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VIDEO: Police clash with rival groups over running of public toilets in CBD

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Police officers were on Monday forced to use tear gas to quell chaos that rocked the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) after rival groups clashed over the management of public toilets.

Members of the public were caught in the melee and were unable to access some public toilets in the CBD after armed officers were deployed to prevent rowdy youth from accessing the facilities.

A group from Starehe Constituency claimed they were being arm-twisted to surrender toilets by two groups from Eastleigh and Dandora with the help of close allies of the Nairobi governor.

“I build this toilet, and when the Sonko regime came into power. Unknown people were going round trying to take over the toilets,” said Wangeci ‘Simba’, a public toilet owner in the CBD.

Other owners described how some groups were using police officers to forcefully evict them.

“These groups from Eastleigh and Dandora have been threatening us and using police to fake charges against us yet we have all documents to show that we are the rightful managers of this toilet,” they said.

At some point the police were forced to lob teargas canisters to disperse the irate crowds spoiling for a fight.

Calm was later restored after the arrival of Central Police OCS who engaged the warring faction.

Since 2018, there has been a back and forth in the city over the running of the toilets since governor Mike Sonko threatened to take and hand them over to City Hall if the private entities failed to end their constant infighting.

The Starehe Constituency group has now called on Nairobi Metropolitan Services boss Major General Mohammed Badi to pick out the legitimate group that will run and operate the toilets.

“We are tired of these fights, let Badi solve this stalemate once and for all because we pay taxes and we have court documents protecting our group from victimisation,” they added.

The public toilet industry in Nairobi rakes in more than a billion shillings every year and is controlled by a few groups and individuals that operate like cartels.

Fights for their control are common and vicious as the groups jostle for a share of the money.

Nairobi County government said there are 68 public toilets in the city with 17 located within the CBD.

They are operated under the public-private partnership that came into effect in 1999 when the defunct Nairobi City Council engaged the business community to find a solution to the deplorable conditions of the facilities.

Many others were privatised during the regime of Nairobi’s first governor Evans Kidero.

Dr Kidero said the toilets were privatised because City Hall had no capacity to run them.

The operators were to charge a small fee for maintenance of the 517 private toilets spread across the county, mainly in the city centre, estates and markets.

A single toilet in the CBD and markets that charges Sh10 per visit can collect as much as Sh30,000 in a day while those in the estates realise between Sh1,000 and Sh3,000.

From 63 public toilets, it is estimated that more than Sh1.9 million is collected every day translating to Sh56.7 million in a month and more than Sh680 million in a year.

The 517 private ones, with an average daily collection of Sh2,000, bring in Sh1 million every day, over Sh31 million every month and Sh372 million in a year.

This money explains why the public toilet sector is fiercely guarded with even politicians once in a while being roped in to protect the operators.

The toilets are managed by individuals, youth groups, women groups and the Central Business Hawkers Association and some are run by supporters of influential city politicians, who claims to have constructed several toilets years back.

BY NN


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Lifestyle

Ruth Matete seeks help as she marks first wedding anniversary minus hubby

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Ms Ruth Matete and her husband MrJohn Apewajoye
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Gospel singer Ruth Matete penned a moving message to her newborn daughter as she marked her first wedding anniversary but without her husband Beloved John Apewajoye who died this year.

 The Tusker Project Fame 5 winner welcomed her bundle of joy in October, seven months after the tragic death of her husband.

In a lengthy Instagram post, in which she also attached a photo of her daughter, Reyna Toluwa’s feet, Matete prayed that her daughter would grow up to serve the Lord.

“Reyna Toluwa my princess. My love. Am not a poet, but the words I write here, are from my heart. I pray for you on this special day. That you will grow to serve the Lord. You will spread the good news of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Matete wrote.

She also declared that Reyna’s feet will carry the good news.

“As the Bible says; ‘And how can anyone preach unless they are sent?’ As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ I declare today, that your feet are beautiful. Not just because they look like your father’s, but also because they will bring good news as the word of God declares,” she added.

 Matete remembered the vows she made on her wedding day, ‘till death do us part’ but she emotionally noted that death took her beloved husband earlier than expected.

“A day like this a year ago, your late father and I walked down the isle. Yes, we didPromised to be together till death do us part. But death came earlier than we expected.  I miss him so much. But am blessed to have you as a gift that he left me with. I don’t even understand how I’ve come this far. It can only be God,” she posted.

Even though it was one of those difficulty days in her life, Matete promised her daughter she would be fine eventually.

“Today may not be such an easy day for mummy. But I promise you, I’ll be fine. I have seen God to be the father to the fatherless and husband to the widow as He has promised in His word. Today won’t be an exception. I know He will help us even today,”  Matete said in the post.

 She ended her emotional message by asking for monetary support as she could not yet manage to resume work after a troublesome pregnancy.

“Friends, our till number remains the same, incase you wish to support us.5495849. Whatever you can, will go a mighty long way as am still not able to work. God bless you friends and please keep us in your prayers,” she added.

By NN


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Lifestyle

World’s most-traveled man Fred Finn says Kenya is the safest place to visit during the pandemic

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Diani beach in Kwale County has played host to the world’s most traveled man, Fred Finn.

Finn has traveled to more than 150 countries at the age of 75 and holds the current Guinness Book World Records.

Finn, who is in the country until Monday, November 30 said Kenya is safe for holiday destinations.

He however noted that his visit at the moment is not for leisure, but to send a message that the country is safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says he has observed that Kenyans are following the protocols and guidelines than any other country he has traveled to during the pandemic.

“I did not come here on holiday, that is why my wife is not with me. I came because whenever Kenya has a little crisis I come and say Kenya is safe” he said

He said, during a pandemic, Kenya is the safest place to go on holiday.

Finn is scheduled to have his vaccine in December.

Tourism players say Finn’s visit to Kenya gives confidence to the international market that the country is an ideal destination.

“When you get an endorsement from the eyes of a traveler that is likely to carry the right persuasion to the potential travelers” said Kioko Musyoki, Leopard Beach General Manager.


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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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