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Archive for November 7th, 2010

Father ready to sell a kidney to save his son

Posted by Administrator on November 7, 2010

Jennifer Muiruri | Nation Kennedy Kagoni holds his son during the interview.

Jennifer Muiruri | Nation Kennedy Kagoni holds his son during the interview.

Kennedy Kagoni, 39, is a desperate man who needs to raise Sh650,000 by the end of the year if his son is to have a chance at a normal future.

His nine-year-old son Wesley was born with both male and female organs, a fact that has haunted his family since his birth.

“We had never heard of or seen anything like this,” said the father of two, absent-mindedly clutching both of his son’s small hands.

Nestling deep within the folds of an empty scrotum — empty because Wesley was born without testes, the glands that produce sperm — was something akin to a tiny male organ that curved backwards, making it impossible for him to pass urine like other boys.

Strange wound

But what shocked his father even more was the “strange wound” underneath his son’s abnormal penis, which would at times leak some fluid.

“When he was three days old, we decided to take him to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was identified as male,” Mr Kagoni said.

Dissatisfied with the diagnosis but at a loss as to whom or where to turn, he and his wife returned home.

About three years later, they took Wesley to a private hospital when they observed fluid leaking from two openings around his genital area. This time round, they were informed that their child was actually a girl.

Mr Kagoni said this diagnosis confused them even more. “I have never felt as hopeless and as useless as I did then. What kind of father doesn’t know whether he has a son or a daughter?” he asked.

No one told them that their son was suffering from a genetic disorder known as intersexuality, or Disorder of Sex Development.

Living with his son’s misunderstood condition has been difficult and painful, and it was compounded when his wife abandoned him and their two children three years ago to marry someone else.

But he said the stigma his son has had to endure on a daily basis is what crushes him.

“When he was about five, older boys in his former school tried to rape him, but he managed to get away,” Mr Kagoni said with an anguished look on his face.

Scream and run away

From then on, Wesley could not bring himself to use the boys’ toilets, fearing that the same gang would try to sexually harass him. He started using the girls’ toilets instead, but they would all scream and run away from him.

Even teachers, who should have known better, were openly hostile, which encouraged his classmates to shun him even more.

As a result, Wesley, a Class Four pupil, has been in and out of six different schools in the last four years in his father’s search for one that will accept him regardless of his condition.

“I had to send him and his sister upcountry to live with my mother in the hope that the people there would be more tolerant and accepting of him,” he said.

So far, Wesley seems settled at his new school and for the first time in many years is living a somewhat normal life. But his father is far from settled.

“My son will never have a normal life as long as his condition is not corrected, but I don’t have the money to pay for the surgery,” he said.

Mr Kagoni is a casual labourer, and many are the days he goes back to his single room in Soweto, Kibera, empty-handed. That is why this father is willing to sell one of his kidney’s “in exchange for some money” to pay for his son’s medical expenses.

Last September, Mr Kagoni heard about a visiting specialist from America who was performing corrective surgery at Kijabe Mission Hospital. When he approached the hospital, he was charged Sh195,000 for the first phase of the procedure, which a well-wisher paid.

The second phase was due in March this year, but Wesley missed it because his father was unable to raise the money required.

“The doctor is expected back in the country by the end of the year. I hope that this time round, I will manage to raise the money needed to facilitate my son’s medical fees.”

The last two phases will cost him approximately Sh650,000.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Father%20ready%20to%20sell%20a%20kidney%20to%20save%20his%20son%20/-/1056/1048322/-/oyxtld/-/index.html

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Kenyan Police Officer Kills 10 People In Rampage

Posted by Administrator on November 7, 2010

Eunice Mbura, mother to Anthony Mwaniki, a student who was among ten people shot dead by a police officer at Siakago Town on Saturday night. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

Eunice Mbura, mother to Anthony Mwaniki, a student who was among ten people shot dead by a police officer at Siakago Town on Saturday night. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

A crazed administration police officer killed 10 people in Siakago town on Saturday night in a horrific killing spree.

He emptied his G3 on patrons having a drink in various bars in the quiet town before turning himself in at Siakago police station, apparently after an attempt at suicide failed.

The AP, who guarded the local district commissioner, was said to be angry at his girlfriend, whom he suspected to have been unfaithful. She is lucky to be alive, he couldn’t find her during his rampage. He also shot and killed his two colleagues who rushed to restrain him on hearing shots.

