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The tale of broke MPs who share an SQ at Kilimani, others live on River Road

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A few days before the lockdown, a lithe yellow-yellow chick in a blood-red miniskirt had been gulping copious amounts of wine at a popular pub in Kilimani, Nairobi. She was on her third bottle when a voluble MP walked in as the clock nosed towards 10pm.
He threw her another bottle and shortly, she was dancing to a football match on the big screen. Drama started when the bill came: “A beer shouldn’t cost more than Sh200. Why sell beer for Sh250? Wine at the local shop is Sh1,000. Why sell it for Sh3,000 a bottle?” The MP whined to this writer. “You think MPs have money?
My brother, we are living from hand to mouth. I am not the  man you knew a long time ago. Politics has totally messed me up. Totally!” he lamented.Recently, Parliament passed the Parliamentary Pensions Bill to cushion ‘retired’ MPs from languishing in poverty.
The windfall which will see former MPs who served two terms earning Sh100,000 as monthly pension for life made Kenyans see red. But the reality is that many ex-MPs are going through a rough financial patch after leaving office and they can’t wait for the cash.
And much as Kenyans are upset, the Bill proposed by Minority Leader John Mbadi, is awaiting Presidential assent to become law. But is it true that politics does not pay? Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito’s life is instructive on how former MPs can quickly slide into penury.     Before joining politics, Kizito was running several successful businesses — until he joined politics
“My brother, being in parliament is expensive. People come to you with so many problems as their MP. In the end, you spend so much money, you end up with nothing. Being an MP is also time-consuming, so you have no time to take care of your own money-making ventures,” laments Kizito. Besides former MPs, incumbents are not having it easy either.
Take Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.Two months ago, Mputhia Advocates gave nod to Keysian Auctioneers to recover rent arrears from the legislator accumulated for about 29 months – since January 2018.
Kuria was facing auction over Sh7.25 million in rent arrears.The same fate befell Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, who recently had his property auctioned over a Sh7 million loan. Khaniri’s property was advertised in the dailies as ‘prime residential property in Donholm Phase 8, Nairobi County.
’The auction notice further read: “We have been duly instructed by our principals. We shall sell by public auction the property described herein together with all developments erected there on 25 July 2017, registered in the name of George Munyasa Khaniri. The property is situated in Donholm Phase 8 with one residential block of flats generating a rental income of Sh255,000 per month.”
It is so painful to be auctioned when your payslip reads zero, meaning there is nothing to deduct. Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, says most Kenyan MPs are surviving on overdrafts. “Some MPs are living along River Road,” claims Kaluma.
“You hear of MPs being assaulted in places they should not be found
.Broke MPs share an SQ at Kilimani, others live on River Road
If you don’t have another source of income, you have to use magic, including raiding CDF for cash I once dropped a colleague at a residential unit in Kilimani, only to find three MPs squatting in a servant’s quarter on double-decker beds like high school boys in dormitories,” Kaluma disclosed.
Kaluma explained that even though being called mheshimiwa sounds prestigious, he is certain that several MPs could be taking home a paltry Sh1,000 at the end of the month. So, where does all the Sh1 million in gross salary go to? Kaluma explains: “Most waheshimiwa have committed their salaries to mortgages and other loans” and are generally broke after taxation, “yet they have given so much to serving Kenyans at the expense of their own financial health.”
Two-time Karachuonyo MP, Engineer James Rege, who is currently the chairman of Ketraco, says he used to send Sh5,000 to every funeral and there would be about 30 funerals in a weekend. “That’s Sh150,000 every week. In a month that adds up to  Sh600,000.
Then there are harambees every week as well, where I would send Sh50,000; sometimes you have to contribute to three or more harambees in a week,” explains Rege. He adds that there are also  special and touching cases from constituents in need of cash that required that he makes payment immediately from his pocket.
“If you do your calculation, in a month, I was spending almost three times my salary as an MP. I never used even a single shilling of my salary as MP. It all went back to the people. No one goes to parliament to make money. If you get to that House, you will end up spending your money instead. But if you are committed to helping people, then that’s a worthy cause,” says Rege.
So broke are some MPs that one legislator used to pick weekly stipends dished out in tranches of Sh100,000 to Sh 150,000 every Friday from a wealthy political operative.
The rich man then suggested that the MP’s wife and kids stay at his expansive home for the weekends as the MP went back to the constituency. The MP acquiesced. The wife never left.
The MP’s weekly pocket money also increased to Sh300,000 every Friday. The wife was finally released to the MP’s matrimonial home after five months. A Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) finance employee revealed to The Nairobian that many MPs are on zero salary.
“They would rather eat and drink at the cafeteria in parliament as they’ll either sign for the bills, or get bought drinks by wealthier colleagues.” Most MPs also avoid public bars to keep off leeches who think MPs are cash cows. “Believe me, if parliament provided accommodation, most MPS would sleep there and never venture out of parliament’s precincts,” he says.
By Nairobi

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Lifestyle

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

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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.

by Tuko.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Boy, 11, dies after partaking in drinking contest

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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.

By Standard.co.ke

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Lifestyle

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

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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.”

By Standard.co.ke

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