Thursday, November 19, 2009
It's time for Sukuma Kenya to lay to rest. I believe it has done more than what it was originally set out to do when we started this almost two years ago. It began one not-so-fine day in december...when... ah shit...we seen and heard it all too many times...
Anyways, like all things driven by sense and a desire for change, it evolved and we joined the march to tell the politicians to stop feeding themselves and start feeding the people. So much for that...
But there are those that never tire and never give up no matter how unreachable it seems to be...MARS Group, Philo Ikonya, Bunge La Mwananchi are amongst a handful of movements that Sukuma Kenya has been fortunate enough to learn from.
Unfortunately, the struggle goes on but the noise in the tangled matrix of the internet has grown loud enough to show us all that it might just have a lot more use than telling all our friends what colour underwear we are wearing today.
Or maybe not...
And life goes on...just the way we like it...
As for Sukuma Kenya...clearly there ain't much more to say...the book is incomplete but it's the end anyways...
Saturday, November 14, 2009
We are looking for patriotic Kenyans who are thoroughly informed on how to link community localised issues to the national policies; are dynamic on national agendas, and are available to volunteer their time to serve as Resource Persons during the upcoming Kibera Wananchi Congress, (herein referred to as the congress). The congress will bring together 1,600 grassroots leaders (drawn all wards in Langata constituency, the 13 villages that form Kibera slums, the diverse ethnic groups, the churches and mosques, active CBOs and NGOs, soccer groups, women and youth groups etc) is scheduled to take place at St. Jude’s Catholic Church near Katwekera area on 23rd and 24th November 2009. The congress dialogues are designed to allow the participants to articulate their understanding on the topic of discussion and their suggestion for wayforward. The moderator/Resource person helps focus the participants and concretize resolutions. We are looking for Resource Person to facilitate tent/group discussions on the following thematic areas:
1. Education and Training
2. National agendas, Governance challenges and Citizens responsibility
3. Impoverishment, Food Security and Opportunity for Wealth creation
4. Land problem, housing and slum upgrading
5. Politics, Conflicts and Peace Building
6. Health, Sanitation and
7. Insecurity and Community Policing
8. Alcoholism and Substance Abuse
9. Sports, Sports opportunities and Sports Infrastructure
10. Gender based challenges
The congress is aimed at empowering and strengthening the capacities of Kibera Citizens in rights awareness, policy analysis, advocacy and networking through a 2-day dialogue activity. At the end of the congress, the grassroots leaders shall outline and adopt resolutions from their dialogues. The resolutions shall be compiled into Kibera People’s Manifesto for change. Similar people’s congress are scheduled to be held in identified constituencies in Central, Coast, Nyanza, Rift Valley and Western regions and then culminate with a National People’s Congress.
If you are available to serve as Resource Person on the said dates, please contact us before 19th November 2009 on this email: email@example.com or tel: 0720 451 235.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
A Rainmaker production in partnership with Safaricom
A Kenyan musical written and composed by Eric Wainaina
Directed by John Sibi-Okumu
Starring: Eric Wainaina, Valerie Kimani, Atemi Oyungu and Mũmbi Kaigwa
The GoDown Arts Centre - Dunga Rd, off Lusaka Rd
Tickets available at Silverbird Cinemas (Village Market, Junction and Westgate) and selected Uchumi outlets
November 11th to December 20th:
Wednesdays (1 ticket for 2) - 7.30pm - Sh300 adults, Sh300 students (13-18yrs)
Thursdays and Fridays - 7.30pm - Sh600 adults, Sh400 students (13-18yrs)
Saturdays - 2.30pm & 7.30pm - Sh800 adults, Sh400 students (13-18yrs)
Sundays - 2.30pm - Sh800 adults, Sh400 students (13-18yrs)
Sunday, November 1, 2009
It is foregone that ICC prosecutor Mr. Ocampo shall on 3rd of November be a guest of the people of Kenya. The ICC prosecutor will be in the country to shop around for the fastest ship or airplane services that will shortly route the masterminds of the 2007 post election murders, rape and plunders to The Hague. Mr. Ocampo's excursion seems a basket of mixed reactions for 2012 presidential hopefuls as for all Kenyans.
For Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, Ocampo's mission to Kenya is a living nightmare they wish was just a bad dream. The duo is already sleep deprived and experiencing serious weightloss. For Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka alias 'miracle-man' this a divine tsunami that will drown competitors especially if Raila Odinga is part of Waki envelop. Is it any wonder that Kalonzo is on new found mission to unite Kenyans? Ask yourself where he has been over the last 2 years. For Raila Odinga, Ocampo's visit heralds good tidings for fixing the Ruto problem in the Orange Democratic Movement. On the other hand, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki are also suffering a migraine from a likelihood of second miscarriage of project Uhuru.
