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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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Diaspora

DIASPORA HUSTLES: How a sofa I had taken from a dumpster in US earned me a date with a cop

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BY BOB MWITI

Life in America can be very humbling, especially when you are starting off.

After I graduated with my master’s degree here in America, I rented a studio apartment in one of the not-so-nice neighborhood in Philadelphia. During the day, I would help the caretaker with some cleaning of the common areas of the building and also in doing some repairs and paintwork. For that work, I would get something at the end of the week, enough to keep me going.

My studio abode was on the 5th floor of this old crammed building that sat next to a railway line. Down at the back side of the building lay the dumpster where all kind of “valuables” such as old TVs, music systems, mattresses, etc would be tossed…sometimes all the way from the top floor by the crazy residents.

During my cleaning duties, I would make sure that all of the mess around the dumpster was taken care of.

One day, during my usual duties, I found this unbelievably good used couch that I immediately thought would be a good addition to my studio which had nothing other than a mattress, no bed and only 2 pots and a plate!..My God of heaven & earth had answered my prayers!…and the Devil of poverty was on the cusp of defeat.🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

It was a gigantic couch and I urgently needed some help to take it all the way up to the 5th floor. I awkwardly reached out to a resident I had made friends with, and we went on a mission to take it all the way up!…with a promise of getting him a case of budlight beer! The trip up to the 5th floor took an eternity….we were all soaked in sweat.

Now, this is why they say the devil is a liar!!!.😂😂😂…What I didn’t know was that after all the hard work of pushing it all the way up, the stupid thing would never fit into my little door to my studio….😭😭😭😭….Tried endlessly until the guy gave up and left . I had no choice but to leave the damn thing on the hall way!!!..Well, the next day the caretaker and a cop were knocking on my door seeking an explanation as to why I was blocking the hallway!

Such is the life most of us immigrants go through when we first come to America.It’s not easy but with time things surely improve.

If you are out there wishing to come to USA to study or wishing to become a well paid IT consultant in America, head over to www.appstecamerica.com and check out my company’s amazing STUDY IN USA and IT TRAINING programs.

 

About me,

I am a former international student in USA and I am a senior IT consultant in the areas of Oracle EBS and Robotics Process Automation.I am the programs director of Appstec America – A consulting company based in Tampa, Florida,USA.

 

My contacts:

success@successwithbobmwiti.com

info@appstecamerica.com

+1 813-573-5619 ext 402

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Immigration News

US Publishes strict guidelines for immigrants who come in as Sheep/Goat Herders

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today published a policy memorandum (PM) that requires requests for temporary foreign workers for range sheep or goat herding or production be subject to the same requirements as other temporary agricultural workers.

USCIS is issuing this PM to ensure that H-2A nonimmigrant sheep/goat herders may only fill temporary and/or seasonal herder positions, and that petitioners filing petitions for permanent sheep/goat herders comply with the requirements applicable to permanent positions.

Under the PM, H-2A sheep/goat herder petitions will be subject to the same temporary or seasonal need analysis that applies to all other H-2A petitions, and petitions seeking to hire H-2A sheep/goat herders for 364-day back-to-back periods (or similarly lengthy, consecutive periods for the same job duties for a sheep/goat herder position) with no material or meaningful break between them will not be approved if the petitioner cannot prove it has a temporary or seasonal need for the workers. This PM will ensure that USCIS consistently applies H-2A regulations on temporariness and seasonality to H-2A sheep/goat herder petitions, and that the wages and working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers are not depressed by the employment of H-2A temporary workers.

This PM will assist in safeguarding the integrity of the H-2A program, which was intended for agricultural labor or services that are temporary or seasonal in nature. Adjudicating the temporariness and seasonality of H-2A sheep/goat herder petitions with the same criteria as other H-2A petitions will also support consistency and fairness while protecting the interests of U.S. workers (for example, their wages and job opportunities). The PM is not intended to alter current policy or practice for the adjudication of non-sheep herding or goat herding H-2A petitions, but to ensure that USCIS adjudicates all H-2A sheep/goat herder petitions on a case-by-case basis, considering the totality of the facts presented, and in the same manner as all other H-2A petitions, consistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and existing regulations.

Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will adjudicate any Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, filed by petitioners seeking H-2A sheep/goat herder positions in line with this PM. USCIS believes the future effective date allows H-2A petitioners to amend their practices, as necessary.

This PM is being issued in response to a lawsuit brought by worker advocates challenging USCIS adjudications of H-2A sheep herding and goat herding petitions and the D.C. Circuit’s order in that case. Hispanic Affairs Project v. Acosta, 901 F.3d 378, 386 (D.C. Cir. 2018). USCIS agrees with the order and interprets the D.C. Circuit Court’s opinion as indicating that consecutive, back-to-back 364-day approvals of H-2A sheep/goat herder petitions (or similarly lengthy, consecutive periods for the same job duties for a sheep/goat herder position) with no material or meaningful break between them would violate the INA and Department of Homeland Security regulations, absent a petitioner establishing that its need is in fact seasonal or temporary.

USCIS welcomes comments on the PM, the proposed effective date, potential cost savings or increases, impacts on filing practices, and other topics that are the focus of this PM via the Policy Memoranda for Comment page. USCIS will review and consider all comments received during the 30-day comment period from Nov. 14 to Dec. 14, 2019, and may subsequently publish a revised PM, as needed. The guidance contained in the PM will be controlling and will supersede any prior guidance regarding the determination of temporary or seasonal need for H-2A sheep and goat herder petitions.

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News

Rushed early morning burial angers family, residents

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There was drama in Magumu in Kinangop Nyandarua County after a family decided to bury a kin three days before the set burial date.

The hurried burial of 34-year-old Walter Makumi triggered protest from a section of family members and villagers who had settled for next Saturday as the burial day.

According to witnesses, the burial took place in the wee hours of Wednesday without the knowledge of his wife Jane WanjiruMakumi who worked as technician at Kihara Hospital in Kiambu died last week due to kidney complications and was set to be buried on November 16.

However, his brothers who had a burial permit managed to collect the body without the knowledge of the wife and buried it in their father’s farm in a hushed ceremony.

Following the incident, the emotional Wanjiru and her relatives trooped to the home, but they were kept at bay by their in-laws who termed them as ‘strangers.’According to Wanjiru, trouble started last week when the relatives on two occasions decided to shift the bodies from mortuaries without consulting her.

Tears rolling down her cheeks, she said that the move was meant to lock her from some property that her husband owned and his relatives wanted to take over.“We have been married for eight years and have two boys, but I have been locked out of the burial arrangements as they are after my husband properties,” she said.

Magumu Location Chief Ng’ang’a Njuguna said there was little they could do to stop the burial as the family had a legal burial permit

BY Standard

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