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Archive for November 24th, 2010

Five Kenyans indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud

Posted by Administrator on November 24, 2010

(HOUSTON) – A 10-count federal indictment charging five Kenyan nationals with conspiracy to commit marriage fraud, marriage fraud and visa fraud has been unsealed following their arrests, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today along with Peter S. Hargraves, Special Agent in Charge of the Diplomatic Security Service’s (DSS) Houston Field Office.

The indictment, returned by a Houston grand jury under seal on Nov. 17, 2010, charges Houston area residents Andrew Mitema, 31, Herman Ogoti, 50, Alfonso Ongaga, 33, Andrew Mokoro, 32, and Rebmann Ongaga, 30, with conspiring to commit marriage fraud for the purpose of evading the immigration laws of the United States beginning in January 2001, marriage fraud and benefit/visa fraud as a result of each having conspired together to recruit and pay United States citizens to enter into fraudulent marriages with each of them for the purpose of receiving lawful permanent resident status or citizenship.

All five defendants were arrested Friday by special agents of the Department of State – DSS who conducted the investigation leading to the indictment. All five defendants appeared in federal court today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy and have been ordered to remain in custody pending a detention hearing set for Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, at 10:00 a.m.

According to allegations in the indictment, before entering the United States, each of the defendants applied for student visas. Four of the defendants were granted student visas and used the visa to enter the United States, but Rebmann Ongaga was refused a student visa. After his student visa was denied, Rebmann Ongaga’s married a recruited United States citizen in Kenya and later entered the United States with a spouse visa. The indictment further alleges that the other four defendants, after entering the United States, married recruited American citizens to enter into fraudulent marriages in exchange for cash to evade the immigration laws of the United States. All five of the Kenyan nationals paid the recruited United States citizens approximately $5,000 to enter into the fraudulent marriages, according to the indictment. As part of the conspiracy, the indictment further alleges the defendants recruited family members of the United States citizens to marry other Kenyan nationals.   

“The U.S. visa is one of the most coveted travel documents in the world, and foreign nationals who acquire visas fraudulently to enter the United States may do so in order to carry out criminal activities, including terrorism,” said Hargraves. “This case demonstrates Diplomatic Security’s commitment to investigating these crimes and helping bring them to justice.”

Conspiracy to commit marriage fraud and marriage fraud both carry a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine upon conviction. Benefit fraud carries a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine upon conviction.   

This federal indictment is the result of an ongoing investigation conducted by the Department of State – DSS. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kebharu H. Smith.    

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Source: http://m.state.gov/md151965.htm


Posted in Diaspora News, Immigration, Kenya | Comments Off on Five Kenyans indicted for conspiracy to commit fraud

Binge drinking linked to heart disease

Posted by Administrator on November 24, 2010

PARIS, Nov 24 – Binge drinking, long known as a cause of liver damage, is also linked to heart disease, according to a 10-year study in Northern Ireland and France published on Wednesday by the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Researchers from Britain and France contrasted the drinking patterns among more than 9,700 middle-aged men in three cities in France (Lille, Strasbourg and Toulouse) and in Belfast, the Northern Irish capital.

The volunteers, aged 50-59, were free from heart disease at the start of the study in 1991.

Over the course of a week, the volume of alcohol they consumed was roughly the same.

In France, though, the drinking was spread out quite evenly over a week and mainly involved wine. In Belfast, the men usually consumed beer, followed by spirits, and heavily concentrated their drinking at weekends, imbibing between two and three times more than in France.

Men who were “binge” drinkers were nearly twice as likely as regular drinkers, during the 10-year course of the study, to have a heart attack or die from heart disease.

Binge drinking was defined in the study as more than 50 grammes of alcohol drunk over a short period of time, such as one day during the week. Fifty grammes equates to four to five drinks, and a drink to 125 millilitres (4.2 fluid ounces) of wine or half a pint (284 millilitres) of beer.

Read more: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/World/Binge-drinking-linked-to-heart-disease-10614.html#ixzz16Cs96EVQ

Posted in World News | Comments Off on Binge drinking linked to heart disease

Couple killed, buried in shallow grave

Posted by Administrator on November 24, 2010

By James Ratemo,

Developing story

In a bizarre incident, a man and his wife were killed and buried in shallow graves on a disputed land in Juja.

James Mutitu Ndirangu, 34, and his wife Grace Wacera Kimani were apparently murdered in cold blood on Monday night and buried just a few yards from their house.

 Preliminary findings reveal that the land is classified as riparian, but a tycoon claimed ownership. There is a court case pending on the land between a group of squatters and the rich man.

It was not immediately established who was behind the killings or the motive behind the shocking incident.

Thika OCPD, Paul Leting, visited the area on Wednesday and had the two bodies exhumed.

According to a brother in-law to the deceased man, Ndirangu went missing on Sunday, while the wife was in hospital.

