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Archive for February 23rd, 2012

Veteran politician Njenga Karume dead at age 82

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

The Late Njenga Karume

The Late Njenga Karume

Former Cabinet Minister Njenga Karume died on Friday at Nairobi’s Karen hospital after a battle with cancer.

The minister’s battle with cancer saw him seeking medical attention locally and in India, but family sources said his condition deteriorated forcing them to rush him to Karen Hospital.

He had served in President Kibaki’s Cabinet and had stints in the defence and special programmes dockets.

President Kibaki sent a message of condolence to the family, relatives and friends and said he had “learnt with a deep sense of loss the death of his dear friend”.

“We thank God for the great moment we shared with a fine gentleman and political ally that Karume was to me and my family, and political associates and followers,” President Kibaki said.

The President described the late Karume as an astute businessman and a quintessential Kenyan who rose from humble beginnings to build a business and political empire through sheer hard work and determination.

He recalled that two weeks ago he visited Mr Karume at his home in Kiambu County and despite his failing health he exhibited great courage and passion for what he believed in.

Source: NATION

Karume’s Last Interview with Citizen TV


Posted in Kenya | Tagged: , , | 28 Comments »

Heartache for mother of battered Kenyan woman in Dubai

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

Esther Mwikamba

Esther Mwikamba

Dubai: A mother’s worst fears have become reality for a Kenyan woman unable to reach her beaten, broken and bruised daughter in a Dubai hospital.

Anna Wanjiru Mwikamba has only learned in recent days that her daughter Esther, 26, was hospitalised after a random attack in a Dubai car park and is now in a coma and on life support.

Word that one Emirati man is in custody and another temporarily released on bail as Dubai police dig deeper into the early-morning assault, has helped soften the blow of the news, she said.

But, with little money and grim prospects for emergency international travel, Anna said the weight of worry about her daughter’s critical condition is beyond description.

“I want to see my Esther,” she said down the crackling telephone line in interview with Gulf News on Thursday from the family’s hometown of Thika, a light industry town 40 kilometres north of Nairobi known for growing pineapples.

“What can I do? I don’t have the money, but I want to see my Esther,” Anna said.

Kenyan Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammad Gello, is eager to help after visiting Esther at her bedside in Rashid Hospital on Thursday with Kenyan community leaders from the UAE.

Minutes after emerging from the visit, Gello said it was “heartbreaking to see her in this condition” and reaffirmed an earlier pledge that embassy and consular diplomatic staff will do everything to support the Mwikamba family in crisis, including legal assistance as the case moves through the courts.

Asked by Gulf News if he could help expedite the processing of travel documents for Esther’s mother, Gello said the embassy would work to make it happen. “The probability is that the mother doesn’t even have a passport but we can arrange for one as soon as possible,” Gello confirmed. “We will do this.”

Gello said is he is also speaking to community leaders who are being swamped with requests by the Kenyan community to financially offset expenses for the Mwikamba family.

The main challenge is finding a registered charity in the UAE that can receive and disseminate donations to the Mwikamba family.

Esther’s youngest sister Catherine told Gulf News  on Thursday that she was grateful for all of the prayers and support and said Esther would very glad to see so many people reaching out to help.

“Esther has always been a very kind person and helped whenever she could,” Catherine said. “This would make her very happy.”

Source: http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/heartache-for-mother-of-battered-kenyan-woman-in-dubai-1.985496

Posted in Diaspora News, Kenya | 4 Comments »

Jeff Rice Autopsy: Amazing Race Freelancer Had Cocaine in His System, Blood Coming From Nose

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

Authorities are still saying that all signs point to Jeff Rice dying from a cocaine overdose last week.

An autopsy performed on the producer, who most recently did freelance work on The Amazing Race, turned up “major metabolites of cocaine,” according to details given to the Uganda Police Force and confirmed by E! News.

Per the government’s Analytical Laboratory in Wandegeya, investigators also found a baggie of white powder in Rice’s hotel room that tested positive for opiates as well as acetaminophen, caffeine and acetylcodein.

And it gets gorier from there.

MORE: Police discount poison theory, suspect drug overdose in Jeff Rice’s death

The UPF report states that Rice was found slumped in a chair on the balcony of his room at the Lake Victoria Serena hotel in Kampala, his head resting on a table and blood coming out of his mouth and nose.

Kathryn Fuller, Rice’s assistant, who remains hospitalized, was found unconscious on the floor nearby. Both were booked into room 427, according to police.

