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Miraa funds ‘disappear’ from bank account

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A fresh row has emerged over how Sh10 million raised in 2013 to file a court case challenging the ban of miraa in the UK was utilised.

It emerged that the lawyer engaged in the lawsuit recently obtained court order to withdraw more than Sh530,000 from the miraa legal fees account without the approval of four signatories.

The signatories include former Igembe North MP Joseph M’Eruaki, Igembe Central legislator Kubai Iringo, Mr Nabea Murianki and Mr Jesse Muambi.

It emerged that Sh1.7 million was left in the bank account after Dass Solicitors in London were paid Sh7 million and their local representative Mr Henry Kurauka paid Sh600,000.

The money had been contributed by farmers who were forced to pay Sh500 after a Njuri Ncheke order.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto contributed Sh5 million, Meru County government Sh2 million while the rest of the money was contributed by leaders during a funds drive at Maili Tatu grounds.

The Sh2 million contributed by Meru County government became part of the 2013/2014 Auditor general’s report queries with Meru County Assembly directing that officials who paid the money be surcharged.

The signatories of the miraa funds account have now threatened to sue the bank and lawyer Kurauka for fraudulently withdrawing Sh536,000 from the bank account.

A court order signed by Nairobi High court deputy registrar L.A. Mumassaba, in which Kurauka and Co Advocates has sued Kenya Miraa Farmers and Traders Association (Kemifata), directs Cooperative Bank, Maua Branch manager to issue a bankers Cheque for Sh536,904 to Kurauka and Co Advocates.

The order was issued in the absence of the respondent, Kemifata.

Speaking to the Nation, Lawyer Kurauka said the custodians of the money raised for the London miraa case had failed to pay his legal fees for the last five years, forcing him to go to court.

“They were to pay me Sh2 million while the lawyers in London received Sh15 million. However, I only received a down payment of Sh600,000. I did 80 per cent of the work but the signatories refused to release the balance to me. This is why I went to court,” Mr Kurauka said.

He argued that the money raised at the fundraiser was meant for legal fees hence should not have been held in the bank without clearing his dues.

“They still owe me and if I include interest, it will be a lot of money. The signatories should explain to miraa farmers how the money was used and what they intended to do with the balance,” he said.

Mr Kurauka said he has represented miraa stakeholders in various lawsuits without demanding a lot of money since he is also a farmer.

But the account’s signatories have denied owing Mr Kurauka any money.

They also denied having knowledge of the court proceedings that led to withdrawal of money from the account.

Mr Iringo could not be reached for comment on the matter but in the past, he had explained that the Lawyers in London were paid Sh7 million while the Kenyan lawyer who prepared the files was paid Sh600, 000.

“We will sue the lawyer and the bank for fraud. There is no law that allows a bank to withdraw money from a customer’s account without their knowledge. The respondent in the court order is not the owner of the account from which money was taken. This is fraud,” Mr M’Eruaki said.

He said back in 2013, leaders from Meru had negotiated with Lawyer Kurauka, who agreed to be paid Sh600,000.

Kemifata chairman Dave Muthuri also denied owing the lawyer any money saying they paid Sh40,000 in a case against Nacada, which ended with an out of court settlement.

“We do not have an account at Cooperative Bank, Maua, and the lawyer has never written to us demanding any money,” Mr Muthuri said.

But Mr Kurauka said that he sued Kemifata because it was the entity that spearheaded the miraa law suits.

Nyambene Miraa Traders Association chairman Kimathi Munjuri also raised alarm over the matter and demanded that the signatories account for the money.

In 2016, a Miraa trader had petitioned the Njuri Ncheke council of elders to start an inquiry on how the money was spent, but the inquiry never happened.

The miraa case had been filed by Mr Mahamud Ahmed Mohammed, a miraa importer living in the UK.

He had filed the suit against then Home Secretary Theresa May at Her Majesty Courts and Tribunals Service in London on October 2, 2013.

