A dream doesn't become reality through magic. It takes sweat, determination and hard work.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Kenya can’t afford to use billions of shillings to please three men, State House says

NAIROBI, 30 April 2017 (PSCU) – The country cannot afford to spend billions of shillings to please three individuals at the expense of creating jobs for the millions of youth who actually need them, State House has said.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said it was unfortunate that instead of creating wealth, the opposition’s plan is to abuse existing wealth so that three people can get jobs.

“You know, people have agreed to take jobs that don’t exist … so, one of the opposition leaders was saying in a media interview that the first job for the team will be to use billions of shillings to change the Constitution so the three phantom jobs can be legitimised,” Mr Esipisu said.

The State Spokesperson was responding to a question raised in reference to the opposition’s leadership structure during his weekly briefing at State House, Nairobi, today.

Mr Esipisu said opposition figures ought to know better that they cannot somehow enact constitutional changes within 90 days of taking office to create three jobs.

“Making constitutional changes that require a referendum will simply not take three months. It will take years. And considering how citizens have rejected MPs and Governors that they don’t believe have used their resources prudently, they are unlikely ever to agree to spend billions of shillings to create jobs for the three men promised phantom ones,” he pointed out.

But unlike the opposition, Mr Esipisu observed, President Kenyatta was focused on committing resources to lift the lives of Kenyans.

He cited the expansion of electricity access, building of roads, construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, improving access to NHIF and providing money to the elderly under Inua Jamii programme as some of the initiatives that President Kenyatta has been undertaking.

“You know – for instance – Vihiga County has 16,000 recipients of Inua Jamii. Those are the programmes that will be threatened by suddenly shifting billions to fund a referendum to create phantom jobs for three people,” Mr Esipisu pointed out.

On party nominations, the State Spokesperson said President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party has allowed democracy to thrive and the will of the people to prevail.

“The President has said, and repeatedly so, that the decision on who he works with, within the party, going into 2017 and beyond would be made by Jubilee members themselves. The citizens must have their say because it matters,” the Spokesperson said.

He added: “You would have noted that right across the country, the party the President leads allowed citizens to make that choice without interference of any kind.  No story of a returning officer and a deputy presenting different results, no funny stories of losers being declared winners.”

The spokesperson also talked about the strides made by the Jubilee Government towards the transformation of the country’s economy by providing access to affordable energy for all Kenyans.

While highlighting progress in the provision of reliable energy, Mr Esipisu said the implementation of the 310 MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project is ahead of schedule.

The wind power project, with an investment of Kshs 70 billion, is one of the largest private investments in Kenya’s history. The wind farm covers 40,000 acres (162 km²) and is located in Loiyangalani District, Marsabit County.

Mr Esipisu said the project will provide reliable, low cost wind power to Kenya’s national grid for 20 years.

“In addition, and complimenting the wind farm, the Jubilee Government is currently developing a 428 km, 400kV transmission line that extends from Suswa due north to the Lake Turkana Wind Power site (via Naivasha, Gilgil, Nyahururu, Rumuruti, Maralal and Baragoi),” Mr Esipisu said.

He said the transmission line will evacuate the much needed power from the wind farm to the national grid at Suswa.

In reference to Nairobi, Mr Esipisu said the Jubilee Government has managed to connect more than 1,008,022 households to the national grid under the Last Mile connectivity project.

“This amounts to more than 5.5 million Nairobi residents including those in low-income earning areas being connected to power. The net effect is reducing the cost of lighting,” he said.

Mr Esipisu also talked about development in Northern Kenya where he said devolved funds amounting to Kshs 17.68 billion have been transferred to Garissa County since 2013 while the CDF allocation in the same period stands at 2.28 billion, implying that a large chunk of cash has been available to help grow the county.

In Wajir County, the amount of money transferred through the devolved system since 2013 is Kshs 22.15 billion whereas the CDF allocation since President Kenyatta’s Administration came to office is Kshs 2.53 billion.

