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Seven events that shook Kenya in 2017

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[dropcap]C[/dropcap]hristmas festive is once again here with us. as usual, Santa Claus is already in town with his red and white attire, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers already with their guitars wishing everyone happy festive with their chilling songs.

We have a reason to smile and celebrate the festive season after a long year characteried with among other factors political battles.

Even as we remain optimistic to welcome the year 2018, below are the 7 events that brought the whole nation to a standstill in 2017.

1. Separated Siamese twins discharged from hospital

Kenya came to a standstill when the two-year-old Siamese twins- Blessing and Favour were finally given a clean bill of health to walk home after spending close to 700 days at the hospital.

It took a 58-strong team of surgeons 23-hours to separate the twins who were joined at the lower back after two years of meticulous planning.

Celebrations rocked the whole country. This was a big win for the nation and medical practitioners at the country’s largest health facility.

Kenya became the first country in the East African region to successfully conduct an operation of such kind.

What a joy this was, Blessings and Favour shall forever remain vital characters in the Kenyan books of history chapter 2017.

2. Month of death: Death claims four leaders in a matter of days

The late Laikipia Senator GG Kariuki.

Dubbed the month of death, July, which is also the coldest month in the country’s climatic history, shall forever remain in the memories of many Kenyans as long as we live.

 In a span of days, the country lost a serving Cabinet Secretary, two former Cabinet Ministers — one of them a sitting Senator — and a former powerful Permanent Secretary to the cruel hand of death.

July became one of the darkest moments in the country’s history.

The country first lost the most decorated boxer, short-statured seasonal politician Godfrey Gitahi (GG) Kariuki. At the time of his death, GG was the Senator for Laikipia.

Before long, heartbreaking news of the death of the then Interior Cabinet secretary Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery filtered the air.

Anyway, no one expected a major general to die that easily at a time he was needed most.

Just when Kenyans were still coming to terms with Nkaissery’s death, Kenya’s foremost “total man” and former powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott was no more.

READ: Inside the world of a Kenyan cryptocurrency miner

All was not done, the tearful month kept moving, all we could do was to send messages of condolence accept and move on.

Death did not wait for the inks to dry in the condolence books before it once again snatched us our own grey-head career civil servant  ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat.

The country came to a standstill, we had lost a big deal. Never before had so many prominent Kenyans met their deaths in their own distinct ways and their bodies taken to one resting place — Lee Funeral home — cold and motionless.

Broken hearted as we were, we escorted the month singing the scarlet song of lost hopes.  Forever will this month go unmentioned in the 2017 history of Kenya?

3. Glowing tributes for Moi Girls’ fire victims

It was not business as usual at Moi girls this day, usually, tents would be erected on special occasions like parents day, prayer day or prize awards day.

But on this day, the unexpected had happened. Joyous laughter and girlish giggles were replaced by long tired faces as both students and parents trooped into the school to mark an emotional farewell to the girls who lost their lives in the dormitory inferno.

Somber mood engulfed the entire institution, as tearful parents and relatives offered emotional tributes to the departed souls.

This was the most difficult day for teachers who instead of writing end-of-year report cards had to pen painful poems to capture the lives of young scholars who will never have an opportunity to fully exploit their potential.

The whole country was mourning; everyone looked to the tent reserved for the bereaved families, where they all bowed their heads for most of the special memorial service.

So painful it was to see our young charming girls with bright future meeting their death at a place one least expected.

4. Baby Pendo loses fight for life with IEBC ink on her finger 

In as much as the 2017 political dusts might have risen higher above the sky with its ethnic division, the death of 6-month year old baby Samantha Pendo held the country at ransom for hours.

In the words of Baby Pendo’s father Mr Abaja, “After my wife voted, the polling clerks inked Pendo’s tiny finger.”

The couple were excited that their little girl had changed the destiny of this nation little did they know that Pendo was on a journey that would end tearfully.

Really is this the price the young angel would pay for having witnessed her parents exercise their rights, oh no! I feel I should stop at this point for I don’t feel it was necessary for the police to send back Pendo to his God just months after paying homage to Kenya.

Pendo who was born after her mother had suffered nine years of one after another miscarriage died in the hands of brutal police officers when she was hit severally after a raid in their house.

All her mother would say was, “My angel is gone.”

Rest in peace Baby Pendo, You will forever remain in our hearts.

5. Supreme Court quashes Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election

 “A decision is hereby issued that the elections held on August 8, were not conducted in accordance with the Constitution and the applicable law. The results are therefore invalid, null and void,” Chief justice David Maraga said.

These were the words that shook the nation on into two different directions.

Whereas the areas perceived to be the opposition strongholds was covered with clouds of joy, ululations and celebrations, fear, panic and suspense gripped the Jubilee strongholds.

The Supreme Court of Kenya had automatically booked itself a slot in the world record as the first court in Africa to nullify presidential elections.

The cake was not well shared, others were mourning while others were celebrating. The offenders and the defenders each registered their sentiments both in sadness and happiness.

The day was cursed by a section of Kenyans and praised in equal measures.

Globally, Kenya joined Austria and Maldives to become the only countries so far annul presidential results.

6. Raila makes grand entry in town amid police crackdown

It was all joy for the opposition supporters to learn that  their partly leader was due to jet back in the country after close to 10 days trip abroad.

The party stalwarts sent invitation to all their members to turn up in large numbers to welcome Agwambo at the airport.

Despite warning by security apparatus not to step to the airport,  the supporters never heeded their call.

The grand entry of Raila saw police officers arming themselves to the teeth ready to execute what they do best.

ALSO SEE: School girl stripped naked by police awarded Sh4 million

It is on this day that the nation was treated to close to a 5-hour standoff between security personnel and Odinga supporters.

Chaos, water canons, teargas, running battles and suspected live bullets marred the event with minimal success from the side of the police.

There was total gridlock along the major city roads, traders closed shops and fled for safety, the city centre lost its fresh breath of oxygen as the tear gas filtered the air.

Indeed BABA had arrived and the country had to stop and welcome him back home.

7. Road accidents claim over 80 lives in just 72 hours

 

Gosh! Look at that headline, quite disturbing right; well this is the gift that the merry-making month of December honoured Kenya within a span of just 72 hours.

Ideally an uninvited guest had paid a courtesy call at the most unexpected time and robbed us off what rightfully belongs to us-life.

It all begun from Baringo to Kamukuywa Bridge to Kwa Makaa along Thika-Matuu Road and to the most deadly one at Sachang’wan on the Nakuru-Eldoret highway.

While many died, majority suffered paralysis, others remained amputated, and the lucky ones were served a hot cup of painful memories to sip as long as they live.

Kenyans were bereaved the whole country was covered with dark clouds of sorrow and grief. The only question one would ask was, where did the rain start beating us?

Adios 2017.

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CAVIN ODHIAMBO
CAVIN ODHIAMBOhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
Cavin Odhiambo is a reporter with Business Today. He has passion in dealing with socio-economic and political matters . You can reach him on [email protected]
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