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The suicide bomber’s hand had a shiny ring: Volunteer describes his rescue efforts at Dusit

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As the sun set on an upmarket hotel complex in Nairobi, Serge Medic’s phone pinged with a message from his son: “Dad, are you OK?… Don’t do anything silly, please.”

Medic chuckled as he recounted the moment.

“It was 18:43. Too late.”

Three hours earlier, at least four gunmen and a suicide bomber had stormed 14 Riverside Drive, a leafy office, restaurant and hotel complex in the heart of Kenya’s capital, kicking off a 20-hour siege in which 21 people were killed.

At 4.39 p.m. Medic, the 56-year-old Swiss founder of a private security firm, was on his way home from work in a taxi when he saw injured people being carried along the side of the road.

At the same moment, a flurry of WhatsApp messages pinged on his phone from a group called “LFH (Licensed Firearm Holders) Kenya.”

“Seems to be an attack of some sort. Heavy explosions and gunfire,” one message read.

Medic turned the taxi around and headed towards the complex, a plush regional headquarters for international companies such as Colgate Palmolive, Dow Chemical and SAP.

As the car hit traffic, he grabbed his khaki emergency bag and ran the remaining 500 metres towards the billowing black smoke and the sound of gunfire.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING: PRESIDENT: All Dusit attackers have been killed

“At the time, there was no thought about being a hero,” Medic told Reuters. “It was automatic.”

Entering the compound, he joined forces with two Kenyans in civilian clothes, each carrying a 9mm carbine and a shotgun.

Medic drew his pistol. The motley volunteers were the first rescuers on the scene.

At 3.59 p.m. they made their way past three burning cars and discovered the glass facade of I&M Bank riddled with bullet holes.

“Somewhere in my mind, I hoped that it was just a bank robbery gone wrong, because bank robbers, after all, are more reasonable people than terrorists,” he said.

Rounding the corner, they heard gunshots from the direction of the dusitD2 hotel and paused.

When the gunfire stopped, they moved slowly towards the hotel lobby, checking for ditches to dive into in case of a grenade attack. On the path they discovered a severed arm belonging to a suicide bomber who, half an hour earlier, had detonated his vest outside the Secret Garden restaurant.

“I remember vividly it had a shiny ring on one of the fingers,” Medic said.

As they walked over the shattered glass of the hotel’s front doors, Medic worried about a new threat: booby traps.

Then they came under fire from automatic weapons.

Serge Medic, the Swiss owner of a security company, helps to evacuate civilians at the scene where explosions and gunshots were heard at the Dusit hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya January 15, 2019.

“We were sitting ducks,” Medic said.

READ ALSO:   DusitD2 terror suspect had 47 M-Pesa lines, withdrew Sh5.2 million three days before the attack

He fired two shots as the group lay down suppressing fire and, one by one, ran back to their position behind the bank.

At 5.02 p.m. Medic sent a message to the group: “I’ve just been shot at in dusit.”

By now a mix of Kenyan security teams had arrived, along with several other armed civilians.

With the number and location of attackers still unknown, Medic joined a dozen maroon-bereted policemen in securing an adjacent office block, the Arlington building.

They swept from floor to floor, kicking down glass doors and evacuating dozens of terrified office workers, coaxing them out from their hiding places under desks and in cupboards.

On the fifth floor, they found the office to Pernod Ricard, a French drinks manufacturer, protected by an impenetrable metal door.

A voice from the other side refused to unlock it. Medic tried wrenching the handle but it came off in his hand.

Eventually, the person on the other side relented.

“As we opened it the (boss) was waiting with a big kitchen knife,” Medic said. “Some other staff had some other small kitchen knives.”

Cowering behind them were 20 or 30 employees.

“I found that quite courageous.”

Medic helped them out of the building and, with the dying of the light, the U.S.-trained commando unit known as SPEAR arrived and sealed the area off to civilians.

READ ALSO:   Dusit hotel to hold memorial for 6 employees on Wednesday

Reuters

 

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Drama as delegates heckle DP Ruto during BBI launch 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Delegates heckled Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report at the Bomas of Kenya over his remarks on the report

The DP was forced to pause his speech after the delegates started booing him after he appeared to express his dissatisfaction at the Youth leader Trans Nzoia County Alex Matere’s remarks about his wheelbarrow donations.

