January 2021

Plans are underway to establish a film and talent studio in Thika Town Constituency to help upcoming actors and content creators.

This was revealed by area MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina during the graduation ceremony of 70 youth who had undergone a one week training in acting and film production at the ACK St. Andrew Cathedral.

The programme, that was undertaken in partnership with Kenya Film Commission, was aimed at empowering these youth with skills and knowledge on the entire value chain of film production creating a stepping stone for them to achieve their career goals.

The studio, which will be semi-commercial, will help identify talent, nurture youth in the film industry and produce their works at very subsidised rates.

Wainaina noted that even though the region was endowed with too much talent, most of it went to waste because upcoming artistes were unable to raise money to meet the high costs of production, ending up being frustrated to a point of depression and turning to drug abuse and crime.

"The film industry is a very big industry allover the world. It is a very lucrative industry and if well tapped and nurtured, can create a lot of jobs for our youth," Wainaina said.

In a message read on his behalf, Kenya Film Commission  CEO Timothy Odhiambo Owase said that his commission would continue partnering with different stakeholders across the country to help the youth create content that told the Kenyan  stories. He reiterated the importance of the film industry in job and wealth creation among the youth, stating their commitment to expanding these opportunities.

He also encouraged the youth to make use of available opportunities in the digital platforms to harness their skills and make a name in the global film industry

Thika West Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mbogo Mathioya was elated with the programme and encouraged the upcoming artists to make use of the rich natural and beautiful sceneries in the region to make it to the top.

"This is just but a beginning. We have a very big task ahead of us. Use the facilities and sceneries around Thika and propel yourselves to the top. I would want to see this initiative give birth to 'Chaniawood' just as in the case of Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood," said the DCC. 

Three Masters students from Mount Kenya University (MKU) have won an international grant to distribute solar-powered lanterns to families in Kiandutu slums in Thika.

The COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-Grants by the Talloires Network of Engaged Universities and the Open Society University Network will also enable these students distribute the lamps to kiosks, informal roadside stalls, community service points (such as bathrooms, toilets, and water points)  and to security officers.

Rose Macharia, an Information Technology student, Nelly Kayanda, a counselling psychology student  and Daniel Kiriti, a Governance and Ethics student will receive a grant of  USD$ 2,500 (KES. 275,000).

Through this grant, the MKU community will also offer mentorship to the youth in the slum, focusing on political and social radicalisation, drugs and substance abuse, as well as career growth and opportunities

Kiandutu, is largest informal settlement in Thika and has a population of about 30,000 people. 

“Our initial target is 200 homesteads. But we aim to scale it up in due course,” Macharia said.

The call for applications for the COV-AID Graduate Student Mini-Grants attracted over 100 applications from universities worldwide.  The three MKU students are among six other proposals that emerged victorious in what Talloires Network said was an extremely competitive process.

The Talloires Network grants programme is designed to recognize outstanding commitment to civic engagement by university students during the COVID-19 pandemic period.

There has been public outcry at Witeithie area of Juja Sub-County following numerous cases of defilement and incest with the most recent case involving a man in his 40s who was arrested on Saturday after being caught red-handed sexually molesting his 12-year old step-daughter.

According to reports from the area residents, these cases are so rampant, especially during the COVID-19 period when schools were closed. The residents say that most of these cases go unreported with the few reported cases dying a natural death due to inaction from the authorities.

In the latest case, the suspect is accused of defiling his 15-year old biological daughter from a previous marriage and the 12-year old stepdaughter from the current marriage, whom they have been living together.

He is said to have survived exposure through death threats to the two daughters and their mother in case any of them dared to reveal what has been transpiring in their house.

His arrest was after the intervention of the area MCA Julius Macharia Taki and Gladys Chania Mwangi, a Counseling Psychologist based in Kiambu County.

He is currently being held at Witeithie Police Station awaiting the doctor’s report for consequent arraignment in court to answer defilement and incest charges.

The step-daughter has now been admitted in a children’s home with her 12-year old stepsister being allowed to live with her mother.

