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Kenya’s most educated makanga? Meet conductor with degree in biochemistry

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He could be one of Kenya’s most educated makangas, what with a degree in biochemistry, but still jobless.

At 29, James Mwangi has tarmacked searching for a job since graduating from the University of Nairobi in 2013 without success.

The first of three boys is the son of a photographer father and a house wife mother also tried his hand at various biasharas to no avail in between sending over 200 job applications to among others; pharmaceutical companies and laboratories that would benefit from his knowledge.

He reckons that “getting a job in Kenya without connections or a ‘Godfather’ can be a serious hurdle.”

The alumnus of Gathaiti Primary and Ngenia High school in Limuru told The Nairobian that “I would be a part time teacher at Temple Road high school Nairobi and St Grace Learning Centre Uplands” during semester breaks and even at one time went to Somalia but ended up in a construction firm erecting security infrastructure in 2012.

“When I was invited to Somalia I thought I was going to exercise my knowledge only to be sent to AMISOM camp,” recalls Mwangi adding that the income allowed him to invest in several businesses upon return to Nairobi but they “they did not pick up well” and he ventured into mtumba business besides opening a pub in Banana on the outskirts of Nairobi and the business also “sunk my money.”

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James Mwangi in action [Photo: Courtesy]

Frustrated, Mwangi put his qualifications aside and approached a matatu operations manager in Limuru and requested him to be fixed wherever he could which turned out to be a stage attendant whose job description is verbally calling out for passengers at the main Everbest route terminus in Limuru.

“Mine is basically  a job of persuading public to board my SAACO matatus as the competition here is break neck,” explains Mwangi whose other duties include to “follow on SAACO payments by individual matatus.

Mwangi shrugged off initial discomfort in view of his academic qualifications, but gradually accepted as it is the only job he had. He trousers between Sh10, 000 to Sh12,000 a month which at the moment is better than begging or idling around.

“I call my customers with dignity and with a lot of decorum and this has earned Everbest respect at the terminus,” Mwangi said, adding that he also tries to clean the image people have of touts and matatu operators, which Jane Njeri, a customer concurs saying “Mwangi is courteous, well- groomed and handles us in a very dignified way that’s why I board here.”

Mwangi is still hopeful he’ll one day get a job fit for his qualifications.

“I feel bad but I am determined to soldier on, I am not giving up  any time soon,” said Mwangi said adding that he consoles himself with the words of American civil rights Dr Martin Luther King Jr who spoke of accepting “finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope.”

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-SDE

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Tweeting Chief Kariuki laid to rest in emotional sendoff

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Emotions ran high in Nakuru’s Umoja Primary School as hundreds of mourners turned up for the funeral ceremony of popular Chief Francis Kariuki of Lanet Umoja.

Kariuki, who died last Wednesday aged 55, shot to the limelight in 2011 after he joined the provincial administration from his teaching profession and utilised Twitter as a main tool for his new job.

Among the awards under his name for his use of technology in administration included a Giraffe Heroes Kenya Award 2014.

His burial was conducted at his home in Githioro, Bahati, where dozens of administrators thronged to pay their last respect to their chairman under the National Chiefs Caucus.

The funeral which was conducted under strict adherence to Covid-19 regulations was attended by Governor Lee Kinyanjui, County Commissioner Erastus Mbui and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri.

Praises

Kinyanjui eulogised the administrator as an example in leadership and community policing who had a keen interest in development and service to humanity.

“Chief Kariuki is a household name in the county. He was a good leader and we used to consult on development issues including water provision to residents and security,” said Kinyanjui.

While calling on other administrators to be creative and efficient in their jobs, Kinyanjui said that there were many opportunities for them to explore in combating crime and propelling them to greater heights.

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“Through the Twitter platform, he transformed information dissemination that led to improved security in Lanet. His use of social media was inspiring and earned him recognition locally and internationally. We appreciate his contribution that made the society better,” said Kinyanjui.

It is his use of social media that earned him the title “Tweeting Chief” which later presented for him a stage to travel across the globe sensitising administrators on the security tool in their line of duty.

Mbui described the fallen administrator as a selfless person whose influence was felt beyond his location where his administrative jurisdiction was limited to.

“We have lost a dedicated, innovative and dynamic civil servant. He tirelessly worked for his people and his death has left behind a huge gap to easily fill. It is his good deeds that made for him a name beyond Nakuru and Kenya,” said Mbui.

The deceased’s wife Peris Kariuki described her late husband as a humble and servant leader who was all round in his job and as a family man.

“I have been robbed a great friend and husband who was always there for his people and his family. He was an ambitious and hardworking man. You had big dreams. I will miss you, my husband. Let your soul rest in the hands of our God,” Peris said.

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The residents condoled with the family describing Chief Kariuki as instrumental in resolving their societal issues.

“His office was always open. He had a listening ear without discrimination. We have lost a great leader and civil servant. His humility was beyond expectations compared to his name,” said Jane Karanja, a resident.

According to the family, Chief Kariuki died at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital where he had been rushed after complaining of difficulties in breathing. He had also for a long time battled with diabetes.

The mourners in disbelief braved heavy rains at his Githioro home as he was finally laid to rest.

Chief Kariuki worked as a teacher in different schools for 21 years before he enrolled for a Bachelor’s degree course in Counselling and Psychology at Mount Kenya University.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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Education PS revealed number of learners, teachers who tested positive for COVID-19

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Education PS Belio Kipsang on Wednesday reported that 17 learners and 33 teachers have been infected with Covid-19 since schools re-opened.

Dr Kipsang stated that the cases had been recorded in 35 schools countrywide

He, however, clarified that the numbers are not worrying to the ministry and as such there are no plans to close the schools.

“We are not about to close schools unless advised by the Ministry of Health, but we are putting our heads together to work our modalities of reopening other classes,” the PS stated.

The PS further blamed the cases on parents, citing recent political campaigns as the breeding ground for the virus.

“Our challenge is our parents attending political rallies and other social gatherings without masks, let’s not blame our children, why tell us to achieve social distance in schools if parents are attending rallies without observing measures?” he posed.

Dr Kipsang was giving a report to the National Assembly Education Committee.

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Ole Sereni hotel win big in road reserve land case

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Kenya National Highways Authority has lost a case over a parcel of land on which the 5 Star Ole Sereni hotel was built.

According to court documents, the National Land Commission (NLC) awarded the hotel a notice to vacate the land on which a road to the Internal Container Depot in Nairobi is being built.

Justice Bernard Eboso, however, reversed NLC decision explaining that the owners of the hotel had not been granted a proper hearing.

He also observed that the commission had produced conflicting dates when the directors were offered a chance for a hearing.

In a gazette notice, the commission had claimed that it invited the directors between January 30, 2017 and February 2, 2017.

NLC’s verdict before the revocation, however, indicated that the directors had been invited on March 27, 2017.

In its defense, Ole Sereni argued that it had purchased the land in question from a company identified as Swan Carriers Limited in 2007.

“Upon acquiring the two properties, the applicant obtained relevant development approvals and established the hotel thereon.

“The development took about three years. Ole Sereni Hotel is a reputable facility in the hospitality industry,” the hotel’s representatives told the court.

In July 2017, the state revoked titles for 136 parcels of land it intended to acquire for the construction of the Southern Bypass.

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The bypass connects Mombasa Road and the Nairobi-Nakuru Highway.

At the time, the state explained that it had ruled the parcels as belonging to the public after listening to several parties in the matter.

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