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Keroche heiress wired millions to fiancé before death



The inquest into the mysterious death of Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Wangari Muigai began Tuesday, with her mother revealing that she transferred millions of shillings into her boyfriend Omar Lali’s accounts.

Testifying before Senior Principal Magistrate Zainab Abdul on death that occurred last April, Ms Tabitha Karanja, who is Keroche’s chief executive, said she wants justice.

The Nation established that Tecra fell from the stairs at a private house in Shella on Lamu Island, where she was staying with her boyfriend.

Ms Karanja Tecra transferred millions of shillings to Mr Lali between September 2019 and March 2020 through M-Pesa and her accounts at Absa bank.

She said she found it strange that her daughter would pay bills for Mr Lali, then 50 years old, as she was the younger one in the relationship.

Keroche Breweries Chief Executive Officer Tabitha Karanja in court on March 9, 2021, when she testified in an inquest into the death of her daughter, Tecra Muigai, in April 2020.

Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

Key concerns

Ms Karanja further said that Tecra’s relationship with the family became frosty as they asked her to end her association with Mr Lali due to the big age difference.

In her statement to the police, she said the family disapproved of the relationship after Tecra, then 30 years old, sent them photographs of Mr Lali in November 2019.

“As a mother I was shocked when I saw the photographs. I attempted to talk to her on phone and since we could not agree, her father and I opted to visit her residence in Naivasha,” she said.

“It was a Monday. The guards manning the entrance denied us access to her compound. Later, she called and arranged a meeting at Lake Naivasha County Club.”

The CEO said her husband Joseph Muigai Karanja, Tecra’s uncle and her step brother attended the meeting and all expressed their disapproval.

“Our concerns was majorly based on the huge age difference between the two,” she said.

Ms Karanja said they were also concerned as she was housing Mr Lali, since the man, especially they expected that an older one would shoulder more responsibilities.

Ms Karanja and her husband visited Tecra in December 2019 after she had moved to Lamu saw Mr Lali for the first time.

“The purpose of our visit was to persuade her to return home,” the mother said.

Tecra, who was the strategy and innovation director at Keroche, told her parents she had identified an outlet for their business in Lamu and had acquired a boat for transporting their products from Mukowe mainland to Lamu island.

Ms Karanja said they also sent their eldest son, James, and his girlfriend Victoria to try to persuade Tecra to end the relationship but were still unsuccessful.

Omar Lali (left), the boyfriend of late Keroche Breweries heiress Tecra Muigai, after the DPP dropped the murder case against him.

Stephen Oduor | Nation Media Group

PA’s testimony

Ms Karanja’s testimony was corroborated by Tecra’s Personal Assistant Sarita Ikenye, who produced documents listing transactions to Mr Lali through M-Pesa and the bank account.

“Tecra used to direct me to send money to Mr Lali and her driver Mr Eric Cheruiyot,” she said.

Asked by prosecuting counsel Peter Muia whether she knew what the money sent to Mr Lali was for, Ms Ikenye said, “She did not tell me the reason for transmitting the huge sums of money to Mr Lali.”

The least amount Ms Ikenye sent to Mr Lali between September 16, 2019 and April 8, 2020 was Sh5,000. The amounts significantly increased to Sh45,000 on March 7, 2020.

The PA said she would sometimes send money to Mr Lali twice in a day.

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Karanja (center) with her daughters Anerlisa Muigai (left) and Tecra Muigai (right) during a ceremony to celebrate her husband, Joseph Karanja, at their home in Nairobi on November 29, 2014.

File | Nation Media Group

Witness account

Another witness, Peter Kariuki, who said he was a friend of the family, recounted a trip to the Mt Kenya region during which he said Mr Lali got agitated.

Mr Kariuki said Mr Lali would get uncomfortable whenever a stranger joined them. He said he met the couple about three or four times and that there was an argument every time.

The witness, who works at a restaurant in Naivasha, said Tecra was picked up for a trip to Mt Kenya region and proceeded to Meru National Park in October.

“We all stayed at a hotel. Omar was very agitated but they calmed him down and had fun,” he said.