Ruto said by saying that Kenyans should not adopt 16th-century technology, Matere was referring to the wheelbarrows he has been supplying to Kenyans.

However, Ruto noted that the discussions Kenyans should have is why a 16th-century tool has millions of citizens still dependent on it in the 21st-century.

The DP’s remarks didn’t sit well with most of the delegates, which resulted in them openly expressing their displeasure and forcing him to stop talking.

Mbita Member of Parliament Millie Odhiambo appeared mainly pissed by Ruto’s remarks as he stood and jeering Ruto, drowning his speech.

He went on to ask for a minute to conclude his speech but the crowd couldn’t hear of it as they continued to jeer him after he appeared to hit out at the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

READ ALSO:   I will always be grateful to Recce for putting their lives on the line for us, says Dusit survivor

Ruto concluded his speech by calling on leaders to refrain from contests pitting the rich and the poor by quoting former US President Abraham Lincoln.

DP Ruto then proceeded to welcome his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta to make his remarks with the delegates still shouting “respect the president,” as he took his seat.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga also hit on the DP for engaging in early campaigns instead of supporting the President in delivering the Big-4 Agenda.

Raila said that Kenyans expect to be united for now but not campaigns of who will be the President in 2022 as they will handle that when the time comes.

The ODM Party leader noted that Ruto and President Uhuru Kenyatta should be working as a pair to bring a difference in the country.

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Uhuru maintains Raila is not government

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BY KEVIN KOECH

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday 26 October 2020 made it clear that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga is not in the government.

Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, the Head of State explained that when he decided to come into an agreement with Raila, the mission was to find a way to healing this country.

“When we sat down to talk, something that was very difficult, for him and also for me and my team, very difficult. But when we got through to it and we spoke and we spoke again, we agreed that we are not here to share positions and we should put our various positions aside,” he said.

He mentioned that the two agreed to come together with a common agenda of ensuring that what the people of Kenyan have witnessed in 1992, 2005, 2007, and 2017 Kenyans shall never witness again.

He went on to make it clear that Raila Odinga never made any demands from the government.

“We did not talk about sharing government and as we stand today, he (Raila) is not in government. He is not in government; he never made any demands for the government. He never made any demands for a share of government,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Dusit hotel to hold memorial for 6 employees on Wednesday

The President pointed out that Raila Odinga asked for the two opposing sides to come together and fix what has been ailing the country.

He explained that this would allow the country in the future to be able to compete without the need for the innocent Kenyans blood being shed.

He went on to that the ODM leader for showing his patriotism and looking for a solution because he did not have to do it.

Uhuru also gave special thanks to his Deputy William Ruto for being part and parcel of the handshake and making the BBI report.

He revealed the three agreed that they would never talk about elective posts as they aimed to unite Kenyans.

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Corazone Kwamboka calls out Maureen Waititu for allegedly insulting her baby

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BY KEVIN KOECH

There seems to be unending drama between lawyer cum socialite Corazon Kwamboka and her boyfriend’s ex Maureen Waititu.

Maureen and her baby daddy Frankie have been on each others neck with Frankie claiming the YouTuber denies him a chance to see his kids.

In her defence, Waititu claimed that Frankie does not support their two kids.

Kwamboma also jumped in and joined in the drama.

She blasted Waititu for insulting her baby because she got him with Frankie.

According to the curvy lawyer, having a baby with Waitutu’s ex is not reason enough for her to insult a young child.

“Only a sick person can insult a baby calling him a name so despicable I can’t even talk just because I had him with their ex.”

Corazon and Frankie started dating shortly after he broke up with Maureen Waititu.

They got their first child months ago.

Kwamboka further accused Waititu of always driving to her house at midnight.

According to Corazon, she was scared since she had not invited Waititu to her place.

Waititu’s behaviour forced Corazon to move out of her house to somewhere she felt safe.

“One day i’ll open my mouth. drove me out of my own house out of fear. I had to leave a house I bought with my own sweat to go into hiding because sister was driving to my house at midnight trying to I don’t know to do what to me!” she said.

READ ALSO:   DusitD2 terror suspect had 47 M-Pesa lines, withdrew Sh5.2 million three days before the attack

The curvaceous lawyer also urged Maureen to live her life and avoid living for others.

“Don’t live for the cheers, you won’t die by their boos. People get too invested in other people’s lives like it pays,” she said.

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