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Father: KDF used, dumped my son

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He had it all— his dream military job, a wife and children, a supportive family and generally, self-sufficiency, which was only a subject of envy to his peers.

Then his employer, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), sent him on a peace and restoration mission in Somalia under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Yet, Second Lieutenant John Njoroge’s own life has never experienced peace since he returned from the war-torn county last year.

He developed a mental condition, lost his job, his wife left with their child, and is now forcefully confined at home.

To his family, Njoroge who was once the pillar, has turned violent, profane, abusive, arrogant.

Once, he stabbed his own brother and now his mother says it is “risky to be around him”.

His father, Peter Mwangi, said his son always showed commitment and dedication in his work and was never late to attended to him, his mother, wife and siblings.

“We always came first in his plans, and a few months after his commissioning, he built us a house. He was our source of hope, great expectations and he supported us financially whenever we called on him. That changed,” narrated the frustrated Mwangi.

Joyce Wangari Mwangi, the mother of John Njoroge. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The battle on second lieutenant’s mind started with the battle of Kulbiyow.

He was among the 250 Kenyan and Somali soldiers who were stationed at the base that was attacked by Al-Shabaab on January 27, 2017.

That night, Al-Shabaab forces moved into the Amison base around midnight.

The soldiers at the base responded by firing mortars and artillery at the militants in a bombardment that lasted 50 minutes and the commanders believed that they had repulsed the attackers.

Twenty minutes later though, an explosive-laden truck that was driven by an Al-Shabaab suicide bomber into the base burst into flames.

A brutal and confusing gunfight began and a second car bomb was activated by the militants, then a third one.

The battle lasted for close to an hour and left tens of soldiers dead.

Al-Shabaab was quick to claim responsibility and claimed that it had killed 67 soldiers in total.

Some soldiers were lucky to survive and one of them was 2Lieut Njoroge.

The aftermath of the battle, Second Lieut Njoroge’s family claims, was a disturbed son.

Second Lieutenant John Njoroge. PHOTO | COURTESY

They believe their son could not handle the traumatic event and needed the support of his employer and his family.

They believe that their son was mistaken when he needed help and then fired.

The red flag was raised during the 2017 elections, when Njoroge arrived at their home in Njoro, clad in ceremonial attire. His parents say, that is the day they started questioning the soundness of their second born child’s mind.

“We noticed a change in his character when he returned. He narrated the Kulbiyow ordeal with bitterness, horror, disgust and fear. Then slowly, he became an alcoholic,” his mother Joyce Wangare said adding that by then, he was attached to the 20th Parachute Battalion based at the Kenyatta Barracks in Gilgil.

“He badly fought everyone who came near him and I was not spared too. His father, would be his most target until we all got worried.”

Second Lieut Njoroge’s Vehicle— a Subaru—is being held at Ronda Police Post and the police say they can only release it after proof of ownership and upon payment of Sh7,000 being charges for breakdown services.

The police said they found the vehicle dumped along the road late last year in Kaptembwa after Njoroge abandoned it, with all doors closed.

The family believes their son acted that way because of his depression tendencies.

In a letter addressed to KDF Para 20 dated March 30, the family desperately asked the forces to help their son to undergo treatment, claiming that the change in behaviour pointed at a man in need of help.

In the letter, Njoroge’s relatives also questioned why even after reporting the concerns to KDF in 2018, he was transferred to Nairobi instead of being helped to seek counselling and treatment for what they suspected to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

His family alleged that the Kenya Defence Forces had initially promised to take him to Defence Forces Memorial Hospital.

“He went to Nairobi without a phone and a friend of his who is a police officer is the one who called us to tell us that our son was loitering in the streets of Nairobi. He said Njoroge was spotted wearing one shoe. We sent him fare and he travelled home in Nakuru,” the letter reads in part.

When he arrived, the letter went on, is when the manifestation of the strange behaviour was noticed.

After stabbing his brother twice, poured hot cooking oil on his sister, threatening to hack his father and constantly threatening to eliminate his wife, his wife sought refuge at the Njoro Police Station from where, her parents later fetched her and their child.

