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IKO NINI BWANA SEED

A Whispers from London

(How ‘Love’ was those days)
Written by: Man ManKambugua E-mail: manmankambugua@gmail.com Facebook: Man Man Kambugua
May I confirm that in the tiny village where I was born and brought up, there was nothing like a Valentine day. The villagers did not care who Valentine was, whether he was black or white or whether he liked to take his porridge when hot or cold.

I am not in any way trying to portray my village people as people who did not have feelings of love. Yes, they did in a mighty way, but they were not supposed to show it. The genesis of love between two people started when they met in a dancing ceremony. You will be mistaken to imagine that they were in a hall with disco lights and all that paraphernalia, no! It would be in anybody’s home. If a man was interested in a certain girl, he would approach her and tell her that from the way she was dancing, he was interested in her and that he would want her to be his wife. The girl, if interested with the man would tell him that if he was indeed serious, he should go and tell her parents. The young man would then tell his parents who would either approve or disapprove. If they approved, they would send their friends to do thorough investigation on the state of the in-law’s family to be. The investigators would check whether in the family there were curses, whether the family was known to be hardworking, whether they had challenging behaviour and whether they were thieves, among others. I can write a whole book on how customary marriages were, but this is not the time.

As a young boy, the closest I came to know about love was through my cousin and another man who was a worker in a village polytechnic near our house. My cousin Judy was the darling of the village. In primary school, she had passed with straight A’s and was admitted in one of the most prestigious high schools. We were all told to read hard like Judy. Due to her celebrity status, I could not wait for her to close school to come and tell me about high school. “In high school, we eat breads in the morning. When lunch is served, one is given an option of choosing lamb or beef meat. As for tea, we just open the tap and the tea with sugar come out,” she would say. In my young mind, I would imagine that her high school was Heaven. She naturally loved me because she even used to send me letters to encourage me.

On every Sunday afternoon when she closed school, she would request me to take a walk with her. I noticed many times that we would always end up in the village polytechnic where a young man wearing ‘Platform’ shoes would come out smiling. Both would hug and kiss briefly. Meanwhile I would be looking at Judy and ask her whether she was serious that she was tasting another man’s saliva. She would swear by our grandmother’s thong and skirt that it was not a kiss but just a peck on the chick. We would enter the young man’s house and would be served with nice food that we only used to eat on Christmas day. As we ate, I would clearly see that the young man’s eyes were always on Judy’s chest and face. It would reach a point where he would stare at my cousin so much until his eyes would look as if he was dozing. It was at this point when I would suggest to my cousin that we go back home to give our host time to sleep. Upon hearing my suggestion, he would quickly wake up from his wakeful slumber and tell me that he was okay. Judy would look at me and tell me that we should go but she would at the same time remove her shoes and take them to the young man’s bedroom. Wow! Tell the person seated next to you that the devil is a liar!

The young man would follow my cousin to the bedroom where I would hear them talking in whispers. Afterwards, my cousin would come with some few coins and ask me whether I would want to go to the shop to buy myself some biscuits. She would then tell me that the best biscuits were found in a different shopping centre which was five kilometres away. The nearest shopping centre was less than one hundred metres away, but I did not mind going for extra miles to have biscuits and ‘Fanta’ soft drink. Out of great excitement, I would run up and down the hills to the suggested shopping centre to by my biscuits. Like any other little kid, I would take my drink and biscuits ravenously. After my stomach was full, now that I had excess energy, I would run back again to our host’s house.

At one time, having been sent to the other shopping centre as usual, I came back and found that the door had been locked from inside. Of course, I could hear clearly that both my cousin and the guy were talking but my cousin was letting up a sharp cry at intervals. When the crying was too much, I knocked the door very hard and called the young man all manner of names. I told him to stop beating Judy or else I would report him to my dad. Within no time, the cries stopped, and my cousin opened the door. She wiped away my tears and promised me that when we visited the young man next time, we would come with our big dog called Simba to eat him up. With that assurance, I stopped crying.

It was getting dark, and we had to go back home. To my surprise the man who, minutes ago had made my cousin cry was to escort us. Moreover, as we walked home, he was holding her hand. I expected Judy to call him a big D.O.G. (without a tail) but she was even squeezing it harder and telling him how he loved him. When I asked her what love was, she told me that it was the act of eating biscuits with a ‘Fanta’ soft drink. “So, I made love this afternoon in the shopping centre?” I asked. “Of course, yes!” she told me.

