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Witchcraft or magic? Mysterious fraudsters causing panic in Limuru

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Residents of Limuru are a perplexed lot following the emergence of mysterious group of defrauders.

The conmen are one-of-a-kind and are using peculiar techniques which can rival top-of-the-chart crime blockbuster series.

CAUSE FOR ALARM

Fraud is not a new concept in the vibrant town in Kiambu county, which is only few kilometres from Kenya’s capital city.

But it is the puzzling incidents of residents who have been robbed – no, freely given out – their valuables to strangers in broad daylight, only to realize later when it is too late that is a cause for alarm.

It is little wonder then the normally welcoming, full of life residents, are now wary of greeting, let alone talking to strangers.

Nancy, a receptionist at a law firm, is incredulous when we visit her in her office.

She is still in denial that it actually happened to her!

These were things she has been reading on social media and brushed them off as mere chit chat.

“They were two men. It was in the afternoon and they wanted to deposit money and some legal documents including stamping. I calculated the cost which amounted to Sh30,000. They gave me the go ahead and paid in cash. I even counted the money a second time to ascertain it was the correct amount then put it in the cash drawer,” she recalls.

How she snapped out the stupefaction minutes later and realized she had actually received Sh40,000 old bank notes, remains a mystery.

But it was too late as the two strangers had already disappeared.

SCHOOL FEES MONEY

Kagendo, a house help, is at pains to narrate how she lost her entire savings of more than Sh20,000, including her phone, when she met the defrauders at Limuru market.

She had been sent by her employer to purchase groceries when she met the two women, who seemed to have sprouted from nowhere, as she tells us.

They requested her for directions to a certain building in the area. Since she was also new in the area, she could not help them, but not before she got a sudden urge to go for her money.

“I called a boda boda rider who took me back home where I collected all the savings I had kept for the six months I had been working there. I returned to the market and strangely met the two women again. The next thing I remember I was sitting under a bridge staring, blankly with nothing, not even my phone,” she narrates with tears welling up in her eyes.

For Jason, a second year student in a university in Nairobi, it was a normal day and he had it all figured out, or so he thought.

His plans for the day were going to school, paying school fees for the semester and preparing for his forthcoming end of semester exams.

All he remembers is encountering two women on his way to the stage who inquired for directions to a certain bank.

How he willing gave out Sh27,000 – money meant for his school fees – and his phone to the strangers is something he ‘will narrate in his old age’ as the locals say.

CASES OF FRAUD

Cases of fraud are not new in Limuru. The region has witnessed, time and again, fraudsters who use all methods including pregnant women, children, and people pretending to be serious ailing.

In June 2019, two young women were reported to be targeting motorists along the Limuru-Nairobi road by masquerading as sisters with one of them pretending to be epileptic while the other feigning to carry her while stopping vehicles for help.

In 2018, a trader lost more than Sh450,000 to a man masquerading as a priest from Benedictine Monastery, but who was in fact a con man targeting business operators in the area.

There have also been cases of young fraudsters pretending to be house girls who end up stealing valuables from their employers.

It is such incredibly bizarre cases which have left some people wondering what could actually be wrong with Limuru town.

Whatever it could be, it has been claimed that the cold and misty weather which the area is famed for, also offers a perfect hideout for the criminals.

BY NN

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Entertainment

John Legend, wife suffer pregnancy loss 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have been left devastated by the death of their newborn son.

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday evening, Chrissy shared the heartbreaking news with fans.

The 34-year-old model shared a series of deeply candid photographs of herself, her 41-year-old husband John, and their baby son, who they named Jack.

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.

“We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.

“To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive. We will always love you. Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers.

“We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience. But everyday can’t be full of sunshine. On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it,”Chrissy wrote.

John Legend also took to social media to mourn the loss of their son.

“We love you, Jack” alongside a string of black heart emojis. Chrissy later wrote on Twitter: “Driving home from the hospital with no baby. How can this be real?” he wrote

On Sunday night, Chrissy had been admitted to hospital as she was suffering from excessive bleeding.

The star had been documenting her pregnancy online and had updated fans with her treatment in hospital.

