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Vehicle that plunged into Indian Ocean at dawn retrieved

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The vehicle that plunged into the Indian Ocean at dawn on Saturday has been retrieved.

John Mutinda, 46, is said to have sped off and dived into the Likoni Channel, ignoring calls by other passengers as well as ferry officials to slow down.

The body was retrieved earlier and taken to Coast General Hospital morgue.There are reports that he got into a fight with his wife, but the family has not issued a statement to that effect.

Mutinda, a father of two, stormed out of his house at 4.20am.He left behind a widow and twins.

It is still unclear why Mutinda would drive off the ramp in what looks like suicide.

The KFS statement on Mutinda’s death said, “A motorist driving a saloon car whose registration number plate has not yet been established right away after purchasing ticket drove off to the ramps with high speed to the ocean.”

The incident brings memories of the recent Likoni Ferry tragedy where Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu drowned on September 29.It took rescuers 13 days to retrieve the wreckage of their car from the seabed.

Mutinda’s incident was different as the car had only plunged 6m into the ocean, according to the Kenya Ferry Services.It took the Kenya Navy personnel four hours to retrieve the vehicle.

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO

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From the high of sniffing glue to flying aeroplanes

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Whenever Michael Mwangi told his fellow streetboys that one day he would fly an aeroplane, they would scoff at him and tell him those were hallucinations triggered by sniffing too much glue. However, Mike as he prefers to be called, went on to achieve his dream.

His story, from a glue-sniffing streetboy to a pilot, from the rough streets to the cockpit, is the stuff movies are made of.Once a week, Mike and his fellow streetboys would walk to Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite. The trip fuelled Mike’s fantasy of piloting a plane.

“There were days when the garbage truck would bring leftovers from the airport. The food tasted so good, especially if you got bread and butter. I kept imagining the kind of food passengers are served in aeroplanes,” he says.

Mike’s story began some 23 or 24 years ago. He is not sure of his age because his mother never kept a record of the date or year when he was born. For his birthday, he randomly picked January 7.Mike’s father died when he was young.

The old man’s kinsmen raided their home in Nairobi’s Kiambio slums and carted away everything.Left with nothing, Mike’s mother started living in the streets with her three children- Mike, his brother and sister. The streets were rough.

READ ALSO:   ‘He had tried committing suicide before’ Niece to Likoni Ferry victim reveals

“Life in the streets is tough. To dull the pain we were constantly high on glue and marijuana,” he says.

The former streetboy with street families. [David Gichuru, Standard]

Added responsibility

Mike had an added responsibility. Every day he had to look for some money to pay watchmen so that his mother and sister could sleep safely.

“Rape is one thing street women and girls go through a lot and I had to ensure that my mum and sister were safe,” he says.

His life started looking up when a Good Samaritan, Fred Mwaura, rescued him from the streets to Joy Divine Children’s Home in Nairobi’s Huruma estate.There was one hurdle though- Mike’s mother was not happy with his decision to move out of the streets. He was her lifeline, and she was not about to let go.“Apart from paying her protection fees to the night watchmen, I would also share with her the little money I made from scavenging and selling scrap metal,” he recounts.But he remained at the children’s home.

Then one day, Suzy Ngige, a businesswoman married to a pilot, Captain Simon Ngige, came calling.Suzy and some members of her church had gone for an outreach at the children’s home when she first met Mike.

An instant bond formed between the boy and the woman he today calls mother.The two got talking, and Mike told Suzy about his dream of going back to school and becoming a pilot some day. She was touched and arranged a meeting with the children’s home proprietor.

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO

They both agreed that Mike’s dream was valid.Suzy then arranged to have Mike enrolled at Moi Forces Academy in Standard Four. But it was not going to be a smooth ride.

“At this point in my life I was struggling with withdrawal effects having been a glue addict for some time. Most of the time I slept in class,” he says.Having led a carefree, rowdy life on the streets, Mike also found it a huge challenge fitting into a structured life.In his first term in school, Mike managed position 54 out of 55.However, he firmly kept his eye on the ball. By the time he was leaving Moi Forces Academy, in 2011 he was top of his class.

He then joined Dr Ribeiro Parklands High School in Nairobi where teachers noticed his leadership qualities and helped nurture them.“I became the Christian Union chairman and was the head boy at Form Three. This means I was leading even those ahead of me,” he says with pride.

Guardian angel

Mike, however, did not perform as well as he had wanted in his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam in 2015, something that demoralised him. However, his guardian angel, Suzy, was there for him.“One day she asked me whether I was still interested in my dream of being a pilot. When I said yes, she and her husband agreed to take me to an aviation college,” he recounts.His dream was unfolding fast.

READ ALSO:   Man was 'victim of domestic abuse'

By 2017, he was sitting at the cockpit next to his mentor, Captain Ngige, flying on the Nairobi-Mandera route on Ngige’s Rudufu Airlines.The feeling was exhilarating and overwhelming.

“It’s a feeling you can’t describe. Looking around at all the gadgets in the cockpit I was simply overwhelmed. I felt like crying. As I sat there the story of my life played before me. I saw my time in the streets longingly watching at planes in the sky. I remembered the mocking and taunts of my fellow streetboys when I told them of my dream to be a pilot,” he says.

Years later, Mike is at home in the cockpit.Still, he has not forgotten where he came from. Every weekend, he heads out to the streets at Nairobi’s Mlango Kubwa to feed streets families.

