March 2021

 


BY: JUMA HEMEDI

30/03/2021

When he was posted to Chania High School as a new principal, the late Mr. Wachira found a slightly chaotic school. But thanks to his reputation we were already afraid of him long before he even reported. 

The assembly bell rang and we were all lined up to listen to the routine speeches from the teachers, head boy, head girl and a word from the good book.

The deputy took over and after her brief speech; she introduced our new principal Mr. Wachira. He looked as tough as the stories we had heard. And with his heavy accent from the slopes of Mt. Kenya he gave a short speech and declared; “Shania will Shange” (Chania will Change). And just like that he dismissed the parade. 

We did not require a logbook table or a protractor to know that he means business and we robotically scampered in different directions. I was in form Three.

Two days later while doing his patrols I bumped into him, each of us coming from blind positions. He stopped and asked what my name was. “Juma Hemedi ". "Sir” I replied. “Come with me to the office” he instructed.

The conversation we had with Mr. Wachira centered around sports, and in particular football. He was concerned that since the school was built we have never been past the zonal competitions in football but we had a very good netball team. 

I was tasked with setting up a boy’s football team and later a girl’s team. The boy’s team which we nicknamed “dream team” became the first Chania team to ever represent the school and Central Province in National Championship in Kaimosi the following year. Our girl’s team won the Provincial finals but there was no National competition for Girls.

Two weeks ago I attended the football match between Thika Queens football club and Zetech University from Ruiru, Two weeks earlier I had watched Thika Queens play Ulinzi  and earlier than that they had played Mathare women team Thika Queens won all those matches with good goal differences and an amazing display of talent. I must say that I was really impressed with the finesse, discipline and the dedication that each player displayed in all the matches.

Thika Queens is perhaps the first female team playing in the National league to be set up in Thika. It breathes the long lost fresh hope into the football arena in Thika. Football clubs in Thika have had a jinx of good starts and then on and off disappointments.

We grew up when Thika had clubs such as KTM FC, Metal Box FC, Kenya Canners FC, TCM FC (Thika Cloth Mills), Booth extractions FC, UTI FC, and BAT. Most of these teams were sponsored by the different manufacturing companies that had set up shop in Thika.

When the textile and manufacturing in Thika collapsed in the early nineties and late eighties, football in Thika and most industrial Towns took a nose dive. Ruiru went down, Eldoret went down, meru went down and many others followed.

Thika community began the establishment of community teams the most Notable being Former Thika United Club. The history of Thika United dates many years ago, long before the name (Thika United) was formed. The story began at the edge of the perimeter wall that surrounds the Thika Mosque in Majengo where a tall flood light towers the end of a short back path that separated three  primary schools (Thika Muslim, Thika Primary and St. Patricks). That exact spot existed as a “base” (a place where youths would idle and pass time away) known as “Beirut”.

Beirut football team was formed mostly by youths from Majengo, Starehe, Biafra, and Ofafa, as a way of passing time and staying away from social evils. I still vividly remember some players including Basanga, Hakim, Maha (Isayah), Kamae, Oti among others. 

Year’s later Beirut team died, but the spirit lived on. When Reinhard Fabisch, the German tactician who almost took Harambee starts to the 1998 World Cup came to Thika Municipal Stadium for a friendly match between Harambee stars and a team that had been hurriedly constituted under the name Thika Combined, the dream of a Thika team was awakened.

Sponsorship was secured through MEDISCA Company and later on Brookside took the sponsorship of Thika United FC. While Thika United brought the fans back to the stadium, the verdict is still out there as to what may have gone wrong or right with the team. But the dream was differed once again.

But one thing is clear, managing a football club is a capital intensive venture and it may be impossible without support from key sectors such as the corporate world as part of their Corporate Social Investment (CSI/CSR).

Thika Queens has once again rekindled and awakened the lost dream; they have managed to attract more fans and brought football lovers back into the stadium. They form almost 60% of the National women team that represents the country. The queens have once again given hope to the Thika community and placed it on the sporting map. 

They have won almost all their home and away games and have continued to show improvement in every other game. Their players have been called for trials by international clubs. All they need is a solid support. 