While speaking to the press over the rising cases, Madam Chania said that she was currently handling 6 cases from the area that had been reported over the past one week only. She noted that this was just a tip of the iceberg as so many minors were suffering in silence without anyone reporting of their cases.

She accused the authorities of laxity, sighting another case in Maraba where a man was released under unclear circumstances even after being arrested for sexually molesting his STD 8 daughter.

She also blamed the tedious judicial process that scared away doctors assigned to complete P3 forms for defilement and rape cases, fearing being tied up in very long and endless court summons.

“Most of these P3 forms are filled in casually and some of the crucial evidence watered down to avoid being summoned all the time in court. This jeopardises these cases leading to culprits going scot-free and out for more molestation of young girls,” she explained.

On his part, Taki appealed to parents, teachers, religious leaders and even neighbors to be on look out for any suspicious signs and report cases of defilement immediately.

He urged the clergy, teachers, community health workers  and the Kiambu County health department to come up with mentorship programmes in schools and churches to sensitise the community on the vice and ascertain to what extent it had penetrated into families.

“Today only, we have dealt with two major cases done to our kids by their own parents and last week we were able to solve two cases. Let us take this information as our collective responsibility to weed out the community off such predators,” he said.

The Government is excited about the resumption of learning in all our learning institutions, both public and private. Close to 12 million primary and secondary school children in both public and private schools joined the 3 million other learners who resumed school in October 2020.

Today being Day Two of learning, we are glad to note that the program has gone on well without major interruptions. This full re-opening of learning is coming after ten months of closure of schools due to the Corona virus pandemic.

As Government, we are committed to ensuring that the safety and well-being of our children are given utmost priority, and will work with all stakeholders, including parents to achieve this.

To support the resumption of learning, the Government has released Kshs. 4.6 billion to public primary schools and a further Kshs. 14.9 billion to public secondary schools for capitation, and to facilitate the implementation of #COVID19 regulations.

As part of the containment measures, wearing of face masks has now been made part of school uniform and is mandatory for all learners to wear face masks at all times. In its effort to ensure uninterrupted learning activities, the Government has made available 7.5 million face marks to be given to children from needy families. This is further complemented by the Kshs. 1.9 billion allocated late last year under the Economic Stimulus Program for the supply of locally assembled desks by our jua kali sector to help improve facilities in our schools.
To ease the burden of teaching due to shortage of teachers, the Government has recruited 5,000 teachers, and an additional 12,000 intern who will be deployed in various schools across the country. This is in line with the Government education agenda of upgrading quality of learning in schools.

A comprehensive medical insurance cover to all public school teachers against #COVID19 has also been introduced by the government. This is to ensure that our teachers are able to access critical care in the event one contracts the virus.

However, to insulate the teachers against #COVID19, the Government has procured the first batch of #COVID19 vaccines, whose preference of administration shall be the teachers, healthcare workers, security personnel and the elderly.

These are among the measures by the government to ensure the protection of our learners and teachers as learning progresses.
As Government, we will do everything possible to support this program and calling for full support of the same for the benefit of not only our children, but the future of our country as well.

Cyrus Oguna,
Government Spokesperson
Tuesday 5th January 2021



I take this opportunity to thank you for the support rendered to Senate leadership last year. As a result, Senate has passed several key matters of public importance to the credit of the Government due to this renewed synergy. They include your timely intervention on county revenue sharing stalemate. 

Kindly allow me to address myself to matters BBI which will dominate public debate in 2021. I will confine myself to matters relevant to greater Mt. Kenya region. This is because as an elected leader from the region, I often interact with its residents more in comparative terms. I also have a good rapport with regional leaders who unreservedly express local sentiments. 

I do so with deep conviction and faith that I have in this administration .Having been entrusted with party leadership in Senate, I owe the party a duty to be truthful in reporting on matters relevant to my mandate. 

In this letter, reference to 'BBI' includes the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2020 which is slated for referendum in June 2021. 


