Monday, December 31, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly of 2012

 

By DN2 WRITER dn2@ke.nationmedia.com

JANUARY

  • American President Barack Obama predicts a re-election into his second term at the helm of the world’s superpower nation.
    DR Congo President Joseph Kabila flies into Kenya in search of looted gold.
  • “I am proud to be one of the best earners in the league,” says combative Ugandan midfielder Musa Mudde after he is named the best paid soccer player in the Kenya Premier League. He earns Sh86,000 a month at Sofapaka.
  • Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agrees to a $1.69 million (Sh143.6m) cut to his annual salary that makes him the highest paid elected head of government in the world. Loong trousers more than four times Barack Obama’s $400,000 (Sh34 million) a year as US President.
  • The Higher Education Loans Board names lawyers as the worst loan defaulters.
  • American celebrity couple Beyonce and Jay-Z splash a whopping $1.3 million (Sh113 million) to hire out the entire fourth floor at the Lenox Hill Hospital, New York to ensure maximum privacy during the C-Section birth of their daughter, Ivy Bleu Carter.
  • An Indonesian hacker gains access to 103 Kenya government websites and threatens to attack again if the government continues with its laxity on cyber security. He thanks a local media magazine that broke the story, for “driving more traffic to his website”.
  • “Messi will be the player to win the most Ballons d’Or in history,” predicts Dutch soccer great Johann Cruyff after 24-year-old Lionel Messi, the effervescent dribbler from Rosario, Argentina, is awarded the third consecutive Ballons d’Or, the only player to so achieve after Frenchman Michel Platini.
  • A man in Kiangai village, Kirinyaga County is arraigned in court accused of marrying a 10-year-old girl. He had paid Sh5,000 dowry to her coastal parents.
  • Hundreds of hectares of Mt Kenya Forest are destroyed by a fire started by porters preparing a meal for tourists. Rare species of trees worth Sh8 billion are destroyed.
  • John Njiraini is named Kenya’s top tax collector, replacing Michael Waweru as Commissioner General of Kenya Revenue Authority.
  • The 28th Africa Cup of Nations is co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, whose national team is promised $1 million (Sh85 million) for every win.
  • The International Criminal Court at the Hague confirms the crimes-against-humanity charges on four of the “Ocampo-Six” — Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and radio presenter Joshua Sang. Postmaster-General Hussein Ali and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey are let off for lack of evidence.
  • A 48-year-old Thai thief is arrested and a thousand pairs of women’s underwear found in the trunk of his car. Police find more than 10,000 pairs at his house. The man admits to stealing and collecting women’s underwear since 18. “He smelled them all the time even while driving,” says police Major General Saroj Promcharoen.
  • High Court Judge David Majanja dismisses a case by Edwin Thuo, a high school teacher who wanted to be recognised as a son of former Cabinet minister Njenga Karume.
  • Kenyan Asha Atieno Ogutu, 24, is sentenced to life imprisonment for drug trafficking in the Philippines and is fined three million Philippine peso (Sh5.9 million).

FEBRUARY

  • “Pocket Rocket” Vivian Cheruiyot is named the world’s best sportswoman at the 13th Laureus World Sports Awards. And not just in track and field, but in all sporting disciplines.
  • Nderitu Njoka of Maendeleo ya Wanaume claims 300,000 men were battered by their spouses in Central Kenya, making the region the most dangerous place in the country for men in wedlock.
  • Six deaths and 33 road accidents follow fans celebrations in Zambia after Chipolopolo, the national team, qualifies for the finals of the Nations Cup via beating Ghana 1-0.
  • Philip Moi, son of retired President Moi, is compelled by the court to pay for the maintenance of his estranged wife, Rossana Pluda.
  • Whitney Houston dies at 48.
  • Environment Minister John Michuki and former Defense Minister Njenga Karume die of a heart attack and prostate cancer respectively. “I cannot speak for the president, but obviously it is an immense loss to lose two close friends whom he knew for almost 60 years,” says Jimmy Kibaki, the president’s son of the deaths.
  • Jerome Corsi, an extremist right-wing American writer who was deported from Kenya four years ago, receives a “devastating” manuscript from Miguna Miguna, the former advisor to Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Peeling Back the Mask ends up being the most-talked-about-book of 2012.
  • “If you wait for God to do His work, you will get a husband no matter the age,”says Naida Wambui Githu, the 79-year-old mother of six who weds Paul Chege Macharia, 89, in Rwegetha in Gatanga, Murang’a County. “Since the death of my first wife in 2005, I have been very lonely. I decided to get another life partner who loves me, and settle down,” replies Macharia.

MARCH

  • Nyanza’s Maranda High School is the top performer in the 2011 Form Four examination. Nalianya Job of St Peter’s Seminary in Mukumu, Western Province is the best student with a mean grade of 87.13613.
  • Zimbabwean Richmore Chazi appears in court for “insulting and undermining the president” after joking in a bar that President Robert Mugabe is strong enough to blow up the balloons for his 88th birthday party.
  • A grenade attack at Machakos Country Bus, Nairobi, kills six and injures 63 others.
  • A fire tragedy, caused by a leaking gasket in a fuel storage system that costs Sh1,000, kills 100 and leaves 160 others injured in Sinai, Nairobi.
  • Tourist Minister Najib Balala is sacked for “shooting the ball into his own goal,” says Prime Minsiter Raila Odinga.
  • Oil is found in Turkana.
  • American Richard Lee Norris, 37, who lost his lips, nose and teeth in a 1997 gun accident, receives a new face in medical history’s most extensive face transplant at the University of Maryland Medical Centre.

