On March 10, 2019, at 08:38, Ethiopian Airlines’ Flight 302 took off
from Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport bound for Jomo Kenyatta
International Airport, Nairobi.
On board were 157 people including the two pilots, Captain Yared
Getachew, 29, and First Officer Ahmednur Mohammed Omar, 29.
The Boeing 737-8 Max, also had five cabin crew and one In-Flight
At 08:36:12 the airplane lined up on the runway and a minute later, Mr
Omar reported to tower that they were ready for take off and the Air
Traffic Control issued take off clearance. The pilots were then advised to
Shortly after lift off, the left Angle of Attack (AoA), a sensor that helps to
avoid an aerodynamic stall, became erroneous.
The plane’s airspeed and altitude values from the left air data system began deviating from the corresponding right side values.
Faulty sensor At 08:39:30, the radar controller identified ET-302 and
instructed it to climb 34,000 feet. At 8:39:51, the first faulty sensor
activated, putting the plane on nose-down for nine seconds.
The pilot pulled to pitch up the airplane. At 8:40:22, the second
automatic nose-down trim activated, pushing the plane, again, on a
This saw the plane’s ground proximity warning system sound “Don’t
Sink!” For three seconds and “Pull Up!” Also displayed on its flight
display for another three seconds.
At 08:40:43, the third nosedown sensor activated pushing the nose
Seven seconds later, Captain Getachew told the first officer “advise, we
would like to maintain one four thousand. We have flight control
Mr Omar complied and the request was approved by air traffic control.
Following the approval, the new target altitude of 14, 000 feet was set
but the captain was unable to maintain the flight path and requested to
return back to Bole airport.
At 08:43:21, the nose-down trim activated for about 5 seconds.
This now saw the plane pitch at a 400 angle.
At this point the plane’s descent rate increased from 100 feet per minute
to more than 5,000 feet per minute Warning At 08:43:36 the enhanced
ground proximity warning system (sounded “Terrain … Terrain … Pull
Up … Pull up …!” At 08:44, the aircraft hit the ground.
These details are part of a 130-page interim report released by the
Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau. They were released
yesterday on the one-year anniversary of the crash, giving for the first
time an inside look of what could have happened to Flight 302.
The report shows the aircraft plummeted to the ground at speeds of 500 feet per second, with its nose down at 400.
“At the end of the flight, computed airspeed values reached 926km/hr.
Pitch values were greater than 400 nose down and descent rate values
were greater than 33,000 feet per minute,” the report said.
“The aircraft impacted the terrain creating a crater approximately 10m
deep, with a hole of about 28m width and 40m length. The damages to
the aircraft are consistent with high energy impact,” added the report.
In their findings, the Ethiopian investigators have singled out faulty systems on Boeing 737 MAX as the leading cause of the crash, concentrating on the technical elements of the flight.
A number of Kenyans in 2019 died while away from the country in deaths that were captured by the media.
Here are some of those death that made headlines locally:
Martin Moto aka Berlin – Germany
Mr Martin Moto aka Berlin went missing in November 2019, a few days later he was found dead. His body was retrieved from an underground train station known as Osloer Strabe in Gesundbrunne, Germany.
Britney – Germany
Britney, a 15-year-old girl, reportedly went missing and days later was found dead. The minor is said to have quarrelled with her mother before she hurriedly left their home in Drewitz in Potsdam, Germany but failed to return. Her body was discovered by a man who had gone fishing in River Havel.
Rita Awuor – Germany Rita Awuor’s body was found in June 2019 dumped in a forest in Germany. The family reported that she went missing on April 5, 2019- saying that she was last seen dropping off her children at a neighbour’s house.
Norah Borus – US She was a top student in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and was found dead at her on-campus residence in US in June 2019. Ms Borus was a student at Stanford University and the management of the institution said the cause of her death had not been established.
Jelagat Cheruiyot – Australia Nancy Jelagat Cheruiyot was found dead in her apartment in Osbourne Park, Australia, days after the family reported that she had gone missing. This happened on May 30, 2019. Police officers declared her death as a homicide and immediately launched investigations into the mater.
Moses Maina – US
Moses Maina allegedly committed suicide in Chicago in the United States in March 2019. Maina was quickly cremated without the family being informed about it and concerns were raised with how the burial took place.
Mercy Muthui – Netherlands
Mercy Muthui, 32, a Kenyan musician wad found dead in a ditch near her home in the Netherlands in February. Her death saw her husband identified as Daniel Erhardt who reported her missing arrested but later released him.
Nigerian gospel singer Osinachi Joseph popularly known as Sinach and her husband Pastor Joe Egbu have welcomed their first child after five years of marriage.
During the Love World International music and arts awards (LIMA) founder of Christ Embassy, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome announced the good news while presenting her with an award for the song of the year, There’s An Overflow.
An award that earned the 46-year-old 100, 000 dollars in prize money.
“Thank you for that song, we are all excited with what the Lord has done in your life, of course in the life of many others standing with you here we just love you. And I told them, you just had a baby! So, everybody got excited,” said Pastor Chris.
With over 200 songs to her name, Sinach got married to Joe Egbu, a Christ Embassy’s Pastor, in 2014.
She is globally recognized for several hit songs which include, ‘Way Maker’, ‘I Know Who I Am’, ‘Great Are you Lord’, ‘Rejoice’, ‘He did it Again’, ‘Precious Jesus’, ‘The Name of Jesus’, ‘This Is my Season’ and ‘Awesome God’,
Sinach recently hit over 1 million subscribers on her Youtube channel, making her the only female gospel artiste in Nigeria, and, by extension Africa to hit that landmark.
The worship leader together with Bishop David Oyedepo of Living Faith Church, Reinhard Bonnke of Christ For all Nations (CFAN), Bishop Dag Heward-Mills of Lighthouse International, Nick Vujicic and Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director, Oxfam International among others made it to the list of 100 most reputable people on earth.
