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Malian woman gives birth to nine babies

The nonuplets, one of whom is pictured here, are currently being cared for in incubators

A 25-year-old Malian woman has given birth to nine babies – two more than doctors had detected during scans. Halima Cisse gave birth to the nonuplets in Morocco. Mali’s government flew her there for specialist care.

“I’m very happy,” her husband told the BBC. “My wife and the babies [five girls and four boys] are doing well.” A woman who had eight babies in the US in 2009 holds the Guinness World Record for the most children delivered at a single birth to survive.

Two sets of nonuplets have previously been recorded – one born to a woman in Australia in 1971 and another to a woman in Malaysia in 1999 – but none of the babies survived more than a few days. World record holder Nadya Suleman’s octuplets have grown up and are now 12 years old. She conceived them through in vitro fertilisation.

The ‘controlled chaos’ of raising sextuplets

Fanta Siby, Mali’s health minister, congratulated the medical teams in Mali and Morocco for the “happy outcome”. Ms Cisse’s pregnancy became a subject of fascination in Mali – even when it was thought she was only carrying septuplets, Reuters news agency reports. Doctors in the West African nation had been concerned for her welfare and the chances of the babies’ survival – so the government intervened.

After a two-week stay in a hospital in Mali’s capital, Bamako, the decision was made to move Ms Cisse to Morocco on 30 March, Dr Siby said. After five weeks at the Moroccan clinic, she gave birth by Caesarean section on Tuesday, the minister said.

Three of the nonuplets born in Morocco to a Malian woman

Her husband, Adjudant Kader Arby, is still in Mali with the couple’s older daughter, but he says he has been in constant touch with his wife in Morocco and is not worried about the family’s future.

“God gave us these children. He is the one to decide what will happen to them. I’m not worried about that. When the almighty does something, he knows why,” he told BBC Afrique.

He says the family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received. “Everybody called me! Everybody called! The Malian authorities called expressing their joy. I thank them… Even the president called me.” The mother and her nine new babies are expected to return home in several weeks.

What causes a multiple pregnancy?

It is very unusual for such pregnancies to occur naturally – often it is the result of fertility treatment – though we do not know if this happened in Ms Cisse’s case.

But gynaecologist Bill Kalumi, from Kenya’s Kenyatta National Hospital, says they really only occur when this has been the case. There are a range of reasons why fertility treatment is sought.

But most commonly in Africa fertility drugs are prescribed when a woman comes off a hormonal form of contraceptive as she can find that it takes a while to ovulate again, Dr Kalumi says.

This can then result in the release of several eggs, instead of one, during a woman’s monthly cycle. Multiple births are risky for both mother and babies – and a woman who is found to be carrying more than four foetuses tends to be advised to reduce that number in countries where abortion is legal.

It is not known if Ms Cisse carried her babies full term, but most pregnancies involving large numbers of babies end prematurely. And premature babies – those born before 37 weeks – are at risk of developing Longer term, children born in multiples are also more likely to develop cerebral palsy – which affects movement.

Everyone with KRA Pin must make a KRA Returns whether you in Kenya or in the diaspora

Thousands to miss services as KRA blocks PINs access

Everyone with KRA Pin must make a KRA Returns whether you are in Kenya or in the diaspora. If not your KRA Pin will be blocked as from 3rd June 2021. More than 62,000 individuals and an unknown number of businesses will be blocked from accessing critical public services as the taxman moves to punish tax cheats with the termination of personal identification numbers (PINs).

The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) Monday gave the taxpayers up to June 3 to file their returns or have their PINs deregistered as part of a wider plan to smoke out tax cheats. The taxman has been pursuing businesses and individual taxpayers, mostly high-net-worth persons, that owe it nearly Sh250 billion.

“Failure to file tax returns unless cause is shown to the contrary, the Commissioner of Domestic Taxes shall have their Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) deregistered and cancelled from the KRA system at the expiry of thirty (30) days from the date of this notice,” the KRA said.

This impending deregistration of PINs could see thousands of Kenyans cut off from making critical transactions that require proof of active registration as a taxpayer.

The transactions that require proof of an active PIN certificate include registration of land titles, approval of development plans, registration, transfer and licensing of motor vehicles, and registration of business names and companies.

Others are underwriting of insurance policies, customs clearing and forwarding, payment of deposits for power connections, supplying goods and services to the State, as well as opening accounts with financial institutions.