“The police were called in by the hotel. The two were taken to hospital. Jeff Rice was declared dead on arrival,” Uganda Media Centre spokesman Fred Opolot tells E! News. “The initial investigations by the doctor who checked them showed Rice probably was suffocated. His lady friend was unconscious and had no indication of suffocation. Above all of that, some white substances were found on the table. Further investigation was done on Jeff Rice. It was found he was intoxicated by a cocaine substance. The police came to the conclusion that he probably had an overdose.”

“We heard reports that he was attacked by thugs,” Opolot continued. “The hotel he stayed at was a 5-star hotel. The rooms can only be accessed by hotel workers or guests. No one can easily walk in an out. There’s good security at the hotel. Those allegations are unfounded.”

They had flown into the country on Feb. 15 to work on a documentary—and the horrific trip may not be over for Fuller anytime soon, reports ABC News.

Because cocaine was also found in Fuller’s system, she may have broken Ugandan drug laws and will need permission from Interpol to be allowed to return home to South Africa, UPF spokesman Asuman Mugenyi told ABC.

“Ms. Fuller is slowly recovering, and when she is recovered enough we will be able to talk to her and find out more about what happened,” Mugenyi said. “She is not able to speak. Although she is responding to the treatment, she is not yet available to explain what transpired.”

MORE: Aretha Franklin Responds to Media Speculation on Missing Whitney Houston’s Funeral: “Stop the BS”

“I send my condolences to Jeff Rice,” Opolot told E! News. “It is unfortunate. He came to this country to do a good program—he came across as someone of humanity. It is unfortunate he has passed away and really our condolences to his family. I also want to ensure that the Uganda governance and police force will expedite all investigations to ensure that his cause of death is confirmed. As of now what is known is that Jeff passed away as a result of an overdose of cocaine.”

Rice held dual American and South African citizenship and lived in the Durban area with his wife, Sally Blackwell, and their two daughters.

Blackwell, who originally told reporters that her husband must have been poisoned as a result of a shakedown-gone-wrong, wrote on Facebook yesterday that the family is tentatively trying to get a memorial together for Feb. 27 at Phe Zulu Village in the Valley of 1,000 Hills.

“Thank you to everyone for all the tremendous support and kind words,” she wrote. “It has been truly amazing to receive messages from people around the world who speak so highly of Jeff. Jeff was on a film production in Uganda and was doing what he loves…He was a true asset to the film industry worldwide and Africa was his ‘home’. His dream was to produce in all areas of Africa and for his company ‘Maverick entertainment’ to be known as the company to call on…As soon as I know more details surrounding his tragic loss, I will update this.”

Watch video here: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/amazing-race-producer-jeff-rice-found-dead-africa-15773476
Source: http://www.eonline.com/news/jeff_rice_autopsy_amazing_race/296291#ixzz1nFJXYV3a

Posted in Africa | Comments Off on Jeff Rice Autopsy: Amazing Race Freelancer Had Cocaine in His System, Blood Coming From Nose

UPDATED: Kenyan in Kansas in jail after allegedly raping woman in car

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

Erick Wanjiku

Erick Wanjiku

LENEXA, Kan. — A good Samaritan and bouncers helped a woman who ran from her car yelling for help after having allegedly been raped. Their actions helped Lenexa police catch the man thought to be responsible.

Around 1 a.m. on February 17, 31-year-old Erick Wanjiku left the bar with one woman. Police said the two had just met.

“They talked for a while, played some pool together, eventually going outside and got into a vehicle. At that point is when the attack took place,” said Den Friesen with Lenexa Police.

Aja Woods, 22, witnessed what happened. She had just left the popular Johnson County nightclub near 95th & Quivira. She was getting into her car when she noticed what was going on in the car next to her. Instead of driving away, she took matters into her own hands.

“I saw her take off running, and I literally saw him pull his pants up, buckle it and pop out of the car,” Woods said.

Woods says she knew what had happened immediately. She says she knew what she needed to do.

“I need to get this guy before he gets away,” she said.

So, Woods jumped in her car and pulled along side of the man.

“He said, ‘I need help, I need help, I’m in trouble I’m in trouble,’” Woods said.

She pretended like she was going to help him and told Wanjiku to get in her car.

“So, when he got in the car, I turned around real fast and I drove up where the bouncers were at the stoplight and they came, and my sister actually pulled him out of the car,” Woods said. “He takes off running from the bouncers, and they had to take off running after him for a minute. He actually tore a big chunk of skin out of somebody, and they got him and that was the end of it.”

Police say it could’ve been a dangerous situation but they appreciate the help.

“They understood that the lady was in trouble and it was a serious situation, so they jumped in to help out to keep it from getting any worse,” said Friesen.

As for the quick thinking of Woods, she says it’s just something she had to do.