A United Kingdom journalist has identified the Kenyan man who fell from a KQ plane that was flying from Nairobi to London on a sunny and warm Sunday of 30 June.
John Sparks, the African correspondent of Sky News spent months scrounging for information on the mysterious man who risked his life in a bid to get a better life in London.
Mr Sparks tremendous work puts Nairobi and London to shame who did little to identify the man who they now believe is a 29-year-old man who worked as an airport cleaner in Kenya, called Paul Manyasi.
His girlfriend said they had planned to start a family, but he made a decision that virtually guaranteed his demise.
Clapham Common in London is a tranquil and comfortable-looking place. There are plenty of smart-looking Victorian terrace houses bordering sleepy, tree-lined streets.
The man fell into a garden at Offerton Road, Clapham, south London. PHOTO| COURTESY
The only reminder, perhaps, of the great city that surrounds it comes from the flight path overhead, as airplane after airplane make their way to Heathrow.
The metallic drone from their engines echoes tunelessly below as the residents of byways like Offerton Road go about their business.
One tenant in Offerton Road was surely unaware of the aircraft passing overhead on the afternoon of 30 June.
He was busy reading on a lounger in the garden when the ground shook with a terrifying thud.
A man had created a hole in the garden just 3ft from the end of his sun bed.
It had only taken 20 seconds or so for him to plummet from a Kenya Airways passenger plane.
A crater in the ground where the man landed. PHOTO| COURTESY
He had hidden in the Boeing 787’s landing compartment and fallen when the wheels were lowered for landing.
Still, the stowaway was probably dead before he hit the ground.
The plane had spent eight hours at 37,000ft (11,277m), where oxygen levels are thin and the cold is colder than any deep-freeze. Passengers are protected in a pressurised cabin but the stowaway was subjected to the elements.
His fate was sealed when he hid himself away.
The police were called to Offerton Road at 3.39pm and word soon spread to the media.
The neighbours said they were appalled.
“It’s such a surreal thing to think of a dead body falling from a plane to anywhere and to happen in this really quiet street,” said Jake Gilbaro. “It’s almost too horrible to believe.”
Jake Gilbaro said it was almost too horrible to believe
The police said the incident was “not being treated as suspicious”, but they have not been able to finish their report.
No one seems to know the stowaway – and nobody has come forward to identify him. A coroner-led inquest has been postponed.
But this individual came from somewhere and he decided to leave the people and the places he knew and loved.
Sky News wanted to find out more.
We began our hunt at the biggest airport in Kenya on the assumption the stowaway had probably worked there.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in the capital Nairobi, is a big and bustling place with large areas occupied by companies exporting fruit, vegetables and flowers to Europe and the UK.
I was assisted by local journalist Christabel Ligami and together we asked agents and cargo operators whether they knew of anyone who had gone missing.
“Job security [is] not good… staff are fired before they hit six months”
Head of Kenya’s aviation workers union, Moses Ndiema
It took us a couple of days, but we finally got a break from an Uber driver called Kamau.
Uber driver Kamau told Sky News a cleaner had gone missing PHOTO CREDIT| SKY NEWS
“I’ve been following the stowaway story,” he said, as he bossed his Toyota Corolla around the airport.
“Anybody gone missing?” I asked.
“Yeah. A cleaner from Colnet. He went missing around the same time. Some [airport] workers were talking about it.”
It was a scrap of information that felt like something solid after hours of fruitless questioning – and it gave us somewhere to start.
Colnet is one of dozens of firms providing services at Jomo Kenyatta International. It deploys hundreds of people as cleaners and sanitation workers and the company does pest control as well.
The pay is poor. Companies like Colnet offer their employees around 9,000 Kenyan shillings a month in take-home pay. It works out to roughly £2.25 a day.
According to the head of Kenya’s aviation workers union, Moses Ndiema, working conditions at the airport are barely tolerable.
“The work environment and job security are not good. The salary is very low,” Mr Ndiema said.
“[Employees] can’t pay for good accommodation or places where there is security, running water… staff are fired before they hit six months [of service] because companies are supposed to offer fix-term contracts.
“It creates a precarious work environment.”
We reached out to a number of current and former workers at Colnet and met several at an Irish-themed bar called Craic, near the airport.
A women called Irene said she could help us. We have changed her name to protect her identity.
She told us her colleague at Colnet had gone missing at the end of June. His name was Paul Manyasi.
“The last time I saw him, we were at work, he suddenly disappeared, nobody knows where he went,” she said.
“Did you go to work with him?” I asked.
“Yes, I was with him in the morning.”
Irene said she was told to clean inside the passenger terminal on 30 June while Paul was assigned to the area outside. At the end of their shift, she could not find him anywhere.
“He suddenly disappeared, nobody knows where he went”
Irene, Paul Manyasi’s girlfriend
“How did you realise he was gone?” I inquired.
“I called his phone and it was off. When we came in the morning the following day the supervisor called us and told us there is somebody missing. [The supervisor had told them] We are not sure of the person so we keep it a secret until we know the person.”
“You were told by the company to keep it a secret?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
Irene had some photos of Paul, who was 29, and she told us they had been in a relationship for two years.
“Paul was a nice guy,” she said. “He was just a jovial person. I just liked him the way he was. We had agreed one day maybe we could make a family.
“I just feel like I lost someone who I loved so much – yes, I miss him.”
Irene had provided us with a name and it felt like a big step forward. But the stowaway’s motive was not clear.
Why would Paul Manyasi risk his life and leave his girlfriend behind? Irene said they were planning on having a family.
“Maybe he was curious,” said Irene.
Irene told us that Paul was living in a slum called Makuru Kwa Njenga.
It is an overcrowded neighbourhood of some half a million people tucked behind a four-lane highway near the airport.
You would not choose to live there – the slum is dirty and unsafe – but it is the only affordable option for cleaners, cargo workers and baggage handlers.
