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Majanja’s body received in Nairobi, to be buried Saturday in Kakamega

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

The body of Timothy Majanja, a 71-year-old homeless Kenyan who has been living in the United States and who, at one point, wanted to return home after 46 years in North America, arrived in Nairobi Thursday ready for burial in Lubao Village, Kakamega County on Saturday.

His body was received by Umash Funeral home in the Kenyan capital before it was transported by road to its final resting place in Kakamega.

Majanja died last month at at Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta where he had been rushed in an ambulance while in critical condition.

Medical personnel at the hospital said he died from complications emanating to an earlier ailment which led to him having “extremely high blood pressure.”

Soon after receiving the news of his death, Majanja’s relatives in Lubao, Kakamega, expressed their wish that the body could be flown home for burial.

On Thursday, Protus told Ksnmedia that he was very happy that the body arrived home.

“Is this what we would have wished? Of course not…but I can tell you  that we are very delighted to see the body of  Mzee Majanja. This will bring some form of closure,” he said.

“We were devastated by the news and the elders here couldn’t fathom the idea of their son being buried or cremated  in a foreign land, thousands of miles away from his ancestral home,” said Protus Muhanji Shikoli, Majanja’s nephew.

“We have been through a lot as a family….we wished we could see him alive but obviously, it was not meant to be,” he added.

After Majanja’s death, well wishers, friends and family members got together and raised enough money to pay for the services at West Cobb Funeral home where the body was preserved and also to repatriate it to Kenya for burial.

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“Let us never grow weary of doing good,” said Pastor Salania Salania quoting part of a Biblical verse (Galatians 6:9 when Apostle Paul was writing to the Galatians). He was one of the organizers of a  fundraiser held at believers’ Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where close to $7,000 was raised. Most of those who contributed money had not even met Majanja in person. “We didn’t have to know him to help,” added Mr Salania.

According to Ms Catherine Ogembo, Majanja’s niece who lives in the New Hope City in Minnesota, and who is accompanying the boday, her uncle’s final journey will be on Saturday when he will be laid to rest on his piece of land in Kakamega.

Mr Majanja was in the news in 2014 when NTV aired a story about his plight in which he appealed for help to return to Kenya after living in North America for an uninterrupted period of 46 years.

He told the Nation that he had had enough of the US and wanted to go back to Kenya and rejoin his family. He however did not have any travel documents.

Following the story, many Kenyans expressed their willingness to help him return home.

Watch related video below:

Majanja left Kenya for Canada in 1968, moved to the state of Georgia in the United States in 1993, and has been living in squalor since losing his job 25 years ago.

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“I have been leading a miserable life here and it is high time I left this country,” he told this reporter in an interview on Memorial Drive in Atlanta, Georgia.

After the story aired, Mr Alphonce Shikoli, his elder brother, told NTV’s Namukabo Werunga that the family was excited to know that their relative was alive.

“We eagerly await the return of our ‘prodigal son’. We are fattening a bull to slaughter upon his arrival,” said Shikoli at his rural home in Lupao Village, Kakamega County.

 

In December of the same year, Majanja was hospialised at Grady Hospital where he had been taken after falling ill.

And in an email to the Nation then, an official at the Kenyan embassy in Washington, DC, said the hospital had been in touch, seeking help in tracing Mr Majanja’s relatives.

“But I was not able to talk to him as I was informed that he is not coherent,” said Ms Evelyn Cheluget, the then immigration attaché at the Kenyan mission.

In the 2014 interview which went viral,  Majanja, however, said he was stuck because he lost all his documents and cannot travel and appealed to the Kenyan Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to help him out.

POLITICAL OFFICE

In 1973, he was recruited by the Canadian government into the prestigious Royal Canadian Mounted Police, where he served before venturing into politics.

He run for political office as a city representative in Calgary, Alberta, before unsuccessfully contesting a vacant mayoral seat.

Mr Majanja, however, declined to disclose when or why he left the Canadian police service.

“That matter is confidential,” he said.

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After relocating to Atlanta, he worked for a transport company before losing his job.

“I lost my driver’s license and all the other documents which I had kept in a safe deposit at a local bank,” he said.

Mr Majanja said he has sought help several times from the US and Canadian governments without success.

“I have no single document and can’t travel anywhere,” he said, adding, “I appeal to the Kenyan embassy to give me some travel documents so I can visit my relatives back home.”




MARRIED TO CANADIAN

During the interview with the Nation, he showed photos of his sojourn in Canada in which he looked young and energetic.

“I married a Canadian lady and we had a son, but now I can’t even travel there to visit them,” he said.

“I thought I was strong enough, but now I need help,” added Majanja, who looked weak and a pale shadow of his former self.

Though hardly reported due to the stigma associated with homelessness, drug addiction or mental illness, cases of destitute Kenyans living in the United States have risen in recent years.

