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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Police shoot in the air to rescue a robbery suspect

By Joseph Mutua

Police in Ng’arua division of Laikipia West district shot in the air to scare away an irate mob that wanted to lynch a suspected robber.

The suspect is said to have sneaked into a shop run by an elderly man at Mohotetu market where he attempted to strangle the old man.

According to Thumbi Gitahi the elderly man who was alone at the time of the incident, the assailant said to be in his late 20s pounced on him and gagged him with a piece of cloth.

The shopkeeper who is also the treasurer of the Mohotetu dairy farmers cooperative society said neighbours who heard the commotion rushed to his rescue.

The 7.00 pm incident attracted a mob that beat the assailant senseless before the police from the nearby Muhotetu chief’s camp came to rescue him.

The assailant was picked up by the police while the elderly man was escorted to a nearby clinic where he was treated and discharged.

The motive of the attack was not immediately established.

An elderly man drowns as rains continue to wreck havoc in Ng’arua

By By Joseph Mutua

The heavy rains currently pounding many parts of the country has claimed a life at Chereta village in Karaba area of Sipili.

The latest incident involved an elderly man whom our sources say was swept away by raging floods while walking home last Friday.

The lifeless body of Mr. James Ndungu Gachora, 60, was discovered by passersby stuck between fallen tree branches at the riverbanks of Chereta River near Jaukuri dam.
An eyewitness who spoke to Laikipia Rural Voices hinted that the slain man was drunk at the time of the incident.

“He was seen staggering earlier that evening and I suspect he must have drowned while trying to cross the river at a make shift bridge built by the residents,” said the eyewitness Maina Nderi.

The man who was a resident of Mohotetu location is said to have traveled to Karaba location to check over a piece of land he owns there.

Meanwhile, Karaba location residents are appealing to the government to intervene in curbing the local brews saying many productivity people especially the youths were spending most of their time in the illicit drinks dens.

Police fight armed cattle rustlers and recover 47 heads of cattle at Munyu village

By Joseph Mutua

Cattle rustlers armed with Ak-47 riffles struck Munyu village of Mohotetu location in Laikipia district, and drove away with 47 cows.

Their was however short-lived after police and members of the public pursued them and recovered the cattle some 2o kilometres from the village.

The robbers raided Mr. Muriithi’s homestead at around midnight and drove away all his cows while shooting in the air to scare away anyone trying to prevent them from their mission.
Speaking to Laikipia Rural Voices Mr. Muriithi said the thugs arrived at his homestead and fired several times in the air to scare him and the neighbours before moving to the cowshed where they drive the animals away.

The administration police officers from Muhotetu chief’s camp arrived half an hour’s time but the robbers had already disappeared into the night with the loot.
The police then joined the villagers in the rescue mission and pursued the robbers who by then had moved several kilometres from the village.

When they finally caught up with the thugs police fired in the air forcing the attackers to flee into the bush abandoning the cattle, which they drove back home.

Mr. Muriithi, the owner of the cattle thanked the villagers and the police for helping him to recover his cattle and as a way of parting their back slaughtered a bull the following day, which they all feasted on.

Cattle rustling cases in the area are rampant and the resident are appealing to the government to post more police officers in the area in order to beef up security.

Take HIV test, locals urged

By James Maina and Macharia Benjamin

World AIDS day is normally cerebrated on December 1 every year so as to create awareness on HIV/AIDS. This year’s theme is ‘getting to zero: zero new HIV infections; zero AIDS related deaths: zero discrimination.’

According to a survey carried out by Laikipia Rural Voices within Sipili township, two to three people out of about 100 who are tested every month at a local health facility, are found to be HIV positive.
“The number of the people confirmed to be HIV positive for the past one year has declined in comparison with the previous years.” says George Mbugua, a medic at a health facility at Sipili market.
Mbugua says HIV/AIDS awareness is increasing with more and more people visiting voluntary counseling and testing centers.

However, despite the services being offered free of charge and in a friendly manner, many youths still do not know their HIV status due to either ignorance or fear of the outcome.
Mbugua said more women than men were seeking VCT services and attributed this to the mandatory test they have to take during prenatal care. 

“Whenever an expectant woman is found to be HIV positive, special treatment is normally administered to prevent the unborn baby from being infected,” he said while urging all expectant mothers to take the crucial test.

In the education sector, teachers, parents and learners are also affected by the pandemic. The learners find themselves dropping out of school to offer care to their ailing relatives.
Parents whose children are infected have to undertake the heavy duty of taking care of them.
The ministry of education has greatly campaigned against stigmatization of HIV positive pupils and students by encouraging the formation of health clubs where education on how to prevent and how to live with the disease is taught in details.

“In my school for example, HIV/AIDS infected pupils are protected from any stigmatization or discrimination by either teachers or fellow pupils,” says Mr. Billy Karomo, the head teacher Sipili primary school.

Like other parts of the country, the disease has also negatively affected Ng’arua area economically by claiming the lives of productive people who would have contributed greatly in the development of the area.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Rush at Sipili market ahead of kenyans independence day

By James Maina
As Kenya prepares to celebrate her 48th Jamhuri day this Sunday the residents of Sipili division in Laikipia West district would be seen busy making purchases at the local market in their hundreds.