Paul shared a room with a man called Patrick and we spent several weeks trying to locate their shack.
The slum area of Makuru Kwa Njenga is on the road to the airport
Eventually we found it in a long, rectangular construction but a neighbour told us that Patrick had moved out. It would take another week to secure his phone number.
We met Patrick after dark on a dead-end street and he told us that he had wrangled Paul a job at Colnet.
“Paul was a friend of mine,” he told us. “We came from the same county, the same school and I was working at Colnet so I took him to the company and we started together.”
But Patrick says the 29-year-old was dreaming of something more.
Paul’s friend Patrick told Sky News they both dreamed of a better life
“There was another job Paul was seeking. It was not in Kenya…” he said.
“What did he say to you?” I asked.
“He didn’t specify where, but he said it was outside Kenya.”
“He wanted to leave Kenya?”
“Yes, he informed me… he talked to me [about it],” said Patrick.
Paul (pictured) and Patrick were friends from school. PHOTO CREDIT| SKY NEWS
Paul (pictured) and Patrick were friends from school
Paul’s motive seemed clear. He wanted a shot at a better life but Patrick was not certain he was the stowaway.
“He didn’t specify where but he said it was outside Kenya.”
Paul’s childhood friend Patrick
“I cannot know if he flied. I don’t know, I cannot guess,” he said.
Patrick was not sure if Paul (pictured) was the stowaway. PHOTO CREDIT| SKY NEWS
Patrick was not sure if Paul (pictured) was the stowaway
We needed some additional support so we approached the Metropolitan Police in London. Was there anything they could possibly share?
To our surprise, the investigating team published an e-fit picture – or a computerised mock-up of what they thought the victim looked like before he fell from the plane.
They also provided us with some pictures of the clothing the stowaway had been wearing and images of personal possessions that were left in the landing compartment of the plane.
The Met Police released an efit of the man who fell to the ground in Clapham
The Met Police released an efit of the man who fell to the ground in Clapham
It was an important development although there was one piece of evidence that did not make sense.
The police included a picture of the letters “MCA”, which had been sketched onto the strap of a well-worn bag.
We studied the letters closely but their meaning escaped us.
We went back to see Paul Manyasi’s girlfriend, Irene. She had returned to the family home in rural Kenya and when we found her, she told us she would have a look at the photographs.
Irene agreed to look at the photos released by the Met Police PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Irene agreed to look at the photos released by the Met Police
I began by showing her the e-fit picture.
“Does that look like Paul to you?”
“They look alike but [Paul] wasn’t dark – not dark – but the face resembles [Paul].”
“What about this bag?” I inquired.
“Yes, hii bag ni yake [the bag is his],” she said in Swahili.
Irene continued as she pointed to the bottom of the bag.
Among the items recovered by police was a bag PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Among the items recovered by police was a bag
“And it was written somewhere – it must be written somewhere here. MCA or something.”
“The bag is his”
Irene, Paul Manyasi’s girlfriend
I inhaled deeply. This was it. If Irene could demystify the letters, we would be closer to solving the identity of the stowaway.
I passed her the Met Police’s photograph of MCA scribbled on the strap.
Written on the bag were the initials ‘MCA’ PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Written on the bag were the initials ‘MCA’
“Yes, MCA, somewhere [on the bag],” she said.
“That is his bag?” I asked.
“What does it stand for?”
“Member of County Assembly,” she answered. “He liked to be called that name. Like a nickname.”
Irene said MCA stood for Member of County Assembly. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Irene said MCA stood for Member of County Assembly
It was perfectly simple, she said: Member of County Assembly is a bit like calling yourself honourable or an MP.
“Do you think Paul Manyasi is the stowaway?”
“Yes, according to these pictures,” she said.
Irene wipes away a tear after Sky News shows her the bag found with Paul’s body. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Irene wipes away a tear after Sky News shows her the bag found with Paul’s body
“You are sure, are you?”
Irene replied in the affirmative and began to cry.
She asked us if the police in Britain would send Paul’s body home and responded to a question that she posed herself.
“Maybe he did it on impulse.”
rene could only conclude that Paul attempted to stow away on impulse. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Irene could only conclude that Paul attempted to stow away on impulse
“I feel like I lost someone who I loved so much – I miss him.”
PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Paul’s decision to sneak inside the aircraft was a foolhardy thing to do.
The Boeing 787 is one of the world’s most efficient passenger aircraft, engineered to fly at higher altitudes over longer distances while using significantly less fuel.
However, aviation expert Guy Leitch says there are pockets of space underneath the main cabin where a stowaway can wedge himself in.
Aviation expert Guy Leitch (right) says it is easy to be crushed in the wheel bay. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Aviation expert Guy Leitch (right) says it is easy to be crushed in the wheel bay
“There are places where you can stand and get away with it, although you’re not going to know when the wheels retract and where they are going to go,” he said.
“You could easily be crushed.”
Mr Leitch, a qualified commercial pilot, peered into the underbelly of the Boeing 747 at the South African Airlines Museum near Johannesburg, then plotted a stowaway’s hypothetical path.
“You can imagine a stowaway could get up through the gear legs… climb along the lower spar and stand in that corner over there and he would probably think to himself ‘made it, I am safe’. Then, of course, the aircraft takes off and the noise must be absolutely terrifying.”
But, he added, it is possible to find safe places to hide
The limitations of the human body are manifest at higher altitudes. Only a small number of stowaways have survived long-distance flights.
“I just don’t understand how anyone can survive,” Mr Leitch added. “It is beyond comprehension to think you could survive at -60C (-76F) for eight or nine hours, or even 10, at 33,000ft.
“There’s so little oxygen that your body starts pumping it back out into the air. You couldn’t hold your breath even for a minute.”
Mr Leitch says the stowaway would have probably used the legs to get to the wheel bay
Any sense of human prudence was jettisoned by desperation or anticipation of a better life overseas.
