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My life history: Lawyer Evans Monari’s eulogy in his own words

So … I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honour. However, I did have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?

So in the end, remember… do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life.

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By the late Evans Monari (RIP)

As read by Solicitor General Ken Ogeto

It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. For once I didn’t get things my way this time around!

On 20 October, 1962 my parents and the larger Riakumba Village celebrated my birth and I was introduced to all as Evans Nyarong’i Monari, the first born child of George Hudson Monari Ogeto (who left us recently) and Teresa Bosibori Monari. Thereafter, I celebrated the first birthdays of my siblings Ken, Dr. Fronica, Late Lilian, Geoffrey and Dennis.

As a child I attended Nyakongo, Kahawa and St. Georges Primary Schools, which planted the seed that eventually led me to becoming a lawyer. Frankly speaking, I really enjoyed reading comics like Archie, Astrix, Beano etc. Occasionally I would play ‘Hide and Seek’ and was the biggest trader of marbles in the neighborhood.

I proudly started my secondary school education at Parklands but I didn’t like their uniform and soon left for Upperhill School where I spent five years. Indeed, I passed my A-level with flying colours winning the coveted best literature student in Kenya before proceeding to study law at the University of Nairobi. Initially I wanted to study journalism but thanks to my late father who convinced me to study law, something I am forever grateful.

So many things in my life seemed of little significance at the time they happened but then took on a greater importance as I got older. The memories I’m taking with me now are so precious and have more value than all the gold and silver in my jewelry box.

Memories … where do I begin? Let’s for a moment shift our thoughts from the fact that I am gone from earth to another world to one of the many funny, joking, laughing, musical, happy comical times we shared together … and there were many for all us.

For a brief, MY LIFE HISTORY: By Solicitor-General Kennedy Ogeto, CBS. As Narrated by Evans Monari, take a moment to relieve it and smile.

The law class of ’87 where I was the class prefect, was a very successful lot, we even produced the First Lady Chief Justice in Kenya, well done Chief Justice Martha Koome!

IEBC Lawyers Wambua Kilonzo and Evans Monari deliberating outside a courtroom at Milimani Law Court on Wednesday October 4,2017 (Photo: Nairobitimez)

I will be writing the names of noise makers from this world. Keep our vision alive and remember ‘when I want your opinion I will give it to you’. Being the cheerleader of ‘The Mean Machine’ was amazing, I fully feel you guys, I hear your song … let’s keep it happy.

I got married to my friend and sweetheart Jacqueline Okindo in a garden wedding at the Great Court, University of Nairobi in 1994. We were blessed with lovely children namely: Cynthia Angel Monari-Childerhouse, Michelle Moraa Monari, Joshua Andrew Monari and Jeremy Monari.

I was the father in law to Thomas Mark Childerhouse and korera to Mark and Hellen Childerhouse. Son-in-law to the late Andrew Okindo, Tabitha Moraa and Agnes Moraa. Brother-in-law to Carren Monari, Eng. Amedi Mutuli, Evelyn Monari, Pacifica, Hellen, late Julius, Jane, Prof. Elmelda, Beatrice, late Cecilia, Sixtus, Felix, Roselyne, Gregory, Gratus, Lydia, Wilfridah, Veronica, Edna, Clare, Marcella and Christine.

I was a nephew to Daniel Bosire, Wilkister Nyakang’i, Florence Mosero, Monica Kemunto, Moses Nyambane, Dr. Julius Ogeto, Jane Obonyo and others. Cousin to Robert, late Kepha, Rodgers, late James, Philomena, George (USA), Ronald, Eugene, Roy, Douglas, the Bosires, the Abners, the Obares, the Wakhungus, the Dr. Ogetos, the Mogakas and others. Uncle to Mary, George, Nicole, Stephen, late Peter, Natasha, George, Stephanie, Maria, Rehema, Casey, Hudson, Eric, Sheila, Maureen, Jivone, Lorna, Jayden, Daphne and Braiden. Grandfather to Zahra.

As a young lawyer I did my pupillage at the prestigious Kaplan and Stratton Advocates under the tutelage of the famous Senior Counsel Pheroze Nowrojee before proceeding with my long legal journey at Oraro and Rachier, Simani and Co. Advocates, Mboya Advocates.

At some point, I was a State Counsel before taking on a brief stint at the Museums of Kenya. Later, I partnered with some of my learned friends and formed Sunkuli, Ogetto and Monari Advocates before joining Daly and Figgis as a Partner. I have advised and litigated in countless areas of law that span from commercial, civil, judicial review, constitutional to high-profile criminal briefs.

