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He took his life or died by, not “committed”, suicide

The man, only identified as Onyango, is alleged to have licked blood from the body of the formerly female Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) teacher at Gul Kagembe Primary School (Sunday Standard, June 20, p.12). The teacher who was “formerly female” later became male or something?

Officers at Industrial Area Remand Prison are in disbelief after a warder committed suicide by shooting himself (Standard, June 23, p.4). Such reporting is common. Subs take note: Mental health experts and campaigners now reject “committed suicide”, which suggests criminal culpability and creates stigma around mental illness. They prefer “died by suicide” or “took his life”. Attempted suicide, not actual suicide, is a crime under the current law. But how can a mentally ill person bear criminal responsibility for attempted self-harm?

Who is Rachel Shebesh? Former Woman Rep, Nairobi (Sunday Nation, June 20, p.15). Why refer to a person in the news by her former job when she has a different designation currently? She is CAS Ministry of Public Service and Gender. Stay current.

The cumulative fatalities now stand at 3,484 (Star online, June 22). What exactly goes inside the mind of a journalist who writes “cumulative fatalities”? Death toll. Deaths.

Men are naturally polygamous, and that is an excuse most of them use to justify cheating on their girlfriends (Standard, June 25, p.19). Doesn’t make sense. If, indeed, “men are naturally polygamous”, cheating on their girlfriends doesn’t need an excuse, or does it?

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana, who want to vie for the presidency in next year’s elections, are banking on their performance as they leave their county offices next year to shore up their national ratings (Nation, June 23, p.12). No, these county honchos are not “banking on their performance as they leave their county offices next year to shore up their national ratings”. Rather, they are banking on their performance to shore up their national ratings as they leave their county offices next year. Notice the difference?

Finally, do you know these adverbs of frequency? Always (100%). Usually (85%). Frequently (75%). Often (65%). Sometimes (50%). Occasionally (40%). Rarely (30%). Seldom (20%). Hardly ever (10%). Never (0%). Sasa tunga sentensi for each (10 marks).

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