“I saw the whole thing,” she said. “I would have felt bad if I just would not have done anything.”

Erick Wanjuiku is currently in jail charged with rape and battery. The bouncer at Saint’s Pub and Patio who was bitten by Wanjuiku did not want to talk on camera but FOX 4 was told he’s okay and he feels that he was just doing his job.

Source: http://fox4kc.com/2012/02/22/good-samaritans-help-catch-alleged-rapist/




A woman was reportedly beaten and raped in the parking lot of a popular spot in Johnson County, but the attacker didn’t count on a group of good Samaritans who wouldn’t stand for his actions.

Police say a 26-year-old Johnson County woman met a man at Saints Pub and Patio, located on West 97th Street and Quivira Road, last week.

The two talked and played pool together and after some time they left, continuing to talk at the victim’s car.

That is when Erick Wanjiku is accused of forcing himself on the woman and raping her. When the attack was over, the victim told police she ran back toward the bar for help.

“I can’t recall we have ever had anything quite like that happen,” said officer Dan Friesen with the Lenexa Police Department. “She was yelling and people were aware something had happened. They all jumped in to try to help her.”

A bouncer at the bar said he chased Wanjiku into the Oak Park Mall parking lot.

He and a few others held Wanjiku down until police arrived. The bouncer said Wanjiku was fighting to get away and even bit the bouncer on the arm.

Wanjiku was arrested, charged with rape and battery and is in jail on a $100,000 bond.

Source: http://www.kctv5.com/story/16989586/bouncer-chases-suspect-after-woman-allegedly-beaten-raped

Posted in Diaspora News | 62 Comments »

Anaheim’s Kenyan Café can be a mouthful

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

What makes Kenyan Café and Cuisine an experience isn’t just sampling food from another part of the world, but figuring out how to pronounce it.

Dishes are labeled in Swahili, with the exception of the Obama Meal, a fried fresh-water fish that was the president’s favorite meal when he visited Kenya. Fortunately, a glossary on the back of the menu serves as a cheat sheet and cultural guide. For instance, sukuma wiki is collard greens and means “stretch the week” to maximize food resources.

Despite the unknown names, many of the ingredients turned out to be familiar, although prepared with Kenyan curries and hard-to-identify spices. The servers are friendly and happy to answer questions and offer recommendations. But when we asked about certain seasonings, the Swahili names didn’t help much.

None of us had tried Kenyan food (the restaurant describes itself as the only such establishment in Southern California), and we were curious as we made our way to the tiny restaurant in the back of a tired-looking west Anaheim strip mall. While a flier for the restaurant displays an elephant grazing in a savannah glowing in the sunset, the actual décor does little to create a safari theme. The walls are painted a simple mint green, a TV is tuned to sports and a few faux-bamboo frames contain elephant prints that were probably mass-produced in China. My friend remarked that it would have been interesting to see masks or baskets or tableware that would convey more of a sense of place.

We started with bottles of Tusker beer ($4.50), imported from Nairobi. The label on the pale lager tells the story of how in 1923, the brewery founder was killed by an elephant during a hunting accident. Two orders of samosas ($3.50) made an excellent first impression. They were stuffed in light, crisp pastry dough and packed powerful flavor. A simmering heat bloomed with each bite. The lentil version almost looked like green peas, while the beef resembled a spicy taco mix with bits of red pepper.

For entrees, we tried an order of goat stew ($14.50) and ugali with collard greens ($8.50).

The stew came on a plate, with a spiced, speckled sauce drenching the large chunks of meat. The generous portion came with a choice of sides, including cooked cabbage and chapati, a wheat flatbread.

The goat was tender without a trace of gaminess. The sides were both standouts. The curry-sprinkled cabbage was both sweet and astringent, and warm yet crisp. The chapati, used to mop up the sauce, was warm and nicely baked.

The collard greens were served with diced, cooked onion, and while flavorful and fresh, on their own they were a bit much for an entire entrée. The greens came with a mound of white cornmeal mush that is an African staple. The ugali tasted starchy like white rice but was as dense as a packed cup of brown sugar. It paired much better when coated in the sauce of the goat stew, which gave it flavor while softening its texture.

I sat facing the front door and noticed a homeless man sleeping across the way next to an industrial building. When the check came, I had a flashback to out-of-the-way international travel experiences where eating in a restaurant is more like dining informally in a home. The check was not itemized and was handwritten on a scrap of paper. Still, I could pay with a credit card.

Coming back for lunch, we tried free-range chicken ($11.50) and the vegetarian combo dish ($9.50). The chicken breast was charred and well prepared, although a bit salty. It came with big chunks of tomato, onion and cilantro. It was tasty and filling.

