brokers have been shortchanging them.

Author Name

Contact form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.