The school is aiming for the best overall in this year’s KCPE after beating all public primary schools for six years.
The Meru Miss Ghetto Beauty Pageant 2014 title holder Rukia Mwendwa is raring to go in her commission to fight social vices in slums as well as address poverty that paralyses the lives of many youths in informal settlements.
Being the first ever Miss Ghetto in the country, her job is well cut out for Mjini, Majengo, Kaithe, Kibera, Kooje and Shauri yako slums. She spoke to CiaMeru
Who is Rukia Mwendwa?
I am a 22 year old graduate of the Meru University with a degree in Business and Information Technology. I was born and raised at Majengo slum in Meru town. I have a passion for children and charity work. I like traveling and modeling.
What made you contest for Miss Ghetto?
As I said, I love it when I work with children and have a thing for modeling. I participated in the Miss Tourism, Meru County but did not make it to finals. Having been born in the slums and passionate for charity work, I saw this as an opportunity to give back to the community I grew in.
What community initiatives have you taken part in?
I have been engaged in activities at children homes in the county. Besides, I have an eye for fine arts which has made me to participate in talent growing initiatives.
Why do you think you are up to the task as Miss Ghetto Meru?
The Miss Ghetto Beauty Pageant contest organizers were looking for a person who can act as an ambassador of slums in Meru. I have the passion, the education ability to seek intervention from relevant organizations.
What are you up to now?
Due to abject poverty in the slums, there is widespread prostitution, drug abuse, illiteracy and sexually transmitted diseases which mostly affect the youth. We know that the youth have a lot of potential to make it in life. I am engaging NGOs and government to support sports, talent and motivation programs.
Have you had any success so far?
Already, we have won the support of the county government which has promised to work with us. I have helped in forming talent groups in Mjini and Majengo slums who have specialized in music and dance. I have also helped form a youth group where youths can access soft loans.
I have also engaged with a bank in Meru to develop a financial product for the youth in slum areas.
What is the main challenge in this endeavor?
I remember recently when I addressed a gathering of elites and overheard some people were surprised that a Miss ghetto can speak good English. Many slum children fail to access education because they are forgotten in government incentives. I look forward to partner with various government departments and NGOs in closing the poverty gap and stopping social vices.
What message do you have to the community?
It is clear that Slums are harbors of social evils in our towns. Let us work together in stopping the growth of slums and helping those living there improve their lives.
By DAVID MUCHUI
A family at Ruiri in Buuri District, Meru County is seeking justice as the body of their late father has remained unburied for the last seven months due to a land dispute.
The family of the late Samuel Muriungi lives in agony after they learnt that the one acre piece of land they have lived in all their lives was sold off without their knowledge.
According to Ms Rhoda Kendi, daughter to the late Muriungi, the family learnt that their land had been sold off after they were served with a court order barring them from burying their father.
“We have suffered for so long since my childhood. My dad passed away in August last year and the body is still in the mortuary. We received an order that we should not bury him on this land yet we have known the land is ours.
I completed high school last year but instead of joining college, I have to look for money to attend court cases,” Rhoda said.
The family’s clan has been raising money to support the children who cannot do farming on the disputed piece of land.
Mr Edward Kiruja, a clan elder said that family was deprived of their land by a second wife of their grandfather who sold it in collaboration with administration officers.
“After the death of their grandfather, the young wife decided to sell her piece of land. The title deed was in the custody of the village head who had been entrusted by the clan. We were never consulted when the title deed was released for the transactions,” Kiruja said.
The clan members are calling on government to intervene and help the family bury their dead and pay up the accumulated mortuary fees.
By DAVID MUCHUI
Sixty (60%) percent of Meru land is not registered while only 14 out of the 110 recorded urban centers are registered which hinders development in the County.
According to Meru County Executive Committee (CEC) Member for Land and Economic planning Dr Paul Mugambi, presence of establishments in many towns and markets is uncertain due to lack of planning.
Speaking to Ciameru, Dr Mugambi said the speedy growth of towns and markets in the county calls for clear development guidelines for growth of commercially viable towns.
“We are partnering with stakeholders in the sector to come up with the right development plans for the county. We are already fine-tuning the Meru town development plan and the County integrated development plan in efforts to streamline development,” Dr Mugambi said.
The CEC Member said that planning is a costly affair where Meru town integrated development plan cost Sh70 million while Nkubu, Maua and Timau planning is expected to cost over Sh100 million.
