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Kenyans stranded abroad to be flown home at own cost

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Over 500 Kenyans stranded in China and India will be evacuated next week at their own cost, Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Ambassador Macharia Kamau has said.

Speaking yesterday morning on a local radio station, Kamau said Kenya Airways would airlift 300 Kenyans from India and 200 from China after being stranded due to Covid-19 outbreak.

The move comes as a relief to Kenyans in China reported to have been racially discriminated upon, evicted from their houses and forced to sleep on the streets.

“Kenyans in India will be brought back home on May 4 and those in China on May 8,” said Kamau.

Dig deeper

Most Kenyans who were stranded in India had travelled for medical treatment.

But Kenya High Commissioner Ambassador Willy Bett said Kenyans in India will depart from Mumbai on May 7 and will be on first-come first- served basis.

The Kenyan mission in new Delhi will facilitate the movement of Kenyans from Mumbai; Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad in Telangana, Bangalore in Karnataka, New Delhi and Ahmedabad in Gujarat.

“All travellers are therefore required to be in these cities to pick the arranged transport to Mumbai,” said Bett in a statement.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans stranded in UK get second KQ evacuation flight

He added that Kenya Airways will charge Sh80,000 business class and Sh43,000 for economy class tickets one way.

The communication comes a day after the Kenya High Commission in United Kingdom announced Kenyans are free to come back home.

Kenya High Commissioner in UK Manoah Esipisu said flight destined for Nairobi from London would depart on May 4.

“On arrival, all passengers will be subjected to the 14-28 days mandatory

quarantine period imposed by the Government of Kenya in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines,” said Esipisu.

Kenyans in UK wishing to return home will have to dig deeper into their pockets to a tune of Sh100, 000 to Sh150,000.

No excuse

According to Kenya Airways, the oneway flight ticket goes for Sh54,000 economy class and Sh96,800 business class.

They will also be required to foot for mandatory government quarantine with the minimum charges amounting to Sh2,000 per day for 14 to 28 days amounting to Sh28,000 to Sh56,000 respectively.

The round trip from China to Kenya as per Kenya Airways charges is Sh84,000 while from Nairobi to Mumbai is Sh42,000.

The PS revealed that at least 18 Kenyans have died in foreign countries since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease.

READ ALSO:   Covid-19: Mission in London to evacuate Kenyans stranded in UK

He said families willing to bring home the bodies of their relatives will have to bear the costs or allow them to be cremated in foreign land.

The PS added that one Kenyan suffering from Covid-19 is admitted at the ICU in Sweden.

He defended the government from claims of laxity in protecting its citizens in foreign countries, saying Kenyans who were reportedly evicted from their homes in China had been allowed back to their houses.

On April 16, Kamau following concern regarding treatment of Kenyans in China, met with Chinese Amb Wu Peng and reiterated his displeasure and disappointment on treatment of Kenyans.

“No excuse can justify discrimination and prejudice,” Kamau said.

By PD


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Health

Tribute: The Dr Njoroge I Knew

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Doctor Jacqueline Njoroge, or Jacque as we fondly called her, was a self-driven, kind, passionate and hardworking doctor at the Thika level 5 Hospital.

She started her life as a first born child in a family of three siblings in Gatitu, Nyeri County.

Through hard work, she excelled in school and joined the University of Nairobi as a medical student and later pursued her masters degree in medicine at the same university.

Jacqueline, who succumbed to Covid-19 complications at only 38, was a dear friend to many.

She made all her friends feel so special, which won her many close friends and acquaintances. A beautiful lady inside and out, she was always smiling, easy to love, cared deeply about everyone and was very generous. Her warm personality brought calmness to even the most difficult situations.  She liked to tease those close to her with words like “you spoilt brat, you will burn in hell, and often called people sweetheart, sister, my dearest”.  She loved cakes, especially fruit cake, which she looked for every small opportunity to share with her family friends and colleagues.

Sense of style

Jacque had a great sense of style in her dressing, hairstyle and even home décor. She loved being neat, presentable and well-groomed. It was rare to find Jacqueline with a bad hair or bad nail day.

READ ALSO:   Covid-19: Mission in London to evacuate Kenyans stranded in UK

She put her husband, Joshua Chokera, and children Adrian and Angel, and her parents first.

Sundays were spent in church and with family. She loved to cook and bake cakes for them.

Her colleagues loved her both as a doctor and a manager. She was the deputy medical superintendent at the Thika level 5 Hospital as well as the proprietor of Equity Afya clinics in Thika and Kahawa Sukari.

She was a practicing physician both in the public hospital and part-time private hospital. She was passionate, especially about cancer and HIV.