APRIL

  • Nine people die in Mathare 4A slums after a landslide.
  • Somali terror group Al-Shabaab bans livestock export to Kenya.
  • Denmark is the happiest country in the world, says the United Nation’s World Happiness Report. Togo, Benin, Burundi, Tanzania, Haiti, Comoros and Congo (Brazzaville) are some of the least happy.
  • Joyce Banda becomes the first female president of Malawi.
  • The First Lady is “fine”, says a statement from the Presidential Press Service after Kenyans begin wondering about the “disappearance” of Mama Lucy Kibaki.
  • “John Killer”, a rogue elephant, is translocated from Laikipia after being blamed for three deaths and destruction of property.
  • Veteran cartoonist Frank Odoi dies in a road accident in Nairobi.
  • The City Council of Nairobi is ISO certified “for service delivery”. The ensuing public outcry leads to cancellation of the “eyesore” award.

MAY

  • Garsen MP Danson Mungatana is taken to court for issuing bouncing checks in Nairobi and Mombasa.
  • Stephen Oluoch, 24, is stabbed to death in Mbotela estate, Nairobi after a row over a Manchester United versus Manchester City soccer match.
  • Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho wins the Spanish La Liga title. Chelsea wins the FA Cup, trouncing Liverpool 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in England.
  • Jackson Ngechu Makini (Prezzo) and brothers Alex and Malonza represent Kenya in the Big Brother Africa television reality game show in South Africa.
  • The plaque on Tom Mboya’s statue along Moi Avenue goes missing.
  • The widow of former vice-president Kijana Wamalwa is sued by her step-children in connection with Sh36.5 million paid to the family as gratuity.
  • Two pastors, Benjamin Juma and Jackson Kioko, are mistaken for thugs and lynched in Jomvu Mombasa.
  • The Olympic flame is lit in Ancient Olympia, signaling the final countdown to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
  • African pole vault bronze medalist Caroline Cherotich shatters her own national record to retain the Kenya Defense Forces Athletics Championships at Kasarani. She erases her previous 3.10m record to set a new 3.15m one.
  • Manchester City are crowned Barclays Premier League champions in England. They score twice in injury time to humble Queen’s Park Rangers 3-2.
  • Head of the Anglican Church in Kenya, Eliud Wabukala weds Rhoda Luvuno at St Peter’s ACK church in Nyali, Mombasa.
  • Virgin Atlantic pulls out of Kenya, citing increasing costs and challenging economic times.
  • Finance Minister Njeru Githae’s son Brian Njeru commits suicide at their Runda home in Nairobi.
  • Presidential contender Uhuru Kenyatta launches The National Alliance at KICC, Nairobi.
  • Former Police Commissioner Major-General Hussein Ali retires after nearly four decades of service.
  • Thirty-six people are injured after a grenade explodes in a retail centre along Moi Avenue, Nairobi.
  • Former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor is handed a 50-year jail term by the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Netherlands.

JUNE

  • Former President Moi’s son, Philip Moi, files for bankruptcy.
  • Alex Kinyua, a 21-year-old Kenyan studying in Maryland, US, confesses to killing and eating his housemate, Kujoe Bonsafo, 37.
  • Allegations of corruption, mismanagement and internal conflicts rock the Vatican.
  • Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak is sentenced to life in prison for his role in the murder of protesters during the uprising that ousted him in 2011.
  • Queen Elizabeth marks her Diamond Jubilee of 60 years at the English throne.
  • Zachary Kimotho embarks on a 4,000-kilometre journey on wheelchair from Nairobi to Jo’burg to raise money for a spinal injury unit in Kenya.
  • Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and his assistant Orwa Ojode perish in a helicopter crash in Ngong’ Forest. Also in the tragic flight are pilots Nancy Gituanja and Luke Oyugi and bodyguards Thomas Murimi and Joshua Tongei.
  • Finance Minister Njeru Githae reads a Sh1.45 trillion “politically savvy” budget.
  • Poland and Ukraine co-host the Euro Cup.
  • Kenyans have stashed a staggering Sh72 billion in Swiss Banks, the Central Bank of Switzerland reveals.
  • MPs dilute the Constitution, altering laws designed to discourage party-hopping and new thresholds for qualification to elective office.
  • Machakos County is the most expensive town to plan a family, while Kisumu has the highest number of bachelors, says the Kenya Medical Research Institute.
  • David Sanguli is caught in a weird battle with a hospital mortuary for the right to bury his right limb. Reason? The mortuary is asking for Sh500,000 as five-year fees for limb storage!
  • Eighteen people die and 109 others go missing after a landslide buries 11 villages in Bududa near the Ugandan side of Mt Elgon.
  • World 3,000m steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi is charged with assaulting Ann Njeri in Eldoret. He is released on bond.
  • Former head of the civil service Geoffrey Karekia Kareith dies at 87.
  • US ambassador to Kenya Scott Grantion is recalled to Washington.

