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Storm over Sh18 million Umoja 1 Primary School swimming pool

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Kenyans paid for the construction of a Sh18-million swimming pool at Umoja 1 Primary School in Nairobi, an expenditure that is now raising eyebrows.

The pool was among projects funded by the Embakasi West Constituency Development Fund, under the leadership of Jubilee MP George Theuri, in the 2015/16 financial year.

In that year, according to a report by Auditor-General Edward Ouko, contracts for three construction projects and a youth training were procured through restricted tendering.

These are Umoja 1 Primary School swimming pool (Sh18,893,518), three classrooms at Supa Loaf Primary School (Sh8,070,944) and driving classes for Embakasi youth at Top Gear Driving School (Sh9,580,000).

During the audit by Mr Ouko’s office, no documentary evidence was produced to support restricted tendering, as spelled in law.

The time and cost required to examine and evaluate a large number of tenders would be disproportionate to the value of the goods, works or services to be procured; and

If there is evidence that there are only a few known suppliers of the whole market of the goods, works or services.

In his 2015/2016 reports, Mr Ouko raised questions about the cost and value of these projects.

And the Concern Citizens Kenya, a lobby group in Embakasi West Constituency, has also written to the anti-corruption watchdog (EACC) over the matter. The local watchdog wants the use of Sh18 million on the pool investigated.

Embakasi West MP George Theuri poses next to the swimming pool under construction at Umoja 1 Primary School on March 3, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NATION
Embakasi West MP George Theuri poses next to the swimming pool under construction at Umoja 1 Primary School on March 3, 2017. FILE PHOTO | NATION

EXAGGERATED COST

“We decided to write to EACC because as a community and residents of Embakasi West we feel Sh18 million for a swimming pool was exaggerated a lot,” said Bradley Ouna leader of the Concern Citizens Kenya.

“The revenue from the pool is not properly accounted for since it is operational,” added Ouna.

Residents interviewed by the Nation also claimed the pool is not worth Sh18 million as alleged by the CDF office.

According to swimming pool construction experts, there are two main types of pools that are done locally— the freeboard and deck level/overflow pool.

The shells for the PVC liner pools cost from Sh800,000 for an eight-metre by four metre pool up to Sh2 million for a 15 by 13-metre pool.

This cost, however, does not include the accessories or excavation fee.

The cost of the installation equipment, excavation, as well as the assembly costs an additional Sh800,000 to Sh1. 5 million depending on the size of the pool.

“When budgeting for a pool, a large one like the 25 by 13-metre pool, one should set aside between Sh9 to Sh10 million for the project,” said an expert at Kisio Swimming pools in Nairobi.

This cost is inclusive of the excavation, labour and materials. The swimming pool at Umoja 1 Primary Pchool is 25 by eight metres.

The pool was built on Umoja 1 Primary grounds after an agreement between the school and the CDF office.

SWIM FOR FREE

According to our sources, the school was to give out a piece of their land for the pool and in return, pupils would swim for free.

In the plan, the children would access to the pool using a different entrance from the public. The school would also get a percentage of the revenue generated from the facility.

But the Nation has learnt that, since the swimming started operating in 2017, the school has not received its share of the revenue.

Additionally, the pupils of Umoja 1 Primary pay Sh100 per swimming session, just like the public.

When the Nation visited the pool, there was no way to differentiate a pupil of Umoja 1 Primary from the public.

During our visit, we were accompanied by a pupil and upon identifying herself, she was still asked to pay.

“Our children are paying for the swimming sessions yet when the idea was shared the first time during AGM we were told because it’s on the school compound, our children would have free access,” a parent at the school, who sought anonymity fearing reprisals, told the Nation.

But on top of being charged, the children do not have a special access to the facility.

They have to walk out of the school compound and use a busy road and are exposed to the danger of badly driven matatus.

“It is really risky for the kids to access the pool, they have to leave the school compound and walk to the pool,” another parent said on condition of anonymity.

