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Archive for September 22nd, 2010

Kenyan singer off to top world academy

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

FILE | NATION Karen Lucas also known as Kaz, during a past performance

FILE | NATION Karen Lucas also known as Kaz, during a past performance

It’s said that Broadway will give anyone a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but it demands persistence from those who go after the big stakes.

Now Kenya’s most controversial singer and self-made drama queen Karen Lucas aka Kaz is heading to Broadway in New York, usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

“I am headed for further studies. I’ll be going to AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy). The course will take two years and after that are huge prospects of me being on Broadway,” Kaz told the Nation.

Ardent fans will bid her an emotional farewell tomorrow at the Tribe Hotel, Village Market in an event dubbed Kwaheri Kaz slated to begins at 6.30 pm.

Queen of England

Kaz is a familiar figure in Kenya’s music industry. She was born in 1983 and launched her career at age of 14. She was educated at St. Andrews, Turi and Braeside — both international curriculum schools. She passed Grade 1 piano exam so well, that Her Majesty the Queen of England signed her certificate.

The petite singer would go on to represent Kenya at the Project Fame 2004 in South Africa and two years later win a trophy at the prestigious All African Kora Music Awards in Durban, making her one of the youngest winners at the event billed to be Africa’s equivalent of the Grammy Awards.

She told a BBC journalist then: ‘“They call your name, you go up and you get the award and you go back to your table and you are like ‘Did that really happen?’ It’s unreal. It still hasn’t sunk in yet.”

She has since produced three albums including Somin, the one we were looking, K-A-Z and The Naked Truth is. She has also hosted TV musical shows including Afrodizzia on Citizen TV.

Kaz also hosted one of the hottest karaoke nights in Nairobi at The Intercontinental, and later at Zanze Bar. She had just launched a monthly entertainment event dubbed ASAP at Karen Country Lodge, an event show casing local talent from visual arts, poetry and the local music scene.

Despite her truly chequered music career, Kaz is not new to controversy. She is said to have told off fellow contestant Didge Nyatome at the Project Fame where she was infamous for her quirky antics which included kissing.

However, her vivacious, charismatic stage presence, and at times mesmerising soulful vocals would come to her aid, impressing the panel of judges, and subsequently ensuring her stay in the house despite her constant “diva attitude” that did not go down well with viewers.

She was one of the last contestants to be voted out of the house in a tough competition won by Lindiwe Alam, a Zambian.

Towards the end of 2007, Kaz would fall prey to the wild side of the Internet when her supposedly nude pictures did the rounds, prompting her pleas to those responsible to stop. Showbiz insiders believe, the nude pictures accelerated Kaz’s album sales and raised her profile. Kaz maintains it was an act of cowardice by a jilted lover.

After a two-year hiatus, travelling and doing charity work, Kaz spoke exclusively to the Nation: “There will always be people around trying to bring me down.”

Source: Daily Nation

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Terror grips village as vigilante gang strikes, killing four people

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

JACOB OWITI | NATION. Ms Yunoke Kwamboka of Kegogi village mourns her son Pascal Gichana Onyiego, 30, who is among the four people beheaded and their bodies dumped by roadside in Nyamira district on Monday.

JACOB OWITI | NATION. Ms Yunoke Kwamboka of Kegogi village mourns her son Pascal Gichana Onyiego, 30, who is among the four people beheaded and their bodies dumped by roadside in Nyamira district on Monday.

Residents of a village in Nyamira District are living in fear following the killing of four people by vigilantes.

The killers, numbering about 50 and suspected to be members of the notorious Sungusungu vigilante group, stormed Kegogi village and dragged out people they suspected to be criminals and hacked them to death.

Witnesses said the vigilantes, armed with axes, machetes and rungus on Monday night stripped their victims before dragging them from their homes to a deserted area where they tied their hands behind their backs and chopped off their heads.

Arranged in a line

Mr William Meoka, who lives close to where the bodies were found, said the heads were arranged in a line by the roadside and the torsos in a trench.

“We found the heads arranged in a neat row as if the murderers were not in a hurry,” he said.

Relatives of one of the victims, Mr Pascal Gichana, are in shaken by the turn of events.

