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Archive for September 19th, 2011

Kenya kidnap: Former resort employee in court over murder and abduction

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

Ali Babitu Kololo is led to court, where he denied charges of kidnapping and robbery. Photograph: Miller & Maclean for the Guardian

Ali Babitu Kololo is led to court, where he denied charges of kidnapping and robbery. Photograph: Miller & Maclean for the Guardian

A Kenyan man has been charged in connection with the attack in which a British tourist was shot dead and his wife kidnapped.

David Tebbutt, 58, and his 56-year-old wife, Judith, were staying at the remote Kiwayu Safari Village resort on the Kenyan coast near the border with Somalia when their beach hut was stormed by gunmen early on 11 September.

Tebbutt, finance director at the publisher Faber & Faber, was shot and his wife was bundled into a waiting speedboat.

She has not been seen or heard from since.

On Monday a former employee of the Kiwayu resort appeared in court on the nearby island of Lamu to plead not guilty to charges of kidnapping and robbery.

Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, told the packed courtroom that he had been forced to co-operate with the gang at gunpoint, adding that he had voluntarily gone to police the next day to report the crime.

A second man, Issa Sheck Saadi, is expected to appear in court later.

The Tebbutts, from Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, had arrived at the Kiwayu after visiting the Masai Mara game reserve and were the resort’s only guests.

A team of Metropolitan police officers has travelled to Kenya to help local authorities with their investigations, while the Foreign Office has deployed a team to the area from the high commission in Nairobi.

David Cameron said last week that the government was doing everything possible to resolve the kidnapping.

The Foreign Office, which has asked the media not to speculate on Judith Tebbutt’s whereabouts or the identity of her captors for fear of endangering her, is continuing to call for her release.



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HIV made me a better person, says CNN hero

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

When Pastor Patricia Sawo was diagnosed with HIV in 1999, she resorted to prayer and fasting, believing that God would heal and restore her back to full health.

But nothing happened and 12 years later, she still has the virus.

For someone with HIV, 12 years is a lifetime; that is what Sawo found out as she initially fought devastating stigma and later, had hundreds of people living with the virus looking up to her for assurance that everything was going to be fine.

”]Pastor Patricia Sawo refused to die from HIV and embarked on making a difference in the affected people’s lives. She supports 100 orphans and is teaching church leaders to overcome stigma. For her work, she joins CNN’s exclusive heroes’ club. [PHOTOS:Courtesy]Now she has taken on a key role of raising public awareness about HIV/Aids as well as challenging churches all over the continent, more so in Kenya, to overcome their culture of discrimination and stigma.

Her fight has attracted international attention and earned her this year’s CNN Hero Award, making her a member of an exclusive club of people who are doing exemplary work to change their communities from all over the world.

Turning point

She is among this year’s 25 nominees but later in the year, ten of them will be chosen as the most outstanding.

Making it to the top 25 is no mean feat and Sawo has earned her place through extending generosity to the vulnerable and using her not-so-good experience to change the church’s attitude towards people living with HIV.

After living and forgiving an unfaithful spouse for many years, the turning point came in 1999 when one of Sawo’s husband’s lovers died of an Aids-related condition.

This motivated her to go for the test. She was positive but her husband, Francis, tested negative.

The news was devastating.

“It was ironic that I was the one who always encouraged women in the church not to worry about their philandering husbands, because God would protect them, and yet here I was, living with the virus while my husband was okay!”

Confused after the test, Sawo confided in the deacon, who in turn called a meeting with the church leaders.

After the meeting, they decided that it was better to keep this ‘embarrassing secret’ to themselves, while they arranged revival meetings to pray for her healing.

“The church was only willing to offer me support as long as I was willing to keep quiet.
And when I gave birth to my baby, they were worried about what people would say if I didn’t breastfeed.”

To avoid raising suspicion, Sawo had to risk exposing her child to HIV by breastfeeding him.

Shortly after, she attended a meeting organised for interdenominational leaders by Handicap International.

Out of desperation, she took the plunge and declared her status in front of 1,500 irate, panic-stricken evangelicals.

Accept to die

Having publicly declared her status, Sawo lost her job, and was swiftly dismissed from the Christian counselling college she was schooling in.

Her landlord kicked her out and she had to move into an unfinished house that had no roof, windows or doors with her children and husband.

They put up cartons and paper bags on the roof for cover.

Amidst all these, her church sent a woman to her house to talk to her.

“She said the pastors had sent her to tell me to accept to die. And in exchange they would offer to help me by getting my daughter a job as a house help for Sh2,000 a month.”

This angered and motivated her to fight back.

Overcome stigma

She approached Handicap, and with assistance from Ugandan clergymen, they formed the African Network of Religious Leaders Living with or personally affected by HIV/Aids (Anerela+).

She started the Anerela+ Kenyan chapter in 2004, and as the national co-ordinator, helped educate people in her community about HIV, as well as organising regular retreats for church leaders, training them on how to overcome stigma.

Five years ago, she became the East African regional co-ordinator for eleven countries and Peer Fund, UK, asked her to get 100,000 churches to transform 60 million lives.

For three years, she trained church leaders aggressively and spoke in conferences the world over.

“During my time at Peer Fund, I discovered that in every community, where there is no dispensary or police station, there is always a church. I knew that church were the one place that could end HIV or eliminate its stigmatisation altogether.”

Together with her husband (who has since passed on — in 2009), she founded Discover to Recover Centre, which was initially to provide shelter to those infected once they came to see her for spiritual support.

