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Ken Okoth’s lover vows to return to court after son was ‘kept off’ cremation event

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Kibra MP Ken Okoth’s lover, Nairobi nominated MCA Anne Muthoni Thumbi has vowed to head back to court after she was kept in the dark about plans to cremate the legislator.

Her lawyer Elkanah Mogaka accused Mr Okoth’s family of disobeying a consent signed in court on Friday that had allowed five-year old boy Jayden Baraka Okoth to participate in the funeral arrangements.

Mr Mogaka said Mr Okoth’s cremation at Kariokor Crematorium on Saturday morning was done in secrecy without the involvement of Anne.

Anne only knew about the cremation through a tweet by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) that confirmed the ‘private event’.

COMMITTED TO COURT

Anne’s lawyer said Mr Okoth’s family had on Friday, through lawyer Edwin Sifuna, committed to court that Jayden will be included in funeral arrangements, be it burial or cremation.

“I can confirm to you that Jayden was not included in the cremation ceremony and as it stands the family is in disobedience of the court order and we will take action on the same on Monday. We must respond,” said Mr Mogaka.

On his side, Mr Sifuna said the event was private and that Ms Thumbi’s side had opted out.

“The ceremony started early in the morning in the presence of only a few people. Anne’s lawyer yesterday (Friday) said that they were not going to attend and only Okoth’s brothers and some guests came,” said Mr Sifuna.

READ ALSO:   MP Okoth’s widow agrees to support girlfriend’s child

On Friday, a Nairobi court adopted a consent signed by Monica Okoth, the wife of late Kibra MP, and Anne Thumbi, where the two agreed that a DNA test be undertaken to confirm the paternity of Jayden Baraka Okoth, the latter’s son.

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS

The two have also agreed that five-year-old Jayden be allowed to participate in the funeral arrangements.

This is after Ms Thumbi had moved to court on Thursday seeking to have the burial of her secret lover stopped until the controversy surrounding Jayden’s paternity is resolved demanding recognition of her five-year old child as the lawmaker’s biological son as well she be included in the burial plans.

She sued Okoth’s mother, Angeline, his widow Monica, and the Lee Funeral Home as the first, second and third defendants, respectively.

By nairobinews

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Business

When the deal is just too good … How Urithi members paid millions for air

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Urithi, a housing co-operative that has marketed itself as the best bet for those who cannot afford mortgages, has sold air to unsuspecting Kenyans, killing their dreams of becoming homeowners.

In yet another property scandal, more than 32,000 members of the co-operative are counting their losses.

Those who had taken bank loans to finance their purchases are dealing with double losses, given that they have nothing to show for the money.The losses run into billions of shillings, Urithi having run out of lies to feed its investors.

Some have waited for more than eight years, and are coming to terms with the fact that they have lost their investment.

Its directors, who live large and drive posh cars, ride roughshod over investors and have no time even for direct media inquiries, preferring to use police to silence protesters rather than face their customers and offer solutions.

Urithi chairman, Samuel Maina, in the most recent status update, dated June 2, said the co-operative had profiled every project to give clear timelines and deliverables.

“Over 30 land projects are in good progress and their title deeds shall be delivered in a few months. We have set up a robust communication desk to contact each of the members based on their obligations or payment status,” he said.

Mr Maina said those who understand the Urithi socio-economic model, understand that “each project is independently based on its timelines, region or structure”.

“Each should be addressed as such, without mixing issues,” he added.

Urithi is accused of collecting money from members to buy land, which it used as collateral for loans. Some of the land is now facing auction.

Potential investors were drawn to the projects by enticing adverts, well-planned trips to view the land, with mega ground breaking ceremonies and artistic impressions of what their future homes would look like.

Some were taken to Malindi more than fives years ago, accommodated in a posh hotel and then driven 20 kilometres to be shown the land that they were buying.

Urithi then asked for fencing and title processing money, but after being paid, the sales agents dis-appeared and blocked customers’ calls.

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

The promise was that they would own the homes within a relatively short time and the payment schedules only sweetened the deal.So they trooped in their thou-sands to join the co-operative. Now they are in tears as they realise that they were duped into buying air. Most agents who sold properties on behalf of the co-operative have also vanished.

The clients are now lining up at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to lodge complaints. For more than two weeks, the Nation has tried to get the company and its agents to talk. Last Friday, Chairman Maina did not pick our calls.

1qBut he sent a text message: “Hello, thanks for inquiring. I will call you once I am free to talk.” He has not communicated.

