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DNA sample taken as Okoth set to be cremated today

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A close shave with a burial dispute that could have aroused ghosts of the SM Otieno case of the 80’s forced the family of late Kibra MP Ken Okoth to re-draw his burial plans.

And fear of a possible hold-out in Homa Bay should the body be moved there further sealed the redrawing of what is now turning out to be a controversial end for a man who courted little controversy in life.

Last night, it emerged that the family had settled on Kericho County as the place where the Kibra MP would be cremated. And the ceremony will be held today.

Night-long talks The compromise date and venue followed Thursday night long reconciliation talks hosted by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga that cleared the way for interment of the legislator who succumbed to cancer on Friday last week.A court injunction obtained by Anne Muthoni Thumbi, a woman who claims to have a child with the MP, had thrown the interment plans into disarray on Thursday.

“It was agreed that every obstacle to Ken’s resting be cleared and that he be given his last respects. Taking the body to Homa Bay came with all potential for possible tension,” a source at the heart of the decision told Saturday Standard.

READ ALSO:   Pillar of my life: Ken Okoth showers wife with praise as he battles cancer

Plans to have Okoth’s body transported to his father’s rural home in Homa Bay County were cancelled during the night meeting. No one was sure what would happen after the body had been taken to the county.

Yesterday’s decision was a culmination of two days of high voltage drama at the end of which Raila put his foot down and demanded compromises from the two sides to offset the budding embarrassment.“Ken’s body will be cremated tomorrow. There will be no function in Homa Bay and we have told the area MP and Governor about the cancellation,” lawyer Edwin Sifuna told the media at the Lee Funeral Home.Sifuna also said the decision to have the body interred today was to avoid unnecessary delay and to keep to the wishes of the deceased.Earlier in the day, Sifuna alongside lawyer Danstan Omari had announced that a compromise had been reached between Okoth’s family and Ms Thumbi.

The consent which was also filed with the court to offset the earlier order entailed DNA sampling of Okoth’s and his alleged child by Ms Thumbi. While Okoth’s family had agreed to DNA, Ms Thumbi had agreed to the interment plans proceeding as planned.

The consent was recorded before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Mmasi: “The minor be at liberty to participate in the final rights of the late Kenneth Okoth,” ruled Mmasi.

READ ALSO:   Ken Okoth’s family allows his secret lover to take part in burial plans

The two lawyers later turned up at Lee Funeral Home to oversee collection of DNA samples from Okoth’s body ahead of interment today.

Low key

Thumbi had gone to court on Thursday to seek orders to stop the cremation, claiming she had been excluded from taking part in the rites.

The court had directed that the disposal of the body be suspended until August 9 when the case would proceed.But in pushing for the consent, Okoth’s lawyers told the court that Ken’s mother had said Thumbi is at liberty to collect DNA samples so that the burial could proceed as she wished.

The lawyers told the court the body should not be kept in the mortuary for so long just because of the DNA issue, but added the tests were necessary since the deceased family was not willing to accept the child without it.“Thumbi’s family appointed a pathologist who has been here. We also had our pathologist and DNA samples have been obtained,” Sifuna said.Thumbi was also present at Lee yesterday with her son.Today’s event is expected to be low key and will only be attended by close family members and few invited friends. Kericho has a crematorium in the outskirts of the town.Meanwhile, the civil society has eulogised Okoth as a man who championed the fundamental human rights of Kenyans.

READ ALSO:   History as Kenya earns Sh1.2 billion from maiden oil sale

At a memorial service held at the Freedom Corner in Nairobi, the civil society said the late MP should be remembered for championing the rights of the Nubii people and for promoting eductaion.

By Standard

 

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Son of ex-VP Wamalwa dies at their Milimani home in Kitale

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A son of the late former vice-president Michael Kijana Wamalwa, William Makali Wamalwa, is dead.

His uncle, Robert Wamalwa, Monday confirmed that his nephew died on Sunday evening at their Milimani home in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County.

The family suspects it could be diabetes that led to his death but are waiting for a post-mortem report.

“My nephew was diabetic and that might have led to his death but, of course, when the official post-mortem report is out, we will know what happened,” Mr Wamalwa told the Nation.

