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Archive for May, 2010

Why you’re still single

Posted by Administrator on May 30, 2010

By CAROLINE NJUNG’E
Posted Thursday, May 27 2010 at 14:23

If you’re single, and wondering why you just cannot get someone to love you, maybe you should read this.

“Today’s singles are just not proactive enough, they’re unwilling to look beyond the traditional boundaries of dating, yet it is obvious that this isn’t working for them,” begins Pastor David Muriithi of House of Grace, when asked why he thinks there is an increasing number of single people, especially in the Church, today.

Pastor Muriithi sees nothing wrong with searching for a life partner through the internet, and in fact encouraged the singles in his church a few Sundays ago to take advantage of the limitless opportunities for meeting new people that technology presents.

“If you think that your future husband will miraculously float through the church window near you or knock on your front door and ask you to marry him, you’re living in a fool’s paradise,” he adds.

Now, don’t get him wrong, he does agree that one can meet the person they’re destined to spend the rest of their lives with in church because he knows many who have, but, he argues, if you have been looking in your local church for years and haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, maybe it is time you expanded your horizon.

His advice to Christian singles who are keen on settling down, is to look beyond the gates of the Church for a partner if they haven’t found one there yet.

Obviously, Pastor Muriithi is not your typical man of cloth, and as we engage him further, the more we’re convinced that maybe, his unconventional approach to dating is what singles who, for whatever reason, are unable to find love, need to consider.

This Sunday, (tomorrow) Pastor Muriithi will conclude a series of talks targeting single people, which has been running since the beginning of this month at House of Grace Church, where he ministers.

“The number of men and women in their 30s and 40s who are single is rising, therefore being single is no longer a transitional period,” he notes, explaining that this is what motivated him to come up with month-long sermons tailor-made for the single group that is searching.

Interestingly, he believes that many who fall within this bracket are alone because of what he calls self-imposed roadblocks.

Here are 10 dating myths which he believes are the main stumbling blocks in your search for a life-partner.

Myth 1: There must be something wrong with me

There’s nothing wrong with you, the problem is that you have set your standards too high. Pastor Muriithi is convinced that many women are single because their expectations of the ideal man are totally unrealistic.

They want a man who lives in Runda and drives a Mercedes Benz. This man, he says, does exist, but he already belongs to someone else, so he will never be yours.

His advice? Go for that man who lives in a rented house and takes a matatu to work and mold him into the kind of man you envision sharing your life with.

The problem with today’s single woman, Pastor Muriithi says, is that she wants to take the shortcut by going for a man who has been nurtured and polished by another woman instead of travelling the entire road and finding herself her own man.

“When I met my wife, I was a broke college boy, but she loved me anyway, and would gladly pay for the coffee when we went out because she had a job.”

His wife, he points out, saw beyond the ‘broke’ image and helped nurture him into the man he is today.

“Single women keen on settling down should have the courage to give a chance to that man with little or nothing but who shows potential to succeed – the answer doesn’t lie in another woman’s man,” he says.

Myth 2: Only ‘loose’ women ask men out

Pastor Muriithi says that gone are the days when a man made all the moves.

“Come on, this is the 21st century and the truth is that some men need help when it comes to courting!”

Asking a man you’re interested in out for a cup of tea, he feels, does not mean you’re desperate or ‘easy’, if anything, what you have done is take your future into your own hands.

What most women don’t know, the pastor explains, is that most men are afraid of rejection and therefore keep their distance rather than be rejected by a woman they fancy.

Go on then, be proactive and ask that man you have been admiring out for a date; he might just turn out to be ‘the one.’

Myth 3: Only desperate people use the internet to search for mates

Meeting your soulmate the traditional way seems romantic, but if your expectations aren’t being met, then it only makes sense to cast your net wider, reasons the pastor.

“If it is true that women outnumber men by a considerable percentage in Kenya, why would a woman want to limit herself to a village with 200 men where 150 are already married anyway?” he wonders.

Love transcends boarders, so dare to go beyond your comfort zone and you might just be pleasantly surprised.

