Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mystery Military Wife Solved

Now if it wasn’t for a little office talk (thanks Edwin and Joy for scanning skills!) and cyber chatting that rather enigmatic Tender Notice from the Ministry of Defence might have gone unnoticed or certainly may have stayed at the bus stand under a pothole.

The result: a healthy discourse on military semantics:

Alas, the mystery has been resolved by a friendly pen..

“After asking “the people who know” I am informed that this item on the tender is basically a sewing kit provided to soldiers for use in the field it comes complete with needle, thread, buttons etc. From that I suppose we can work out where the name came from.”

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Talk to Kenyan MPs and Ministers

Shailja Patel, Kenyan poet and human rights campaigner, has posted the following information on her blog.

Kenyans for Peace With Truth and Justice (KPTJ) have launched a SMS campaign to urge politicians to fight against a bloated Cabinet. Given the current impasse, there is still an opportunity to urge OUR elected representatives to stop being selfish and to put the nation’s interest before their personal interests.

This is the first step to creating a culture of political accountability in Kenya. MPs need to hear our outrage. Below are all the contact numbers we’ve been able to obtain for the 10th Parliament. The fact that less than 30% of parliamentarians have made their contact details available to Kenyans is, in itself, a tragic statement on the feudal thinking prevalent in Kenyan politics.

Some examples of messages you can send are below. It adds strength to your sms if you personalize it by addressing the MP directly. e.g. “Mr. Saitoti, Kenyans want a lean, clean cabinet.” Feel free to craft your own!

Mawaziri Majambazi!

Siasa Ya Pupa
Njaa Kwetu!

Kenyans Want A Lean, Clean Cabinet

Lean and Clean
Greed is Obscene

Cabinet Feasts
IDPs Starve

Do the Right Thing for Kenya
No More Than 24

Our Country Our Cabinet
No More Than 24

MP CONTACT INFO (last name, first names - constituency - party - cellphone, email)

Abdirahman, H.Ali - Wajir South - KANU - 0721-724746 / 0722-144999 ahassan@tradeandindustry.go.ke

Chiaba, Mohamed Abu - Lamu East - PNU - 0722-410177

Bahari, Abdul Ali - Isiolo South - KANU - 0733-289501

Balala, Mohammed Najib - Mvita - ODM - 0733 333500 /0724 - 650000 najib@mombasa.co.ke

Bifwoli, Wakoli Sylvester - Bumula - PNU - 0733-865323 Wakolib@yahoo.com

Chepkitony, Lucas Kipkosgei - Keiyo North - ODM - 0733-635894 / 0722816064

Ethuro, David - Turkana Central - PNU- 0722-526370 dethuro@yahoo.com

Gesami, James Ondicho - West Mugirango - ODM- 0733 826090

Gisuka, Machage Wilfred - Kuria - DP - 0733-451806/0725834575

Kajembe, Ramathan Seif - Changamwe - ODM - 0721 609777 Langoni@swiftmombasa.com

Kajwang’, Gerald Otieno - Mbita - ODM - 0722-882787

Kamama, Asman Abongotum - Baringo East - PNU - 0731-583303

Karua, Martha Wangari Gichugu - PNU - 0721 623 342 / 0733-747551

Kenneth, Peter Gatanga - PNU - 0722 512996 andykenneth@hotmail.com

Kenyatta, Uhuru - Gatundu South - KANU - 0722 463 891

Keter, Charles Cheruiyot - Belgut - ODM - 0722 530555

Khalwale Boni - Ikolomani - NEW FORD-K - 0721 318722

Khaniri, George Munyasa - Hamisi - ODM - 0722-859341

Kilonzo, Julias Kiema Mutito - ODM-K - 0722-513605 kilonzo@wananchi.com

Kilonzo, Charles Mutavi - Yatta - ODM-K - 0734-621593 ckilonzo@crystalvaluers.com

