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PHOTOS: UoN lecturer Ken Ouko buried



It is unfortunate that the widow of University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko was stigmatised due to her Covid-19 status, the family said at his burial Friday, revealing a controversy and hitches that might have contributed to his delayed burial.

The don’s uncle, Dr Sam Ouko, the Chief pharmacist at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), said it took his intervention for Mrs Grace Ouko to be allowed to bury her husband.

He regretted that the family was sidelined at its time of need.

Dr Ouko blamed the Homa Bay County Covid-19 emergency response team, accusing it of failing to follow stipulated regulations and attempting to deny the family an opportunity to bury the renowned sociology lecturer.

“In line with government restrictions on how to bury Covid-19 victims, we encountered many difficulties in having the body buried after 48 hours and ensuring his widow and children gave their loved one a befitting send off,” he said at the don’s home in Nyandiwa, Homa Bay.

The move by the county team scared family members and caused some of them not to attend the burial, he added.


Grace Ouko, widow of University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko, speaks during his burial ceremony at their home in Nyandiwa, Homa Bay County, on August 7, 2020. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Lake Basin Development Authority chair Odoyo Owidi, who was part of the Nairobi funeral committee, accused medical facilities of creating the fear of people sick with the virus.

“Kenyans need civic education on the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. This disease can best be managed at home so Kenyans need not panic, he said.

Mr Ouko’s father, 89-year-old Caleb Ouko, blamed the confusion ahead of his burial on conflicting information from Homa Bay County officials.

“At one time we were told it was risky for the family to visit the home while the next time they said it was ok,” he said.


People dressed in personal protective equipment are pictured in Nyandiwa, Homa Bay County, on August 7, 2020 during the burial ceremony for University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The burial was marked with the heavy presence of the police who manned the compound as villagers followed proceedings through the fence.

The cortege, initially scheduled to reach at home by 6am Friday, was seven hours late following clearance hitches at the hospital.  It had been scheduled to depart earlier on Thursday in order to arrive in Homa Bay at dawn.

The body remained in the hearse for the estimated one hour and 45 minutes that the ceremony took.

As with all Covid-19 cases, residents were not allowed to view the body as the county emergency response team took charge of the burial.

Mrs Ouko and two of their four children initially tested positive for the virus but were later found negative.

The widow, who travelled in the hearse from Aga Khan University Hospital mortuary, read her eulogy from the vehicle. She only alighted from the car at the very last moments of the burial.


University of Nairobi lecturer Ken Ouko’s widow, Grace Ouko, and other relatives perform a final rite during his burial ceremony at their home in Nyandiwa, Homa Bay County, on August 7, 2020. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Mr Ouko’s father said he was one of his favorites while his widow described him as caring, loving and prayerful.

“For the 30 years we were married, Ken treated us with dignity and pride,” Mrs Ouko said.

Regarding his illness, she said he was being treated for a bacterial infection but it persisted, hence the coronavirus test.

“For the first one week he was at the isolation centre at Aga Khan hospital, he asked for his laptop so he could do some work,” she said.

“The situation worsened in the second week when he was put in the ICU and on ventilation machines.”

The don was buried at the family graveyard next to his mother and brother.


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Honest Kenyan finds bundle of notes in Kenya Mpya bus, returns it to owner



A young honest Kenyan man has wowed netizens after returning a huge bundle of notes he found in a Kenya Mpya bus to the original owner.

The sincere man who refers to himself as Paul Captain on Facebook narrated how he was stressed after he came across the money on the bus on his journey to Thika on Wednesday, September 16.

Honest Kenyan finds bundle of notes in Kenya Mpya bus, returns it to owner

Paul Captain proved to be a man with a kind soul. Photo: Paul Captain.
Source: Facebook

In a lengthy post, Paul said he boarded the bus at around 10:30am at Allsops on Thika Road and sat at the back seat.

“On reaching Witeithie, several people alighted and I moved to the front seat as the bus continued with its journey. As we passed St Vincentian, I saw the bag that was zipped and I dragged it with my leg. On touching it I felt there was something inside. When I disembarked, I went and sat at Uhuru Park in Thika opposite the police station. When I opened it, I found some bundle of notes.

“Something was telling me to keep the money so as settle some bills I had but I decided to talk to some of my friends. 80% told me not to keep it . One mzee told me, Captain, I know times are hard and maybe today was your lucky day, but still maybe God used you to see this money because he knew it will be in safe hands so you can give it back to the owner. And I agreed with him. I also remembered that my parents told me not to eat what does not belong to me,” he recounted.