JULY

  • Fourteen people die and 50 are injured in a grenade attack in a church in Garissa town.
  • Serah Aruwa, a university student at USIU, is abducted and later murdered.
  • World youth silver medalist Alphas Kishoyian re-runs his 400m hit solo and qualifies for the finals at the Estadi Olympic in Spain.
  • The media serialisation of Miguna Miguna’s stinging memoirs, Peeling Back the Mask, causes a political storm.
  • The British government officially acknowledges that colonial forces tortured and abused Mau Mau detainees during the freedom struggle.
  • Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo kicks off a moral debate after supporting Rwathia Girls’ students who were demanding their right to wear shorter skirts to school.
  • Nairobi is ranked the fourth most popular tourist destination in Africa in the 2012 MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index.
  • Sixty people drown and more than 80 go missing in a ferry tragedy in Zanzibar.
  • The 30th Olympiad starts in London.
  • Ruth Matete wins Tusker Project Fame V, becoming Sh5 million richer.

AUGUST

  • Jamaican Usain Bolt sets a new 100m record of 9.63s during the 2012 Olympic Games. Kenya’s Ezekiel Kemboi wins the 3,000m steeplechase to retain a 44-year-old tradition in the seven-lap distance in 8:18.56. David Rudisha breaks the 800m world record in a blistering 1:40.91s. However, the Games are Kenya’s worst since the 1984 edition in Los Angeles.
  • Francis Ewaton, a former MP for Turkana South, shoots his wife, then turns the gun on himself.
  • A landmark ruling orders former president Moi to surrender 100-acres of his Kabarak farm to rancher Malcolm Bell, a neighbour.
  • At Sh2 trillion, roads are the government’s most expensive asset.
  • Arsenal striker Robin van Persie joins Man-United.
  • Veteran politician Martin Shikuku dies.
  • Forty-eight people including 11 children are massacred over pasture land in Tana River County.
  • Eight students are burnt to death in a dormitory fire at Asumbi Girls’ Boarding Primary school after an electrical fault.
  • The murder of controversial cleric Sheikh Aboud Rogo spark protests in Mombasa. One prison warder is killed and 14 other security officers injured.
  • Former Finance PS Wilfred Karuga Koinange dies at 73.

SEPTEMBER

  • Teaching is paralysed after teachers go on a countrywide strike. University lecturers down their tools. Doctors and nurses follow suit.
  • Kenya Airways sends home 453 employees in a 800m retrenchment programme.
  • Local Government Minister Fred Gumo is found with former president Moi’s Range Rover that had been stolen four years earlier. He explains that he bought it from a Mombasa businessman.
  • Zimbabwe’s eight-year search for a hangman ends after a Malawian is hired to deal with a backlog of 71 executions.
  • Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Sam Ongeri is evacuated from Somalia after surviving a suicide bomb attack targeting the new president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
  • Former Finance Minister Arthur Magugu dies.
  • Kenyan rugby team the Morans lose the Safaricom Safari Sevens title to South Africa.

OCTOBER

  • St Polycarp Church ACK Church in Pangani is attacked with a grenade. One child dies and eight others are injured.
  • Kenya and Celtic midfielder Peter Wanyama is worth a staggering Sh3.4 billion, says his manager, Neil Lennon.
  • Shem Onyango Kwega, an parliamentary aspirant in Kisumu, is shot by gangsters, sparking riots.

NOVEMBER

  • Nyeri residents wake up to the shocking news that Erastus Gikandi, a rich businessman, was among three gangsters shot after a bank robbery.
  • Presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth officially launches his bid.
  • A police officer is killed and scores injured after a grenade attack at a church in Garissa town.
  • President Kibaki officially opens the 40-kilometre Thika Superhigway.
  • “The best is yet to come” promises US president Barack Obama after his re-election for a second term.
  • Victor Wanyama becomes the first local soccer player to score in the Uefa Champion’s League during Celtic’s 2-1 victory over Spanish side Barcelona.
  • 40 police officers are killed in Baragoi during an operation against cattle-rustlers.
  • Tusker wins the Kenya Premier League.
  • Sebastian Maina claims that Zachary Musengi, son of the late Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, is his biological son.
  • Gor Mahia’s Dan Sserunkuma is Kenya Premier League’s Best Player.
  • A man in Kieni, Nyeri, kills his wife and eats some of her body parts before he is lynched by a mob.

DECEMBER

  • Over 900 motorists are arrested as new traffic rules takes effect.
  • Kenya Airways reinstates the workers it had sent home earlier after a court ruling in their favour.
  • Harambee Stars lose 2-1 to Uganda Cranes in the finals of the 2012 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup in Kampala.
  • Voter registration in Kenya is punctuated by apathy.
  • Former South African president Nelson Mandela spends two weeks in hospital over a lung infection.
  • President Kibaki delivers his last Jamhuri Day speech.
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