The Tax Procedures Act of 2015 empowers the KRA to deactivate the PINs, issue travel bans on suspected tax cheats, collect duty directly from suppliers and bankers of defaulters and prosecute those in arrears.

The KRA, which is under pressure to raise tax collections, is seeking to cripple the individual taxpayers and businesses to force them to settle their dues.

The taxman’s intelligence and strategic operations have in recent years been investigating rich people’s sources of income and their expenditure against their tax remittances.

It has also been analysing companies’ financial dealings, especially those doing business with the national and county governments, to unearth tax cheats through matching their payments and income declared.

The crackdown follows an order by President Uhuru Kenyatta three years ago requiring the KRA to keep a watch on high-net-worth individuals whose lifestyles were not in tandem with the taxes they pay.

The taxman has been using various databases to pursue suspected tax cheats, including bank statements, import records, and motor vehicle registration details.

The decision to deactivate the PINs comes months after the KRA rolled out the Voluntary Tax Disclosure Programme where taxpayers with arrears for the past five years are to get full or partial relief on penalties and interest on the undisclosed taxes. –


PLEASE NOTE: You can ask your accountant to make the return for you or if you don’t have an accountant you can ask my accountant Mr. Boniface to make the return for you. His contact +254 715252955.


Bill and Melinda Gates agreed ‘separation contract’ before announcing divorce

Bill and Melinda Gates agreed how to divide their property and assets before announcing their divorce on Monday, US media report.

The billionaire couple, who have been married for 27 years, reportedly signed a separation contract outlining how their estate would be split. But they did not sign a pre-nuptial agreement before their wedding in 1994.

The couple run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has spent billions on charitable causes around the world. They have pledged to continue to work together at the foundation once their divorce is finalised.

Bill Gates, 65, is the fourth wealthiest person in the world, according to Forbes, and is worth $124bn (£89bn). He made his money through the firm he co-founded in the 1970s, Microsoft, which is the world’s biggest software company.

The couple’s estate is believed to include multi-million dollar properties in Washington, Florida and Wyoming. Their main residence is a lakeside mansion in Medina, Washington that is reported to be worth at least $127m.

‘Irretrievably broken’

The couple filed for divorce at a court in Seattle on Monday, according to documents obtained by a number of US media outlets and published by the TMZ website.

“This marriage is irretrievably broken,” the petition for divorce states. “We ask the court to dissolve our marriage.” It says the couple’s property, business interests and assets should be divided “as set forth in our separation contract”. That contract, however, has not been made public.

The pair have three adult children and spousal support is not needed, the documents state. They have each hired three lawyers to represent them. The lawyers for Melinda, 56, include Robert Cohen who has previously worked for clients such as Ivana Trump, Michael Bloomberg and Chris Rock. Bill, meanwhile, has hired three lawyers based in Los Angeles.

The pair announced their divorce in joint statements posted on Twitter on Monday, saying “we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” they said.

How did they get together?

Melinda joined Microsoft as a product manager in 1987, and the two sat together at a business dinner that year in New York. They began dating, but as Bill later told a Netflix documentary: “We cared a lot for each other and there were only two possibilities: either, we were going to break up or we were going to get married.”

Melinda said she found Bill writing a list on a whiteboard with the “pros and the cons of getting married”. They were married in 1994 on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, reportedly hiring all the local helicopters to stop unwanted guests flying over. Bill stepped down from Microsoft’s board last year to focus on his philanthropic activities.

What is the Gates Foundation?

The couple established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 in Seattle

The foundation focuses primarily on public health, education and climate change

Its grants included some $1.75bn to vaccine initiatives and research during the Covid-19 pandemic

In 2019, the foundation had net assets of more than $43bn

Bill and Melinda Gates pumped more than $36bn into the foundation between 1994 and 2018

Source: Reuters news agency.

Record mortgage borrowing in UK as owners move or improve

UK homeowners borrowed a record £11.8bn more on mortgages than they repaid in March, according to figures from the Bank of England. This net borrowing level was the highest of any month since comparable data began in 1993.

The market was stoked up by stamp duty holidays and by low mortgage rates. These factors encouraged some homeowners to move in time to beat the tax relief deadline or to borrow more to improve their current property.

Mortgage borrowing signals future demand to buy homes, and analysts have said that the UK housing market has been “on the boil” during the spring. On Friday, the Nationwide Building Society said the average property price had risen by £15,916 in the year to the end of April, to reach £238,831.

