Obama end 2-day visit to Kenya, calls for political unity in the country

Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged Kenya’s leaders on Monday to turn their backs on the divisive ethnic politics that have frequently spilled over into violence and to stamp down on corruption.

Opening a school in his father’s home village of Kogelo in western Kenya, Obama praised a rapprochement between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga but said they must do more to heal the rifts between Kenya’s 40-odd ethnic groups.

In the worst recent outbreak of ethnic conflict, 1,200 people were killed in fighting that followed disputed elections involving Odinga and Kenyatta in 2007.

“It means no longer seeing different ethnicities as enemies or rivals but rather as allies; in seeing the diversity of tribes not as a weakness but as a strength,” Obama, whose father was Kenyan, said.

America’s first black president, whose eight years in office preceded Donald Trump’s election in November 2016, was in Kenya to open the centre, which is run by his half sister Auma through her charity, the Sauti Kuu Foundation.

It was his fourth trip to Kenya. He made his first in 1987, a journey he chronicled in his book “Dreams From My Father”, followed by a 2006 visit as a senator and then in 2015 as president.

During his visit, Obama avoided any public mention of his successor and the divisive politics that have taken root in the United States since Trump’s victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Obama also noted the corruption scandals that have blighted Kenyatta’s administration, saying graft held back economic development and undermined public faith in the government.

Kenyan media have reported dozens of graft scandals since Kenyatta was re-elected last year. In May, 54 people, mostly civil servants, were charged in an investigation into the theft of nearly $100 million of public funds from the state-run National Youth Service.

After Kenya, Obama will travel to South Africa, where he will deliver a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the birth of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.


Anas video: Caf bans Kenya’s Range for life, 10 others get various sanctions

The Confederation of African Football (Caf) has banned Kenyan assistant referee Marwa Range for life from all football activities by the governing body.

Ten other match officials – Boukari Ouedraogo, Referee (Burkina Faso), Denis Dembele, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire), Marius Tan, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire), Bi Valere Gouho, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire), Coulibay Abou, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire), Jallow Ebrima, Assistant Referee (Gambia), Moriba Diakite, Assistant Referee (Mali), Demba Boubou, Assistant Referee (Mauritania), Maman Raja Abba Malan Ousseini, Assistant Referee (Niger) and Yanissou Bebou, Referee (Togo) – have also been given various bans ranging between two and ten years after a Disciplinary Board sitting on Saturday.

A Caf release announcing the decisions only mentioned they were based on “cases of the referees named in media” but are believed to be from the recent revelations by Anas Aremeyaw Anas.

Several football officials were caught on camera accepting cash in a sting operation by the Ghanaian undercover journalist.

Marwa Range, who was billed for the ongoing World Cup in Russia, had to withdraw from his role as an assistant referee after he was shown in a footage accepting six hundred dollars from a man posing as an official of a Ghanaian premiership team.


Below is the Caf release:

On 7th July 2018, the Disciplinary Board of Confédération Africaine de Football held a meeting in order to decide over the cases of the referees named in media.

The following decisions were taken by the CAF Disciplinary Board regarding the referees involved.

  1. Marwa Range, Assistant Referee (Kenya): life ban from all CAF related football activities;
  2. Boukari Ouedraogo, Referee (Burkina Faso): 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  3. Denis Dembele, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 6 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  4. Marius Tan, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  5. Bi Valere Gouho, Assistant Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  6. Coulibay Abou, Referee (Cote d’Ivoire): 2 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  7. Jallow Ebrima, Assistant Referee (Gambia): 10 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  8. Moriba Diakite, Assistant Referee (Mali) : 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  9. Demba Boubou, Assistant Referee (Mauritania) : 5 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  10. Maman Raja Abba Malan Ousseini, Assistant Referee (Niger) :5 years ban from all CAF related football activities;
  11. Yanissou Bebou, Referee (Togo): 10 years ban from all CAF related football activities.


Kenyan sues quality control body after ‘condom burst’

A Kenyan man is seeking damages from the country’s quality control body, the tax revenue authority and pharmaceutical company Beta Healthcare after alleging that he contracted a sexually transmitted disease for using substandard condoms, local media report.

The unnamed man said the three failed to protect consumers by branding Zoom Condoms with the quality mark of assurance.

