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Weight loss: The new fasting craze and why it might be bad for you

Intermittent fasting is all the rage now — it involves the dieter going without food for long periods with the aim of losing unwanted weight fast.

A number of Kenyans, especially women, swear by the diet, and have flaunted their eye-popping results on social media after just a few weeks of starting the diet.

So popular is the regimen that several Facebook groups dedicated to it have been created, attracting thousands of followers.


Carolyne Muturi, who first tried the diet last year, says that she saw a dramatic change in her weight after just a few weeks. She was so pleased, she even documented her journey on her Facebook page, showing her before and after photos.

She would also post photos of her meals and give blow by blow accounts of all the things she had eaten and drank. In less than two months, Ms Muturi, who had been 99kg, had lost 17kg. She also incorporated a ketogenic diet, which involves one eating a high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet.

To lose the weight, Ms Muturi would avoid meals for 23 hours, surviving on water and herbal teas before her next meal. When she would break her fast, she would eat high fat and protein meals with some vegetables. Her typical meals featured meats, eggs, salads made from raw vegetables, avocado and cucumber.

Despite the seemingly positive results in such a short time, the diet has some hidden dangers, especially to those who try it without proper guidance from a nutritionist.


Henry Ng’ethe, chairperson of the Nutritionists Association of Kenya, says one may not get all the nutrients they need due to intake of limited meals. This kind of dieting, he said, may affect fertility, making conception harder in future.

“Our bodies convert fats and proteins from the food we eat into hormones. You might want to conceive in the future and you find that there are some challenges, because the micronutrients needed for the process are not available,” he says.

Women who go on the fasting diet while breastfeeding also undermine their children’s health. “There are vitamins that you must take into your body every day, and if they are not provided, it might result in a certain deficiency,” Mr Ng’ethe warns. Lack of these nutrients in a growing baby’s diet could affect their brain development, leading to lower cognitive function.

Children get other micronutrients like zinc, selenium, sodium and potassium, to help them develop physically, from their mother’s milk, he explains.


“Mothers give their children what they eat through breastfeeding. If they are fasting, then the body starts breaking down fat which is used as energy. This fat is what goes to the child. Where will the children get the micronutrients? If you have a baby boy, and you lack selenium in your diet, it will affect his reproductive organs, for example,” Mr Ng’ethe cautions.

He blames the rise of fad diets to laziness and reluctance of Kenyans to seek expert opinion from professional nutritionists before they start on their weight-loss journey.

“Intermittent fasting is not the easiest way to lose weight. A nutritionist can draw up a plan and add a little bit of exercise and that can solve your problems,” he says.

He admits that some studies have shown that fasting helps in some cases: it speeds up generation of new cells and metabolism.

“It’s good because we need to boost our immune system, but we need to know at what point we need to fast,” he says.

However, “those suffering from any illness — like tuberculosis — and you are eating normally, you will still lose weight and possibly become underweight. What if you add fasting on top of that?”


“If fasting has to be done, it has to be under the guidance of a nutritionist. That way, even if someone is taking only one or two meals a day, we can ensure that the daily dietary allowance is met. If you are able to meet that daily, it is okay,” he said.

Mr Ng’ethe warns though, that information such as one’s family medical history has to be taken into account before the radical diet is allowed.

It is also difficult to sustain weight lost in a short time.

Ms Muturi, for instance, was unable to sustain the diet and eventually regained the weight she had lost — she is now 94kg, five kilos shy of her original weight.

To maintain healthy weight, the nutritionist advises, aim to eat plenty of vegetables, moderate amounts of food, avoid sugary beverages, exercise and above all, be disciplined in your eating.

Innolatex recalls Sure condoms in Kenya over quality

The manufacturer of Sure lubricated condoms has issued a product recall over quality concerns.

Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (Kemsa), which distributed the condoms in the country, in a letter to stakeholders asked for cooperation in the return process.

“Lifeline Laboratories is recalling the product due to quality issues,” Kemsa’s assurance manager Dr John Aduda said in the letter dated September 12, 2019.