Mortgage lending since 1993

Gross mortgage borrowing hit £35.6bn in March as some people tried to beat the end of the stamp duty holidays, which were then extended in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Andrew Montlake, from mortgage broker Coreco, said stamp duty relief was having an “insane effect” on the property market. “This mad March mortgage data highlights the frenzied rush of people to buy in the second half of last year and save thousands of pounds on stamp duty,” he said.

“But the celebrations surrounding the stamp duty holiday may soon ring hollow if the market cools off and people find their savings have been wiped out by the premium they have paid for property. When borrowing is as extreme as this, it never tends to end well.”

New scheme

In April, some High Street lenders started selling mortgages to borrowers offering a deposit of just 5% under a new government guarantee scheme aimed at helping first-time buyers.

The new scheme will be available to anyone buying a home costing up to £600,000, unless they are buy-to-let or second homes. The government is offering a partial guarantee, generally of 15%, to compensate lenders if the borrower defaults on repayments.

House hunters, particularly first-time buyers, might be helped in their quest to have enough for a deposit by families and individuals saving more. The Bank of England said deposits into accounts “remained strong in March”. Some £16.2bn more was deposited than withdrawn, the data shows.

Households also continued to pay back more than they borrowed on non-mortgage debt in March, the Bank said. A net consumer credit repayment of £535m was recorded, including people’s borrowing using credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.

ODM kicks Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo out for questioning Baba

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo addresses mourners at the burial of Mama Keziah Obama in Kegelo village, Siaya County, on May 1, 2021. .

Politician Raila Odinga’s ODM party has once again flexed its muscles and removed Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo from the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) of the National Assembly. Mr Amollo, who was the vice chairperson of the committee, will be replaced by his Ruaraka colleague Mr Tom Kajwang’ in the latest changes in the House that have also affected other MPs across the party divide.

The changes are contained in the National Assembly’s supplementary Order Paper for the afternoon sitting on Wednesday. In his reaction to ODM’s move, Mr Amollo wrote on Twitter: “The vicissitudes of politics. So the schemers want me out of JLAC. I will take it in grace and stride.”

Illegality issue

The removal of Mr Amollo, who is among MPs who have questioned the creation of 70 new constituencies in the proposed Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill 2020, has caught the eyes of many.

Mr Odinga is pushing for the enactment of the Bill sponsored by the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that he helped create together with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Mr Amollo’s comments on the initiative have been interpreted by ODM supporters as amounting to lack of respect for the party leader.

The joint report of the Justice committees of the National Assembly and Senate, that was delivered to the two Houses, found the creation of the new constituencies unconstitutional. On the creation of new constituencies, Siaya Senator James Orengo, the leader of minority in the Senate, has taken a position similar to Mr Amollo’s, but it is not clear whether the orange party will also go for him.

House rules

While discharging a member from a committee, the majority or minority whip is only required to notify the Speaker through the leader of majority of the intended changes.

The Speaker shall then read the changes to the House and this will be final. Mr Amollo’s Twitter post could be an indication that he learnt of the scheme to replace him without being accorded a fair hearing as provided for in the law.

Standing Order 176 (1) of the National Assembly Standing Orders provides that a parliamentary party may discharge a member from a select committee after affording the member an opportunity to be heard.

“The parliamentary party whip of the party that nominated a member to a select committee shall give notice in writing to the Speaker of the intention to discharge a member from a select committee,” the House rules read.

They further provide that the Speaker shall, within three days of receipt of the notice, inform the member of the notice. Just like Mr Orengo, Mr Amollo is Mr Odinga’s die-hard supporter.

The two renowned city lawyers are largely known for playing a great role in Mr Odinga’s success in the 2017 Supreme Court presidential election petition that challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election. –

Kenya, Tanzania agree on plans for gas pipeline

Uhuru and Suluhu address joint press conference

Kenya and Tanzania on Tuesday signed a deal to start working on a gas pipeline from Dar es Salaam to Mombasa, in what their leaders said was part of a long-term project to share energy resources. At a joint press conference in Nairobi, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu and Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta generally said they had agreed to build more interconnecting infrastructure, starting with the gas pipeline and roads.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Natural Gas Transportation means the countries’ ministers of energy can start negotiating the design, cost and other logistical needs for the pipeline to be erected. A joint communique said it will enhance “energy sufficiency” with Kenya keen on importing gas from Tanzania’s nascent plant.

