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Strange disease claims lives of 11 family members



A family in Londiani is appealing to medical experts to help them resolve the puzzle of a suspected deadly hereditary disease which has been striking down one family member after the other.

When The Standard arrived at Kiplokyi-Kapkeley village in Kipkelion East constituency, Richard Langat, 52, pointed out to us eleven graves in his family’s two-acre piece of land.

The unkempt grave sites, marked by a heap of soil and twigs full of thorns, belongs to his mother, four brothers, two sisters and four nephews.

“The deaths in my family began in 1984 with the death of our first born Joseph Langat who died at the age of 22 years,” said Langat.

In 1996 Langat’s mother Ester Marungoino, succumbed to the disease followed by Langat’s siblings’ deaths, Alice, David, Elizabeth, Paul and Peter who died in 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010 respectively.

Langat’s four nephews died in 2016, 2017 and 2018 in which two the youngsters died.Langat said before all the deceased succumbed to the illness, the disease would first cause the victim to have difficulty in speaking, interfere with eyesight, cause dizziness and memory loss.

“The disease also causes the victim to have difficulty in chewing and swallowing food before the individual is rendered immobile and develops sores. The general health of the victim then deteriorates and the agonizing death slowly comes thereafter,” he said.

Langat, a security guard with Unilever tea company doctors at the Londiani sub-county hospital have never been able to diagnose the disease.

“I remember that I even took my mother and brother to a private hospital in Nakuru but medical examination including X-rays of even the brain did not reveal anything,” he said.

Langat, said the family’s misfortunes have caused Kaparangwek clan members to often meet and perform traditional Kipsigis rites to try and appease the gods.

“The latest ceremony is what is called Iringotit which required seeking forgiveness using nine herds of cattle to appease the gods over claims that my maternal late grand-grandfather killed his nephew and concealed the death leading to a curse,” said Langat. The ceremony was just but one among the tens of traditional rites the family has performed over the past two decades.

Chasing after miracles in various churches has not borne any fruits either. “Every day I ask God what is this thing which is after my family members. I have never enjoyed the joys of having a mother, brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces.

It is deaths all the time. I have cried till I can’t cry no more,” said Langat. And there is no relief for Langat who though he has been so far lucky not to have been affected by the disease, it has crippled his sister Juliana Mosonik, 68 and brother Moses Langat, 32.

Kericho County Health executive Dr Shadrach Mutai said they had engaged a professor of neurology over the medical puzzle.

“We are looking at the possibility of a genetic disorder affecting the neurological component causing the neurological deficit. It is highly to be a hereditary disease linked to the genetics,” he said. Dr Mutai said only a medical evaluation will determine the cause of the disease.

“The neurological expert will then link us up with a geneticist. The preliminary work up first and then looking at the component of the genetics, the medical experts will determine what could be the cause of the disease,” said Dr Mutai.

The health executive added that there were no other families in Kericho who have reported suffering from a disease similar to those exhibited by the Londiani family.

The Standard

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UoN masters degree finalist who sells eggs appeals for a job



A jobless graduate who’s finalising his masters degree is appealing for well-wishers to give him a job. Dennis Obiri Ogola from Ndumbuini in Kabete sells boiled eggs despite having a diploma, degree and is set to complete his master’s programme in early 2021.

“I’m currently doing my masters and I’m in my last semester of the coursework. I have a diploma in Procurement and Supply Chain Management from the Kenya Institute of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce degree (Procurement and Supply Chain Management option) from the University of Nairobi,” says Dennis.

Humble background, hawking eggs, rent arrears

The soft-spoken Dennis hails from a humble background and is the firstborn in a family of six children. Wellwishers enabled him to pursue his studies and he dreams of helping his younger siblings get a good education.

“I was helped by a children’s home to complete my primary school education. I joined high school in the same children’s home and because of my good manners, they offered to further my education. I did my diploma and after scoring a second class (upper division) in my degree, I got sponsors for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme at UoN,” he says.

