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Tears, anxiety and anger as kin wait hours for plane crash updates

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Tears, anxiety and anger marked the mood at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) where the families of those who lost their lives in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday morning converged.

Poor flow of information from the government, airport management and the Ethiopian Airlines raised the tension, with some of the at least 100 family members protesting at having been kept for nearly six hours without any briefing.

“The families have been forced to rely on information from social media, which is conflicting. Some indicate that four people survived while others paints a disastrous picture,” said Mr Robert Mutanda, whose brother-in-law was flying from Canada to Kenya via Addis.

At 8pm on Sunday evening, after hours of waiting, the authorities dispersed, without a word. By this time, nearly all families and friends of the victims have left the airport.

Even Kenya Aviation Authority (KAA) workers who had assembled at the command centre at Four Points by Sheraton hotel to assist with the identification process for family and friends also left.

Kenya Red Cross officials who were to offer counselling services to kin and friends had little to do after families dispersed.

READ ALSO:   There are no bones, not even a skull — Father of Ethiopian Airlines pilot speaks

A representative of the Ministry of Transport said that a press briefing will be conducted at 9am on Monday morning.

A distraught Mr Francis Thiong’i was kept in suspense regarding the fate of his daughter, Ms Florence Wangari, 30, a Catholic nun who had called in the morning to inform them that she was travelling on the ill-fated plane.

“Is my daughter dead or alive? We have not received any information from either the government or the airport. It is torturous being left in such suspense by the authorities,” the septuagenarian who had travelled from Nakuru to meet his daughter her, said.

Mr Isaac Lugi was at the airport by 9am, hoping for a reunion with his brother, who was en route from Canada and had contacted their sister minutes before boarding the ill-fated plane.

As anxiety mounted over the accident, Transport CS James Macharia said only Ethiopian Airlines and the Ethiopian government could provide information about the crash.

At a later briefing, he said he could not divulge much since the information was sensitive.

The situation was tense, with family members demanding to be given the list of the people who were on board.  They had all been hoping against hope that their relatives had survived, but at 3pm, an Ethiopian Airlines public relations officer identified only as Rosana, informed them that all aboard the plane had perished.

READ ALSO:   BREAKING: Ethiopia can't read black boxes, 'might' send them abroad: airline

“We send our deepest condolences to all of you,” she added.

“You have kept us here waiting as if we are inanimate objects without emotions. Just tell me those on board… tell me if my sister is dead and I’ll go and mourn at home. It’s not fun sitting here,” one of the people waiting said angrily, amid sobs.

Another accused the airline of trying to make the brand look good at the expense of pained relatives.

Reports had it that the families were first told that the plane had arrived, before being told minutes later they it was delayed, only for it to be removed from the arrivals schedule.

For the better part of the afternoon, emotions ran high, with screams and wails emerging from the lounge at the briefing room, and parking lot as the reality sunk for those whose worst fears had been confirmed by the heart-wrenching announcement.

source:nation.co.ke

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Africa

VIDEO: Now DP Ruto, Aisha Jumwa tell Matiang’i off and call for his resignation

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Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has said all those mentioned in the latest fake gold scam should carry their own crosses and desist from dragging the name of the president into the scandal.

Without dropping any names, Ruto said that “the political conmen had now tuned to gold.”

Walipanda ndege hapa na kwenda huko Dubai na kufanya maneno yao. Wabebe mizigo yao na waache kumuingiza rais kwa mambo hayo,” said Ruto during a fundraiser at a church in Endebess, Trans Nzoia County,.

Meanwhile, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, a close associate of Mr Ruto, has asked for the immediate resignation of Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matian’gi.

A section of Jubilee MPs havealso told ODM leader Raila Odinga to state what he knows about the fake gold scandal.

They said Interior CS Fred Matiang’i should also explain how the country’s security was protecting the premises with fake gold.

Speaking  on Saturday when they accompanied Deputy President William Ruto during the launch of various development projects in Trans Nzoia, the lawmakers asked Matiang’i to state what he knows about it.

