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Sonko hits at Uhuru after making public apology

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko has condemned President Uhuru Kenyatta after he issued a blanket apology to anyone he might have wronged.

Sonko expressed his disappointment in Uhuru’s administration, faulting it for abandoning the people who voted them to power with the implementation of mega projects in Nairobi.

The County head was speaking as he delivered goodies to a man whose house had been demolished in Kibra slum in Nairobi in a bid to reclaim a piece of land by the Kenya Railways Corporation.

Sonko noted that he is not against development in the capital, but the handling of some of the projects is inhumane, especially with the demolitions and evictions of people from places they call home.

The vocal legislator questioned the president’s nature of allowing people to be inhumanly displaced, adding that his advisors were fraudsters who were only out to benefit themselves.

Sonko boldly told the Head of State that he is tired of his government, noting that he only respects him and not fear him, and that is why he will continue addressing the issues that affect his people.

He further said that the forceful evictions should be halted until the government finds ways to compensate residents who have been displaced.

He noted that when Nairobi County Government, World Bank, and the National Government were doing the karandini market in partnership, his administration spent Sh18 million to compensate all the traders before they were relocated to another market site at the county depot.

The embattled governor reiterated that he was forced into signing away key Nairobi functions to the National Government.

During the National prayer ceremony at State House, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked for forgiveness as he extended an olive branch to his political rivals.

“If there is anyone I have offended, I apologize, and to those who have offended me, I forgive you,” Uhuru said.

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Lifestyle

Inside Maragua, one of Kenya’s most dangerous towns

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An hour of driving along Thika Superhighway from Nairobi and a diversion at Kenol market will land you in Maragua, a small town in Murang’a County whose economy is driven majorly by the sin industry.

 Security reports brand this small town with rugged buildings, whose money comes from agribusiness activities, as one of the most dangerous places in the country.

The town has constantly hit the headlines for bizarre murders and lethal armed gangs that strike on a daily basis.

 On November 24, 2018, a butcher in one of the town’s entertainment joints slit the throat of his female lover just outside Maragua police station.

 This incident had been preceded by the January 26, 2017 brutal attack on Jane Nduta, a 40-year-old barmaid. She was gang-raped, hit with a blunt object and left for the dead.  Ms Nduta died a week later while receiving treatment in a Nyeri hospital.

And in October 2018, the town was in the news yet again after Judy Wanjiru, a 32-year-old barmaid in the town, was found beheaded in her boyfriend’s house.

Fake plates

 The heart-wrenching infamy was the July 19, 2020 news of a 15-year-old boy who reportedly killed his eight-year-old schoolmate, packed her body in a gunny bag and proceeded to bury it in a shallow grave.

 Apart from the butcher and the schoolboy who were apprehended by locals, the Murang’a South Directorate of Criminal Investigations has not cracked any of the above murders and many other serious incidents, earning itself the trademark of lethargy.

According to Jerry Okwatch, a University of Nairobi researcher on Home&beyond Security Initiative, the town is small and full of deceptive party life.  He says from 8pm, youth walking behind you will most likely descend on you with machetes, knives or iron bars.

“I would not advise you to use motorcycle transport past 9pm especially if you are female and new in town,” he adds. Mr Okwatch tips that if you must use a boda boda, first check whether it has number plate as many rogue riders conceal or operate without them while others use fake plates.  “Alcohol is freely accessible in bars that pull all the strings to defy the regulatory laws. Narcotics and illicit brews are readily accessible while commercial sex is on top of the town’s menu,” he tells Nation.

Gangs operating in the town know no blasphemy or abomination as Michael Njoroge, 67, attests.  “I operate a small hotel in the town and recently as I was walking home at around 9pm, I was accosted by three small boys who strangled and undressed me. They ran away with my clothes to search for money at their own leisure,” he narrated.  He says the gangs even break into churches to steal.

 According to sources, the gangs and some bar owners pay weekly stipends to some police officers who in turn protect them by passing on valuable tips about security crackdowns.

 According to County Commissioner Mohammed Barre, the gangs, who arm themselves with bows and arrows, confront officers on patrol.

 Currently, security agents are camping in Maragua after word went out that four capital offenders who escaped from Kirinyaga County’s Sagana police station were hiding in the town.

Procure abortions

 

 “We have evidence that the four have on several occasions been sighted in the town. We have shared the information with DCI and other government departments but for the past eight months, no arrests have been made,” said a source in area community policing initiative, showing screenshots of the said tips that were never acted on.  Murang’a DCI boss Julianna Muthini said: “Yes, we have received those tips and we are on their case though they have remained slippery.”

Meanwhile, Education Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia has decried rampant narcotics trade in the town,even mentioning the name of a popular peddler who runs a network of underage commissioned sellers.

 He added that some chemists in the town give the underage family planning services as well as help them procure abortions.

 Mr Kinuthia said a peddler identified as Alex Macharia Kimani recruits children to ferry the narcotics using school bags to avoid security detection.

He said the government will not tolerate security laxity and compromises that continue to expose children to risky lifestyles established as businesses by unscrupulous traders.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua in a recent tour of Maragua police station was made aware that residents live in fear of the gangs and in most cases never report any atrocities for fear of reprisals. He directed Police Commander Josephat Kinyua to be creative in tackling the gangs.

by nation.africa

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Lifestyle

US boy fatally shoots self at his third birthday party

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Houston,

A three-year-old Texas boy has died after shooting himself with a gun he found during his own birthday party, police said Monday.

The youngster was celebrating with family and friends on Saturday in Porter, 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Houston, when adults heard a gunshot while playing cards.

The boy was found with a gunshot wound to his chest and rushed to a fire station where he died, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities said the boy had found a pistol that had fallen out of a relative’s pocket.

The group Everytown for Gun Safety said that, since the beginning of the year, the country has seen at least 229 unintentional shootings by children, resulting in 97 deaths.

A third of US adults own a gun, with the right to own firearms guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

Texas is among states with the most permissive gun laws.

By AFP

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Lifestyle

Apply for KeNHA’s TVET scholarships, Waiguru tells Kirinyaga youth

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Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru has challenged youth in her county to apply for scholarships being offered by the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) in selected technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions.

Ms Waiguru Monday revealed that KeNHA has chosen Sagana Technical Institute and Kaitheri Youth Polytechnic as training centres for the skills sponsored programme targeting young people living along the upcoming Kenol-Sagana-Marwa dual carriage way.

The governor noted that the training will improve chances of the youth getting road construction jobs. She added that she has lobbied the national government for 30 per cent of the slots to be reserved for Kirinyaga residents.

“For the youth who have been seeking jobs, this is an opportunity knocking at your doorsteps and you should seize it by enrolling yourselves in either of these two institutions,” she said.

In an advertisement, KeNHA indicated that those who qualify for the skills training must be aged between 18 and 35 years and should register with their KCSE or KCPE certificates. The successful candidates will each receive a scholarship for three terms which will cater for tuition fees and accommodation.

Sagana Technical Institute is offering carpentry, electrical wiring, masonry, welding and fabrication while Kaitheri Youth Polytechnic is offering motor vehicle mechanics, electrical installation grade three and hairdressing and beauty courses.

According to the advert, applications are to be submitted to the Kirinyaga County commissioner’s office by November 3.

The upcoming 84-kilometre dual carriage highway is part of the Great North Road that connects Mombasa port to Addis Ababa through Nairobi, Isiolo and Moyale.

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