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Kenya’s most educated makanga? Meet conductor with degree in biochemistry

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He could be one of Kenya’s most educated makangas, what with a degree in biochemistry, but still jobless.

At 29, James Mwangi has tarmacked searching for a job since graduating from the University of Nairobi in 2013 without success.

The first of three boys is the son of a photographer father and a house wife mother also tried his hand at various biasharas to no avail in between sending over 200 job applications to among others; pharmaceutical companies and laboratories that would benefit from his knowledge.

He reckons that “getting a job in Kenya without connections or a ‘Godfather’ can be a serious hurdle.”

The alumnus of Gathaiti Primary and Ngenia High school in Limuru told The Nairobian that “I would be a part time teacher at Temple Road high school Nairobi and St Grace Learning Centre Uplands” during semester breaks and even at one time went to Somalia but ended up in a construction firm erecting security infrastructure in 2012.

“When I was invited to Somalia I thought I was going to exercise my knowledge only to be sent to AMISOM camp,” recalls Mwangi adding that the income allowed him to invest in several businesses upon return to Nairobi but they “they did not pick up well” and he ventured into mtumba business besides opening a pub in Banana on the outskirts of Nairobi and the business also “sunk my money.”

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James Mwangi in action [Photo: Courtesy]

Frustrated, Mwangi put his qualifications aside and approached a matatu operations manager in Limuru and requested him to be fixed wherever he could which turned out to be a stage attendant whose job description is verbally calling out for passengers at the main Everbest route terminus in Limuru.

“Mine is basically  a job of persuading public to board my SAACO matatus as the competition here is break neck,” explains Mwangi whose other duties include to “follow on SAACO payments by individual matatus.

Mwangi shrugged off initial discomfort in view of his academic qualifications, but gradually accepted as it is the only job he had. He trousers between Sh10, 000 to Sh12,000 a month which at the moment is better than begging or idling around.

“I call my customers with dignity and with a lot of decorum and this has earned Everbest respect at the terminus,” Mwangi said, adding that he also tries to clean the image people have of touts and matatu operators, which Jane Njeri, a customer concurs saying “Mwangi is courteous, well- groomed and handles us in a very dignified way that’s why I board here.”

Mwangi is still hopeful he’ll one day get a job fit for his qualifications.

“I feel bad but I am determined to soldier on, I am not giving up  any time soon,” said Mwangi said adding that he consoles himself with the words of American civil rights Dr Martin Luther King Jr who spoke of accepting “finite disappointments, but never lose infinite hope.”

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-SDE

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VIDEO: Foreigners outsmart Immigration

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Two foreigners who were in January charged at a Mombasa court for stripping a Kenyan woman and taking her pictures and videos against her will, silently sneaked out of the country without attracting the attention of Immigration officials.

On Monday the duo, Zerbin Sascha Waldermar (a German) and Wectabe Shestavetskyi (a Ukrainian) failed to appear in court to answer to the charges levelled against them. A warrant of arrest was immediately issued.

They are facing charges of stripping and taking pictures and videos of the woman at the Kenya Medical Association Apartments in Mtwapa, Kilifi County in January this year.

However, the Nairobi News has established that Mr Sascha had written a letter to the Shanzu court explaining that he had abruptly left the country for Germany to “visit his ailing mother.”

“I apologise for not being able to be present at this second hearing date of April 15. Unfortunately, I have travelled to see my mother who lives in Frankfurt, Germany after she was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had to seek treatment,” reads the letter in part.

He says that he was still fully motivated to attend all future court dates in pursuit of justice with the aim of clearing his name. The foreigner asked the court not to forfeit his bail but allow the case to be reopened once he gets back to the country.

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Mr Sascha indicated that he “will be in a position to return in the early dates of November 2019.”

BAFFLING

What is baffling is that Mr Sascha and Mr Shestavetskyi had deposited their passports with the court in Mombasa. So how did they travel? Investigations by the Sunday Nation indicate that Mr Sascha left Kenya on April 5.

“He went to their (German) embassy in Nairobi and was issued with a pass that only allowed him to go to Germany,” said our source, who spoke in confidence.

