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Archive for October 5th, 2011

50 underage girls ‘sold weekly’ as sex workers in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on October 5, 2011

At least 50 girls, aged between ten and 15, are sold every week to tour operators and tourist hotels at Sh60,000 each as sex workers and to star in pornographic movies, a report claims.

The report released on Tuesday by the International Peace Institute (IPI) says that the girls are trafficked or smuggled to Nairobi from North Eastern Province and Somalia.

The estimation of the number of girls smuggled per week comes from a non-governmental organisation Womankind Kenya, which is based in Garissa. “Vehicles that transport miraa from Kenya to Somalia return loaded with young girls and women, who end up in brothels in Nairobi or who are shipped to Mombasa and destinations outside Kenya,” the report says.

The report titled Termites at Work: Transitional Organised Crime and State Erosion in Kenya was compiled by IPI executive director Mr Peter Gastrow.

The report says the girls are taken to massage parlours or beauty shops, where contacts from tour operators and hotels come to select the ones they wish to take as sex workers. “Tour operators and hotel workers also operate as traffickers and brokers,” the report alleges. The report says the trafficked children are then taken to scheduled villas in Mombasa where sex tourism thrives. “The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has estimated that about 10,000 people are trafficked into Coast Province each year,” the report says.

Mombasa is a destination for people trafficked from as far as Uganda, Somalia, Tanzania and Ethiopia. In Kenya, those who control the networks involved in trafficking of humans or smuggling migrants use supermarkets, foreign exchange bureaus and electronic shops as cover for the human trafficking business, the report says.

The report claims that most traffickers are Somalis and those who head and control the network are known as makhalis. Code of silence In Nairobi and Garissa, the report claims that some traffickers operate as travel agents for airlines. “They pay taxes for their legitimate businesses to ensure that they do not attract queries from Government authorities,” the report says.

The report claims that a code of silence exists among the makhalis and their agents and contacts. “Only other agents, brokers, corrupt senior police officers, and their lawyers know what they do behind their veneer of law abiding upright citizen,” the report claims. There are at least five to ten makhalis in northern Kenya and in Eastleigh in Nairobi. They each control a loosely structured network, which they run independently from each other.

Source: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000044145&cid=4

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Posted in Kenya | 1 Comment »

Kenyan gay couple file for divorce two years after wedding

Posted by Administrator on October 5, 2011

Charles Ng’ang’a Wacera (left) and Daniel Chege Gichia at their gay wedding reception in North Finchely, North London two years ago. The two have decided to end the marriage and filed for a divorce. Photo/FILE

Charles Ng’ang’a Wacera (left) and Daniel Chege Gichia at their gay wedding reception in North Finchely, North London two years ago. The two have decided to end the marriage and filed for a divorce. Photo/FILE

The Kenyan gay couple who two years ago made headlines around the world after their civil wedding in London are back in the limelight again, this time seeking a divorce. (Read: Two Kenyan men wed in London)

Mr Daniel Chege Gichia confirmed that the divorce was filed by his civil partner, Mr Charles Ng’ang’a Wacera, alias Charles Ngengi months ago.

He said the court was expected to issue a decree nisi soon. Decree nisi is the first step towards the court recognition that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.

In the UK, if decree nisi is not challenged for six months by either couple, a final order — decree absolute — is issued and this legally brings the marriage to an end.

“I don’t know why the court’s ruling has taken this long. I am sure it will come out any time from now,” Gichia said.

If the divorce goes through, it will be Gichia’s second marriage having first married a Briton, Mr David Cleave. That union too broke down.

He said that the divorce petition was filed by Wacera who made a long list of allegations against him.

“I rebutted each allegation after the other and I hope the court will look and see the kind of a person I am,” he said.

Gichia said that the divorce had triggered off a sensitive matter, currently being investigated by the British Home Office.

“I think the Home Office wants to investigate whether the marriage was indeed a scam, intended only to enable one of the couples gain illegal entry into the UK. As far as I am concerned, I did the right thing to bring Mr Wacera to the UK so that we can marry,” Gichia said.

Sources privy to the information says that Wacera was spirited away from Kenya by Mr Gichia on a marriage visa, issued on the ground that gay marriages would never be allowed to happen in Kenya.

