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Disbelief as Kenyan Woman in US found dead in her car, over a month since she disappeared

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The body of a Kenyan-American woman in California who had been missing since August 17th has been found.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers were responding to an unrelated crash on Sunday afternoon off Highway 84 in Newark, Alameda County, when they spotted a silver 2002 Mercedes-Benz coupe that had rolled off the highway and landed at the bottom of an embarkment. On checking the vehicle, CHP officers discovered there was a woman’s body inside the car.

Paramedics who responded at the scene pronounced the woman dead at the scene and determined she had been dead for an extended time.

An autopsy conducted later by the Alameda County coroner’s bureau identified the dead woman as 66-year-old Wamaitha Kaboga-Miller of Palo Alto, California. Wamaitha’s family had reported her missing since August 17th, and had offered a $25,000 reward to help find her.

Her family, friends as well as the  Palo Alto community had conducted several search events in the area since her disappearance in an effort to find her.

The cause of the crash as well as the day and time are still under investigation.

Wamaitha was a retired Apple engineer.

Mwakilishi.com

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Lifestyle

Mutula Kilonzo:The Last Moments

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Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo woke up in high spirits on Thursday April 26, 2013.

According to his wife Cyrose Nduku, the senator had a shower, took breakfast and bid her bye.

The lawmaker called around 6pm to inform her that he had arrived at his Kwa Kyelu Ranch.

 “He sounded well and even joked,” said Nduku, who got married to Mr Kilonzo in 1982 after his divorce.

She was called the following day and informed that her husband had fallen ill.

Mr Kilonzo’s personal assistant Stella Mutheu said the senator passed by the office that day and that he went through paperwork and signed some letters before leaving between 10 and 11am.

She went home, only to receive the news of his death the following day.

Ms Mutheu, who had been Mr Kilonzo’s PA for 10 years, said he had on several occasions complained of tiredness, attributing it to the gruelling political campaigns. Elections had been held the previous month.

Election victory

Mr Kilonzo’s cook – Kelly Mutua – prepared a meal of maize, beans and meat mixed with vegetables, peas and potatoes.

The senator’s son Mutula Kilonzo Jr said his father sent him a text that night over a petition contesting his election victory.

At 11am the following day, the lawmaker was found dead in his bed by his workers.

A government report later showed he died of massive bleeding caused by high blood pressure.

A report conducted by several experts said the senator had taken the drug Ephedrine (pseudoephedrine) with Pepsi drink.

Doctors told Senior Resident Magistrate B Bartoo that the drug is a decongestant and is also used as an anaesthesia during surgery.

The drug, the inquest was told, is used by a person with low blood pressure to stimulate heartbeat.

The effects can, however, be fatal as it can cause high blood pressure, especially if combined with caffeine.

The news of the senator’s death sparked suspicion, with many saying he had been killed.

Mr Kilonzo Jr, who became senator, said his father had received threatening messages countless times.

Some of the messages were from a woman identified as Nduku, he said.

But Ms Nduku told the inquest that her relation with Mr Kilonzo’s other children was not good.

She admitted that her husband feared for his life and had received three threatening messages, but he never reported the matter to police.

She also talked of a threatening letter sent to a school in Mbooni.

The letter reportedly contained some powder and some writing in red stating: “Mutula, breathe your last”.

Samples collected from Mr Kilonzo Sr’s home were taken for analysis.

The samples were from the leftover food, half a pack of Del Monte juice, an empty can of Pepsi and several water bottles.

Also taken for sampling were vomit found in the bathroom and pellets in a drawer.

Drank water

Though the results confirmed that he drank water and the beverage, the juice was consumed by another person.

The body was taken to Lee Funeral Home, where a postmortem was carried out by Dr Andrew Gachie, Dr Johansen Oduor, Prof Ian Calder from UK, Dr Emily Rogena, Dr Luke Musau and Dr Symon Mwangi Watene.

Drs Oduor, Rogena and Gachie dismissed reports of a cover-up, maintaining that the drug taken with Pepsi triggered the death.

The Pepsi drink, they said, enhances the stimulation effect of pseudoephedrine.

Prof Calder said he would do a toxicology test. In November of the same year, he sent Mr Kilonzo Jr an email described by the latter as disturbing.

According to the lawmaker, the pathologist said he would only sign his final report if he received sealed samples for analysis.

Mr Kilonzo Jr said he suspected foul play because there was no explanation as to why the samples remained at Nairobi Hospital for nine days.

He added that his father received a threat in February 2013 and withdrew a case against “Nduku”.

He said the woman sent a message, saying she would eliminate him and his children. But he added that the phone might have been used by persons other than Nduku.

The magistrate dismissed claims of a cover-up, especially because Prof Calder did not testify or send a report alluding to interference with the samples.

Dedicated public servant

 “It is sad that we lost a dedicated public servant in the manner as it may. I have evaluated the evidence and I am in agreement with the State that there is no evidence pointing to any person (s) having a hand in the death of Senator Mutula Kilonzo,” the court ruled.

Mwangi, who was the first doctor to arrive at the ranch, said he was attending a conference at Maanzoni Lodge when he was called to an emergency.

Dr Mwangi said a bloody discharge was flowing from the senator’s mouth and nose.

He found that he was not breathing and there was no pulse. He then broke the news to the family and workers. He said the senator died around 9.50am.

He added that there was no evidence of a struggle and he immediately organised collection of the food samples.

By Nation.co.ke

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Lifestyle

From troubled childhood, Kenyan-American eyes top seat in Minnesota

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Mr Boni Njenga, a Kenyan-American born in Nakuru Town, has risen from a boy with a troubled childhood to a man with an interest in an elective post in the US, come the elections on November 3.

Mr Njenga’s mother sent him to the US in 2003 to keep him away from bad peer influence after his high school education.

