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Body of 13-year-old boy who drowned in dam recovered

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The body of a 13-year-old schoolboy who drowned in Kianjuri dam, inside Marania forest, Buuri West Sub-county in Meru County nine days ago has been recovered a frantic search exercise.

James Mwenda, a Standard Seven pupil at Ntirimiti Primary school, was pursuing a calf that had strayed near the dam as he grazed the family cows when he slipped and fell into the 300,000 cubic meters water reservoir.

Fellow herds boys attempted to pull him out but they did not have swimming skills, even as Mwenda sunk fast.

Local divers frantically searched for the body for more than a week without success, prompting Meru County government to engage the services of divers from Mombasa County and the National Disaster Management Team.

Members of public view the body of a 13-year-old schoolboy who drowned in Kianjuri dam, in Marania forest, Meru county nine days ago on November 13, 2020.

Charles Wanyoro | Nation Media Group

The body was however spotted floating in the middle of the dam as the Mombasa team embarked on day two of their search effort.

The boy’s distraught parents were so overwhelmed with emotions to the point they did not view their child’s body.

Ntirimiti Primary School head teacher Moses Koome mourned the deceased as a gifted boy, who was keen on resuming studies following the prolonged closure of schools due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Dangerous activities

Mr Mwenda urged parents to take extra care of their children, now that they were at home so that they did not engage in dangerous activities.

“When the children are in school, we take great care of them. When they are at home, please take care of them and ensure you monitor their whereabouts,” he said.

Kisima MCA Joy Karambu and Buuri MP PA Leslie Muthamia urged the dam contractor to erect a perimeter fence around the reservoir to forestall a recurrence of the accident.

They appealed to the government to recall the contractor who oversaw the project in 2018 so that he can finalize the works.

Members of a recovery team load the body of a 13-year-old schoolboy who drowned in Kianjuri dam, in Marania forest Meru county nine days ago, into a police vehicle on November 13, 2020.

Charles Wanyoro | Nation Media Group

“In the BQ, there was provision for fencing of the dam. I don’t know who directed that it be skipped. The contractor should come back and complete the work to prevent another accident,” said Ms Karambu.

Mr Salim Mohamed Ahmed, an international rescue diving instructor who led the Mombasa team, called on county governments to train teams on basic rescue operations so that they can respond to such incidents.

He said the dam has many tree trunks that could have hampered rescue mission.

Police from Subuiga moved the boy’s body to Meru Level 5 Hospital mortuary.

by nation


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Courts

Willy Mutunga’s former wife loses bid to revive divorce suit

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Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga’s ex-wife Beverle Michaele Lax (pictured) has lost a bid to revive a divorce appeal she filed against him in 2015.

The Court of Appeal had initially dismissed Lax’s appeal against a High Court divorce ruling for her lawyer’s failure to pursue it.

She, however, went back, saying her lawyers never informed her that the case was coming up.

But Court of Appeal Judges Asike Makhandia, Jamilla Mohammed and Sankale ole Kantai found that her conduct, while the appeal was pending, did not persuade the court to intervene.

According to the judges, Lax filed a separate case to dissolve the same marriage at a San Mateo County Court in California, US, and never informed the Kenyan court about it.

The court observed that the High Court had finally dissolved the marriage, hence her appeal had been overtaken by events.

“We cannot fathom the reason(s) for this action. Be that as it may, it does again point to the applicant as a person without candour. What the applicant is seeking from this court is really the exercise of discretion,” the judges ruled.

The court found that if Lax was discussing with her lawyers about their pay, they must have informed her about the appeal.

Lax told the court that she came to learn about the dismissal of her case in November last year when she temporarily visited Kenya. She narrated that she only managed to peruse the file on January 24, 2020 and could not have attended court as she was unwell.

She said her then lawyers failed to inform her that if she did not pay their legal fees, they would not attend the court sessions.

“There is no doubt that the applicant was in constant communication with her counsel who were irksome in demanding their legal fees and we therefore find it difficult to believe that she was not informed of the hearing date,”  the judges ruled.

Mutunga opposed her application and told the court he filed a divorce case against Lax in 2009. According to him, the court gave its judgement on July 26, 2012.

Aggrieved with the High Court’s decision, Mutunga said his ex-wife filed an appeal on September 18, 2015, but the case did not proceed out of her delaying tactics.

He explained that when the case came up for hearing on November 18, 2015, Lax sought for Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu, who was then a Court of Appeal judge, to withdraw from the bench that was hearing the case.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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Health

MP’s battle with Covid-19 at home

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On November 2, Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama drove to Naivasha to attend the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting.

Earlier, Mr Arama had taken a Covid-19 test at a health facility in Nakuru after he experienced chills at night.

However, on arrival at the hotel where he was to spend the night, he started experiencing chills again and developed fever, pain in the joints and nausea.

Soon he started experiencing shortness of breath.

He informed his colleagues that he was feeling unwell, and they quickly planned to take him to Nairobi for treatment.

Not able to walk

“When I booked into my room, my body temperature was high and I had chills. It was at that time that I received a phone call from health officials that I had tested positive for Covid-19. I had gone for the test before travelling to Naivasha,” he recalled.

But when he informed the department of health about his plan to travel to Nairobi for treatment, he was counselled and advised by the County Chief Officer of Public Health Samuel King’ori to self-isolate in his house where he would be monitored by medics.

Inside an isolation room in his house, he was put on supplemental oxygen and fed through tubes, with doctors examining him in the morning, afternoon and at night.

“For the past several weeks, I have kept off the public because I was not able to walk, talk or eat after being diagnosed with Covid-19,” said Arama.

After 15 days, he began to feed normally and later tested negative for coronavirus.

“God has been merciful to me. Gasping for air and feeding through tubes was the most trying moment in my life. Actually, this was my first time to feed through tubes and get oxygen support,” he said.

The MP plans to work with community health volunteers, the police and youth to sensitise locals on Covid-19 preventive measures.

He wants to buy at least 20,000 masks to distribute to the needy through local administrators and nyumba kumi members.

Prior to being diagnosed with Covid-19, Arama used to hold a meeting with constituents.

Initially, he used to criticise police whenever they arrested people for contravening Covid-19 protocols.

“At times I would rush to the police station whenever I heard that someone had been arrested, but now I support the police to fully enforce the set containment measures. It is through discipline that we will save the society,” he said.

He said during meetings with constituents he never thought he would contract the virus.

“I take this opportunity to thank God for giving me this second chance to serve Him and the people of Nakuru Town West,” he said.

His message to the public is to wear masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid crowds.

“We need everyone to put on masks, wash hands with soap and water and avoid gatherings. This is the only way to contain the spread of this virus,” said the MP.

Dedication and courage

Arama applauded health workers in Nakuru, for their dedication and courage in the fight against Covid-19.

“I can confirm to you that Nakuru County has the best health facilities, equipment and qualified medical personnel. I spent two weeks on oxygen support machine, intensive treatment and consistent checkups,” he said.

Health records indicate that the attack rate in Nakuru is 169.2 out of 100,000 population, with a case fatality of 2.2 per cent.

Although the MP was reluctant to reveal the cost of his treatment, a source at the local department of health told The Standard he incurred a bill of Sh51,684 per day because he required supplemental oxygen and his condition was critical.

By Standardmedia.co.ke


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Business

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