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New York Times journalist caught up in terror attack row leaves Nairobi



The New York Times has transferred Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, the journalist who received a lot of flak over the coverage of the January 15 terrorist attack at dusitD2 in Nairobi’s Riverside area.

Previously, she has covered Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and its political and economic fallout. She has also covered terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, and has written extensively about radicalization and western jihadis. Prior to the Times, she was a business and economics reporter for the BBC. She has also written for the Financial Times.

There is no mention that the journalist, who is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in financial journalism from City University in London and who speaks Japanese, French, Spanish and Portuguese was destined to become the New York Times East African Bureau Chief before the paper’s online and offline coverage of the terror attack boomeranged on her face.

Many Kenyans were infuriated with a huge chunk of them reading racism in the whole affair. Most of the ire was directed at de Freytas-Tamura even as she protested that she did not make the call on which picture was to accompany the story and instead asked her critics to take up the issue with the photo department in New York.

Her first reaction to the criticism only helped to annoy Kenyans more leading to demands that she should be asked to leave the country. Amid mounting criticism, she issued a statement in which she apologised “for causing anger and anguish.”

However, the photo was not pulled down by The New York Times and the story appeared in its print edition under the headline: “Militants Stage Deadly Assault at Kenyan Hotel-Office Complex”.

This time, it was illustrated by four photographs of victims and survivors of the attack who were either killed in a very gruesome manner or injured.

In the ensuing melee, the Media Council of Kenya fired a letter to the New York Times asking it to pull down the photo and threatened to withdraw accreditation of its journalists working in Kenya. In its view, the publication was a breach of the Code of Conduct for the Practice of Journalism in Kenya.

Source: Business Today

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How Diamond Lalji became a bankrupt millionaire



Picture this: Your friend asks you to guarantee his/her sacco loan. You automatically agree because you know him/her well. Besides, the sacco is known to be flexible with defaulters.

Sadly, things don’t go according to plan, life gets tough and your friend defaults. But his/her assets are not enough to recover the loan, so the sacco comes after you and other guarantors.


Unfortunately, you can’t pay up, so the sacco files a bankruptcy petition against you and succeeds.

Within no time, you’re declared flat broke and an insolvency practitioner appointed to run whatever little exists of your estate.

This scenario is now real for thousands of Kenyans following a court judgement that declared former Cereal Millers Association chairman Diamond Hasham Lalji bankrupt on March 1.

The tycoon, whose business empire boasts no fewer than 16 companies in various industries, failed to repay a $4.8 million (Sh480 million) debt three of his companies owed American grain bulk handler, Cargill.

On January 16, 2017, Mr Lalji agreed to guarantee three of his flour milling companies — Premier Flour Mills, Maize Milling Company and Milling Corporation of Kenya — which had owed Cargill since it supplied them with maize in 2012.

At the time, the three firms owed $5.2 million (Sh520 million). Milling Corporation owed Sh274.95 million, Premier Flour Mills Sh192.25 million and Maize Milling Sh48.95 million.

But after the businessman failed to pay up as agreed, Cargill filed an insolvency petition against him.


Mr Lalji on Friday filed an appeal against the bankruptcy order issued by Justice Francis Tuiyott.

The Court of Appeal will mention the case Monday and decide whether to suspend Justice Tuiyott’s order, as Mr Lalji looks to convince the appellate judges to dismiss the order permanently. Justice Tuiyott’s ruling is likely to create anxiety among loan guarantors, since they could meet a fate similar to Mr Lalji’s.

Justice Tuiyott ordered that Anthony Makenzi Muthui of Ernst & Young take the over management of Mr Lalji’s estate as a receiver manager to recover Cargill’s debt.

Usually, the appointment of a statutory manager to handle a bankrupt individual’s estate is left to the official receiver. But Justice Tuiyott held that the official receiver had accepted Cargill’s nomination of Mr Muthusi, and that Mr Lalji did not contest the arrangement.

Justice Tuiyott agreed with Cargill’s argument that Mr Lalji did not give adequate details on six parcels of land worth Sh330 million that he offered to sell to offset part of Cargill’s debt. The businessman faulted Cargill for turning down his repayment proposal, which included the six title deeds as security.


He also asked Justice Tuiyott to consider that his three firms had repaid Sh34 million since the insolvency petition was filed. But Cargill insisted that the Sh30 million was too little, since Mr Lalji had promised to pay Sh100 million.