The reports do not include comments from those being sued.

The man said he later passed on the disease to his wife, which should not have happened had he been using a good quality product.

He said that he bought the condoms in different dates between January and October 2014 in different parts of the country.

In the affidavit, he says that on 13 October 2014, he began to notice some rashes on his genitals and pain while urinating.

“I became extremely worried and it was then that I remembered the condom burst that had taken place nine days earlier. I immediately went to a traditional healer and sought some traditional herbal medicine which eased my pain,” he said, the Star newspaper reports.

He says he suffered a mental breakdown and become an alcoholic. His condition also led him to lose both his family and job.



KENYA: Man kills 1 000 cats, sells meat to samosa-makers for 6 years

A 34-year-old Kenyan man has reportedly confessed to killing more than 1 000 cats, and selling their meat to unsuspecting samosa vendors since 2012.

According to the Star newspaper, James Mukangi, was caught skinning a slaughtered cat by local residents on Sunday in an open field outside Nakuru town, west of the capital, Nairobi.

The residents handed him over to the police.

Mukangi told journalists that he had sold cat meat to a local hotel and unsuspecting vendors since 2012 when he saw a “business opportunity”.

Out of fear of being lynched, he admitted that he has always been preparing his samosas with cat meat.

When he was cornered on Sunday, he had already cut off the neck of a cat and was in the process of removing the skin.

Police officers from the nearby Ukulima Police post rescued him and he will be arraigned today.

According to Dr Githui Kaba, a county veterinary officer, eating cat meat is unsafe and illegal as the meat is also not inspected.

The incident shocked residents who took to social media to express their anger.

They said it was unfair for unscrupulous traders to use cat meat to make samosas.





KENYA: Catholic priest suspended for rapping in church

A Catholic priest has been suspended for one year after rapping in church.

Paul Ogallo, 45, based in Rapogi Parish tried to revolutionize sermons by using rap music and drama to attract youth to the church.

After the daily masses, Ogallo would change from his vestments into a white shirt, black shorts and a red bandana in which he could begin rapping for the congregation.

Not left behind, the congregation also danced along to the tunes.

According to the Catholic Herald, Ogallo said the rap music is taking care of the interests of youths in our churches.

“We need to change the way we do things,” he said. The church had been closely monitoring Ogallo’s new found style of attracting the youth and was not pleased with his dressing code.

Judicial vicar of the inter-diocesan tribunal of Kisumu, Father Charles Kochiel said Ogallo’s rap music brings mixed signals to the congregants.

“People could be looking at it from the social point of view, like bringing people on board, gathering and entertaining people. But people could also be looking at this from the spiritual point of view: Does it promote spiritual values or is it sending a wrong message?” Kochiel said.



Oprah Winfrey in Obama’s delegation to Kenya

Global icon Oprah Winfrey is among 350 celebrities and notables who will accompany former US President Barrack Obama to Kenya on July 16.

Obama and his guests will attend the launch of Sauti Kuu, his half-sister Dr Auma Obama’s NGO, in K’Ogelo, Siaya county.

The one-day visit is tightly scheduled.

Before they head to K’Ogelo, Obama, his family and Oprah will pay a courtesy call on President Uhuru Kenyatta and meet Opposition leader Raila Odinga in a tightly scheduled one-day visit.

It is understood that State House is considering honouring Obama for the role he played in putting Kenya on the world map.

Sources close to the family told the Star yesterday that Obama’s team will include professionals, celebrities, philanthropists, clergy, activists, top lawyers, businessmen, diplomats and friends.

Although the visit is being treated as a top secret for security reasons, the Star got an exclusive sneak preview of the star-studded entourage. Oprah — a darling of many TV viewers in Kenya and the world — has indicated her interest in running for President of the United States on Obama’s Democratic Party. She will be visiting Kenya for the first time.

The media mogul’s fortune hit a record $4 billion (Sh400 billion) on Monday to make her the first black woman entrepreneur on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 richest people. She’s at 494.

Most of her money comes from ownership of the Oprah Winfrey Show, which had a 25-year run. The founder of her own cable network, Winfrey just announced a partnership with Apple Inc to produce original programmes and content.

Through her South Africa-based Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, in its 10th year, the media mogul and self-made billionaire is developing leaders to play key roles in Africa.