By virtue of the good development work done by your administration, BBI ought to have a smooth sailing in the region .These works include the many newly paved roads and water projects implemented by your good administration. On a personal level, my very own rural village of Gathinja in Kahuhia (Kiharu) now has electricity in addition to an ongoing tarmac road project that will terminate into neighboring Gacharaigu village in Kangema constituency. This experience is true for many Mt. Kenya residents. It would therefore be assumed that BBI, being a document propagated by a government that has done so much good for its people, should have an easy sailing in the region. 

BBI contains many benefits for the region which if it fails may be lost forever. There is no guarantee a new regime where 'our son' is not on the driving seat will offer these benefits to the region. They include creation of new constituencies, embedding in the Constitution ’one man one shilling one vote' principle (proposed new article 203) and more resources to the counties. 

I foresee a legal crisis of great proportion that impacts the region negatively in the unlikely event of BBI’s failure particularly on two issues. Firstly, small constituencies like Mukurweini, Othaya and Mathioya will be scrapped by IEBC because they offend population quotas set by Article 89 of the Constitution. Secondly, the new third generation counties revenue sharing formula which is positive for the region as it grants fair weight to population will be negated because it was predicated on increment of devolved funds. Whereas a policy of lifting the floor under Article 203 (2) of the Constitution can be used to remedy this, it’s far much better for counties where there is a constitutional compulsion for devolving more money than a policy whim.

Better resourced counties with a just and fair constitutional revenue sharing formula are a better insurance for the welfare of the Mt. Kenya region in the period post your good regime. Other key benefits that ought to be selling BBI in the region include ward development fund proposal which yours truly championed in the Legislature. Importantly, Mt. Kenya's diaspora has been the political punch bag since 1991. BBI intends to remedy this by embedding consociational democracy which other ethnically divided societies have employed to curb successfully electoral ethnic conflict, including Switzerland, Belgium and UK’s Northern Ireland. 


Notwithstanding the above which should ideally be rallying the region strongly behind BBI, based on a survey I conducted during this December holidays, I have come to the conclusion BBI is unpopular in Mt. Kenya. I admit my survey was not very scientific. May be a more structured survey seeking to ascertain BBI ratings in Mt. Kenya needs to be undertaken, in terms of proper identification of respondents, scientific sampling procedures, employment of good research tools and questionnaires. 

I am also aware your other sources of information can corroborate or counter my conclusion. My sources are regionally skewed with most were from Muranga, my home county. But my sample size is big enough for one to make a logical inference. I had also triangulated my tentative findings with select sources beyond Muranga hence I am fairly confident that my findings are reflective of the regional sentiment. 

By illustration, out of every 10 persons I picked randomly, 6 oppose BBI, 2 support and 2 are indifferent .Women and youths form the bulk of the 6 that oppose .Men beyond the age of 50 form the bulk of the few BBI supporters .There is no correlation of BBI support with educational level. There appears to be some correlation of BBI ratings with urban /rural configurations, with BBI support sinking more in rural areas. 

Your Excellency, I concede, I may be wrong. In fact I wish I was wrong and that my views are mere pessimistic view of things. However, if I am right and we do not take urgent remedial measures, I will pin myself permanently in the pillar of the shame of spectacular defeat. The revenue sharing debate in the Senate proved the importance of flagging matters beforehand. I had raised red flags one month before the stalemate ensued but my concerns took time to be remedied. The same happened in Gaturi by-election . 

This does not necessarily mean BBI will fail nationally .These findings do not suggest BBI ratings cannot shift noting politics is always on a flux .May be there will be a shift once regional county assemblies endorse the document ( I suspect they will) as this may create the ‘BBI inexorableness’ sentiment .However ,with due respect let me not overemphasize the political consequences of a No vote in our home region. I pray we make urgent remedial efforts to avoid such an outcome. 

Several factors seems to be driving this No-to- BBI momentum; 

BBI is being framed as a jubilee factional agenda. Our internal Jubilee problems have been weaponized and are being used to deflect our people from the benefits of BBI. The notion that BBI will expand government (read parliament) has been echoed with great effect. (On a personal level, I understand what led to this proposal .It was the need to accommodate women's lobby concerns, which had judicial endorsement. However, I hold the view that the drafters should have been more imaginative in trying to weigh these two conflicting goals of a trim government and accommodating women.) 

