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Vihiga teacher commits suicide by setting himself ablaze

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Police in Vihiga County are investigating a case in which a secondary school teacher committed suicide on Sunday by setting himself ablaze in his house in a suspected case of depression.

County Police Commander Hassan Barua said Mr Daniel Ingoro, a Biology and Geography teacher at Hobunaka Secondary School due for retirement in six months.

Mr Barua said the victim was seen buying petrol from a nearby petrol station. He is said to have locked himself in his house and set it ablaze on Sunday evening.

Mr Barua said the teacher divorced his wife 40 years ago and never remarried.

“Witnesses informed us that he had bought petrol and locked himself in the house before setting it on fire,” Mr Barua said on Monday.

Hobunaka Secondary School head teacher William Sunguti said the school is in shock.

He said Mr Ingoro, who was due to retire in February next year, prayed for the school after a staff meeting on Friday.

“After the prayer closing a staff meeting, he prayed and left for home. He did not show any signs of depression,” said Mr Sunguti.

He described the teacher as a reserved man who shared his issues with only a few people.

Vihiga branch Kuppet Executive Secretary Nebert Isambe said: “It is unfortunate we have lost our member, there are speculations that he took his life, we urge teachers to share the challenges they are facing.”

The Kuppet official described Mr Ingoro, who recently lost his mother, as a quiet man who was perfect at his job.

by nation.co.ke

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Rare zebra excites visitors in the Mara

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A photographer at a camp in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve was in for a surprise when he came across an incredibly rare, “blacker” newly born Zebra.

Mr Antony Tira – A renowned tour guide-cum photographer – at Matira bush camp, spotted and photographed the black dotted foul and posted it on the camp’s Facebook page attracting a lot of social media attention.

“At first I thought it was a zebra that had been captured and painted or marked for purposes of migration. I was confused when I first saw it,” Mr Tira told the Nation.

He said on closer examination, he realised that what he was seeing was actually a zebra with melanin disorder. It was hardly a week old, it appeared weak and very different from the others for it has not stripes and was stuck close to a female adult zebra, probably its mother.

The discovery caused stampede in the reserve with tour drivers and photographers, hurriedly taking tourists to the lookout area in the game reserve near the Mara River for the rare find that has remained the top story in the Mara for the last three days.

The tourists have been taking extra clips of this rare holiday experience.

Hundreds of tour vans surrounded the already scared foul, and, according to Mr Felix Migoya the Mara tour guides and drivers association secretary, it created “an additional wonder” for international tourists who are in the reserve to for the last moments of the wildebeest migration.

The zebra has a rather amazing dark colour due to a genetic abnormality linked to the amount of melanin, affecting the pigmentation of the fur.

According to a wildlife specialist at Matira Camp Parmale Lemein, there has never been any recorded case in the Mara of such a rare zebra.

But he was quick to point out that none of the Zebras with such condition in other parks in Africa, according to research, has survived for more than six months after birth.

Due to other abnormalities of this nature, some scientists claim that zebra stripes are formed from the inhibition of melanin and that the “default” colour of a zebra is black. In other words, a zebra is black with white stripes.

Zebras stripes, according to researchers, work to ward off hordes of biting flies that the animals come in contact with on a daily basis and without the protection, such Zebras may be vulnerable.

Animals with albinism have been documented in a variety of other species including giraffes, penguins, orangutans and mice.

A few years ago at the Serengeti a zebra with blonde, rather than black stripes, was spotted and photographed. It was said to have much less melanin than typical zebras.

Until now, very few blonde zebras have been seen in the wild, although there are a few dozen living on a private reserve in Mount Kenya National Park.

Interestingly, the blonde male zebras at this private reserve behave like “stallions with harems”, according to Ren Larison, a biologist at the University of California.

However, while mating is not an issue for zebras with partial albinism, they could face other challenges.

A recent study suggested that zebras evolved black and white stripes to ward off biting flies, and without this colouring, blonde zebras could be susceptible.

by nation.co.ke

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Retailers’ big dilemma as D-Day for old generation Sh1,000 banknote nears

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Supermarkets and entities that receive large volumes of cash everyday are in a Catch-22 situation on how to deal with sales on the last day of trading with the old Sh1,000 note.

Two weeks to the deadline, retailers now want the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to give them the way forward on how to deal with the ongoing demonetisation of the old-generation Sh1,000 note, which will cease to be legal tender on September 30.

WORTHLESS CASH

They say they may be forced to reject the old currency days before the deadline so that they are not caught up with large volumes of cash that will become worthless overnight.

Naivas chief executive officer Willy Kimani told the Nation in an interview that, besides fake cash, the biggest concern for retailers is how to deal with the old notes they will collect on the last day given that supermarkets receive a lot of cash.

“The biggest concern for us is deadline day. We may be forced to stop accepting old notes earlier,” Mr Kimani said, adding that retailers have invested heavily in training their staff on differentiating fake from genuine cash.