The entrance to the swimming pool located at Umoja 1 Primary School in Embakasi West constituency. The pool is opened to the public for a fee. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU
The entrance to the swimming pool located at Umoja 1 Primary School in Embakasi West constituency. The pool is opened to the public for a fee. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU

REVENUE

“This road is very dangerous for our kids, the Matatu are carelessly driven.”

But the head-teacher of the school, Mrs Frolence Muli, denied the claims.

“The students have never paid for swimming session plus the school has really benefitted from the revenue collected from the pool,” she told the Nation.

“The revenue collected has helped in renovating 8 classes so far.”

The residents are also questioning the Sh9,580,000 expenditure at Top Gear Driving School.

The money was paid to the driving school for the young people of Embakasi West to undergo driving training.

It is not clear just how many people might have benefitted from the driving classes.

Currently, lessons to driver a Class B vehicle (car) at Top Gear costs approximately Sh20, 000 per person.

With Sh9,580,000 and each student paying Sh20,000, the school should have trained close to 480 students.

However, no list of students who attended the training was presented to Mr Ouko’s team for audit.

Efforts by Nation to reach Mr Theuri, proved futile with all calls and text messages going unanswered.

Source:nairobinews

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Health

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

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Gasherry Bendito has always been on the move. Her life revolves around thinking of the next step.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

Gasherry and her mother. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

As she plots about her next move, the beauty gets caught up in wishful thinking and dreaming of a more permanent way to live.

Four years ago, the struggling woman was kicked out of her marital home by the man she gave her heart and soul to.

When married, Gasherry could not bear children and that drove her partner insane. So, he saw it fit to get rid of her.

That meant she had to recalibrate and start from square A. This squeezed her between a rock and a hard place.

In just four years, the lady’s life proved to be a living hell as she struggled to find a decent job and a place to lay her head.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

The lady’s tiny room. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

“From losing my job, to being thrown out, to becoming a domestic worker, to being hosted by a colleague, and finally living in a hostel,” she narrated in a Facebook post sighted by TUKO.co.ke.

All along, Gasherry held onto unused baby clothes she had bought in the past as she waited for the fruit of the womb.

While crushing at her tiny bedsitter sufficiently decorated with a small bed, the hopeful woman still believed that one day she will get to hold her own bundle of joy.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

Gasherry could not have kids and that irked her estranged husband. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

The netizen told social media users she has been unable to get rid of the infant clothes because at the back of her mind, motherhood is her biggest goal in life.

“I have this bag full of baby clothes from 2014 when I was getting ready to have a baby. Almost seven years down the line and I am still holding on to it. I move with it everywhere I go,” she added.

Nairobi woman hopes to give birth, leave bedsitter 4 years after husband kicked her out

She has stored baby clothes for seven years. Photo: Gasherry Bendito
Source: Facebook

In other related news, a woman left many in tears after disclosing the pain she has been through for lack of children in her marriage.

The lady, identified as Margaret Wanjiru, opened up about her torturous 25 years journey on Monday, April 27.

Speaking to Kikuyu Diaspora TV, Wanjiru revealed life was not easy for her even in the first years of her marriage.

According to her, she married the love of her life in 1993 after two years of dating and after a few years in marriage without a child, her mother-in-law started insulting and mistreating her.

“I met the love of my life and after dating for two years, we moved in together in 1993 and this is when things started going south. At home, everyone was on our case since we did not have a child. Fights from my mother-in-law became intense. There is no pain like being married and you have money but no child,” she said.

by Tuko

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Entertainment

‘I have no access to you,’ Frankie pens emotional letter to son, says he’s barred from seeing his kids

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Fitness coach Frankie Kiarie has penned a touching letter to his firstborn son Lexi with Maureen Waititu.

The father of two showered his son with love and narrating how he brought so much joy to his life.

To My Son,

When you came into this world, you brought a love so pure I had never before experienced. When you spoke your first word, walked your first steps, I became your biggest fan. With every milestone you reached, I reveled in joy. You taught me the meaning of love — true, unconditional love.