That night, as we went to sleep, I narrated to my brothers about my ‘Love making’ in the shopping centre. Every time I spoke, they would try very hard not to laugh but at times they could not hold it when I told them about the genesis of how I ended up in another shopping centre and how I had found Judy crying after being beaten by that ‘son of a gun’ who was employed in our village polytechnic. With time, I came to realise that all that was the manifestation of my cousin’s valentine. True love knows no bounds, the saying goes.

Obviously, everybody in the village wanted to date but due to economic hardships, courtship could not go for long. If a young man got a job in the city, he would obviously live with his new wife for a little while. When the parents heard that their son was living with a certain girl, they would ask him to bring her home, reason being that the more she lived in the city, the more she would acquire city mannerisms and become a prostitute. Since the young man did not want to be in bad books with the parents, he would bring her to live with them. After some time, the young man would go back to the city leaving the wife with her in-laws. From the moment the husband left, she would be monitored with a fine-tooth comb. They will monitor how she talked, what she ate, who she talked to, about what and so forth. Woe unto the new wife if the husband had many sisters. In most cases each sister was like a ‘small devil’ to the new wife because of minding about her business instead of minding theirs. If she dressed better than mum-in-law or sisters-in-law, then she was not a wife but a high-class whore whose interest was what the son or the brother owned.

After some few months, the young wife was supposed to show signs that she was expectant. The more she delayed to have a kid, the more the society formed an opinion that she did not love the husband. She would get all kinds of advises from older women. “Daughter of so and so, do you think our son would scratch himself if he were called a father. When our son comes, before he goes to the shopping centre, close the door and show him some ‘wrestling’ tactics. C’mon, get yourself pregnant. We don’t care what you give birth to even if it’s a small pig but not white ants hahaha. We want the population of our clan to increase,” they would tell her.

They say that loneliness and feeling unwanted is the worst poverty. I have lived in this world for a few decades, and I know that being in some relationships is like being in hell. If you are single, just know that at times, you are better off alone because you have peace of mind. There are many people who are married but very single. The only thing they have in common is just the kids and casual sex. I would also like to inform you that nobody was born to live alone. Currently the world’s population is close to Eight Billion people and out of all those people, there is someone for you if your attitude is right. Act like you have a lover, talk like you have a lover, walk like you have a lover and a lover will definitely arrive. When you ask God for somebody, do not just ask for anything. Ask for somebody who will add value to you and will love you unconditionally. In whatever you do, please find every reason to be happy because we are just passing by in this world. Best of luck my brother my sister.

Are you a landowner? Get ready to apply for a fresh title deed

Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning is shifting administration

and management of land to a new digital system.

If you own land in Kenya, you will soon be required to register your title deed afresh. This is because the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning is shifting the administration and management of land to a new digital system under new laws. Title deeds in Kenya will now be handled under the Land Registration Act of 2012 through the National Land Information Management System (NLIMS). Previously, the title deeds were issued and handled under the Registered Land Act (RLA), the Registration of Titles Act (RTA), the Land Titles Act (LTA), and the Government Lands Act (GLA). If you own a parcel in Nairobi County, you will be among the first landowners in the country to be affected. Currently, the Ministry of Lands is in the process of converting some 5,493 parcels in Nairobi. All transactions or dealings relating to parcels within Nairobi shall from April 1, 2021, be carried out in the new registers. According to the Cabinet Secretary for Lands Farida Karoney, the current title deeds will be cancelled and new ones issued under the new legal regime. “The issuance of new title deeds shall retain the ownership, size, and any other interests registered against each title,” she said. The conversion of title deeds in the country will conclude by the end of 2022.

How to get the new title

According to the Chief Administrative Secretary at the Ministry of Lands, Gideon Mung’aro, there will be no loss of ownership or registered ownership upon conversion of lands. There will also be no change in the existing freehold and leasehold. The ministry will prepare indices of parcels and a conversion list which will show the old land reference numbers alongside the new numbers. During the conversion process, you will be required to present an application for a new title deed to the registrar of lands using a form known as Form 97. You will attach copies of your title deed, identification documents such as your national identity card and KRA PIN to this form. You will then submit your old title to the registrar for storage, upon which you will get a new title deed.

What if your title is attached to a loan?