“We have already engaged a consultant to help in re-planning of areas near Isiolo. We have frozen all developments around this area because we want the Isiolo resort city to grow towards Makutano and Kianjai. Without a proper development plan, we cannot have sustainable growth,” he explained.
Dr Mugambi noted that Timau town has great potential to be a tourist hub hence its integrated Development plan may cost up to Sh200 million.
He said that his office has already introduced centralized approval of building plans to curb corruption that has been entrenched in the process.
Meanwhile, Dr Mugambi said that over 40, 000 title deeds for residents of Meru County have already been processed at Ardhi House.
“We have started a crush program on land registration to ensure more title deeds are prepared before the President comes to issue them,” he said.
Areas where title deeds are ready include Kianjai, Kitheo, Buuri, Naathu A, Kiiru/Nkando, Kangeta, Uringu 2, Ntunene and Athiru Gaiti adjudication sections.
By DAVID MUCHUI
The County government of Meru will revoke title deeds issued to grabbers of public land and will not renew leases for leasees who have not done any substantial development in their land.
Speaking to the press, CEC member for Land Dr Paul Mugambi however said that repossessing grabbed public land in Meru town may not be possible as most grabbers have legal title deeds.
“Land grabbing has been very notorious in Meru. We are auditing all public land in the county to identify grabbers. Some of the grabbed parcels are legally registered under individuals and we may hardly repossess any land in Meru town,” Dr Mugambi said.
He noted that repossession of grabbed land may be a costly affair for the County government due to ensuing court cases.
“I will try to repossess what can be repossessed. Public land is known but the records on paper show that it belongs to individuals. We are treading carefully but we are hawk-eyed to protect public land in other parts of the county,” he added.
On leases, Dr Mugambi said that the lands office is also auditing all leased land to establish those that have expired and underutilized land for re-allocation.
“Various religious organizations were given leases of 33 years and some have expired. They had promised to develop the land but we find most of it lying idle, we will not renew such leases.
We will give them what they can develop and lease the rest to investors,” said the CEC member for Land and Economic planning.
By DAVID MUCHUI
Meru School was left out of the 2013 KCSE rankings due alleged irregularity in Computer studies subject, the School Principal Silas Mwirigi has confirmed.
Mwirigi said that 17 candidates were affected as a result of improper presentation of the candidates work.
He noted that the school has performed very well compared to last year with a mean score of 9.98 maintaining its position as the academic giant in the region.
“The teacher in charge filed the computer studies exam for the candidates in one soft copy. This was taken to be a collusion leading to cancellation of results.
We are engaging with the Kenya National Examinations Council to correct the same and have the school ranked,” Mwirigi said.
Mwirigi said he has already met with KNEC officials and is optimistic that the matter will be settled. He lauded the candidates for the good performance.
By DAVID MUCHUI
Meru County topped nationally with the highest number of candidates involved in irregularities where 471 candidates in 15 centers across seven sub counties were found to have cheated.
Nairobi County had 19 centers implicated in irregularities while Homa Bay County came second to Meru with the 396 candidates implicated.
There are fears that some of the top performing schools in Meru which have not been ranked are among those found with irregularities.
By DAVID MUCHUI
Traditional top school in Meru County, Meru School conspicuously went missing from all rankings in the 2013 KCSE ranking despite producing four candidates in the county top 10.
Ontulili Boys High school which has also been an emerging force in the county went missing from the top five schools as Miathene Boys made a come back from a long lull.
St Marys’ Girls, Igoji was ranked top in the county and position 80 nationally with a performance index 66.280.
Murithi T E Emilio from Nkubu High School was ranked the best candidate in the county with a mean score of 86.640.
Speaking to CiaMeru, Murithi, 17, who was flanked by her mother Ms Lennity Kagwiria Muroki said that he expected to do well though emerging the best in the county came as a surprise.
Other schools ranked in the top five are Kaaga Girls, 63.964, Burieruri,62.127, Nkubu, 61.947, and Miathene Boys 59.920.
In the Sub County ranking, Imenti South retained its leading position in the County after it was ranked position 97 nationally with 32.48 points.
Igembe South, 32.27, Buuri,30.73, Tigania East, 30.52, Tigania West, 30.32, Igembe North, 29.25, Meru Central, 28.85, Imenti North, 28.17 points.
The county went down two places in ranking to position 28 out of 47 with 30.45 points compared to the previous year when it managed position 26 in counties ranking.
Meanwhile, the male candidates in the county dominated the top ten positions with only one female candidate, Ntinyari Comfort, Nkuene Girls’ clinching position six with 84.361.
Efforts to reach Meru School Principal for clarification have not borne fruit as the phone was busy.
