Friday, February 27, 2009


We, the organisations united in the search for truth and justice, welcome the report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial Executions, Prof Philip Alston.

We praise it for its clarity and candour, perceptiveness and precision as well as its bold recommendations. The mountain of evidence in the report is only a confirmation of what our membership that is engaged in human rights work have known and condemned for a long time – that sections of the security forces have been turned into killer squads with no respect for human life; they have become a law unto themselves.

These findings, though shocking, are not new to the Government. They have been presented to it in numerous reports here and abroad.

For example, last year, in September, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights released its report on extra-judicial killings and disappearances, ‘Cry of Blood’ which was received with derision and open dismissal by the police and other official circles. Earlier, the KNCHR had released its report about the excesses of the security forces in Mt Elgon District in the report, ‘Mountain of Terror’. The Independent Medico-Legal Unit followed this with the release of ‘Double Tragedy’, a report with similar findings, and was supported by the international Human Rights Watch report, ‘All the Men Have Gone: War Crimes in Kenya’s Mt Elgon District’.

Later last year, at the 41st session of the United Nations committee Against torture, the Kenya Government delegation acknowledged the occurrence of extra-judicial killings – including those carried out by agents of the State.

Prof Alston’s unmasking of Kenya’s security forces and the complicit inaction of the Attorney General should catalyse the Government to take urgent measures to punish those who sanctioned and committed these violations, reform the institutions that housed the perpetrators, and make reparations to the victims.

The issues that the human rights community in Kenya has been raising cannot be wished away by denials and diversionary tactics. In this regard, we take great exception to the statement by the police purporting to deny the statements of the murdered whistleblower, Bernard Kiriinya. The police have chosen to evade the serious indictments made in the late Mr Kiriinya’s confession and instead singled out the vice-chairman of the Kenya National Commission on human Rights, Mr Hassan Omar, and commission staff for intimidation through threats and dirty-tricks propaganda. The entire human rights movement, and civil society in general, stand with the commission on the probity and accuracy of their reports. And it unreservedly supports and endorses the findings and recommendations of the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Executions. It is the police in the dock, and they cannot turn accuser now.

The UN Special Rapporteur’s report cannot be denied or wished away either. It echoes much of what the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence, chaired by Justice Philip Waki found: That the security forces are culpable for gross human rights violations, including crimes against humanity, for which justice can be obtained at the International Criminal Court – if it is not locally forthcoming.

Prof Alston’s report is an opportunity for the Government to radically reform the security services and inculcate in those who serve in them a respect for human life and rights, while securing justice for the victims of its agents’ actions.

In light to this the undersigned organization hereby demand that the government takes all necessary measures to:-

Forthwith retract their ill-advised dismissal of the UN Special rapporteur’s report and acknowledge the widespread of state perpetrated executions.

1. Immediately Seize perpetrating the misconception that the Special Rapporteurs report is based on a mere ten day visit, because the rappoteur requested for this visit in October 2007 and has been in constant communication on the same and conducted background research on the matter prior to his visit.
2. Dismiss from office and Institute criminal proceedings against the well known Police officers perpetrating the on-going systematic executions and the superiors issuing orders for execution..
3. Establish an independent police oversight body as recommended by the Waki commission, the UN committee against torture and the UN Special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings.
4. Fast track the recommendations of the Waki commission, which included the urgent, overlooked radical reforms in the security forces in Kenya.
5. Immediately effect the removal from office of the Commissioner of police Major. General Hussein Ali and the Attorney General Hon. Amos Wako on account of their evident incompetence in curbing increasing cases of extra-judicial Killings.

Independent Medico-Legal Unit
Kenya Human Rights Commission
International Commission of Jurists- Kenyan Section
Africa Center for open Governance
Release Political prisoners trust
Haki Focus
Law Society of Kenya
Christian Legal Education Aid and Research
Amnesty International-Kenyan section.
Legal Resources Foundation
Kituo cha Sheria
Kenyans for Peace Truth and Justice

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sack the Attorney General and Police Commissioner!

Somedays are better than others and what a wonderful way to wake up and find this as the headlines:

Click on image for full story

Prof. Alston refers to Attorney General Amos Wako as “embodiment of the phenomenon of impunity in Kenya. Finally someone with balls has been brought in to sort out our sorry Kenyan asses!Any chance you can have them taken to Guantanamo?

FYI: Kenyan Pundit provides links to Alston's full statement and more HERE

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ladies In Action and Sukuma Kenya nominated as "Unsung Peace Heroes"

Just received some very touching news that Ladies In Action and Sukuma Kenya are among 8 nominations that have been selected as "Unsung Peace Heroes" for efforts during the post-election crises. As you may remember, this blog was initiated to raise funds and awareness for victims of the crises in and around Kisumu. In a matter of weeks, all of you out there donated a total of 12,000$ which Ladies In Action (the tiny little charity run by my folks) used to help thousands of people.

The nomination process was done through the public and they received over 500 entries via sms, phone calls and emails so we are rathered honoured as a family and all the credit really goes to my folks, Tobias Kadongo and Ren Odabashian and other volunteers who were on the ground helping people as well as all our friends and family and friends of friends who sent in vital funds. Thank you...

Other nominees whom I look forward to meeting tomorrow and the small prize giving ceremony are:

1. Alfred Sakwa Sabatia (Eastleigh) - Alfred is 21 years and grew up as an orphan. Since 1996 he lived under sponsorship of the St. Teresa's Catholic Church in Eastleigh. He got hurt while bringing a friend's child to school. He decided to help others during the crisis. He took food, clothes, and utensils given by friends, churches and organizations to Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps in Mathare, Air Force and Huruma. He organized peace talks, composed peace songs, verses and plays, started a peace self help group to keep the youth engaged named "High hopes", "The jaws" and "Joapapes", he joined organizations like Eastleigh Youth Network. Currently, he is recording three new peace songs.

