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Mystery of man who fell from the sky : The Standard

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Isaac Beti and family members.  The family denied the story ran by Sky News alleging their son fell from a Kenyan Airways flight preparing to land at Heathrow in London in June. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

The family of a man said to have fallen out of a plane in London has denied reports that he was their son.

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Isaac Beti was yesterday uneasy when talking about Paul Manyasi, identified in a Sky News report as the man who fell out a Kenya Airways plane flying over London on June 30.
Isaac is identified in the story as Isaac Manyasi, Paul’s father.
The report said the body of a man who plunged into the compound of a home along Offerton Road in South London was that of Paul Manyasi, 29, who worked as a cleaner at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.
SEE ALSO :Man who fell from London plane was not JKIA employee, says KAAIn the story, Isaac is reported saying Paul was his eldest son, but he and his wife Janet had not heard from him since the beginning of July. He said although Paul left home 10 years ago, they kept in touch via phone.
Yesterday when The Standard caught up with Isaac at his home in Makhabuye village, Malava Sub-County, Kakamega, he denied knowing anyone by the name Paul Manyasi, saying his son was called Cedric Shivonje.
Disowning surname
Isaac said he was unaware of the news doing the rounds on social media, or the bulletins on TV and radio on Paul’s death. After bringing him up to speed, Isaac started by disowning the surname Manyasi as used in the Sky News report.
For More of This and Other Stories, Grab Your Copy of the Standard Newspaper.
“I still don’t believe that my son is dead or missing. I know him very well. A person can go for years without communicating or being in touch with his family, but that does not mean he is dead,” said the father of five.
Isaac said the last time he spoke to his son was July 2017, and their conversation ended in an argument after he pressed him to send money for school feels for his other siblings.
SEE ALSO :The Kenyan who fell from London skies“I last spoke with him in July 2017. I did not have kind words for him, and he ended up disconnecting the call. I have not bothered to call him since, and neither has he called,” he said.
Brian, 18, corroborated his father’s statement, saying his brother, who he said is 25, has been an active member on Facebook. He said they had been chatting until mid-July this year under his brother’s Facebook user name, Mustapha Junior. The account was last updated on July 17.
With the news of the possible death of their kin trickling in, the family did not appear fazed. Janet Khakali, Isaac’s wife, exuded confidence that her son is alive – they just did not know of his whereabouts.
During the interview with Sky News, Janet was asked if she had contacted anyone about her eldest son going missing since July.
She replied: “I didn’t know where to start or where to end. I don’t know who to ask. Paul’s phone isn’t working.”
SEE ALSO :Family says man who fell from London skies not their sonYesterday, Isaac said the photos doing the rounds on social media of Paul were not of his son. He added that the latest information he had about his son was that he had been arrested and was being held at the Industrial Area prison in Nairobi.
“A relative of ours called me two days ago (Monday), saying he had seen someone like Cedric being hauled into a prison bus in handcuffs. He told me to go to prison and confirm if he was the one,” he told The Standard.
However, prison authorities yesterday denied having anyone in their records by the name of Cedric Shivonje.
Isaac said he had planned to travel to Nairobi this Tuesday to check on his relative’s claims, but his wife fell ill, so he had postponed the trip to Friday.
He additionally claimed that the Sky News reporter misrepresented the information he gave. Isaac said he told the journalist that the details presented to him were not for his son.
SEE ALSO :Paul Manyasi was not our employee – KAA, ColnetIn the Sky News story, the reporter John Sparks recounted how he showed Isaac and Janet photographs of the stowaway’s things, which he had got from the Metropolitan police, and asked them if they looked familiar. 
He also showed them a computerised mock-up of what the police thought the victim looked like before he fell from the plane. Isaac and Janet said the picture resembled their son, but the skin colour was too dark. They, however, said they recognised his personal effects.
Yesterday, Isaac recounted the events of the day the Sky News team visited their home.
“The journalists drove into my compound and identified themselves as reporters at an international news agency. With them were pictures they wanted me to ascertain if they were of my son. They also had pictures of clothes, shoes and a bag, which they wanted me to confirm if they belonged to my son,” he said.
“The picture they had was not of my son, and I told them as much. In addition, they presented the name of Paul Manyasi, while my son is called Cedric Shivonje.”
 Private mission
When asked by The Standard team for a photo of their son Cedric, the couple produced a picture similar to the one published on the Sky News website and captioned Paul Manyasi.
Neighbours confirmed the Sky News team had visited the homestead, but said they did not know what the visit was about. One person we spoke to identified himself as Shivonje’s uncle, but declined to be named. He claimed the neighbours were attracted to the home by the presence of drones flying overhead.
When they sought to know who the visitors were, they were kept at a distance and told the visitors were on a private mission.
“We were not allowed near the home and we didn’t know what they talked about. Even the village elder was not allowed. After they left, we tried finding out what the visit was all about, but nothing was forthcoming and we ended up concluding that maybe Isaac wanted to sell his land, and the drones were doing a survey,” the uncle said.
Makhwabuye village elder Julius Beti said he was among the residents who were kept at bay when the team visited the family.
“When I was alerted to the presence of the visitors, I went to find out what they were up to. Two white men and two women who were speaking the local dialect (Kabras) told us they were agricultural extension officers and were out to do research on the farm,” he said.
“Upon further inquiry, the women told us that we should not get involved in another family’s issues. With that, we kept off but we went to the county lands office to enquire if our land was safe.”
Julius described Isaac’s eldest son as being a man of few words who did not interact with people much.
And as regards his alleged incarceration in Industrial Area, Shivonje’s uncle claimed to have spoken to his nephew and confirmed that he was taken to court on November 4. He, however, did not know the details of the offence he had been charged with.
“I have spoken with the boy through the phone in the presence of our assistant chief and county CID officers, and he confirmed he is in remand. He said he was at the Kibera Law Courts on November 4 over sex-related charges,” the man said, despite the Industrial Area prison denying reports they had a prisoner under the name of Cedric Shivonje.
County Director of Criminal Investigations Peter Kimulwa said he was not aware of any investigations.
“How do we investigate what happened in London?” he asked when reached on phone. A teacher at Tande High School, Judith Satia, said she remembers a student by the name Shivonje who cleared his secondary education in 2014. She did not remember much else about him.
A multi-agency team that was set up to investigate the identity of the stowaway passenger who fell to the ground from the landing gear of flight KQ100 yesterday said it is yet to complete the probe. The team said it was analysing the fingerprints of the victim, and that all staff and stakeholders who were on duty on June 30 have been accounted for.
“The multi-agency team conducting the investigation reviewed more than 1,000 hours of CCTV footage. No finding of intrusion or suspicious activity has been observed on the recordings,” an official said.
The team comprises officials from the police force, Kenya Airports Authority, Transport Ministry and National Intelligence Service.
In a statement released on Tuesday, KAA said it had conducted its own investigations and “the name Paul Manyasi does not appear in the JKIA staff register”.
[Additional reporting by Cyrus Ombati and Paul Thoronjo]

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Paul ManyasiSky NewsStowawayJKIA

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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).
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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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