Mr Kimani said only one of his stores was hit by the fake-currency syndicate in the initial days of rolling out the new-generation notes but it was immediately reported. He said cashiers have been trained and it is their responsibility to ensure that they do not get conned.

CBK did not respond to our inquiries on what supermarkets are expected to do. It has however put up a mobile-based SMS campaign reminding consumers to ensure they return the old Sh1,000 notes before the deadline.

FAKE CASH

Nakumatt Holdings’ administrator Peter Kahi says the retailer has trained its employees to detect fake currency and has not received any fake-cash incident in any of its branches.

To deal with the last-day nightmare, Kahi says he plans to bank all the cash collected on September 30 so that the retailer is not left with valueless money the following day.

This comes at a time when fake new-generation banknotes have hit the financial market weeks to the September 30 deadline as imitators rush to beat the Central Bank at its own game. Investigations by the Nation revealed that the counterfeiters are getting better with every revision.

The fake money syndicate, which began in Murang’a, has spread its tentacles into Nairobi and Kiambu counties, taking advantage of traders’ naivety.

It was hoped that the introduction of new notes would disrupt the multibillion currency counterfeits business and the fraudsters’ agility at imitating the new notes in a short span of time is bound to be a big blow to efforts to rid the country of dirty and fake money.

Small traders and those running M-Pesa shops have been the easy targets of the counterfeiters, who have now come up with fake versions of the new Sh100, Sh500 and the Sh1,000 notes.

CONNED

In July, police in Kandara, Murang’a County, arrested two men and a woman who were found with fake money in two separate incidents.

In one incident, a man and a woman were nabbed making rounds in Kandara, conning mobile money transfer agents with fake new-generation currency.

Kandara OCPD Paul Wambugu said the two had conned an agent at Naaro shopping centre where they deposited Sh7,000 and later at Kaburugi where they tried to deposit Sh10,000 only for the attendant to realise that the money was fake.

Almost every week, the DCI through its Twitter handle, reports one incident or the other of fake-money arrests, but the most counterfeited are Kenya shillings and US dollars.

Last week, detectives seized over Sh2.7 million in fake currency in Ngurubani, Mwea East from a bonnet of a Mazda Demio driven by 33-year-old Job Arwa Omondi. Detectives also confiscated assorted bottles of chemicals believed to be used in processing the fake old Sh1,000 notes.

On the same day, over Sh200 million in fake US Dollars, Euros and Pounds was confiscated in Kileleshwa by officers acting on a tip-off. One suspect, 27-year-old Bobby Kariuki Kimani, was arrested.

Another fake currency syndicate was busted in Bungoma last week involving DCI officers, showing how deep the syndicate is, after a senior police officer was arrested with Sh4.3 million in fake foreign currency.

By Nation.co.ke

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Rugby legend reveals he’s living with HIV

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Rugby legend Gareth Thomas today reveals his torment after keeping his HIV positive diagnosis a secret for years.

In a candid and emotional interview, he tells the Sunday Mirror how he sobbed in the arms of a doctor, feared he would die – and felt like ending it all by driving over a cliff.

The 45-year-old is the first UK sportsman to reveal he has the virus and is breaking his silence because he wants to end stigma around HIV.

He also reveals he and husband Stephen – who he met after being diagnosed – married three years ago. Stephen does not have HIV.

Former Wales rugby union and league star Gareth says of his diagnosis: “I’ve been living with this secret for years.

Rugby legend Gareth Thomas [Courtesy]

“I’ve felt shame and keeping such a big secret has taken its toll.

“I had a fear people would judge me and treat me like a leper because of a lack of knowledge. I was in a dark place, feeling suicidal. I thought about driving off a cliff.

“To me, wanting to die was just a natural thought and felt like the easier way out, but you have to confront things.

“And having a strong support system and the personal strength and experience of overcoming those emotions got me through it.

“Many people live in fear and shame of having HIV, but I refuse to be one of them now. We need to break the stigma once and for all.

“I’m speaking out because I want to help others and make a difference.”

Gareth is speaking on the eve of the Rugby World Cup starting next week – when he will be a pundit for ITV.

While reluctant to reveal the date of his diagnosis, Gareth spells out the profound moment he was given the news by medics.

The former British Lions captain, who revealed he was gay in 2009 and retired from rugby in 2011, said: “I’ll never ever forget the moment I found out. I went for a routine sexual health test at a private clinic in Cardiff.

“I’d had the tests every now and again and they’d always come back okay. I didn’t feel ill and I thought everything was going to be fine.

“The woman who did the test took blood as usual, then I went out to my car and waited for about an hour before going back in to get my results.”

His voice choking with emotion, Gareth adds: “When I went back in, I sat down on a chair next to a doctor’s bench. She told me in a quite matter of fact way I had tested HIV positive.

“When she said those words I broke down. I was in such a state. I immediately thought I was going to die.

“I felt like an express train was hitting me at 300mph. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Then I was thinking ‘how long have I got left?’ I was distraught.”

