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Mystery of new Sh99m school with no pupils

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Up to 460 pupils have been locked out of the new Rweya Primary School in Kolwa, Kisumu East sub-county. The school, built at a cost of Sh99 million, was one of the beneficiaries of the Sh4.5 billion Kisumu Urban Project funded through a loan advanced to the Kenyan government by the French Development Agency.

Through the project, which started about four years ago, old classrooms were brought down to pave way for the construction of the new ultra-modern school.

Rweya Primary pupils were transferred to temporary iron-sheet structures opposite the school, and were supposed to be there for a year, which was the proposed project implementation period.

But more than 16 months later, the school is yet to be occupied, and pupils are still crammed in the temporary structures.Rweya Primary remains a ghost school, and its compound is slowly being taken over by untrimmed grass and shrubs.

Yesterday, concerned parents accused Governor Anyang Nyong’o’s administration of keeping them in the dark on the status of the school.

The makeshift classrooms that the school’s pupils are currently using. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Temporary structures

They said they have attended three meetings where they were promised that the school would be opened, but this never happened.

“In the last meeting we attended, workers at the site warned us against entering the compound. They told us to wait for the day they would hand over the key to us. We are still waiting,” said Joseph Oguya, a parent and a member of the school’s management board.

Mr Oguya also expressed concern about the well-being of the pupils inside the temporary structures.“The temporary classrooms measure about 10 square feet. There are classes with more than 50 pupils. This congestion is not only bad for the health of the pupils, but also not conducive for teaching and learning,” he said.

Another parent, Pamela Anyango, said attempts to seek clarification from the contractors have not borne fruit, as supervisors of the works have been telling them they do not know why the new school still remains unoccupied.“We do not understand what is happening because we can see the works are complete. Other schools that were under the same project are already being used,” she said.

Other schools that benefited from the project include Angira and Got Nyabondo primary schools within Kajulu Ward, which cost Sh78.5 million and Sh77 million, respectively; Rota Primary School in South West Kisumu Ward that cost Sh75 million; and Thim Bonde Primary in North Ward that cost Sh70.8 million.The four schools are occupied.

“We are starting to believe the rumours going round that the contractor is holding on to the key because he is yet to be paid his dues,” said Ms Anyango.

City management

Yesterday, the county director of communication, Aloice Ager, blamed the project management committee for not fast-tracking the handover of the school.

According to Mr Ager, the committee is made up of representatives of the school management board, the Kisumu city management and the contractor.“All along during the construction, the committee used to sit and discuss every bit of the works, how can they (now) come out to claim that there is sinister motive in handing over the school?” he asked.

He said although works at the school were complete, an inspection revealed that “a few final touches” needed to be done by the contractor before it could be handed over.When reached for comment, the contractor, Comacon Limited, contradicted the the director of communication, blaming the delay in the handing over of the school on the county.

“We have written several letters to the City Management asking them to take over the project. In the last letter, we gave them a deadline of September 9. We do not understand why they have not heeded this deadline,” said Cosmas Akeyo, a director at Comacon Limited.

By Standard.co.ke


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Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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Where were the authorities? residents ask as Kenyan man is buried inside his living room

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

-Nation.co.ke


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Tales of old widows of Dundori raped by ‘grandchildren’

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It was only 9pm, a relatively safe hour or so, the 60-year-old thought. She was home alone when a man forced his way in, tore her clothes and repeatedly raped her.

She did not recognize him through a glance on his face, but from how he hankered, he was tall.

That was on July 5, this year, and the memories of that night are still fresh in the mind of the victim – whose name we have concealed to protect her privacy.

Before the ordeal, the victim had only heard rumours of widows being raped in her Dundori neighbourhood in Nakuru County – a place now well known for the crimes.

Here, sunset years are a traumatising period for women – especially widows. In the dead of the night, they live in constant fear that young men will pounce on them and rape them.

“I live with my granddaughter in a two bedroomed house. On the fateful day, I heard a commotion outside and thought my two cows had fled the pen and I stepped out to check what was happening,” she says.

She tells the Nation that the attacker covered her mouth, dragged her into a dark sidewalk within the compound and raped her.

By the time her assailant left, the victim was short of breath and she had to take a series of deep breaths before screaming.

“I was rushed to Dundori Health Centre. I was treated and obtained a P3 form. Thereafter, I recorded a statement at Dundori Police Post, but the offender is yet to be arrested to date,” she says, adding that her self-esteem is fading away at the thought of not knowing who did that to her and why.

Living in fear

“I live in fear, because my attacker can strike again,” says the mother of five adult children.

Kilometres away in a neighbouring village, 62-year-old Wambui, (not her real name) also a widow, is living in fear months after she went through a similar ordeal.

“I was attacked at home by a gang of three men who raped me in turns in the presence of my granddaughter. They are yet to be arrested,” she says.

Wambui reveals that the assailants stormed her home where she lives with her granddaughter and tied them up before committing the heinous act.

“We had just taken supper around 8pm when they pushed their way into the compound. I reported the matter to the police, but they are yet to act,” she notes.

Another victim, a 90-year-old granny, says she lives alone after her husband died decades ago.

“At my age, I cannot follow up the case, but the police should help me get justice. I just leave it all to God,” she says amid tears.

The Nation encountered at least 16 elderly women claiming to have been raped in Dundori in the past three months. Among them is a 90-year-old granny, whom a Nyumba Kumi official reveals has been raped five times.

Residents who spoke to the Nation point a finger at young men who indulge in drugs in the area.

“They peddle drugs and commit all sorts of crime including house break-ins, without interference of the police,” says the resident of Kaburini Village.

He claims that police from Dundori Police Post collude with the criminals to defeat justice.

“We do not even have police patrols in Dundori and criminals enjoy a field day. Peddling of drugs like bhang, sale of illicit brews, house break-ins, rapes and defilements are the order of the day here,” he adds.

Rape survivors suffer trauma, headaches and memory lapses. Worse is the constant fear they live with, that the attackers might strike again.

The most affected villages include Juacali, Kaburini and Tia Wera, where an account of the victims paint a similar pattern in timing and manner.

The perpetrators

Assistant County Commissioner Henry Kirwa, however, says most victims are yet to report the incidents.

“Locals need awareness of how the justice system works. Most who claim to have been raped have never reported. Recently when we pushed them, about eight women recorded statements. They need to be educated on how rape and defilement cases are handled,” states Mr Kirwa.

He adds: “To help police track down suspects, they must report the incidents promptly.”

Interestingly, only eight victims have reported incidents of rape at the Dundori Police Post.

When reached for comment, Bahati Sub-county police boss Jacinta Mwarania promised to investigate the matter.

A Nyumba Kumi elder who sought anonymity reveals that rape cases among elderly women in the area have become rampant but police officers are doing little to save the situation.

“These cases are on the rise and every time they are reported to the police, victims are asked to produce more evidence to nail the suspects,” the elder says.

Another Nyumba Kumi official says the incidents happen at night between 8pm and 3am and that the perpetrators are sometimes known people.

In a recent incident, a Class Eight pupil was defiled at her home at about 7pm. Sources say the matter was reported to the police, but the assailant is still walking free days after his brief arrest.

by nation.africa


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