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Why Mugabe spent his last days in one of the best hospitals in Asia

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Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe spent his final days in Singapore at one of Asia’s best hospitals, more than 8,000 kilometres away from his homeland.

He died Friday aged 95 at Gleneagles Hospital, breathing his last while surrounded by family members, according to a relative.

STRICTLY-RULED COUNTRY

Why would an African leader chose to seek medical treatment in faraway Singapore?

Singapore’s reputation as a strictly-ruled country is conducive to privacy and lacks a paparazzi culture and an aggressive media.

Its healthcare system is reputed to be among the best in the world, offering a whole range of services from health screenings to high-end surgical procedures.

A controversial figure like Mugabe could expect no protesters to hound him, as Singapore has strict rules against political gatherings.

Up until his death, no one would even officially confirm the hospital where Mugabe was being treated, sending journalists on a wild goose chase in the early hours after the announcement in Harare of his passing.

Local media said he first sought medical treatment for a cataract problem in 2011 and returned in 2014 for another procedure. Since then, his visits became more frequent.

AFP journalists saw Mugabe at Gleneagles Hospital in 2017. It was the first time he has been seen in public since he was forced to resign after a military takeover brought a sudden end to his authoritarian 37-year rule.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Why Mugabe’s family kept close eye on former president’s remains

He was back in Singapore in April this year as his health deteriorated and a relative said he was in and out of the hospital while in the city-state.

Mugabe’s nephew Adam Molai told reporters in Singapore the former leader was admitted at Gleneagles around a week before his death.

Molai said he died of afflictions related to old age.

Molai said the former leader “was surrounded by family” when he passed away and that he died “very peacefully”.

Mugabe also “spoke about how he loves his family” in his final days, Molai added.

According to its website, suites are priced between Sg$1,158 and Sg$7,588 ($838 and $5,500) daily, while the cheapest admission is in a four-bed ward at Sg$259.

Mugabe and his wife Grace travelled to Singapore to visit their daughter Bona, who studied in the city-state.

Both parents attended her graduation when she was awarded a masters degree in management, specialising in banking and finance.

Mugabe’s wife, dubbed “Gucci Grace” in the media, is also known for her lavish shopping sprees around the world. She was reported to have spent $10,700 on a handbag in a Singapore boutique.

Former Myanmar military leaders Soe Win and Than Shwe sought treatment in Singapore at various times.

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes

Former Indonesian first lady Ani Yudhoyono died at Singapore’s National University Hospital in June.

In 2003, 29-year-old conjoined Iranian twins Laleh and Ladan Bijani chose Singapore to have their separation surgery but both died after a marathon operation.

And in 2012, a student who was critically wounded after a gang-rape in New Delhi — a case that sparked national outrage in India — was brought to Singapore for treatment but succumbed to her injuries soon after her arrival.

-Daily Nation

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My Experience: I could not withstand working 18 straight hours as a house help in Saudi Arabia

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Lydia Mutua attests to have been literary desperate about improving her life and her family’s fortunes. Despite the fact that her husband is employed by a reputable company in Nairobi, the mother of three just wanted financial independence and to better her life. “I had heard that people could make good money working for rich families in Saudia, so I wanted to have that connection as well.”

Asked whether she had heard previous reports of Kenyans being tortured in Saudi Arabia, she answered to the affirmative but argued that the incentive to end her financial desperation was so huge that she overlooked the possible consequences.

“I could not imagine that I could be pocketing a cool Sh 80,000 a per month. Even if I managed to work for six months, the money could be enough for me to start a business,” revealed Lydia.

In April 2018, Lydia, who currently lives in Mlolongo Estate Nairobi, approached a local recruitment agency where she paid Sh 60,000 as processing fees plus a Sh 5,000 medical fee for hookup to Saudia employers.

“The agent told me that I have to pay Sh 60,000 processing fee plus Sh 5,000 medical fee. Since I already had some money from my salon business, I decided to sacrifice and pay for the commission fees.”