His brother, Mr Joseph Onyiego, narrated how Mr Gichana was at a neighbour’s funeral when the gang pounced.

“They stormed the homestead and ordered everybody to lie down. They selected two men and dragged them away but returned and took away my brother after ripping off his clothes with their machetes,” he said.

Mrs Eunice Nyaboke Bogonko, the wife of another victim, said her husband, Mr Jeremiah Bogonko Bosire, was abducted from their home at about 10pm after he went out to investigate why the dogs were barking.

“I heard people asking him why he had come out of the house and where he was going. Five of them came into the house and demanded mobile phones, which we surrendered.

“They then smashed the TV set and radio before disappearing into the darkness, taking my husband with them,” Mrs Bogonko said.

“I alerted my father-in-law and we spent a sleepless night. The following morning we learnt that my husband’s headless body had been found in Miruka area in Nyamira.”

The family could not understand why the police had not been to their home, more than 24 hours after the incident. Mr Pascal Gichana Onyiego, a father of three, was killed in similar circumstances

The fourth murder victim, Mr Jeremiah Bogonko Nyakundi was at a funeral when more than 50 people raided the home and selected four people they claimed had guns used to kill a Kenya Assemblies of God church pastor, Mr Michael Onchong’a Nyakundi at Nyambororo village on the Nyamira-Marani border on Sunday night.

West Mugirango chief Duncan Moriasi and Miruka sub-location assistant chief Mathews Onyango asked why the assailants dumped three of the bodies in their area.

“The hands of the victims were tied behind their backs in an indication that the assailants might be Sungusungu,” Mr Moriasi said.

Sungusungu is an outlawed vigilante group in Kisii District that purports to fight criminals.

Source: Daily Nation

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Four year boy passes away in his sleep in Missouri

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

The late Robert Mbugua,4, who died in his sleep on Sunday September 19th, 2010

The late Robert Mbugua,4, who died in his sleep on Sunday September 19th, 2010

A four year old boy passed away in his sleep over the weekend. Robert Mbugua Nganga was found dead on Sunday September 19th, 2010. The St. Louis County Health Examiner has yet to determine the cause Robert’s death.

The Late Robert was fine as he bid his family good night on Saturday September 18 . This was the last time the family saw little Robert alive. He passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday.

The Late Robert Mbugua Nganga was the Son of Mr. Amos Nganga Mbugua and Esther Muthoni Mburu of St. Louis. He was brother to Frank Mburu and nephew to Daniel Wakapa Mbugua. Other relatives include Dorcas Gikonyo Wakapa of O’Fallon, MO, Rehab Gikonyo, Iaac Dancan Kiiru, Mercy Kiiru, Olive Kiiru, Mr Haron Kiambuthi Njuguna and Mrs.Ruth Kiambuthi , Alfred Gikonyo, and Amos Macharia all of St. Louis Missouri.

Visitation/Wake is scheduled for 9 a.m to 10:30 am (Saturday 9/25/2010) at Hutchens Mortuary, 675 Graham Road Florissant, MO 63031 Phone: 314-831-3100. The Memorial and burial Service will be held the same day (Saturday 9/25/2010) from 10:35 am and a grave side at Service 11:30 a.m at Sacred Heart Cemetery, 600 Graham Road Hazelwood, MO 63042.

Friends and relatives are meeting at Mr and Mrs Amos Mbugua’s residence, 1106 Borden Drive. Florissant, MO. 63031.

Prayers are being held daily from 6.30pm. For more information please call: Pastor Paul M.Macharia .314-229 7708, or Robert Wachanga. 314 583 3846 and Amos Macharia 573 837 5842.

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Mysterious Death of Kenyan Man and a Former Houston, TX Resident Shocks His Family

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

The deceased's mother Florence Othieno and father Lucas Otieno speak to journalists

The deceased's mother Florence Othieno and father Lucas Otieno speak to journalists

BY Dickens Wasonga.

A  Kenyan family want the government to help it probe under what circumstances their son who was residing in the US died in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Speaking to journalists in Kisumu , the father of the 29 year old man said they were getting unclear information on how and what might have led to the death of their late son-Franklin Otieno Othieno.