Esther Wanza Muisu (Mombasa) - Esther is 42 years old and a Kamba married to a Kikuyu. She lives in Mikoni, Mombasa. During the period December 28th - January 15th she helped people with food and shelter, a total of 25 people slept overnight at her place. She said; "I know what it means to lose".

Joel Cheruiyot Sigei (Bomet) - Joel is a 48 year old Kipsigis who hid 18 people, 4 Kisii families, for 2 weeks in his compound. He did this secretly to hide them from the community. He gave them maize from his stock and milk from his two dairy cows. Furthermore, he helped children in an IDP camp by bringing them 40 litres of milk every day. When the violence ended, he arranged transport for the 4 families.

Freddy Kamakei Ole Sangiriaki (Narok) - 'Freddy' is 28 years old Maasai who wanted to protect his Kikuyu friend from an angry group of Maasais looking for ‘enemies’. He got beaten up and decided that this could not be accepted. He and his neighbor friends formed a group called 'Kenyan Initiative - by Kenyans for Kenyans' consisting of mostly Maasai together with Kikuyu, Kisii and Luo men. They went out at night to follow and find the angry mob. By talking to them they convinced them to stop the violence and killing after one week. As they went around Narok area, other groups copied their example and set up similar 'peacekeeping groups’. As a result, (Freddy claims) the violence ended much sooner in Narok area than in the rest of the country.

Maureen 'MKenya' Auma Obonyo (Kibera-Kisumu Ndogo) - When others were too afraid, 'Maureen Mkenya' went out and helped the weak in Kibera. When Kibera started 'burning' there was a sudden shortage of food. She witnessed the anger and despair from close by. Uzima Foundation received food donations and Maureen distributed food and food vouchers for them to the sick and the old. Maureen hid her Luo identity by calling herself Maureen MKenya. Some people thought she was a Kikuyu and she was beaten up three times for this reason. She furthermore facilitated peace sessions and organized football tournaments and drama festivals.

Ann Wangari 'Mugeci Damiano' (Nariobi) - Next to her own three children Ann (39) takes care of 15 orphans in the age 6 to 15 years. During the post-election period she went to Muranga district and found 59 children from a burned children’s homes, children from Molo and Narok who needed help, she chose the youngest and brought them to her home in Kasarani. One is Luo and the rest are Kikuyu. All children are now in school. She receives support from friends, church and family.

Paul Omukaya Ayodi (Kawangware) - This 39 years old pastor took immediate action after the election violence broke loose. He took orphans and people who lost their homes to a school for shelter. He helped a total of 20 families of which 5 families are still supported by him, mostly with contributions through the church. One family is Luo, two Kikuyu families, some Luhya and other tribes. Every day he works in a bar in Nairobi from 3pm to late and the rest of his time he dedicates to charity.

Needless to say that none of the people who did anything to help during the post-election crises did it for personal recognition (except politicians of course), it is wonderful that all these people have been recognised in the hope that it brings us together more as a country. As Sharad Rao, former Director of Public Prosecutions and chair of jury says, The initiative is premised on the understanding that in order to move forward, there is a need to profile and hear the very beautiful stories that gave us hope as Kenyans and strengthened the social cohesion among the antagonistic communities. It recognises that not everyone gave in to the madness in those dark hours. There were people who, during moments of crisis and violence, risked their own lives to save members of other communities,” says Sharad Rao, chair of the jury and former director of public prosecutions.

Special thanks to Media Focus on Africa and Butterfly Works for putting this together. In a time of perpetual political darkness, its nice to have some light.

Thank you.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kenya Burning: An Exhibition

Venue: Kenyatta International Conference Centre
Date: Saturday 28th February - Monday 2nd March
More Info at:

25 Bunge la Mwananchi members arbitrarily arrested and held

From George Nyongesa (Bunge La Mwananchi)

Dear Kenyans and friends of Kenya,

At 9 am this morning (Sunday, 22nd February 2009), Gacheke Gachihi - a Bunge la Mwananchi network leader in Huruma - along with 20 other youth, were arbitrarily arrested while they were having tea in a food kiosk known as “Kwa Rasta” in Nairobi’s Kiamaiko area (famous for its goat market). In addition to these, the kiosk’s owner, Joel Kimani and several more people who were outside the kiosk were likewise arrested and the whole group was taken off to a field in Mathare North. 3 women, including one identified as Mary Wanja, whose family members were amongst those arrested, followed the group and were also taken into custody by the police.

I received a phone call from another Bunge la Mwananchi member alerting me to this news at around 10 am and we have spent the whole morning trying to trace the people arrested. Visits to the Huruma police post, Kasarani police station, area central police station and Buruburu police station proved futile as the group had not been taken to any of these police stations. Finally, the group arrived at Muthaiga police station at around 1.45 pm where they are now in the process of being booked.

Although we are being denied the chance to speak with them, it is apparent that they have not been told the reason for their arrest. It appears that when the 3 concerned women had traced the group to the field and were arrested, the police then bundled them all into a police lorry that drove off and parked by the side of the road in an unknown area instead of driving to any police station. They were held in the lorry until they were brought to the Muthaiga police station. We have not been able to establish how they have been treated by the police since they were arrested, but even the delay in booking them after arrest is cause for foreboding.

At this time when the UN is investigating extra judicial killings in Kenya, it is important to point out that today’s arrests bear very similar trademarks to arrests that have previously resulted in unexplained citizens’ disappearances and deaths. Indeed, the area from which the group was picked up is an area of Nairobi in which young people are routinely picked up by police, their activities criminalised and this is followed by their sudden disappearances from police custody only to show up dead in unexplained circumstances.