Kimunya Amos Muhinga Kipipiri PNU - 0722518801 / 520936 kipipiri@wananchi.com

Kinyanjui, Lee Maiyani - Nakuru Town - PNU - 0722 842653

Kiunjuri, Festus Mwangi - Laikipia East - PNU - 0721 600 305

Kuti Mohammed Abdi - Isiolo North - NARC-K - 0733 235914

Lesirma, Simeon Saimanga - Samburu West - ODM - 0722-719946 simeonlesrima@yahoo.com

Magara - James Omingo - South Mugirango - ODM - 0722 911274 jomingo45@yahoo.com

Katoo, Ole Metito J - Kajiado South - 0721-640175

Midiwo, Washington Jakoyo - Gem - ODM - 0721 504 040 / 0733 421277/ 0722 935761

Mohamed, A.H.M - Mandera West - ODM - 0722-779942

Mohammed, Haji Yusuf - Ijara - KANU - 0722-709395

Mugo, Beth Wambui - Dagoretti - PNU - 0722-205753 bmugo@kenyaweb.com

Mungatana, Danson Buya - Garsen - NARC-K - 0722-411971 mungatana@wanainchi.com

Munyes, John Kiyonga - Turkana North - PNU - 0721-339094 johnmunyes@yahoo.com

Murungi, Kiraitu - South Imenti - PNU - 0721-240863 waziri@kenyaweb.com

Musila, David - Mwingi South - ODM-K - 0722 571117 davidmusila@yahoo.com

Musyoka, Stephen Kalonzo - Mwingi North - ODM-K - 0722 523 872 / 0735 161 588

Mwangi, Onesmus Kigumo - PNU - 0722-778581 kiharamwangimp@yahoo.com

Mwatela, Andrew Calist - Mwatate - ODM 0733 719 871

Mwiria, Valerian Kilemi - Tigania West - PNU - 0733-657562 kilemimwiria@africanonline.co.ke

Ndambuki, Gideon Musyoka - Kaiti - ODM-K - 0720-384553/0734-758567 gndambuki@wananchi.com

Githae, Robinson Njeru - Ndia - PNU - 722514837

Nkaisserry, Joseph Kasaine - Kajiado Central - ODM - 0721-356786 nkaisserry@wananchi.com

Nyong’o, Peter Anyang’ - Kisumu Rural - ODM - 0733 454 133 pan@africaonline.co.ke

Odinga, Raila Amolo - Langata - ODM - 0733 620 736 railaaodinga@yahoo.com

Oginga, Oburu Bondo - ODM - 0733 818517/ 0724-105493 oburu_oginga@yahoo.com

Odeke, Sospeter Ojaamongson Amagoro - ODM - 0733 967345 / 0722 813819

Ojode, Joshua Orwa Ndhiwa - ODM - 0722- 514830 Ojode7@hotmail.com

Okemo, Chrysanthus Nambale - ODM - 0733-608895 Chrisokemo@yahoo.com

Olweny, Patrick Ayiecho - Muhoroni - ODM - 0722-734187/0733-784633

Onyancha, Charles - Bonchari - ODM - 0722-248190 jonyancha2002@yahoo.com

Oparanya, Wycliffe Ambetsa - Butere - ODM - 0722 521856

Osebe, Walter Enock Nyambati - Kitutu Masaba - N LP - 0722 724 556

Poghisio, Samuel Losuron Kacheliba - ODM-K - 0722-520663 / 0734-200836 poghisio@wananchi.com

Ruto, Samoei William K. - Eldoret North - ODM - 0722 517 997 info@williamrutto.com

Shaban Naomi Namsi Taveta KANU 0722 814 412

Shitanda, Peter Soita - Malava - NEW FORD-K - 0721-341241 soita-shitanda@yahoo.com

Sugow Ahmed Aden Fafi KANU 0721-596726

Twaha, Yasin Fahim - Lamu West - NARC-K - 0722-925108

Wekesa, Noah Muhlanganga - Kwanza - PNU - 0722-774374 noahwekesa@hotmail.com

Were, David Aoko Matungu - ODM - 0722 707548/0733 569180 scorpionwere@yahoo.com

Wetangula - Moses Makisa Sirisia - PNU - 0722 517 302 / 806 363 mwetangula@hotmail.com


Amos Wako 0722 772 453

Friday, April 25, 2008



We are citizens drawn from different groupings of grassroot Kenyans meeting under the umbrella of Bunge La Mwananchi. We want to state that the ongoing celebration of the grand coalition is wholly a political class affair that the ordinary Kenyan has no part in. The grand coalition government has concentrated on rewarding regional balance among the political elite without any social balance amongst Kenyans.

