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Prof. Wanjala died painfully but gracefully: Widow 

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A sea of black and dark blue suits coupled with the chilly weather summed up the mood at the Parklands Baptist Church yesterday

Family, friends and academicians of celebrated literature don Chris Lukorito Wanjala were gathered at the church to pay tribute ahead of his funeral.

Prof Wanjala is famed and respected for his influence on Kenyan literature.

Wanjala, who taught and mentored several authors, poets and artists, was awarded the Elder of the Burning Spear in 2012 for his contribution to Kenyan literature, culture and book development.

While the professor received a colourful eulogy that dwelt on his vast accomplishments, many of the speakers – from his wives and children to colleagues and students – heartwarmingly described him as someone who made a positive impact on their lives.

“He loved seeing us reading. He often gifted us books and taught us how to read with confidence. We would run to read when he heard him driving in in the evening,” said his son David Wanjala.

According to the professor’s children and students, he was a strict disciplinarian who pushed for excellence.

The speakers also remarked on Wanjala’s astounding strength and ability to gracefully hide the pain he experienced in the last months of his life, even from those closest to him.

“He suffered greatly over the last three months but hid it well. I blame myself because I was sick and he drove to the village to attend to me,” said an emotional Mrs Sarah Wanjala.

Burial upcountry

Sarah said her husband attended a friend’s burial upcountry and brought her medicine. Later that night, she revealed, he started shouting and vomiting.

At about 4am, she took him to a hospital in Eldoret for emergency care as she arranged for his transfer to a hospital in Nairobi.

“He asked me to clean him. I could see he was in a lot of pain. He could not breath properly and he told me he felt his tongue getting heavy, he could not talk,” she said.

She revealed that she left him for just 10 minutes but by the time she returned, he had died.

Sarah met Wanjala more than 49 years ago, when both were studying at the University of Nairobi. Wanjala knew his second wife, Ruth, for more than 39 years.

According to the family, the professor was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer in 2014 but was cured after chemotherapy.

However, in May this year, he started getting sick again but specialists were unable to diagnose the problem. A postmortem revealed that he had been suffering from diabetes, which caused his essential organs to shut down.

Wanjala will be buried at his upcountry home in Lwandeti on Saturday.

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UoN student left for the dead after alleged beating by varsity guards

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A student at University of Nairobi was over the weekend allegedly battered by guards at the College of Architecture.

Students Organisation of Nairobi University (Sonu) chair Ann Mvurya accused the security guards, attached to Lavington Security Limited,  of beating Kelvin Ochieng despite his efforts to prove that he was a student.

The operations manager of Lavington Security Limited confirmed the incident to Nairobi News.

Ms Mvurya told journalists that Kelvin had even logged to his student portal and confirmed that he was a student of registration number D33/83354/2017.

“He had already logged in to his portal to confirm that he is indeed a student but the ignorant security guards, after failing to understand how a portal operates, started beating him up,” she said.

Ms Mvurya claimed the guards stole Sh3,200 from the student before ‘stripping him with an aim of covering their heinous acts’.

The student sustained deep head cuts and was taken to the University Health Service (UHS) dispensary.

“This is uncalled for and should be brought to an end,” she said.

By Nairobinews

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Ex-KRA boss Njiraini, Murugi shortlisted to head National Land Commission

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Former Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Commissioner General John Njiraini is among the 11 candidates shortlisted for the chairperson of the National Land Commission.

Njiraini, who had sat at the helm of  KRA since March 2012, left last month after his term expired.

Former Nyeri MP Esther Murugi has also been listed as a contender for the NLC Board top seat that fell vacant when Mohammed Swazuri’s tenure ended.

Swazuri’s tenure was tainted with controversies and culminated in several arrests and subsequent arraignment.

On Tuesday, an advertisement in the local daily also named other candidates shortlisted for NLC Board Chairperson as Mwenda Makathimo (Executive Director of the Land Development & Governance Institute); prominent lawyer Gershom Otachi; Naomi Wagereka (former Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Chairperson); Robert Kilimo, Patrick Adolowa, Humphrey Njuguna, Paul Wambua, Tiyah Ali (Isiolo County MP) and Gershom Bw’Omanwa.