As an airport worker, he would have watched thousands of foreign nationals board their flights through the transparent passenger bridges which link the terminal to waiting aircraft. The temptation to join them must have been immense.
Did he know where KQ100 has heading? Did he even care?
It was heading overseas, away from Mukuru Kwa Njenga and his cleaning job at £2.25 a day – and that may have been enough.
But it is unlikely he would have known the way the wheels retracted
We went to the people who run Nairobi’s international airport – the Kenya Airports Authority and asked them for them a response to our findings.
We asked them whether they agree with our conclusions about Paul Manyasi. Furthermore, we asked whether his presence as a stowaway on a passenger jet would constitute a security breach at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
They did not reply.
We also went to cleaning company Colnet. We asked if they could confirm that their 29-year-old worker went missing at the end of June.
They did not reply either.
We provided our findings to the Met Police.
They acknowledged that we had given them some images, and told us: “Officers continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death and are taking steps to confirm identification of the deceased.”
There was one more stop we had to make.
We wanted to meet Paul Manyasi’s parents, who reside in an impoverished region of western Kenya called Kakamega County.
But we were worried. What if the cleaning company or the Kenyan authorities had not said anything to them about their son?
Would the responsibility of informing them fall on us? Surely the police would have said something?
We parked our car on the side of the road and Christabel walked up to a modest mud-walled house. There was a man in a plaid shirt standing outside and he greeted her politely.
Paul’s father, Isaac, met Christabel before inviting Sky News into his home. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Paul’s father, Isaac, met Christabel before inviting Sky News into his home
His name was Isaac Manyasi and when we told him we had come about Paul he quickly beckoned us inside.
Paul was Isaac’s eldest son and he and his wife Janet have not heard a word from him since the beginning of July.
“Has anyone been in touch with you?” I asked.
“No one,” he replied softly.
“Are you worried about him?”
“Of course,” he said.
Isaac (2nd right) and his wife Janet (right) told Sky News they had not heard from Paul for months
The couple have five other children and I could see them hiding behind a wooden door in the shed next door. Paul left home 10 years ago but Isaac said they were still in touch. His son called every month or so.
“I didn’t know where to start or where to end, I don’t know who to ask. Paul’s phone isn’t working.”
I took out the photographs from the Metropolitan Police and I asked if they recognised any of the stowaway’s things.
Much like Irene, Paul’s parents said the e-fit was similar but the skin colour was too dark. But they recognised his personal things.
“That one,” said Isaac, as I showed him the picture of the stowaway’s bag.
“He used to have it, he used to have a bag like that.”
“You recognise it, do you?” I asked.
PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
Isaac and Janet said they recognised Paul shorts and other possessions
The bag, the sports shoes, a pair of red underwear – those were Paul’s, they said.
The evidence now suggested that it was their son who fell from the airliner.
I asked the pair how they wanted to proceed but Mr Manyasi said there was nothing he could do. With a large family to feed, he could not afford to bring Paul home.
“Let him stay [in the UK]. Those are too many expenses. Soil is just soil.”
Paul’s father said it would be too expensive for them to bring his body home
Paul’s mother gently disagreed but she came around to the same conclusion. PHOTO CREDIT| SKYNEWS
“I would really love him to be buried here, but the expenses… It’s just too expensive,” whispered Janet.
There was something they wanted to show us before we left – a single photo of Paul, aged 15, dressed in his Sunday best. He looks smart and bright and handsome, as if a promising future seemingly awaits.
“I just feel like I lost someone I loved so much … I miss him.”
“Paul was a friend of mine. We went to the same school. We shared life during the time we lived together.”
“We had agreed one day maybe we could make a family.”
BY John Sparks, Africa correspondent, Sky.com
Paul (pictured) and Patrick were friends from school. PHOTO CREDIT| SKY NEWS
It is with humble acceptance of God’s will that we announce the demise of Lilian (Lily) Mbova (Stockholm). Lily passed away on Wednesday, 30th October, 2019. She was the daughter of the Late PS Sammy Mbova and the Late Anastasia Mbova.
Lily is survived by a son Kennenth Kioko Mbova. She was a sister to the Late Kenneth Kioko Mbova, Captain Michael Mbova and Captain Emmanuel Mbova (KQ). She was an aunt to Shakira, Samara and Francis.
Friends and relatives will be meeting at Ngong Hills Hotel on 12th and 13th November from 5.30 p.m for burial arrangements. A Requiem Mass will be held in honor of Lily on 14th November from 10.30 a.m. at St. Austin’s Catholic Church, St. Mary’s School, Lavington.
A final Celebration of mass in honor of Lily will be held on 16th November at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Makindu from 12 p.m. This will be followed by burial rites at the family home in Makindu.
The Lilian Mbova Fund has been set up on MPESA to assist with burial arrangements. Paybill no. 723760, the A/C Number is your name.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”Psalms 121
Thai authorities are holding a Kenyan woman for allegedly attempting to smuggle more than a kilo of cocaine in her stomach into the country.
The woman, whose identity is yet to be revealed, was arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport after arriving into the country from Angola, the Bangkok Post reported.
She tested positive for the drug after an x-ray exam conducted on her showed she had swallowed 1.2 kilogrammes of cocaine to avoid detection.
A Thai official told a press conference that cocaine smuggled into the country is sold to high-end party goers and patrons of high-end entertainment venues.
In the recent past, there has been several cases of Kenyans attempting to smuggle cocaine into Thailand.
In August, a Kenyan man was arrested in Thailand while attempting to smuggle more than 68 capsules of cocaine in his stomach.
Authorities said the suspect, Glenn Chibasellow Ooko, 43, had flown into the country from Ethiopia when he got apprehended by authorities at the Suvarnabhumi airport.
An x-ray exam conducted on his body showed dozens of oblong items in his stomach, which were filled with cocaine.
