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Horror as soldiers force locals to swim in sewage

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A tight security regimen, controlled by naval soldiers and police yesterday turned into a source of discomfort for Mombasa residents.

The soldiers barricaded all empty open spaces within Mombasa Island, and took over the Likoni ferry, as thousands of residents converged at the Mama Ngina Waterfront Park.

Infantry soldiers in trucks and armoured cars took over security in areas of Likoni like Shelly Beach on the opposite side of the park for the entire day.Most of the residents who were interviewed complained they were manhandled by some young, overzealous soldiers.

Most streets were empty, as soldiers tried to control entrances to places like Mombasa’s Old Town.There was also heavy police patrols in Old Town, Bondeni and Majengo areas of Mombasa.

Most hotels in Mombasa were filled by State and private guests from upcountry. Areas around the park were reported to have low cell-phone connection.

There were no reports of major insecurity incidents across Mombasa despite the many people who trooped to the celebrations.

Remained indoors

In Senti Kumi, Majengo Mapya and Dudus areas of Likoni, many residents remained indoors afraid of the military presence and masked soldiers.

The soldiers, in the pretense of keeping security, forced dozens of residents to sit in mud puddles, oblivious of the cold and general discomfort, they were putting them through.

Mwangole Chikore was accosted by two military officers in masks and forced to swim inside a sewer for about 10 minutes.

Mr Chikore, a 23-year-old salesman from Mwembe Tayari, said he was on his way to the Mashujaa celebrations when the soldiers stopped him and demanded to know why he was looking suspicious.

“They wrestled me to the ground and later forced me to swim inside a filthy sewage. I tried to run but they hit me with the butt of a gun,” said a tearful Chikore.

The officers later released him and ordered him to sprint away.Moses Juma, a resident of Jamvi la wageni and his girlfriend were crossing to Mama Ngina park.

They had patiently waited for the celebrations since last week.When they reached near the ferry area, they found soldiers on patrol.

They had taken over all routes through the main bus terminus and were not allowing anyone to pass.Mr Juma said he was asked to remove his clothes as his girlfriend watched in disbelief.

“They rained slaps on me while hitting me with gun butts. They later forced me and my girlfriend to sit on a sewer,” a shaking Juma said.

Left for dead

He said he and his girlfriend had decided to go for a medical check. Another resident Salim Matano said he was heading to Mama Ngina when soldiers attacked him and beat him, leaving him for dead.Mr Matano was forced to do 10 press ups inside a sewer.

When completed five, he got tired and fell.  The soldiers beat him as others searched his pockets. They took Sh350 from him.

Matano explained that the officers forced him to drink filthy water from a sewer.

During the interview, he kept trying to vomit the waste he had been forced to drink.

“This is needless terror. Anyway, I blame myself for trying to attend the Mashujaa celebrations. If I had stayed at home, I could not have been forced to drink from a sewer,” Matano said.

Maxwell Shiheho said armed soldiers forced him to remove all clothes and swim in a  sewer as they watched, mocking him.They later forced him to frog-jump inside the sewer and sing the national anthem.“God will punish them. I did nothing wrong. All I wanted was to attend Mashujaa Day,” Mr Shiheho said.

Sammy Gitonga, a safaricom agent said the soldiers forced him to swim inside the sewer and beat him when he protestedThis is unacceptable. How can the military beat people like they are terrorists,” protested Mr Gitonga.

Business at the ferry area was also affected as traders were forced to attend the Mashujaa celebrations.A woman who only went by the name Auma, a fishmonger, said she counted losses after the soldiers walk into her business premises and ordered her to pack her fish and go.

At the Mama Ngina park, thousands stood in sweltering heat to listen to speeches from national and regional  leaders.

Parallel rally

Police did not take chances however. They occupied all open spaces like Mombasa’s Treasury Square, Uhuru Gardens, Makandara and Tononoka Grounds to deter protests from activists who had threatened to hold a parallel rally.The activists were protesting the decision by the Government asking traders to ferry their cargo from the port to Nairobi only through the Standard Gauge Railway.

