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Latvia man jailed for smuggling miraa from Nairobi into UK

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Latvia man jailed for smuggling miraa from Nairobi into UK

By ALLAN TAWAI

A man who was caught trafficking miraa from Nairobi to the UK has been jailed for ten months by a judge at Warwick Crown Court.

The 27-year old Nauris Ennitis from Latvia, pleaded guilty to the illegal importation of 35 kilograms of miraa with a value of Sh. 2,800, 000 (£20,000) into the UK where the plant is a banned class C drug.

The defendant had arrived at London City Airport on a flight from Zurich having originally travelled from Nairobi.

Prosecutor Madhu Rai told the court that in September 2017, Ennitis was stopped by a UK Border Agency officer who had spotted him pushing two large suitcases which he later said he had packed himself.

The court was told that when the officer questioned the accused whether he had been given anything to carry, Ennitis immediately admitted by saying “Yes, I’ve got khat in there. It’s all mine, no-one else has anything to do with it. I just wanted to make some money.”

The two suitcases were stripped open and officers found cloth-wrapped bundles of miraa. The suspect admitted on the spot that he knew it was illegal to bring miraa into the UK, but he was going to gain from importing it.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS: Battle for Nairobi gets complicated as Peter Kenneth announces his run as Independent

During the interview, Ennitis said a friend in Kenya had offered to pay him Sh. 140, 000 (£1,000) once he had successfully delivered the drug into the UK.

The prosecutor, Miss Rai, pointed out migrant population from East Africa countries as the main market for the leafy plant which is chewed and has a similar effect to amphetamine, the court also heard that at the time of the case, Ennitis was subject to a 12-week suspended sentenced imposed for breaching a community order he had originally received for driving with excess alcohol.

Speaking via a video link from the prison where he had been on remand, Ennitis, who was representing himself explained that he had breached the suspended sentence and it had been activated in full last month. Regarding miraa offence, he acknowledged “I knew it was illegal, the only reason I was doing it was because I had lost my previous property, and I needed to get a new property,” he said

Ennitis also told the court that, with the exception of last month, he had been consistently working and paying taxes since moving to the UK from Latvia.
He said: “I feel remorse about it. It was a bad thing to do.”

While delivering the judgement the judge said: “You were being paid for that. You needed money because you were in debt, but there are other ways of getting money. You could have done more overtime, but you chose to go down this course. But it is clear you are showing great shame for what you did, and you were entirely honest when you were caught. I very much trust this is the last time the courts are troubled by you, and that you can go back to being a hard-working citizen of this country.”

READ ALSO:   Scare as Maternity wing catches fire at Mbagathi hospital

In 2013, the Dutch government banned miraa exports denying Kenya over Sh1.5 billion in annual revenue.

Soon after, the UK declared miraa a class C drug and banned all imports, leaving Kenyan farmers with Somalia as the only major market.

 

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Business

Kenyan in Atlanta counts blessings as he owns two successful businesses

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Meet Wilson Kimani Wanguhu. He has lived in the US for 22 years where, besides getting an education, he has also learnt the ropes. Just like many who have relocated from Kenya to US, it was not easy at the beginning. When he landed in the US in 1996, he struggled to pay his fees and sustain himself. “I used to flip burgers and later sold petrol at a gas station,” he says.

But now those are distant memories. His entrepreneurial streak has seen him venture into business and he now sells insurance in the Atlanta, Georgia and water in Nakuru, Kenya.

Wanguhu has put up systems that enable him to run businesses in both cities effectively and his story is an example of the impact of remittances from Abroad. He  says having lived in a country where systems function like clock work, setting up shop in Kenya has had its fair share of challenges.

The former CEO of Kim Media Group and publisher of Kenya Empowerment Newspaper is however upbeat and quite happy with what the has achieved so far. He co-owns Ameritrust Insurance Group and has teamed up with his mom and his younger brother, Ezekiel Manyara, as the co-proprietors of Riftdrops Limited, a water bottling Company with its headquarters in Nakuru.

READ ALSO:   Scare as Maternity wing catches fire at Mbagathi hospital

“If you are doing well in Kenya, stay there…,” he advises would-be migrants. He spoke to Alex Chamwada in this week’s episode of  Daring Abroad. Here is his story.

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VIDEO: Exclusive interview with Miguna Miguna on JKL

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Controversial politician Miguna Miguna’s Wednesday night interview on Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange Live show was a tough one to put it mildly; and arguably a nightmare for a fainthearted journalist.

While some viewers enjoyed the show and were electrified by Miguna’s apparent bravado in the interview, others were dissatisfied and have accused the self-declared NRM general of being dramatic and evasive in his responses.

Miguna, however, disagrees that he failed to answer any questions.

“A polite reminder to some confused Kenyans: Saying “no” to a question is also an answer. If you believe a question is malicious, just say so. You will not die,” tweeted Miguna after being interviewed from Toronto, Canada.

The 21-minute Skype interview kicked off on a high with the interviewee scolding the host and dictating the topic the interview should focus on.

