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VIDEO: Wails, muffled screams and prayers as families of the victims visit crash scene

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Wails, muffled screams and prayers rent the air in Tulu Fera, the scene of the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash which killed all 157 people on board, 32 of them Kenyans, as families of the victims came face to face with the magnitude of the tragedy yesterday.

In Tulu Fera in Ejere District on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, the tears of victims’ kin drenched the fresh soil that was being scooped by those trying to retrieve the bodies, some of which were buried six metres deep as the Boeing 737 MAX 8 plane nose-dived.

So far, the retrieval of bodies has yielded little: strands of hair, a hand, a toe…all piling up the pain of not just the loss, but also of never having anything for the final ritual, for burial, for closure.

Last respects

In the mass grave of some sorts are buried, not just lives, but careers and dreams, families robbed of a father, a mother, a sibling, a child, a spouse, a neighbour, a friend…

Some family members began to pay their last respects to their kin by lighting candles and laying flowers on a table covered in white roses.

Screen grab of some family members paying their last respects to their kin by lighting candles and laying flowers on a table covered in white roses.

It was on this table that their pain was laid bare —it might be the only thing close to a coffin that would symbolise the death of their kin.

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

It is the reality that nearly every family which suffered a loss in the tragedy is confronting. A British forensic expert told People Daily that the largest body part recovered was a piece of hand.

Grieving families, he said, might have to wait for weeks before all human remains are collected from the scene for DNA analysis.

“Let us be honest. You are here and you have seen the impact of the crash. What can you fetch from that?” posed the source.

Amos Mbicha, who lost his sister Stella with her son in the crash, walked to the table and was overwhelmed with emotion as he laid flowers in honour of his sister.

He had earlier told People Daily that his sister, who was married to a Polish, was coming home to see them during a brief vacation when she met her death.

Counselling session

“It is like the entire family is gone,” he said.

People Daily has also learned that a session has been organised between families and counsellors, the objective being to divulge the painful news that they may not have anything to bury.

The session will include forensic experts who will try to convince the families that the nature of crash left nothing to salvage for burial, the source said.

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

A Chinese family, as if having come to terms with this reality, picked sand and debris from the crash site, put it in a box and left. An Asian journalist told us that is what would be used in the burial rituals.

Black boxes

Shredded remains of the plane were covered before family members arrived to shield them from the horror of the tragedy.

At the same time, Ethiopian authorities have said they do not have the equipment to analyse the black boxes from the accident and are considering sending them abroad.

“It could be sent abroad because there is no equipment to read it here,” said spokesman Biniyam Demssie.

The airline’s chief executive Tewolde GebreMariam earlier told CNN the black boxes would have to be examined outside the country, in a destination to be chosen by investigators — possibly the United States or “a closer country in Europe in the interest of proximity and in the interest of speed.”

Numerous countries have banned Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 jet from their airspace after the crash.

The Nairobi-bound plane was the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed in October, killing 189 passengers and crew. Some experts have detected similarities between the two accidents.

READ ALSO:   NARROW ESCAPE: Greek man arrived two minutes late for the flight, escaped death in Ethiopia crash

Tewolde said Ethiopian Airlines pilots had been retrained on the MAX 8 following the Lion Air crash.

“There is very significant similarities on the two accidents. There are a lot of questions to be answered on the airplane,” he told CNN.

Source: mediamax.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:   There are no bones, not even a skull — Father of Ethiopian Airlines pilot speaks

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

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:   A shredded book, a passport, business cards in many languages: What 157 victims left behind
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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:   How technology may have brought down Ethiopian Airways jet
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