According Mr.Lucas Othieno, a resident of Kisumu’s Nyalenda estate , his late son had been a student at the Houston College in the United States of America from the year 2002 having gone there to study pharmacy.

Accompanied by his wife during the press interview, Othieno  said his family learned of the death  through a telephone call they received from his girl friend, a Kenyan who lives in the USA.

According the information relayed to them by the woman, Otieno died while in the custody of immigration police in Netherlands although his family had not been notified by the authorities that he was being held or was under investigations for whatever reason.

The grief stricken father told reporters that sometime in June this year he talked with this son who was upbeat about coming back home after clearing his study period.

”It came as a big shock when on Monday this week  I received a call from his girl friend informing us that he had died .It was even more shocking that he died while in the custody of the police in Netherlands.’ ‘he said.

He said the family was very worried because the information they were receiving was so scanty and left several questions answered.

”His girl friend has offered very  little information about how my son died. She also claims to have been informed of the death by the immigration police in Netherlands who had called her that same Sunday.” He said.

The father disclosed to the media  that he tried to obtain information from the Royal Embassy of Netherlands in Nairobi but what he has so far received would not  shed more light under what circumstances the man died.

Othieno claimed that while officials at the host department in Amsterdam maintained in earlier communication with them that his son had died of aneurysm, those at the Nairobi Embassy asserted he died due to cardiac arrest.

He  went on to add that his son was not sick and was in constant communication with his girlfriend in the US.

”The very Sunday which they said my son died at 3.30 pm, the Netherland’s time ,was the day he had a telephone conversation with his girlfriend and according to her, he did not complain of anything.” he said.

According Mr. Othieno, the Netherlands authorities are planning to fly the body into the country early next week, a move he has objected to arguing that it smirks of suspicion.

He demanded that a postmortem be done a fresh on the body of his son and witnessed by representatives from the family and the government to ascertain what led to the death of his first born son.

Othieno also want the Netherlands authorities to deliver the body to his Siaya Alego rural home and not dump it in Nairobi. He said he was not able to raise money to bring the body to his home village for burial even if the authorities flew it to the country’s capital city.

Source: https://africanpress.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/mysterious-death-shock-kenyan-family/

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Couple Admits Using Five Disabled Tanzanian Children to Beg for Alms

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

A couple has admitted bringing disabled children from Tanzania into the country and using them to earn money by begging in city streets.

Mr Jisena Kulwa Dutu, a Tanzanian, and his Kenyan wife Josephine Mueni appeared before Makadara principal magistrate Terry Ngugi.

Accompanying the couple were the five paralysed children. A bag containing money in various denominations was also exhibited in court.

“Your honour police have brought before this court these unusual exhibits – distraught paralysed children and a bag containing the alms they had collected from good Samaritans. I wish to produce them before this court,” prosecutor Esther Ngure said.

Ms Ngure added that the cash in the bag amounted to Sh13,000.

The police officer said the money was recovered from the couple’s house in Umoja II, Nairobi, on September 16, 2010.

“What do I do with the children?” Mrs Ngugi asked the prosecutor, who responded: “Direct that they be remanded in one of the children’s homes then summon the children’s officer for further advice.”

Mrs Ngugi directed that the children, who pitifully stared at her, be remanded for one week at the Nairobi Children’s Home. She also ordered a children’s officer to appear before her on September 24.

The couple admitted harbouring foreign children and subjecting them to labour.

“Under the Children’s Act subjecting a child to labour knowingly is punishable. The offence attracts a fine of Sh50,000 or a jail term not exceeding 12 months,” said Ms Ngure.

The prosecutor further said that any person who harboured a foreigner can be fined Sh20,000 or jailed for one year.

In his mitigation Mr Dutu said: “I brought the children from Tanzania where I sell lesos (kanga) to eke my living.”

He said he did not intend to deprive the crippled children of their rights but wanted to use the money they were collecting to build a house for them back home.

“I also use the alms they collect for their upkeep,” the man told the magistrate.

On her part Ms Mueni pleaded for mercy, saying when she married Mr Dutu he did not have any crippled children in his home.

Mrs Ngugi will sentence them on September 24.