In Mandera County, the amount of money transferred since 2013 is Kshs 27.43 billion whereas the CDF allocation in the same period is Kshs 2.99 billion.


Monday, 24 April 2017

How opposition united to kill the ‘Moi project’

FRIDAY APRIL 21 2017‘Riding on a Tiger’ is the autobiography of ex-Vice-President Moody Awori. PHOTO | NATION
‘Riding on a Tiger’ is the autobiography of ex-Vice-President Moody Awori. PHOTO | NATION 
By January 2001, activities within Kanu had intensified. President Moi had just 24 months before his last term ended on December, 31 2002. All political activities were geared towards one direction — President Moi’s succession.

This man died alone in an old age home. What he left behind broughttears to everyone's eyes

It seemed like a usual nursing home with usual patients. However, in that dull space somewhere there was a man who was beautifully scripting about his life during his last days in a form of heart-touching poem. Mak Filiser, 86, died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home and since he had no visitors, the nurses believed that he left nothing behind of any real value. 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

What Does Your Sleeping Habit Say About Your Relationship?


Recent psychological research carried out at the Edinburgh International Science Festival discovered an interesting fact: any change in the relationship of a loving couple immediately affects the positions that partners take in their sleep. The most important thing here is not the position in which they cuddle before going to sleep or the one that they take right after they fell asleep. The position they sleep in all night long and wake up in the morning is the only one that really matters.

Monday, 17 April 2017

A reformed robber reveals how a deadly criminal gang in Kayole operates without police interference

One of the prisoners whose name is withheld for her security purposes has hinted on how a deadly criminal gang in Kayole by the name Gaza operates. Through John’s ( not his real name) revelation this is a representative of how most dangerous gangs in major cities in Kenya operate in the presence of police officers.

According to John, this is a very organised criminal group that comprises of youth between the age of 13- 40 years. The gang has a leader who is always not referred to by his name instead he is just called chairman.

John also revealed that Gaza has a gang of 60 strong sub-groups who do various crime for them and they pay them on commission. The reformed gangster says that the group doesn’t prefer shading innocent blood as long as their victim doesn’t resist. Failure to cooperate provokes the gang to shoot and kill you and get what they want from you.

The gang divided into five groups with each group having four people. Each group has fully loaded firearms which are always carried when going for a deal. The lady gangs are the ones entitled to carry the firearms and not men because ladies are least suspected making them evade arrest by police or suspicion from the public.

“You know us, girls, we are not searched easily when we go to different places, so we are given pistols, pangas and all those tools of trade to carry.We can wrap a pistol together with a child and nobody will realize it,” said one of the Gaza girl.

 In addition, John said that the gang fundings comes from politicians and business people. Some of the leaders named when they were asked they denied the claims saying that they are not involved in any way.

John allegedly said that they get firearms from the police officers at an agreed fee whereby they return them after using them.

“Police also find us and give us bullets at an agreed cost, they also rent us guns at also an agreed fee per deal. Sometimes they turn against the gang if they fail to pay them their money or if they suspect that the information is leaked and they don’t want to be implicated,” John added.

 They also said that they give the police a fee of a hundred thousand per month so that the police allow them to operate freely without their interference.

He further said that they have a lot of cars which by day work as taxes and by night they are used during their robbery missions. He said that when they steal cars they take them to Tushauriane garage where they are disassembled and sold as spare parts.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Coast, Western, Nyanza gained the least in new roads projects

Coast, Western, Nyanza gained the least in new roads projects

Jubilee government has paved 2,700km of roads, which means the government is 7,300km behind its manifesto target

Coast, Western and Nyanza regions are the biggest losers in new major road construction projects implemented under the Jubilee government, a Nation Newsplex review of roads data shows.
Of the 64 major roads projects listed in the Economic Surveys from 2014 to 2016 as completed or in progress in the first three fiscal years of the Jubilee administration (2013/2014, 2014/2015 and 2015/2016), only two are in Coast region, while six are in Western and Nyanza each.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Stages of a Gīkūyū Man’s Life


