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Policeman trades his gun for chalk to quench pupils’ thirst

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When teachers at a local school in conflict-prone Forole town on the Kenya-Ethiopia border failed to show up due to insecurity, a police officer decided to switch from a rifle to chalk.

Police Constable Jairus Mulumia had been posted to Forole Primary School to protect the institution.

IDLE PUPILS

However, while on his routine duties at the institution last week, he noted that some teachers were missing, owing to insecurity. Eleven people had earlier been killed by suspected Ethiopian militia.

Constable Mulumia noticed that Grade Five pupils were idle and decided to act — he went to the class to teach mathematics.

A photo of the police officer in his combat uniform solving Math problems on the board went viral on social media on Monday night.

Pupils are seen keenly following the lesson. Interestingly, only girls were in class the day the photo was taken.

Mr Mulumia, who is also a trained teacher, is reluctant to comment about the incident, noting that he is not authorised to speak to the media.

When contacted by the Nation, Mr Mulumia said his position does not permit him to speak to journalists unless granted a go ahead by his bosses.

VIRAL PHOTO

He, however, said he is unaware that his photo has gone viral.

“It is something that just happened spontaneously. I did not even know my photo was trending online because the people who took it only said they were documenting about education in the region. Once I have authorisation from my bosses, I will be able to give you further details,’’ Constable Mulumia said.

Although police officers are usually demonised as corrupt and trigger-happy, the soft-spoken Mulumia has been receiving accolades from Kenyans and even his bosses, who say the move is a reflection of the ongoing police reforms.

Constable Jairus Mulumia, a police officer based in Forole at the border of Kenya and Ethiopia, teaches Mathematics to Grade Five pupils at Forole Primary School in Marsabit County. PHOTO | POOL | NMG

Constable Jairus Mulumia, a police officer based in Forole at the border of Kenya and Ethiopia, teaches Mathematics to Grade Five pupils at Forole Primary School in Marsabit County. PHOTO | POOL | NMG

“Our job is to give service to the people and we are very proud and happy when we see our officers going out of their way to serve humanity,” Eastern Regional Police Commander Eunice Kihiko told the Nation.

Marsabit Police Commander Steve Oloo commended the officer for using his professional training to fill the gap left by teachers.

“We have many police officers who are vastly experienced in various areas. The incident also shows that the officers are providing enough security in the area, even to pupils and teachers,” said Mr Oloo.

WAVE OF ATTACKS

PC Mulumia lives up to the adage that once a teacher always a teacher. The Nation has since learnt that this was not his first time teaching at the school.

He has been taking up lessons where teachers fail to report to duty to ensure that pupils do not miss out on their education.

Mr Mulumia spends his free time teaching Mathematics to Grade Five pupils at the school.

Forole town has been hit by a wave of attacks by militia from Ethiopia. More than 20 residents were killed following the May 11 and August 24 attacks.

Over 120 children have also quit school and the boarding section closed over fears of more attacks.

Mr Oloo, however, insists the area is secure. “The pupils showed up in class because they felt safe with the presence of our officers so we do not understand why the teachers don’t come to work,” the police boss said.

By Nairobi News

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Turkana dancing shrine where the wayward turned into stones

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Some 30km on the north-west outskirts of Lodwar town, enroute to Lake Turkana, is Kalokol shrine.

The shrine, also referred to as Namorutunga by the locals, is believed to be home to the ancestors of the Turkana community, who lived over 4,000 years ago.

The Namorutunga shrine is considered one the greatest Turkana heritage sites and sacred place, and folklore has it that the ancestors were joined by their earthly god for a renowned traditional dance, Edong’a, which is performed at nightfall to celebrate their economic gains.

Elderly members of the community, both male and female, take part in the dance, which includes admiring their fattened bulls.

They also have to follow stern instructions from the lead dancer, lest a curse befalls them.

Among the instructions is caution against mocking the earthly god, including his dressing code and dancing style.