You will need to individually apply for replacement after liaising with the bank or the third party. This means that the conversion will not change the title deed’s ownership. Also, the conversion will not have an impact on your land boundaries. “The title deed plan shall be replaced with the registry index maps which will be generated from the existing survey plans,” the Ministry said. The maps will be unveiled to you if you make a request. Derrick Kibet, a licensed surveyor in Ruiru, says that you will need to keep an eye on the Kenya Gazette and the daily newspapers where the cadastral maps will be published. “These publications will include a notice from the Ministry on when the new title deed registers shall open to the public for transactions,” he says. Kibet adds that this will allow you to present any grievances you might have.

What about cyber fraud and privacy?

According to Achero Mufuayia, an advocate of the High Court and a land rights and governance expert, the conversion of title deeds is one of the steps Kenya is taking to comply with the open governance program (OGP). But this may herald new challenges in land ownership privacy. “One of the aims is to make data available to the public, but with land, this sort of data is largely private and its exposure contravenes Article 31 of the constitution on privacy,” he says. Although the conversion of title deeds to a new regime is supposed to enhance efficiency and guarantee security, the process could spark a wave of cybercrimes. Kibet advises that you get a licensed professional to hold your hand during the application process. “The conversion process will be free. However, cons and land cartels will be on the lookout for the vulnerable, especially the elderly. Get a trusted and licensed lands practitioner to guide you,” he says.

The process of conversion

According to guidelines from the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning, the conversion process will be as follows:

· Preparation of cadastral maps together with the conversion list

· Publication of the cadastral maps together with the conversion list

· Tabling and consideration of complaints by landowners

· Closure of old title deed registers

· Commencement of transactions using the new register

· Application for replacement of title deeds from the old registers

What to do if aggrieved

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has set up a complaints desk at the customer care centre which is located at the Ardhi House, along 1st Ngong Avenue in Nairobi. Take these steps:

1.Lodge a complaint with the registrar through the Ministry’s complaints desk. You will not be charged.

2.You will be required to complete forms LRA 96 set out in the Second Schedule to the Land Registration (Registration Units) Order, 2017 or LRA 67 set out in the Sixth Schedule to the Land Registration (General) Regulations, 2017. You can access these forms at the complaints desk where you will be guided on how to fill them. You can also download the forms from the ministry’s website www.lands.go.ke.

3.You will attach a copy of your title deed, a copy of your ID, your KRA PIN, your contact address, and your phone number to the filled forms.

4.Your complaint will be recorded by the Registrar and assigned a case reference number for follow-up.

5.You will then await updates on the progress of your complaint. The Registrar shall resolve your complaint within 90 days. – nation.co.ke

63pc of UK millionaires want to buy homes in Kenya

British buyers are interested in Kenyan holiday homes

Nearly two thirds of United Kingdom’s millionaires are interested in buying homes in Kenya, a new report shows, further reinforcing the country’s status as a regional hotbed for property investments. According to the recently released Knight Frank Inside View Kenya 2018 report, four cent of the world’s high net worth population – individuals with assets of more than $1 million excluding their primary homes – are considering purchasing homes in Kenya; led by UK millionaires, 63 per cent of whom have expressed their desire to own property in the country. British buyers are interested in Kenyan holiday homes – mainly in Lamu and Watamu, as well as countryside areas such as Nanyuki, near Mount Kenya, and within game conservancies.

“Among the global high net worth population, four per cent look to own homes in Kenya – led by the UK’s high net worth population, 63 per cent of whom express interest in Kenyan property, followed by 16 per cent of South African high net worth individuals and 11 per cent of Spanish, Mauritian and US high net worth individuals,” said the report. “About five per cent of the super-rich in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, France, Canada and Lebanon are also likely to invest in Kenya.” The Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is on the other hand popular among international corporations looking to set up their headquarters in Africa. “The city’s hotel industry is growing fast, as is the technology industry, which attracts many young Americans straight out of college who want to embrace exposure to this rapidly expanding market,” the report says. “While many expatriates will live in high-end residential areas such as Karen, Runda or Muthaiga, these young tech workers tend to rent apartments closer to work and enjoy Nairobi’s burgeoning youth culture in the form of trendy bars and clubs.”