Thika business community, Manufacturers, corporate and Thika Community must rise to the occasion and help secure a long term sponsorship deal that will give the Queens a fighting chance and save our girls from early marriages, early pregnancies, and violence. We must rise to help nurture the sporting talents of the queens. 

We owe it to our daughters.

Hail to the QUEENS!!!!

Juma Hemedi


BY: JUMA HEMEDI

29/03/2021

We began hearing some rumors that it was either “Myselefu” or “Ali Milo” who had scooped number one in the Madrasa exams and that a rich Muslim guy had said that he will give the winner a shopping voucher to go shop NEW clothes at Martha’s Clothings, the shop located near city General Stores that was among the very few shops that would sell new clothes in Thika town alongside Fashion Centre (Kwa Muhindi).  

Wearing new clothes for us during Eidd Festivities or any other festival was as rare as meeting a Majengo resident going to shower with a Cussons Imperial Leather Soap.

So, if one had new clothes you would have both bragging rights and as lucky as Jonathan Igwebu. Who is Jonathan Igwebu you might ask me? Jonathan Igwebu was one of the lucky survivors after the Biafran war in Nigeria, according to Chinua Achebe; He not only survived alone but with his wife and three out of his four children. To crown it all his bicycle also survived. He used it as “taxi” opened a small business made some money until thieves came to his place one night and stole his money but spared his life. 

If you want to know more about Igwebu read Chinua Achebe’s story tittled “Civil Peace”.

Anyway the rumors also said that the winner will also get a wrist watch (saa ya alarm). Now I don’t know about you but I kept dreaming with that watch even though I had not seen it. The closest I had come to a watch was when I tried to repair an old Quartz wrist watch that belonged to my father using home tools such as kitchen knives, safety pins and spoons. 

Let’s just  say that my attempt of becoming a “watch Engineer” the first one from Majengo and North of Kenyatta Highway died with the beating that I received from the owner of the watch. Later on I came to learn from reliable sources (my mum) that the watch wasn’t really old and spoilt but “ilikuwa imeisha Majira”. How was I to know that? By that time, I decided that “myselefu” and any engineering career, couldn't travel in the same direction.

The day came and what was a rumor was finally confirmed, yours truly had scooped position one and had scored highly in the various subjects that included Reciting the Koran, language, Islamic history, and Arabic writing.

 The competition was very tough and the difference in marks between “myselefu” and “Ali Milo” (a nickname we gave him for the love of Milo) was only two points. The Muslim Rich guy who had pledged the shopping voucher was present and after noticing the narrow differences in points, he decided to give number one and two the same prizes.

The vouchers indicated Shirt, Trousers, socks and shoes. There was something else wrapped in a small gift pack (zile karatasi za kushine shine). All eyes were on us to unveil what was in those packs. When we were done with the gift wrappers that we had to remove carefully since we would need to use those papers again for some things we did not even know, I carefully removed “saa ya Gold” and tried it on to everyone’s  amazement and envy. 

For the next few days I would sleep and wake up every two hours to check whether the watch was still under my pillow and to set the alarm to wake me up again after two hours. That watch had a very irritating sound to everyone else but me. And their feelings didn’t matter. Any of my friends who wanted to touch the watch had to wash their hands first and I would remove the watch every two hours and put it into my pocket and hold it firmly. I would say that I was told that the watch shouldn’t be exposed to the sun for too long.

Saturday came and it was time to go “Kadim dim ka Sheki” for a swim. For those who don’t know “kadim dim ka sheiki” was a place where water would stagnate over a large surface and used to be near where the Kenya Mpya buses station in Section 9 Thika is located. So if you live around that area and you did not know why water keeps flooding in your houses during rainy season, now you know. You are living in our “kadim dim”.

The excitement I had with the wrist watch could not allow me to wear a long sleeved shirt; even if I did, I had to fold it for all haters and naysayers, fans and supporters and “others” who couldn’t be categorized, to notice, the “Son of Majengo” has a golden watch. 

