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History made as KDF names first female spokesperson

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Zipporah Kioko is the new Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesperson, becoming the first woman officer to hold the position.

Col Kioko has replaced Col Paul Njuguna, who is set to undergo an advanced course and be redeployed.

On Friday, Defence Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma said that Col Kioko’s appointment is part of the gender mainstreaming efforts in the military initiated by outgoing KDF Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe.

“I thank you most sincerely for supporting gender mainstreaming in KDF, where for the first time we have a number of women officers who have been promoted to serve in senior positions. I am delighted that we in this cohort have the first woman spokesperson of the KDF and look forward to working with Col Zipporah Kioko,” Dr Juma said.

Colonel Kioko was promoted on April 30 by President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, when he made promotions and appointments affecting 138 senior and general military officers.

Dr Juma, who was speaking during the farewell function of Gen Mwathethe, praised the Department of Defence Gender Policy launched alongside the National Defence Policy in 2017 as a plus in efforts to further professionalise the Kenyan military.

READ ALSO:   Juma, Matiang'i in major talks with US

“The Gender Policy adopts the global best practice, in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women peace and security. Reference and implementation of these policy documents will positively impact our future as a professional military,” the CS said.

Other than being appointed as KDF Spokesperson, Ms Kioko has also been promoted to full colonel, becoming among the few senior military officers in that rank and above.

The only female military officer above the rank of colonel is Fatuma Ahmed, who was appointed as the first female KDF brigadier in 2015, and in 2018 broke further barriers by being appointed as the first female major general.

The appointment of female military officers to senior positions was almost unthought-of of as recently as 1999 when women troops, then serving under the disbanded Women’s Service Corps, were not allowed to hold command positions, to marry or to have children while in service.

Since then, women troops have continued to make progress in ranks and in being given duties that have traditionally been regarded as for men.

Various pacesetters include Lt Col Rachel Nduta, who in August 2018 became the first female aide-de-camp to the President, and Major (Dr) Stella Mwangi, who in April 2019 became the first female doctor to handle surgery while on a mission.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO and PHOTOS: CS Monica Juma, Senior US official sign key bilateral agreement in Washington

There is also Maj Faith Mwagandi, who last year became Kenya Navy’s first women to steer a warship and Norah Koech, who in 2006 became the first female pilot in the Kenya Air Force.

Col Kioko takes over the reins of KDF Public Affairs Department at a time when the military is continuing, albeit slowly, to embrace openness, share information about its activities and documents its own history.

By Nation.co.ke


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Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   E-passport centres launched in six countries to serve diaspora

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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Where were the authorities? residents ask as Kenyan man is buried inside his living room

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   E-passport centres launched in six countries to serve diaspora

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

-Nation.co.ke


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Tales of old widows of Dundori raped by ‘grandchildren’

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It was only 9pm, a relatively safe hour or so, the 60-year-old thought. She was home alone when a man forced his way in, tore her clothes and repeatedly raped her.

She did not recognize him through a glance on his face, but from how he hankered, he was tall.

That was on July 5, this year, and the memories of that night are still fresh in the mind of the victim – whose name we have concealed to protect her privacy.

Before the ordeal, the victim had only heard rumours of widows being raped in her Dundori neighbourhood in Nakuru County – a place now well known for the crimes.

Here, sunset years are a traumatising period for women – especially widows. In the dead of the night, they live in constant fear that young men will pounce on them and rape them.

“I live with my granddaughter in a two bedroomed house. On the fateful day, I heard a commotion outside and thought my two cows had fled the pen and I stepped out to check what was happening,” she says.

She tells the Nation that the attacker covered her mouth, dragged her into a dark sidewalk within the compound and raped her.

“I was rushed to Dundori Health Centre. I was treated and obtained a P3 form. Thereafter, I recorded a statement at Dundori Police Post, but the offender is yet to be arrested to date,” she says, adding that her self-esteem is fading away at the thought of not knowing who did that to her and why.

Living in fear

“I live in fear, because my attacker can strike again,” says the mother of five adult children.

Kilometres away in a neighbouring village, 62-year-old Wambui, (not her real name) also a widow, is living in fear months after she went through a similar ordeal.

“I was attacked at home by a gang of three men who raped me in turns in the presence of my granddaughter. They are yet to be arrested,” she says.

Wambui reveals that the assailants stormed her home where she lives with her granddaughter and tied them up before committing the heinous act.

“We had just taken supper around 8pm when they pushed their way into the compound. I reported the matter to the police, but they are yet to act,” she notes.

Another victim, a 90-year-old granny, says she lives alone after her husband died decades ago.

The Nation encountered at least 16 elderly women claiming to have been raped in Dundori in the past three months. Among them is a 90-year-old granny, whom a Nyumba Kumi official reveals has been raped five times.

Residents who spoke to the Nation point a finger at young men who indulge in drugs in the area.

“They peddle drugs and commit all sorts of crime including house break-ins, without interference of the police,” says the resident of Kaburini Village.

He claims that police from Dundori Police Post collude with the criminals to defeat justice.

“We do not even have police patrols in Dundori and criminals enjoy a field day. Peddling of drugs like bhang, sale of illicit brews, house break-ins, rapes and defilements are the order of the day here,” he adds.

Rape survivors suffer trauma, headaches and memory lapses. Worse is the constant fear they live with, that the attackers might strike again.

The most affected villages include Juacali, Kaburini and Tia Wera, where an account of the victims paint a similar pattern in timing and manner.

The perpetrators

Assistant County Commissioner Henry Kirwa, however, says most victims are yet to report the incidents.

He adds: “To help police track down suspects, they must report the incidents promptly.”

Interestingly, only eight victims have reported incidents of rape at the Dundori Police Post.

When reached for comment, Bahati Sub-county police boss Jacinta Mwarania promised to investigate the matter.

A Nyumba Kumi elder who sought anonymity reveals that rape cases among elderly women in the area have become rampant but police officers are doing little to save the situation.

“These cases are on the rise and every time they are reported to the police, victims are asked to produce more evidence to nail the suspects,” the elder says.

Another Nyumba Kumi official says the incidents happen at night between 8pm and 3am and that the perpetrators are sometimes known people.

In a recent incident, a Class Eight pupil was defiled at her home at about 7pm. Sources say the matter was reported to the police, but the assailant is still walking free days after his brief arrest.

by nation.africa


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