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VIDEOS: Bodies of missing woman, two children found in shallow grave

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Three bodies believed to be those of missing wife and children of military officer were on Saturday found in a shallow grave in Thingithu Estate, in Nanyuki.

The three had been missing for three weeks. The bodies were found stuffed in three sacks.

This comes a day after Major Peter Mugure was arrested in connection with the disappearance of his estranged partner Joyce Syombua (31) and children; Shanice Maua (10) and Prince Michael (5).

On Saturday, the bodies were discovered at Makaburini in Thingithu area with the children stacked on top of their mother.

Thingithu is approximately 9-minutes away from the Laikipia Air Base.

 

As detectives dug up the shallow grave, Major Mugure remained silent, sitting still in a police vehicle a few meters from the scene.

Detectives had launched investigations after Syombua’s mother, Elizabeth Maua, went to Soweto Police Station in Nairobi and reported her family missing.

 

She alleged that the suspect had at one time tried to poison the children.

Major Mugure had previously been ordered by court to pay maintenance costs for his children after DNA tests proved he was their father.

“He (Mugure) was not on good terms with her (Syombua) for some time,” Nanyuki DCI boss Mureithi told Citizen Digital in an earlier interview.

When the three went missing, a friend identified as Farizana also reported the matter at Nanyuki Police Station.

Curiously, Syombua’s phone was found a day later, inside a 4NTE matatu.

However, according to the matatu crew, the vehicle had just returned from a trip to Nyahururu and at no time during that weekend had it carried the three missing persons.

Detectives then said they would wait for call-log details from Syombua’s phone before announcing the next step of the investigation.

On Friday, Major Mugure was questioned for seven hours as detectives sought to know what happened to the family that resided in Kayole, Nairobi.

This was the third time that Mugure was being questioned.

The Kenya Defense Force (KDF) officer had earlier told police that he did not know whether the three did indeed board a vehicle to Nairobi.

He is said to have hosted Syombua and their two children at the Nanyuki Airbase until Saturday at around 7pm.

Mugure claimed to have then escorted the three to Nanyuki Bus Station; however, when he was interrogated for a second time, his story changed.

He now alleged that Syombua had called a friend in Nairobi and then left the Airbase with the children.

The suspect is currently being held at the Nanyuki Police Station.

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Likoni tragedy: ‘Man received phone call from dead father’

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A bare chested John Mutinda stormed out of his house in Vanga Estate in Likoni, Mombasa County, at around 4am on Saturday, got into his vehicle and sped off.

Clad in a pair of shorts only, Mr Mutinda knocked down a motorcycle as he sped off towards the Likoni crossing channel before plunging into the ocean.

Mr Mbithi Matheka, a night guard who Mr Mutinda usually hired to watch over his car, a Toyota Allion, said the 46-year-old clearing and forwarding agent looked disturbed.

“He did not utter a word, he stared at us for some minutes before he got into the car and drove off at high speed,” said Mr Matheka.

Soon after leaving, his wife Ruth Mueni came out to inquire where her husband had gone.

A neighbour said that at around midnight, Ms Mueni had complained that her husband was behaving strangely.

“The wife was here complaining, but it was not clear what she was bitter about. She went back to the house, only for the incident to happen later,” said a neighbour.

According to Mr Mutinda’s relative, Benard Kieti, the victim told his wife that he had received a call from his late father before leaving the house in a huff.

“He was saying things that his wife could not comprehend when he left. The wife tried to stop him in vain,” said Mr Kieti who spoke on behalf of the family during an interview at the Likoni channel.

According to Kenya Ferry Services (KFS), Mr Mutinda drove straight into the sea at around 4.20am without paying for the ticket.

As he drove into the sea at high speed, he almost ran over a KFS official. At the time of the incident, the only ferry which was operational was on the Island side of the channel. The incident happened on the mainland side.

Soon after the incident, officers from the Kenya Navy and the Kenya Police Marine swung into action.

But it was not until 8am when Kenya Navy divers retrieved the body which was later taken to Jocham Hospital mortuary.

The vehicle was later pulled out of the ocean at around midday by technicians from the Southern Engineering Ltd.

The vehicle was lifted by a crane and put on Mv Kilindini before being towed to the Likoni Ferry Police Station.

by Nation

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How star from Turkana ran away from poverty

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When he steps onto the starting line of the Honolulu Marathon in the scenic Hawaiian State capital on Sunday, Titus Ekiru will be making yet another major step towards greatness.

With Eliud Kipchoge and Geoffrey Kamworor having hogged the limelight with distance running records in recent weeks, Ekiru is hot on their heels.

But his story is quite different from that of Kipchoge and Kamworor, who both honed their skills on the global track and in cross country running before hitting the gold-paved roads.