We had walked walked past where St. Davids Academy is today located, when some slightly limping older guy asked to see my watch and wanted to know if it had an alarm. I braggingly removed to show him as I caution him to be careful because it was delicate. He took it and kept it in his pocket and started limping away. It took us a few minutes to know that we (read I) had just been robbed, our attempts to shout at him and try to follow him were met by stones that he started throwing at us as he chased our terrified bodies away.

One week later I saw him limping around Majengo Centre very calmly, I gave him the eye that suggested that “I Know What You Did Last Week”. He responded with a weird looking smile, that had some teeth missing that seemed to suggest “say one word and I would dispatch you to your maker”. I realized that I was robbed by an older homeboy from Majengo. Thieves have no honour.

I told my terrified self that “of importance is life”, and just like Jonathan Igwebu who told his sympathizers after he was robbed, “let it go where everything else has gone. Nothing Puzzles God”. 

And that is how a “good thief” took my wrist watch.

…….indeed Nothing Puzzles God.


Juma Hemedi


Former Thika MP Alice Ng'ang'a has urged Kenyans to take great caution to avoid contracting COVID-19 as the third wave hits the country.

Speaking in Nairobi as she received the COVID-19 vaccination, the former legislator encouraged people to go for the jab noting that this would boost their immunity and thereby boost their ability to battle the virus.

She insisted that the vaccine was safe and it would not only help people from getting seriously ill should they get infected but would also avert deaths occasioned by the high viral loads in the third wave.

Ng'ang'a maintained that the vaccination process was not only simple but also less demanding, urging Kenyans to ignore negative rumours spread by those who were against the jab.

 


By Jaymo Wa Thika

Now now…. We can confidently say that, as the residents of Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Kajiado and Machakos counties, we are back to FACTORY SETTINGS as concerns the COVID-19 pandemic. We are back where we were one year ago when this pandemic first hit us last year in March.

As much as we would want to blame the president for being very harsh on us, we were equally to blame. We brought this situation on ourselves for being careless and unmindful of the spread of this virus unlike our other 42 counterparts who will still enjoy some freedoms as we ponder how to survive for the next few weeks or months…. Who knows? We brought this unto ourselves out of our own ujuaji and feeling of importance. We simply let off our guard.

That aside, maji yakishamwagika hayazoleki…. Sasa tugange yajayo. This is the time to reflect and search ways to adapt to the “new normal” or perish. It is not the time to sit down, whine and cry over things we have little control of.

The other day I quoted Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina when he said;
“If we haven’t learnt anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, we shall never learn. If it hasn’t taught us to be innovative, then we are doomed. As a section of the economic sector collapses with COVID-19, another window of commerce opens. Each of us needs to position ourselves to avoid collapsing with those that have been rendered redundant. Simply reposition yourself and identify the priority areas and opportunities that have developed from the conditions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

I still stand with those words…. The president has locked us into our own cocoon, closed all bars and entertainment joints, banned any forms of gatherings, limited eateries to “take aways only” etc… and you all know what that means. It means limited business or to some, no business at all thus limited resources in circulation.

But does that mean the end of the world? ABSOULTELY NO!!! God has given us the power to think and do life well, to maximize our potential.
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! – Deuteronomy 30:19

This is the time to think beyond the box. At least by now, we have some experience with COVID-19, having lived with it for over a year now, unlike in March 2020 when no one knew anything about it.

This is not the time to be rigid and getting stuck to your previous comfort zones. It is the time to adapt ourselves to the emerging situations and getting the most out of every situation that you get into. This is the time to really open our eyes to identify opportunities that come with the new challenges.

Every challenge is an opportunity. Business is solving other people’s problems for a fee. Get out there, identify the emerging challenges and make money out of them through creating solutions to people. The new normal now is the avoidance of physical contacts and interactions. Find solutions and opportunities to solve this puzzle. This is where online business comes in. Make use of your smartphone to do business. Even those with “Kamulika Mwizis” sell or create opportunities via phone calls or SMS.

There are businesses that have been created by this eg the sale of “Barakoas”, sanitisers etc…. Why not try and see where you fit in.. Ama are you too “big” for such? Watakusema you say? But, huko kukusema hakutakuletea chakula kwa meza. Watasema watachoka, kasha walale.

