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Archive for January, 2010

Kenya’s refugees turn tents into homes

Posted by Administrator on January 31, 2010

Simon Karanje and Blasse Wambui play outside Simon Njoroge's tent in Mai Mahiu. Sarah Elliot for The National

Simon Karanje and Blasse Wambui play outside Simon Njoroge's tent in Mai Mahiu. Sarah Elliot for The National

MAI MAHIU, KENYA // Outside his neat, white tarpaulin tent, Simon Njoroge has planted purple bougainvillaea and rows of corn stalks. Tiny seedlings of cucumbers and watermelons are starting to sprout.

Inside the tent, he has a sitting room with two armchairs, a kitchen with a gas stove and a bedroom with a wooden bed. While Mr Njoroge has outfitted this modest dwelling with homey features, the side of the tent is still emblazoned with the logo of the United Nations refugee agency, a stark reminder that he remains a displaced person in his own country.

In the two years since post-election violence shook the country, Mr Njoroge and other Kenyans have camped in tents like this. With little chance that the last remaining refugees will return home, they have begun to make their displacement camps into permanent villages.

“We have now completed two good years in the camp,” Mr Njoroge, 60, said. “There’s nothing else to do except make it feel like home.”

The worst of the violence kicked off just after New Year’s Day 2008 after a disputed presidential election. Mwai Kibaki, the incumbent, narrowly beat his challenger, Raila Odinga, in a poll that most observers said was flawed.

Supporters of Mr Odinga rioted and the violence quickly broke down along tribal lines. Members of Mr Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe clashed with the Luo and Kalenjin tribes. For two months, rivals hacked each other to death with machetes, slew them with arrows and spears and torched them while they slept in their beds.

A power-sharing deal ended the bloodshed but exposed deep-rooted tribal animosity. More than 1,300 people died in the riots and a further 350,000 were displaced. Most of the displacement camps were closed down after a year, but some, such as Mr Njoroge’s camp of 1,300 people here in the Rift Valley, remain.

For Mr Njoroge, a Kikuyu, the violence began about a week after the election. From the front porch of his house in Nandi Hills, a predominantly Kalenjin area in western Kenya, he could see mobs of angry youths with warpaint and bows and arrows.

“We were living happily, then all of a sudden these Kalenjin people were telling us that if Kibaki wins, we Kikuyu must leave that place,” he said. “But the real cause of the problem was not the election; it was land. The Kalenjin did not like seeing others farming in the Rift Valley.”

Mr Njoroge, a farmer by trade, took his five children and wife and fled to the local police station as the mob descended on his house.

“They burnt our house,” he said. “I left my house with nothing. They destroyed everything. Up to now, I have not gone back.”

His family first went to a camp in the town of Eldoret, where 10,000 people were packed together in squalor for one year. In October, when the government shut down the camp, about 200 displaced families pooled together the US$400 (Dh1,500) the government had given each of them as compensation and bought a parcel of land near the town of Mai Mahiu.

“The government has tried to help us,” said Joyce Maina, the vice chairwoman of the relocated camp. “It’s the government that provided the transport to move here. They gave us the money, so we gathered together and formed this group to buy this small shamba [farm].”

Other groups of displaced people have also formed to purchase land to resettle, according to aid agencies.

“A trend in return is the formation of self-help groups, who are identifying land on which to relocate to, rather than return to their homes,” a UN humanitarian report said. “As the government continues to facilitate the closure of the IDP camps, relocation self-help groups are emerging as a collective answer towards a durable solution.”

Around 25,000 people remain displaced in these transit camps and they are starting to become more permanent. At a site a few hundred metres from Mr Njoroge’s camp, an aid organisation has built houses of breeze blocks for the squatters. Mr Njoroge said houses were promised to his camp as well.

These last refugees of Kenya’s most violent political crisis in modern history will probably resettle in their current locations rather than return to their original land, experts and displaced people say. The perpetrators of the violence have not been brought to justice and reports indicate that Kenyans are rearming for more clashes after the next election in 2012.

Mr Njoroge said he does not feel safe to return to his former village. Even if he did return, everything he once had there is gone.