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Dennis got into the eggs business after another well-wisher was touched by his plight and gave him the startup capital even though the proceeds scarcely meets his needs. On a good day, he makes Sh300 profit which he reinvests in the business, leaving him with peanuts to live off.

“I have some rent arrears but I spoke to the landlord and he’s understanding- but at the end of the day, he wants money.” Photo: Courtesy.

 “After hearing of my situation, an empathetic Human Resource practitioner in a financial institution gave me capital to start this business selling eggs and smokies. In a day, I sell a tray of boiled eggs at Sh600 (Sh20 per egg), making a Sh300 profit. I spend Sh300 on eggs for the next day and use some of the remaining money buy saviets, onions and tomatoes for kachumbari , wrapping papers and tomato sauce. The remainder of the money cannot pay my rent. I have some rent arrears but I spoke to the landlord and he’s understanding- but at the end of the day, he wants money,” he says.

“The far I’ve reached, it’s taken a lot of patience and perseverance. I would like to appeal to anyone with a job to offer me the opportunity. I dream of at least helping my siblings,” concludes Dennis, who has over ten certificates.

You can reach Dennis on 0705446010.

by SDE

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Aisha Jumwa, aide fail to take plea in murder case




Malindi Member of Parliament Aisha Jumwa and her aide Geoffrey Otieno will spend another night in police cells pending bail ruling in a murder case against them.

The two were arraigned in a Mombasa court on Thursday and charged with the murder of Gumbao Jola who was killed in the chaos that ensued during campaigns for a by-election in Ganda Ward on October 15, 2019.

They denied the charges before Mombasa High Court Judge Lady Justice Njoki Mwangi.

The defence lawyers led by Danstan Omari, Jared Magolo and Cliff Ombeta asked the court to release the suspects on reasonable bail terms.

The lawyers accused the state of frustrating the lawmaker who is also facing graft charges and urged the court to free the two on bail.

Earlier in the day, Justice Mwangi was forced to briefly defer plea taking to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP’s) office to avail missing mental assessment report for Jumwa’s co-accused.

The judge also questioned the validity of Ms Jumwa’s medical report, which the court noted bears a signature that’s not that of a psychiatric known to be conducting the assessments in Mombasa.

The prosecution, however, explained that the medic who appends his signatures on the report has retired and that the procedure was done by his colleague who is currently in charge.

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Comedian Othuol Othuol’s father speaks for the first time following son’s death




Father to the late Churchill show comedian Othuol Othuol has today spoken for the first time and revealed that he was against his son’s comedy career.

Peter Omondi, Othuol’s father, disclosed that he always felt like comedy was a lazy man’s career which he did not want his son participating in.

Due to his father being against his dream career, the late Othuol Othuol had to leave home in Nyanza unknowingly and go to Nairobi where he joined Churchill’s comedy group.

However, with time as his son’s popularity grew, the late Othuol Othuols’s said that he came to accept his chosen career.

Othuol’s new path and fame brought a lot of popularity in the family that his father had to always be careful wherever he went.

This fact gave Othuol’s father so much pride as he realised that he now had someone to answer to and protect his image.

Speaking about his son’s life, Peter Omondi said that Othuol’s passion for comedy began at a very early age.

He wished that he knew better to encourage his son’s passion instead of discouraging him. He was very proud that Othuol still forced himself to do what he loved.

“I didn’t want him to do comedy. I always thought comedy was for those who didn’t want to work hard. From that, i knew that you must identify your kid’s talent and be serious with it,” Othuol’s father said.

The 56-year-old Peter, also talked about a side of Othuol Othuol that many people did not know about.

According to him, his son Othuol was a brilliant kid in school who would often be in the first position.

However, he would always turn the tables around and become last in his class in case his parents failed to acknowledge his efforts.

Othuol’s character was also very surprising to his father, as the late comedian always hang out with kids below his age and joke around a lot.

According to Peter, Othuol did not like being around his peers or older kids.

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