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Ethiopia plane tragedy: Relief for kin as bodies are identified



The families of the 32 Kenyans who perished in the Ethiopian Airlines’ plane crash earlier this year are finally hopeful of closure after a global policing body said all the victims have been identified.

The International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol) announced on Thursday it had positively identified all the 149 passengers and eight crew who died in the crash.

The announcement comes as a relief for families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones, without being able to see their remains.

Some 32 Kenyans, nine Ethiopians, six Egyptians and one Djiboutian were among those killed. A Somali, a Ugandan and a Rwandese were also among the 35 on board.

Flight ET302 crashed in one of Ethiopian Airlines’ deadliest accidents in modern times on March 10 minutes into its journey to Nairobi.

The Boeing 737 Max went down near the town of Bishoftu in Ethiopia, with preliminary investigations pointing a finger at problems with the aircraft flight control system, known as MCAS.

But, even as the affected families sued Boeing, the manufacturer of the aeroplane, the key concern had been whether the victims of the accident could be identified.

Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock said the organisation had to rely on accurate DNA sampling from close blood relatives of the victims to make correct identification, which took the group six months.

READ ALSO:   Anchor Dan Mwangi apologizes for 'rude gestures' on Ethiopia crash

“In the wake of such a tragedy, accurate identification of victims is of immense importance to bereaved families,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“International cooperation and coordination is vital to these efforts, and this is where Interpol’s extensive experience in Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) provides significant added value to member countries when faced with a major disaster,” concluded Mr Stock.

Moments after the accident, Interpol deployed the Incident Response Team (IRT) and worked with “nearly 100 DVI experts from 14 countries in Africa, the Americas and Europe during its 50-day mission”.

The team supervised the identification efforts to ensure compliance with global standards, the group said.

The crash also claimed victims from Canada, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Mozambique, China, Italy, France, Germany, Slovakia, Russia, Sweden, Austria and Poland. Others came from Ireland and Norway.

At the same time, a Nakuru man who lost five members of his family in the ill-fated plane is set to testify in a compensation case filed against Boeing.

Mr Quindos Karanja, 61, from Kwa Amos in Bahati, Nakuru County, said he was preparing to travel to the United States where hearing of the case will take place early next month.

“I just got a confirmation from the law firm that is representing me that I should get ready to travel ahead of the hearing date in October,” Mr Karanja told the Nation on Thursday.

READ ALSO:   How technology may have brought down Ethiopian Airways jet


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Mwende Macharia speaks of her challenges as she launches YouTube channel



Showbiz presenter Mwende Macharia says being in the showbiz industry for 11 years now has come with many challenges most of which she has used to scale her way up to the top.

“The reason why I have launched my own YouTube channel, EMM Online TV, is because I want to share all the experience I have earned throughout the years fully as I help to make the industry grow,” the Radio Maisha host told Standard E&L as she officially launched the channel.

“There is so much that we can do as an industry. There is still so much to exhaust. It is still strange that Tanzania has more people engaged in YouTube showbiz TV channels than we have in a more advanced Kenya. It has been 11 years of making my brand and I want to borrow from all I have learned across the years to better the industry,” she said.


READ ALSO:   NARROW ESCAPE: Greek man arrived two minutes late for the flight, escaped death in Ethiopia crash
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Ida: Baba will be back home soon



Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga is expected back in the country soon after undergoing surgery in Dubai recently, said his wife Ida Odinga.

Speaking at Jaramogi Odinga Foundation offices in Nairobi yesterday when she received food and sanitisers for distribution to vulnerable members of the society in Nairobi’s 17 constituencies, Mrs Odinga said Raila underwent a successful surgery and would be back in the country to continue with his work.

“Baba will be home soon. He is recuperating well and he will be back to join his people,” she said.

She thanked well-wishers who donated food, masks and sanitisers to be provided to people, mainly women, who had been hard hit by coronavirus outbreak.

“Majority of them are women who lost their jobs after restaurants they were working in – and several companies in Industrial Area – were shut down. This will be a relief to them,” she said. She called on well-wishers to help the needy in society during this difficult period of coronavirus pandemic.

Her calls were echoed by Makadara MP George Aladwa who attended the brief ceremony.

READ ALSO:   Anchor Dan Mwangi apologizes for 'rude gestures' on Ethiopia crash
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VIDEO: Kenyan social media star Alvan Gatitu kicked out of his house by landlord



Kenyan internet star Alvan Gatitu was forced to sleep in the cold on Saturday night, July 4, after being locked out by his landlord.

Alvan said that he had fallen behind on his rent for a couple of months due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on his job.

The former Tusker Project Fame contestant took to his Facebook page at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, to narrate how he came home only to find the gate locked, with calls to both his landlord and estate custodian going unanswered.

“My last resort is right here where I found a place to sleep. I thought that this friend of mine could help me but as soon as I got to her gate, she told the security guards not to let me in. I then explained my situation to the guards who laid out a carton for me in their storeroom and gave me a duvet as well,” he explained in disbelief.


He had tried to reach out to his friends to accommodate him but none was in a position to, “they also have their own problems,” be stated.

Luckily, his call to his church was answered and they were able to send him Ksh2,000 to find a place to rest for the night, however, after the lady friend he mentioned agreed that he could come over, he took a boda boda that charged him Ksh1,000 as it was past curfew hours.

READ ALSO:   8 Kenyan families to sue Boeing over Ethiopian Airlines crash

Alvan made it clear in the video that he was sharing his Covid-19 story so as to encourage anyone in a similar situation that it was okay to fall.

“There is a day that comes when you can’t put 2 and 2 together and even your friends will fail you, even the brightest fail at times. This is a message to everyone out there, I am here to remove the whole celebrity facade by keeping it real,” he asserted

The singer and content creator even cracked a few jokes in between his narration, stating that he was feeling ‘vulnerable’ alluding to one of his Tik Tok videos that went viral.

He went on to reveal that he was waiting for sunrise so that he could find a place to have some tea and contemplate his next move.

Alvan’s video has since gone viral and sparked a conversation on social media platforms, with hundreds of Kenyans reaching out to lend him a hand.

The majority of the responders lauded his strength stating that not many would have the courage to come clean on financial problems, especially personalities well known in the public domain.

The TPF star’s story revived a previous recording by comedian Eric Omondi who revealed that most upcoming ‘celebrities’ were living in depression while trying to maintain an illusion of non-existent success.

READ ALSO:   How technology may have brought down Ethiopian Airways jet

Speaking during a show Radio Milele, in November 2019, Omondi opened up on the troubled life of the late Churchill show comedian Njenga Mswahili.

He went on to lament on how Mswahili had been crying out for help in his battle with depression for over three years but no one came to his aid.

“I also blame myself for assuming he will be alright especially due to the natural habit of assuming men can battle themselves out of any situation,” Omondi regretted.

He further added that individuals in the public limelight battled serious depression on their own, in fear of judgment and that having a mentor to help one navigate the murky water of life on the fast lane could be the difference between life and death.

Watch Alvan’s sad story below:

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