But as the parents died, there was need for a place to keep the orphans.

Now she shelters 58 of them and takes care of another 50 orphans living with relatives.

Sawo solely relies on a well-wisher who sends her $500 (Sh46,000) a month for upkeep.

It is this money she uses to feed and educate the orphans.

Years after facing hostility in church, Sawo says the attitude towards HIV/Aids has improved.

“When they first come in for our workshops, they are usually angry with us for ‘wasting money’. But by the third day, they usually pledge go back and raise awareness about Aids in their churches.”

But there are other churches that are worse off, which “insist that HIV is a curse. But I will not give up my crusade till all church leaders accept the reality.”

Her big heart, determination and desire to see things get better for the infected and affected are enough for this remarkable woman to earn recognition.

Now she sees her journey with the virus as a learning experience.

“HIV made me a better person,” she says.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000043062&cid=4&

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Elders want Uhuru rivals to drop bid

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

The Kikuyu Council of Elders wants presidential aspirants from Mt Kenya region to shelve their bids in favour of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Speaking during prayers for three of the Ocampo Six suspects expected at The Hague on Wednesday for confirmation hearings on their alleged role in post election violence, the council’s chairman, Mr Wachira Kiago, said the region could only retain the presidency by supporting a single candidate.

“All of them are our children and cannot go for the same post. We request them to vie for other remaining positions and support the Deputy Prime Minister,” he said.

Mr Kiago said they will send emissaries to Gichugu MP and presidential hopeful Martha Karua to drop her bid.

“We will slaughter a bull and send some emissaries to the young lady and ask her to support Uhuru. She can run for another political seat,” said Mr Kiago during the ceremony at Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga shrine in Murang’a.

Besides Ms Karua and Mr Kenyatta, three other leaders are eyeing the top job: Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Safina party leader Paul Muite and Gachoka MP Mutava Musyimi.

Speakers were optimistic that Mr Kenyatta would be cleared by the court.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/Elders+want+Uhuru+rivals+to+drop+bid++/-/1064/1238708/-/agh239z/-/

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I Was Offered Sh100m To Fix Uhuru, Says Man

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

Photo/FILE Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2ndL), and Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2ndR) attend a hearing, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on April 8, 2011.

Photo/FILE Kenyan Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (2ndL), and Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura (2ndR) attend a hearing, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, on April 8, 2011.

A former military officer has alleged that International Criminal Court investigators and a former ambassador attempted to bribe him in relation to post-election violence cases.

In a sworn affidavit dated September 12, Rev John Mathenge claims the former diplomat and ICC officers met him last year and asked that he makes a statement against Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta in exchange for “Sh100 million and security”.

The affidavit has surfaced only days before confirmation of charges hearings against Mr Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura and Postmaster-General Hussein Ali.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura leave for The Hague on Monday ahead of the hearings that start on Wednesday. Maj-Gen Ali was expected to leave the country on Sunday night.

The three face accusations of planning, funding and executing revenge attacks against pro-ODM supporters during the violence.

Rev Mathenge alleges that the ICC investigators wanted a statement saying that Mr Kenyatta summoned him to State House on January 2, 2008 and gave him money and military uniform.

He says the statement was to indicate that he was asked to mobilise retired army officers who would arm Mungiki members at the Lang’ata Barracks.

Rev Mathenge says he refused to take up the offer despite persistent calls from the ambassador and ICC investigators.

The hearings, as scheduled, show that the court sessions will go on until October 5 when the suspects, the prosecution and the victims’ lawyer will present their closing statements.

Sources close to Mr Kenyatta said on Sunday that he will be accompanied by close family members, his personal assistants, security and media teams.

Mr Muthaura and Mr Ali are also expected to be accompanied by close family members.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/politics/I+was+offered+Sh100m+to+fix+Uhuru+says+man+/-/1064/1238620/-/ouhf8az/-/index.html

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Video: Boy dies after Shark attack at the Kenyan coast

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

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AP kills couple in rage in Dagoretti

Posted by Administrator on September 19, 2011

An Administration Police officer ran berserk on Saturday night  and shot dead a couple at a bar along the Naivasha – Kinyajui road junction in Dagoretti constituency.

According to an eye witness, Constable John Kararu, attached to the Dagoretti district commissioner, picked an argument with a customer prior to the incident.

He is later said to have stormed out only to return armed and opened fire on revelers at the Mukari Club.

Administration officers, who responded to the gun shots, disarmed their colleague who was by then attempting to shoot himself.

Police say they recovered thirteen spent cartridges and one round of ammunition from the scene.

Nairobi Provincial Police boss Anthony Kibuchi who visited the scene said police have launched investigations into the incident.

Last year, seven administration police officers were charged with killing seven taxi-drivers in the same area.

Elsewhere, another administration Police officer is fighting for his life at Kiambu District Hospital after he was attacked by three suspected Mungiki adherents in Karia village Githunguri in Kiambu County.

According to central province AP commandant Joseph Keitany, the officer constable David Irungu who is stationed at Karia AP post was attacked as he walked back to his base from shop.

Keitany said the officer sustained several deep cuts in the head.

The AP boss said a passerby found the officer lying by the road side writhing in pain and bleeding profusely before calling the police.

Keitany said nothing was stolen from the officer.

He said no arrest had been made adding a that major manhunt for the attackers is underway.

Source: http://www.kbc.co.ke/news.asp?nid=72521

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