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Why Sonko is taking credit for reformed youth’s rehabilitation of this park – Nairobi News

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In 2017, a group of youth with criminal element in Korogocho put down their illegal firearms after most of their accomplices were gunned down chose to find lawful ways of earning a living.

Thus, Komb Green Solutions was born.

The youth, numbering about 70 in total, selected a large section of the Nairobi River in Korogocho and worked tirelessly to rehabilitate it.

The ‘People’s Park’, as the youth have nicknamed it, was previously a dumping site and hot spot for crime filled with garbage and human waste. Thanks to the youth’s work, its now a serene venue where even children come to play.

The park was officially opened in November 2019.

With well-manicured grass, stone-paved pathways and trees offering shade from the scorching sun, it has become a popular spot for residents of Korogocho.

CLEANUP PROJECT

But now, Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who has recently embarked on a mission to cleanup Nairobi and Ngong River, is partially taking credit for the hard work of these youth.

“The new look of Nairobi river riparian land in Korogocho area, Embakasi North Sub-County after we rehabilitated the place to create a recreational park for locals and visitors,” the governor tweeted.

But according to Moses Muchina, a confessed reformed criminal who is a member of the group, it was all their hard work from beginning.

Muchina says he and one of his colleagues, by the name Frederick Okinda, mobilized 24 other youth – some of them former criminals and commercial sex workers – and with donations from local residents bought the tools they needed to start their first clean-up project.

Other than cleaning the river, they also erected gabions on the edges of the river to mitigate soil erosion. They also cleared the river banks of waste and debris and planted trees, grass and flowers on the river bank.

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Their efforts completely transformed the river bank into an island of captivating beauty.

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Speaking to Nairobi News on Thursday, Mr Okinda said he doesn’t blame the governor for taking credit for what they had done.

“We wrote a letter to Mr Sonko and told him what we had done and he responded by offering all of us jobs as part of the team that is cleaning up the river and we are happy about that,” Okinda said.

He added that when they started the cleanup project, it was during former Governor Evans Kidero’s era and that they are happy that Sonko responded to them in November last year.

In March 2019, local non-profit organisation, Public Space Network, recognised the impact of the People’s Park by granting Komb Green Solutions a first prize of Sh100,000 in a competition for youth-led initiatives transforming public spaces around Nairobi.

Mr Okinda is now seeking to convince internet service providers to install Wi-Fi in the park.

“That will help youths looking for job opportunities online and help them interact with the world,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr Sonko says Komb Green Solutions is going to keep doing what it can to increase the number of green spaces around Nairobi.

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Four cops charged in Floyd death, one with 2nd-degree murder » Capital News

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The death of George Floyd has sparked nationwide protests, including this one in Washington near the US Capitol on June 3, 2020 © AFP / MANDEL NGAN

Minneapolis, United States, Jun 3 – The white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of a black man who later died will now be charged with second-degree murder, and his three colleagues will also face charges, court documents revealed Wednesday.

The May 25 death of George Floyd — who had been accused of trying to buy cigarettes with a counterfeit bill — has ignited protests across the United States over systemic racism and police brutality.

“Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is increasing charges against Derek Chauvin to 2nd degree in George Floyd’s murder and also charging other 3 officers,” US Senator Amy Klobuchar tweeted.

“This is another important step for justice.”

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Chauvin was charged last week with third-degree murder, which is roughly akin to manslaughter. A charge of second-degree murder does not suggest premeditation but carries stiffer penalties.

Court documents show the second-degree murder charge was added to the prior charges.

The three other officers have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, documents show.

In a statement, Floyd’s family described news of the new charges as a “bittersweet moment.”

“This is a significant step forward on the road to justice, and we are gratified that this important action came before George Floyd’s body was laid to rest,” the statement said.

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The statement, issued by family attorney Ben Crump, also said that Ellison would consider elevating the charge to premeditated murder “if the evidence supports it.”

The family urged protesters to “raise their voices for change in peaceful ways.”

Tens of thousands of demonstrators defied night-time curfews Tuesday in several US cities.