The wife called the brother in-law after trying to reach the husband via phone in vain.

The wife, the story goes, was to be discharged from hospital on Monday and wanted the husband to come pick her.
The brother in law went to check out on Tuesday and discovered a deserted home. The livestock were unattended to and there was no sign of activity in the home.

He entered the house, looked around and saw trails of blood. Curios and scared, he followed the trails and that is when he discovered the shallow graves before he alerted neighbours and the police.

It is still not clear how the wife left the hospital and happened to be in the home when the ‘murderer(s)’ struck.

Police have launched investigations.

Additional information by Mary Kamande

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000023177&cid=4&

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

How much have you deposited in your emotional account?

Posted by Administrator on November 24, 2010

For a fulfilling relationship, you need to learn to give. File | Nation

For a fulfilling relationship, you need to learn to give. File | Nation

Allow me to start by pointing out that some of us are emotionally bankrupt.

There is nothing we have saved in this account, and as a result, there is nothing we can withdraw. All relationships require emotional investment, which we can turn to whenever we need to fortify it. Unfortunately, most of our accounts are covered with cobwebs and dust from lack of deposits.

When you are kind, honest, caring and friendly to another person, you make deposits in your Emotional Bank Account. However, if you are unkind, disrespectful, uncaring and mean, you draw from this account.

Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, uses the metaphor of the Emotional Bank Account to describe, “the amount of trust that’s been built up in a relationship.”

Trust is needed for a relationship to thrive. True, without trust, we may manage to accommodate and endure our partners. However, the relationship will never be mutually satisfying.

Most of us are guilty of taking our spouses for granted. We forget to do those little things that cost little, yet matter the most. Saying thank you, sorry, giving a hug, a kiss.

All these are emotional investments, which may not make up for material investments such as money or expensive gifts, but determine your partner’s well-being and happiness.

The kind word, a compliment, a kiss in the morning and a text to convey your love is what will make your spouse’s heart glad.

If this is what you want, you need to start depositing into your Emotional Bank Account. When this account is well loaded, conflicts are successfully resolved since you will be basing your argument on love, rather than anger.

How to make the deposits:

Love and care. Express this in the little things that you know will make your partner happy. Eventually, they will add up to great things.

Commitment: Promise only what you’re capable of delivering. Your partner needs to know that you’re trustworthy.

Expectations: If you expect to receive, be prepared to give. There’s nothing wrong with expecting a lot, but you need to be prepared to give as much as you expect.

Apologise when you are wrong: There is nothing demeaning about saying you’re sorry. If anything, it’s a sign of maturity, which will earn you your partner’s respect.

Praise your partner: Do it at least once a day, and make a habit of seeing the good in your relationship rather than focusing on the negative aspects.

As you invest in your relationship, remember that, just like a bank account, you can only withdraw what you have saved.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/Living/How%20much%20have%20you%20deposited%20in%20your%20emotional%20account/-/1218/1058886/-/14o3x7j/-/index.html

Posted in Features | Comments Off on How much have you deposited in your emotional account?

For every baby you conceive, I will give you Sh500… cash!

Posted by Administrator on November 24, 2010

Joseph Kanyi | NATION Councillor Habel Kijana Mutahi believes the only way he can help re-populate his ward is through financial incentives to women.

Joseph Kanyi | NATION Councillor Habel Kijana Mutahi believes the only way he can help re-populate his ward is through financial incentives to women.

What would you do if one day you woke up and, to your shock, realised that the average age of your fellow villagers has more than doubled in a span of 20 years?

To whom would you turn if it hit you that it is not just your village that is experiencing a population crisis, but that the problems of your little hamlet are replicated across the hills and vales, beyond the horizon?

To most people, this would be good enough information to call a press conference and announce that the country is facing a human resource problem. But for councillor Habel Kijana Mutahi of Giathugu Ward in Mukurwe-ini, this was an opportunity to stand up and change the dynamics affecting his people.

When Mr Mutahi realised that the youths of his ward were no longer getting married or bearing children, he decided that the only way to reverse the trend was through incentives to encourage his fellow villagers to get babies. That is how he came up with a scheme to award Sh500 to every woman who fell pregnant, and Sh2,000 for every birth.

Lowest growth

His initiative, he says, does not just target the re-population of his ward, but also that of the entire Central region, which has been in the news for all the wrong reasons since the publishing of the results of the 2009 national population census survey, which indicated that Central Province had the lowest population growth rate in 10 years.

The region registered a total number of 4,383,743 people, compared to 3,724,159 in 1999, which translates to an increase of one million persons in the period under survey.

Mukurwe-ini Constituency, according to statistics gathered from the provincial commissioner’s office, registered a total of 83,932 persons, compared to 87,447 people in the 1999 census, and it was that decrease of 3,515 persons that captured Mr Mutahi’s attention.