Thai authorities confirmed that the suspect had swallowed 1.2 kilos of cocaine which were in 68 capsules.
He was arrested alongside a Nigerian national, Osita Joseph Ukpa, who police said had hired the Kenyan to smuggle the drugs.
“This is part of a drug network in Thailand,” the Thai authorities said in a statement.
Thailand has long been a major drug smuggling hub, with its porous borders and lax law enforcement making it easier for transnational crime networks to transport their goods.
The country also serves as a transit point for a multi-billion methamphetamine trade route, smuggled through Myanmar and Laos before moving on to countries like Australia and Japan.
On Thursday, the Kenyan government destroyed about 100 kilos of cocaine that was confiscated at the port of Mombasa in 2016.
The cocaine valued close to Sh600,000 was burnt at the DCI forensic lab’s incinerator in a court procedure overseen by Justice Luka Kimaru.
The process was witnessed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Director Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai, Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti, head of Internal Affairs Unit Mr Charlton Muriithi and the National Campaign Against Drug Abuse (Nacada) chair Rtd Col Julius Ayub Githiri amongst other senior ministry officials.
“I am left with loneliness. I ask myself a lot of questions. Yes, the bodies are here but what next for me? It is hard to proceed with life,” lamented Kelvin Karanja, who lost five family members in the March 10 Ethiopian Airlines plane crash when he received their remains yesterday.
It was supposed to be a moment of closure for him and families of 32 other Kenyans who gathered at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the morning to receive the remains of their loved ones who perished in the crash in Addis Ababa.
After losing his wife, three children and mother in-law, Karanja narrated how he has struggled to come to terms with their abrupt death, as it emerged that only small body parts were recovered from the crash site.
Nonetheless, the arrival of their remains yesterday marked an end to a long, agonising wait for him and other bereaved families who were seeking some form of closure.
In March, Karanja was among relatives who travelled to Addis Ababa to give out samples of their DNA to help in identification of bodies.
Karanja’s ordeal epitomises the pain that families, relatives and friends of victims of the ill-fated Boeing 737 Max 8 plane have endured.
“Losing your entire family is painful,” he said at Lee Funeral Home, Nairobi, while holding the photo of his daughter who died in the accident.
He narrated how is journey with his wife had come to an abrupt end.
“ We met while we were very young and we decided to sail this journey. I feel lonely,” he mourned.
Because of the nature of the accident, Karanja said he had decided not to view the remains, adding that the family had accepted the reality and will bury them on Friday in their home in Nakuru county.
“There is nothing we can do because everything has already happened. But if it were my wish, I would not have received the body parts,” said Karanja.
Specialised caskets bearing the remains of the 28 victims were tagged on a tractor and pulled to the presidential pavilion where prayers were conducted under tight security.
Raw emotions and stifled tears punctuated the proceedings at the pavilion as senior government officials comforted the bereaved.
Cabinet Secretaries James Macha ria (Transport), Amina Mohammed (Sports), Monica Juma (Foreign Affairs) and Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya Meles Alem led State officials at the ceremony.
Apparently, most families had come to terms with the fact that there will be no bodies, just a few remains kept in a casket.
The remains, in brown caskets, had arrived earlier in the morning.
A total of 28 caskets arrived in Nairobi yesterday out of the 32 people who died as some families, especially those of Kenyans with dual citizenship, chose to cremate their remains in Ethiopia.
After they were received by families, the caskets which were mounted with photos of the deceased, were wheeled into waiting ambulances which would take them to various morgues.
Sources told People Daily Ethiopian Airlines will foot the funeral costs.
Macharia said receiving the remains was a sorrowful moment for Kenya.
“Today is a sad day for the country as we receive the remains of Kenyans who perished at the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families,” he said.
Most families at the Lee Funeral home said they were relieved to receive the remains after a long and agonising wait.
Ethiopian authorities had said the bodies were damaged prompting the airline to conduct DNA analysis to identify the remains.
Some families said they will cremate the remains of their loved ones.
Fredrick Karanja Mungai, father of Helen Waithera, said her remains will be cremated on Thursday at Kariokor.
“As the father, I saw no need of calling for a burial because the remains are too small,” said Mungai.
According to people privy to the government briefing, all they were told is that the State will push for a memorial site in honour of the victims.
With hardly any bodies to bury, the families had made an emotional plea to the government to erect a monument in honour of their kin.
It also emerged that plane manufacturer Boeing has offered financial help to the affected families, as a “gift” and not as compensation as the families had anticipated.
Boeing is facing an avalanche of legal suits after investigations revealed that both the Ethiopian Airlines and the Malaysian Lion Air planes had crashed because of a manufacturing fault.
More than 18 families have sued the company for additional compensation on top of the Sh15 million each is entitled to in accordance to the Montreal convention on air disasters.
In April, a consortium of Kenyan and American law firms announced plans to sue the company over the Ethiopian crash.
Preliminary reports showed that pilots of the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX jet that had 157 passengers followed emergency procedures outlined by the manufacturer.
Experts revealed after turning off a flight-control system that was automatically pushing down the plane’s nose shortly after take-off, the crew couldn’t get the aircraft to maintain its balance, leading to the crash.
The passengers were from 35 different nationalities with Kenyans being the majority.
Other countries that lost citizens in the Nairobi-bound plane included: Canada (18), Egypt (six), Ethiopia (nine), France (seven), US (eight), Netherlands (five), Slovakia (four), Sweden (three), China (eight) and Britain (seven).
Spain, Israel, Morocco and Poland had two nationals each on the flight while Belgium, Indonesia, Ireland, Mozambique, Norway, Saudi, Sudan, Somalia, Serbia, Togo, Uganda, Yemeni, Nepal, Nigeria had one each.
Story by SETH ONYANGO AND ALVIN MWANGI
Kenyans are among African students rejected by Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship department.
