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Kenya Airways’ (KQ) customers can now fly to more destinations across Europe, thanks to a new codeshare agreement between KQ and British Airways. Customers can book flights to these destinations starting 22nd October, 2021.

Travellers flying from Nairobi with Kenya Airways will be able to connect onto 26 destinations across the United Kingdom and Europe. These include Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Dublin, Aberdeen, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Travellers will also have more options to visit popular holiday destinations; Athens, Malaga and Lisbon.

In the reciprocal agreement, customers flying with British Airways from London, will also be able to connect to 20 destinations that KQ operates in. These include Douala, Zanzibar, Lusaka, Mombasa, Addis Ababa, Entebbe across East and Central Africa, Mauritius and Seychelles.

Additionally, British Airways’ Executive Club members will be able to earn Avios and tier points when flying on eligible codeshare routes operated by Kenya Airways.

Kenya Airways currently offers five flights a week from Nairobi to London Heathrow, every day except Wednesdays and Fridays, operated on the flagship Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Likewise, British Airways recently resumed direct flights from London to Nairobi.

Speaking on the additional destinations, Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer at Kenya Airways said, “The codeshare agreement with British Airways to provide our travellers with a seamless journey to and from Europe and Africa is very strategic. It will increase choices for thousands of passengers and will allow for smooth connectivity to a significant number of new destinations – particularly throughout Africa and Europe. By harnessing our complementary strengths, it will also provide benefits to aid the recovery of international travel and meet the increasing demand.”

On his part, Christopher Fordyce, British Airways’ Head of Alliances said, “After a difficult 20 months with global travel restrictions, it’s fantastic to see travel between the UK and Africa resuming. We are really pleased to be able to offer our customers access to even more destinations across the region thanks to our new codeshare agreement with Kenya Airways, making that bucket list trip even easier to plan.” By Grace Matheka, Hapa Kenya

By JULIUS MBALUTO

On Thursday this week, Nelson Primary School in London hosted an event focused on tackling climate change with a focus on the oncoming COP26, the 26th United Nations’ Climate Change Conference to be held on 31st October 2021 at Glasgow. 

The school team showcased great work the school children had done focused on creating more awareness on climate change. The event was organized by Fiona Cullen, Head Teacher Nelson Primary School and Mr Daniel Okiya, Y4 Teacher & Connecting Classrooms Through Global Learning Project Lead. 

The event was graced by Minister Hon Wendy Morton, Minister FCDO, Amrita Ahmed, Assistant Private Secretary, Amy Ballard FCDO, Emma Spencer FCDO, Amb. Joakim Kamere, Kenya’s Deputy High Commissioner in the UK, Dorothy Kamwilu, Education Attache, Jane Kimemia, Kenya High Commission, Mark Herbert, Director Schools, TVET & Non-Formal Education, British Council, Thomas Nissen, Senior Consultant, British Council, Shahed Ahmed, CEO New Vision Trust and many more guests. 

Kenya's Deputy High Commissioner in the UK Amb. Joakim Kamere and CS Education Prof George Magoha acknowledged and praised the great partnership between the UK and Kenya in education. 

Speaking at the event, Minister Wendy Morton said: 

“Millions of girls around the world are prevented from getting a full education due to extreme weather, which destroys schools and livelihoods, and forces people to flee their homes. Many are unable to go back and end up having to look after their families."

“The UK is committed to enabling more girls to stay in school and get at least 12 years of quality education, empowering them to lead change in their countries and communities.”

Regarding the impact of climate change on girls’ education, the Minister shared three key important points. She said, Girls are suffering from the worst long-term impacts of climate change, including to their education. Resources are used to survive instead of learn, trapping them in existing conditions of poverty, marginalisation, and vulnerability.

She added Flooding destroys schools, severe storms force people to flee their homes and the financial impacts of droughts mean families cannot afford to send girls to school. Girls’ risk of early marriage and pregnancy also increases in times of crisis as families and individuals use negative coping mechanisms to survive.

The Minister also said Climate-related forced displacement can cause disruption to girls’ education or result in them dropping out of school altogether. For example, after the 2010 Pakistan floods, 24% of girls in Grade 6 dropped out of school compared to 6% of boys.

