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A file photo of the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti. Image: EZEKIEL AMING'A


The man wants DCI boss George Kinoti to order the immediate restructuring of its social media platforms.

In Summary

•The DCI story suggested the woman was a member of the 'basmati babes' gang and the man was just another victim.

•"I enquired about how I ended up in the hospital and the nurses told me the police officers from Kenol police station brought me in," he added.

A senior policeman in Murang'a County wants the office of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to apologise for allegedly misinforming the public.

The officer said the DCI, through social media, called his wife names after they falsely accused her of spiking his drink.

On Monday, DCI wrote on its social media platforms that a man had been admitted to the hospital after a woman he was drinking with stupefied his drink. The woman was accused of unsuccessfully trying to empty the man's bank accounts before the bar waiter came to his rescue. 

But it now turns out the woman and the man were married, and he just felt sick when they were out having some drinks.

"I take alcohol. My wife does not take alcohol. I was feeling unwell, but I was determined to take my wife out. But after taking several bottles, I felt weak and told my wife to drive me to hospital," he said.

According to the policeman, after regaining consciousness, his wife was nowhere to be found.

"I enquired about how I ended up in the hospital, and the nurses told me that police officers from Kenol police station brought me in," he added.

He was then shown the DCI Twitter timeline where the story had been published.

The tweet thread narrated how a man was fighting for his life at a hospital in Murang’a County after a drink he was taking was laced with an unknown substance by his lover, rendering him unconscious. 

The DCI story suggested the woman was a member of the 'basmati babes' gang and the man was just another victim.


His wife, who was being detained, was later released after explaining that she was his wife. The police who arrested her also apologized for the incident.

The senior police officer now wants DCI boss George Kinoti to order the immediate restructuring of DCI's social media platforms.

The Kenyatta International Convention Centre, a leading MICE facility in Nairobi/Image: FILE/Photo Courtesy Star
In Summary

•Kenya will be exhibiting at the exclusive event for the first time under the ‘Meet in Kenya’ banner.

•The Kenya National Convention Bureau is targeting to propel Kenya to the top 50 MICE destination globally.

Kenya is banking on the tourism trade show in Frankfurt, Germany to market its meeting and conference facilities, as countries strategise on post-Covid recovery.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala is leading a delegation of business meetings and events companies from the public and private sector to the three days event, which runs from May 31 to June 2.

Kenya will be exhibit at the exclusive Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events (MICE) event for the first time under the ‘Meet in Kenya’ banner, as the IMEX Frankfurt makes a come back after two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This comes at a time when country and global meetings industry is slowly  recovering from the effects of the pandemic that saw a sharp decline in tourism due to travel restrictions.

The annual Tourism Sector Performance Report 2021,  by the Tourism Research Institute (TRI), shows that last year, international arrivals for business events and meetings was 229,804, accounting for 26.40 per cent of the total arrivals.

Total visitor arrivals to Kenya grew 53 per cent compared to the previous year, closing at 870,465 , from 567,848.

The business and MICE numbers were close to the 299,802 visitors who came into the country for holiday, which has traditionally been the main reason of visit.

It was the third purpose of visit after the 257,357 who came into the country to visit family and friends, TRI data shows.

“The forum aims to build consensus on critical advocacy issues for both destinations and policy makers and align conversations and actions towards increasing sustainable economic benefits of business events. Kenya has put in place strategies to grow this important sector,” Balala said yesterday.

Kenya was ranked fifth in the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Africa country ranking for association meetings, with Nairobi ranked number five on the city rankings, and Mombasa at 13th in Africa. 

It was ranked 73 in the continent, in 2018.

The gap in proactive MICE marketing and bidding and general information about the market readiness and available facilities to host meetings has been an inhibitor to growth of the sector, according to the Kenya National Convention Bureau(KNCB).

The bureau, led by National Coordinator Jacinta Nzioka, is targeting to propel Kenya to the top 50 MICE destination globally and at least top two in Africa in the short-medium-term.

Kenya Tourism Board, PrideInn Hotels, Twiga Tours, Enashipai Hotels and Resorts, African Quest Safaris, Accor-Fairmont Kenya and Glory safaris are among the 3,500 exhibitors in Frankfurt.

It is estimated that every international delegate spends at least Sh370,000 per conference trip of about three to six days, reflecting the huge potential MICE holds for the economy. By Martin Mwita, The Star


A total 150 troops of the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) and 36 Rwanda National Police members, on Friday, May 26, travelled to Uganda to participate in the 12th East African Community Armed Forces Field Training Exercise, codenamed “Ushirikiano Imara 2022.”