In public domain

Asked about the divorce, Wacera initially played down the issue saying that it was a figment of people’s imaginations.

Nii ndi wa Chege na tugatigithukanio ni gikuu (Chege is my partner and only death will do us apart),” he said on phone before bursting into laughter.

After realising the details of the divorce were already in the public domain and that his former partner, Gichia, had already commented on the same, Wacera agreed to talk about his marriage to Gichia but declined to discuss the divorce proceedings, which he claimed was a matter before the court.

“I don’t want anything that I say used against me in court. I am comfortable to talk about my life with Gichia since we got married and nothing more.” Wacera said.

Wacera said that the marriage seemed to have been doomed from the beginning because of the negative publicity the couple got after the civil wedding.

“We seem to have taken things for granted. We put so much effort in arranging and planning for the wedding and forgot to plan on how to deal with the aftermath should the public opinion turn against us.

Nobody in their wildest dreams ever thought that our simple wedding would attract such a huge world-wide publicity,” he said. He added: “I wanted to have a simple wedding that only Chege, I and four of our best couple would attend.

“My former partner and friends, however, had another idea. They wanted a big ceremony with colour and pomp. This caused me a lot of discomfort,” Wacera said.

Stepping out

He said that he only realised that his life would never be the same again after stepping out of the ceremony at the registrar’s parlour to be met by flashing cameras from people he had never seen before.

“I wasn’t aware that some people, even journalists had turned up,” he said.

“At first I had thought of abandoning Gichia and the friends. I wanted to take cover. I, however, thought this would only cause more attention to myself and an unnecessary embarrassing drama. Furthermore, everybody else, apart from myself, seemed to be enjoying the attention,” Wacera said.

Asked whether he had plans to leave the gay life and marry to get children, Wacera said he would never marry a woman, and will never even seek to have children.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Kenyan+gay+couple+file+for+divorce+two+years+after+wedding/-/1056/1248756/-/11vocio/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Dawn of Facebook ‘presidents’ here

Posted by Administrator on October 5, 2011

A few years ago, the phrase ‘presidential candidate’ was regarded with awe and respect.

It, however, seems each dawn brings with it new presidential hopefuls whose only offering to Kenyans is an alleged passion for an undefined ‘New Kenya’.

Once in a while, Kenyans get a new wave of men and women with dreams of being tenants in the house on the hill.

Take for instance, Esther Waringa who has been conducting door-to-door campaigns since January in various parts of the country.

This Friday, the typewriting expert and consultant in programmes management will launch her presidential campaign in Limuru.

Woman of the people

Hers will be the first presidential launch away from the city. “I will launch my campaign in Limuru Town because it’s my hometown and I would like to be in touch with people around there since my campaign is grassroots-based,” she says.

There are also ‘presidents’ of Facebook, who spam inboxes with invites for volunteers to join their campaign teams. Take Prof George Wajackoyah for instance.

He is surging full steam ahead of his presidential campaigns with his 5,000 “friends” on Facebook. What exactly does he stand for?

The professor bases his campaign on what he calles the four pillars — the economy, education, security and Constitution.

He says together with his ‘Shake the Tree Movement”, they will improve these four aspects in the life of ordinary Kenyans. It is not clear the kind of tree his movement hopes to vigorously shake.

Prof Wajackoya, who fled to exile for “some truths” he discovered during the investigations of the assassination of then Foreign Affairs minister Robert Ouko, has announced that he would run on a new party, the Asjad Omar.

A Kenyan fifth generation Pakistani chairs the party. Then there is the story of the pretty 27-year-old poet-cum-activist, humanitarian and lover of life. (READ: SHE’S GOT IT: Leadership came early for this girl)

In 2007, a critic described one of her published works that had just won the youth category in the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature as follows:

“Kingwa Kamencu tells immensely interesting stories of young female adults who, under the impact of illusive ideas of success and glamour, get caught up in dangerous situations that nearly jeopardise the bright future they so much deserve by virtue of their outstanding qualities.”

Will she get caught up in dangerous political situations that may jeopardise her bright future as a gifted novelist and poet?

