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Man returns 51 years after abandoning family

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An 81-year old man has returned home after disappearing for 51 years, thanks to the ongoing Mau Forest evictions.

Mr Francis Muthua Chege left his home in Ikumbi village of Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, in 1968 when he was 30 years old.

He did not inform his wife and six children where he was going, leaving them with the agony of finding him.

The man’s Wife Wanjiru Muthua said she had to look after the children alone while looking for him and checking with her in-laws.

Mrs Muthua said she once met him in Kisii town but that when she returned, she was told he relocated to an unknown place.

She said she gave up the search for her husband, who was to provide for and educate the children, but hoped he would return one day.

“My only option was to leave his whereabouts to God, pray for his protection and hope that one day he would show up. I had to do that so as to concentrate on looking after our children and ensuring they went to school,” she said in an interview on Monday. “He was only 30 when he left.”

Francis Muthua Chege’s is pictured with his wife Wanjiru following his return to his home at Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Francis Muthua Chege’s is pictured with his wife Wanjiru following his return to his home at Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Muthua narrated to his family and the entire village that he went to Kisii, Narok and Kilgoris towns where he tried his hand in business but was unsuccessful.

He later turned to the business of burning charcoal in Mau Forest, settled and even got married but the union did not last long due to his drinking habits.

“I would burn charcoal and spend all the proceeds on alcohol. My second wife and my son could not tolerate my habits so she called it off. I lived a miserable life and felt the shame of going back home with nothing,” he said.

He also said he had no option but to return home as the government started the fresh eviction of settlers from Mau Forest in the bid to save it from further decline.

Mr Muthua went to Kilgoris Police Station and pleaded with the officers to give him bus fare to return to his natives.

He remembered the village but not exactly where his home was. Upon reaching Ikumbi shopping center, tired, hopeless and confused, he slept by the road.

Villager Monicah Gathoni spotted him near Ikumbi Primary school and thought he was hungry.

She approached him but he did not speak.

“He was worn out, sick and seeking mercy. He told me he was trying to locate his home after leaving for many years. After describing his home, I paid a boda boda rider to take him there.”

Residents of Ikumbi village in Kigumo Constituency, Murang’a County, celebrate Francis Muthua Chege’s return to his wife and six children after 51 years, September 16, 2019. PHOTO | NDUNGU GACHANE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Muthua’s children, now much older and running their own businesses, arranged to go home when they heard of their father’s return.

Neighbours gathered in large numbers to ascertain that a man who left while a youth had returned.

The family and the village slaughtered goats and organised a feast to welcome Mr Muthua and gives thanks for the reunion.

One of his sons, a secondary school teacher in Ndaragwa, Nyandarua County, said he was too shocked by the news to keep away.

He said he needed to see his father “for the first time” since he left when he was too young to understand or remember.

BY nation.co.ke

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Diaspora

Wanuri Kahiu lands in Hollywood to direct ‘The Black Kids’ adaptation

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Wanuri Kahiu, Award-winning Kenyan director -famed for her controversial, locally produced ‘Rafiki’ film – has been picked to direct an upcoming movie in the United States based on the novel The Black Kids.

She revealed the news on social media sharing her excitement for the major, upcoming task.

“New project alert: Excited to be working with Gotham on this,” she tweeted.

The producer cum author previous film, Rafiki was prohibited in Kenya before it premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, where it was the first Kenyan film to be selected.

None the less Wanuri has been getting massive support in the US. In her quests, Wanuri will also get to direct Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown in The Thing About Jellyfish for Made Up Stories, and adapting Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed for Juvee Productions and Amazon.

“The worst advice I received was to play it safe, agree with the voices of dissent, and be smaller. This has often been repeated to me by my friends and family since the creation of ‘Rafiki,’” Kahiu said, adding that; “The best advice I received was that people want to work with good people, so it helps not only to excel at your craft, but to be kind, joyful, and generous of spirit.”

 

 

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Kenya airways to continue with flights to China despite Coronavirus scare

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Kenya Airways says it will continue with its flights to China despite the outbreak of deadly coronavirus that has so far killed at least 130 people.

The statement was issued on Wednesday by KQ acting CEO Allan Kilavuka. They said they are implementing all measures and monitoring the situation before taking any steps.

“Cancellation of the flights is on the table but we are monitoring and we will take the action as soon as there’s imminent danger,” Kilavuka said.

“We are monitoring this on a very regular basis, as frequently as every hour. We will make a decision in collaboration with the government on if and when we should suspend the flight.”

He further added that they are keen on precautionary measures to ensure that only those cleared by Chinese health officials can travel. KQ flies the Nairobi-Guangzhou route thrice a week.

“This is very important to us, not just for the China route but an entire network. It is a global issue and airlines are looking at it very seriously.”

“We have taken precautionary measures right from boarding to ensure that we do not allow on board anyone who hasn’t been cleared by the port health bureau of China. So, anyone from Wuhan city in China will not be allowed on our flights,” Kilavuka said.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to China Sarah Serem on Wednesday requested Kenya Airways to suspend its flights to the country till the virus is controlled. She ruled out the airlifting of Kenyans from China.

 

 

 

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Business

Petitioners in court to stop building of ksh65 billion JKIA-Westlands expressway

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Two Nairobi residents presented a petition in court on Tuesday wanting to block a planned construction of a multi-billion-shilling expressway from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to Westlands.

Rhoda Aoko and Henry Shitanda, the two petitioners, stated there was no public participation as required by the law terming the project as illegal.

“The project as it stands is founded on illegality and contravenes the fundamental principles and national values of the constitution of Kenya of transparency, openness, the involvement of the people and public participation,” reads court papers.

They further explain that everything on the project from the design negotiations, structures, and planning of the highway were not shared in an open manner and there was no public participation.

Aoko and Shitanda have accused the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) of not responding to their letter dated November 21st, 2019.

The two say the agency ignored their letter where they were requesting KeNHA to conduct public participation and get people’s views on the plans.

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