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Girl, 12, tastes, quits two marriages, all in a month



A 12-year-old girl has been rescued by authorities after she was married off to two men in a span of one month in Maji Moto village, Narok South.
The Standard caught up with Naisula (not her real name) yesterday at the Narok Children’s Department offices after she was rescued from the second marriage, this time to a 35-year-old man.
“I did not know him before and I did not love him. I told my family I didn’t want the man, but my father said the man could feed us and that I would get married to him,” said the Standard Six pupil at Enkare-Nairowua Primary School. Her first marriage to a 51-year-old man lasted just over two weeks.
Naisula aspires to be a doctor, but when she turned 12 a few weeks ago, her father married her off to the elderly man. He told her she was too old for school and forcefully married her off to the man that Naislula described as old. She was to be the second wife.
“Our father had forcefully married off my two elder sisters and I was the only one remaining. When schools were closed he planned to marry me off,” she said.
Naisula’s plea to be allowed to complete school fell on deaf ears. “Girls are born so that people can eat. All I want is to get my dowry,” the father reportedly told her. She fled to a relative’s house, but her father caught up with her before forcefully taking her to the old man.
The man had promised to give four cows for dowry, but since the local administration was monitoring the girl’s father’s movement, the handover was shelved to a later date.  The Maasai community gives four cows to signify that marriage has taken place.
Naisula tried to resist, but she was beaten by her male cousins, who accused her of dishonoring the family.
She told The Standard she deserted the first marriage after two weeks.
“I escaped and since I could not go back to my father’s home for fear of being reprimanded, I eloped with a 35-year-old man, who was married,” she said. “Mimi nataka kuendelea kusoma nikuwe mtu wa maana kesho. Nataka kuwa daktari. Naomba serikali inisaidie nirudi shule (I want to continue with my studies and be a dependable person in future. I appeal to the government to help me return to school),” she pleaded.
Area Chief Rimoine Maiyone and Narok Peace Ambassador Joshua Kaputa got wind of Naisula’s predicament and acted fast.
“We were tipped off by the public that there was a girl that had been married off twice. We trailed her for three days and we managed to rescue her. We are working with well-wishers to get her a safe haven while hunting for the culprits,” said Maiyone.
Naisula is the second-last born in a family of three girls and five boys. The chief said police were looking for the father of the girl and the two “husbands” who have since gone into hiding. The administrator said the girl’s father was yet to receive dowry from the men for fear of being arrested, since payment of the bride price is a big ceremony in the Maasai culture.
The chief said for the last three months, at least 26 girls had been married off after being impregnated. He added that they were looking for two other pupils who had been married off.
Naisula’s plight is a classic example of how closure of schools to curb spread of Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the girl child in pastoral communities.
“Girls in Maasai land are facing a bleak future in the wake of Covid-19. If concerted efforts are not made to save them we shall have no girl reporting back to school by next year due to FGM, early marriage and teenage pregnancies,” said Kaputa.
The peace ambassador, who is now the guardian to the girl, told The Standard he had secured a rescue centre for the girl and would ensure she continues with education when schools reopen next year.
Narok is one of the counties leading in number of teenage pregnancy cases, according to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS). Barely a week ago, five men were arrested in Narok town after they were found to have cohabited with a 14-year-old KCPE candidate.
Police and the local administrators made the arrest at Macedonia estate after they were tipped off by the public. A 30-year-old trader had reportedly been living with the pupil for a week and had invited his friends to celebrate his acquisition of a new “wife”.
Area Children’s Director Pilot Khaemba said for the last three months, about 30 girls had been rescued from early marriages and taken to rescue centres, while culprits are facing charges in court.

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First man cured of HIV dies of cancer



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.”


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.


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Madaraka Express resumes full service



All is set for the resumption of a second Nairobi-Mombasa passenger train, with the first locomotive expected to leave the capital city on October 1 at 2.15pm.