However, Ocampo's mission considered in the right way is not a mission to fix political antagonism. It is a journey of hope for Kenyans who have for so long suffered grand impunity from their political leaders. It is the rays of dawn after a midnight of disrespect of human rights and rule of law by the powerful.
In all these it should slip our mind that it would be great injustice and an even greater debacle of democracy if the two principals are not indicted to The Hague. The violence that ensued after the bungled 2007 elections was composed of wars fought by persons who were doing it for their preferred leader between the two principals. If anything, none of the two principals is on record as coming out in condemnation of the violence. In fact, one of them issued a call for mass action to protest the stolen election, while his antagonist employed state resources of terror to quell the resulting protests. Whichever side of the divide you may have viewed it from, what ensued was nevertheless murder, rape and wanton destruction of public and private property.
If The Hague process is truly about addressing the impunity that has dogged Kenya for a long time, it must remain clear that there are very few top politicians that can claim to be clean of the impunity. The two principals cannot be absolved while their soldiers bear the brunt of the prosecution. No matter that there were people who executed the orders on their behalf, those people acted on the instructions of or misguided ambitions of their principals. Therefore, if the generals are to be indicted, it is only befitting if not imperative that the principals should lead the pack as they did during PEV. Otherwise, the Hague process would be a cosmetic approach to addressing the roots of impunity. Why should ICC come for William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta and leave Kibaki and Raila? If Uhuru and Ruto are guilt of crimes against humanity for post election violence, Kibaki and Raila are more guilt on the same account. Why should Kibaki and Raila get a soft landing? Who doesn’t know the two were protecting the interests of their masters? Didn’t Waki tell us that some part of violence was planned in the house on the hill?
Further, there is every logical reason that the events that led the run up to, those that characterised the elections and thereafter, are ample basis to indict the two principals. One for having failed as the president of the country, and the other for having failed as a leader of his followers. This leadership vacuum necessarily triggered the senseless killings and plunder by leaving Kenyans confused and with undirected negative energies as the two principals faced off. We cannot pussyfoot around arresting and bundling the principals in MV Hague for fear that their arrest might re-ignite post election violence. We must have the two most powerful men taken to The Hague to reassure the ordinary Kenyans that after all the rich and powerful can also face justice. We must have these two arrested to warn anyone else nursing motives of deploying tools of violence in order to acquire power. Anything short of making Kibaki and Raila to account for their commissions and omissions; for their action and inactions shall be a mockery of justice.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
For more information, visit the International Budget Partnership at http://www.internationalbudget.org/.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Screens at National Museums on Tuesday 27th October 10.00 a.m.
Director: by Judy Kibinge
Producers: Peter Kariuki, Judy Kibinge
DOP / Cameraman: Edvine Maloba
Editor: Raphael Kamuz
A Seven Productions Documentary / Produced in association with Twaweza Communications with the kind support of the Ford Foundation
About Peace Wanted Alive
On December 27th 2007, 11 million Kenyans queued peacefully to vote for president. The results were bitterly disputed and two days later, the country was on fire. Most badly affected were Nairobi’s informal settlements. The capital city ground to a halt and it seemed as though peace had died.
But as we follow the journeys of a handful of young Nairobians and their struggles during and after the violent post-election violence conflicts in this powerful documentary containing never before seen archive footage , we will find new reason to hope and believe in Kenya.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Global Voices reports that there were more than 9000 bloggers who devoted a post to Climate Change. I am wondering what our friends at the UNEP Headquarters were up to yesterday. Do you think they Kicked the Habit for just one day? Wonder what sort of car they drove to work in. Did it look like this?
Dear friends at UNEP, Just For Today, did you manage to get the log out of your ass?
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
- Cover Story: The Bombay Africans
- Linguistic Evidence of Bantu Origins of the Sidis of India by Abdulaziz Lodhi
- Alternative Angle: Paradise Revisited by John Sibi-Okumu
- Memories of a Diplomat - Bhupinder Liddar
- Contemporary India-East Africa Relations
o Introduction by Gerard McCann
o Asian Diaspora in Nyanza Province of Kenya by Gordon Onyango Omenyaand Mildred A J Ndeda
o Race Relations between Kenya's Africans and South Asians by Zarina Patel
- Four Generations of the Naidoos in the South African Struggle
- Native African, Wananchi by Ramnik Shah
- The Asian Debate in East African Literature by Mwalimu JKS Makokha
- Bats and Balls: Dr Saleem Rana: Farewell to a distinguished Sportsman and Doctor
- Dialogue through Dance by Neera Kapur
- Origins of a Passage to East Africa by Jarat Chopra
- Art Installation by Prina Shah
- Shailja Patel's Bwagamoyo - The Father: Part II of Migritude
- Book Reviews:
o Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji reviewed by Sunita Kapila
o Settlers Cookbook: A Memoir of Love, Migration and Food by Yasmin
Alibhai-Brown reviewed by Warris Vianni
o Success with Asian Names by fiona Swee-Lin Price reviewed by John Sibi-Okumu
o Scram from Kenya by James Franks reviewed by Ramnik Shah
o Reading of M G Vassanji by J K S Makokha
o African Identity in Asia by Shihan de Silva reviewed by Shehina Fazal
- Footsteps: Bantu Mwaura (1969-2009) and Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem (1961-2009)
P O Box 32843 - 00600
Tel: 020 2063405, 0722 344900, 0733 741085
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
(Click on the picture to take you to the site)
There must be a politician behind this. The donor tap is drying up so you have to find another way to milk those poor bastards. If it ain't a politician, then what kind of sicko thinks we should be selling people living in shit?