Kenya’s high net worth individuals, who have doubled to around 9,400 over the past decade, are in recent times investing heavily in the local luxury property segments – a scenario that has pushed property values to record heights. “Whereas traditionally wealthy Kenyans might have sought a safe haven for their cash in luxury property in South Africa, Dubai, New York or London, they are increasingly seeking high-end products within Kenya itself,” says the report. This comes even as the city’s prime residential market looks forward to a recovery in the first half of 2018 as the wave of prolonged political uncertainty dissipates, ending a period of price correction experienced in 2016 and 2017.

“An oversupply of prime properties for rent is behind the weaker prime rental growth, which has given tenants more leverage to negotiate with landlords. In a market dominated by expatriate tenants, corporate budget cuts by multi-national firms have further influenced the performance of the high-end residential segment,” the Knight Frank report states. According to Knight Frank Kenya managing director Ben Woodhams, Kenya has “a long-standing reputation as a destination for holiday home ownership” and that property investments are expected to increase in line with a strong economic growth in 2018. – constructionkenya.com

Britons, Nigerians are top buyers of houses in Kenya

The global super-rich are flocking to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to snap up additional luxury homes that sell from Sh80 million, according to a new report by property consultants Knight Frank. Nairobi’s high end real estate allure is also pulling Africa’s most moneyed tycoons, according to the Knight Frank Kenya inside view Kenya report. “The country (Kenya) as a whole is among the top five most popular second home locations for Africa’s wealthiest,” says the report released recently. Kenya is also on the radar of high net worth investors from Europe and USA led by British buyers who represent 63 per cent of foreigners seeking properties in the country. South Africans are the second most buyers of Kenyan homes at 16 per cent, followed by Spaniards, Mauritians and Americans. ‘‘We also see a sizeable number of Italians and other nationalities drawn to the coast around Malindi, Watamu and Lamu, as well as the countryside such as in Nanyuki, close to Mount Kenya, and within private game conservancies,’’ the report noted. Prime residential houses are currently priced from $800,000 (Sh81.6 million) in Nairobi and demand for such properties was largely from wealthy city families seeking a beachfront holiday home or one in serene, far locations.

About five per cent of the super-rich in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, France, Canada and Lebanon are also showing interest in the prime homes which are mostly in gated communities, near locations that offer the best education for children (for those who want to relocate), attractive lifestyle and guaranteed security. Overseas interest is growing even with Nairobi being ranked among the top 100 ‘most expensive cities’ in the world to buy a high-end apartment, according to the Global Property Guide. The city is also Africa’s fourth most expensive to live in, according to a cost of living index prepared for various cities across the world. It was behind Harare, Port Louis and Pretoria. But the prime properties are still bargains for foreign buyers following the currency swings. For instance, a foreign buyer of a Sh100 million house would have saved up to 8.2 per cent through euro-denominated transactions, while dollar-denominated purchases were 1.4 per cent cheaper, according to Knight-Frank. As foreign demand grows, developers are building more homes to cater for those seeking bargains, said Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank managing director. Deerpark Karen, a new development of 10 villas priced from Sh115 million per unit is one of the properties set for completion soon. – businessdailyafrica.com

Kenya Is Becoming a Global Hub of FinTech Innovation

A Safaricom employee displays the M-Pesa money transfer service on a smartphone

inside a mobile phone care centre in Nairobi on November 22, 2018.

For over sixty years, the U.S. was the leading innovator of financial technology (or FinTech) in the world. Over the past decade, however, China has become the global leader: Powered by smartphones and social apps, China has used remote payments and the digitization of money management to build a steady vehicle of financial inclusion. But it may not be the leader for long. Recently, African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya have emerged as FinTech hotbeds, and are using inexpensive, accessible tech to mobilize consumers in ways never seen before. To stay competitive, U.S. banks and FinTech companies need to study the factors enabling these successes abroad — and figure out how they can keep pace.

Simply defined, FinTech is the application of technology and innovation to solve the needs of consumers and firms in the financial space — think credit cards, online banking, and blockchain-powered cryptocurrencies. While it’s arguably just the latest update to the millennia-old evolution of credit, contracts, and banking, FinTech was one of the most explosive fields of the past decade. Venture capitalists, traditional finance firms, governments, and even the average smartphone user each had a hand in the massive acceleration of its growth. Advancements like remote payments, app-based stock trades, and automated insurance claims became commonplace. The IMF cited estimates of over $50 billion invested in the field during the first half of the 2010s, with triple-digit year-over-year growth being the norm.

