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TSEIKURU town has more bars than churches and other interesting facts

TSEIKURU town is the headquarters of Tseikuru Ward and Tseikuru Sub County. It is one of the largest urban centres in Mwingi North Constituency
Galla goats in Tseikuru market./FILE

Tseikuru ward is the most Northern part of the Ukambani region. It borders Tharaka Nithi, Meru and Tana River Counties. 

Tana River (Kiluma) is the only permanent river that flows along plains of Tseikuru. River Kiluma serves as a geographical boundary separating Kitui county from three counties. 

Other notable seasonal rivers flowing across the sub county include; Nziitu, Mivukoni, Musavani, Kyunyu and Kasaini. The highest point is Kalimani ka Tseikuru towering 672m above sea level.  

As per 2019 census, the population of Tseikuru was 40,871 people. Tseikuru district covers an area of 1356 square kilometres. In 2019 there were 8579 households throughout the district.

Sources say Tseikuru market is the second leading in revenue generation in Kitui County after Kalundu market in Kitui Central. This is owed to diverse products and services that are exchanged in this corner of the world.

The main Market day is on every Thursday. Traders flock Tseikuru from Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Tana River counties. For vegetables and fruits the market day begins on Tuesday through Thursday.

Tana River County herders provide market for indigenous Galla Goats and other merchandise. Ameru sell vegetables and green foods. 

Historically Meru county has been Tseikuru’s bread basket. During great famine, women used to go to look for food in Meru on foot. Donkeys and women backs were the available form of transport then.

When there are sufficient rains locals harvest Ndakithi (green grams) Mwee (millet)and Muvya (sorghum) in bulk.

The boom harvests don’t always translate to good monies. Due to lack of enlightenment, the majority poor residents end up disposing their produce at a throwaway price.

More Bars than Churches

Despite its small geographic size, Tseikuru town is home to over twenty-one bars and restaurants. During rainy seasons, when locals have cash in their pockets, these joints are full to capacity. The clubs are source of entertainment and revenue to the locals. However, increase in businesses associated with clubbing such as prostitution is also on the rise. Bringing awareness about these issues could help save some souls. The churches have not been left behind as well, sixteen churches are strategically located on most conspicuous places in order to attract the clients. A population of around 40000 people can generate quite a good number of sinners and God’s children who have different reasons to thank God through their pastors thus their offerings and tithes are always welcome.

Social Amenities

In terms of educational institutions within the Central Business District, we have about three tertiary institutions. The Tseikuru Technical Training institute is the most famous around here. People talk of Youth Polytechnic and a KMTC college but I am yet to encounter a student from those two.

There is one public mixed secondary school which is not very popular despite being among the oldest schools in Kitui County. Tseikuru Primary School is the only Public Institution for CBC and Junior Secondary School within the CBD. The school used to do very well during early twenty first century, nowadays something is a bit off.

Despite the challenges, Tseikuru Primary School remains the Centre of Excellence around here.

The other notable private school is Ngiluni academy. There are several day cares and preschools mostly under church administration. Looks like side hustle for the churches nowadays. 

The security is not that bad since there is a police station around 500M from the market. The greatest challenge from these uniformed comrades is overexploiting motorists on Thursdays, a day when everyone is out to make a kill out of the economy. 

On matters health, the community is privileged to have a level III facility called Tseikuru Sub County Hospital thanks to H.E Dr. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka S.C and the Cyprus government. Upgrading the Hospital to level IV or V will be convenient to save Musangi the burden of having to travel to Meru or Kitui for advanced consultation and examination. 

With growth of number of youths in the town, it is advisable for the hospital to increase Condoms dispensers within the hospital and in the public places where the youths who may not be able to afford one can help themselves as they aid in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections. There are few private health centres in operation to accommodate the expanding population.

Unreliable KPLC electricity 

There is access to electricity from the national grid. On a good day, the locals enjoy this service. However, many days are bad days. There are very many blackouts around Tseikuru. For the small scale businesses who cannot afford an alternative standby source of electricity like generators and solar PVC, it is very rough. People have shut down businesses or relocated to other areas just because KPLC electricity is not reliable for doing business in Tseikuru.

Tseikuru lies in semi-arid zone. Rains are never reliable. A good rainy season usually comes once in about four years. Depending on rain water for farming is usually very heartbreaking to farmers. Water for livestock and irrigation is scarce. Going by 2019 Census,7353 people identified themselves as farmers. That means absence of rains and water for irrigation directly affects their source of livelihood.

 Access to clean and affordable drinking water is also a bit m’badala. Many people are okay drinking unsafe water just because it has been the way of life around. Salty waters, waters from riverbed (kiw'u kya muvuko). Salty water has denied many youths opportunity to serve in the disciplined forces as it discolors teeth. There are reported cases of water borne disease associated with drinking or bathing in contaminated water. Bilharzia and Amoeba cases have been reported in Tseikuru Sub County hospital.

Sons and Daughters of the Soil

Tseikuru has produced several legislators to the National Assembly since independence. The late MP Philip Manandu was the first legislator from Tseikuru to be elected into August House where he served until his death representing Kitui North constituency. A primary school in Kaningo is named in his honour. He was succeeded by H. E Hon Kalonzo Musyoka, S.C. who represented Kitui North from 1985 to 1997 then Mwingi North from 1997 to 2013. He served as Deputy Speaker, Assistant Minister, Minister and he was the last Vice President before promulgation of the 2010 Constitution. He is the patron Kalonzo Musyoka Foundation and the Chief Commission Kenya Scouts Association. 

Tseikuru ward has always had at least 2 representatives since 2007 general elections. One elected and another nominated. As a matter of fact, currently we have three Members of County Assembly in the County Government of Kitui. It is constitutional since Kevin Kinengo Katisya is an ex-officio member and the chairperson of the County Assembly of Kitui. The other two are elected and the nominated legislators both from WDM-K. 

They say “Yoasya vala ivalukite” so I hope these representatives will do our soil good.
Mrs. Christina Wayua Mwanzia is a known scholar from Tseikuru. Until her retirement, she has been an excellent administrator. She has served as principle for Thitani and Kimangao Girls for the better part of her career. Many Girls from the region and county at large acknowledge her role in modelling their lives.

Purity Museo Nzuki is a local celeb who has rose from humble background to rock screens of national television channels. She is currently a news anchor at KTN. She won Best TV personality in Africa Award as well as Lifetime Achievement award held at Zikomo Awards, Zambia in April 2021.


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