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Ivy was not a ‘slay queen’, family cries out

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The pain was all over their faces – a sorely devastated father and gravely shattered uncles – their teary eyes had it all.

Together, they had come out to defend the honour of their daughter, slain Moi University medical student, Ivy Wangechi from the “second” death.

Despite being killed in the most brutal of ways – with an axe and in broad daylight – alleged friends of the killer had rolled it over on her with all manner of accusations.

In a meeting with the Saturday Standard, the family said they will not take anymore of the rumours going on, with the father, Paul Githui Wainaina, unequivocally saying she was not a slay queen.

Honest person

“Please help me clean my daughter’s name. She was a decent, hardworking girl. The stories being circulated about her infecting her killer with HIV/Aids are untrue. This has been discounted by tests already done,” Wainaina said.Wangechi, a first born in a family of three was the daughter of Wainaina and Winifred Kingori, who teaches at Chomo in Gatanga Murang’a.

The father is the principal of Kanjuiri Secondary School in Nyandarua County. Wainaina added, “Ivy was brought up in a strict Christian background and is a very honest person. Her character cannot be questioned. She is a victim of a brutal murder and should not be vilified.”His pain was evident as he recounted how he viewed the murder weapons recovered by the police as well as some of the personal effects, including the car suspected to have been used by the killer.

The family also described the agony they have been living through since they received the unforgettable call from a chaplain from Moi University.

They said it was like losing a person twice, since they were battling with news of the loss when malicious reports started circulating, as if to justify the killer’s anger which was attributed to a disease he had allegedly contracted.

Wangechi’s uncle, John King’ori refuted reports that the suspected killer bought her a vehicle, saying she did not even know how to drive.“She had a passion for medicine and was inspired by her uncles who are doctors.

In fact she was planning to specialise in neurosurgery as she was following the footsteps of her uncle, Colonel Dr Charles Mwangi,” Mr Kingori added.According to the family, it was not new for Wangechi to plan her birthday party as she always celebrated the day she was born on April 10.

This was a family tradition, the relatives explained.

“We were planning a family gathering on April 20. This is when we as family would have held a party to belatedly celebrate her birthday,” Kingori said.

When Wangechi was not reading or practising medicine, she loved motivating her cousins and other children and was such a role model that one of her cousins is pursuing medicine at University of Nairobi.

Asked whether she had ever talked of settling down or starting a family, Wainaina said his daughter had never mentioned or introduced any suitor to the family.Wangechi, was focused on finishing her medicine course which she would have cleared last year had it not been for the doctors strike.

“She has always wanted to help people and hated to see anybody suffer. That is one of the reasons she opted for medicine. All her cousins loved her and she acted as their role model,” the father added.

“While at Alliance, Ivy loved teaching Sunday school and was a darling for Sunday school children at Musa Gitau Presbyterian church where she was at one time in charge of the unit,” Wainaina said.

She disclosed her ambition of pursuing neurosurgery last year when the family met in Mahiga Nyeri for the Christmas festivities.“I remember how excited she talked about her plans. We simply called her daktari. On the eve of Christmas we had a huge bonfire. Every now and then Ivy would sneak to her room where she buried herself in books. We had to call her on several occasions not to miss out on the fun,” Kingori said.

Ivy Wangechi’s father Stephen Kimani during an interview. (Jenipher Wachie, Standard)

Wangechi’s life was cut short on Tuesday when she was hacked to death by her childhood friend as she walked outside Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) Eldoret. Ironically, the man accused of attacking her, Naftali Kinuthia would end up in the wards she had just visited after he was attacked by the public who witnessed the killing.

died on the spot after sustaining deep cuts from an axe and a knife on the neck and head.

In yet another strange twist, Wangechi died just hours before she celebrated her birthday.

Yesterday, Wangechi’s father said he had very faint memory of the boy who was once their neighbour in Chomo village in Gatanga Murang’a.

“I could not recognise the name. When I was shown his picture pasted in his driver’s licence, I faintly recognised him. I could however not have identified him in the streets. It was long ago and the family moved to Thika,” he explained.

He said although he was familiar with Kinuthia’s family, nobody had contacted them even to pass condolences.

The family which had met at Blue Springs along Thika Road after transferring Wangechi’s body from Eldoret to Kenyatta University Mortuary, said they were hurt by information attributed to the suspect’s family.

