Sunday, June 29, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

MPs’ tax resistance an act of treason!

Bunge La Mwananchi led by George Nyongesa and other brave patriots are one of the few groups left truly campaigning at the grassroots for peace, truth and justice:

When Minister for Finance, Hon. Kimunya, read the 2008/9 budget, the devil indeed lay in the reaction to the details. The budget that was initially described as “people-friendly” and “food for growth” turned into a short-lived political tranquilizer after it failed to halt the unchecked increase in food prices. However, even as our people are reduced to eating rats and carcasses of wild animals to fend off hunger, the debate on high food prices seems to have taken a backseat and our preoccupation is the question of whether Members of Parliament should join the taxpayers army. For sure, as expected of our lawmakers, they are not taking this perceived attack on their obscene pay perks without kicking up a storm of a protest. That leads us to ask, what is the purpose of tax?

According to Wikipedia, tax is a pecuniary burden laid upon individuals or property to support the government. It is not a voluntary payment or donation, but an enforced contribution. The purpose of tax is for government to raise money to build schools, roads and hospitals and for indirect functions like justice and redistribution of wealth from the richer to the poorer, thereby checking inequalities.

At a time when our country is experiencing inflation estimated at 31 percent, it is important to note that taxation is used for countering inflationary pressures on the economy and better still, Kenya Revenue Authority tells us that kulipa ushuru ni kujitegemea. Considering our Members of Parliament ferocious resistance to taxation, one asks, are our lawmakers against building of roads; against redistribution of wealth; against a just society; against checking inflation and, worst of all, against our country’s independence? Why should a parliamentarian with total income of KES 877,000 expect a worker who earns a paltry KES 12,000 to foot the bills of constructing roads on which they drive their fuel guzzlers, for the garbage collection in their posh estates, for building hospitals which they quickly claim and brand as their own projects in campaign speeches?

The above mentioned facts are admissible evidence that our legislators’ protest against taxation is nothing less than disloyalty and betrayal of our country, tantamount to treason! Therefore, the following: Peter Keneth – Gatanga, MP; George Nyamweya- Nominated MP; Boni Khalwale- Ikolomani, MP; Danson Mungatana- Garsen, MP; Soita Shitanda- Malava, MP; Ali Hassan Joho- Hamisi, MP; Charles Keter- Belgut, MP; David Koech-; Fred Kapondi- Mt. Elgon, MP; Charles Kilonzo-Yatta, MP; Sammy Mwaita- Baringo Central, MP; Ephraim Maina-Mathira, MP and others not listed but equally guilty must immediately be charged for treason!

Between 1763-1776, Americans used “no taxation without representation” as a slogan to summarize their grievances against British rule. Today, we must paraphrase that slogan and say to our parliamentarians “no representation without taxation”; for representation without taxation is tyranny! (By George Nyongesa - Bunge La Mwananchi)

The MARS GROUP have published an article showing that there is a lot more at stake than the just the MPs getting away without paying taxes. The Financial Budget this year has taken public theft one step further with budget lines such as 2 BILLION for HOSPITALITY!

Click HERE to read the full article.

Click HERE to find the contacts of your MP and ask him to wake up!

Click HERE to sign the petition demanding MPs to reduce their salaries and give back land to the people!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kick The Hummer!

UNEP's campaign to Kick The Habit is in full swing. They are out and about at the malls preaching to us full blown polluters on how we can reduce our carbon emissions.

Do visit the FUH2 (Fuck you and your H2!!) campaign for the facts on this family of cars. I am told that to add insult to injury, it is common practice in this country to rip off emission control systems on imported cars.Does the owner of this car have any idea what a car like this represents and does the UN have any moral standards. THIS IS WHAT WE SEE! THIS IS WHAT YOU REPRESENT!

These are all personal staff cars but what does this say about their own policies? I guess it is not only Kenyans that have to pay the price for others to drive around in these ostentatious gas guzzling mobiles. We all pay one way or another for these guys to be the custodians of our planet.

Thanks to everyone who sent in photos and facts. And to Kenya Pundit and Rob Crilly who have posted about this too. The photo on Rob's blog is a must see! Keep them coming and we'll keep posting. You can also join our flikr Kick The Habit photo pool and load up photos directly. And please also send copies to UNEP directly. I am sure they would be very happy to see what their own staff are doing to Kick The CO2 Habit!

Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson, Office of the Executive Director, on Tel: +254 20 762 3084; Mobile: 254 733 632 755 or when traveling +41 795 965 737; E-mail:

Or Anne-France White, Associate Information Officer, on Tel: +254 20 762 3088, Mobile: + 254 728600494; E-mail:

Or Angele Luh, UNEP Regional Information Officer, on Tel: + 254 20 7624292; fax: + 254 20 7623928; Mobile: + 254 2 722 429770; E-mail:

Or Robert Bisset, UNEP Spokesman for Europe, on Mob: +33 6 2272 5842; E-mail:



Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stupid is as Stupid does

Mr. President and your golfing party,
Something to think about while you are on the green: had you not agreed to increase their golfing allowances and tea package, then you would not have to worry about how you are going to get it back...alas, it might be a bit too late to take back from the rich to feed our poor but I do beseech you not to let them getaway in the chase car....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Congratulations Kenya!

  • 35 million shillings to chase after one another in flashy cars
  • 360 million shillings to renovate their sleeping chambers
  • 185 million shilllings to film them sleeping
  • 265 million shillings to go shopping oversees
  • 200 million shillings to buy more duty free cars
  • 200 million shillings to sleep some more after they retire from sleeping
Congratulations to all Kenyans!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Take the log out of your ass please

As a victim of nicotine addiction, I was immediately drawn to a new slogan floating in cyber space:

“Kick the CO2 Habit” - UNEP Says It May Be Easier Than You Think

Alas, the United Nations Environmental Programme has not come up with any magical solutions to save my soul but have launched a campaign to save all our souls by giving us practical solutions on how we may reduce our daily carbon emissions.

Here are some practical tips posted on the Kenya Environmental and Political Blog:

-Backing campaigns to encourage airlines to give free coach and rail miles instead of free air miles in order to promote switches to more environmentally-friendly forms of transport.

-Waking up with a traditional wind-up alarm clock rather than the beep of an electronic one - this can save someone almost 48 grams (g) of CO2 each day.

-Choosing to dry clothes on a washing line versus a tumble dryer - a daily carbon diet of 2.3 Kg of CO2.

-Replacing a 45-minute workout on a treadmill with a jog in a nearby park. This saves nearly 1 Kg of the main greenhouse gas.

As I banged on my electronic alarm clock, reached for a cigarette and psyched myself up to get on the treadmill, one fine polluted morning in Nairobi, I thought...


How much are these environmental specialists being paid to sit around and calculate the carbon emissions my alarm clock gives off while they sit smug behind the closed windows of their 4wd cars spewing diesel fumes in my face as I race to get my daughter to school on time. What do you think the carbon emissions are for a car like this below compared to my alarm clock???

We all know that UNEP has its headquarters in Nairobi. We all know that roads in Kenya got munched away by our government a long time ago. However, we also know that the road to UNEP from which ever direction you are coming from (except if you live in Kibera or Dandora or Kangemi which I have sincerely have my doubts that any UNEP personel even has a clue where that may be), are as good as they get in our part of the world. Tell me Mr. Achim Steiner, do you really, really need a 4wd drive car to get to work? Tell Mr. Steiner, to the hundred and one strong untaxed UNEP staff working to save our planet really really need 4wd cars or ostentatious BMWs to drive to Yaya Centre for coffee??

Didn't your campaign managers see this coming when they flooded cyber space with 1001 wise ways to save our planet?? Did you not see the mileage you would have got were you to launch your campaign by telling us what UNEP is directly doing to reduce carbon emissions?

SHAME ON YOU! No wonder African governments spend borrowed money to buy fleets of 4wd cars for themselves - they have you to set the example.
SHAME ON YOU UNEP! How many millions of dollars do you spend on your pretty documents to tell us the world is ending if we don't stop using alarm clocks and that Africa is going to suffer most even though we have the least amount of carbon emissions?
SHAME ON YOU! Your expatriate staff parade themselves around town with red plates on their duty-free cars with duty free fuel spewing out on to the faces of the countless street children and hungry Kenyans walking miles to work to clean your houses for pathetic wages.

How do you all sleep at night? Don't you see it?

Get the indigenous log out of your asses before you tell the rest of us to take the pin (Made in China) out of ours.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Mwananchi to sue the Minister for Security and the Police Commissioner!