READ ALSO:   Why Britain is not mourning Mugabe

However, she was unable to withstand the heavy house chores (working for 18 hours), humiliations, and physical abuse by her employers. During her short time there, her job entailed washing dishes, clothes, cleaning, gardening every day. She would wake up at 3.30 am and sleep at 1 am, so she had only two hours to sleep. As if this was not enough, most of the time, she was given so little food while at other times denied food altogether. “Woe unto you if you make an error while performing these duties because you will be subjected to physical abuse or your salary deducted.”

“After working for two months for a middle-class business family in Sakaka, which is about 1,200 kilometres from the capital Riyadh, I decided that there was no way I could stay there and watch myself die”. She told Ureport adding that “I decided to request for help from my parents back in Kenya who sent me money for transport after which I jetted back.”

Following these experiences, Lydia vowed never to go back to Saudia in the name of looking for domestic work.

“Unless I am going for a company job, there is no way I will go back there with what I experienced,” she says.

READ ALSO:   Obituary: The life and times of Robert Mugabe

SDE

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Entertainment

Papa Shirandula actress Naliaka ordained as a minister

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Celebrated Papa Shirandula actress Daisy Netia alias Naliaka is now a minister of the gospel after she was ordained as a pastor at the Harvest Family Church in Ongata Rongai.

Sharing the exciting news on Instagram, Naliaka – in prayer- thanked her spiritual father, Jimmy Macharia, for seeing her through.

“The day my life changed totally. I thank God for my spiritual father Jimmy Macharia who saw beyond my weaknesses. When God wants to do something in your life, He will introduce to you a man. Dear God, please help me not to ever forget where you picked from,” wrote Naliaka.

According to one of Naliaka’s close friends, the actress has been juggling between acting and ministry and are pleased that she was finally given the nod to do what she loves most.

Naliaka’s march to the pulpit is reminiscent with that of sports journalist Vincent Opiyo who not too long ago also heeded the call to minister through the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

In his last article published on May 19, 2019, Opiyo admitted that priesthood was his lifetime ambition despite his stint at the newsroom.

A passion to serve that, he said, began when he was 12 as an altar boy at his home Parish, Nangina Catholic Church.

READ ALSO:   PHOTOS: Why Mugabe’s family kept close eye on former president’s remains

“At the age of 12, I became an Altar Boy in my home parish, Nangina Catholic church. This was a year of finishing my catechism classes that culminated into receiving Holy Communion. It is during this period that I started dreaming of being like my parish priest who was a friend and a father figure,” he recalled.

Opiyo explained that even though he went through hardships at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), the U-turn was inevitable.

“I joined the University of Nairobi for a Broadcast Journalism course in September 2011 but my hopes for a bursary from a charity organization collapsed and I had to drop out after failing to pay the Sh110, 000 fees… I applied for evening classes at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) in Nairobi and sold Airtel mobile phone SIM cards on the streets to add to the little upkeep my father gave me. A SIM card was Sh50, my profit was Sh20,” he added.

by SDE

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Diaspora

Brampton City in Canada to Honor Kenyans in the Diaspora

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The Kenyan national flag is set to be raised for two weeks in the city of Brampton, Ontario, Canada, in honor of Kenya’s Independence Day.

The flag-hoisting ceremony also seeks to appreciate the participation of Kenyan-Canadians living in Brampton. The ceremony will be held at Brampton City Hall by the Mayor of Brampton, Patrick Brown, on Saturday, December 14th, a day when Kenyans living in Canada will mark the 56th Jamhuri Day.

Several political, community leaders, Federal Members of Parliament, Regional and Municipal Councilors from the Greater Toronto Area are expected to attend the inaugural flag-raising event. A representative from the Kenya High Commission in Canada is also expected to attend.

“This is a great achievement and a milestone not just to the Kenyans living in Canada but to Kenya as a country. We are so proud to have the Canadian government recognize, for the first time, the contributions of Kenyans in this country.”

“This is a significant step towards getting integrated with other communities that form part of the immigrant Canadian society,” said Kenyan Canadian Association (KCA) President Ephraim Mwaura.

 

 

 

READ ALSO:   Robert Mugabe's most famous quotes
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