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Shock as Kenyan woman, Anne Kihagi-Swain, is fined $2.4M by US court

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A Kenyan landlady who has been described as notorious by the media , Anne Kihagi, who was sued by the SF city attorney two years ago after numerous reports about her shady eviction tactics and unfair treatment of tenants, has been ordered to pay $2.4 million and has also been sentenced to five days in jail for violating provisions of the Ellis Act at one of her properties in West Hollywood.

 

The news was received with shock among Kenyans.

“A Kenyan woman has been fined US$2.4 million (Sh247.5 million) by an American court for being an abusive landlord,” reported a Kenya paper.

Ms Anne Kihagi has been accused of harassing 23 tenants and wrongfully evicting 10 others by using unconventional methods to frustrate among them the elderly and a cancer patient.

Ms Kihagi, a landlord with a portfolio of property worth $24 million (Sh2.5 billion) was also sentenced to five days in a San Francisco jail for violating the housing law.

This is after a two-year bruising court battle with her tenants who have christened her the “notorious landlord”.

In fact, Ms Kihagi may end up being fined up to $4 million (Sh412.5 million) since the judge also ruled

Anne Kihagi

that she must foot the costs incurred during the case.

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Ms Kihagi’s run-ins with her tenants began two years ago when they complained of harassment and uncouth tactics that their landlord used to evict them so she could renovate the building and rent it out at a higher price.

VERBAL AB– USE

According to a report by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, the tactics used by Ms Kihagi included: “Fraud, harassment, threats, intimidation, verbal abuse, interrupting gas, electric, water and cable service, failing to cash rent cheques, only to late claim them as untimely rent payment and violating tenants’ privacy by entering their apartments without required notice”.

The tenants also accused Ms Kihagi of installing video surveillance cameras aimed at their front doors.

Ms Kihagi has since garnered a reputation for being a horrible landlord, with Mr Herrera saying, “I’ve gone after a lot of lawless landlords in my time, but Anne Kihagi has a special place reserved for her in San Francisco’s abusive landlord ‘hall of fame’. Her cruelty is stunning.”

In her ruling, Judge Angela Bradstreet noted that Ms Kihagi’s behaviour had serious effects on the lives of several citizens of San Francisco, to the point that one former tenant had to quit her job and move out of the state. In another case, Ms Kihagi forced a tenant suffering from cancer out of his home.

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The court case was under investigation for two years and the ruling attracted a lot of media coverage from San Francisco press.

The US based media have reported that Ms Kihagi irked her tenants so much that some housing rights activists took to the streets to protest against her.

BUSINESS MODEL

US newspapers have reported that Ms Kihagi began buying property in June 2013 in Noe Valley, the Mission and North Beach and the Castro, making her the owner of over 50 units in San Francisco.

It is also reported that Ms Kihagi is working closely with two business associates, Julia Mwangi and Christine Mwangi, known as “The Mwangi sisters” who were jointly sued by the tenants. She also has property in Los Angeles and West Hollywood.

Her business model involves buying buildings with long-term, “rent-controlled tenants paying below-market rents and then using a wide range of methods, both legal and illegal, to get rid of the tenants,” a San Francisco newspaper reported.

Once she pushes out the tenants, Ms Kihagi allegedly makes unpermitted improvements in the buildings after which she rents them at a higher price.

Ms Kihagi, who is being represented by her lawyer Karen Uchiyama, blames the case on a tenant activists group that wanted to “make a scapegoat of Anne Kihagi”.

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The lawyer further accused the court of scaring landlords from evicting tenants. The lawyer maintained that Ms Kihagi acted within the law even in evicting the tenants. Meanwhile, Ms Kihagi is appealing the ruling.

-Nairobi news

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Diaspora

The 5 things you need to know about H-1B work visa

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BY BOB MWITI

Those very keen on relocating to US on a work visa, or those that are already here in the US on student visa, probably know a thing or two about H1B-visa, but there is quite a very good number of people who do not know anything about this visa that could allow one to live and work here in the US if you meet certain eligibility requirements.

After I graduated from college here in the US, I was able to get a H1B visa before finally becoming a permanent resident. So when I talk about H1B visa, I talk as someone who has gone through the whole process. It can be a bumpy ride, but with determination, you should be able to get there.

So in this episode of Success With Bob Mwiti Show, I give you 5 things you need to know about H1B work visa.Enjoy!.If you like my work, please subscribe to my youtube channel for more content about living and working in the United States Of America.

A Little Bit About Me!

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS Financials and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) here in USA. I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida, USA.

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I’ve been blessed to have learned a lot in my career as an IT consultant. My life has truly changed, and I’ve made it my mission to give back and serve others beyond myself. Whether that be helping you to relocate to USA as an international student, train you as an IT consultant, help you start and build your own online business, creating your financial freedom, motivating you to pursue your goals and dreams, to being more productive, to inspiring you to constantly improve yourself.

My mission is to get you to wake up to the unlimited potential within you and achieve what you’re truly capable of through my various self-development training programs.On the internet, I openly and passionately share my life experiences and all of the very best concepts, strategies, tools, and resources that I continue to discover that have made a measurable difference to my life, and will do for you as well.