The affected condoms have batch numbers 17DN754 and 17DN052 and are set to expire between December 2021 and December 2022.

A Lifeline Laboratories spokesperson said that they had been contracted by the Thailand-based manufacturer, Innolatex Limited, to do the recall.

Consumers have been advised to check the brand name and date on the packaging material and foil wrapping to see if they are in possession of the potentially defective condoms.

Should one find the condoms match the affected batch numbers they are advised to immediately stop using them.


Condoms are preferred for the dual role of being both a contraceptive method and a barrier against sexually transmitted infections, but their success is tied to correct and consistent use.

However, faulty condoms can increase the chances of transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

In general, take the following precautions before using a condom:

  1. Make sure that the condom is in its original wrapping.
  2. Only use condoms from legitimate condom makers that use the appropriate materials. 
  3. Check the expiration data.
  4. Do not store condoms where they may be scrunched or bent.
  5. Check for any defects on the condom. 

Ruto sucked into controversy over purchase of 900 acres

Deputy President William Ruto has been sucked into another land controversy after a human rights lobby demanded an investigation into his acquisition of a 900-acre tract once owned by former vice-president Joseph Murumbi.

In a letter to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the Trusted Society of Human Rights questions the acquisition four years ago of the Intona Ranch land in Trans Mara West sub-county by the DP after paying off a loan owed to the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) by the late Murumbi. The land was bought through North Mogor Holdings.


In documents sent to the DCI and copied to Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the society also wants AFC and directors of North Mogor Holdings investigated over claims of abetting corruption.

Attached to the letter, signed by the lobby chairman Elijah Sikona, are sale agreements, court responses between the family and AFC and registration documents of the buying company.

The land, located 23 kilometres south-west of Kilgoris, was allocated to Murumbi in 1977 by the Narok County Council and was officially handed over to him by lands and settlements minister Joshua Angaine.

According to AFC records, Murumbi defaulted on a Sh8.9 million loan he had taken from AFC in 1985 to finance farming. He was required to repay the loan over 25 years.

Murumbi, an avid collector of African art, died in 1990.

His brothers, Mr Kitui ole Yiamboi and Oiboo ole Kapeen, filed a petition in court, arguing that the AFC loan had been written off by the government.

They filed a fresh application in the Environment and Land Court in Kisii challenging AFC, Intona Ranch Ltd, Kilgoris Land Registrar and the Attorney-General over the ownership of the land but lost the case.


The fresh case challenged the judgment on the grounds that the court case was filed by parties that had no legitimate expectations on the land.

Records filed in court show that in 1978, Intona Ranch borrowed from AFC Sh573,875, which was disbursed and eventually settled. A second loan of Sh8.6 million was given to the company in September 1985 and the land was used as security.

Intona Ranch defaulted, prompting AFC to demand immediate settlement of the outstanding amount. When that failed, AFC, through Dawning Agencies and Auctioneers, advertised the property for sale by public auction, and the land was bought by AFC on November 20, 1998 for Sh28 million.

A senior AFC official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Murumbi and Mr Steve Omenge were listed as the directors of the ranch when the loan was taken in 1985 and a title deed was surrendered as security.

“AFC tried to auction the land in 2004 but no buyer turned up, forcing the corporation to take possession of the ranch,” says the official.


The lobby, however, claims AFC sold the land LR NAROK/TRASMARA/INTONA/2 on October 19, 2015, to North Morgor Holdings (NMH) allegedly on behalf of the DP.

Three years ago a group of 99 members of the Moitanik clan also laid claim to the land, and a court ruled that the resource be divided between AFC and the community and the latter was given more than 1,000 acres (Tranmara/Ntona 33), while Mogor bought the rest, 976 acres (Tranmara/Ntona 34).

However, Mr Sikona says the AFC general manager fraudulently and illegally transferred the property title deed from the owner of Intona Land Ltd to AFC without following the law.

He said immediately after the land was transferred to AFC, it changed from private to public land.