Gareth, who is 6ft 3in and 16st, found himself sobbing on the doctor’s shoulder while struggling to understand the enormity of the news and what the future held.

He goes on: “She treated me with such empathy and understanding and after about 20 minutes I got myself together.

“I remember she told me, ‘You need to go to the hospital right now and start the process straight away, because the doctors will be able to help you better understand your diagnosis. Don’t wait for tomorrow’.

“I drove straight to Cardiff Royal Infirmary, but I was still in such a traumatised state. In tears, I rang a good friend on the way and blurted it out.

“I told him, ‘I’ve got HIV – I’m going to die’. He was trying to comfort and reassure me and telling me to go and speak to the doctors, but I’d already made my mind up that my life was over.

“I’d never known anyone with HIV or AIDS. And everything I’d heard about HIV was death and frailness.

“Like most people I lived with the belief that HIV is terminal. I tried to keep going as normal in the days afterwards, but felt completely numb.”

Gareth had to reveal his diagnosis to a string of former sexual partners so they could be tested.

He says: “I had to tell people I’d had sex with since my last test that I was HIV positive.

“Your history suddenly becomes very relevant and you have a duty of care to tell them. I did it over the phone. That was hard.”

Gareth married his teenage sweetheart Jemma in 2002. They split up after he told her he was gay – and he went public about his sexuality 10 years ago. He was the first British rugby international to “come out”.

There are an estimated 101,600 people in the UK with HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus – but many consider it too taboo to reveal it.

That is why Gareth remained silent, until now. He says: “I’ve chosen to speak out about this in the Sunday Mirror because it’s the paper I trust to put my story out there in the right way and because I believe together we can make a difference.

“But the truth is I’m still scared even now of people finding out I’m living with HIV and I’m s****ing myself and feel petrified about what the reaction will be, because we still live in an era where HIV is not spoken about.”

Gareth admits he once believed the myths surrounding transmission of HIV.

He adds: “I thought that if people knew about me being HIV positive they wouldn’t want to breathe the same air as me, they wouldn’t want to drink from the same cup as me and if I walked into a coffee shop everyone would just walk out because they’d be so scared of being infected by me.

“I think if you went out on the street right now and told 10 people you have HIV, 50 per cent of them would be scared you’re going to give it to them.

“I don’t blame people for thinking it, because I did too, but we need to change that by talking about it and educating people.”

HIV targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases.

Without treatment, the lifelong infection – which is spread through sexual contact and blood – can progress to AIDS. No cure is currently available for HIV or AIDS.

But modern advances mean HIV patients in countries with good access to healthcare very rarely develop AIDS once they get treatment.

Life expectancy of people with the virus is approaching that of a person who tests negative, as long as they adhere to a combination of ongoing medications called anti-retroviral therapy. Gareth takes one tablet containing four medications each day.

His condition is now under control to the point it is considered “undetectable” and can’t be passed on.

He receives regular counselling and has blood tests at Cardiff Royal Infirmary every six months.

But Gareth has never used the main entrance, saying: “I’ve always gone through a side door before opening hours because I thought if people spotted me they’d put two and two together and work out my secret.

“It has all been shrouded in a sense of shame and from me entering the clinic to leaving always feels like a blur.

“I still don’t feel I could walk in through the main entrance even now, although maybe that’ll change.

“HIV is a scary subject. There’s a lot of fear and ignorance. But the fear is something people learned in the 1980s from the tombstone adverts on TV. In 2019 there is nothing to be afraid of.

“People need to know that due to modern medicine HIV is not life-threatening any more and because of the medication I take, there’s no way it can be passed on.

“It’s very controllable. In terms of effect on the body, diabetes is considered worse to have than HIV by doctors. I’m not dying.”

The star remains supremely fit and will today compete in the Wales Ironman event in Tenby, South Wales.

He says: “I’m fitter now than when I played rugby and I didn’t have HIV then. I’m not just all right, I’m better than all right.”

Gareth, from Bridgend, won 100 caps for Wales from 1995 to 2007.

He made global headlines when he came out as gay while still playing rugby union. He went on to play rugby league, earning four caps for Wales.

A career in TV followed – he was on Celebrity Big Brother, Dancing on Ice and appeared on Oprah and the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.

Last year, he and MP Damian Collins launched a draft amendment to the 1991 Football Offences Act that would outlaw homophobic abuse at matches.

In November 2018 Gareth was attacked by a 16-year-old in Cardiff over his sexuality. Officers dealt with the youth offender by restorative justice following a request by Gareth – who believed it was the best way for the lad to learn.

Gareth is donating his fee for this interview to HIV and AIDS charity The Terrence Higgins Trust.

He says: “Through the Trust I’ve met other people with HIV and that has been powerful. It made me realise how much good I can do and the part I have to play in making a difference.

“I hope me speaking out about my diagnosis will help a lot of people.”

By Games Yet

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