The issues that Kenyans hoped would be dealt with in the power sharing deal were not and have remained as follows:

1. In a county where 50% of Kenyans cannot afford a meal a day for their children, the Government can still afford to support a social welfare programme for the Members of Parliament and has even gone ahead to increase the tax burden on Kenyans by swearing in a bloated cabinet. Worse still, the prices of basic food items such as Unga, sugar and paraffin continue to skyrocket without any intervention from the Government.

2. The Government is insensitive to ordinary Kenyans’ plight. For example, on the pretext of decongesting the city, the local government has recently relegated ordinary Kenyans outside town, forcing them to walk long distances to get to work since they cannot afford the additional fare required to use the shuttle buses. It is actually the political class who own as much as one car per family member, which congest the city centre.

3. Crime and insecurity is on the increase especially in the slums areas such as Muthurwa estate while in the same country the Government provides the president with 500 guards, the prime minister 120, each minister at least 2, and each MP at least 1 – yet they all live in safe neighbourhoods.

4. The larger Nairobi population especially in slums such as Dandora, Kibera and Mathare live in squalid conditions without electricity, running water, proper toilet facilities and with broken sewerage systems and poor garbage management, despite paying heavy taxes to the Government.

5. Young people are continuously harassed by police who arrest them on trumped up charges of idling. Further, in areas such as Eastleigh police arrest people for not having national identity cards and yet it is the same Government system that makes it difficult for these people to obtain the IDs.

6. The minimum wage for grassroot Kenyans is not commensurate to their hard work. For example casual labourers work 7 days a week, 30 days a month and are paid as little as K.Shs. 100/= per day while MPs work only 3 days a week, 12 days a month and are paid a monthly salary of K.Shs. 1.1 million. If the Government raised this minimum wage then employers would be legally bound to pay casual workers adequately.

We, grassroot Kenyans, taxpayers and employers of our politicians are adamant that if there is enough money for the political class’ social welfare programme, it is enough to go round to all Kenyans. If the Government can afford to provide each of the 222 MPs with:

(a) Free official car (Mercedes Benz, Prado, Range Rover);
(b) Free K.Shs. 3.3 million for a family car;
(c) Free K.Shs. 8 million to buy a family house;
(d) Free K.Shs. 1.1 million salary for working only 12 days in a month; and
(e) Free allowances for airtime, fuel, insurance and constituency allowance,

then it is very possible to provide:

(a) Zero rate tax on essential commodities so that baby food is free and the price of 2kg unga is 30/=, 1 kg sugar is 40/= and 1 litre paraffin is 35/= and no more;

(b) All young people over 18 years who are able and willing to work but have no jobs with K.Shs. 20,000/= monthly living wages to cater for 5,000/= food allowance, 5,000/= house allowance, 3,000/= transport allowance and 7,000/= medical allowance;

(c) All senior citizens who worked in mainstream un-pensionable jobs and contributed to Kenya’s development through their taxes with a monthly pension of K.Shs. 30,000/= (only 10% of MPs retirement allowance) and free medical care; and

(d) K.Shs. 40,000/= as the minimum taxable income.

The Government of Kenya is put on notice that it has only seven days to remove taxes on essential commodities e.g. flour, rice, sugar, oil, and 3 months in which to put in place mechanisms for addressing the other issues; failure to which we will organize a citizens’ mass demonstration in Nairobi and other parts of the country to dramatise our concerns.