This is an appeal for civic vigilance and solidarity with those arrested. We wish to highlight this as one of many evidentiary incidents of the constant threat that Bunge la Mwananchi members are subjected to by oppressive government machinery – the police. We call upon you for your support in any of the following areas:

1. Please spread the word of this latest police harassment.

2. We invite you to write to or call anyone who you think should know and can do something about this.

3. Write to the President, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Internal Security and the Commissioner of Police to demand a reason for this obvious infringement of people’s constitutional human rights by the police.Click HERE for email addresses and phone nos.

4. Lobby for the immediate release of all those arrested.

5. Even as we continue to follow up, we anticipate that we will require legal assistance and will be grateful for anyone with legal expertise to immediately join us at the Muthaiga police station.

6. We may also require financial support in bailing out those arrested.

Bunge la Mwananchi wishes to reiterate that we mean business by organising and mobilising Kenyans to free themselves from failed leadership. We refuse to and will not be intimidated by these ominous arrests and will not be deterred by police harassment.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Action Alert re Arrest of Philo Ikonya, Fwamba Crispus, Patrick Kamotho



(1) Send a text message NOW, to Kenya's President, Prime Minister, and Attorney General. Use the one below, or craft your own. Phone nos and Email ads available HERE

Mr. Kibaki / Mr. Odinga - we hold u accountable 4 police violence and illegal arrests against Philo Ikonya n other civil society activists. Release them NOW and fire Police Commissioner Ali.

Other Suggested Message:

Mr Kibaki / Mr. Odinga, I urge you to act immediately to release Philo Ikonya, Fwamba Chrispus, and Patrick Kamotho from illegal police custody. Police Commissioner Ali must be fired for presiding over escalating police violations of civil and human rights in Kenya.

To President Mwai Kibaki: president (at) statehousekenya (dot) go (dot) ke

To Prime Minister Raila Odinga: railaodinga (at) yahoo (dot) com

Signed: Name, Organization / Affiliation (if any), City, Country

3) If you are a Kenyan repeat steps 1) and 2) with your own MP and other parliamentarians. Contact details for Kenyan MPs here.

4) If you live outside Kenya, repeat steps 1) and 2), directing the texts and emails to the Kenyan Ambassador or High Commissioner in your country. Contact details on this link:

5) If you are a foreign national living in Kenya, repeat steps 1) and 2) with the Ambassador or High Commissioner of your country in Kenya. Contact details on this link

6) Copy to the Feedback Form on the site of the Kenyan Police Force HERE

7) Copy to Kofi Annan, in his capacity as the head of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process, through his spokesman: Nasser Ega-Musa: Nasser (dot)Ega-Musa(at) unon (dot) org

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Arrested and beaten for asking for food...

From Mars Group Kenya

Philo Ikonya, Fwamba FC Fwamba, and Patrick Kamotho have been beaten and arrested by Police while demonstrating against lack of Unga, and corruption in Government at Parliament Buildings. Philo Ikonya and Fwamba FC Fwamba arecurrently being held at Central Police Station. The whereabouts of Patrick Kamotho are still Unknown.

On Friday, 3 other colleagues were arrested while sharing information on Corruption with other Kenyans. Two were released and Rosemary Otieno was charged with a bogus charge at the City court.

The Grand Coalition Government has allowed the Kenya Police to continue harassing Kenyans who exercise their Fundamental Rights as guaranteed under the Constitution Of Kenya. Agenda 1 of the National Accord was to restore the Fundamental Rights of all Kenyans with immediate effect. Can Kenyans continue to pay for this Government?

The time to admit failure by this Government to deliver the National Accord is now. We demand the immediate, unconditional release of our colleagues, and call for the Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali to resign with immediate effect on the basis that his force is unable to deliver on Fundamental Human Rights for Kenyans.

It's Our Turn To Eat...

Click HERE to read review in the East African

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UNEP - Kick The Hypocrisy!

So, everyone appears to be taking our planet in peril very seriously. And hands down to all these chaps who according to today's Nation, "started a meeting in Nairobi on Monday amid calls for a “new global green deal” – an ambitious initiative that would see the creation of more jobs, eradication of poverty while averting climate-related disasters. The high level meeting, attended by delegates from more than 140 countries at the United Nations Environmental Programme headquarters in Gigiri, comes hot on the heels of the global challenges facing various countries including food shortages and the financial crisis."

Things must be very serious for our dear President to take time off from sorting out who stole the maize and why no one wants to go to court for murdering lots of Kenyans and all the rest of those very important matters.

Mr. Kibaki has clearly done his homework. In his opening remarks he says, “We need to move towards a green and low carbon economy, for this will deliver multiple benefits and ultimately result in achieving sustainable development that benefits all.”

"Low Carbon Economy"

What sort of vehicles do you think these 140 important people rocked up to the meeting in? Perhaps one of these?

No, doubt our Very Important People's Government of Kenyan wanted to make sure they can live up to the very high standards set by the United Nations. And of course we all know that there is no shortage of fancy cars donated by Kenyan citizens the GoK. Between January 2003 and September 2004, President Mwai Kibaki's government spent at least Kshs 878 million in the purchase of luxury cars that were largely for the personal use of senior government officials such as ministers, assistant ministers and permanent secretaries. So which one do you think he might have used for this very important meeting? Could it have been this one?

Silly Sukuma!! Do you think such important people have time to worry about such trivial issues?? I mean even some of their senior staff told you that they have much more important things to be concerned about. It is for minions to start ensuring that we stop using electric alarm clocks and drive fuel efficient cars. As busy as they are, they still took the time to write to me and assure me that they are very very busy being fuel efficient. The UNEP spokesperson personally wrote to me to remind me, "You may also be pleased to know that, as a result of donor countries re-newed confidence in the organization and the leadership of Achim Steiner and the previous ED, Klaus Toepfer, as well as a recognition that we are doing an increasingly quality global job+ the urgent important of addressing environmental degradation, funding for UNEP is rising at a time when cuts are being registered in many other UN agencies and national environment ministeries."