Myth 4: Older women shouldn’t date or get married to younger men

“I have married couples where the woman was significantly older than the man and they’re still happy together,” says Pastor Muriithi, noting that the Bible does not condemn such relationships.

He explains that the success of a marriage has a lot to do with intellectual maturity of those involved, as opposed to age, and adds that some younger men are much more mature than their older counterparts and would therefore make better husbands.

“It is time society got rid of the double standards – no one complains when a man marries a woman young enough to be his daughter yet we’re quick to pass judgment when the tables are turned.”

Myth 4: Only thin, beautiful and rich women get all the good things (partners) in life

Though Pastor Muriithi agrees that people tend to be drawn to others more by their looks when meeting for the first time, he says that looks alone cannot sustain a relationship. Other more important characteristics such as personality, he says, define a good and fulfilling relationship.

“The fact is that there a lot of thin, beautiful and rich people who are in unhappy relationships.”

Myth 5: God chooses your mate

“Many singles, especially Christians, have been misled by this one. God can direct and guide you to the right person, but he does not impose on you who to marry, neither is there a specific person he has set aside for you.”

At the end of the day, only you can decide who to settle down with. While on this subject, the single Christian should also know that nobody, not even your pastor, has the authority to single out the person you should spend the rest of your life with.

Myth 6: As long as you have faith, you will eventually get someone to marry

The truth is that faith without action is useless. This is what Pastor Muriithi calls the ‘Heavenly Error’, where one “Sits back and waits upon the Lord.”

“Trusting in God to make your dreams come true is okay, but it’s unrealistic to lock yourself up in the house and hope that you will somehow get someone to love you.”

His advice is to get out more often, to socialise and show an interest in other people.

“Of course as a Christian, you know the places to avoid, so propping yourself on a bar stool in a pub and smiling suggestively at every man in the vicinity is out of the question,” he says.

There are many decent places where you can meet interesting people. Look for such places and show genuine interest in the people you meet.

Myth 7: Dating is pointless if it doesn’t lead to marriage

The fact is that the whole point of dating is to find out whether you’re compatible with him or her.

“Don’t go for a date with marriage in mind because you will most probably get disappointed, instead, be open-minded and enjoy yourself as you get to know the other person.”

If the date leads somewhere, well and good, if it doesn’t, at least you have had some fun.

Myth 8: You should never date a friend

This is an often peddled myth which has cost many single people a viable relationship. Pastor Muriithi sees nothing wrong with dating someone you are well-acquainted with be it your brother’s friend or a general family friend, (read platonic friend) pointing out that romantic relationships based on friendship have a much higher success rate than those based on anything less.

“Before making a decision to get married, ensure that you and your partner are best of friends, because you will enjoy your marriage more that way.”

Myth 9: You have to kiss many frogs before you get to your prince charming

Dating need not be hard work – your first date might turn out to be the man or woman you spend the rest of your life with.

To spare yourself pointless dates, Pastor Muriithi advises that you list down the qualities you’re looking for in a mate and stick to them. This will help you to eliminate those people you’re unlikely to click with before you get to the dating stage.

Myth 10: A long courtship is the best because it gives you enough time to get to know the other person

“Long courtships are mere time-wasters – the fact is that you only get to really know your partner once you get married and start living together. As long as you are still dating, you will never get to know the real person,” he adds.

cnjunge@ke.nationmedia.com

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Terrorists equipped to make Kenyan IDs

Posted by Administrator on May 30, 2010

Terrorists behind the 2002 attack at the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa had equipment and materials for printing fake Kenya national identity cards, a UN report has revealed.

Fifteen people — 12 of them Kenyans — died during the November 28, 2002 attack on the Israeli-owned hotel in Kikambala.

The ‘Digest of Terrorist Cases’ report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says the terrorists used the fake documents to rent an apartment where a cache of arms was found.

Automatic guns

Among the weapons found concealed in a sofa set were six automatic guns, magazines, bullets and five anti-tank missiles. Also seized were a saw, hammer and pliers, a hand grenade, training materials and manuals on the use of the weapons.

“A laminating machine and materials suitable for making identity cards were also found,” the report says.