“I want to stay here,” he said. “I won’t go back. In the future, the same thing can happen again. I feel safe here because I am out of that place.”


-The National

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Kenya’s refugees turn tents into homes

MP busted with lover in hotel by colleague

Posted by Administrator on January 31, 2010

A youthful flamboyant lawmaker who is a member is of the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) that was negotiating a new draft constitution, was recently busted by a colleague in a Naivasha hotel room where he had disappeared with his clandestine lover. The girl is a former beauty queen working with a leading organisation. The legislator and the catwalk model have been an item for the last one-year.

The mheshimiwa had left Naivasha Great Rift Hotel (where the committee has been meeting) with his colleague for Naivasha town where they wanted to have some fun before the sessions would resume the next day.

According to our source, (a waiter in the hotel where the two had drinks) the MP excused himself to go to the washroom only to disappear to the hotel room where his sidekick had been waiting all evening.

“She had arrived at around 5:00pm and went straight to the room, which mheshimiwa had booked via telephone earlier in the day,” said the source.

But his colleague became impatient when his friend took too long to return to the table. He had left his mobile phone on the table and he could not be found in the washrooms.

“We knew that the MP had dashed to the room where the girl was waiting but that was a top secret and he had requested for privacy. But his friend feared he was in danger and threatened to call the police. It was after that when we took him to the hotel room where the guy was with his sidekick. He opened the door and what a shock he had on his face,” added the source.

The cheating MP then drove off with the girl. It is not clear if he spent the rest of the night in his Great Rift Valley hotel room.

Source: East African Standard

The model is a popular public figure . The MP is married and has been a lawmaker for a while.

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The joy of being Mariga’s mother

Posted by Administrator on January 31, 2010

Mrs Mildred Wanyama, the mother of McDonald Mariga (inset). Photo/STEPHEN MUDIAR

Mrs Mildred Wanyama, the mother of McDonald Mariga (inset). Photo/STEPHEN MUDIAR


Thanks to the success of a son, one lucky mother will in a few months move to a new home in Nairobi’s Lavington estate, a different world from the one she brought up her children in.

Soon, her whole family will move further away from the dust, noisy matatus and burst sewers that characterised a big part of their day-to-day life into a gated compound with manicured lawns to enjoy the sound of chirping birds.

On Friday, Mildred Ayiemba Wanyama was going on with the usual routine that occupies her evenings when she received a phone call from her son. As she usually does, she began by giving him an update on home affairs.

“I was telling him how I spent the money he had sent me earlier by buying a few things for his siblings and paying for the school fees of one of his relatives back in the village,” says Mrs Wanyama.

But before she gave him the complete breakdown of January’s expenses, her son cut her short halfway through.

“I was just about to tell him that I was almost broke when he told me he was at the airport and we couldn’t talk much,” says Mrs Wanyama.

As an ever concerned mother, she couldn’t let the conversation end that way so she prodded further. The more questions she asked, the more she realised that her son was on the verge of making Kenyan football history.

No, he was not boarding a plane to Kenya as she had hoped. The flight was destined for England and there would be no return flight to Italy soon. A deal between her son’s old football club Parma and what is his new home, Manchester City, had been completed.

If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, then heaven’s joy can’t match the joy of a mother proud of her child’s achievements.

Even as she tries to maintain a semblance of normalcy in her small clothes shop in Kariokor, she knows the hard life her family went through a few years ago will become a past chapter.

“The Wanyamas grew up in Muthurwa Estate,” says the slightly more than six-foot Mrs Wanyama. “And, as parents, we tried to give our children all that they needed.”

Her clothes shop is the last one in a row of kiosks behind the Kariokor chief’s camp. Within its mabati walls are several shelves on which layers of multi-coloured kitenge fabrics are neatly arranged. Four sewing machines dot the interior.

Today, none of them is being used. Perhaps the Wanyamas and all those close to them are a bit excited by the news of one of their own going to one of the richest football leagues in the world. Every shop owner around her knows of her excitement.

Most of them are friends who used to see the face of her son in the local sports pages. On this day, however, he is on the front page. Everyone around seems too eager to share a thing or two about the Manchester City player.

