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It is cremation for billionaire and former chief secretary Kiereini, says family



Former Head of Civil Service Jeremiah Kiereini will be cremated today at a private family function. He joins a growing list of prominent Kenyans who have opted for cremation over burial.

Although details of the interment remained scanty, with the family remaining tight-lipped, a family friend confidentially revealed to The Standard that it was Kiereini’s desire that he be cremated. “It will be a very, very private affair and I am told the media is not allowed to attend.

Apart from the close family members, I’m told only a few friends have been invited,” said the source. Kiereini left the civil service in 1984 after retiring as the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet under retired President Daniel Moi’s government, and plunged into the private sector, where he made a name heading several corporate organisations.He died on Monday night aged 90 at his home in Nairobi.

Contacted yesterday, his daughter Nemaisa Kiereini, who is the CEO of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, reiterated the statement the family had issued on Tuesday, saying that the tycoon would be interred today. She did not indicate the mode of interment.

“We will communicate to you in case of anything. But as it is, the function tomorrow is a strict family affair. The funeral service will be communicated at a later date,” she said.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Kiereini’s cremation comes amid the escalation of the debate on this mode of disposing of the dead, which is slowly gaining root over the traditionally known burials that have of late been described as very costly.

Interestingly, a majority of those who have opted for cremation – mainly by so stating in their wills or verbal communication to their families – are wealthy Kenyans who own large swathes of land and whose families can easily afford the huge costs of their burials.

Matiba cremated

In April last year, multi-party struggle hero Kenneth Matiba was cremated at Lang’ata Crematorium, with the family choosing to fulfill the wish he had made 26 years ago.

This is despite many Kenyans, and especially those from his Murang’a backyard, expressing their wish for his burial locally.

His cremation dashed the hopes of many of his supporters who had wished for a State burial for the second liberation hero.

Unknown to them, Matiba had in 1994 expressed his wish to be cremated, rubbishing the pompous burials preceded by “dancing parties and harambees.”

He said he did not wish for mourners to be subjected to endless fundraisers to meet his burial expenses.“After all, the Kikuyu traditionally never buried their dead. They used to take the bodies into the forest to be devoured by hyenas. Was that not wisdom?” “If a man was not assisted while he was alive, why should people raise funds for him after he dies?” Matiba, then Ford-Asili leader, was quoted as saying.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Before Matiba, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai had been cremated at the Kariokor Crematorium, also according to her wishes.

The famed conservationist, who became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her “contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace”, did not wish for trees – that she had spent years protecting – to be felled to make a coffin for her burial.

The ashes of her remains were interred at the Wangari Maathai Institute for Peace and Environmental Studies, in accordance with her wishes.

Former Anglican Church Archbishop Manasses Kuria and his wife Mary Kuria were also cremated, sparking a major debate within the church on this ritual and its place in Christianity.The Anglican head was cremated in 2005, three years after his wife had undergone the same ritual.

Last year, John Macharia, the son of Royal Media Services chairman SK Macharia, was cremated at Lang’ata after he died following an accident on the Southern by-pass.

Kanu-era assistant Minister Peter Okondo was cremated in Kariokor in 1996, while former Kenya National Sports Council Chairman Joshua Okuthe underwent the same rite in 2009.The debate over cremation has continued to be a divisive one, even as it continues gaining acceptance among a conservative society that is still deeply rooted in the much-accepted burial.According to the Provost of the All Saints Cathedral, Very Rev Canon Sammy Wainaina, the decision to cremate is personal.“It is more of a cultural and philosophical issue rather than a biblical one. However, it must be done with sensitivity to the family. The Bible does not give specific directions for the disposal of the body following death,” says the Anglican senior cleric.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

He adds: “Christian church rejects cremation, partly because of its association with Pagan societies of Greece and Rome. Christians buried their dead in graves or in catacombs (underground vaults). Traditionally, Christians will want to show respect for the body.”


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Man accuses pastor of eloping with his wife



A businessman from Juja Farm, KiambuCounty, has accused a pastor who presided over his wedding of eloping with his wife of 26 years.

Mr John Kanyua, a father of five, alleged the pastor supported them and even signed their marriage certificate.

Mr Kanyua claimed the pastor’s relationship with his wife started when his wife was appointed an assistant pastor of a church in Juja Farm.

“I objected Mr Kanyua’s appointment as an assistant pastor, but he (my husband) was determined to have his way. I confronted Mr Kanyua’s wife and threatened her not to play games with my husband,” said the pastor’s wife of 34 years.