The revelations raise fears that foreigners have found their way into the country with fake identification documents.

In February, the government mounted a countrywide crackdown on illegal immigrants following reports that foreigners acquire Kenyan citizenship through an intricate syndicate involving government officials.

The operation, which was spearheaded by regular and Administration Police, was however, called off following an uproar from Kenyan Somalis who said it amounted to ethnic profiling and discrimination.

North Eastern PC James ole Seriani recently cautioned local administrators that they face the sack following reports that some of them were involved in the syndicate.

The report recommends measures that need to be put in place by governments around the world in the fight against terrorism. They include sealing legal loopholes that have seen many terror suspects evade conviction.

Governments around the world have also been asked to use the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism to bring offenders to justice.

The United Nations Security Council resolutions 1267 and 1373 require all member states to freeze the funds of designated persons and of terrorists generally.

The report adds that countries should use collateral offences committed by terrorists, particularly weapons offences and frauds, to trace terrorist movements and activities.

Governments have also been asked to use Interpol’s Stolen and Lost Travel Documents (SLTD) database to report stolen passports to make it easy to trace them.

As of June 2009 the database contained information on over 18 million documents, over 10 million of which were passports, from approximately 150 countries.

The latest developments come at a time when both local and international security agencies are on high alert after recent discovery of an arms cache in the sea off Malindi and the attack against a village in Wajir by the Somali militia Al-Shabaab, which is linked to the al Qaeda terror group.

Last week, a Malindi fisherman chanced upon a cache of arms, triggering a major security operation in the coastal town.

The weapons packed in sacks, included 436 bullets, four rockets, one rocket launcher, five AK-47 rifles, one Ceska pistol, 10 gun holsters, 18 magazines and four para lights used for illuminating a security operation zone at night.

Malindi deputy police boss Willy Simba said officers were exploring a theory that the find is linked to five suspected pirates arrested in Kenyan waters at the local Marine Park.

The discovery of the arms was followed by the arrest of two men in Diani, Kwale District, over allegations of recruiting and training Kenyan youth for militant groups outside the country.

The men were arrested during an operation by anti-terrorism police at Maganyakulo Village, where detectives found a jihad (holy war) training manual, several national identity cards and a list of names of people believed to have undergone training.

The list had names against the ID card numbers and signatures of their owners. Police suspect those appearing on the list had been smuggled out of the country after the training.

The report says terrorists are moving from one country to another either using fake passports or by evading immigration checks.

Fake passports

Terror mastermind Fazul Mohammed, blamed for both the 1998 US bombing in Nairobi and the 2002 Paradise hotel attack in Kikambala, is said to be an expert in using fake passports. In the recent past, 20,000 passports have been stolen from three countries only.

Key suspects in the Kikambala attack remain Fazul, who is from Comoros, and Abu Taha al-Sudan a Sudanese national. Another suspect Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a Kenyan, was killed by American forces in Somalia last year.

Source: Daily Nation

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US increases Visa fees for Kenya students

Posted by Administrator on May 28, 2010

United States non-immigrant Visa fees has been increased by between Sh 800 and Sh1,500.

Non-immigrant visas are for temporary visitors who enter the US for tourist, business, and study purposes. 

Students and tourists who have been paying Sh10,500 to get the US Visa will now pay Sh11,200 while professional athletes and temporary workers in the US who fall under the specialty non-immigrant category will pay Sh 12,000.

The new charges take effect on June 4. The price increase is a reflection of the increase for all US Visa applicants around the world.

The last time there was an adjustment in Non-Immigrant Visa fees was in 2008, due to effects of the exchange rate then.

The fee increased from Sh9,000 in February of that year reflecting the shifts in the exchange rate between the US Dollar and the Kenyan Shilling.

Pay difference

In a statement Friday, the US Embassy in Kenya said applicants will pay the Sh10,500 fee prior to the June 4 date next Friday but those who will go to the Embassy for an interview afterwards will be required to pay the difference in fees of either Sh800 or Sh1,500.

The Embassy, however, clarified that the procedures for payment of the fees remain the same.