But the demonstrations were largely peaceful, and while there were tense standoffs with law enforcement, the protests did not feature the looting or clashes with police of previous days.

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KDF officer pursues Sh317K from Aim Global Limited ‘agents’ – Nairobi News

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A Kenya Defence Forces officer is pursuing Sh317,000 from two men who lured him into global multi-level marketing agency –-Aim Global Limited– promising him packages of the agency’s products and a monthly commission of Sh20,000.

The two suspects Austine Muema and Collins Owino Onyango are said to have promised the military officer handsome returns but the investment turned out to be hogwash forcing him to report to Kamukunji police station.

The two are under investigations for obtaining money by false pretences from Moses Otieno Okongo of Kenya Navy.

Okongo had been introduced to the venture by his colleague who further introduced him to Onyango. Onyango had purported to be an Aim Global’s agent.

Okongo transferred Sh271,000 to an account belonging to Alliance in Motion Global Kenya Limited between April 2 and 4 via a pay bill number.

He later sent Muema Sh46,000 via M-Pesa but afterwards, he has only been receiving promises.

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Okongo was to receive a package of the products for sale after meeting the requirements and a Sh20,000 each month before he realised the deal was fake.

Onyango and Muema were apprehended last weekend and a police officer at Kamukunji unsuccessfully sought to detain them for seven days pending investigations.

Constable Geoffrey Cheruiyot wanted to hold the two for seven days but Makadara chief magistrate Heston Nyaga freed them on Sh 50,000 bond and directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to probe the activities of the agency.

Okongo was listed as a second applicant in Cheruiyot’s application.

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Donald Trump trying to ‘divide’ America: Ex-Pentagon chief Mattis

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Washington

Former Pentagon chief Jim Mattis issued a stinging rebuke of his erstwhile boss Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing the president of trying to “divide” America and failing to provide “mature leadership” as the country reels from days of protests.

Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 over Trump’s ordering of a full troop withdrawal from Syria, also voiced support for the demonstrators whose anti-racism rallies have roiled the country.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in a blistering statement posted online by The Atlantic.

“Instead, he tries to divide us,” added the retired Marine general, who had previously argued it would be inappropriate for him to criticize a sitting president.

NO MATURE LEADERSHIP

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“We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership,” he stated.

Mattis described himself as “angry and appalled” after witnessing events of the last week, which saw Trump threaten a military crackdown on American citizens as nationwide protests turned violent in some cities.

The fury was ignited by the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer, and whose agonizing death was filmed by bystanders.

The demonstrations have mostly been peaceful, but some have degenerated into violence and looting as night falls.

WHOLESOME DEMAND

Mattis wrote that the protesters’ call for equal justice was a “wholesome and unifying demand.”

And he slammed the decision to use force to clear peaceful protesters from near the White House on Monday to allow Trump to pose for photographs at a nearby damaged church, calling it an “abuse of executive authority.”

The photo op has become a lightning rod for criticism of Trump’s handling of the crisis, with religious leaders, politicians, and onlookers around the country expressing outrage.

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“When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis stated.

CONSTITUTION

“Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens – much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Trump dismissed Mattis with a tweet, rehashing his claim that he “essentially” fired his Pentagon chief.

“Probably the only thing Barack Obama and I have in common is that we both had the honour of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General,” the president wrote.

Mattis was head of US Central Command when Obama fired him in 2013 over his hawkish views on Iran.

CALL FOR SOLIDARITY

For months after Mattis resigned, he refused to criticise Trump publicly, insisting the military must remain apolitical.

Wednesday’s statement appeared to signal that he no longer felt bound by that sentiment, as he called for solidarity – with or without the president.

“We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society,” Mattis wrote.

He also appeared to rebuke current Pentagon chief Mark Esper, without specifically naming him.

“We must reject any thinking of our cities as a ‘battlespace’ that our uniformed military is called upon to ‘dominate,'” he said.

Esper faced criticism after telling US governors on Monday that they should “dominate the battlespace” to end the protests.

On Wednesday, the Pentagon chief backtracked, telling reporters: “In retrospect, I would use different wording.”

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