In 2012, the body of a homeless Kenyan was discovered in a lake near Boston, Massachusetts.

Early in 2014, police in Atlanta found a homeless and mentally unstable Kenyan man in a forest in Decatur, Georgia.

The authorities handed the man over to the pastor of a Kenyan community church who asked the congregation to raise money for his upkeep and eventual repatriation to Kenya.

In May of the same year, he was reunited with his family in Kenya.

Watch related video below: Is homelessness among Kenyans in US exaggerated?

 

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Diaspora

Kenyans in the diaspora agonise as the deadline for e-passport nears

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Kenyans living in the diaspora are concerned that they might not get the new e- passports on time despite a deadline extension announced recently by the government and a directive by President Uhuru Kenyatta that the documents be issued in their countries of residence.

Citizens living overseas who spoke to the Nation pleaded for the government to intervene and put things in order at its embassies abroad.

On Friday, Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau told the Nation his ministry was working with the Immigration Department to ensure centres for passport applications abroad started working.

“We have identified missions where the programme will start. It is a process that has already been initiated,” he said.

Embassies will first have to deploy more personnel, but Kenyans abroad were being encouraged to register on the diaspora portal.

This, the ministry says, will help establish the areas to prioritise for the centres. Initially, the Interior ministry, which houses the Immigration Department, said it would start with a centre in North America, another in the Middle East and South Africa before expanding gradually.

So arrogant

But a Kenyan residing in Germany expressed displeasure at the kind of services offered at the embassy in Berlin.

“When we call at the Berlin Embassy it is hell on earth! They pick no calls and when they pick, they are so arrogant. How will we be able to travel? Even after protesting at the Berlin Embassy there is no change,” she said, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals.

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But Ms Selline Branis Onalo, who represented Kenyans in Mexico and other central American countries described the tribulations they go through. As Kenya doesn’t have a resident embassy in Mexico City, it runs relations through the mission in Washington.

“It is like the Embassy has forgotten its role in Mexico. Some of us tried to write to the authorities including emails to the Kenyan Embassy in Washington DC, which covers Mexico. We haven’t heard anything from them,” she told the Nation.

In the entire Americas, Kenya has embassies in the US, Cuba, Brazil and Canada, collectively serving more than a dozen countries.

Officially, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs manages diplomatic missions abroad. But specific services like passport issuance are provided by the same departments as at home. That means the Immigration Department will have to send attaches to all embassies to ensure the service is provided there.

In September last year, Kenyans held peaceful demonstrations in Berlin to protest against poor services at the embassy.

They also complained about how they were forced to travel back home to renew their passports. Later in December, Deputy President William Ruto announced that the deadline for obtaining new generation passports was extended from August 2019, to an unspecified date in 2020.

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source:Daily Nation

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Africa

PHOTOS: Uhuru arrives in Mauritius for four-day State Visit

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday evening arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius for a four-day State Visit.

The plane carrying Mr Kenyatta and his entourage touched down at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport shortly before 7pm local time.

On arrival, the President – who was received by Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth – inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the special mobile force of the Mauritius Police Service followed by a 21-gun salute.

After the arrival ceremonies,  Kenyatta paid a courtesy call on the Acting President of Mauritius Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory at State House, Le Reduit.

His visit to Mauritius is largely aimed at boosting the economic, cultural and social ties between the two nations, according to PSCU.

The forum will be used to showcase trade and investment opportunities in Mauritius and Kenya.

President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Prof. George Magoha (Education) among other senior government officials.

PHOTO COURTESY: PSCU

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Diaspora

Death Announcement: Edward Kimando Of Lowell, Massachusetts

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It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of Edward Kimando (Baba Ian). He was husband to Salome Kimani of Calvary Evangelical Church, father to Ian Kiuna (PCEA Imani), Faith Kiuna & Mercy Kiuna.

Son of Samuel Kimando & Jane Nyambura of Uplands Kenya. Son-in-law to Geoffrey Gìtua & Sarah Kimani (Dada Sarah) of PCEA Neema church Lowell. Brother in law to Mary Kimani (Hairdresser) & John Micheal (Tush) of Christian Community Fellowship (CCF) Lowell among others.

Prayers will be held daily at their residence 64 WEED ST, LOWELL MA  Daily from 7pm starting tonight for funeral arrangements and sending the body back home to Kenya.
For more details pls contact;
Salome Kimani……..9783284492
Geoffrey Gitua ……..9783282092
Mary Kimani…………9784839408
John Micheal……….5084843034
Pastor Kìhìko……….9789962519
Pastor Nyagah……..9787616214
Pastor Karìmi……….9783190056

Your prayers, presence and contributions will be highly appreciated.
God bless you!!

SOURCE: Samrack.com

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