At the Tononoka grounds where the planned rally was to be held, the soldiers made it a no-go zone.A senior police officer who did not wish to be identified told The Standard that no one was being allowed access to the grounds.‘’We are not allowing any form of gathering in any of the public places in Mombasa Island,’’ the officer said.

Police took strategic positions at the Tononoka grounds as they lay in wait for the protesters.A spot check at three of the public open spaces at Makadara Grounds, Treasury Square and Uhuru Gardens revealed heavy police presence.

by Standard


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Business

Top athlete turns to jiko-making to beat pandemic

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They say a man must do what a man must do.

This idiom has become a reality to Dominic Samson Ndigiti, the reigning Africa U20 10,000 metres walk race champion and former World U17 10,000 metres walk race bronze medalist during the Covid-19 times.

Ndigiti, who has won Kenya a gold medal at the Africa Under-20 Championships held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, has been crisscrossing the country, doing what he now loves to do most: Making affordable, energy-saving jikos – charcoal cooking stoves.

Coronavirus pandemic

Though the walking race champion learnt the skills of making this particular kind of jiko in 2018 when in Finland where he had gone for a competition, he did not put them to use until when coronavirus hit the world, putting a break on most sporting activities.

“I saw the whites making the jikos in 2018 when we had gone to Finland for Under20 competitions. It took a week for me to learn. But I started being serious when coronavirus hit us. The jikos now earn me a living,” he said.

The 20-year-old says the modern jikos use charcoal or firewood.

“It uses less firewood and it has a chimney, which helps keep smoke out of the house. It is not a complicated jiko and long after cooking is done, it conserves heat because of the clay bricks used,” he said.

The jikos are of different sizes and can fit in any kind of house be it permanent, temporary or semi-permanent.

“I do not discriminate for which house to make my jikos. Charges vary according to sizes. A one-stoned jiko goes for Sh3,000, two 4,500, three 6,000 and four and above goes for Sh10,000,” said Ndigiti.

He says that materials needed include cement, clay bricks, fireproof and red-oxide paint.

Different work

Ndigiti says many people see him as a successful person owing to his record in the walking race, but the tough times have forced him to work differently.

“I am grateful because Kenyans have responded very well to my venture. I have visited many counties in the past few months, making jikos. Before coronavirus, I did not know my home county of Kisii well, though I have was born and brought up here, but making jikos has made me a tourist,” he said.

Ndigiti, who hails from Marani sub-county in Kisii County, schooled at Kiandega High School in Nyamira county and developed a passion for the walking race while in Standard Six.

He says he was inspired by his teachers.

“I am glad for the achievement I have made in walking race. That is another gift in addition to walking that God has given me. Many people in Kenya do not know this kind of sporting activity. China, Spain and Japan top the competitions,” he said.

The IAAF World U18 Championships is an international event bringing together athletes from all over the world who are 17 or younger.

“Coronavirus brought a lot of problems in the world and we couldn’t go out to compete. I hope this will end soon. But this pandemic has made me learn the hard way. Talents are to be exploited, no matter how much little income they bring,” said Ndigiti.

He is hopeful that after the pandemic, he will represent Kenya in the Olympics and will bring home a gold medal.

Ndigiti comes from a humble family and his success in the walking race has not taken away his humility.

Ruth Mbula | Nation Media Group

“We live life easy. Living well with people has taught me a lot during this coronavirus time. The requests to make more jikos is overwhelming,” he said, adding that Elgeyo Marakwet Woman Rep Jane Kiptoo has already asked for his help in making more than 100 jikos for women groups.

He says most of his clients are women. “They have embraced my idea of making our kitchens look better.”


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Lifestyle

Man who died inside city matatu did not succumb to Covid-19

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The man who died in a matatu along Mombasa road on Tuesday was not killed by Covid-19 as it was initially feared, the Nation has learnt.

Tests on samples taken from the man, who has been identified as Leonard Odhiambo, 57, turned negative for coronavirus.

City Mortuary deputy funeral superintendent Patrick Mbugua, however, said a post-mortem had not been done to determine the cause of death.

