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Bid to replace Chiloba hits a snag, yet again

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The recruitment of new a CEO for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has hit a snag yet again after the human resource firm picked by the commission to help in the exercise rejected the offer.

The ongoing process is the second attempt at hiring the commission secretary after the first failed when IEBC took too long to act upon the applications.

The process was stopped by the Employment and Labour Relations Court on May 20 after the IEBC was found to have flouted the law in the requirements for applicants.

Alpex Consulting Africa Limited (ACAL) surprised the commission when it communicated its rejection of the award last Friday, the day it was supposed to sign the contract.

The firm cited, among other reasons, the fact that it was not involved in the advertisement for the position, that the applications were handled by the management, which is conflicted, given that acting CEO Marjan Hussein is also eyeing the position. It even suggested that IEBC’s image problems arising from past elections were ‘a turn-off’.

The rejection is one of the many setbacks the search of new commission has suffered. Of the 11 firms the IEBC had pre-qualified, only four submitted their bids. The other seven, including PwC Kenya and Deloitte, did not respond.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: IEBC's Ezra Chiloba sings "It's well with my soul"

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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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Chiloba now explains why Chebukati's login was used for 9,000 transactions

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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Chiloba now explains why Chebukati's login was used for 9,000 transactions

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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Chiloba now explains why Chebukati's login was used for 9,000 transactions

“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?”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Chiloba finally speaks out on Msando's death

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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: IEBC's Ezra Chiloba sings "It's well with my soul"

“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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