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Agony of man walking with 3 bullets lodged in his shinbone

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On February 27, 1994, Peter Wamkota then aged 39 left his home in Nalongo village, Bungoma county, for a political meeting before proceeding to his shop, which was a few metres on his way home.

The meeting was to sensitise locals on the need to identify themselves with a newly formed political party that was to drive the region’s development agenda.

His task was simple — mobilise locals into drumming support for a two-year-old party known as Forum for Restoration of Democracy (FORD) in his capacity as the region’s chairman.

He was in perfect health and nothing appeared out of the ordinary as he attended to buyers in his wholesale shop. While he was preparing to close late in the night something strange happened.

“Three armed people in police uniform walked in, approached me and began shooting me without saying a word. Three shots were directed on my thighs, one on my chest and the other three on my legs, the gunmen walked away after accomplishing their mission,’’ he says.

After the shooting, the former (FORD) Bungoma chairman was left at his shop writhing in pain, lying in a pool of blood with seven bullets in his body. He was helped by neighbours, who rushed him to Bungoma District Hospital for treatment.

Though he doesn’t like to talk of the ordeal, pain from the bullet wounds is a constant reminder of the tragedy that visited him that day. With every passing day, the polygamous man wishes things were different.

The incident shook the quiet village of Nalongo and locals staged several protests demanding the arrest and prosecution of officers who had shot Wamkota.

After nine months at the health facility, Wamkota was out of danger but he was referred for specialised treatment at St Luke’s Hospital in Eldoret. He had three bullets still lodged in his shinbone.

Wamkota says his family, through the sale of a two-acre parcel of land, managed to raise money for his treatment. However, doctors at the facility failed to remove the metals in his body saying their removal could cause the breakage of his bones.

‘’X-ray pictures showed the bullets were inside a bone and that the only way of removal was to be transferred to hospitals outside the country, which has never been possible,’’ he says.

After he was discharged from the hospital in 1995, Wamukota was arrested and locked up at Nzoia Police Station for 13 days without trial. During the period of his incarceration, his family was barred from seeing him.

“It was very tough. Imagine you are not fully recovered and still on medication but the police are bent on torturing you. My prayer then was never to end at Kamiti Prison,” he adds.

It did not take long before he was transferred to Webuye Police Station where he spent five more days without being charged in court.

However, things got worse for Wamkoto when he was later moved to Kamiti Maximum Prison.

‘’I remained in detention for six months where I was thoroughly beaten and molested. I was tortured as a way to make me confess I was planning to overthrow the Government. My fellow prisoners died due to this harassment and beatings,’’ he notes.

In 1996, Wamukota was released and went back home to seek medication after a recommendation by prison officers who noticed his deteriorating health.

For more than two decades, the three metals in his body have been a thorn in his flesh and not even pain killers can quell the sting.

Staring at the puckered scars on his thighs, the events of that fateful day remain engraved in his mind, as pictures of those who shot him cloud his sight. As Wamukota limps out of his house each day, prodding his way to his shop in crutches in order to make a living, the 64-year-old laments his political friends deserted him at the hour of need.

“Since the shooting incident, none visited or cared to know of my health despite the massive contribution I made to the party.

“I have learnt people are only close to you in your good days. In my worst moments, my family was literarily reduced to beggars,” he laments.

Life to the father of 16 has never been the same. From struggling to do basic things like walking on his own, to meeting basic needs for his family. He has exhausted his finances and at one point turned into a beggar. Wamkota biggest regret is getting involved in the murky waters of politics.

By Standard.co.ke

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Entertainment

Death of festivals dims Lamu hope to revive ailing tourism

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Maulid. Food and Expo. Art, yoga and kite festivals. These are just a few of a slew of art and culture experiences that Lamu County used to dish out to the world and which boosted its tourism profile.

Lamu Old Town, also known as “the island of festivals”, had a splendid array of events and festivals ranging from Eid-Ul-Adhar to the Lamu Fishing Competition, Lamu Art Festival, The Lamu Cultural Festival, Lamu Yoga Festival, the Kite Festival, Shella Hat Contest and the Lamu Painters Festival.

But these events were put on the back burner as the tourism sector took a nosedive.

Coming on the backdrop of the Mpeketoni terror attacks in 2014 that also hit tourism hard, hospitality industry players say the vital sector is in the doldrums and want the festivals reinstated. Speaking during a forum in Lamu at the weekend, hoteliers and other players questioned why the county government has not been keen in reviving the events.

Hotelier Salim Abubakar said the county’s tourism sector was on the decline after the festivals were lifted. He urged Governor Fahim Twaha to restore the events and revive the sector.

“All the festivals that were introduced in the calendar of events are crucial. They served to attract visitors, both domestic and international, to Lamu. We need them back so that the tourism sector can be improved,” he said.

Marketing strategy

Former Lamu Tourism Association (LTA) deputy chairman Ghalib Alwy said the body, in partnership with the county tourism office started the festivals to attract more tourists. Mr Alwy said it is important that the events are retained.