A late bloomer, Ekiru, 27, went straight to the roads to literally run away from financial challenges in his family that saw him fail to go past primary school at Kosirai, Nandi County.

He had just done a few local 5,000 metres races in Nandi where he grew up after his family relocated from their home in Lodwar, Turkana County.

“I’d started running in school, but when life took a turn for the worse, I stopped schooling and looked for casual jobs to help make ends meet. I didn’t manage to finish my primary school education,” Kenya’s next big thing in marathon running narrates in an interview at the scenic Outrigger Reef on the Beach Hotel on Friday.

“But when my sister made a breakthrough in running, travelling abroad for races, I was encouraged to take up athletics more seriously, and that’s how I started training in 2009,” he narrates.

Urged on by his sister Margaret Akai – who won, among others, the 2012 Shanghai (two hours, 24 minutes and 17 seconds) and 2013 Daegu (2:23:28) marathons – Ekiru has since won four big marathons, in the process setting four course records on his travels in both full and half marathons.

Focused on making a living from athletics, Ekiru joined the Rosa Associati camp in Kaptagat at the end of 2013.

“But then I got injured. But this didn’t discourage me at all, as when I looked back at our poor family set-up, I gathered determination to make the breakthrough.”

His father, Nangiro Longole Kameto, was a casual labourer who struggled to feed his wife Mary and seven children – three boys and four girls.

“My dad focused on at least helping my elder sister (Margaret) complete her education, and when she started running, I was motivated to soldier on.

“I said since I was running as a child, athletics is something that I can make a living from, and that’s how I started focusing seriously in running.”

His first trip abroad was in 2014 to Milan where he picked up an injury.

“I spent 2014 to 2016 treating the injury while in camp after which I decided to dive straight into the full marathon.”

Ekiru’s reasoning was that rather than waste time trying out different distances, it was prudent to dive right in and focus on the 42 kilometres to earn a decent living and help his family.

His first marathon was in Casablanca, Morocco, running 2:15:43 for second place in 2016, a time he improved by exactly eight minutes in winning the Seville Marathon the following year.

Also in 2017, Ekiru made his Honolulu Marathon debut, finishing fourth (2:12:19).

“After Seville, I was actually scheduled to run in Milan, but while in Milan, I picked up a fracture while jogging so I didn’t race.

“I was treated at the camp back home and after recovering I ran in last year’s San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon, winning in 61:02.”

In August last year, Ekiru won the Mexico City Marathon (2:10:38) before pacing Britain’s Mo Farah to victory at the Chicago Marathon in October.

And then he travelled to the middle of the Pacific Ocean again in December, winning the Honolulu Marathon in 2:09:01, threatening compatriot Lawrence Cherono’s course record of 2:08:27 set in 2017.

This season has been a fantastic one for Ekiru, who ran personal best times in both the half and full marathons.

He started off with brilliant pacemaking duties for the Lake Biwa Marathon in March where Morocco’s Salah-Eddine Bounasr won in 2:07:52.

The following month, he returned to Milan, winning the Milan Marathon in 2:04:46, his personal best over the distance and a course record.

Then in August, he won Kenya gold in the half marathon (61:42) at the African Games in Rabat before clocking a PB over the 21-kilometre distance (61:42) in October at the Lisbon Half Marathon.

He defends his Honolulu Marathon title Sunday with four course records under his belt – one in the half marathon in Lisbon and three in the marathon in Mexico, Seville and Milan.

Having come close to a fifth CR in Honolulu last year, despite the extremely windy conditions, Ekiru – who loves to attack from the front with his fluid, long and elegant strides – could most likely challenge Cherono’s mark today, given the experience he has gained over the last 12 months.

“I picked Honolulu because I told my manager I didn’t want to get into a very fast race at this point of my career,” the calculated Ekiru explains.

“I wanted a race that I can win in 2:08 or 2:09 so that I keep my reserves for the future.”

He will, finally, graduate to the rich World Marathon Majors circuit next year, the Tokyo Marathon on March 1 in his cross hairs.

Then he will hope for selection to Kenya’s team to the Tokyo Olympics, where the marathon races will actually be run in Sapporo City in the island of Hokkaido.

A calculated plan indeed for the meticulous man who even attempted eking out a career in football, turning out as a no-nonsense central defender for amateur club Kosirai FC in Nandi County as he juggled between sports and odd jobs to put bread on family’s table.

“If, by the will of God, I get selected for the Olympics, then it would be my next big race after the Tokyo Marathon,” he anticipates.

In fact, he was hopeful of a place in Kenya’s team to the World Championships in Doha last October but was overlooked by selectors.

But if there’s anyone who has the possibility of running Kipchoge close, then it’s Ekiru.

“I actually prepared a lot in anticipation of the Doha championships, but they told me to go for the African Games wait.