There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t find something to do. However, our greatest challenge is because we don’t like to think. We just want to stick to our old norms, what we have been doing ever since and want to believe that those are the only things that we can do or we were created to do. Huo ni ufala. Amka ufikirie. Tumbo haijui kungoja. Lazima uishughulikie. If you wait for someone else to think for you, you will die of depression my fren.

Think!! Think!! Think and think of new ways to earn a decent living. Otherwise, jua kuna watu hawalali saa hii trying to fish out opportunities that will present themselves during this lockdown. We lala tu na kushinda ukiblame serikali vile haijali watu wake as others strategise on how they will get that coin that is still remaining in your pocket. Ukikosa kujipanga, utapangwa.


BY Jaymo Wa Thika

An incident I bumped into sometimes back got me thinking about life and how each one of us reacts to life’s challenges.

Everyone is at one time or the other entangled in some kind of challenge, but how we react to it makes all the difference. Some will sink themselves into alcohol, others into some state of withdrawal, others will hide themselves in church, and others will shout out for help and so on and so forth.

How we react to a particular problem determines whether we get a solution to it or we compound it and worsen the situation.

Most people are living in depression or die out of it because of the negative decisions they made after plunging into certain challenges. For instance, if you lose your job and opt to drown yourself into alcohol or lock yourself inside the house and cry, you are simply courting depression or worse still a possibility of committing suicide as an escape route to your challenges.

Most men, unlike women, fall in this category as they suffer from that masculine pride not to show others that you have tripped. The other category that suffers most from similar denial syndrome is the working class, the middle class and the wealthy.

These groups of people are hardest hit when calamity strikes, as they fear the repercussions of their peers’ reactions when they learn of their loss. They dread the loss of status and what people will say about them and their crumbling ship.

They don’t want to move out of their big mansion into what they can afford. They still insist on driving even when they fuel their cars on borrowed money. They still want their children to continue schooling in a school they can barely raise the fees.

Eventually, these people end up so indebted and making so many enemies to a point that they can no longer walk to town in peace. At this point, some will seek solace in the bottle. Others will hide in church praying the whole day. Some will lock themselves in the house the whole day while some women will now fall for a “sponyoo” to help her service her bills.

This is the time when depression and suicidal thoughts start creeping in and if not arrested in time, the end is usually catastrophic.

One thing I admire with the low-income category of people is that they adapt to challenges very easily. They are never ashamed of their situation and will boldly seek external help without blinking an eye. They are never ashamed to tell you that they haven’t eaten for two days as long as opening up will offer some possible solutions, however temporary. They will live one day at a time, hoping that one day, God will open the window of His Glory.

This category of people will be happy to share “Githeri ya 20” and talk about it the following morning as they go out to seek for the next meal. They are rarely depressed or concerned what others will say about them. They just live their lives.

Another positive aspect about this lot is that they are very social and will pool together their meagre resources to come to the aid of one of their own who is in a particular challenge. Here, there is too much brotherhood, a true spirit of Ujamaa or what we call in Kenya Harambee.

This is the one thing that lacks in the middle and upper classes of people. They are so proud, egocentric and really don’t care about anyone else apart from themselves. Their friendship is limited to material wealth, people they can share with in entertainment, luxuries and in pride. Fake friendship to say the least.

That is why if any of them trips, it’s them and their God.

I believe all can learn something from the low-income class of people. These people at most exhibit the best of humanity when it comes to be there for each other. They are very good in adapting to change. They are very good at living their lives and not faking it to please their peers.

TAFAKARI HAYO KWA SASA……..


A section of Thika residents who had presented themselves at the Thika Town Hall to participate in the much-publicised Citizen Fora in regards to the World Bank funded Kenya Urban Support Programmes (KUSP) for Thika Municipality got a rude shock when they were informed that the meeting had been postponed indefinitely without any prior notice.

About two weeks ago, Kiambu County Government placed a notice in the media appealing to residents of the six municipalities to attend public participation sessions in their various local municipality halls on Monday 22nd March 2021 to deliberate on priority development programmes that would benefit from the KES. 1.8 billion World Bank kitty for the year 2021-2022.