  1. Gakenge – A new born baby for the first few months or so. After that he is referred to as Kaana, baby. Major ceremony – Being born, gūciarwo kwa mwana.
  2. Kahīī – A young boy floricking about like a young kid goat. major ceremony – The second Birth, gūcokia mwana ihu-iinī
  3. Kīhīī – A big boy nearing circumcision which would be anything from 12 to 18 years. To be called a Kīhīī (Kīhīī gīkī), is an insult as it is a reference to the fact that one is due or overdue for “straightening” – nī ūtigītie handū.
  4. Mumo – Kiumīri (sing), Literally means “coming out”, “emerging” like a butterfly from a cocoon into the full broom of God’s creation. Circumcision ceremonies – These were the most important of the Gikūyū ceremonies of becoming. Mambura ma irua.
  5. Mwanake – A young man until marriage. God’s material creation in its full glory. God, Ngai, did not create a child but a fully grown man. A young man is literally God’s fragment that was fashioned into a man by the creator, Mūmbi. Mwanake nī kīenyū kīa Ngai. Mwanake wa Njaama ya ita is a member of the warrior coupes, military.  Mwanake wa Njaama ya kamatimū is a member of the policing and guard coupes, Police.
  6. Mūthuuri – Karabai. Married man who can still be called upon to serve military duty in a major war.
  7. Mūthuri wa Kīama – An elder who serves in one or more of the many Councils. Because the Gikuyu system of government had no chiefs or kings, all government was through consensus in the various tribal Councils. Some were standing Councils with a membership representing the various clans. Other Councils were constituted on demand. To be a member of a Council was through the payment of a goat to the Council and there were three levels just as there are three levels in academia today, the Bachelors Degree, The Master’s Degree and the Doctor of Philosophy, PhD. Elders do not serve in the military or police coupes.

Nota bene: There were no serious ceremonies to do with death in Gīkūyū tradition as the Gīkūyū were highly biophilic and all major ceremonies had to do with life or its propagation. Necrophilic societies have death as their major ceremonies.

In The RepublicPlato explains that there are three classes of men – Lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor and lovers of gain. The lovers of wisdom are those individuals in which the Soul of reason has taken control. The lovers of honor are dominated by by the Soul of will, and the lovers of gain by the Soul of appetite. It was reckoned that the Soul of appetite was located in the belly, the Soul of will in the heart and the Soul of reason in the head. Spiritual development or becoming entailed the mastery of the negative impact of these Soul aspects on one’s personality and nurturing the positive aspects. The positive aspects of Soul, solidified in the character of a man into the three virtues namely Temperance, Strength and Prudence.

The negative aspects or lack of the first virtue,Temperance in a man are gluttony, lust, greed and a failure to control the sensuous side in him. Drunkenness and legal or illegal drug abuse are characteristic of such a man and examples of such men are legion especially in all classes of Gīkūyū society. The positive aspects or Temperance solidify in a character that has, harmonious relationships, health and beauty. The negative consequences of having a false sense of the second virtue, Strength are a love of prestige, power, excessive control, cruelty and anger. True Strength or Fortitude solidifies into self mastery, discipline, courage and compassion. The positive aspects of the third virtue, Prudence are wisdom, good judgement, sagacity and the use of reason. Failure to master Prudence obviously leads to poor judgement.