Source: Daily Nation

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Children in Prison Get a Taste of Freedom

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

Joyce Kimani | NATION Children from the Nakuru Prisons during an outing to the Lake Nakuru National Park organised by the Rift Valley provincial children’s department at the weekend.

Joyce Kimani | NATION Children from the Nakuru Prisons during an outing to the Lake Nakuru National Park organised by the Rift Valley provincial children’s department at the weekend.

They have not been outside the prison gates for as long as they can remember. They have never not known what monkeys looked like. Nor had they eaten chips, let alone sausage.

Many Kenyans take freedom for granted, but not three-year-old Julius Mwai. For the first time in his life, while accompanied by 21 other children from Nakuru Prisons, he got a chance to tour Lake Nakuru National Park last weekend in a rare occasion organised by the Rift Valley Provincial Children’s Department.

At the park entrance, were the sculptures, but young Mwai kept asking why the “man” was standing transfixed.

Clung unto officers

He clung onto the officers, fearing that the “man” would hit him with the club that he held in his hand.

The children who have never stepped out of the prison gates except when being taken to the law courts to hear their mothers’ cases encountered various wild animals and explored a world they never knew existed.

The joy of seeing flamingoes, which after several attempts of pronouncing the name, had them settle for kukus (chicken) was unforgettable as Mwai started repeating a poem that his mother had taught him about Nakuru being the home of flamingoes.

The oldest in the group, he acted as the tour guide and often misled the children with his assumptions. The biggest animal they have seen was a cat and now they were seeing monkeys, which they named pussy kubwa.

It did not help when one snatched biscuits from them and they all struggled to beat it up and protect their treasured snacks.

Seeing buffalos were also a wonder to the children who kept asking who had left his cows to graze around unattended White people at first, made the children scream that they were going to be stolen.

To many, that was the first time they had ever seen a white. How they got the idea that white people steal children remains a mystery, as they kept this well to themselves.

But as time went by, they got the courage and started waving at the tourists, and by the time they left the park, some had made friends.

Raised in prison, the only food they knew was ugali and sukuma wiki and an opportunity to eat chips and sausage was the crowning moment. Most of them admitted that they had never tasted a sausage.

“We thought we were the forgotten children. We are just normal children who want to enjoy our childhood,” said little Beth Wanja, with all the appearance of an adult.

Three-year-old Nelly Wangui, who wants to be a teacher when she grows up, was drawing everything she saw so that she could have something to show to her mum when she got back home. The youngest child in the group was one year old.

The rare break came from Prisons Baby Day Out, a new initiative of Eunice Njunguna, a children’s officer at the provincial children’s department.

“The only home these children know is prison. They should have equal rights as any other child,” said Ms Njuguna.

The children whose mothers sleep on the floor so they can sleep on the prisons bed, were for once free in the real world.

Source: Daily Nation

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Kenyans 60-day sentence in fatality case raised to one full year

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

Mr. Wahome, left, yesterday with Mr. Bowser. (T&G Staff / RICK CINCLAIR)
Mr. Wahome, left, yesterday with Mr. Bowser. (T&G Staff / RICK CINCLAIR)


 —  After having more than 10 weeks to think about it, Geoffrey K. Wahome, convicted of two motor vehicle homicides, has accepted his one-year jail sentence.

On the morning of Aug. 1, 2009, a car driven by Mr. Wahome, 22, of Lowell, a native of Kenya, struck and killed Robert G. Farner, 81, and Chloe K. Farner, 77, while they were changing a tire on their travel trailer in the breakdown lane on Interstate 395 in Webster.

The Farners, of Cottonwood Shores, Texas, were en route to Springville, N.Y., to visit friends. They had just left their son Steven’s home in Putnam. Mr. and Mrs. Farner were married for 57 years and had six children, 16 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Mr. Wahome was headed north on I-395 in his 2006 Nissan Altima when it strayed into the breakdown lane and plowed into the couple’s pickup truck and camper, according to the state police report. State police said the car swerved into the left lane, then back into the right lane, and that the car rolled over, coming to rest on its roof near a wooded area past the breakdown lane. The Farners were pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr. Wahome told police he was heading home from an 11 p.m. concert in New Jersey and had taken two rest stops on the way. State Trooper John DeNapoli concluded Mr. Wahome’s “fatigue and inattention” contributed to the crash. Mr. Wahome was treated after the accident for injuries that were not life-threatening.