In fact this very important spokesman was so friendly that he offered me a personal invitation to Dandora Dumpsite and also suggested, "that you can give me some tips on how the hell I stop black smoke pouring out the back of my elderly 1992 Land Cruiser."

He was even kind enough to send me their very important strategies for greening UNEP. I was really confused about this because I would have thought getting rid of his smoking landcruiser might be the easiest and cheapest starting point to greening UNEP...anyways, I haven't quite put my head around all this stuff yet, so I beg your forgiveness.

Silly Sukuma!! Didn't you read?? These guys have much more important things to solve! Wall Street is dragging us all into the dumps right now and our good man Obama is trying to do everything he can to stop the poorer getting poorer. He even told those naughty CEOs that there will be no more hefty salaries for them! Do you think President Kibaki might do the same or at least make those naughty MPs pay taxes?

Mr. Steiner is a very clever man and he knows that as the big guns get ready to pour money into the economy and stimulate Americans to BUY BUY BUY, we need to be very cautious: “It is the manner in which such funds are invested that will have a direct bearing on mitigating other environment and development challenges.”
Such funds are invested...

Mr. Steiner, how much do you think this meeting cost? What was the value of cars parked outside your office yesterday? How much of that was tax payers money? How much of that cash was meant for him:
You know as well as I do, WHY we have a food crises in Kenya. You know as well as I do how easily it could have been avoided and you know as well as I do that charity starts at home!! Everyone is busy intellectualising about saving the planet and you are standing there with the very people who are the cause of 10 million Kenyans facing starvation. You also know that your staff for the most of it don't really care about reducing their own carbon emmissions and reducing unnecessary waste of hard earned cash that could be used to really address issues. How can you stand there with my shameful government and intellectualise about droughts and CO2 gases when they are the ones who have stolen our maize?? Why are you all so busy pussy footing around the real issues?

I have a lot of respect for you Mr. Achim Steiner and I really hope you might follow in the footsteps of a handful of humans that know that the first step to addressing any problem is to start dealing with the hypocrisy and get the log out of our own asses...

Monday, February 16, 2009

10 million cuttings for 10 million Kenyans: A Valentine Story.

By Philo Ikonya

I stepped out wearing my sackcloth and many cuttings of the starving people of Kenya that have been coming in our main three newspapers in one brown envelope. It's Valentines Day so I will also drape a red sash and speak to the ladies in red without alienating them and ask them and the men in town to remember to make a donation to the dying.

I cut out faces of children, old women lying down, old men with long rib cages seated stooping forward with all their flesh turned into little sacks of skin sagging down to their loins. Life petering out in this Kenyan famine of 2009 in Baringo, Ukambani, Pokot. Three dry provinces but also in the dry zones of our more fertile areas such as Ndeiya in Limuru.

And yes, I found her too. The woman my friends and I had called the ‘face of famine.' She demonstrated the plight of this hunger so well as she lay out there in Pokot land; rising and falling with her bony frame with eyes already wide open with pain and long limbs devoid of flesh, a shrill voice, that told of pain. She hit the headlines for a few weeks and then stopped. Is she still alive? The media had explained that maize had been transported past this woman and many like her - to Sudan passing by a road a few kilometers from where she lived.

The stories were heartrending telling of how mothers fed their children on wild berries that kept them from going to the toilet often so that their tummies would hold. Mothers asking their teenage daughters to sleep with truck drivers (this is a live wire of the HIV/virus) to get a meal for the family for the day.

I cut out photos too of our politicians. The famine is artificially created by graft in the country and yet, the president sat with guests from the Diplomatic Corp and others in a sumptuous breakfast one morning to proclaim that 10 million Kenyans were faced with starvation and death. An emergency; he declared. And some 35 billion Kenya Shillings were needed. The good people responded to the appeal with some money. Kenyans too quickly organized interventions such as collection points for maize flour despite the shooting food prizes that other governments in the world were trying to mitigate. Here Kenyans had been arrested before the famine for sounding the alarm that the prices were skyrocketing and that people in Nairobi slums and other places were living on Ugali (maize meal) and salt instead of vegetables and meat. I cut out their fat and oily faces… and their disagreements on many fronts the latest having been the failure to establish a Tribunal to investigate political violence.

I also cut out faces of ordinary Kenyans struggling and winning in athletics, masses of people under the banner of People Power. These I put in my victory envelope. There were great things to celebrate here and our failures in politics are the exception to the rule in Kenya’s other actions. This is what we have to win. The battle of getting every Kenyan to redeem their vote from association with war and bloodshed and then to vote without considering tribe but looking for change.

Cut out of course, were the scandals that hit the headlines. The stolen and imported maize involving not just the agriculture ministry but also a cross section of our very well paid MPs. I cut out maize stems looking good and full. Kenya never lacks maize because of the rain. And the fuel scandal expressed with a pump over stacks of bank notes. Stolen too.

As I set out with all these cuttings to buy manila paper and glue and stick them and use them not only to discuss generosity in donations but also the Change our country must allow or fall again, the song; Someone is dying Lord Kumbaya,” came to mind. I remembered the last time we sang it, this time last year, Kenya was on fire.

In the first spot I stopped, someone tapped my shoulder and asked me if she had seen me speaking somewhere. I told her yes, and there was a flow of compliments… I had just been wondering what the town mood would be like when as she introduced herself, I looked into her face and we said it together: "Terry Kariuki. The Late Josiah Mwangi Kariuki’s widow. JM."