She begs to differ. The incoming president of Kenya (as she describes herself on her Facebook page) says: “Yawah, politics is fun but I have lots of other exciting possibilities and opportunities I want to explore with my life.”

“I got the idea only a short while ago, that was in early September. I think that as a country we are looking for a young person and I believe I am that change people want to see,” says Ms Kamencu.

The young woman, pursuing her second Master’s degree in Creative Writing in the UK, says she would contest as an independent candidate. (READ: Are we our own worst enemy?)

Enters yet another one, Jaffer Isaak — a former military man, taxi driver and now businessman with zero political experience. His believes his “Komboa Kenya” mantra is what the country needs.

In a country that worships tribes, which have so far dictated voting patterns, Mr Isaak comes from one of Kenya’s smallest ethnic groups living in one of the most neglected parts of the country, the Gabbra.

“Having slept in a sack, self-educated myself, drove a taxi and spent time in the military, I know just what it takes to come from nothing to something,” he says.

“This is what Kenya wants. My story is not made of the odds that Barack Obama beat to become US President, it’s much bigger.”

Many would wonder how a man facing such great odds would want to take a shot at the country’s topmost job.

Famous parent

“It’s surprising to us that our most famous parent wants to be president,” Reuben Njuguna, the principal of Coast Academy where his daughter is studying, told the Nation.

Other than having seasoned and battle-hardened lieutenants by their sides, these candidates will need an impressive kitty  to oil their largely non-existent political machinery.

It is difficult to see how Prof Wajackoyah with his deans allowance or Ms Kamencu with her proceeds from her excellent prose and poetry or Mr Isaak from his business will fund their campaigns.

When all is said and done, and their hearts have stopped racing from the excitement of being paraded in front of a rather pessimistic media, they too will stand proud as Kenyans exercise their constitutional rights.

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Dawn+of+Facebook+presidents+here+/-/1056/1248158/-/me5hlu/-/index.html

Posted in Kenya | 2 Comments »

Ceasarean section on the rise in Kenya

Posted by Administrator on October 5, 2011

By Sophie Akinyi

Conceiving is a beautiful feeling especially in a society where lack of it is considered a curse. Women who are unable to conceive find it rough living in this society as they are always mocked and ridiculed. For the ones who are lucky to conceive though, a lot of anxiety is expressed.

Many Kenyan women especially first time moms` harbor fears concerning childbirth. This is as a result of stories heard from fellow women who have given birth naturally. Currently, there is a rising number of Caesarean Sections (CS) being performed in hospitals. Women who go for it are
mostly carried away by the `fear` factor and low self esteem.

Fear is the notable reason since women who have given birth may sometimes narrate their ordeals in the hands or ruthless midwives. This would without a doubt make any expectant woman scared. Many a times these women are insulted, neglected and beaten when it gets to extremes. Thinking of how vulnerable and delicate a woman gets during this state, it is no doubt a woman would think of a Caesarean Section.

It is not every woman`s wish to deliver  Caesarean Section, some prefer to give birth naturally saying it helps in dealing with pain there and then. Today, expectant women experience some sort of medical intervention which might land them in theater and not labor room. Some women confess that they felt ready to give birth naturally, but along the way, they were told their conditions had changed and they have to go through CS. Sometimes, this intervention is warranted; however, there are certain hospitals which have turned the practice into a money-making business.

Before, Caesarean Section was only warranted in certain circumstances; these included: if a woman had contracted pelvis (small or inadequate), cord prolapsed (cord slips off first before the baby), abnormal lie (eg.transverse-across, breech-baby presents with legs or hands, pre-eclampsia (where there is high blood pressure accompanied with protein in urine and A.P.H (condition where mother starts bleeding before she goes into
labor but the pregnancy is full term. Apart from HIV positive patients who are encouraged to go through the procedure as a preventive measure against infecting their newborns, women are at liberty to decide the mode of delivery they want. In some hospitals, women are advised to go for CS even without being explained to the underlying disadvantages. What some of these hospitals are interested in is money.

