Dr James Mageria, board chairman of Karen Hospital and one of the founders of Karen Hospital died yesterday. He succumbed to cancer at about 6:25am.
He was the founder-director of Daystar University when it started as a small entity opposite Nairobi Hospital and was one of the people who bought the land that formed the big conglomerate that Daystar is right now.
“He was a wonderful man who shepherded me as I took over Daystar. A good human spirit and God-fearing,” Professor Laban Ayiro, Vice-Chancellor of Daystar University, told the Standard.
Dr Mageria was also the vice president of World Vision in Africa before he joined the Karen Hospital.
Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Dr Betty Gikonyo expressed sorrow at the loss. “It’s tough to be talking immediately after his death,” she said. They had worked together with her and fellow Karen Hospital co-founder, Dr Dan Gikonyo, for the last 24 years.
“It has been a journey. We have travelled together in the establishment of the Karen Group from the hospital as it is but we worked with him even before the hospital was started for close to 10 years before we came here,” she said.
“I would say he was both a personal friend of ours as well as a visionary with us because the three of us took up the vision of developing quality medical services for Kenyans. We discussed it many years ago and we were able to carry it through and execute it by the Grace of God. It required very hard work and commitment.“
What many may not know, however, was that Dr Mageria was responsible for the setting up of the first street lights in Nairobi, as Dr Dan Gikonyo told The Standard.
“Dr Mageria is an old student of Alliance High School in the early sixties,” said Dr Dan Gikonyo. “After that, he joined the police force and was well known for being one of the most honest police officers in the country. That is one thing that everybody remembers him for. He rose to become a commandant of Kiganjo Police Training College in 1966. From there he came to run the traffic department of Nairobi City.”
In his twenties, he became the chairman of the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) during the time of Jomo Kenyatta. He was also one of the founder members of the Freedom from Hunger Walk.
He was also the CEO of Express Kenya in the early 80s, after which he worked in the United States of America with a group called Prison Fellowship International where he was involved with rehabilitating prisoners in the US and worldwide, and setting up centres for people who had served their terms and need rehabilitation. From there, he joined World Vision and became the vice president of World Vision in Africa before going on to be a co-founder of Karen Hospital.
Dr Betty Gikonyo described him as a great team player with great focus and great execution abilities and would see anything he started through to the end.
Courts Declare Huduma Namba Invalid
The High Court has declared Huduma Namba invalid after ruling that the law wasn’t followed in its roll-out.
Justice Jairus Ngaah ruled on Thursday, October 14, that the Government failed to conduct data impact assessment before rolling out the cards in November last year, contravening the Constitution in the process.
Law scholar Yash Pal Ghai and Katiba Institute had, in November 2020, challenged the roll-out of the cards over lack of guarantee against theft or misuse of Kenyans’ personal information.
The lobby group argued that the Government failed to subject the fresh registration of Kenyans to data protection impact assessment (DPIA), a requirement under the law.
The assessment is aimed at identifying risks that could arise due to a breach of privacy, loss of data and unlawful use of information like names, date of birth, postcode and residences.
The Government started issuing the cards in early December 2020, after stating that the current National Identification Cards would cease being valid in December this year.
President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Huduma Namba mass registration on April 2, 2019.
Meanwhile, an application by Jacqueline Ntuyabaliwe, the widow of the late Tanzanian media mogul, Reginald Mengi, that her late husband had no mental ability to make a valid Will, will be heard and determined.
This is after the Court of Appeal rejected legal challenges against the former Miss Tanzania’s application seeking revision of a decision of the High Court that quashed a Will that was allegedly written by Mengi, reports The Citizen.
The IPP trailblazer and philanthropist died in Dubai, UAE, in 2019. He was 75.
The Will, purportedly made in 2017, cited Ntuyabaliwe and their twin children as the beneficiary of the billionaire businessman’s wealth, estimated in 2014 by Forbes to be worth over $560 million.
Parents Grapple With High Costs Of Books As Schools Reopen
Parents are feeling the pressure of having to pay school fees for the fourth time in a year.
As schools reopened today, parents said, apart from paying the required fees, some schools were demanding extra money to cater for tuition classes. Others decried the high costs of books and school uniforms.
Some said other schools had imposed extra levies on parents, citing the need to expand infrastructure to accommodate the increased number of students as a result of the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary level.
The extra charges are channelled in special development school accounts or sent to the parent representatives, who then send the amount to the class teacher.
At Mugoiri Girls High School in Murang’a County, each parent is required to pay Sh5,200 for a new school bus project, Sh3,000 per term for extra tuition, and Sh1,500 for installation of smart screens in all classes.
In Nyeri town, Purity Karuga, who was shopping with her Form Three son, said their school had demanded an extra Sh10,000 for an infrastructure upgrade.
“It is a hard year, and that happens even as we are earning peanuts from our tea farms this year,” Ms Karuga said.
Peter Kamaru, another parent from Murang’a County, said parents have now resorted to borrowing money from shy locks who demand repayment in a month.
“I have obtained Sh40,000 at a 25 per cent interest rate to pay fees for my three children. This is punitive to the parents who have lost hope of accessing bursary from the CDF,” he said.
Jane Wanjiru said the schools have reopened, but most parents had no school fees. “We shall plead with principals to allow our children for some time.”
The Murang’a County government said it had released Sh20 million to finance 3,000 students under the Nyota Zetu Education Programme.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria said the programme is designed to help the needy access quality education.
“This is one of the programmes designed to increase the number of professionals in the county,” said Iria.
In Meru County, Margaret Nkatha, a parent from Tigania East, said they were looking forward to the reopening of the schools but they lacked financial resources.
She said the drought had hit the area affecting their main income-generating stream, khat or miraa sales.
Kairi Ituuru, the headteacher of Antuanduru Mixed Secondary School in Tigania East, said principals were grateful following the government announcement that capitation had been sent to schools.
“With most parents decrying inability to raise fees, the government resources will come in handy,” said Ituuru, who also chairs the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) in the area.
In Eldoret town, it was business as usual at books and school uniform stores as parents lined up to buy school items in preparation for the new term.
Nelly Kichwen, a parent from Ziwa in Uasin Gishu, spent the better part of the day in Eldoret town shopping for her five school-going children.
“Book prices have increased. I am buying a book that was sold at Sh500 last month at over Sh600 right now, which means I will use more money than I had budgeted for,” Kichwen said.
As for Stanley Chepkulei, a parent from Simat, the increase in fuel prices had affected the price of every commodity in the market, and parents will have to dig deeper into their pockets.
“I came to buy school uniforms and other items for my child, a student from St Teresa Tartar in West Pokot County, I paid more than I expected. We urge the government to reduce the cost of fuel,” he said.
Chepkulei said parents should ensure that they give their children enough money if they are travelling by themselves to school because there could be an increase in bus fares due to the high cost of fuel.
The parents have also asked the government to step in and provide some learning materials for pupils, especially those under the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Eunice Cherop, a parent to a Grade Five pupil, said CBC is a competitive curriculum that requires joint efforts from the parent and government.
Cherop, an Education Officer, said most parents are disadvantaged by the new curriculum.