The market was flooded with cereals, vegetables and potatoes from outside and within the division.

“I bought all these goods to counter any shortage of food that might arise since there are a lot of people doing their shopping today,” said Mr. Nderitu Miaro, a farther of three from Kahuruko, some two miles from Sipili.

The entire town was filled with noise as customers bargained for the various goods while the merchants called on passersby to buy their wares.

“The market is not as favorable as I had expected,” Ms. Esther Wairimu told Laikipia Rural Voices as she displayed like wheat among other cereals for sale.
Kales were selling at five shillings per bunch while a kilogramme of wheat was sold at ksh 100.

Mr. Jamleck Mwangi who operates a butchery at the town said over 100 customers bought meat from his shop in a period of less than eight hours. “I had not expected such a high demand for meat,” Mwangi said.

Mr. Miaro however expressed fear that many men and the youth might indulge in excessive drinking of alcohol and advised them to drink responsibly to avert chaos. And other negative issues that come as a result of irresponsible drinking.

Clean environment, our right

By James Maina and Joseph Mutua

Confusion erupted at Sipili market of Laikipia West district last week, following an order by the local public health office to close all business premises, that do not have toilets.
The impromptu move that caught many traders unaware on Thursday morning and saw tens of businesses including hotels, food kiosks, dukas, bars, hardware shops and second hand wares outlets who lay their merchandise at the open air market.

Mr. John Maina, a private clinical officer in Sipili town who was among the few  entrepreneurs who have complied with the public health rules of having washrooms at all business premises said the action by the ministry was commendable to pave way for the emptying of the public toilets at the township.

The public toilets were full and a health hazard. The exercise was meant to protect the public from contracting diseases that come as a result of dirt and poor hygiene.
“We are paying our dues to the Laikipia county council and we need to operate from a clean environment and having clean public toilets is a step in the right direction,” Maina said.

All pupils deserve an equal chance to join national secondary schools

Anne kinyanjui

Education and poverty are two issues raising conflicts in our country Kenya. The Kenya certificate of Primary education (KCPE) is over and the results will be due in a few days time towards the end of the year.

Who is or who is not supposed to join national secondary schools is the big question.

The ministry of education will determine this, but we, as education stakeholders have to get involved as well.

Private school parents are considered well up while their counterparts in public schools are viewed as poor.

According to a survey by Laikipia Rural Voices in Laikipia West constituency, 75 percent of parents have opposed the government directive made about one year ago, where primary school pupils from public schools are given more slots in national secondary schools while those from private institutions get few positions.

Those opposed to the government move argue that the parents who sacrificed to educate their children in private academies did so because they wanted them to access quality education that lacks in many public primary schools in the country.

They say that with the introduction of free and compulsory primary education in Kenya, the pupil- teacher ratio has tilted way out of the international standard of one teacher per 40 pupils with some schools having one class of over 100 pupils.

This they say has compromised the quality of education offered at these public schools and has seen many parents sacrifice to enroll their children in public schools in search of quality education to ensure good foundation for the children.

They therefore feel shortchanged when their children who worked as hard as the pupils in public schools to achieve good grades are denied a chance to join national secondary schools, just because they schooled in private institutions.

For the last five years according to statistics, those who usually top in national examinations rarely come from rich backgrounds. They mostly come from poor or average families.

The government should take responsibility of what happens in public schools since the syllabus, the school calendar year and the examination is the same.

It should address the problems of staff shortage and lack of learning facilities in public schools in order to increase the performance of the pupils who school there instead of lowering the national high school entry mark for them while and offering unequal vacancies with those from private schools.

This cannot be a solution and only creates more problems since it will lower competition and tend to make pupils in public institutions more relaxed rather than aggressive in their studies.

All these pupils whether in public or private institutions are Kenyans. They are equal and have equal rights and thus should be given equal opportunities without discrimination.

Voters should elect visionary leaders

By Lawrence Maina

Lariak Secondary school has launched a strategic plan to help in the development of the institution.

With all stakeholders including parents, teachers and students having been involved in the process of its creation, it was time to officially set the ball rolling.

The five year development strategy will see the day school transform to an academic giant by the end of the period if all goes as planned.
Speaking at the function, Mr. Omondi who represented the Laikipia West district education officer urged parents to work hand in hand with the staff to ensure that the goals and objectives as set out in the 2012-2017 strategic plan are achieved.

He also urged parents to be weary of politicizing the administration of schools to avert the downfall of the institutions.

Speaking at the same event, Dr. Michael Mugo urged parents to elect leaders based on their visions and not just because of their eloquence or big family names. Mugo particularly urged them to use the 2012 election to their benefit by electing leaders who have community issues at heart.

“Let us milk all politicians who come to us with bribes of money but instead vote in those leaders who are visionary and keen on the community development,” urged Dr. Mugo.

Meanwhile, the parents were urged to do their best in raising some sh. 600,000 for a funds drive dubbed Laikipia West schools development projects.

The funds drive which will be held at Sipili Secondary school in February 2012 targets to raise one million shillings to help in putting up development projects in the various secondary schools in the district.

Former cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott has been invited as the chief guest during the harambee according to Mr. Mugo who is co-coordinating the drive.