“The shop was a present from him when I got retrenched from Kenya Railways. At that time, life in the city was becoming expensive and I had decided to go back to the village,” she says.

But her son wanted none of it.

“He told me to look for a rental house that went for between Sh30,000 and Sh35,000,” she says. Just like that, the family moved from Muthurwa to old Race Course estate.

In May, the Wanyamas will be moving again.

MacDonald’s younger sister Cynthia says of her brother: “He has always been polite. From an early age, we have been brought up knowing how important it is relating well with each other,” she says. “He means what he says.”

“He wanted to buy me the house last year but he only had five leave days. Once this football season comes to an end, he will come home and give me the keys to the new house,” she says.

Even with a transfer fee of close to Sh1 billion, and a salary that could easily get to millions of shillings each week, the proud mother of eight is confident the pounds will not change her son one bit.

The mother of five boys and three girls and wife to former Kenyan international Noah Wanyama is proud of her children’s achievements. Two of her sons are footballers as well.

Victor Mugabe plays for Belgian side Germinia Bearschot while another, Thomas Wanyama, plays for local football club Sofapaka.

However, old habits die hard. Mrs Wanyama insists that even if her son moves her to Lavington, she would find it hard to quit her clothes business.

Source: Daily Nation

Posted in Features | 3 Comments »

A flying career and wedding bells stopped by thugs

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2010

Mr Martin Njuma, the pilot who died after a gang attack on Uhuru Highway, Nairobi, planned to wed Ms Becky Ngoiri in May. Photos/ Courtesy

Mr Martin Njuma, the pilot who died after a gang attack on Uhuru Highway, Nairobi, planned to wed Ms Becky Ngoiri in May. Photos/ Courtesy


Martin Gitehi Njuma got down on bended knee and proposed to his fiancé Rebecca Ngoiri just before Christmas.

Less than three weeks later, the young pilot lay in a pool of blood after being set upon by thugs in a horrific attack that has highlighted the dangers motorists face while driving around Nairobi at night.

Njuma was killed at the Makaburini area near Bunyala Road roundabout after his car stalled as he was driving to Westlands at around 4 a.m.

He died the same day, January 17, at a Nairobi hospital less than 24 hours after he was rushed there unconscious.

Njuma’s father, Captain James Njuma, said the last conversation he had with his son was about his pending nuptials.

“I spoke to my son on January 16, and he was worried about being on duty around his wedding day which was to be in May. He was trying to get annual leave around the same time to coincide with his wedding,” Captain Njuma said.

Becky Ngoiri is at a loss for words after losing the love of her life.

“I keep thinking that maybe he is in Bangkok or he has gone for training somewhere. I cannot believe I will never have lunch or dinner with him again,” Ms Ngoiri said.

Mr Njuma’s death has triggered a flood of reactions on the Internet with Kenyans demanding that police act against thugs who prey on motorists at well known danger spots in the city.

The Kenya Airways pilot spent the better part of his last day with his childhood friend and colleague Moses Karanja and left Mr Karanja’s house at midnight to attend a friend’s birthday party.

“I asked him to sleep over because it was late, but he said he had promised our friend that he would attend the party,” Mr Karanja said.

Mr Karanja was unable to accompany his friend as he was to fly to Lagos the next day. He awoke at 5 a.m., and 20 minutes later he got a call from the friend whose party Mr Njuma had attended.

“My friend informed me that Njuma was in critical condition after being attacked by thugs,” Mr Karanja said. The attack happened while the group was on its way from a nightclub in Lang’ata and was heading to Westlands to continue with the party.

Mr Njuma had called his friends and informed them that his car had stalled. They were in another car behind his, but when they got to his car, they did not find him.

“A police car came by later, and the officers assisted them to look for him. They found him lying unconscious a few metres from his car,” Mr Karanja said.

The officers who found him did not record the incident. They advised his friends to rush him to hospital.

Mr Njuma succumbed to head injuries inflicted by a blunt object. He had been hit with brutal force behind his left ear and he had a fractured skull.

