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Forget ransom for Cuban doctors, Kenyan government tells Al-Shabaab

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The Government of Kenya has said that it will not pay the Sh150 million ransom demand from Al Shabaab for the release of two Cuban doctors who were abducted in Mandera on April 12.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma on Tuesday said that the government was not planning to pay the amount as a condition for the release of Dr Assel Herera and Dr Landy Rodriguez.

RANSOM DEMAND

“On the matter of Cuban doctors, this is an ongoing operation and we believe that we are going to secure their release but as a matter of policy, this government does not negotiate with terrorists about ransom,” the CS said.

Last week, Somali elders, who had been sent to negotiate for the two doctors’ release, said the two were being detained by Al-Shabaab who are demanding the said ransom.

The elders also said that the doctors were being held captive between the towns of Buale and El-Ade in Somalia where they are treating militants.

HEAVY CASUALTIES

Intelligence reports have in the recent past said that Al-Shabaab has been suffering heavy casualties but the group is lacking medical equipment for its wounded fighters.

The two were kidnapped while they were on their way to hospital where they worked. Since then, Kenyan soldiers have been trying to trace them in order to rescue them to no avail.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

source:nairobinews

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Lifestyle

How ‘broke’ city folk get food from villages

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Every Sunday, 62-year-old Jenifer Oloo travels from her Yala home to Usenge beach in Bondo to purchase omena and fish, which she prepares, packs and sends to Nairobi.

For the last three months, she has become a regular customer of a local bus company plying the Nairobi route.

The recipient of her package is her 27-year-old son, who is a mechanic in Kariobangi.

“I have the fish dried and then package it as a parcel, which I deliver through the bus company,” she tells the Nation.

Her son has been unable to fend for himself due to the effects of Covid-19, she says. He also can’t get out of Nairobi due to the lockdown announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta to contain the spread of the deadly disease.

“Jobs are hard to come by. My son says he hardly goes to work at the garage, where he has been eking out a living for the past two years,” Mrs Oloo said at her Yala home.

The coronavirus pandemic has left many families struggling to put a meal on the table.For many city dwellers, with reduced and even no income at all following the lockdown imposed on Nairobi and Mombasa, they have been left at the mercy of their friends and relatives back in the villages.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

Sweet potatoesFrom omena, smoked fish and dried meat to mushrooms, cereals, bananas, sweet and irish potatoes, relatives and friends have come in handy, ensuring a steady supply of food to city dwellers.

The Nation has established that, driven by demand, most PSV bus and shuttle companies moved to delivering cargo and parcels after the lockdown.In Siaya, a manager with one of the transport companies said they deliver cereals most of the time.

In Vihiga, Mr Daniel Mugo, a transport agent at Mudete who receives the goods on behalf of bus companies, said this has been the main business for the fi rms since the travel ban.

Mr Mugo said most shuttle companies removed seats from their fleet and converted them into freight transporters after they got permits from the government to ferry consumables.They charge Sh500 to ferry a 90kg-bag and between Sh350 and Sh400 for a bag weighing 50kg.In Mumias, transport companies revealed that omena tops the list of foodstuff being sent to city dwellers.

Mr Steve Orina, the branch manager, Easy Coach Bus Company, said bags of omena are registered at their office daily for transportation to Nairobi. Each consignment is charged according to its weight.

“For a 10-kilogramme package, we charge roughly Sh600,” Mr Orina said.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

Ms Rosemary Omina, whose two sons stay in Nairobi’s Huruma Estate, says she sends them two kilos of omena and about 40 kilos of maize fl our every week.

In Kisumu, transport companies are charging between Sh400 to Sh1,200 for food deliveries, depending on the weight, size and type of commodity being transported.

Free transportIn Kakamega, an official at the Blueline offices told the Nation they were delivering packages containing cereals, sweet potatoes and indigenous vegetables to families in Nairobi. Dried mushrooms top the list.

In Kisii, most of those asking for food help from upcountry are those who have lost their jobs, yet can’t return home owing to travel restrictions. We found Ms Mary Obisa sending bananas to her siblings in Kitengela.

In South Mugirango, MP Silva-nus Osoro provides free freight services to enable his constituents send food to their relatives.Deliveries are made at the con-stituency offi ces in Nyamarambe every Friday.