But in one of the dances at Namorutunga, the villagers are said to have defied the orders and ridiculed their god, with some of them fouling the air while he danced and they were turned into stones.

The smooth stones are in different positions; some standing, others believed to be running away and some lying on their bellies or squatting.

“These are our frozen ancestors who were transformed into stones after they ridiculed our god as he danced,” said Mr Titus Ekiru, a culture expert in Turkana County.

The stones evoke images of ancestors up to date and there are plans by the county government to market the site as a Turkana cultural and historical site and tourist destination.

“Whoever visits the site is expected to place four stones on top of the frozen ancestors to appease them and whoever takes away the smooth stones invites a curse,” Mr Ekiru said.

But the historical and cultural site is facing a threat from individuals who have been assembling the stones for building and construction purposes.

“This shrine forms our rich heritage and measures need to be put in place to protect the stones from being taken away by individuals who consider them a source of income,” said Mr Eroo Lotokoromoe, an elder at Namoturunga village.

According to the elder, the Turkana used to erect large stones in which they buried their dead but culture has since changed and they now bury their loved ones in coffins.

“The increased demand for stones for construction purposes is proving to be a major threat to the survival of this shrine and the current generation should sensitised on its values,” said Mr Lotokoromoe.

Lodwar town and its environs are experiencing rapid transformation with the mushrooming of high-rise buildings, whose building material are sourced from the Turkana basin, including Namorutunga village.

by nation.co.ke

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Police retrieve bodies of five pupils

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The bodies of five children who drowned in Murang’a County at the weekend have been retrieved. Two of them drowned in Kandara on Saturday while the other three drowned in Kiharu on Sunday.

In the Kandara incident, bodies of Silvan Chege, 11, and that of a girl, 16, were retrieved and moved to General Kago mortuary in Thika on Saturday.

Chege drowned as he tried to rescue the girl after she was swept away by the rising waters of Thika River.

He was a Standard Six pupil at Waitua Primary School.Kandara Sub-county police commander Paul Wambugu said the two drowned during an expedition.

In Kiharu, bodies of the three children who drowned in Mukungai River during a school swimming expedition, were retrieved on Monday.The three, aged between 11 and 13, were pupils at Weithaga Primary School.

By Standard

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Four in Briton’s murder case blame Saitoti

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The lawyers of four police officers charged with the murder of British aristocrat Alexander Monsoon have claimed the deceased’s family exerted political influence to force their trial.

Naftali Chege, Charles Muganda, Ismael Baraka and John Pamba have been charged with the murder.Alexander, 28, the son of Lord Nicholas Monson, was arrested for allegedly smoking cannabis in the Diani Beach Resort in May 2012, and died at a hospital after falling ill at Diani police station.

A postmortem showed he died from blunt force to the back of the head and scrotum.The Monsoon family has maintained that their son was killed by police, while the four officers claimed he died of a drug overdose.The four were charged with the murder on May 19, 2012, at Diani.Yesterday, defence lawyer Daniel Wamotsa said the Monsoons approached the then Internal Security Minister George Saitoti (now deceased) to help them unravel the mysterious death of their son.

Institute investigationsMr Wamotsa told Judge Eric Ogola that Saitoti ordered then Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere to commence investigations and he (Iteere) in turn ordered inspector Mohamed Amin to institute investigations.

“The family of Alexander went to Saitoti to seek assistance and was referred to Iteere, who ordered police officer Mohamed Amin to investigate the matter. There was an element of exerting political pressure on the case,” said Wamotsa.

Wamotsa poked holes in the investigations report produced by Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) officer in charge of investigations Jeremiah Arodi, which implicated the four officers.

He said Alexander had died out of drug overdose and that his family tampered with the body in an attempt to divert attention by claiming that he died by an injury inflicted on the head at the police station.While testifying, Mr Arodi (pictured) said the four officers were culpable.

By Standard

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