“AFC herein failed to follow the Public Procurement and Disposal Act while undertaking the subject transactions,” said Mr Sikona.

The lobby also wants the DCI to investigate NMH Company with registration no CPR/2015/205961, registered on September 2, 2015 with two directors, Mr Kitipa Ole Nashurr and Mr Paul Tapukai ole Mebarni.


And according to the sale and purchase agreements, the lobby indicates that on September 7, 2015 — five days after NMH was registered — the company wrote a letter of offer to AFC through their advocate Messrs Kemboi and Company requesting to purchase 976 acres to be excised from the Intona ranch.

The corporation, in a letter, AFC/LEGAL/EX-RIM No 004180, eight days later, considered the request to sell the land to NMH for Sh63,440,000 but with terms set by AFC, including full payment within 90 days and a down payment of sh15, 60,000, or 25 percent of the total amount.

The lobby wants investigations carried out into who was paid the principle amount as the only money that can be accounted for is Sh634,000 paid for stamp duty on November 13, 2015 through a banker’s cheque number 874230 at Chase Bank in Nairobi.

In a letter to the corporation by the family in July 26, 2013 through their lawyers Oguttu-Mboya and Company Advocates, they protested that the transfer and registration of the subject land in favour of AFC was procured and obtained fraudulently.


The law firm, under instructions from one principal shareholder of the family of Murumbi, accused AFC of fraudulently doctoring the transfer instrument and therefore causing the subject land to be registered in the name of the corporation.

“It is trite law, that a charge, over and in respect of the charge security, is not authorised to participate in the auction relating to the charge security. Besides the charge cannot purchase the charge security, unless the same sought and obtained leave of the court to do so,” argued the family in the letter received and stamped by the corporation in 2013.

In December 2015, five family members, three of whom are now deceased, sought the intervention of the Chief Justice to repay the loan and be allowed to retain the land that their brother owned but were turned down in unclear circumstances.

MR Ruto’s name has been linked to the controversial acquisition of the land on which Weston Hotel in Nairobi stands and the acquisition of a parcel belonging to a post-election chaos victim in Uasin Gishu. The DP has since handed back the latter land to the owner in an out-of-court settlement.

Mombasa Governor Joho breaks silence on Likoni ferry disaster

Seventy-two hours after the ferry tragedy, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has finally broken his silence calling for patience as the retrieval mission slowly progresses.

The governor has received a lot of flak for keeping mum about the incident at the Likoni Channel even as ferry safety measures have been called to question for putting thousands of Mombasa commuters at risk.

On Sunday at 6:15pm, 35-year-old Mariam Kighenda, and her daughter Amanda Mutheu, 4, a student at MM Shah academy, drowned, when their vehicle a Toyota Isis, registration number KCB 289C, on board MV Harambee ferry rolled off into the sea, midstream at the busy crossing in Mombasa.

“It has been a painful wait for the family and relatives of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter as rescue operations intensify at the Likoni Channel. We understand the complexity of the search operations being the reason for the delay, and therefore we are asking for patience. We are part of the multi-agency team involved in the search operations,” Mr Joho said.


The Mombasa governor also urged the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) to enhance safety measures and consider mounting movable barriers to secure cars that may develop mechanical problems.

“This is not the first time this is happening. My condolences go to the family of Miriam,” Mr Joho said.

The recovery exercise has resumed Wednesday morning with Government spokesman Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna saying that the divers are from Kenya Navy, Kenya Ferry Services, Kenya Ports Authority, Kenya Coast Guard and the Marine and Fisheries Research Institute.

Mombasa County said its inspectorate team is helping in crowd control and offering logistical support as its team was not trained in deep sea diving.

An explainer on how to survive a sinking vehicle

Sunday’s tragedy in which a mother and her daughter drowned in the Indian Ocean after their vehicle rolled off the ferry at the Likoni crossing has raised many questions.

Was the car properly parked and switched off?

Was the ferry faulty?