We invite all Kenyans to join their fellow ordinary Kenyans in setting the agenda for our leaders.

For Bunge La Mwananchi:

Gacheke Gachihi
Ojiayo Samson
Keli Musyoka
Nganga Salim
Odipo Jacob
George Nyongesa

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ministry of Defence - Supply of House Wife Complete?!

The scanned image below is from today's Nation (it also appeared a week ago in the Standard). Look carefully at the underlined phrase. Is this a hoax or a typo? What does it mean??


In Conjunction with

During the tribal clashes and their aftermath Slum TV has documented the stories on the streets of Mathare. We believe that the focus on inter-tribal violence only tells half the story. Our films show the other side, telling stories of hope. The newsreel includes:

Mr Onyango’s Neighbours – Mr Onyango has lived in an ethnically mixed part of Mathare since 1969. During the skirmishes people fled from his area as they no longer trusted their neighbours from different tribes. Mr Onyango refused to leave his home and he tells us why.

Tell Tale for Peace – Young men who took part in the violence came together for a workshop for peace. They discussed why they had been swept up in the violence, and how they could prevent this ever happening again.

Nancy’s Story – During the troubles Nancy, 7 months pregnant, was evicted from her home. She was left with no food or shelter. 2 months later Slum TV went to find out from the people of Mathare how we could have let this happen, and why.

The newsreel will be followed by the prize winning film from the ‘Mtaa Film Fest’, an inter-slum 48 hour film competition. Dear Mama tells the story of a single mother living in the Mathare IDP camp, and how she is forced to hustle for her survival.

The screening ends with a forthcoming episode of Makutano Junction. Here a fictional Kenyan town becomes divided and former friends turn on one another. It explores how resolution comes about and peace returns.

Makutanto Junction is produced by Medeae. Airs Thursdays, 7:50 on KBC.

Slum TV trains young people in audio visual skills to enable them to tell their story in their own words. Our mission is to document the stories and histories of the people of Mathare. We share these stories through public screenings, the slum video booth network and online at www.slum-tv.info

For further information contact Emily Hughes on +254 711256177 or info@slum-tv.org
Or visit Slum TV's website: http://www.slum-tv.info/

From the People's Parliament

"Bunge La Mwananchi (People's Parliament-Kenya) would like to inform you that even after notifying the Kenya Police of the intended rally according to the laws of our land, the OCS of Shauri Moyo Police Station, commanding at least 50 "rioting police", tear-gassed the citizens who had braved the morning cold to attend the citizens' rally. The police clobbered the leaders of Bunge La Mwananchi and the wananchi as soon as we had set up the public address system and put up the banner for our meeting which was to discuss the government heavy expenditures on the Members of Parliament's salary, the cost of running a bloated cabinet, the lack of jobs, deplorable housing conditions and high inflation that is causing basic commodities price increase amongst other issues.

Six leaders of Bunge La Mwananchi were taken hostage by the police for close to 8 hours at the Shauri Moyo police, according to the OCS he told us that he had received orders from above to stop the meeting and make arrests and we would have to wait until 5pm for him to communicate with his superiors. Thankfully, advocates Mbugua Murithii and Harun Ndubi came to our rescue.

The Bunge leaders were later released on police bond and required to report to the OCS on Tuesday 22nd April, 2008 at 8am, having been charged with the following: i) organizing an illegal meeting, ii) planning to incite the public and iii) causing disturbance.

Bunge La Mwananchi is concerned that even after the grand coalition government, Kenyan are yet to start experiencing grand reforms. Further, we are also concerned that the coalition governments is pushing hard for regional balance in the power sharing deal but the ordinary Kenyans wants to see social balance too. For instance, Ordinary Kenyans who earn Ksh. 25,000/- are experiencing a 40% inflation and such income is ussually geared for food whose prices have sky rocketed. To urgently begin addressing the lack of jobs, we want the coalition government to urgently make laws that will look at this problem as an emergency, for example, a new bill should be put in parliament to require all Government departments, Corporate, Embassies, Churches, CSOs, and NGO among others to employ at least 4 more people from the "pool of unemployed youth". On matters of equity and equal distribution of national cake, Bunge La Mwananchi is concerned that the Government of Kenya can afford the expensive Social Welfare Program for the Members of Parliament (see

http://www.bulamwa.co.ke//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=55&Itemid=56 ) however, the government cannot afford to make available basic services for it is people such as electricity, sewerage, water and sanitation.