By Standard.co.ke

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Babu Owino Allegedly Pays KSh600,000 for DJ Evolve’s Treatment 

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Plagued Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili, commonly known as Babu Owino, is said to have paid Felix Orinda’s bill at Nairobi Hospital.

According to a senior Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) officer who sought anonymity, said that the MP paid approximately Ksh 600,000 for the DJ treatment. 

Orinda, aka DJ Evolve, was taken to Nairobi Hospital Friday morning after being shot on the neck at Nairobi’s popular B-Club in Kilimani. 

The DJ had to undergo emergency surgery to get the bullet in his neck out and another operation to remove a blood clot, according to radio presenter Joe Muchiri.

“DJ Evolve has left a successful surgery. Now we sit tight and wait for the recovery process to begin, it’s not an easy journey, especially when nerves are involved. I wish him all the best at this time,” said Muchiri.

Babu was taken to Kilimani Police Station as investigations into the 7 am incident are ongoing. Still, his lawyer Cliff Ombeta on Saturday said the MP was transferred to Gigiri Police Station.

“He was transferred to the Gigiri Police Station to avoid the kind of traffic that was here yesterday….people insisting that they want to talk to him…his supporters and everybody because at that point they were interfering with investigations,” Ombeta said.

READ ALSO:   Man was 'victim of domestic abuse'
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Wind may blow locusts away: UN

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The armies of locusts which have been ravaging parts of Kenya for the last three weeks may not march through the breadbasket counties, after all, a forecast by the United Nations shows.

The Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) instead expects the pests to head northwest into Baringo and Turkana counties before entering Uganda.

Some swarms will fly to Ethiopia, which is battling other locust swarms.

The news comes as a relief to farmers in Nakuru, Kericho, Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Narok, Bungoma and West Pokot counties where much of the country’s staple, maize, is produced.

Officials who run the country’s economy can also sigh with relief.

The swarms crossed into northeast Kenya on December 28, 2019 and have spread to Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Isiolo, Samburu, Meru and Laikipia.

The locusts – a lethal species of the grasshopper family that eats every green matter in its their sight – have the potential to knock down seasons of food, prompting acute hunger and substantially slow down the economy that is dependent on agriculture.

Panic had gripped the country when swarms were spotted in Kirinyaga, sparking fears that the pests were on a southwards march.

According to Dr George Ongamo, an entomologist at the University of Nairobi, FAO is basing its predictions on the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) projections that indicate a shift in the wind patterns in Kenya.

READ ALSO:   The moment motorist plunged his car into the ocean at Likoni Channel – VIDEO

The ITCZ is where the trade winds that flow over the country meet.

When, for instance, the ITCZ shifts to north of the Equator, the southeast trade wind changes to a southwest wind as it crosses the Equator.

Dr Ongamo, who is involved in the locust control programme at the Entomological Society of Kenya, said there are indications that the zone would shift next month.

This means the winds would change their southern-bound course and shift to the west.

“Desert locusts are poor fliers, meaning they can only fly while being carried by the wind. If direction changes after the meeting zone for the trade winds, the insects cannot fly against the wind despite the abundant vegetation elsewhere,” Dr Ongamo said.

The official, however, warned the country against complacency “since there are more swarms in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Egypt”

“We are not out of the woods yet. Caution is still advised as there are swarms of locusts outside the country to worry about,” he said.

Dr Ongamo said scouts are on the ground in affected areas looking for sites where the insects laid eggs “to eliminate them with pesticides at the larva and nymph stages”.

Meanwhile, disputes in the government and civil society have denied Kenya quick access to funds which would have been used to stop the invasion of locusts, the Nation can report.

READ ALSO:   Likoni tragedy: 'Man received phone call from dead father'

During a climate change summit in France in 2015, developed nations agreed to raise $100 billion by 2020 to address the pressing needs of the developing world.

Kenya was to be a direct beneficiary of the programme.

“There is a conflict between the Ministry of Environment, which coordinates activities related to climate change, and Treasury, which is the recipient of the GCF money,” said Dr George Wamukoya, lawyer and the lead official on agriculture for the Africa Group of Negotiators on Climate Change.

Dr Wamukoya notes that the locust invasion is directly linked to global warming and adds that control of the locust menace should be financed by the National Treasury using money from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

The Fund was established under the 2016 Climate Change Act.

The Act established the Climate Change Council, chaired by the President and which is the supreme agency when it comes to making decisions.

However, the council is yet to become operational since its establishment in 2016.

This is because the civil society has not been able to agree on a representative at the council as required by the law.

It is a setback for Kenya because emergency decisions to release funds for situations like the current locust invasion can only be taken by the council.

READ ALSO:   Man was 'victim of domestic abuse'

Mr Peter Odhengo, Senior Policy Adviser for climate finance at the National Treasury, said money can only be released from the kitty if the locust invasion is declared a national disaster.

“Had the Climate Change Council been formed, it would be easy for it to sit down, assess the situation and release funds based on advice from experts,” Mr Odhengo said.

As a result, the burden now rests with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Desert Locust Control Organisation for Eastern Africa (DLCO-EA).

“The sad thing is that there have been warnings and updates by FAO in its forest locust disaster watch from as early as June 2019 when the invasive and destructive insects affected parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and moved further South of the Red Sea, but there was no reaction from those concerned,” Dr Mithika Mwenda of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance said.

The direct link of the desert locust invasions to climate change is the unpredictability of rainfall patterns.

According to experts, rains are heavier and lasting longer than usual or expected. The ensuing greenery is what entices the otherwise slow breeding insects (in calm deserts) to be more active and fast in reproduction.

by nation.co.ke

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