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PhD student makes ends meet in taxi business



If you are a frequent user of taxi-hailing apps in Nairobi, Mr Samuel Gachini, who is almost completing his doctorate, is arguably the most educated driver you will ever meet.

Mr Gachini, who is pursuing a PhD in business administration, is among the growing list of young Kenyans who, for lack of white-collar jobs, are finding alternative work in the growing digital taxi platforms.

“I just have to make ends meet. I have applied for hundreds of job opportunities but all I get are regrets, empty promises or no replies at all,” he laments as he drives on the jam-packed Mombasa Road towards the Central Business District.

As we go on with the interview in his Honda Fit car, which he bought through a Sacco loan, Mr Gachini says that he is rushing to the University of Nairobi to meet his supervisor.

The father of two says he is awaiting clearance from his supervisor to finalise his PhD research in revival of economic development in Kenya through regional-sectoral specialisation, poverty reduction through financial literacy in Kenya or universal banking in Kenya.

“It is not easy to balance between doing a PhD and driving a taxi, which is a very demanding endeavour. But I can’t give up since I have already put in a lot of effort,” he opens up.

Mr Gachini, 32, completed his secondary school education in 2005 at Kangui Boys High School, Nyandarua County, where he attained grade B+ in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams, emerging among the top five in his class.

He then joined Kenyatta University for a bachelor of arts degree in economics and finance and graduated in 2012.

Using his academic transcripts, he applied for a master’s degree at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, which was being offered in collaboration with Moi University.

In December 2013, he graduated with a master’s degree in banking and finance from Moi University.

“My master’s thesis was based on the effect of monetary policy on Kenya’s economic growth. I successfully published it in the International Journal of Management and Commerce Innovations,” he says.

Mr Gachini pursued his master’s degree as he worked as a cashier with the Kangari branch of Equity Bank in Murang’a County.

“I travelled in the evenings from Murang’a to Nairobi by matatu to attend classes. Sometimes I failed to make it to class due to frequent traffic snarl-ups,” he recalls.

When he started his PhD classes, it was a real struggle getting to class in Nairobi from Murang’a.

“I am currently pursuing my doctorate and it has been strenuous and costly to do my thesis, which requires a lot of time,” he wrote in his resignation letter dated June 30, 2016.

By this time, he had worked at the bank for more than four years.

He completed the course work for the PhD in late 2015 and has since been working on his research and writing his thesis.

“I have taken a lot of time to complete my PhD because of finances. I have to meet the upkeep of my family and school fees,” he says.

Mr Gachini hopes that the government can carry out a detailed study on unemployment levels among young people in the country.

“My case is just the tip of the iceberg. We have many graduates who are unable to find employment opportunities. This matter has to be corrected before it turns out to be a catastrophe,” he advices.

The banking and financial economy specialist hopes to work for the government or in the private sector some day.


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Ex-military officer accused of killing ex-wife, children wants ATM cards released



A former senior military officer at the Laikipia Air Base accused of murdering his ex-wife and her two children has asked the court to allow him to get back ATM cards and other personal items confiscated by police.

Major Peter Mugure told Justice Abigail Mshila that detectives took away his ATM cards which may not be used as evidence in the murder case, where he is accused of killing his ex-wife Joyce Syombua, Shanice Maua and Prince Michael.

“They took away a number of personal items including my ATM cards. I’m asking to have them returned to me because I do not think they are part of the evidence,” Mugure told the Justice Mshila in a virtual court session.

Although some of the personal items could be used as part of the evidence, Mshila told Mugure to make a list of the items and asked defence counsel to check the inventory and make an application for the release of items that state doesn’t need as evidence.

“Some of the personal items like clothing, or ATM cards could be taken for analysis to enable show your movements. The inventory is in the prosecution file and you could make a list of the items you need to be released,” said Mshila.

The case in which Mugure is jointly accused with Collins Pamba, a former employee at Laikipia Air Base was coming up for hearing on Tuesday but it was postponed to a later date following the transfer of Judge Jairus Ngaah who was handling the matter in Nyeri.

Mugure joined the session from King’ong’o GK Prison in Nyeri and Pamba at Kerugoya prison.

The two are accused of killing the deceased parsons on October 26 last year at the Laikipia Air Base situated in Nanyuki.

The three bodies were recovered buried in a shallow grave after Pamba led police to the site at Kilimo area in Thingithu, in the outskirts of Nanyuki town.