“In its management of all consular services and operations, it is normal practice for the Department of State to adjust Visa fees to reflect increased costs of operations,” the statement from the Embassy said.

The Department of State is required by the US federal legislation to recover costs through fees charged for Visa services.

 Source: Daily Nation

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Mass. Senate passes crackdown on illegal immigrants

Posted by Administrator on May 27, 2010

By Noah Bierman and Maria Sacchetti, Globe Staff

With one lawmaker citing President Lincoln’s respect for the rule of law, the Massachusetts Senate passed a far-reaching crackdown this afternoon on illegal immigrants and those who would hire them, going further, senators said, than any immigration bill proposed over the past five years.

In a surprising turn of events, the legislation replaced a narrower bill that was passed Wednesday over the objections of Republicans.

The measure, which passed on a 28-10 vote as an amendment to the budget, would bar the state from doing business with any company found to break federal laws barring illegal immigrant hiring. It would also toughen penalties for creating or using fake identification documents, and explicitly deny in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.

The amendment would also require the state’s public health insurance program to verify residency through the Department of Homeland Security, and would require the state to give legal residents priority for subsidized housing.

The amendment will now be part of negotiations with the House as part of the entire state budget.

Supporters, especially Republicans, struck patriotic notes and spoke of the sanctity of the law as they spoke on the Senate floor.

“It was President Lincoln — and I’m going to paraphrase here — who suggested that respect for the law should be preached from every pulpit taught by every mother to every child,” said Senator Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican.

But one supporter said that the measure was being passed for practical purposes and would hurt people.

Senator Frederick E. Berry, a Peabody Democrat, complained that one of the Republican sponsors acted like the “Patriots had just won the Super Bowl. … I am going to vote for it, but I don’t think we ought to rejoice.”

Democrats had resisted such a sweeping proposal, but spent last evening negotiating today’s measure, shortly after a new polled showed 84 percent of the liberal-leaning state’s voters supported tough immigration rules barring state services to illegal immigrants.

Sonia Chang-Diaz, a Boston Democrat who opposed the amendment, said the measure had not been properly vetted and would add undue obligations to businesses and state government when they could ill afford it. She said it would cost the state money, while programs for children and public safety are being cut and people in her city are being shot at.

“I just don’t think this is an appropriate time to be enforcing an additional cost burden on the state, doing things that are not our job,” Chang-Diaz said.

The measure would also close what supporters say is a loophole that allows businesses to register cars under a company name, without identifying the owner by Social Security number and federal tax identification number. It would also crate a toll-free hot line for anonymous reporting of companies that employ illegal immigrants.

The measure comes weeks after immigration measures failed in the House, and amid heightened debate over illegal immigration fueled by the state’s election season and Arizona’s passage in April of the toughest immigration law in the nation.

Recent polls have found that, while voters supported blocking illegal immigrants’ access to public benefits, they were split over whether the Bay State should have a law such as Arizona’s.

Thursday’s Senate amendment would also authorize the state attorney general’s office to broker an agreement with federal authorities to help enforce immigration law. That would be a stark departure for Attorney General Martha Coakley, who has increased outreach to immigrants, encouraging them to file employment complaints, regardless of their legal status. Scores of immigrants whose bosses allegedly failed to pay their wages have turned to her for help in recent years.

The legislation also would increase penalties for driving without a license, one of the main problems facing illegal immigrants in Massachusetts. In November, a panel commissioned by Governor Deval Patrick urged him to push to grant driver’s licenses and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, among many other recommendations. Patrick sent the recommendations to his cabinet for study and pledged to return with a proposal in 90 days, but the results have not been made public.

Most immigrants in Massachusetts are here legally, but an estimated 190,000, or 20 percent, are here illegally, according to the census.

Source: Boston.com

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National Geographic names Kenyan as one of the new emerging explorers

Posted by Administrator on May 27, 2010

Kakenya Ntaiya the founder and president of Kakenya Center for Excellence in her home village of Enoosen in southern Kenya

Kakenya Ntaiya the founder and president of Kakenya Center for Excellence in her home village of Enoosen in southern Kenya

A Kenyan woman  Kakenya Ntaiya is among 14 people from around the world named as new emerging explorers by the National Geographic.