Would be curious to hear what others think...
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Refocusing the People on the March to the Second Republic of Kenya
We, Kenyans for Justice and Development, are appalled by the reckless extent to which President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga are going to ensure Kenya doesn’t change for the better. The two and their cronies want to stay in power at all costs, even at the risk of destroying the country. They and their good-for-nothing, bloated, and over pampered Cabinet are politicking endlessly, outrageously wasting our very limited taxes, doing only those things that perpetuate their grip on power, while avoiding those that would unlock our great potential to make us free, with plenty within our borders.
Even straightforward issues like allowing the country to set up mechanisms to end impunity by punishing those who meddled with the 2007 presidential elections, and the masterminds and perpetrators of the resultant post election violence, has turned out to be a task beyond them. Kenyans will not be hoodwinked by the TJRC or any such phoney mechanisms they are trying to impose on us, in the vain hope of confusing anguished souls, so that they themselves can escape justice.
Justice is our shield and defender and we don’t take it for granted. Kenyans will ensure that those who have looted public coffers, grabbed public land and assets, and those who have murdered, maimed and committed other crimes against humanity, face justice. No amount of smoke and mirrors, or running around in circles, is going to fool us. Crimes do not have an expiry date. There will come a time when each will answer for his or her role in the slaughter of innocent Kenyans, the pillaging, and the general desecration of the Republic.
We demand that the Government saves whatever is left of the country by doing the following:
(i) Engage in urgent national re-construction by tackling the skyrocketing prices of basics such as unga, paraffin, energy, water, sugar, matatu fares, house rents, medical costs, and secondary school fees.
(ii) Deal with insecurity and create an enabling economic environment for Mwananchi to thrive;
(iii) Fast track the Constitution reform process to give the country a democratic constitution by December 31, 2009, to mark the end of the failed First Republic of Kenya;
(iv) To hold General Elections under the new Constitution in February 2010 to usher in the new order.
In the meantime, we are constituting a parallel people’s government to widen the battlefield now that PNU and ODM have closed ranks to protect and propagate impunity. The revolutionary People’s Government will be composed of a People’s Parliament and a People’s Cabinet which, together, will create a formal platform for the people to directly monitor and oversee each Government ministry to ensure that the Grand Coalition Government delivers on the demands we make above.
The People’s Cabinet, to be launched in September 2009, will comprise twelve ministries and the Presidency. The Peoples’ Parliament is the people freely organised around their livelihoods and interests nationwide, including workers, farmers, touts, hawkers, students, teachers, professionals, businesspeople, the youth, and senior citizens.
The issues raised by the People’s Parliament will be used to originate pro-people public policies and programmes that we will use to create a national platform for the people’s march to the Second Republic of Kenya, whose DNA is our National Anthem.
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
"The formation of the TJRC at this particular juncture, when it has been in the offing for over a year, is clearly a red herring. It has been dropped into the public arena to distract us from the debate raging over the Hague v Local Tribunal option. The powers-that-be might even be hoping that we will dump the Hague/Tribunal and settle for the TJRC – this is more than possible as Kenyans are noted for the brevity of their attention-span. Then we shall be kept busy and occupied with endless arguments, protests and debates over a non-functioning, highly manipulated and deceptive TJRC. The process is conveniently set to take 3 years – just in time for the 2012 election when all will be forgiven for the villains to renew their money-guzzling and murderous activities.
And of course the long suffering Kenyans will be expected to feel good, if not actually thankful.
Kenya badly needs the TJRC and that we should take control of it and use it to our advantage. But can we? Is there a single mission or commission that we have taken control of for our advantage? I think not, however, that doesn’t mean we should not try. BUT THIS IS NOT THE TIME. First let us settle the Hague/Tribunal issue – let us do our utmost to ensure that we put in place a tribunal here in Kenya (apart from all else we want to SEE justice being done) with all the necessary safeguards for a just and transparent trial. If we can do that then we move to the next step – setting up a credible TJRC where we have a say in the appointment of commissioners and in the process. If we cannot, believe me the TJRC will just pull the wool over our eyes. Let us stay focussed and not get waylaid.