“Miguna, your lawyer Cliff Ombeta received a letter on your nomination by Governor Mike Sonko as deputy governor. Have you received that letter?” Koinange fired the first question only for Miguna to rebuff it.

“Jeff I am not here to talk about Cliff Ombeta or Governor Sonko. I am here to talk about how my rights have been violated by the regime in Nairobi,” replied Miguna.

Miguna would still not clearly answer the second question on whether he would return to the country. He instead embarked on a chronological recount of what transpired before he was forcefully ejected from the country.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS: Battle for Nairobi gets complicated as Peter Kenneth announces his run as Independent

When Koinange asked the third question – What are you doing to have yourself back to Kenya? – Miguna seized the moment to criticise the Kenyan media for what he termed as “glorification of tyranny” and blaming State agencies for his woes.

A back-and-forth would then ensue as Miguna insisted that he is a Kenyan citizen and had never lost his citizenship as claimed by the State.

When the lionhearted Koinange sought to stick out the grounds under which the State says Miguna lost his citizenship, the fiery lawyer dropped his gloves and took on the host bare knuckles.

“The problem with you is that you never went to law school, you’re not a judge or a lawyer,” Miguna fired. “Don’t interfere with me. Let me speak,” added Miguna as Koinange tried to interject.

Drama continued with Miguna embarking on a lengthy explanation of why the government does not want him in the country.

When Koinange sought to bring his mighty show to order, Miguna was not ready to be reduced to the ordinary calm interviewee.

“Jeff don’t argue with me let me answer. You are a journalist if you ask a question let me answer. You are suggesting that I help them win a case I already won in court. Is that rational?” Miguna posed when asked why he had declined to reapply for Kenyan citizenship as directed by the government.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Kidero surprises many as he says God has chosen Sonko as governor, showers him with praise

Asked who are members of his self-styled National Resistance Movement (NRM), Miguna’s response was a bitter pill to swallow.

“Why do you want to know and you are not an NRM member. You have not asked who Jubilee members are,” said Miguna.

Koinange moved on to the next question: “If you were to come back, could you think about working with Sonko?”

“Jeff I will make announcements as to who I work with or who I don’t when I am back or when I would like to do that. Today that was not the purpose of this interview,” replied Miguna.

“But everyone wants to know,” pleaded Koinange.

Miguna responded: “ Everyone includes me. I don’t want to know what you are asking because it is not a question that Sonko or other people have asked me.”

Seemingly fed up with Miguna, Koinange asked the former Nairobi gubernatorial aspirant why he was not willing to talk about the Capital’s affairs. Miguna replied: “Jeff I will talk about Nairobi when I deem it fit. Not on compulsion from you.”

At the tail end of the interview, a light moment ensued as the take-no-prisoners Miguna finally cracked a smile saying: “Jeff I am a tough cookie, you can’t push me around.”

The interview came to an end on a near similar note as it began.

READ ALSO:   Illegal immigrants from Uganda detained in Busia

“Miguna you being outside the country means nothing because you are in the outside looking in. Don’t you think you should be in the inside,” asked Koinange.

“Jeff the problem with you is that you don’t know history,” Miguna fired as he explained how Fidel Castro and other political icons were and later returned to victory.

In the words of Jeff Koinange, “Wow, what a show, what a guest!”

REACTION:

-Citizen

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Diaspora

Kenyan man, Bob Maina Kirigwi, passes away in Atlanta

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The late Bob Maina Kirigwi. PHOTO/COURTESY

Death has occurred of Bob Maina Kirigwi of Marietta, Georgia. He was husband to Catherine Maina, father to Rufus Maina, Mathew Maina and Virginia all of Nairobi Kenya. Brother to Eunice Ngige (Mama Stella of Kennesaw District), nephew to Mercy Mbatia of Marietta and Crescent Mbatia formerly of Kennesaw, Georgia.

Upon learning of his death, friends and co-workers sent messages of condolence to the family. Ben DB Aguilera, a former colleague of the deceased wrote the following:

“My co worker, great friend, and father figure Bob Kirigwi passed away last night after a hard fought battle…I will NEVER forgot all of the wisdom he bestowed upon me, all the life lessons and of course the crazy out of this world stories he had from back in his native land of Kenya…if there is one thing I know everybody that knew him will remember him by, is the incredible amount of hard work and sacrifices he made to allow his family to live a happy life full of everything they needed and wanted. You will NEVER be forgotten Rafiki, R.I.P. ”

Following Kirigwi’s demise, prayer meetings are being held daily at Mr. Samuel Kagua’s residence from 7pm.
Address:
3520 English Oaks Dr.
Kennesaw GA 30144

Contacts:
Eunice Ngige 6786973544
Mathew Maina
4047070843
Samuel Kagua
6785585675
Kanyari
4043536317
Ruth Ngotho
4045328657
Christine Muchene
6788878256
Let us support this family with prayers and financially to enable them send Bob’s remains to his resting place in Kenya.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING NEWS: Battle for Nairobi gets complicated as Peter Kenneth announces his run as Independent

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken. May His Name be praised.

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