She had shared updates of the blood transfusions she had received in hospital and had explained that her bleeding issues had been occurring for “little less than a month”.

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News

Uhuru signs Sh180 billion deal during visit to France

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BY KEVIN KOECH

President Uhuru Kenyatta kicked off his France visit at Elysee Palace on Wednesday the 30th of September 2020, where his host Emmanuel Macron warmly welcomed him.

Shortly after 9 PM local time, Uuru inspected a guard of honor by the French Military marking the start of an elaborate state reception ceremony.

The two leaders then witnessed the signing of three bilateral agreements before they led their delegates to a State banquet.

Macron had held the celebration in honor of Uhuru as the visiting leader.

The two heads of state then retreated for private talks.

The two leaders reached a Private Public Partnership (PPP) for the Nairobi-Nakuru-Mau Summit Highway construction, signed between Vinci Concessions and KeNHA.

This Summit Highway is among the largest PPP projects in East Africa.

Kenya’s ambassador to France, Prof Judi Wakhungu, also explained that this highway would decongest the existing road.

She further noted that this highway is essential since it facilitates the transportation of goods to other countries.

“We hope that extending this highway, which is going to be about 200km, again, it will ease traffic on that particular very, very important route. I need not remind Kenyans that this is a major highway that connects Mombasa, Nairobi, and all the way to Uganda, Rwanda, and other parts of Central Africa,” Prof Wakhungu said.

The leaders also agreed on the commuter railway from the Nairobi CBD to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

According to Wakhungu, the railway will ease the movement of people in the city.

She also expressed her hope that businesses along the rail will boom.

“Our aspiration is to see that this commuter railway line eases traffic in Nairobi but also eases the movement of people within Nairobi. We hope that along the route and the surrounding areas, other businesses will be able to grow,” Prof Wakhungu said.

Uhuru and Macron also reached an agreement on the 400KV Menengai-Rongai electricity transmission line.

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Health

First man cured of HIV dies of cancer

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The first person to be cured of HIV, Timothy Ray Brown — known as the “Berlin Patient” — has died after a battle with cancer, the International Aids Society (IAS) announced Wednesday.

Brown made medical history and became a symbol of hope for the tens of millions of people living with the virus that causes AIDS when he was cured more than a decade ago.

He had been living with a recurrence of leukaemia for several months and received hospice care at his home in Palm Springs, California.

“On behalf of all its members… the IAS sends its condolences to Timothy’s partner, Tim, and his family and friends,” said IAS President Adeeba Kamarulzaman.

“We owe Timothy and his doctor, Gero Hutter, a great deal of gratitude for opening the door for scientists to explore the concept that a cure for HIV is possible.”

Brown was diagnosed with HIV while was studying in Berlin in 1995. A decade later, he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

To treat his leukaemia, his doctor at the Free University of Berlin used a stem cell transplant from a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that gave him natural resistance to HIV, hoping it may wipe out both diseases.

It took two painful and dangerous procedures, but it was a success: in 2008 Brown was declared free of the two ailments, and was initially dubbed “the Berlin Patient” at a medical conference to preserve his anonymity.

Two years later, he decided to break his silence and went on to become a public figure, giving speeches and interviews and starting his own foundation.

“I am living proof that there could be a cure for AIDS,” he told AFP in 2012. “It’s very wonderful, being cured of HIV.”

‘Champion’

Ten years after Brown was cured, a second HIV sufferer — dubbed “the London Patient” — was revealed to be in remission 19 months after undergoing a similar procedure.

The patient, Adam Castillejo, is currently HIV-free. In August a California woman was reported to have no traces of HIV despite not using anti-retroviral treatment.

It is thought she may be the first person to be cured of HIV without undergoing the risky bone marrow treatment.

Sharon Lewin, president-elect of the IAS and director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia, praised Brown as a “champion and advocate” of a cure for HIV.

“It is the hope of the scientific community that one day we can honour his legacy with a safe, cost-effective and widely accessible strategy to achieve HIV remission and curs using gene edition or techniques that boost immune control,” she said.

By AFP

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