The German embassy did not want to speak about the matter citing data protection and confidentiality laws.

“Due to data protection and confidentiality laws, the German Embassy is unable to comment on the submitted questions. With regard to your questions about the departure of persons from Kenya and the handling of arrest warrants, we would like to refer you to the respective Kenyan authorities,” the embassy told the Nairobi News.

The Nairobi News has also established that the two foreigners had since fallen out after Mr Shestavetskyi left the country without his friend’s (Mr Sascha) knowledge.

It is not clear how and the day Mr Shestavetskyi left the country yet the police have also been holding his passport.

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However, a source told the Sunday Nation that he holds two passports ever since he came to the country and only surrendered one to authorities when he was arrested by the police in Mombasa.

When we contacted the Ukranian embassy on the matter, it asked for more time to respond to our questions.

EMBASSY OFFICIAL

“I will need more time, maybe a couple of days so that I can get back to you,” said Mr Artem Makarov, an embassy official.

The Ukranian Embassy through its third Secretary for consular Issues Mr Makarov Artem said that the police had said that Mr Shestavetskyi had left Kenya by bus through the Kenya- Tanzanian border.

However, it said that it did not have any more details of when and how he left Kenya and that efforts to get into contacts with him had proved futile.

“Since Mr Shestavetskyi had not contacted us, the Embassy of Ukraine asked the Police to inform the suspect that a counselor support could be provided to him if needed, however no response was received,” he said.

He further revealed that efforts to work together with the ministry of Foreign affairs proved futile as it has never answered its enquiry over the suspect.

By the time of going to press the Kenyan Immigration department had not responded to our inquiries.

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MARKETING COMPANY

Back to Mr Sascha, five days after he arrived in Berlin, the Nairobi News has established that he contacted a marketing company in Kenya with the aim of advertising the sale of his household goods that are currently in a one-bedroom apartment in Roysambu, Nairobi, where he lived.

He was then asked to pay an advertising fee via a local mobile money platform, which he said he was unable to because he was abroad.

Instead, he used his Kenyan female friend, a medical student in Nairobi, to make the payments.

The payments were then made on April 12 and Mr Sascha given a nod to advertise his items on the company’s Facebook account.

In the post, which has since been pulled down, he claims that he had to go back to the “US” earlier than anticipated hence the reason for disposing off his items.

The items he put on sale were delivered to him on February 22, by a local online company that engages in business and delivers items for its customers.

It did not take long before hawk-eyed Kenyans, who saw the posts, questioned the motive behind the selling of the items since Mr Sascha was still facing a court case.

Nairobi News

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Police arrest five in ATMs heist

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Detectives have narrowed down investigations into the Barclays Bank of Kenya Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) theft ring to a technical team and cash loaders, who attended the three installations immediately before the heist was reported.

The detectives are also disputing the Shi 1.5 million figure given by the bank as the amount lost and believe it could be more.

The Banking Fraud Investigation Unit (BFIU) and a team from the Serious Crime Unit believe the theft that included dismantling of security surveillance systems was well coordinated with likely collusion between internal and external players.

The officers also believe that money meant for at least two ATMs may not have been loaded into the machines by those assigned to reload them.

By yesterday evening, five people had been arrested in connection with the heist.

The bank’s technical team assigned to the machines in question,cash loaders and the private security guards at the scenes of crime are now lined up for interrogation at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters today morning.

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Investigators are puzzled by the huge withdrawal of Shi 1.5 million, which points to possible manipulation of security safeguards of the cash machine at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), Mutindwa in Buruburu, Mater Hospital and at Kenya Cinema within Nairobi Central Business District.

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But More puzzling is the fact that the alleged theft at Kenya Cinema is yet to be reported at Central Police Station.

Central police sub-county police commander Robinson Thuku said they were yet to receive any report about the theft despite the area falling under his jurisdiction.

Detectives are also seeking to establish if the alleged amounts were actually loaded in the ATMs before the reported robberies occurred.