The Emerging Explorers Program recognizes and supports uniquely gifted and inspiring adventurers, scientists, photographers, and storytellers making a significant contribution to world knowledge through exploration while still early in their careers. Each will receive a $10,000 award to assist with research and to aid further exploration.

Kakenya  is the founder and president of Kakenya Center for Excellence in her home village of Enoosen in southern Kenya. It is the first and only school for girls in the region.

A passionate advocate for girls’ education, Ntaiya persuaded her father that she not follow traditional Maasai culture and marry at age 13.

She became the first girl in her village to pursue an education in the United States, where she is completing a Ph.D. Kakenya believes that education will empower and motivate young girls to become agents of change in their communities and countries.

KAKENYA NTAIYA’S STORY

“I want this school not only to empower Kenya’s girls, but also their mothers, fathers, and entire villages.”

For thousands of families in Kenya, seven cows are more valuable than a girl’s future.

Those cows, a typical bridal dowry in Maasai culture, prove so tempting that most fathers in rural areas decide their daughter’s education will end and marriage begin by age 13. Traditionally this event is preceded by female genital circumcision, a mutilation that remains a mystery to the girls until the moment it is performed. The girls, children themselves, will immediately start their own families and live out their days carrying water from the river, gathering firewood, and tending the treasured cows.

Now, a building rises in one remote village that could change everything: The region’s first and only primary school for girls. Its creation an act of sheer will, stubborn persistence, and inexplicable optimism on the part of Kakenya Ntaiya.

Not long ago, Ntaiya was a village girl herself. Firstborn of eight children, Ntaiya shouldered unusual responsibilities even by local standards. Her father, a policeman, worked in a distant city. His absence, the lack of an older brother, and extreme poverty required Ntaiya to plow her own fields as well as work side by side with men on sugarcane farms. Helping feed and care for younger siblings also fell to Ntaiya, and on the frequent nights when food was scarce, she and her mother went without it.

When Ntaiya was five, her parents announced her engagement to a six-year-old neighbor. “I looked at this boy,” she recalls, “whose family was even poorer than my own. I looked at all my mother’s anger and pain. I looked at this hopeless future in front of me and I said, No way.”

School was her lone bright spot. She made excellent grades, admired her teachers, and hoped to some day become one herself. “I lived in a hut made of grass and mud that we shared with goats and sheep. But I had dreams. I kept pictures of beautiful green places with nice homes and somehow knew there was a different life out there.”

In a district where even today only 11 percent of girls continue past primary school, Ntaiya negotiated with her father to be that she would only be circumcised if she was allowed to complete high school. He agreed and after graduation, she was accepted at a teachers college in Kenya and a university in the United States. But, she says, “by then my father was in the hospital, paralyzed. We had sold almost everything to pay for his care, so there was no money for college, especially in the U.S.”

Although shunned for attempting what few boys dreamed of, Ntaiya finally persuaded a key village leader to help. His sway gave her the community and financial support to continue the education that would change her life—and the lives of other girls in that same village today. Ntaiya is completing her Ph.D. in education in the U.S. and directing the school for girls she has launched in her hometown.

Ntaiya’s Academy for Girls stands in stark contrast to other local rural schools, where classrooms overflow with 70 children per teacher. Attendance is compulsory through sixth grade, but in a culture that considers educating girls a bad investment since most will leave to marry by age 13, teachers focus on boys. Social custom trains women to never look men in the eye and to move out of their way on the road. Not surprisingly, girls shrink in the classroom, afraid to compete, raise hands, or seek help. Many are held back year after year, give up, and drop out.

To reverse that trend, Ntaiya believes excellent primary education is crucial. Now in its second year, her academy has 60 girls and four teachers, with a fifth to be hired soon. The school plans to accept 30 new girls each year. “We keep class sizes very small,” she explains, “so each girl receives a great deal of individual attention. We’ve also extended the school year with extra weeks in the summer focusing on English and math.”