The veggie combo was built around a sun-like yellow scoop of curry-infused rice, surrounded by collard greens, cabbage, lentils and a whole bean and corn dish. I started with individual bites, noting the crisp freshness of the warm vegetables and the tender legumes. Soon, I found that swirling the tastes and textures together brought out the best in each. I really enjoyed the quality of ingredients and the variety of each element.

On both visits, we had to ask for beverage refills. In fairness, during lunch one employee was dividing his time between the kitchen and the dining area. The restaurant opened three years ago, but it has been under new management for the past year. Kenyan Café has been offering a number of discount offers on Yelp and coupon websites.

If you’re up for a new experience, Kenyan Café is worth a try.

Source: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/kenyan-341446-restaurant-greens.html

Posted in Diaspora News | 1 Comment »

Michuki burial Tuesday as flags fly half mast

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Flags will fly at half mast for the next three days in Kenya in honour of the late John Michuki, whose burial has been set for Tuesday next week at his rural home in Kangema.

President Kibaki issued the order for the flags to fly at half mast as the family announced the burial ceremony would be preceded by a funeral service at the Kangema stadium.

A requiem mass will also be held for the late minister on Monday at the Consolata Shrine in Nairobi’s Westlands suburb.

Former Information Minister Mutahi Kagwe, who is Michuki’s son- in-law made the announcement after the family received a delegation of MPs and ministers led by House Speaker Kenneth Marende, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Among the preliminary arrangements that the family has agreed upon is the burial date which is Tuesday next week.  We will also have a mass starting 2pm on Monday,” said Kagwe.

A Cabinet committee arranging the burial will meet on Thursday morning at the Vice President’s office to plan for the interment, whose costs will be borne by the government.

Marende presented a message of condolence from Parliament describing the late minister as public servant who had left a legacy of hard work and firmness in his discharge of duty.

Marende said that Michuki will be remembered in the House as a stickler to parliamentary rules and procedures who would always rise on a Point of Order to seek the intervention of the Speaker whenever he believed that the provisions of the Standing Orders were being breached.

Among the ministers present at the brief visit were Noah Wekesa (Forestry), Esther Murugi (Special Programmes), Sam Ongeri (Education), Najib Balala (Tourism), Naomi Shaban (Gender), Franklin Bett (Roads), Kiraitu Murungi (Energy) and Njeru Githae (Finance). Marende also announced that the medical bills for Michuki had already been settled by Parliament.

The VP on his part said the late minister would be remembered as a champion of the rule of law and order in the society.


He particularly cited his role in restoring sanity in the transport sector, particularly in the operation of the matatu industry.

Musyoka described him as an astute, honest, and a straight forward leader worth being emulated by all.

The VP said Michuki’s demise was not only a great loss to his family but a devastating blow to the entire nation.

Elsewhere, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has also mourned the death of the Environment Minister terming him a great supporter of the UN agency.

UNEP Spokesman Nick Nuttall said on Wednesday that Michuki will be remembered for championing the course of Africa at the International level in terms of climate change than any other environment minister in the continent.

During the 2009 Copenhagen Climate change talks, Michuki led the African delegation in stating Africa’s position on the emotive issue.

“We mourn John Michuki’s passing but we also celebrate a life very well lived. And he was a heck of a character; he had an extraordinary sense of humour. I met him on many occasions and he also had a fantastic memory and we are sad that he is gone but we know that he lived a life very worth living,” Nuttall said.

“We lost Wangari (Maathai) as well so we are losing too many great Kenyans but I am sure there are a lot of young Kenyans coming up as well,” he added.

UNEP Major Groups representative in Africa Augustine Njamnishi who was attending the UNEP governing council meeting in Nairobi termed Michuki as focused.

“I have known the Minister as a person who has been very focused, I remember in the run up to these negotiations, we had to interact with him and the Kenyan delegation in general because there were some hot issues that we needed to get them passed across and even though he would defend the interests of his country Kenya, he had this Pan- African view of issues,” he said.

Michuki was supposed to attend the governing council meeting, which is a summit for environment Ministers and a run- up to the Rio+20 conference but could not.

Former President Daniel arap Moi also send his condolences saying that he had received with shock the news of the death of a man he had known from pre-independence days as a courageous man. Moi in a statement said that Michuki performed his public service assignments with “zeal and perfectionism.”

The former president said that he had prayed to God to give the bereaved family, relatives, friends and constituents the necessary fortitude during this time of grief.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/02/michuki-burial-tuesday-as-flags-fly-half-mast/

Posted in Kenya | 2 Comments »

Kenya deports radical Jamaican Muslim cleric

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 23 – A controversial Jamaican-born Muslim cleric was deported from Kenya soon after he landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Thursday morning from Qatar.