Data from the department indicate that 70 per cent of students from Kenya who had applied to study and were admitted to universities in Canada between January and May this year were rejected.
The students were to start their studies this month.
However, the data does not indicate the exact number of students who had applied to join the Canadian institutions. According to Polestar, a Canadian publication, the approval rates vary according to the applicants’ countries of origin.
“The highest is seen among African students, where three out of four have had their applications for a new Canadian study permits denied this winter and spring. Rejection rates among applicants from Nigeria and Algeria were 81 and 86 per cent respectively,” reported the publication.
Alain Roy, vice-president of Colleges and Institutes Canada, told the publication that his organisation has lobbied the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Department to find ways to improve the study permit approval for applicants from Africa.
The Canadian immigration authorities can decline an application on several grounds, including insufficient proof of financial support, the applicant’s health or security threat to Canada, and incomplete or suspected fraudulent application.
About 15,000 students leave Kenya annually to study abroad, with fewer than 300 getting scholarships.
Data from the Ministry of Education indicates that it costs between Sh750,000 and Sh 1 million per year to keep a student in university, especially in Europe, which is beyond the reach of many parents.
According to the Kenya National Qualification Authority (KNQA), most African students prefer to study in France, Britain, United States, Germany, Malaysia, Canada, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Morocco and Angola.
Kenyan universities attract fewer than 5,000 foreign students.
KNQA Director-General Dr Juma Mukhwana says Kenya needs to emulate countries such as South Africa which attract more foreign students.
A report by the Ministry of Education indicates that since 2013, it has processed 1,267 scholarships from 18 governments. However, this does not include students who are financing their own studies.
By Sunday Nation
Cancer has become the leading cause of death in rich nations, overtaking heart disease, according to the results of two landmark, decade-long global surveys of health trends released Tuesday.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of mortality among middle-aged adults globally, accounting for more than 40 per cent of deaths, the data showed.
It was thought to have been responsible for around 17.7 million deaths in 2017.
But in richer countries, cancer now kills more people than heart disease, according to the twin studies published in The Lancet medical journal.
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“The world is witnessing a new epidemiologic transition among the different categories of non-communicable diseases, with cardiovascular disease no longer the leading cause of death in high-income countries,” said Gilles Deganais, emeritus professor at Laval University, in Quebec.
He said his team’s study showed that cancer was the second most common cause of death globally in 2017, accounting for just over a quarter (26 per cent) of all deaths.
Deganais said that as heart disease rates fell globally, cancer could become the leading cause of death worldwide “within just a few decades”.
The study followed more than 160,000 adults, in high-, middle-, and low-income countries over the course of decade. It determined that people in poorer nations were on average 2.5 times more likely to die from heart disease than those in richer ones.
It conversely found that non-infectious diseases such as cancer and pneumonia were less common in low-income states than in richer ones.
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A second study, also by researchers in Canada, and looking at data from patients in the same 21 countries, found that so-called “modifiable risk factors” accounted for 70 per cent of heart disease cases globally.
These included diet, behavioural and socioeconomic factors, they said.
Metabolic risk factors — high cholesterol, obesity or diabetes — caused more than 40 per cent of all heart disease, and were by far the biggest determinant of disease in richer nations.
But there was also a strong link between heart disease in developing countries and household air pollution, poor diet and low education levels.
“A change in tack is required to alleviate the disproportionately high impact of cardiovascular disease in low- and middle-income countries,” said Salim Yusuf, professor of medicine at McMaster University.
SEE ALSO :Mum dies after mistaking symptoms of deadly disease for start of menopause
“Governments in these countries need to start investing a greater portion of their gross domestic product in preventing and managing non-communicable diseases including cardiovascular disease, rather than focusing largely on infectious diseases.”
Con artists posing as tour agents have swindled hundreds of tourists from various parts of the world, threating Kenya’s image as a tourist destination.
The con men use fake online campaigns, complete with sweet reviews and budget tourism packages to lure foreigners who make advance payments before they are abandoned in Kenya once they arrive and pay the rest of the cash.
The Sunday Nationhas also learnt that the cartel, which runs deep in the industry, has perfected the art of evading law enforcement officers by changing names, staff and tourist vans before resurfacing during high seasons to mint millions from helpless tourists visiting the country.
One of the latest victims of such a scam is Mr Chen Dong Yuan, a 51-year-old Chinese engineer from Changsha, who could not have been more excited to take advantage of the direct flights launched by the China Southern Airlines in June to visit Kenya.
Kenya had lauded the airline’s bi-weekly flights from Changsha and back to Nairobi with its 330-200 Airbus planes, added to the non-stop flights to Guangzhou, as one of the biggest boosts to its tourism sector with prolific tourists from China, ranked by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) as the world’s top spender on tourism in 2017.
Mr Chen had no idea what awaited him and his five friends in Nairobi after planning and paying 50 per cent deposit to Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris Limited for the eight nights in different tourism spots around the country.
That was in early July.
Their plane touched down on the morning of July 31 and what was their lifetime dream to take a nine-day tour of Kenya began with a driver from the company promptly picking them from the airport.
“We went to their officers where I paid $2,820 (about Sh295,000), which he insisted should be in cash. We then set off for Amboseli for two nights as per the itinerary. We had the vehicle but the driver changed outside Nairobi. On our way back, the driver told us the company that handed us to him had suddenly closed and our trip could not continue unless we made fresh arrangements,” Chen told the Sunday Nation, beginning his tragic tale of tourists in the hands of con men.
In a foreign country and in the middle of a tour, a sudden stop was unimaginable. Their online guide (Mr Otieno Lysaniash) who also received the money when they arrived, had switched off his phone and true to the driver’s words, the office located at Vision Plaza was closed.
