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Okoth Obado is father of Sharon baby: DNA

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By NATION TEAM
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Detectives and government scientists have finally confirmed, to the highest degree known to science, that the baby boy ripped from Ms Sharon Otieno’s womb was Okoth Obado’s, thus putting the Migori governor at the heart of investigations into the abduction and killing of the university student.

The foetus died after the mother was stabbed eight times while seven months pregnant. A postmortem report indicated that the fatal blow to the baby was a single knife stab through Ms Sharon’s abdomen.

Police sources said the governor is now a person of interest in the investigation and will have to record another statement in Nairobi, alongside his wife Hellen. Mr Obado last week recorded a statement in Kisumu.

Earlier, detectives investigating the gruesome murder of the 26-year-old Rongo University student had indicated that the governor’s wife was a person of interest after suspects named her close associates in the horrendous scheme.

However, police postponed her scheduled interrogation at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road, Nairobi, as the investigators gathered more evidence from suspects already in custody and awaited reports from the Government Chemist.

A DNA test report prepared Wednesday by a government analyst absolves Mr Michael Oyamo, Mr Obado’s disgraced aide, as the father of Sharon’s unborn baby.

“There are 99.99+pc more chances that Zacharia Okoth Obado is the biological father of the donor of the DNA generated from the foetus, that is Sharon Belyne Otieno’s child,” the statement reads.

“Michael Juma Oyamo is excluded as the biological father of the foetus.” Police believe that Sharon’s murder was not the work of a killer seeking the macabre thrill of taking human life, but of a person with a clear motive.

Three of Mr and Mrs Obado’s associates have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Detectives on the case had followed a telecommunication analysis of their phones which showed they had been together with main suspect, Mr Oyamo, in Awendo as the kidnapping happened.

Yesterday, a court in Kisii allowed police to detain Mr Caspal Obiero, a clerk at Migori County who often runs errands for the Governor.

He had surrendered to the police in Oyugis after a car registered in the name of his wife, Olivia Oloo, was linked to the kidnapping and murder of Ms Otieno. Ms Oloo is a blogger in the governor’s press unit.

Ms Oloo, who has been a county employee since 2015, had on Sunday filed a statement with the police, but detectives let her go after she proved that her husband had been using her Toyota Fielder at the time the murder happened. He will be held in police custody for the next 10 days.

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Police also secured a 10-day detention order against Mr Elvis Okoth Omondi, a policeman assigned to guard the Migori Governor and who is said to have accompanied Mr Obiero to Oyugis Police Station but ended up being arrested.

Initially, police sources told the Nation he was arrested and disarmed because he had caused a commotion at the station, but his appearance in court may mean the police are now linking him to the murder as well.

At the Kisii courts, detective Nicholas Ole Sena argued in a sworn affidavit that the two were to be detained longer to shed light on what he called a sensitive murder investigation.

The prosecution team, led by Mr George Muindi, said Mr Obiero and Mr Okoth had been named by witnesses and initial suspects Michael Oyamo and Lawrence Mula as well as Jack Gombe.

The latter is the Migori taxi driver arrested while driving the Toyota Fielder on Sunday evening.

Senior Principal Magistrate Lutta Shiundu agreed that Ms Otieno’s murder was complex and allowed longer detention until September 28.

“The respondents will be allowed access to medical attention and to their advocates,” Mr Shiundu, who further directed that the two be detained at Keroka Police Station, said.

Their lawyer, Mr Omondi Kasera, had asked the court to release the two, arguing that their continued detention was in breach of the law.

On Wednesday, a source at the DCI confided to the Nation that Mrs Obado had already been summoned but was later requested not to turn up “due to fresh emerging details” regarding the probe.

Reports also indicated that detectives will question a relative of Mrs Obado who is an ex-police officer.

The investigators are also gathering information about Ms Otieno and Nation reporter Barrack Oduor’s mission in Nairobi on Friday August 24, 2018, 11 days before their abduction.

“We have obtained the boarding passes they used to travel from Kisumu International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on August 24 and are investigating whom they met in the city and whether the meeting had any connection to the subsequent incidences,” a source privy to the ongoing probe said.

“From our preliminary investigations, the plan to execute the duo could have begun much earlier and they may have been lured to the City. However, the deal seemed to have flopped and the plot changed.”

The two travelled from Kisumu to Nairobi on August 24 aboard Fly 540, flight number 5H0408. The trip is said to had been organised by Mr Oyamo.



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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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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