It is 99% agreed that the TJRC chair is unacceptable! But are we going to fritter away our energy, time and resources to evict this one person. He is not the only problem. I say let us demand: ‘No TJRC for now – We want a Local Tribunal first’ and then let us start organising for the kind of tribunal we want. Annan, Ocampo, Waki, the EU and many many others nationally and internationally are all with us on this. It couldn’t be a better time and a better opportunity for us to build solidarity, plan strategy and organise non-violent forms of resistance. If we can do that then we shall have learnt how to achieve our aims and we will ensure we get a TJRC that truly brings the justice and reconciliation that Kenyans have died for."
Solidarity Network Kenya
P O Box 32843 - 00600
SNK is environmentally responsible. It recycles, reduces and reuses all its material
Justice for the Mau Mau Freedom Fighters Now!
"Save Lake Turkana - Stop the damming of the Omo River"
Free the Cuban Five Now!
The Phirilongwe Elephants Need Your Help Now!
Thursday, July 23, 2009
"Yesterday - the day that the PM answered questions about our water crisis I cycled past a prominent ex MP’s house not far from the PM’s residence. Water was being pumped straight from the river through huge hose to clean his driveway in volumes used, or so I thought, only by firemen...." (Read full post HERE)
We are indeed a country on the brink and nothing more to do but laugh at how stupid we all are. We have done it to ourselves and the only solace I find is the images of myself on the xyz show...
If you can't get enough of yourself, then read the blog, download the previews and purchase the wallpaper because this is MY KENYA!
Friday, July 17, 2009
July 9th to 19th
This exhibition contains the testimonies of great fighters for the dignity of the African people through the work of Venezuelan artist Jorge Cruz.
The itinerary exhibition "Revolutionary Leaders of Africa" is a project that was initiated in March 2008, and is run by the Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs through the Office of the Vice Minister for Africa and the Free Chair for Africa for the furtherance is the People's Diplomacy.
It was conceived with the idea that the Venezuelans know more about the African thought and take a journey at what has been the political history of Africa.
It is also a place for Venezuelans to recognize; the freedom and self-determination of the African people as originating from the same source that allows deepening of historical ties, cultural and ethnic backgrounds that unite the two continents.
With this exhibition, which will be exhibited in all the 18 embassies of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in Africa, we seek to approach the struggles of men and women of the African continent, where millions of human beings were uprooted and made slaves. It also shows the policy of solidarity of the Bolivarian Government of African descendants must understand its importance. Finally, it also wishes to pay tribute to the African diaspora, to the scattered blackness that is still struggling and fighting for a better world.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
'Every age,' said Oscar Wilde, 'is fought using its own weapons.' Ours is the information age. Let Kenyans be told something about their government and individuals who waste their resources and time, trying to project themselves as leaders. No, they are not, and this we do not need to belabour. Its WHY the ASIAN TIGERS are ahead of us today.
Kenya needs recalibration. That calls for a good sense of history.
Michela Wrong gathers together pieces of a fragmented nightmarish narrative, and delivers it to the victim, a community afflicted by capricious gods undieted on Olympian foods. Put differently, they are not invincible. Whatever the community does with the message is not for the messenger to decide.
Khainga O'Okwemba, poet/literary critic &
Treasurer, International PEN Kenya Chapter
Monday, July 13, 2009
Click on the image below to download full publication of visit the Partnership for Change website HERE
Thursday, July 9, 2009
"The Internet has opened up many possibilities for rights advocates. In order to make the best use of the online world for their campaigns, however, advocates need to know what services are available, how they can be used in an advocacy campaign, who owns them and their hidden dangers."
"The Quick 'n Easy Guide to Online Advocacy
The internet service
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
- Digitizing Kenya: some cracks in the digital divide
- Preventing collective amnesia: The challenge of preserving digital materials in the age of the internet
- Tourism and the Internet: what prospects for the small operator?
- Blogging About Kenya: National Discourse in a Transnational Space
- Digitally Networked Technology in Kenya's 2007-2008 Post-Election Crisis
- Making a difference: Africa Yoga Project – Journey into Power with Baron Baptiste
- Youth Speaks: Daring to live anew / Rose Njeri Ng’anga /
- Book review: It’s our turn to eat / Michaela Wrong /
- Poetry by Philo Ikonya
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
"This will go down as the worse day of my life. In the emergency room I step over the dead to reach for those dying. They were out of supplies. They had to use the same needle to suture multiple people. They were out of IV's in the hospital and all drug stores in town are closed. Called the owner of Eldochem and he met me at his shop within 10 minutes. Loaded my car to the brim with all of his IV fluids, tubing and suture sets and returned to the ER. Many burns along with at least a hundred with lacerations all over their bodies. Too many were just bodies. We lost an unknown number of children in Eldoret in a single church fire. Best guess is >30 children may have died in this single blaze. Many of the burned adults and children survivors are in our ER."