She stood there looking into my eyes and telling me how voices were important. I felt my skin creep and tears came to my eyes as she spoke of what happened to her vocal and popular husband who was so angry about greed in Kenya. He spoke very strongly for the poor and suggested well thought out policies in Parliament. He was assassinated on March 2nd 1975. Terry and I parted on the note of how much work remained to be done. I did not lose a chance to speak to people and to tell them to speak to others about our country, and the hope we have for new political leadership.

Here was a lady, clad in wonderful clothes, an expensive coat and shoes, she held a wonderful bouquet of roses. The flowers were set beautifully and the flower pot covered with love hearts and a cellophane paper for their protection made a soft swish sound. Angela about 4ft8, looked great, her dark skin beamed delight, a strong and confident woman, after a compliment on the love those flowers told, she spoke to me in the Nakumatt Lifestyle corridor as if we had an appointment. Tears came to her eyes, and I had not yet even put up the pictures on my poster, as she listened to why I was on the streets that day. She was moved to act and she said she would support our cause and left her contact. She understood how important it was for her to get many others in her social milieu to think of change. Later I would weave between wealthy looking men buying flowers, why even some big shots and a reminder of the unga touched them with one I once worked with even hugging me. But in all conversations, it was clear, the middle and upper class are anxious.

At Jeevanjee gardens, a Bunge la Mwananchi session was on. It was about change in leadership. I made my contribution and also talked about flour- the Wabunge were already organized and had a book of goods collected for the poor. I made my contribution as Mumbi and Nduta, two sisters present went to a bench with me to stick the cuttings to the manilla paper.

The theme: Corruption = Death.

As we were about to finish, we noticed the return of a big police vehicle (we had been told it had been driven from there earlier and thought we were safe) and we left the garden as they reversed in. I was doing a solo thing because groups of Kenyans on the streets talking change are often arrested. I have one court case for singing about freedom and that is enough.

Joined by another activist and the two girls we set off carrying our graphic poster. A pair of sisters were eager to know what this was all about and explaining to them, they gave thanks and promised to spread the message: Support the dying today, vote in new leaders tomorrow.

Two seconds into Tuskys supermarket and a former classmate bought flour for contribution, a woman alone with her little one also paid up for more and I bought 20 kilos. Our kitty had started to swell. With the receipt stapled onto the poster we could now stand outside the supermarket and urge others to make a contribution. We paced the Muindi Mbingu Street and in the end we had spoken to about 300 people. They kept coming out to listen to us in little constant groups of between 15 and 30. It was at this point when I looked up and saw activist George Nyongesa in the crowd. He took to this so heartily and when we finished, he asked me to go with him on the following day outside some churches. He told me he believed now change can only come to Kenya if we speak to people one by one with the zeal of missionaries. It was not going to come through organizations. We have started to move.

We have just come from four more hours of activity and we estimate about 500+ people listened and some spoke to three of us, activist Kamotho having joined us. Many said they had given up on their vote but now they would go out and tell others there is hope. Others gave their addresses urging us to stay in touch with them. Many were raging with the desire for change and saying they only wish we could all meet.

You see, on one side of the banner we had a victory message with someone lifting a trophy out of a mammoth crowd with the heading: People Power. Here, hope and victory were discussed and we shared that we would not believe in hopelessness ever but that we would do our best, especially as Christians- most of the people were going to three churches in the area- to move our country ahead. All the people we spoke to were encouraged to speak to many more and to keep doing it. They could not hide their happiness and some of them thanked us profoundly ( even prayed and blessed us) as we thanked them for the work they had prepared to do by stopping to share – just for a few minutes.

It is impossible to forget the faces of the poor men who listened so keenly and spoke of the pain they bear in their hearts and the faces of rich and happy girls. And Terry Kariuki’s? Her look and words will remain etched and recorded somewhere no camera or TV can reach. Her sparkling and searching eyes with a smile of life turned pain will not go away. Will what her husband and: Mboya, Ouko, Bishop Muge died for, one day be achieved? JM is the man who said Kenya will become a country of 10 billionaires surrounded by beggars.

Today, 10 million die, they are not just food insecure- that is a polite name for death.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

We Won't Pay...

Click on image to read more

Friday, February 13, 2009

Open letter to Mr. Paul Muite and Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee

Dear Human Rights Defenders and Lawyers, Mr. Paul Muite and Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee,

I have been feeling rather confused and stupid in the past 24 hours despite the reassurance from a friend that I was in safe company as there are 40 million (minus the government of course!) other stupid and confused Kenyans. Nevertheless as lawyers, particularly ones of such high stature and globally respected for being defenders of Human Rights, I am certain that you will give even a fool a fair hearing so bear with me as one of 40 million stupid Kenyans:

Yesterday, I was thrilled to hear the good news that the National Campaign Against Wasteful Government and Political Impunity ("Operation Fagia" - I love this name - sweep the trash out!!) had its first hearing in court against the Parliamentary Service Commission (for my fellow fools - those 3 big words translate to one small one: thieves). I was even more thrilled to hear your names associated with this case! Wow! Finally the Kenyan Court of Justice was hearing a case against the hefty salaries paid to MPs and all sorts of nasty things they have done to us. And two of Kenya most renowned Human Rights Lawyers and Activists were right at the centre of this!! How exciting!! I quickly googled your names to remind myself of all the amazing things people like you and the Open Society and KHRC and KNHRC (ahh, this list of of human rights activists is endless so forgive me if I have left anyone out) have done for Peace, Truth and Justice. Yes, so I googled your names and just a few excerpts to tell our readers a bit more about you:
  • "Pheroze Nowrojee is one of Kenya's and Africa's most well known human rights lawyers. He has been a mainstay of the Kenyan national democratic movement for many years and like many other so called "dissidents" and "disgruntled elements" (to revive the curious lingo of the KANU yesteryears) got into several brushes with the one party dictatorship." (As a tribalist, I was even more proud given that we are sort of from the same tribe - well close enough. You know they call all of us brown ones, "choots")
  • Paul Muite was much harder to find a good paragraph about but I was really pleased when I found a video feed of him commenting about the disgraceful behaviour of the government arresting people for wearing tshirts (You know those silly tshirts that demand Kenyan MPs pay tax!!).
As a stupid Kenyan, of course I did not read the press statement properly but in my bid to fight my inherent stupidity, I read the press statement again...and then again...and again. Why? Because of this:

The PSC has procured senior lawyers Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee and Hon. Paul Muite, the Attorney General represented by State Counsel Mr. Omondi and the 40 million Kenyans are represented by lawyer Mr. Kibe Mungai.