Among my stand-out achievements were my successful defence of the Government of Kenya in an International Arbitration and the role I played in 2011, as the Lead Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Court in respect of my friend Gen. Hussein Mohammed and later joined the Defence of H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta. I was also part of the legal team that acted for H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta during the 2017 Presidential Election Petition at the Supreme Court of Kenya.

I served the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) diligently as a Council Member from 2007 to 2010 and also represented the LSK in the National Council for Law Reporting (Kenya Law) between 2009 and 2015, among other capacities. I was also a member of the East Africa Law Society (EALS). I served in several public appointments among them the 2016 Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel.

Unknown to many I served as a Board Member of a Dutch NGO known as Friends for Life Foundation that pays fees for poor kids and supports mentorship programmes. My last assignment was as the Senior Disputes & Arbitration Partner at Bowmans Nairobi, Kenya: Coulson Harney LLP, Chairman & Non-Executive Director of Eaagads Ltd. and Chairman & Director of Sax & Violins Lounge, Karen.

I bravely endured a long illness but unfortunately on Monday October 4, 2021 I passed on after being hospitalised at the Nairobi Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where I was battling multiple complications of the internal organs.

I’ve been a devoted son, an energetic teenager, a loving husband, a comforting father, a dedicated lawyer, a true and loyal friend and if you don’t believe it, just ask me. Oh wait, I’m afraid it’s too late for questions. Sorry!

So … I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honour. However, I did have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?

So in the end, remember… do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life.

Oh, and never stop smiling. If you want to, you can look for me in the evening sunset or with the earliest spring daffodils or amongst the flitting and fluttering butterflies. You know I’ll be there in one form or another. Of course that will probably comfort some while antagonizing others, but you know me … it’s what I do.

I’ll leave you with this … please don’t cry because I’m gone; instead be happy that I was here. (Or maybe you can cry a little bit. After all, I have passed away).

Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably playing a saxophone too.

Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give”.

If that is true, then I made a great life.

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Policy & Governance

Kwa Bulo Squatters Embroiled In Land Tussle Over Unpaid Land Rates

More than 10,000 residents from the Kwa Bulo estate within Nyali sub-county in Mombasa affected by eviction  have called upon the government to intervene.

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Kwa Bulo Squatters in Mombasa have asked the National Government to intervene from being evicted by an insurance company claiming ownership of  85 acres of the land.

More than 10,000 residents from the Kwa Bulo estate within Nyali sub-county in Mombasa affected by eviction  have called upon the government to intervene.

Former Nyali Mp Bolo Awiti addressing more than 10,000 residents from the Kwa Bulo estate within Nyali sub-county in Mombasa affected by eviction notice. Photo: Jane Mwanza/Correspondent.Africa

This comes after they received a vacation notice. An insurance company claims to own 85 acres of the land.

Former Nyali Member of Parliament Mr. Hezron Awiti said he has written a letter to the President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to intervene on their behalf. He claimed that Mombasa County Governor Ali Hassan Joho has failed them.

“We had surveyed all squatters land in Mombasa and we agreed in the parliament that the minister of planning to come in Mombasa to take the measurement. The title deeds process should have started by now after that the president himself came to Mombasa,  whereby he gave an order that all the lands should be divided and given to citizens at the governments expense. On the other hand, Governor Joho himself promised to take responsibility of Kwa Bulo. We don’t understand what has changed in between that now they are demanding for the squatters to pay for it,” said Awiti.

In his statement,  Awiti said,  during his tenure as Nyali MP in 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Parliamentary Land Committee visited the area. The National Land Commission was ordered to resolve the stalemate and settle the squatters.

“Every time we are around an election, it is when we hear all these kind land cases. But,  once the elections are over, we don’t hear it. I think this is part of their plans to sell these lands to their richest friends and land grabber. Because, the residents can’t afford to pay for these land. I want to tell them that we are going to stand strong together and win against them,”’ Awiti concluded.

The squatter’s chairman Mr. Omar Kalama said the alleged owners of the disputed land are forcing the squatters to pay land rates ranging from 2 million to 10 million shillings inorder to continue occupying the parcels.

“We have been leaving with demolishing threats for years. Now,  they want to evict us because they are forcing us to accept their offer of money through a letter. A public notice is indicating gives us an ultimatum to pay land rates with some households receiving bills as high as Ksh2 million,  and some as up to Ksh10.5millions. Honestly, we can’t afford to pay these amount of money and we are not going to pay for it. That is why we are appealing to the government to intervene and pay these business people. Come elections time, we will boycott,” said chairman

According to the Chairman,  the over 10,000 victims’ of  Kwa Bulo is not comparable to the number of the about 15,000 families residing in Mombasa Central Business District under absentee landlords.