"More people have died today in Eldoret than the number reported in the media for all of Kenya! Got our food truck and formed a caravan: Armed guards in front and behind, our truck, I was in a Kenyan Red Cross truck. We drove to the Eldoret airport to pick up supplies flown in to us by the Red Cross. We loaded literally tons of wonderful supplies and just got them back to the hospital. Even included a Red Cross trauma surgeon who flew up with the supplies. The drive to the airport is just too much. There are fires in all directions as homes and shops burn. Literally hundreds of refugees walk along the road. Sometimes it is 30-50 children and a single adult walking along carrying what they can. The road itself was cluttered by large stones that represented road blocks where they look in the car for those who are the "wrong tribe". There must be 20 blocked areas in that short drive. Most abandoned but not all. Passed many burned out homes and shops on the way. Standing on the tarmac of the airport, I could see smoke coming up on the horizon in all directions. I have pictures but lack the courage to even look at them myself much less send them until I relax a bit."
"It is my understanding that things in Western Province are pretty stable. The bulk of the crisis is in Rift Valley where we are, Nyanza, Nairobi and Coast. Those who flew in on the plane describe smoke coming up all along between Nakuru and Eldoret. I will not be able to process what I have seen; perhaps never understand my feelings. Be assured that the human genome needs many more years of evolution if it can get there biologically. The only way I can see to jump our inherent flaws as a race is to encounter something deeper in our lives than just self. It is a precious thing to have a deep feeling of being changed by our faith."
b.1973, Nairobi, Kenya
Live and Work in Kenya
The Amnesia Project Platform 7
Friday, June 26, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
Picha Mtaani aims at providing a platform for national reflection and building local reconstruction consensus through photo exhibitions and debate.
Click HERE to read more...
Sunday, June 7, 2009
DATE: SUNDAY 14 JUNE 2009
TIME: 2-5 PM
VENUE: KENYA NATIONAL THEATRE (Main Hall)
Previous libel suits against local booksellers have led to fear and intimidation and the book is currently unavailable in stores. It contains crucial issues for the country, for which reason PEN Kenya endeavors to make it available to the wider public. The books will be sold at a reasonable price of ksh. 900. Subsequent readings, discussions and book sales will be held around the country.
Forward and circulate this invitation to all you know that might be interested and lets meet to discuss problem areas in our country and work out possible solutions.
We look forward to engaging with you,
PEN- In defense of freedom of expression and promotion of literature
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Read the full post HERE.
Boniface is undoubtedly one of the most fearless photographers on the continent and was instrumental in revealing the extent of tribal and political violence during the post-election crises.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
No, not again: I am continuously ashamed of being Kenyan. I don't mind or care anymore if there are other countries whose citizens have higher degrees of shame. That is far too much of a burden for me to care or carry anymore.
I even feel guilty when I eat my meal. Why? Because even the smallest pleasures in life have been darkened by what our intellectuals have officially coined, "a culture of impunity." Those simple pleasures of life like a cup of "chai" and "eating" are now and forever bequeathed to that culture of impunity. Whilst the policeman demands "chai" from me, our politicians of today have decided it is their turn to eat.
A fellow Kenyan wrote this morning asking, "is it the Kenyan condition? Are we hardwired this way?" Kwani, are we innately incapable of doing anything without tainting it with pesa imepotea wapi??
But these are the sort of day to day issues that keep our papers selling. Bloated cabinet, stolen maize, hunger, MPs paying bribes for votes...blah blah blah blah blah blah. So, some people go in search of something else other than newspapers and when we find something that smells clean and says, "100% Proud to be Kenyan" we buy every copy of it possible, we even have 3 or 4 or even 5 copies of the same damn thing proudly sitting on our bookshelves because it smells cleeeeannnn....hmmmm...can you smell that?
But soon the dust begins to settle on the well leafed pages and we crave for more of that fresh clean air. And being the fortunate few, we simply flick open our laptops and google the word:
The results are not what we expect. So some people begin to ask questions like the gentleman below...
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
"I hear they brew a splendid cup of tea at Kamiti. Fit for an aristocrat I would say!"
"Well, then that should do me fine! Off I go!!"
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
"Winston Churchhill once said “Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”
"I am a disappointed Kenyan. Disappointed because of a scaring trend that has emerged as far as fair reporting of Kenya’s politics is concerned. Many Kenyans who frequent the many blogs discussing Kenyan politics will agree with me that most of the blogs are mouth pieces of some political parties. The owners of the blogs only publish stories demonizing one of the political party's mostly unfairly quoting faceless sources. When for example a report compiled by MP’s from both political divide finds foul play on the part of the Prime Minister and his family concerning the Maize Scandal, these blogs literally continued running unrelated stories and their owners literally deleted comments from concerned Kenyans that faulted Raila. Kumekucha led in this end. Other blogs choose to recycle old stories.