The Minister said the UK Government had made huge strides in achieving its ambition for the right of every girl to access 12 years of quality education. Between 2015 and 2020, the UK has helped over 8 million girls into education. In 2021, the UK co-hosted the Global Education Summit co-hosted with Kenya and raised over $4bn in donor pledges to the Global Partnership for Education - which is now firmly on the path to raise US$5 billion by 2025, to enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school. 

She added, In Kenya, the UK is investing nearly £100 million between 2017 and 2023 to support over 330,000 girls, through the Girls’ Education Challenge programme. This includes the use of technology to support teaching and learning; teacher development activities; distance learning and catch-up classes; and clubs to build girls’ confidence and agency. 

During the event, Minister Wendy Morton with pupils and teachers from Nelson Primary School in London were joined virtually with students in Kenya with the Education CS Prof George Magoha and students for an exchange of Questions and answers. The UK’s Connecting Classrooms programme aims to help pupils understand the big issues that shape our world and equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to make a positive contribution. 

Since 2018, it has reached over 15,200 schools in 29 countries, including over 2,700 in the UK. It has also helped train over 63,000 teachers and school leaders across the globe. In Kenya, it is supporting over 400 schools and has trained over 800 teachers.

 

 

 

Police are investigating an incident in which a 17-year-old student at Gathiruini Boys secondary school in Kiambu county, was lynched by girls from a neighbouring school in an attack.

Brian Mbage, a Form 4 student, had together with five others sneaked out of their school, and crept into a girls dormitory at Komothai Girls' secondary school, at around 4am Thursday.

Police and other witnesses say the boys went into Phoeb House hosting almost 50 female students for an unknown mission. 

The boys were spotted by some girls who immediately raised alarm, attracting the attention of the whole school.

The school’s guards, teachers and students all rushed towards the dormitory to find out what was happening.

This prompted the other five boys to escape and managed to trace their way back to their school while the deceased was cornered by the angry students and staff and beaten before he was taken to a local hospital where he succumbed to the injuries.

Police say the victim sustained serious injuries.

Crime scene detectives later visited the scene and recovered planks of wood suspected to have been used to assault the suspect.

The body of the student was taken to a local mortuary ahead of planned postmortem.

This will form part of ongoing investigations, police said.

But even as police probe the matter, Mbage's mother Mary Mbage, has dismissed the mob attack story after viewing her son's body at the Kiambu Level 5 hospital.

She says the school management gave her a different account of events that led to her son's death.

"They told me that he jumped from the fourth floor and sustained injuries," she said.

"I have seen the body of my son and I'm so saddened. The injuries do not show signs of beating but the ones on his head show he died from trauma."

She described her son as hardworking, disciplined and jovial.

Police have cautioned members of the public to desist from taking the law into their hands and accord suspects the opportunity to face justice in a court of law.

Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti termed mob lynching criminal saying, “Those caught over the same will be prosecuted.”

Cases of lynching of suspects have been on the rise in various parts of the country amid campaigns to discourage the trend.

The latest incident happened in Kisii last week where four elderly people were lynched over claims of witchcraft.

Four suspects have since been arrested over the incident.

A group of human rights organisations have condemned the trend and asked authorities to address the same. - CYRUS OMBATI, The Star

Additional information from TV47

Labour has demanded an investigation into claims of a cover-up of the killing of a Kenyan woman. Photo PA

 

The Government should investigate any possible “cover-up” relating to the murder of a Kenyan woman whose body was found in a septic tank close to a British army base, a Labour MP has said.

The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was found at the Lions Court Hotel in the town of Nanyuki two months after she disappeared in March 2012.

The town is close to the Batuk (British Army Training Unit Kenya) camp.

An initial inquiry was unsuccessful, but a fresh investigation has been launched after an inquest delayed until 2019 found Ms Wanjiru was unlawfully killed, the Sunday Times reported last month.

This weekend, the newspaper reports that a soldier accused of the murder has been named by his comrades.

According to the Sunday Times, the soldier allegedly confessed to the killing, and another soldier reported it to senior officers at the time – but no action was taken.

A post-mortem examination found Ms Wanjiru died as a result of stab wounds to her chest and abdomen.

There was also evidence she had been beaten, although due to the condition of her body it was unclear whether she had been sexually assaulted.

Witnesses told the Sunday Times that Ms Wanjiru, a sex worker, was last seen leaving the hotel’s bar with a British soldier.

Labour’s shadow defence secretary John Healey said: “The details of this young Kenyan woman’s death are dreadful, yet there’s still no action from defence ministers on reports of grave failings by the British military exposed in this case.

