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Boda boda rider presumed dead returns home alive amid burial plans



The family of a boda rider presumed dead after going missing for two months held prayers to cleanse their homestead when he returned home alive amid burial arrangements for him.

The family, strict adherents of the Seventh-day Adventists church, said they held a prayer session at the home to seek spiritual cleansing after the shocking incident.

Fred Ochieng, 39, returned home on Saturday after finishing his two-month jail term at Homa Bay GK prison. He had been convicted of breaching traffic regulations.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation on Monday, Erick Omondi, Mr Ochieng’s elder brother, said the family sought spiritual intervention after coming across human remains that they had concluded were those of their lost kin and started burial arrangements.

Skeleton in cane farm

Last week, cane cutters stumbled on a skeleton, and Mr Ochieng’s relatives concluded it was his remains, only for him to return home alive and well.

Mr Omondi said they had reported Mr Ochieng’s disappearance to the police and on local radio stations.

“He left for work on April 30 and never came back. We had been frantically searching for him, and even reported him missing,” Mr Omondi said when the remains were retrieved.

The family, unaware of their kin’s whereabouts, took the remains to the Rosewood Hospital mortuary and started planning for a burial.

“We paid a deposit for the coffin, bought a bull and several goats and started the burial preparations,” he told the Nation at his home in Kasere village.

“We were shocked to see him back the day we planned to remove the body from the mortuary. We have called for prayers to cleanse the home.”

On Sunday, members of three local SDA churches held prayers at Mr Ochieng’s rural home, where family and neighbours gathered.

After the day-long service, the family took the animals they had bought back to the market and forfeited the coffin bill. The firewood that had been dried for use during the planned funeral was also given out to villagers.

Luo customs

Under Luo customs, a banana stalk was often planted in place of the missing person in cases where the person could not be found, as explained by Kamagambo council of elders chairman Mzee Sam Ayieko.

If the missing person returned, elders would perform rituals on him or her before the person is allowed to return home.

“On the day of his return, he could not come directly to the home. A bull, or any animal would be slaughtered and the blood mixed with concoctions would be sprayed on the person as a way of cleansing,” noted Mr Ayieko.

Although the body found by cane cutters was yet to be identified, police urged the public to report any case of a missing person.

“We are yet to get post-mortem results after taking samples for DNA testing. I’m, however, appealing to residents to inform us of anyone who might have been missing to aid with investigations,” Rongo Sub-County Police Commander Peter Okiring told the Nation.

Relatives’ contacts

The frail-looking Ochieng recounted to the Nation how his failure to remember his relatives’ contacts landed him in jail.

The boda boda rider said he was arrested by traffic officers attached to the Rangwe Police Station, some 30km from Rongo, where he had picked up a passenger.

“Being a Friday, I was locked up in police cells, where I spent the entire weekend. I did not have any of my relatives’ contacts off my head, and neither did I have a cell phone,” Mr Ochieng recounted.


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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