Njoroge’s father says that his son has since wrecked down their house window glasses and that the family has made constant reports to the police station in Njoro and also to the military.

When no help came, Mr Mwangi says, the family placed the family land on sale and now, its title deed is in the hands of loan lenders in Nakuru town.

The Military Science degree holder was commissioned as an officer at the Kenya Military Academy, Lanet, in 2014, after he scored an A- in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.

Mr Mwangi told the Nation that his son always showed commitment and dedication in his work and wondered why the KDF has not helped him when he needs them the most.

“We are at loss. This is someone who valued his family,” distraught Mwangi said.

Njoroge’s siblings Moses Mbaki and Lucy Nyambura said plans for them to continue with their studies suddenly came to a halt after their brother’s fate twisted.

Mbaki, Njoroge’s last-born brother, told the Nation that despite completing his high school studies last year, he couldn’t proceed since all the focus was shifted to his elder brother’s treatment.

Lucy said her brother was always helpful and quick to respond to distress calls.

“My prayer is that he gets well soon,” she said.

The ordeal puts KDF on the spot over how the Kenyan military treats their soldiers after they are affected by traumatic events after onslaughts in peace missions.

The Nation’s efforts get a comment from KDF communication office have not been successful.

KDF Spokesperson Colonel Paul Njuguna said is need for a face-to-face discussion on the issue.

by nation.co.ke

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Health

Man in 46-day isolation freed, then slapped with new charge

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When Kelvin Aura heard that he would be held in a police cell after being discharged from a Homa Bay Covid-19 treatment centre, he was disillusioned.

Aura , who was discharged on Saturday, had spent 46 days in an isolation ward, and could not understand the turn of events.

The 27-year-old is the driver who ferried eight mourners with an empty coffin to attend a burial at Kadede village, Kamser Seka Sub-location, Rambira Location in Rachuonyo North Sub-county in April.

Since then, he has been isolated at Malela Covid-19 treatment centre in Ndhiwa Sub-county. When Aura was released at about 11.30am, he knew he would go for a 14-day self-quarantine in his Nairobi home as instructed by medical personnel. His second tribulation began when he arrived at Kendu Bay Police Station to pick his vehicle.

The vehicle had been moved to the police station when he was in quarantine at Homa Bay Kenya Medical Training College in April. Aura said while at the police station he was told he would be charged for giving false information.

“I fainted after realising I was being held instead of going for self-quarantine in my house for 14 days as medics had instructed me. It is then that I was released to go to the home where I had ferried the mourners,” Aura said.

Directorate of criminal investigations

He was released and instructed to report to the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Nairobi on Tuesday (today). Armed with the appropriate documentation from health officials, the youth was allowed to travel to Nairobi. “I do not know why I am being charged. I only expected to be in self-quarantine,” he said.

Aura, a resident of Mumias in Kakamega County lives in Nairobi where he works as a driver for a transport firm. He decried financial challenges orchestrated by his isolation. “I have not paid two months house rent of Sh30,000. I have only Sh2,500. That is why I am appealing to lawyers and human rights organisations to rescue me,” Aura said.

At the treatment centre, life became unbearable for him due to solitude. His being asymptomatic made him deny that he was coronavirus positive. Aura objected his condition by recording a video which went viral, saying he was not sick.Instead, he appealed to the government to release him from the centre.

“I had no signs of illness yet health professionals were telling me that I was coronavirus positive. I was lonely and desperate,” Aura said.

The denial forced county health officials to counsel him. “They counselled me until I accepted that I was Covid-19 positive. Today, I thank God that I am negative and I am out of the treatment centre,” Aura said. He said the medics treated him well. “They fed me well and gave me drugs. Anything I required they provided for,” he said.

County Health Executive Richard Muga said Aura’s sixth and seventh tests proved he is coronavirus negative. “His first five tests showed he was emitting the virus. The latest tests show he has recovered,” Prof Muga said. Rachuonyo North Sub-county Police Commander Sarah Chumo said she was making inquiry on Aura’s detention at Kendu Bay Police Station.