“We launched those events as a marketing strategy for Lamu tourism. Through them, we were able to attract tourists from Kenya, East Africa and the world. This is after the terrorism attacks led to an almost 90 percent decline of the sector. It’s only through the festivals that tourists got the confidence to visit Lamu again. The events must be reinstated,” said Mr Alwy. Mr Mohamed Hassan noted that local tourism was still doing badly, attributing the situation to a section of foreign countries that are still having active travel advisories against their citizens visiting Lamu.

“The travel advisories still play a big role in scaring away tourists. We want as many festivals as possible as they have the ability to ensure the tourism climbs back on its feet,” said Mr Hassan.

Some of the festivals known and which are still being celebrated by many in Lamu includes the annual Lamu Cultural Festival that is marked between November and December, the Maulid Festival marked every January, New Year’s Dhow Race marked on January 1 and Eid Ul-Fitr marked every July.

The festivals are said to attract more than 30,000 visitors from around the world.

by Nation.africa

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Lifestyle

Concrete slum? Why Pipeline residents cover wet clothes with plastic bags

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Though the Government banned plastics a few years ago, residents of Pipeline are not about to let go of them.

Plastics come in handy to those living in flats whenever they air their clothes out to dry. They use plastic covers to protect their clothes from dust or water dripping from the upper floors.

Most of the flats are up to seventh or eighth floor, each house built with a balcony, where one can tie a clothes line. During dry spells, the place is so dusty that hanging clothes without a plastic cover is a waste of time. They gather so much dust and end up looking unwashed.

It is for this reason that almost every storeyed building here has plastic covers covering clothesline. This might look strange to an outsider but for residents it is a normal occurrence.  Enock Mutua, a caretaker in one of the flats, said the practice is common and that tenants do it to keep their clothes clean.

“Here, there are flats of up to eight floors and people wash at different times. Some people have clothes that shed colour, others do not properly wring out excess water from the clothes and if you do not cover your clothes, you might find them ruined or wet long after you washed them,” said Mutua.

He added that when there are new apartments to be occupied, prospective tenants run for the top floors.

Love for top floors

“One is never sure unless you live in the top most floor. Some of the buildings have space on the roof tops for tenants to air clothes,” said Mutua.

He further said that many choose to put up with the “small problems” because houses are affordable.

“Most of the houses here are single rooms, bedsitters and one bedroom which range from Sh5,000 to Sh9,000,” said Mutua.

Derrick Chenge, a resident of Pipeline, said he would rather cover his clothes even if they stayed on the clothes line for three days than leave them uncovered to come and find them ruined.

“Have you seen the dust that is around here? I cannot allow it to go to my clothes, especially the white ones. I cover them all the time,” Chenge said.

He added that they were forced to do this because of insensitive neighbours who do not care whether others have clothes outside.

“The person who stays above you will not wait for your clothes to dry and ask you to remove them. It is up to you to protect your clothes,” Chenge said.

by standardmedia.co.ke

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Health

Fear after Mombasa school principal dies from Covid-19

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The principal of Tononoka Secondary School in Mombasa where 11 teachers tested positive for Covid-19 has died, county education officials have said.

County Education Chief Officer John Musuve said Mohamed Khamis (pictured) died at the Mombasa Hospital where he was receiving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Multiple sources revealed that Khamis was one of the 11 teachers who were infected with the virus at the school. We could not, however, independently verify whether he succumbed to Covid-19.

“Yes, I can confirm that Khamis has died. I cannot tell you whether he was one of the teachers infected with the virus,” said Musuve.

Reports from the hospital indicate that Khamis was admitted at the ICU after he developed breathing complications immediately after he was rushed to the hospital on October 15.

Last week, Mombasa County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said 11 teachers from Tononoka Secondary School and four at Star of the Sea Girls High School had tested positive for Covid-19.

The two schools, located within the Mombasa Central Business District, remained closed.

Unconfirmed reports said that a teacher at the third school in Mombasa has been taken ill with Covid-19-related symptoms and is currently in the ICU at the Coast Provincial General Hospital.

Standard Digital has established that some students in the two schools have also contracted the virus.

“I can confirm that at Star of the Sea Girls High School, four teachers turned positive. More samples from staff members had been taken and results are yet to come out,” Kitiyo said last week.

He added: “At Tononoka Secondary School, the number was a bit high, with 11 cases confirmed,” he said, adding that the two institutions had been closed for two weeks.

Parents expressed anger over the turn of events and asked the government to carry out mandatory testing for all the students and teachers before they re-open the schools.

Khamis was scheduled to be buried at Kikowani cemetery this evening.

During the Mashujaa Day celebrations, Governor Hassan Ali Joho lamented over rising infections in Mombasa amid fear that the county was experiencing a second wave of the virus.

“We are seeing a spiral effect in new infections, resulting in all emergency beds being taken up by people who have turned positive,” Kitiyo said.

by Standard.co.ke

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