The role of provincial administration (and other forms of hard tactics) in BBI mobilization is being framed as an example of Government using its hard power to force its citizens to endorse BBI. 

Government supporting legislators in the region have been edged out of BBI programs in favor of their local political competitors. I will cite the example of MP. Kangema, Hon.Muturi Kigano, who has been steadfastly supporting government since 2017. He chairs the strategic committee of Justice and Legal Affairs of the National Assembly. Notwithstanding this, his political rival is spearheading BBI in Kangema to Kigano's exclusion. This grievance is silently brewing among MPs in the National Assembly. A number of them are 'komerera' (political double agents) who are bidding their time before they bolt out. In the Senate, by virtue of age, personal resources and political experience of most elected Senators, this is not a major issue. I have personally made efforts to intervene on their behalf to relevant authorities to no avail. 

There is a general feeling of economic deprivation at household levels in the region .The political actors who are selling this narrative are employing the ‘common-man’ language. In comparison, government’s narrative in the region including BBi is being sold by civil servants with limited political skills .This is having a negative knock on effect on BBI. It appears households incomes have either stagnated or plummeted. Many have blamed the stagnating of tea, coffee and milk prices on the government and thus argue BBI is less of their concern. 

Recommendations and Conclusion 

On the issue of Jubilee factionalism and its impact on BBI, I propose we bend backwards. Efforts need to be made to rally regionally all members of parliament irrespective of their political factions behind this cause. Your personal intervention would help at this juncture with BBI ratings being on a downward spiral. It has been suggested BBI referendum be combined with elections of 2022 .This may be impractical taking into account some BBI reforms legally need to be in place prior to 2022 ,for example, new constituencies and addressing the issue of gender representation in parliament .However ,the suggestion for multi-choice referendum if considered may insure against possible total rejection of BBI. 

On the issue of provincial administration and use of hard tactics, I propose when one is strong he or she must act weak, and when one is weak he or she must act strong. Government has an iron fist. I propose we find ways Government wears velvet gloves. This is important because, as a Kikuyu saying goes, he who is sent away with justice never returns. Let us emphasize on the soft power and art of persuasion. In my humble view, Provincial administration in BBI process should be invisible. 

On the issue of the role of MPs’ in BBI, I propose a parallel BBI supporting structure headed by a quasipolitician be established to manage MPs. May be a well-resourced office of the Secretary General can suffice. This office should be doing the 'selling' of government agenda in the region including BBI, which for now seems to be uncoordinated. Alternatively, you can take personal charge of the process in the region. 

On the issue of economic deprivation, it is good the Government is now making efforts to resuscitate agriculture, starting with recently enacted Tea Bill. These reforms should be widened to include other sectors that impact on Mt. Kenya's economy, particularly coffee. Undoubtedly, there is need to explain to the region Covid impacted the economy negatively . A rejuvenated office of SG could possibly do this explaining. Whereas ongoing infrastructural programs must be completed, I politely propose the philosophy underpinning the Government's last budget in 2021/2022 FY can be recasted to tilt to some degree, towards income boosting measures (like widening welfarism including cash transfer programs.) 

I will conclude with one seemingly unrelated issue which has some connection with 2021 Government's political trajectory. This is the Nairobi race. A possible loss by our party’s candidate will have ‘not-so-good’ political consequences that will permeate into BBI and possibly torpedo it. 

Further, it will percolate into Parliament and impede our ability to push Government's legislative agenda. Whereas I cannot dismiss the candidates who have offered themselves to stand with our party, my hunch feeling (and I could be wrong) tells me competitors on offer have a better trajectory going into the race. There are many reasons for this but they include some competitors have better gift of the gab and slumpenetrating tactics. 

In conclusion, I have set out BBI’s prospects and challenges in Mt. Kenya region. 

I have additionally made recommendations on the way forward to remedy the seemingly negative BBI prospects in the region. Being your firm supporter, I will endeavor to do my best to ensure your legacy of being one the best president ever for the region is upheld.

The year 2020 may have been very difficult for most of us but it was also a very successful year for others.

