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Woman jailed for injecting toddler with HIV-infected blood acquitted

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High Court in Gulu, Uganda has overturned a ruling in which a woman was convicted and condemned to prison for injecting a baby with blood which was infected with HIV.

On July 6, this year, a lower court in Kitgum District presided over by Chief Magistrate Hussein Nasulu Ntalo sentenced Ms Sylvia Kyomuhangi, 32, to two years in jail for injecting a six-month old baby with blood infected with HIV and Aids.

In his ruling, Mr Ntalo said the evidence adduced by the seven witnesses that included a doctor who examined the toddler and tested the suspect, was enough to conclude that the accused committed the offense.

“The babysitter, the crime officers who visited the scene and many others, all testified against Kyomuhangi. Also, DNA blood samples taken from her at the government analytical lab in Kampala and the blood-stained clothes all indicated she was the actual offender,’’ the magistrate ruled.

After her conviction and sentencing, Ms Kyomuhangi’s lawyer Immaculate Owomugisha of UGANET (Uganda Aids Network) appealed the ruling at the High Court.

JAM-PACKED

Before a jam-packed courtroom on Thursday, Justice Stephen Mubiru of the High Court in Gulu, evaluated the evidence and ordered for the immediate release of Ms Kyomuhangi. The judge explained that the evidence availed was insufficient and weak to incriminate the suspect.

Justice Mubiru said that there was no sharp object recovered at the scene of crime and that there was no traces of blood to prove that the baby bled after the pricking.

“This case is based on a series of inference which seemed to support one another which makes it very hard to justify she (Ms Kyomuhangi) injected her blood into the baby. Her conviction is therefore, squashed and I order her to be set free,” Justice Mubiru ruled.

In his ruling, he also stated that the forensic tests showed that DNA traces found on the cloth she used to wrap the baby were hers but did not contain any blood.

“I could not find any connection between her piece of cloth and the blood said to have been injected into the baby because the swelling found on the baby could have been a mere rash,” he added.

Ms Kyomuhangi’s case is among the 66 criminal and civil cases Justice Mubiru is expected to rule on.

In her submission, Kyomuhangi’s lawyer Ms Owomugisha stated that setting her client free was a victory to the community of people living with HIV/AIDS since some of them are stigmatized.

“We commend court for restoring Ms Kyomuhangi’s dignity by setting her free because the case was full of assumptions,” the lawyer said.

The High Court in Gulu initially set Thursday August 15 to deliver a ruling on the appeal, but it was adjourned to August 29 after padlocks to the court cells failed to open.

BACKGROUND

Prosecution states that on December 26, at about 9pm, Ms Eunice Lakot, the victim’s mother, had left the child with a baby-sitter Ms Aneno, before Kyomuhangi carried him away to the bedroom as Ms Aneno watched. She had spent a night in the House as a visitor. She was to proceed to Kidepo national park the following day.

Kyomuhangi later returned the baby crying. When Ms Lakot examined her baby after the accused had left, she found he had small swelling in both armpits.

She took the baby to Kitgum Hospital where the doctors confirmed the swellings were as a result of an injection. The child was put on PEP (Post-exposure Prophylaxis), an antiretroviral medication that prevents infection after being exposed to HIV.

Ms Lakot reported the matter to Mr Ronald Okot, the village chairperson of Gangdyang Cell, before she recorded a statement at Kitgum Central Police Station.

 

By Nairobi News

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Kinuthia, shrewd lad who conned his way to Rwandan jail

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In his colourful LinkedIn profile, Charles Kinuthia, the Kenyan man who was this week convicted by a Kigali court of fleecing Rwandans, describes himself as an “accomplished and distinguished” chief executive officer of a “new national franchise company”, an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, leadership trainer, educator and mentor.

Kinuthia further says that he was recently honoured with a PhD in the humanities, without mentioning the awarding institution. Besides hopping from one job to another, he offers sketchy details on how he has made his great fortune. Asked about what he does specifically, Kinuthia has previously said that he owns a software company “and several other companies here and there that we run around the world”, without divulging details.

But even more spectacular is how, in 10 short years, Kinuthia transitioned from a jobless immigrant to a globe-trotting trainer, who gives talks to entrepreneurs on wealth fitness.