Justice Tuiyott ruled that there was no evidence to verify the value of the land Mr Lalji pledged as security. “The identity of the properties to be sold is not disclosed and neither is a professional opinion of the value demonstrated. In the circumstances, a creditor would be rightly entitled to doubt the credibility of the proposal made.”

The court added that Mr Lalji’s failure to make a disclosure of all his assets and liabilities did not help his argument, because it is only upon such disclosure that the court can evaluate his ability to meet the offer. “And it cannot be ignored that the promise to pay the debt is by the very companies whose default led to the guarantee that has given rise to Mr Lalji’s apparent insolvency” Justice Tuiyott ruled.

Justice Tuiyott had ruled that Cargill was not unreasonable in turning down a repayment proposal by Mr Laji, which would have seen the debt repaid in instalments running through to April, 2023. After Cargill filed the insolvency petition, Mr Lalji proposed to give the firm the six pieces of land, which he was ready to sell, as security.

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VIDEO: FBI looking for American couple over shocking child sex abuse claims in Kenya



The Federal Bureau of Investigations has launched a probe into reports that an American couple running a charity in Kenya abused children.

The investigations are to establish if Gregory Dow and his wife Mary Rose — residents of Lancaster — molested those in their care at a children’s home in Boito, Bomet County.

A warrant of arrest has been issued against the two who left Kenya in 2017.

According to court records and personal accounts, Mr Dow engaged in sex with girls at the home. One worker said he saw him and a girl in the shower.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the FBI has already sent its agents to Boito, Dallas and Lancaster.

A Kenyan-American based in Lancaster told the Nation that investigations were at an advanced stage.

“I know the FBI and local authorities started investigations soon after this issue was published in the Lancaster newspaper and the Sunday Nation. I have been interviewed several times,” the source, who requested anonymity, told the Nation. In a phone interview with the Nation from Texas, Mr Dow’s former wife Janice Jenkins could not say if FBI detectives had visited her.


However, she added that Mr Dow abused their daughter for more than two decades when they lived in Ohio.

“The law is finally catching up with them. We expect indictments soon,” Ms Jenkins said.

Mary Rose — arrested as she attempted to flee Kenya — was found by a Sotik court guilty of cruelty to children.

She paid the Sh50,000 fine imposed on her and left the country.

The court was told that she had the girls under her care implanted with birth-control devices. Ms Maggie Ruto, a Kenyan in Lancaster who blew the whistle on the Dows, could not hide her disappointment with the ruling.

“It was absurd that she received VIP treatment during the court proceedings. Her mitigation, apparently, was that she was unwell. Who was thinking about the victims of sexual abuse?” Mr Ruto said.

The Dows maintain their innocence. Pastor Donald Lamb of Life-Gate Church in Elizabethtown claims the Dows’ Kenyan neighbours turned against them.

-By Chis Wamalwa,

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Tremor causes cracks on busy Naivasha highway, motorists cautioned



Traffic flow along the Naivasha-Mai Mahiu highway was disrupted following the earth tremors experienced in several parts of the country Sunday night.

Kenya National Highways Authority said a fault has been cited along the Naivasha – Mai Mahiu Road, at Fai Amario area, about eight kilometers from Naivasha Town.

Traffic commandant Samuel Kimaru warned that a bridge that that links a section of the road in the region had developed cracks and added traffic personnel had been deployed to direct traffic flow.

KeNHA said its engineers are on site monitoring any resultant damages to the road surface.

The authority said in the meantime, traffic police have been deployed to the site to direct traffic on a detour of the road section that has been created to facilitate traffic flow.

Private vehicle operators were advised to use the main Kamandura – Limuru – Kinungi – Naivasha Highway, while heavy commercial vehicles operators are urged to exercise caution and restraint, and to follow traffic flow directions that are being provided by the police.


The highway is key as it is the one that trucks ferrying transit goods to Uganda, DRC Congo, Rwanda and other parts of western Kenya use.Disruption of the traffic flow was expected to impact on business in general.

Earth tremors were reported in several counties across Kenya, the Meterological department has confirmed.Tremors were reported in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Mombasa, Nyeri,Makueni and parts of Naivasha with seismologists pinpointing Taita Taveta as the epicenter of the magnitude 4.8 quake.


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