We asked him what had led to the flood of complaints from distressed members, and what had caused the latest problems.

Simon Gathai

When Mr Simon Gathai invested Sh1.95 million on land within the Nairobi metropolitan, he knew that was what he wanted.

Even though it was covered with coffee bushes, the sales talk that accompanied the artistic impressions of what the estate would look like when completed were enough to convince him to buy it.

“I was told that roads would be constructed, a perimeter wall and common areas for residents,” he told the Nation. He took a bank loan to pay the entire Sh1.95 million for an eighth of an acre plot at Ruiru Ridges in April, 2018.

After paying, Mr Gathai knew it was just a matter of time before he would have land to build his home.

“But ever since, we are still waiting for our titles. They have just been telling us to wait. The whole project seems to be a sham,” offers a disappointed Mr Gathai.

“I have tried approaching the management to be shown my plot so that I can uproot the coffee bushes and develop it but I have not been successful,” he adds.He says the co-operative has been reluctant to call status meetings, fearing members will know each other and mobilise themselves, which would work against its interests.

READ ALSO:   Ken Okoth’s kin to get Sh32M

Meanwhile, Mr Gathai continues to service the loan he took to pay for the land, which pains him.

Benear Shapaya

In 2016, Mr Benear Shapaya attended a ground-breaking ceremony for the co-operative’s housing projects. He was trying to weigh his options on where to invest, especially in property.After the sumptuous meal and flowery speeches on how the co-operative would walk with members to see them own their own homes, Mr Shapaya decided to invest in one of their projects.

In August that year, he secured a Sh1 million bank loan, which he used to book a two-bedroom unit in Joska-OTG Phase 2.

The property’s full cost was Sh1.6 million.He was promised that the project would be completed in two years, and so he proceeded to pay monthly instalments. However, as months turned into years, there was nothing to show for his money.“I don’t even know where the property I bought is. I have tried finding out from Urithi offices but nobody seems to know. It seems I paid money for a project that does not exist,” he says.

When he saw things were not turning out as he expected, in May last year, he wrote to the co-operative, saying he wanted to withdraw his membership and seek reimbursement of the money he paid.

“That was after I made my last payment and went on the ground, only to find there was nothing to show for the money I had paid. I realised we had been duped,” he told the Nation.

He had invested Sh1.4 million and had completed servicing the Sh1 million loan.

‘They do not seem to be interested in finishing the project. Whenever they say they are doing something, it’s just some cosmetic kind of thing,” he says.He now wants his money re-funded after realising it was not a genuine deal. Jane Maina

What motivated Jane Maina to join Urithi was the desire to own a home, and the fact that she worked in Mombasa and did not have the time to supervise the construction of a house.

READ ALSO:   MP Okoth’s widow agrees to support girlfriend’s child

She considered buying a housing the easier option. In 2016, she joined the co-operative’s OTG-Joska and Juja-Gem projects, where she thought she hoped to own three houses. By the end of 2017, she had completed payments for the OTG project, which cost Sh1.6 million.

During the Annual General Meeting AGM in 2018, Ms Maina says, Urithi Chairman Maina promised members of the project that all the units would be completed by November that year and their houses would be handed to them. That has not happened to date.Ms Main has paid Urithi Sh4.37 million.

She regrets having sold a plot on Thika Road to invest in the project.

Susan Nyaga

Before Susan Nyaga’s husband died, they decided to acquire a house to avoid paying rent.

And she came across the Urithi adverts in late 2016. Since her husband was working in Somalia, she secured a Sh1 million bank loan for the down payment.

She would pay the remaining Sh600,000 in instalments.

Unfortunately, she lost her husband in January 2017 when she was still struggling to settle the balance, as well as service the loan.

“At the time, I was under a lot of stress, having lost my husband. But the co-operative kept asking me to complete my payments while the bank was pushing me to service their loan,” she says.

So she took another bank loan to repay the first one and pay Urithi what she still owed. All the while the co-op promises that the houses would be handed over to the owners by March 2017. But March came and went, without any communication from Urithi.

In April, she visited the site and found out what was happening. It was then that she realised, to her shock, that the house she had been told was almost complete did not even exist.

Meanwhile, the bank from which she had taken the second loan was on her neck. She sold a car and a plot to repay the bank.

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

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:   Ken Okoth’s kin to get Sh32M

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:   MP Okoth’s widow agrees to support girlfriend’s child

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

“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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