At Thika Level 5 Hospital, she was the head of the team that began the Thika Cancer Care Centre and went ahead to fundraise for the same through a marathon in August 2019. She also chaired the technical working group (LAKATI) that offered a platform to discuss complicated HIV cases.

Admirable leader

Jacqueline was an admirable leader whose colleagues describe as approachable and a problem solver. Her office was open to all and she would make everyone feel at home and welcome. She listened to everyone’s challenges keenly and tried to provide solutions. Most importantly, she was a team player.

She will be remembered for bringing all the specialists together and this way improving service delivery. She mentored many young colleagues and, as a believer in excellence and attention to detail, she hoped to pass this traits to the younger doctors.

READ ALSO:   Macharia Kamau tells off 2 former US envoys to Kenya

We are all saddened that she had to die on the front line. She, like many doctors, was concerned about the coronavirus and had to balance between the fear of contacting the virus and infecting her loved ones and the need to be on the frontline both as a leader and a doctor. Her main challenges were ensuring all workers had adequate PPE (personal protective equipment). She even approached Equity Bank, through the CEO, James Mwangi, for help. Mr Mwangi promised to supply the hospital with PPE for 18 months. She was looking forward to a day when the Covid-19 vaccine would be discovered.

She has left a huge gap as a dedicated leader, manager, physician, mother, wife and daughter.

May the almighty God rest her beautiful soul in eternity.

By Nation.africa


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Lifestyle

Village in shock as dogs attack and kill man in Meru

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Shock engulfed Kiandugui Village in Kibirichia, Meru County, after residents found the mutilated body of a 30-year-old man who had been mauled to death by dogs.

It is suspected that the man, identified as Mbaya wa Ndethu, was attacked by the dogs as he went home. It was drizzling at the time.

The dogs tore his clothes, stripping him naked, before mauling him to death.

Area elder, Nteere Muguna, said the man’s legs and hands had been partially eaten by the dogs while pieces of his clothes and shoes were scattered all over.

“Many parts of his body have been mauled by the dogs and the ground where the attack seems to have occurred shows signs of a major struggle. The dogs dragged the body and left it under trees,” he said.

Distraught residents rushed to the scene to view the body on learning of the shocking news.

“I was worried it was my child who was coming from school. It is an ugly scene which has left me shaken,” said a mother who did not give her name.

Mr Muguna appealed to dog owners to ensure the canines are properly secured on chains and leashes to prevent them from attacking people.

READ ALSO:   Macharia Kamau tells off 2 former US envoys to Kenya

“They should not be left to roam on the roads where they can attack people,” he said.

by nation.africa


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Lifestyle

Inside the criminal underworld of Nakuru’s terror gang

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Any stranger who walks in Kivumbini slum outside Nakuru town for the first time gets a feeling of dread.

Here, gang members can easily be spotted idling along in the densely populated slum.

The majority are not sober and some are seen taking drugs in the dark alleys. However, even as they smoke, they appear alert and are quick to spot strangers, monitoring their every move.

The once open ground was owned by the defunct Nakuru Municipal Council, but it has grown into a massive slum that has become a dangerous neighbourhood.

The ballooning population has seen the slum dwellers extend makeshift dwellings and this has eaten into the playing ground meant for children.

The extended dwellings are largely used by brewers who make illicit alcohol like chang’aa, busaa, and kangara, among others, which is consumed by youths, men and women.

Home of deadly gang

Kivumbini is regarded as the home of one of the deadly criminal gangs popularly known as Confirm, which has terrorised residents and extorted hundreds of thousands of shillings through mobile phones.

The emergence of this gang has killed the once-thriving Kivumbini shopping centre — which is now a ghost town — with only a few cobblers remaining.

“I used to operate a shop at Kivumbini shopping centre. Members of Confirm gang were demanding protection fees ranging between Sh50-Sh100 daily,” said a trader.

Ms Naomi Achieng’ used to own a hair salon in the slum but was forced to close her shop after it was raided and equipment stolen.

“I refused to give the gang protection fee of Sh50 daily as my business was not doing well and one day I woke up to find the shop vandalised and all my equipment stolen,” said Ms Achieng, who has since moved from the area.

Recruiting students

But the gang has also been recruiting students to join them and many schools surrounding the slum have become a ready supply of members.

READ ALSO:   Covid-19: Five Kenyans died in the US over last month

“I’m worried as we have 12-year-olds who have been recruited to join Confirm and this is very dangerous,” said a headteacher of one of the primary schools.

Confirm is believed to enjoy the close patronage of politicians, who use members as a mobilisation vehicle to push their political agenda.