To their utter dismay, a locked Town Hall door met them with some county staff deployed to register them as they came. When they demanded to know why they were being registered and asked to leave, the officials responded that the meeting had been cancelled and what they were doing was to register those who had come and those who had any written memorandum to present to the county government for consideration.

This agitated the residents who included the Thika District Business Association (TDBA) Chairman Alfred Wanyoike. They demanded for an audience with the Thika Municipal Manager Hoswel Ng’ang’a Kinuthia since he was the one mandated to convene the meeting.

They argued that their data was being recorded with an intention by the organisors to pass resolutions for an inexistent public participation forum.

Pleas to have them leave the compound bore no fruits, insisting that they would only leave after the Municipal Manager came and addressed them.

Eventually, after about 2 hours of a heated debate, the manager came out from his office.

In response, Kinuthia said that the meetings had been cancelled by Governor James Nyoro due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, he was at pains to explain why they had to cancel it in the last minute when participants had already arrived ready to present their views.

“We are under instructions not to hold any meetings due to the COVID-19 restrictions. This forum has been postponed indefinitely until when we shall be instructed otherwise,” explained the Municipal Manager.

However, MCAs Chege Waithumbi (Kamenu Ward), Julius Taki (Witeithie) and Simon Kuria Wakarema accused the current administration of giving Kiambu East a raw deal in allocation of resources and implementation of development programmes.

They said that even as the county was preparing to budget for the 2021-2022 KUSP’s KES. 1.8 billion, Kiambu East was yet to realise the benefits of the over KES. 350 million that was allocated in the previous financial year. They demanded to know why majority of those projects were never tendered for with the ones that had been started by the previous administration dying a natural death.

This, they said, was despite the fact that similar projects were going on without a hitch in the other side of Kiambu West. They accused the current administration of diverting the money allocated for projects around Kiambu East to Kiambu West, because that is where all the county bosses hailed from.

They also demanded to know where the money received by Kiambu County Government in terms of revenue collections and allocations from treasury went because no tangible development could be witnessed around Kiambu East, other than World bank funded projects.

They pointed out that Kiambu East’s biggest hurdle was having their Municipal Boards dominated by officials drawn from Kiambu West who knew nothing about their predicaments. Theirs, they said, were boardroom development of policies that had no actual impact on the demands of the residents.

The meeting ended without any word as to when or if the public will be called for participation other than a vague promise of an indefinite meeting and a plea for residents to forward their memoranda to the Municipal Manager.


Kiambu County Assembly has approved the Physical Development Plans for 1,750 households at Umoja Informal Settlement in Thika under the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Program - KISIP.

This has opened the floodgates for the residents to benefit from block title deeds for the 4.79 hectares of land.

The 60 block title deeds were received by CECM Lands Housing Physical Planning and Urban Development Samuel Mugo from George Arwa, Head of Tenure Regularization at KISIP.

Seven settlement schemes have been pre-qualified for planning and security of tenure and are pending final verification. They are; Gachagi, Madharau and Kiandutu in Thika, Shauri Yako in Dagoretti, Ruthimitu Kiamburi in Kikuyu and Kibagare in Kiambaa.

Present to receive the titles were Chief Officer Housing, Municipality and Urban Development John Mutie, Director Housing Julius Mwololo, Deputy Director Survey and Geo Informatics Isaac Gitau and housing officers.


By Jaymo Wa Thika

For decades now, there has been so much talk about youth and women being given a chance into leadership.


As we all agree, both the youth and women have for so long been sidelined when it came to taking up positions of leadership and other opportunities. The arena has always been skewed in favour of men and older men for that matter. This eventually led to the clamour for inclusivity especially in the late 80s and early 90s. The clarion call then was to include more women and youth into governance.


The 2010 Constitution attempted to repudiate the historical exclusion of women, youth and persons living with disability from the mainstream society, creating a freedom for them to maneuver their way both in the private and public globe on an equal footing with men.


However, the implementation of these provisions has been a joke to say the least. First and foremost, almost all those who made to these positions are usually unqualified, with their only qualifications being “connections” or through bribery. The positions have never served their purpose to represent those groups of minorities that they were appointed to represent thus beating the logic.