The leaders were Governors Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu), MPs Robert Pukose (Endebess), Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Janet Nangabo (Women Rep, Trans Nzoia), Rahab Mukami (Women Rep, Nyeri), Mathias Robi (Kuria West), Janet Jepkemboi (Turbo), Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West), Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) and Owen Baya (Kilifi North).

READ ALSO:   Anchor Dan Mwangi apologizes for 'rude gestures' on Ethiopia crash

This as it emerged that the Director of Public Prodecution, Nordin Haji, had defended President Kenyatta and former PM Raila Odinga.

Mr Haji issued a statement on Saturday about a recording circulated on social media that suggests that some information was relayed to President Kenyatta, Mr Odinga and Interior minister Fred Matiang’i, and that discussions followed.

He condemned the release and circulation of the recording, saying, “Such claims and their circulation through social media, specifically through leaked phone recordings in today’s age of real-time, borderless publishing, are alarmist and may needlessly cause disaffection.

He warned that “unless all facts are obtained and analysed, it is irresponsible and possibly unlawful to publish such material.”

SPEEDY PROBE

Mr Haji said he had personally received complaints from victims who said the person behind the scam had been invoking the President’s name in dealings and conversations.

“Having realised that they were conned on the availability of the gold, and the misleading knowledge and involvement of the President, the former Prime Minister and CS Matiang’i, they resolved to [file] a report [with] Kenyan authorities and cooperate with law enforcement in unearthing the under-dealings.”

The DPP said he had thus directed Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to speed up the probe; he said the file should be forwarded to him in the next seven days.

READ ALSO:   A shredded book, a passport, business cards in many languages: What 157 victims left behind

Mr Haji also asked members of the public with helpful information to report it to authorities.

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VIDEO: Vote for our very own top Diaspora Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja

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It’s back.

The 2019 edition of Groove Awards with Safaricom event is officially here. As was the case last year and years before that, the awards will celebrate excellence in Gospel music in Kenya and across Africa.

Celebrated Gospel Artiste Naomi Karanja from Atlanta, Georgia, is one of the finalists in the Diaspora Artiste of the Year Category. Please take a little of your time to vote for here here.

Since 2004, Groove Awards with Safaricom has celebrated excellence in gospel music in Kenya and across Africa. The awards, entering their 14th year in Kenya (and 6th in Rwanda), are this nation’s most prestigious and recognized Gospel music awards event, enjoying regional resonance and relevance.

Groove seeks to promote gospel music as a message of hope and an avenue to address issues affecting young people across the African continent with a key focus on its main objective – “Shaping culture through positive content and entertainment.”

Groove Awards has seen over 1,800 artists/groups nominated and almost 400 Groove statuettes presented to gospel musicians in Kenya and beyond.

The Venue and date for this Year’s Gala will be communicated in due course.

 

READ ALSO:   Kenyan man mourns loss of five family members in Ethiopian plane crash
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Embassy in US writes to Kenyan comedian inviting him to perform in Baltimore, Maryland

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Apopular Kenya comedian has been invited to the United States to perform at this year’s   Makadara Day celebrations, organized by the Diaspora Baltimore Community.

In a letter by Deputy Chief of Mission, David Gacheru, the comedian is invited to The Hermes Center of St.Demetrios 2504 Cub Hill Road, Parkville, 21234 to perform to the Diasporans on June 8, 2019.

“To have you as one of our guests would be an honor to the people who will be there and the whole organization,” read part of the letter.

According to the embassy,  the event is attended by a huge number of Diasporans every year.

An excited Omondi took to his social media platforms toannounce the development.

“We need private jet guys!!! Baltimore see you in two weeks,” he wrote.

 

In Kenya, the Madaraka Day celebrations will be held at the Narok stadium, where the committee chairman, PS Karanja Kibichio, had visited over the weekend.

He was visiting the place to inspect how prepared the County was ahead of the celebrations which will be held on June 1, 2019.

The Principal Secretary assured the public that the stadium would be ready by next week.

READ ALSO:   Addis air crash: Not a single body for burial
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