“There’s been no MoD-led investigation of the soldiers involved and no inquiry into why the MoD failed to respond when Kenyan detectives asked for help.

“Nine years on, justice must now be done for Agnes and her family.

“The Defence Secretary must take this more seriously. He should pledge the fullest co-operation to Kenyan detectives and launch an inquiry into any possible cover-up from commanding officers, military police or the MoD.

“When our forces serve overseas they stand up for British values and these allegations, if proven, would profoundly betray those values.

“This is another case that raises serious questions about the way crimes are reported, investigated and prosecuted in the military.

“The failure of military justice undermines our relationships with allies and the bonds between those who serve with dedication in our armed forces.”

Tweeting about the Sunday Times story, Labour MP Jess Phillips said: “This is brilliant reporting and a tragic tale which I will be pressing the Defence Secretary for answers about.

“Her name was Agnes Wanjiru and we owe her a debt.”

Ms Phillips added: “I have actually stayed in this Hotel I believe while in Kenya meeting sexually exploited women and men.”

An investigation into Ms Wanjiru’s death stalled when a request by Kenyan police in June 2012 to the British Royal Military Police (RMP) that nine soldiers be questioned apparently went missing.

Detectives are said to have asked the RMP to put 13 questions to the soldiers, including whether any of them had sex with Ms Wanjiru on the night she disappeared.

A photo of the victim was included in the request, as well as a request for DNA samples to be taken from the nine men.

The Sunday Times is reporting that the man who allegedly admitted to the killing was not among the nine men.

An MoD spokesperson said: “In 2012, Special Investigation Branch carried out initial enquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to the Kenyan Police. No further requests were received at that time.

“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we are aware that the Kenyan authorities are looking into this incident.

“The jurisdiction for this investigation rests with the Kenyan Police, and we are currently in discussions with the Kenyan authorities to determine what support is needed.

“Due to this being subject to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.” - PA/Evening Standard

Josephine Ekiru addresses morans at Daaba, Isiolo County, after staying in the wilderness for three days in pursuit of stolen cattle. [Bruno Mutunga, Standard]

A Kenyan woman has won a US award on peacekeeping following her efforts to reduce conflict in pastoralist communities in northern Kenya.

Josephine Ekiru was selected as this year’s winner of the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) Women Building Peace Award for her substantial and practical contribution to building peace. 

“I never knew that one day I will be recognised. All my peace efforts were for future generations. I always desired to have my community and our neighbours co-exist in peace instead of causing pain to each other,” said Ms Ekiru, 34.

The award winner was declared by US Navy Admiral Michelle Howard during a virtual ceremony on October 20.

 

Josephine Ekiru (centre) at Kalama Conservancy. [Courtesy]

The award recognises the vital role of individual women who are working every day in pursuit of peace in fragile or conflict-affected countries or regions.

Ekiru expressed her gratitude, noting that her efforts to convene meetings with women, youth and elders have paid off. 

“This award is a call to women, youth and men to embrace peace and do what is right. The award gives us all, and especially women, an inspiration to not only champion for peace but to be decision-makers in our homes and communities while raising children,” she said.

According to Northern Rangeland Trust (NRT), a conservation organisation that works with peacekeeping ambassadors in Northern Kenya through community conservancies, Ekiru’s efforts to nurture peace in northern Kenya are milestones in mitigating and resolving conflicts in the fragile ecosystem while developing resilience in communities through her community conservation model.

“Effective and strategic community peacebuilding is built on a foundation of inclusive community consultations. Our relationship with community conservancies creates a neutral platform to bring people together for dialogue, offering alternative dispute resolution to violence,” said NRT’s Executive Officer Tom Lalampaa.

Josephine Ekiru was declared a winner by US Navy Admiral Michelle Howard during a virtual ceremony on October 20. [James Wanzala, Standard]

Lalampaa said NRT’s Member Community Conservancies witnessed the positive impact that the peace ambassadors achieved by convening 109 meetings with an attendance of over 10,000 participants in 2020. 

“Today there are 80 peace ambassadors across the landscape with 25 of whom are women being led by Ekiru," he said. 

“Ms Ekiru is a heroine. Her work to build peace in northern Kenya is a model for all of us,” said Nancy Lindborg, the honorary chair of the Women Building Peace Council. By Jacinta Mutura, The Standard

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