By nation.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Man whose son died at concert asks police to arrest his killers

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Earlier this month, when Geoffrey Gikonyo began the search for his missing son, 17-year-old Stephen Munga, he prayed and hoped that they would find him alive and safe.

But this was not to be.

On November 12, the family’s search for Shanty, as Stephen’s friends fondly called him, led them to the City Mortuary in Nairobi.

Munga said that they were shocked to stumble upon Shanty’s battered body, a heartbreaking indicator that their last child and only son had died a painful death.

“His body seemed okay from the neck down but his head had a lot of injuries.

“It felt mushy when I touched it and one of his eyes had been perforated.

Stephen Munga aka Shanty

“I know my son died in a lot of pain,” Munga said.

In a desperate search for answers, Munga sought an explanation from the mortuary workers how his body ended up there.

“They told us that Shanty was beaten up by unknown people at the event, Nai Fest, held at Ngong Racecourse,”  Munga recounted.

A post-mortem showed that Shanty had died of severe head injuries. His family, which struggling to come to terms with his murder, says nothing was out of the ordinary when Shanty left home earlier that day.

Munga said together with his wife, they granted Shanty permission to go spend time with his friends since he had consistently demonstrated he was a responsible young man.

He left home on the afternoon of Saturday, November 7, and this was the last they saw him alive.

Filled with teenagers

This was not the first time Shanty went out with his friends and would always return home on time, his father said.

This time, he failed to return home two nights in a row, something he had never done before.

It is still not clear how the 17-year-old Form Three student gained entry to Nai Fest, a music event meant for adults. But what is certain is that on November 7, the day of the concert and the day Shanty died, he was last seen alive at the event.

However, witnesses claimed that the event organisers knowingly admitted teenagers as IDs were not a requirement to be allowed in.

“The event was filled with teenagers. People were being attacked and molested.

“There weren’t any police officers at the gate,” Dennis Mbugua, who attended the event between told the Saturday Standard.

Other witnesses corroborated Mbugua’s claim said the event not only admitted teenagers but also sold them alcohol.

Revelations by the concertgoers, both through social media posts and interviews, painted the gory picture of a concert characterised by drug use, violence and outright disregard of Covid-19 safety measures.

Witnesses questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officers at the Kabete Police Station where Shanty’s case is being handled said they saw him at the event.

One of the witnesses, Maria Njeri, told Saturday Standard that she saw Shanty being beaten earlier during the event only to stumble on his battered body on the ground on her way out of the venue.

“Around 8.30 pm, bouncers pulled Shanty from the crowd. One of them held his hands.

“I don’t know what happened after that but two people followed them outside, one of them in tears,” Njeri recalled the events leading up to Shanty’s death.

She said when the duo returned where they were seated, she heard one of them say, “I hope they won’t hurt him.”

Njeri and her friends found Shanty’s body at around 9.40pm, just over an hour after he had been dragged out of the concert.

She recalled police officers arriving at the scene and ordering them to leave.

Later that evening, Njeri shared information about Shanty’s death on social media.

Last week, a video emerged of two men violently pounding and kicking Shanty while dragging him outside a tent at the venue.

The police are yet to arrest any suspects in relation to Shanty’s death.

Bridget Achieng, the event organiser denied that Shanty died at Nai Fest saying they found him injured backstage and rushed him to hospital.

DCI officers said they have commenced investigations into Shanty’s death after witnesses recorded statements on Wednesday.

Singers Francis Amisi (Frasha) and Hubert Nakitare, also known as Nonini joined Shanty’s family in seeking answers over his death.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

Cry of a Kenyan man whose Multi-Million-Shilling Apartments have gone unoccupied for 4 Years

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A landlord in Kenya has been left counting losses after his real estate retirement plan goes down the drain.

85-year-old David Ndolo from Kitengela told the media that he had lost more than Ksh10 million in rent after his multimillion apartment block stayed unoccupied for 4 years.

