The biggest newsmakers of 2020

Here’s a list of people who hit the headlines in the biggest way this year:

Jan 8: Prince Harry and his wife Meghan stun the British monarchy by quitting as frontline members — reportedly without first consulting Queen Elizabeth II.

Jan 14: Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri is sacked.

Jan 17: Legislator Paul Ongili aka Babu Owino is arrested for allegedly shooting DJ Evolve in a Kilimani nightclub.

Jan 18: Prof Stephen Kiama, whose appointment as vice-chancellor (VC) was revoked on by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, insists that he is still the boss, as does Prof Isaac Mbeche, following his appointment in an acting capacity by the CS.

Jan 23: Former Attorney-General Charles Mugane Njonjo turns 100 with a visit to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda

Jan 26: NBA legend Kobe Bryant dies when a helicopter he was in crashed and burst into flames, killing all nine people on board including his teenage daughter. The accident plunged legions of fans across the world into mourning.

Feb 4: Retired President Daniel Toroitich arap Moi dies.

Feb 20: Sergeant John Kipyegon Kenei, a police officer critical to the investigation of the Sh 39 billion fake tender deal involving former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and an American company, is found dead in his house with a gunshot wound to the head.

Feb 25: The graft-scarred Nairobi County government become the first devolved unit to cede some of its functions to the national government, putting devolution to the test. It will be headed by Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) Director-General Mohamed Badi.

March 1: A secret weekend visit to Somalia by 11 Kenyan MPs at a time the two countries are locked in a diplomatic tiff raises eyebrows within security circles.

March 9: Veteran photojournalist Mohinder Dhillon dies aged 88 years.

March 9: Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori succumbs to cancer after battling it for a while.

April 1: Ivy Brenda Cherotich, Kenya’s first confirmed coronavirus patient, is presented to Kenyans by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe after recovering from the virus.

Brenda Cherotich

April 15: Prof Ken Walibora, 56, a lecturer at Riara University, went missing on Friday April 10. His brother, Arthur Wafula, finds his body at Kenyatta National Hospital mortuary.

May 11: Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika are kicked out as Majority Leader and Majority Whip, respectively.

May 17: Rwandan fugitive Felicien Kabuga is arrested in Paris, France.

June 21: Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga leaves the country for the United Arab Emirates for minor back surgery.

June 25: Sirisia MP John Waluke, and his co-accused, Grace Wakhungu, are ordered to pay a combined fine of Sh2.1 billion for defrauding the National Cereals and Produce Board of Sh297 million, or to serve 39 years in jail. This is the stiffest penalty ever meted out for corruption in Kenya’s history.

June 26: Kirinyaga Governor Ann Mumbi Waiguru survives impeachment after the Senate committee says the grounds for her removal were not substantiated.

July 12: Lady Maureen, a well known Benga artiste, dies after months of suffering. She died in Uriri, Migori County, where she was recuperating after she was discharged from hospital, her family said.

July 18: Actor Charles Bukeko, popularly known as Papa Shirandula, becomes a grim illustration of the danger that is home-based care of Covid-19 patients. He died at 58.

Charles Bukeko, popularly known as Papa Shirandula. PHOTO| COURTESY

August 17: Senators Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Christopher Lang’at (Bomet) and Steve Lelegwe (Samburu) are dramatically arrested to ensure they don’t attend the Senate’s special sitting to ensure a proposal by Nominated Senator Petronila Were sails through.

November 2: Paul Gicheru Kenya, a lawyer accused of corruptly influencing witnesses who were to give evidence against Dr William Ruto, surrenders himself to the ICC.

November 7: After a cliff-hanger vote count that gripped the world’s attention for days, Joe Biden is declared America’s president-elect in what is a clear rejection of President Donald Trump’s divisive reign that arguably made him the most controversial leader in US history.

November 15: Matungu MP Justus Murunga dies.

December 4: Kabuchai MP James Mukwe Lusweti dies at a hospital in Nairobi after a long illness. The second-term Ford-Kenya MP had been suffering from arthritis and gout for several years.

November 25: Argentine football legend Diego Maradona dies at the age of 60.

December 7: Dr Stephen Mogusu, a 28-year-old doctor who continued to serve patients under the most horrible conditions, dies. He had been working long hours without a salary for several months – dreaming, like thousands of fellow frontline workers across the country, of better days.

December 11: Machakos Senator Boniface Mutinda Kabaka dies after a week-long admission at the Nairobi Hospital.

December 11: Bishop David Kalua, a former State House chief gardener who served under President Daniel arap Moi, dies.

December 11: Former Co-operatives Minister Joseph “Joe” William Nthiga Nyagah dies of Covid-19.

December 11: David Kenani Maraga, the advocate from Nakuru who rose to the helm of the Judiciary goes on terminal leave pending his retirement as the Chief Justice after a 42-year legal career.

December 17: Senate votes to remove Mr Mike Sonko from office, ending his 40-month chaotic reign as Nairobi County Governor.

December 18: Nyamira Governor John Obiero Nyagarama dies in a Nairobi Hospital.

December 26: Retired Chief Justice Evan Gicheru dies at the age of 79. He served as CJ between February 2003 and February 27, 2011.

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