Imagine if the committee had found Kibaki guilty of the sleeze? All blogs would have published the story as ‘Breaking News’. And I bet the story would have run for days. Why the hypocrisy?
When blogs that purport to lead the war of redeeming the country are involved in cover ups when their so called ‘democrats’ are caught with their snouts in the public coffers, then how do we expect a better Kenya? Where are the honest Kenyans in the blogosphere to lead the way since the road is packed with wolves in sheep skins?
I sign off with wise words from Joseph Joubert; “Children need role models rather than critics.” Don’t shake your head I know,…. that is asking too much."
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
May 5th, 2009 by Mars Group Kenya
This afternoon Gitobu Imanyara, MP, will request for a statement from the Minister of Finance regarding glaring discrepancies in the documents presented to Parliament for approval of the Supplementary Budget last week.
Mars Group Analysis of the Supplementary Budget and comparison of figures within the Approved National Budget show systematic differences which caused Parliament to vote additional funds to the Government when additional funds were not necessary as Parliament had approved the expenditure in June last year.
Click HERE to read the rest...
Thursday, April 30, 2009
"Do you know what happens to the money you give to charity?"
WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? explores why the charity given to Africa over the last five decades has been largely ineffective and often harmful. The film tells the story of Brandon, Nicholas, Daniel and Tim Klein who travel across Africa in an attempt to understand one of the great problems of our time; the failure to end poverty.
Click HERE to visit the website...
Hat tip App+frica!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
RESPONSE BY THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CHANGE TO THE SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. MWAI KIBAKI, C.G.H., M.P., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA DURING THE STATE OPENING OF THE THIRD SESSION OF THE TENTH PARLIAMENT AT PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS NAIROBI 21ST APRIL, 2009
It is well and good that Vision 2030 remains our blueprint but it would be wrong to assume that the plan is more important than the people whose lives the plan is meant to improve. Discussions with our fellow Kenyans and particularly the youth tell us that 2030 as a vision is unreal to them. They look for news and plans for today – 2009 – and tomorrow and the day after that. They
cannot wait until 2030 to have jobs or to eat – let alone until the end of this year.
Read the full article HERE
Thursday, April 23, 2009
panicked astronauts, lovelorn puppets, a flying tortoise, the meaning of life, an experimental boy band and a sprinkling of sparkly stuff...
The Goethe-Institut Nairobi has commissioned Just A Band with works of video art for our first art show.
The show runs from Tuesday May 5, 2009 to Saturday May 16, 2009 and will feature premieres of new music videos from Scratch To Reveal and our soon-to-be-released second album - 82.
Just A Band will mark the finissage with END_TRNSMSSN, a DJ set of our favorite house, electro,pop and funk
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
ECK, MPs, Ministers...
Read Gladwell Otieno's piece HERE in the Nation on ECK's handsome pay...
Also worth downloading the Africog Report entitled, "Free for all? Misuse of funds at the Electoral Commission of Kenya"
Click HERE to download report
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Budget Campaign 2009: Walking the talk, the Citizens of the Republic of Kenya take charge and ask the Friends of Kenya to join hands to save Agenda 4 of the National Accord; This is a Call to Action by the Partnership for Change
Apr 17th, 2009 by Mars Group Kenya
Following the political and economic crisis triggered by the disputed announcement of the election of President Kibaki for a second term on December 30th 2007, it was hoped that Parliament would have used the opportunity presented by the National consensus on Agenda 4 to appropriate tax money for the benefit of the poorest of the poor and curb wasteful expenditure by the Government. The 10th Parliament’s first two sessions have been a disappointment and unless public pressure is brought to bear the third session threatens to be a repeat. Rather than using the parliamentary recess to promote national cohesion and consultations on necessary reform such as national budget realignment, MPs have spent the period heightening tensions amongst the population, and raising possibility of political and ethnic conflict.
Click HERE to read more...
Friday, April 17, 2009
Apr 11 - Human rights campaigners in Kenya have accused the country's security forces of carrying out extra-judicial killings that have claimed at least 500 lives since 2007.
A UN Special Rapporteur was appointed to investigate in February 2009 and recently accused Kenya’s police and military of intimidating human rights defenders, in a country where freedom of speech once ranked among the highest on the continent.
Several activists in Kenya say that they fear for their lives.
Story filmed and written by Njuwa Maina for Reuters Africa Journal.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
To all Kenyan Politicians
Friday, April 10, 2009
I have a feeling that we cannot fight or kill tribalism. Like terrorism, tribalism is a method, a means to a goal, it doesn't have a life of its own. It is a reaction not an action. You canot fight a method! Like the war on terrorism by non-state actors created more and worse terror by State actors, a war on tribalism and not on the circumstances that make it necessary will only create more tribalism, by articulating our differences.