The exercise will run from May 27 to June 16. Its objective is to promote the EAC integration agenda, by enhancing joint state of readiness and interoperability of EAC partner States’ Armed Forces, Police, Civilian Components and other stakeholders in responding to complex security challenges, according to a statement from RDF.

The Division Commander, Mechanised Division, Maj Gen Wilson Gumisir iza, briefed the departing contingent on behalf of the RDF leadership, reminding them to uphold RDF values of patriotism, honour, valour and integrity and also maintain discipline throughout the exercise.

The two-week long exercise is attended by all six EAC partner states’ armed forces, police personnel and civilians. - James Karuhanga, The New Times

Photo Courtesy

Jane Nayituriki, a farmer from Burera district in northern Rwanda, had been waking up early every morning to catch the migratory grey-crowned cranes flying along the neighboring Rugezi wetland in order to raise their chicks as domestic pets. 

Nayituriki, a mother of four, was a member of a group of poachers who used to set up their camps in different parts of marshland zones in Rwanda to catch the grey-crowned cranes flying in her village. 

“In the past, people here were engaged in unsustainable practices of poaching cranes, but thanks to latest conservation efforts, most of the villagers have now stopped hunting,” she said in an interview.

These illegal activities by local villagers were conducted before an initiative to address this threat to cranes was developed. Nayituriki is now among a group of crane poachers who recently refrained from the illegal acts and found other means of earning a living. Along with farming, Nayituriki now benefits financially from some activities such as the regular cranes’ census, when conservation groups hire local communities to help. 

Official estimates in Rwanda show that the grey-crowned crane is hunted for meat and alleged medicinal value but also, some people use the birds as pets in their households and hotels. They are also sold to global illegal wildlife dealers.

The plumage of the adult crane is gray with white wings that contain feathers with a range of colors, with a distinctive black patch at the very top. The head has a crown of stiff golden feathers, which makes it considered as a symbol of wealth in Rwanda.

Grey Crowned Cranes/Photo Courtesy Infonile

The Rugezi swamp has long been among famous sites in Rwanda where thousands of grey-crowned cranes congregate.

Beyond Rwandan borders, the species is listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List as an endangered species from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Kenya south through Tanzania and Burundi to Mozambique.


While grey-crowned cranes are part of Rwanda’s wildlife species, the illegal domestication of these endangered birds for both commercial purposes and consumption has gained ground in recent years.

In response, the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA) has made a concerted effort since 2015 to address the threats posed to grey-crowned cranes: confiscating all cranes being kept illegally in domestication, returning those that are in good health to the wild in the Akagera National Park, and working towards establishing a good captive facility for those that cannot be released – serving ultimately as an education centre for crane conservation.

A sanctuary for disabled birds

Several hundred grey-crowned cranes that fell victim to poaching and wildlife trade in the past few years are now safe in a newly established  facility known as “Umusambi Village” (Cranes Village) located in Nyandungu, a suburb of Kigali city.

During the rescuing operation, conservationists retrieved many cranes that were disabled and injured as a result of living in captivity.

Dr Olivier Nsengimana, a Rwandan conservation leader working to save the endangered and symbolic grey-crowned crane /Photo Courtesy

“Umusambi Village” is currently a sanctuary for about 70 of these birds, which can no longer fly.

The 21-square-hectare captive village is the first of its kind in the country after the Cabinet of Rwanda approved in September 2020 the draft law giving green light to private companies or associations seeking to venture into wildlife conservation for commercial purpose in the country.

Before the new law, associations like the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association were only authorized to take cranes from captivity into the wild, but the new measures allow the association to run reserves like Umusambi Village privately.

Umusambi Village provides a sanctuary for over 50 endangered Grey Crowned Cranes saved from the illegal pet trade/Photo Courtesy

Some of the people who used to capture cranes are now employed in the conservation reserve, which is also generating revenue from tourists who come to see the cranes. 

“Thanks to these efforts,  local communities living around the site are benefiting from ecotourism opportunities in their area,” said Olvier Nsengimana, a Rwandan veterinarian who designed the project aimed at saving the country’s endangered grey-crowned crane.

Habitat loss and poaching

Nsengimana is the Executive Director of Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association, a local non-government organization seeking to abolish the illegal trade of the grey-crowned crane in Rwanda.

Estimates show that these birds are the only species of crane found in Rwanda. However, they continue to be threatened by several human factors, including habitat loss and poaching of adults, chicks and eggs. 

A draft of new legislation was approved by the Rwanda Government Cabinet in 2020 that prohibits the domestication and illegal trade of wild grey-crowned cranes. However, the practice is still common in rural areas and urban settings.

