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Meet the Nandi soap-eating sisters

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What is your favorite snack? I know you are thinking of crisps, biscuits, chocolate bars, cookies and the like.

But for two young women from Kibochi Village in Nandi county, surprisingly, a bar of soap is their favorite snack.

According to a story that ran on KTN News, Sharon Chepchirchir and her sister Lydia Chepkemboi have an insatiable appetite for bars of soap.

Chepchirchir said she has been eating soap since she was only five years old, and 19 years later it is still her favorite snack.

She thought she was the only one with the strange habit but six years ago she discovered her sister had the same secret habit.

“My younger sister lived with my aunt and we rarely met. One day, I noticed she had a bar of soap in her pocket. I asked what she was doing with it and she said she eats soap. This brought us closer because we borrow soap from one another,” she says, she told a KTN News reporter.

When Chepchirchir got pregnant she was worried that her soap-eating habits would affect her unborn child but she said she got an assurance from her doctor that her habit was harmless.

“The doctor said it was the first time he was encountering a person who eats soap. He also said he was unaware of any condition that makes people eat soap. He, however, said soap is not poisonous,” said Chepchirchir.

Chepchirchir has for the past two years sought to tame the urge to eat soap but she admits it has been a tough battle.

She said she even sought divine intervention but her efforts have proved futile.

Chepkemboi, on her side, said she enjoys eating soap and only a few of her friends know about her bizarre habit.

“I am also shocked that I eat soap. I have worked hard to hide the habit but some of my friends know about it. They say I am not normal. I want to stop but I just can’t,” says Chepkemboi.

Their mother, Monica Jebet, has expressed her frustration trying to stop her girls from eating soap without success.

“I even tried to apply pepper on the soap but they kept eating. They would steal other soap without pepper and eat,”  said Jebet.

 

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Ben Githae: I have no apologies for ‘Tano Tena’ song

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Kikuyu gospel artiste Ben Githae says he will not apologise to Kenyans for his song Tano Tena that urged Kenyans to give President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto another term during the 2017 heated election campaigns.

The song that served as the Jubilee campaigns anthem is currently trending on social media offering a ‘painful’ reminder of the ‘bad’ choice that voters made to elect into power, a government that has led the country into an economic slump.

While studies have shown that majority of Kenyans are surviving on a single meal per day, citizens have taken to social media to vent about having to cut down their expenses by walking to work and reducing their leisure activities to be able to survive.

They have accused the government of doing little to change the situation. Jubilee administration has also gone on a borrowing spree with the total public debt now standing at Sh5.902 trillion.

Some Kenyans have called on the artiste to produce another song that apologises to Kenyans for “misleading” them.

MISLEADING US

“Mpendwa, aka Baba Daisy should release a seven minutes apology hit song so that we can forgive him for misleading us .I personally apologized for voting three times in favor of the poor (in terms of leadership) duo,” wrote Moses Ngigi.

The artiste, however, feels those who voted for Jubilee government based on the contents of the song only have themselves to blame.

He said his influence could not have driven such a huge mass towards making a decision such as who to elect in office and called on those claiming that it influenced their voting patterns to instead clap for him for supporting a winning candidate.

“I saw an opportunity and seized it. I have no apologies to make,” said Mr Githae.

He said the song that was part of his Roho wa Ngai urotoma roho wa wuirualbum (May the spirit of God win over that of jealousy) hit more because of the timing of its release.

Despite the flak received for the song, Mr Githae says he made a tidy sum from the opportunities it brought forth. Also, contrary to people’s beliefs, he says he was not contracted by the Jubilee party to do the song.

The artiste said he made a decision to include a political song in the album as an expression of his support for the president.

PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS

“I said to myself that I do not have money to support the presidential campaigns but I have a gift I can use. So why not do a song, record a simple video for it and share it amongst the people to test its reception?” he said.

The song went viral and became a darling amongst Jubilee party supporters. The trending clip was shot at Ndumberi in Kiambu, his home county.

“The president was voted for by over 8 million Kenyans, the ones claiming my song guided their choice of candidates are lying. How can such a huge mass be influenced by a person of my stature,” said Mr Githae.

He called on the president to work to improve the lives of Kenyans. “Those that may be failing him should be pointed out and ejected from his administration,” said the artist.

Mr Githae said he is not sure if he shall releasing another political song in 2022. “I did Tano Tena in support of Uhuru and he shall not be seeking another term. That decision shall be guided by the dynamics of the time,” he said.

BY NN

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How Shabaab is recruiting in Kenya

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Three Kenyans and two Somalis linked to the Dadaab refugee camp in northeastern Garissa County carried out the January attack claimed by Al-Shabaab on the DusitD2 hotel complex in Nairobi, according to United Nations experts.

A fourth Kenyan citizen based in Mandera County served as “a key financing link between al-Shabaab in Somalia and the attacking cell in Kenya,” adds a report by the UN experts released on November 12.

The findings lend some substance to Shabaab’s claim in June that it has recruited “an army of fighters from the Kenyan population itself.”

The Dusit attack also highlights what the UN experts describe as “a newly observed dimension of al-Shabaab’s recruitment strategy.”

“The possession of criminal skills, including knowledge of evading law enforcement, are privileged over ideology or affiliation with certain mosques or religious networks,” report says.

Ali Salim Gichunge, born in Isiolo in 1995, is named as the organiser and coordinator of the Dusit attack which left 26 people dead, including a suicide bomber and four gunmen.

“Unusually for a Kenyan operative within al-Shabaab,” the report notes, “Gichunge was given wide discretion and autonomy over the particulars of the plot — including the selection of the target — rather than being directly overseen from within Somalia.”

