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Soldier who rescued 22 colleagues after their boat capsized in Indian Ocean among those awarded HSC

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Senior Private Paul Mauki Gaichu is among Kenyans who were awarded with Head of State Commendations, for their outstanding and distinguished service to the country.

Private Paul Mauki Gaichu was awarded with the Silver Star of Kenya during the Jamhuri Day celebrations at the Nyayo National Stadium.

The soldier was enlisted into the Kenya Defence Forces in November 2013. On 11th of March 2016, he, together with 22 other soldiers, were headed back to their workstation from Manda Island to Kiunda.

Upon reaching Mlango, just 1KM from the deep sea their boat capasized around 5 pm.

Being the only swimmer among the 23 soldiers, Mauki took control of the situation and swum into action. He gave orders and direction and physically aided his fellow soldiers to hung onto the boat until they reached the shore at around 3:30 pm the next day- after 23 hours.

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Gaichu’s act of bravery and sacrifice to save the lives of 22 soldiers who would have lost at sea, earned him the state commendation.

Chief of Defence Forces Gen. Robert Kibochi and legendary athlete Catherine Ndereba were also feted.

With over 41 years in the military, General Kibochi was awarded with the Elder of the Order of the Golden Heart (EGH) for demonstrating remarkable consistency in leadership and command, reflecting the positive values of the Kenya Defence Forces.

On her part, the four-time winner of the Boston Marathon and current Assistant Commissioner of Prisons got the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) award for exemplary achievements in sports.

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Dr Kepha Mugere Ombacho, Director of Public Health at the Ministry of Health was awarded with the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear (EBS) for his outstanding contribution in the fight against COVID-19 in the country. Dr Ombacho Loice Ochiengโ€™, a member of the COVID-19 taskforce has provided exemplary case management in the country through a weekly webinar, got the Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS) for her sacrifice in the fight against COVID-19.

Nurse Alice Njeri Mwaura of the Kenyatta National Hospital and Dr. Abdul Mamo Umoro were awarded the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) for their selfless and dedicated service to the nation despite the risk of contracting the disease themselves.

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The 2019 1500m gold medalist at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Chief Inspector Timothy Cheruiyot, bagged the Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW) for his exemplary service to the nation through sports.

Other HSC recipients include; Senior Superintendent of Police Issa Mohamed Mahamud (OGW), Second Lieutenant Abdullah Bolu Godana (Silver Star of Kenya), and AP Julius Karanga Irungu (Silver Star of Kenya).

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