The MP said the arrangement will continue until the pandemic is over.In Bomet and Kericho counties, residents are using trucks to dispatch food to their families in Nairobi and the coastal region.A few of the families are also utilising courier services, including G4S and Wells Fargo.

By Daily Nation

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Business

Kenyans in Diaspora now can fly into and out of Kenya from August 1st

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

Kenyans who have been stuck outside the country can now fly into their motherland from the beginning of next month, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

On Monday, Kenyatta announced the resumption of international travel into and out of the country as part of “phased reopening” of the economy, as well as the lifting of internal travel restrictions.

The move comes as pressure mounts to kickstart the country’s ailing economy after nearly four months of coronavirus restrictions that have devastated key industries such as tourism.

Kenyatta said in a televised address that “international air travel into and out of the territory of Kenya shall resume effective 1 August 2020.”

Kenya, like many other countries has been grappling with the agony and uncertainty brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Local air travel to resume on Wednesday, July 15 in strict conformity with the guidelines of Ministries of Health and Transport,” the president announced, adding that international travel will resume on August 1, 2020.

“We have not yet met the irreducible minimums 100 per cent. However, we have reached a reasonable level of preparedness across our counties,” Uhuru said.

He added that the eased restrictions were conditional and that the nation would revert to lockdown if health trend signals a worsening of the pandemic.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

A cautious president Kenyatta said the patterns of the disease would be studied for the next 21 days.

“Places of worship will be opened in three weeks to 100 people for services that are not more than one hour and shall not include congregants under the age of 13 years or above the age of 58 years or persons with underlying conditions,” he said.

This is whilst, Sunday schools and Madrasas will remain closed.

“Restrictions on gathering in weddings, bars and political gatherings have been extended for 30 days. I remain alive to the socio-economic challenges facing our country. History has taught us that Covid-19 is not the first economic disaster, there were many more before it,” Uhuru said.

“Jobs have been lost, businesses have closed and livelihoods endangered,” he added.

He went on: “It is not enough for the government to pump resources into the economy using stimulus instruments, as we have done.  Such efforts will go to waste if the people do not co-create solutions with the government.””We must remember that the coronavirus is invisible. We can only evade it by engaging the invisible army.”

Uhuru said that the country had to contain the infections and the number of deaths before all the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

“To open up the economy, the infections must be contained and the number of deaths must be headed downward but this is not the case.”

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Lifestyle

Policewoman held for shooting husband after domestic quarrel

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Police in Kisumu are holding their 35-year-old female colleague for allegedly shooting her husband after a family quarrel.

The officer based at Kisumu East Sub County Headquarters in Kassagam was reportedly staying with the husband at a rented house near the station which also serves as a sub-county police division.

According to a report shared by County Police Commander Ranson Lolmodol, the officer had returned to her rented house in Dago area armed with an AK47 rifle.

She is then said to have threatened the husband, telling him that she would kill him before killing herself.

“She then corked the gun, shot at him twice and injured him on the right side of the head,” read the report in part.

The shooting raised alarm among the neighbours who rushed to the scene to find out what was going on.

Upon sensing danger, the officer turned to the onlookers and shot towards their direction as the husband took cover. No other person was however injured in the scuffle.

The officer then sneaked away from the scene and returned the firearm to the station before disappearing to an unknown place.

The 28-year-old injured man, who is a clinical officer at a nearby private hospital, was then rushed to Kisumu County Hospital where he was treated and discharged.

READ ALSO:   Police: Abducted Cubans had expressed fear for their safety

The report indicated that the couple had engaged in a quarrel after the officer complained that her husband had been ignoring her calls.

The officer also suspected that the husband was having an affair with their house help after the man allegedly gave the house help some Sh50 for lunch without consulting the wife.

The couple which has been together for the past three years have a one-year-old son.

On Monday, Mr Lolmodol confirmed that the officer was arrested moments after midnight when she sneaked back to her house.

She is currently at Kondele Police Station and is expected to be charged with attempted murder, once investigations into the incident is complete.

Mr Lolmodol confirmed that investigating officers had visited the scene to collect relevant exhibits, which together with the firearm, will be used in the case.

Police confirmed that the man was out of danger, and was recuperating out of the hospital.

By Standard.co.ke

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