Kenya holds national examinations for all eighth graders. Those who score best earn entrance to top high schools, further improving their chances for limited spots at universities. “When the top 100 names from the exams are published in the newspaper,” Ntaiya reports, “no one from our community is ever mentioned. I’m going to make sure my girls are on that list.”

Along with promoting rigorous academics, her school nurtures leadership skills. “After just a few months here, they become completely different people,” Ntaiya observes. “In a girls-only environment they lead, make decisions, speak up, and gain confidence. They’re smart and thriving. They just needed a chance.”

A health course gives girls information they would not otherwise receive on circumcision, the consequences of sex and early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and their personal rights. Already the school has intervened with help from authorities to prevent a circumcision at the request of a fourth grader.

While Ntaiya insists that families who can pay tuition do so, she also works with donors to provide scholarships for girls living in extreme poverty and at high risk of child marriage. Today she focuses on completing classroom and dormitory construction so students from distant villages can board at the school. “What I need most right now,” she says with a smile, “are bricks and cement.”

Ntaiya hopes her academy will be a model replicated in other remote areas. “I’m helping girls who cannot speak for themselves. Why should they go through the hardships I endured? They’ll be stepping on my shoulders to move up the ladder—they’re not going to start on the bottom.”

Sourced from the National Geographic Website

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Degree Requirement for Job Seekers On the Way

Posted by Administrator on May 27, 2010

Nairobi — Job seekers in Kenya could soon be required to have a university degree as the basic qualification before they can be considered for employment.

Head of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Anthony Kilele said Thursday Kenya is going the India way and other fast developing countries where there is a larger number of graduates than there are jobs available. The requirement for a degree stems from the increase in the number of graduates coupled with the added number of universities and constituent colleges over the past few years.

Mr Kilele spoke as the Labour Ministry and the bureau launched a survey on Kenya’s manpower, which is expected to find out the required skills and what changes are needed in institutions of higher learning. “The beauty of this is that there is a mismatch between the skills available in the job market and what the industry needs. With this survey, we hope we shall be able to correct that,” said Mr Kilele after the meeting held at the Laico Regency Hotel.

Mismatch

 A mismatch in the labour market also means that people would also end up in jobs they do not like or are not trained for as there no others available. The survey would also determine what changes need to be implemented in training programmes at institutions of higher learning in order to meet the needs of the job market.

Mr Kilele said the pilot survey will involve 40 teams of 90 data collectors, who will be fanning out into the 16 districts that have been selected for the initial study. They will collect information from households, industries, institutions of higher learning and from the jua kali or informal sector. He said about Sh20 million would be spent on the research, which should go on over 25 days, and this would be used to fuel vehicles, pay allowances and cater for other logistical costs.

The results of the pilot survey will determine how the larger national survey will be carried out later this year and Mr Kilele said Sh150 million would be required for this bigger project. Respondents will be asked about their level of education and training, level of employment and whether they are in the jobs they were trained for.

Database Labour assistant minister Sospeter Ojaamong said the survey’s findings would also be used to establish a National Skills Inventory, a database of Kenya’s workers and their qualifications. “It is expected that the inventory will also help the country to determine the trends in supply of skills, skill needs by industry, skill gaps and identification and profiling of Kenyans in the Diaspora,” he said.

The results of the survey are expected to be ready by August and these together with the results of the national census will influence the course of the planned national survey.

Source: Daily Nation

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Kenyan Student drowns in Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted by Administrator on May 27, 2010

James Ochola, 18, died Tuesday while swimming in a Wolfville park. (CBC)

James Ochola, 18, died Tuesday while swimming in a Wolfville park. (CBC)

An 18-year-old student from Kenya drowned while swimming with friends in Wolfville, N.S., on Tuesday afternoon.

James Ochola had been attending Acadia University.

RCMP Sgt. Brigdit Leger said police were called to Reservoir Park just before 4 p.m. and told that four friends had gone to the unsupervised beach area and three went for a swim.

Ochola got into trouble in the water and his friends were unable to help him. RCMP recovered his body in five metres of water and he was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m.