Those killed were AP constables Wilfred Gitonga and Fredrick Owako and civilians George Ng’ang’a, Kenwin Muthoni, Augostino Kinyua, Anthony Mwaniki and Fridah Ng’endo. Others were identified only as Rachel, Muchila and Muthini.

Local police said AP constable Peter Karanja was taken into custody and is helping with investigations. Witnesses said the shooter was sentry duty at the office and residence of the DC on Saturday night. After the DC went to bed, he excused himself, saying he was taking a toilet break.

Mbeere North DC John Chelimo said the officer is suspected to have gone looking for his girlfriend at New Coconut Bar, a short distance from the town’s police station. Once there, the AP cocked his rifle and opened fire, killing three patrons.

Then he walked over to Waiyaki Bar. He knocked on the door and when the barman came to answer, he killed him on the spot. From Waiyaki Bar he walked to Club Tha Shrek, where six people were drinking. He killed two women and two men then walked out.

He met two of his colleagues who had come to investigate the shooting. When they asked what the shooting was all about, he is reported to have told them to go and find and out. He shot both in the back before turning his weapon on himself… but he had run out of bullets.

“The officer came to Siakago police station and told the officers on the Occurence Book (OB) desk that he had shot and killed 10 people and that he had emptied the magazine,” said the area OCPD Jecinta Wesonga.

Wesonga confirmed that the shooter was transferred to Eastern police headquarters in Embu where he was being questioned. The bodies were taken to Siakago district hospital.

On Sunday morning, residents of Siakago, a town in the shadow of Kiang’ombe hill, woke up to blood on the streets and they protested in anger at the offices of the DC and the officer in charge of the police division.

“My twenty five year old daughter did not deserve to die like that. She has left a young boy and girl in my care in old age,” said Nyaga Manunga, with tears in his eyes.

His daughter, Ms Ng’endo, was a local shopkeeper and had gone for a drink with friends. She is among those killed.

Rashid Kinyua, 32, said they only saved themselves by hiding in the toilet where they ran to on hearing gunshots outside the bar.
Some in the crowd were in mourning, others were angry with the AP.

“They should ensure that those they entrust weapons with are of sound mind to avoid this kind of disaster ever happening again,” said David Njeru, a local resident.

Police spokesman Erick Kiraithe said: “It is the first incident of its kind and we are shocked. It is a matter of serious concern.

The Commissioner of Police (Mathew Iteere) is investigating and we are trying to see how this can be prevented in future.”

A team of senior administration police officers led by Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua left Nairobi on Sunday morning for Siakago.
Nairobi Metropolitan Development minister Mr Njeru Githae and said the officer involved should treated as a criminal.

Reported by Eric Mutai, John Njagi, Dominic Wabala and George Munene

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyan%20AP%20goes%20on%20killing%20spree/-/1056/1048954/-/5qyo1l/-/index.html

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Now Ruto wants Kenya’s principals charged by ICC

Posted by Administrator on November 7, 2010

File | NATION Eldoret North MP’s lawyer has argued in an article published in this newspaper, that ICC’s investigations into the post-election violence should start with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

File | NATION Eldoret North MP’s lawyer has argued in an article published in this newspaper, that ICC’s investigations into the post-election violence should start with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto wants the International Criminal Court to indict President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for the roles he says they played in the post-election violence.

In a statement that could form the core of Mr Ruto’s defence at The Hague, one of the suspended minister’s lawyers says the process of securing justice would have no credibility if Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga are not charged.

“It is the general feeling and mood of the country that those with the highest responsibility be held to account for the loss of life and property,” Katwa Kigen said.

“In that regard the investigations should start with the President and the Prime Minister as the people fought because of them… before moving down the ladder to those who played various roles.”

Mr Ruto’s line of defence adds a new twist to the search for justice for the estimated 1,300 people who lost their lives in the orgy of violence that followed the controversial 2007 General Election.

By opting to present himself to prosecutors at The Hague, Mr Ruto appears to have thrown the top political leadership into a spin because the terms of any deal he might cut with the ICC are unclear.

By the time we went to press, there was no confirmation that Mr Ruto and his team of lawyers, including law lecturer Dr Kindiki Kithure, had personally met chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who was in London on Friday at the time when media reports said he was in The Hague meeting Mr Ruto.

On Saturday, Belgut MP Charles Keter, who accompanied the Eldoret North MP to The Hague, said sessions with six ICC officials went late into last evening.

“We are hoping to finish today. It’s been perfect. He (Mr Ruto) is doing his own presentation after sessions with the lawyers in the hotel. They (lawyers) are backing him up. The evidence is not being taken on oath and cannot be used against him. It’s a question-and-answer session where the information you give is supported by documents,” Mr Keter said.