As though that were not incredible enough, he belongs to the same club as Jeff Balagna, CEO of Team Car Care, who owns retail, technology, hospitality and healthcare service companies, among other globally acclaimed entrepreneurs.

Kinuthia claims that one doesn’t have to have gone to school to be able to work the complex mathematics involved in accounting and tax business.

“You just need to get people who are smarter than you and have them do the job for you,” he told K24 TV two years ago.

 “I was born and raised in Kenya, and spent a significant part of my life in Australia,” his profile reads. Kinuthia also claims to have lived “temporarily” in Finland, where he won a full scholarship to the University of Helsinki to study for his Bachelor’s degree in business management.

The highlight of his high-flying career, according to the profile, is his company, One Stop Tax Services Inc, a “national income tax preparation franchise”, which he founded in 2006 after his relocation to Texas from Australia.

That’s not all. Kinuthia says he is the chairperson of Montgomery-based Lone Star College Business Management Advisory Board, which is “one of the largest and fastest growing community colleges in Texas”.

It’s not by accident that he employs superlatives and other catchy phrases to describe himself and his achievements. Kinuthia is as crafty as he is street-smart, which perhaps explains why he has been invited to many talk shows on TV locally and abroad.

His life, though, has not always been on the fast lane. Kinuthia and his siblings grew up in poverty in Nakuru County, with a jobless mother and an absentee father. He studied at Utumishi High School, where he performed dismally in the Form Four examination, following many days spent out of the classroom.

It is from these thin fortunes that his aggressiveness was nurtured, he says. Determined to advance his education, he applied for a scholarship at the University of Helsinki. Thankfully, he was invited for an interview.

Kinuthia passed his admission exam and got a placement. That was taken care of. But he would soon come face to face with the tough reality of being jobless in a foreign country and without anyone to turn to.

“I befriended a Ghanaian guy who allowed me to sleep on the floor of his living room for weeks as I looked for a job. I was lucky to be employed as a cleaner in restrooms at restaurants, bars and banks,” he narrated to a local TV station.

Before his return to Kenya in 2017, Kinuthia had spent 14 years outside the country as he sought to liberate his family out of poverty. Today, his entire family has relocated to the US, thanks to him. Ironically, Kinuthia was the black sheep of his family, which he has admitted on the record.

His pie started to crumble when he organised a highly publicised wealth conference in Kigali in May. Thousands of young Rwandans flocked the Kigali Convention Centre, lured by the Sh20,000 that was promised as an incentive for attending.

There was a twist though. The Sh20,000 that had been promised would not be in cash, as implied, but in terms of value for attendance.

Owing to the huge number of delegates, the police cancelled the event for security reasons. The participants sued the organisers for scamming them.

This week, a Kigali court found Kinuthia guilty of swindling Rwandans of money in fees (Sh500) for the event that never took place, sentencing him to two years in jail with a fine of Sh325,000.

His three accomplices — two Kenyan women and a Rwandan man — were, however, acquitted.

But is it practical to train people to be wealthy? Kinuthia believes it is.

“There is a lot of information out there, it’s what you do with the information that matters,” he told Citizen TV last year, noting, that most people are ‘‘not ready to pay the price to be successful.

On the legacy he wants to leave behind, Kinuthia hopes ‘‘to inspire, ignite and impact’’ people’s lives. For now though, that will be put on ice as he serves his jail term in Rwanda. His lawyer Evode Kayitana is petitioning the Kenyan government to intervene and rescue his client.

by nation.co.ke

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Fury after Uhuru’s NLC nominee Esther Murugi reveals she’s worth Sh400m

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A National Land Commission (NLC) nominee has found herself in the hot seat after she revealed her worth during vetting by Members of Parliament.

Former Nyeri Member of Parliament Esther Murugi was left to bear the wrath of broke and jobless graduates after saying that she is worth close to Sh400 million.

In addition to that, she said that she will be the ideal candidate for the job because she has 10 years’ experience in real estate and has also been a member of the committee when she was an MP.

Ms Murugi has been nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a member of the land commission.

“I am worth close to KSh400M. I am a UoN graduate. I have over 10 years’ experience in real estate; currently a director of a real estate company. I have been a member of this committee when I was MP. I served the people of Nyeri for two terms,” said Ms Murugi.