Keroche Breweries CEO Tabitha Muigai (right) and her daughter Anerlisa Muigai head to court on March 9, 2021 to testify in the inquest into Tecra Muigai’s death.

Richard Munguti | Nation Media Group

Many arguments

The witness further said that a Mr Cheruiyot, Tecra’s driver, intervened on many occasions in disputes between the two.

“I left them there and proceeded to the venue. A few minutes later I saw Tecra and Omar in the company of Cheruiyot. It appeared things had cooled down but Omar isolated himself,” he said.

“Omar eventually came to our table and they had another argument. I am not sure whether it was a jealousy issue. It was the first time I saw Omar grab Roy, a friend. Tecra intervened.”

The following day, Mr Kariuki further said, he reached out to Tecra, who told him that they had been having many arguments.

“Most of the arguments were on why Omar was not listening to her or why he did not want anybody around her,” he said.

“She went on to tell me that a week or two before, they had been on a trip to Tanzania, where Omar got into a terrible argument with her brother that almost led into a fight. The working relationship with the driver changed. I would add that all her relationships and friends changed when he came into her life.”

Mr Lali skipped the inquest and was not represented at the hearing.

The hearing will continue on Wednesday.

BY Nation

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Eric Omondi denies Jacque Maribe’s son in new pregnancy reveal



By Wanja Waweru

Eric Omondi, an award-winning comedian and creator of digital entertainment, and Lynne, a social media influencer and commercial model, have revealed they are expecting a child.

The pair enthusiastically announced the news in a combined Instagram post. Lynne can be seen donning a yellow two-piece costume in the images that have been released, proudly displaying her growing baby belly.

Eric, who was completely covered in black, stands protectively behind her and gently strokes the lump.

In her third trimester, Lynne undoubtedly looks pregnant. Eric expressed his excitement at having his own flesh and blood in the caption of the photo, which is odd given that he shares a child with Jackie Maribe, a former media celebrity.

Eric continued by equating himself with Sarah from the Bible, who’d It has taken me 41 years but finally God has blessed me with my own,” started the entertainer excitedly.

He went on to add, “The Fruit of my loins! I feel like Sarah of Abraham of the Bible, she waited all her life for a child of her own.

Thank you baby for making me a father❤❤🙏🙏🥰🥰. And to God thank you for returning our baby to us,” the last of his post read.

It has taken me 41 years but finally God has blessed me with my own,” started the entertainer excitedly.

Seven months ago, Lynne tragically miscarried at barely eight weeks of pregnancy, and Eric and his girlfriend announced they had lost their first child.

The medical professionals there did everything they could to save the little angel, but it was in vain, as Eric refers to the night as the longest night of his life.

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Mwalimu Rachel: Managing Sailors Gang my biggest regret!



By Wanja Waweru

The long-running feud between oppular radio host Rachel Muthoni Njeru, often known as Mwalimu and the gengetone boy band Sailors Gang has been being brought up again, with Rachel stating that managing the group is one of her greatest regrets.

The social media influencer shared this in an interesting conversation she had on her official YouTube channel with a friend named Monicah Wairimu Mwariri.

“What is your biggest regret? Like the one thing you say if I could have done differently I would have gotten different/ better results as Mwalimu Rachel?”

Monicah who was acting as the moderator of that specific episode posed the question to Rachel.

“Managing… managing Sailors Gang!” replied the NRG radio presenter without a second thought.

She continued by saying that interacting with the group had been such a challenge that it had put her in some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable.

“Wueh! Wewe ushawahi lala cell (have you ever spent a night in jail)?” Rachel asked the host to which she replied she’d never and doesn’t even ever wish to encounter such a moment.

Mwalimu Rachel said that while she was in charge of the gengetone male group, she had spent a night in a police cell.

Mimi nililala cell, like wueh…” Rachel revealed.

Sharing a snippet of the interview with her over 403k Instagram followers Rachel wrote, “Cell nayo nililala ni ukweli… wueh! That was a DAAARK time for me. It’s okay though… Time for EVERYONE to hear my story from ME.”

She stated in another post that the reason she was finally speaking about it was so that the suffering she had endured would not be in vain.

“Hopefully my experience will educate other managers as well as caution artists against some things,” Mwalimu Rachel’s post read.

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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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