The single mother of six was concerned about the future of her troublesome son who attended four secondary schools.

He attended D.N Handa Secondary School in Naivasha for his Form One, moved to Coulson Secondary School in Gilgil the following year and then transferred to Kalou Secondary School in Ol Kalou for Form Two and Form Three.

He returned to D. N Handa where he sat his O’level exams.

He passed his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams but his mother worried about the effects peer pressure would have on him.

“My mother was concerned about my discipline. I was giving her a difficult time due to bad influence from my peers,” he says.

“To save me from engaging in drug abuse and crime, she decided to send me to the United States of America to live with my brothers. I arrived in the US with a near-empty suitcase and $50 as pocket money.”

Today, Mr Njenga, an American citizen with a Master’s degree in Public Administration, is seeking to become the first Kenyan-American to sit as a commissioner in one of the county boards in the US.

He will vie for a position in the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, District 5 (Bloomington, Richfield and Eden Prairie).

“We are facing challenges like the Opioid crisis, homelessness, lack of public safety, racial disparities and tax levy increases with no accountability and transparency on spending,” he says.

Campaign focus

Mr Njenga has lived and worked in Hennepin County for the last nine years.

Being a policy analyst, he says his campaigns are focused on five key areas – creating community wealth, closing achievement gaps, children protective services, safe and affordable housing and improving the quality of life for all residents.

“We can only solve these issues with fresh and bold 21st century governance and by applying evidence-based policy making, which will enable us to curb wasteful spending in Hennepin County, keeping more money in your pocket,” he says.

“I want to advocate for the rights of all residents. Today’s challenges require more than a single approach. They require fresh ideas, action and strong advocacy.”

Mr Njenga is challenging first term incumbent Debbie Goettel, whom he acknowledges as a formidable opponent but adds that he is up to the task.

Hennepin is Minnesota’s largest county with an annual budget of $2.5 billion that is overseen by a seven-member board of commissioners.

Mr Njenga criticises the county’s dismal record when it comes to contracting minority entrepreneurs and says one of his desires is to create community wealth, informed by the challenges marginalised communities face.

“Hennepin County, with its millions of dollars, spends less than one per cent in contracting the minority groups,” he says.

“I want to bring a 21st century approach to policy making,” adds Mr Njenga who has previously pushed for opportunities for marginalised groups.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Njenga has been forced to run his campaigns on social media platforms.

“I reach out to voters through my Facebook page (Boni Njenga), my website (www.boninjenga.com) and Twitter account(@Boninjenga). It is not easy but the circumstances have forced us to keep social distancing.”

Experience

After moving to the US in 2003, Mr Njenga joined Minnesota State University-Mankato from where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and later a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

He has held supervisory and project management roles with the State before joining the private sector.

He says this background will enable him to offer ideas and innovative approaches for creating sustainable jobs and economic security.

“It will be quite an honour if residents of District 5 give me a chance to serve them and give back to the community that gave me a home and accepted me years ago.

“I have always had the passion for public service and politics. I value the quote by former US President J.F. Kennedy – ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your county’.”

He adds, “I came here as a young confused man, unsure of what the future held for me, but through focus, hard work and mentorship by my lecturers, I can look back and thank my mother for sending me here. I know she is proud of me.

“My mother instilled in me discipline and the value of service to the people. Minnesota gave me an elite education and job experience and I have come to call it home. It will be an honour to serve Minnesota.”

Mr Njenga joins the long list of Africans seeking elective posts in Minnesota since the election of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar to the Minnesota Legislature in 2016, and to the US House of Representatives  two years later.

She is the first black person born in Africa to be elected to the US Congress and is the highest ranking elected African immigrant politician in the State.

by nation.co.ke

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Courts

Long serving US Supreme court Judge and cultural icon Ruth Ginsburg dies at 87

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US Supreme court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman to serve on the apex Court and a pioneering advocate for women’s rights, who in her ninth decade became a much younger generation’s unlikely cultural icon, died on Friday. She was 87.

RBG, as she was popularly known, died in Washington DC  Friday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Born on March 15, 1933, she served on the court  from 1993 until her death in 2020. She was nominated by President Bill Clinton on June 14, 1993.

Ginsburg became the second of four female justices to be confirmed to the Court after Sandra Day O’Connor, the two others being Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, both of whom are still serving in 2020.

Following O’Connor’s retirement in 2006 and until Sotomayor joined the Court in 2009, she was the only female justice on the Supreme Court.

During that time, Ginsburg became more forceful with her dissents, which were noted by legal observers and in popular culture. She was generally viewed as belonging to the liberal wing of the Court. Ginsburg authored notable majority opinions, including United States v. Virginia (1996), Olmstead v. L.C. (1999), and Friends of the Earth, Inc. v. Laidlaw Environmental Services, Inc. (2000).

Ginsburg was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her older sister died when she was a baby, and her mother, one of her biggest sources of encouragement, died shortly before Ginsburg graduated from high school. She then earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and became a wife and mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class.

Ginsburg transferred to Columbia Law School, where she graduated tied for first in her class. Following law school, Ginsburg entered into academia. She was a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School, teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

Ginsburg spent a considerable part of her legal career as an advocate for the advancement of gender equality and women’s rights, winning multiple arguments before the Supreme Court. She advocated as a volunteer attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union and was a member of its board of directors and one of its general counsels in the 1970s. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she served until her appointment to the Supreme Court. Ginsburg received attention in American popular culture for her fiery liberal dissents and refusal to step down; she was dubbed “The Notorious R.B.G.”, a play on the name of the rapper known as “The Notorious B.I.G.“, in reference to her notable dissents.[3]

She died at 87 years of age on September 18, 2020, from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer at her home.\

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