I belong to that school of thought that believes leadership should never be determined by age or the gender. You can be mature but yet be a very poor leader. Likewise, you can be young and very educated but be very undeserving to lead anyone. We have also seen women who are very good leaders but in their midst too are women leaders who have been a disgrace to their fellow women and the society at large.


Leading is the process of influencing others to accomplish specified set objectives. A leader leads the community or a group of persons towards these desired goals. If someone has natural leadership qualities, it doesn’t matter how old they are nor their gender.


History makes it evident that great leaders emerge from all kinds of backgrounds, genders, cultures, and ethnicity. Leadership skills start early in children’s playgroups, in schools and even in community assignments. Leadership is natural and it is the people around you who identify those qualities and propose you to lead them.


This is why I will always be against anyone who claims that they deserve a particular office just because they are women or youth. These positions are never filled in just for the sake of it. They are positions for service and should be given to the most qualified. That individual can be 20 years old or even 100 years old as long as they qualify. That individual can be either a man or a woman who is the most deserving and no one should make noise about such choices based on gender or age.


I also feel that the youth and women have tended to be lazy and only wait on the sidelines to be given these positions on a silver platter. No one will do that. Those holding these positions will not easily let go just to be seen as “modern”. It is like grabbing a piece of meat from the jaws of a lion. It will definitely fight to get back its prize.


You have to fight for your rightful position…. Fight until you get what you deserve and not what you want. If you really deserve it, Kenyans and your community will back you for it. So don’t just sit back and yell yourself hoarse that leaders are not giving you positions of leadership. Get out and fight for what belong to you.


Thika West Sub-County Police Commander (SCPC) Beatrice Kiraguri is among the 48 police officers who promoted from the rank of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to Commissioner of Police (CP) in changes announced by the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.

They include 26 Sub-County Commanders popularly known as Officers Commanding Police Division (OCPDs).

Those promoted include: Kiambaa SCPC Michael Muchiri Nyaga, Dolly Anyango (Kirinyaga Central), Francis Nguli (Matuga), Beatrice Kiraguri (Thika West), and Richard Kipkurui Ngeno (Kenya Coast Service Guard).

Others are: Samuel Mathenge (Pilot Police Airwing), Mathew Onyango (Nairobi Railways), Mark Wanjala (Starehe Central Police Station), and Vitalis Otieno, who is the police boss in charge of Kilimani Police Division.

Also promoted to the rank of CP include Nyandarua County Commander Zachary Mwangi, his Marsabit counterpart Samuel Mwangi among others.

This elevation means that the officers will be moved to different sections where those of the rank of CP serve.

Below is the order of Kenya Police ranks:

– Inspector-General (formerly Commissioner of Police)
– Deputy Inspector-General
– Senior Assistant Inspector-General
– Assistant Inspector-General
– Commissioner of Police
– Senior Superintendent
– Superintendent
– Assistant Superintendent
– Chief Inspector
– Inspector
– Senior Sergeant
– Sergeant
– Constable


By Jaymo Wa Thika

Of late, you must have come across so many armateur videos going rounds online of youths or groups of people either shouting down opposing political leaders, disrupting public political gatherings or even walking out of political gatherings immediately certain leaders stand up to address the audience.

You might also have noticed how fast these clips get viral and spread like bush fire.

Little do most people know that most of these dramas do not represent the real situation on the ground. These are usually planned dramas by politicians to discredit those they oppose or show their political godfathers how popular they are.

The truth of the matter is that, days before the event itself, political opponents engage their point men on the ground and fund them to arrange for such dramas. The point men then go and identify the village “guns for hire” (both men and women from different age groups) and plan logistics of how they will execute their dirty plans. At times, the scheme involves transporting the “professional hecklers” from nearby slum areas who are dropped at the venue between 5am and 6am where they take positions at very strategic areas in the venue.

On the material day, the unsuspecting locals are caught by surprise when these actors begin their dramas and since they were unawares, majority of them are duped to believe that this is actually mood on the ground. The organizers know well that some idlers and youth will get carried away in the drama and join in, thus augmenting the revolt with the hope of taking home some few shillings.