The development of modern FinTech stretches back further than a few decades, however. There are three major waves of innovation, each centered in a major region at a particular time. While the U.S. produced the first major wave of innovation in this sector, it has fallen behind as firms and consumers have reached the innovative doldrums of “good enough.” But by studying where FinTech has gone, and where it’s going, U.S. companies can still catch up.

The FinTech Century: 1950–2050

The first wave of modern FinTech produced technologies that define how we use money today, and the bulk of that innovation happened in the U.S. The advent of contemporary credit in the U.S. via the Diners Club Card in the early 1950s was a major breakthrough: It represented a much more efficient means of payment that also doubled as a seamless way to extend new credit to consumers. Innovation continued in the 1960s, with the Bankograph for the City Bank of New York: an automated envelope deposit machine and the first prototypical ATM. U.S. leadership in the FinTech space, led by the banking sector and other traditional financial institutions, continued through the 1990s with the proliferation of the internet and the birth of online banking. While major banks still ran the show, these major stages of development were unified by a common theme: the expansion of banking and credit to the world outside of brick-and-mortar branches.

The second wave of modern FinTech, beginning in the 2000s and cresting now, came from Asia, and China in particular, which created a battery of widely-adopted innovations. With a massive population to whom physical banking had not previously been ubiquitous, the country’s strides came through smartphone apps. In 2018, China’s $25.5 billion FinTech market accounted for 46% of all FinTech investments globally, making it the largest such market in the world. WeChat and Alipay are such high-performing payment platforms that even rural vendors and laborers flash personalized QR codes. Tencent and Alibaba frequently launch large-scale investments that cut out traditional finance firms. Anything from wealth management (players such as Lufax dispatch their service entirely online) to credit scoring and provisioning (Bairong boasts 74,000 data labels on 800 million individuals to calculate their scores) have established strong footholds.

Now, though, the center of FinTech innovation seems to be shifting again, this time to Africa. United by mobile phone proliferation, and often in the absence of internet-capable phones, this wave is defined by its inclusive mobile banking services. Africa is host to 33 of the world’s 47 least developed countries by the U.N.’s categorization. Infrastructure for universal smartphone and Internet use, which took several decades to establish in the U.S. and China, is still in its early stages. Yet for FinTech, what would be a bane to other regions is instead a boon that could see it leapfrogging far ahead.

Unlike previous waves, which had relied on technologies at the forefront of their times, the African FinTech wave is being built on mobile phones, whose adoption in the continent accelerated around the turn of the millennium and are now pervasive. This launched a swell in economic growth: according to IMF estimates, four of the top five highest GDP growth rates in the world are in African countries benefitting from this boom. African countries that missed out on the older U.S. and Chinese FinTech waves’ outputs have already started to fly directly into hyper-efficient mobile infrastructure.

The definitive exemplar is Kenya. The country has seen skyrocketing mobile penetration rates, with subscriptions surpassing the total population amount by 12%, and FinTech innovations have followed. For example, the telecommunications giant Safaricom, which contributes 5% of the county’s GDP, led the push in 2007 with its M-Pesa money transfer service, which functions much like a limited mobile bank but without the need for an Internet connection. M-Pesa combines Safaricom’s mobile infrastructure with an agent model; Safaricom stores their balance and customers can go to one of 110,000 agents throughout the country to conduct transactions in person. The whole system runs on technology similar to text messaging, and has expanded to seven countries.

Equitel, a mobile virtual network operator competing with Safaricom’s M-Pesa, is pushing boundaries for financial inclusion even further by offering a full suite of banking services on mobile devices. Conceived equally through ingenuity and necessity, Equitel is a new type of hybrid firm: a telecommunications company born of a bank. Parent company Equity Bank collaborated with international telco Airtel to give users a product coming from two longstanding companies. It sent agents throughout the country, even to remote areas where other banks and telcos had not ventured, to demonstrate usage. Equitel grew to capture 22% of the mobile money market in just five years through this locally-focused strategy.

