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Kenyan Man in US Awarded $640k For Illegal Detention now wants More Money from government



A Kenyan native Douglas Ngumi is challenging a Supreme Court ruling that awarded him over $640,000 in damages for his unlawful arrest, detention and inhumane treatment at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre, arguing more compensation is needed for the wrongs committed against him.

Ngumi is asking the court to award him $11m in restitution for his unlawful six-and-a-half-year imprisonment at the local detention centre, where he suffered and endured numerous beatings at the hands of immigration officers following his arrest in 2011.

The Kenyan native testified in 2019, detailing his experience at the detention centre, revealing many instances where he was severely beaten and also, how he contracted two diseases during his stay at CRDC.

Last November, Justice Indra Charles awarded Mr Ngumi $386,000 in damages for false imprisonment, assault and battery, $50,000 in aggravated damages, $100,000 in exemplary damages, $105,000 in constitutional damages by way of compensation and vindication and $950 in special damages — equalling $641,950.

Mr Ngumi is being represented by Fred Smith, QC, and others in his appeal.

In court yesterday, Mr Smith asserted that the amount of damages awarded to his client was far below the mark and further argued that Justice Charles erred in her ruling in regard to several issues.

Court documents filed by the appellant notes Justice Charles erred when determining the length of Ngumi’s detention at the facility and also when assessing the damages done to Ngumi, including exemplary damages, aggravated damages, constitutional damages by way of compensation and vindication and damages for false imprisonment.

In deciding on appropriate damages for Ngumi at the time, Justice Charles relied heavily on the case of Atain Takitota, a Japanese national who was arrested by immigration officers in 1992 and spent eight years in the maximum-security wing of the Fox Hill prison without charge.

Mr Takitota was awarded some $500,000 in damages in 2006 by the Court of Appeal.

However, Mr Smith said that the facts and circumstances surrounding the two cases were “vastly different,” though he agreed that both shared a long term of false imprisonment.

Still, notwithstanding the amount of damages awarded to Mr Takitota, Mr Smith said Bahamian authorities “continue in deliberate policy of unlawful arrest, falsely imprisoning and detaining people in inhumane and degrading conditions for days, weeks, months and years.”

He insisted that in Ngumi’s case, the damages awarded should have been notably higher than what was given, considering the deplorable conditions he endured while in immigration custody, and also to teach officials a lesson.

“Mr Ngumi was repeatedly and erroneously awarded very much reduced damages than he would otherwise be entitled to from principle,” Mr Smith said. “To continue to arrest and raid people indiscriminately and hold them ‘for immigration purposes’ or to arrest Mr Ngumi as they did and originally send him to the detention centre some years before because of the complaint by his wife and there was no offence committed has to be brought to a stop.

“…The longer the detention in the circumstances which exist in the Bahamas, the greater should be the amount of the award.”

According to court documents, the appellants also argue that Justice Charles made an error when she failed to award damages for “torts of assault and battery “and indemnity costs.”

He also suggested that the figures do not send a strong message to Bahamian authorities and implored the court to use Ngumi’s case as an example to help discourage such unlawful practices in governmental agencies, which he said are becoming too frequent.

He also said there is a need for the country to implement its own system for awarding damages to ensure fairness and balance across the board.

“This nonsense has to stop,” Mr Smith argued. “…Your lordships must use this case to send a message to the state and those running the state, Mr Carl Bethel and Mr Brent Symonette and whoever the ministers may be now that you cannot continue to do this with impunity.”

Meanwhile, the attorney representing the respondents in the matter, disagreed with Mr Smith’s arguments, insisting they did not believe the figure awarded was “so small” that it warranted a review by the Court of Appeal.

The respondents listed are Attorney General Carl Bethel, former Immigration Minister Brent Symonette, former Immigration Director William Pratt and Peter Joseph, the officer in charge of the CRDC.

A ruling on the matter is expected at a later date.


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Mark Omondi’s Uncut Story of his Relentless Journey to Obtain a Visa



Mark Omondi’s transformative journey began with a simple advert that caught his eye while scrolling through Facebook. Intrigued by the opportunity to pursue his American dream, he embarked on a path that would change his life forever.

Determined to make his dream a reality, he immediately began researching The KENYA Airlift Program’s requirements and the universities he was interested in. Recognizing what this choice meant for him, he diligently prepared for the GMAT exam, fully aware that it would serve as a crucial step towards achieving his goal which he passed.

                                              Mark Omondi at University of Louisville

His story is one of perseverance, determination, and resilience. His journey to obtain a visa was not an easy one, but he refused to give up on his dream of studying abroad. Despite facing two denials and an administrative issue, he persisted and kept trying until he finally obtained a visa. He is now studying at the University of Louisville through program, and he says that giving up would have halted his dreams.

His story is particularly relevant in today’s fast-paced and often uncertain world. With so many challenges and obstacles to overcome, it can be easy to get discouraged and give up on our dreams. Furthermore, Mark’s experience highlights the importance of having a support system in place. Throughout his journey, he was fortunate to have the support of his family, and our program which guided him throughout this rigorous process. Without their encouragement and assistance, he may not have been able to overcome the challenges he faced.

This video provides more insights on the same.

This article is brought to your courtesy of The KENYA Airlift Program

The KENYA Airlift Program is an award-winning initiative that helps brilliant Kenyan Students achieve the dream of studying in the US regardless of their financial background.

The program was founded in late 2018 by US-based education & technology consultant Bob Mwiti in collaboration with a Member of County Assembly of Meru Hon. Dennis Kiogora popularly referred to as DMK.