Work begins

No timelines were given but President Suluhu said respective technocrats have been directed to start working on it immediately. “That is a long-term project … we are thankful that today we have signed an agreement … what remains is implementation,” she said.

“We have agreed on the need to ease the transportation of key energy resources and have reached one such understanding on the transportation of gas. What we need to do now is start implementing the project.”

The development means both sides are scoring early wins as Tanzania starts a new life under President Suluhu. In Nairobi, her host said the two countries must build their close cultural and historic ties to ensure the people benefit from interactions.

“We are connected by a common culture: we have a common language and heritage. We do not take Tanzania just as a neighbourly country. We consider it a brotherly country. We have agreed to work on the main highway between Malindi through Lungalunga to Bagamoyo,” President Kenyatta said.

“We also agree that we will work on resumption of transportation services on Lake Victoria, which were useful in the movement of people and goods from Jinja to Kisumu, and to Mwanza and Bukoba.” –

Woman who gives birth halfway through flight

Lavinia Mounga holds her tiny baby on board the plane (Picture: GoFundMe)

A woman who had no idea she was pregnant unexpectedly gave birth prematurely at 29 weeks in the middle of a flight. Lavinia Mounga was travelling with her family from Utah to Hawaii on Wednesday when she began having contractions. Thankfully for her, a doctor and a team of nurses happened to be on board and sprang into action. ‘About halfway through the flight, there was an emergency call,’ Dr Dale Glenn said. ‘I’ve experienced this before and usually they’re pretty clear asking if there is a doctor on board.

‘This call was not like this – it was fairly urgent.’ Dr Glenn was joined by Lani Bamfield, Amanda Beeding and Mimi Ho, three neonatal intensive care nurses who were also in the right place at the right time. With no special equipment, the group had to get creative, using shoelaces to cut and tie the umbilical cord and a smartwatch to measure the baby’s heart rate. Dr Glenn said: ‘We’re all trying to work in a very small, confined space in an airplane, which is pretty challenging. But the teamwork was great.’


The unexpected delivery also became viral on TikTok after fellow passenger Julia Hansen filmed the drama on the plane, which landed three hours later. Ms Hansen told The Washington Post the situation initially caused a commotion, but other passengers were pretty ‘casual’ about it by the end of the flight. ‘Everyone just kind of got up, got their carry-on and left,’ Ms Hansen said. Medical crews were waiting for Lavinia and her newborn son Raymond at the airport in Honolulu to help them get to hospital. The three nurses visited the new mother on Friday and said it was an emotional reunion.

‘We all just teared up. She called us family and said we’re all his aunties, and it was so great to see them,’ Ms Ho said. Lavinia has since been discharged, but baby Raymond will remain in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU) until he is ready to go home. ‘It has been very overwhelming,’ the mum said. ‘I’m just so lucky that there were three NICU nurses and a doctor on the plane to help me, and help stabilise him and make sure he was okay for the duration of the flight.’ –

Bill Gates and Melinda Gates will be end their marriage after 27 years

Bill Gates and Melinda to divorce: ‘We no longer believe we can grow together’

Bill and Melinda Gates announced on Twitter on Monday afternoon that they are getting divorced after 27 years together. ‘After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,’ reads a joint statement tweeted by both Bill and Melinda. The Microsoft co-founder and his wife wrote that they ‘raised three incredible children’ and ‘built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives’, referring to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. ‘We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation,’ the billionaire philanthropists stated, ‘But we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.’


They asked for ‘space and privacy’ as they begin to navigate the next chapters of their lives. Bill earned his riches after founding Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, in 1975, about two decades before he married Melinda. He is the fourth wealthiest individual in the globe, with an estimated net worth of $124billion, according to Forbes. He and Melinda met at a trade show in New York and began dating in 1987. Their wedding was on New Year’s Day in 1994 in Hawaii. Melinda had a brief stint in Microsoft’s marketing department before being promoted to General Manager of Information Products in the early 1990s. She departed Microsoft in 1996 as she and Bill started a family. The couple started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and it was reported to be the biggest private foundation in the world in 2019. The foundation has donated about $50billion to charity organizations around the world. Bill and Melinda’s separation shocked the philanthropy, business and public health sectors. Breaking story, check back for updates…