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Peter Mbugua ties knot again, 8 years after Wambui’s death

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When wedding photos of Peter Mbugua looking dashing in a brown suit emerged, he made headlines, not for the glamour, but because the 25-year-old had married a 67-year-old widow. The widow happened to be Ms Virginia Wambui Otieno. The marriage was criticised by many, but also defended by others.

Then just 25 years old and naive, Mr Mbugua had defied the norm in African culture and married a woman 42 years his senior in a civil wedding. They later had a church wedding in 2011. The controversial freedom fighter died on August 30, 2011. and was buried at the family farm in Upper Matasia in Ngong, marking the end of the marriage.

But yesterday, Mr Mbugua was celebrated as he walked a young woman down the aisle in a colourful church wedding. He tied the knot for the second time at Archbishop Harrison Ng’ang’a’s Christian Foundation Fellowship Church (CFF) in a mass wedding.

And yesterday, unlike his wedding in 2003, Mr Mbugua, now 45, was this time in church to solemnise his marriage to the mother of his three children, who is 10 years his junior.

Wearing a dark blue suit, a white shirt, a floral tie and a pair of black shoes, he walked majestically into the church, at 9am, hand in hand with his spouse, Ms Anne Wangari Njuguna, who was dressed in a cream wedding dress.

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They walked, their faces beaming as they kept glancing at each other.

Standing at slightly over five feet tall and having added some weight, the shy man has adopted a new attitude to life.

Mr Mbugua and Ms Njuguna were among the 40 couples who took their marriage vows in a mass wedding organised by CFF church.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation, Mr Mbugua intimated that his first marriage was marred with controversy, especially after his wife died. Although the marriage had its ups and down, he says, their age difference did not bother him.

Mr Mbugua said before the dust had settled, he was embroiled in a property tussle with his stepdaughters.

He was kicked out of the Matasia home, and forced to move to Kitengela to make a fresh start. His life journey became bumpy and lonely.

“When my wife, Wambui, died, I felt as if a part of me had gone with her. Little did I know that the battle had just begun. I was being fought from all directions by my stepdaughters, so I had to maintain a low profile, away from the Matasia home, for

the situation to cool down.

‘‘But our marriage certificate protected me and shielded me from being disinherited. That was one phase of my life and I have never regretted,” said Mr Mbugua. He said he has never visited his late wife’s graves and has moved on.

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Although his life was bumpy and lonely after his first wife died, Mbugua has found love, and has two sons and a daughter with Ms Njuguna. Mr Mbugua, who now operates a glass merchant shop in Isinya town, has since shed off his youthful look.

“The law allows me to remarry after the death of my spouse. The first marriage certificate is not longer binding,” he said at the CFF church, occasionally looking at his wife.

Sometimes he appeared in deep thought, his eyes misting over with tears as if he was reflecting on some painful memories. Bishop Ng’ang’a, in his witty style of preaching, did not disappoint, urging the newly-weds to show tolerance for each other and to respect the tenets of marriage.

“Marriage must be respected as stipulated in the Bible. A man is allowed to have only one wife and can remarry only if he is a widower. All couples who have renewed their vows today must be transparent and respect each other,” he said after the couples took their marriage vows.

Mr Mbugua revealed that, since he remarried, he had been toying around with the idea of solemnising his marriage so when the church floated the idea of a mass wedding, he seized the opportunity.

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‘’Life has taught me how I can secure my family in case of any eventuality. The young generation fears weddings, not knowing the danger they are courting.

‘‘It is God’s idea that a man and his wife should solemnise their marriage. My wife and relatives have been supportive, aware that the past has nothing to do with the future,” he said.

His wife said she has no problem with his first marriage and declared undying love for him, describing their love as “unimaginable’’.

Speaking to the Nation, some of Mr Mbugua’s relatives who attended the wedding said they were happy their son had married a young woman who had borne him children.They hold no grudges and want the past forgotten.

That the couple was happy was evident as they walked from the church to join a waiting small convoy headed for Kitengela.

After the church service, visitors and relatives were treated to a grand reception at the family’s Milimani home in Kitengela.

His late wife’s relatives did not attend the wedding.

source:nation.co.ke

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