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Lived a lie? Cyrus Jirongo from a billionaire, polygamous man to a debtor – The Informer





Former Lugari Member of Parliament Cyrus Jirongo

From a billionaire, polygamous man to a debtor.

Meet former Lugari MP Cyrus Lugari who is popularly known for his philanthropic acts.

Having amassed wealth and become a billionaire at the age of 30, Jirongo is remembered for dishing out money during the KANU campaigns in 1992.


Back then, the largest denomination in the country was Sh200 note and the new Sh500 was nicknamed ‘Jirongo.’

The Youth for Kanu 92, an outfit led by Jirongo, was known for liberally dishing out newly-minted Sh500 notes.

Jirongo was so generous that one time when former Cabinet minister Shariff Nassir visited him, he wrote a note to DT Dobie asking them to give Nassir a new car.

Jirongo has walked Nassir to the car park only to discover that the minister was driving an old Mercedes.

That was the kind of man Jirongo was.

He was respected by many as a leader and a man with a generous heart.

Jirongo developed projects such as Saika Estate, Hazina Estate in South B and Kemri Estate on Mbagathi Road.

The “wealthy” Jirongo was associated with companies such as Sololo outlets and Cyper.

Between 1978 and 1981 he went to Mang’u High School and in 1991 he became the chairman of AFC Leopards Football Club.

In 1992, Jirongo and Deputy President William Ruto led the Youth for KANU 1992 movement which was campaigning for retired President Daniel Arap Moi

Jirongo clinched the Lugari seat during the 1997 election. However, two years later, he fell out with KANU.

That notwithstanding, ahead of the 2002 election, he was appointed Rural Development Minister by Moi.


Being wealthy, Jirongo could afford to be polygamous.

He has four wives, the first one is Kalenjin, the second a Kikuyu, the third is Kamba, and the fourth one is a Maasai.

Jirongo said there was nothing wrong with polygamy so long as the man “can comfortably provide for each of the wives”.

“They are what define us as a nation and as a civilisation. I grew up in a society in which polygamy was the only way to go,” Jirongo said.

He said polygamy made him a better man, a better husband and a better father.

The Draft Marriage Bill 2007 seeks to give couples the legal option of polygamy.

It defines marriage as the voluntary union of a man or woman intended to last for their lifetime and states that the marriage could be monogamous or polygamous provided the two parties are in agreement.



But years down the line, a court declared the former presidential contender bankrupt after finding him unable to pay debts amounting to Sh700 million.

Justice Olga Sewe of the Commercial Division said Jirongo’s inability to repay was demonstrated. The money was to be repaid to businessman Sammy Kogo.

The judge ordered an official receiver be appointed as trustee for Jirongo’s estate. The bankruptcy order was granted on September 29, last year.

The former MP is also facing a suit by COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli for alleged non-payment of a Sh110 million debt.

In October last year, Jirongo made an undertaking that he would pay Atwoli.

The workers’ union boss now wants the court to compel him to pay the debt.

On September 19, 2018, the debts and bankruptcy became real when the “billionaire” was forced to spend a night in a police cell.

This was after he was arrested for failing to pay a Sh20 million loan owed to businessman Brian Yongo.

Yongo allegedly loaned Jirongo Sh25 million between 2014 and 2015 but he only repaid Sh5 million.

The registrar ordered Jirongo to deposit Sh5 million cash and a bond of the same amount to secure his release or risk going to remand.

Jirongo could have been remanded but Deputy President William Ruto bailed him out by paying Sh2 million for his bail after he could not afford the amount.

Luhya leaders who included Cabinet secretaries Eugene Wamalwa and Rashid Echesa did a fundraising for part of the money.

Jirongo and Ruto have had a long association since their days in the ‘Youth for Kanu 92’, a lobby group that campaigned for Moi during the first multi-party election.

They later fell out. Yesterday, Eugene deposited his Mercedes Benz car in court as surety for Jirongo.


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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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