For Immediate Release:

Bunge La Mwanchi

On 31st May 2008, Kenyans under the umbrella of Bunge La Mwananchi and Starehe Social Forum got together in a solidarity march for the poor to dramatise the frustrations of the urban poor occasioned by the unchecked rising food prices. A short while, prior to this particular protest rally, in two separate press statements, Kenyans demanded that the Government of Kenya zero rates tax on all basic commodities such as unga, bread, milk, kerosene, etc; and also increase minimum wage to meet average cost of living, estimated at Kshs. 37,000/- failure to which Kenyans would be left with no option but to illustrate their struggles through mass action.

To Kenyansʼ disappointment, our leaders chose to placate us with platitudes about this being a global problem that Kenyans should bear with. The situation was further aggravated by the insolent statement to Kenyans that spiking oil prices which had escalated food production costs would not be regulated since the dealers were not making unreasonable profits. Struggling Kenyans were therefore left with no option but to dramatise their growing frustrations and hopelessness as a result of food insecurity through a peaceful demonstration. In accordance with the law and public order, we notified the Kenya Police in advance. To our surprise, no sooner, had we began our peaceful procession that we were attacked by anti-riot police throwing teargas, clobbering the children and women in the procession, and a number of us were injured and arrested.

As you may be already aware, the dispersion and our arrest was apparently instigated by unfounded fear among the political class over the poor exercising their constitutional right to assembly, right to movement, right to organize and right to express themselves.

We are disappointed at the Government of Kenyaʼs abuse of our Bill of Rights and wish to categorically state as follows:

1. First, that we are a grassroot social movement and the peopleʼs voice without any political affiliations or biases. We are a Kenyan platform through which to set the agenda for our leaders. Those with unfounded fear should note that Bunge La Mwananchi and Starehe Social Forum is an open membership forum for democratic expression where Kenyans meet daily across the country to discuss issues affecting them and develop action plans for solving those problems. Our members should therefore not be victimised and punished as part of a personal score settling vendetta against perceived enemies amongst politicians.

2. Second, that food is a basic security and human rights issue. The Government of Kenya is charged with the protection of our human rights and security. This duty includes protection of right to life, protection against food insecurity and death by starvation. Therefore, in ensuring food security, the Government of Kenya must go beyond the 8 million bags of maize pledged and make other basic commodities accessible to struggling Kenyans as a way of mitigating the food crisis. If our Parliamentarians can pass a law that allows them to spend on themselves over Ksh.250 million monthly in salaries and benefits, surely it is not much for Kenyans to ask that the government not to tax basic commodities. We are just demanding for equity!

3. Third, the Kenyan Constitution guarantees every Kenyan the freedom of assembly, movement, association and expression. It is these rights that we exercised to dramatise our displeasure at the existing grave social imbalance and our growing frustration at having to helplessly face our starving children going to bed hungry and angry. We express displeasure at the government that through its machinery of oppression, for over 80 hours our children suffered further because their fathers or mothers were detained for exercising their constitutional rights. We demand that our Government and the political class must respect Kenyans constitutional rights and freedoms! All the Stakeholders in the Grand Coalition Government campaigned on the reform agenda. We therefore demand: grand reforms and grand social balance now!

4. Fourth, that the threats from Kenya Police we have received to shut down Bunge La Mwananchi-Jeevanjee Gardens forum; the continued threat on our lives and arrests of our members and release without preferred charges are an affront to our constitutional rights and freedoms; and we shall not cower in resisting any continued attempt to stifle Kenyans voices. We demand that the Minister of Internal Security and Minister for Local Government order the Police Commissioner to stand down the police men who are stationed at the Jeevanjee Gardens. It is a park for Kenyans to use and not a police station. We want also to inform the public that Bunge La Mwananchi and its partners will be instituting legal proceedings against Minister for Internal Security (Prof. George Saitoti); the Police Commissioner ( Maj. Gen. Ali Husein) and the OCS Central Police( Mr. Muriithi) for infringing on our Bill of Rights. We appeal for support from any quarter to help us defend the rights of Kenyans.

5. Fifth, that the solidarity march was an opportunity for struggling Kenyans to vocalise their pains of food crisis and squalid living conditions: ill housing, lack of water, the leaking sewerage and bad roads; our joblessness, insecurity, police harassment of youth amongst others. We want to state categorically that we will not succumb to the arrogance of the government, political class or the oppression machinery and maintain that no amount of force from any quarter will intimidate us into silence and relegate us to the periphery of Kenya where we remain mere statistics regarding what are genuine issues.