Most terrorism aimed at the West today is a response to the imperialist foreign policy of the USA-led West which is founded on a convergence of economic, political, cultural, military and religious power, in a system of domination that imposes the flow of benefits from the vulnerable to the powerful. So to fix that terrorism we have to fix the attitude and activities of the global North in relation to the global South. I see Obama trying to do just that by unclenching his fist and reaching out for a handshake, nay, an embrace.
We must address the underlying factors that make people feel so insecure that they have to debase themselves so much and go into hunting formations like wild dogs and begin preying on their neighbours. Is it the dictatorship of scarcity (read poverty)? Is it the predatory post-colonial State? Is it the failure to have mechanisms to ensure political power is accountable, so that the only way to secure ourselves is to get "one of our own" in power?
For example, I have studied with interest the invention of tribalism (the conversion of an innocent identity into an ideology of domination and extraction based on that identity) by Kenyatta and his cohorts after our flag independence so that they could accumulate illicit wealth from other Kenyans, beginning with the hapless Kikuyu, in whose name they fraudulently committed the atrocities. And the ideology is still very strong that in Kenya today it is only the Kikuyu (read Njenga Karume and the axis of mediocrity that he represents) who have a Diaspora - a thing that has left me wondering how you can have a Diaspora of citizens within their own country. I am unable to see the Kikuyu or the Luo living and thriving in Busia as diasporas! Why don't we have a Luo Diaspora at the Coast where the Luos have settled in very large numbers?
All Kenyan communities are dispersed across the length and breath of the land but none of them but the Kikuyu has a consciousness of themselves as a Diaspora! And that goes to show the ideological damage the Kenyatta homeguards did to the Kikuyu identity. They made them feel so insecure that they ceased to be an innocent identity and became ideologically insecure because of who they are.
Moi did the same thing to the Kalenjin politicians. Just savour the hunting dog characteristics of their leaders and the insecurities they exhibit as they argue their "entitlements" that are separate from Kenya. Listen to their mumbo jumbo about the Mau Complex. Do these fellows see themselves as Kenyans?
To kill tribalism we must make it unnecessary as a tool/method for survival. Hence, the cure to tribalism lies outside the tribe(s). Let's endeavour to build a pro-people State that is prosperous, that will give us an identity that is superior to that which any of our tribes can give. The time has come Kenyan's stopped fighting for a piece of the Uganda Railway. Our economy that is founded on the Uganda Railway is now too small for our 40 million plus population. Let us think of creating new wealth. Let's stop borrowing and consuming; let's start saving and investing.
Which brings me to the question of political leadership. Both Kibaki and Raila are wired to consume lavishly and so cannot provide the leadership we deserve. They have the least respect for our taxes. They squander them on toys not on infrastructure! Both are limits not catalysts to the creation on a Sovereign Republic of Kenya. They cannot inspire that generation that will sacrifice to lay the sound foundations that the future can build on. In fact, Kibaki's economics of growth are not based on creating new wealth but on selling off what we own (to the lowest bidder?). Raila with his half-a-loaf jeremiad sees Kenya as a consumable (a construct that was popular with both Kenyatta and Moi). Otherwise, he would talk of having received half-a-bakery so that he could at least bake loafs for half the population.
But Kibaki is just a disaster! He is like a lazy parent who reflects good per capita income by selling off slices of his shamba and not by growing crops on it. Eventually he will sell all the land, then the cows, chicken, etc, and finally send his children out to be maids so that he can get some income repartriated from them. Having disposed off parastals (those that are remaining are already lined up for sell), Kibaki has now began selling plots to foreigners!!! And the sooner we stop him the better. Under Kibaki, our economy has become too dependent on external forces to be of use to us.
We must get a leadership which will tighten the Government's large belt of luxuries so that we stop the culture of borrowing and consuming to start saving and investing so that we can create new wealth to diffuse the culture of scarcity that we call tribalism.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
"It's Our Turn to Eat" - The book that everyone in Kenya is too scared to sell available as an e-book (understandable as our cronies in power are looking for any excuse to practice that big new word they learned - XTRA JUDISAL KIRINGS
Now you can buy it and download it from Harper Collins as an e-book for just £5.56
I love the web! And a hat tip to the hAndy man on the Hill...
Citizens will continue paying taxes. No. That’s not a joke. I am genuinely looking for an honest and noble politician. A politician who cares about the interests of the electorate before theirs (and not just as rhetoric in an election year). And before anyone from the African continent says ‘Obama’ please don’t. Y’all don’t know him and even if you do and you are sure he is wonderful, he still doesn’t serve this continent.