They plan to bury Wangechi on Thursday at Kirai Village in Mahiga Othaya once they get confirmation from the PCEA church in Thika, Makongeni.Meanwhile, MTRH Chief Executive Officer Wilson Aruasa said Kinuthia was discharged yesterday evening.

source:standardmedia.

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#FirstClassBetrayal: Tear-jerking story of first class graduate who ended up on streets

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Jobless Kenyans have swarmed social media to share their heartbreaking struggles in searching for employment to no avail despite holding impressive academic papers.

On Sunday, Citizen TV,  aired the story of Kelvin Ochieng, a First-Class graduate at University of Nairobi (UON) who is jobless and homeless.

Kelvin, a former Maranda High School student, scored straight A’s in KCSE and proceeded to study Actuarial Science at the university.

A stranger, Christopher Oloo, one day saw him sleeping on the streets and took him in. They live together in Kosovo, Mathare slums.

“I was frustrated and went to live in the streets for a year after failing to land a job. It’s better living in Mathare than lying in the streets. Back home, they all believed that I would be the saviour,” said Kelvin.

“I applied to Central Bank and other top firms but ended up in vain. This frustration weighed up on me until I contemplated suicide,” he added.

Jeff Koinange, the TV host, called on potential employers to come to Kelvin’s aid.

“There has to be somebody out there who can help Kelvin. First-class Honours. A First-class student. It’s not right. We will have failed as a nation if we can’t help such people out there,” said Mr Koinange.

He later revealed that several people had reached out asking for the graduate’s number.

Soon after the story aired, other frustrated graduates took to social media to ask for help. Many shared their certificates and mobile numbers just in case there is an opening.

Here are some of them.

By Nairobinews

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Murkomen calls DPP’s charges a charade

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Barely hours after DPP Noordin Haji announced the prosecution of Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal suspects, Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has called them a charade.

Senator Murkomen has been quoted telling the media: “I have looked at the charge sheets and I can tell you the entire thing is a charade.”

Murkomen, who visited the DCI headquarters, said that he was there in as a lawyer representing the suspects.Political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi who tweeted:  “According to DCI, 4 billion was withdrawn in cash from a Westlands bank. It was taken to the home of some influential big person. After “Henry Rotich” will they arrest this big person? I have a bad Feeling.”

Former Nasa Political Strategist economist David Ndii tweeted: “My friend Kamau Thugge kept confronting me about the Eurobond, insisting that it was legit and I was playing politics. I told him the story of Dr. Koinange and Goldenberg, warned him that he would be the fall guy and the crooks would go free. Now see.”

In his Monday morning press conference where he named suspects in the dams’ scandal, DPP Haji ended his speech with a strong warning against inciting public disaffection in the wake of the arrests and prosecutions.Haji said that he was ‘taking his work seriously’ and carrying out duties as enshrined in the Constitution.

The DPP earlier directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest National Treasury CS Henry Rotich, his PS Kamau Thugge and 25 other state officials over the multi-billion dams scandal.Hours later they were arrested and driven for questing at the DCI Headquarters.

By Standard

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The weight of cancer on caregivers

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On Christmas Day in 2018, Mercy Barasa spent her day pacing up and down the corridors of AIC Kijabe Hospital.

Occasionally, she peeped furtively into the room where her mother, Everlyne Mukhongo, lay almost motionless.

“I watched the blankets for movement – a sign that she was still alive, and a chance to breathe a sigh of relief,” says a thoughtful Mercy.

Her fears were not unfounded, as the family had spent four months moving from one doctor to another, trying to get to the bottom of her mother’s constant, unexplained ailments.

Malaria, jaundice and diabetes were some of the diseases her mother was treated for before they visited AIC Kijabe Hospital where doctors appeared disturbed by her deteriorating condition, and ordered a CT scan which confirmed their worst fears. Mercy’s mother had stage three pancreatic cancer.

Mercy Barasa’s mother was diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer and is currently under palliative care. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL |NATION MEDIA GROUP

The doctors could not, however, remove the tumour because it had spread from the pancreas to neighbouring tissue. Removing it would be dangerous. The medical term for it is unresectable.

Instead, they recommended palliative care, which focuses on providing relief from pain and other symptoms, as well as physical and mental stress at any stage of an illness.

“I take care of her because I am the only sibling without a family of my own, plus I live in Nairobi, which makes access to the hospital easier,” says Mercy matter-of-factly, as she fiddles with her hands, recollecting the arduous emotional since her mother’s diagnosis.

