Migori governor Okoth Obado admitted to the police on Tuesday he had a relationship with murdered Rongo University student Sharon Otieno and that the pregnancy was his.
According to police officers who have seen his statement, the governor reportedly said he had told Sharon to keep the pregnancy and was ready to take care of her and the baby.
Sharon, according to the police, had even asked to be bought a house in Nairobi. But the governor was ready to buy land or a house for her in Rongo.
Sharon’s family has previously said Obado had a sexual relationship with their daughter, who was found dead in Kodera Forest last Wednesday.
The seven-month pregnant woman had been raped and stabbed eight times: thrice in the neck, four times in the back and on the left side of her abdomen.
Yesterday, Obado, called a media conference in Nairobi where he once again denied any involvement in the murder of Sharon. He was flanked by his wife Hellen, daughter Evaline and son Jerry.
“I ask all agencies involved to speed up investigations so the killers are brought to book as quickly as possible,” he said in his short address to journalists. He did not take questions.
On Tuesday, Obado’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta confirmed that his client had a love affair with Sharon.
“When the photos were circulating in social media long before this, it was not a secret even the people in the county knew about it…there was a relationship,” he said.
Speaking to KTN news on Wednesday, Ombeta said Obado’s relationship was on and they cannot refute the claims.
“It is a normal thing for people to have a moment of weakness but speaking of murder no,” he said.
The revelations emerged on the day the court in Nairobi ruled that Michael Oyamo, the personal assistant to Obado, be charged with the murder of Sharon Otieno after two weeks.
High Court judge Luka Kimaru who read out the murder charge to Oyamo directed him not to plead to the charge because investigations had not been completed.
“You shall or may be charged with murder contrary to Section 203 as read with Section 204 of the Penal Code of the laws of Kenya,” he said.
“The particulars of the offence are that between 3rd and 4th September 2018 at Owande area, Rachuonyo South subcounty within Homa Bay county jointly with others not before court, you murdered Sharon Beryline Otieno. So that is for your information.”
He also ordered Oyamo be detained at the Muthaiga police station to enable police complete investigations, which detectives say are complex.
“Due to the multifaceted and complex nature of the investigation that involves many suspects and many leads, it is only fair that the subject continue to be detained for a further period of 14 days. He shall be detained at the Muthaiga police station. During his detention, his rights and fundamental freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution shall be protected.”
Sharon was abducted alongside Nation reporter Barrack Oduor while in the company of Oyamo who left them with the attackers. But the reporter freed himself and fled.
Yesterday Obado, dressed in a navy blue suit, light blue shirt with a matching shirt, strolled calmly to the press briefing at Nairobi’s Serena hotel with his guards keeping an eye on the battery of journalists.
“We have come here as a family that has been devastated, ridiculed and embarrassed by the sad news of the demise of Sharon. We are indeed at our very lowest moment in life. Hata usingizi hakuna, hata appetite hakuna [loosely translated as, ‘We have lost sleep and appetite’],” Obado said in his first media conference since the Sharon’s death.
Sending condolences to the friends and family of the deceased, Obado denied involvement in the murder that has seen so far his aide charged afresh in Nairobi and held in remand for fourteen more days.
“Yesterday (Tuesday), I recorded a statement in Kisumu with the DCIO. I would like to say here that I am still ready and willing to give further statements so that real killers of Sharon can be brought to book,” he said.
“As a law abiding citizen, I have nothing, and absolutely nothing, to do with the cruel death of Sharon,” he added.
The governor called on politicians and media to stop what he termed as medieval punishment, urging them to let the investigative agencies to do their job.
“I thank people of Migori, my supporters and the general electorate and all well wishers who have been with me in prayers. I call on them to continue praying for me in all endeavors. I urge all investigating agencies to speed up their work so as real killers of Sharon can be brought to book as fast as possible,” he said.
Attempts by journalists to know why Obado had taken long to speak, what relationship he had with the deceased, why police had interest in him and what link the aide had in the murder or on whose behalf he was acting, were thwarted by his lawyer Ombeta.
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.
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
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.
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.