His attackers took his wallet and mobile phone.

Such attacks have become increasingly commonplace in the area that has been infamous for nighttime attacks on motorists for many years. No known action has been taken against the thugs.

Other danger spots in the city centre and its environs are the Globe Cinema roundabout, Museum Hill Roundabout, the Railways stage, the main bus station and the City Stadium.

Mpaka Road in Westlands has also been added to the list as revellers are robbed of their mobile phones and other valuables almost every weekend and also regularly have their cars broken into.

Captain Njuma said the death of his only son would not be in vain.

Mr Njuma’s family and friends have come together to expose the area where many attacks have occurred, some fatal, and most unreported.

“I have been getting so many emails, and people are telling me how they lost their friends and relatives in the Makaburini area,” Ms Ngoiri said.

Mr Karanja also recounted how his blogs had elicited reactions from a number of people who have been attacked by thugs said to operate from a tunnel under Uhuru Highway.

“People have horror stories to tell about the stretch between the area known as Makaburini and the Nyayo Stadium roundabout,” Captain Njuma said.

A billboard has been put up at the spot where Mr Njuma was attacked, and a demonstration will be held there on Sunday from around midday. The demonstration is meant to sensitise people to the dangers at Makaburini to avoid further attacks and loss of life.

Mr Njuma’s family and friends will lay wreaths at the spot where the body was found. They are also pushing for the establishment of a police post in the area.

“We will exhaust all the avenues to make sure that no other family loses its members through such senseless killings,” Captain Njuma said.

Central police station boss Richard Muguai dismissed claims of a rise in crime in the city centre and its environs and said this was an isolated incident.

“The young man put himself in danger by driving at that time of the night,” he said.

“We are investigating the case, but the main question we are asking is why these people did not report the matter sooner.”

Source: Daily Nation

Posted in Crime | 11 Comments »

Is a worse scenario looming for Kenya?

Posted by Administrator on January 30, 2010

Following the discovery of the consignment of arms by the Kenya security machinery,
many questions  can be asked regarding the future of Kenya.  According to the
Standard  newspaper of the 9th December 2009,  100,000 bullets, army uniforms , guns
and other sophisticated weapons which can shoot down airplanes, were  discovered at
a place in Narok.
Although all Kenyans and the entire International community should thank the Kenyan
Government, which for the first time in the over 20 years of  uncertainty, has acted
hastily and diligently,  the Nation  may still be  sitting on a time Bomb. No one
knows how many weapons are in the country  illegally today,  and our   prayers
should be, that the Kenya security  machinery do not rest in their hunt for more
illegal weapons that may be  hidden in some places.  There could be millions of such
weapons in the  hands of dangerous people whose agenda is to cause chaos.
A few weeks ago, the Kenya newspapers and the  BBC, released information on the
influx of weapons in Kenya in a manner  that had never been heard of before. The
Eldoret weapons factory has been mentioned often  in relation to weapons let out
illegally. A probe committee should be  formed immediately to investigate the
activities at the Eldoret weapons  factory.  Reports of sinister activities that
took place during the Post  election violence, have been reported by the media in
the past few  months, an indication that it is being misused. A scrutiny of the
employees of the factory is very important at the moment.

With this new catch, the possibility of an uncontrollable situation, may  not be
ruled out if the world does not do something now. Some of those  who were involved
in the post election Violence were also involved in  the 1991 mayhem, and would do
anything to prevent any arrest and/or  prosecution. I wish to advise Kenyans and the
International Community,  to  address the precautions and measures necessary to
prevent chaos    before the ICC commences the prosecutions of the perpetrators of
the  Post election Violence. The time to act is now. Any other time will be  too

For two consecutive years before the infamous killings of 800 Kenyans in  1991,
President Moi kept warning Kenyans of war and chaos, but Kenyans  did not take his
warnings seriously.  On Sunday the 18th. Of October 2009, retired President Moi
warned of chaos. I do  not know how many Kenyans take President Moi serious this

On the 13th. Of August 1994, Kenya would have gone the Rwanda way, had  it not been
for the quick intervention  by the good friends of Kenya.  I  know that those good
friends of Kenya will read this article. Kenya  needs help to avert any loss of
lives of its innocent Citizens.  Kenyans  cannot afford to witness more killings.
Time is ripe for all Kenyans in  the Diaspora to come out in large numbers to
demonstrate against those  bent on causing chaos. It is time for all Kenyans in the
Diaspora to  build more concern about their parents, brothers and sisters back home
who always become victims of chaos and conflicts. The Diaspora can make  a great

Isaac Newton Kinity

Posted in Analysis and Opinion | Comments Off on Is a worse scenario looming for Kenya?