Bunge La Mwananchi will on 22nd April, 2008 be notifying the Kenya Police through OCS Shauri Moyo once again of another citizens' rally to be held on Saturday 26th April, 2008 as from 10am at Kamukunji grounds to dramatize the abovementioned issues and make our demands known to the coalition government of Kenya."

George Nyongesa

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Citizens Awareness Campaign

I discovered this a bit late unfortunately but wanted to acknowledge this initiative by Bunge La Mwananchi. We need more public awareness campaigns, we need to reach the people that matter...Bunge la Mwananchi

Friday, April 18, 2008

For a Grandmother

Like many South Asians in Kenya, our great grandfathers crossed the Indian Ocean in dhows at the turn of the 20th Century in search of new opportunities. Three generations later, South Asians who settled initially in East Africa can be found in every corner of the world. With little or no connection to India, East Africa and in the case of my family, our roots are in Kenya.
My father chose to stay on. Many of his brothers settled in the UK and his oldest brother went as far as Australia. My grandmother was born in Kisumu, settled in Kitale where she married my grandfather and eventually emigrated to the UK.
When she passed away, her sons brought her back to her motherland by taking her ashes to India where they were spread across the Ganges. But she was more Kenyan than anything else, hence, my mother and father suggested that a school should be built in her name.

As the founder of Ladies in Action, my mother was keen that her memory should be marked through life and what better way to do it than provide a space for children to receive what they deserve.

The Pabari brothers and their one sister came together and funded the construction of an entire school on the outskirts of Kisumu. It's almost ready and and I know my grandmother would be smiling with joy, ear to ear...

In addition, students have been provided with decent school uniforms and all classrooms have been furbished with desks and chairs. Sue Deans, our partner who runs the Kisumu Orphans Education Fund and was instrumental in helping us with the post election crises appeal and support also contributed £2,500. Thank you Sue...

It was my father's sixtieth birthday the other day. He retured just before christmas last year which was days before the country exploded with senseless violence due to the elections. He has since dedicated his time to charity and him and my mother now run Ladies in Action with the assitance of volunteers like Tobias and Ren and support from well wishers all over the world. For his birthday, he planted 300 trees at the school. I am truly proud to be a Pabari...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Truth Be Told...

Truth Be Told This Cabinet is Bad news for Kenya - Quite apart from who is in it.
By Mwalimu Mati
Mars Group Kenya

In 2007, the Kenya National Budget was set at about Ksh 700 billion (about USD 10.7 billion). Of this amount, the Government has to make loan repayments and pension payments (for retired civil servants) to the tune of Ksh 141 billion (or USD 2.1 billion). Of the remaining Ksh 559 billion (USD 8.6 billion), the Government planned to spend Ksh 300 billion (USD 4.6 billion) on running 34 Ministries.

After catering for Government's running costs (salaries, equipment, furniture both office and household), there is only Ksh 260 billion (or USD 4 billion) for Development Expenditure available. However not all this money comes from the Government. In fact it borrows about Ksh 52 billion (or USD 800 million) for building roads, improving infrastructure, providing health and education services etc… from international donors. In the past the Government has misused loans and left Kenyans to repay.