Sheikh Bilal Philips, a renowned Muslim scholar who is banned from preaching in most European countries was arrested due to security concerns after he arrived in Nairobi.

Anti terrorism police officers said they had received reports he was scheduled to preach and give lectures in various mosques in Nairobi and Mombasa.

“We did not want to wait until he starts preaching for us to arrest him. That is why we acted fast,” one police officer attached to the unit said.

Police Spokesman Eric Kiraithe confirmed the deportation and revealed it was done for security reasons.

“The Muslim cleric was deported due to security concerns. We always put security of our nation first,” he said, without elaborating.

Muslim leaders were due to address a news conference later on Thursday following the deportation.

A statement said the cleric was due in Kenya on a lecture tour and had planned meetings with Muslim leaders.

“However, he was unceremoniously deported out of the country hours after his arrival and this went contrary to pledges by the director of immigration that he will not be deported,” the Muslim leaders said.

In January 2010, another Muslim cleric Abdulah El-Faisal was deported to Jamaica after days of violent protests in the capital Nairobi by fellow Muslims, following his arrest and detention ahead of the expulsion.

His passport showed he entered East Africa through the little known Tanzanian town of Kasumulu in 2009 before he crossed over to Kenya from Horohoro through to Lunga Lunga in the South Coast.

El-Faisal, who was jailed for four years in Britain for inciting racial hatred, was arrested in the port city of Mombasa in December by Kenyan police, who had initially tried and failed to deport him twice.

The 45-year-old firebrand cleric’s arrest without charge sparked an outcry among Kenya’s Muslim community and protests which left five people dead.

Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/02/kenya-deports-radical-jamaican-muslim-cleric/

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Top diplomats to visit Kenyan woman hanging to life in Dubai hospital

Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012

The 26-year-old remains in a critical condition after violent attack.

Abu Dhabi: Kenya’s top diplomats in the UAE have planned a high-level hospital visit today to see a young Kenyan woman on life support following what eyewitnesses describe as a savage beating over the weekend.

Kenya Ambassador to the UAE Mohammad Gello confirmed that after four days of critical emergency care in Rashid Hospital, Esther, 26, remains in a coma and diminished brain activity has not improved.

Gello and top Kenyan community leaders will officially visit the hospital trauma centre where Esther has remained under strict observation following an altercation early on Saturday morning in which eyewitnesses claim she was punched and kicked by an unknown assailant.

Dubai Police have arrested two Emirati men and one remains in custody while the other has been released on bail as investigators continue to probe the incident.

In an interview with Gulf News, Ambassador Gello said the full attention of the Kenyan government was being brought to bear in the case to support Esther, a former sales clerk at a major retail store in a Dubai mall.

“Our biggest problem is that Esther is in a coma and we’re having a difficult time finding her next of kin,” Gello said. “Kenya’s Foreign Affairs as well as Immigration are helping us and we should be in contact with her family by the end of the day.”

Kenya’s UAE diplomatic officials are interviewing known friends of Esther to learn the whereabouts of the young woman’s family believed to be living in the Mombasa area on the country’s east coast.

On the legal front, Gello said the Kenya Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Kenya Consulate in Dubai are assigning its diplomatic mission staff to all aspects of the case to ensure the tragic incident is addressed.

“We’ve already arranged for a legal assistant for Esther to help follow the case to make sure those who are responsible for this are punished,” Gello said. “Usually the embassy does not pay for legal services but this is a special case to provide legal assistance,” he added.

Phones have not stopped ringing at the embassy and consulate in recent days from Kenyan nationals who are asking what action is being taken by Kenya government officials on Esther’s behalf, he said.

Given the high level of concern by the Kenyan community in the UAE, estimated to number around 30,000, Gello said diplomatic attachés are working in close cooperation with Dubai police and Dubai prosecution.

“Definitely, what is important for us is to follow up to ensure due process is followed,” Gello said. “I think Dubai police have done a good job and we want to register our appreciation that we believe in the legal system here and that there is justice for the victim. In this case, Dubai police have been extremely efficient.”


Kenya Acting Consul General John Mutua echoed the praise for Dubai police noting that investigators in the Esther case “have handled this quite professionally. We have all the confidence that they will bring the assailant to justice.”

Mutua said some Kenyans are asking how they can help Esther and her family while others have suggested a community fundraising campaign to cover expenses stemming from the incident.

“Fundraising has not been explored yet,” Mutua told Gulf News.


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