Now where was I? Ja. I was talking of the need for a politician that can be trusted to serve and not be served. Would it not be refreshingly different if the electorate dispensed with the ‘chief/chef/honourable bani bani’ when talking to politicians and the politicians realized that there were in power to serve us and not vice-versa?
When I first went to Kenya , I told a Zimbabwean friend of mine that Nairobi reminded me of Harare when Harare was Harare (in the 90s). Well it looks like the two African nations have just had another similarity.
They are now both ruled by governments of national unity. Now here is the thing. There has never been a government of national unity formed when the incumbent wins the election fair and square. A GNU, African style, appears to happen when the losing side wants to hold on to power by any means necessary as in the case of the two examples I am writing about.
The winners (known prior to elections as the opposition) will then ask the international (Western) community to freeze aid to THE illegitimate government that has sworn itself in (politicians are clearly getting softer. Back in the days, the party that did not want to lose would hold on and the nation be damned. Perhaps we should thank the gods of Africa for small mercies?) A Kofi Annan or Thabo Mbeki will be brought in to get the two sides talking, and boom, a GNU is born.
For that reason one would therefore assume that this type of government, though generally said to be temporary until elections in 20-voetsek will work as a type of checks and balances government to ensure the resources are given to those who need them and that no corrupt behaviour goes on while both parties are watching each other like ? Particularly from the party that is NOT of the incumbent because they are the more honest politicians, right? Right? Wrong.
Not for these two countries that I mention at least. We knew the politicians in the old party were self-interested buggers but now the politicians in the new party, the party that’s supposedly of honour, comes out and proves that, as one Kenyan politician put it, though it may be ‘different trees, it’s same old forest.’
Non-Kenyans, and those who are not Kenya-philes like myself may not know this but late last year as the average Kenyan worried about the price of unga (maize meal), parliamentarians from both the so-called old and corrupt party and the new and honourable parties were deciding that it was necessary for them to have a monthly salary of US$10,000 and that amount should be tax free.
All this for their highly important job of mostly sleeping in parliament while teachers, who render a bigger service of educating the nation, are taxed to death on the peanuts they earn. When the nation protested, they were quickly silenced and a bill was put in parliament to muzzle the media that because they raised the questions first. There was more to come.
Cabinet members from both parties were soon implicated in the tender process of grinding maize meal. Turns out there were quite a few ‘companies’ that won contracts to grind maize meal and yet did not own any grinders at all. And it wasn’t so easy as to ask them to return the maize. Somehow the bags of maize meal had disappeared.
And that’s the first government of national unity.
Last week I returned from . The Zimbabwean GNU is a little over a month old but clearly, the politicians are not wasting time.
We have all seen on television leaders of both parties begging international donors for aid to rebuild the country. It is admirable that both parties have united for the good of the nation. What’s less admirable is the fact that, in this space where politicians are asking the world for assistance to rebuild the once impressive Zimbabwean infrastructure, not a single cabinet member of either major party decided that it was not in the national interest for them to have three top class vehicles at their disposal.
Would it not have been revolutionary if some leader said, ‘uhhm, well no. My cabinet members will just have one state sponsored vehicle. Perhaps we could sell the Mercedes and the 4WD and give the funding to the treasury so teachers or doctors can be better paid?’ but no. That would have been too noble for our men and women.
And the rot was not just at the top.
As many know, revolutions generally begin in towns and so too with Zimbabwe . The majority of MDC supporters are in the cities and it is therefore no surprise that majority of councillors serving the towns are from MDC. So, many of these wonderful councillors (who by the way are supposed to have day jobs and leave the town clerk and his team of administrators to do their work in council) have decided to start frequenting council because for every appearance they make at the various town halls, they get paid.
Even in situations where there are no council meetings or meetings of their committee. But that’s not all. These wonderful city councillors had also decided that for some reason, they deserved free cellphones at council expense and some were even requesting….don’t laugh this is true….laundry allowance (I wonder whether this is money to pay the domestic workers?).
More worrisome though was the plot for discounts idea that many councillors passed.
Those who have been to Zimbabwe recently would have noticed that the Zimbabwean dollar is now non-existent. If one goes into a shop, they buy with Rands or US$ (with the US$ to the rand pegged on an easy to work with US$1 to R10).
Imagine then, a bunch of councillors deciding that they should be allowed to buy plots on a non-existent Zim$ rate for as much as 60 percent discount? Yup, true story. Fortunately for this part of the article, someone top up (Minister of Local Government with his three cars) decided to nip the behaviour of councillors in the bud and refused to allow the cellphones or the laundry allowances and while councillors can buy plots, they should buy them at the US$ value.
But what of all the other examples? Is this continent incapable of having any politicians who care more for the people they serve than they do for their pockets?
Is it alright for African nations to continue to bleed while politicians feed?