6. Finaly, that we are law abiding citizens committed to ensuring that Kenyan voices are heard and our freedom and rights are not violated. We will continue to fight for these rights and shall not be silenced by threats, persecution and prosecution of our members. We demand that the government desist from threatening our members, remove the police from the park and our meeting places across the country should remain open to Kenyans. We also warn that, whenever necessary, we shall not delay to dramatise our issues through peaceful protests and no threats or arrests will stop us. Our fight for unga for 30/- and zero taxes on other basic commodities continues!

We urge all Kenyans to be vigilant, to stand up for their right to work, right to access enough food, and right to better living conditions for this is our country and we pay taxes to this government.

Thank you

  1. Bunge La Mwananchi
  1. Starehe Social Forum
  1. Nairobi-HURINET
  1. Niaje?Youth
  1. Kibera Amkeni
  1. Mkuru Kwa Njenga CBOs alliance centre

Friday, June 6, 2008

Kenya: The Opium Dream - By Wambui Mwangi

I’m giddy with relief, really I am. I am overcome with a feeling strangely akin to bliss as I read in the Standard that the Honorable Mr. Mutula Kilonzo, Nairobi Metropolitan Minister, has once and for all resolved the question of our Nairobi traffic jams. No, he has. Just like that. (Makes you wonder what all those urban planners and traffic specialists are really for, though, dunnit? Especially after all those years of education; ah well.) Anyway, the Honorable Mr. Mutula Kilonzo has decided, in a quite Marie-Antoinette-like fashion, to “let them all fly.” Yup, that’s the answer. He thinks that helicopter travel will nodoubtaboutitatall decongest the current Mheshimiwa-heavy traffic paralysis caused by People of Importance. The Kenyan Airborne Cabinet is Looking for a Few Good Men. Not Afraid of Heights? Always Wanted To Experience Kenya Aerially? Envied Icarus Your Whole Life? Then Join Us! Fly Us! Kenya’s Airborne Cabinet: Leadership in The Sky.

There are several things being claimed about us by this worthiest of our sons, in not even subtle subtext - more like hyper-text. Or like a bizarre gaming dream-world, where we vicariously experience the lives of avatars whose reality we desire but cannot attain, and so we haunt ourselves and bring on nightmares. Firstly, we have all noticed, even, and somewhat astonishingly, the Mheshimiwas themselves, the thousands upon thousands of man hours, frustration-hours, hours of delayed meetings and productive interactions, hours of school time, hours of family time, hours of farming time and conference time and planning time and shopping time spent waiting for Mheshimiwa to just get on with it, for heaven’s sake; stupendous amounts of this country’s rather valuable time are wasted, spent standing around, or sitting in suspended traffic, fuming, as this or that other Ceasar-like Mheshimiwa is conveyed from one Very Important Meeting to The Next – we can tell, because the large shiny cars are polished to a critically gravitas-inducing glossy degree—the completely non-productive nature of which Meetings does not prohibit them being allowed to impinge on our own productivity with drum-like frequency.

Secondly, notwithstanding the prodigious amounts of our energy and our profitability that are wasted in this ridiculous fashion, we are apparently so awash with funds in this country that we have the amounts necessary to provide the billions needed completely to airlift our cabinet on a regular basis, and perhaps even the entire parliament, even though, and apparently uninterestingly, we continue to leave thousands of our fellow citizens in I.D.P. camps in conditions radically injurious to human dignity, and we more generally presume that the pervasive poverty and disenfranchisement that we witness all around us are caused by lack of, er...helicopter launch pads, and the current alarmingly low numbers of helicopters, of course.

We assume that the Honorables, in their flights above us, will be more able to survey the panoramic misery of their citizens, and take in the arresting aesthetic arrangements of tents flapping against the beating rain or the chilling wind. Those tastefully traced rivulets of human excrement add a nice touch, and provide our Honourables with much to ponder and deliberate upon in the sagacious fullness of their time. We know they are greatly exercised by this unfolding human tragedy amongst us by the evidence of the frequency of their visits to the IDP camps, and the martyr-like swiftness and munificence by which they have rushed to the aid of their citizens in distress. Their personal sacrifices and gestures of generosity have consistently - oh no - truly they have, consistently and even persistently fed the hungry and succoured the dispossessed. These ministers are operatically aloft on their good deeds on our behalf: the wind beneath their wings and so forth.