Appeal for owner

After making a decision to return the cash, the Kenyan made an appeal for the owner to claim it.

“If you boarded a Kenya Mpya bus today at Allsops and alighted at Witeithie, please in-box me your money is safe with me. What you need to do since there is no any identification documents; tell me how much you lost, the type of currency notes (i.e how many 1000 and 500 notes), what you have used to wrap the money and with that, I will know you are the owner and we agree where to meet I hand over your money,” he explained.

A few hours after sharing the news, Paul received a message from a lady named Jacklyn who gave him the exact information he needed saying the money belonged to her sister who did not have a Facebook account.

“At last I got the information I was looking. Thanks to those who believed in me, I can now sleep in peace.

He later shared a live video delivering the money to the owner.


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Boy, 11, dies after partaking in drinking contest



An 11-year-old boy died after he downed bottles of beer during an under-14s drinking contest. The child, described as a “keen drinker”, reportedly drunk five bottles of Kachashu, an unlicensed traditional distilled beer which was even used as a hand sanitizer by locals.

But he “dropped dead” as shocked onlookers watched the competition in the town of Mzimba, in the northern Malawi district of the same name. Friends of the unnamed boy claimed he collapsed in the finals of the drinking contest, Daily Star reports. The beer-drinking contest had a prize of MWK 20,000 MWK (Sh2,800).

The competition was reportedly organised in three categories, under-14, under-21 and seniors. According to the national newspaper Daily Voice, bystander Emmanuel Chirwa even expressed suspicions of foul play because the boy who died was the defending champion. Chirwa said: “He was not just an amateur boozer.”

According to Chirwa, contestants pay 1000 MWK (Sh143) to enter the competition and the only rule is that they must eat something beforehand. Chirwa added: “So, he did not die because he did not eat before beginning the contest. They all ate before the contest. Something went wrong.”

Local child protection officer Shanks Nkhata reportedly said he is following up on the issue and would appeal to the local chiefs to try and ban the brewing of the illicit beer. Nkhata said: “We hear the child was in Standard 7 at Kafulufulu Primary and with schools on a Corona (Covid-19) break, he turned into an avid drunkard.”

A man nearly lost his life in an online drinking challenge. Photo: Newsflash.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, a man also nearly lost his life during an online drinking challenge called ‘Confinement Challenge Apero’ after downing 1.5 litres of booze and falling into a coma. The man was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Marie Curie University Hospital in Charleroi, a city in the western Belgian province of Hainaut.


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Doctor in Britain can’t give blood as wife is Kenyan



A Kenyan doctor based in the United Kingdom has said a “nonsensical” rule stops him from donating blood because of his relationship with his Kenyan wife.

Francis Githae Muriithi said the system needed to change to encourage more Black donors.

The UK’s NHS rules say people cannot donate blood if a recent sexual partner may have been sexually active in parts of the world where HIV or Aids is common, including “most countries in Africa”.

NHS Blood and Transplant said it could look to review Dr Muriithi’s case.

Muriithi, who works as an obstetrician and gynaecologist in the East Midlands, said he and his wife of seven years were in a monogamous relationship.

As a doctor he has already tested negative for HIV through work since they married.

But he said he was told he could only give blood if his wife also had an HIV test through the donation service or if they refrained from sex for three months.

‘Barrier to donation’

He said she had already had a negative NHS test result while pregnant but when he tried to donate he was told this could not be taken into account.

But he said he believed it should not be needed, given his result.

The 38-year-old, who now lives in Gamston, Nottinghamshire and has the rare AB+ blood type, said: “It’s a nonsensical barrier to donation.

“If you lock out people like me, and then carry on saying African donors are not coming forwards, it will make us look bad when it’s the system not facilitating us.

“I don’t want to appear to be a troublemaker but the NHS blood donation system needs to change to accommodate more people.

“I’m glad they are reviewing it, they need a more individualised approach.”

The NHS has made repeated calls for more black donors to come forward because they were more likely to have rare blood types.

It said it would be happy to review Muriithi’s case in light of his wife’s negative HIV test.

Su Brailsford, an NHS consultant, said the rules for who could and could not donate were based on expert advice to minimise the risk to those receiving the blood.

But she added: “We recognise that a more individualised risk assessment approach could allow more people (like Dr Muriithi) to donate safely.

“We are planning a detailed review of this policy which we hope to begin before the end of the year.”


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