These companies have vastly expanded financial inclusion in the country. While financial inclusion in Kenya was at just 26% in 2006, today 83% of the population has access to at least basic financial services. Besides simply becoming exports, these innovations have become models for other African countries. Twenty-four countries have committed to a Digital Economy Blueprint following Kenya’s example. Results are spreading — the GSMA estimates that West Africa’s mobile penetration has doubled over the past decade, with mobile payments and banking driving development in its 15 member states. By the end of 2018, the region saw an increase of 23 million mobile money accounts from the previous year. Women, the rural poor, and the displaced are especially benefiting by the use of FinTech as their gateway toward empowerment. – hbr.org

Ruto missing as Uhuru meets top government officers

President Uhuru Kenyatta meets government officers in the senior ranks of the Executive on February 18, 2021 at State House, Nairobi. President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday chaired a meeting of senior government officers, where he demanded the completion of ongoing projects, a key deliverable 17 months to the end of his term. In the meeting at State House, Nairobi, President Kenyatta asked Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries and Principal Secretaries to prioritise projects already launched in a bid to ensure their completion. “The President outlined to the officers his vision and priorities for this year, top among them the completion of ongoing government projects and programmes across all sectors and regions of the country,” State House spokesperson Kanze Dena Mararo said in a statement. Images released by State House showed Deputy President William Ruto was missing from the event, with Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua sitting at the high table with the Head of State. – nation.co.ke

Woman returns home from giving birth to find her boyfriend has run off with her mum

Jess Aldridge, 24, said she experienced the ‘ultimate betrayal’ after her boyfriend Ryan Shelton, 29, left her for her mum (Picture: Jess Aldridge) A daughter has revealed her heartbreak after returning home with her newborn baby to find her boyfriend and mum were in a relationship. Jess Aldridge, 24, was expecting her second child with boyfriend Ryan Shelton, 29, when they decided to move in with her mum. But she said she faced the ‘ultimate betrayal’ when she returned from hospital with her newborn son on January 28 and discovered Ryan and her mum Georgina, 44, had moved into a new home 30 miles away. Jess told The Sun: ‘It’s the ultimate betrayal. You expect a new grandmother to fall in love with the baby — not the father.

‘She is meant to be a granny to my two children and helping me look after them but instead she’s off sh*****g my boyfriend.’ The mum-of-two explained the couple decided to move in with her mum and her husband Eric at their £270,000 home in Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire for childcare reasons. Jess, who previously worked as a housekeeper at a Premier Inn in before ­having her daughter Georgiana in 2019, claimed her mum first started flirting with Ryan within weeks of their moving in. She said they were ‘always being so flirty’ and drinking Bacardi while ‘joking around in the kitchen every night’.

She confronted the pair about their behaviour, but they denied anything was happening. It turned out they had been having a secret affair during her pregnancy. Jess gave birth to her son Reuben via C- section at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital on January 28. Shortly after Ryan texted her to end the relationship – after only seeing his son for a few minutes after he was born and 10 minutes the next day. Then when she returned home, she was shocked to discover Ryan, a car parts salesman, and her mum had moved out together. They continued to deny they were in a relationship until they were confronted again two days later.

Texas snow: Mayor quits after ‘only strong will survive’ post

The Texas deep freeze has left millions without power

The mayor of a city in Texas has quit after posting that “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish” in a deadly winter storm sweeping the southern US state. Tim Boyd, the mayor of Colorado City, took to Facebook in anger at people “crying and looking for a handout”. “Sink or swim it’s your choice,” he raged. “The city and country… or any other service, owes you nothing.” Millions are now in a third day without power and struggling for heat in Texas. More than 20 people have died across four southern states. In his original post, now deleted, Mayor Boyd starts by saying: “Let me hurt some feelings while I have a minute.” He says it is not local government’s duty to support people through “trying times”, adding: “I’m sick and tired of people looking for a damn handout.” Calling the situation the “product of a socialist government”, he urges people to think “outside of the box” and not wait “for someone to come and rescue you”. He adds: “Only the strong will survive and the weak will parish [sic].”

Anger mounts over Texas power blackouts as icy cold maintains its grip

At least 20 people have died across the country as more than

100m people remain covered by winter weather warning

Motorists travel on ice and snow in Odessa, Texas. Between 2 and 3m Texans still had no power. Anger over Texas’s power grid failing in the face of a record winter freeze is mounting, as millions of residents remained shivering, with no assurances that their electricity and heat – out for 36 hours or longer in many homes – would return. “I know people are angry and frustrated,” said Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, who woke up to more than 1 million people still without power in his city on Wednesday.

“So am I.” Between 2 and 3 million customers in Texas still had no power, nearly two full days after historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures created a surge in demand for electricity to warm up homes unaccustomed to such extreme lows, buckling the state’s power grid and causing widespread blackouts. Meanwhile, people’s water pipes are bursting and hours long lines have been wrapping around grocery stores as people search for food.