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WATCH LIVE: Raila addresses the nation on his next course of action

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When Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga speaks to supporters Tuesday, his words have the power to ease or deepen the crisis triggered by his rejection of last week’s presidential election result.

The 72-year-old insists he is the rightful winner of a “stolen” election that handed victory to incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.

But after days of sometimes violent protests and several deaths following the announcement of results last Friday, life showed signs of returning to normal across the country on Monday.

Mr Odinga has lost three previous elections and has claimed he was cheated of victory in the last two.

POST-POLL CHAOS

After the 2007 election, his supporters took to the streets during months of politically motivated tribal violence that left over 1,100 dead.

Finally, an internationally brokered compromise led to a coalition government in which Odinga served as prime minister in President Mwai Kibaki’s administration.

WATCH LIVE

In 2013 he challenged the presidential results in the Supreme Court and lost.

But this time, Mr Odinga has so far defied pressure to take his complaints to the court.

NOT DONE YET

On Sunday he told cheering supporters, “We are not done yet. We will not give up. Wait for the next course of action” — and promised to speak again on Tuesday.

READ ALSO:   Kenyan-born, US based Doctor jailed for 2.5 Years for Medicare Fraud

But after nearly a week in which businesses stayed shut and workers stayed home, the capital Nairobi came back to life on Monday, with many unable to afford more time away from their jobs.

“I came to work because I need to eat, I need my children to eat, and I need my grandchildren to eat,” said Margaret, 62, a hairdresser in the Kibera slum, an Odinga stronghold.

“They can call us to strike, but at the end of the day, they’ll be eating and we won’t.

“You know, I am very sad that Raila did not win, but what can he do now? It’s over and we want peace,” she added.

THE ELECTION IS OVER

Speaking Monday, President Kenyatta tried to draw a line under the election and its aftermath.

“Kenyans have said that the election is behind them, the majority have returned to work,” he said.

He also reached out to Mr Odinga, offering a “hand of peace” and urging him to use legal means to express his grievances, including peaceful demonstrations if he chooses not to go to court.

“Just do it peacefully, orderly… As a government we will not allow loss of life, destruction of property and looting because many, many millions of Kenyans also are desirous to go about their business as before,” he said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: New comer Muthiora Kariara shines as others stay away

DEATHS

At least 16 people have been killed since Friday night, according to an AFP tally, including a nine-year-old girl hit by a stray bullet in Nairobi’s Mathare slums.

Police have denied innocent protesters have been killed, saying those shot dead had been armed and attacked officers, many while carrying out criminal acts such as rape and looting.

Kenya is now on tenterhooks as it waits to see what Mr Odinga’s next move will be.

“I will do whatever he asks,” said one supporter, 50-year-old Polycarp Orinda, a resident of Kibera slums.

“I will go to the streets if he wants us to go there.”

More: -nation.co.ke

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Man returns 51 years after abandoning family

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An 81-year old man has returned home after disappearing for 51 years, thanks to the ongoing Mau Forest evictions.

Mr Francis Muthua Chege left his home in Ikumbi village of Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, in 1968 when he was 30 years old.

He did not inform his wife and six children where he was going, leaving them with the agony of finding him.

The man’s Wife Wanjiru Muthua said she had to look after the children alone while looking for him and checking with her in-laws.

Mrs Muthua said she once met him in Kisii town but that when she returned, she was told he relocated to an unknown place.

She said she gave up the search for her husband, who was to provide for and educate the children, but hoped he would return one day.

“My only option was to leave his whereabouts to God, pray for his protection and hope that one day he would show up. I had to do that so as to concentrate on looking after our children and ensuring they went to school,” she said in an interview on Monday. “He was only 30 when he left.”

Francis Muthua Chege’s is pictured with his wife Wanjiru following his return to his home at Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Francis Muthua Chege’s is pictured with his wife Wanjiru following his return to his home at Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

READ ALSO:   Blow to Raila as his buddy-S Africa's VP- pledges to work closely with Jubilee

Mr Muthua narrated to his family and the entire village that he went to Kisii, Narok and Kilgoris towns where he tried his hand in business but was unsuccessful.

