Trending: Stories that made headlines in February – Nation

A collage showing the late Kelvin Kiptum (top left), Jackie Maribe, Monica Kimani and Joseph Irungu aka Jowie (top right), President William Ruto, Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (bottom left) and the aftermath of the Embakasi blast that killed 12 people in Nairobi.
By  Mike Yambo  &  Jackline Macharia

February was a month of mixed fortunes for Kenya.
It was the month when world marathon record holder Kelvin Kiptum died in a tragic road accident and when ODM leader Raila Odinga announced his candidacy for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission.
An explosion at a gas plant in Embakasi killed 12 people and fugitive Kevin Kang’ethe was arrested, escaped and was recaptured.
Here are the stories that made headlines in February:

1. Kelvin Kiptum’s death
Kelvin Kiptum, the world marathon record holder, was tragically killed in a car accident in Kenya at the age of 24. His death, along with that of his coach Gervais Hakizimana, sent shockwaves around the sporting world. Kiptum was remembered as a humble, jovial individual with an incredible drive.
A casket bearing the remains of the late Kelvin Kiptum, the World Marathon Record Holder during a burial service at Chepkorio Showground in Keiyo South, Elgeyo Marakwet County on February 23, 2024. Kiptum died together with his coach Gervais Hakizimana following a road crash at Flax on the Eldoret-Kaptagat-Eldama Ravine road. 
Tragedy struck days after his record of 2:35, set at the Chicago Marathon last October, was ratified by World Athletics.
The accident occurred when Kiptum lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree before landing in a ditch. The investigation into his death was widened following claims that four unidentified men had visited Kiptum days before his death.
His death was mourned by many, including Kenya’s President William Ruto and World Athletics President Sebastian Coe.
2. Maisha Namba
The High Court of Kenya lifted the stay orders that had previously halted the registration of the Maisha Namba.
The Maisha Namba will replace the existing national ID cards for all Kenyans. It will serve as a comprehensive digital identity, containing biographical and biometric information such as date of birth, gender, facial images, parentage and contact details.
3. High court extends order barring use of eCitizen for school fees payment
The High Court intervened in the digital payment of school fees through the e-Citizen platform, ruling that in the absence of legislation or an appropriate framework, the use of funds collected through e-Citizen should be suspended until further notice.
This decision provided temporary relief for parents but underlines the need for clear and equitable guidelines for the use of digital platforms in education.
4. Jowie found guilty, Maribe acquitted
After a protracted five-year legal battle, Joseph Irungu, also known as Jowie, was found guilty of murdering businesswoman Monica Kimani. Kimani’s lifeless body was discovered in her Kilimani apartment in Nairobi in September 2018.
Former TV journalist Jacque Maribe and Joseph Kuria Irungu alias Jowie at the Milimani Court in Nairobi on Monday, October 15, 2018. Inset: The late businesswoman Monica Kimani.
Delivering the verdict at the Milimani law courts, Justice Grace Nzioka said the prosecution had effectively linked Irungu directly to the murder. “All this evidence leads to a strong conclusion that Irungu murdered Monica Kimani,” she stated. The perpetrator’s intent was clear: “The person who killed the deceased did not intend to give her even one minute to survive,” Justice Nzioka added.
Jowie’s bail was revoked and he will remain in police custody until his sentencing on March 8, 2024.
While acquitting Ms Maribe, the judge acknowledged that the former TV presenter had only given false information to the police during the murder investigation and had therefore not been properly charged in court. The court found that Jowie had stolen a national identity card to gain access to Monica’s home and armed himself with a borrowed gun, which he eventually used to conceal the murder.
5. The heatwave: Many Kenyans left wondering why it was so hot
In an explainer by the Nation, Dr Cromwell Lukorito, a climate scientist at the University of Nairobi, noted that the intense heat experienced last month was an effect of climate change on a larger scale.
He also explained that the heat could be the result of fluctuations and short-term changes in the earth’s climate system.
He highlighted how the change in temperature could cause disruptions in the agricultural sector and affect the availability of water.
6. Ruto-Raila surprise meeting with Uganda’s Museveni
After formally declaring his interest in the chairmanship of the African Union Commission, Azimio leader Raila Odinga quickly received support from both opposition and government leaders.
His Azimio colleagues such as Martha Karua and Kalonzo Musyoka came out to express their support, while Kenya Kwanza leaders such as National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung’wah said that Mr Odinga’s victory should be seen as a victory for Kenya.
President Ruto has also endorsed his bid and even met him alongside President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, who also expressed his support for the presidency.
7. Embakasi blast: Gas explosion leaves 12 dead
On the first day of February, an explosion at a gas plant in Embakasi left hundreds homeless and many others seriously injured.
Wreckage of burnt trucks and tankers a day after a gas explosion in the Embakasi area of Nairobi.  Residents have reported smelling a gas similar to the one that wafted through their nostrils on Friday.
Twelve people have now died since the tragedy, which occurred in the middle of the night after a fire broke out at a gas plant illegally built in a residential area.
The owner of the plant has since been arrested and charged, as has the owner of the gas tanker that exploded inside the plant.
8. Murder suspect Kevin Kang’ethe escapes from police custody and is re-arrested
Kenyans were shocked after police confirmed that a fugitive wanted in the US for the murder of his Kenyan girlfriend had escaped from Muthaiga police station in broad daylight.
Mr Kevin Kang’ethe, who was awaiting extradition to the US to face charges, was re-arrested after police tracked down relatives with whom he had been in contact.
He is now being held at Industrial Area Remand Prison after prosecutors asked the court to allow him to be held in a more secure facility.
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Suspects are said to have presented questionable qualifications.
Robert Kilel alias Simini died a few hours after committing the murders in Kipkoy village on Saturday.
Kalonzo has already declared that his ambition to become the next President of Kenya is unstoppable.
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