Mr Chen chose to complete the trip when the driver suggested that if they paid more, he would take them to the Maasai Mara, Naivasha and Nakuru as per the previous plan. They agreed and paid, doubling their tour budget and turning an otherwise happy trip into a struggle to beat the cons and survive any other attempt to fleece them. The driver, Stanslaus Ongeri, told the Sunday Nationthat he was only hired as a freelancer by the firm and did not know the whereabouts of its owner, Mr Otieno, who he also claims made him to lose Sh25,000 in unpaid expenses.
The con victims had only Mr Ongeri after they were abandoned. Given the limited time they had and the shock that came with the first attempt to scuttle their trip, they had little choice but to rely on him even to report the matter to the police, despite the mistrust they developed towards him for having been part of the company that swindled them.
In Maasai Mara, they met another group of tourists who immediately identified the driver and attempted to beat him up.
They had been swindled by the same company and it took Mr Chen’s group to protect their driver from the angry tourists, an experience Mr Ongeri admitted but again claimed to have been an innocent freelance driver. It was getting worse and they could not trust him again.
“We hardly slept and every time we had to leave the car, we took the car keys so that he doesn’t abandon us. It is very sad that so many other tourists could be going through such an experience. The Kenyan government must save this situation because it will dampen the desire among those coming to visit the country. We are going back to China very bitter,” Mr Chen, whose case was booked at the Industrial Area Police Station under OB65/2/8/2019, said.
True to his words, many people have suffered under the travel agency, which seems to have mastered the art of swindling foreigners, closing shop and re-emerging only during high season.
The plot involves creating attractive packages and engaging foreigners online in a manner suggesting good customer service. Once they are in the hook, the tourists, who in many cases have fixed schedules and have no other contact people in the country, are abandoned sometimes at the border crossings between either Kenya and Uganda or deep in the game lodges to find their way back and travel to their home countries.
The con men also change the key contact people once the tourists arrive, including a different driver to cut links before leaving them stranded.
Travel sites have already blacklisted the firm with its reviews, which are said to be doctored to mislead tourists.
“TripAdvisor has grounds to investigate that individuals or entities associated with this property may have attempted to interfere with traveller reviews and/or the Popularity Index for this property. Please take this into consideration when researching your travel plans,” the travel site flagged on its website this week.
TheSunday Nationcould not reach Mr Otieno as his Mombasa Road office remained closed as adjacent shops either feigned ignorance or were too scared to talk about the firm.
Online, tens of tourists from around the world complained of bitter experiences after their trips were cancelled just before their departure dates while dealing with Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris Limited.
Some of those affected from Canada, Argentina, Taiwan, India, US, Brazil and the United Kingdom have reported the cases to the police with little action taken.
“Our honeymoon trip is in three days and we just received an e-mail that the company has technical problems and therefore cannot give the required services. Mr Otieno just wrote that we will receive the funds between 45-90 working days. I’m really panicking,” a couple from the US wrote on Friday.
Kenya received some 2.1 million tourists in 2018, with the US remaining the top source. China, which was ranked sixth, sent 81,709 representing a 4.03 per cent growth from the previous year.
Attempts to reach Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala on the happenings that are now a big threat to tourism in Kenya were futile as it emerged he had accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta on a tour of Jamaica.
An Austria national accused of racial discrimination and assaulting construction workers at the Sh20 billion Mwea Thiba dam project in Kirinyaga has fled the country under unclear circumstances.
The 47-year-old Hinteregger Jurgen secretly sneaked out of Kenya two days after he was questioned by officials from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations at Kianyaga Police Station.
Kirinyaga East police boss Mr Antony Wanjuu confirmed that the foreigner, who had been employed by Strabag construction firm, had disappeared.
“He was supposed to return on Monday for further interrogation but failed to do so and escaped to his country of origin. The company management has confirmed that the foreigner has left,” said Mr Wanjuu.
But Mr Wanjuu said the government will involve Interpol in bid to bring the man to face the law over allegations he mistreated workers at the construction site where he was a supervisor.
The Kirinyaga police boss warned the firm, Strabag Company, will be held responsible for the suspect’s escape.
“We had told the Management to ensure that the supervisor is brought back to the police station to answer to more questions but it did not heed to our instructions. Stern action may be taken against the Management,” said Mr Wanjuu.
The firm’s senior manager in Kenya, Mr James Karanja, said the suspect did not inform them that he was travelling back to his country.
“Mr Jurgen called and informed us that he is already back at his home country. We were shocked when we learnt that he is not within Kenya,” he explained.
But the firm said since the suspect was not under arrest, they could not control his movements.
“The police took duplicates of his passport and other documents which they wanted to peruse to establish whether he is legally in Kenya and they were supposed to monitor him,” added Engineer Karanja.
Workers described Mr Jurgen as a brutal and ruthless man.
They came hoping to strike it rich and help their families back home, but they have
now been arrested after police burst a human trafficking ring
Asali Bai, 20, came to Kenya in November last year hoping to find a way to support
her family back home in Nepal. But when she got here, the young woman, who had
been forced to drop out of school while in Class Seven when her ageing parents
could no longer pay her school fees, became a sex slave.
Asali is the firstborn in a family of seven. To earn money after dropping out of
school, she became a dancer. It was in the course of her work in Nepal that she met
an agent who identified himself as Bishal. She told him her problems and he offered
her a way out: How about a job in Kenya?
“(Bishal) told me he knew a person who was looking for an artiste. I got interested,” she says. “He connected me to a Mr Asif.” Within a week of making the connection, Bai had received a passport and an air ticket that would bring her to Mombasa, courtesy of this Asif.
On November 12, she arrived at Moi International Airport. Asif picked her up. He
took her to an apartment in Bamburi, allowed her to rest for one day, then had her
report to her new job. It would be a dancing gig at a restaurant called New Rangeela
Bar in Nyali, and she would be practising a dance called mujra. And then Asif
confiscated her passport.