He later turned to the business of burning charcoal in Mau Forest, settled and even got married but the union did not last long due to his drinking habits.

“I would burn charcoal and spend all the proceeds on alcohol. My second wife and my son could not tolerate my habits so she called it off. I lived a miserable life and felt the shame of going back home with nothing,” he said.

He also said he had no option but to return home as the government started the fresh eviction of settlers from Mau Forest in the bid to save it from further decline.

Mr Muthua went to Kilgoris Police Station and pleaded with the officers to give him bus fare to return to his natives.

He remembered the village but not exactly where his home was. Upon reaching Ikumbi shopping center, tired, hopeless and confused, he slept by the road.

Villager Monicah Gathoni spotted him near Ikumbi Primary school and thought he was hungry.

She approached him but he did not speak.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kenyan professional runner outruns 2 bears in Maine, USA, lucky to be alive

“He was worn out, sick and seeking mercy. He told me he was trying to locate his home after leaving for many years. After describing his home, I paid a boda boda rider to take him there.”

Residents of Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, celebrate Francis Muthua Chege’s return to his wife and six children after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Muthua’s children, now much older and running their own businesses, arranged to go home when they heard of their father’s return.

Neighbours gathered in large numbers to ascertain that a man who left while a youth had returned.

The family and the village slaughtered goats and organised a feast to welcome Mr Muthua and gives thanks for the reunion.

One of his sons, a secondary school teacher in Ndaragwa, Nyandarua County, said he was too shocked by the news to keep away.

He said he needed to see his father “for the first time” since he left when he was too young to understand or remember.

BY nation.co.ke

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Global teacher Tabichi meets Trump ahead of UN address

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The 2019 Global Teacher Prize winner, Kenya’s Peter Tabichi, on Monday met with US President Donald Trump ahead of his special address at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Describing teacher Tabichi as an inspiration to Americans for his hard work and commitment to his students, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted images of the 37-year-old science teacher’s meeting with Mr Trump, but did not give details of what was discussed during the meeting.

“His dedication, hard work and belief in his students’ talent has led his poorly resourced school in Kenya to emerge victorious after taking on the country’s best schools in national science competitions,” Ms Grisham posted on Twitter.

Mr Tabichi, a staunch Catholic and member of the Franciscan Friars, a religious order founded by St Francis of Assisi in the 13th century, amazed the world with his commitment to nurturing the academic abilities of his students, majority of whom come from poor backgrounds.

Following his win, Mr Tabichi, who has travelled the world inspiring many, was appointed as the champion for children in conflicts and crisis by Varky Foundation, a London-based global charitable organisation that is focused on improving the standards of education for underprivileged children.

READ ALSO:   Blow to Raila as his buddy-S Africa's VP- pledges to work closely with Jubilee

The foundation is banking on the inspiring story of the Math and Physics teacher at Keriko Mixed Day Secondary School in Nakuru County to highlight on a global scale the urgent need to invest in the future of children in crisis.

United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) notes that children have become frontline targets in times of war and conflict with statistics showing that every one in four children live in countries affected by conflict or disaster.

On Sunday, Unicef displayed 3,758 school backpacks as headstones outside the UN General Assembly headquarters to highlight the magnitude of child deaths that occurred during conflicts in the last one year and called for the protection of children in conflict.

“In just two weeks, world leaders gathering at the 74th UN General Assembly will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This installation should remind them of the stakes,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore on Sunday.

In Kenya, cases of children dying during conflict have been on the rise with this month’s shooting of two-year-old Duncan Githinji being the latest.

In his address at the UN meeting, Mr Tabichi is expected to give remarks on how he made it to the top of the teaching profession and probably explain how he manages to inspire great performance amongst children who live in a region where drought and famine are frequent.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru now takes to Facebook Livestreaming to talk to electorate, will be live this Sunday

As usual, Kenyans took to social media to congratulate him and share excitement over his meeting with Mr Trump.