By Standard.co.ke

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News

Uhuru: Why it can’t wait any longer

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President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday signalled the urgency for Constitutional change and necessity for a new political mindset.

In a passionate pitch made at State House Nairobi during the Madaraka Day celebrations, the President left every impression that he is determined to preside over far-reaching constitutional amendments that will “secure the country’s growth and development”. Previously, Opposition leader Raila Odinga has been the avowed champion of constitutional change.

Conversely, Deputy President William Ruto has been blowing hot and cold with regard to the changes, believing they would cloud an already clear succession path. Both Ruto and Raila were at the State House event.

The past one month has been characterised by ceaseless pounding of the DP’s political edifice and the routing out of his allies.

“A Constitution is not an end in itself; it is a means to a greater end. It is a living document. And if certain elements of the Constitution outlive their historical purposes, they become a cancer. They must be removed or they will infect the good elements of the mother law,” said Uhuru.

Time for change

According to the President, the time for the change is now. He reminded the country of past constitutional changes in 1991 and 2008.

“I am already discerning a constitutional moment. Not a moment to replace the 2010 Constitution, but one to improve on it. A moment that will right what we got wrong in 2010,” he said.

Of the 1991 repeal of Section 2(a) reintroducing multiparty, President Kenyatta said the section had outlived its historical purposes and morphed into “political cancer.”

The 2008 National Accord and Reconciliation Act changes, he said, happened out of historical necessity. In 2008, Raila became the country’s second Prime Minister after Mzee Jomo Kenyatta who transformed into President and Head of State a year after independence. “If the political architecture provided by a Constitution cannot support the growth and progress of a nation, that Constitution becomes cancer to the body politick,” said President Uhuru.

Quoting Kenya’s founding fathers, Mzee Kenyatta, Jaramogi Odinga and Tom Mboya, he said a good Constitution must be responsive to the aspirations of a nation and be a means to a greater end. “Having been involved in the Lancaster constitution-making process in the 1960s, Mboya cautioned the nation against constitutional rigidity,” he said.

At the base of these changes, however, the nation must obtain the right mindset and re-imagine itself, he said. Although the constitutional change is at the core of this re-imagination, a change in civic culture will crown and firm it up.

New kind of leadership

We cannot re-imagine our nationhood without changing our political architecture. And we cannot change this architecture without re-engineering our Constitution,” he said.

Quoting a sermon by Cannon Donaldson of Westminster Abbey, the President bemoaned the difficulties of policing a political culture beset with skulduggery where politics is defined by “Wealth without Work; Pleasure without Conscience; Knowledge without Morality and Worship without Sacrifice”.

He complained of a leadership keen on taking shortcuts, devoid of integrity and lacking in national duty and devotion.

“We need political leaders totally committed to promoting not self, but what will transform lives of our people in line with what our founding fathers yearned for. Indeed, as Martin Luther King Jr said: ‘We need political leaders not in love with money, but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity, but in love with humanity’,” he said.

By The Standard

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Entertainment

Comedian Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o has given fans a glimpse at his luxurious Nairobi mansion. “I got a chance to come home much earlier today, it’s looking good

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Comedian Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o has given fans a glimpse at his luxurious Nairobi mansion.

Through a series of instagram stories video, Jalang’o, who’s also a radio host at Milele FM offered a glimpse at his affluent home.

The comedian started by showing his sizeable compound complete with a beautiful garden and a small farm.

“I got a chance to come home much earlier today, it’s looking good,” he is heard narrating in the background.

As he pans the camera, a one-story mansion is seen in the background, neighboured by an equally majestic mansion.

The comedian’s affluent home.

Side hustle

Jalang’o also took the chance to introduce his side hustle.

“I am hustler like that,” said Jalas before showing over 40 crates.

“I know most of you didn’t know that I sell eggs. If you need eggs, let me know; I’ll supply as many crates as you want.”

By SDE

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