Surely this is a mistake!! And I know better than to trust everything I read online being a blogger who spews only propaganda and half-truths myself! But then today morning, I rushed to the petrol station at the crack of dawn to purchase a newspaper (because the newspapers never lie and since they have their freedom barely hanging on a shoestring - they definitly don't take any chances printing garbage like us bloggers) and look!!!

(Click on article to read full story)

Mr. Muite and Mr. Nowrojee, I am very confused. Do I understand from the above that you will indeed defend the Parliamentary Service Commission against the people of Kenya who think that Kenyan MPs get paid far too much tax free cash? I thought we all agreed that this was the case except the MPs of course? I thought the pair of you have been actively condemning those chaps in parliament for all sorts of important things like the trillions lost in corruption, the Waki Report, the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans facing starvation?

I know!! How stupid of me!! You are actually on our side but pretending to be on their side and then they will pay you lots of money to defend them and you will donate it to dying Kenyans! And then make sure you lose the case and they will all go to jail and Kenya will be a country of Peace, Truth and Justice once again!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Kenyans in court seeking scrap of Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC)

12th February, 2009
Press release

Kenyans in court seeking scrap of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC)

Today (Thursday, 12th February, 2009) at 9.00 am, Justice Nyamu of Nairobi’s High Court, once again sat to listen to the landmark citizen instituted case against the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) in which 17 representative Kenyans are seeking orders that the PSC be declared unconstitutional along with the law that created it and further that the High Court order the recovery of all the money estimated at KES 7 billion and other resources the PSC has squandered on Parliamentarians since 2003.

The PSC has procured senior lawyers Mr. Pheroze Nowrojee and Hon. Paul Muite, the Attorney General represented by State Counsel Mr. Omondi and the 40 million Kenyans are represented by lawyer Mr. Kibe Mungai.

As a brief background:

1. On Wednesday, December 10, 2008, 17 Kenyans filed High Court Petition No. 769 of 2008, at the Nairobi Law Courts, requesting that the PSC be scrapped for violating the Constitution of the Republic of Kenya, and for flouting the republican ethics that prohibit public officials from using their offices for unjust enrichment and other forms of personal gain.

2. On Wednesday, 21st January, 2009, when the case came before Justice Nyamu, it could not proceed because the PSC alleged they had not been properly served, since the court papers were delivered to their Legal Department office instead of their Clerk.

3. On Friday, 30th January, 2009, although the Attorney General (through whose office all bills are transformed into law and therefore had much to do with the passing of the contentious law) was ready to proceed, the PSC requested for leave of the court to instruct lawyers to appear in court on their behalf. The case was therefore postponed to today, Thursday 12th February, 2009 to allow them to get legal representation.

Update: At the PSC’s advocates’ (Mr. Pheroze Nowrejee and Hon. Paul Muite) request, Justice Nyamu granted orders allowing the PSC 21 days within which to respond to the chamber summons in this matter filed by Kenyans at the High Court. Lawyer Kibe further requested and was granted 7 days leave after receipt of the PSC’s response to the chamber summons, within which to reply. Consequently, the next mention of the case is scheduled for Thursday, 12th March, 2009.

In addition, although submissions on the chamber summons will be heard by Justice Nyamu, by application of all parties, the petition will be heard by a three member panel of High Court judges.

Way forward and support required:

1. Unfortunately, since our last communication, a parliamentary tribunal has been set up and gazette to look into the matter of MPs remuneration and taxation. We disagree with the move to have parliamentarians review their own remuneration as they are obviously biased and it is a clear conflict of interest right from the beginning for whomever is proposed to occupy such a tribunal. In this regard, we shall be amending the court documents to seek court orders that in public interest, the tribunal be disbanded.

2. That the PSC (read the State) has retained such high profile advocates, Mr. Pheroze Nowrejee and Hon. Paul Muite to represent them fortifies our resolve since it is clear that they and the AG, who is willing and ready to proceed, acknowledge there is indeed a strong and valid case to answer. On a sad note, we are however surprised that the people that have previously fought by our side can now be "hired guns" to offer "legal expat" not legal expert to the very criminal system against which we fight. In any event, we appreciate that the profile of this case has been increased. On that note we appeal to all patriotic Kenyans who are lawyers and advocates to join Mr. Kibe and lend support as we face the giants ( Phirozee Nowrejee and Paul Muite) in the ring.

3. Fellow Kenyans can support us by adding your signatures to the growing list of "army against impunity" as we aim to collect 5 million signatures on our petition. Your signature counts since it will help us build a strong and stable base of Kenyans through which to make your voice heard and to push for Kenyans’ best interests’ agenda against culture of corruption and political impunity. The petition is available at

4. We propose to set up a Solidarity Fund in order to raise the resources we require in sustaining this petition. Feel free to contact us (see to obtain more information and to contribute to this fund. It is important we have financial muscle in this struggle against the State. Your support through your generous donations will be most appreciated.

5. We need the numbers to join us in court for solidarity- you are all welcome to join us at court on Thursday 12th March, 2009 – High Court Chambers 35, Nairobi – so that this is not a case of just a few individuals but all Kenyans. We are all being robbed and we must therefore all stand and resist.