The program’s mission is achieved through key partnership with MPOWER Financing as the official lending partner for unsecured student loans that cover both tuition and living expenses, partnership with universities in US where the program negotiates tuition fee waivers and scholarships, partnership with The Airlift Sacco to help finance students’ relocation expenses and partnership with Qatar Airways who offer discounted relocation air tickets to the students.

The program only accommodates ambitious and incredibly talented Kenyans who are willing to take a leap of faith in joining the tech industry by studying STEM or business-related master’s programs.

This award-winning program is trying to fix three major challenges Kenyan Students face in their quest to study in America, namely:

  • Acquiring funding for relocation, tuition and living expenses.
  • Finding well-paying jobs after graduation
  • Acquiring permanent residency in America after graduation

The program is divided into two options; regular and parallel, which are based on the student’s academic qualifications and financial capabilities.

Regular student’s academic requirement is a B plain mean grade in KCSE with a B plain in Mathematics or Physics and a second class division in undergraduate, whereas Parallel students’ academic requirements is a C+ mean grade in KCSE and a second class division in undergraduate.

The program has an active membership of about 2000 students, and as of January 2023, the program has seen over 200 students relocate since inception, to study at various top State Universities in the US, with many more currently in the relocation pipeline.

The program has official working relationship with top Universities in North America namely:

  • The University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Grand valley State University
  • South Dakota State University
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Missouri State University

If you are interested in joining this fantastic program, please apply today by visiting our website at

For any further inquiries, you can also visit our head office in Nairobi at Muthaiga Square, 3rd Floor suite 311 on Thika Road opposite Muthaiga Police Station or you can give us a call at 0721-263-977.



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US announces changes to student visa application process



US State Department has revealed changes in policy that will impact foreign students entering the US.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced during the National Association of other Student Advisers (NAFSA) in Washington that they had streamlined the visa application process for students from other nations, including Kenya, who want to pursue higher education overseas.

According to him, applicants won’t need to participate in an interview to complete their application.

This adjustment is a significant deviation from the standard procedures, which at first required an interview.

The Department also extended the window in which a Visa application may be submitted, bringing it from 120 days to a full year.

Blinken stressed the significance of forging alliances with other nations when discussing visa reforms in order to provide students with additional opportunities  options to study abroad.

He applauded organizations like NAFSA for helping students seize opportunities and for organizing student exchanges.

“At the State Department, we are working to expand international education. After the acute phase of the pandemic ended, more and more international students began applying to study in the US again. We took steps to streamline our visa process and make it easier for students to apply,” he said.

M Square Media’s CEO, Raghwa Gopal, applauded the US government for taking action to expand international study programs. Gopal asserted that by giving students the skills they would need for future international engagements, the short-term educational courses would be advantageous to the students.

Foreign students can enter a recognized college, university, high school, or other educational program in the US under the academic student program.

Foreign students must be admitted by a school that has received formal US government recognition, and the program must result in a certification, certificate, or degree.

After a popular outcry, the deadline for the hike in worldwide visa fees was postponed from the originally announced date of May 30 to June 17; some applicants will now have to pay up to Sh42,000 to obtain the travel document.

Business and tourist visas (category B1/B2S), student visas (F), and exchange visitor visas (J) are the categories that would see a rise, going from Sh21,800 ($160) to Sh25,206 ($185) visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) will cost Sh27,941 ($205) from Sh25,897 ($190).

The US Embassy in Nairobi stated that they acknowledge the critical role that international travel plays in the US economy and pointed out that President Joe Biden’s foreign policy places a high priority on granting visas, particularly for work and tourism. They insisted that the fees are only intended to cover the costs of providing the consular services.

The cost of non-immigrant visas hasn’t gone up since 2014, so this is a big deal.

Following the suspension of the process in 2020 as part of the safety measures established at the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, the embassy has been dealing with a massive backlog of visa interviews.

The Embassy shortened the wait time for visa interviews for Kenyan visitors last month and permitted renewal of some categories without going through an interview physical appointments.

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Kenyan David Kipkoech saved from deportation in Canada



David Kipkoech can now breathe now that his probable deportation to Kenya has been deferred by the Canadian government, who also offered him six months to remedy his immigration issues on Wednesday, June 7.

Kipkoech, who was scheduled to leave the country on Friday, June 9, was given permission to stay until December 2023 with his family.

The family member told the media that he was thrilled to receive the deferral letter and expressed concern that the deportation would cause him to be separated from his family.

“I was so happy when I got the deferral letter though I only have a little bit of time,” he stated.

When he got the deportation letter in April, Kipkoech feared he would part ways with his young family, a son, and daughter.

“I am not 100 per cent happy. I still have a long way to go, so I cannot rest,” he added

Kipkoech’s attorney argued in court that his client should remain in Canada to care for his family. His daughter and son are both citizens of Canada.

The attorney further asserted that if he is deported, it will be challenging for him to enter Canada again.

“He is a young person and has a family here. He is motivated to work and there is no question that if he were to stay here, he would be a contributing member of this society. As his lawyer, my goal is to see him stay and take care of his family.

“Deportations by their nature tend to be permanent unless you can demonstrate by writing to the minister and asking for permission to come back in,” the lawyer told the court.

Prior to requesting refugee status, Kipkoech entered Canada in 2016 on a visiting visa. He had worked in a food processing facility and a nursing home.

However, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Department in Canada denied his application for asylum and said it was okay for him to return to Kenya.

As a result of words he had made before, Kipkoech was afraid for his life when he returned to Kenya.

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