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Environment

Boost As Gov’t Attains 70pc National Water Coverage

There are about 64 projects are ready for commissioning and will benefit about 2.7 million people who will have for the first-time access to safe clean drinking water.

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The government has increased the national water coverage from 53.3 per cent in 2013 to 70 per cent in 2022 which has enabled 34.8 million people to have access to safe and clean drinking water.

Water, Sanitation and Irrigation Cabinet Secretary (CS) Sicily Kariuki said that additionally, the sewerage coverage has gone up from 22 per cent in 2013 to presently 29 per cent in urban areas.

Speaking at Maji House while giving a report on the status of the Rapid Response Initiative (RRI) of the projects across the country, Kariuki said that the Ministry is on course to ensure that the water coverage moves to 80 per cent and sanitation of sewerage coverage to 40 per cent by the end of 2022.

The CS also pointed out that there was an increase of areas under irrigation from 350,000 acres to presently 650,000 acres.

“To date we have a portfolio of 685 projects cutting across water, sanitation and irrigation that is being implemented at various stages of execution,” she said.

Furthermore, she cited that since the introduction of the RRI, several projects have been completed while those still pending have been put on fast track saying that some of the finished projects include the Naivasha Industrial Park, Mavoko water supply, Homa Bay cluster water project among others.

The CS revealed that the RRI which is a result-based process enabled fast tracking of implementation of the Ministry’s priority programmes and also led to increased efficiency and faster project completion rate as well as realisation of the value for money of the current investment.

She highlighted that new project have been processed and will contribute to the progressive realisation of human rights to water and sanitation.

“Today I have launched the fifth wave of RRI project which aims to increase the area under irrigation by an additional 8,257 acres,” she said.

Moreover, the CS announced that 64 projects are ready for commissioning and will benefit about 2.7 million people who will have for the first-time access to safe clean drinking water.

By Mary Wangari and Fardosa Bonaya

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Politics

Well-Wisher Build House For A Vulnerable Family In Kisii After Their House Got Worn Out

Richard has been living in the leaking, mud-walled, single room  house. His tribulations worsened whenever it rained at night. “We used to converge in one corner with my children to avoid being rained on, “he said.

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Richard Jimmy beneficiary( left) James Onkanki ( Right) at Nyankongo village the handing over the new constructed house photo/Elizabeth Angira

A family in Kisii has a reason to smile after a well-wisher built for them a new three-roomed house. Richard Jimmy and his family have been spending sleepless nights in a leaking house.

Speaking during the handing over of the house, Mr Richard-the beneficiary, said that he had a difficult and challenging life after his parents perished. He thanked James Onkaki, for building a house for them in  Nyankongo village, Kitutu Chache South within Kisii County.

Richard said that he has been living in the leaking, mud-walled, single-room house. His tribulations worsened whenever it rained at night. “We used to converge in one corner with my children to avoid being rained on, “he said.

Richard Jimmy beneficiary( left) James Onkanki ( Right) at Nyankongo village the handing over the new constructed house photo/Elizabeth Angira

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MS Fostina Ogake, his grandmother,  challenged other politicians to give hands to vulnerable families. “This is the strange thing we have witnessed from a politician,” Ms Ogake said. She challenged other politicians to emulate examples from Mr Onkaki who has the virtues of a good leader. She stated that their condition is going to change after they got a new three-bedroom house.

The residents applauded Mr Onkaki for his generosity and challenged themselves to vote for leaders who support change, growth and development. He challenged the electorates to choose visionary leaders.

“I know we are in the electioneering period, let’s not allow some politicians to come up with empty promises and vote wisely,” Mr Onkaki said.

He faulted some leaders for engaging in empty political rhetoric and no track records instead of addressing pertinent issues affecting the public. Moreover, Mr Ongaki asked Kenyans to elect people who can stand for the truth and dedicate their time to serve Kenyans and their challenges.

According to him, most people languish from poverty due to unemployment leading to the vulnerable ones not affording even the basic needs.

“It really hurts me some section of politicians would pledge to make empty promises to the innocent electorates, after they are elected, they don’t fulfil such promises, “he said. Mr Onkaki is going to vie for a parliamentary seat in Kitutu Chache South. He said that if elected he is going to support groups, improve road networks, among other projects.

Those who are in the race for the Kitutu Chache South Parliamentary seat are Pius Abuki, Andrew Maubi, Samuel Omwando, and Youth Secretary in the Office of the Deputy President Anthony Kibagendi among others.

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