What else could be done to save the two innocent lives from a scary and painful death?

The jury is still out there on who, the driver or the ferry services, carries the blame on why the vehicle reversed into the water.


However, from video footage taken by onlookers at the time of the incident, it was evident that with some training and knowhow, the mother and child could have escaped death.

According to Irish Water Safety, it is possible to survive even after your vehicle is submerged in water.

In the website, a guide on what to do in the event a vehicle you are in starts sinking in water has been given.

Utmost importance has been given to quick action given the air supply of the passengers is quickly diminishing and the chances of survival increase if the vehicle is still afloat.

  1. Stay calm – it is important to remain calm and avoid panicking if the vehicle you are in gets immersed in water. It is counter intuitive but it helps you keep a level head and able to take more deliberate and life saving actions.
  2. Unfasten your seat belt and that of children in the vehicle. Prepare the children to be ready to get out
  3. Do not use your mobile phone – do not attempt to call family members or emergency services. The time it takes to operate the phone will cut your chances of survival significantly. You are the only help that you may get at that time.
  4. Open a window. Electric windows may work for some time before the vehicle completely submerges in water. If it does not work, pull out the headrest from the seat and use the metal parts to break open the window. Try to open the windows before the vehicle is completely submerged as the forces of the waves and water will make it more difficult to open.
  5. If windows cannot be opened, exit is still possible through a door. To open the door, however, requires a lot of strength as there will be counter pressure from the water. If the car is still afloat up to this point, opening the door will lead to an increased rate of sinking as more water rushes into the vehicle.
  6. To exit the car, the strongest swimmers should come out first. They should grab onto the roof of the car and come out backwards, head first, face up and pull themselves out. They should then assist weaker swimmers or children out of the vehicle.
  7. Once out of the car, assess whether it would be safe to swim for dry land. If the vehicle is in shallow water and still floating, you could get on the roof and wait for help.
  8. Do not try to save anything from the vehicle such as money, electronics or other valuables.

If you happen to witness a vehicle sinking in a water body nearby, here is a list of what you can do to help the passengers.

  1. Call an emergency rescue service
  2. Depending on how close you are to the vehicle and the surroundings, you can try and pull the floating vehicle closer with the aim of getting the passengers out.
  3. In case passengers cannot open the doors or windows, get a heavy object such as a stone and use it to break the window.
  4. Further action to be taken should depend on the surrounding of the vehicle and the level of competency of the rescuers.

KFS suspends ferry operations to retrieve bodies at Likoni Channel

Ferry services have been suspended for three hours Wednesday morning to allow divers to retrieve the bodies of Mariam Kighenda and her daughter Amanda Mutheu from the depths of the Likoni channel.

The mother and daughter drowned in the Indian Ocean on Sunday after their vehicle rolled off the ferry.

Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) chairman Dan Mwazo said operations would be put on hold from 9am to 12 noon.

On Tuesday, services were halted for 30 minutes for divers to map out the crossing.

“We have identified a vessel at 75 feet deep and another at 135 feet. A team led by Kenya Navy officers will attempt to get to first vessel,” KFS Managing Director Bakari Gowa said.

The tragedy has put a spotlight on KFS a disaster preparedness measures with MPs now calling for

MPs want KFS and the Kenya Coast Guard to take responsibility for the tragedy.

Kenyan quartet into 3,000m steeplechase final


Reigning champion Conseslus Kipruto led three other Kenyans in qualifying for the finals of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase final here at the World Athletics Championship on Tuesday.

Kipruto won the third heat timing 8:19.20 ahead of compatriot Benjamin Kigen (8:19.44).

Leonard Bett finished third in heat one after timing 8:13.07, while Abraham Kibiwot (8:18.46) was also third in the second heat to seal their places in Friday’s final.

So comfortable was the race for Kipruto that he was gesturing to the crowd and his competitors through the last 400m.

Off the final water jump, he was pretty much holding a conversation with Benjamin Kigen as he waved his hands.