“I lost my appetite and developed amnesia. I forgot my ATM card and mobile phone PINs,” she recalls. And she didn’t realise what a problem it was, until she found herself walking towards Easy Coach offices to book a ticket to Busia – their rural home – having forgotten that she had a rented house in Nairobi.

“I eventually sought counselling from a church but even then, I had to drop out because it felt too mechanical; like they were using a template to address my issues instead of actually listening to me.”

One of the ways Mercy wishes people around her would support her is by not sharing negative stories about their friends and relatives who succumbed to cancer.

Mercy Barasa with her mother Everlyne and father Hannington. PHOTO | COURTESY

“You are not helping me by saying that. It’s draining,” says a pensive Mercy, who adds that she will seek a counsellor’s help to deal with the knowledge that each breath her mother takes could be her last.

Her mother has never seen her tears but she has locked herself in her room to cry away her pain. The hardest part is when they are making plans for the future, and her mother asks: “Will I really be alive to see that?”

But Mercy encourages her to fight on, even with the knowledge that every minute they spend together is precious.

“I used to ask my mother’s doctors how much time she had to live, but they gave me no answers. In retrospect, I’m glad they refused because I have learnt to take one day at a time.”

Financial and emotional pain aside, Mercy has also had a hard time getting a proper caregiver for her mother.

“House helps flee when they see my mother’s condition and nurses charge by the hour. I’ve thought of quitting my job to take care of my mother, but of what use would that be, when the job is what helps me afford to take care of her?”

Bob Collymore’s death hit her mother particularly hard, as there was a lot of talk about death and cancer then.

Ibrahim Mmudi with his wife Anastasia Adhiambo, who was diagnosed with colon cancer. He is her primary caregiver. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU

Like Mercy, Ibrahim Mmudi had also had to help a loved one fight cancer.

His wife, Anastacia Otieno, was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer in 2017 and he has seen her through the worst of it.

“She started complaining of stomach-aches when she was expecting our third child and we thought they were just pregnancy pains that would go away.”

But the pain did not subside even after delivery, forcing them to seek medical help. An ultrasound during one of their many visits to hospital revealed she had a growth in her stomach.

“She was unable to relieve herself when she went to the toilet. Instead, both urine and faecal matter would come out through her mouth. She really suffered,” says Ibrahim, his eyes clouding at the memory.

Desperate, they went to their rural home in search of herbal medicine, but that too hit the wall.

Further medical tests revealed that the tumour had blocked Anastacia’s colon. She spent six months at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) bedridden. The constant hospital visits, tests and admission took a financial toll on the family, forcing them to send two of their three children to Ibrahim’s aunt back in the village. Their seven-year-old son remained behind as he was in school.

Even though NHIF and well-wishers helped with payments and KNH waived part of their Sh710,000 bill, the financial challenges meant that Anastacia could not keep up with chemotherapy as required and the tumour recurred.

“Fortunately, it did not spread to other organs, but there are risks involved in removing it so the doctors opted to let it be.

“Were it not for a Good Samaritan who saw my despair and managed to get me treatment at Texas Cancer centre, I would be in a worse state,” adds the soft-spoken Anastacia.

Prof Catherine Gachutha. She is a counselling psychologist. PHOTO | COURTESY

Her husband shares a “before cancer” photo of her. The image of a smartly-dressed and jovial Anastacia – tall. Lithe. Fashionable. Beautiful.

“Can you even tell it’s the same person?” asks Anastacia, smiling past her pain, as she remembers a time when she did not have to worry about whether she would ever see her children again.

“I’m an orphan so I know what it is like to grow up without parents. I would not want my children to go through the same pain,” she adds.

Ibrahim often battles with feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and confusion.

“Watching someone you love go through cancer is a torturous experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy. Worse still is the painful realisation that there is nothing you can do to ease her pain.”

Ibrahim is solely responsible for taking care of his wife, but sometimes he relies on the help of neighbours whenever he is away.

“It’s better to be hungry and healthy than full and unhealthy,” says a contemplative Ibrahim, who relies on odd jobs to get by.

Anastacia is currently undergoing chemotherapy sessions at KNH but the couples biggest pain is that NHIF could only cover six of the 12 sessions needed.

Ibrahim’s greatest hope is for a well-wisher to help them pay medical bills as this would go a long way in his wife’s cancer treatment.

“The only thing I want is for her to get better.”

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