As you continue to grow, you will live your own life. You will have times of happiness and times of disappointment. You will fall in love, and you will have your heart broken. Life has its ups and downs and is not always fair, but I know your strength and resilience will see you through.

May you always know your worth and how incredibly precious you are! As your Papa, it is my privilege to impart these important truths to you.

Frankie went ahead to reveal that he hasn’t seen his kids for a while now because he has no access to them.

‘Since I have no access to you, I’ll pass these words on and hope they find you. Be true to yourself always. Live your own dreams. Don’t take life so seriously. And, last but certainly not least, Know that I love you and will always be there for you. No matter what, I’ve got your back. You are my son and always will be. Happy Birthday Lexi,’ he wrote.

A few weeks ago, Mpasho.co.ke reached out to Maureen Waititu to respond to claims that she had barred Frankie from seeing their kids she denied.

‘I HAVE NOT BARRED HIM [FRANKIE] FROM SEEING HIS KIDS.  MY LAWYER CONTACTED HIM THROUGH A LETTER FOR A ROUND TABLE MEDIATION TO COME UP WITH A STRUCTURE AND ORDER ON HOW TO RAISE THE KIDS BUT HE MADE IT VERY CLEAR HE HAS NO OBLIGATION TO RESPOND TO THAT.’ she said.

By Mpasho.co.ke

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News

Kamene Goro opens up on marriage struggles 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kiss FM Presenter Kamene Goro on Monday October 19, spoke about her journey in the limelight and how one ultimate decision almost ruined her career in media.

Speaking in an interview on Jessy Junction, the 28-year-old, who has been in the media industry for 8 years, narrated how media was not her first choice in school.

“I went to the University of Nairobi where I pursued an undergraduate degree in law. I had numerous scholarship offers to study abroad but my father declined all of them, ” she said.

She further stated that her choice to pursue law was influenced by her father’s close connections within the said industry.

“During my second year, immediately after doing my clinicals, I was dispatched to a law firm, owned by my father’s friend, as a paralegal.

“Eight months passed by and I felt a calling to pursue something else. Then an opportunity presented itself at Ebru TV, which I took,” she stated.

In 2015 life took an immediate turn for the then 23-year-old, when she exchanged vows with a foreigner who had charmed his way into her life.

“I decided to call it quits on my job, so I gave my employer at Ebru TV a two days notice after which I travelled to Tanzania to live with my husband,” she recalls.

Unbeknown to her family, the acclaimed presenter had left her career in the name of love, a decision which, she states, still haunts her.

She noted that during the course of the two year marriage, she experienced domestic squabbles like any normal couple but one phone call from her husband one evening made her life come to a screeching halt.

“One day when I was travelling to Nairobi, he (husband) called me and decided to end the marriage. In utter shock, I hung up the phone and that was the final time we spoke.

“Looking back, I thought he was my everything. For a whole week, I was a total wreck because of the divorce as I blamed myself for the failure of the marriage,” she added.

Her ability to cope with the ordeal was strenuous at first as she felt all her time invested in the marriage had gone down the drain.

The radio presenter however urged all ladies in similar situations to get back in the dating game in order to cease from self accusation.

The radio girl also responded to the backlash she received from supporting local Gengetone artistes.

“My choice of supporting Gengetone artistes is based on making an impact in the youths lives. The same critics who are quick to judge don’t pay for the artistes’ studio time or source for their venues. If you want them to sing clean, link them up with gospel artistes,” she opined.

During the interview, the radio presenter disclosed her struggles with negativity and hurtful comments on social media which ensued from an ordeal which transpired a while back.

“One time a story was published about me, which stated that I allegedly received Ksh70,000 for going on a date. This story made headlines and forced me to leave the country for a while,” she revealed.

The comical side of Jessy was also seen throughout the interview as he tried to wow Kamene Goro with his charming antics.

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