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Kakamega tragedy: Teachers had restricted staircase use



Sixteen teachers from Kakamega Primary School have so far recorded statements with police as investigations into the stampede that killed 15 pupils a week ago continue.

Western region Criminal Investigations Officer Shem Nyamboki said detectives were planning to record statements from pupils and other witnesses.

According to Mr Nyamboki, preliminary investigations indicate that teachers at the school had restricted pupils to using only one of the two staircases in the building and reserved the other for themselves.

Three pupils out of the 15 who died in the stampede will be buried on Saturday.

Those to be buried are Catherine Aloo from Butere, Lavenda Akasa from Ikonyero and Bertha Munywele from Esumiya in Lurambi constituency.

Once all statements are recorded, detectives will then compile a file which will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for perusal.

The DCI boss said should the DPP recommend that there was enough evidence to sustain a criminal prosecution in the matter, they will proceed to have those culpable for criminal negligence charged.

There is also a possibility that the DPP could recommend that a public inquest be held before a magistrate to determine what happened.

After the hearing, the magistrate will proceed to make recommendations on the next course of action based on the evidence of those summoned to appear and testify in the inquest.

READ ALSO:   Gone too soon: Parents speak of dashed hopes

“Investigations are proceeding well and we are trying to establish whether there was negligence on the part of the teachers and whether the evidence on record can support criminal culpability on their part,” said Mr Nyamboki.

The recording of statements from pupils was put off due to the ongoing counselling sessions by a team from the county government.

It targets pupils from Grade 4 and 5 who were affected by the tragic incident, including those injured in the commotion.

Western region police commander Peris Kimani said investigations were at advanced stages.

Police have directed the school board of management to stop nine churches from conducting their services in classrooms at the school.

“These churches have been operating at the school for a long time and using the classrooms for worship. That has to stop,” said Mr Nyamboki.

A post-mortem report indicated that the pupils died from suffocation.

On Monday, one of the pupils who had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Kakamega County General and Referral Hospital collapsed and died at her parents’ home in Amalemba estate shortly after she had been discharged.

The hospital’s pathologist, Dr Dickson Machana, said Salma Oleso Bilal died due to complications related to injuries to her lungs.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: ‘My maternal instincts told me…’ parent narrates last moments with Kakamega pupil

She was buried on Tuesday at the Kakamega Muslim Cemetery.


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Model and pilot Gaudencia Aura to be buried in Mumias



Ms Gaudencia Aura, the first African woman pilot and model for the popular soap brand Lux in the 1980s, will be laid to rest at her parents’ home in Mumias next week, her family has said.

Friends and relatives joined Mr Francis Gerald Aura in mourning the death of his daughter, who was a cleric by the time of her death.

In her heydays Ms Aura, who worked for various airlines and modelling companies across the world, routinely featured on billboards and television screens.


Born in 1954 in Mayoni Village in Matungu Sub-County in Kakamega, she attended St Ann’s Girls’ Primary School in Mumias before joining Limuru Girls’ High School for her secondary education.

She later joined Highlands Girls’ High School in Eldoret (currently Moi Girls) for her A-level education. Her aunt, Dr Sabina Wangia Aura, said the former Miss Kenya died on February 24 in Nairobi.


“We found her unconscious in the house and rushed her to hospital where she died 12 hours later. She never told us what had happened to her,” she said.

Dr Wangia said the family was waiting for the postmortem report to know what killed their kin. Ms Aura served as an air hostess before becoming a pilot.

READ ALSO:   Kakamega stampede: School bans church meetings amid probe

“Her KQ (Kenya Airways) licence expired in 1989 after working for 20 years,” Dr Wangia said. Ms Aura’s image also appeared on the covers of Drum and Vivamagazines.


Her younger sister, Celestine Aura, said she also played table tennis and featured in the national team.

Ms Celestine Aura said her sister joined the church upon retirement and went on to become a pastor at Winners Chapel in Nairobi.

“She was steadfast in the church and remained a prayerful woman who was eloquent in English and loved children. She would pray for a bad situation to change and it would happen,” Celestine said.

She said the burial will be in Mayoni next week.

“We’re holding family meetings both in Nairobi and Mumias before we agree on the burial date. But, hopefully, it is next week,” she said.


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Dreamliner KQ ranked last among 10 carriers in the Middle East and Africa



A strike and pilot sabotage are among factors that dragged Kenya Airways to the bottom of Middle East and African carriers’ ranking in the 2019 on-time performance (OTP) review.