Immediately the drama kicks off, those whose assignment is to do the video take up positions and start recording the clips and immediately post them on social media. From their online platforms, there is another team, the keyboard worriors, whose assignment is to make these videos go viral.

In most of these cases, the mainstream media falls for the scheme, picks these clips and plays them on their stations for obvious reasons…. Negative news sell.

So next time you see these dramas, take your time and check if those involved look genuine or are just guns for hire being manipulated to pass some political message.

 


By Jaymo Wa Thika

One of the biggest challenges facing this country right now is how to trust. The level of trust is declining by the day, whether it is our confidence in the government and elected officials or our trust for each other. No one ever trusts anyone on anything.

For instance, yesterday as the government kicked-off the countrywide roll out of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, very many Kenyans were skeptical about the whole issue…. Be it it’s safety, or if at all what we saw Acting Director of Health Patrick Amoth being injected was actually the vaccine or plain water, why our political leaders were not in the front-line to set pace and create some confidence among the people that the jab was safe and so on and so forth. All these fears, hesitation and speculations boil down to trust issues.

We have been lied to so many times by the people we trust most that we no longer take what others say without an iota of doubt.

The mistrust is not only against politicians but runs across all spheres of life. Our professionals no longer base their arguments and actions on facts and stats but are driven by greed, tribalism and political inclinations. They will shamelessly distort facts to suit their selfish agenda regardless of the repercussions of their action.

Religious leaders too are no longer guided by the Holy Spirit but “roho mtaka kitu”. Without blinking an eye, they will mislead their flock and skew their arguments where their stomachs are.

This is the reason why it is so difficult for Kenyans to tell what is good or bad for them. They have no one to trust with their lives.

Distrust does not happen overnight. It develops progressively through stages especially after one discovers that the other party lied to them on a certain matter or issue. The experiences we go through with other people and especially those entrusted with leadership positions in any field of life impact our ability to trust others.

Past disappointments or betrayals are at the root of this issue because mistrust is a valid response to feeling betrayed. The financial and economic crisis has also led to a significant loss of trust in government. The dishonesty in those we have entrusted into leadership positions has been wanting. Many of them would rather take shortcuts or make populist interventions that eventually lead to more problems and distrust.

This is a great predicament as low trust in those in leadership positions makes it harder to solve many of the country’s problems. A decline in trust leads to lower rates of compliance with rules and regulations. It makes citizens become more risk-averse, thus delaying investment, innovation and employment decisions that are essential to regain competitiveness and jump-start growth.

In conclusion, the best way to prevent distrust from taking root is to proactively focus on building trust. Trust must be continually developed and nurtured throughout, not just when it is been damaged.

Trust in government by citizens is essential for the effective and efficient policy making. Those in leadership should invest in trust in order to restore economic growth and reinforcing social cohesion. Professionals must only be guided by the urge for service delivery and integrity. The clergy should take up their noble role of being the “good shepherds” and guide the flock to greener pastures.


Thika Town MP Eng. Patrick Wainaina has decried low uptake of the various funds from government agencies despite the availability of such finances meant to improve their standards of living.

Speaking on Friday while disbursing UWEZO Fund cheques worth KES. 4 million to 32 groups, the MP urged the residents to align themselves with beneficial opportunities such as UWEZO Fund in a bid to get financial grants to grow their own businesses especially now that most of them had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 socio-economic challenges.

The groups, majority of who were start-ups, got between KES. 100,000 and KES. 200,000.

He called on the youth to form groups and apply for the money, saying they had a lot of energy to invest in profitable activities. He lamented that the locals barely utilised half of the funds allocated to them annually, adding that this year, KES. 7 million had been set aside for them in the UWEZO Fund.

“I am very impressed by the kind of investments being undertaken by various groups here. I also encourage you to align your visions with the BIG 4 Agenda,” said Wainaina.

The legislator encouraged these groups to develop a savings culture even if it was saving KES. 100 per day. This he said would boost their bargaining power and assist them to grow and invest in improved investment opportunities.

He appealed to the government to allocate more money to these funds as they sought to increase the amount given to small and micro businesses in their stimulus package.

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