Makali, who was the third born in his family, was in his mid-20s and was a second year student at the University of Nairobi where he was studying commerce.

His uncle dismissed claims on social media that Makali died of depression, alcoholism and drug abuse.

“It is far from the truth. It is very unfair and people should not capitalise on something like that. They should respect the family and the dead,” said Mr Wamalwa.

He added that he was with his nephew the previous day and he looked fine.

An official family statement will be given after a post-mortem examination report is released.

Makali will be buried at the family’s Three Rivers farm in Saboti on December 14, 2019.

READ ALSO:   History as Kenya earns Sh1.2 billion from maiden oil sale

by nation.co.ke

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Welcome to the Nyeri matatu stage, a ‘highway to heaven’ for drivers, touts

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For a long time, the matatu sector has been viewed as a hotbed of deceitful, dishonest, cunning and undisciplined people. Already overburdened commuters often struggle with the whimsical arbitrariness of the charges demanded by the public transport operators.

But matatu operators in Nyeri town are trying to portray themselves in a new light. Every morning at 8am at the main matatu stage, a group of men in blue and maroon uniforms plug in a sound system and begin their morning fellowship.

They start with prayers and a number of worship songs. Their aim, they say, is to reach out to as many drivers, touts, businesspeople and passengers at the terminal as possible.

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

“I was afraid that people would not embrace it but I decided to try it anyway and on July 16, 2017, we held our first prayer meeting. There were only a few people but that was more than I expected,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Ken Okoth’s family allows his secret lover to take part in burial plans

With time, more people embraced the idea and with their help they received enough donations to purchase a public address system.

“I started these morning prayer meetings to reach out to the operators, who are usually too busy and they do not go to church on Saturday or Sunday. There are also passengers who have been travelling and they need it too,” he said.

Mr Ndirangu and his team start the prayers at 8am with singing, prayers and a devotion.

He says that the prayers have brought sanity to the stage, with the young men turning over a new leaf by quitting drugs and some being bold enough to participate by playing the instruments and being on the alternating preaching schedule.

“We have managed to reach out to the youth and pull them from drugs and substance abuse and now they work just like the rest of us to make an honest living,” he said.

A few metres away at an open field, where lorries are parked just behind the governor’s office, Pastor Joseph Kinuthia preaches to a group of men who are quietly seated and patiently listening to him. They are lorry drivers.

He started the fellowship in 2018 after many members of the Nyeri Lorries Self Help Group, which he chairs, were afflicted by diseases and death.

READ ALSO:   Pillar of my life: Ken Okoth showers wife with praise as he battles cancer

“Every week we would have at least two cases we were contributing to. Other members were being arrested for fights, and being a pastor, I knew that these issues could be solved if we indulged in our faith,” he said.

He says the group, which has at least 300 active members, embraced the idea and now they hold their fellowships three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

At a glance
HOW IT STARTED

James Waruingi Ndirangu, a driver who has been operating in Nyeri town for more than 10 years, started the fellowship two years ago. He had seen the lawlessness, fights, vulgarity and drug abuse and sought divine intervention for these social ills.

“I was seated at the stage waiting for my turn to ferry passengers when, being a staunch Christian, I felt the need to start the morning prayers,” he said. He printed out notices of the prayers and passed them around, asking people to join him during the prayers.

by nation.co.ke

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Kenyans sweep in Obama’s birthplace

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Sport may still be frowned upon in Kenya where politics – and political horse-trading – seem to be the nation’s staple, but athletes most certainly continue to positively impact on lives.

Stories of athletes rising from rags to riches might sound cliché, but they must be told to inspire future generations.

The story of Titus Ekiru and Margaret Muriuki Wangare is right down this alley.

On Sunday in Honolulu, the city that brought forth USA’s first black president – Kenyan-American Barack Obama – they continued to remind USA that Kenya won’t just get off the American headlines just yet with a sweep of the Honolulu Marathon titles.

And what’s more, defending champion Ekiru, 27, set a new course record, defending his title in two hours, seven minutes and 59 seconds to become the fastest man over the marathon in the beautiful Island of Hawaii where USA’s 44th president was born.