Like every biophilic society, traditional Gīkūyū society was organised to nurture physical as well as spiritual becoming and we may see that the entire emanation from child to elder corresponds with the three parts of Platonic emanation. In the child/boy stage up to circumcision, the Soul of appetite can be said to be supreme. In the warrior stage up to the position of Elder, the Soul of will is in ascendancy and in the elder stage the Soul of reason is meant to be supreme. The word Mūthuurifor a Gīkūyū elder comes from the verb gūthuura, to choose, to be judicious, ie. the capacity to discriminate or make wise decisions

In the final development of the Gīkūyū man, the effect of all three Soul aspects will have solidified into a personality fit to be inducted into the Council, Kīama. If the Soul of appetite is unchecked the man will exhibit all the excesses of rust, gluttony, sensuousness and greed. He will be what they call a gīthagathago, a good for nothing unfit to give the first goat, Temperance, Ūiganīrīru, to the Kīama. The temperate man is a man of moderation in all things, a man with self-control – a man of discipline.

If the Soul of will is given free reign it develops in a man the desire for power, prestige anger, cruelty and excessive control but once conquered, the Soul of will develops a true warrior Spirit – a Samurai. Men like Wan’gombe wa Ihūra, Waiyaki wa Hinga, Kīmathi wa Wachiūri, Che’ Guevara developed this Spirit to a very high degree perhaps to the detriment of the other two virtues. For – lest we forget, they must all three be raised to the level of virtues. The second goat, Strength, Ūcamba,  given to the Council, Kīama, signifies that the man has developed this warrior Spirit sufficiently but of course with Temperance. (Ti ūrūme – Ūcamba)

The mastery of the Soul of reason qualifies a man to sit in the inner circle of the Council, Kīama. This is a man who appreciates the abstract ideas that underlie reality – that is, he is not superficial or fooled by surface appearances but contemplates philosophical and metaphysical phenomena. He is a man who has sacrificed at the altar of Self the third goat, Prudence, Ūthurania, and is thus Mūthuuri wa Mbūri ithatū, An Elder of three goats. He is alert, cautious and guarded. He is shrewd and skilled in good judgement. When he stands to speak in the Council he is not frivolous, careless or petty. He chooses his words carefully and with deliberation. He is insightful and with discernment is able to read the intents and contents of the heart, They say, athomaga marī mbahaca, or he reads the letters while they are still sealed in the envelop. He remains calm when face to face with death and is not flustered or made to lose his calm in front of the most sensuous or material suggestion. Such men are rare and the one that comes to mind instantly is The Reverend Doctor, Martin Luther King, Junior. In his famous address, “I Have Been to the Mountaintop”, the day before he was brutally murdered, he closed the speech thus,

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Plato does go further to say that a fourth virtue, Justice, Ūiguithania,  in which all three virtues of Temperance, Strength and Prudence merge into a World Soul is possible to an individual who becomes a Philosopher King. This could be equated to the highest possible rank in the ladder of Gīkūyū emanation, the Muthamaki. When this happens the individual is said according to Plato, to be “ruled by the divine wisdom dwelling within him.” A Muthamaki, or Philosopher King emerges not from the will of man neither by his own will but by divine authority, through the Grace of the most high God, Mwene Nyaga. He usually emerges during a critical stage in a society and guides the people through the appointed task and then vanishes. He is not an object of adoration by the popular mind and is not necessarily popular or of a great age. Boy kings like Tutenchamun, Solomon, David come to mind. The first Gīkūyū man, who according to Gīkūyū lore is the image of the perfect man was made from a fragment of God, Mwene Nyaga and is the image every Gīkūyū man and woman looks up to, prays and works to become. This generic man, who includes all genders, male and female is a happy balance of all four virtues and is what is depicted in the Gikuyu cross, Nyumba.

Young woman, kang’ei, with twins, mahatha.

Young boy, Kahīī, with best friend, a kid.

The flowering circumcision initiates, ihīri soon to come out as Muumo

Adorned for the circumcision cerebrations

A young warrior in sentry or police duty, Njaama ya Kamatimū

Warrior in full regalia. Mwanake wa ita

Young married man, Muthuuri Karabai who can be called upon to war

A Gikuyu elder, Mūthuuri wa Kīama

The Library surrounded by eager students. The old man’s task is to tell stories. Stories and more stories.

