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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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Navigating through the Covid-19 Terrain and a Story of Exceptional Transformation at Optiven

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Navigating through the Covid-19 Terrain and a Story of Exceptional Transformation at Optiven

Optiven Group has continuously had all its eyes trained on its vision of economically and socially empowering and transforming the society.

This vision was however momentarily shaken by Covid-19, especially on the month of March 2020, when the first case was reported. Soon, all was not business as usual. The pandemic scared our staff and customers alike. With huge loans to pay, massive salary bills and many office rentals to cope with, everything seemed daunting. The worst was when we closed our offices and temporarily sent hundreds of staff home. That was extremely agonizing to bear.

As an entrepreneur, this was one of my worst periods ever. The headaches were not ceding ground and the only thing that was consoling was the power of prayers. It is during such times when the test of leadership comes to play.

Our most affected area of business was our sister venture entities in the name of restaurants. Indeed, we sent hundreds of staff home. We are now however thanking God that 85% of these staff are back and with a projection of bringing back the rest soon, as business starts coming back.

Importantly, soon after Covid-19 pandemic hit, Optiven Group was swift in adopting new strategies and quickly embracing appropriate technology to counter the new terrain. This is perhaps one of the reasons why the firm is still expanding, especially on the area of job creation and mentorship front.

It is largely courtesy of these strategies that despite the current pandemic, we have managed to launch enormous mentorship programs such as the George Wachiuri School of Mentorship and also engaged in encouraging SMEs that have really been struggling to stay afloat through our business mentorship sessions. Through the latter, we have continued to inspire over 7,000 active participants through George Wachiuri’s Facebook LIVE shows that are also available on my You Tube channel, this has continued to give hope to many.

Still, during this period, we have managed to create over 100 permanent jobs for both senior and middle level employees, plus over 200 casuals that daily work in our projects. This job increase is in line with our goal of creating over 30, 000 jobs by the year 2030.

On the real estate front, we really had to think away from the box and undertake a massive 360 degree transformation that was educated by thinking differently and changing how we used to do things before Covid-19.

Thanks to this, we have continued to provide our customers with even more offerings in terms of value additions to our projects. It is during this period of Covid-19 when we decided to put our efforts towards GoingGreen in most of our projects. Matter of fact, we have surprised our customers by further transforming our projects through installation of green energy, massive tree planting, and installation of water recycling systems, encouraging plot owners engage in farming of organic foods and subsequently feed their families from their previously idle plots. Significantly, we also changed from use of Kenya Power electricity in our projects to the use of solar energy on almost all amenities and by so doing, we have now managed to save millions of shillings in terms of KPLC bills. Most importantly, we are glad that we are now fully plugged on the green energy agenda.

All along, the company has continued to flourish through innovation, partnerships, massive philanthropy activities and even more importantly, a commitment to always entrust all our undertakings to God.

We are glad that we are consistently realizing our vision of being pacesetters in social economic transformation through opportunities such as job creation that have a positive multiplier effect on the society.

Guided by the same vision, we always dedicate 5% of what we make in business and channel it to the less fortunate through a registered foundation viz Optiven Foundation. We have hundreds of orphans whom we support to go through school. We also support the physically challenged to get free wheelchairs and support girls to access schools. The Foundation also cares for over 300 families and helps them to get food daily.

Indeed, we at Optiven exist to economically and socially empower and transform the society.

#ChangingLives
#EyesOnTheCommunity
#CreatingJobs
#GoingGreen
#HousingKenyans

Contact Optiven Group:0790 300 300
Email: admin@optiven.co.ke Website: www.optiven.co.ke George Wachiuri Blog: www.georgewachiuri.com
YouTube: https://bit.ly/2VdSuFJ


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Maradona dies at 60 following a heart attack

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Argentina legend Diego Maradona died on Wednesday at the he age of 60 following a heart attack. According to ESPN, Matias Morla, Maradona’s longtime agent, confirmed the news to of his demise.

He suffered a heart attack at his home in the outskirts of Buenos Aires on Wednesday, according to Argentine media as well as several acquaintances of the former player.

Maradona had recently battled health issues, even undergoing emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma several weeks ago.

Following his death, a statement from the Argentina Football Association read: “The Argentine Football Association, through its President Claudio Tapia, expresses its deepest pain at the death of our legend, Diego Armando Maradona. You’ll always be in our hearts.”

He was one of the most recognisable people in the world.

Maradona, who was born in 1960, captained Argentina to World Cup 1986 glory as well as reaching the final in 1990. At the height of his club career, at Napoli from 1984 to 1991, he helped the side win its only two Italian league titles. le people in the world.

According to ESPN, in 2004, he was hospitalised with severe heart and respiratory problems related to a long battle with drug addiction.

Major news agencies report that he had undergone two gastric bypass operations to control his weight and received treatment for alcohol abuse.

Maradona is survived by his wife, Veronica Ojeda, two daughters, two sons, and his former wife, Claudia Villafane.


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Health

Janet Mbugua shares her Covid-19 scare

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Media personality Janet Mbugua has shared the tale of the time she faced a scare as thought she had contracted Covid-19 last month.

In a video she shared on Instagram, the former Citizen tv news anchor said she experienced Covid-19 symptoms which escalated quite quickly.

The video shows her being taken through the nasal swab test for Covid-19, which is known to very uncomfortable.

Luckily, the result for the mother of two came back negative.

Janet Mbugua said that her scary experience motivated her to fight the fear and stigma related to Coronavirus, and will use her platform to advocate for a vaccine.

This comes as Covid-19 cases continue to rise sharply in Kenya amid a rush by various pharmaceutical companies globally to come up with an effective vaccine.

By NN


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