On behalf of other petitioners,
George Nyongesa
Bunge la Mwananchi
mwananchibunge (at) gmail (dot) com
+254 720 451 235

It's a pity we only exist in the future??

Love the banner on this one and there are lots of funny, intelligent people behind this as well as a chap with a funny accent who has a much better idea of what that strange looking word is on everyone's tshirts...

And if you are as confused as I am, and content to stay so, suggest you click on the sentence below:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Five of Kenya’s leading radio stations raised 172 metric tons of food over the weekend, in the country’s first twenty-four hour food appeal.

“We are astounded by the results of the appeal. To achieve so much in twenty fours hours in this country is unheard of. Now, we can save hundreds of children and other vulnerable group,” said Abbas Gullet, Kenya Red Cross Secretary General.

The appeal followed the declaration of a national disaster by President Kibaki. The President acknowledged that 10 million Kenyans were at the risk of starvation. In the past week, three people have died from starvation with hundreds more at risk.

The stations from the Radio Africa Group, in a remarkable national appeal that ended Saturday morning, got hundreds of Kenyans from all over the country to buy bags of food for the hungry. The appeal is a part of a Media Owners Association initiative.

“We believe in Kenyans and they have proven yet again that even in the most difficult of circumstances, we are still a nation of great and compassionate people who will support each other,” said Martin Khafafa, deputy chairman of the Media Owners Association of Kenya and General Manager of the Radio Africa group.

The food, which includes maize meal, rice, beans and cooking oil, is now being packed into two-month bundles, which will be distributed to families across Kenya during this week.

The appeal brought together Kenya’s leading presenters including Caroline Mutoko, Maina Kageni, Kalekye Mumo, Aleem Manji, Joseph Ogidi and the whole Radio Africa presenter team. The stations that participated were KISS 100, Classic 105, East FM, Radio Jambo and Xfm.

The campaign was conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Red Cross and Nakumatt. The Kenya Red Cross will distribute all the food collected.

FYI: Sukuma Kenya was able to contribute about 98,000/= with the support of Ladies in Action and the Klara Foundation. Click HERE to read more about this.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Binyavanga Wainaina on "Civil Society"

"Who" and "what" civil society is in Kenya is a question that has been bothering me for a while now. I wanted to share Binyavanga Wainaina's take on this issue where he brings into play the "wananchi" institutions such as unions and associations and that rather dominating sphere of NGOs. Two questions stand out: why are such strong bodies like COTU so quiet in the current state of Kenya? And why are the "donors" more aligned to the "NGO" paradigm in civil society? (Thanks Kaasa for blogging this. Good discussion and comments HERE)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ksh 97, 652/= for drought victims

There are a lot of amazing initiatives across the country to raise funds and deliver food and other necessities to the 10 million or so people facing starvation in Kenya. The Kenya Red Cross as always are at the forefront of logisitics. As always the Media play a critical role in raising awareness and keeping Kenyans on their toes reminding us just how fortunate a handful of us are in Kenya. And of course there are a handful of Kenyans who just get on with what needs to be done. I have never ever understood this about being a Kenyan. On the one hand, just about every Kenyan who can afford to shop at Nakumatt or any other supermarket will spare whatever they can for those less fortunate. That says so much about a people.

Yet, we have criminals in charge of the country. This drought is their fault. How is it possible to even conceive of stealing purely for profit at a time like this? Yes, every MP is responsible for the millions of starving Kenyans. I stand here and accuse each one of you for allowing a genocide to take place in Kenya. What difference does it make whether a person is being hacked to pieces or starving to death for the personal gain of someone else?

Sorry. It is impossible to write anything about Kenya these days without having to refer to the murderers that run this country. Alas, there is a little breathing space and we were fortunate enough to receive a donation from Ladies In Action (my folks) and the Klara Foundation (a Dutch couple with a love for Kenya) to go and purchase up to 100,000Ksh of food items which we did yesterday. The Radio Africa group (East FM, Kiss FM and the Nairobi Star) have been stationed at just about every Nakumatt in Nairobi alongside the Red Cross encouraging people to buy that extra packet of unga. I believe there has been an amazing response and they will the Radio Africa group will work closely with the Red Cross to ensure everything collected under their initiative will reach its destination.

Elodie, Maya and myself went to Nakumatt Prestige yesterday afternoon and purchased Ksh 97,652/= worth of maize meal, wheat flour, uji mix, sugar, salt and oil and handed it over to the Red Cross and Radio Africa. Please note of this, ksh 3,902/= is a compulsory donation through tax that will go directly into the pockets of MPs and other civil servants. They will then do what they always do - arrive at a press conference in a convoy of mercedes', prados and lexus worth no less than Ksh 100million and beg to the west for alms to help prevent them from killing more Kenyans.

And life goes on...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yes!! This is the Kenya We Want!!

Everything, every Kenyan dreamed about is staring us right back in the picture below. Well done Kenya! We got what we wanted...The Dream Team!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Lucy Kibaki named in list of maize scandaluos companies

Sitting around and waiting in queues downtown can sometimes have its benefits.

I was glued to the drooling MPs live on KBC as the mumbled and grumbled desperately trying to keep awake. As the MP (for Budalangi I think) desperately tried to get their attention with a list of companies being scrutinised in our current maize scandal (you know the one where somebody sold off a bunch of our maize at the same time as the President declaring we have a national disaster because of the drought and then had to put his begging bowl out - yes, yes that one)...

Well then he mentioned the name of a company and then he mentioned one of the Director's of the company...

"LUCY KIBAKI"....(just reporting what I heard directly from Parliament...)

Needless to say everyone around him woke up and mr MP with list had to sit down...

Now don't you think that should make better headlines than her and her hubby fighting about whether Saitoiti is like a good bad guy or just a plain old bad bad guy??