See: Stages of a Gikuyu Woman’s Life


Vehicle fraud scheme gives insurers sleepless nights



Cars on sale at Valley Road Motors

One of the cars on sale at Valley Road Motors in Nairobi is being inspected on May 16, 2016. Insurance firms are losing a lot of money through vehicle fraud. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 


Insurance companies are losing billions of shillings every year in a well-coordinated scam involving false claims on high-end vehicles said to have been stolen or written off due to accidents.

The syndicate, which involves motor vehicle owners, assessors and insiders within the insurance companies, operates smoothly leaving no suspicion while minting millions in fraud schemes that have become a big headache to insurers. 

Others thought to be involved include the police, garage owners and spare part dealers. 

From fake accidents, dramatised robberies and car thefts as well as malicious crashing of high-end cars to claim write-offs, the cartel is giving underwriters sleepless nights.

In one common trick, a fraudster purchases a high-end car, insures it with as many as three insurance firms, claims its loss through theft or write-off and ends up with three new cars and the “wreckage” in one of the quickest wealth generation schemes in town. 

Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI) says the battle against the cartel has been hard due to lack of a common system where insurers can share details.

AKI Executive Director Tom Gichuhi told the Sunday Nation that motor vehicle fraudulent claims have over the years become more sophisticated. 

“I can tell you that a lot of people have taken it as a full-time job to design how to defraud insurance firms. 

"Some of them are former staff of the companies with a deep understanding of the sector and good connections,” he said.

“We end up paying for a brand new Range Rover, for example, whose premiums have not been received for even three months. 

"This can be done with as many as three firms as one ends up with three Range Rovers in a month or less,” he added.

In a case involving a Range Rover Vogue, the claim was processed as a write-off and ended up hitting four insurers in a classic case of how hard the fraudsters can hit.

Insured in May 2014, the car was reportedly damaged from an accident six months later and taken to a garage where an assessor recommended it for a write-off. 

Since the owner gets priority to buy the salvage, he retained the original log book in the first and the second case and even retained it after buying the salvage in the third.

Unsatisfied with the hefty compensations, the greedy fraudster secured two more covers for the car still in the garage and promptly claimed for write-offs. 

He succeeded in one. In the second, the assessors were shocked to find the Range Rover they had recommended for a write-off three months earlier was claiming the payment in a different insurance firm.

Insurers also pointed to what they described as a “demolition den” on Nairobi’s Thika Road where fraudsters take their cars for specialised crashing before being towed to a garage for write-off and claim. 

Some of the cars crashed have vital parts removed supporting a lucrative second-hand car spare parts business in downtown Nairobi and Mombasa.

Some firms like Jubilee Insurance have since established a full-fledged forensic fraud investigations unit with highly trained investigators to deal with the menace.

The investigators who spoke to us in confidence said the fraudsters are so bold that they channel complaints to the highest authorities and pile pressure to push for compensation on the fake claims.

In another case, a client (in emails seen by the Sunday Nation) had pushed for a write-off after making four claims in two years totalling Sh633,748. 

The car had allegedly hit the rear of a trailer on Mombasa Road.

His account of the accident failed to tally with the damage since the “targeted” destruction had not affected the engine part to qualify for a write-off. 

CCTV footage at the scene did not even show his car at the location during the time of the alleged accident.

In some instances, the fraudsters also use insurance firms to launder their high-end cars imported fraudulently and those stolen from overseas.

Payments received from the claims are used to buy cars through proper channels effectively cleaning the dark deals. 


KRA last year said over 400 cars were suspected to have entered Kenya illegally. 

Out of the 121 that were blacklisted complete with owners’ names and registration details, more than 100 are still at large.

Data from insurance firms shows that 406 cars were claimed under theft in 2016, a 37 per cent fall from 646 reported in 2015. 

And 66 per cent of the 2016 numbers were cars stolen from parking points in a well organised crime.

Mr Gichuhi said the fraudsters had started a shift from hard fraud to a softer one involving the sale of motor vehicle parts.