In a notice, Madaraka Express operator Afristar said standard gauge railway (SGR) passenger train services will resume following the lifting of partial transport restrictions in Nairobi and Mombasa by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The firm released a new schedule for the trains that shuttle between the two counties.

KR has been operating two passenger trains between Nairobi and Mombasa, but from Thursday, it will operate four.

SGR passenger services resumed operations in July, a week after President Kenyatta relaxed measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Afristar will now have trains leaving Nairobi and Mombasa at the same time in the morning and two other trains leaving in the afternoon.

Morning trains from the two cities will depart at 8.00am, with one train departing from the Nairobi terminus for Mombasa and vice versa.

Thereafter, two other trains will depart Mombasa and Nairobi at 2.15pm.

The train services will be operating under strict coronavirus protocols.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the SGR will operate at 50 per cent capacity, with an extra coach for isolation.

To facilitate the smooth resumption of services, Afristar has deployed 10 coaches, including eight economy and two first-class coaches.

This is in line with Mr Macharia’s statement that 10 coaches should be provided to ferry close to 600 passengers on a one-way trip.

Additionally, all customer-facing employees must wear masks and gloves.

As of this morning, all passenger service staff serving customers have tested negative for Covid-19.

SGR passenger services were suspended back in April after President Kenyatta announced the cessation of movement into and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan Area, Mombasa County and Mandera County.

On Monday, the Head of State announced an extension of the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew for an additional 60 days.

He, however, adjusted the curfew time from 9pm to 11pm with the new directives taking effect on Tuesday, September 29.


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Man accused of sodomising minor attacks magistrate for the second time



A man accused of sodomising a three and half-year-old boy on Wednesday turned violent in court and attempted to attack the magistrate.

Ismael Mustafa for the second time turned violent and attempted to attack Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti prompting her to run out of the court.

He had previously, in early September 2020, charged towards the magistrate while she was busy writing down proceedings forcing the shaken magistrate to scamper for safety even leaving her shoes behind.

Nyaloti was making a ruling on whether Mustafa has a case to answer. She later forgave him and the trial continued.

“Cuff him, this is the second time he is turning violent and attempting to attack me,” said the Chief Magistrate.

It took the intervention of the court orderlies and prison officers to contain Mustafa who turned aggressive towards the magistrate.

The officers wrestled him down to the floor and cuffed him before marching him out of the courts.

Nyaloti was forced to retreat to her chambers in fear of her safety after Mustafa started to charge towards her.

It is alleged that on February 16, 2019, at Bangladesh area in Jomvu, he sodomised XY- a child aged three and a half years.

He denied the charges and was released on a bond of  Sh200, 000 with a similar surety.

Repeated offence

According to police records, Mustafa had been previously charged with sodomising another minor and was sentenced but later was acquitted by the High Court upon appeal.

Today, other court matters were forced to adjourn to allow the prison officers to escort him out of the court.

Mustafa had on several occasions become arrogant and interrupted the court proceedings.

Despite the magistrate listening to his rants and complaints without interruption, the accused became adamant, was dissatisfied and decided to turn violent.

He demanded to have his charges read to him afresh and said that when the charge sheet was amended, it was not read to him as he demanded to have the matter started afresh.

Nyaloti laboured to explain that the court record indicated that the charges were read to him by the prosecution once the charges were amended.

However, Mustafa insisted that he wanted the matter transferred to another court and demanded that the magistrate determines whether he has a case to answer or not.

“Your honour there is no need for you to proceed with the ruling. I have no faith in your court and want you to transfer the matter before another court. I want the high court to decide on this matter because I feel justice is not being done,” said Mustafa.

Mustafa declined to allow the magistrate to make a ruling and said that he won’t ever attend the court until he is allocated another court.

Mustafa proceeded to utter abusive and unprintable language in court and swore that he will not come back to court ever.

The magistrate had given him time in the last trial to file his application before the high court to have the matter determined afresh.

“I have no objection if you want to file your application before the high court to have the matter transferred to another court but meanwhile the case will proceed before me until you get an order stating otherwise,” said Nyaloti.


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