The pastor’s wife says her husband soon began to invite Mrs Kanyua for family dinner.

“I confronted Mr Kanyua and asked him to keep his wife away from my husband, the two later eloped in 2015,” she added.

Mr Kanyua alleges that bishop would visit his house in the morning and spend the entire day locked with his wife in the house until he sought the intervention of the local administration and the church.

“The pastor later eloped with my wife and children and rented a house at a nearby market,” Mr Kanyua said.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

Mr Kanyua alleges his parents-in-law have since asked him to accept a compensation of the dowry he paid to pave way for their daughter’s new wedding.

He alleges the pastor has informed his children of his intention to marry another wife after separating with their mother.

Mr Kanyua says he still pays school fees for his children and sends them foodstuffs.

“I won’t sit back and watch another man take away my family, I will not allow the wedding to continue,” said Mr Kanyua adding that he is ready to forgiver his wife.

The pastor’s wife says she still does not understand why her husband turned against her.

“We have passed through a lot when we started the church, I won’t allow him to marry a stranger,” she said.


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Immigration News

Immigration Advice: How to Avoid Losing Your Green Card Or Becoming Ineligible for Naturalization



Each year, about one million people receive US permanent resident status, also known as green cards. Lawful US permanent resident status gives an individual the right to live and work permanently in the United States.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) however says this right is only provided on condition that the green card holder does not commit any actions that would make them removable from the country under immigration law.

Failure to follow some guidelines could make green card holders be at risk of deportation, or make them ineligible for US citizenship.

USCIS and Immigration law experts provide some guidelines on how to maintain permanent resident status:

  • Maintain permanent residence in the US. The US government will find you to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you remain outside the US for a period of more than one year. If you intend to be out of the country for more than one year as a green card holder, USCIS and immigration experts advice you to first obtain a re-entry permit before leaving the US.
  • Do not commit crime. In addition to penalties you will face for committing crime, USCIS says those offenses are also considered immigration violations. Permanent residents who commit serious crimes such as murder, rape, sexual assault on minors, fraud, terrorist activities, drugs and people trafficking, could lose their lawful permanent resident status and also become ineligible for naturalization in the future.
  • Always file taxes, and make sure to file the US resident tax return (Federal Form 1040). This applies even if all your income was earned outside the US.
  • Never claim to be a US citizen when you are not, whether verbally or in writing. Immigrants are especially warned that claiming to be a citizen to a law enforcement officer is considered a serious crime and could make you deported if found guilty, or make you ineligible for naturalization.
  • Permanent residents are warned to never vote in national, state or local elections that require voters to be US citizens. There are criminal penalties for illegal voting. Such voting could also lead to the loss of your green card.
  • Do not be a habitual drunkard. A permanent resident who is deemed to be drunk or uses illegal drugs most of the time is ineligible to become a US citizen.
  • Failing to support your family or pay child or spousal support could make permanent residents lose their green cards or ineligible for naturalization.
  • Males between the ages of 18 and 25 are required by US law to register for the Selective Service.
READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father


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Safaricom achieves 50pc female employees target



Safaricom says it has achieved 50 percent share of female employees on its payroll, coming amid an increase in the number of direct and indirect jobs it sustained in the last financial year growing nine percent to 979,000.

This is according to the telco’s 2019 Sustainable Business Report released on Thursday in which the firm also announced a plan to plant five million trees in the next five years as part of a carbon offset programme.

“We have achieved a 50:50 gender balance among our employees and 34 percent of senior management are women. In addition, 2.1 percent of our staff are persons living with disabilities,” the report notes.

In the year under review, the firm says 178 women-owned businesses were pre-qualified under its Women in Business initiative.

The firm supports 167,083 M-Pesa agents, 433 dealers, 1,138 suppliers, 4,503 permanent employees as well as other stakeholders.

The company had a staff headcount of 6,323 (permanent and contract staff) as at March 2019, an increase from 6,130 in 2018.

The latest Sustainable Business Report also notes that the telco disciplined 78 staff in the last financial year, even as an earlier released annual report had indicated that Safaricom fired 31 employees in the year ended March 2019 over fraud.

READ ALSO:   The day Jeremiah Kiereini nearly killed Njee Muturi's father

“We consistently review our compliance with regulatory obligations, particularly those surrounding fraud, corruption and anti-money laundering legislation,” the report adds.


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