“Some politicians are so daring that once a member of Confirm is arrested and taken to Bondeni Police Station, they are the first to storm the station to bail them out. This is bad leadership and it is encouraging radicalisation,” said a resident.

Lack of jobs, peer pressure, proliferation of drugs and breakdown of the family unit have seen the gang recruit very young members, including many who drop out of school or have just completed secondary school and are in their early 20s.

“I tried to apply for a Kazi Mtaani job but I was not lucky because of corruption and this has made me bitter,” said a youth who gave his name as John.

Spreading to other slums

The Confirm gang has been spreading to other slums such as Flamingo, Rhonda, Lake View and Manyanui. This has resulted in deadly clashes as it fights other gangs for territorial control.

“We have seen them clash every other time and whenever these fights break out, residents are caught in the ensuing melee. The fights have since escalated from the gangs to affect the peace of the residents directly,” said Mr Joseph Kimani, a resident.

According to Mr Kimani, it is difficult to know what the gang is planning as the members use coded language.

“Their sheng (slang) is not the ordinary sheng that you can pick one word or two from. The criminal gang has its language which they use to communicate in case they spot police officers or anybody new in the slum,” said Mr Kimani.

“Most of the time, they use sign language that they only understand. When they realise that they are being trailed, they scatter and vanish immediately,” said a kiosk owner in the slum.

READ ALSO:   Fourth Kenyan who died of Covid-19 in the UK identified

Residents killed

Several residents have been killed in clashes between rival gangs.

For instance, a physically challenged Joseph Macharia, 21, is their latest victim. He was stabbed to death on Saturday after a fight broke out between Confirm gang members from Kivumbini and the Wazito wa TZ gang from Rhonda slum.

The two gangs fought over territory in a feud that goes back many years.

Macharia, alongside another person whom the police are yet to identify, was killed in a knife attack at around 4pm as heavy rains pounded the area.

About 30 members of the Wazito Wa TZ gang stormed Kivumbini and launched the attack that had been announced on their social media pages.

Anybody who was in their way was attacked, whether or not they were members of the rival gang.

Witnesses said those who were killed or injured were shielding from the rain outside the shops at Kivumbini shopping centre.

“The attackers were armed with swords, knives, pangas and metal rods, which they used in the fight. The rival group was caught unawares and majority of their members were seriously injured,” said a resident.

Revenge mission

The Confirm gang regrouped and went on a revenge mission in Rhonda, during which they killed one person.

The gangs are managed by leaders aged 25 to 26 years.

“The criminals are very young. Some are even between 13 and 14 years who steal mobile phones and other valuables while speeding on motorcycles,” another source added.

“These are people we know and mingle with but when they attack us, they appear changed completely,” said a resident.

They the residents accused the police of colluding with the criminals, noting that the majority of the criminals do not spend time in the cells and, shortly after arrest, they are released under unclear circumstances.

Arrested

Nakuru County Police Commander Tito Kilonzi said at least 40 of the gang members have been arrested and taken to court.

READ ALSO:   How the mighty State House boys fell

He warned that police will deal with the criminal elements without favour and vowed to flash them out of their hideouts.

“Residents in these areas should cooperate with the police by reporting suspicious criminal elements in their midst,” said Mr Kilonzi.

He noted that his office is working closely with the Department of Criminal Investigations and all the suspects will be brought to book.

Last month, detectives tracked and arrested 10 members of the criminal gang in their hideout in Siaya County.

The DCI boss in Nakuru, Mr Benson Mutie, said the operation to destroy cells of the criminal gangs is underway.

“When we started the operation, majority of the suspects fled Nakuru after they learnt that police were pursuing them. Most of them were arrested in other counties,” he said.

Outlawed in 2016

Mr Mutie said the police will not tolerate a resurgence of the criminal gang that was outlawed in 2016.

The county has witnessed the re-emergence of young criminal groupings in the slums of Nakuru town that is causing mayhem and destruction.

Governor Lee Kinyanjui accused some politicians of sponsoring the gangs.

“The leaders who sponsor such gangs achieve their short-term goals but the young people are hooked to a world of crime and drugs,” said Mr Kinyanjui.

“We demand immediate and tangible steps to restore confidence and normality in our estates. We urge Interior CS Fred Matiang’i to act swiftly to prevent further loss of life,” Mr Kinyanjui said.

He said his administration is working with the Social Services Department to identify the groups and institute rehabilitation to those willing to leave crime through the county action plan to end extremism among the youth.

“We should all sensitise our youth that there are opportunities for them to make an honest living. Crime is not a better option,” stated Mr Kinyanjui.

by Nation.africa


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