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“Avoid Lancet Kenya For Covid-19 Results,” CS Kagwe warns Kenyans

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe has ordered a probe on Lancet Kenya after conflicting Covid-19 results of 17 teaching staff of St Andrew’s School Turi.

Lancet Lab had declared the staffers positive but when the school sought a second opinion from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), the 17 turned negative.

CS Kagwe on Thursday said he had directed the medical board to immediately begin a probe on laboratories producing contradictory results.

“It is true that there is one lab, specifically Lancet that carried out these tests that eventually turned from positive to negative. It is also the same lab that had also tested a group of people in Nairobi that also had the same circumstance,” said the CS.

Noting that the Ministry will take relevant action, Kagwe, who was speaking in Nakuru, also urged the public to avoid visiting such facilities.

“The Ministry will take its measures… we have asked our board to review that particular laboratory. But what I would like to urge is that if a lab has got all these unclear results, don’t go there. Why are you going to a lab that you know has been giving information that may not be clear?” he posed.

The CS warned that the laboratories risk closure should they be found to have violated any set regulations.

The worst thing that we can do is have a situation where people question the results that we give. We have asked the medical board to relook at some of these labs and where we believe a laboratory is not adhering to the standards then definitely we will close them down,” CS Kagwe said.


Muranga Girl Tells Of Sexual Assault By Police Officer As Two Chiefs Kept Watch

Police in Kangema, Muranga County have arrested an assistant chief and launched a manhunt for another on allegations of working in cahoots with a police officer to actualise a minor’s sexual abuse.

The administrators, one from Tuthu and another Wanjerere area, are said to have kept watch as the police officer defiled a Form 3 girl in Aberdare Forest at Mwisho wa Raha area on Tuesday night (July 14).

An elderly woman is said to have seen the officer luring the 16-year-old into the forest as the assistant chiefs kept guard by the roadside. She raised an alarm, attracting villagers who stormed the scene and caught one of the chiefs.

The officer and his other accomplice escaped into the forest as the angry locals beat up the other chief before police arrived and took him away.

The victim told police that her alleged abuser had asked to meet her near Aberdare Forest.

“He said I had sneered at him, and, therefore, wanted to iron out issues with me. When I went to meet him at the Aberdare Forest, he asked me to accompany him deeper into the thicket, assuring me that nothing bad would happen because the assistant chiefs were there to protect me,” the girl recounted as quoted by K24 Digital.

She said while inside the thicket, the officer plucked leaves from a tree, spread them on the ground and forced her to lie on them.

“He then ordered me to undress. He also took off his clothes, unwrapped a condom, wore it and forcefully penetrated me. While in the act, he removed the condom from his manhood and continued sexually abusing me without protection,” she said.

The minor was taken to a Kangema hospital, where a test confirmed that she had been defiled.

Area locals took to the streets Wednesday morning to protest against the incident, accusing police officers of shielding their colleague, “who has been ruining our children’s lives”.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, who toured Murang’a County on Wednesday, condemned the act and assured residents that the suspects would be brought to book.

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High Court Judge Recuses Self From George Muchai Murder Case

High Court Judge James Wakiaga has disqualified himself from hearing the murder case of former Kabete MP George Muchai.

Justice Wakiaga succumbed to pressure from suspects in the case over alleged bias, Daily Nation reports. While recusing himself on Tuesday, the Judge said five suspects accused of killing Mr Muchai filed a complaint against him at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) accusing him of gross misconduct and incompetence.

Wakiaga explained that the environment made it difficult for him to conduct a meaningful trial hence the decision to disqualify himself from the case.

“The applicants’ main ground is that they were not granted bail. I find that there is no ground that can support the applicants’ appeal for recusal and the application is misplaced with the sole purpose of derailing the path of justice,” said Wakiaga.

He noted that the five accused persons had walked out of his court on May 30, 2019, during trial immediately he rejected their bond review application.

They also shouted at the court and indicated that they would never be attending any further hearing before the same court.

Justice Wakiaga added that the accused had also shown remarkable disrespect to the court and made false and unfounded allegations against the character of the court which are defamatory in nature.

“Since the said date of the walkout, this court has not been able to conduct any meaningful trial in this matter due to the conduct of the accused persons, as the record shows,” he said.

While demanding his disqualification from the case in October of last year, the suspects, namely Simon Wambugu Gichamba, Raphael Kimani alias Kim Butcher, Kimani Anyonyi alias Musti, Stephen Lipapo alias Chokore and Erick Muyera alias Chairman, said they had lost confidence in Wakiaga.

“We are not satisfied with this court. We have lost confidence in it and we want the judge to disqualify himself for being biased,” they said.

The other two suspects, Jane Wanjiru Kamau alias Shiro and Margaret Njeri Wachuiri, said they had no problem with Justice Wakiaga and requested the case to proceed without further delay.

Justice Wakiaga directed the case file to be placed before the presiding judge of the criminal division for re-allocation to another judge for trial and determination.

In May, 2019, the suspects also accused Chief magistrate Francis Andayi of bias, forcing him to step down from the case that has dragged in court since the accused were charged with killing Muchai, his two bodyguards and his driver on February 6, 2015, in Nairobi.

All the accused persons have been in remand since March 2015 when they were charged with four counts of murder.

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PSVs Allowed To Increase Passenger Capacity

The public transport sector has received a boost after the State relaxed earlier directives on Covid-19 protocols.

In the new guidelines, a 14 seater capacity matatu will now be allowed to carry 10 passengers as opposed to 8, including driver and crew.

Transport CS James Macharia also allowed 33-seater PSVs a sitting capacity of 18 including the driver and crew. 51-seater buses have been permitted to ferry 30 passengers, including the driver and crew.

Bodaboda and TukTuk operators will carry one pillion passenger but the CS said the Health ministry should consider reviewing the directive to allow tuktuks to carry two passengers.

At the same time, CS Macharia said a five-seater car will now be allowed a maximum of three passengers and a seven-seater car a maximum of five passengers.

With regards to long distance travelers, bus companies are required to keep passenger manifests for a minimum period of one month before destroying them.

“The bus companies will provide without undue delay and without prejudice the full names, nationality, passport or ID Number, telephone number allocated seat and usual residence to the relevant public health authorities upon request for contact tracing purposes,” the guidelines read.

The driver’s contact address should also be prominently displayed for any reference.

“They must sensitize passengers on safety measures before departure for the distance journey and ensure that every public service vehicle have waste bins with a liner for safe waste disposal,” said the CS.

CS Macharia said the government will identify and gazette designated stop-overs along the transport corridors, introduce and promote the use of a cashless fare payment system in the PSV industry.

“The government shall enhance enforcement of the traffic rules and regulations and remove illegal gangs along the routes that have invaded the sector for rent-seeking and in addition ensure that rogue motorists do not cause obstruction to traffic flow along busy road section/junctions,” he said.

“This is in order to decrease congestion on the road network thereby reducing onboard travel time for commuters thus significantly decreasing the exposure time for people while in PSVs.”

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