“This one even hits our customers since they end up with substandard parts when we are given a claim for pricey genuine parts. 

"The labour charges are also exaggerated in collusion with the assessors and the garage owners, leaving firms bleeding millions in losses,” Mr Gichuhi said.

Insurance Regulatory Authority is yet to release statistics for the 2016 Insurance Fraud Investigation Unit (IFIU) report, but the 2015 results showed that fraud had worsened by 21.8 per cent compared to 2014. 

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Celebrating life at 117

Celebrating life at 117

When I was in primary school, my teacher asked the class who our heroes were. As you can expect, most of the children named their favourite pop star or actor but I remember standing up and saying: “My great grandmother Elizabeth, because she’s 103!”

The classroom went silent and all eyes were on me. “How is that even possible?” I was asked by a classmate. Honestly, if you would have told me back then that I would be travelling to celebrate her 117th birthday, I would have asked the same question. But, 14 years later, we celebrated my great grandmother’s 117th birthday.

Priscilla Ng’ethe

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been bursting to share the story of my great grandmother, Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange. She is known to be one of the oldest living people in the world and has lived through both world wars, the colonisation of Kenya and its independence. She is greatly admired in Kenya because she was the fifth wife of Senior Chief Koinange Wa Mbiyu, who played a great role in Kenya’s independence.

I was raised in London, but my African – specifically Kenyan – roots have always been a huge part of who I am. I’d find myself frustrated seeing images of Africa in the media being of starvation, famine and corruption, but at the BBC, we’re changing that. Even though these stories are relevant, so are the positive stories from the continent. Africa is a big and diverse continent; each country bursting with stories to be told and each of them unique and important in their own right. I wanted to tell these stories to the world.

The journey began when I was doing an internship at the BBC. One of my senior colleagues advised me to attend a meeting about Creative Challenge – an annual competition within the BBC, where employees of any discipline at any level can pitch story ideas. That meeting was full of people listening to the commissioning editor announce the 2017 Creative Challenge theme... Life Stories. It was just then that a light bulb went off in my head: Life at 117.

I was excited to tell the story of my great grandmother who has lived far past the average life expectancy. It’s not often the gap between young and old is bridged, and not often do you get stories that connect millennials with older citizens, especially in Africa. This story was not just the celebration of a long life, but also of the forgotten history of the struggle and liberation of Kenya, and those who fought in it. That is what makes this story special.

Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange

If there’s one thing that the whole world has in common, it is the stages of life – childhood, marriage, parenthood, work and old age. Even though it’s a commonality for most of us across the globe, just imagine how unique and unmatchable those five stages in life must be for every person in each generation. My life has been completely different to my great grandmothers at my age. At age 23, my grandmother had been working on her father’s farm in Kenya having had no formal education. I, on the other hand, have graduated from university and am now a journalist in London.

When I found out that my story pitch had won the Creative Challenge, I was thrilled and soon began to plan the documentary. I researched into my family history and discovered stories I had never known. When I told my great grandmother I wanted to do a documentary about her life, she was ecstatic. She always says that the world has left elderly people behind but she was delighted to learn that the BBC News teams would be with her to celebrate her 117th birthday.

I flew to Kenya, to my ancestral home, to film the documentary for BBC World News and BBC World Service. My family were excited to welcome the crew into their home, to be able to tell my grandmother’s story - about life at 117 – to global audiences. She’s excited that people in places as far away and as culturally different as Japan and Brazil will be able to watch her story.

Everyone agrees my grandmother is a phenomenal woman. From her strength to her love and faith for the family, she has always taught me to stay focused and pursue my dreams. To love all and to forgive. And for this, my great grandmother will always be my hero. She is simply inspiring and has had a unique life that is going to capture the attention of the world.

Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange's family

Celebrating Life at 117 will air on BBC World News (400) on Friday 14 April at 01:30 CAT. It will also air on BBC World Service radio on Wednesday 12 April at 12:30 CAT.