It’s hard for James Ochola’s sister and his friends to believe that he is gone because he was so full of life. “Tall, lanky, so social,” Rosa Ochola said Wednesday, describing her younger brother. “We’ve been kind of over flooded, in my opinion. I’m thinking, ‘Why do you make so many friends? What’s the matter with you? Now I have to entertain them all.'”

James Ochola, 18, a student at Acadia University in Wolfville, drowned Tuesday afternoon while swimming at Reservoir Park, a popular unsupervised swimming hole in the town.

James — nicknamed Odi — was a strong swimmer, but somehow couldn’t make it to shore. Wolfville police are investigating the circumstances of his death.

The first year computer science student was with friends when he struggled in the water. Foul play is not suspected. “Everybody loves him.

Rosa Ochola said her brother, James, was a popular student at Acadia University. (CBC)This is painful for a lot more people than just me,” Rosa Ochola, 25, said. She and her sister, Janet, 20, who emigrated from Kenya, know tragedy. Their parents died a few years ago, and Rosa Ochola said that, in one way, makes her brother’s death easier to accept.

“He’s with our mom and our dad. Nothing could be done — it was time. I’m sorry to become so spiritual, but that’s what happens when people are really good. They learn and then they teach us, and it’s time for them to be called back,” she said. “Nobody should feel bad about it, and just be happy that he’s not there on the other side on his own.”

Rosa and James’s friends said there is an important, and a happy date, coming in five weeks time. “We have made a pact — we are still going on and celebrating his 19th birthday party because I know he’s up there,” Rosa Ochola said.

Source: Canada Broadcasting Corporation

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USCIS To Issue Redesigned Green Card

Posted by Administrator on May 26, 2010

WASHINGTON – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has redesigned the Permanent Resident Card – commonly known as the “Green Card” – to incorporate several major new security features.  The Green Card redesign is the latest advance in USCIS’s ongoing efforts to deter immigration fraud.  State-of-the-art technology incorporated into the new card prevents counterfeiting, obstructs tampering, and facilitates quick and accurate authentication.  Beginning today, USCIS will issue all Green Cards in the new, more secure format.

“Redesigning the Green Card is a major achievement for USCIS,” said Director Alejandro Mayorkas.  “The new security technology makes a critical contribution to the integrity of the immigration system.”

The enhanced features will better serve law enforcement, employers, and immigrants, all of whom look to the Green Card as definitive proof of authorization to live and work in the United States.  Among the benefits of the redesign:  Secure optical media will store biometrics for rapid and reliable identification of the card holder.  Holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, and high resolution micro-images will make the card nearly impossible to reproduce.  Tighter integration of the card design with personalized elements will make it difficult to alter the card if stolen.  Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) capability will allow Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry to read the card from a distance and compare it immediately to file data.  Finally, a preprinted return address will enable the easy return of a lost card to USCIS.

In keeping with the Permanent Resident Card’s nickname, it will now be colored green for easy recognition.  USCIS will replace Green Cards already in circulation as individuals apply for renewal or replacement.

The redesigned the Permanent Resident Card - commonly known as the "Green Card"

The redesigned the Permanent Resident Card - commonly known as the "Green Card"

For more information on permanent residency and other immigration benefits, visit www.uscis.gov, or call USCIS’s National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.

Source: USCIS Website

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Dowry drives Kenyan man to his death

Posted by Administrator on May 26, 2010

NYANDARUA, Kenya, May 26 – A love-struck-man in Nyahururu has committed suicide allegedly after he was unable to raise bride price for a girl he wanted to marry.

Kennedy Mwangi Wanjiku, 25, a shopkeeper at Shauri village on the outskirts of Nyahururu town, hang himself inside his one-roomed timber house that also served as his shop.

According to neighbours, Mr Mwangi lived with his 18-year-old girlfriend who was running the shop as he scouted for other casual jobs in the neighbourhood.

The deceased is said to have visited the girl’s parents two days ago to seek her hand in marriage but the girl’s father demanded Sh50,000 as dowry before he could bless their union.

A neighbour told Capital News that Mr Mwangi had developed a foul mood since that day he visited the girl’s parents and hinted that he could end his life because the bride price was too high.