While the rest of the country grew, Mukurwe-ini’s human resource shrunk! What could have happened?

“The high rate of poverty here, coupled with rural-urban migration and the consumption of illicit liquor, has decimated our numbers,” Mr Mutahi says. And, sadly, he may be right.

Mukurwe-ini residents used to rely on coffee farming before the sector went to the dogs, taking with it their livelihoods. Left with nothing to live for, and with the cost of living rising every day, the youths of the region took to their heels, leaving behind a largely elderly population that could do little to balance the population equation.

Enter Kijana Mutahi, and all that is about to change. Even though the Sh500 with which he rewards every woman who falls pregnant in his ward is not much, it goes a long way in appreciating the fact that the re-population of his sleepy hamlet will have to be done by the residents.

Reward for the little trouble

That is why, after every small village gathering he organises, he requests every woman who is pregnant — or thinks she is — to remain behind as the rest leave so that she can get her reward for the trouble. Pregnancies, no doubt, are a valued asset here.

Valued and rare. According to Mr Mutahi, there are four public health facilities in his ward, and records indicate that less than 10 pregnant women visit them in a month.

The civic leader recalls a meeting held in May this year in which an administrator announced that only one child had been born in Giathugu Ward in the month of March. And from January to August this year, the ward had celebrated the birth of only 17 babies.

His cash-for-pregnancy programme is still in its infancy stage, and Mr Mutahi says he has managed to convert nine women so far. Not a bad start, he says.
“I do this out of the love that I have towards my constituents,” he says, adding that the money he dishes out comes from his salary.

Change fortunes

One of the beneficiaries of the project is 22-year-old Florence Wairimu, a mother of three who says her councillor’s programme is likely to change, in more ways than one, the fortunes of Giathugu.

“I like the direction this programme is taking. It may not be worth much, but I believe it will greatly change the demographics of this area,” she says as she cuddles her last-born daughter Tracy Wambura, the little girl whose birth earned her mother a Sh2,000 shopping voucher.

“The young men here have abdicated their social duty, and it is only through such initiatives that this area can get back on its feet.”

But, while Ms Wairimu blames the population crisis on men, Ms Mary Wanjugu, 28, points an accusing finger at her fellow women, whom, she says, abuse contraceptives behind their husbands’ backs.

However, she admits that most of the men here are habitual drunks who neglect their families, forcing women to search for food and other necessities for their children. Because of this, Ms Wanjugu says, many women go the contraceptive way to check the size of their families.

“We want our children to have a good life, and that is the only way we can ensure that we can adequately provide for their needs,” she says, and, by that single utterance, attracts the wrath of Ms Damaris Wamuyu, 64, and Ms Teresiah Wahito 74.

To these elderly women, the problem with Mukurwe-ini is not that the men have been poisoned by the beer bottle, or that the youth no longer get married.

The issue, they say, is that people claim to be so westernised that they only give birth to one or two babies.

But there is a problem. The roads and paths here are trodden by tens of stoop-backed fellows, with no youngsters in sight for miles. Church pews are filled by elderly women with torn scarfs wrapped around their greying heads, and chief Wanjohi Ngumo worries about what will happen to his people once this elderly generation takes the final bow.

“We are in a crisis,” he admits. “Family planning is taking a toll on us.”

Compounded by urbanisation

And the Mukurwe-ini Catholic Parish priest, Fr Martin Mwangi, agrees. Fr Mwangi believes that the problem is compounded by urbanisation, where people leave their rural homes in droves and head to the nearest market centre to eke out a living. He says it is a tragedy that a region with so many well-educated people like Mukurwe-ini is swimming in poverty.

“Although councillor Mutahi is giving hope to his people, this might not be the right way to tackle this problem,” he says, adding that he has already involved a number of youths in programmes run by the church aimed at making them feel appreciated and enhance their community productivity.

Fr Mwangi says 70 per cent of his congregation is made up of the elderly, while the rest is shared between young adults, the youth, teenagers, and children.

Not a bad margin

At the Mukurwe-ini District Hospital, the medical superintendent, Dr Tony Njoka, says the Central region leads in the country in contraceptive use.

“We have recorded about 60 per cent usage, and this is not a bad margin,” he says.

However, Dr Njoka denies claims that the birth rate in the area is not sustainable, explaining that the reason there are no queues in maternity wards is because the government has provided enough medical centres for residents.

Although Mr Mutahi, who is serving his first term after being elected in 2007, admits that what he is doing might not completely solve the problem, he says his initiative will encourage more youths to shun irresponsible practices and embrace matrimony.

And so, Sh500 after Sh500, his little hamlet is slowly repopulating.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/Features/DN2/For%20every%20baby%20you%20conceive%20I%20will%20give%20you%20Sh500%20cash%20/-/957860/1058938/-/4q87wxz/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

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