Do Kenyans really understand where their taxes go? Do we know why we are led by a bunch of begging millionaires? Click on the image below to watch the video. KNOW WHERE YOUR TAXES GO AND THEN ASK YOURSELF WHETHER YOU SHOULD BE PAYING AND WHAT FOR?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Saturday the 7th of February.

Save A Life Today, For A Better Tomorrow.


The Okoa Maisha Team met on the 2nd of February to discuss the way through for the hunger walk set to happen on the 7th of February. The planned routes is as follows:

Starting Point: Jocham Hospital

Check Points:

1. Buxton
2. Saba Saba
3. Lebanon (Mombasa Penetcostal Church)
4. Koblenz Hall (Okoa Maisha Secretariat)
5. Cassablanca
6. Nakumatt Likoni
7. Aga Khan
8. Post Office
9. Makadara Grounds (End Point)

We urgently need volunteers to help out with the checkpoints. If you can put in your assistance please let us know on the wall and we will get back to you.

The walk is set to start at 8am to about 1pm.

Be there and save a life.


15 of Mombasa's Finest music talent have been fused together to form the finest song that was recorded on the 1st of February called Okoa Maisha.

The studio of choice wass 2008 Nzumari Award Winning Studio JUNGLE MASTERS RECORDS.

The song was worked on by 3 producers: Emmy Dee of Jungle Masters Records, Nje of Ufuoni Records & Bably of Tabasam Records.

Initially Cannibal, Gabriel & Johny of Skani Flani were supposed to be part of the team but snubbed the idea courtesy of manager related issues & personal reasons.

Directing the song was DJ Lenium who says, "The artists have never worked together like this for a charitable cause. It was amazing to see even more artists interested in having a part in the song which took a rough span of 3 hours to record but unfortunately a long song doesnt sell."

According to Okoa Maisha Initiative Chairman George Owino, "This song has touched base on every issue concerning the famine and the relief needed urgently. We have tried to speak for the victims but at the end of the day, only you can help! We are planning a major concert on the 15th of February where the entrance is a packet of unga at the Mombasa Municipal Stadium. Top artists are set to perform including the 15 artists who did the song. We are inviting artists from NAirobi also to join in the cause."

The song is getting airplay on local stations

The 15 artists include:

1. Nyota Ndogo
2. Prince Adio
3. Kingsting
4. Susumilla
5. Bantu
6. Rojo
7. Daddy S
8. Bedbug
9. Salvage
10.Ally B
11. Mwaka Owino
12. Sketcher of Rude Boyz
13. Shy Bull
14. Twenty Two
15. Fidempa


The Okoa Maisha Team are proud to say that after Day 1 of The Supermarket Storming done at Budget Supermarket & Nakumatt's, alot of stuff was collected:

*75 Bundles of Maize Flour
*A Sack of Salt
* 45 Litres of Cooking Oil
* 33 Bags of rice

among other collectables

We still need your help. One thing you can do is sponsor the OKOA MAISHA TAG. Whenever you update your status on Facebook, please put a capital OKOA MAISHA at the end. Whenever someone asks you, just refer them to the group. Thankyou for sponsoring the event.

DJ Lenium
I.T. Manager
Email: okoamaisha (at) gmail (dot) com
Join the Facebook Group HERE

Monday, February 2, 2009


Dear Readers,

Following a comment left recently by a kind reader who informed me that Sukuma Kenya was banned in the UNON system, I received the following confirmation from their Media Department:

Access Denied by SmartFilter as per the UN Internet Use Guidelines
An electronic copy of this Guideline is available at

You cannot access the following Web address:
The site you requested is blocked under the following categories: Hate/Discrimination
The IP address of your PC is:

The UNEP Media Department have been particularly effective at informing the IT Dept. to "unblock" Sukuma Kenya immediately.

I want to extend my gratitude to the UNEP Media Dept for taking me off the hitlist and sincerely hope they will be as effective in implementing their internal recommendations for initial actions to make UNEP climate neutral starting on 1 January 2008 (only highlights below but you can read the fully Monty HERE):
  1. to reduce the climate footprint of UNEP through adoption of sustainable management practices for its operations at HQ and in all the regions;
  2. to ‘lead by example’ and provide a basis for raising awareness of similar organizations, of governments, and of the public as a whole;

.... Engage the entire UN family to become C-neutral (e.g., through the EMG). blah blah blah and...
As specific preliminary actions, the SMT may wish to consider a range of bottom-up proposals to reduce energy consumption included in the Initial Environment Review as well as those by staff through the Step-by-Step initiative. These include the following:

i. undertake staff training on how to reduce their own energy consumption;

ii. proper installment of Energy Star software in PCs;

iii. install motion sensors for lighting and other uses where applicable

iv. install energy saving bulbs everywhere in the compound;

v. ensure all lights are turned off when not needed;

vi. install laptop computers that use 90% less energy than normal computers;

vii. install flat screen LCDs that use 35% less energy than normal screens;

viii. promote bicycle use by improving cyclist facilities (bicycle storage area, lock and changing rooms) and improving infrastructure for bicycles with long term plans to construct bicycle paths where appropriate;

ix. public awareness to be promoted and opportunities created on bulletin boards for personnel who car pool (i.e. chart/ table to be created with names/ times and telephone numbers);

x. promote public transit usage among staff members i.e. security should revise its advisory warnings and consider providing more secure means of transport;

xi. encourage the provision of UN petrol station to sell low sulphur diesel;

xii. use some of the existing fuel tax at the UN petrol station to support greening projects;

xiii. raise awareness of what people can do to improve the transport situation e.g. use of low emission vehicles;

xiv. devise schemes to encourage employee purchase of energy-efficient vehicles and to discourage employee purchase of energy-inefficient vehicles (duty free import programme, etc.); and

xv. phase-in energy efficient vehicles to UNEP fleet.