“The man was brought to the mortuary and the Covid-19 test came back negative. We suspect he died of blood pressure issues owing to the sudden manner of his death. However, we are still waiting for the post-mortem results. It was not Covid-19,” Mr Mbugua said on Thursday.

On Tuesday at around 7.30am, the matatu had left the ambassador bus stop in the city centre and was picking passengers along the way on its route to Embakasi.

Before 8am, Mr Odhiambo boarded the Embassava Sacco 14-seater matatu popularly known as Manchester at the South B bus stop as he was headed to Embakasi.

He sat on a seat at the row behind the driver’s cabin next to the passenger door. The row has three seats, but owing to Covid-19 regulations, it only had two passengers.

Slightly past Panari Hotel, at an area called Lab, the passenger seated next to Mr Odhiambo wanted to alight. As usual, the passenger next to the door is expected to alight to pave way for the other passengers to get off.

Mr Odhiambo did not move. Thinking he was asleep, the conductor tapped his shoulder. Nothing happened. With a strong nudge, the man is said to have heaved, coughed out aloud and slumped on his seat. It is suspected he breathed his last at this point.

His family went to the morgue on Wednesday evening but did not pick their departed one as they still await the post-mortem results.

by Nation.africa


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Lifestyle

Was soldier’s macabre murder premeditated?

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The gruesome murder of Lazarus Mwangi, 25, a junior soldier, seems to have been well- planned and executed.

Mwangi’s body was mutilated, eyes gouged, all limbs and hands broken. His body was found dumped at Masinga Dam in Machakos on November 22.

On November 14, Mwangi left his residence at Kahawa Barracks in Kiambu county after informing his seniors he was going to pick a parcel he had been sent from Mariakani Barracks in Kilifi.

That was the last time he was seen alive.

Mwangi had been initially posted to Mariakani Barracks in 2016 before his mysterious transfer to Kahawa Barracks in December 2019.

His transfer had, however, raised eyebrows because it is rare for a junior soldier of his rank to be transferred within that time frame.

Yesterday, a senior army official told People Daily that transfers rarely happen, especially with young and inexperienced soldiers.

“If a young soldier has been transferred, such a move can only be considered when he has specialised on a specific field and his expertise are required elsewhere. That is when a transfer can occur,” the officer who sought anonymity said. The deceased is said to have informed his wife, Ms Doris Muhoro, that he had gone to pick a parcel. On the fateful night, Muhoro tried several times to reach her husband but the calls went unanswered. She fell asleep.

However, during the night, Muhoro’s phone was called eight times by a private number at around 3am but she never answered because she was dead asleep and could not hear it ringing.

In Dagoretti, Nairobi the same night at 3am, Ms Jackline Wangeci, Mwangi’s sister, also received a call from a private number.

The caller who said that he was calling from Gilgil in Nakuru informed her that her brother had been kidnapped.

Same day
On November 15, Mwangi’s family shared what had transpired that night and efforts to trace him started the same day.

The deceased kin reported the matter at Kikuyu Police Station where both Ms Muhoro and Ms Wangeci recorded statements on what had transpired since the disappearance of Mwangi.

A detective privy to the investigations, and who spoke to People Daily on condition of anonymity said Mwangi’s phone Global Positioning System (GPS) history was traced to Muthurwa in Nairobi.

The detective further said that already, a woman had been arrested in connection with Mwangi’s death after sleuths attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations traced the people who called him on the day he disappeared.

“The people who called his sister saying they were calling from Gilgil were traced to Kamukunji. Already some arrests have been made,” the sleuth said.

Detectives have also obtained a series of chats between his brother based in South Sudan and an investigating officer. “They killed him after kidnapping him. We believe it was a bait. There was nothing like a parcel he was supposed to pick,” the brother said.

Masinga Police boss Francis Siror confirmed that residents recovered a badly mutilated body and informed them.

Consequently, the police informed the family who picked and transferred it to Thika Teaching and Referral Hospital Mortuary.

An autopsy conducted yesterday established that Mwangi was strangled to death.

by PD.co.ke


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