The wins came hours after another Kenyan, US-based Edward Cheserek, won the curtain-raising mile race on Saturday in three minutes and 53 seconds.

It was 33-year-old Wangari’s marathon debut, and she dedicated her 2:31:09 victory to her ailing mother, Agnes Muthoni Kenyua.

From her race earnings, she can afford better medical care for her beloved mum.

READ ALSO:   History as Kenya earns Sh1.2 billion from maiden oil sale

“It’s been tough. My mother was diagnosed with kidney failure but despite her illness, she has been praying for me a lot,” said an emotional Wangari, who left the track (5,000 metres) to focus on the road, making her 42km debut Sunday.

She also dedicated the win to her four-year-old daughter, Lynnolive Jemutai and husband, Jacob Kipchum Yator.

Fellow Kenyan, US-based Betsy Saina, who has been training in Flagstaff, Arizona, was second in 2:31:51.

Saina blamed herself for underrating the tough course in the Hawaiian State capital, failing to match a late lush by Wangare.

“I came here as favourite and I thought I’d push later in the race, but I think I underrated the course a bit,” the Iowa State University running legend told Nation Sport.

In the men’s race, Ekiru led a clean sweep of the podium and said there’s no time to celebrate as he heads back home to prepare for his entry into the rich World Marathon Majors circuit.

He plans to attack the Tokyo Marathon on March 1 and will be knocking on selectors’ doors for an Olympic ticket.

Former winner Wilson Chebet was a distant second in 2:13:13 after experiencing some problems with his right thigh muscle in the second half, with Edwin Koech (2:14:19) completing the Kenyan sweep.

READ ALSO:   Ken Okoth’s family allows his secret lover to take part in burial plans

Ekiru, paced by Reuben Kerio, third here last year, peeled away, like an onion, from the lead pack in trademark fashion between kilometre 22 and 23.

Chebet and Koech were unable to respond. Ekiru then motored to the finish alone.

“The pacemakers did a good job,” he said.

“I’d wanted 63:30 at halfway and they did like 63:40, which wasn’t bad.”

“There’s very little time between now and the Tokyo Marathon so I won’t celebrate too much this Christmas when I get back to Kapsabet as I have to start early preparations,” said Ekiru. who shattered the course record of 2:08:27, set in 2017 by fellow Kenyan Lawrence Cherono.

Again, Ekiru’s story has been that of battling poverty to make a living through sport.

The rising star from Turkana didn’t finish primary school education, dropping out of primary school at Kosirai in Nandi County due to his family’s state of poverty.

But his command of English is impeccable and his focus unwavering.

Honolulu Marathon President and CEO Jim Barahal said he would dish out a cheque of $40,000 (Sh4 million) to Ekiru – $25,000 (Sh2.5 million) for the win, $10,000 (Sh1 million) for the course record and a further time bonus of $5,000 (Sh500,000) for running a sub-2:08 time.

READ ALSO:   Pillar of my life: Ken Okoth showers wife with praise as he battles cancer

Wangare will take home Sh4 million which will most certainly go a long way in assisting her ailing mother.

Leading results from the Honolulu Marathon on Sunday

1. Titus Ekiru (Kenya) 2:07:59

2. Wilson Chebet (Kenya) 2:13:13

3. Edwin Koech (Kenya) 2:14:19

4. Mike Cheshire (Kenya) 2:16:30

5. Jackson Limo (Kenya) 2:17:09

6. Osako Suguru (Japan) 2:17:29

7. Takuya Fukatsu (Japan) 2:19:00

8. Shinya Ohashi (Japan) 2:23:54

9. Taku Harada (Japan) 2:30:32

10. Takaaki Awata (Japan) 2:34:23

1. Margaret Wangare Muriuki (Kenya) 2:31:10

2. Betsy Saina (Kenya) 2:31:51

3. Renee Metivier (USA) 2:43:17

4. Miharu Shimokado (Japan) 2:45:22

5. Kaoru Nagao (Japan) 2:52:55

6. Eri Oda (Japan) 2:55:39

7. Polina Carlson (USA) 2:57:37

8. Rosanna Breslin (USA) 3:04:49

9. Bree Brown (USA) 3:07:47

9. Akiko Patterson (USA) 3:09:14

By Nation

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