British journalist Lindsey Hilsum, the international affairs editor for Channel 4 TV, interviewed Mr Moreno-Ocampo in London on Friday, casting doubt on briefings by politicians allied to Mr Ruto which claimed the chief prosecutor was in The Hague.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo told Channel 4 he had written to several prominent Kenyans suspected of having played a role in the violence.

“I offered him (Mr Ruto) the opportunity to be heard. My duty is to conduct an impartial investigation, so he took up that invitation and came to explain,” he said.

In Nairobi, sources familiar with ICC proceedings told the Sunday Nation that Mr Moreno-Ocampo might go to the judges to ask for warrants against Kenyan suspects on or around December 18.

The decision to indict them will be up to the judges, but the chief prosecutor is confident that he has put together a strong case that will almost inevitably lead to trials of prominent Kenyans.

Much of the evidence, the Sunday Nation understands, was based on satellite intercepts of mobile telephone conversations which directly implicate key players.

A source who spoke to Mr Moreno -Ocampo said the ICC is using similar methods to establish culpability of top military commanders in Guinea for their role in an attack on civilians attending a pro-democracy rally that left as many as 158 dead.

Legal experts say Mr Ruto’s move to go to The Hague was a calculated attempt to spare himself the embarrassment of a formal indictment by the ICC.

But it is the likelihood that he might play the role of a “cooperative suspect”, which would presumably mean implicating top officials in government, that has animated debate in political circles.

“As long as the Chamber is satisfied that a suspect will appear voluntarily before the court without the need for arrest, during his stay in the Netherlands he shall not be taken into custody at the Scheveningen detention facility but shall be held at a location assigned by the court,” said Anna Osure, the deputy head of the office of legal aid and detention matters at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

“Full cooperation may benefit both the suspect and the Prosecutor. Interrogation of a cooperative suspect helps tighten loose ends, expedites any future trial and helps streamline the Prosecutor’s case. Through their cooperation, suspects may establish a lesser role in the commission of crimes, and if turned into insider witnesses, they could testify against individuals who bear greater responsibility for crimes charged.”

“In the event they plead guilty to charges, they could assist the court as perpetrator witnesses and testify against their collaborators. In so doing, they provide a unique insight into how the crimes were committed and help the court to establish the truth.”

In his article in the Sunday Nation, Mr Kigen offers a glimpse into some of the lines of defence Mr Ruto might pursue. He says the process would not be viewed as credible unless the most senior officials in the grand coalition are indicted.

He also attempts to poke holes in the ICC investigation, saying it relied on witnesses with questionable backgrounds, including some with pending criminal cases.

It is not clear, however, how the Ruto defence team was able to get details of the witnesses the ICC is relying on since their client is yet to be charged.

The demand that the coalition principals be charged is similar to the argument Mr Kigen presented to constitutional court judges in an unsuccessful bid to stop a case in which Mr Ruto is accused of fraud. Mr Ruto had argued that his rights had been infringed because other people allocated land through a similar process had not been charged.

Mr Ruto’s Uasin Gishu region witnessed the worst violence in the fighting that gripped several parts of the country following the announcement of the contested results by the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) and the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence were damning in their assessment of the role they claimed Mr Ruto played in inciting youths to take up arms.

According to the KNCHR report, Mr Ruto used parables to urge the youth to uproot members of the Kikuyu and Kisii communities from the region.

“During an opening ceremony for the Seventh Day Adventist Church in a place called Mailing,” the report says, “(Mr Ruto) is alleged to have said that they would uproot the sangari (weed), ‘shake off the soil’, ‘gather it together’ and ‘burn it’, in reference to ‘outsider’ communities.

He is alleged to have addressed the public at Bisabol shopping centre in Turbo near Burnt Forest and incited the local Kalenjin and Luhya communities against the Kikuyu.

“At a meeting on 27/12/07 at his home in Sugoi he said that his headache was Jonathan Bii, his opponent, who supported the Kikuyu on the land issue and directed that they should be attacked if they dared campaign in the areas.”

Mr Ruto defended himself against the allegations, telling KNCHR officials that many politicians were caught up in the crisis like other Kenyans.

The suspended minister and Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta failed in their bids to have their names expunged from the human rights commission report.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Now%20Ruto%20wants%20Kenyas%20principals%20charged%20by%20ICC%20/-/1064/1048394/-/ocmy2s/-/index.html

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