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LOVE BY VALENTINE’S: Is he the one?

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By STACY MAKENA
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“Don’t get it twisted, love is a beautiful thing”, truthful words that kick off D’Banj’s song “Fall in Love.”

I couldn’t agree more with D’Banj. And to think that in my last article I was at the brink of giving up! Do you remember my rant about how everything was going terribly wrong? And how I prayed that this month of love would bring with it some good tidings?

Well, it appears that my prayers sailed from my lips to God’s ears. I have met someone…but let us start from the beginning.

Last week, I got rid of most of my past matches and decided to explore new potentials. Somehow the over-friendly guy and two others survived the purge.

The new batch was pretty interesting; there was the party guy who kept asking me to turn-up on a week night for shots, the timid guy who was a nervous wreck and kept seeking affirmations; Do you like me? Are you enjoying the chat?

And then there was the cool guy who didn’t talk much but I could tell life had played a number on him because he started most of his conversations with: ” In this life, I have come to realise…”

By the middle of that week, I had a date with the cool philosophical guy. My first tinder date.

To be honest, I find that rather depressing because I had anticipated at least five coffee dates before Valentine’s day.

Anyway, I met Mr Cool for an evening coffee date. Our chats were always pleasant therefore I was not nervous to finally meet him in person.

When I hugged him, he smelt delicious; cologne and lotion and… hair wash? He was a cocktail of subtle but rich scents. The kind that rubs off on you and you can still smell him long after you are back home. For me that was a miss.

I have a preference, and sweet scent on my man is definitely not among them. But hey! Love is about compromise right?

A little extra scent was not going to hurt.

We settled in for the date, warming up to some light chat as we waited for food. He had asked if I was hungry right before we entered the restaurant.

My tactless mouth took that as a cue to yawn… loudly. I was mortified. Truth is, I had barely eaten all day and my tummy was not about to shy away from food.

He smiled and said, ” Got it! We are going to eat.”

After pleasantries, I decided to get to know him a bit more. You see, all our chats, though consistent, had been painfully vague and dripping with generalities.

“So, what do you yearn for, what are you looking for in terms of companionship at this point?” I asked beaming at him. I have a natural soft spot for people who feed me.

“Well, in life I have learnt to be receptive and take one day at a time.” he replied. I cringed. He was being evasive once more.

“Tell me, what do you appreciate most in a relationship? What are your non-negotiables for instance?”

“In this life, I-” he started but I couldn’t bear it anymore.

“Let me stop you right there. I understand your need to be vague when we were chatting online. But I am here now. See, in flesh and blood. I am real, not a bot. Please talk to me, skip the diplomacy,” I blurted out.

He froze, I had pulled the rug right underneath his feet.

Luckily, the food arrived, a tantalising distraction from what was quickly turning to be a horrendous date.

I could feel his eyes on me as I went in for my second spoonful. I met his eyes and there I saw it, raw pain and dejection.

“Look, I am sorry I came on too strong. I feel like there’s a lot of things you need to deal with first. So you know what, let’s remove the pressure and simply enjoy this meal okay?” I said softly.

He was visibly relieved. We talked about life’s absurdities, our love for hikes, for meat and traditional brew.

When he dropped me home later that evening, I hugged him warmly knowing that I would never see him again.

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He was not what I needed but it had been wonderful knowing him albeit briefly.

When I got to the house, I found a message from friendly guy. We were now exchanging memes and goofing around at this point.

I had accepted the fact that he would never see me as more than just a friend.

I updated him about my date and he made fun of me saying that I only went for the food.

Scrolling through my messages, I came across a photo from drunk guy. He wanted to know if I could hangout on Tuesday night. Joker.

As I prepared for bed, my phone beeped. It was friendly guy, again. Sigh.

He texted: ” I like you. Could we be (heart emoji)?”

My heart skipped a beat before scepticism kicked in. I waited for him to send a silly GIF or meme, mocking me for thinking he was serious. Nothing.

I did what most women do when they are in denial, I revised our chats.

Looking at our messages with fresh eyes, I began seeing the tiny hints he had been dropping all along. The cute jokes. Sweet remarks.

I noticed how he was among the first people I spoke to in the morning and among the last ones at night.

My thumb got numb from scrolling, I had no idea we had spoken so much.

All this time we had been opening small windows of your lives to each other, exploring each other.

He felt like home, a safe space, the person I wanted to talk to about everything.

The notification tab showed that he was “typing” but no message was coming through. I could tell he was anxious.

I decided to put him out of his misery: ” I would love that.” I replied.

Kanye West and Keri Hilson sang a beautiful song about how love sometimes knocks you down, you don’t see it coming. Well, I can attest to that.

Like I told you folks last week, he had been reigning as the undisputed king of my friend zone right from the beginning.

But here we were, falling for each other.

I deleted my Tinder account. The app is clingy by the way, it asked why I was leaving.

I ticked the option of “I have met someone” and I was set me free with a congratulatory message.

Congratulatory message from Tinder.

Congratulatory message from Tinder. PHOTO| STACY MAKENA

Friendly-turned-romantic guy will be taking me out on a date sometime next week.

I will find out if he is the one and if he isn’t, I am hopeful that I will at least have a great date.

Also, next week we will have the final part of this series where I will engage a relationship expert to give insight on the things I have learnt in my one-month pursuit for love.

What made some matches to be doomed right from the start? How come I never got plenty of dates? Any tips that would have improved my online dating experience?

We will be answering these and more questions on online dating.

If there’s anything you wish to find out on the same, please share your questions and I will be happy to ask them on your behalf.

As Valentine’s day draws closer, I wish you nothing but pure love.

LOVE BY VALENTINE’S is a blog series that will run until Valentine’s Day. Our writer dreams of finding love by that day and at worst, a memorable date. Follow her adventure every week as she seeks to find love by Valentine’s. Got feedback and tips on how she can do this? E-mail: [email protected]



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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
[email protected]    

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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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