At the end, only Ksh 200 billion (USD 3.2 billion) will remain for spending on the people of Kenya - the majority of whom live below the poverty line. Now that the Cabinet has been increased to 43, the Government must spend more. Back of the Envelope Calculations say that the average recurrent cost of running a Ministry is Ksh 8.8 billion – or USD 130million. Therefore 9 new Ministries would cost 9 times Ksh 8.8 billion equivalent to Ksh 79.2 billion or USD 1.2 billion. This increase wipes out the Ksh 50 billion, the Ministry of Finance will raise from selling some of its Safaricom shares.
The money for the new Ministries will, of necessity, be deducted from the Ksh 200 billion development budget (USD 3.2 billion). So at the end of the day, having 43 Ministries means that Kenyans are not likely to have more than Ksh 130 billion (USD 2billion) spent on them for Education, Health, Road Construction and Water to take a few examples of what Government is meant to actually be doing to develop Kenya.

It is tragic that a 43 member Cabinet means that Kenyans will expect only about 19% of the Ksh 700 billion national budget to be spent on developing the country. It appears as if the GOK has ceased to have a development function and exists only to tax Kenyans, and spend taxpayer's money on GOK recurrent costs (salaries, loans and pensions).

What will those who pay for all this (taxpayers and donors) have to say to this economic mismanagement knowing that Kenyans:

- live with inflation above 20%

- want an end to the sad situation whereby well over 150,000 IDPs live in tents (supported by the Red Cross – not the GOK)

- will soon suffer from food shortages this year and have to rely on charity

- thought that the National Accord was intended to facilitate relief to the poorest and worst off – and not to construct a bloated government

- have heard that the Government has asked donors for Ksh 31 billion (USD 476 million) to resettle the IDPs, because the GOK is unable to raise this amount from its own resources.

And to cap it all, Parliament will now have to scrutinise the budget for this leviathan Grand Coalition with only 129 MPs not in Government. Last year over 36 vote heads were guillotined, and passed unscrutinised, for lack of debating time. This included the budget for the Ministry of Finance, which prepared the budget for 2007, and suspiciously doubled its own budget. The death knell is being sounded for parliamentary check on executive authority.

Finally, are the Kenyan people architects of their own misfortune, or victims of rapacity in the political elite?

Truth Be Told This Cabinet is Bad news for Kenya - Quite apart from who is in it.

Mwalimu Mati


watching out for you

The Grand Collusion (a la Gado)

What else is there to say...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

Your Greed is Obscene. Shame on You.

The National Civil Society Congress (NCSC),

Kenyans for Peace with Truth and Justice (KPTJ) and

The Movement for Political Accountability (MOPA):

Mr. Kibaki and Mr, Odinga:

As Kenyans, we gave our mandate to ONE of you to govern this country for the next five years. However, the OTHER one of you attempted to STEAL this mandate. Massive and brutal repression of protests ensued. Hundreds of lives were lost. Hundreds of thousands of Kenyans were displaced. They remain so to this day. To prevent further killing and disruption of lives, Kenyans accepted the imperfect but timely solution offered by the mediation process. This gave you both a LIMITED AND TRANSITIONAL mandate for reform, reconciliation, and reconstruction. However, we now see politicians misusing the crisis to create illegitimate sinecures at our expense.



We emphasise the following points:

  1. Kenyans reject blackmail: We will not allow Mr.Kibaki and Mr.Odinga to mobilize the political class to black mail us. There is an unstated threat that if Kenyans do not accept the greed of the ruling class, then the country will once again be allowed to descend into anarchy. This is our country. We will not allow politicians to blackmail us.

The overwhelming majority of Kenyans want NO MORE THAN 24 MINISTERS. Some have endured tear gas for this demand.

94% of Kenyans reject the appointment of corrupt officials and urge vetting of prospective appointments.

We urge all MPs with a conscience to join tax payers in rejecting the blackmail.

The time has come for a TOTAL RENEWAL OF LEADERSHIP and for the people's voice to be heard and respected.