In an exclusive interview with Forbes Woman Africa, Oprah Winfrey talked about where it all started — in Mandela’s home where she spent 10 days and shared 29 meals with the statesman and pledged to build a school for girls and invest in the people of South Africa.


Oprah will accompany Obama to his father’s rural home of K’Ogelo and attend a charity golf tournament in Muthaiga for the new NGO, the Sauti Kuu Foundation.

Well-known businessman and golfer John Simba is to play a round of golf with Obama.

The former US Preident is to travel to South Africa to deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg on July 17 .

US-based Senegalese musician Akon is also in delegation, together with Zimbabwe’s music maestro Oliver Mutukudzi who will be travelling with his daughter Samona.

Others in the entourage are NBA Africa senior director Will Mbiakop and billionaire Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote.

“The family wanted to make it a private launch [of the NGO] but they were to be informed that due to Obama’s status it was a state visit,” a State House official said.

Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga will host Obama where musician Suzanna Owiyo will sing.

Tim Jahnigen, founder of One World Futbol and Laila Alawa, the CEO and founder of The Tempest, are also in the entourage. One World Futbol designs soccer balls that last.

Inspired by the suffering of children in Dafur, The One World Play Project, which manufactures and distributes the One World Futbol, was founded in California in 2010 to manufacture, sell, and donate the balls.

The Tempest tells the stories of diverse millennial women.

Obama’s delegation includes renowned global business leaders. They include Axel Bachmann, the general manager for sustainability at Coca Cola; Markus Baumann and the group company secretary the Union Bank of Switzerland.

Others are Barbro Ciakudia, vice president for business development at Invest Africa; and Vik Bakhru, a physician, entrepreneur and currently CEO at ConsenjoSano.

The firm specialises in venture-backed health technology that simplifies and lowers the cost of care.

Invest Africa is a private investment club based in Mayfair, US, that identifies opportunities and channels capital and expertise into Africa.

The delegation also has a host of celebrities and sportsmen: Ingo Anderbrügge, a retired German footballer; Wang Bing, regarded as a foremost documentary filmmaker; and Sarah Berghorst, the executive director of OneGoal.

The Chicago-based organisation offers an innovative, three-year college persistence programme that identifies, trains and supports effective teaching in high school.



KENYA: Husband caught having sex with housemaid after getting STUCK inside her

A husband accused of cheating was ‘caught’ after becoming stuck inside his lover while they were having sex in a hotel room in Kenya, it has been reported.

Guests at the hotel in Kitale town, Trans-Nzoia County, heard screams coming from one of the rooms and raised the alarm.

On arrival police reportedly found the couple ‘stuck together’ and doctors had to be called in to free them.

Photos used by local media purportedly showed the pair covered in a blanket and still locked together after being taken away from the hotel in a van

Nairobi News reports that the man was in Kitale for business and had left his wife at the home in Lodwar town.

The wife later claimed that her husband had been having an affair with his landlady in Lodwar.

Officers were called to the hotel and arrested the lovers, who were taken to a nearby police station, the reports say.

According to local media, a large crowd gathered as news of the bizarre situation emerged. Police were forced to fire shots in the air to disperse the onlookers.

Reports suggested that the wife had asked a witch doctor to help catch her husband out. A shaman was reportedly seen trying to separate the couple.

It is not clear why exactly the couple became stuck together in this way, but they may have been the victims of a rare occurrence known as ‘penis captivus’.

This is when the muscles of the vagina clamp down on the penis much more firmly than usual.

When the penis is in the vagina it becomes increasingly engorged, Dr John Dean, a UK-based sexual physician, told the BBC.

He said: ‘The muscles of the woman’s pelvic floor contract rhythmically at orgasm. While those muscles contract the penis becomes stuck and further engorged.’

Finally the vaginal muscles relax, the blood flows out of the penis and the man can withdraw.

He said that over the years, several of his patients have discussed their experience of getting ‘stuck’ – more out of curiosity than because it was a problem, he added.

The Kitale case is not the first of its kind reported in Kenya.

In November 2016, a lover and his married mistress became stuck in the same way in the country’s Kisii County after her husband asked a witch doctor to curse her genitals.

The pair reportedly became locked together as they were having sex at the home of the cheating wife while her husband was away on a business trip.