“I am happy for mwalimu Peter Tabichi. He keeps on rising and brushing shoulders with the big boys. Once again congratulations,” tweeted Muhammad Onyango.

“President Trump met with Peter Tabichi, the 2019 Global Teacher Prize Winner. No matter where we come from, our dreams are still valid. Proudly Kenyan,” tweeted Wences Rono.

By nation.co.ke

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Diaspora

Kenyans among 300 people arrested over international online scams

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A global operation targeting online scams has led to nearly 300 arrests in 12 countries including Kenya.

According to Voice of America, the suspects include 167 from Nigeria, 74 in the United States, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana.

Other arrests were in Turkey, Ghana, France, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and Britain.

A statement from the U.S Justice Department (DOJ) said: “Foreign citizens perpetrate many BEC scams.  Those individuals are often members of transnational criminal organizations, which originated in Nigeria but have spread throughout the world,” the statement reads.

The four month operation was led by the DOJ and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

During the operation, $3.7 million (Ksh.384million) was recovered, the U.S Justice Department (DOJ) said.

Christopher Wray, the FBI director warned: ”We’re sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes.”

The DOJ listed some of the scams that the fraudsters used to con their victims:

  • Romance scams
  • Employment opportunities scams,
  • Fraudulent online vehicle sales scams
  • Rental scams
  • Lottery scams

Among those arrested in Nigeria were 77 Nigerian suspects recently indicted in the United States on conspiracy charges of swindling businesses and individuals through a variety of internet scams, Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru now takes to Facebook Livestreaming to talk to electorate, will be live this Sunday

The Nigerians allegedly used so-called Business Email Compromise schemes, “romance fraud” and schemes targeting the elderly to steal millions of dollars from their victims in the United States and elsewhere before transferring the funds to Nigeria through an extensive money laundering network, according to a 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed last month.

Others arrested during the recent operation face similar charges.

In the southern U.S. state of Georgia, two Nigerian nationals were arrested in connection with fraudulently directing a transfer of $3.5 million from a health care provider to accounts across the United States. In Miami, two others were charged with laundering more than $950,000 of proceeds of BEC scams and recruiting about 18 others to serve as “money mules.”

Widely used by Nigerian fraudsters, Business Email Compromise schemes involve targeting employees with access to company finances and tricking them into making unauthorized wire transfers into accounts controlled by swindlers.

$26 billion online scam

According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, Business Email Compromise is a $26 billion online scam. Last year, BEC and its variant, Email Account Compromise, resulted in losses of nearly $1.3 billion, nearly twice as much as 2017.

Operation reWired was part of the Justice Department’s intensified efforts in recent years to crack down on internet financial fraud. Among other measures, the department has set up an internal BEC Counteraction Group to coordinate cases.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Top Kenyan comedian Eric Omondi stars in an Indian 'Movie'

Through the arrests, “we’re sending a clear message to the criminals who orchestrate these BEC schemes: We’ll keep coming after you, no matter where you are,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said. “And to the public, we’ll keep doing whatever we can to protect you.”

U.S. and Nigerian officials credited the mass arrests to close cooperation and coordination between their law enforcement agencies.

“Our efforts in coordinating the EFCC/FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes” against “the infamous yahoo-yahoo boys,” said the EFCC’s director of information, Mohammed Abba, according to AFP.

U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said the Justice Department has “increased efforts” to combat cyber-enabled financial crimes.

“The coordinated efforts with our domestic and international law enforcement partners around the world has made these most recent actions more successful,” Rosen said.

U.S. officials didn’t say whether they have asked Nigerian authorities to extradite the suspects wanted in multiple U.S. jurisdictions from California to Florida.

Hassan Mohammed Hassan, Nigeria’s deputy ambassador to the U.S., told VOA last month that Nigeria will consider any extradition request based on a “verifiable” case.

Last year, a law enforcement operation aimed at BEC scams resulted in the arrest of 74 people and the seizure of $2.4 million, according to the Justice Department.

READ ALSO:   Blow to Raila as his buddy-S Africa's VP- pledges to work closely with Jubilee

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