These threats, according to experts, are often driven by poverty, livelihood disadvantage and lack of conservation awareness, as well as people and animals competing for the same habitat.

Increased pressure on land, mainly for agriculture and human settlement, has made it difficult to effectively conserve grey-crowned cranes, according to Nsengimana and Ruhagazi of RWCA.

This is because land pressures affect the species’ breeding cycle as the bird’s main habitat is wetlands and marshlands, said Telesphore Ngoga, who is the head of the conservation division at the government’s Rwanda Development Board (RBD).

While Rwanda is home to an incredible variety of biodiversity, the country  is challenged by high population density and poverty. Rwanda currently has a population of more than 12.6 million people living on 26,338 square kilometers of land. Land and resources are often overstretched due to high competition between people and wildlife.

Back to the wild

Despite the challenges, conservation experts say the threats against this endangered bird species have greatly improved in Rwanda due to the recent initiatives.

According to Nsengimana, the number of grey-crowned cranes in Rwanda has reached impressive levels, driven by measures such as providing support and engaging communities in initiatives to reduce poaching.

The latest estimates by the RWCA show that the population of this threatened bird species has grown by more than 105 percent — from 487 cranes in 2017 to 997 in 2021.

Some wetland zones in Akagera National Park, located about 100 kilometers from Kigali, have become a vital transfer station for the formerly domesticated species. Of the 319 cranes that have been removed from captivity, 242 have been reintroduced to the wild in the national park.

Dr. Deo Ruhagazi, Crane Project Programme Manager and Field Veterinarian at RWCA, said that while selling rare birds was a major economic activity for rural households, “community awareness has been important to those engaged in poaching, selling and keeping cranes at home.”

One of the successful measures includes the development of bird-themed tourism including an awareness campaign focusing on the environmental consequences to those reluctant to hand back any crane they might have.

“Local residents have transformed from poachers to bird protectors as they have realized that protecting cranes is protecting themselves," said Ruhagazi.

Rangers of Umusambi Village Conservation Reserve/Photo Courtesy InfoNile

Since 2014, the RWCA in collaboration with the International Crane Foundation’s Conservation Medicine Department has undertaken public awareness campaigns and helped to officially register 319 cranes held in captivity to supplement a remnant population in eastern Rwanda. By Aimable Twahirwa, InfoNile

5 suspects arrested for kidnapping a man and demanding for a ransom to set him free on Thursday, May 26,2022.
Image: DCI

Women are now luring unsuspecting men from social networking sites before leading them to a room.

In Summary

• The five are Joseph Makau Mulatya, Patrick Wekesa Omosa, Rehema Njeri, Vigilance Mumbi and Hadija Ong’ai.

• The man had called his relatives claiming that he had been involved in a road accident and needed Sh100,000 for treatment.

Detectives based in Parklands have arrested five suspects for kidnapping a man and demandinga ransom to set him free.

The five are Joseph Makau Mulatya, Patrick Wekesa Omosa, Rehema Njeri, Vigilance Mumbi and Hadija Ong’ai.

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said it is a crime that is growing where women lure unsuspecting men from social networking sites, before leading them to a room where the man is held hostage and asked to buy his freedom. 

Three women who were arrested prey for men online, promising them a good time as a way to trap them.

Man and woman among the 5 suspects arrested for kidnapping a man and demanding for a ransom to set him free on Thursday, May 26,2022.
Man and woman among the 5 suspects arrested for kidnapping a man and demanding for a ransom to set him free on Thursday, May 26,2022. Image: DCI

With a special preference for men of caucasian origin, the women lure the smitten men to a house behind Ruaraka’s Naivas supermarket, with a promise of an action packed night from two to three women depending on ones preference.

"But moments before they get down, a rude knock suddenly interrupts the occasion as a man posing as a boyfriend to one of the women suddenly appears, throwing a spanner in the works of an eventful evening," Kinoti said.

"What follows are demands for a ransom depending on how deep one’s pockets are."

In Thursday’s incident, sleuths from a special team that has been on the trail of the 'babes' stormed the house where the victim was being held hostage.

"They found him stark naked, as the five suspects eagerly waited for an Mpesa transaction of Sh100,000 to set the man free."

"The man had called his relatives claiming that he had been involved in a road accident and needed Sh100,000 for treatment," DCI said.

Two women among the 5 suspects arrested for kidnapping a man and demanding for a ransom to set him free on Thursday, May 26,2022.
Two women among the 5 suspects arrested for kidnapping a man and demanding for a ransom to set him free on Thursday, May 26,2022. Image: DCI By Purity Wangui, The Star 

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