It was reported in local media and widely believed that the woman’s husband, suspecting she was cheating, had secretly given her a concoction prepared by a witch doctor.

It was designed to have the effect of making the lovers inseparable and proving their guilt. However, others suggested a medical condition could have caused the incident.

On the husband’s instructions, local media reported, the pair were taken to the witch doctor, who separated them.

In another Kenyan incident in 2012, a couple became locked together after a cuckolded husband visited a with doctor.

it was reported locally that the pair were only freed after prayers and after the cheating man agreed to pay the husband about £140.

Similar cases have been reported in Malawi, Zimbabwe and the Philippines – all concerning adulterous couples.



Kenya starts its first-ever crude oil exports

Kenya sent on Sunday the first trucks transporting crude oil from the oil-rich but landlocked northern region of Turkana to the port of Mombassa, for the country’s first oil exports as part of a pilot export scheme.

As early as in the middle of May, Kenya had 70,000 barrels of oil stored in Turkana, waiting to be trucked to the Mombasa port for pilot exports, but revenue sharing talks were still ongoing and impeding the start of the so-called Early Oil Pilot Scheme (EOPS) until a pipeline is built to ship commercial quantities of oil to the coast.

A week later, the Kenyan government and local lawmakers from the Turkana region reached an agreement on the distribution of oil revenues. Under the oil revenue sharing bill, 75 percent of revenue from oil production and exports will go to the government, 20 percent will go to the county government of Turkana, and 5 percent to the local community.

Commercial quantities of crude oil in Kenya were discovered in 2012 in the South Lokichar Basin in the north. Tullow Oil, which discovered the resources, has continued its exploration and appraisal drilling campaigns in Kenya.

At the end of October 2017, Kenya’s government signed a Joint Development Study Agreement (JDA) with Tullow Oil, Africa Oil, and Maersk Oil for a proposed Lokichar-Lamu crude oil pipeline between the Turkana county and the Lamu port on the coast.

But until the pipeline allows for larger-scale commercial oil exports, Kenya has this early pilot scheme to test the export of small quantities.

Under the Early Oil Pilot Scheme, 2,000 bpd will be transported to Mombasa by road for eventual shipment, the Kenyan Presidency said in a statement on Sunday.

Kenya will look to avoid the “resource curse” of so many other African nations, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said, adding that he hoped that oil would become a major contributor to the country’s economy.



Kenyan officials to take polygraph tests to tackle corruption

Top officials working for Kenya’s government must undergo a lie detector test as part of a corruption crackdown, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.

Mr Kenyatta said the test, which would determine employee “integrity”, was just one part of a raft of planned measures to deal with the problem.

He was speaking after it was revealed 8bn Kenyan shillings (£59m; $78m) had gone missing from a government agency.

Some 40 civil servants are facing charges over the alleged theft.

The corruption scandal, which was brought to light by suppliers who had not been paid, saw funds allegedly stolen via the National Youth Service (NYS) through fake invoices and multiple payments.

The investigation into the NYS – a key part of Mr Kenyatta’s plan to address youth unemployment – is seen as a blow to the president’s pledge to stamp out corruption, made when first elected in 2013.

Mr Kenyatta’s speech appears to be an attempt to get ahead of the problem.

Speaking to crowds gathered to celebrate 55 years since Kenya attained internal self-rule, he said Kenya had to eliminate “corruption in our country before it fully destroys us and the future of our children”.

“Let me now mention just one part of a raft of measures that we intend to implement to tackle corruption,” he said.

“As an initial step, all heads of procurement and accounts in government ministries, departments [and] agencies… will undergo fresh vetting, including polygraph testing to determine their integrity and suitability.

“Those who fail the vetting will stand suspended.”



KENYA: Families in agony as hospitals detain bodies over unpaid bills

Mary Munyao’s life was shattered following the news of her nephew’s death. For three weeks now, she wakes up with her bed sheets drenched in tears after a night of pain and anguish. On May 2, she lost her orphaned nephew. The young man had shown drive and ambition in a city that can be unforgiving. Unfortunately, Nairobi, which held so much promise for a young Peter Munyao, was also the city that devoured him.

But death did not come with its traditional finality. Instead, Peter’s demise at Kenyatta National Hospital, was the beginning of a new problem for Mary.