Death Tunnel: Uhuru Highway-The story of Martin Gitahi Njuma

Posted by Administrator on January 29, 2010

From Standard Group report

At twenty-nine, Martin Gitahi Njuma was bubbling with life, full of promise. He was probably the youngest Kenya airways pilot flying a boeing 777, until one Saturday two weeks ago when his car broke down along uhuru highway, exposing him to an attack by street urchins that rudely cut shot his life. Martins death adds to the statistics of victims of street urnchins and gangs who have turned the tunnel along uhuru highway into a den, from where they kill, rape and maim their victims.

Posted in Crime | 1 Comment »

Mariga set to join Man City

Posted by Administrator on January 29, 2010

Hot property: Parma and Kenya international midfielder McDonald Mariga

Hot property: Parma and Kenya international midfielder McDonald Mariga

Parma have accepted a €10 million offer (about Sh722 million) from Manchester City for Kenyan international McDonald Mariga, according to reports from Italy and England.

Mariga had been linked with Italian champions Inter but Parma sporting director, Pietro Leonardi, apparently met with City on Thursday.

He was able to convince the English club over 22-year-old Mariga’s €10m fee during a series of talks which untangled the move.

Once the transfer is compelete, Mariga will become Kenya’s richest sportsman and the first ever to play in the English Premier League.

City turned to Mariga after seeing negotiations stall with Real Madrid in their attempts to sign Fernando Gago. City were ready to bid £6million for Mariga, according to reports in Italy, and could offer Valeri Bojinov as part of the deal.

Bulgaria striker Bojinov, 23, has scored four goals in 15 appearances since joining Parma on loan at the start of the season and he is keen to stay in Italy.

Harry Redknapp tried to sign Mariga for Portsmouth from Swedish side Helsingborgs three years ago, but work permit issues scuppered the deal.

But the 6ft 2in marauding midfielder has cemented himself as a regular at Parma, winning many admirers after joining the club in 2007.

Signed four-year deal

Mariga would be an alternative to Gago, who was keen to sign City only for Madrid to block his exit.

Mariga started his playing career at Pipeline FC. He was a member of the Kamukunji High School ‘Golden Boys’, which also included Dennis Oliech (Auxerre), that won two consecutive national championships in 2002 and 2003.

The central midfielder went to Sweden in 2005 to play for third Division side Enköpings SK. After only one season at ESK, he signed for Helsingborgs IF before the 2006 season. His success at Olympia was immediate.

Following initial interest from Redknapp, Mariga looked set to sign for the Premier League team, but work permit issues held up the deal which was supposed to have cost around €2.7 million.

He moved to the Serie A club Parma on loan in August 2007. Mariga agreed to a four year deal to keep him at Parma for four years until the end of June 2012, after the club paid a transfer fee for €1.94 million. The deal was brokered by former Swede great Martin Dahlin.

Mariga played 35 times for Parma in the Serie B during the 2008-2009 season scoring three time to help them back to Serie A for the 2009-2010 season.

Elsewhere, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed Wayne Rooney as a “world class” player ahead of his side’s crucial title showdown with Arsenal.

The 23–year–old England striker netted his 21st goal of the season against Manchester City on Wednesday night to book United’s place in the Carling Cup final, just days after his four–goal salvo against Hull.

And ahead of the showdown with old foes Arsenal, Ferguson was left to drool over Rooney’s latest heroics. “It was much better than Saturday,” Ferguson said of Rooney, ho played up front on his own.

“I know he scored four goals but his control leading the line and his link-up play was fantastic. Overall it was a wonderful performance. World class.”