WEALTHY PERSON

Kenyans on Twitter could not understand how a wealthy person like her would compete for a job when there are hundreds of unemployed graduates who could benefit from the opportunity.

“Then go and eat your 400 million in peace,” retorted @HonOngoya.

“A millionaire looking for a job but a broke graduate should be an entrepreneur,” wrote @sammykg.

“Kenya for us…young people should be given opportunity to serve in this top jobs!” commented @Njerikirichu.

“Trying to understand. These people tell fresh graduates who have no experience or capital to not rely on employment and forge their own paths. Then the people worth hundreds of millions and experience get the jobs. Mental gymnastics should be an Olympic sport because phew,” tweeted @NotionDaily.

GRANDCHILDREN

“Cucu, with 400M worth, surely you shouldn’t you be thinking of creating job opportunities for your children and grandchildren, not chasing after a government job?” asked @muchindo1.

“She at least has had time to serve the country, she shouldn’t be given the chance again,” stated @bulima_lydia.

“What did she say? Worth how much? Na bado anataka kazi!!!! Kueni serious!!” replied @OchicargoValdez.

“Why do you need this job instead of retiring peacefully? I doubt you have extra ordinary knowledge and skills to make you get employed at this age. The greatest undoing in our political class is recycling, recycling, recycling, recycling,” said @Kimotho05.

The NLC vetting of the nominees by the National Assembly started on September 19, 2019. The nine commissioners to pass the selection will serve for a non-renewable, six-year term. The tenure of the pioneer commissioners under the new constitution ended in February this year.

By Nairobi News

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Sports CS Amina fires up Kipchoge ahead of historic run

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Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed Saturday visited world marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge at his training camp in Kaptagat.

This comes barely a week after the Kipchoge received blessings from Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei ahead of his sub two-hour run in Vienna, Austria next month.

Kipchoge, who has been training under the Global Sorts Communication stable at Kaptagat in Elgeyo Marakwet, is on a mission next month where he will be attempting to break the 1:59 mark in a project dubbed “INEOS 1:59 Challenge”.

Amina arrived at the camp with few officials from her office and was ushered in by Kipchoge’s head coach Patrick Sang and his assistant Richard Metto.

She was taken round the small camp where tens of athletes reside and visited the library where there is a portrait of Sandy Bodecker with his writings “I’m a dreamer…and I work with dreamers in an environment that encourages innovation and challenges norms daily,.”

“When I was told Kipchoge wakes up at 4 am to start training, I also decided to take an early flight to be in the camp on time to offer my support to Kipchoge as he finalizes his training towards the ‘INEOS 1:59 Challenge’ next month. I am his fan and I like how he has been winning races. I was in London in April and I saw him win after a tough battle with the Ethiopians which showed how he is focused on making Kenya proud,” said Amina who also hinted President Uhuru Kenyatta will flag off Kipchoge when he leaves for the daring attempt.

“President Uhuru Kenyatta is aware I am in Kaptagat and I want to convey his message that he is wishing him well ahead of the tough challenge,” she added.

Amina also promised to work on the track at the camp which athletes have been using for training but is in poor condition.

Kipchoge on his part said that he has a great team and he believes they are going to achieve their target next month.

“I’m focused and I’m almost done with preparations and for the race. I know we are going to achieve what we are going there to do. I have a great team that is behind me and I know we shall come back home smiling after raising the bar. I want to thank the CS who has taken time to visit the camp and see where we train,” said Kipchoge.

Kipchoge later handed the CS a 43-page booklet containing details of his journey towards setting the new marathon record of 2:01:39 in Berlin Marathon last year.

Concerning the stalled sports facilities, the CS said that she did a series of meetings last week with various contractors and they will be resuming work soon.

“We have held talks with various contractors and they have agreed to get back to work and finish the stalled projects. We need to make sure the champions have better facilities to use during their preparations ahead of global events and that is why we want to complete stalled projects,” said Amina.

Amina also urged athletes going to the World Championships slated for September 27 to October 6 in Doha, Qatar to improve on the medal haul from the past edition held in London.

by nation.co.ke

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