Nyandarua divisional police boss Jasper Ombati confirmed the incident saying that the young man’s body was taken to Nyahururu district hospital mortuary for preservation after police retrieved it from where it was dangling from the rafters of his house.

Mr Ombati said that police were still investigating the death since Mwangi did not leave a suicide note.

The divisional police chief however regretted that cases of suicide involving young people in the region were on the rise as the incident comes barely three days after another man took his own life for un-known reasons.

For the last one month, five people have committed suicide in Nyandarua North district with the police boss saying the trend is worrying.

“I think something is wrong with our young people. We are yet to establish why the number of suicide cases are increasing day-by-day especially among the youth.”

-Source: CAPITAL NEWS

Posted in Kenya | 3 Comments »

Controversial Limkokwing lecturer wanted for rape in Lesotho

Posted by Administrator on May 24, 2010

An alleged child rapist whom the Lesotho police are looking for is said to be freely walking the streets of Gaborone.

Sunday Standard’s information is that a Limkokwing University of Creative Technology lecturer-pastor, who allegedly raped a 16-year old Mosotho girl, is in Gaborone. The lecturer, Benedict Odhiambo, a Kenyan married to a Motswana woman, allegedly raped his Mosotho maid at his Maseru home.

Until May last year, Odhiambo was Head of Business faculty at Limkokwing Gaborone but was transferred to the Maseru campus following unfavourable press reports. Sunday Standard reported that his wife was the sole beneficiary of a mysterious staff development programme at the university. He had hired Samwel Ogenga, a secondary school drop-out, a fellow Kenyan with bogus qualifications, to teach a course called Legal Aspects of Business to associate degree students.
The forgery, as reflected in the CV, was so amateurish that it had Ogenga starting his primary school in Kenya at the age of one. His CV and passport bore different birth dates.
Odhiambo’s stay in Lesotho was very brief.

In March this year, he allegedly raped his 16-year old maid who had been working for him for a few weeks. The matter was reported to the Child and Gender Protection Unit at the Maseru Central police station. A female neighbour of Odhiambo’s told The Public Eye, a Lesotho newspaper, that the morning after the alleged rape, she found the girl outside his rented apartment in Ha Hoohlo in a state of acute trauma.

“She was crying and looked dishevelled. I asked what was wrong and she told me her employer repeatedly raped her the previous night,” the neighbour told The Public Eye.
When the case was reported to the police, Odhiambo is supposed to have immediately fled to Gaborone. On numerous occasions, he has been sighted roaming freely around town by some of his ex-colleagues at Limkokwing.

“I saw him at a garage in Mogoditshane the other day. He was driving his Corolla car,” a source said on Friday.

From Maseru, Moswabodi Mohlomi of the Lesotho police confirmed that they have been looking for Odhiambo through Interpol since March when he is supposed to have raped a minor. Lesotho’s age of sexual consent is 18 years.

Strangely though, the Interpol office in Gaborone says that it has not been formally notified about Odhiambo’s case and that if it had, it would have acted swiftly to apprehend the suspect.
In addition to his Limkokwing job, Odhiambo was a pastor at a tithing Mogoditshane church. Some of his parishioners were Kenyan lecturers at Limkokwing.

Ogenga has fared no better.
His contract was terminated after the Sunday Standard expose’. When the university would not pay him his terminal benefits, he showed up one day at the school and raised so much hell that the police had to be called. The university’s argument for its decision was that Ogenga did not qualify to get his benefits because he held bogus qualifications.

Interestingly, when the school was asked whether it was satisfied that Ogenga was qualified, its spokesperson answered in the affirmative.

“I am confident that he is qualified for this job as Legal Aspects of Business discusses the legal implications in business and does not imply that one has to have a law qualification,” Limkokwing spokesperson, Mercy Thebe, said at the time of the saga.

For his alleged misconduct at Limkokwing, Ogenga has been charged and because his matter has not been finalised, he is a remand prisoner at the Gaborone Central prison.

 Source: Lesotho Sunday Standard

Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | 1 Comment »

 
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