Arsenal, who currently sit in third place in the league ladder, will vault over United with a win, but their overall title ambitions suffered a setback against Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

The Gunners were held to a 0–0 draw by Martin O’Neill’s Champions League hopefuls, and they lost Eduardo and Thomas Vermaelen to injury.

Wenger, though, was pleased to see his side come through a physical encounter at Villa Park, something they have not always been able to do.

“We didn’t always find our passing game (against Villa),” he said. “They play a very efficient English game with long balls and very physical.

“Although Villa were physical, it was not a dirty game. It was a committed game. It was a fair game but not dirty at all. For me, it was physical in a positive way.”

Source: Daily Nation. Photo from Daily Mail-UK

Posted in Kenya: Sports | Comments Off on Mariga set to join Man City

Bad drivers to pay higher premiums

Posted by Administrator on January 29, 2010

By MUCHIRI KARANJA Posted Friday, January 29 2010 at 20:27

Careless drivers will be penalised under the new motor vehicle insurance underwriting guidelines.

Under the rules that are to come into effect on March 1, drivers who cause road accidents will be required to pay double the insurance premiums that careful drivers will pay.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority, the new rules require that owners seeking insurance for their vehicles disclose their motoring history.

Insurance companies will first assess the accident risk exposure of individual motorists before agreeing to cover their vehicles.

Inexperienced drivers as well as those who have been involved in accidents in the past will be rated as high risk and charged higher premiums.

On the other hand, experienced drivers who have a clean driving record will get up to 50 per cent discount on the payments under the No Claim Bonus guidelines.

This means that matatu owners will need to vet their drivers more carefully and employ only the best in order to qualify for lower insurance premiums.

According to the Insurance Regulatory Authority, the new guidelines will go a long way in restoring sanity on Kenyan roads.

“This is meant to reward good drivers and penalise careless drivers,” said authority boss Sammy Makove.

Welcoming the new rules, economic secretary Geoffrey Mwau said the current system, where all motorists pay the same rates for motor vehicle insurance, had failed to reflect specific risk exposures faced by insurance companies.

At the same time, the insurance regulator has assured motorists that Invesco Assurance, which was recently bought by matatu owners, is back on its feet.

Attributing the collapse of the insurance company to bad management of claims, Mr Makove said the new owners had a better understanding of motor vehicle insurance risks. “We do not see any reason for fear,” he said.

Source: Daily NATION

Posted in Kenya | Comments Off on Bad drivers to pay higher premiums


Posted by Administrator on January 29, 2010

Maryland (USA)-The hand of death has snatched another young man in Maryland. Mr. King Wilson Mungai, 25 years old of La plata Maryland, U.S.A died in a road accident which occurred on Fri. January 22, 2010. According his best friend James Mwangi of Alabama, who has received a police report on the accident, King was making a left turn when a truck coming from another direction crashed into his car. He was taken to the hospital in a coma and never recovered. He died later as the doctors tried to revive him.

King came to the US in 2002 and lived in North Carolina until 2006 when he moved to Maryland. He was husband to Joyce Wilson-Mungai of La Plata, MD, beloved first and only son of Rev. Pastor Samuel Mungai & Rose Bella Mungai of Naivasha in Kenya. Brother to Sharon Mungai & Purity Wanjiku, Uncle to Beatrice Lewa, all of Kenya.

Memorial Service will be held from 5-7pm (With service beginning at 7pm) at:

Thornton Funeral Home Chapel

3439 Livingston Road Indian Head, Maryland 20640 Rev. Lowell H. Hancock, Officiating

Date: Tuesday, 2/2/2010

The family needs prayers and financial assistance. Contributions may be deposited to

Name: Joyce Wilson Mungai/ King Wilson Mungai

Bank: B B & T

Account #: 0005156120539

Routing #: 055003308


We are living in a global community and King’s marriage happens to be a cross cultural marriage. For us Kenyans living in the US, it is customary to send monetary gifts to the family. For Americans, it is more customary to send cards and flowers. Cards may be sent to Joyce Wilson-Mungai at 111 Mallard Lane, La Plata, MD 20646. Flowers may be sent to the Funeral Home at Thornton Funeral Home, P.A. 3439 Livingston Road, Indian Head, MD 20640. Phone number (301) 375-7855.