Canadian, UK passports
Asali is one of four women who have shared their stories with the police
investigating an international human-trafficking syndicate based in Kenya. The
girls’ statements illustrate clearly how Kenya, once thought to be merely a transit
and collection point for sex and child slaves, is now also a destination.
The New Rangeela club, where the young women performed, is the focus of this
investigation. It is owned by Mombasa tycoon Asif Amirali Alibhai Jetha — the ‘Asif’
who helped Bai get into the country.
Jetha is a well-connected tycoon who has been operating the club since at least
2014. Documents seen by the Saturday Nation show that he holds Canadian and
United Kingdom passports. According to his Facebook profile, he has allegedly
worked with Canada Wide Media, an independent magazine publisher and digital
Jetha, who is married, claims to have studied at Simon Fraser University and
Burnaby Central Secondary School, both in British Columbia, Canada.
He is thought to be well connected to some known businessmen on the Kenyan
coast. He also has connections in the security sector, which has complicated his
arrest despite his legal transgressions.
He has now been charged with three counts of trafficking, promoting human
trafficking and interfering with travel documents through the act of seizing the
The suspect is also accused of allowing the New Rangeela Bar to be used for
The club is open only to a few who-is-who, people who can afford the hefty entrance
and tip fees. “When you visit the club, the doors are always closed and one has to
knock. The guards check you out and if they know you, that’s when you are allowed
in,” says a man who has visited the club, but who refused to be named for this story.
Mujra is an erotic dance performed by females in a format that emerged in South Asia. Revellers tip the dancers during the entertainment sessions, and if a reveller is attracted to any of the women, he may pay for a private session with her, say other sources who have also visited the club.
The women are given nicknames and money targets for each night. Their pay ranges
from Sh50,000 to Sh80,000 a month. However, they only receive between
Sh10,000 and Sh15,000 directly.
According to their statements, all the women live together in one apartment in Nyali
and are not allowed outside except at night, when they go to the club, and during
one outing a month, which is always chaperoned by one of the club staff.
Sanjita Ale, 26, lived in that apartment for 10 months with 10 other Nepalese women, during which time she was only let out between 9pm and 10pm — when she was driven to the New Rangeela club — then driven back to the apartment at 3am after the club closed. Sanjita knows so little about her surroundings that she cannot locate the Bamburi apartment on her own.
“We were not allowed to leave the house unless we were going to work,” she says. “We only had one day off in a month (during which the) boss would accompany us,” she adds. The women were not allowed to use their phones except between the hours of 3pm and 6pm.
Sanjita, whose stage name was Ashiko, says she was given a monthly target of
Sh400,000 and a salary of Sh80,000. “On the stage, customers used to give us tips,
which were put in a bucket that had the name of each dancer.” Each month, one of
Jetha’s workers would extract Sh60,000 to Sh70,000 from her salary to send to her
The story follows much the same script for Ranjita Bik, who also dropped out of
school very early due to financial constraints to fend for her family of four. The 30-
year-old says that after leaving school, she started dancing and in the process, learnt
that Kenya offered opportunities and great packages for people like her. “My friend
connected me to a person by the name Asif, who interviewed me (by) phone. I asked
him for a one-month salary advance. He bought me a plane ticket and sent me
Sh80,000 to settle bank loans and buy clothes,” she said.
Ranjita flew into the country in August last year via Moi International Airport in
Mombasa. At the airport, she found Jetha and his driver waiting for her, upon
which she was driven to the apartment in Bamburi where she handed over her
passport to Jetha. “At the apartment, I found about eight Nepalese (women). The
same evening at around 9pm, we were picked up by a vehicle and dropped off at the
Ranjita also testifies to the women’s movements being severely restricted. They were not allowed to go anywhere or leave the building on their own. They could only be picked up from and dropped off at the club.
Anyone holding the old Sh1,000 bank notes outside the country will have to bring
them back to exchange with the new currency before the October 1 deadline, Central
Bank of Kenya (CBK) Governor Patrick Njoroge has said.
Dr Njoroge yesterday ruled out allowing any form of conversion of the old notes outside Kenya’s borders, indicating that the regulator had notified all foreign banks
to stop recognising the legacy currency.
The CBK boss said the regulator is also not providing any new generation bank notes to lenders outside the country to facilitate conversion, arguing that this would defeat the goal of combating illicit money flows that have informed the move to demonetise the old Sh,1000 currency.
“If you have the Kenyan currency and you happen to be outside the country, there is
only one way to get value for it before October 1. You have to take a trip here and go
through the procedures outlined in the gazette notice and subsequent releases,” said
Dr Njoroge at a press briefing yesterday.
“You cannot convert it to any other currency out there, since this would defeat the
process of demonetisation.”
Both the Bank of Uganda and the Bank of Tanzania issued notices earlier this
month freezing the conversion of the old Kenyan notes in their banks. They have
also advised their countries’ banks to subject all flows to higher due diligence
Those coming into the country to convert their notes will follow the same
procedures laid out for locals.
Converting between Sh1 million and Sh5 million is happening at all commercial
bank branches, where customers are expected to make declarations on the source of
Persons exchanging more than Sh5 million will need to get an endorsement from
CBK, as will those exchanging more than Sh1 million but do not have bank
Dr Njoroge added that the net has been cast wider to forestall efforts to clean dirty
money in other jurisdictions that carry out significant financial transactions with
The Kenyan shilling is commonly used to transact goods and services in
neighbouring countries, especially now that East African Community rules allow
free movement of people and goods across regional borders.
The shillings find their way back home through the same trade routes, as well as official currency repatriation mechanisms between the central banks of the respective countries in the bloc.
Dr Njoroge also ruled out making an extension to the October 1 deadline for the
demonetisation process, saying that doing so would provide those looking to get rid
of illicit funds a loophole to do so.
In his briefing yesterday, the governor also sought to allay emerging fears over the alleged counterfeiting of the new bank notes, revealing more details of their security features and the design process.