According to the National Land Commission, the above candidates were shortlisted from 117 applications which the commission received.

Notable personalities who were shortlisted for membership positions include Francis Nderitu (Ndaragwa MP), Prof Gitile Naituli and Adan Abdi Mohamed (former National Cohesion and Integration Committee (NCIC) commissioners), Boniface Otsyula (Bumula MP), Alex Muthengi (former Tharaka MP) and Omingo Magara (former South Mugirango MP).

The candidates are required to appear before an interview panel starting 7:30a.m on Monday, July 29.

Upon interviews, two qualified applicants for the position of chairperson will be shortlisted and 16 for members, then forwarded to the President.

The President is then expected to nominate the chairperson and eight members within 14 days, then forward to the National Assembly for vetting within 21 days.

Should Parliament approve the names within seven days, they will be again forwarded to the President, who will then appoint them through a Gazette notice.

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Meru grandpa who dug his own grave 19 years ago, finally dies

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A 77-year-old businessman who prepared his own gravesite together with that of his wife in 2000 was on Saturday granted his wish and laid to rest at his Milimani home in Isiolo county.

Samson Mwongera had also prepared his eulogy and that of his wife in preparation for his send-off.

His widow, Eunice Mwongera said her late husband called elders and informed them of the decision.

“The elders rejected and said that he ought to be buried in Kibirichia he agreed but later he called them again and insisted on his decision and the elders finally agreed and he was very happy the next day he called a mason who worked on the structure,” he said.

She said after the 40th anniversary for their wedding at there home he called all his children and showed them where he will be buried.

She said the children cried but he did not reverse his decision.

She said that they had written eulogies and even printed and children were shocked when I told them that during the funeral announcements.

Mwongera younger brother Gilfred Murithi said Mwongera was the firstborn in the family of six said they were opposed to Mwongera plans and wanted him to be laid to rest in Kibirichia but later agreed with the decision.

“I asked him if he wanted to be like Martin Shikuku and he told me yes. It is against Meru tradition for one to dig their own graves and if one does so he was forced to be fined a white sheep by the elders but now times have changed and we did not fine Mwongera,” Murithi said.

His son Munene Mwongera, said his late father prepared his own grave in 2000. He also prepared his eulogy in 2003.

“He had just retired from his workstation at the Isiolo Law Courts, he was diagnosed with diabetes and that is when he decided to prepare for his send-off,” he said.

He, however, said that the disease did not trouble his father much.

Munene said after he prepared his grave his father called the family and said he wanted to rest there and the family did not object.

“He had prepared us on what to do and how to share property in case he died. He prepared his eulogy in 2003, he prepared the tribute he will read to our mother in case she died before him and asked our mother to also write the tribute he will read in case he died first,” he said.

Munene said that the ailment might not have mostly contributed to the bizarre decision by his father.

“He used to tell us that life is a journey and a person might die any moment it is just like a Matatu if you reach your destination you alight and another person boards. He said he does not know where he will alight but if he died he should be rested at the graveside he had decided to avoid arguments on where he would be buried,” he said.

He said his father said instructed that when both of them (Father and Mother) are laid to rest there they should build a stone-like structure on top and write there eulogy and tributes and anything else we want to write.

The grave was constructed like a wardrobe to the effect that whoever dies first between the two would be buried at the base, and a concrete slab used to cover it in order to create room for the spouse to be buried on top when they finally die and a house constructed.

Munene said his dad was hardworking and lived a good life despite his uniqueness in the send-off.

He said at first they were shocked with the incident but later came to terms with his decision.

“he gave us examples of his friends who have died and we accepted his decision,” he said.

He hailed his father’s decision and said he will follow his footsteps as it had made it easy for the family to conduct the funeral.

The late was granted his wishes despite some varying opinion from some family quarters that he ought to be buried at his late father’s farm in Kibiricha- Meru County

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