Gichunge and his wife, Violet Wanjiru, established a safe house in the Guango Estate, Muchatha, on the outskirts of Nairobi about nine months prior to the attack, the report finds.

Another Kenyan national, Osman Ibrahim Gedi, served as Gichunge’s lieutenant, the experts say.

The assault on the Dusit complex began at 3.28pm East African time on January 15 when a third Kenyan, Mombasa-born Mahir Khalid Riziki, detonated a suicide bomb, the report recounts.

Siyat Omar Abdi, a Somali born in the Dadaab refugee complex in 1992, was among the gunmen who stormed the hotel.

The UN experts say they obtained a Dadaab identification and ration card number attributed to Abdi through his fingerprint. But officials with the UN refugee programme in Dadaab say there is no record of Abdi in their databases, the report notes.

A fifth member of Shabaab’s Dusit attack unit has not been identified but is presumed to be of Somali origin, the report adds. This individual activated a new Kenyan mobile phone in Dadaab’s Dagahaley camp on December 15, 2018, according to the UN panel of experts.

Also implicated in the Dusit attack is Abdi Ali Mohamed, a Kenyan national based in Mandera. He used three phone numbers to transmit almost Sh70,000 to Shabaab cell leader Gichunge via M-Pesa, the report states.

“A conservative estimate of the total cost of the DusitD2 operation was between $45,000 and $50,000 (Sh4 million and Sh5 million),” the experts suggest.

Riziki, the suicide bomber, was recruited in 2014 by Ramadhan Hamisi Kufungwa, described in the report as “a well-known Kenyan Al-Shabaab recruiter now located in Somalia.”

The recruitment was centred on the Musa Mosque in Mombasa, which the experts say “has long been associated with radicalisation, recruitment for al-Shabaab, and religious violence.”

by nation.co.ke

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Revealed: Mama Ngina Kenyatta’s State salary

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Former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta has been receiving a monthly pay in excess of half a million shillings from the government amid legal debate on whether she is entitled to the payments.

Official documents from the Presidency indicate that Mrs Kenyatta receives Sh568, 218 monthly at taxpayers’ expense for being the spouse of Kenya’s first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, who died in 1978. Treasury officials say the payment is tied to the law that provides for a spouse of a sitting or retired president to be paid 40 percent of the current salary paid to the sitting head of state should their husband die.

But some lawyers reckon that the payment is not consistent with the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act, which took effect in January 2003.

“Ideally, this law cannot be applied retrospectively. Mrs Kenyatta, while

deserving State pension or gratuity, is not entitled to a government pay when the Act is applied strictly,” said a lawyer who requested anonymity because he did not want to be seen discussing the first family in public.

Mrs Kenyatta started receiving the payment before her son, Uhuru Kenyatta, became President in 2013, officials at the Presidency say.

At 40 percent of the sitting president’s salary, Mrs Kenyatta is in line for a Sh577, 500 monthly pay.

“Spouse benefits upon the death of a serving President or of a retired President who is in receipt of or who is entitled to a pension under this Act, his surviving spouse shall be entitled to benefits amounting to fifty percent of such pension,” says the Presidential Retirement Benefits Act.

The monthly pension of retired presidents– Mwai Kibaki and Daniel arap Moi—is set at 80 percent of the current salary paid to the sitting President besides other perks like fuel, house and entertainment allowances.

This places their monthly pension at Sh1.15 million compared to the Sh1.44 million that Mr Kenyatta earns every month.

The monthly payment of Mrs Kenyatta, 86, has placed the former First Lady in a small and exclusive club that includes former top public officials who set back taxpayers more than half a million shillings every month to keep them comfortable in retirement.

This includes former Vice-President Moody Awori and retired Parliament Speakers — Kenneth Marende, Francis ole Kaparo and Ekwee Ethuro — who are paid hundreds of thousands monthly besides juicy perks like fuel and medical allowance and tens of aides paid by the State.

The Treasury has set aside Sh1.5 billion in the current financial year ending June to cater for the retirement benefits of the privileged former State officials in a package that will also include the pay and perks of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice-Presidents Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi.

This underlines the taxpayers burden of keeping former State officials comfortable in retirement.

The lavish package has also come under heavy criticism on grounds that some of the retired ‘State officials left office as rich men with property worth billions of shillings and vast business interests.

As the matriarch in charge of the Kenyatta family’s vast business empire, Mama Ngina presides over an enterprise that is associated with wellknown commercial brands and blue chip companies.

Nigeria-based financial magazine, Ventures, in 2013 estimated the Kenyatta family fortune, including thousands of acres of land and commercial buildings to be worth $1 billion (Sh100 billion).

But the full extent of the business dynasty, however, is still a closely guarded secret known only to the family, top lawyers and the elite investors with whom they do business.

The Kenyatta family owned a significant stake in Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), which recently merged with the listed NIC Bank, to form NCBA Group—which is listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

The Kenyattas control about 13.2 percent of the new entity, valuing their stake at Sh6.43 billion based on the bank’s market valuation of Sh48.68 billion at close of trading yesterday.

Others investments are Brookside Dairy—where the President’s younger brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, sits as executive chairman, and the upmarket and chic hotel chain, Heritage Hotels East Africa.

The family is also linked to Media Max Company, which owns K24 TV, Kameme Radio and The People Daily newspaper.

It also owns thousands of acres of prime land across Kenya that was acquired by the late President Kenyatta in the ‘60s and ‘70s under a settlement transfer fund scheme that allowed government officials to acquire land from the British.

By BD

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