Thirdly, we accept wholeheartedly, although they are public servants and have sworn an oath before God and country to serve their fellow Kenyans faithfully, in public view and everything--and whilst waiting for Parliament to legislate themselves helicopters in the national interest in the boringly ground-bound meantime—agree that it is an inalienable right of the very essence of Mheshimiwa-ness to careen around the roads in this absurd and self-inflating fashion, even though we all know ,with defeated resignation, that they are only rushing around trying to get themselves another piece of the goods they plan to continue looting from us.

Fourthly, the completely understandable gap between their campaign rhetoric, which was full of the manna and nirvana that they were going to deliver to us come January ’08, and notwithstanding their interim delivery of mayhem, death and destruction, and the Mheshimiwa’s current behaviour, which is strangely reminiscent of competing packs of jackals contesting a still-breathing corpse, arises from our immense satisfaction with the job performance to date, seeing that we have, amongst other things, resolved the question of traffic jams, IDP camps, poverty, the technology gap, and oh yes, that pesky little ethnic problem thing we had got a groove going on about, which is terrible when poor people engage in it, but perfectly acceptable when the self-same Mheshimiwa’s themselves blatantly and with complete lack of irony—because they, after all, intend it—get into their little Gema ethnic gangs and expect the rest of the country to like it, or to fail to react to it.

Finally, it will come as a relief to those hundreds of thousands of commuters who use matatus, buses, or their own rapidly-aging cars to attempt to get to work approximately on time every morning (the approximation is getting vaguer and vaguer, to no one’s surprise, and proving that it is indeed possible to be even less punctual than was the case in the already horrible ‘Kenyan time’ standards of a less-congested and presumably happier age), as they crane their necks to watch their worthy servitors fly over their heads (who said there were no angels amongst us? Hark! The Choir of Honourable Ministers Take Wing!) that those Magnificent Beings on their Mheshimiwa-esque monumental errands and shopping sprees (this morning, a certain Mheshimiwa barged ahead of me at the airport queue, dressed in baggy shorts and a baseball cap; I know he was a Mheshimiwa because I objected loudly to the queue-barging behaviour to the policeman in charge, who informed me suppressively that it was A Very Important Person, from which I deduced that the Kenyan Top Secret Talks were being held on the beach) that these Honourable Beings, who are about to take to the skies as their natural habitat, (this kind of thing sometimes happens in science fiction, where entire sections of the society become airborne, and like it so much they just stay there) will nevertheless, from their aerial heights, go about the business of promoting the interests of we, the wanainchi, with vigour and a grim determination to Develop Our Country At All Costs. They said so, so it must be true. They Sky’s The Limit!

We have always been a profoundly, even philosophically humorous people, but we’re in danger of becoming an allegory now. This is such a fantastic opium dream we are all having in Kenya. It is becoming roundly epic. One rather feels for the poor fiction writers who are going to have to try to top this; no wonder we are all so depressingly realist about our literature. Our imaginations are already boggled, all the time.

I used to wonder why German philosophers wrote in such lengthy clauses and sub-clauses. I am developing a theory that it is because their politics had a familiar abundance of caveats and points of clarification and digression necessary, as well as hallucination-inducing episodes and dream-like sequences, with flashing strobe lights and all to indicate meta-reality. Try explaining the development of political parties in Kenya in the last twenty years, and see what that does to your syntax or to your relationship with metaphor. Don’t forget to explain what a Grand Opposition to the Grand Coalition made up of previous Opposition-Yet-In-Government -Which-Is-In-Any-Case-About-To-Change-Its-Name-And-Coalition-Partner might look like, when it’s at home.

Wambui Mwangi is Director of Generation Kenya and a member of the Concerned Kenyan Writers

Kenyan MPs: Cut Your Salaries, Return Land!

(Bloggers Note: As an editorially incompetent blogger, Sukuma Kenya apologises for being limited to cutter-and-paster)

Monday, June 2, 2008

In the Name of a Mother

Hiraben Nanjibhai Pabari was born in Kisumu in 1922. She studied here, got married and moved to Kitale. She passed away in 1996 in Birmingham UK. She had nine children; all of them were born in Kenya. We the children of Hiraben and Nanjibhai realised that our lives begun in this country and feel that by establishing this institution for learning; we hope to give others the same opportunities that this country has given us.