“After I won the African Games title, I went back into training for Doha, but when I wasn’t selected, then I shifted my plans to this race in Honolulu.”

On Tokyo’s course next March, Ekiru will be looking to improve his PB and keep knocking on selectors’ doors.

With a fledgling career slowly rising to a crescendo, Ekiru, who dropped out of primary school due to poverty has managed to turn things around, and his wife Daisy Cherotich, also a runner, and one-year-old son Rian Kiptum, now celebrate decent lives.

Ekiru currently trains under coach Lawrence Saina in Kapsabet at the Stanley Biwott camp, his training partners including Biwott himself, a former champion at the Paris and New York marathons.

Others in the group include two-time Tokyo winner Dickson Chumba, Rotterdam course record holder Marius Kipserem and Reuben Kipyego, the pacemaker who famously won Friday’s Abu Dhabi Marathon.

Ekiru has enormous respect for Kipchoge, and, just like the world record holder, maintains discipline is important in a running career, urging athletes to resist the temptation of using banned performance-enhancing substances.

So what would happen should he be selected to the Olympic team?

“I know mzee (Kipchoge) will be there, but it all’s God’s plan. Eliud is experienced and we are just coming up,” he sums it up in typically modest fashion.

But he has already joined the league of 1988 Olympic 800 metres champion Paul Ereng, 2010 Commonwealth Games marathon gold medallist John Kelai and Wilson Erupe, who has clocked six sub-2:09 times in the marathon, as one of Turkana’s finest sporting exports.

Most certainly, an Olympic gold will see him head and shoulders above the rest and make him Turkana’s most successful athlete.

But he has the small matter of Eliud Kipchoge to deal with. Anyway, Sunday’s Honolulu Marathon is in immediate focus.

And with the weather predicted to be better than last year, I see another course record added onto the 27-year-old’s CV when the race starts off along the Ala Moana Boulevard, snaking through Waikiki, Diamond Head, Kahala onto the finish at Kapiolani Park.

The race starts at 5am, local time, which will be 6pm Kenyan time as the Honolulu clock is a massive 13 hours behind Nairobi time.

by nation

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Woman recounts pain of gang rape when pregnant

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Betha Akoth, 45, a freelance community health officer, gets emotional as she recounts events of the night of May 15 and 16, 2006, at her home in Kabachia, Nakuru County. On the fateful night, she was happy as her husband John Wanyama had just been discharged from hospital where he was rushed after a road accident.

Akoth, then 32 years old, was expectant and did not know that it will be the beginning of 13 years of pain and agony. At around midnight, their dog started barking prompting her to peep outside through the bedroom window.

She switched on the security lights only to see a hooded man jump over the walls, break the padlock and let in 15 people.

Akoth locked the door to the main bedroom and refused to open. The assailants made their way through the guest room and broke the glass in the children’s bedroom.“I had no choice but to open the door. I couldn’t let them get to my children and assault them or do something worse,” she said.

The criminals demanded money as they ransacked the house for valuables.Akoth had only Sh4,000 and this infuriated the criminals who turned violent and started assaulting her.

“They kicked me, slapped me, and whipped me,” she said.One of the hooded men with the flashlight ordered her to the bedroom where her husband was lying.“Their leader placed a metal rod on my husband’s chest after he discovered that he couldn’t walk.He turned to me and told me to be useful or he kills him,” she said as tears rolled down her chicks.Akoth pleaded with them to spare her as she was pregnant but they mocked her saying that even pregnant women have intercourse.

“They forced me on the bed next to my husband and started debating who will go first after which they started raping me in turns,” she said.She bled but they did not stop and her ordeal continued for about an hour. “No one came to help although I called the police. My husband was shocked and only spoke to me at 5am asking if I was okay,” she said.

Battled nightmares

After the ordeal, Akoth underwent tests and was put on medication to ensure safety of the baby.

She was in and out of the police station for the next seven years to follow up on the rape case which sadly collapsed for lack of evidence as she never identified the assailants.Akoth battled nightmares every night which deprived her of peaceful sleep.“I was furious and wanted the culprits hanged, I viewed men as monsters and suspects and it affected my marriage since it took a long time for me and my husband to be intimate again,” she said.

In 2012, her life changed when she met other rape survivors who had gone through worse experiences. “I saw children, pregnant teenagers and those infected with STIs after sexual violence and got courage.”Akoth’s turning point came when she started campaigns against sexual and gender-based violence with institutions such as USAID and National Aids Control Council.She was finally able to open up this year about the ordeal.

She condemns parents who opt for out-of-court settlement with rapists saying they belong in jail.She advocated for better sexual violence handling procedures. “The government should have one central place where victims can get all the assistance at once to avoid inconvenience and other dangers,” she said.

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