A sobbing Mary says the hospital wants Sh1 million bill cleared before she can have the body, an amount she cannot raise. “I held a fundraiser and managed only Sh18,000. I added Sh20,000 which I borrowed and gave the hospital. Where am I supposed to get the rest?” Mary poses, dabbing her eyes with a crumpled handkerchief, the only constant in her life now. “Mimi sina kitu. Sina anything (I don’t have anything). What will you do with a dead boy anyway? The boy is dead, it is not like he is alive and one day he can work and pay up.”

Peter’s case is just one of hundreds countrywide where the next of kin are denied access to the bodies of their departed family members because of outstanding hospital bills. Some of these cases drag on for years, leaving hospitals burdened financially and kin emotionally troubled. Issue an injunction The judiciary has now come to the rescue of people like Mary who have for many years been hounded and compelled by hospitals to clear pending bills by holding on to the bodies. In 1998, Justice Philip Waki ordered for the release of body that had been detained by a hospital due to a Sh644,410 ($6,368) bill.

The judge, who ordered for the release of Mr Jackson Mwasaru’s body from Pandya Memorial Hospital in Mombasa, ruled that there was no legal basis of detaining the body. “For it is trite law that there is no property in a dead body. It cannot be offered or held as security for payment of a debt. It cannot be auctioned if there is a default. It cannot be used to earn rental income in a cold-room,” Waki said. He added: “For I think, with utmost respect to the hospital, that on any view it would be equally repugnant to public policy to sanction the use of dead bodies as objects in the game of commercial Ping-Pong.” Waki pointed out that dead bodies are for interment or cremation without delay unless there is a dispute on where to dispose of the deceased.

But not all rulings have been in favour of the grieving families. In a judgment delivered in November last year, Justice John Mativo ruled in favour of Nairobi Women’s Hospital, saying the courts should not be used to abet breach of a person’s obligation to pay lawfully incurred debts. Stephen Wanjau Karanja had filed a case against the hospital, asking the court to declare unconstitutional a decision by the facility to detain the body of his son.

Mr Karanja also wanted the court to issue an injunction so that the body of Jeff Karanja who had died in June is released despite a pending Sh4.8 million ($474,343) bill. A fundraiser by the family only raised a paltry Sh50,000. “I can only emphasise that nothing would serve public interest better than ensuring that all citizens adhere to the law and in particular only approach the court when they have justiciable claims but not to use court processes to evade their legal obligations,” reads the judgment in part.

In its defence, the hospital said the deceased was rushed to their facility in a critical condition and in dire need of Intensive Care Unit services. The family had no cash and according to court documents, and the hospital kept updating them of the ballooning bill which comprised cost of medicine, laboratory and imaging charges, doctors’ time and nursing. “Instead of coming up with a repayment proposal, the applicant served them with a demand letter from his advocates. He also avers that the petitioner declined a proposal to transfer the patient to another hospital to reduce the costs and continued promising to pay the bill,” reads the judgment.

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile. Article 11 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also states that no one shall be imprisoned merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.

But for those unable to wage their wars in courts of law, hope remains the only source of strength. “I have been visiting KNH every day to plead with the hospital but a social worker keeps telling me that the only way to get my boy out is to pay up,” Mary says. Peter, Mary’s nephew, died after spending a month in the Intensive Care Unit following a brutal attack in his home in Kayole, that left him with serious head injuries.

He underwent surgery to ease bleeding in his head and the medics assured his aunt that he was doing well, and there was no cause for alarm. But he didn’t make it. Speaking to the Sunday Standard, KNH Public Relations Officer Simon Ithae said KNH is a public facility and it has a policy on bill waiver for needy cases. He explained that as a hospital that gives credit facilities to more than 100 patients a day, Mary needs to forward her case to the management. “Why would a body be held and end up being disposed of? The family needs to prove that it is unable to pay the money. We need to vet because we cannot give undue advantages to those who can pay bills at the expense of needy cases,” he added.

As Mary struggles to prove her case, her nephew’s body will be on the concrete slabs of the morgue for yet another night. The last pleasant memories she had of him slowly being replaced with the constant appeals for funds amongst family members and the numerous trips to the hospital’s administrative offices. But she faith — and hopes that eventually both Peter and her will know peace once again.