Keep your dream alive and never give up! To learn about my company’s amazing programs, please go to;

www.appstecamerica.com or www.successwithbobmwiti.com

Contact me at;
success@successwithbobmwiti.com
info@appstecamerica.com
+1 813-573-5619 ext 402

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Business

Kenyans in US fall victim to phishing attacks by Sendwave impersonators, lose thousands of dollars

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

Impersonators posing as genuine employees of SendWave.com, the popular online money Transfer platform, are sending out emails to unsuspecting customers asking them to update their their account information.

 

Many Kenyans living in the United States have been targeted by the scammers.

 

Sendwave is operated by Chime Inc. and is authorized to transmit money in the US, Canada, the UK and the EU.

 

On Thursday, SendWave administrators confirmed to Kenya Satellite News Network that the emails did not emanate from them and appealed to their customers “not to update their account information as they are going to lose their money.”

 

“Those emails are not from us. Any email from Sendwave must have @sendwave as a handle. Please don’t open them,” the spokesperson said.

Irene Wanjiru Maina, an Atlanta-based Kenyan who regularly uses Sendwave to send money to her family back home said he was amazed by how credible the “fake” landing page.

 

“When you click on the link, it takes you to a landing page which looks almost identical to the genuine Sendwave landing page,” she said.

“I just hope no one has fallen victim,” she added.

 

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However, two other  customers who did not wish to disclose their identity confirmed to ksnmedia.com that they had fallen victim and their accounts had been compromised.

 

Here is how the fake landing page looks:

 

Here is the genuine Sendwave landing page:
Can you spot the difference?
Below are samples of some of the emails received by Sendwave customers:

Hi

 

This is Norman B. from Sendwave. For regulatory purposes, we’re required to verify the identity of all Sendwave users. Unfortunately, your account has not yet been verified. In order to ensure that you are able to continue to use our service, kindly click on the update your account below:

 

Update Your Account 

 

Please note that if you do not confirm your details within 48 hours, your ability to send money using Sendwave may be disrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

At Sendwave, we take the security of your account very seriously and appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.

Best,

Sendwave User Protection Support Team

Hi,
We wanted to let you know that we’ve updated our Terms of Service for all Sendwave users. These updates reflect our ongoing commitment to documenting our procedures clearly as we work to provide you with the safest, easiest and fastest service possible. In order to ensure that you are able to continue to use our service, Kindly click on submit account verification to update your account:

Submit Account Verification   

Please note that if you do not confirm your details within 48 hours, your ability to send money using Sendwave may be disrupted. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

As always, thank you for using Sendwave!

Best Wishes,
The Sendwave Team  

Wave only allows you to transfer money via their dedicated smartphone application, available for both Apple and Android phones. Customers in the US, the UK and Canada can send money, and current receiving countries include Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Although the range of sending and receiving countries is limited, Wave are planning to introduce money transfer services to more countries as the company grows.

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Wave does not charge fees to use its money transfer services and instead makes a profit by offering a worse exchange rate than the base rate. This rate varies between being around 1.5 percent and five percent lower. This can make them more expensive than other providers for certain money transfer needs, so it’s worth comparing.

You can only send money from a debit card linked to a bank account in the US, the UK, Canada or another country approved by Wave. The mobile application can be used anywhere in the world, as long as the payment comes from a bank account approved by Wave.

You cannot use a credit card, PayPal or a direct bank transfer to fund currency exchanges. We did find a couple of references on the Wave website to sending funds to the beneficiary’s bank account, but couldn’t find further details. It looks like they mainly offer to transfer funds to the beneficiary’s mobile wallet, which would explain why the transfers are so fast.

There are limits to how much money people can send. You can initially transfer a maximum of $999/£750/€750 per day and $2,999/£2,500/€2,500 per month.

These limits can be raised to $2,999/£2,500/€2,500 per day and $12,000/£10,000/€10,000 per month if Wave receives proof of identity in the form of a photographic ID.

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Wave, with a website at www.wave.com (part of a business called Chime Inc.) should not be confused with Wave Money, with a website at www.wavemoney.com.mm — they are separate businesses.

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Ghanaian Pastor had threatened wife before shooting her dead in Florida – police

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A video clip showing what transpired before a Ghanaian-born US-based preacher allegedly short his wife dead has emerged.

This as Police in Orlando, Fl. continue  holding a 35-year-old Ghanaian pastor who is accused of fatally shooting his better half.

In the video, the pastor can be heard threatening threatening Barbara that he was going to kill her in front of her brother, who had earlier threatened to beat him up.

Sylvester Ofori was arrested at the couple’s home following the shooting incident which, according to authorities,  was captured by CCTV Cameras.

“You can tell that she is trying to get inside. Unfortunately, he shoots her outside of the establishment,” a police spokesman said.

Ofori, who is currently being held at the Orange County Jail without bond, has been charged with first-degree murder.

The couple had been going through a divorce and had been separated for about three months, a detective told reporters.

The wife, Barbara Tommey worked at the Navy Federal Credit union near mall Millenia in Orlando. A new video which has surfaced on Social media shows moments where the pastor was being beaten by the brother of murdered Barbara.

Orlando police arrested Ofori at his home after he surrendered  when the SWAT team  got to there. He is currently facing a First Degree murder charge.

READ ALSO:   Two Kenyan men deported in a $170,000 chattered jet
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