In the previous session when the ex-major was denied bail on February 21, Justice Ngaah cited damning evidence in Pamba’s affidavit implicating Mugure in the gruesome murder of his ex-lover and his two children.

Pamba’s statement as recorded in court file detailed how Mugure called him from Nairobi on a material day and asked for his help to the ferry and bury the bodies and in return, help the casual worker secure employment at Kenya Defense Forces.

The mentioned date was scheduled for December 9.


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Former news anchors Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly work alongside each other for USAID initiative



Former Citizen TV news anchor Hussein Mohammed has been doing perfectly fine since he left his plum job.

Former news anchors Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly work alongside each other for USAID initiative

Hussein Mohamed, Yussuf Ibrahim proudly working alongside each other for USAID initiative. Photo credits: Yussuf Ibrahim.
Source: Facebook

Posting on social media, journalist Yussuf Ibrahim revealed that he has been working closely with the media guru on the Resilience Learning Activity (RLA), a project funded by USAID Kenya.

“Proud to be working with my senior @HusseinMohamedg in this very noble initiative RLA (Resilience Learning Activity) funded by USAID Kenya The webinars involved the capacity building of ASALs County stakeholders on crisis communication more so during the ongoing #COVID19 pandemic,” wrote Ibrahim.

Ibrahim who is a communication strategist and voice-over artist is the founder of Ubra Media.

Many people were amazed by the duo and took to the various platforms to congratulate them for their good work.

A Facebook user identified as Cathra Hussein commented:

“Ma Sha Allah am so proud of you, the sky is no longer the limit.”

Abumuhsin Ibrahim commended them for their win:

Yussuf Ibrahim great job proud of you Hussein for a great job!!

Adow Mohamed added:

Sons and media stars of the north. Keep soaring.

Abdul-Hakeem Mohammed commented:

Mashallah, Big men!congratulations.

Hussein left the Royal Media-owned station in 2019.

The former news anchor revealed to fans that he will be taking a break off the screen after October 2019.

In a post seen by on Friday, October 4, the journalist stated he will use his break from TV to concentrate on other matters.

Hussein thanked his colleagues at Citizen for sharing the best moments of his life with him.

It is also through his post that he revealed to fans and followers that he has worked for Citizen TV for ten years.

”It has been a wonderful 10 years at Citizen TV. I have enjoyed and relished every moment I shared with my colleagues at RMS. I have decided to take a break after October In Sha Allah to concentrate on other matters. Loved the fans, the critics and everything in between. See you soon,” he wrote.‬


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Italians, police clash over new COVID-19 restrictions 




Violent protests broke out across Italy on Monday over new restrictions to curb the country’s second wave of COVID-19

Clashes were reported in several major cities – including Turin, where petrol bombs were thrown at officers.

In Milan tear gas was used to disperse protesters, while violence was also reported in Naples.

The demonstrations began soon after the national government’s order to close restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas came into effect at 18:00 local time.

Many regions have also imposed night-time curfews – including Lombardy, where Milan is, and Piedmont, where Turin is.

Protests took place in about a dozen other cities, including Rome, Genoa, Palermo and Trieste.

While an initial national lockdown earlier this year was complied with peacefully, the announcement of renewed measures has been met with immediate pushback.

Small businesses argue that they are still recovering from that first lockdown, and that more restrictions could bankrupt them.

A number of luxury stores in central Turin, including a Gucci boutique, were ransacked by crowds that spilled into the streets after the rules came into force.

Demonstrators let off firecrackers and lit flares, while police in riot gear responded with tear gas.

In Milan, crowds chanted “Freedom, freedom, freedom!” as they clashed with police in the city centre.

The city is the capital of Lombardy, which has been particularly hard hit by the virus.

In the new measures restaurants, bars and cafes areto stop table service at 18:00 and offer only take-away until midnight.

Contact sports are prohibited but shops and most business

The new restrictions, which are in force until 24 November, will also see 75% of classes at Italy’s high schools and universities conducted online instead of in a classroom.

Regional governments had asked for all classes to be conducted via distance learning, Italian media reported, but the move was opposed by Education Minister Lucia Azzolina.

The government is also urging people not to travel outside their home towns or cities unless absolutely necessary and to avoid using public transport if possible.

“We think that we will suffer a bit this month but by gritting our teeth with these restrictions, we’ll be able to breathe again in December,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a news conference on Sunday.

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