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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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Ignore the nonsense, Ruto says on widening Jubilee rift

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While it is obvious the UhuRuto union is tottering on the brink of total collapse, Deputy President William Ruto  has once again come out to term media reports of the rift as ‘paid-for propaganda nonsense’.

In a tweet on Saturday morning, the once vibrant principal assistant to the head of state, who was always seen by the President’s side, played down questions raised on his apparent absence in nearly all presidential excursions these days.

The latest occurrence was on Thursday, when the DP was a no-show at State House, Mombasa, when President Uhuru Kenyatta met security chiefs.

Sources indicated Ruto was at the Coast but missed the meeting between Uhuru and 24 governors.But in his tweet Ruto denied it, saying ” I was in the office the whole day never in Mombasa.”

William Samoei Ruto, PhD

@WilliamsRuto

Kenyans should ignore this choreographed, paid-for propaganda nonsense. I was in the office the whole day never in Mombasa.

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A week ago, Ruto was locked out of his official residence in Mombasa, which is just metres away from State House. This came days after he was denied clearance to fly straight to Mombasa from Botswana to meet the President.
The UhuRuto rift has sucked in Ruto’s footsoldiers who are facing heat that range from being denied access to presidential functions to getting sacked or demoted.

In his latest Cabinet reshuffle, whose announcement was made in the absence of the DP, Uhuru sacked Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri who is considered a Ruto sympathiser.
Going by the challenges experienced in the docket during Kiunjuri’s tenure, one would say his sacking was expected; however, being Ruto’s strong supporter may have inked the pen.
On Tuesday, Tangatanga politicians were denied access to an Uhuru event in Nakuru, yet another perk of being pro-Ruto.
Nakuru Town East MP David Gikaria and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika were blocked from entering the Rift Valley Regional Headquarters Grounds where the President was issuing title deeds.Kihika tweeted, “I am utterly shocked. Why would I be barred from a function being graced by my President at my home county?”
Despite these telling occurrences Ruto insists his road to the presidency in 2022 is clear.
The rift in Jubilee started widening after the March 9, 2018 Handshake, when Uhuru signed a deal with Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
Following the unity deal and the developing Jubilee cracks, new tendrils begun to sprout where politicians opposed to the bromance started running their campaigns under the euphemism tangatanga while those who support it called themselves Kieleweke.
It is unclear whether Ruto’s woes are strengthening his political muscle or hurting his 2022 ambitions. What is clear though is that the DP’s popularity in parts of the Mt Kenya region has been growing.
Reports also indicate that his plan for 2022 seems to be on course, the only thorn in his flesh may be calls for a referendum that have emanated from BBI, which he claims has been hijacked by ODM to craft its 2022 political line up.

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Diaspora

UPDATE: The late Eric Mwangi Thumbi of Atlanta to be buried this Sunday

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We’d like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to each of you for standing with the Thumbi family after the promotion to glory of Eric Mwangi. God bless you for your continuing prayers, encouragement and financial gifts!

Funeral Services will be held Sunday Jan 19th starting at 2pm at West Cobb Funeral Home.
Address: 2480 Macland Rd, Marietta, GA 30064

Mwangi will be laid to rest afterwards at 3pm at Kennesaw Memorial Park.
Address: 1306 Whitlock Ave NW, Marietta, GA 30064

Eric was a beloved son to Elder Gathara Thumbi and Apostle Nyambura Thumbi .
Brother to Malkia Mumbi Hornsby, Anthony Mwangi Thumbi, Anne Wangui Thumbi , Mumbi Rehema Thumbi and Muthoni Wangui Thumbi. Brother in love to Kazha Hornsby, and Hannah Nyambura Mwangi . Uncle to Makena Hornsby. He rested on Tuesday Evening 1/7/2020 .

God bless you!

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Education

Magoha revokes appointment of Prof Kiama as UoN VC

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By JUDITH GICOBI

George Magoha, the Education Cabinet Secretary, on Friday disbanded the University of Nairobi Council and nullified the appointment of Prof Stephen Gitahi Kiama to the position of the Vice-Chancellor of the university “until the ongoing consultative process of choosing acting VC is finalized.”

In a statement from the CS, Prof Kiama will keep serving as the Deputy VC, Human Resource and Administration at the university.

In place of Prof Kiama, Magoha appointed Deputy VC (Finance, Planning and Development) Prof Isaac Meroka Mbeche to serve as acting Vice-chancellor in the meantime.

The disbandment of the council is linked to fight between the Ministry of Education and the university council after it emerged that the Ministry had a preferred candidate.

Those who did not make the interview cut included Prof Duke Omondi Otara, Prof Maurice Amutabi, Prof Isaiah Omolo Ndiege, Prof Julius Onyango Ochuodho, Prof Collins Ogutu Miruka and Prof Shitanda Douglas.

According to the PSC advert, candidates for the VC position were required to be full professors and holders of an earned doctorate degree or equivalent qualification from a recognised university.

The candidates were also required to have at least 15 years of academic research and managerial experience at a senior level in a university or equivalent institution.

They were required to prove scholarly records demonstrated by publications in internationally peer reviewed journals, monographs, books and book chapters in their areas of specialisation, and supervision and mentorship of masters and doctoral students,” read the advertisement by PSC.

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