Other than the natural misfortunes that were unavoidable, majority of these failures were as a result of the lack of proper planning and not anticipating life's eventualities and planning for them. We just get into life without planning for it.

But how can we make 2021 different and work for us?

This January should be your time for a fresh start. Setting your goals for the year is the ‘easy’ part; but we all know that the execution of our resolutions is often easier said than done.

Do you know your priorities and goals? What are you going to do now to make sure you have your best year ever? 

Even though it may change throughout the year, it is important to give yourself a starting point to at least start the year on the right foot.

Here are some tips that you can use to make a plan for the new year.

1. Define your Priorities

What is your focus for the new year? Ensure that your goals are very specific... not just wild goals that are unmeasurable.

Make sure you have a clear vision of what you want and what success looks like. Your goals should be “Smart.” Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (or Realistic), Time-bound.

Take time to list out your priorities and rank them in order of importance. Go through your list and pick your top 3-5 priorities for this season.

Now place them somewhere you can see them and review them regularly.

2. Set achievement timelines

Once you know what you want to achieve for the year, the next step is to set timelines and indicators for achieving these goals.

3. Create a Schedule

Managing your time and schedule well will be key to actually achieving your goals. So create a schedule and block out times where you will work on your goals.

Every day isn’t going to look like that but it helps you stay on track. This schedule helps you to focus and actually make more progress towards reaching your goals. Set up systems that allow you to get what you need.

4. Tracking your performance

Tracking the performance of your achievements that are undertaken during the development of an adaptation plan is very important. This can be done through indicators; daily, weekly or monthly pointers on the success of your mission. In your schedule timelines, have a column to put down your comments or report for the day, week or month.

Indicators are tools used to measure the progress of your mission and can be set for monitoring either monthly or after two months or whichever duration you feel works best for you.

They will help you know if you are making progress towards reaching your goals or not. They provide data that can be measured to show changes in your mission and will help you improve or change on areas that you feel are not working.

Indicators alert you to any needed mid-course adjustments if it is found that the programme is having unexpected difficulties or going off track. At the end of the programme, they are measured to validate the success and achievements of your mission.

5. Practice the one-a-day principle.

You cannot achieve everything in one day or in one shot but you can do something worthwhile each day. Find something worth to everyday and do it remarkably and towards your set goals. 

Using the one-a-day principle will make your mission and life remarkable.

6. Expand your thinking with new experiences.
Each month for 30 days in a row, commit to doing something new that you have thought about doing, but have not done, and notice how it affects your life.

Some possibilities:
- Meditating for 20 minutes
- Visualising your goals as already complete
- Planning your next day’s schedule and prioritising to-do list before you leave work
- Doing about five things every day that forward your No. 1 goal etc

7. Be Realistic

If your goals are too audacious, you may get frustrated with lack of progress and ignore them. On the other hand, if they are too small, you are more likely to procrastinate because you will have “plenty of time to get them done.”

Settle on somewhere in the middle – just a bit more than you think you can do. Also remember that you can change your goals! They are not cast on stone. In six months you may be in a completely different place, and that’s ok!

8. Take stock and charge forward.

During the cause of your periodic evaluation and assessments, you will notice some things that did not work or set timelines that weren't met. In such circumstances, it's advisable to ask yourself if those battles are worth continuing, Why you didn’t win them, What you can do to win them and so on...

Drop those you feel are not worth the fight and perfect those you feel can help you achieve your goals for the year.

9. Lose other people’s opinions.

You might not even realize to what extent you are influenced—negatively and positively—by things and people around you.  Keep record of these influences so you can eliminate the negative and increase the positive.

Quit worrying about trying to please everyone. As Bill Cosby says, “I don’t know the key to success, but I know the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

10. There’s No One-Size-Fits-All Approach.

Everyone will tell you the best way, or the right way for how to do something. There’s tons of different articles, pieces of advice and strategies about how to set your resolutions. But the truth is, you must find a process that works for you.

What works for someone else may not work for you. We are all wired differently. Think about what you know about yourself as you think about strategies.

In Conclusion

Whatever you set out to achieve, it’s going to take commitment, effort and discipline. There’s no shortcut to success.

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