For those Kenyans who would like to make donations, monetary contributions may be sent to:

-Dorcas Marekia:    404-944-5017           dmarekia@yahoo.com  Georgia

-Lillian Njoroge (Iddie):    832-455-9639  Linjoro-05@yahoo.com   Texas

-Timona:                       612-217-3115      Dtimona@gmail.com Minnesota

-Michael Wanjogo:     616-589-3057    mwanjogo@yahoo.com    Michigan

-James Mwangi:        205-916-0009 mwangiwagura@gmail.com   Alabama

-Purity Wanjiku Mungai                                        254-721-558-167   Kenya

Details for the funeral will be communicated later, for further information please contact:

James Mwangi     205-916-0009

Dorcas Marekia     404-944-5017

Source: Diaspora Messenger



Posted in Obituaries | Comments Off on KENYAN DIES IN MARYLAND

Kenyan woman sentenced to prison for scamming nuns

Posted by Administrator on January 29, 2010

Angela-Martin-Muli who was sentenced to 41 months in jail

Angela-Martin-Muli who was sentenced to 41 months in jail

The Carmelite nuns in Pewaukee were planning to use their health fund to remodel the monastery’s infirmary, fitting it to be wheelchair accessible for the order’s elderly members.

Instead, the cloistered order gave $815,000 to what the nuns thought were a down-and-out brother and sister from Africa who said they had fled political oppression.

The pair really were a married couple who made $55,000 a year and rented a pair of apartments in Illinois, including one on Chicago’s swank Gold Coast. They took the nuns’ money and about $300,000 from other religious groups, blowing most of the cash in casinos, according to records.

The couple also damaged the trust the nuns, priests and others will have for those who next knock on their doors looking for help, according to the federal judge who sentenced Angela Martin-Mulu on Thursday.

“You have undercut the trust of each of your victims,” U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert said, “all for the fleeting pleasure of gambling and enjoying the bright lights, noise and commotion of casinos.”

Clevert sentenced Martin-Mulu to 41 months in prison.

Martin-Mulu, 36, and her husband, Edward Bosire, 40, have agreed to pay $981,000 in restitution. Bosire will be sentenced in February.

Martin-Mulu and Bosire came to the U.S. in 1999 under temporary visas and were granted asylum in 2007. They targeted monasteries, churches and other religious groups, saying they were homeless siblings who would be killed if they were deported to Kenya.

On Christmas 2004, the couple visited a Pewaukee monastery of the Discalced Carmelite nuns. A month later, they visited again, asking for money to pay rent, medical bills, tuition and an “international fine,” according to documents.

A head nun asked to make payments directly to medical providers, but Martin-Mulu said the doctors would not provide bills because the two were in the country illegally.

Martin-Mulu said their father was a government official in Kenya who had been assassinated along with two bodyguards, which was untrue.

The couple also scammed a dozen other groups, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Giampietro.

“Given an opportunity for a new life, she cynically took advantage of the faithful,” he said.

Giampietro presented a letter from a priest in Kenya who said Martin-Mulu ran a scam there. He also read from a letter of a religious leader here who said his 11-year-old daughter had taken money from her piggy bank to give to the fraudsters.

Martin-Mulu’s attorney, Susan Karaskiewicz, said her client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. She was born into privilege, but her father repeatedly had to protect his daughter from his tribe’s brutal ritual of female genital mutilation. Martin-Mulu was kidnapped, beaten and tortured, Karaskiewicz said.

After her father died, Karaskiewicz said, Martin-Mulu grew desperate and found comfort in gambling.

Martin-Mulu told Clevert “the walls collapsed” on her and her husband in the U.S. as they struggled, waiting for naturalization. She apologized.

“I have done things that are not proper for a human being to do,” she said.

Martin-Mulu may be deported after prison, but her crime does not mandate removal.

 Source-The Milwaukee Sentinel

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

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