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Daily Nation : February 9th 2014
VICTIM OF VIOLENCE | Kamukunji lawmaker can move on crutches and he is on his way to recovery Injured MP: I have forgiven my assailants The December 6, 2012 grenade attack in Eastleigh killed six people BY BERNARDINE MUTANU @mutanuberna firstname.lastname@example.org Member of Parliament Yusuf Hassan in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate. I Although he was badly injured and is still recovering, the lawmaker says he has forgiven his attackers and moved on. “I have never allowed this experience to put me down. Those who wanted to take my life failed, and whatever the time, the matter or the effort, I was determined psychologically to mend myself, get up and walk again,” he told the Sunday Nation in an interview. Mr Hassan says he has no idea about the people behind the at- t has been slightly more than a year since a grenade blast almost killed Kamukunji tack, explaining that it does not matter whether it was politically instigated or if it was an act of terrorism. His attackers are yet to be apprehended. The MP, however, says he has lost interest in knowing who they were since the concerned authorities seem to have kept quiet about the issue. “I am not going to be a captive of assassins. Their intention was very clear, but keeping anger and bitterness and having a vindictive mind will destroy me. Since I let it go, I have peace of mind.” “I want to say I have forgiven them, but I do not know whether to say so because of the fact that they killed six people,” he said. The lawmaker now uses crutches and can undertake some light duties unlike months before when he depended on helpers to carry out simple tasks. The December 6, 2012 grenade attack at al-Hidaya community centre in Eastleigh left him badly injured. “I survived because I had just moved from the epicentre of the attack. I missed by a whisker as two or three people who were standing with me and had moved a few seconds before me died,” he said. He recalls that among the dead were two children. He lost muscles on the left leg and suffered a broken right leg. One of his arms was shattered; he also suffered secondary burns and had to endure the shrapnel stuck in his body. Mr Hassan spent weeks at the Aga Khan hospital and then moved to South Africa where he undeerwent reconstructive surgery. A traumatic experience “It was a traumatic experience. At one point I would look at my leg, and all I could see were shattered bones. They had to be reconstructed,” he said. By April 2013 his left leg and hands had healed. But his right leg faced amputation. “The leg had broken bones. I want to say I have forgiven them but I do not know whether to say so because of the fact that they killed six people” MP Yusuf Hassan They were removed, but still it would not heal, and I had to go through a second operation. The doctors then decided to amputate because ‘it was not healing properly,’ he said. He could not bear the news; so he chose to go to the Hospital for Special Surgery, a top orthopaedic facility in the United States where doctors performed a third operation that saved his leg. “After the surgery at least I could put my foot down and could also move from the wheelchair to a walker, and now to the crutches,” he said. He describes the anguish he went through FILE | NATION Kamukunji MP Yusuf Hassan on the day he was given a nomination certitifacate by TNA ahead of the last general election. as a humbling experience. For days, he had to be moved from the bed to his wheelchair and to the bathrooms. But he said he would not en- tertain negative feelings capable of killing his spirit. “It is the kind of immobility that is disempowering; it is despairing when you are unable to carry out the normal functions of life. It gave me an opportunity to reflect,” he said. The MP also tells off critics who say it was sympathy that got him back to Parliament. “No TNA candidate got a direct Bishops decry high school fees BY FRANCIS MUREITHI Catholic bishops have criti- cised the ministry of Education for backing increased school fees by secondary schools. Chairman of Catholic Bish- ops’ Commission for Education and Religious Education Bishop Maurice Makumba Muhatia said higher fees may force some students to drop out. In statement issued in Na- kuru on Friday, he said the ministry should ensure national schools are accessible to all with merit regardless of their status. “The ministry of Education- should clarify to the public its position on secondary school fees charges and must also ensure that all children who have been admitted to secondary school are not denied their places because of their parents’ inability to pay school fees,” Bishop Muhatia. nomination. The idea that somebody stood down for me is false and unfounded,” he said. He was responding to former Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua’s claim that he stepped down for him during TNA nominations months before the elections. “I gave bursaries to 3,500 poor students in my constituency within the two years I was elected to Parliament,” he said. He is determined to grow his constituency which has already received Sh3 billion from the government for construction and improvement of infrastructure. There are still many complaints against Judiciary, says report BY OUMA WANZALA @Iwanzala email@example.com Poor service and missing files still account for more than half of public complaints about the Judiciary, an annual report on the institution says. The Second Annual State of the Judiciary and Administration of Justice Report (SoJAR), covering July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, and released by Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, says investment in training, culture change workshops, and technology will eliminate or substantially reduce the complaints. It says complaints to the ombudsman have dropped from 9,776 in 2011/2012 to 9,093 in 2012/2013. The report indicates that in 2012/13, the Judiciary received 9,093 complaints, and of these, 6,496 were closed successfully, 1,457 closed Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. after hearing while 622 are still active. “Whereas the decline in the number of complaints is an encouraging trend, we are still not satisfied with the response rate,” said the report. Dr Mutunga said the office of the ombudsman will be decentralised next year and expressed confidence about increased and aggressive public outreach.
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