This sudden rush for `quick` money has made some women lose their lives due to doctor`s carelessness. There have been reported cases of forgotten pieces of cloth and instrument inside these women`s womb which in turn lead to their death. Sorry as this situation might sound, many
women still find themselves in theater rooms willing or unwillingly.

At the end of the day, what people are interested in is having kids, this means that there should be healthy guidelines on when a CS or even induction should and shouldn`t be done. This would reduce the number of deaths among other postnatal complications.
Expectant women should also hang around people who encourage them and above all, trust their body`s abilities to deliver healthy kids safely.

There should however be a healthy guideline on when a CS should be done so as to reduce complications resulting from it. Women have lost their hands on unscrupulous quacks that most of the time are too hasty leaving behind towels inside wombs of their patients.

This has led to loss of life among other complications.

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Kenyan drug mule’s case closed

Posted by Administrator on October 5, 2011

THE case of the alleged Kenyan drug mule has been closed, but a follow-up will be done to identify who Asha Atieno Ogutu was going to call when she arrived in Cebu.

 

National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)-Central Visayas Special Investigator Arnel Pura said the office has already turned over to the Computer Crimes Division of the head office the four foreign-carrier Subscriber Identification Modules or SIM packs taken from the Kenyan after she was arrested.

 

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“Maybe they can get useful information from the cards,” Pura said, citing a process called “digital autopsy.”

 

NBI-Central Visayas Director Edward Villarta earlier said the drugs Ogutu sneaked into the Mactan-Cebu International Airport last August 29 were not for the local market.

 

Pura said the follow-up aims to generate information “that may be of use by other agencies who are also dealing with the transnational crime of drug smuggling.”

 

Pura led the NBI agents who arrested Ogutu at the MCIAA while she was trying to clear customs. Taken from a false bottom of her luggage were two packs containing a total of three kilos of shabu.

 

The arrest and indictment of Ogutu came seven months after the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) central office released a report of Filipinos detained and indicted abroad for the same offense Ogutu is charged here.

 

More than 500 Filipino, mostly women, are in foreign jails on drug-related cases and 227 of the number are in China, says the DFA report.

 

According to the report, these Filipinos were hired by smuggling syndicates to act as mules, paying them between $500 and $5,000 to swallow tubes containing drugs, carry them in their luggage or dissolved and soaked into paper or books.

 

“So-called drug mules are either victims of syndicates or victims of poverty and hopelessness. Kapit sa patalim na ang ating mga kababayan,” said Migrante International secretary-general Gina Esguerra when the DFA came out with the figures.

 

Based on Migrante’s count, of the 227 Filipinos indicted in China, 195 were the result of arrests made between Feb. 2010 and 2011 alone.

 

Migrante cites poverty as the reason why Filipinos agree to do the job.

 

Pura, in an interview Tuesday, believes the same thing applies to the arrested Kenyan woman.

 

Pura said the NBI communicated with the Kenyan Consular Office in Manila prior to the inquest that resulted in Ogutu getting charged in court. It anticipated that the office would send lawyers. It did not.

 

“Siguro sa dami na ng problema nila dun, andito pa ito (Maybe it’s because they have so many problems there),” he said.

 

Ogutu was charged before the City Prosecutor of Lapu-Lapu City on August 30 and charged with a non-bailable complaint for transporting drug into Philippine soil.

 

The violation is defined and penalized under Section 5 of Republic Act 9165. If convicted she may be sentenced to “life imprisonment or death” and a fine between P500,000 to P10 million.

 

The Philippines no longer imposes death, but China does. It carried out that sentence against four Filipino “drug mules” a month after the DFA issued its report.

 

Pura said they turned Ogutu over to the Lapu-Lapu City Jail last Monday, where she supposedly fainted.

 

In an earlier interview, Ogutu denied purposely transporting drugs into the country and said the bag she was using was only given to her by a certain Joshua, the associate of the person who asked her to come to Cebu.

 

She identified the person as a certain Ray. She works for Ray by going to different places, like Benin in West Africa, and selling Kenyan textiles.

 

She said Ray told her to vacation in Cebu after selling off her supply.

 

She said Ray paid for her tickets and gave her the number of supposedly another Kenyan who would be waiting for her here. (KNR)

 

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 05, 2011

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