Mr. Wahome said his car did not come in contact with the parked vehicle or the two people standing near it. But state police found the Farners’ blood and other DNA matter on various parts of Mr. Wahome’s car. Also, paint chips and plastic pieces matching Mr. Wahome’s car were removed from the victims’ bodies, the trooper’s report said.

The couple’s pickup truck and camper were completely out of the travel lane and well off the fog line, state police concluded.

Judge Neil G. Snider sentenced Mr. Wahome on June 25 to 60 days in the House of Correction for two counts of motor vehicle homicide by negligent driving. However, on July 9, Judge Snider revoked and revised the sentence to a full year after learning that some of the facts presented to the court by the defendant about his status as a college student proved to be false.

At the time of the re-sentencing on July 9, defense lawyer Michael S. Bowser said Mr. Wahome was not prepared to make a decision on whether to withdraw his guilty plea. Yesterday afternoon, the shackled Mr. Wahome, wearing a blue dress shirt, dark dress slacks and stocking feet, acknowledged his wrongdoings and accepted the year sentence, with 89 days served.

Mr. Bowser originally recommended Mr. Wahome be sentenced to two concurrent 6-month terms in the House of Correction, with 30 days to be served and the balance suspended for 2 years, while Assistant District Attorney Scarlett Scannell recommended 2-1/2 years in the House of Correction for one of the motor vehicle homicide charges.

On July 1, the district attorney’s office filed a motion asking Judge Snider to reconsider Mr. Wahome’s sentence based on new information the Telegram & Gazette had uncovered about the defendant’s alleged academic studies. Assistant District Attorney Kathleen DelloStritto said the defendant misled the judge and the district attorney’s office by making them believe he was a student at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, had been a student there for four years, and had two years to complete his doctorate in pharmacy, none of which was true.

Citing Rule 29 on court law, which gives a trial judge the power to revise or revoke a sentence if it appears that justice may not have been served, Judge Snider said he had decided to revise and revoke Mr. Wahome’s sentence on his own, not because of the DA’s request. Judge Snider said he based his original decision, on great part, on the belief that Mr. Wahome was working toward a pharmacy degree at UMass at Lowell.

Yesterday was the first time Mr. Wahome’s family was not noticeably visible in court for deliberation on the case.

Source: http://www.telegram.com/article/20100922/NEWS/9220363/-1/NEWS05

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Kenyan takes Ocampo to court

Posted by Administrator on September 22, 2010

MOMBASA, Kenya, Sep 22 – The battle to prosecute suspects of the bloody 2008 post-election violence has taken a new twist after a Nairobi businessman sued the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing it of operating illegally in Kenya.

Joseph Gathungu moved to the High Court in Mombasa seeking orders to stop the ICC’s operations.

Mr Gathungu argues: “The ICC’s prosecutor Moreno Ocampo’s activities of investigation and intended prosecution are not provided for in the new Constitution.”

“The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and our Constitution does not recognise the ICC as a competent court in Kenya,” he said.

He contends in his affidavit that allowing ICC to operate in Kenya violates the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

“To allow the ICC to operate in Kenya amounts to surrender of sovereignty of Kenya to foreigners which is untenable,” he said.

The case comes on the heels of Mr Ocampo’s affirmation on Monday that he was coming to the country to investigate and prosecute four to six Kenyans who bear greatest responsibility for the bloody violence, at The Hague by December.

The ICC Prosecutor said: “Before  the  end  of  this  year, my office  will  present  two cases  against  four  to six  individuals who  according  to  the  evidence,  bear  the  greatest responsibility  for  the  most  serious crimes  committed  during  Kenya’s  2007-2008  post  election violence,” Mr Ocampo said in his statement.

Mr Ocampo issued the renewed caution after Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo announced that Kenya did not need the ICC’s intervention in the Kenyan case because there was a new Constitution in place.

Mr Kilonzo was extensively quoted in Kenyan media on Monday saying that the country was able to handle the post election violence cases because of the new constitutional dispensation which came into force on August 27.


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