We will give you detailed information soon.
FIRST QUARTER 2013 /2014-November 2013
BY OFFICE OF THE CONTROLLER OF BUDGET
Meru County Assembly approved budget estimates of Kshs7.5 billion for the 2013/2014 financial year on 27th June 2013. During the period under review, the County collected local revenue amounting to Kshs56 million.
The monthly collection of local revenue was Kshs21 million in July; Kshs17 million in August and Kshs17 million in September, 2013. The total amount of local revenue collected in this period accounts for 8.6 per cent of the annual target.
The county received exchequer issues amounting to Kshs538 million in two tranches of Kshs190 million in August and Kshs348 million in September, 2013.
The County spent a total of Kshs296 million on recurrent and development activities in the first quarter of the 2013/2014 financial year. Out of the total expenditure, Kshs294 million (99%) was for recurrent activities while Kshs2 million (1%) was spent on development activities.
The development expenditure was mainly on rehabilitation of roads in the county.
Out of the total expenditure, the County Executive spent Kshs222 million (75%) while the
County Assembly spent Kshs74 million (25%). Analysis of the total expenditure shows that Kshs123 million (42%) was spent on personnel emoluments; Kshs170 million (57%) on operations and maintenance while Kshs3 million (1%) was spent on development.
Meru County is yet to refund to the National Government Kshs359.9 million in salaries paid in the first quarter to staff seconded to the County for the devolved functions.
A review of the expenditure on operations and maintenance shows that Kshs78 million
(46%) was spent on purchase of motor vehicles; Kshs15 million (9%) on travel costs and subsistence allowance and Kshs8 million (5%) on conferences, hospitality and catering.
The remaining Kshs69 million (41%) was spent on other categories of operations and maintenance such as sitting allowances for the Members of the County Assembly, printing and fuel costs.
The main challenges on budget implementation encountered during the period under review include inadequate human capacity to undertake timely preparation of reliable and accurate financial reports. This resulted into delays in reporting on budget implementation.
The delayed operationalization of IFMIS also remains a challenge in the County. It is recommended that to enhance production of timely, accurate and reliable financial reports, there is need to strengthen the human capacity.
Network and connectivity issues hampering the operationalization of IFMIS and G-Pay should be addressed without delay.
Assembly Sitting Allowances
Nairobi City County spent the highest amount of Kshs113.3 million followed by Kisii, Migori and Meru counties which spent Kshs.28.9 million, Kshs25.2 and Kshs17. 1 million respectively.
Sitting allowances are paid to members of the County Assemblies for attending County Assembly sessions or for attending Departmental Committee meetings.
NB: Sub headings by David Muchui
By DAVID MUCHUI
Meru County Assembly Speaker Kaberia Arimba has said the assembly is committed to steering development in the county by taking its legislative and oversight mandate seriously.
Speaking during the Assembly’s Strategic Plan (2014/2018) consultative forum at Gatimene Hotel, Arimba said that the assembly members are keen on passing quality laws for effective service delivery to the Meru people.
“We expect that after its full implementation, the strategic plan will help us achieve our legal mandate which among others include our role of legislating for effective service delivery to our people.
Our mandate as a County Government is it to improve service delivery to the people of Meru while ensuring appropriate utilization of our resources,” said Arimba in his speech.
According to the draft strategic plan, some of the priorities include, redesign, renovation and construction of assembly facilities, hiring of staff, MCAs and staff capacity building, media partnership, use of ICT, provision of security at the assembly and developing a socially accountable assembly in natural resource management and conflict management.
Meru Governor Peter Munya challenged the assembly to set out a clear vision that will steer Meru to be a model county.
North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood challenged the assembly to ensure all legislations of the assembly are in tandem with the Constitution and in the interest of the people.
Imenti Central MP Mwiti Irea said that the members of the County assembly have an opportunity to improve the lives of Meru people through coming up with legislations that solve problems of the region.
The Meru County assembly has been allocated Sh810 million for the 2013/2014 financial year.
According to the draft strategic plan, the assembly will spend over Sh400 million in accomplishing its priority areas in the next one year.
In the draft plan, overseas travels for benchmarking on parliamentary democracy and governance has been allocated Sh30 million, Live coverage of assembly proceedings, Sh50 million, Use of technology and modern communication equipment, Sh22 million,
Research and information resource centre Sh15 million, Security for the Assembly, Sh15 million, Renovation of MCAs Chambers Sh35million, Developing capacity for staff and MCAs Sh265.5 million.
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