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Lawyer’s kin speak on city shooting





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The family of city lawyer Assa Nyakundi, who shot and killed his son Joseph, is yet to come to terms with the tragedy.

Not only is the incident painful to them but it has reopened wounds of a similar earlier experience.

“We have no answers to the incident,” a member of his family in Kisii County said Wednesday as police continue to investigate circumstances of the Sunday shooting.

To his family, the shooting revives memories of the brutal murder of their father, Mr Michael Nyakundi, about a decade ago.

They were yet to heal from the wounds when they were hit by the latest death of Joseph.

“The Sunday incident has left us in shock. It is double tragedy with one of our own dead and another in hospital,” Assa’s younger brother, Bishop Eliud Nyakundi, who is a lecturer at Kisii University, told Nation.

“Memories of our late father are still fresh in our minds and the latest incident only adds salt to injury,” he said.

In 2010, robbers broke into the home of the the retired clergyman and shot him dead.

The armed gang stormed the home in Ikuruma village, Marani Sub-County in Kisii and forced the old man to lie on his bed before shooting him at close range as his wife watched.

The Rev Michael Nyakundi, 85, had pleaded with the thugs to spare him but in vain.

He gave them an unknown amount of money but they still murdered him. They did not steal any other item.

The clergyman’s killing prompted the beheading of four suspected gangsters in the same village by the dreaded Sungu Sungu vigilante group.

“We are yet to come to terms with our father’s murder. He had just returned from the US after undergoing an expensive spinal surgery that cost the family Sh5 million. Why would anyone want to kill an 85-year-old man?” Assa had said about his father’s brutal murder then.

On Wednesday, Assa’s close relatives from Kisii travelled to Nairobi where they held a family meeting, deliberating on the next move for the man who has been recuperating at Nairobi Hospital under heavy police guard following the shocking shooting incident.

In an in-depth interview with the Nation on Wednesday morning, Rev Eliud Nyakundi, who leads the Kenya Assemblies Churches in Gusii region, said the incident, as bad as it may be, is irreversible and they are now asking God to give them grace to endure.

He further said his brother is not a criminal as some people are trying to insinuate, adding that the lawyer is even a church elder, brought up in a Christian background.

Besides being an advocate, Assa is a deacon at International Christian Centre while his brother Eliud is an executive member of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).

Eliud said he cannot find a reason that could have made his brother to intentionally shoot and kill his son.


“We are children of the clergy and we have been raised in a Christian environment. On the flipside, we are an educated family by any standards, not struggling financially and no career frustrations. We were raised beyond the village life and our father taught us to go out there and manage our world,” said Eliud, the eighth born in their family.

The 60-year-old Assa is the fourth born in a family of 12. Three of his brothers are in the USA.

One of the brothers, Titus, is also an advocate and a chaplain at Mount Kenya University.

“I am travelling to Nairobi so that we can discuss this issues in detail,” said Eliud.

Assa has been handling high profile criminal cases and the family feared he could be a soft target and urged him to get a gun.

He is representing in court Nyeri Magistrate Pauline Omungala, who is accused of killing her husband, Robert Chesang.

He is also in the defence team for three Chinese nationals who were in January arrested for illegal possession of wildlife trophies.

According to the family, he has been a licenced firearm holder for the last 20 years, and all this time, he has neither threatened nor brandished his gun at anyone.

A graduate of the University of Nairobi, Assa has been in private practice since 1985.

“For all this time, he has handled his firearm well and at no single time did he misuse it. He is a person of stable mind and does not suffer anger or annoyance,” said Eliud.

The city lawyer has four children — the eldest daughter is married in Ireland while the other one is in Denmark.

The family further said that Joseph’s elder brother, Noah, who is an advocate and a partner in his father’s firm — Nyakundi and Company Advocates — may have acted out of emotion and confusion when he made a controversial post on Facebook about his brother’s death.

“That is the tragedy of social media. It was simply an emotional reaction and Noah has since sobered up and is regretting so much about it,” said another relative.

The family explains that there is no known dispute between Assa and his late son and that the fact that the 29-year-old Joseph was still living in his parents’ house when he had options to move out tells of a good relationship in the family.

Joseph’s body is still at the Aga Khan Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem examination. He was taken there after he succumbed to the bullet injury from his father’s pistol.

Joseph had a degree in international relations from Daystar University and planned to go to Ireland where his sister lives.

“He was there mid last year but he delayed joining university and had to come back home. He wanted to study a masters degree in international relations,” said Eliud.

Assa’s wife, Lydia, is a high school teacher in Kiambu County.


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Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard




Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.


However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

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Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard




President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow

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Drastic life changes affecting mental health




Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.

Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.

The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.

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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.

In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020.  It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.

A study by Dr. Habil Otanga,  a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says  that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.

The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.

KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.


Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.

As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.

“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”

Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.

“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.

Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.

“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”

Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.

“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.

Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.

Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.

She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.

Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.

“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added

Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.

“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and  also engage in   reading that would  help expand their knowledge.

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