Likoni tragedy: MPs accuse Kenya ferry officials of incompetence

A section of MPs want officials of the Kenya Ferry Services (KFS) and Kenya Coast Guard (KCG) to take responsibility after a mother and her daughter drowned at the Likoni Channel on Sunday.

Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, who has called for the sacking of Kenya Ferry Services and Kenya Coast Guard officials over inaction after the Likoni Channel tragedy on Sunday

Addressing a press conference at Parliament Buildings Tuesday, 11 MPs termed the deaths of Ms Mariam Kigenda and her four-year-old daughter Amanda Mutheu as unfortunate and it happened because of incompetence by the two government agencies.


Led by Likoni MP Mishi Mboko, the MPs questioned where the life guards of the ferry were at the time of the incident.

“On this incident, heads must roll. We believe that there was gross incompetence on the part of Kenya Ferry Services, the Kenya Coast Guard and the Kenya Navy,” Ms Mboko said.

“It is shameful that till now, no one particularly in the management of Kenya Ferry Services has seemed it fit to take responsibility over the glaring Likoni ferry safety gaps that made the ferry a death trap for Ms Kigenda and little Amanda,”she added.

Rare windstorm hits parts of Kenya, causes power outages

A rare windstorm swept across the county Tuesday afternoon catching many unawares.

The heavy windstorm caused power outages in Nairobi, Murang’a, Thika and Machakos.

Meteorologists said the windstorm marks the start of short rain season.

Kenya Meteorological Department deputy director Samwel Mwangi explained that the wind is as a result of unstable air and is likely to give showers and possibly thunderstorm in several parts of the country.


“We are having a bit of stormy weather all over. It is coming in with a bit of rains here and there. There is strong winds and where it has not rained for a while, we have seen dust being carried around by the strong winds,” Mr Mwangi said.

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The weatherman urged Kenyans to be careful as the strong wind is likely to blow away roofs, billboards or rocks.

“Things being blown away could fall on people and that presents danger.

“For motorists, visibility could be an issue as the dust being blown could interfere with how far one can be able to see,” he said.

In its latest weather forecast, the met warned that the Eastern half of the country will experience strong winds of more than 25 knots (12.5m/s) with other parts of the country including Rift Valley highlands, Lake Victoria basin and Coast region to experience rains.

Last month, while releasing the forecast for short rains season covering between October and December, the weatherman said most parts of the country will get more than normal rainfall starting October and peaking in the month of November before declining in December.

Spy queen Jane Mugo set for court in violent robbery case

Wanted private investigator Jane Mugo is set to appear in court on Wednesday to answer to charges including impersonation, threatening to kill and robbery with violence.

Through her lawyer, Ms Mugo on Friday confirmed that she will make an appearance but disputed allegations that she has been on the run since the Directorate of Criminal Investigations ordered her arrest last week.

The detective, chief executive of Trimo Security Limited, claimed she had been admitted to a Nairobi hospital and was yet to receive summons to any police station.

She added that she was not aware of any criminal case against her.


Ms Mugo accused the DCI of witch-hunt after the crime-busting agency posted her warrant of arrest on social media.

The warrant was issued after she failed to attend a court session the previous day at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.

In the Twitter post, the DCI requested the public to forward information that could lead to Ms Mugo’s immediate arrest but Nairobi Principal Magistrate Francis Andayi lifted the order on Friday.


The DCI has accused the woman of, among others, detaining a man for hours after obtaining Sh 44,000 from him.

Ms Mugo is also accused of abducting a Nairobi businessman, locking him up in her office at Baba Ndogo and forcing him to pay a Sh400,000 debt in 2015.

Other charges are robbery with violence- her employees Isaac Ndirangu, Noreen Malala and  Michael Gitau allegedly robbed a man of Sh90,000 in 2016.

It is said that they committed the crime after he withdrew the money from a bank, after introducing themselves as police officers.

Ms Mugo is also accused of drawing a gun and threatening to kill a man on allegations that he was spying on a relative of the director of a company where she was a private investigator.