  1. Kenyans reject impunity: We note the attempts to entrench impunity in this country by the current elected officials.. It is now clear that the ruling class in Kenya has solidified to the point where politicians think that they have a right to rule, even without our consent.
  1. Kenyans reject the abuse of public office by politicians: In the democracy we are building in Kenya, we, the people, are the masters. Elected politicians and public officials are the servants. Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga have negated this fundamental principle. They want to bully Kenyans to accept servanthood. We reject this subversion of our sovereignty.
  1. Kenyans will not pay for the greed of the political class: 21 million Kenyans live on less than Kshs. 60 a day. Inflation has hit the 21% mark and is still rising. The cost of unga, kerosene, petrol, fares, house rent, milk and sugar has already risen beyond the means of the masses of Kenya. To alleviate this situation, we propose that;

- All MPs pay taxes, like other Kenyans

- VAT be reduced to 4-5% on food and consumer goods, like cooking oil, petrol and kerosene

- The lower limit for taxable income be raised to Kshs. 20,000

- MP salaries be cut from Ksh. 800,000 to Kshs. 400,000

- The number of Ministers be fixed at a maximum of 24, but ideally, less

- Only one Deputy minister, with a clear job description, be assigned to each ministry

A cabinet fixed at a maximum of 24 accommodates the need for political negotiations in the post-election crisis. It is an EMERGENCY TRANSITIONAL measure. As an urgent measure of Constitutional reform, Parliament must establish a lean cabinet with defined portfolios in keeping with Section 16 of the Constitution.

Mr. Kibaki, Mr. Odinga:

The people of Kenya will not be blackmailed, bullied, or looted, by you and your political allies. For you to build wealth and political power on the bodies of over a thousand Kenyans killed, on the suffering of half-a-million Kenyans who are refugees in their own country, is an obscenity that beggars description.

We, the people of Kenya, will use every peaceful and democratic means available to us to build the Kenya that so many have suffered and died for. Our first steps in a sustained ongoing campaign of pressure:

1) We will petition all international donors, and the international community, to withhold every form of non-humanitarian aid to Kenya

2) We will create platforms and forums for Kenyans to have the substantive debate they should have had at Independence on the number and portfolios of ministries Kenya really needs. They were deprived of this debate by the greed of politicians.

3) We will launch a national and international sms and mail campaign, for Kenyans and friends of Kenya to say directly to every parliamentarian:


Friday, April 4, 2008







(Coined by a fellow activist, Zahid Rajan)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Tales of an (ex) Nairobian Ostrich

Prior to the 2007 elections I was quite comfortable in my bubble of “ Kenya is a beautiful country”. Sure the roads were a mess and the electricity supply erratic – but hey, there aren’t many other cities in which all you need is half an hour and a good tent to be in the middle of paradise! Besides, I could always get rid of any frustrations I might have through a good long complaining session over a fine glass of wine at dinner!!

And then – my bubble burst and I found myself feeling quite naked and infuriated in my awakening.

Which is how I came to be staring up at a tear gas cannister this morning (but only for an umph of a second)!

Democracy you say? Your electorate takes responsibility for how this country is governed and speaks to you. Your response? Tear Gas?? Well – I suppose we ought to thank you for it as you put us on the front page of the news! But the only suitable response is “shame on you”! And really – what is your message exactly? That you don’t agree with the call for a leaner, more efficient Cabinet…or…you don’t agree that we should start re-channeling our resources away from lining the mansions of a very few to…well…perhaps the IDPs or the impending famine…or maybe even the security…roads…Or perhaps – you simply don’t like the tree that our Nobel Prize Winner planted? Oh …I know – you’ve got an endless suppy of tear gas cannisters that you simply must use before they expire. Yes. That surely must be it.

And to the trigger & rungu happy Police. Did it occur to you that we might actually be on the same side? I understand that your lives must be miserable…. Earn very little in order to terrorize and be terrorized by the Wananchi….but stop…listen. The Wananchi are calling for more funds for security…believe or not – that means You!

And to the rest of ye Ostriches…come out of your middle class bubbles….Surely even you can see the futility of an educated discourse in the safety of your homes…

Don’t you think it’s time we gave back to Kenya a little of what she’s given us?

Mine Pabari - An (un) Usual Suspect

(Photos courtesy of Georgina Goodwin)