The update done by Cirium, a London-based airlines advisory and consultancy firm, rates global airlines through their on-time arrivals, departures, average delay in minutes per flight and those that operate within scheduled time.


The airline was ranked last among the 10 carriers in Middle East and Africa, a blow to the carrier that saw its losses double last year.

The rating saw Kenya’s national carrier come in 10th with a 72.25 per cent on time arrival of flights just below Addis Ababa-based Ethiopian Airlines at 74.22 per cent.

Qatar Airline was ranked top with 82.45 per cent on time arrival, followed by Dubai-headquartered Emirates Airlines at 81.02 per cent and troubled South African Airlines at 79.38 per cent, coming a close third in terms of punctuality.

KQ had an average of 47 minutes in delays for its over 54,061 flights it operated last year, a slight improvement of its 50 minutes in 2018.

“Arriving on time at a destination is becoming increasingly important to millions of both leisure and business passengers around the world every day. Therefore, our on-time performance review 2019 is designed to inspire airlines and airports to continually innovate to improve their performance,” the report said.

READ ALSO:   Kakamega stampede: School bans church meetings amid probe


Kenya Airways Director of Operations Capt Paul Njoroge attributed the poor show in flight performance to aircraft withdrawals as a result of collision mid last year and industrial action by the airlines unionised employees.

“We were then negatively affected by the withdrawal of two aircraft due to the unfortunate incident in the hangar.

This was then coupled by the Kenya Airlines Workers Union (KAWU) strike and pilot shortage in the second and third quarter of last year, which saw the on time performance drop to as low as 67 per cent in August 2019,” Capt Njoroge said, adding that this was way below the 81 per cent performance they had achieved by April of last year.

In February last year, two of the airline’s Embraer 190 aircraft collided in the hangar while undergoing maintenance which saw them withdrawn from service.

Three months later, the airline’s unionisable employees under KAWU went on strike, protesting against the proposed merger between the national carrier Kenya Airways and the airports regulator. This saw more than 24 of its flights cancelled, while more suffered incessant delays.

By Nation

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Sonko: Why I handed over Nairobi



Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has defended his decision to hand over some county functions to the national government.

In a statement posted in the wee hours of Thursday morning, Sonko — who is facing corruption charges in court — said the needs of Nairobi County are unique compared to other devolved units.

“My government set out on a fact-finding mission that saw us benchmark and take lessons from other jurisdictions across the world including Washington DC in the US and Abuja in Nigeria. From these case studies, we established that cities and metropolis the size of Nairobi are best served jointly by devolved units and central governments,” he said.

He claims that with this in mind, and in his capacity as governor, he initiated discussions with the national government with a view to approaching service delivery with both county and State resources.

“It is this consultative process that led to the crafting of the historic and comprehensive agreement that we signed on Tuesday handing over the management of some of the functions of Nairobi county government to the national government,” he said.

The embattled governor says he is convinced that the agreement, which was signed in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta, will not only help enhance service delivery in the city but also reposition Nairobi as the region’s economic hub.

READ ALSO:   Gone too soon: Parents speak of dashed hopes

“As the County Government of Nairobi, we remain committed to continue serving the people of our great county by focusing more keenly on the functions and service areas that are not covered in our agreement with the national government,” he said.

“We believe our bold decision to collaborate with the national government through the transfer of some of our functions will create a positive governance precedence that will help strengthen devolution,” he added.

He thanked Mr Kenyatta and the Jubilee Administration for showing commitment in ensuring Nairobi residents “get the best services from their government”.

The explanation given by the governor has drawn sharp reactions from Nairobi residents on his social media pages.

“In New York and other major cities, they have mayors voted for by the people. Even London. Not happy at all. We voted you in … not the national government …This decision will hurt service delivery,” said Facebook user Johnnie Muthuis.

“By the way what about the CECs of those functions taken to the national government like Health? What is their mandate now?” another user, SA Mwakush, wondered.

Another resident, Twitter user @wanjutha, asked why the public was not involved in the process.

Others were positive about the move, saying the collaboration could be a great idea.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: ‘My maternal instincts told me…’ parent narrates last moments with Kakamega pupil

“Nairobi deserves the best; that’s why Governor Mike Sonko has collaborated with the national government to make Nairobi great,” said Kennie Balo.

by Nation

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