Ndolo says he built the multi-million-shilling property in Kitengela, Kajiado County through his pension savings. Its construction was completed in 2014.

The building consists of five bedsitters and 19 two-bedroom houses, which should earn him a total of Sh250,000 per month.

“I have watched helplessly as my retirement investment crumbles,” he lamented.

According to neighbors, his tenants started fleeing due to sewer water suspected to be coming from an adjacent building linked to a retired government official.

Ndolo’s troubles began in 2014 when over 200 tenants occupied the adjacent building and sewer water started seeping into his apartments.

He says he reported the matter to the National Environmental Management Authority and public health officials but the authorities closed the building instead.

His daughter Roselyn Ndolo said that officials ordered the closure citing that the apartments were a health hazard.

When contacted by journalists, Kitengela Public Health Officer Benard Kiluva stated that he did not have enough information on the matter since he was recently posted to the area.

Kajiado NEMA Director Joseph Kopejo promised to visit the site to probe the matter.

Government officials say Many landlords in the country have been contravening these provisions by either discharging untreated effluent into a public sewer or discharging it into the environment without an effluent discharge license.

“According to Kenyan law, it is illegal for  any person from discharging any effluent from sewer treatment works, industry or other sources into the environment without a valid effluent discharge license issued by the authority,” said a NEMA official.

 


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Diaspora

VIDEO: Kenyans in Diaspora reject BBI report, referendum

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A lobby for Kenyans  in the diaspora is urging voters to reject the  Building Bridges Initiative report in the  referendum being championed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

According to Commonwealth Voter Privileges Right Association (COVPRA) the report is being imposed on Kenyans after the views of  certain groups and  elected leaders views were rejected..

Uhuru and Raila have rejected amendments to the final report saying those opposing it had time to give their views to the fourteen member committee they appointment.

 

The lobby avers that the recommendations in the final report do not represent the position of all Kenyans and a contested referendum would divide Kenyans.

“Kenyans should reject the BBI report. It is two man initiative that is being imposed on the people. The clergy have rejected it, several groups have rejected it. It’s not a Wanjiku Initiative. A few people and their surrogates want to change the Constitution for their personal gain,” Mr David Kimengere Waititu, the association’s Organising secretary told the Nation.

“It would have been  necessary to allow debate on all the issues that  arose in the final report  before coming  up with a bill. Kenyans are being taken for a ride,”  he said.

In June the group petitioned the committee  led by Garissa senator Yusuf Hajji to allow views from all dissenting voices saying all Kenyans should be allowed to participate.

“Freedom to Assembly, Freedom of expression and Freedom to political participation are so important in a  process like this one. It would be a sham  if the BBI Team was to ignore the views of some Kenyans. During the  meetings to sensitize the public on the initiative,” Kimengere said.

Leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto and civil society are opposed to some of the proposals in the final report.

The group says a contested referendum would leave the country divided.

“We do not want a process that would leave Kenyans more divided. Let all Kenyans reject this report in a referendum to save their country from a few people who think they own Kenya.  We in Covpra, have our motherland at heart,” he said.

 Covpra said that the future of Kenya lies in the hands of the hollo polloi and not it’s leaders.

“ We call upon the Kenyans poor not to buy to the schemes of the dynasties. Let us protect our country by rejecting this monster called BBI if it goes to the referendum.

The group said in a statement that Kenyans should reject plots by politician to engage in chaos.

“At the end, this might result to   a badly contested referendum and  create a poisoned society ahead of the 2022 general elections. Let’s refuse any incitement to violence and stand up against the dynasties to shape the future of Kenya,” he says.

In their June petition, the group cited the strained relations between the Executive and the Judiciary and the fall out in the ruling Jubilee party over the process as a matter of concern.

“Our position stands that there is no proposal  to fix the simmering tensions between the two arms of government and between the two leaders of the Executive,” Mr Kimengere stated.

-nation.co.ke


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